Chapter 140 – Weighing One’s Decision
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Decisions, decisions! Qi Zhen emperor has to weigh his decision. If Qin Shiyu was the first person to push him into a dilemma, Ji Yunshu could be considered the second person. Presenting such a condition and wanting to negotiate with him about unsealing the coffins for the Imperial Duke case in front of so many people were undoubtedly a resounding slap to his face. ‘How impudent!’ However, he was the one who trapped himself in this situation. If he didn’t agree with Ji Yunshu, wouldn’t his supremacy as the emperor be shaken? He pushed the missing girls case to Ji Yunshu but wouldn’t allow her to unseal the coffins to investigate the Imperial Duke case. Wouldn’t that seem as if he was blatantly establishing a double standard?! “You want us to agree to open the victims’ coffins for the Imperial Duke case?” confirmed Qi Zhen emperor.
“Yes, your Majesty.”
Qi Zhen emperor’s complexion darkened. He lightly pat his thighs with both of his hands before solemnly stating, “It appeared that Qin Shiyu is the start of everything.”
Ji Yunshu didn’t confront the emperor’s supreme authority head on. Her tone was subdued as she spoke, “If your Majesty feels that this humble one’s condition is inappropriate, you can consider that I did not speak of it.”
‘How amusing!’ The emperor wasn’t an idiot. He understood the reason why Ji Yunshu so readily retreated. He chuckled while saying, “Fine, we agree with your condition. If you can solve the missing girls case, we will send a decree allowing you to excavate and open those coffins. However, for the five coffins of the Imperial Duke’s family, since they were already put inside the imperial tomb, we will not allow you to move them. If you want to unseal their coffins, you will need to go into the tomb on Lin mountain.”
“Many thanks your Majesty.” Ji Yunshu bowed to the emperor.
Qi Zhen emperor promptly waved his hand. “Alright, today is Concubine Xiao’s birthday. Let’s not discuss about this matter anymore.”
Ji Yunshu got up and returned to her place. Meanwhile, the dancers returned to the stage, and the hall was full of festivity again. From the beginning, Ji Yunshu remained extremely quiet and aloof.
Jing Rong slightly leaned toward her and whispered, “You’re really not afraid that the emperor will order your death?”
Ji Yunshu didn’t shy away from speaking the truth, “I’m afraid!”
“Then why did you…”
“If I didn’t take this gamble, how would I know he will agree or not? Besides, if the emperor really wanted to behead me, he would be known as a despotic ruler, an infamy he didn’t want to bear.”
Jing Rong frowned. “These two words shouldn’t be spoken randomly.”
“What two words?”
“Pfft!” Ji Yunshu lowered her laugh. Her mouth was arched, and she couldn’t reply. Jing Rong’s face pulled away. This woman always pulled him in unexpected situations. He hummed in a low voice before sitting straight like before.
Further away, Jing Yi was inwardly sighing and shaking his head. ‘Ji Yunshu?’ “This person is indeed interesting!”
At this moment, Jing Xuan came in and silently went to sit next to Ji Yunshu. Her exquisite face moved in front of Ji Yunshu. She pulled on Ji Yunshu’s sleeve to get the latter’s attention while showing an expression full of curiosity and adoration. Jing Xuan asked, “Hey, who are you?”
Ji Yunshu squinted her eyes as she looked at Jing Xuan. ‘This girl, what does she want?’ “Princess should sit a bit farther. Afterall, men and women have to keep their distance.”
“How do you know that I am a princess?”
Ji Yunshu would be an idiot if she didn’t realize the other was a princess. Ji Yunshu pursed her lips but didn’t reply to the question. However, Jing Xuan was someone who loved to pester people. She didn’t stop pulling on Ji Yunshu sleeve, sticking to her like gum.
Jing Xuan continued to talk, “I was outside earlier, but I heard what you said. You really can discover the truth behind the Lin Capital case? Fourteen years ago, when I was still small, I heard that numerous people tried to break that case but to no avail. Do you believe that you have the ability to solve it? Also, I heard that several palace maids spoke about the missing girls case. Supposedly, the investigation has been going on for a while now, but they still have no clues. I hope you’re not overestimating your ability, right? Be careful or my imperial father will chop off your head.”
“Hey, this Princess is speaking to you.”
