Jing Yi had made his move within the Capital, preparing for every single possibility, yet Jing Rong was not worried. In fact, he had already taken all that into account!
He instructed Shi Ziran, “Just make sure Lu Jiang keeps a watchful eye on the happenings in the Capital and report back to me whenever he has any news.” As they say, why worry needlessly when your leader’s not at all anxious?
Shi Ziran continued, “Your Highness, Prince Yi’s men have already infiltrated every part of the government - it’s plain to see that he’s planning something. Your Highness, you can’t just sit around waiting for something to happen anymore, if something were to happen in the Capital, then…”
“When did you become so talkative? Just do as I say.” Jing Rong shot him a reprimanding glance.
Shi Ziran swallowed as he unwillingly answered, “Understood.”
Not long after, Lang Po came scurrying in, worry written all over his face. He greeted Jing Rong, “Your Highness, the men we sent to investigate Miss Mu Jin have returned.”
For some reason, he did not sound too cheerful. Jing Rong asked, “What did they say?”
Lang Po stuttered, “She’s… dead!”
“We’ve conducted a thorough investigation - it was suicide.”
Mu Jin committed suicide? The air fell silent in an instant.
It was strange, however, no matter how much one thought about it. Jing Rong was puzzled, “She was an extremely clever woman, a proud scholar who loved the arts and literature - she would never end her life this easily.”
Mo Ruo continued, “I don’t think it’s this simple. It couldn’t be that she committed suicide after completing her mission of giving you the poisoned warming tea like Prince Yi’s shadow soldiers - she wasn’t one of Prince Yi’s lackeys, was she?”
“Then… who could be the one behind all these?”
“Who knows who else you’ve offended? Everyone wants you dead - your reputation stinks as much as my drinking habits,” Mo Ruo took this opportunity to rib him.
Jing Rong glared at him. This rascal! One day, I’ll really beat him to death! Jing Rong swept up his chessboard without another word and strode off, leaving a bewildered Lang Po behind. “Where’s his Highness heading to?”
Mo Ruo just chuckled with a mischievous glint in his eye…
Inside her room, Ji Yunshu retrieved a scroll and placed it flat across her table, inching it closer towards her lamp. Unfurled, the scroll revealed the portrait of that suspicious skeleton they had unearthed on their investigation of the ‘Lin Capital Case’. The man that she had painted looked no older than twenty-six or seven. He looked ordinary, but as she took a closer look, he vaguely reminded her of someone that she knew.
As she picked up the scroll, she noticed two faint stains which were not there before! They were not water stains, but those of tears; Ji Yunshu always mixed her own paints, so she knew that even if her scrolls were drenched in rainwater, her paintings would remain unscathed as long as they dried completely. However, tears were different - they would leave a faint mark even if they dried.
Prior to handing this scroll to Fu Bo, there were no tears on it - did Fu Bo cry after seeing this painting? If so, how was this young man related to Fu Bo?
Suspicions unfolded in her mind, one after the other, leaving it in a mess. She rolled up the scroll and headed outside, where it had started raining once more.
The light shower soaked the already dry ground again, reflecting the moonlight and lanterns above it like a clear mirror. The reflected lanterns danced around dizzyingly, as drop after drop hit the floor. Ji Yunshu stood beneath the eaves as she watched the rain roll slowly off the roof, picking up its pace bit by bit …
She was so engrossed that she did not notice Wei Yi walking up to her side. He gently tugged at her sleeve, gently prodding, “Shu’er, what’s going on?”
Ji Yunshu snapped out of her trance, tilting her head towards him. “It’s already so late, why aren’t you in bed? You’ve only just recovered, you should be more careful not to catch a cold.”
“It’s okay, I’ll stand with you for a while.” He puffed out his chest and stood quietly by her side, imitating her as he threw his head backward, watching the rain fall.
A breeze began to blow, and Ji Yunshu shuddered.
Wei Yi immediately huffed into his palms and cupped them around her cheeks softly. “Keep warm, Shu’er.” He broke out into a cheery grin.
Ji Yunshu smiled and shook her head. “It’s not cold.”
Wei Yi did not let go until he felt her cheeks warming up. He shot her a gentle smile as he looked up at the sky, his eyes gleaming. Even through the rain, he could see a star, shining in its solitude high above his head.
He pointed at it excitedly. “Shu’er, look! There’s a star right there! With all this rain, I haven’t seen one in ages!”
“Why are you searching for stars?”
“That’s because my mother once told me - if she were not around one day, she would turn into a star in the sky, watching over me all the time.”
Ji Yunshu was slightly myopic; she could see barely anything beyond the rain! She squinted hard, but there was only darkness.
“Can you see it?”
She shook her head.
“It’s just there!” He pointed again.
Another shake of her head.
Wei Yi walked around to stand behind her, pointing at it out from behind her. “Can you see it now? It’s just there.”
Ji Yunshu narrowed her eyes and tried to focus. She stretched her neck out left and right, but she could find nothing. Wei Yi decided next to take her hand in his, pointing it out together. Their bodies inched closer towards each other naturally, painting a winsome picture.
Ji Yunshu was almost half a head shorter than Wei Yi, and her back was pressed firmly into his chest. She was enveloped completely by his embrace, and she could feel Wei Yi’s steady heartbeat pumping and his even breathing next to her ear. It was warm and ticklish. She shuddered again. It was a strange feeling indeed.
“Shu’er, can you find it?”
Mm, I can’t see it all! However, Ji Yunshu played along and nodded. “I see it now.”
Wei Yi was finally content and let go of her hand. “We all die when we grow old, and die when we get sick. We die when we commit a grave crime too. If I were to die someday, Shu’er, I’ll become just like Mother - a star watching over you in the sky, always by your side.”
“Wei Yi?” Her chest tightened and her eyes began to water when Wei Yi stretched his arms out and around her. He held her preciously and rested his head on her tiny shoulder.
Warmth began to spread throughout her body from his chest, arms, hands. Blood was coursing through her veins and her mind went blank. Instead of trying to free herself, she wanted to remain just like that for a little while longer. Perhaps it was because this all came in such a timely manner, that she could not bear to let go, to throw herself into the icy winds.
Wei Yi spoke hesitantly, “Shu’er, I know the one you like isn’t me. I also know you won’t ever become my wife, but, it’s okay. I’m okay, as long as I can be with you, anything is alright…” He trailed off, his grip tightening around her tiny frame…
From a distance away, an icy gaze landed on them. Jing Rong stared at their intertwined shadows, an indescribable feeling overwhelming him. He knew not what this feeling was, and he turned and walked away.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Oh dear... I didn't expect Mu Jin to die either, however annoying she was! And Wei Yi is starting to become a serious competitor for JR eh?
P.S. Has anyone mentally cast cdrama actors into the three main roles? I have a shortlist...
Translator: Tzegeek, Editor: Dray