The long night passed slowly as the cold winds whistled.
Ji Yunshu curled up like a child in JIing Rong’s arms, her cold body slowly turned warm under his embrace. She could feel his even, deep breaths gently buffet the top of her head. She carefully raised her head and looked up at his firmly closed eyes. Under the candlelight, his long and dense lashes fluttered with each breath, it was adorable and was a rare demonstration of his gentle soul. His pointed brows, tall nose, thin lips, and chiseled jawline all showed his unique charm.
I wonder just how many girls would be swooning over this face in the modern world? Even she was mesmerized at that moment. Her hand reached out in a daze and slowly stretched towards Jing Rong’s face. But before her fingertips could brush against his cheeks, she was caught red-handed. He had grabbed her hand and wrapped it in his own. His eyes may be closed, but it was as if he had another pair of invisible eyes on his forehead that was staring straight at her. She tried to pull her hand back, but he was stronger than her. Jing Rong leaned forward and pressed his forehead against hers.
“Naughty little thing, you tried to steal from me again.”
“When have I ever done that?”
“I’ve caught you red-handed.”
“You stole my heart, and now my body. What are you if you’re not a thief?”
“Rubbish.” She chewed on her lips.
Jing Rong opened his eyes and a mischievous smirk spread across his cheeks. There was a hidden magnetism in his dark orbs that stared into her confused eyes. It was as if he had seen the depths of her soul. “You think I’m kidding? Fine, I’ll prove it.”
“Hm?” In an instant, he flipped her onto her back. His body loomed over her like dark clouds in an overcast sky.
“Eh?” Her heart raced as her hands were pinned firmly above her head by this ravenous leopard. She could not budge at all. Before she could voice anything, her lips were sealed.
The man’s passionate kisses rained down on her face, causing her body to involuntarily tense up. Those kisses, though fervent, remained utterly gentle. It was as if he was caressing a fragile piece of treasure that he feared would shatter into pieces if he exerted the slightest bit of force. Ji Yunshu was slowly conquered by his touch, she even grew a little greedy. Everything around her was reduced to a blur as she softened in his arms. She was no longer cold, anxious, nor worried.
Jing Rong only released her reluctantly when she became breathless. His deep, hazy gaze met her eyes as he reached up and touched the corner of his lips, savoring the lingering taste. It was clear that he was not satiated. However, he said with some fatigue in his voice, “I’m a little tired, so I’m letting you off the hook for today.”
He really had too much to drink. The next moment, his head drooped down, his heavy eyelids fell shut and his arms gave out. He had fallen fast asleep.
Seriously? You’re giving me this after the pants have come off? Jin Yunshu was practically squished under him. She couldn’t decide if she should laugh or cry.
She tried to push him away and get out of bed, only for her plans to be thwarted. It was as if that man was feigning sleep, he reached around her slender waist and cocooned her in his arms once more. His lips pressed against the shell of her red ear and whispered, “I can’t do without you on these long nights.”
His arms securely around her, Ji Yunshu resigned in defeat and together, they drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Ji Yunshu quietly slipped out of bed before the sun was completely up. She could not bear to disturb Jing Rong, who was still fast asleep. She changed her robes and combed her hair. As she stared at the mirror and added a silver clip around her tied-up bun, there was a soft rustling from the bed. Jing Rong was awake. He laid on his side, with his head propped up on his arm, as he watched her through the bronze mirror. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he praised her, “You always take my breath away, whether you’re dressed as male or female.”
Ji Yunshu turned to face him at the sound of his voice, only to be greeted by the sight of him grinning ear to ear like the laughing buddha with a hint of salaciousness in his smile. She responded, “Get up quickly, the sun is almost up.” It was a reminder for him to get ready to attend the morning court.
Jing Rong let out a huff and rolled around the bed a few times, before he finally flipped open the covers and got out of bed begrudgingly. Suddenly, he wrinkled his nose and pulled his collar up to his nose before smelling it. Then, he said with disgust, “How did I fall asleep with such a strong smell of alcohol?”
“Did you forget?” She asked.
“No, all I remember was the taste of your lips.”
His response left her at a loss for words. Jing Rong walked over to her side and tried to probe further, “So, did we sleep with clothes on or off?” 
He has truly forgotten everything. Thank goodness nothing happened. Ji Yunshu poked him in the chest. “I can’t stand that horrible stench of alcohol on you.”
“So did the clothes come off or not?”
Knock! Knock! Someone was at the door and interrupted their conversation.
Lang Po’s voice came from outside, “Your Highness? Teacher Ji?”
He was here to check if they were awake. Jing Rong frowned at the interruption. One of these days he would feed Lang Po to the dogs, he always shows up at the worst timing.
He replied, then told Lang Po, “Fetch me my imperial robe.”
Lang Po answered, “Yes, but Your Highness…”
“There was a new missive from the Imperial Palace, His Majesty has requested for Teacher Ji’s attendance at the morning court.”
Everything came to a standstill. Ji Yunshu wants nothing to do with the imperial court. She fretted internally, hoping that Vice-Chancellor Yu had not jinxed her. Jing Rong did not want her to go either, but he has no say in the matter; the Emperor has spoken. The pair got ready and took the carriage to the palace.
Jing Rong gave her plenty of instructions throughout the ride. He told her each and every single detail that she needed to be mindful of. And when they were outside the Southern gate, he repeated it again, just in case she forgot.
I remember! I remember! I now know them better than the locations of the tombs I’ve visited.
She may have seen the Emperor a few times, but this was their first official meeting in the Imperial Court. The Emperor would not be the only person she has to worry about, all of the imperial officials and ministers will be present as well.
She followed Jing Rong into the Imperial Assembly Hall like a minor servant. Her presence attracted attention from the start, and all of the ministers were curious. Why is that Teacher Ji here? But no one dared to question her.
Jing Yi stood on the left of the Imperial Assembly Hall. His face was downcast, and he never looked towards Jing Rong or Ji Yunshu. After what had happened yesterday, it was as if someone had plucked his wings and he had fallen out of the sky. He no longer had any energy or interest to torment Ji Yunshu’s presence in the Imperial Court.
Her hands tightened into fists inside her sleeves and she restrained her hostility towards that man. Ji Yunshu stood next to Jing Rong and ignored the ministers, treating them as if they were invisible.
Soon, a eunuch announced the Emperor’s arrival. “His Majesty has arrived!”
Everyone fell to their knees, “Long live Your Majesty!”
Qi Zhen Emperor stepped into the Imperial Assembly Hall in a robe of dragons, and was supported by someone as he settled into his throne. He waved his hand and spoke to the assembly, “Rise, my subjects.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
The Qizhen Emperor was not one to beat around the bush. He glanced at Ji Yunshu and cut straight to the chase. “The Case of the Dried Well has now been solved. During this time, the case has caused much distress and panic in the capital. I, too, am at ease now that the killer has been brought to justice. As I have said before, whoever that solved this case would be greatly rewarded. The Emperor never speaks in jest.”
This phrase thundered through the room.
 Omg I can't believe they have such a saucy nonsense convo! xDPrevious Chapter Next Chapter
Lol so much saucy dogfood in this chapter... then straight into politics yikes.
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