Chapter 137 – The Case of the Missing Member of the Li Family
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Jing Rong and Qin Shuyu continued to discuss for almost two hours. Even when the tea grew cold, they didn’t call the servant to replace the tea. After their meeting ended, Jing Rong left the mansion with heavy feelings. His whole being exuded a cold aura that kept people at bay.
When he went outside, the rain still had not stopped. The raindrops continued to fall, covering the gloomy world with the patter of the rain. As if it wasn’t enough, a cold wind faintly blew. The whole capital appeared to be shrouded in a strangely dense fog, making the atmosphere feel claustrophobic. A feeling that people couldn’t extricate themselves from.
When Jing Rong came back, his clothes and hair were already drenched from the rain. It made him look as if he was covered in a layer of frost. He directly rushed to the East courtyard, but as soon as he arrived, he was told by the maidservants that Ji Yunshu already went out.
“Did Young Master Wei follow?” His tone was icy as he spoke.
The maidservant retreated a bit before shaking her head. “No. Young Master is inside the room. Teacher Ji went out alone.”
“Where did he go?”
“This servant has no knowledge.”
“Is this how all of you do your work?” reprimanded Jing Rong.
The frightened maidservants lowered their heads, not daring to look up at him. One of them opened her mouth and hurriedly justified herself, “Not long after your Highness left, someone came and delivered something to Teacher Ji. Soon after, he left in a hurry and only told us to look after Young Master Wei. He didn’t say anything else. We tried to stop him but failed to do so.”
At this instant, Jing Rong felt as if something had gripped his heart! Ji Yunshu had just barely arrived in the capital. She had yet to familiarize herself with the place, so who could she have met up with? Someone from the Ji family? Impossible! The Ji family was still busy with the funeral arrangements. Who could it be? Jing Rong flipped his sleeve with force and summoned Lang Po. His expression was full of worry and he loudly ordered, “Immediately search the whole capital! Comb through every nook and cranny and find Ji Yunshu for me! This Prince will not allow even a strand of her hair to be harmed!”
“As you wish, your Highness!” Lang Po was also worried, so he hurriedly left the Rong estate with the guards in search for Ji Yunshu.
When Wei Yi heard voices outside, he went out while holding an osmanthus cake and his mouth stuffed with food. He inquired about the situation, “Big Brother, why are you shouting loudly? Shu’er told me that when eating something, you can’t speak. So, why are you yelling at me?”
“…” Seeing that Jing Rong remained silent, Wei Yi came closer. He slightly lifted his chin and asked, “Or are you hungry?”
“I’m not hungry!”
“Then why are you being loud?”
‘How naive!’ A vein popped out on Jing Rong’s forehead. He was extremely worried right now and this fool changed his way of “teasing” him while beaming a smile at him. Couldn’t he be a bit more serious during such a dire situation? Jing Rong turned back and instructed the maidservants, “Take good care of him. If there’s an accident, see how I’ll deal with all of you.”
“Yes, your Highness!” replied the servants in unison.
Jing Rong speedily departed, leaving his residence to find Ji Yunshu.
He left behind Wei Yi who muttered, “Did Big Brother go crazy?”
When the servants saw Jing Rong leaving, their hearts eased, although they still looked at each other in dismay while their bodies trembled with fear.
Wei Yi came in front of the maidservants and spoke in a comforting voice, “Big sisters, you don’t need to be scared of Big Brother. Although he’s a big bully, he is a very good person. You shouldn’t be afraid of him and shouldn’t be angry at him.”
“Young Master Wei, we…”
“Don’t be scared! Nothing to fear! The one Big Brother fears the most is Shu’er. If he bullies you, I will tell Shu’er.” He acted very arrogantly when he spoke those words.
The servants felt nervous when they heard him talk. Teacher Ji was obviously a man, but why did Wei Yi call “him” Shu’er. This way of calling was way too intimate and quite strange. Regardless, the maidservants didn’t voice their doubts and only nodded at Wei Yi.
