The iron sword wasn’t bound to Shi Sheng alone—even a three-year-old would be able to wield it. But to Shi Sheng, it seemed that the number of people able to catch it…
‘Too many. Can’t count them all.’
Of course, even if they did gain possession of the sword, it would still be useless. Apart from Shi Sheng, everyone else could only use it to chop radishes or peel potatoes—none of its true power could be exerted.
So to normal people, it was but a shitty iron sword.
Iron Sword, “…” ‘You’re a shitty iron sword!’
Shi Sheng didn’t immediately retrieve her sword. ‘Dare to take my(lz) sword! Let’s see how you like taking care of that little ancestor!’
Ming Jin left with the sword in tow. His manservant immediately approached, eyeing the sword in his master’s hand with curiosity. “Master, this sword…”
‘Where did it come from? You’ll be arrested if you’re caught in the palace with a sword!’
Ming Jin covered the sword with his outer garment and walked towards the exit in a natural manner.
Due to feeling unhappy, Shi Sheng didn’t continue her search in the Jade Tower, instead bringing a thoroughly confused Tao Qin with her to scale the walls back out of the academy.
The two only just hit the ground when they suddenly heard footsteps coming from the winding pathway behind them. There was nowhere to hide.
Shi Sheng remained motionless at her spot. Though Tao Qin looked nervous, she didn’t dare to run. She’d still be discovered if she ran back inside anyway.
Soon, people appeared from around the corner. It was Lu Ruo and a young child around 5 to 6 years of age.
The child was garbed in the robes of a prince, so he ought to be the only son of Yuwen Xun.
“Yun Jie Yu…” Seeing Shi Sheng standing in front of her, Lu Ruo was startled. ‘Why is she here? Wasn’t she placed under house arrest by the Emperor??? And besides, concubines aren’t even supposed to be allowed here! I could only come because I was given special permission by the Emperor to come fetch the little prince!’
Shi Sheng gave her a brief look before turning to leave.
“Yun Jie Yu, how bold of you to not greet Her Ladyship!”
Shi Sheng paused, turning her head to reply. “I don’t even greet the Emperor and you want me to greet her? Does she think she’s as beautiful as a fairy?”
‘So you’d greet her if she was???’
Lu Ruo stopped the maid who was about to continue and shook her head slightly.
Shi Sheng harrumphed coldly before leaving.
“Milady, she’s merely a Jie Yu, now yet she dares to be this disrespectful towards you. Why did you stop this one just now?”
“Have you forgotten about Shu Fei’s lesson?” ‘She was simply tossed into the water and had to recover for the better half of a month in bed. This Zhuang Qiong is simply a madwoman!’
Shi Sheng lived in the same palace as before, but the number of people here was now pitifully small—not a single person came forward to attend to her upon her return.
“Milady, don’t be angry. Once you’ve regained favour once more, we can deal with these bootlickers…” Tao Qin voiced her indignation.
Shi Sheng didn’t reply. She didn’t care about these people at all.
Only once they’d entered their palace proper did Shi Sheng ask Tao Qin, “Who’s Ming Jin? Do you recognise him?”
“Ah?” Tao Qin hadn’t really caught on to Shi Sheng’s meaning. She only snapped to once her eyes met Shi Sheng’s. “Ming Jin? The gentleman we met just now was Sir Ming?”
Ming Jin was the eldest prince of the Xi Liang Kingdom. 20 years ago, he had been sent to the Dong Jin Empire as a hostage. From all accounts, he’d still been in his swaddling clothes.
He had been sent to Yunyin Temple 16 years ago, and had only been summoned to the capital last year.
“The word outside is that Sir Ming is handsome, skilled in both scholarly and military matters, as well as being well-versed in the arts. It’s just a shame he isn’t a citizen of our Dong Jin Empire.”
“An idiot.” Shi Sheng gave her evaluation. ‘A slightly dangerous idiot.’
[……] ‘So to Host, the only people in the world are idiots, and even more idiots? Only she’s the best? Why don’t you go bomb the Milky Way while you’re at it?! Host officially has a mental problem. Diagnosis complete.’
