Chapter 58 - Who Invited This Deity?

WHAT? Burn the whip?! This is a gift bestowed by the emperor! This won’t do! This absolutely cannot be done!

Ji Shuhan jumped out of his chair and hurriedly crouched down with a twisted expression on his face, “Prince Rong, this whip is a gift from His Majesty the Emperor. It cannot be burned!”

“Let me ask you… This is a whip bestowed to you, but what was its purpose?”

“I…” The Emperor didn’t mention anything about it! 

Ji Shuhan nervously continued his sentence, “Prince Rong, please be magnanimous! If you dislike the bloody scent on the whip, this lowly official will definitively take care of it, but please don’t burn it!”

Ji Shuhan’s appearance when he beseeched his mercy pleased the wayward prince!

At this moment, Jing Rong’s anger was burning. His cold and clear pupils were fixed on Ji Shuhan. They appeared extremely ruthless. He raised his hand and spoke resolutely, “You still haven’t burned it yet?!”

Without neither hesitation nor scruples, Lang Po obeyed Jing Rong’s order. He walked out of the reception room with the horsewhip, fetched a firestarter from his waist and blew on it the next second before igniting the whip. Who knew if Lang Po, that rough man, was teasing Ji Shuhan or not, but the whip didn’t even ignite at all, almost as if it was also waiting for Jing Rong’s confirmation!

A loud Bam! was heard. 

It was the sound of Ji Shuhan falling to his knees. Both of his hands were placed on the ground as he groveled, madly beseeching the prince’s mercy, “You must not, Your Highness! I beseech you! By all means, you cannot burn the whip! This lowly official beseeches you! This whip is the Emperor’s bestowal. I am unable to shoulder the consequences if it were burned! Please, Prince Rong! Have mercy Prince Rong! You must not burn it!”

Wasn’t he a ravenous wolf? Why is he just like Magistrate Liu, always groveling at every frigging fault? A corner of Jing Rong’s mouth rose slightly. He picked up the teacup, not too quickly yet not too slowly. Without leaving the groveling Ji Shuhan out of his sight, he slowly parted his lips and declared, “Lord Ji, to kneel like this in front of this prince for the sake of a whip… It’s really not worth it. Now, get up.”

Ji Shuhan persisted on maintaining his groveling position as he continued to implore, “Please, Prince Rong, you must not burn the whip. Otherwise, this lowly official will continue to kneel and won’t stand up.”

You want to continue to kneel and won’t stand up? Hmph! “Fine! Then, keep on kneeling.” Jing Rong snapped his fingers at Lang Po, “Get a move with it!”

“Yes, Your Highness.” Lang Po complied with Jing Rong’s order and held the firestarter to one end of the whip. 

At first, there were only a few strands of black smoke rising, but the next second, a burning smell could be detected. Not long after, the whip caught fire. Lang Po threw the whip on the ground where the whip shrank and curled, burning brightly.

When Ji Shuhan smelled the smoke, he raised his head and saw his treasured whip aflame. His originally healthy complexion turned darker and darker. Pain drilled into his fists as he madly hammered them on the ground. MY TREASURE!

Watching that old guy overwhelmed by sorrow caused Jing Rong to feel bewildered. He got up and avoided Ji Shuhan as he walked until he was under the roof before he called out, “Lord Ji”.

Ji Shuhan drooped his neck, his face clearly disheartened. He sighed, but still responded. “This servant is at your service, Your Highness.”

I heard there was a temple in Jinjiang city consecrated to the Bodhisattva that was extremely effective. It seems that it was called Qing An temple, right?”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“Since Lord Ji cares this much about the object my imperial father conferred, I presumed you also had good loyalty toward my imperial father, right?”

“Correct,” exclaimed Ji Shuhan.

Jing Rong once again revealed a dark smile, “Very good. I heard people say that if you went to Qing An temple by foot, climbed the mountain with a kowtow for each step you took and used all of your sincerity to pray for blessings, the effectiveness of your prayers will be improved, am I correct?”

“You are correct, Your Highness,” echoed Ji Shuhan once again.

