“Yun Gui Fei, are you planning on rebelling?!” Yuwen Xun held Shu Fei’s waist, as he spoke in a frosty tone.
“Nope.” Shi Sheng shook her head. “What gave you that impression?”
“Kneel!” Her lack of obeisance since she had entered angered him greatly.
Shi Sheng’s eyes narrowed slightly. “I only kneel to dead people.”
Yuwen Xun, “…” ‘Guards! Drag this treasonous Gui Fei out and behead her at once! At once!’
“Your Majesty, don’t be angry—you’ll harm your health. It was my(cq) own carelessness just now. I(cq) don’t blame Jiejie.” Shu Fei considerately soothed Yuwen Xun.
But these ‘soothing words’ only served to rile him up further.
“Did you push Shu Fei just now?” Yuwen Xun asked with a cold expression.
‘…“Guess?!” Guess your head! I’m(z) going to be angered to death!’
“Shu Fei, was she the one who pushed you in just now?”
Shu Fei mumbled hesitantly, “Your Majesty… This uh…”
Yuwen Xun gave Shu Fei his backing. “Just be frank about it. I’m(z) here; what could she do to you?”
“I(cq) wanted to invite Jiejie over to the pavilion to sit for a bit, but who knew that she wasn’t willing…and that she’d push me(cq). But it was my(cq) fault for not keeping my balance; Jiejie wasn’t at fault…” Shu Fei’s eyes reddened, grievance in her words.
‘Whoa, Shu Fei. Acting lessons are indeed a must have for women in the palace!’
Yuwen Xun patted Shu Fei’s back before turning back to face Shi Sheng coldly.
“Shu Fei invited you with good intentions, yet you pushed her in the pond. Yun Gui Fei, what do you mean by this? Must you throw my harem into chaos for you to be satisfied?!”
Shi Sheng remained silent. ‘What’s there to say to an idiot? Explanations may as well be farts to them.’
“Nothing to say? Then, are you admitting you pushed Shu Fei in?” Yuwen Xun raised his voice, causing everyone else in the chamber to startle. All the maids and eunuchs fell to their knees.
“Whatever you guys say.”
Yuwen Xun pointed at Shi Sheng, his chest heaving erratically.
“Yun Gui Fei’s personality has been corrupted by jealousy and maliciousness—she will henceforth be demoted to Zhao Yi.”
If he’d thrown her into the cold palace outright, the Zhuang Clan would cause all sorts of trouble for him. Hence, Yuwen Xun could only take things one step at a time.
Shu Fei took advantage of when Yuwen Xun wasn’t looking to give Shi Sheng a cocky look.
‘I’ll see how she continues to act brashly in the palace without her position as Gui Fei!’
Shi Sheng’s lips tugged up in a smile. Though whether in amusement or mockery, no one knew.
“Get out!” Yuwen Xun was angered by just looking at Shi Sheng and he roared at her.
Shi Sheng didn’t retort to Yuwen Xun, merely giving Shu Fei a meaningful look before turning and leaving the Hall of Proclaimed Peace.
Yuwen Xun stared at her back, his eyes dark, akin to a predator waiting to ambush its prey.
Shu Fei was scared by Yuwen Xun’s behaviour. She hurriedly lowered her head and pretended to not see anything.
Yuwen Xun told Shu Fei to rest well before taking Lu Ruo away with him.
Shu Fei was angered to the point her innards ached. She’d only just defeated a Gui Fei and now an An Zhao Yi popped out.
Shu Fei returned to her palace from the Hall of Proclaimed Peace, cursing Lu Ruo’s name the whole way.
“My Lady, don’t be angry. An Zhao Yi is merely a Zhao Yi at the end of the day—she can’t surpass you.” Someone by Shu Fei’s side comforted her.
“His Majesty has stayed at her palace for several days this month. She might be a Zhao Yi now, but who knows when she’ll climb her way up here?” Shu Fei clutched at her handkerchief, a hard edge to her features.
“My Lady… This Yun Gui Fei—”
Upon being coldly glared at by Shu Fei, the maid immediately corrected herself, “—Yun Zhao Yi was only difficult to deal with because of her status. But now, apart from De Fei-niangniang, you have the highest rank in the palace. My Lady, would it be difficult for you to deal with a mere Zhao Yi?”
