Chapter 208 – Grind the Knife to Kill Pigs and Slaughter Sheeps
Edited by Serina
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Concubine Xiao was aware that despite her daughter growing up in the palace, she loved secretly slipping out to find Jing Rong ever since she was young. Therefore, it was quite natural that she became acquainted with Kong Yu. What’s more, Kong Yu treated her as if she were her own little sister and doted on her to the extreme, which Jing Xuan reciprocated by treating Kong Yu as her big sister. Yet, because of her, Kong Yu had to marry in her stead. Jing Xuan’s heart was certainly unwilling.
At this moment, Concubine Xiao understood her daughter’s state of mind clearly, but she could only pretend to be helpless and put on her motherly appearance. In short, she pushed all the blame on the man who shared the same bed as her, it was the best solution to this problem, and he was the Emperor after all! Going against his edict was a death sentence.
Jing Xuan cried until her red eyes became swollen, but Concubine Xiao refused to yield to her pleading. Jing Xuan shot up and stomped her feet. “Since Imperial Mother refuses to go see Imperial Father, I’ll go find him myself.” She hadn’t yet had the time to take a single step before she was pulled back by her mother.
“Haven’t you caused enough trouble?” Her voice was filled with ire and frustration. She repressed her flourishing anger. “If you go to your Imperial Father now and provoke his anger, it’s not guaranteed he won’t kill you. He has felt vexed enough the past two days. How about we think of another way since we have no solution as of now. If you cause trouble, I won’t be able to protect you.” Inwardly, she was angry to the point she wanted to flip the table.
Jing Xuan couldn’t comprehend so many things at the same time, not to mention her temper was extremely impulsive. In the worst case scenario, it might be annoying, but she had to be stopped.
Concubine Xiao wasn’t some defenseless lamb. Seeing her daughter’s determination, she slapped the table and summoned several low-ranked eunuchs. “Restrain the princess for this Imperial One. Watch over her and without my order, she is not allowed to leave. If I find out that someone secretly let her go, be careful of your heads.”
“Yes, your Ladyship. This slave shall obey.” The eunuchs hurriedly bowed at Concubine Xiao before grabbing Jing Xuan. Since she was a princess, they didn’t dare to use too much force and only tried restrain her.
Jing Xuan flung her arms and snarled, “Don’t touch me. Get lost you bunch of dogs!”
Her shout caused the eunuchs to immediately wither, retreating several steps.
This completely infuriated Concubine Xiao. She flung back her sleeve and reprimanded, “What are you waiting for? Didn’t you hear my order? Send the princess away.”
“Imperial Mother, you can’t do this. I want to see Imperial Father…” Once again, she struggled against the eunuchs, but they quickly pulled her out of the hall. Her sharp yells slowly fading into the distance, but they still remained audible for quite a long time.
Concubine Xiao seemed as if she had been hit in the chest with a blunt weapon, gasping for her breath with a flushed complexion. She rubbed her chest that painfully ached while sitting down.
Upon seeing this, Sang Lan immediately brought another cup of hot tea. “Your Ladyship, you must not be angry, it’s bad for your body. The princess is still young, wait until…”
Her words were interrupted by a cup that Concubine Xiao threw to the floor, shattering it into pieces.
Her sixth sense as a servant warned her, thus she hurriedly kneeled down to admit her error. “This servant is the one in the wrong. I beg for your forgiveness.”
Concubine Xiao snorted, showing a resentful expression, disappointed that no one could meet her expectations. “This Imperial One has spoken so many times in front of the Emperor in favor of Xuan’er, but that girl… She unexpectedly spoke such words to me. She hasn’t grown up at all.”
“Your Ladyship, please quell your anger. The princess will certainly understand your hardships one day.”
“Everyone, get out!” Concubine Xiao abruptly shouted.
“Yes!” Sang Lan was a tactful servant. She had followed her mistress for many years and understood her temper. At this moment, she wanted to say something, but since there was a high possibility that she wouldn’t avoid punishment after speaking out, she kept the words in her heart and hurriedly withdrew to the outside alongside the other palace maids and eunuchs.
Concubine Xiao’s hand supported her forehead as her elbow rested on the table. Her heart felt stifled and painful from the anger.
Meanwhile, after Ji Yunshu returned to the Rong Estate with Lang Po, she started to sharpen her knives, and it wasn’t her vegetable knives. She was sharpening her precious knives which she stored in her sandalwood box. They had been collecting dust in her box for a while and would become blunt if neglected. Hence, she had to hone them once in a while. The small knife she was sharpening made a schlik-schlik each time it was placed against the whetstone.
Ji Yunshu carefully sharpened it, afraid that a careless move would ruin the blade. Those knives were different from the commonly seen ones as they were customized for her use.
Not to mention she spent a huge amount of money on them, so it was normal that she considered those knives to be her treasures.
After she finished sharpening one, she looked at her courtyard and was surprised by the sudden appearance of Shi Zijin who wasn’t usually around. At this moment, she was holding an exquisitely carved sword and stood in front of the water wheel motionlessly.
“Zhijin!” Ji Yunshu called her in a gentle voice.
Hearing her name, Shi Zijin turned around and walked over, stopping in front of the door, ready for any orders from Ji Yunshu.
“You’ve followed me for several days already. You must be tired. You don’t need to protect me all the times. Take a rest!”
Shi Zijin didn’t respond nor did she move. Her stubborn face showed a maturity unbefitting of a 15-year-old girl. In addition, her expression was very cold, similar to that of a wandering hero.
Ji Yunshu continued to sharpen her knife. After a while, she still hadn’t heard a reply, so she proposed once more, “Since you don’t want to rest, come in for a cup of tea.”
“No need!” Was uttered in response.
Ji Yunshu curled her lips. She honed her knife while studying Shi Zijin from the corner of her eyes. ‘Might as well just…’ She put down her knife and wiped it clean. Then, she got up and walked up to Shi Zijin. Her hand suddenly shot to grab onto Zijin’s firm and muscled arm, leading her into the room and making her sit at the table. Finally, Ji Yunshu placed a hot cup of tea in front of Shi Zijin. Her actions were smooth and organised with no wasted movements.
Shi Zijin didn’t resist and obediently sat there. However, she never relaxed for a second, sitting very straight in the chair. Her eyes looking straight ahead of her, placid like still water.
“Seriously, you’re not drinking?” Ji Yunshu asked.
Shi Zijin nodded.
Seeing her like this, Ji Yunshu couldn’t stop herself from laughing. ‘Forget it. Let her sit down then.’ Ji Yunshu took out a few more knives from her sandalwood box and resumed her grinding. It was a very serene atmosphere, punctuated by the metallic sounds of grinding.
Despite the awkwardness between them, after the time of joss stick, their tense relationship eased into an exceptional harmony – A silent person and a person who didn’t want to disturb the other.
Suddenly, Shi Zijin shot up, her hand reaching for the sword on the table.
The sound was deafening in the silent room.
Ji Yunshu had just finished sharpening a knife, then she noticed Shi Zijing. She moved her sight to the door and saw Jing Rong arriving.
He walked in with a wooden face, his mask of indifference slightly broken by a slight frown similar to when he was in Yuhua Pavilion. It appeared that his talk with Mo Ruo didn’t yield any results.
Shi Zijin obediently left with no intention of disturbing them.
After Jing Rong came in, he sat across from Ji Yunshu and sipped the cup in front of him. After that, he did nothing. He simply sat there in silence.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
The title is kinda random imo.