Chapter 278 – Investigate It!
Edited by Serina
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Held back by Jing Xian, Ji Yunshu watched Jing Rong being taken away.
Jing Xian coughed a few times. His complexion getting paler. He pulled Ji Yunshu to the side and said in a weak voice, “When Jing Rong saved me earlier, he wanted me to pass a message to you – Don’t get involved with this matter.”
In other words, while he was in the fire, Jing Rong had already foreseen this possibility.
However, Ji Yunshu didn’t share his opinion. “I cannot watch him be treated like this without helping.” Her voice was choked with emotions.
“The main cause has yet to be investigated. Teacher Ji, you shouldn’t worry too much. Otherwise, mistakes could be made impulsively. All matters must wait for Imperial Father to awaken to be determined. In the meantime, both of us should investigate the truth of today’s fire.”
Jing Xian was undeniably a rational man. Regardless of how chaotic the current situation was, he remained composed and was able to analyze everything in an orderly fashion.
In fact, Ji Yunshu knew the fire was part of Old General Li’s plot, but should she mention it? Unfortunately, she had no evidence to back her words.
Regardless, that batch of problematic lanterns had already been destroyed by Jing Rong. Moreover, Zhang Bo had testified that Jing Rong had exchanged the lanterns. Therefore, it was a matter of course that people would link the iron wires covered in explosive powder to him.
No explanation at the moment could help him shrug off the accusations.
As she looked in the direction the imperial guards had led Jing Rong, she slowly regained her calm.
“Teacher Ji, the consequences of today’s event are too severe. It’s better if you leave the palace quickly for now,” said Jing Xian, before a burst of coughs abruptly cut off his words. He let go of her and turned around. A eunuch came to support him back to Fuyang Hall.
Soon after, Jing Yi also left in the direction of Fuyang Hall.
At the moment, palace maids and eunuchs were still busy trying to extinguish the fire destroying Chengqing Hall. At the same time, people also carried out numerous corpses – officials, eunuchs, palace maids and even the bodies of a few young ladies selected to participate in the Crown Princess selection.
Amongst the flames, the shouts and the corpses, Ji Yunshu stood there, numb. Her mind wandered for a long time until Lang Po came to her. She left the palace with her mind still preoccupied.
A group of officials, who had escaped death, was now crowding outside of the main hall. Many of them were still in a state of panic while others didn’t know what to think. The Emperor had been hit by a fragment of a wooden beam and still laid unconscious. His life or death was still unclear. It made everyone’s heart twisted into a knot from worry.
Inside the reception hall, Jing Hua was rubbing his hand while walking to and fro.
His face was wrought with worry. “Imperial Father must not have anything happen to him. Nothing can happen to him!” he recited.
In fact, inside his heart, he was praying that his old man could quickly die. If Qi Zhen passed away, he could finally become the Emperor.
Jing Yi coldly glared at him. His eyes narrowed as he calmly asked, “Crown Prince, earlier, you were the one closest to Imperial Father. When the accident occured, where were you?”
Jing Hua felt a pang of guilt. Jing Yi’s words stung him like lightning. He exploded.
“What do you mean by that? Are you saying that this Crown Prince abandoned Imperial Father to save his own life? Are you accusing me of cowardice?!”
It is a fact.
Jing Yi sneered. “I merely asked. Why are you overreacting?”
“Overreacting? When did I overreact? The fire was too fierce, and the place was filled with smoke. I just didn’t noticed Imperial Father’s situation.”
“Is that so?” Jing Yi didn’t believe one word of it.
Jing Hua felt indignant. He became more enraged. He glanced at the door of the bedchamber. He repressed his voice and came closer to Jing Yi. “Be clear! Are you suspecting this Crown Prince of deliberately not saving Imperial Father?” Jing Hua questioned.
Jing Yi maintained a cold face. He was about to retort, but a burst of coughs interrupted him.
“Cough! Cough!” Quietly sitting on the side, Jing Xian suddenly coughed, putting an end to his half-brothers’ argument.
At that moment, the doors of the bedchamber abruptly opened. Two imperial physicians walked out, their foreheads beaded with sweat. They bowed to the princes.
