Chapter 209 – What a Pity, It Was Such a Good Painting
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
How interesting. Jing Rong came in and sat on the same chair Shi Zijin was on previously. Similarly to her, he was taciturn and didn’t disturb her.
Ji Yunshu also didn’t want to be bothered with him. After she tidied her things on the table, she shelved her sandalwood box, and without turning back her head, she said, “You need not look so miserable. There is still a way – Go find the Emperor and asked him to grant you a marriage with Miss Kong. You can even say Empress Xuanshu said this and that before her death. Since the official edict has not been announced yet, the Emperor can still renege on his last decree.” Her voice was level as if what she said had nothing to do with her. She did however guess what worried Jing Rong.
He barely listened to her and it already made him frowned. The hands on his thighs balled into fists, but he remained uncommunicative.
Ji Yunshu looked back with the corner of her lips raised. “Are you worried that this method is not feasible?”
He didn’t respond.
‘Are you mute? Stupid man!’ Ji Yunshu didn’t get angry with his silence. She walked to her desk and took out some paper which she neatly spread out. She continued, “If your Highness is reluctant about Miss Kong’s marriage, why don’t you lie that her chastity was lost. If the Emperor gets wind, he might allow you two to be a pair worthy of each other? Even if he was angry, he could only be angered since there’s no way he can send a girl who has lost her chastity to marry to Qujiang. It may be akin to receiving multiple face slaps. I believe this is the best possible method.”
Ji Yunshu felt that her mind was quite flexible to be able to think of such a method. Unfortunately, it was another story for Jing Rong as his face turned unsightly, reaching a new realm of anger.
‘Is he thinking this plan is no good? To me it’s flawless!’
She shrugged. “Forget it. If you don’t believe this method is any good. I don’t believe it can be undone.” She then reached for a writing brush in a brush pot, wetting it with black ink.
She was about to draw something, but Jing Rong suddenly asked, “Do you want me to marry Kong Yu that much?” His tone was heavy.
Ji Yunshu paused. “You said that you only thought of her as your big sister, but you delayed her marriage for so many years. In the end, her marriage was pushed forward by the Emperor and she had to go to Qujiang. Although you have nothing to do with this matter, all causes stemmed from you. As a grown man, you should shoulder some responsibility. Besides, despite seeing her once, I can tell she is a great woman, and you both suit each other.” She never looked at Jing Rong, focusing her sight on the paper as she drew.
Jing Rong narrowed his eyes, observing her. ‘Is she really being serious when she says that?’ He felt an indescribable heartache. He had to admit that Ji Yunshu was right.
If social media existed in the ancient times, his micro-blog would have crumbled under countless flaming comments of keyboard warriors. Their spit would be enough to drown him as they shout out: You wasted a young woman’s time! You cause her to be sent to the faraway Qujiang! Damn slowpoke procrastinator stop being wishy-washy!
He deserved it.
He stood up. His mood hard to seize. He stared at the plum trees in the courtyard. “Fine! Tomorrow, I’ll go tell my imperial father I will marry Kong Yu.” He declared.
Ji Yunshu stilled. The tip of her brush slightly slanted, smearing the plum blossoms on the paper with a blotch of ink. By the time she raised her eyes, Jing Rong had stormed out. Even her tranquil mood was affected, a depressed feeling overcame her which couldn’t be shaken away even after a long while.
She only snapped out when her writing brush fell on the paper. She hurriedly picked up the brush. “Too bad, it was such a nice painting.” She said with regret.
From that time until the hour of the rooster1 on the next day, Ji Yunshu didn’t see a trace of Jing Rong. She only heard that after he left her room, he shut himself in his room, drinking the whole night, and even now he was still drunk.
Since this was something she overheard from the maidservants, she couldn’t ascertain the truth of the matter because, besides Lang Po and Lu Jiang, everyone else was kept away from his courtyard since yesterday.
It was only at the hour of the rooster that Jing Rong reappeared again, back to his old self, outstanding and heroic, not a trace of last night’s drunkenness could be seen.
He came over only to notify her. “Imperial Father had prepared a banquet tonight. The ministers and officials would be present. You are invited, go prepare.”
He quickly left without waiting for her response. Ji Yunshu wasn’t stupid. She was aware that her words yesterday had made him sad and uncomfortable the whole night. How could she not understand his feelings?
On the way and all the while until the horse carriage entered the palace, both of them maintained a certain distance, not talking to each other. In the end, Ji Yunshu took the initiative to break the silence. “Your Highness, are you planning to ask Miss Kong Yu’s hand in front of all before the Emperor’s announcement?”
“Isn’t that the only way? Besides, isn’t that what you want?” His tone stayed neutral as he spoke with rhetorics.
Ji Yunshu balled her hands into fists under her sleeve. She couldn’t retort and didn’t feel like arguing with him. A heavy silence sank in.
This time, the banquet was held at Moon Gazing Terrace, which was a square building completely opened on one side, convenient for people to enter and exit. The other three sides were enclosed with low railings. The design inside incorporated around seven or eight similar pavilions next to each other, separated between them by curtains of muslin hung from the ceiling. A well-thought setting since the final result made it possible to retain the intimacy in each pavilion despite their proximity and open access in-between.
Ji Yunshu sat inside the leftmost pavilion, but when she turned back, there was no sight of Jing Rong. She inquired, “Where is his Highness?”
“Milord had a matter to attend. He had me look after you.”
Her mind caught on his meaning. He must be using this time to find Kong Yu at Shaoxin hall. Fortunately, the banquet hadn’t started yet. As soon as she raised her eyes, she, unfortunately, crossed eyes with the one who she shouldn’t be looking at – Jing Yi.
He sat across her, a polite smile and a slight nod greeted her. Afterward, he got up and came to her.
Ji Yunshu was forced to get up and greeted him. “Paying my respect to Prince Yi.”
“No need to be polite, Teacher Ji. Please sit!” Jing Yi wasn’t reluctant to approach her. He directly sat in the pavilion that was prepared for Jing Rong, and looked at his surroundings.
“Have you seen Prince Rong?”
Lang Po replied, “His Highness will arrive in a moment.”
“Really! Teacher Ji is already here. How can he be late?” He said with a smile plastered on his face. His features were handsome, an undeniable fact, but his black heart and viciousness made him repulsive. His sight switched to Ji Yunshu. “I still haven’t congratulated you for solving the missing girls case. This Prince heard you were injured several times in order to investigate this case.”
“It’s only a small injury.”
“You have to take care of your safety. You can’t throw away your life just to solve a case. The investigation for the Lin Capital case still hasn’t started; It will be a pity if your final send-off has to be given.”
From his tone, it seemed as if he wanted Ji Yunshu to die soon. He was even more infuriated from failing twice to kill her.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Ji Yunshu so insensitive at sometimes.
- Hour of the rooster = 5-7pm ↩