Shi Sheng disciplined those who had disrespected Ling Yue last night.
Though…it was already a much lighter punishment compared to the Lady Lin who was lying on the floor, condition unknown.
After Shi Sheng had finished venting, she dragged her sword along with her and left. Immediately after, the officials slumped to the ground and exhaled the breaths they’d been holding in relief.
Lady Lin was still bleeding not too far from them, so they called the imperial physician.
The Prime Minister faction had to use every method they could think of—from threats to bribes—to convince the rest of the officials to keep their mouths shut.
Shi Sheng didn’t immediately go cause trouble for the Crown Princess and left the palace.
After all, it wasn’t realistic to overtly attack the Crown Princess in the palace. In any case, she was the Empress’s chosen successor. If you just hacked her to death like that, wasn’t it just handing the Empress an opportunity to root out the Jun Clan?
When Shi Sheng returned to her residence, Ying Yue and Dai Yue’s hearts fell when they caught sight of her bloodstained sword.
‘Who did Her Excellency attack?’
“Tell our people to watch themselves. I’m not going to bail them out if they get thrown in jail.” Shi Sheng casually ordered.
The two Yues felt even more uneasy. ‘Her Excellency just went to attend court, but what has she done now?’
They soon heard from their people the truth. But this was a truth they really didn’t want to know.
‘You actually stabbed someone in the Empress’s throne room?! Isn’t this just giving her an excuse to kill you?! Your Excellency, please don’t be so wilful, okay?! Be considerate of people like us who have to clean up the mess, please?’
After Shi Sheng gave her orders, she entered the study and didn’t come out for most of the day.
Someone knocked the door to the study. “Your Excellency, the Empress has sent messengers inquiring whether or not Master Ling Yue is in our residence. What answer should I give?”
Shi Sheng looked up from the pile of parchment in front of her. “Answer truthfully.”
After a brief silence outside, an answer came, “Understood.”
The Empress had sent people to the Ning Princess’s residence and had been informed that she was ill. Last night, Master Ling Yue had left with the Prime Minister.
The Empress nearly got a heart attack from anger.
‘Just what is this?!’
The Empress sent people to the Prime Minister’s residence to ask for Ling Yue back. Though Shi Sheng admitted Ling Yue was with her, she was unwilling to give him back.
As it got closer to the day of the Heaven’s Ritual, the Empress nearly dispatched troops to attack the Prime Minister’s residence.
“This Jun Liyou is going to block out the sky with her hand ah! Is she planning to rebel?!” The Empress smacked the desk in front of her furiously, a ferocious glint in her eyes.
“The Jun Clan has become more powerful in recent years. Your Majesty, you can’t just stand by anymore…”
The speaker was a man wearing palace garbs, who stood beside the Empress with his head lowered.
“It’s not like we(z) want to give in.” The Empress suddenly seemed to age a few years as she sighed. “The people cultivated by the Jun Clan have nearly taken control of the court. All the ones we’ve secretly rooted out have been small fry at most, not any core member of the Jun Clan’s faction. Jun Liyou has probably found out about our movements, which is why she has recently started fighting back…”
Even though she was the Empress, not even she knew just how much power the Jun Clan held. The imperial clan had begun taking measures to guard against them ever since her Imperial Mother’s time.
They had managed to secretly pull out several of the Jun Clan’s supporters, but even after she had taken the throne for so many years, it remained unyielding like a towering tree with countless branches. And she had only managed to snip off a few leaves. That was how unnoticeable her efforts had been.
The one thing she could be glad for was that Jun Liyou was the only member of the main branch in this generation, and still hadn’t produced any heirs.
“Your Majesty, I have a plan to propose.”
The Empress looked at him.
The man giggled as he approached the Empressand helped massage her shoulders. He leaned forward slightly to whisper into her ear, “Didn’t Your Majesty’s subordinates say Jun Liyou really cares about that Master Ling Yue?”
“Absurd!” The Empress’s face turned dark. “Master Ling Yue is from Mt. Wanyuan!”
