Chapter 190 – Jing Xuan Caught in A Scheme
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
She knew as soon as she had received the invitation from Concubine Xiao, she knew the woman wouldn’t have any good intentions towards her. However, she didn’t expect that her bad intentions would reveal themselves to be a scheme of this nature. Ji Yunshu lowered her gaze and sat still with a composed expression as if Concubine Xiao’s words had never entered her ears. She neither agreed nor disagreed.
“Teacher Ji, is it so difficult for you to promise such a simple thing?” Concubine Xiao watched her with an expression of doubt and hesitation. Her eyebrows rose.
One of the ladies echoed Concubine Xiao. “Can it be that Teacher intends to conceal your appearance because it is unsightly? However, seeing that half of your face is quite outstanding, assuredly, your real appearance will be nothing short of handsome.”
The ancients sure loved to flatter other’s ego! Ji Yunshu opened her eyes and glanced at the woman who had spoken. Pretty with makeup and red lips, she was a considerably pretty woman. Unfortunately, she couldn’t conceal the arrogance seething from her eyes.
“You have overpraised this humble one. I am merely a commoner. Although I was born with good looks, it only applied to half of my face. It probably compensated for my the damage on the other half.”
“You mean that the other side is scarred?”
“Yes!” She frankly replied.
The woman immediately slanted her head, then raised her embroidered sleeve to her nose while frowning. She didn’t hide her disgust. Ji Yunshu saw her movement and the changes in her expression in a single glance, even the hint of contempt shown from the slight curve on her lips could not be concealed. Although the rouge the woman was using was indeed genuine, but the choice of color came across as vulgar on her.
Concubine Xiao looked at Ji Yunshu pretending to be magnanimous as she interjected, “How can Teacher’s appearance possibly be as you describe it? Everything will become clear after the mask is removed. If you fancy a lady that is present, this imperial one will act as your matchmaker.”
Ji Yunshu clasped her hands and planned to refuse. “This humble one…”
Concubine Xiao waved her sleeve and interrupted before she could finish her sentence. “Teacher shouldn’t decline so hastily.”
‘This woman is too forceful!’ Ji Yunshu was very clear that, at this moment, she was like a bird trapped in a cage, mercilessly thrown into confusion by Concubine Xiao poking at her with a branch. ‘Forget it! If you want to see, so be it!’ Perhaps after those pampered ladies saw her appearance, they would be scared to death, a good result if nothing else.
Ji Yunshu nodded after yielding to everyone’s request. She swept her gaze through the room. “Since all you young ladies wish to see, and her Ladyship Concubine Xiao had ordered, I shall remove my mask.”
Concubine Xiao nodded with great satisfaction. Her vermillion-colored lips secretly curled up as she watched Ji Yunshu raise her white fingers toward the golden mask. Ji Yunshu’s fingers bent, applying some force to lift the mask. The mask slightly lifted up a bit. The crowd’s eyes were concentrated on her face. They were all watching with great anticipation and impatience. Ji Yunshu’s visage was slowly revealed, but before they could see more…
“Imperial Mother!” Jing Xuan ran into the room overjoyed while holding up the hem of her new skirt she just changed into. With that timely interruption, Ji Yunshu, who had yet to fully remove her mask, promptly put it back into place and remained calmly seated. It caused everyone to sigh in disappointment and dissatisfaction.
“Xuan’er? Why did you come?” Concubine Xiao’s expression twisted as she asked her daughter.
“Daughter heard the servants say that Imperial Mother had arranged a banquet in the reception hall, and the young ladies from reputable families had been invited. I want also wish to join in on the fun.”
“This banquet has nothing to do with you. Withdraw for the time being.” Concubine Xiao sternly spoke.
However, Jing Xuan acted as if nothing had been said at all. Instead, she looked at Ji Yunshu. She immediately became bashful and spirited. It was with joy that she walked to Ji Yunshu. She was full of smiles when she spoke. “Teacher Ji is also here.”
Ji Yunshu rose and saluted her. “Greetings, Princess.”
“There’s no need for such courtesy between us.” Finished speaking, she pulled on the corner of Ji Yunshu’s clothes and stuck to the latter. Then, she pouted and complained, “Imperial Mother is too much. She invited you, but she didn’t tell me. If I knew earlier, I would have gone to the palace gate to welcome you.”
‘This…’ Ji Yunshu’s forehead became laced with sweat. At first, she wanted to tug her sleeve back and out of the other’s grip, but Jing Xuan was gripping onto it too tightly and refused to let go.
