Chapter 143 – The Unreasonable Princess
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Jing Xuan could be described in twelve words: born as an arrogant child who knows how to lure others’ hearts. Her eloquence is top rated, and she was extremely doted on by the emperor. She must have been the savior of the universe in her past life. In the end, Jing Xuan was a princess. Wherever she wanted to go, Ji Yunshu had no right to bar her way. Therefore, Ji Yunshu didn’t argue with her and just sat ramrod straight on her seat.
Although the person who slipped inside was a princess, Jing Rong would still not let her off this easily. And as expected, he lifted the curtain and stretched his arm inside, grabbing onto Jing Xuan’s arm. “Get out!” A frightening voice came out from his mouth.
Jing Xuan was dragged out by her arm. In defense, she grabbed onto Ji Yunshu who was the closest thing next to her. In turn, Ji Yunshu was also dragged out of the carriage. As soon as he saw the chain reaction he caused, Jing Rong didn’t apply anymore force, but he didn’t let go of Jing Xuan.
“Imperial brother, I will not trouble you. I promise.” Jing Xuan pleaded in earnest.
“I’ll count to three. If you don’t get out at three, I’ll break your legs, then drag you out again!”
“How can you be like this!” Tears pooled inside her eyes as she subconsciously drew back her legs, doing her best to back away far from her brother. In fact, her fear originated from a real incident that happened ten years ago. At that time, she was only 10 years old and had sneaked into the Rong estate to pester Jing Rong. Jing Rong, who was annoyed by her all morning without being able to drive her out, ran out of patience and completely snapped. He grabbed a sword that hung as decoration, and with all his strength he used the sword hilt to hit her leg. The final result was very obvious. Jing Xuan ended up bedridden for a month. Concubine Xiao cried in front of the emperor two days straight. Eventually, the emperor keeled under the proud beauty’s tears. That time just happened to coincide with Xuan Shu Empress’ funeral; thus, the Emperor sent Jing Rong to the imperial tomb to guard the Empress’ spirit for a year as punishment.
“Imperial brother, I will not cause you any problems. I promise you. Wouldn’t that be enough? I will stand quietly on the side. I will not speak. I’m telling you the truth.”
Jing Rong had yet to count to three, when he was interrupted by Ji Yunshu who voiced her opinion, “It’s getting late. We better hurry to the memorial hall.” She implicitly agreed that Jing Xuan could follow them.
Once she heard her wish being granted, Jing Xuan felt extremely happy and beamed a grateful smile at Ji Yunshu. Jing Rong pondered. After taking into consideration a thing or two, he finally let Jing Xuan’s arm go. Then, he snorted before letting the curtain fall down. After mounting his horse, he ordered everyone to set off.
Inside the carriage, Jing Xuan rotated and twisted her arm that felt painful from Jing Rong’s grip, while complaining, “This brother of mine is always angry at me. I thought that after going away for half a year his temper would get better. But never mind getting better, he remains the same: boorish and irascible.”
“Did you offend him?” asked Ji Yunshu.
“How did I offend him?” She promptly denied. “Among all the brothers and sisters I have, I like imperial brother Jing Rong the most. He does appear cold, but I know that inside, he treats me really well.”
‘He treats you well? Didn’t he threaten to break your legs? Could it be what they call courting death?’ While Ji Yunshu was doubting Jing Xuan’s mental health, the latter was looking at empty space, nostalgia painted on her expression as she recalled some memories.
Then, she started to narrate, “Seven years ago, at the time I was only ten years old, a group of people from Yuanzu came to unite both nations in marriage. Imperial father deliberated with mother and they agreed that when I come of age, I will be married off. Of course, when I learned this, I pleaded mother for a long time, but she didn’t understand my feelings. So, I secretly left the palace and went to find Imperial Brother in the hopes that he would help me escape this marriage. But he ignored me. I kept pestering him for a long time until he finally snapped and broke my leg.” She paused for a moment, unexpectedly showing a “how lucky” smile. Then, she continued, “Because my imperial brother broke my leg, the people from Yuanzu demanded to annul the marriage with me after learning about it. Thus, my eighth big sister became engaged instead. Although on the surface my imperial broke my leg in anger, I know that he did it to help me. However, because of that, he was sent to guard the imperial tomb for a year.”
A twinge of guilt rose inside her heart. To sum it up, despite Jing Rong’s vicious and drastic method, its effectiveness was proven. Ji Yunshu had to admit that she had a new impression of Jing Rong. She lowered her eyes as she felt the conflicting feelings welling up inside of her.
Jing Xuan’s hand waved in front of Ji Yunshu. “Hey, what are you thinking about?”
“You’re like my third imperial brother who often stares at nothing. The only difference is I don’t like him, but I like you.”
Ji Yunshu’s back suddenly broke in cold sweat as the corner of her mouth twitched.
In an instant, Jing Xuan suddenly closed in on her. Her pretty eyes curved in crescents as she bit on her lips and spoke in a mysterious voice, “I really love looking at this soft and tender-looking skin of yours.”
“Princess, please act with propriety.”
“Why should I act with propriety? I dare to love what I love and not shy away from hating what I hate. Yesterday, you kneeled in the hall and pressured my imperial father to agree with your condition. If it was before, that kind of act would earn you my imperial father’s ire and be bestowed a death sentence. This boldness of yours that pushed my imperial father to his wit’s end is something that isn’t seen in the numerous vassals of this empire. Thus, I…”
Speaking to that point, she stretched her index and lightly hooked Ji Yunshu’s jaw. Then, she finished her sentence, “…fell in love with you!”
‘Ah?!’ Ji Yunshu felt her guts violently cramp up. At first, she gawked at Jing Xuan. It didn’t last long as she promptly grabbed Jing Xuan’s finger, pulling it away from her jaw. Once again, she indignantly uttered, “Princess, please act with propriety!”
“I’m not prejudiced against you. In fact, I really want to see what’s hidden underneath that mask.”
Jing Xuan reached for Ji Yunshu’s mask, but Ji Yunshu dodged to the side. Her face turned cold. “If you continue to act like this, I’ll order the carriage to stop and let his Highness throw you out.”
Jing Xuan’s hand halted and reigned in her curiosity. She curled her lips and obediently sat back to her original spot of course not without chiding, “I was only joking with you. There’s no need to be so serious.”
“It’s good that it’s a joke, but your Highness should stop. If you really want to know the truth behind the missing girls case, then you should stay on the sidelines and not test people’s patience.”
“Alright! I know. Seriously, I will not disturb you.”
She turned her head and lifted the curtain. Because there weren’t many people on their way to the southern part of the capital, after a few glances, Jing Xuan was already bored. She switched her seating position, sitting more upright, but she would occasionally sneak glances at Ji Yunshu.
As for Ji Yunshu, she was somewhat “fearful” of Jing Xuan’s unpredictable actions. So, she slightly distanced herself from her and bound her mask tighter.
Everyone disembarked from the carriage after reaching their destination – the memorial hall. Standing outside were the capital governor’s subordinates. As they saw Jing Rong’s arrival, they greeted him and completely didn’t notice Jing Xuan who was acting low-key.
Ji Yunshu followed behind Jing Rong and entered the courtyard. Inside, there was a crowd of people, each person showing an uncomfortable expression. Some people had their mouths closed with flushed faces, while others had their eyes closed and their backs facing the room where the corpse was placed. It was quite obvious that this corpse was extremely disgusting to look at. Ji Yunshu swept a glance at them, holding a strong contempt toward those people.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
I wonder who is Jing Rong’s mother.