Chapter 370 - She can't even compare to a slave?
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The scenes from his memory grew murkier and murkier as they faded away. His reverie was finally broken by a series of loud knocks on the door.
Zhao Huai snapped out of his trance, his eagle eyes focusing coldly on his shut door, “Enter.”
A man pushed open the doors as he hurried towards Zhao Huai to make his report. “First Master, it’s gone.”
“Are you sure?”
“It’s definitely not there anymore.”
Zhao Huai’s expression darkened. After a moment of deliberation, he gave a wave of dismissal. “Leave. Nobody else can know about this.”
“Understood.” The man bowed and left. A heavy silence permeated the room for a long while.
The first thing Mo Ruo did when he returned to the Shanhuai County yamen was to take a shower; that stench from wearing the beggar disguise was too much for him to bear - if he opened his mouth, he could even ‘swallow’ that foul odour!
That same moment, Ji Wanxin headed towards Jing Rong’s room with a bowl of freshly brewed medicine. Jing Rong had not slept a wink for an entire day and night, too occupied with worry about Ji Yunshu’s safety.
When Ji Wanxin entered the room, she saw Jing Rong alone, standing before an open window. . He had a cape draped over his shoulders, one hand by his side and the other on the windowsill, both tightly clenched into fists.
“Your Highness, Master Mo had left orders that you must take this medicine on time, without delay.” She offered him the medicine, only to be met with stony silence.
“I know you are worried about Yunshu, but you need to look after your own injuries. Your chest injury could easily worsen without proper care.”
There was no answer.
“Put down the medicine and leave.” Jing Rong was curt.
Ji Wanxin flinched and several drops of medicine spilled out of the bowl, dripping down the back of her delicate hand. The medicine was definitely warmed up, but why did it feel so cold? She bit her lower lip, her almond-shaped eyes downcast. Several loose hairs from her forehead covered her eyes and the red mole between her brows as she choked back her tears. “I grew up together with Yunshu. As her older sister, I’ll also be worried when something bad happens to her, but what use is there in worrying? If I could, I would take her place.” Her gentle words were so touching!
In response, Jing Rong listlessly lifted his head and glanced at her from the corner of his eyes. Silent, not saying a single word.
Ji Wanxin daringly looked up to meet his gaze. She continued in a tone as if she had been wronged, “I know, Your Highness only has Yunshu in your heart - that is Yunshu’s fortune, but if she were to find out that Your Highness has forsaken your own body for her, how would she rest well? Your Highness needs to be healthy in order to save her.” She pushed the bowl of medicine in her hands towards him.
Jing Rong remained expressionless. He hesitated briefly, before grabbing that medicine and downing it in one shot. Crash! He flung it onto the nearby table, not caring that it had landed on its side.
Finally, he spoke. “You don’t have to prepare medicine.” There was no room for negotiation.
However, Ji Wanxin was insistent. “I’m already used to it. I prepared my own medicine when I was at home - it’s no trouble, what’s more it’s for Your Highness.”
“You haven’t understood what this Prince is trying to say.”
“Hmm?” Ji Wanxin was puzzled.
Jing Rong addressed her sternly. “You’re neither my subordinate nor my wife; you are not a servant either. These things need not be done by you, and should not be done by you.”
These words struck Ji Wanxin like a physical blow. She staggered backwards, almost falling over. Who would have thought that she couldn’t even compare to a slave in Jing Rong’s heart! Her eyes began to water and her lips trembled, but she could not bring herself to say anything.
Considering that she was Ji Yunshu’s second sister, Jing Rong did not want to be too harsh. He lowered his voice, “Leave.” A dismissal!
Ji Wanxin felt aggrieved. She just could not understand. Why wouldn’t he look at her properly? Why would he say such hurtful things? Her eyes were brimming with tears and seemed on the verge of overflowing when Mo Ruo entered. Ji Wanxin immediately backed away, silently wiping a tear away.
Mo Ruo first looked at the empty bowl left on the table, then Ji Wanxin. “Miss Ji, I have something I need to discuss with Prince Rong. Could you…”
The last word was left unsaid.
“I understand. I won’t disturb you further.” She began to step outside with her head held down, but turned back to ask Mo Ruo concernedly, “Master Mo, how’s Yunshu now?”
Mo Ruo answered, “She’s fine. Don’t worry.”
“That’s good.” She bowed and retreated.
Jing Rong called out suddenly, “Second Miss Ji, this Prince wants to know - do you really think of Yunshu as your younger sister?”
Ah! Ji Wanxin whipped around. “Why would Your Highness ask this?”
“You just have to answer.”
“Of course I treat Yunshu as my younger sister. I’m willing to help her even if it means putting myself in danger!”
If it were death, would you still be willing? Lies!
Jing Rong carefully looked at her anxious expression and decided not to press on further. “This Prince understands. You can go now.”
Ji Wanxin complied meekly, her gaze still fixed on the floor. Mo Ruo asked, “Why would you say such things?”
“I heard everything outside. If I didn’t enter, that young miss would have already burst into tears.”
“How is it my business? I’m occupied solely with Ji Yunshu’s condition, why do I still have to worry about her?” Jing Rong frowned, “How is it? Did you go into Gaoshan Village?”
Jing Rong grabbed onto his arm. “How’s Yunshu? Did those men do anything to her?”
Mo Ruo sighed and extracted his arm. “Relax, she’s fine.”
“Fine?” Jing Rong did not believe him. “Mo Ruo, tell me the truth.”
“What I’m saying is the truth!”
Mo Ruo recounted everything clearly, trying to dissuade him. “Since Miss Ji has her own plans, you should listen to her. When the troops from Jingzhou arrive, you musn’t attack the mountain right away, or things may really take a turn for the worse.”
Jing Rong’s knotted as he paced, shaking his head. “No, I cannot take that risk. Those bandits can murder without even blinking - if something goes wrong, Yunshu’s life could be at risk.”
Mo Ruo rebutted, “But the exterior of Gaoshan Village is impenetrable; attacking it would be no easy feat. Even if we succeed, there would be countless lost lives - why not believe in Miss Ji this one time?”
“She can risk her own life in order to solve a case - how do you expect me to trust her? Whether it was Jinjiang or the Capital, when have you seen her fight for her own interests? Great, now there’s also a murder case in Gaoshan Village. Can you be sure that those men won’t kill her after she solves the case? I absolutely cannot take this risk - even if I were to charge in alone, I won’t let her get hurt.” Jing Rong was almost roaring by the time he finished his rant.
This cold block of granite finally cracked for a woman, but she just had to be as stubborn beyond compare, like a weed that could force itself through the tiniest cracks in rock!
It took all of Mo Ruo’s patience to stop himself from berating him, instead discussing the pros and cons of his plan slowly. “Jing Rong, I know you care about Miss Ji, probably even more than you do about your own life. But you’re a Prince. Your Highness, have you even considered the consequences if news of this were to travel to the Capital? There are countless pairs of eyes watching you now, especially Prince Yi - once you make the tiniest misstep, he’ll report it to His Majesty. When that happens, you can only dream about returning to the Capital!”
ChouFleur Rants Corner
I'm kinda liking that Jing Rong is the anxious one instead of Yunshu for once. We know within that block of granite is a fluffy teddy bear only for Yunshu...amiright??
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