Chapter 169 – The Irksome Jing Yi Who Disrupted Everything1
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
The more Jing Xuan talked about Ji Yunshu’s brilliance, the more excited she got.
As for Concubine Xiao, her long and slender eyebrows slightly knit as she narrowed her eyes. Then, she said to her daughter, “Xuan’er, Teacher Ji is a commoner. He is not suitable for you. What’s more, his mind is too deep. I absolutely won’t agree to your marriage with him.”
“Don’t say that imperial mother didn’t warn you. Even your imperial father won’t agree to it. In short, don’t even think about it. Starting today, you are not allowed to leave the palace. I will instruct people to keep a good eye on you.”
Jing Xuan felt she was extremely wronged by her mother. After stomping her feet, she departed while roaring and fuming in anger.
Concubine Xiao’s ears finally could enjoy the silence. She glanced at the court eunuch on the side and ordered, “Immediately send this news to Prince Yi. If the murderer acts again, he has to catch him before the capital governor does. The merit of capturing that criminal must not fall into Prince Rong’s hands.”
The court eunuch bowed, “Yes, your Ladyship!”
Concubine Xiao’s slender hands tightly clenched into fists. ‘I must not allow the credit to fall into Jing Rong’s hand. You want to resolve the missing girls case and investigate the Lin capital case? You want to claim credit in front of the emperor and claim the crown prince’s seat? Don’t even think about it!’
Without delay, Jing Yi received the news from Concubine Xiao and ordered Dou Quan to secretly dispatch a group of people to observe the capital governor’s subordinates in accordance with Concubine Xiao’s suggestions. If the murderer makes a move, he must grab the culprit before the capital governor does.
On the evening, the weather turned slightly cold as a drizzle fell onto the capital. Ji Yunshu stood for a long time under the eaves outside of the reception hall. She looked at the sky which was gradually being covered by the curtains of the night. Within her penetrating gaze, the orange glow of the sunset was reflected as she pondered, unaware of the situation on the capital governor’s side.
Jing Rong ordered a servant to bring a cloak which he draped around her shoulders. “Your body has yet to heal. You must not catch a cold now.”
Ji Yunshu’s gaze fixed the hand resting on her shoulder before raising her eyes. “Thank you.” She uttered before adding, “Your Highness’ wounds are much serious than mine. It’s better if you don’t catch a cold.”
“We are not wed yet, but you are already this concerned about me?”
Jing Rong promptly interrupted her. His gaze wandered to the pitch-black sky. “I wonder if it will snow tomorrow?”
‘Bro, it’s already spring!’ Ji Yunshu shook her head, but she didn’t continue the conversation.
Perhaps Jing Rong was feeling very serene, he thought of another subject of conversation and poked her arm before saying. “I wonder… Should we do it?”
“I don’t understand what your Highness is trying to say.”
“The night is long and torturous.” Jing Rong deliberately reminded her of a certain night.
Ji Yunshu rolled her eyes. “I am not your sedative!”
“What is a sedative?” Jing Rong was at loss. Then, he asked, “Is that the same thing as the Three Benefits pill?”
Ji Yunshu was an archeologist to start with, thus she was very clear what this pill was2. ‘This prince! Is that all he could think of in that brain of his?!’ She sighed with exasperation before retorting. “A sedative is not an aphro- Anyway, it’s not that kind of thing. A sedative is a drug that helps inducing sleep. Since your Highness feels that the night is too long and torturous, then you should take a sedative.”
Jing Rong nodded without understanding half of her words. A smile hung on his face as he leaned closer to her. In a seductive voice, he said, “This Prince is in need of a sedative.”
“I said I am not a sedative!” Ji Yunshu moved sideways.
“If I say you are one, then you are one.” His warm breath could be felt as he leaned closer to her ears. Her body tensed as she clenched her fists under her sleeves. As Jing Rong almost touched her and she was caught in a dilemma, the capital governor suddenly rushed inside, still dressed in his government official uniform. His expression was very flustered and sweat was pearling from his brows.
Jing Rong resumed to his cold and stern facade in an instant and both his hands were clasped behind his back. He inquired, “What is the matter?”
The governor immediately greeted Jing Rong before stating the reason for his arrival. “Your Highness, someone… has already caught the criminal. It was indeed the Auspicious Prosperity’s cook, Gan Chouliang. Our people followed him and saw that he was about to harm Miss Ruan, but…”
The capital governor paused for a moment and lowered his head. “We were about to catch him, but unexpectedly, Prince Yi’s people suddenly appeared and brought Gan Chouliang to the Ministry of Justice’s prison first.”
