Shi Sheng leaned against the wall, her gaze landing on the bookshelf in front of her, but her mind was filled with what Ming Jin said that night.
‘Does he have his memories? No, that can’t be right.’
Shi Sheng shook her head.
‘He wouldn’t have kept silent about having his memories. So…it must just be because we went through so many worlds that he feels attracted to me?’
The night she stripped Ming Jin down, she knew that he was Feng Ci. Because she’d felt that faint aura on him.
Ever since the world with Qin Ge, she’d begun to get this feeling, though it was even fainter back then.
‘So this’ll grow stronger the more worlds we go through?’
Something fell to the floor, the crisp sound breaking Shi Sheng’s train of thought. She turned to the source of the noise.
A small child was currently leaning out from behind a bookshelf, his watery eyes staring at her.
When Shi Sheng looked over, he immediately turned and fled.
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Do I(bbb) look that scary? Honestly!’
Shi Sheng chucked the book in her hand back on the shelf and turned to leave. But her hair accidentally got entangled with one of the scroll paintings behind her, the force causing the entire painting to be pulled off the wall.
“Hss—” ‘*flip table* It really rains when it pours, huh?!’
Shi Sheng untangled her hair, and as she did so, her gaze swept to where the painting had been hung.
Shi Sheng’s eyes suddenly lit up. She’d only been looking at books before, but there were also paintings and walls to check here!
Shi Sheng inspected the wall closest to her, but found nothing that stood out.
She searched all the paintings in Jade Tower, but couldn’t come up with any findings. ‘I wanna hack System. Fuck! Just what is Jade Tower referring to?’
Shi Sheng was making no progress whatsoever.
It was at this time that a rumour suddenly sprung up. About her and Ming Jin. Apparently, someone had witnessed them meeting in secret.
Though she was already the State Teacher (at least in name), in the eyes of these people, she was still formerly Yuwen Xun’s concubine—how could she get involved with other men? This was simply unacceptable! This behaviour was usually punished by drowning the parties involved in a pig cage!
As a result, proposals impeaching Shi Sheng were sent to Yuwen Xun like nobody’s business.
“Your Majesty, I just knew Zhuang Qiong and Ming Jin’s relationship wasn’t that simple. He spoke up for her last time, and now there are even rumours like this.”
Yuwen Xun tossed the impeachments aside, exhaustion evident from his face. “Xi Liang hasn’t been behaving recently. Has Ming Jin made any moves?”
‘Inner strife and external problems… I haven’t dealt with the Zhuang Clan yet, and Xi Liang is already starting to grow restless.’
“Answering Your Majesty: no.”
“Keep a close eye on him.”
“Your Majesty, then about this matter…?” De-gonggong asked tentatively.
Yuwen Xun massaged his brows, speaking in a cold voice, “Ignore it for now.”
He didn’t wish to touch this Zhuang Qiong for now. After thinking carefully of what happened previously, the invisible yet impenetrable barrier, as well as the sword that appeared from nowhere…he felt that this woman wasn’t one to be messed with.
‘Since the two of them are getting involved, then if I can find a way to get rid of both of them at the same time, it’d be the best-case scenario. If I can’t…’
Rumours spread throughout the palace. Even the commoners outside had caught wind of it.
It was already scandalous enough for one of the Emperor’s concubines to become State Teacher, but now to be having an affair with someone else? Wasn’t that just asking to be spoken badly of?
The Zhuang Clan was also involved in the badmouthing. If women in an ancient era didn’t uphold tradition, they’d be drowned in spit.
Zhuang-fu had recently been having a rift with the Emperor, so he hadn’t had it easy to begin with. With this matter to top things off, naturally there were people at court who wanted to take advantage of it to suppress him.
Compared to all these people, the two leads in these rumours, Shi Sheng and Ming Jin, were much calmer.
Ming Jin was a shut-in who didn’t leave the house or see anyone.
Shi Sheng spent the whole day cooped up in Jade Tower, as if she was trying to find a flower by staring long enough.
Though she didn’t find a flower, she did see someone.
Yuwen Jing, Yuwen Xun’s precious kiddo.
For some reason, this kid would always sneak in while Shi Sheng was in Jade Tower. But when she looked at him, he’d run away.
“Sonny, come over here.” Shi Sheng beckoned the Yuwen Jing who was hiding behind a bookshelf over, and took advantage of him at the same time.
Yuwen Jing’s eyes widened and he pointed the index finger of his pudgy hand that still had baby fat at himself.
“Does it look like there’s anyone else around?”
