Shi Sheng stood unwavering under the gazes of this group of girls, causing them no small amount of confusion.
‘Gui Fei-niangniang is actually indifferent while that An Jie Yu is seducing His Majesty?’
At this time, Lu Ruo and Yuwen Xun had ended their discussion—she still ended up getting the 30 strokes.
But it was clear Yuwen Xun had an impression of Lu Ruo now.
“Gui Fei-niangniang, His Majesty has requested your presence.” One of the minor eunuchs that had been following De-gonggong jogged over.
Shi Sheng tightened her fur coat around her as she got up. ‘It’s time for my entry.’
On her way out of the pavilion, she ran into the FL, who was being taken away to be beaten.
The FL looked at the pavilion Shi Sheng emerged from before turning back to look at Yuwen Xun’s procession, which had already walked quite a distance away.
‘So I’m taking the blame for someone else again?
Shu Fei and Gui Fei are at odds—Gui Fei was clearly the one who was making things hard for Shu Fei, yet I’m the one who’s being punished?
It’s just like how Xian Fei was the one who broke that thing on her own, but brazenly framed this body! Just how could these women be so cruel?’
Lu Ruo glared angrily at Shi Sheng, whose lips tilted up in a slight smile.
The crimson fox fur coat completely enveloped her, making her seem even more petite and exquisite against a backdrop of pure white snow and brilliantly red plum blossoms.
A line from a poem couldn’t help but surface in Lu Ruo’s mind: A turn, a smile, a hundred charms. Eclipsing every other flower within the six palaces.
While she was blanking out, Shi Sheng walked past her, bringing a fresh fragrance that seemed to seep into her heart.
Yuwen Xun carried Shu Fei to his sedan. When Shi Sheng arrived, he immediately got people to lift the sedan and leave.
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Whaddya mean, huh? You want me(lz) to follow you on foot? Don’t think that you’re so awesome just because you’re the emperor!’
Shi Sheng got people to prepare another sedan for her.
“Uh…” The little eunuch was conflicted. ‘His Majesty clearly intends for Gui Fei-niangniang to follow on foot ah!’
“Tao Qin, you go.” Shi Sheng commanded.
Tao Qin watched the sedan that had already departed for quite a distance. She frowned slightly before curtsying slightly. “Yes.”
Yuwen Xun’s expression was very terrible.
“Does she still put me(z) in her eyes?!” Yuwen Xun spoke through gritted teeth.
De-gonggong, who was following behind, didn’t know whether this question was addressed to him or whether Yuwen Xun was just talking to himself, so he was conflicted over whether to answer. ‘Will His Majesty punish me if I answer wrong?’
But Yuwen Xun didn’t say another word, simply returning to the Hall of Mental Cultivation with a dark expression.
“Yun Gui Fei is to remain here and reflect.” Yuwen Xun coldly uttered these words before he carried Shu Fei into the hall.
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Reflect? On what? On more ways to torment Shu Fei?’
“My Lady, just bear with it.” Tao Qin persuaded her in a small voice.
“Is he punishing me?” Shi Sheng turned to ask Tao Qin.
Tao Qin nodded slightly, speaking in a worried tone, “My Lady, your relationship with His Majesty has been strained as of late—you shouldn’t go against him any longer. The only one who will suffer is you.”
Shi Sheng muttered under her breath as she silently considered which pose would make her look more suave when she charged in to hack Yuwen Xun to death.
…But he was the ML—she wouldn’t be able to hack him to death.
Shi Sheng felt gloomy about this. ‘Why doesn’t system give me(bbb) any cheats? I(bbb) want the type that’ll let me(bbb) straight up hack the leads to death! When is my(bbb) beginner’s package arriving?’
[……] ‘Host actually still remembers about the beginner’s package thing? Too scary…’
#Just how obsessed with the beginner’s package is my Host?#
A man in white silk clothes watched the constantly pacing red figure from a corner not far from the Hall of Mental Cultivation.
Yun was Zhuang Qiong’s bestowed title.
“She’s that really favoured Gui Fei?”
“Master, is there any problem?” The young man cast a curious look at the red figure. ‘Why has Master taken a sudden interest to Yun Gui Fei?’
“Let’s go.” The man turned to leave.
The lad scratched his head in confusion. ‘Weren’t we going to see the Emperor just now? Are we not going to anymore?’
Shi Sheng had been waiting outside the Hall of Mental Cultivation for at least two hours by now, and her patience had reached its limit—she was preparing to leave.
‘Whoever wants to serve this emperor can go and do so, but I’m(bbb) not going to anymore!’
If he tried to make trouble for her?
‘Like I’m scared of him! I(lz) have my(lz) sword!’
