Chapter 148 – Money or Power?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Concubine Xiao knew most matters within the capital like the back of her hand. However, it was another thing when it came to matters pertaining to the far away Jinjiang, which she only got fragments of rumors that she barely cared about. This could explain why she barely knew about Ji Yunshu’s ability.
Jing Yi had always been a shrewd and incomparably deep person who would rarely make a move if he did not grasp the situation. Yet, he never anticipated that his mother would suggest using the missing girls case for their own benefit during her birthday feast. What’s more, he did not expect that Ji Yunshu would emulate Qin Shiyu’s behavior and pressure the emperor to agree to unseal the coffins for the investigation of the Imperial Duke case. If the missing girls case ended up being solved, Jing Rong was bound to reverse the verdict on the Imperial Duke case sooner or later.
If that does happen, in the future, he would have a firmer position in the imperial court. Not to mention that the emperor would reward him. At that time, Jing Rong’s prestige is bound to soar. For Jing Yi, this situation was akin to being pricked by poisonous needles.
This situation was not a simple threat to him; This could probably spell his demise. It was as though he would get suppressed by Jing Rong the same way he was suppressing the others currently. After mulling it over for a long while, Jing Yi returned to his calm appearance, concealing the vigilance and anxiety he felt.
Concubine Xiao watched her son, but she did not say anything and was in no hurry to reply. Then, she seemed to realize something and probed him with an inquiry, “Could it be that this Teacher Ji is… truly a talented person?”
Jing Yi raised his eyes; two black as the abyss pupils constricted at the question. “The past half a year, Jing Rong was out of the capital investigating the Lin Capital case. Yet, there were no clues to work with. During that time, I dispatched a group of people to kill his imperial guards who were on their way back to the capital to report on Jing Rong’s whereabouts. Then, when imperial father sent an edict to summon him back to the capital, I planned on using that situation to get him punished. Unfortunately, life is like the branches of a tree; my plan went awry.”
“In addition, a Ji Yunshu suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Although that man looks far from impressive, he is an extremely intelligent person despite coming from a small county. He just took over the case and, even if he can’t discover 30 or 40 clues, accurately digging out 17 or 18 things will still earn him the label of being an outstanding talent.” Within his words, genuine admiration could be heard. Then, he continued, “Jing Rong brought back that man to help him break the lousy Lin Capital case. That’s why I hired a group of assassins to eliminate the root of our problems. Unfortunately, the assassination failed and I ended up beating the grass and scaring the snake away.”
Concubine Xiao was shocked and she heavily frowned. “It was indeed my intention to suppress Jing Rong. I have overlooked this point. If I knew earlier, I would have investigated that Teacher Ji clearly before making a move. Blame me. I was too anxious.” This unforeseen element upset her greatly.
Jing Yi stated, “The move has already been made. We can only focus on finding a countermeasure.”
“Yi’er, what do you have in mind?”
“Although they already returned to the capital, it doesn’t mean that they are safe.”
‘Yi’er’s meaning is too obvious! Although the first assassination failed, it doesn’t mean that the second time will be unsuccessful. But…’ Concubine Xiao immediately overruled the idea, “It’s not appropriate.”
Jing Yi was puzzled, “Could it be that imperial mother has another method?”
Concubine Xiao’s slender eyebrows slightly rose. It seemed as if a giant whirlpool had condensed into her eyes and became deeper gradually. The sight let people feel an odd sense of profundity emitting from her. Her manicured hands lightly tapped down a few times on her embroidered gown and her crimson lips curled up. She said, “Beheading such an intelligent person, don’t you think it’s a waste? Since he can help Jing Rong, why can’t he help us? If you can get that person, the day when you get the title of Crown Prince wouldn’t be far off.”
‘Ah!’ Her words were like an alarm rousing people from their sleep. Jing Yi contemplated the idea. Immediately, his mouth stretched into a smile. However, his tone remained heavy. “Imperial mother always knows how to consider everything thoroughly.”
