Chapter 280 - To The Imperial Prison
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Jing Rong was stubborn to the bone. Even if he were to die, he would never admit to something he didn’t do. Although he knew that Old General Li was the culprit, Jing Yi would never believe his words because what Jing Yi wanted was his death.
Jing Yi unleashed his inner demon. The whip lashed out mercilessly without pause. Every time he lashed out, it was with the intention of claiming Jing Rong’s life. Then, after more than 20 lashes, he stopped.
Jing Rong’s body was riddled with open wounds and blood. His appearance was miserable. His head hung down and there was blood trickled out of his mouth. His hair was dishevelled, covering his now pale face.
Jing Yi watched him. Then, he used the handle of the whip to lift up Jing Rong’s chin. He forced Jing Rong to face him and stared straight into his eyes, which were heavy with weakness.
“Why must you make things so painful for yourself? If you confess, you might walk out from here safe and sound.”
Jing Rong didn’t respond.
“Jing Rong, don’t blame me for not taking our blood relationship into consideration. You are the one who harmed our imperial father, so you should have expected this day to come. Don’t be so stubborn and refuse the easy way out. I won’t kill you today. What I want you to do is to think about my proposal carefully, then give me a reply. Your life depends on your choice.”
Jing Rong was gasping for air. His cracked and bloody lips stretched into an arrogant smile. He rasped, “What you did to me today, I will pay you back a thousandfold later.”
“Pay me back? Let’s see if you will have that chance!” Jing Yi threw away the bloody whip and ordered the imperial guards, “Throw him back into his cell. I’ll come back tomorrow to interrogate him again.”
“Yes, your Highness!”
As soon the imperial guards untied Jing Rong, he keeled over. He was then dragged away to his prison cell.
As Jing Yi stared at the blood stains left by Jing Rong, he replayed Jing Rong’s words from earlier.
At the Rong Estate.
That night was a restless one for Ji Yunshu, who was jittery with anxiety. At that moment, Lang Po left in a hurry to find Mo Ruo.
“I was just drunk for a bit. How did such a big thing take place overnight?” Mo Ruo questioned just as he entered the courtyard.
Ji Yunshu revealed the details of the situation to Mo Ruo.
Mo Ruo slammed his hand on the table. “That old fox. He was ruthless enough to commit regicide!” He paused before continuing, “Since you know that the culprit is that old fox, why didn’t you report this to the Emperor. Why did you let Jing Rong shoulder the blame?”
“The thought did cross my mind.” Ji Yunshu argued, “However, the problematic lanterns were all destroyed. In addition, Jing Rong really did replace them. I have no evidence to prove his innocence and good intentions. Furthermore, Lord Zhang from the Dispatch Bureau testified against Jing Rong. How can I convince the Emperor otherwise? Between someone who was an imperial official for three generations of emperors and Jing Rong, who will the Emperor choose to believe?”
He would naturally think that the culprit is Jing Rong!
Mo Ruo’s brain were still sluggish from the alcohol. He balled his hands into a fist and slammed the table, helpless.
At that moment, a servant girl’s sudden arrival interrupted their discussion, and there was an anxious expression on her face. She quickly trotted over to Ji Yunshu. Her breathing was heavy, but she quickly took out a letter in her sleeve and delivered it to Ji Yunshu.
“Teacher Ji, this is something Princess Huiwen ordered this lowly servant to give you. Her Highness expressed that I must absolutely deliver it to you in person.”
Princess Huiwen? She must be referring to Kong Yu!
Ji Yunshu didn’t ask further as she urgently opened the letter. Her hands were trembling as she unfolded it. Her trembling didn’t diminish after reading the letter. Mo Ruo took the letter away from her and glanced over it. A trace of worry flashed across his face, and his expression became more stern.
“Prince Yi actually went to the Imperial Palace’s prison to interrogate Jing Rong? On what basis?” Mo Ruo became indignant.
“The Emperor awoke and met with Prince Yi. I presume that this was the Emperor’s command. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been so brazen,” Ji Yunshu stated.
