As the only imperial prince, Yuwen Jing offering a toast to Shi Sheng shocked those who’d been planning to find trouble with her into holding back.
And as the only prince, Yuwen Jing’s seat was naturally right below Yuwen Xun’s.
Once the banquet proper got started, Yuwen Xun and the Second Prince of Xi Liang entered.
Who could tell her just what was going on with the radiantly dressed up FL-sama entering with Yuwen Xun?
‘What happened to the cold palace? What happened to losing favour? What part of this looks like she lost favour to you?!’
Go fuck a dog! Plot-sama, you’re really capable ah! As long as the FL isn’t dead, you’re getting them together no matter what, eh?!’
Even if the ML was at the North Pole and the FL at the South Pole, they’d still meet. This was fate.
‘Fate my arse! This idiot plot!’
Shi Sheng scratched the table loudly, whereupon the people beside her couldn’t help but draw back. ‘No one provoked her, so why does she look like she wants to kill someone? Scaring us to death!’
Lu Ruo and Yuwen Xun sat on the throne together. The former turned her gaze to Shi Sheng, their eyes meeting for just a second before Lu Ruo looked away and continued sitting prim and proper by Yuwen Xun’s side.
Yuwen Xun welcomed the Second Prince of Xi Liang with a couple of perfunctory greetings, his attitude obvious.
“I heard that the State Teacher has unparalleled ability. May I know if I can have the honour to witness it for myself?” The Second Prince suddenly brought the topic to Shi Sheng.
Only now did she pay attention to this Second Prince.
His appearance and clothing were both fine, but it was a shame that he was nothing like Ming Jin.
That wasn’t to say he wasn’t good-looking. It’s just…he wasn’t as good-looking as Ming Jin.
The impression Ming Jin gave could be likened to a clear breeze—when it brushed past, you’d feel completely at ease, no discomfort whatsoever.
Meanwhile, this Second Prince had the arrogance that all princes had—since Yuwen Xun slighted him, he’d naturally find trouble for them.
And the best way to do that, was undoubtedly through “State Teacher” Shi Sheng.
The atmosphere immediately turned a bit tense.
“Nope.” Shi Sheng curled her lips into a smile.
The gazes of the officials contained a hint of gloating as they looked at the Second Prince. ‘This person doesn’t even give face to His Majesty, what more a petty prince like you!’
The Second Prince had rather thick skin—he showed no sign of frustration at being rejected. “I heard the State Teacher used to be a concubine in the imperial palace. This prince is thoroughly impressed that you managed to rise to this position.”
The surrounding officials didn’t even dare to breathe too loudly right now. ‘You actually dared mention this in front of His Majesty? Simply courting death ah!’
Shi Sheng had a calm expression. “Thank you.”
“I have also heard that you and my Elder Brother have been rather close…”
Shi Sheng suddenly raised her head and directed her calm, unfeeling eyes at the Second Prince.
That gaze caused coldness to arise in his heart, as if someone had grasped him by the throat, preventing him from speaking.
“How can marketplace rumours be so easily believed, Second Prince?” Since this matter was related to the dignity of their country, one of the officials naturally stepped forward to smooth things over.
Though inwardly the official was muttering to himself, ‘A tributary state like Xi Liang dares to make trouble here? Is this Second Prince lacking a brain?’
The Second Prince hurriedly moved his gaze away. ‘Why is this woman’s gaze so scary?’
“Haha… I didn’t mean anything by that. After all, Elder Brother has been here for so many years—I was just showing concern for him.”
Ming Jin’s gaze swept over. That warm gaze comparable to a spring breeze caused the Second Prince to freeze.
Ming Jin merely gave a brief glance before moving his gaze away. His lips curved up slightly as he turned to look at Shi Sheng.
After not seeing him for so long, Shi Sheng merely felt that Ming Jin was even more of a pervert than before.
The Second Prince placed a fist over his mouth and coughed to cover up his discomfort. “I have brought a special birthday gift today.”
He clapped his hands, whereupon people carried in an object half their height and covered with a red cloth.
