Chapter 271 - That's All There Is to It
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Everyone agreed that Jing Yi was the most similar to the current Qi Emperor, while Jing Rong was the most similar to the Qi Emperor before he was crowned, that smart and low-key Eighth Prince!
The Rong Estate.
Ji Yunshu should have returned to Bamboo Creek Garden a long while ago, but she was still waiting for Jing Rong’s return as night fell on Rong Estate.
Nighttime. A light shower began to fall outside, the cold winds hammering as it blew.
Ji Yunshu unknowingly tensed up in the cold. Shi Zijin stood by her side unspeaking, following Ji Yunshu’s gaze to land on a potted plant outside the hall. She heard that Jing Rong had planted it, who knew if that were true?
“Should we return?” Shi Zijin finally spoke.
Ji Yunshu shook her head, “Let’s wait for a little more.”
“I understand!” As Shi Zijin retreated to one side, Jing Rong entered the yard with an umbrella in hand. The rain fell on Jing Rong’s left shoulder, sleeve and hair. His profile was lit up by the lanterns, as if it were shining!
He took large strides, nearing Ji Yunshu bit by bit until he stood right before her. He folded his umbrella and rested it against a pillar. At the same time, Ji Yunshu retrieved a handkerchief from her sleeve, carefully mopping up the beads of rain on his forehead. As she neared his eyelashes, Jing Rong grasped her hand, the coldness slowly spreading from her fingertips into his palms.
Jing Rong felt extremely sorry and gazed deeply at Ji Yunshu, “Why were you standing here in this cold weather?”
She replied, “I was worried.”
“Worried about what?”
Ji Yunshu shook her head again, “I don’t know, I just feel a little flustered.” She spoke so quietly that if one weren’t listening closely enough, her words would have been drowned out by the pitter-patter of the rain.
Jing Rong held her hand even more tightly, his brows furrowing as he faced her seriously, “Were you worried that this Prince would not return?” Ji Yunshu did not reply. “You need not worry; as long as this Prince is here, everything will be resolved.”
She raised her head, the corners of her eyes crinkling slightly, “Did Old General Li really take your advice?”
Jing Rong was unsure himself, but, “It doesn’t matter whether he will heed it or not - he is undeniably an old veteran, having served the Great Lin for so many years. If we really took this up to the court, everyone in the Li Estate would suffer. This Prince could not bear to see this happen and so gave him this chance; hopefully he would be smart enough.”
Although Ji Yunshu nodded softly, her worries could not be hidden; she wasn’t sure if it was because of the gloomy weather, or this frustrating issue. Noticing her silence, Jing Rong pulled her into his embrace, arms around her narrow shoulders, with his chin softly resting on her head. He spoke gently, “Since it’s raining, why not stay here tonight?”
A raindrop from Jing Rong’s hair slowly rolled down her long eyelashes. She eventually nodded after a long while, putting her hands around Jing Rong’s waist, leaning into his embrace.
Shi Zijin leapt up and disappeared into the night at this scene.
This cold and rainy night somehow grew more ominous, weird, frustrating and confusing …
Jing Yi and Zhang Bo were engaged in a game of chess, black and white equally distributed on the chessboard, neither side leading.
“Lord Zhang’s chess skills have improved significantly!” Jing Yi praised Zhang Bo as he dropped a black stone into the dish.
Although Zhang Bo was the leader of security department, he was never involved with anything political; to put it plainly, he was part of the dispatch Bureau within Han Academy, tasked with logistics. But even he was aware of the sly fox Jing Yi, a man whom he should never offend. Zhang Bo picked up a white stone from his dish, balancing it on his fingertips as he smiled, “Your Highness is truly skillful, I am only a rough man, a mere commoner - how could I compare with Your Highness?”
“Lord Zhang is too modest.”
“How dare I?” Zhang Bo placed his white stone down as he finished, making the worst possible move. It was obviously easy for Jing Yi to surround his white pieces with his next move.
