Chapter 279 – A Clever Person May Become Victim of His Own Ingenuity
Edited by Shojiro
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
As the night deepened, the sky above the imperial palace was shrouded in dark clouds, planting unrest in everyone’s hearts. Thunder rolled over the city, but, oddly, only a fine drizzle fell.
At that moment, Jing Rong was locked in the deepest part of the imperial prison. A stench permeated the walls and ground eternally. The fetid odor constantly assailled his nose. His current cell had once hosted the infamous Marquis Chao. This was the first time it was being used since then. Fortunately for him, the iron shackles didn’t restrain his movements, something unusual. No doubt a courtesy afforded to him by his title. He leaned on the ice-cold stone wall. One of his hands rested on his knee. His expression remained as stoic as always; it never showed any fear. His eyes were bright, constantly scrutinizing the corridor outside his cell like it was looking for someone.
It didn’t take long for a pair of imperial guards to hurry to his cell and open the door.
“Prince Rong, Prince Yi wants to see you. Please come with us.”
Jing Rong sneered. He got up obediently nevertheless and exited his cell. He stood tall and upright. He looked nothing like the criminals the prison usually saw. He looked more like a guest patrolling the prison out of curiosity than one of its residents.
The two guards followed him eagerly.
He arrived at an obscure room. Jing Yi waited for him inside. He was seated in a chair, an unexpected pot of warm tea on a table nearby. It’s fragrance filled the room, driving the prison’s stench away. Beneath it hid the gentle smell of a delicate perfume.
Only Jing Yi had that kind of interest.
Jing Yi poured himself a cup before glancing at Jing Rong. The corner of his mouth curled into a treacherous expression.
“Suspect Jing Rong, you’ve plotted against the Emperor maliciously. Your crime is clear as day–” he turned his attention to the two guards, “–Tie him up and start the interrogation.”
The guards complied and tied Jing Rong to a dark wooden stake. They shackled him with iron chains, depriving him of his freedom.
They were efficient, clearly very practiced. Jing Rong let them tie him up without struggle or complaint. However, the cold and stubborn light in his eyes never wavered as he stared straight at Jing Yi.
Jing Yi refilled his cup with hot tea and got up a moment later. He walked to Jing Rong and put the cup under Jing Rong’s nose.
“Isn’t it fragrant?” he asked.
It smells like fart, just like you!
“What do you want to do?” Jing Rong said instead.
“I am the one asking the questions. Why do you want to assassinate our imperial father?” he steered the conversation back on track.
“It’s not me.”
“It’s a fact you went to the Dispatch Bureau. You also replaced the lanterns for no reason. Why?”
“Would you believe me if I told you?” Jing Rong chuckled mockingly.
Jing Yi didn’t see any fear in the other man’s eyes. It annoyed him greatly. His grasp on the teacup tightened. He violently slammed it onto the ground, spilling hot tea everywhere.
Crash! The teacup shattered into a thousand shards. The room’s stench in the room alleviated slightly as the tea fragrance became more concentrated from the spill.
The guards didn’t dare to make a sound.
When the teacup shattered, Jing Yi grabbed Jing Rong’s collar. He revealed a vicious expression.
“Jing Rong, you should know as clearly as I. Our imperial father has woken up. He ordered me to investigate this thoroughly. Since you are the culprit, why not admit it? You’ll avoid so much pain,” he snarled lowly.
Although he didn’t make an over threat, his tone was bloodthirsty. It looked like he had been waiting for this day impatiently.
If it were someone else, they might have crumbled and begged for forgiveness, but this was Jing Rong. He fell for that. He raised his chin and challenged Jing Yi with his eyes.
“Jing Yi, from the day I left the capital, you had secretly dispatched people to trail me. When the opportunity presented itself, you ordered them to assassinate the five imperial guards I sent back to the capital to report my whereabout. In addition, you cooperated with Yan Weiyi to assassinate. Despite all your schemes, I have safely returned to the capital. Do you want to know why you always failed?” Jing Rong taunted Jing Yi.