“This humble one is listening,” Ji Yunshu replied indifferently.
Jing Xuan bit her red lips while supporting her cheek with her hands. She carefully observed Ji Yunshu. Suddenly, she couldn’t help but reached for Ji Yunshu’s mask. Her hand had yet to touch the mask when it was seized by Jing Rong. Timely grabbing his sister’s wrist, Jing Rong coldly glanced at her. “Go back to your seat.”
Her whole appearance exuded anger. Then, she attentively looked at Ji Yunshu again before she unwillingly returned to her seat. However, her gaze which was filled with curiosity never left Ji Yunshu.
After the dancing and singing performance had ended, everyone ceremoniously presented their presents. Prince Yi’s gift was the most expensive one with an Eight Immortals tree which took five years to sprout and five years to grow. It is said that he had spend six months to search for those trees. Of course, this gift had made her ladyship, Concubine Xiao, very happy. The emperor also bestowed her many gold and silver. Thus, Concubine Xiao’s birthday banquet could be said to have ended satisfactorily.
After returning to the Rong estate, Jing Rong grabbed Ji Yunshu’s hand. He opened his mouth and wanted to ask something, but after mulling it over for a bit, he only said, “Never mind.” He let her go before declaring, “You have resolved a difficult problem for me. I owe you this one.”
“Since I helped you solve a difficult problem concerning the Lin Capital case, can you also help me resolve my problem?”
“Your words always leave me speechless,” lightly sighed Jing Rong. “Tomorrow, the capital secretary will meet us to give the report on the missing girls case, so you should rest properly tonight.”
“Rest assured that I will help you with this case.”
Jing Rong stared at her, but immediately afterwards, he left without looking back. Ji Yunshu went back inside her courtyard and saw that Wei Yi was already asleep. She washed her face and went to bed.
The next day, the complete information on the missing girls case was personally delivered to the Rong estate by the capital secretary. Since the case had no lead for the past two months, the capital secretary was more than happy to throw that hot potato to someone else. A big pile of documents related to the case was placed on Ji Yunshu’s table while the capital secretary clasped his hands, politely greeting Ji Yunshu.
“I heard that Teacher Ji is an outstanding talent which earned you Prince Rong’s admiration. You certainly are outstanding. What you said yesterday during the banquet had also earned my admiration!”
“Capital Secretary, your words are too heavy. This humble one is only an ordinary person. This big praise, I cannot bear it.”
“Of course, you can bear it. Teacher Ji is recognized by Prince Rong, and you even got the conditional approval of the emperor to unseal the coffins for the Imperial Duke case. These prove that you are a model for the younger generation. This Official rarely admires anyone, but Teacher Ji deserves my respect.”
“I don’t dare.” She really doesn’t know how to refute this man, so she politely smiled and quickly changed the topic. “What’s the progress of the missing girls case?”
The capital secretary awkwardly smiled before shaking his head. Ji Yunshu didn’t ask any further. ‘Forget it.’ The capital secretary was busy with many matters; thus, he didn’t stay long as he hurriedly departed.
After he left, Ji Yunshu flipped through some of the documents. Everything was meticulously compiled. She could see from which family the missing girls came from, their ages, and their complete profiles. The information was very thorough. She closed the document and threw it aside. “Everything is well written!” The words she spoke were full of sarcasm.
The fact remained that they couldn’t do the job. Since they couldn’t handle the field, everything was compiled on paper which made people get headaches when read. If this was the modern times and she encountered such a government official, it could be predicted that everyone in the whole country would want to rebel against him.
Suddenly, she recalled Magistrate Liu. ‘At least, that man has the common people in mind.’
At this instant, Wei Yi came in with a plucked plum blossom in his hand. “Shu’er.” He called her.
Ji Yunshu who was sitting in front of her desk lifted her eyes and looked at him. “What is it?”
“Didn’t you promise me that you will bring me to eat meat? The meat here is not tasty. Can you bring me out to eat meat?”
“Uh-huh!” He heavily nodded.
She looked outside. There was no rain, and the weather was relatively good. Since she did promise Wei Yi to bring him to eat meat when they reached the capital, she cannot go against her words. “Sure.”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
I put the teaser for the next chapter just to prepare everyone mentally. =D