Just as Shi Sheng was planning to leave, De-gonggong emerged from within and summoned her inside.
The Hall of Mental Cultivation was very large. Young and beautiful palace maids lined the sides, as a fragrance danced through the air.
Shi Sheng entered the sleeping chamber.
Yuwen Xun had already changed into a set of everyday clothes. He was seated on the edge of the dragon bed, while Shu Fei was lying in the middle, her face ghastly pale. She didn’t seem to be awake.
“Why did you bully Shu Fei?” Yuwen Xun asked her with a hard expression.
“She wanted to harm me! Why couldn’t I bully her?” ‘It’s called striking first, you know?’
“Shu Fei wanted to harm you?” Yuwen Xun’s brows furrowed. “Why did she want to do so? What proof do you have?”
Shi Sheng’s lips curled. “What else? You, duh. Don’t have proof; my words are enough.”
Shi Sheng managed to make such a shameless declaration sound matter-of-fact.
“Yun Gui Fei!” Yuwen Xun’s face was dark as he warned her, “Don’t think that just because I(z) indulge you that you can be unreasonable, that you can simply pretend like you don’t know the boundaries of heaven and earth!”
Shi Sheng had a curious expression on. “I don’t know the boundaries of heaven and earth. Do you?”
“Yun Gui Fei!” Yuwen Xun’s temper flared. “Have you any decorum?!”
‘She actually refers to us as “you” and “me”! And she dares to talk back to me!
It’s only been a few days since I last saw her, and already she’s grown more unbridled! She doesn’t even place me in her eyes now!
She used to at least rein herself in when I’m around, but now she doesn’t even bother! Could it be that the Zhuang Clan is preparing to make a move?’
This caused Yuwen Xun’s thoughts to move even farther into the future, not knowing where they ended up at in the end.
“You are grounded for a month! And you are to copy the scriptures 500 times! If you don’t finish it, then you’re not allowed to leave!”
‘It’s still not the time to openly oppose the Zhuang Clan.’
Yuwen Xun suppressed his anger as he gave her a punishment before dismissing Shi Sheng.
‘Grounded for one month? Copying scriptures?
Who wants to do that?’
Shi Sheng tossed it out of her mind shortly after.
She didn’t leave the palace. Because it was too cold outside.
But news that she had argued with the Emperor travelled to the Zhuang Clan. Zhuang-fu sent someone to tell her to avoid being wilful and to also get pregnant by next year.
The Zhuang Clan treated Zhuang Qiong as more of a tool—she’d been indoctrinated since young that the clan’s interests were above all else. Hence, she had followed Zhuang-fu’s instructions.
Though this was to be expected. The Zhuang Clan had provided Zhuang Qiong with excellent conditions and sent her into the palace, pushing her onto the seat of Gui Fei.
All she had to do was give birth to a kid.
But now it wasn’t Zhuang Qiong in this body. Just thinking of making a kid with the ML…gave Shi Sheng the heebie-jeebies.
Shi Sheng ignored Zhuang-fu, who continuously sent people to deliver messages to her. In the end, it annoyed Shi Sheng so much that she got those people swapped out.
Her actions not only baffled and angered Zhuang-fu, they also utterly confused Yuwen Xun. He had thought that the Zhuang Clan was about to do something, but then he found that they were behaving themselves and not doing anything.
So what did Zhuang Qiong mean by this?
 The six palaces here refer to the Imperial Palace as a whole. Don’t ask me the origin of this, it’s just a thing.
 I swear I didn’t name this. I just took it from the result I found when I searched Google. The original is “养心殿”/“yang xin dian” which is much more concise. I didn’t know whether to leave it in pinyin. Would you guys want that instead? This place is usually where the emperor rests. I think it would honestly sound better as Relaxation Palace but I’m not sure if that’s taking too many liberties.
 Not the one who parks your car for you. This one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valet
 For those of you unfamiliar with novels set in ancient China, this means “of the legitimate line”-ish. Something along those lines. It means the child is born from a wife and not a concubine. Concubine kids are called “Shu”. While it doesn’t completely disinherit them like it probably would’ve in Europe (seeing as how they’re equivalent-ish to mistresses, only legal), they’re still lower on the succession hierarchy in most cases.
 Doesn’t have any special meaning. Literally translates to “cloud”. Yet another piece of evidence to support Sheng-ge’s suspicion that the author wasn’t very fond of Zhuang Qiong lol.
 Literally, the Emperor’s bed. I mean, his throne is literally called “the Dragon Seat” and his body (for when making references to his health) is called “[your] Dragon’s Body” so I think you get the drift. I may or may not remove this but for now, I’ll leave it in.
 I would’ve shortened this part were it not for Shi Sheng’s retort.