Shi Sheng licked her dry lips, her calm eyes staring off into the dark night.
The two embraced in an odd, yet intimate, position.
After a long time, Shi Sheng pushed him away. “Give me time to think.”
Ming Jin leaned in and gave her a quick peck on the lips. “No matter what your answer is, don’t even think about running.”
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Screw considering! Don’t want, don’t want! I want my adorable Feng Ci! This pervert isn’t my Feng Ci! Absolutely, definitely no way!’
She began repeatedly brainwashing herself.
Ming Jin was completely unaware that because of that one sentence, Shi Sheng, who’s resolve had originally been wavering a bit, once again immediately rejected him.
Ming Jin could feel that she hadn’t been as averse to him as before just now, yet in the blink of an eye, her expression reverted to ‘get the hell away from me(lz), otherwise I’ll(lz) hack you’ mode.
He was utterly confused. ‘Was my confession not touching enough?’
When Shi Sheng headed back towards the hall where the banquet was being held, she discovered that it was actually surrounded by imperial guards.
‘It was fine just awhile ago, how long could I have been gone for? The hell is going on? A rebellion?’
“What’re you doing?” Ming Jin pulled back Shi Sheng, who was planning on continuing forward.
“Going in to watch a show.” Shi Sheng kept a straight face. “Let go.”
Ming Jin frowned. “The Zhuang Clan is revolting; are you going in to seek death?”
“Yo, they actually dared to do it.”
Ming Jin, “…” ‘Aren’t you a member of the Zhuang Clan? Yet you actually have a gloating expression…’
“How’d you know the Zhuang Clan is revolting?” Shi Sheng suddenly reacted. ‘I didn’t even know they were going to revolt.’
“I know a lot. If Miss Zhuang agrees to my proposal, I can tell you many things.”
“Curiosity killed the cat.” Shi Sheng calmly stated.
Ming Jin felt frustrated. ‘Just why did I have to fall for such a difficult woman?’
“I’ll go take a look myself.” Shi Sheng charged out of Ming Jin’s circle of guards and, amidst much chaos within the ranks of the imperial guards, barged inside the hall.
“Master!” Ming Jin was held back by Zhi Yuan, who had charged over from the side. “You can’t go in!”
‘Just what kind of bewitchment charm did that woman place on my Master?! Doesn’t he know what the situation inside is like?! He actually wants to barge in!’
“Master!” Zhi Yuan was so angry he nearly stamped his feet. ‘I want to kill that woman!’
Ming Jin had always worn a warm expression on his face, but now, underneath the flickering torchlight, Zhi Yuan could make out a hint of coldness, so he knew Ming Jin was angry.
He grit his teeth and let go of Ming Jin.
Ming Jin immediately rushed in the direction of the hall, leaving Zhi Yuan alone to stew in his anger.
“What does Master mean?” Several shadows appeared silently from behind Zhi Yuan. “What do we do now? Do we act?”
“Without Master’s instructions, all divisions are to await orders.” Zhi Yuan vanished into the darkness, leaving behind a group of very confused dark figures.
The atmosphere in the hall was very tense.
Zhuang-fu had led his faction to round up Yuwen Xun and the rest.
When Shi Sheng barged in, they panicked a bit. But once they saw who it was, they calmed down.
Shi Sheng was a member of the Zhuang Clan, so she couldn’t very well help outsiders to deal with them, could she?
Ming Jin followed right behind Shi Sheng. The sudden entrance of the two newcomers had already drawn the attention of the people in front.
Zhuang-fu looked over to Shi Sheng before waving his hand to indicate that his people should move aside, allowing Shi Sheng to have unhindered access to the centre of the gathered crowd.
Zhuang-fu merely gave her a look before turning to Yuwen Xun with his hands behind his back and speaking, “Emperor Xiaowen left behind two wills back then. Has Your Majesty ever heard the preceding Emperor speak of it?”
Xiaowen was the title of the preceding Emperor’s father.
Shi Sheng raised a brow. ‘The Zhuang Clan actually knows about the will too?’
Yuwen Xun remained silent, his expression hard.
“Lord Zhuang, what are you talking about?”
“Lord Zhuang, rebellion is an abhorrent act! Even if you ascend the throne today, you will be cursed by everyone!”
