Chapter 312 – One of You Must Go
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Jing Rong got off the horse carriage, appearing as if he didn’t hear a word from the Governor’s conversation.
“I pay my respects to Prince Rong!”
Jing Rong gestured at him.
“Are you all going into the palace or leaving?”
The Capital Governor, Lord Li, replied, “We already went into the palace and were about to leave.”
“Mmh.” Jing Rong nodded but didn’t speak. He proceeded and was about to reach the south gate, but the Governor immediately parted ways with the other nobles and chased after Jing Rong.
“Your Highness.” He called out,
Jing Rong stopped and asked, “What is the matter, Governor?”
The Governor leaned forward with caution and lowered his voice. “Your Highness, do you know if Teacher Ji is still busy with the Lin Capital case?”
His ulterior motives were plain to see. His request was bound to be a troublesome one.
Lord Li was inquiring with a humble attitude. Jing Rong had no doubt there would be a problematic situation from just looking at the other party’s expression and secretive manners.
He maintained his stoic face. “Governor, do you have anything to say? If so, colud you get straight to the point?”
“Y-y-yes!” He repeatedly nodded like a pecking chicken. Then, he looked around, making sure no wandering ears were near before explaining the situation. “Your Highness, I won’t keep it from you. Recently, a woman came to the yamen to…”
Jing Rong raised his hand and interrupted him. “This Prince had heard of it. You don’t need to say more.”
The Governor immediately revealed at flattering face and went straight to the point without delay. “The matter is like this, this lowly official knows that Teacher Ji is a bone painter and has great deductive ability, so I would like to request him to…”
“Investigate the Yufu County case?” Jing Rong finished Lord Li’s sentence.
“Yes, this was my meaning.”
Oh my! Your Highness understands me so well!
Jing Rong shot him a glance and coldly said, “The case is a matter between you and the Supreme Court. What does that have to do with Teacher Ji? He isn’t a civil official nor an official at court. It won’t do to have him meddle in it.”
Lord Li’s hopes were shattered. He tried to keep his smile but it turned into an awkward one. He lowered his head stiffly and said, “Ye… Y-yes… This lowly official wasn’t thinking clearly… But….”
“But what?” Jing Rong squinted his eyes, staring down at the Governor.
Lord Li leaned forward and used a mystifying tone, “Teacher Ji’s way of investigation is too clever. If he can get appointed as a disciplinary officer, it would be too fitting. Your Highness should know that after that position was abolished, the Supreme Court’s authority ascended to new heights. With such a monopoly, many cases have been judged with a certain lack of fairness. Therefore, there were many requests sent for verdict reversal which needs to pass through a long and arduous process with many delays before it would be accepted and re-investigated. The list of cases pending is growing without end.”
“If the Emperor decided to restore the Disciplinary Officer’s position, the list of cases to be revised won’t need to be delayed and the process will be less complicated. In fact, as long as the disciplinary officer agrees, a reinvestigation can be started in the shortest time. This is the privilege which comes with that title and not even the Supreme Court can impede the process of re-opening of the case. The Emperor also can’t interfere with the disciplinary officer’s decision. So, if Teacher Ji can get appointed to that position, there won’t be any need to go through the Emperor or anyone to reopen any cases. We, court officials, will gladly recommend him.”
The Governor was very clear that if Ji Yunshu becomes a disciplinary officer, when the locals made an appeal for a case, they would not knock at his doors. His proposal was the same one Old General Li made to Ji Yunshu before.
Jing Rong pondered a bit. “Your suggestion is good… That is if Teacher Ji wasn’t busy with the Lin Capital case. It’s impossible for him to investigate another case at the same time. It’s better if you choose someone else for that position.”
It was a complete rejection. After throwing out those words, Jing Rong went into the palace, leaving behind a dejected Governor.
His suggestion was obviously very good. That position was a nice and lofty one.
Jing Rong strode quickly to Fuyang Hall. He reported to Qi Zhen Emperor everything related to the burial of Jing Hua. After listening to his report, the Emperor didn’t show any change in his expression. He didn’t appear to be interested in the matter.
Qi Zhen Emperor suddenly asked, “Last time we mentioned about the missing funds for Yufu County’s disaster relief. What do you think?”
Jing Rong had not even think about it. He flatly said, “Son knows it won’t be easy to investigate where that money went to. However, I will listen to your commands.”
“What if we want you to investigate it?”
“Son shall obey.”
Still so clever!
Qi Zhen Emperor said, “You should already know the implications of going to Yufu County.”
Jing Rong nodded. “Yes, Imperial Father.”
Their conversation was stiff, lacking of emotions as if they were merely an emperor and his subject.
Qi Zhen Emperor heaved heavily as he looked at his son. “Since you already understand, we won’t speak further. In any case, be it you or Jing Yi, one of you must go.”
One person had to go, but who will go? Hardship and bitterness on the road, but death should be avoided.
Since they were done with the planning, there was no point in having an in-depth talk with his father. Thus, Jing Rong left Fuyang hall. He also engraved his father’s words into his heart. If it was before, he would absolutely take the initiative to go to Yufu County as to distance himself from the politics of the capital. However, at present, the investigation of Lin Capital case was still ongoing. If he left for Yufu County, what would happen to the investigation? Would Ji Yunshu be alright? Besides, he had already decided to fight with Jing Yi, so he couldn’t act foolish and leave the capital at this time.
Shortly after he left, Jing Yi entered the palace. However, he didn’t go straight to Fuyang hall, making a detour to Zhangzhi hall instead.
In Zhangzhi hall.
Ever since she fainted during the great fire in Chengqing hall, Concubine Xiao’s health had not been too good. However, today was the Crown Prince’s burial. She was much better than usual.
Early in the morning, she was outside taking some fresh air under the nice sun. It was the perfect picture of enjoying herself, even her appetite was better than usual. When Jing Yi arrived, she was holding a pair of scissors and was busied pruning her plants.
However, she wasn’t pruning leaves. She was cutting flowers indiscriminately! A wilted flower, snipped it. A gorgeous one, cut it. A flower not pleasant to her eyes, trimmed it away. After going through her peculiar pruning, the number of flowers left was few.
When she saw her son, Concubine Xiao gestured at her servants which withdrew out of sight. Then, she wiped her hands and welcomed her Jing Yi with an affectionate smile.
Jing Yi asked in concern, “Is your body better, Imperial Mother?”
“Hmm. Much better.” Then, she asked, “Has Jing Hua been buried?”
“Yes, he’s already in the imperial mausoleum,” he answered with calm.
Concubine Xiao snorted. “A rebellious and unfilial son still can enjoy such a grand funeral, even being able to be buried in the imperial tomb. What bad luck!” She didn’t hide her disgust.
Her good mood plummeted down.
“He is already dead. Imperial Mother shouldn’t let anger harm you,” said Jing Yi.
“You are right. He is already dead. I shouldn’t bother myself with him anymore.” Her tone had a hint of complacency. Suddenly, she questioned her son. “Right, has your Imperial Father discussed with you the topic of his heir?”
Jing Yi shook his head and his expression sank.
Concubine Xiao understood his meaning. “Do you know what your Imperial Father has in mind?”
“Imperial Mother has heard of Yufu County’s missing disaster relief money?”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Lol, too many plot and sub-plots happening at the same time.