“Your Majesty…do you really believe the priests of Mt. Wanyuan are that capable? If they really were, why have they been in decline?”
The Empress fell silent.
She sent people to ask for Ling Yue’s return every day. They had good attitudes and tried their best to avoid a confrontation with Shi Sheng’s people.
Shi Sheng hadn’t seen Ling Yue since that day. She was pondering ways to confirm his identity.
On the other hand, Ling Yue was avoiding her out of awkwardness.
“Your Excellency, the Heaven’s Ritual is in five days… Are we really not sending Master Ling Yue back?” Dai Yue watched as Shi Sheng wrote something unintelligible.
‘These words of Her Excellency’s are really…’
“No.” Shi Sheng didn’t even look up.
Dai Yue hesitated. “But this matter concerns the fall harvest…”
Shi Sheng set the brush on the table. “Do you really think he’s capable of ensuring a bountiful harvest?”
“Your Excellency, the point isn’t whether or not I believe it.” Dai Yue’s expression turned more serious. “If it turns out the harvest is scarce this year, the people will place the blame on you because you kept Master Ling Yue here.”
The commonfolk wouldn’t care about the truth. When their basic needs weren’t met, they merely needed a target to vent their frustrations on.
Shi Sheng set the brush down hard. “Go fetch the other little priest on Mt. Wanyuan.”
“Eh?” ‘What’s this got to do with him?’
“Just do as I say.”
Dai Yue opened her mouth but didn’t know what to say. In the end, she left in confusion. ‘Her Excellency is getting more and more unpredictable.’
But later that day, Dai Yue received news from the people she sent to Mt. Wanyuan. It was completely deserted and one of the rooms showed signs of a struggle.
When Dai Yue reported this to Shi Sheng, the latter stared at her for three whole seconds.
Dai Yue couldn’t help but rub her face and head, wondering if she looked funny today.
“Has Ling Yue behaved abnormally?”
“No. Everything is normal.” ‘What does the little priest’s disappearance have to do with Ling Yue?’
Shi Sheng propped up her jaw, an indescribable expression of ridicule on her face. “Take a guess: do you think Ling Yue will ask me for help?”
Dai Yue, “…” ‘Don’t understand what Her Excellency is saying at all. Our thoughts already run at different speeds.’
Shi Sheng gave Dai Yue a disappointed look. “Pay attention to Ling Yue. You may leave.”
‘Ah, you really have to be born with smarts. Sigh… it’s lonely at the top, and I(bbb) find it rather cold too.’
[……] ‘Host, have some shame, okay? You clearly came to the conclusion based off of novel clichés, yet you insist it’s your IQ?’
#What’s with my Host turning more shameless?#
#Host always believes herself invincible#
The next afternoon, the Empress dispatched yet another person. This time, Ling Yue actually met with them. The contents of their discussion were unknown, but Ling Yue agreed to conduct the Heaven’s Ritual in the end.
After bidding Ying Yue goodbye, he left with the people from the palace.
Dai Yue and Shi Sheng stood in a hidden spot and watched as Ling Yue was escorted onto a carriage.
Once the carriage had set off, Dai Yue couldn’t help but speak, “Your Excellency, was the meaning behind your words yesterday that the Empress had kidnapped the little priest to threaten Master Ling Yue?”
“Seems like there’s hope for you after all.” Shi Sheng patted Dai Yue’s shoulder, a pleased expression on her face.
Dai Yue, “…” ‘Just how useless am I in Her Excellency’s mind?’
“Get our people in the palace to protect him. I don’t wish for a repeat of what happened last time.”
Dai Yue, “…” ‘Your Excellency, since you care so much, why did you allow Sir Ling Yue to leave in the first place? Couldn’t we have just rescued the hostage?’
Dai Yue blocked out her own mental curses as she spoke in a proper manner, “Ahem. We already have a lead on where the hostage might be. When should we go save him?”
Little Fairy: Happy National Day~~ Monthly votes ah, recommendations ah, I don’t mind either ah! T^T