“You mean the Emperor suspects that this matter is related to Jing Rong?”
“I don’t know.” She shook her head and directed at Lang Po, “Big Brother Lang, is it possible to get me permission to enter the imperial prison?”
Lang Po was shocked. “Teacher Ji, the imperial prison is not like the Ministry of Justice’s prison. Without the Emperor’s authorization, no one can enter.”
“I can!” Mo Ruo uttered. He explained, “Our Mo clan was granted permission by the Emperor to enter the palace at any time, and we gained access to many places. The imperial prison is one of the unrestricted places I can go.”
On the same day, Mo Ruo brought Ji Yunshu to the palace. Ji Yunshu deliberately wore a dark cape that covered her head. She was also dressed in common garb to lower her presence. When they reached the imperial prison’s entrance, a guard stopped them.
Mo Ruo had a stern face when he looked back at the imperial guard. “Are you blind? Don’t you recognize who I am?”
“Gentleman Mo, of course I recognize you,” the imperial guard answered.
“You’re still not getting out of my way after recognizing me?!”
“This is the imperial prison. Without the Emperor’s decree, I cannot let anyone pass,” the imperial guard said, remaining firm.
Like a cold nail, he took out a jade token and put it in front of the imperial guard.
“Take a good look. This is a token the Emperor bestowed on our Mo clan. As long as I have this jade, I can access any place within the palace with anyone from the Mo clan, and the imperial prison is no exception.”
“Anyone who dares to obstruct my way is going against the edict of the holy one. Do you dare to bear the crime?”
She had to admit that Mo Ruo’s threatening abilities were pretty good. He was able to sway the imperial guard who had no choice but to step aside in fear.
The guard clasped his hands toward Mo Ruo. “Gentleman Mo, please enter.”
Mo Ruo smirked as he took back his token, He was about to lead Ji Yunshu inside, but the imperial guard was diligent with his work and stopped Ji Yunshu.
“May I ask who this person is?”
Mo Ruo immediately pulled Ji Yunshu behind him. He retorted with a bossy attitude, “An apprentice of our Mo clan.”
He pushed everything on the Mo clan. The imperial guard no longer dared to stop them.
As soon as they walked deeper inside, the stench of bodily fluids and blood became heavier. It made Ji Yunshu’s heart shuddered. She couldn’t fathom how the stately Jing Rong could fare in this kind of place. Finally, they reached Jing Rong’s cell. When she caught a glimpse of him, her body jolted, and her eyes reddened from the upheaval of emotions.
Inside the prison cell, Jing Rong was leaning on the ice-cold wall like before he was taken to the torture chamber. Now, his head hung down listlessly and his body was riddled with bloody scars. The blood had dried a long time ago, but the stench of blood still permeated the air and couldn’t be hidden from her keen nose.
She grabbed the wooden poles and slowly crouched. The hood slipped down, revealing her teary eyes. She called to him. “Jing Rong.”
Her white and slender hands tightly clutched the prison fence, and her nails seemed to want to embed themselves into the wood.
After a long time, Jing Rong finally raised his head heavily. His eyes were bloodshot, and his hair was dishevelled with clumps of hair sticking together from the blood. In the dim light, he could see Ji Yunshu.
It took him a long moment before he was able to force a gentle smile on his face. “This Prince knew that a bothersome little demon like you would certainly come regardless of what I said,” he weakly whispered.
Her tears dripped down. She swallowed her words. It was too hard for her to speak.
He struggled to get up. Then, he staggered toward Ji Yunshu and lowered himself so that he could reach for her face. He gently caressed her cheek with the same gentle smile he always showed her.
“Yunshu, don’t worry. I will be fine.”
Ji Yunshu stubbornly bit her lip until the pain numbed her. She raised her hand and gently stroked his face.
“You are injured. Is it painful?”
Grenn's Rants Corner
T^T A bit cliché, but the feelings are there.
Jing Rong died under Jing Yi's torture, and we now realized Wei Yi is the true male lead... not. XD