Chapter 422 - Scar
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Zhang Xinlan was displeased with Ji Yunshu’s nonchalance. She shoved her, “Hey, are you deaf? Or mute? Haven’t you noticed I’ve been talking to you? If you heard me, why didn’t you answer? Don’t you know how rude your behaviour is?”
“So you do know what being rude is?” Ji Yunshu finally spoke. She shot her a sideways glance icily, “If you have any manners, then sit properly and don’t disturb others.”
“Are you complaining that I’m noisy?”
“Miss Zhang, this one doesn’t want make any additional comments, nor do I want to waste time talking to you. I just hope you can understand that those who die early are those who are full of themselves.”
“Are you scolding me?”
“You misunderstand. This one doesn’t scold, but educates. If you can’t keep yourself in check, the one who suffers will be yourself, and you’ll only have yourself to blame.”
“You…” Zhang Xinlan’s face turned green as she was stunned speechless!
Ji Yunshu continued, “Also, this one doesn’t count on luck, but ability, to solve cases. If I really were that lucky, then I wouldn’t have bumped into Miss Zhang today.” Her implication was clear.
Zhang Xinlan may have been hot-headed, but she was no fool; even she could tell what Ji Yunshu was implying - she was unlucky to have met her! Zhang Xinlan turned red from her neck up, but she couldn’t use her fists nor had she any witty comebacks; she could only hold her breath, and her anger, the rest of the way. When they arrived at Lunar Retreat, she hugged her scrolls and rushed off the sedan, followed shortly after by Ji Yunshu and Constable Zhang.
The first thing that caught their eyes was a humongous hall with walls crafted from bamboo. Inside the hall, there were many mats as well as adequate circular tables; some were resting, others were eating - it resembled a restaurant, a particularly exquisite one!
A waiter came running up to them. “Are the three of you here for something to eat? Or to soak in the hot springs?”
Zhang Xinlan sat herself down at a table and waved him away. “You, go and tell Advisor Wen someone’s looking for him.”
“Is the young miss looking for somebody?”
“Didn’t I just say that?”
“Yes, this one’ll pass on your message right away.” He then turned to Constable Zhang and Ji Yunshu, “What about Constable Zhang and this young master?”
Ji Yunshu spoke, “We’ll have to trouble you to inform a Master Mo inside who’s here with Advisor Wen. Just tell him someone’s life is at stake, and have him come at once.” Ji Yunshu sat herself down at a different empty spot.
That waiter was struck silly as he scratched his head; what’s with these customers? People are either here to eat or soak in the hot springs - why have these three ended up here looking for someone? He headed inside despite his confusion, searching for those he was meant to.
Constable Zhang stood awkwardly between his sister and Ji Yunshu, glancing towards them in turn - Sigh, where was he supposed to sit? One of them was his sister, the other an important person of His Highness and also the man invited by Lord Fang to help crack this case! He struggled for a minute before sitting himself at down in another empty spot, and asked for a bowl of water which he quickly chugged down. The three of them sat in a triangular formation, ignoring each other. What sort of seating plan was this?
Inside the hot springs.
Steam and fog created an ethereal atmosphere. The path leading up to the baths was laid with cobblestone, twisting and turning around each hot spring and several fake hills. Some men walked around with only a towel around their waists, whilst others were calmly enjoying their baths inside.
The most luxurious hot spring was situated at the end of the path, in the most private corner of the retreat. It was as large as a small lake, surrounded by cobblestones of various sizes, then the entire bath cordoned off by delicately carved screens. These screens separated it from the ‘public baths’ outside, keeping it quiet.
Jing Rong, Mo Ruo, Wei Yi and Wen Lingyang sat inside the bath, comfortable and relaxed, enjoying their rose-petal scented hot spring with looks of satisfaction on their faces. Due to the time spent in the bath, Wei Yi began to sweat, his pores expanding as his body got warmer and warmer. He stood up suddenly from the bath and felt his arms and chest, then turned to Mo Ruo who was beside him. “Brother Mo Ruo, I feel hot.”
Mo Ruo had his arms along the edge of the bath along the surrounding cobblestones. He slowly removed the towel on his face and glanced at Wei Yi. “If you’re hot, then sit outside for a while.”
“What about you?”
“I’m going to soak for a while more.” Mo Ruo replaced that towel on his flushed face.
Wei Yi glanced at Mo Ruo, then Jing Rong and Wen Lingyang, throwing them a question out of the blue. “I remember Mother bringing me to see how the pigs were slaughtered during New Year’s. Before they killed the pigs, they would first put them into a huge vat of boiling water. Are we going to end up just like those pigs? Will we get killed after soaking like this?” He was frightened, startled, and also confused!
Ugh! The remaining three removed their towels from their faces immediately in unison. Jing Rong crumpled up his towel and flung it at Wei Yi, hitting him in his left shoulder. Perhaps his throw was too forceful, as Wei Yi stumbled as a result and fell headfirst into the bath with a splash! Wei Yi scrambled for air underwater, gulping in several mouthfuls of water before he surfaced. He coughed and shouted at Jing Rong, “Why did you hit me?”
Jing Rong only eyed him coldly and turned the other way, closing his eyes in silence. This Highness doesn’t even want to look at you!
Mo Ruo was the one who answered him. “Little Wei, oh Little Wei. Even if you didn’t speak, nobody would take you for a mute.”
“Did I say something wrong?”
“What do you think?”
Wei Yi completely pushed his fall to the back of his mind, sitting himself back comfortably inside the pool - he couldn’t figure out where he went wrong. He was right! Don’t you boil your pigs before killing them at home?
Wen Lingyang gave him a comforting smile. “Master Wei’s quite cute. To have someone like him on this arduous journey makes it much more interesting.”
Mo Ruo spoke, “Advisor Wen’s only saying this because you don’t know how troublesome this man is.”
“Oh? How so?”
“Ask him yourself.” Mo Ruo gestured towards Jing Rong with his chin. Wen Lingyang glanced at Jing Rong, waiting for his reply, but what could Jing Rong say?
At that instant, the waiter came running in, shouting towards the screen, “Advisor Wen, someone’s looking for you. There’s also a young master looking for Young Master Mo, saying that ‘someone’s life is at stake’.”
Hmm? Someone’s life is at stake? Mo Ruo looked up and asked, “Who was it?”
“I don’t know, but Constable Zhang brought them here. It’s a young miss and a young master.”
Wen Lingyang was the first to respond, “It must be Teacher Ji - he must be here for the case. Master Mo, he might require your assistance.” Mo Ruo nodded in agreement.
The quartet stepped out of the bath, wrapping towels around their waists as they patted their bodies dry and dressed themselves. While Jing Rong was putting on his robes, he noticed a scar on Wen Lingyang’s lower back. His gaze narrowed at Wen Lingyang, whose back was to him as he continued drying his body. “This scar of Advisor Wen’s looks like an old wound.”
Wen Lingyang reached out behind him and carressed his scar, smiling, “Yes, it is. It’s an old scar from when I was a child, I got it because I was naughty.”
A grave expression passed through Jing Rong’s face, but it was gone the next instant; nobody noticed.
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Lol Wei Yi is so cuteee! Not like that annoying girl. I think the boiling of the pigs comes AFTER the killing my dear... to remove the tough bristles iirc.
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