Yuwen Xun hadn’t stepped into Zhuang Qiong’s sleeping quarters for a month now. Quite a few people were guessing that Shi Sheng had lost favour with the Emperor.
Since Shu Fei had been visited the longest this month, her ego had inflated greatly.
“These people sure are quick to jump the boat! It used to be that our palace got the first pick of fabrics, but this time they actually let Shu Fei pick first!” Tao Qin carried two bolts of cloth as she followed Shi Sheng. “My Lady, don’t continue sulking with His Majesty. Just give in.”
‘Who’s sulking with the ML-sama? And ‘give in’? The fuck for? Do I(bbb) look like the type who gives in to just anyone?’
Noticing Shi Sheng’s silence, Tao Qin once again started yammering away in an effort to persuade Shi Sheng. “His Majesty is still thinking of you, or else he wouldn’t have especially gotten people to send so many things over yesterday. My Lady…”
After a month-long stalemate, Yuwen Xun finally couldn’t sit still any longer.
He had sent people to deliver many fine objects yesterday. If things proceeded normally, Shi Sheng ought to have went over to thank him, and then the two would’ve made up after some mushy words.
But Shi Sheng wasn’t the type to follow scripts. She accepted the stuff he sent without saying anything about it.
Tao Qin persuaded her for a long time, but Shi Sheng acted like she hadn’t heard.
When dusk fell, De-gonggong arrived to read a decree summoning Shi Sheng to the Hall of Mental Cultivation to attend to the Emperor.
Shi Sheng was utterly dumbfounded ‘Yuwen Xun wants me to ‘attend’ to him? Is he mad?’
Yuwen Xun had always visited Zhuang Qiong at her place, yet this time he was summoning her to the Hall of Mental Cultivation to attend to him.
‘He couldn’t be planning on XXing me, could he? The fuck!’
Shi Sheng naturally absolutely refused to go. She used the excuse that she wasn’t feeling well.
But Yuwen Xun actually came over himself.
Shi Sheng expressionlessly stood there, neither greeting or otherwise speaking, making the atmosphere a bit awkward.
Yuwen Xun spoke first, “Are you still angry at me(z), my beloved?”
Yuwen Xun advanced a couple of paces towards Shi Sheng and made to pull her towards him, but she dodged to the side.
‘Hey, hey, hey now! If the FL sees you making moves on other women, you’re gonna die a terrible death, I’m telling you, ML-sama.’
“And you said you weren’t angry. It’s true my(z) attitude wasn’t too good, but you shouldn’t have done that either. Shu Fei is still one of the Four Consorts. After you pranked her so much, even if I(z) wanted to protect you, I(z) couldn’t do so too obviously.”
Shi Sheng felt goosebumps rising all over. ‘ML-sama, please spare me(bbb).’
She tightened her clothes around her. ‘What does this ML want to do to me? So scared ah! Where’s my(lz) sword?!’
“Didn’t you say I was making things hard for Shu Fei?” ‘How come it’s ‘pranking’ her now? Shu Fei will cry if she hears you, I’mma tell ya.’
“I(z) lost my temper. You did go overboard that day. It was so cold then—if anything happened to Shu Fei, how was I(z) to answer to Official Zheng? Of course, I(z) know you didn’t do it on purpose…”
“I did it on purpose. I just can’t stand the sight of her.” Shi Sheng’s eyes narrowed in a smile as she spoke maliciously.
Yuwen Xun’s expression froze for a moment, but soon softened once more. “Okay, okay. It was my(z) fault. Let me(z) pour you a cup of tea to apologise, okay?”
‘Woah! You’re not angry even now? ML-sama, you have quite the tolerance level, huh?’
Yuwen Xun really did walk to the side and start pouring tea.
Shi Sheng stared at him fixedly. ‘There’s something wrong! Definitely!’
Yuwen Xun filled the cup, turned around, and looked at Shi Sheng gently. “My beloved.”
‘No, no, no, not drinking!’
Shi Sheng stepped back. “Your Majesty, it’s getting late, please return!”
Yuwen Xun’s hand froze in mid-air, and one could faintly make out the anger burning in the depths of his eyes.
