Chapter 217 – Another Way Out
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
It appeared that after hearing his words, Ji Li’s desire to live was not too strong, or maybe he had accepted the current situation? When did the awe-inspiring Secretary Ji become like this?
Jing Rong looked at Ji Li who was sitting in the darkest corner of his prison cell. “So, you really believe that you killed someone?”
“Murderers pay with their lives. Not to mention that this homicide case involves two nations. This could implicate the whole Ji family.”
Ji Li raised his eyes to look at him. “Your Highness is worried that my third little sister will be implicated?” He coldly sneered.
Jing Rong did not reveal his inner feelings. “Did you forget? She is no longer a member of the Ji family,” he replied with an ironic smile. ‘My woman has been expelled from the Ji family, so even if the three generations of your whole family are executed, it has nothing to do with her!’
Ji Li suddenly laughed in a low voice. “That’s right!”
“The time is almost up, so, do you have anything else to add?”
After a long time, Ji Li lowered his voice and he spoke again in a serious tone. “Your Highness, you are an intelligent person, so you must have felt that something is strange with this case. If someone framed me, what could that person’s purpose be? Why would that person want to trap me? Not to mention, what is Qujiang’s ulterior motive for sending their people to Great Lin? Perhaps, they are planning something big, and their plan might have involved me from the start. Of course, these are all my guesses. The other possibility is that I actually killed General Yuchi. Five years ago in the battle of Cangshui, my sword claimed the lives of numerous Qujiang soldiers and officers, so I might have mistakenly thought that I was back on the battlefield in a drunken stupor. Because of that, I could have lost control and killed him.” For him to come up with such an explanation, it seemed Ji Li was prepared to die as he shrugged. If he have to die, let it be! Eighteen years later, he would still return to this world as a hero.
After Jing Rong heard his analysis, he frowned and his expression turned grave. He stepped back and said, “I’ll remember what you said. In the meantime, stay here quietly. I hope you will remember my words. I brought her to the capital and I will certainly protect her from dangers. Even if you still want to kill her after getting out of prison, this Prince will certainly kill you first before you can harm her. This is a warning, not a reminder.” His tone was extremely threatening.
Ji Li merely looked at him coldly, sporting a profound smile.
After he spat out his words, Jing Rong turned and left. After his departure, Prison Overseer Zu went to Ji Li’s cell and made sure that the prisoner was still there. He let out a sigh of relief after confirming it.
Jing Rong immediately returned to his residence after leaving the prison.
Next to him, Lang Po could not help but ask, “Your Highness, Secretary Ji wasn’t in a hurry to explain himself. Could it be possible that he really killed General Yuchi?”
“He’s the only person so far to have not screamed for injustice when sent to prison.”
Jing Rong sternly looked at Lang Po. His face revealed some displeasure. “Secretary Ji isn’t like other people. He is very aware that shouting until his throat becomes hoarse will amount to nothing. Imperial Father will never release him as long as there is no evidence or witness to prove his innocence.”
“This… This subordinate was ignorant,” Lang Po admitted.
After their return, Jing Rong directly went to East Courtyard. Ji Yunshu sat in front of a table with a paper spread on top. She had just picked up her brush when Jing Rong came in. Who knew if it was out of concern or if it was because he had spoken too many words with Ji Li, but he did not say a single word as he entered the room. He simply drank two full cups of water before sitting down.
Ji Yunshu paused for a bit when she saw him like that and inquired, “Were you able to get anything from him?”
Jing Rong recounted the time he was with Ji Li without leaving out any detail.
Ji Yunshu listened to him attentively while pondering.
“There is one thing I don’t understand. Ji Li seemed very calm as if he was ready to die. He didn’t have any desire to get out this predicament. I can’t see through him,” Jing Rong said in puzzlement.
“Your Highness can’t see through him because he doesn’t want you to see through him,” Ji Yunshu replied.
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“My elder brother is a very meticulous person. He will tackle any problem he encounters with extreme calmness. People always think he is indifferent, but on the contrary, he is furiously planning another way out.”
“Another way out? Breaking out of the Ministry of Justice’s prison is a heavy crime. Not to mention that he was imprisoned under my imperial father’s edict, and, without his permission, no one will dare save him. It’s impossible to break out from prison, let alone find another way out? There is only one way to leave the prison – by being absolved from any criminal charges,” Jing Rong explained to her in a skeptic tone.
However, Ji Yunshu remained firm in her belief. “People can hardly guess his mind because he is like this. The result: they end up getting killed by him while he survives.”
“You overestimate him too much!”
“On the contrary, you underestimate him too much.”
From their talk, Jing Rong suddenly felt that he had overlooked something, but he couldn’t tell what it was.
What could Ji Li’s goal be in the end?
Ji Yunshu noticed he was in deep contemplation and said, “Regardless of what my eldest brother is planning, there is only one way out of there alive. On the other hand, what he said might be correct: this could all be a ploy from Qujiang. They might exploit Yuchi Lin’s death to achieve their goals. If this is the truth, they are quite fearsome.”
“So, what do you think?” Jing Rong frowned, waiting for her analysis. In truth, he had already formed his own ideas but still wanted to hear hers.
Ji Yunshu took her brush and started to draw while talking, “The main interest of two countries is without a doubt territorial sovereignty. This time, Qujiang’s action of harassing the borders is quite unusual, but due to that, they were able to enter the capital smoothly under the Emperor’s orders. However, out of the blue, they announced they came here for a marriage proposal. Although this might seem logical, in fact, it’s a bit absurd considering the premise that allowed them to enter the capital in the first place. The Emperor has decreed Miss Kong a princess and selected her to be the bride. Logically, the Qujiang people should be satisfied and should return to their country immediately. Yet unexpectedly, Yuchi Lin died the following night. This is too timely to be a coincidence. It seems like each event was part of a grander scheme. I remember that during the war five years ago, Qujiang had relinquished two cities in compensation. The Qujiang King is a king after all, so losing two major cities must have hurt him.”
Surprise flashed through his eyes after he heard her analysis, but there was not much shock. “So, you believe that their final objective is to reclaim those two cities? From the attack on the border to this point, each of their actions was for this objective this entire time?”
“It’s highly probable,” Ji Yunshu faintly said.
Jing Rong rose from his chair and walked toward her. He had no words to describe how wonderful this woman was. She was incredibly intelligent to a scary point.
Her analysis was so detailed and on point that he believed that not many of the officials and ministers at the imperial court would be capable of analysing this matter to such a extent.
It appeared she was someone who could understand the overall situation.
Suddenly noticing a figure overshadowing her and a heated gaze on her, Ji Yunshu raised her eyes and met with Jing Rong’s eyes.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
This case is a tricky one. It involves too many things.