Shu Fei’s expression relaxed.
Of the four consorts: Hui, De, Shu, and Xian, only Hui Fei had never been granted to anyone. The titles of De Fei and Xian Fei had been awarded to two who had been with Yuwen Xun since he was the Crown Prince.
Yet the most favoured was still her, the newcomer.
Shu Fei closed her eyes as she pondered on ways to deal with Lu Ruo in her head.
“Yun Zhao Yi.”
This exclamation caused Shu Fei’s eyes to shoot open.
Shi Sheng stood on the winding bridge, sword in her hand. The light reflected from the pond fell onto its surface, causing it to gleam coldly.
“Yun Zhao Yi, what do you think you’re doing?” ‘She actually dares to walk around the palace with a sword!’
Shi Sheng approached Shu Fei’s procession with her sword. These eunuchs and maids had no combat ability, so they all retreated.
As a result of this movement, the people holding up the sedan were jostled around. Shu Fei only managed to stay on by holding onto the sides.
“Zhuang Qiong, what do you think you’re doing?! You dare to wield a weapon in the palace… Guards! Guards!” Shu Fei was scared into paling by the aggressive Shi Sheng.
Shi Sheng kicked aside the maids that were getting in the way and stabbed the bottom of the sedan, much to the terror of the Shu Fei.
The imperial guards arrived just in time to watch her fall into the pond, sedan and all.
Shi Sheng stood in the middle of the corridor, watching Shu Fei struggle in the water.
“Didn’t you say I pushed you into the water? I’ll satisfy this wish of yours. Happy?”
‘Do you think I’m(bbb) that easy to bully?’
The imperial guards’ first priority was to rescue Shu Fei, but with Shi Sheng standing between them and their target, they didn’t dare to go directly over there. So they could only take the long way around.
By the time they’d rescued her, the main culprit had long since disappeared.
Rumour had it that Shu Fei came down with a severe illness upon returning to her palace. Yuwen Xun was infuriated—he lowered Shi Sheng’s rank even further from Zhao Yi to Jie Yu.
She had definitely set a world record for number of ranks demoted in one day.
“Your Majesty, apart from a change in personality, there’s nothing off about Yun Jie Yu.”
Yuwen Xun looked at the shadow guard kneeling before him. “And there have been no changes in her habits?”
“There has been no change to her dietary and clothing preferences, but her habits have changed slightly. Yun Jie Yu doesn’t really move a lot lately—from the sounds of it, she spends much of the time asleep.”
The shadow guard paused before finally gathering up the courage to ask, “Your Majesty suspects that Yun Jie Yu has been…substituted?”
“She’s been acting very out of the ordinary lately.” The Zhuang Qiong from before was arrogant, but at least she knew her boundaries. Now though…
“Forgive this one’s boldness.”
The shadow guard took a moment to compose his words. “The palace is heavily guarded, so it would not be easy to swap someone out. And if Yun Jie Yu had truly been replaced by another, regardless of their intent, certainly they would’ve imitated the former Yun Jie Yu? After all, to act as she does now would raise suspicion towards herself. Women are fickle; it’s not like there isn’t a precedent for a sudden change in temperament.”
“Under what circumstances would people undergo this sudden change?” Yuwen Xun furrowed his brows. ‘That woman even dares to point a sword at me!
‘A change in temperament? More like she’s gone completely crazy!’
“Usually it’s because something pushed them over the edge…”
‘Pushed over the edge?’
Yuwen Xun thought for a while. It seemed like her personality had first started to change around the time when he was giving her the cold shoulder.
‘Could it be that our argument agitated her?’
Yuwen Xun murmured to himself for a moment before speaking, “Regardless, I want her to be kept under watch.”
‘No matter if she was pushed over the edge or switched out, there’s only one ending awaiting her.’
 This is a bit different from the footnote I left a while ago, but in my defence, I had no idea which harem system the author was using (I doubt she knows either).
 Yes, this is an innuendo I believe.
Little Fairy: As expected, I’m not suited for writing palace intrigue. *sobs* I feel like hacking those little bitches to death.
Shi Sheng: Me too.
Little Fairy: Keep your thoughts to yourself.
Shi Sheng: My(bg) sword is already thirsting for action though.
Little Fairy: ……
Feng Ci: ……