The Crown Prince took the initiative to ask. “Physician Li, how is my imperial father?”
Imperial Physician Li humbled himself. “His Majesty has awoken.”
“He is awake?” Jing Hua widened his eyes. A feeling of frustration welled up inside his heart.
Damn it! Why did he have to regain consciousness?
However, he still assumed a happy expression. He planned to go into the bedchamber and be the first one that old man who refused to die would see. He believed that would redeem him from his earlier failure. Unfortunately, the imperial physicians stopped him, thwarting his plans.
“What are you doing?” Jing Hua questioned.
Physician Li looked at Jing Yi. “Prince Yi, his Majesty said he only wants to see you.”
Jing Yi nodded and silently walked into the bedchamber. A eunuch closed the doors after him.
Jing Hua was in disbelief. He grabbed Imperial Physician Li and interrogated him. “What is the meaning of this? Why doesn’t Imperial Father want to see me? Why would he want Jing Yi instead? Why? Tell me the truth. Is Imperial Father’s condition very grave?”
His true intentions were far less glorious than what he made it sound like. He just wanted to know if his title of Crown Prince could be kept or not. If he was to lose his position, what should he do?
Physician Li lowered his head. “This lowly official doesn’t know. As soon the Emperor awoke, he wished to see Prince Yi.”
“Impossible!” Jing Hua uttered. He wanted to rush in but was stopped again.
Inside the Emperor’s bedchamber.
Jing Yi went in and walked to the bedside. Qi Zhen lay on the bed with his eyes slightly opened. His appearance had underwent changes and he appeared exhausted as if on his dying breath. When he saw Jing Yi comes in, he raised his trembling hand and reached for his son.
“Imperial Father!” Jing Yi called. “Rest assured, with Imperial Physician Li and Imperial Physician Luo, nothing will happen to you.”
Qi Zhen lightly gasped. “Who was it?”
Despite his weak state, his tone still held the might and deterrence of a sovereign.
Jing Yi lowered his head but didn’t respond.
“Say it!” Qi Zhen grabbed his hand tighter.
Jing Yi was forced to explain. “This year, the ordered lanterns were transported from Fangshui and so are the iron wires used to hang them. If there were any problems during the whole delivery process, the guards would have intercepted the goods at the city gate. There were no problems detected. Therefore, there were no issues with the lanterns, but Jing Rong secretly went to the Dispatch Bureau and ordered for all the lanterns to be replaced. So, the iron wires smeared with explosive powder must be his work. Son doesn’t know why Jing Rong did so, but I have already ordered the imperial guards to lock him up in prison. What is left is only your decree.”
The situation was clearly summed up for Qi Zhen.
Qi Zhen closed his eyes and took deep breaths.
“Investigate it. Dig out everything clearly,” he uttered after a long silence.
“I said investigate it!” he spat out the sentence with force.
“Yes, as you wish.”
Jing Yi got up and retreated a bit. There was no expression on his face as he lowered his head and greeted his father. A faintly sinister smile slowly tugged at the corner of his lips.
The doors closed behind him after he left the bedchamber.
He didn’t waste time and left while trying to ignore Jing Hua.
In the end, Jing Hua chased after him, successfully stopping him outside.
“What did Imperial Father say to you?” he impatiently asked.
Jing Yi coldly glanced at him. “Imperial Father didn’t say anything.”
“Impossible. Imperial Father called you in alone. How can he have nothing to say?”
“Then, what does your Highness think Imperial Father said to me?”
Of course, it should be about the matter pertaining the Crown Prince title! Jing Hua was very anxious. He didn’t save his father, so his father must want to demote him in his fury. His imperial father must be thinking of naming Jing Yi the crown prince instead. If that turned out to be the case, and Qi Zhen suddenly passes on to the other side, wouldn’t that mean Jing Yi would ascend to the throne? If Jing Yi became the Emperor, it was certain that his life couldn’t be preserved.
“Imperial Father really didn’t say anything to you?” Jing Yua probed again.
Jing Yi impatiently shook him off without letting him finish.
“Where are you going?” Jing Hua asked while following after him.
“To the prison!”
Jing Yi departed to the torture chamber.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Who can stop Jing Yi from doing a biased investigation?