Yuwen Jing turned around to look before shaking his head slightly. He looked at Shi Sheng and slowly made his way closer.
“Why do you keep staring at me?” ‘I don’t know what this brat is planning.’
Shi Sheng sat on the windowsill, so Yuwen Jing need to tilt his head up to look at her.
“Y-you’re the State Teacher?” Yuwen Jing’s voice was very soft and adorable, so it was pleasing to the ears.
“Yep.” Shi Sheng nodded.
“Then do you know how to catch ghosts?” Yuwen Xun carefully asked.
‘Catch ghosts? Isn’t this a palace intrigue novel? How come it’s turned into a supernatural novel?’
“Who told you state teachers could catch ghosts?”
“It’s on the history records.” Yuwen Jing replied in all seriousness. “‘State Teachers are emissaries of the gods. They can divine the will of the heavens, ensure peace and stability in the realm…and catch ghosts, exorcising evil.’”
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Are you sure you’re talking about state teachers here? And not Superman? If state teachers are so amazing, the hell do you need an emperor for?!’
Yuwen Jing once again asked tentatively, “C-can you?”
‘Only reason I became State Teacher was to free myself from being Yuwen Xun’s concubine. Plus, it lets me get into Jade Tower whenever I want.
Ahem, though most importantly it sounded pretty awesome.’
Yuwen Jing lowered his head in disappointment.
Shi Sheng wouldn’t get herself involved in something that wasn’t her problem, so she didn’t say anything when Yuwen Jing left.
But several days later, she heard he fell ill. It came without warning. Rumour had it that he was feverish and muttering, with the imperial physicians being helpless to cure him.
‘This poor kid.’
Yuwen Jing had died in the plot. This should be the part of the act where that happened.
After this act, the FL would be promoted to a consort level concubine, following which her urge to go home would lessen and she’d begin to concentrate on palace intrigue, fighting others for favour.
Shi Sheng sighed.
She snuck into Yuwen Jing’s palace in the middle of the night.
This place was heavily guarded, so Shi Sheng had to expend some effort to get in.
While passing by a side hall, Shi Sheng suddenly paused.
“Who’s there?!” A loud shout suddenly came from up ahead.
“There’s no one here?”
“Hm? Odd. Was I seeing things?”
“I’ll head over to check it out.”
Several people checked the area, but didn’t see anyone. Only then did they leave with bemused expressions.
On the rooftop adjacent to this area, Ming Jin was holding onto Shi Sheng and holding his breath while he waited for the people below to disperse.
“Why are you here?”
Ming Jin replied in a gentle voice, “I followed you.”
“After all, you’re heading out so late at night. You need a protector, wouldn’t you say, Miss Zhuang?”
Shi Sheng raised a brow slightly. “Will you go even if I asked you to kill Yuwen Jing?”
“I’d be willing to kill even Yuwen Xun for you.”
Shi Sheng wrestled free from his grasp and leapt off the roof, making a beeline straight for Yulang Tower.
Ming Jin kept up with her pace, giving her a gentle reminder, “Milady shouldn’t be so hasty—it wouldn’t be good if you were to trip.”
“If I end up disfigured from tripping, would you not want me anymore?” Shi Sheng opened the door to Yulang Tower and slipped in.
“I’d want you no matter what.”
 Calling him sonny is taking advantage of him since she isn’t his real mother, and referring to someone as your child/grandchild puts you in a higher rank than them. Hence the commonly seen phrase of “your grandpa, I”/“I, your grandpa”
 Yulang is best literally translated as Jade or Jade-like since Yu literally means jade while Lang is a descriptor for jade. However, System’s Jade Tower only had Yu in it, so I can feel Shi Sheng’s urge to pummel it. I kept the pinyin because two Jade Towers would be confusing to anyone.
 There are two idioms here that I feel I should explain. The first, “沉鱼落雁” means to drown fish and down geese. In other words, someone is so beautiful that fish forget to breathe, and geese forget to fly. The second, “闭月羞花” means to be so beautiful that the moon hides itself (due to feeling inferior) and flowers flush (from being outshone). As you can guess, both refer to extraordinarily beautiful people, usually women.
Little Fairy: No matter how you guys are, I want to beg for votes!
Little Angels: What are we like?
Little Fairy: Beautiful as immortals, enough to drown fish and down geese, making the moon hide and the flowers flush.
Little Angels: Seeing as you’ve praised us, we suppose we can vote.
Little Fairy: I was talking about myself.
Little Angels: Scram!