Jing Rong slowly turned back and bent his neck to look at him, “Good! My imperial father’s birthday is coming soon, so I’ll trouble Lord Ji to… kowtow at each step until you climbed up to Qing An temple while praying for my imperial father. Surely… Lord Ji won’t refuse, right?”

There’s 9,999 stone steps to Qing An temple! Even if I were to just climb the stairs normally, it’s the same as wanting to ascend to Heaven, not even mentioning a kowtow at each step! Jing Rong, you’re not the evildoer sent by the monkey, are you? [1]

Ji Shuhan was scared out of his wits. He still had not recovered from the destruction of his whip, and now he was hit by another big mental attack. He couldn’t even muster any anger as his eyes widened exaggeratingly. He was on the verge of fainting and his complexion was deadly white.

Jing Rong noticed that Ji Shuhan had gradually stopped responding. A fire lit within his eyes as he spoke in a serious voice, “What? You don’t want to?”

“No! It’s not like that. I-I’m willing!” Not at all!, thought Ji Shuhan.

Jing Rong nodded and gave Lord Ji a gentle smile, “Very well. I will dispatch a few people to assist you, just in case you miss a step or a kowtow since it won’t be good if it does happen.”

“T-thank you Prince Rong…” Ji Shuhan fiercely trembled. disguised way to monitor me! This is truly too perverted!

Jing Rong was now perfectly satisfied and the anger in his innermost had reduced to half. This is what happened when you bully my little scholar. Dare to beat up my dear Yunshu?! See this is how I punish you!

Finally, Jing Rong, filled with satisfaction, left with Lang Po, while Ji Shuhan was still kneeling on the ground, exposing an extremely ugly expression. That deity, who invited him here?

Luan’er, who had witnessed the whole course of events, felt indescribably refreshed. So, that honourable guest from the capital is Prince Rong! Moreover, to teach Master such a lesson, he had vented out Miss’ resentments. With a happy heart, she returned to West Side courtyard to report the news to Ji Yunshu.

Meanwhile, Ji Yunshu was still painting when she heard Luan’er reporting the joyful news with bustling energy. “Miss, you should have seen Master’s face turning from green to white. That Prince Rong is really terrific! The way he spoke and handled the situation simply made me have a whole new level of respect for him.”

Luan’er revealed a love-struck expression, which was extremely cute.

Ji Yunshu continued to paint. 

Her mood was as calm as before and was completely unfazed by Luan’er’s mood. Finally, she put down her brush and cleaned it by dipping it in water before placing it back into her sandalwood box. Then, she lifted her eyes and glanced at Luan’er, “Has he left yet?” Her tone was insipid.

“Yes, he just left.”

Ji Yunshu rolled up the portrait that she had just painted and tied it with a red string.

Luan’er was puzzled. “Miss, why do you seem uninterested about it? We’re talking about Prince Rong, and he taught Master a lesson!”

Ji Yunshu heard it already; she did not need Luan’er to repeat it a second time! “Alright, I heard what you said.” Ji Yunshu went around the table before going into her bedroom. By the time she came out, she was attired in men clothes.

“Miss! Where are you going?” Luan’er became extremely nervous because her young miss' wounds had not completely healed yet. The young maidservant definitively had to stop her.

“I’m going to the prison.” As the words came out, she also added, “You can come with me.” 

She went out the door with the painting in her hand, followed by Luan’er. When they both arrived in front of the prison, the jailer, who had previously been bribed with three taels, welcomed them, “Teacher Ji, why have you come?”

“Bring me to Lin Duan.”

“I’ll lead you.” The jailer agreed without asking any questions as he led her into the prison.

The prison was as gloomy and damp as before. Luan’er frowned as she used her hand to cover her nose. It was the first time she came here. 

As for Ji Yunshu, her expression remained unperturbed without the slightest disgust seen.


[1] “You’re not the evildoer sent by the monkey, aren’t you?” is a modified version of a popular line from the “Journey to the West” where the Red Child met Guanyin and asked her if she was the reinforcement of Sun Wukong. The result of the encounter ends with the Red Child kowtowing at each step along his journey to meet Guanyin again in atonement for his sins. Since Jing Rong is not Goddess of Mercy, of course, the popular line was modified to evildoer.

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