At this moment, the boat was swaying strongly as it sailed in the middle of the river, delaying them from reaching Zhao family village!
Inside the boat, Ji Yunshu stared at Jing Rong with suspicion. Jing Rong appeared as though he wanted to keep her in suspense, as his lips were hooked into a smile and those pair of evil eyes of his revealed a playful light. Yet when those eyes looked upon Ji Yunshu, it became those of a strong man filled with tenderness.
Caught by his gaze, Ji Yunshu felt as if a fire was slowly spreading and consuming her! Subconsciously, she moved away from his line of sight as his heated gaze made her quite uncomfortable.“
Since Your Highness knows what I want to ask, why do you have to keep me in suspense?”
“Teacher Ji, I see that you don’t fear death much.”
“What does that have to do with you knowing I am here and knowing that I want to go to Zhao family village?”
“Of course it does.” Jing Rong replied with confidence. His expression was glowing as he continued, “Remember that night when we got chased by assassins? Since they wanted to kill us, how can they be willing to give up so easily? For me, I already have shadow guards to ensure my safety. On the other hand, you don’t have any guards.” His worry about her being an easy target for assassination was obvious.
Ji Yunshu’s expression was one of stubbornness, “If this humble one guesses correctly, Your Highness had already dispatched a group of people to keep a close watch on me.”
“It’s not to keep a close watch. It’s for protection.” He replied in a deep and extremely earnest voice.
When she left the yamen and returned home the other day, she had the impression of being followed. As she expected, those people were Jing Rong’s subordinates.
“This humble one is very grateful of your good intentions,” thanked Ji Yunshu.
However, this made him feel guilty, “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t have been involved in all of this. Protecting you is something that I must do.”
“Even if it was for such a reason, Your Highness doesn’t need to accompany me to the Zhao family village.”
“No matter what, we have to guard ourselves against any eventualities. Besides, you can’t even protect yourself. First of all, you don’t know any martial arts and secondly, you don’t have any sure method to escape. In case you encounter those assassins again and they turn you into a corpse, I would owe you for the rest of my life.”
For some reason, Jing Rong’s words always made Ji Yunshu felt there was something wrong. She lowered her brows and remained silent.
Jing Rong inquired, “Yet, here you are running to the Zhao family village for what? It’s raining cats and dogs, but you still rushed here.”
Ji Yunshu retorted, “I found a child’s underwear mixed among Lord Jiang’s clothes.”
Hearing the word 'underwear', Jing Rong frowned and became pensive. Then he slightly shook his head. “Lord Jiang and Madame Jiang didn’t have any children.”
“But a child once lived in their residence. She’s Yu Sao’s daughter. Right now, the both of them are living in the Zhao family village. Since there hasn’t been any progress with the yin yang corpse case, I want to hurry and dig out the truth of this case as soon as possible.”
"Why must you insist on going there yourself? There’re plenty of people working at the yamen. Are they all crippled that you have to do it yourself?”
Hey, hey, hey! Have some propriety when speaking! If she felt he was speaking like a normal person earlier, then this last line has completely exposed his usual roguish nature.
Ji Yunshu pursed her lower lip, snubbing him inwardly, “The people at the yamen always do things with great fanfare, making the investigation hardly a secret to anyone. This time, the case needs to be handled with discretion.”
“Why would this case need to be handled differently?”
Ji Yunshu was baffled for a moment, not knowing how to explain this to him. She shook her head and only said, “Your Highness will understand after we get there.”
Jing Rong was like a curious child, but he still accepted Ji Yunshu’s statement and no longer pressed her with questions.
The torrential rain outside drummed heavily on the boat’s shack, and showed no signs of stopping. The sound was deafening. The boatman stood at the tail of the boat and was paddling with all his might, but the boat shook and swayed dangerously.
