Chapter 383 - Under The Mask
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Ji Yunshu’s sudden words caught Ji Wanxin off guard. “Yunshu, why are you saying this all of sudden? I’m not in a hurry. I can wait until you feel better, then we will leave together. This place is full of men and they are too rough and careless to take care of you. It will be more convenient if I stay with you. Now…”
“Second sister,” Ji Yunshu chimed in before she could even finish her sentence. Looking at her worried and delicate face, Ji Yunshu straightened her face as she said with a low voice, “Ever since I was a kid, second sister has always been the one who has treated me the best besides Wet Nurse Zhang and Luan’er. Yunshu will definitely keep this sentiment in mind forever and I’ll forever be indebted to you.”
“We are sisters. I am supposed to treat you well.”
“Second sister has always been so soft and gentle. You never fight with anyone at home. Due to your poor health, you have mostly been staying in your courtyard for the past years. From a logical point of view, you should be someone who hates fighting and longs for peace and serenity. You will marry into a good family in the future, then spend your life supporting your husband, raising your children, and lead a peaceful, stable life. This would bring more happiness than living a life full of fighting and scheming.” Ji Wanxin pretended to be confused, although she knew that something was wrong deep down inside. However, she faked her ignorance and refused say it out loud.
Ji Yunshu poured yet another cup of tea, and put it in front of Ji Wanxin. She took back the previous cup and said, “Don’t wait till the tea is cool to drink. Cool tea will hurt your stomach and make you feel bad.” Swiftly, she took the cup of cool tea and poured it on the ground!
Ji Wanxin quietly listened to Ji Yunshu’s purposeful speech and stared as the tea was poured away, biting on her lips wordlessly. She then nodded, took a sip of the warm tea and stood up. “Let me get your cape.” She walked towards the screen and picked up a light blue cape, but did not immediately put it on Ji Yunshu. Instead, she stood there for a while, pretending to smooth out wrinkles on the cape. Her eyes were on the cape but she seemed to have a lot running in her mind. Finally, she could not hold back anymore and said softly, “Yunshu, you can be direct if you have anything to say to me.” She did not turn her head the whole time, or maybe she was too afraid to look at Ji Yunshu.
Ji Yunshu was not facing her either, looking at the empty teacup in her hand instead. A few moments later, she pushed herself up and walked towards Ji Wanxin. She took the cape and put it on. “Some things are better left unsaid.”
“How can I understand if you don’t say it?”
Ji Yunshu smiled and held her hand. “Remember that night when the Ji Residence caught on fire? I asked if you were the one who told father about the things I talked about with Ji Pei under the plum tree. To be frank, your answer didn’t matter to me because it was all in the past and I did not want to dwell on it.”
Ji Wanxin withdrew her hand. “Why are you talking about this now?”
Ji Yunshu did not reply, she continued, “On the day you came to the capital with First Sister, I really thought First Sister was the one who pushed Miss Liang in the rouge store. However, I later saw the bloodstain on her outfit, and your hand was coincidentally scratched at that time.”
Finally, Ji Wanxin understood. She was shocked. “Yunshu, you suspect me?”
“Yes, indeed, I suspected you. But that was a bold guess and I did not look into it further. I trusted you again and again, thinking that these actions were unintentional. But I did not foresee that the price of my faith in you would be all those lives sacrificed at Gaoshan Village. They all died because of you.”
“Ji Wanxin, did a dog eat your conscience?” Ji Yunshu questioned angrily with clenched fists.
Ji Wanxin retreated in shock. She stared at Ji Yunshu, who was now glaring at her with a pair of relentless eyes. Her eyes teared up as she bit on her rosy lips and shook her head. “Yunshu, I don’t know what are you talking about. I have no idea who exposed your conversation with Ji Pei to father and I don’t understand why you think that I’m the one who pushed first sister, subsequently causing Miss Liang to fall and die. And regarding what happened at Gaoshan Village...what does that have to do with me? Yunshu, you’ve misunderstood me.” She cried pitifully.
