Chapter 108 – I Won’t Leave You
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
The pair arrived at the Wei Mansion, and saw Wei Fu at the entrance. Wei Fu rushed to kneel down upon seeing Jing Rong, but the latter stopped him and said, “I’m here for an investigation. Gather everyone in the main hall.”
Wei Fu did not dare challenge Jing Rong’s authority. He glared at Ji Yunshu and went to gather the servants and the maids at the Mansion. The sight of the white cloth strips reminded Ji Yunshu once again of the tragedy which occurred here, but she forcefully recollected herself and buried the sadness deep into her heart. She asked Jing Rong. “How’s Wei Yi?”
Jing Rong answered, “He’s doing fine. Lang Po is with him, and I’ve told the people here to not tell him about the investigation, at least not until the burial tomorrow.”
‘He’s quite considerate on this, at least more than the usual person.’
Ji Yunshu nodded and consciously avoided further talking about the subject, lest she would tear up again.
After a short while, the servants and the maids Wei Fu gave the order to gather arrived at the main hall. Only then did they know what they were dealing with a royal prince, some servants working in the kitchen began chattering. “He’s a prince? I actually talked with him that night!” bragged one of them.
A more robust man right beside him flashed a glance of contempt and said, “I’ve talked with him too, and I spoke two sentences you know.”
“Don’t pfft me.”
“You’re the shameless one!” The two got closer and closer as they argued with each other. It seemed like they weren’t going to stop short of a fight. Wei Fu heard the clamor, walked towards them and gave both a clap on the head. “How dare you behave like that when the prince is here?”
“Yes, yes…” Both of them bowed down clumsily.
Wei Fu threw a castigating glance at the duo and finally went forth to greet Jing Rong. “Your Highness, all the servants in the mansion have gathered here.”
Jing Rong acquiesced and looked at Ji Yunshu: it was as if she was the master and him, a mere follower. Wei Fu followed his glance and looked at Ji Yunshu. He still resented her, and even though Ji Yunshu was found not guilty because of Luan’er, he thought of her as a murderer. Fortunately, the circumstances surrounding Luan’er’s suicide had yet to reach the Wei Mansion, for he would otherwise be pleading justice on all fours to Magistrate Liu and Jing Rong once again. Although both Jing Rong and Magistrate Liu would be standing on Ji Yunshu’s side…
Ji Yunshu waited no longer and swept across the crowd with her eyes. “Who poured the wine for your masters that night?”
The servants looked at each other. One young maid shyly walked forward, out of the crowd, her head lowered and her hands kneading on each other. She answered in a quiet voice, “It was me. I was the one who poured the wine for both the Master and Madame that night.”
Ji Yunshu scrutinized the maid as she spoke: she looked to be no older than seventeen or eighteen years old. Ji Yunshu asked her, “Did you notice anything abnormal when you poured the wine?”
The maid shook her head. “I don’t think so.”
“Yes, I don’t remember anything.”
“Think about it carefully.”
The maid’s hands trembled from the severity of Ji Yunshu’s voice. She pondered for a small while, finally shook her head and answered, “Really, there was nothing.”
“But there’s poison in the cup,” said Ji Yunshu.
Her statement caused an upheaval within the crowd. The maid was not dumb, and she naturally understood what Ji Yunshu was inferring to. She knelt down on the ground and answered with a trembling voice which was on the verge of turning into sobs. “It cannot be this humble one, it cannot be. Master and Madame were so kind to me, I would never poison them.”
‘Wasn’t it Luan’er who poisoned Master and Madame? How did it become Yue’er now?’ wondered Wei Fu. He stared at the maid and asked in a loud voice, “Yue’er, is it you who did it?”
“It’s not this humble one, it really isn’t.”
“It’s not her,” said Ji Yunshu. She approached Yue’er and made her stand up. “I didn’t say that you were the one who put in the poison. Don’t be so nervous.”
This second remark came to everyone’s surprise. Jing Rong voiced his own, “How can you be so sure?”
Ji Yunshu nodded and made Yue’er raise her left hand. “It’s because the fingers on her left hand are injured, and she cannot move them… right?”
“Miss Ji… how did you know?”
‘Of course I know, I work with bones everyday. I would notice something like this from a single glance.’
“Nevermind how I know about it, just know that it would be far too risky for you to pour the wine and try to poison it using the same hand.”
Wei Fu asked Yue’er, “Can you really not move your hand?”
Yue’er retracted her tears and nodded, “Yes, Madame felt pity for my injury, so she brought me into the mansion. I’ve been taking care of Madame ever since, and she has not told anyone about my handicap.”
‘What a nice soul Madame Wei has,’ thought Ji Yunshu. She did not feel the need to interrogate the servants at the Wei Mansion any longer, so she said to Wei Fu, “Please, housekeeper Wei, you can tell them to go back to their duties now.”
Wei Fu nodded and split up the crowd accordingly. Despite the new findings, the question of how the poison made its way into the wine was still unelucidated to Ji Yunshu. However, the latter did not dwell on this question. She threw a glance at Jing Rong and said, “I want to go have a look at Wei Yi.”
“Alright.” Jing Rong agreed.
Ji Yunshu entered the memorial hall in the backyard. The first person she saw was Wei Yi, who was down on the ground. From what she has heard, Wei Yi had been kneeling like this for the past two days, and he has not eaten a single bite. Ji Yunshu remembered Wei Yi’s always unsatisfied appetite, and how he would be able to finish an entire table full of dishes… She approached him lightly and knelt down beside him to bow down to the coffins of his parents. Wei Yi’s exhausted eyes reddened when he saw Ji Yunshu. He called out in a creaked voice, “Shu’er…”
Ji Yunshu’s heart was seared with a burning pain when she saw Wei Yi’s sunken eyes. ‘How did he get through the past two days?’
“Shu’er…” Wei Yi called out to her. She extended her pale fingers and caressed the frigid skin on his face. The coldness reached the skin of her finger, and then spread in uncontrollably, all the way into her heart. It prickled it like the sharp edge of an icicle. She frowned at the tightening of her chest.
Wei Yi clutched her hand and jumped into her arms, crying loudly like a baby. Ji Yunshu wrapped her arms around him tightly and caressed his head, “Don’t worry, Wei Yi. Didn’t I tell you before that I would be here for you?”
Her consolation reverberated within Wei Yi’s mind. He gave an even stronger sob, “But Shu’er disappeared, and Shu’er doesn’t want me anymore.”
“You little fool, how could I ever not want you? I’ll be forever by your side to take care of you.”
Wei Yi’s body spasmed violently, and Ji Yunshu’s body shook along with him. He asked in a bawling voice, “Shu’er, are you really going to stay with me?”
“Yes, I promise you. I will never leave you. I’ll be by your side, and take care of you.”
“Shu’er…” Wei Yi closed his arms around her.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
I’m in the mood for soundtrack music.