Chapter 228 - Conscience Eaten by the Dogs
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Hearing those words, Su Ziluo unknowingly broke out into a disdainful smile.
His cold gaze fell on a Banyan tree outside.
“Isn’t it an easy decision? Sacrificing just one life to save countless others? Furthermore, Miss Ji knows better than anyone else what kind of a man your eldest brother is. The only reason he is staying put in jail is because he knows the Emperor will never sentence him; even if he did, he definitely would be able to escape successfully.”
Ji Yunshu was well aware.‘Ji Li didn’t get to where he is today by brute force! Su Ziluo is right, even if Ji Li did kill the general, he was fully capable of finding a way out for himself. Why else would he remain in jail!’
Su Ziluo was confident that his words thus far were sufficient to convince Ji Yunshu to agree to his terms.
On one hand, she could ascertain for herself whether Su Ziluo was Ji Pei or not; on the other, the two nations would cease fire and there would be no more bloodshed! All Qujiang wished for was to take back the two cities that originally belonged to them. It was that simple!
For Ji Yunshu, however, either decision would condemn her conscience for the rest of her life.
Su Ziluo was unfazed by her wavering indecision.
“It doesn’t matter which decision Miss Ji makes - I will wait for your reply.” He turned to leave.
Ji Yunshu’s chest grew tighter and tighter. Just as Su Ziluo was about to knock on the door for Li’er to let him out, she called out to him, “Ji Pei!”
Su Ziluo froze immediately, his hand stopping in mid-air.
Ji Yunshu continued hesitantly, “I don’t know if you are him, and I don’t know why you never came looking for me the past two years if you really are him. I don’t even want to consider that the person I have been pining for for two years would say these words to me today. I only remember that the Ji Pei I knew used his hands to write, not kill, and if he has become a man who would achieve his ends by any unscrupulous means possible, then… I wish that he died two years ago.”
Her tears fell as she finished her sentence. Heartache was nothing compared to death! Her Ji Pei was nothing like this. How she wished then that Su Ziluo was not Ji Pei, even if it meant that Ji Pei was already dead.
Su Ziluo said nothing for a long time, then formed a fist and gently knocked on the door. Li’er entered the room to wheel him out.
Before he left, Su Ziluo glanced towards the trembling Ji Yunshu, “When you bring me your answer, I will tell you all that you desire to know.” He left without looking back.
Ji Yunshu’s tears fell uncontrollably.
She sat in the room for a long while before leaving the relay station distracted and heavy-hearted, her hands still stained with viscous blood.
Ji Yunshu wandered the streets alone aimlessly, with no awareness of her surroundings or the pain in her shoulders from being bumped into by strangers.
Even the heavens were against her as it began to pour. Just then, an umbrella appeared over her head. She glanced sideways and saw that Shi Zijin was standing next to her, sheltering only Ji Yunshu and leaving herself exposed to the rain - one of her shoulders was already drenched in the downpour.
Ji Yunshu lifted a hand and pushed the umbrella towards Shi Zijin, asking in a feeble, almost raspy, tone, “Did you overhear everything?”
Shi Zijin nodded.
“Then… if it were you, what would you do?”
Shi Zijin shook her head.
“Are you unsure, or speaking the truth?”
She shook her head once more.
Ji Yunshu lowered her gaze. She continued walking forward without a word with an icy cold smile on her face.
“Where to?” Shi Zijin asked.
“Let’s go to Yuhua pavilion. We’ll head back after the rain stops.”
Ji Yunshu was already drenched when she entered Yuhua pavilion. The little page boy quickly brought a few warm stoves and placed them next to her, then draped another woolen blanket over her shoulders. What conscientious care!
As she warmed up, she took a look around and was surprised not to find Wei Yi around. Mo Ruo, on the other hand, was uncharacteristically spirited - he saw a few patients, washed his hands and came over to Ji Yunshu.
He eyed her, “How come you look just like a drowned rat? Did Jing Rong finally evict you?” She sat quietly, not answering.
‘What’s wrong with this woman today? She was all sharp and cynical just yesterday, talking non-stop. What’s with the sudden listlessness?’
Mo Ruo pulled a chair over, raising his tone, “Come on, spill it, what’s wrong? Who knows, given that I’m still awake and in my right mind, I might be able to give you some good advice.”
Ji Yunshu tilted her pale chin after a moment, “If you had to go against your conscience to do something that would save thousands of lives, would you?”
Mo Ruo was stumped. He scrunched up his brows as he fell into deep thought.
“If you asked me to choose between a fine lady and fine wine, then I can definitely tell you that I would choose the wine. But… my conscience against innocent lives? You really got me with this one.”
He had a thoughtful look one moment, then looked up with a twinkle in his eye, “I would choose to save those lives since my conscience has been eaten by the dogs!”
Ji Yunshu almost spewed blood in frustration. I knew I asked the wrong person.
She sighed and kept quiet.
Mo Ruo shook his head at the sight of her ghastly face. He stood up and headed towards the back court and brought over a piping hot bowl of medicine. “Drink up! All of it!”
Ji Yunshu gulped it all down despite not knowing what it was.
Her clothes dried up in no time. She left the blanket and asked Mo Ruo as she walked off, “Where’s Wei Yi?”
Mo Ruo pointed a finger at his crown, “He’s taking a bath!”
He was ambiguous, but Ji Yunshu questioned no further.
Upon returning to the Rong Estate, Ji Yunshu locked herself in her quarters, refusing to be disturbed.
Jing Rong did not come over to bother her either - he most likely needed some time to properly digest what happened at Peach Blossom Spring with Su Ziluo.
Ji Yunshu shivered slightly as she opened the windows and the cold winds gusted in. She was lost in her thoughts once more as she looked up at the starry sky. All she could think of were Su Ziluo’s words, each and every one stabbing her in the chest.
- “Will you leave me, Ji Pei?”
“Never. Even if we had to be apart someday, I would come looking for you.” -
His past words resounded clearly in her mind.
“As long as you agree, I will tell you where Ji Pei is. Is he alive? Is he dead? I will tell you everything you desire to know.”
These words felt like thousands of ants gnawing at her heart, painful and distressing.
The next day.
She sent someone to inform the capital governor that the murderer was discovered. Her report was already completed and to be handed directly to the governor for him to deliver to the Emperor’s hands.
Jing Rong rushed over after hearing the news. “Have you found the murderer?”
She nodded indifferently.
“Ji Li,” she replied carelessly.
Grenn's Rants Corner
This is what we called a moral dilemma and a problematic ethical situation. What will be Jing Rong's reaction? Will Ji Li win the bet or another plot twist will surprise us again?
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