Chapter 321 – This is the Only Solution
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
“Doesn’t Teacher feel like it is such a waste?” The Governor asked.
A waste? Such an interesting choice of words. Ji Yunshu dusted her sleeves and turned towards the Governor sternly, “Does milord think those holy teachings should be read by only virtuous men?”
“This… of course not.”
“Then, one doesn’t have to be an official to help the masses.”
Ugh! The Governor was at a loss for words, his blank expression resembled that of Liu Qingping’s.
Ji Yunshu did not linger long at the capital yamen; she returned to Bamboo Creek Garden where Jing Rong was waiting for her. Ji Yunshu raconted what had happened, with Jing Rong’s face growing darker at her every word, “Are you really going to the Yufu County yamen?”
“Mm, I have to see Ye’er’s body for myself.”
“Then, what if, she really did commit suicide by poison?”
“Then what if she didn’t?” Ji Yunshu retorted.
This woman sure has her way with words, however – “If you were to leave for Yufu County, what would you do about the ‘Lin Capital Case’?” Surely, you couldn’t bring twenty coffins with you there?
Ji Yunshu had fully expected Jing Rong’s concerns, and she confidently replied, “There are only eleven remaining corpses to be drawn. It would only take about a month for me to get to Yufu County, investigate the case, and return to the capital. There shouldn’t be too large a consequence; I should be able to make it back on time.”
“Do you really have to?” Jing Rong was worried, “You have to understand, if something untoward happens to you on the way to Yufu County, how could this prince let you leave with peace of mind?” Jing Yi’s eyes were set on them twenty-four seven, waiting for the day that Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu would be separated, making it easier for him to break either one. How could Jing Rong let Ji Yunshu leave the capital without him?
Ji Yunshu looked at him calmly, “I know what you are worried about. Prince Yi has been trying to stop us in all his power from investigating the ‘Lin Capital Case’; now that I have put it aside and am heading to Yufu County to investigate a totally different case, are we not playing straight into his cards? With Zijin by my side, there is nothing to worry about. If the appeal were approved, the Capital Governor would also have his men escort me the whole way through.”
Jing Rong furrowed his brows, “Things won’t be as simple as that.”
“This Prince really can’t win, can I. I must find some time and pay that talkative Governor a visit – this Prince must teach him a lesson.” How tyrannic!
Ji Yunshu was unmoved.
Jing Rong continued, “Since you’ve already planned everything, this Prince can’t stop you even if I wished.” He finally compromised!
The Governor took the following two days to prepare the required documents, sending it over to the Supreme Court the first thing that morning. Ever since he helped Jing Rong enter the palace on the night of the Crown Prince, no, the ex-Crown Prince Jing Hua’s rebellion, the Supreme Court Vice-chancellor Lord Yu considered himself to belong in Jing Rong’s camp – as soon as he saw that the case was to be handled by Ji Yunshu, he stamped the documents the Governor submitted without a second thought. That Teacher Ji was Jing Rong’s right-hand man, one on his own side; he definitely had to approve.
But, the application was rejected by the Supreme Court Chancellor, the same man who had to tread carefully around his subordinate, the Vice-chancellor. He even wore a troubled look on his face as he explained, “Governor, this case was long resolved three years ago. Submitting this claim now, surely it’s a little…”
The Governor butted in before he finished his sentence, “This case may be resolved as you say, but there’s something odd about it.”
“Odd? What is? Are you assuming that her daughter was murdered just based on that woman’s statement? The coroner who examined the body three years ago already determined that she died by consuming poison, Governor, I understand that you’re always looking after the people, but there simply is nothing suspicious about this case, much less enough evidence to support re-opening it! If we were to send investigators for every baseless assumption, how would the Supreme Court continue to operate?”
The Governor was likewise firm, “There were obvious mistakes during the initial investigation, and there is high suspicion of the Qiao Family buying off the Yufu County Magistrate and coroner to write off this case. If they were innocent, why bribe them?”
The Supreme Court Chancellor rebutted, “Even so, it isn’t enough for me to order a re-investigation; without solid proof, we can’t re-open any case, and this Supreme Court would also not start any investigations.” His attitude was steely. On any other day, despite appearances, the Supreme Court Vice-chancellor was the one handling such affairs – what was with the Chancellor today? Where did he get his newfound courage?
Before the Governor could answer, the Chancellor’s beady eyes turned as he approached, “The affairs of the various states and counties may be under your jurisdiction, but the criminal cases are the Supreme Court’s to decide. If this were to be approved, but end up a wild goose chase, all responsibility would fall on my shoulders! What’s more, isn’t it inappropriate for that Teacher Ji to be involved? He’s not one of us, not one of the court, so, are you trying to put me in a spot?”
How could the Governor have predicted this turn of events? Even if the Supreme Court were to reject this application due to red tape, but he, the Capital Governor, was here to present it personally – surely the Supreme Court would give him some face? What was wrong with the Chancellor? Lord Yi had no grounds to budge his way through this, however.
The Chancellor had another suggestion, “Governor, ever since His Majesty removed the Disciplinary Officer position, the authority to re-open district cases has fallen on us, the Supreme Court. No matter who wants to submit a claim, they have to follow protocol and have sufficient evidence, otherwise they would never stand a chance. However, if that Teacher Ji… were to sound the royal drums outside the palace and appear before His Majesty, gaining his approval, then there would be no need for this case to pass through the Supreme Court’s hands. Teacher Ji can then rightfully go forth to investigate this case, to overturn this case – it’s a win-win situation.”
What an impeccable plan, but – the Governor’s face turned green as he huffed, “Chancellor, you should know better than anyone else that to sound the royal drums outside the palace, one would have to bear forty strikes of the paddle. Most people would get beaten to death before they can even reach the drums, much less Teacher Ji.”
“Then there is no other way – this is the only solution at the moment.” He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly – this lord only had this in mind!
Lord Yi seethed. He dusted his sleeves and left huffily. Just as he exited, someone else entered.
Jing Yi scoffed in the Governor’s direction, a devious smile on his face. The Supreme Court Chancellor scurried forth, paying his respects as he reported, “Prince Yi was right – the Capital Governor did want to have that Teacher Ji investigate the case. This official has rejected him as per Prince Yi instructed, letting him know to have Teacher Ji sound the royal drums.”
Jing Yi sat in his study, pouring himself a cup of tea. He fingered the brim of the teacup lazily, gaze studying the plum blossoms adorning the cup, smirking, “Teacher Ji, oh, Teacher Ji – what fun you’ll have with those forty paddles.”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Jing Yi, I also want to spank you.