As the boat sailed downstream, the waves on the river became bigger and bigger. The boat was but a mere shadow overwhelmed by the force of nature, like a fragile vessel trying to stay afloat on the raging ocean. It was on the verge of breaking, and at the mercy of the waves. Without the help of an experienced boatman, the boat would have long sunk to the bottom of the river by now.
Meanwhile, inside the boat, Ji Yunshu was grabbing onto the handrail, her expression became increasingly tense.
Sitting in front of her, Jing Rong was, on the contrary, quite relaxed. He even had the leisure to ask her a question quite inappropriate for the situation, “Did your dad die?”
“...” Ji Yunshu did not reply him. How could he randomly curse people? She did not know if she should describe him as unsophisticated, or that his brain was wired differently.
Jing Rong frowned with worry and inquired, “How are your injuries? Are they better now?”
“Ah-!” Just when Jing Rong asked his question, the boat suddenly shook violently. Ji Yunshu lost her grip on the handrail and her body flung towards Jing Rong against her will.
In a flash, Jing Rong grabbed her left hand and used his other hand to support her waist. It did not take long for her to be confined within Jing Rong’s arms.
Her face knocked against his strong chest while her body came close to his, and the high quality satin of his clothing rubbed against her cheek. Wet from the rain, the fabric gave a cool sensation that highlighted his manly scent which kept lingering around Ji Yunshu’s nose, causing her to quiver all of a sudden.
She faintly shivered, and her body was like the frost in December. Holding her petite figure in his arms, Jing Rong suddenly felt greedy for more. His hands moved further and pulled her tightly against him.
After a while, the boat no longer rocked. He lowered his head and his lips brushed against her ear before he asked in a soft voice, “If I wasn’t here, would you be alright?”
Five years ago when my soul transmigrated to this place, you weren’t present. Would it have changed anything?
But Ji Yunshu did not speak those words as the words remained choked in her throat. She looked up and met his eyes. As their gazes met, it suddenly felt like they were bound to each other more tightly than ever, as if a thread had tied and wrapped their hearts together, causing Ji Yunshu to be nervous.
She could not deny that Jing Rong was an extremely attractive and intelligent man! His appearance was different from the pure, gentle and quiet beauty of Wei Yi and he did not possess the scholarly flair or sensitivity of Ji Pei, but his handsomeness seemed to be carved with the charisma of an official, imposing air with traces of wickedness in his traits. At this moment, a faint deep smile hung on his face. This kind of man would give anyone a sense of security!
Ji Yunshu immediately avoided his gaze. Her right hand pushed on his chest, but she could not break free from the prison of his arms, and she continued to struggle in his embrace, “Thank you very much for your help, your Highness. The boat shook, that’s why this humble one could steady himself.”
“Then, you should just sit next to me. I’ll support you.” Not waiting for Ji Yunshu's retort, Jing Rong had already pulled her to sit next to him. As he did so, he kept on holding onto her with his arm
Ji Yunshu twisted her wrist in a struggle, not daring to look at him. She only said, “This humble one is fine. Please let go of me.”
“If you want to fall and hit a wrong spot and die, I can collect your corpse, but it will be too troublesome.”
“...” Ji Yunshu was rendered speechless. In the end, she could only compromise.
The boatman who had been rowing outside peeked in to look inside the boat cabin when he heard sounds of an argument, “Is everything okay, Sirs? Make sure to sit tight. We have some big waves coming up ahead. Although the Zhao family village is not far, the river is far from calm when it comes to downpours like today, so you...” The boatman endlessly chattered from outside, but the downpour gradually drowned out his voice.
It took them the time for a joss stick to burn before they finally reached the Zhao family village’s pier. Fortunately, they arrived safe and sound!
Jing Rong held Ji Yunshu until they got off the boat, then he released her hand.
Grenn's Rants Corner
Jing Rong: Looks at my Yunshu, getting all flushed.
Me: How confident! Are you sure she's not inwardly hating you?
JR: How could it be? I'm such a handsome and desirable man.
JR: What did you say?
JR: *plotting against the translator*