Chapter 129 – Tobira-don1
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Ji Yunshu kept her eyes lowered as she pondered over the matter. After a moment, she suddenly began walking again and skirted around the bed. In ancient times, beds were usually not put against the wall, so behind it was simply a screen used to create a private space for changing clothes and for hanging them. She scrutinized every corner as she lapped around, and suddenly noticed fragments of something right on the ground, by the corner of the bed. She picked it up with the tip of her fingers and sniffed it. ‘Perfume!’
She walked out from behind the bed and asked the innkeeper, “Were there any people selling perfume staying here the past few days?”
The innkeeper thought for a while and nodded firmly. “Yes, people from Min’nan. A dozen of them. However, they’ve left about an hour ago.”
Ji Yunshu’s countenance sank upon hearing the words. She turned back and said to Constable Zhang, “Constable Zhang, it’s getting late, I’m sure that these people could not have made it very far. Since they come from the south, it would only be natural that they would not return to where they came from. There are no major settlements in the east or the west, so I’d think that they were headed for the north. If you leave right now, you should be able to catch up to them before they manage to exit Yuzhou.”
“If you find amongst them a woman no taller than 1.52 meters tall, wearing silk garments, then bring her back to the yamen and interrogate her just like how I’ve told you earlier. You should be able to find an answer. If she tries to deny it, then show her this hair and the crumbs of perfume as evidence. Also, look for scratch marks on her silk apparel, if you see any, then she has to be the culprit.” As Ji Yunshu spoke, she gave to him the hair and the crumbs, wrapped in the handkerchief.
Constable Zhang was baffled for a moment, and only reacted to her words after a moment. He received the items and gave orders to his subordinates with a loud voice. “You, bring the body back to the memorial hall. The rest of you, follow me.”
They rushed out of the room like the wind.
‘Hey, wait a second! You haven’t thanked Miss Ji yet, have you?’
When all this was done, Ji Yunshu felt a certain satisfaction in her heart. She turned her head and looked at Jing Rong. The latter answered her with a light smile, and which deeper meaning she could not understand.
When Jing Rong took a few steps towards her, she immediate retreated and said, “Wei Yi is still waiting for me,” and strided out of the room.
Jing Rong was surprised. ‘Am I that intimidating?’ An overflowing jealousy gripped his heart, and brought with it all of its discomfort. He put his hands behind his back and followed after her.
Li Shiyan stood on the side, and watched the whole scene unfold. Ever since his childhood, he has always thought of the beauties in this worlds as no more than pretty flowers in vases. Pretty and pleasant to the eye, but less than capable, and usually with a docile character and a soft temperament. He had never seen someone like Ji Yunshu, who not only dared to work with corpses, but also seemed to be beyond clever.
‘What kind of mystical creature is she?’ Li Shiyan wondered. He could not see her face hidden by the veil, but the aura that emanated from her; she stood proud like an orchid in the middle of a small pond2, and he could smell its fragrance, but could only guess at its shape. His curiosity for her true appearance tingled his heart like a thread of silk, and it brought an itching sensation to his body, prompting him to scratch his face.
He smiled with playfulness and said, “This woman, she’s mine!”
Xiao Luzi, who stood on the side, poured cold water over his hot wish, “Young master, look at the people around her, they all seemed trained. We won’t be able to even get close to her.”
“What do you mean? Didn’t they say that they were going to go to the capital? Therefore, we will follow them there.” Li Shiyan flashed a self-confident glance and returned to his own room.
At the same moment, Ji Yunshu entered Wei Yi’s room, only to find him sound asleep on the bed, curled up and with the quilt over his head. Her lips curved into a smile as she pulled the quilt down. “Little idiot, aren’t you worried about becoming sick from all the heat?”
She pulled at the corners of his quilt again, and exited the room. Before leaving, she said to the two guards at the entrance. “Keep an eye on him, make sure that he won’t wander off again.”
“Please rest assured Miss Ji, we will make sure of his safety.”
Ji Yunshu nodded in gratitude, but she felt someone grab her wrist before she could finish, and she was forcefully dragged into a room on the side. Ji Yunshu frowned from the clawing pain on her wrist, and she turned her head — it was Jing Rong. “What are you doing?”
The door was sealed shut right after they entered the room. The moment she heard the thud, her back was shoved against the door; it was a tobira-don.
Ji Yunshu looked at the face, barely a fist’s distance away from her, on which a quiet fire burned beneath its composure. She could see the creases in the skin, and the pores which were about to burst from anger.
‘What did I do to make this guy so angry?’ She bent her own neck to the side to dodge his eyes and asked, “What do you seek, your highness?”
“What do you think?”
“Please respect yourself.”
“You have yet to give me an answer to last night’s question.”
“Uh?” Ji Yunshu was taken unaware. She tried to remember what happened. ‘Oh, he’s talking about that question. Whether I care for him or not.’ Last night, Ke Cha interrupted her before she could answer.
“No one will disturb us now. I want a truthful answer from you. Even if it’s just a sliver, don’t hide it.”
‘Yes, even if it’s just a sliver of affection, I’d have a chance, wouldn’t I?’ Jing Rong stared at the tips of Ji Yunshu’s brows, emboldened by a burning hope.
Ji Yunshu clenched her own fists tightly. Her breath lightened, and she showed determination on her expression as she made ready to answer him. She met his eyes and said with conviction, “I’ve never had…ugh!”
Before she could finish, her lips, which hid beneath her veil, were caught by Jing Rong’s in a hot kiss. It was not the first time Jing Rong had done something like this, but she was still dumbstruck each time.
The fine threads of silk on the veil sank into the fissures of her lips, caught tightly between Jing Rong’s lips and hers. They warmed up as the kiss went on, and they had little use as a barrier. When she finally came back to her senses and was about to push him away, Jing Rong retracted on his own.
He threw a deep look with a tint of melancholy and said, “Bah, you can answer this later.”
“What are you so surprised about, it’s not the first time.” Jing Rong seemed rather spiritless. He called out, “Lang Po.”
Lang Po, who was outside of the room, answered his call.
“Bring the dishes in.”
Jing Rong released Ji Yunshu, and sat straight down at the table. He bent his fingers and knocked on the top of it with his knuckles. “Go wash your hands and get ready to eat.”
‘Hey, how can you pretend that nothing happened.’ Ji Yunshu’s heart raced still, and there was no way she could simply sit down and eat. She bit her lips and said, “There’s no need,” turned around, flung the door open and ran out of the room.
Jing Rong looked at her silhouette, which suggested at an obvious bewilderment, and he started hoping again. However, no matter what, he could not become happy in the slightest, for he had understood what Ji Yunshu intimated at: he had no place inside her heart, and that, was an undesirable truth.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Next chapter after I wake up.