‘I’ve already lowered myself to coax her, yet she dares to put on airs with me…
Do you really think that I won’t dare to do anything to you?!’
Yuwen Xun shot a look to the people behind him. Two eunuchs immediately advanced and made to grab Shi Sheng.
She nimbly dodged them. “Your Majesty, what are you doing?”
Yuwen Xun held the teacup, a cold expression on his face. “I(z) gave you a chance, but you gave it up, so don’t blame me(z).”
Everyone left the hall and closed the door.
“Are you going to drink it yourself, or do my people have to force you?” The gentle manner from before had completely gone out of the window, leaving behind an overbearing Yuwen Xun.
“What’s that?” Shi Sheng didn’t panic, even being in the mood to ask Yuwen Xun what it was.
“Didn’t you want a child? I’ll(z) give you one.” Yuwen Xun smiled coldly.
At his words, a black-clothed man walked out from behind a screen. He was clearly not a eunuch.
He took the tea from Yuwen Xun and walked towards Shi Sheng.
‘What. The. Fuck! This ML is quite something! He actually found another guy to get one of his own concubines pregnant?! Beast!’
“You’re not afraid I’ll tell my father?”
“Don’t worry, you won’t remember what happened tonight. How could I(z) have acted without a foolproof plan?”
“Oh…” Shi Sheng dragged out her ‘oh’. “Then that’s a shame.”
Yuwen Xun hadn’t digested the meaning behind her words when the black-clothed man that had nearly made his way to Shi Sheng suddenly stopped. A weapon had pierced through his chest.
“Looks like your plan’s not as foolproof as you thought.” Shi Sheng slowly withdrew her sword.
The teacup in the black-clothed man’s hand fell to the ground, making a crisp sound as it broke. He looked disbelievingly at the woman smiling broadly.
Her sword seemed to have appeared from thin air, giving him no time to react…
The black-clothed man fell to the floor with a thump. Fresh blood flowed from his body.
Yuwen Xun’s pupils shrunk. He grit his teeth, rage in his eyes. “You dare to kill people!”
He’d always thought that this woman was just a pawn the Zhuang Clan sent. He could indulge her and occasionally coax her—she was nothing to fear. But he hadn’t expected her to be so bold as to kill someone right in front of him!
“I’d even dare to murder monarchs, y’know?” Shi Sheng flicked the blood off her sword, her tone light and arrogant.
The sword in her hand emanated a terrifying aura, as if it had an edge without peer.
She was clearly smiling, but he couldn’t see any trace of it in her eyes. Those eyes were like pools of water that had been still for a thousand years, without a single ripple in their depths.
‘Is this woman really the Yun Gui Fei I know?’
Yuwen Xun didn’t know why, but he suddenly believed that she was telling the truth.
“Yuwen Xun, just try and shout.” Her sword levelled itself against his chest. The woman’s mocking tone rang out in the room. “Let’s see if my sword can stab through your heart faster than your people can get here.”
“You won’t be able to escape even if you kill me.” Yuwen Xun calmly spoke.
“Why would I want to?” Shi Sheng cocked her head to one side.
Yuwen Xun, “…” ‘What else were you planning on doing after you killed me?’
He took a deep breath. “The Zhuang Clan merely treats you as a pawn. If you lose your usefulness to them one day, they will discard you.”
Yuwen Xun wanted to take the opportunity to get Shi Sheng to join him. If he could get her to turn on the Zhuang Clan, it’d increase the chances of him uprooting them.
“Isn’t that the way it is between humans? You use me, I use you? There’s only one winner in a game of chess, and it’s the player who wins. If you become a discarded pawn, then you can only blame the fact that you couldn’t become a player.” Shi Sheng paused, before asking him with a smile, “Do you think I’m a pawn or a player?”
 Yes, this ‘attend’ implies what you think it implies.
 There’s four consorts of equal ranking. Let’s see if I can remember off the top of my head: Gui (贵), Shu (淑), Xian (贤)…shit, I can’t remember the last one. Lemme look it up. Ah right! De (德). They mean Noble, Decent, Virtuous, and Righteous(?) respectively. They don’t have to all be filled out.
If you want to know what happened afterwards, read the next chapter.
See you tomorrow, babes.