Upon seeing her daughter’s actions, Concubine Xiao fiercely slammed one of her hands on the armrest of her golden lacquered ivory chair. Her anger burst forth. “Servants! Bring the princess out.”
“Yes, your Ladyship!” The palace maids came in and wanted to pull Jing Xuan out.
Jing Xuan turned her body and pushed away the palace maids. She stubbornly resisted and argued with Concubine Xiao. “Imperial Mother, why can’t I attend this feast? Teacher Ji and I haven’t seen each other for many days. If Imperial Mother doesn’t allow me to stay, then I will bring Teacher to the back hall.”
“Don’t talk nonsense! You are a princess, but you can actually say such shameless words.” Concubine Xiao spoke harshly with a severe expression.
“Daughter has always been like this. My words have always been blunt. Since Imperial Mother has to host the banquet, I won’t disturb you any longer.” As soon as she was done, Jing Xuan pulled Ji Yunshu away.
Jing Xuan quickly went out of the main hall with Ji Yunshu, paying no heed to Concubine Xiao’s reprimanding voice.
Ji Yunshu halted her steps and pulled away from Jing Xuan.
Jing Xuan turned around to look at her. Then, she glanced toward the main hall. Seeing that no one had chased after them, the corner of her mouth curled into a smile. She said, “How can those ordinary and rough women see your appearance before this Princess does? If anything, this Princess has to be the one who sees it first.” Ah! This is what love is like.
If it wasn’t for Jing Xuan’s sudden appearance, there would have been several issues occurring today, and many rumors would have spread about Ji Yunshu’s appearance. If regardless of her ugly appearance, Concubine Xiao still acted as her matchmaker to find a virtuous wife, and she refused, the public would deem her disrespectful of Concubine Xiao’s kind intentions. Yet, if she was to agree, the matter of her identity would become a problem.
After mulling it over, she admitted that Concubine Xiao’s thoughts were incredibly meticulous. Fortunately, just when her scheme was about to succeed, Jing Xuan suddenly came in and threw everything into disarray, giving her an opportunity to escape her predicament. Ji Yunshu still had some lingering fear. It was not worth it to fall into Concubine Xiao’s trap before she could even start investigating the Lin Capital case.
Seeing that Ji Yunshu was slow in her in reply, Jing Xuan swiftly pulled the other’s hand and intimately said, “Since we are already out, you might as well come go to my residence.”
“Many thanks for your invitation, but it’s getting late. I need to take my leave.”
She retracted her arm with an indifferent expression. She was about to leave when the next instant Jing Xuan stated, “Don’t tell me that you don’t want to see Wei Yi?”
‘Eh?’ “What are you saying?” Ji Yunshu stopped and turned around.
Disappointment could be seen on Jing Xuan’s face. “So, what makes you most nervous is Wei Yi!”
“Why did you mention him? What did you do to him?”
“Aren’t you in a hurry to leave the imperial palace?” She turned away while crossing her arms, showing her small temper.
Ji Yunshu was anxious. She seriously answered, “Princess, if you want to make things difficult for me, so be it, but please don’t harm Wei Yi.”
“When did I say that I’d harmed him? I only send people to bring him into the palace. That little idiot is here. He’s leisurely eating pastries at the back hall. So, do you want to go to the back hall with me now?”
Anxiety was written all over Ji Yunshu’s face. She hesitated for a moment, before agreeing. “I’ll go with you to look for him.”
“Good!” Jing Xuan was very satisfied. Thus, she pulled Ji Yunshu and they hurriedly left for the back hall.
On the way, Jing Xuan was a bit worried. She said, “Last time, I spoke to my imperial mother and told her about the matter of the missing girls case I overheard imperial brother and you speaking of. When she heard about it, for some reason, she forbid me from leaving the palace and confined me. I heard that you two were injured and I was very worried.” Her tone was filled with worry.
“So it was you?” Ji Yunshu was flabbergasted.
Jing Xuan didn’t understand. “What do you mean by ‘it was me?’ I wanted to ask you how is your injury?”
Ji Yunshu shook her head. “I’m fine!” Her tone was extremely cold.
She didn’t expect that Jing Xuan was eavesdropping on them and carelessly informed Concubine Xiao about their plan which led to Jing Yi arresting Gan Chuliang before them.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Jing Xuan is an eternal variable.
Next chapter is going to be full-packed of hints for future plot/sub-plot and revelations.