Chapter 283 - Leave Jing Rong, Serve This Prince
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Make a deal? Making a deal with Jing Yi was comparable to making a deal with a devious jackal! Ji Yunshu stared coldly at him, at a loss for words.
Jing Yi grinned slyly, “Does Miss Ji not want to know what deal this Prince wants to make with you?” Ji Yunshu did not respond.
“At present, Prince Rong is no more than a lion encaged, hands and feet bound, posing no threat at all to this Prince. But, that is not what I desire; letting him die this way is far too easy.” Jing Yi did not hide his disappointment. There was no way he would let Prince Rong die like this; he would not stop until he had tortured him enough first!
“What are you trying to say?” Ji Yunshu finally asked.
Jing Yi lifted his eyebrows maliciously, “Jing Rong can leave unscathed if this Prince so wished.”
“When have you been such a good Samaritan?”
“He is still my brother; whether you believe it or not, I still care about kinship.”
Spit! What a hypocritical saint; he was the kind of man who would falsely proclaim that he would save the world, but secretly work to bring it to its demise. In this day and age, one would face horrible consequences for simply picking up a fifty cent coin. Who knows what would happen with such a ‘kind’ act? Of course he could not be trusted!
Ji Yunshu spoke, “If Your Highness calls it a deal, what are the conditions?”
“That’s right!” Jing Yi stepped forward, an icy grin slathered all over his conniving face. He reached out a hand and pinched Ji Yunshu’s sharp chin, lifting it, “What this Prince wants is very simple - as long as Miss Ji promises to fulfil one condition, I guarantee that Jing Rong will safely leave the Imperial Prison with no ties to the Emperor’s assassination!”
“What is this condition?”
“Leave Prince Rong and serve this Prince.” Jing Yi was firm. To Jing Yi, Ji Yunshu was not just Jing Rong’s Achilles heel, she was also a mind so clever and unpredictable that even someone like him, someone of his status, was afraid of. Hence, he needed Ji Yunshu, he needed to tie this ticking bomb to his side before someone else could use her against himself!
His words only made Ji Yunshu sneered, “What makes your Highness think that I would agree?”
Jing Yi was in no hurry. He replied calmly, “Based on the fact that if you agree, I will guarantee Jing Rong’s safety. If not, he might die in prison, who knows, perhaps today.”
“So what if it’s despicable, if it serves its purpose, then this Prince is willing to be despicable. Even if the people despise and hate me, at least I will live on forever in history.”
These were such grandiose ideals; Ji Yunshu almost had the good mind to give him a ‘like’! She gritted her teeth and held a steadfast gaze, “Prince Rong did not assassinate the Emperor; any false claims would just fall flat. As long as I’m alive, I will find the evidence to prove his innocence. Your Highness may want to gain notoriety forever, but I do not.”
“You…” Jing Yi was enraged once more. He pressed down firmer, hurting Ji Yunshu’s jaw, “You’d better agree to my conditions; this Prince has not the patience nor the time, whether it be towards you or Jing Rong. One word from you will decide his fate, but if you are that dense, then I can promise you that once you have failed at producing the evidence proving his innocence, I will make sure you watch him die before your very eyes. Listen carefully, this is not a warning but a threat.”
Ugh! “If you kill him, His Majesty will also hold you accountable!”
“Imperial Father is now on his deathbed and has left the matter entirely in my hands. Think about it, Miss Ji, how plausible would Jing Rong’s suicide be?”
It was plausible! His statement washed whatever was left of Ji Yunshu’s rationality away; in this moment, nothing else was more important than Jing Rong’s safety. Her gaze faltered as she hesitated.
Jing Yi continued, “Miss Ji is a smart woman; you know better than anyone else that these conditions mean no harm towards Jing Rong. If you serve this Prince and become a guest of the Yi Estate, you would also be rewarded accordingly if this Prince were to ascend to the throne. Jing Rong will leave the Imperial Prison unscathed and continue to live as a Prince of the Great Lin. Should he wish to be the King of Freedom, then I would crown him so.”
“Do you agree or not?”
Ji Yunshu lowered her gaze, a million thoughts racing through her mind. On one hand, she had her own principles but on the other, Jing Rong’s safety was at stake. How was she to decide?
Ji Yunshu returned to the Rong Estate after leaving the palace. Mo Ruo had not returned to Yuhua Pavillion but continued to wait at Rong Estate.
“Did Prince Yi trouble you?” Mo Ruo was extremely worried. Ji Yunshu shook her head. “Did he say anything to you?” She shook her head again.
Mo Ruo questioned, “Didn’t you want to investigate those burnt wires? I’m entering the palace now to see Kong Yu.”
As he turned, he was stopped immediately by Ji Yunshu, “There’s no need!”
“Why not? Weren’t you looking for evidence?”
“There’s no need, nothing’s needed anymore. I have my own plans with regards to this matter.” She spoke under her breath, flickers of worry in her eyes.
Mo Ruo could tell that something was amiss. He eyed her carefully, then grabbing onto her firmly, “What did Prince Yi discuss with you?”
She slighted away, pulling her arm from Mo Ruo’s grip and folding them across her chest. She answered, “He said nothing; Teacher Mo should question no further. In any case, Jing Rong will be fine. Teacher Mo should also quickly return to Yuhua Pavillion; Wei Yi must be waiting for you. I ask for Teacher Mo to also keep this secret from Wei Yi.” On finishing, Ji Yunshu turned away from Rong Estate and headed towards Bamboo Creek Garden.
Mo Ruo just stared as she walked away, rooted to the ground.
On the way back to Bamboo Creek Garden.
A light drizzle began to descend, rain landing on Ji Yunshu’s head, shoulders, face and garb. She continued walking forwards, her old, worn shoes trudging in the rain until a green umbrella appeared over her head. Her footsteps continued, gaze fixed on the wavering light ahead of her. Shi Zijin followed beside her, carefully holding an umbrella over Ji Yunshu’s head.
She suddenly called out, “Zijin.”
“Have I made the right or wrong choice?”
Shi Zijin did not answer. Ji Yunshu glanced at her, asking again, “If you were in my shoes, what would you have done?”
To Shi Zijin, these types of questions were too difficult to answer. She shook her head, “I don’t know, but I can understand.”
“Understand?” Ji Yunshu let out a bitter laugh, “You will never understand.” Shi Zijin was slightly confused and could only follow closely along.
It began to pour as dawn approached; a large hole opened up in the pitch black sky as the rain fell harder and harder, the rumbling of thunder growing more and more deafening…
Grenn's Rants Corner
Dum-dum-dum! What is Ji Yunshu's choice? Or is there another couple of plot twists awaiting us?
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