Ji Yunshu sneered and approached her step by step. Ji Wanxin backed up in response, and was eventually forced to lean against the pillar at her back. Ji Yunshu’s cold eyes stared right into Ji Wanxin’s teary eyes. She was merciless as she questioned, “You were also the reason the two bandits ran away from our capture, right?”
Ji Wanxin shook her head frantically.
“The rope was cut by a knife, one that you left in the room on purpose. Usually, you only keep your jade pendant and handkerchief on you. Why would you carry a knife? Furthermore, those people knew that they could blackmail Prince Rong by capturing me. Other than you, who else would tell them this?” Ji Yunshu listed out the clues one by one. Ji Yunshu was never a fool; she knew about everything that had happened, but wanted to trust in her pitiful second sister. In the end, her trust was misplaced and resulted in terrible consequences.
Ji Wanxin sobbed. “I didn’t… I…”
“Lang Po said that the ambush at the village was under orders from the Shanhuai county yamen. However, I think that you played an important part too, am I right? What you wanted was to provoke those people so that they would kill me.”
“I didn’t, Yunshu. It was definitely a misunderstanding. The Prince went into the village to save you and it was a matter of life and death. I only spoke to Lord Zhang because I was worried about the safety of the Prince. That was why…”
Ji Yunshu flung her open palm across Ji Wanxin’s face. The frail beauty was thrown to the ground with the force of the slap. She lay on the ground and cried uncontrollably as she held her swollen face. She looked at Ji Yunshu as if she were a stranger, tears streaming unstoppably.
Ji Yunshu stood in front of Ji Wanxin and looked at her from the top to toe. She clenched her fist and said, “This slap isn’t for the sacrificed lives. This is to wake you up, hoping that you will not continue down the wrong path. There’s no turning back and you must know that karma will always haunt you.” With merely her own words and no concrete proof, Ji Yunshu could not conclude anything, otherwise, she would have thrown the evidence into Ji Wanxin’s face.
Faced with Ji Yunshu’s accusation, Ji Wanxin felt wronged and refused to admit to any of it. She sobbed and said, “Yunshu, how would I do that? We grew up together. Don’t you know what kind of person I am?”
“Exactly because we grew up together, I was able to believe that those were your doings.”
“Five years ago, you beat a cat to death only because it tore your dress with its paws. Three years ago, you were displeased when Miss Lu wore the same hair accessories as you, so you cruelly sent people to cut off her hair in public. Two years ago, when you were on your palanquin to the temple for prayer, someone blocked your way and you missed the chance to put on the first joss stick. Later, you punished the person with ten slaps. Do you still want me to list out all the examples?”
Urgh! Ji Wanxin bawled even louder! “I didn’t…”
Ji Yunshu sniffed and swallowed back all her emotions. “There’s nothing I can do if you don’t want to admit it. But today, our relationship as sisters…” She tore off a piece from her skirt and dangled it from the tip of her fingers.
“...is as this robe.” She let go, and the piece of cloth fell to the ground.
Ji Wanxin choked, so overwhelmed with despair that she could no longer cry. Hopelessness was painted all over her face.
At this moment, two maids from the county residence walked in right. They were both dumbfounded at the scene. To go in or to leave? They could only stand still at the door.
Ji Yunshu was not flustered. She sat calmly by the table and poured herself another cup of tea. She took a sip and glanced at the two maids, “Miss Ji accidentally fell down. I fear that she has hurt herself. Two of you help her to her room to rest, then inform the horsekeeper from Ji Family to ready the carriage. Miss Ji isn’t feeling well, she’s heading back to Jinjiang.”
The two maids looked at each other. “Yes.” Then they hurried in and helped the distressed Ji Wanxin up from the ground. Inadvertently, they saw the red mark on her face.
Fall? This is obviously a slap! The five fingerprints are so clear. Teacher Ji has such hot temper that he can even hit a woman.
Thinking about it, the two maids did not dare to stay longer, worried that Ji Yunshu would vent his anger on them. They immediately brought Ji Wanxin away, back to her own room.
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Finally that white lotus gets her comeuppance! xD
But who knew she had been so short-tempered and entitled all along?
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