“Do you think I’m a pawn or a player?”
Those words, spoken in a very calm voice, seemed filled with arrogance to Yuwen Xun.
His thoughts swirled in his head. “Yun Gui Fei, what do you want?”
“Did you think I’d just let you off, after what you planned to do to me?” Shi Sheng exerted a bit of pressure with her sword, easily managing to stab through Yuwen Xun’s clothes.
As the icy-cold blade pressed against his skin, a frigid aura travelled from its edge into his body. It was as if he’d been pushed into frosty water on a moonless winter night—it seemed like his very bones were freezing.
Yuwen Xun had never felt himself so close to death.
Shi Sheng didn’t exert any more pressure. She could feel the resistance coming from Yuwen Xun’s body. If she tried pushing further, she’d definitely be sent flying by his ‘ML-halo’ buff.
At that point she’d turn into the model example of failing spectacularly at showing off.
Shi Sheng stuck her chin out towards the teapot on the table. “Drink that.”
‘Drink your own medicine!’
“Yun Gui Fei, I(z) am a monarch! You dare to treat me(z) like this?!”
He was the one who’d ordered the drug to be placed in the teapot, so how could he not know what was inside? He mustn’t drink it!
‘If I’d known this woman was so hard to deal with, I wouldn’t have told my people to leave just now.’
“My, what are you saying, Your Majesty? I simply wanted to treat you to some tea.” ‘Think you’re the only one capable of outright bullshit? Think I(bbb) haven’t been educated, eh?’
“Your Majesty, are you going to drink it yourself or am I going to have to make you?”
Yuwen Xun found her words to be very familiar. They had been the words he’d spoken to her just moments prior after all.
Yet, in the blink of an eye, he was getting them returned to him.
As the Emperor, Yuwen Xun naturally had the ability to endure. So he did his best to stall for time with Shi Sheng and find a way to contact his people outside.
Shi Sheng naturally had no patience to waste time with Yuwen Xun. She roughly kicked him over while he was trying to convince her, picked up the teapot, and poured its contents into his mouth.
“Good luck, Your Majesty.” Shi Sheng dragged him over to the window and tossed him out.
Yuwen Xun fell flat on his face. He hadn’t had time to call out before he heard his Gui Fei speaking in a dark tone, “Don’t think about coming back with reinforcements. I might not be able to solo all you guys but…I promise I’ll have no trouble with blowing up the whole city. I naturally have a way to deal with you, seeing as I’m letting you go. Besides, it’s not like I’m afraid of dying.”
The last part was the most important point.
Yuwen Xun clumsily got up. Shi Sheng was leaning against the window, watching him.
“Zhuang Qiong, just you wait!” He wished he could snap her neck.
Shi Sheng turned around and tossed the body of the black-clothed man out too.
“Oh, I’m so scared!” Shi Sheng patted her chest before slamming the window shut.
As the light from the room vanished, Yuwen Xun’s figure immediately fell into darkness. ‘Zhuang Qiong!’
The next day, Shi Sheng heard that Lu Ruo had been promoted to Zhao Yi.
‘Seems like it was Lu Ruo who helped him out last night.’
Perhaps because that drug really did have memory altering abilities, Yuwen Xun seemed to have no memory of what occurred when he came looking for Shi Sheng.
Yuwen Xun definitely wouldn’t have told anyone the true reason he came to her palace last night. There shouldn’t have been all that many in the know, and those that did were probably the first to be silenced by him.
After some thinking, Shi Sheng started to feel rather dissatisfied. ‘I got to flex and he just forgot the whole thing?’
Yuwen Xun wasn’t a fool. He ought to have at least one aide who helped him come up with his plans and knew all the details.
So even if Yuwen Xun didn’t remember what happened inside, he ought to at least know roughly what happened.
One could tell from the imperial guards slowly amassing outside her palace, as well as the serving maids and eunuchs that had been subtly swapped out.
“My Lady… Just what is His Majesty doing?” Right now, no one in this palace was allowed to leave. All the necessities were delivered to them.
“Putting me under house arrest, duh.” Shi Sheng tossed the pastry in her hand into the pond.
“House arrest?” Tao Qin gasped. “Why would His Majesty place you under house arrest?”
Shi Sheng pondered for a bit before slowly speaking, “Probably got something wrong with his head.”
[……] ‘Is anyone normal to you? Even Feng Ci’s an idiot…’
Tao Qin, “…” ‘Why is Her Ladyship not worried at all?’
“My Lady…” Tao Qin walked closer to Shi Sheng and lowered her voice to speak. But before she could do so, her gaze swept to the pond. And the upturned bodies of the fish that had been vying for food just moments prior.
Her expression changed greatly as she swiftly knocked over the plate of pastries in Shi Sheng’s hands. “My Lady, it’s poisoned!”
Shi Sheng calmly dusted off the pastry crumbs that had fallen onto her.
“How could it be poisoned? Who would dare… My Lady?”
“Who else apart from Yuwen Xun?” Shi Sheng spoke indifferently. “Wanna guess how many methods he’s gonna try to use to assassinate me?”
He didn’t dare to openly execute her; she was the Gui Fei and the Di daughter of the Zhuang Clan after all.
It was true that she had committed high treason that night, but were there any witnesses? Plus, after Yuwen Xun had done something that shady, how would he dare to use this matter as an excuse?
Hence, he could only resort to covert methods like this.
“My Lady…” ‘Just what is up with Her Ladyship and His Majesty? Why am I completely unaware?’
“You afraid?” Shi Sheng adjusted her posture to a more comfortable one as she cast a side glance at the pale Tao Qin. “If so, you can leave the palace.”
Tao Qin suddenly knelt. “My Lady, I have been following you ever since I was young. This life of mine belongs to you. Tao Qin is definitely not afraid.”
“You’re my father’s spy?” The only people around Zhuang Qiong held allegiances to either Yuwen Xun or Zhuang-fu.
She had no one she could trust.
Shi Sheng had gotten rid of some of Zhuang-fu’s people the other time, but then Yuwen Xun’s spies managed to sneak in.
Tao Qin lowered her head. “No. It is true that Lord Zhuang did ask me, but I didn’t agree.”
“Get up, then.”
Tao Qin lifted her head slightly and carefully observed Shi Sheng.
The latter’s expression was very neutral. Tao Qin couldn’t tell if she was happy or angry or what.
Tao Qin cautiously got up and respectfully stood to one side.
“My Lady, what should we do now? Should we inform Lord Zhuang?”
Shi Sheng’s gaze fell to the pond and the bevy of fish corpses floating on its surface. “Would he be unaware with all those eyes he has in the palace?”
After hearing that Shi Sheng had been placed under house arrest, Zhuang-fu put pressure on Yuwen Xun at court. Having no sufficient excuse, Yuwen Xun could only order his people to withdraw.
Yuwen Xun had been rather secretive about attempting to poison Shi Sheng. Adding to the fact that she didn’t exactly go around declaring this, Zhuang-fu was still in the dark for now.
But he had also sent people to ask her what was going on and why Yuwen Xun had put her under house arrest.
Tao Qin held a brush in her hands, a paper on the desk in front of her, not knowing what to write.
‘Her Ladyship told me to write anything… How should I reply?’
Even after deliberating for a long time, Tao Qin still didn’t manage to form a single word.
‘I don’t even know what happened, okay? Just why did Her Ladyship have to sour her relationship with His Majesty? Even those other ladies are confused…’
“Just write: Yuwen Xun’s jealous that I’m smarter than him.”
Tao Qin’s hand shook, causing the ink to smear all over the paper. ‘My Lady, are you sure??? You’re not kidding me?’