Chapter 253 - Will You Leave Me Behind?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
On leaving the attic, Ji Yunshu saw Wei Yi playing amicably with the apprentices and left assuredly. No one would have expected that Jing Rong would catch up to her just as she left Yuhua Pavillion; Ji Yunshu did not stop and kept on walking forward, but this time, Jing Rong did not make a fuss and followed after Ji Yunshu.
Once they reached Bamboo Creek Garden, Ji Yunshu naturally put on her gloves and began examining the skull from that afternoon. Jing Rong was surprisingly nonchalant, as he moved a pearwood chair into the courtyard where he sat sunbathing, munching on the fresh melon seeds by her side.
That scene made Ji Yunshu extremely envious - she put down her work and glanced outside. That guy has made himself so comfortable - sunbathing, eating melon seeds; why must she work herself to the bone instead? ‘I’m done! I’m not doing anything!’ Ji Yunshu reconsidered, however, she couldn’t do that. She was a professional!
All she could do was to grit her teeth and continued molding clay.
As night fell and the crickets began to chirp, Ji Yunshu cracked her neck and glanced outside the window. For some reason, there were several red lanterns lit up throughout the courtyard, brightening up the compound. Since she was almost finished with her work, Ji Yunshu cleaned her hands and left the study, surprised to find that the once bare courtyard had completely changed - lantern, after lantern, were strung from the ceiling, transforming the courtyard into a night festival market.
Was this the same Bamboo Creek Garden? The servant girls scrambled upon finishing their tasks, leaving Jing Rong standing alone under the eucalyptus tree, staring above head at the mini-lanterns on the tree. Ji Yunshu shuffled over, intending to nudge him, but quickly dismissed that thought, “It’s not the Lantern Festival today, why did you hang so many lanterns?”
Jing Rong kept silent, staring intently at the lanterns with his hands behind his back. Ji Yunshu sighed gently. She raised her hand towards that lantern but was caught by Jing Rong just as she touched the lantern. Their two hands paused in mid-air.
After a while, Ji Yunshu bent her elbow, intending to pull her hand back, but Jing Rong held on, moving together with her movement. He then tightly gripped her hand once more, this time grasping her hand in his own, preventing her from pulling away. This time, however, Ji Yunshu did not outrightly push him away. An ambiguous air filled the night.
Jing Rong stared at Ji Yunshu deeply, asking her just one thing, “The answer that this Prince asked for, I want to hear it now.”
Hm? Ji Yunshu was perplexed.
Jing Rong was patient, “Why the clueless face? This Prince asked you before - ‘do you carry me in your heart?’ You have yet to answer, but you can now.”
If this was the Ji Yunshu of the past, she would reply without hesitation. But this time, her heart was stirred, a-flutter, ambiguously; perhaps it had something to do with the romantic set-up in this courtyard.
Sensing her hesitation, Jing Rong’s eyes filled with expectation. “You and I have experienced so many things from Jinjiang to the Capital, and you have already long known this Prince’s intentions. Are you still unwilling to face your own feelings at this time?”
“I…” Ji Yunshu was at a loss for words.
Jing Rong pulled her swiftly into his embrace, murmuring affectionately by her ear, “I lied; I don’t want you to leave the Capital, I don’t want you to leave with Wei Yi, even if this Capital is turned inside out, I don’t want you to leave. If you really leave, this Prince’s heart will die along with it - can you really bear to do so?” His tears verged on falling.
Ji Yunshu was flustered. She turned to face Jing Rong, biting her red lips, unsure of what to say. It was this tension that reminded her of what Su Ziluo said at the tower - ‘There is already someone in your heart.’
Perhaps before then, she was not sure who that someone was, but at this moment, her heart was clearly indicating that someone was Jing Rong! It was unmistakably him! But it was this certainty that led to her fear, she glanced sideways, muttering, “You are a Prince, and I am a mere commoner - it is impossible between us.”
“So all you were worried about all this time, was just this?”
“No, I just…” She was startled and began to stutter, “I… I don’t know.”
‘I don’t know?’ Jing Rong’s face bloomed into a large, bright smile at these three words. He tightened his grip and pulled Ji Yunshu closer into his embrace. He could not control his elation. “Then it means that you have this Prince in your heart, right?”
“I… I’m not sure.”
Good, there was no outright denial. Jing Rong’s heart was as sweet honey, and he pushed Ji Yunshu’s chin upwards, smirking, “It doesn’t matter if you know or don’t know, at least it proves that you are slowly falling in love with this Prince.”
“Are you still denying it?”
“I… no.” Ji Yunshu wanted to turn her head, but her chin and waist were locked in Jing Rong’s grip.
Jing Rong looked down, inching closer until there was only a fist’s length between their eyes. They could feel each other’s breaths on the tips of their noses. Ji Yunshu’s face began to burn as she bit her lower lip, a hint of shyness peeking through.
Jing Rong’s smile spread even wider at her reaction. “This view is too good to pass up.”
Hm? Before Ji Yunshu could register what he meant, her cold lips were immediately warmed by Jing Rong’s lips. Her hands balled up into fists. His kiss this time was much gentler than the ones before.
Jing Rong’s grip loosened slightly on her waist, almost as if giving her a chance to escape, but she didn’t - she became greedy. She uncurled her fists, lifting them and holding onto the edge of Jing Rong’s robes. He only let her go when this kiss took her breath away.
Their eyes met, lips barely leaving each other’s. Jing Rong caressed her face, gentle beyond compare. Ji Yunshu allowed his gesture, staring at him, her eyes turning red. After a long time, she mustered up her courage to ask him, “Will you leave me behind?”
Lightly touching the faded scar on her face, Jing Rong’s stare grew determined, “If there comes a day when the whole world betrays you, then this Prince will also leave the entire world behind all for you.”
Grenn's Rants Corner
*turning the A/C on*
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