They were aware that Wei Yi was one in a kind “talking” master. Although they had only spent a day with him, this “merit” of Wei Yi was plainly obvious.
If they didn’t nod in agreement, they feared that Wei Yi would pull them aside and speak at least a few hours of rhetoric nonsense. Wei Yi beamed at them before finishing eating his cake. Then, empty-handed, he went back into the room filled with satisfaction to continue to eat.
Meanwhile, Ji Yunshu went to a restaurant after leaving the Rong estate. When she entered, a waiter welcomed her and led her to a private room on the second floor. After pushing the door opened, She saw a person sitting upright, showcasing a graceful and opulent attitude. Despite the annoyance showing on that person’s countenance, her eyes contained an arrogance that couldn’t be hidden. Ji Yunshu knocked on the opened door to get that person’s attention before entering.
This meeting was out of Ji Yunshu’s expectations. Ji Yunshu took out the short letter, then she swept away the rainwater on her shoulders. She walked in with the corner of her mouth slightly curled up. She said, “How unexpected! How did you find out so quickly that I had arrived at the capital?”
Sitting opposite of her was Madame Jiang, that flamboyant and domineering woman whom she met in Jinjiang before. At that time, when Ji Yunshu sent her to the prison, she already knew that Madame Jiang and her brother, Li Zhao, would be released soon. Furthermore, General Li was able to request a legal document which he sent to the yamen. Magistrate Liu had cold sweats after reading it and released the two of them. The Li family’s reputation was truly too huge.
Madame Jiang raised her eyes which contained a smile. Then, she excessively exclaimed in surprise. Both of her hands brushed the chair next to her. “Teacher Ji, please sit here. I already ordered people to prepare some fine food as a welcome meal for you.”
Ji Yunshu wasn’t polite and bluntly sat down. Placed in front of her were many signature dishes and all of them were appealing to the eyes. She courteously smiled, “Madame Jiang, you don’t need to be so extravagant and wasteful.”
“How can you say this is wasteful? Didn’t I say before that Teacher isn’t a fish in a small pond? And here you are today in the capital. It’s normal that I want to drink three cups with you. Thus, I arranged for this feast although it’s obviously a bit lacking.”
‘People with money are so different!’ She moved her eyesight away from Madame Jiang and sternly spoke, “Since it’s not the first time we met, I supposed that Madame Jiang might have something on your mind. You might as well say it. Those delicious dishes are not something this humble one is interested in.”
Madame Jiang lightly shook her head. “Teacher Ji is really clever. I can’t hide it from you. Since you already guessed my mind, I’ll just tell you.”
‘Oh! There’s really something on your mind.’ This shouldn’t be right. Since she exposed Madame Jiang’s skeleton in the closet, the latter should have had her heart filled with hatred for her. How could she have arranged a table full of delicious food and want to respect her with three cups of wine?
Madame Jiang sighed and slowly explained, “I won’t hide from you, my home has a little sister who had recently reached a marriageable age. She’s called Shuiqing. Woefully, not long ago, a day before my return to the capital, she suddenly went missing. We searched and asked around, but there have been no clues so far.”
‘So straight to the point!’ thought Ji Yunshu.
“The missing girls case?” faintly stated Ji Yunshu.
“Correct! You might have heard about it when you passed through the gate check. Within two months, many young women have disappeared in the capital. The investigation has been going on but nothing conclusive has been found. This has caused unrest in everyone. However, I never expected that the criminal’s hand would stretch to our Li family.” When she finished speaking, Madame Jiang clenched her fists tightly.
Ji Yunshu got a general idea and understood the meaning of this meeting. She lowered her eyes and only said, “Therefore, you want me to help you?”
“Teacher Ji, I know your skills.”
Madame Jiang promptly interrupted her.
“I know that Teacher Ji doesn’t want to get involved in this matter. However, right now, you are the only one that I know who has the ability to investigate this case thoroughly.”