Zhuang-fu scoffed coldly. “I suppose none of you know that the preceding Emperor falsified imperial edicts in order to succeed the throne? Yuwen Xun’s claim to the throne is unjust. I am simply reinstating the true heir—how is that rebelling?”
“What? Falsified imperial edicts?”
“That’s not possible, right? The preceding Emperor was Crown Prince then, so it’s only natural he’d succeed the throne.”
“Don’t forget that Emperor Xiaowen favoured the Third Prince the most. Who knows? Maybe it’s possible…”
“Lord Zhuang, since you say you have the will, then bring it out for us to have a look.” Someone raised their voice to speak.
Zhuang-fu had come prepared. He got people to bring out the will.
The contents of the will were that the preceding Emperor was to be named the Ping Prince and bestowed the territory of Jinbei, never to return to the capital unless an imperial summons was issued.
“Elder Lin, take a look: is this Emperor Xiaowen’s handwriting?”
There were several veteran officials who’d been around since the time of the current Emperor’s grandfather, and they took turns to look at the will.
The few officials who had experienced three generations of emperors discussed with each other and concluded, “This is indeed Emperor Xiaowen’s handwriting.”
This resulted in the rest of the officials’ expressions turning more varied.
The imperial clan had always held many secrets. It wasn’t as if there wasn’t a precedent for such a thing.
The Third Prince had held a lot of favour back then, so there’d been many people guessing on whether Emperor Xiaowen would pass the throne down to him.
After all, if one compared the then Crown Prince with the Third Prince, it was clear that the latter was more suited for the throne. And yet, it was the Crown Prince who ascended the throne while the Third Prince remained an idle Prince, spending most of his days in the capital.
Now that they thought of it, it seemed like the Third Prince might not have been staying here of his own accord and was instead under house arrest.
If the preceding Emperor had immediately dealt with the Third Prince upon his ascension to the throne, it was sure to stir up discontent amongst some old officials and destabilise the court.
After 10 years, when he finally consolidated his power completely, he acted against his brother and had the latter’s entire household executed, not even sparing the children.
Those officials that had experienced it personally felt chills from recalling it now.
“Lord Zhuang, since this part of the will is to bestow a title on the preceding Emperor, then may I ask where is the true part of the will dictating who the throne is to be passed to?” Someone raised their doubts.
Zhuang-fu only had this one edict—he had no idea where the one declaring the true heir to the throne was.
Zhuang-fu calmly replied, “How could the deceased Emperor have left that edict behind?”
During the purge of the Third Prince’s household, his entire manor had been picked clean. How could the preceding Emperor have allowed the edict to remain?
‘Are we supposed to believe the deceased Emperor faked an imperial edict with just this little bit of evidence?’
“The Third Prince has been wrongly accused of treason, so I am merely seeking justice on his behalf.” Zhuang-fu declared strongly.
“But the Third Prince is already dead and has no living descendants. There’s no point in pursuing this.” An official stood out to speak, “A long time has already passed, and His Majesty had nothing to do with this, so why are you so unwilling to let this matter go, Lord Zhuang?”
“Who says the Third Prince has no living descendants?” Lord Zhuang scoffed coldly.
Everyone exchanged looks. ‘The Third Prince has a living child?’
Zhuang-fu suddenly looked at Shi Sheng.
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Why am I getting a bad feeling?’
“Xiao’qiong is the Third Prince’s daughter.”
The hall turned strangely silent.
Shi Sheng got her expression back under control. “…Sorry, couldn’t help myself.”
‘I’m the daughter of that Third Prince? Motherfucker, doesn’t that mean Yuwen Xun’s my… Scared. It was other people in the previous world, and now it’s happening to me? This is awkward…’
 The implication of this is that the then Crown Prince was essentially to be stripped of all right to the throne since a prince that can’t enter the imperial city can’t garner support from the nobles and so even if he does rebel and claim the throne, he’ll lack legitimacy. Giving out Prince titles is a consolation prize for the Emperor’s other sons who can’t take the throne (granted it wasn’t very effective at keeping them content/safe from their paranoid now-Emperor brother)
 A refresher: Qin Xin chasing her cousin, our Ci.
Little Fairy: This arc’s story is a bit complicated, so if you don’t understand…just skip, it’ll be over soon.
#Aiming to be a little fairy with surprises in every arc#