Although his tone were light, it still gave a sharp impression similar to the edge of a sword.
Jing Yi’s eyes turned bloodshot due to anger. He gritted his teeth. He let go of Jing Rong before spatting, “Good. Let me hear what you have to say.”
No reply came right away as they both fought off in a battle of stares.
Finally, Jing Rong spoke. “You always failed because you’re too smart – a clever person may become a victim of his own ingenuity.”
Jing Yi snorted with anger. His expression darkened as he slowly stepped back.
Jing Rong slowly explained, “You always think about eliminating me. Correction, eliminating anything that threatened you. You always viewed me as your biggest rival in the fight for the crown prince title no matter how many times I told you I wasn’t interest. I went as far as hiding from any fight for many years. In Imperial Father’s eyes, only that useless Jing Hua could be the Crown Prince, and you were the other he favored. As for me, I only wants to investigate the Lin Capital case. Yet, you always stood in my way, but because you did, you opened many opportunities for me in front of Imperial Father, allowing Teacher Ji who is on my side to gain achievement. If this isn’t getting pit by your own cleverness, then what is it?”
True, all of it was true!
It all originated from Jing Yi and Concubine Xiao who gave Ji Yunshu the opportunity to investigate the Missing Girls case. It led to Ji Yunshu making a deal with the Emperor in order to excavate the coffins on Lin Mountain. As a cause to effect, the success of the investigation made her reputation resounding. If Jing Yi didn’t try to act smart by capturing Gan Chouliang, Jing Rong wouldn’t bite him back in front of their Imperial Father. His failure was only due to himself and no one else.
After he digested Jing Rong’s words, his bloodthirst didn’t diminished at all. It continued to increase.
“Jing Rong, I have no time waste on you. Anyway, I heard what you said.” His tone abruptly changed into a ferocious one. “Bring it to me!”
The nearby imperial guard handed over a paper with rows of words on it.
He took it and showed it to Jing Rong. “There’s more important thing to do right now. Hurry and admit you were the one who plot Imperial Father’s assassination. This will spare you from a painful experience. I will say a good word for you in front of Imperial Father. Since you are a prince, Imperial Father might be lenient and spare you. Right, didn’t you want to be detached from any power struggle? This my bode well with your intentions. Imperial Father could demote you to the rank of commoner or exile you out of the capital. You can then live the rest of your life free and unfettered.”
Thank you, jackass!
It was impossible for Jing Rong to admit. Fortunately, his identity wasn’t too low which spared him from sharing the same fate as Gao Bingze. If it wasn’t for him being the son of the Emperor, there was no way Jing Yi would take his time to say so many things to him instead of simply forced him to sign the confession before silencing him.
“I refuse to admit it. If you want to kill me, then do it.”
Jing Yi wasn’t surprise by his half-brother’s obstinacy. He folded the confession paper into his sleeve and walked to a rack where many tools laid. He picked up a whip and pondered a bit. He returned to Jing Rong, whip in hand.
“Fine by me. Since you refuse to confess, don’t blame me for it later. I am only doing what Imperial Father ordered.”
As his words fell, his hand lifted. He lashed out the whip.
A deafening sound echoed through the dark room as the whip hit the ground below Jing Rong’s feet.
Jing Rong remained cold without the slightest hint of fear. This further fuelled Jing Yi’s ire. He pinched the whip. He whipped out the weapon with all his strength. This time, it landed on Jing Rong’s body. His clothes split on the impact, and blood flowed out from the wound.
“I’m giving you one last chance. Were you the mastermind behind the fire?” Jing Yi barked.
Jing Rong’s sword-like eyebrows knitted together. He felt a scorching pain from the whip wound. He chuckled with no care instead. He raised his eyes and stared at Jing Yi. “If I was you, I will never repeat the same mistake twice.”
“It’s best if you start to beg me for mercy or… just die!”
Within the room, the sounds of whip hitting flesh went on and on… There was only horror seeping into people’s heart, leaving them cold in front of the cruelty.
Grenn‘s Rants Corner
Rage! This is an intense chapter.