Chapter 324 – Sounding the Royal Drums (1)
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
After much consideration, the young miss decided to take a softer approach, but not backing down, “Listen carefully, I’m the eldest miss of the Qiao Family, Qiao Xiao. My second uncle is Minister Qiao Zheng of the Ministry of Personnel, what do I have to fear about a measly capital Governor?” Her savage visage could compare to that of Jing Xuan when she decided to mess around.
So, she had an uncle who was a first-ranking official! No wonder she could throw her weight around. Ji Yunshu wasn’t fussed, “Miss Qiao, Aunty Xie has travelled such a long way to the capital for her daughter, why make it difficult for her?”
“Make things difficult?” Qiao Xiao shot Aunty Xie a hateful glance, raising a plucked brow as she huffed derisively, “This woman has been claiming that my big brother killed her daughter for the past three years – everyone in town has heard of it. She’s continuously made a scene at our estate, tarnishing the name and reputation of our Qiao Family. Such a woman should rot in hell! If not for my parents’ kindness, how did you think she could survive till today? If this Miss had not come to the capital to visit my second uncle, who would have known that this filthy woman would come all this way to submit a claim? This Miss is not as kind as my parents – it’s a miracle if I don’t kill her today.” She spoke as though she was the one who had suffered great grievance.
Ever since Aunty Xie’s daughter’s death, she had not left the Qiao Estate alone in peace; whether it was burning incense and paper money before their gates, throwing paper men across their walls, or poisoning the Qiao Estate well and getting imprisoned as a result. The Qiao Family took pity on her, especially since she still had a young grandson to care for, and let charges go. She was much quieter these two months and had stopped making trouble at the Qiao Estate, so the Qiao Family had thought that she had finally thought things through, but who knew that she was here in the capital to file a claim? Qiao Xiao’s anger was not unfounded!
However, Ji Yunshu tried to convince her, “Miss Qiao, Aunty Xie only came to the capital to understand the real reason behind her daughter’s death. If your big brother did not kill her, then there is no need to fear. If things could be settled once and for all, won’t your Qiao Estate also be free of further harassment?” Mm?
Qiao Xiao scanned Ji Yunshu – the well-dressed man before her emanated a mysterious, charismatic aura, but his eyes were icy cold. Qiao Xiao bit her lower lip, glancing outside to make sure the Capital Governor was still nowhere near, “Forget it then; I’ve given her a talking to today, but if I see her again, I won’t be this lenient next time around.” She left, and the crowd naturally scattered.
Together with Ji Wanxin, Ji Yunshu helped the soaking wet Aunty Xie up to a room on the second floor so that she could change into a set of fresh clothes.
“Many thanks for that, Teacher Ji.”
“There’s no need; I didn’t do much.”
Aunty Xie asked hopefully, “How goes my daughter’s case?”
JI Yunshu could not bear to tell her that the application was rejected by the Supreme Court, so she told a white lie, “Wait a little longer – it’s not an easy task to have this case re-opened.”
“Not easy? I’ve travelled all this way to the capital after years of fruitless begging – it cannot end just like this. My daughter was murdered and she died with injustice! I can’t wait any longer.” She wailed, tugging at Ji Yunshu’s heartstrings.
Ji Yunshu wrecked her brains: the only way the Supreme Court would accept and investigate this case was with His Majesty’s decree, but would Qi Zhen Emperor concern himself with such a trivial matter?
Ji Yunshu brought Ji Wanxin home after Aunty Xie calmed down considerably with much persuasion and consolation. On their way back, Ji Wanxin was curious, so Ji Yunshu quickly summarised what had happened.
Ji Yunshu stood awake outside her room, trying to figure out the best way to get this case approved by the Supreme Court, if not, convincing Qi Zhen Emperor to agree to the investigation. What was that option Jing Rong refused to share with her?
Suddenly – “Did you go to see that woman today?” She turned to see Jing Rong walking towards her.
“You have to investigate this case?”
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye as she hesitated in giving her answer. She carefully removed the object hanging around her neck, fingering the square wooden amulet. It was roughly five millimeters in diameter, and the edges were extremely well-rounded and smooth. The amulet’s colour was light in some areas and darker in others, resembling that of a beautiful watercolour painting. An ornately carved picture sat in the centre of the piece; it looked like an ancient symbol from some angles, and a flower from another. She caressed the carved symbol, several of its original owner’s memories flashing across her mind.
“Young miss, this was your mother’s. Keep it safely with you at all times. Remember not to give it to anyone else – this amulet is more important than your own life.” These words were said to the original owner by the nanny looking after her when she was about only seven or eight.
In the last five years, Ji Yunshu had heard whispers of memories and searched countless references and books, but could discover absolutely nothing about that amulet, until she saw that doll in Aunty Xie’s bag! Her gaze grew heavy, “I have to, for this.”
Jing Rong did not understand, “What has this … amulet have to do with that case?”
“This was left to me by my late mother. According to my nanny, this amulet is more important than my life. These few years, I have managed to dig up nothing about this symbol, but that doll of Aunty Xie’s daughter has the exact same symbol. She said that her husband made that doll for her daughter, so, I want to make a trip to Yufu County – to investigate the cause of death of Aunty Xie’s daughter, as well as the secret to my mother’s amulet.” This was the true reason!
Jing Rong looked at that amulet and fell silent.
The next morning.
Ji Wanxin hurried over, “Yunshu, quick! I was on my way to see that aunty at the inn, but god knows where did she learn that the Supreme Court has rejected the application, and she is now on her way to the palace to sound the royal drums!”
“Sound the royal drums?” Ji Yunshu flinched! She finally knew what that solution Jing Rong had forbidden the entire estate from mentioning was, sounding the royal drums! Anyone from anywhere in the Great Lin could sound the royal drums and submit their claim, but to sound it, one must endure the beatings of forty paddles, no more and no less, but Aunty Xie’s frail frame could never survive those paddles.
Ji Yunshu rushed out immediately and headed straight for the East Gate of the palace. Four guards surrounded the royal drums, with an overseer standing in the centre. Two other guards held paddles, striking Aunty Xie’s body in turn. She was splayed all over the floor, blood seeping through her gown, staining her back scarily red. The guards mercilessly raised their paddles once more, preparing to land the next full blow.
“Stop!” Ji Yunshu cried out, scrambling on top of Aunty Xie.
The guards rested their paddles against the ground as Aunty Xie panted heavily on the brink of death, unable to even cry out in pain. She struggled to open her eyes, using the last of her strength as she pleaded painfully, “Please … please help me.”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Lol! Dragging element alert – Ji Yunshu’s Mother’ real identity! It looks like having a mother as a simple prostitute is not an option for any female lead. I guess this is to have a worthy identity to easily marry JR later maybe. I hope the author can still surprise us with another new development instead.