The Second Prince got up and walked to the middle of the room. “I expended a lot of effort to obtain this object. How about everyone here try and recognise it? Let’s see if someone knows what this is.”
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘In transmigration palace intrigue novels, there’ll definitely be an emissary from another country bringing an OOPArt to create difficulties for others. They’ll always end up getting slapped by the FL in the end. Delivering your head to people’s doorsteps ah! So just what’s under that cloth?’
The Second Prince proudly pulled off the red cloth, revealing the object concealed beneath.
It was an exquisitely made grandfather clock, but its hands were still.
‘Did this thing fall in from another dimension? It doesn’t look like something that belongs in this world.’
Lu Ruo clearly recognised it at first glance, but the surrounding officials all started asking one another in low voices whether they knew what it was.
“What? Does no one know what this is?” The Second Prince’s hand rested on the top of the grandfather clock, his entire demeanour screaming cocky.
Yuwen Xun’s sharp gaze swept across all present, causing them to lower their heads. ‘We haven’t seen this thing before, so how are we supposed to know what it is?’
“Your Majesty…” Lu Ruo leaned closer to Yuwen Xun to whisper in his ear. His expression relaxed and he spoke to her, “Just speak.”
Having gotten Yuwen Xun’s permission, Lu Ruo raised her voice to speak, “Second Prince, may I know if this object is called a clock?”
The Second Prince’s expression changed, probably never expecting someone to really recognise it.
“This clock is an instrument used to measure time. The needles in the middle of the face there can move. Can you get them to do so, Second Prince?” Lu Ruo continued.
The Second Prince’s expression turned even more unsightly. When he’d first obtained this object, it had been working. But the clock had stopped not too long after. No matter what they did, it no longer worked.
“…Second Prince, Zhao Yi-niangniang says this thing can move, so come on and show us.”
“Second Prince, do broaden our knowledge.”
The officials took the opportunity given to begin pressing the Second Prince.
His forehead was filled with cold sweat, but he forced himself to be calm and speak, “Since Zhao Yi-niangniang recognises it, then I believe you know how to get it to move.”
Lu Ruo stood up from the throne and slowly made her way to the clock.
Everyone held their breaths as they watched her, the air turning still.
Lu Ruo inspected the back of the clock and her brow furrowed slightly. ‘I can’t see the handle… Strange… Grandfather clocks should have something to wind them up.’
“Zhao Yi-niangniang?” Seeing Lu Ruo remain silent for quite a while, the Second Prince finally relaxed. ‘Her calm expression just now nearly made me think that she knew. As long as she can’t make it move, I won’t lose face.’
Lu Ruo’s eyes turned and she suddenly looked at Shi Sheng. “This one is not that skilled, but the State Teacher is surely well-versed in many areas. Why don’t we let her try?”
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘FL, don’t screw around! I(bbb) was just minding my(bbb) own business and watching the show! You’ll screw me(bbb) over just because I(bbb) didn’t help you? What happened to being naïve and compassionate?!’
“Since the State Teacher is so capable, there isn’t any issue with letting her try. Even if she gets it wrong, it’s okay.” The Second Prince had an expression of magnanimity.
Shi Sheng’s had a straight face as she spoke in a serious voice, “Don’t know what it is.”
Everyone, “…” ‘Is it really okay for you to be this frank, State Teacher?!’
 The raws are “人模狗样” which is a less than flattering way to describe someone who’s dressed up. I mean, from how it contains the word “dog” (third character), it should be pretty obvious. This part should’ve been Shi Sheng’s thoughts, but I couldn’t think of a word that fit best, so I decided to leave it as narration.
 My PR suggested this shortened form. Here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-of-place_artifact
Little Fairy: I want chicken-flavoured votes today!
Little Angels: …Don’t have. There’s only durian.
Little Fairy: ……
Translator: I don’t get why durian is so detested…? I mean sure the smell might be a bit strong to someone not used to it, but the taste is quite okay. It’s the stickiness I abhor.