Who knew that Jing Yi would also make the worst possible move! He spoke as he placed his black stone, “This Prince heard that Prince Rong made a trip to the Dispatch Bureau today?”
Zhang Bo swayed at his sudden question, almost dropping the white stone he just picked up from his dish. He nodded, “Yes, Prince Rong did visit indeed!”
“Oh? What was Prince Rong there for?”
“He just made a trip down!” Zhang Bo answered without hesitation.
A cold smile spread across Jing Yi’s face as he decisively ended the game.
“Your Highness has won!” Zhang Bo was delighted as he heaved a sigh of relief. If they were to continue in turn like this, he would surely tremble fearfully to his death.
Jing Yi’s cold smile did not disappear. His gaze fell on the chessboard, then slowly moved up into Zhang Bo’s field of view, “Prince Rong had never ever dealt with the Dispatch Bureau before, why would he make a trip to your department today?”
“Could it be that there is something you need to hide?” Jing Yi raised his tone.
Strange! Zhang Bo was stricken with fear as cold sweat formed in his palms. He decided to take a more decisive approach, “As the Emperor’s birthday banquet is taking place in conjunction with the Crown Prince’s consort selection, Prince Rong came over to check on the progress of these important events. That’s all there is to it, all there is…” Zhang Bo’s attitude was steadfast, as if he would never, ever divulge anything.
Jing Yi knew that he had a tight mouth, how could he otherwise serve in the military for several years before being transferred to the civil department? Jing Yi laughed, “Who knew that Prince Rong was this carefree!” So free that he could stroll leisurely to the Dispatch Bureau.
Zhang Bo thought that he had managed to mangle his way through, the heavy stone in his heart lifting. The two of them chatted idly for a while more before Zhang Bo left Yi Estate.
As Zhang Bo left, Dou Quan came forth, sword in hand. Due to him walking quickly in the rain, his iron boots had mud stains splashing as he walked across the slate towards the inner hall where Jing Yi was at. Jing Yi was clearing away the weiqi [1. Weiqi = Go in japanese] board, never once raising his head as he questioned, “How is it?”
Dou Quan bowed, “It appears that Prince Rong visited the Dispatch Bureau to replace that batch of lanterns from Fangshui.” Jing Yi’s grip on the stone loosened, stone falling to the ground with a loud rap.
He frowned, side-eyeing Dou Quan, “Lanterns? Why was there a need to replace them?”
“This servant has investigated thoroughly - the original batch of lanterns was problematic, as someone had covered them with sulfur and black powder.”
“What?” Jing Yi was alarmed. He rose from his seat, clutching his sleeves.
Dou Quan continued, “It was because Prince Rong discovered this problem that he ordered Zhang Bo to replace them all secretly.”
“That’s weird.” Jing Yi strode forward outside, muttering as the wheels in his head began to turn, “Why would there be sulfur and black powder on the lanterns from Fangshui? Even so, how did Jing Rong know?”
“Should I continue investigating, Your Highness?”
Jing Yi raised a hand, “There’s no need. Imperial Father’s birthday banquet is soon approaching and this Prince does not want to stir up any trouble at this stage. Moreover, I am curious and would rather wait for my queries to be answered with time.” A devious smile creeped up his thin lips.
Dou Quan was anxious however, “What if this were to harm Your Highness?”
“With Jing Rong’s capabilities? He’s nowhere near.” He continued assuredly, “But I do wish for him to do something untoward to this Prince. Only then can this Prince expose him before Imperial Father.” What deviousness! How sinister!
Grenn's Rants Corner
I've been watching The Story of Yanxi Palace and I personally think that Harem fight and Throne fight are quite similar, just on a different scale at times. Usually, in harem drama, I always have a feeling of watching multiple women bickering against each other in a more refined way about all and nothing because they have too much free time which killed my interest quickly. This time the drama is a bit more straightforward, although I'm not sure if it will be draggy midway. It's kind of remind me of that rat experiment John B. Calhoun did.
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