As Shi Sheng looked at the little brat Gu Su, her expression underwent a change.
“I want to see Senior Brother…” Gu Su scratched, kicked, and even bit as he struggled to get out of Dai Yue’s grip.
“Your Excellency.” Dai Yue looked at Shi Sheng, pleading for assistance.
Shi Sheng reached out, picked him up, and tossed him into the room. Before Gu Su could get to his feet, she shut the door.
“Lock it.” Shi Sheng ordered Dai Yue.
Dai Yue, “…” ‘Your Excellency…are you sure Sir Ling Yue won’t be mad once he finds out? Even the suggestion to drug him was better than this…’
Gu Su pounded on the door from the inside of the room.
Shi Sheng’s expression remained unfazed, as she smacked the door harder than he had. “If you want to see your Senior Brother, stay here quietly! Otherwise, don’t even think about seeing him!”
Dai Yue, “…” ‘Yup, Sir Ling Yue’s going to be mad alright. This is his Junior Brother! His one and only Junior Brother!’
Although Dai Yue didn’t want to admit it, this scare tactic had been rather effective—the room’s occupant quietened down a lot.
On the day of the Heaven’s Ritual.
The Heaven’s Ritual was to be held at an altar outside the palace.
Not only were the Empress and officials present, the commoners would come to bear witness to the ceremony as well.
Due to its importance, safety was the number one priority—there were multiple layers of guards surrounding the altar.
Jiang Zhi was rather unnoticeable within the group of princes and princesses.
The low murmur of people discussing the Crown Princess’s disappearance could be heard. Jiang Zhi felt a bit uneasy upon overhearing their conversation.
“The Crown Princess’s attendants said she’s gone missing. I reckon she’s snuck out of the palace to play again.”
“But Master Ling Yue’s still here; how could she have left the palace…”
The Crown Princess had used many methods to escape the palace before. Suddenly disappearing had been one of them. Hence, the first reaction upon hearing the Crown Princess had vanished was that she had run out of the palace again.
“She’s a fickle one. Who knows if she took a liking to someone else outside?”
“Still, she dares to not even show up for the Heaven’s Ritual? I want to see how she’ll explain herself to Imperial Mother this time!”
Several sounds of greeting could be heard from the distance.
Jiang Zhi saw the woman surrounded by attendants the moment she lifted her head.
She couldn’t help but recall the scene from that night, causing her face to pale a bit.
Ever since Jiang Zhi had arrived in this world, that was the first time she’d experienced such a close brush with death.
In her old world, she’d merely been a mere white-collar worker—how strong could her character actually be?
She had only understood then that in the world she was in now, human lives weren’t as sacred as they were in her previous world.
Even if she was a Princess.
Shi Sheng ignored the group of imperial offspring and made her way to her spot.
“Jun Liyou is really becoming more impudent! Just what is Imperial Mother thinking by continuing to leave her be?”
“Shh! Are you looking for death? Do you think the Jun Clan is that easy to deal with?”
Jiang Zhi’s face paled even further, as she listened to the murmured discussion. ‘Just how strong must a clan be, for even the imperial family to fear them?
I’m a modern person dammit! Would I lose to an ancient person?!
Evil will never triumph over good! Jun Liyou is going down one of these days!’
Shi Sheng didn’t know what Jiang Zhi was thinking—she was just staring at the altar, bored out of her mind.
Only after the Empress and Ling Yue arrived did the Heaven’s Ritual officially begin.
The commoners were all kneeling on the ground, not daring to even look at the altar.
The officials bowed to show their respect.
Only Shi Sheng kept her head raised, as she fearlessly examined the person standing on the altar.
Ling Yue looked even better than usual, wearing special ceremonial priest robes that were much more vibrant than his regular garb.
The procedure for each Heaven’s Ritual were pretty much all the same. But for some reason, Shi Sheng found it to be a bit off this time.
A wind had picked up at some point. It started out as a light breeze, before becoming a fierce gust that caused the banners surrounding the altar to flutter wildly.
What had been a perfectly clear day gradually turned overcast as dark clouds gathered.
“What’s going on?”
“This has never happened during the Heaven’s Ritual before…”
This change dispelled any thoughts of adhering to proper ceremonial procedure. The onlookers finally dared to raise their heads to watch.
Ling Yue’s figure had been obscured by the fluttering banners, so they could only vaguely make out his silhouette.
But soon, the wind stopped, and sunlight poured through the dark clouds as the banners ceased their dance.
It was as if the darkness and wind from before had been an illusion.
Shi Sheng frowned as she looked at him. She had actually felt spirit energy just now!
It had been mixed in with the fierce winds and disappeared when they died. But still, she had definitely felt that familiar sensation from the burst of spirit energy.
Ripples couldn’t help but form in her eyes as she looked at Ling Yue.
He had already finished the last step. He got off the altar and spoke to the Empress, in a manner that was neither subservient nor disrespectful, “The Heaven’s Ritual has failed.”
The Empress shot to her feet with an agitated expression. “How could it have failed?!”
‘There had never been strange occurrences nor failures in the previous Heaven’s Rituals!’
Ling Yue recited a bunch of words, using very sophisticated language.
If translated to normal human speak, it roughly meant: the heavens rejected the offerings of the imperial clan, because its members were lacking virtue.
Ling Yue’s voice wasn’t soft at all—not only had the officials heard his every word, even the commoners did as well.
Because there were imperial clan members lacking virtue, the heavens wouldn’t accept this offering. If the fall harvest fell short, it would be the imperial clan’s fault.
Low murmurs of discussion broke out amongst the commoners.
That peculiar wind was a very convincing testament to Ling Yue’s words, so their gazes towards the Empress and the other imperial clan members turned odd.
As people living in the capital, of course they had heard that the Crown Princess was infamous for snatching men off the streets. The other princesses also had a reputation for bullying people.
“Farewell.” Ling Yue saluted the Empress before turning to leave the altar.
“Stop him!” The Empress shouted.
The guards surrounding the altar immediately drew their blades on Ling Yue.
The Empress lowered her voice, her tone filled with warning as she issued a threat. “Master Ling Yue, it doesn’t matter if what you said was the truth. Redo the Heaven’s Ritual right now. It is not allowed to fail!”
Ling Yue’s expression didn’t change, nor did he make any moves to follow her orders.
“Master Ling Yue, don’t forget: your Junior Brother is still in our(z) hands!”
Ling Yue frowned slightly. He believed Shi Sheng wouldn’t lie to him.
Although, he too felt it strange that he would so easily trust such a person.
“Do less of such things, lest you call down the punishment of the heavens.”
The Empress’ sharp gaze swept towards Ling Yue. ‘He knows the little priest has been rescued?’
“Ling Yue, don’t force my hand!”
“Your Majesty, it’s no use keeping the lil priest here. He’s only human—he doesn’t have the ability to change heaven’s will.” At some point, Shi Sheng had made her way to the stairs to the altar. She smiled lightly at Ling Yue. “Come down.”
The people blocking Shi Sheng’s way hesitantly lowered their blades after receiving the brunt of her glare.
Her smile was rather piercing. Perhaps it was just him, but he felt her gaze when she looked at him to be more sincere.
Ling Yue’s eyes shifted. He descended the stairs and walked to Shi Sheng’s side.
“Official Jun, what are you planning?” The Empress made a signal, telling the people behind her to immediately go on high alert.
It seemed like the very air was curdling from tension.
Okay, lookie here: this novel is released on Yunqi (QQ Reader). It’s only the real deal here~
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