Chapter 335 - The Elephant In the Room
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As Lang Po closed in on horseback, they could see that he had countless scrolls tied to his back. He pulled in his reins and quickly dismounted, handing the scrolls over to Ji Yunshu, “Teacher Ji, I’ve brought all the paintings on your desk. Are these the correct ones?”
Ji Yunshu unfurled one of them, revealing a half-finished painting; big, broad strokes highlighted the skeleton, but there were details to be filled in. Jing Rong was not impressed, “Were these your ‘important things’?”
Ji Yunshu nodded, “This is a painting of the problematic skeleton from last time. I wanted to examine it further while we were on our way.”
It was a revelation for Jing Rong, who finally knew what Ji Yunshu was planning for this journey.
She rolled up the painting, sparing the last sedan a glance, “I’m going to see Aunty Xie first.”
“This Prince will wait for you in the sedan.”
“Mm!” Ji Yunshu stored the painting scrolls in their sedan before heading over to Aunty Xie’s.
Aunty Xie sat in the last sedan, full of nervous anticipation, excitement but also worry; she was excited that her own daughter’s case was finally to be re-opened, but also worried that this whole investigation would amount to nothing. She broke out into a cold sweat, her unease and reverie only broken when Ji Yunshu opened her curtains. Aunty Xie broke out in tears of relief as she leaned out of the sedan window, “Teacher Ji, thank you so much, really, thank you so, so much…” She almost fell to her knees with gratitude!
Ji Yunshu interrupted, “You don’t have to thank me, Aunty Xie. The journey to Yufu would span several days - don’t worry, the Supreme Court has already accepted the claim, so we will definitely clear your daughter’s name!”
“Mm, then this one will have to trouble Teacher Ji.”
“Make sure to take good care of yourself; don’t catch a cold.”
“Mm!” Aunty Xie sniffled, stopping her tears from falling.
Ji Yunshu boarded Jing Rong’s sedan after placating Aunty Xie. He sat inside, none the least bit concerned about Aunty Xie. All he did was to command Lang Po from his window, “Let’s go!”
“Yessir!” Lang Po answered, ordering for the rest of their ensemble to disembark. The party slowly left the front gates of Rong Estate. Aside from the capital Governor, not a single official came to send Jing Rong off on his investigation of the missing relief silvers; even Qi Zhen Emperor left them alone after sending the royal decree.
Just as the sedan arrived at the city gates, Jing Rong suddenly thought of something. He asked Ji Yunshu, “Have you told Wei Yi about your departure?”
She shook her head, “I couldn’t bear to, but I’ve sent a letter addressed to Mo Ruo to Yuhua Pavilion this morning, asking him to help me take care of Wei Yi. I’ve also asked for him not to let Wei Yi know, as I’m worried that he’ll try looking for me.”
“It’s not like you don’t know what Wei Yi’s like!”
Jing Rong tried his best to suppress his jealousy before it could overwhelm his entire being. He raised his eyebrows sourly, “Since you couldn’t bear to tell him, why didn’t you just bring him along?”
His jealousy was palpable - Ji Yunshu’s eyes twinkled at his behaviour, but she quickly regained her composure, “Yufu is just too far away. It would be inconvenient to bring him along.”
“What if it were somewhere close by?”
“I would prefer for him to remain by Mo Ruo’s side.”
“So that he can treat him?”
“Mm!” Ji Yunshu nodded enthusiastically.
Jing Rong had a brainwave, he inquired, “Have you ever considered this - what if there came a day when he was cured, when Wei Yi made a complete recovery?”
Hmm? Ji Yunshu did not quite understand, “Why suddenly bring this up?”
Jing Rong continued, “You are still Wei Yi’s fiancee by law, no?”
Why did he suddenly bring up the elephant in the room?
This was, however, a question Ji Yunshu had to consider seriously; as Uncle Wei and Aunt Wei were already dead, their marriage arrangement had not been addressed, hence Ji Yunshu was still Wei Yi’s fiancee legally.
Ji Yunshu did not really want to talk about this, “Uncle Wei and Aunt Wei died because of me - what I owe Wei Yi, I can never repay enough in this lifetime. What I can do for him amidst my own apologetic guilt is only to care for him to the best of my abilities, but I cannot marry him. I don’t want to lie to him or myself just to fulfill a marriage arrangement decided by our elders.” Her intentions were clear!
Jing Rong contemplated Ji Yunshu’s words. He closed his eyes as he rested against the back of the sedan, “Mm, this Prince understands.”
Their journey continued in utter silence.
They were well outside the city at that point, making their way onto the official path to Yufu. The skies had cleared up considerably, the cooling shade of gigantic trees an oasis in the morning heat, making their trip much more bearable.
Their sedan came to a halting stop. Jing Rong frowned, displeased, “What’s wrong?”
Lang Po shouted from outside, “Your Highness, there’s a sedan blocking our way in the middle of the path. It’s too narrow for us to pass through!”
“Hmm?” Which senseless person was this daring?
Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu peeked out in unison. A black sedan stood squarely before theirs - it looked neither like an official sedan, nor a privately owned one.
Before Jing Rong could give Lang Po an order, a leg stuck out from the black sedan. It shook for a while, before half a body and an arm appeared, along with a wine jug clearly visible from its wide sleeve. Several drops of wine dripped out from the jug, sliding down and falling onto the barren, dry ground, bringing the faint fragrance of wine their way as the breeze blew. Wasn’t that Jing Xian’s wine? Then the person in the sedan before them could only be Mo Ruo!
Mo Ruo had already jumped out of his sedan when Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu finally figured this out. He strolled over, looking slightly drunk, his wine jug still firmly in his hands. He gave them a silly laugh, “Why are you so late? I almost died from heatstroke in this crazy weather, and my wine’s almost finished.” He looked very comical!
Jing Rong dismounted, giving Mo Ruo a once-over, “What are you doing here?”
“I’m going to Yufu with you, of course! I’ve heard that it’s really beautiful - how could I miss out on those sights? What’s more, there’s no point in staying in the capital if you’re not there, so I’ve been waiting here for you all morning…” He leaned against his sedan unsteadily.
Ji Yunshu also left the sedan. The first thing she asked worriedly was, “Where’s Wei Yi?”
“Wei Yi?” Mo Ruo’s eyes rolled upwards as he began to mutter, “Wei Yi? Where did he go?”
Are you serious, brother? Ji Yunshu’s heart tightened, unsettled at his display.
But, Mo Ruo’s eyes suddenly sparkled. He jabbed a finger towards his sedan, “See! That idiot’s asleep in the sedan. All I did was give him a morsel of wine and he was knocked out. Tsk, tsk, asking to try it even though he couldn’t tolerate alcohol!”
Did you gorge him, or did Wei Yi really want to try some?
Grenn's Rants Corner
Mo Ruo knows how to sedate people to have some peace time with his wine.
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