‘The early bird catches the worm!’ Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu looked at each other. They clearly understood the outcomes of this situation. If the credit for the missing girls case was given to Jing Yi, then the deal Ji Yunshu had with the emperor was void. It meant that it was impossible for them to unseal the coffins related to the Imperial Duke case!
“Where did Prince get the news about the criminal? Didn’t I specifically ordered this matter to be done with discretion?” scolded Jing Rong.
“Your Highness, this lowly subordinate absolutely didn’t divulge a single word about this matter. The implication is too heavy, so even those under me didn’t leak the news.” The capital governor also didn’t understand how could Prince Yi’s subordinates suddenly appeared and snatched their target. This reversal of situation made the governor felt unreconciled with the results. The credit was snatched by Jing Yi, not to mention Jing Rong’s and Ji Yunshu’s shares of contribution, even his efforts weren’t recognized.
Jing Rong frowned. In a cold tone, he softly stated, “Prince Yi rushing ahead wasn’t a coincidence. This was a calculated move.”
The capital governor asked, “Your Highness, what should we do now?”
“Forget it. Let’s wait after the Ministry of Justice has investigated Gan Chouliang before discussing our next step. For now, keep a close watch on the progress and immediately report to me if there’s any news.”
“Yes, your Highness.”
Jing Rong waved his hand, allowing the governor to rush to the Ministry of Justice to closely observe the proceedings.
Ji Yunshu anxiously looked at Jing Rong. “If Gan Chouliang confesses his crimes, then the one who will get the most contribution is Prince Yi.”
“This Prince knows!”
“What are we going to do now?”
“I will go see Jing Yi in the morning.”
“Your Highness wants to persuade Prince Yi not to meddle with this case?” Ji Yunshu paused a bit before continuing, “Prince Yi’s aim is you. From the beginning, he didn’t wish for you to investigate the Lin capital case. In addition, for him to suddenly spring in the middle of our investigation to catch the criminal obviously means that he doesn’t agree with you.”
Jing Rong’s countenance was dignified as his wrinkled brows gave him an oppressive aura. He waited until the hour of the rabbit3 to change into clean clothes and prepared himself to go to Prince Yi’s residence.
The capital governor hastily rushed over at that moment and urgently said, “Your Highness, the people at the Ministry of Justice had interrogated Gan Chouliang through the night. He confessed everything and has signed his confession. Prince Yi has the document and is about to enter the palace, planning to report this matter to the emperor and resolve the missing girls case.”
Jing Rong’s expression became unsightly. He called Lang Po. “Prepare my horse at once! I want to enter the palace before Jing Yi does and stop him!”
“Yes, your Highness!” Lang Po answered and immediately prepare it.
Jing Rong didn’t delay any further as he rushed out toward the palace. He must block Jing Yi.
Ji Yunshu was also very anxious as she looked at his back speedily leave on his mount. Her heart was squeezed with urgency. After a moment, she asked the capital governor, “Governor, I want to ask you what was written in Gan Chouliang’s confession?”
“I copied part of his confession. Take a look.” The capital governor took out a paper from his sleeve and presented it to her.
She took the confession and read it carefully. However, after her gaze brushed through line by line, her expression gradually twisted and became tensed. There was bewilderment inside her eyes. She raised her eyes and asked the capital governor, “Do you know if it’s possible for me to go to the Ministry of Justice’s prison? Can I meet with Gan Chouliang?”
“This…” The capital governor hesitated.
“I know it might be a difficult request, but there is something wrong with this confession.”
“What do you mean?”
“According to the state of putrefaction on Shuiqing’s corpse and the color of her blood, her face was peeled off first before her hands were chopped. However, following Gan Chouliang’s confession, her hands were chopped first before her face was ripped off. I don’t know if he remembered incorrectly or the one who wrote the confession made a mistake. That’s why I want to meet him in person. So, I would like to trouble you to make it possible.”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Now, who will catch the murderer first?
Shamelessly reusing gif.
- The real title is 半路杀出一个景亦 which is a modified version of a popular expression “半路杀出个程咬金” (Cheng Yaojin ambushed the enemy). Cheng Yaojin is a great general in the early Tang Dynasty. The meaning of the expression is an unexpected situation occurred or someone whose presence is annoying. ↩
- The Three Benefits pill is an aphrodisiac. XD Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Jing Rong, I think you have more probability of having a spring dream. ↩
- Hour of the rabbit = 5-7am ↩