That’s not the point! Ji Yunshu pursed her lips. Looking at the men in black surrounding her, she said, “Luan’er is my loved one. If I die, Luan’er will definitely follow me."
Loved one? Jing Rong’s mood darkened.
Seeing the two of them chatting away happily, the leader of the men donned a fierce look as he lifted his sword and advanced, “The master has said that whoever takes their heads will be rewarded handsomely!”
The assassins closed in on the pair with reddened eyes and ferocious visages. They were adamant about taking the heads of Ji Yunshu and Jing Rong.
Just as they were about to reach them, Jing Rong pulled Ji Yunshu behind him and used the sword in his hand to swipe the ones the assassins had into a flower bud of blades. Just as Jing Rong was about to deflect these blades, Ji Yunshu retrieved an embroidered pouch from her waist belt.
“Close your eyes.” She immediately told Jing Rong. Although he did not understand why he still did as he was told.
The next moment, Ji Yunshu tossed out the white powder in the pouch.
When the powder entered the assassins’ eyes, a stinging pain caused them to lose their grip on their swords as they clutched at their eyes and cried out in pain! Some were rolling on the floor in agnoy. This was the scene Jing Rong witnessed when he opened his eyes.
Ji Yunshu immediately pulled on his sleeve, “Hurry up, let’s go. That thing hasn’t been used in a while, so I don’t know how long it’ll last.”
Jing Rong nodded as he held her hand and brought her away. After running down two streets and making sure that they were not followed, they finally stopped.
Ji Yunshu was panting. Only after checking a few more times did she feel safe.
“What did you throw?” Jing Rong asked her firmly.
“A mixture of lime powder and reef juice. Once it comes into contact with the eyes, even if they don’t go blind, their eyes will be damaged permanently.”
“I did not expect such cruelty from you.”
Was it cruel? She looked at Jing Rong’s sword and spoke, “I only injure people, not kill them. Your Highness’ sword, however, is drenched in fresh blood.”
In his hand, was the sword that had intended to pierce through the both of them. His eyes were chilled by a look of coldness, “If I didn’t kill, this sword would have slashed us to death instead.”
Ji Yunshu was unable to reply to that. At that moment, she actually agreed completely with him. Killing, perhaps, wasn’t necessarily a crime, just like how Suyun and the old steward wanted to kill the Young Miss of the Zhou family; had they not been forced to that point and endured that kind of pain, they wouldn’t have done what they did.
Ji Yunshu’s expression slowly relaxed, but her brows remained furrowed as she walked forward with her head lowered. Seeing her expression, Jing Rong immediately wiped the blood-covered sword using his outer robe and discarded it onto a pile of junk before chasing after Ji Yunshu.
“Are you scared?” He asked her.
She shook her head. “It’s not that.” She suddenly halted before turning back towards Jing Rong. Raising her hand and opening her fist, she revealed a circular jade pendant.
“I managed to get this from one of those assassins. Doesn’t this look familiar?” Ji Yunshu asked him.
Jing Rong picked the jade up. He frowned and said, “This…”
“This pendant is exactly the same as the ones worn by the assassins in the memorial hall. But if they are the same people, then the one they should be trying to kill should be Your Highness. But today, they wanted my head as well. Doesn’t Your Highness find this strange?”
Jing Rong’s finger slid across the edges of the pendant as he sank into his thoughts.
Seeing that he did not respond, Ji Yunshu continued, “Lang Po must have told Your Highness about the jade pendant and the Shiban poison from before. If we can find out where they came from, we should be able to elucidate the identity of the mastermind behind these assassins. However, one thing I don’t understand is… why do they want me dead too? Even if they wanted to silence me because I was present at the previous assassination, it still doesn’t make sense because it’s too risky to do something this high-profile. If not, then what?”
The more accurate her analysis was, the clearer the answer became within Jing Rong’s heart! He kneaded the pendant as his eyes were shrouded by something which conveyed dangerousness. Looking at Ji Yunshu, he spoke, “I’ll take care of whatever that is behind this case.”
“So, Your Highness… knows who it is?”
Woman’s intuition! Jing Rong’s brows wrinkled before he regained his impenetrable countenance and said, “Teacher Ji, do not tell anyone about what happened just now. I have my own plans.”
“Okay,” She nodded.
Jing Rong did not confirm or deny anything, which meant he was still unsure about who the mastermind was, “All right, I should escort you back now.”
“No need, it’s right around the corner. Those assassins shouldn’t be coming after us anymore, so Your Highness had best make your way back to the Grand Canal Manor. Should something happen to you, I wouldn’t be able to bear the consequences.”
Hearing her words, Jing Rong had an outpour of flirtatiousness. He drew closer to Ji Yunshu before asking in a low voice, “Are you worried about me?”
“……" Ji Yunshu fell silent.
“Am I right?” His tone was exceedingly gentle. His body was also drawing closer and closer to Ji Yunshu. The scent of a man assaulted her nose, causing Ji Yunshu’s nose to warm up.
She immediately retreated back a couple of steps and lowered her head even more, “I still need to investigate the yin-yang corpse’s case tomorrow, so I’ll be heading back first.” She hurried away without letting Jing Rong catch up to her.
Looking at her escaping figure, Jing Rong’s teasing smirk turned into worry. If those burned corpses and these two assassination attempts really had something to do with the ‘Lin Capital Case’, then who was stopping him from returning to the capital? Who was preventing him from… bringing Ji Yunshu back to the capital? Could it really be him?
Even when she had returned home, Ji Yunshu was still in a daze.
‘We are in this together, be it in life or in death!’ Those words echoed incessantly within her mind.
She sat down and spaced out for a long time. Luan’er, however, got a huge shock when she saw her. Ji Yunshu’s clothes were stained with blood and there were some residues of white powder on it as well, “Young Miss, what’s wrong? Are you injured? Did the wounds on your back re-open? Please don’t scare me and let me have a look.”
Luan’er approached to check on her wounds.
Ji Yunshu looked at her with some coldness before speaking, “I’m fine. This blood is from the bodies in the yamen.”
“Really?” Luan’er wiped away her tears.
“What would I trick you for? Hurry up and get some water for me to wash up.”
Luan’er nodded before hurrying out to get water, which was regularly interrupted by unrestrained sniffles.
That night, Ji Yunshu did not get a wink of sleep. Tossing and turning in bed, she sighed. The attempted assassination, as well as Jing Rong’s words, stirred her emotions so much that she could not calm down.
This persisted until daybreak when she got up from bed with bags under her eyes. After packing up some things and eating a few snacks, she hurriedly headed to the yamen.
Upon her arrival, she spoke to the magistrate, “Lord Liu, I’m going to re-examine the body. But in the meantime, I’ll need you to investigate someone for me.”
The magistrate asked, “Who?”
“Madame Jiang’s younger brother. The more details I have, the better.”
“Okay, I’ll send someone to investigate.”
Grenn's Rants Corner
Ji Yunshu and her choice of words.