‘System, are you fucking badmouthing me(lz)?’
System went into a state of shock. ‘Has Host unlocked the ability to read my mind?!’
Tao Qin, “…” ‘Mistress, do you know how many people in the capital want to get married to this Sir Ming?’
A group of imperial guards suddenly barged into her palace in the middle of the night.
Shi Sheng paused, bowl in her hand, as she stared in confusion at the sudden intruders. ‘You mean I can summon them by just having my meal?’
“Yun Jie Yu, His Majesty has summoned you for an audience.”
‘What’re you playing at now, Yuwen Xun? Where’s my(lz) sword?! Oh, right! It’s been snatched by an idiot!’
Seeing Shi Sheng continue to eat, the imperial guards couldn’t help but mutter to themselves inwardly, ‘Isn’t this Yun Jie Yu being too calm?’
“Yun Jie Yu…”
Shi Sheng glared fiercely at them. “Even prisoners on death row get a final meal! What’re you clamouring about?”
The imperial guards, “…” ‘But you’re not on death row ah!’
Perhaps because of Shi Sheng’s ferocity, the imperial guards really did wait for her to finish her meal.
Shi Sheng was summoned to the Palace of Proclaimed Peace once more.
When Shi Sheng entered, the originally tense atmosphere grew even heavier, as if the very air itself had trouble flowing.
Yuwen Xun, who was clothed in a bright yellow dragon robe, sat at the head seat with a dark expression. His eyes were sharp as he emanated an imposing aura.
Lu Ruo knelt on the ground, a whole host of maids and eunuchs also kneeling beside her.
Shi Sheng raised a brow. ‘What now?’
“Yun Jie Yu, have you left the palace without permission today?” Yuwen Xun had probably already given up on calling out Shi Sheng’s improperness—it was no use even if he did punish her for it.
“Nope.” Shi Sheng denied with a serious expression.
Yuwen Xun stifled the anger in his chest. “There are eyewitnesses—you still dare to deny it?!”
Shi Sheng changed her answer, “Well, I guess I did then.”
Everyone, “…” ‘You’re really too insincere, to change your tone so quickly!’
“And?” ‘Just toss whatever accusation you want at me already—it’s not like I’ve(lz) anything to lose compared to you.’
Yuwen Xun suppressed his anger. “Did you meet Jing’er?”
The cogs in Shi Sheng’s brain worked a bit, before she finally remembered that the little prince was called Yuwen Jing.
Yuwen Xun smacked the table at his side. “Why did you poison Jing’er?! Zhuang Qiong, how did you turn into such a wicked woman?!”
“Wicked Woman” Shi Sheng, “…”
She breathed in. “May I ask…which idiot was the one who spread that rumour?”
Though she might be a scumbag, she was one with class. ‘I’ve never done stuff like harming innocent kids, okay? My aspiration is to be a classy human scum!’
“The young prince did not eat anything, and never encountered anyone suspicious apart from Yun Jie Yu outside the academy. He only showed symptoms of poisoning after returning.” Shu Fei spoke. The meaning beneath her words was that Shi Sheng was the culprit.
Shi Sheng scoffed coldly. “I was at least 10 metres away from him. Pray tell, how was I supposed to poison him from that distance?”
Shu Fei was stumped for words for a few seconds. “Well, who knows if you’d entered the academy beforehand?”
Shi Sheng examined Shu Fei. “You sound really sure about that—did you see it with your own eyes?”
“How could I have?”
“Since that’s the case, why did you say it in such a sure tone? I’m beginning to suspect you’re framing me!”
‘Flinging false accusations around like this is illegal in other worlds, y’know?’
“I…” Shu Fei’s face turned red with anger. She turned to Yuwen Xun for help. “Your Majesty.”
Yuwen Xun looked at Lu Ruo. “An Zhao Yi, tell us what happened when you met her.”
Lu Ruo lowered her head. “Yes.”
Shi Sheng: Where’s my(lz) sword?
Ming Jin: With me. Come take it, Milady.
Shi Sheng: Oi, when are you fucking coming back?!
Iron Sword: There be beauty here; I don’t wanna.
Shi Sheng: …Fine then!