“Wait until tomorrow. I’ll summon him into the palace and explore his intentions. If he is a greedy man, I will give him money and valuables. If he truly is corrupted, what fear do we have of him? I don’t believe that anyone in this world has no desire.”
In the future, when Concubine Xiao discovered Ji Yunshu’s nature, she would wish to strongly slap herself a few times. However, at this moment, how could she ever dream that Ji Yunshu’s greediness only reached the level of having enough food and warm clothes. Now that Luan’er was no longer amongst the living, Ji Yunshu could even content herself with a bowl of congee. As for yearning to climb the ladder of officialdom, don’t even mention it. Concubine Xiao was extremely confident in taking a hold of that high-quality jade that was Ji Yunshu, but that dream would forever remain a dream.
After they discussed for a while, Jing Yi noticed that it was getting late. He wanted to go to the imperial court and meet with his father since he already went into the palace and, as a “son”, he had to show the appropriate etiquette to demonstrate his filial piety.
Before he left, Concubine Xiao pulled him back to fix his clothes while saying, “Your imperial father’s mood is not good recently. The situation at the borders preoccupied him. After you meet him, be careful with your words and avoid provoking him.”
“Your son understands.”
“That’s right, didn’t your imperial father bestow you a golden canary last time? Did you raise it properly?”
‘Raise it?’ He already released it. However, he nodded at her question. “I have raised it well. The pet that imperial father had bestowed me cannot have any accidents.”
“It’s good that you understand.” Concubine Xiao’s slender fingers lightly brushed off her son’s shoulders. “Go now.”
Jing Yi clasped both hands and saluted before leaving. After he left Zhangzhi hall, a drizzle fell from the sky. A eunuch came forward while holding up an umbrella. However, Jing Yi suddenly waved his hand and slapped away the umbrella which fell to the ground.
Splash! The sudden gesture scared the eunuch who hurriedly kneeled on the spot and lied his upper body on the wet ground, not daring to utter a sound.
Jing Yi’s chilly gaze revealed an extreme unwillingness and a desire to revolt against the emperor’s authority. He had deep hatred, a hatred against his imperial father.
‘Giving me a golden canary? You are clearly insinuating that I’m only a golden canary that should stay inside his cage and forgo all attempts to win the crown prince’s position.’ His fists tightened for a moment before he slowly uncurled his fingers. Then, he flipped his sleeve and went towards the imperial court.
As for the eunuch, he remained prone on the ground for a long time after Prince Yi left before he dared to raise his head. ‘What is going on with Prince Yi today?’
‘Everyone knows that Prince Yi is gentle and treats people with leniency. He was known as a refined and cultured gentleman. Yet, why did he get so angry today? How strange!’
The horse carriage drove from the memorial hall to the Rong estate. The whole way, Jing Xuan leaned on the window to the point her head and body was almost extending out of the window. Her heart was crying as her feeling of nausea never left her and, with the bumpy ride, she felt even more unwell. Numerous times, she spat out her stomach’s content, but nothing but bile came out. Ji Yunshu was still sitting upright the whole time. She acted as if she did not see Jing Xuan, but she did not avoid the princess either.
Finally, as soon as they reached the Rong estate, Jing Xuan got out of the carriage and disappeared inside the estate like a wisp of smoke. She must be in a hurry to find a place to continue vomiting.
Ji Yunshu and Jing Rong went together to the reception hall where Lang Po stood guard outside.
Jing Rong asked her, “What do you think about this case?”
“You are really asking me if I discovered some clues, right?”
“I never doubted your ability. Since I said I trust you, I will believe in you. You don’t need to question my trust in you.”
Ji Yunshu faintly replied, “Since you believe in me, I don’t see the harm in telling you that I don’t even have a clue. Currently, we can only wait for the capital governor to do his assigned tasks. In the case that nothing comes out, we should take a step back and think again. I don’t know what else to do.” After her words fell, she gave him a helpless smile.
“Perhaps we can only wait for the murderer to commit another crime.”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
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