Chapter 235 - Getting Rid of Evil
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Ji Li did not die and appeared in a grandiose manner at the tower. How could this not alarm Jing Rong?
However, he was not angry at Ji Yunshu. Rather, he was worried.
Ji Yunshu wanted to retract her hand, but Jing Rong’s iron grip on her arm restricted her movement. She gave him a side glance with a furrowed expression. “I had no other choice but to employ that method. I also know that your imperial father’s position is high and almighty, and I have no right to bargain with him. However, the events of today are proof that I didn’t gamble incorrectly - Ji Pei will be spared.”
“But what you did was too dangerous!” Jing Rong’s face darkened at the thought. “The more you try to endure, the more worried I get. I’m afraid of the consequences if Imperial Father pays more attention to you. Your situation is your weakness and can bring you untold dangers, do you understand I’m trying to say?”
Of course, she understood! For a woman to negotiate with the Son of Heaven and even force him to agree, that was tantamount to riding on a tiger’s head and pulling off its whiskers. Moreover, that tiger’s limbs were shackled, and it was unable to resist ruder. However, if those fetters were to break one day, disaster would befall the rider on top. Qi Zhen was the tiger in the analogy and Ji Yunshu, the rider. Jing Rong’s worry was not unfounded.
Ji Yunshu justified herself, “I know. I understand what you are saying, but I couldn’t watch Ji Li die and do nothing. The same goes for Ji Pei. I had no other choice but to make a deal with the Emperor; I agreed to solve the homicide case and the matter with the two cities, and he would fulfill his part of the deal by letting Ji Pei go. The Emperor’s words are gold, so I needed his edict to protect Ji Pei until his safe return to Qujiang.”
As long as Ji Pei returned safely, she could do anything, even putting herself in a dangerous situation.
While she spoke, Jing Rong let go of her arm. “Since you are this determined, all the apprehensions I had were for naught,” he muttered, dejected.
“Forget it. You don’t need to repeat yourself. I understand. You must be very sad Ji Pei is returning to Qujiang. I won’t disturb you any longer.” He turned around and left.
“Jing Rong!” She shouted while chasing after him.
He stopped but did not turn around.
Ji Yunshu put down the lantern in her hand. Her heart hopped erratically. She pursed her lips and her rolled off her tongue after a moment of silence. “Thank you!”
Jing Rong was disappointed when he heard her words of gratitude. There was stubbornness in his facial expression when he said, “Why are you thanking me for? I didn’t help you this time round.”
He abruptly turned back and stared into her eyes. “What you said is correct. Let’s wait for this case to conclude before we start investigating the Lin Capital case. As for anything else, let’s not mention about it.”
Ji Yunshu did not respond.
“The quicker we finish the investigation, the faster you can leave the capital with Wei Yi. This is indeed not a place you should stay in for too long. Your intelligence is both a boon and a bane; some people might consider you a sharp nail sticking out. Leaving this place will prevent you from becoming a target of assassination, and it will lessen my worries that you might get embroiled in the struggle for power in the court or that your safety is jeopardized. It will be enough as long as you are fine.”
Wasn’t he reluctant to let her leave the capital? Didn’t he want to keep her by his side? Why did his attitude take a 180-degree turn?
His concerns were not wrong; Ji Yunshu’s intelligence was indeed scary to the point people might find her obstructive.
He quickly left before Ji Yunshu had time to respond.
At that moment, she was unable to cope with her own emotional turmoil. She felt very complicated inside.
That night, sleep did not visit her, and she was left awake until the morrow.
During that sleepless night, she wondered if she should go to the gates' tower to send Su Ziluo on his way. She hesitated for a while, but she gave up the idea after much deliberation.
Su Ziluo was sitting in the carriage with Li’er at his side. Under Ji Li’s watchful eyes, the Qujiang soldiers packed up and departed from the capital. Afraid of any revolt, the Emperor had long dispatched a group of imperial guards to “escort” Su Ziluo back to Qujiang. In fact, it was to keep an eye on the Qujiang army.
After they had left the capital, half a day had already passed as they travelled on the main road.
Inside the carriage.
Li’er took a water pouch and handed it to Su Ziluo which he refused with a shake of his head.
“No need. You drink it.”
Li’er pointed at his lord’s mouth. “Ah… Ah… Ah…”
Su Ziluo touched his dried lips and gave a dejected smile. He took the water pouch and drank it. The sweet taste flowed into his throat. His expression eased a bit. He sealed the water pouch and lifted the curtain of the carriage window.
Outside, the sun was brimming, brightening the surroundings of endless sandy soil and mountain road. It was quite a scenic landscape.
“It seems we have already reached Lang Province,” he stated. Then, he turned to Li’er. “Once we return to Qujiang, there is no coming back.”
At that time, the carriage suddenly rocked, and the horses’ neighings could be heard, followed by the thunderous sounds of hooves approaching.
Su Ziluo was almost ejected out of the carriage from the violent rocking, but fortunately, Li’er pulled him back in time.
“What is going on outside?”
Just when he reached for the window curtain to take a look, a sword ripped through the light blue fabric, thrusting forward. It reached as far as a finger’s distance from his head before Li’er caught it with his bare hands.
“Die!” A masked man shouted.
Li’er applied more strength to his grip and successfully wrestled the sword out of the assassin’s hands. He then flipped the sword and aimed for his opponent’s heart. Without hesitation, he plunged it into the other person’s body, killing the masked man on the spot.
Li’er immediately leapt out of the carriage afterward.
Outside, blood had dyed the earth. Countless masked men surrounded the carriage; each of them showed no mercy, claiming lives as if they were cutting grass.
Su Ziluo’s subordinates and the Emperor’s dispatched guards were decimated. The situation had greatly startled the horses, which caused them to pull the carriage along in their frenzy escape. Suddenly, one of the wheels hit a larger stone. Su Ziluo was immediately flung out of the carriage from the sudden overturn. With his legs unable to support him and without his wheelchair, he was no different from a lamb brought to a slaughter house. He was an easy target!
Li’er, who was in a heated fight with the masked men, quickly dashed back to his lord. He crouched and wanted to support Su Ziluo.
“I’m fine!” said Su Ziluo while gasping.
At that very moment, the last of their escort died. The yellow sandy soil had now turned crimson, a dazzling color under the red sun! The masked men encircled the last two survivors - Su Ziluo and Li’er. Countless swords were pointed at them, but none of them took action.
The leader came forward. “Teacher Su, I’m afraid that you won’t be able to return to Qujiang alive.”
Su Ziluo did not show any fear. He was only in pain from being thrown off the carriage. “On whose orders are you here?” he asked.
The assassin gripped his sword tighter and ferociously spat, “Prince Rong said that you are a sinner. You have no right to stay in this world. His Highness has ordered us to get rid of evil!”
Jing Rong? Get rid of evil?
Grenn's Rants Corner
Oh my! Is that for real or someone's plot to frame Jing Rong?
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