Chapter 119 - People From Huyi
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The quietness of the mountains covered by an incessant rainfall was suddenly broken by the grunts of the people carrying a coffin, and the pressing shouts of the man ordering them. The object seemed quite heavy, as it look a long time just to bring it from the entrance to the forecourt. Two people ran into the temple ahead of the others and began to clear out a spot where they could put it down, not sparing a glance at Ji Yunshu, Jing Rong, and his subordinates a single time.
Wei Yi was rather excited by all of the commotion. All hints at falling asleep instantly vanished and his eyes were glued to the strangers struggling in the rain. He pulled on Ji Yunshu’s sleeves and asked, “Shu’er, why are they carrying that coffin?”Ji Yunshu did not answer him.
“Uncle Fu taught me that coffins should go into the ground. Why aren’t they burying it?”“...”
“Please Wei Yi, no more,” interrupted Ji Yunshu. No matter where they went, Wei Yi always seemed to be full of questions and things to say. Wei Yi pursed his lips and stopped talking. His eyes, however, remained fixated on the newcomers.
Ji Yunshu looked at the bunch of people outside of the temple’s entrance: they all seemed exhausted, and it would take them a long while before they could bring it into the temple. She looked at Jing Rong, who seemed busy poking aimlessly at the fire with a wooden stick. He did not even raise an eyebrow and seemed completely unwilling to involve himself with the affair. Ji Yunshu contemplated the situation for a bit and proposed, “The rain is so heavy. Although that coffin is made of camphor wood, I doubt that it will withstand the rain for long. How about we give them a hand…”
Jing Rong interrupted her without raising his head. “Do you know who they are? And you are asking for my help?” ‘Uh.. What? Who are they?’ Ji Yunshu was caught off guard by the seemingly random question.
Ji Yunshu turned her head toward the exit, this time with a long stare, and finally understood what Jing Rong meant; These people all wore hats that looked like a goat’s horns, and they kept their coats untied, with their left collar covering the right one. The sleeves of their robes were narrow, and it was tightened with a belt at the waist. Beneath the robe was a short shirt, pants and leather boots. A piece of mutton pelt was tied to their belts, and a string of agate beads hung by their necks. ‘They are definitely not from Great Lin, not with this attire.’
“Are they from Huyi?” Ji Yunshu guessed.
Jing Rong raised his eyes and threw a glance at Ji Yunshu, which reminded her of someone supervising an examination. “Take another guess, where do they belong in Huyi?”
Ji Yunshu’s interest was piqued by the challenge. She scrutinized the men, especially the one who seemed to be the master. Just like the others, his robe was open at the front. However, unlike the rest of the men, he had five peacock feathers emblazoned on his shoulders. “The people from Huyi were a nomadic tribe on the borders of Great Lin, that is until a great leader proclaimed himself king and elevated their entire tribe. Animals with feathers are considered sacred in their religion, and they believed the feathers themselves to be gifts from the heavens. Peacocks are venerated as spiritual beings, and leaders would be distinguished from the commoners based on the number of peacock feathers embroidered on their vests. Seven feathers for the king, six for the dukes and generals, and five for the nobles. The Huyi nobles are usually relatives of the king, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this man was the current king’s brother.”
Jing Rong listened to her explanation carefully and his lips quirked approvingly. “Where did you get this from?” “From books!”
Magistrate Liu regularly received official missives from the government, and he would often give them to Ji Yunshu after he himself had read them. He also had quite an expansive collection of books, and Ji Yunshu read through them like novels. By now, she could remember most of their contents.
Jing Rong smirked, “A quite accurate description. Then you should also know about the war between the Lin empire and Huyi over the last several decades. A truce was reached a few years ago, but tensions are always running high. I’m a Lin Dynasty prince. Tell me, should I help him or not?”
‘Of course not, if you go with common sense.’
“Stubborn!” Ji Yunshu rolled her eyes. She turned her head and looked at Lang Po. “Your master might not want to help, but you’re an able-bodied man, why don’t you give a hand?”
Lang Po nodded. “You are right, Miss Ji.” He stood up and was about to beckon a few other bodyguards to help.
The next second, Jing Rong threw a cold glance at him. “Do you have nothing to do?”
Lang Po’s gesture froze in mid-air. He gulped down a mouthful of saliva and looked at Ji Yunshu with awkwardness. Jing Rong was his master after all, so his orders had to come first. He was about to sit back down when Jing Rong spoke again. “Go!”
Lang Po made a grimace. ‘Is that a yes or a no?’ He voiced his hesitation, “My Prince, should I help them or not?”
“What are you hesitating for? Go!”
“Yes.” Lang Po called over a few guards and carried out the order.
Ji Yunshu looked at Jing Rong. ‘The dissonance between your words and your actions is noticeable, my Prince.’
A sudden loud thud was heard from the outside. Wei Yi was quite frightened by the noise, and he shrank towards Ji Yunshu, who patted his back rather mindlessly to reassure him. Jing Rong noticed her gesture and felt a sudden urge to split the two up by sitting down between them. However, his attention shifted when he noticed what had happened outside; Lang Po and his men had yet to leave the temple when the coffin fell out of the basket of ropes restraining it and smashed into the ground with a loud thud. The coffin tilted over and its cover fell off. The corpse rolled out of it violently, along with items which were to be buried with it: jewelry, silver and golden tableware, and even bronze mirrors. From its contents, it became less surprising that the coffin was heavy enough to break the ropes. The luxury of the ornaments was obvious, and by the looks of it, the tomb would match their grandeur.
“Is it a pregnant woman?” Ji Yunshu exclaimed with some surprise when she saw the corpse being tossed out. Her eyes remained fixated on the belly of the woman and she furrowed her brows. No one seemed to have noticed the thoughts which ran through her head furiously. “Wife!” The man who led the party cried out and ran toward the corpse against the rain, weeping loudly.
“What are you people doing? Quickly, bring Madame’s corpse inside, you useless servants!” The man who followed him kicked a few of the servants next to him in the behind.
Lang Po hurried to help them with a few of the guards. They returned the corpse to the coffin and sealed the lid. It was fortunate that the coffin remained inclined the whole time, since the angle prevented the rain from falling into it directly, and the interior remained relatively dry. The coffin was quickly brought into the temple while a few followers remained outside to collect the scattered burial items.
By the time this happened, Ji Yunshu had already opened her sandalwood box. She picked out a scalpel which had a wider blade and moved it above the fire, rotating it slowly as it was being baked. She then handed the item over to Wei Yi. “Heat this thing for a while on the fire.” Wei Yi hesitated a little bit and finally picked up the scalpel with trembling hands. He asked her in a low voice, “Shu’er, are you going to kill me?”
‘Pfffft, little child, do you have some kind of persecution mania?’Ji Yunshu shook her head, “Oh, no. We’ll be eating meat soon!”
“Yay, there’s meat!” Wei Yi paid much more attention to his task after hearing what Ji Yunshu said. He drooled at the thought of being able to enjoy meat soon. Ji Yunshu opened her box again and brought out a long needle and some thread. She pushed the thread through the eye of the needle.
‘Since when do you need needles and thread for cooking meat?’ Jing Rong looked at her, perplexed. He asked casually, “What are you going to do?”
“Cut her abdomen and extract the baby!” answered Ji Yunshu in an impassive voice.
Grenn's Rants Corner
By the way, we have a chibi contest for Volare's 2nd anniversary. If 20 people can find me (post your reply in the comments section of this chapter), I'll release an extra chapter this weekend.
I'll give you two clues:
1- I have something similar to five other chibis
2- I have a black accessory on me.
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