For the sake of a beauty’s smile?! Ji Yunshu’s expression stiffened.
At this instant, Wei Yi walked by them and observed Jing Rong before pointing at him, “I’ve seen you before! Last time at… at Grand… err… Grand Canal mansion! I saw you there.” Wei Yi spoke like he saw an old friend.
Jing Rong looked at him and faintly smiled, “I also saw you.”
The one brimming with high spirits in front of him was his love rival!
Wei Yi rushed towards him with a smile. “I’m called Wei Yi.”
“I know. Wei as in a seat, and Yi as in one .”
“You’re really smart.” Wei Yi gave Jing Rong a thumbs up.
This child Wei Yi… Although Jing Rong treated Wei Yi as his love rival, Wei Yi was not a bad person after all. Thus, he could not bully him too much.
At this moment, the shopkeeper returned with the wrapped up calligraphy set. He cautiously handed it to Jing Rong.
Jing Rong received the package and gave it to Ji Yunshu, “Teacher Ji, good things deserve someone who knows how to use them. This set of calligraphy is for you. I hope you won’t refuse my good intentions.”
These kinds of good intentions, Ji Yunshu did not dare to accept them. No pain, no gain, a saying that held true. If she had accepted the gift, was this not the same as acquiescing to his request to leave for the Capital with him?
“Teacher Ji, this present has no other meaning. It’s not necessary for you to be so apprehensive.”
In a flash, without waiting for Ji Yunshu to take the package, Wei Yi took it instead of her.He even spoke joyfully to Ji Yunshu, “Shu’er, this big brother is giving this to you. You should take it. Dad said that gifts to obtain favor cannot be accepted, but gifts of friendship can be accepted. Shu’er, I’m holding onto this for you since it’s fairly heavy.”
Ji Yunshu missed her chance to block Wei Yi, and now the calligraphy set was safely tucked in Wei Yi’s arms, “Wei Yi, why are you…” Ji Yunshu was a bit angry at him.
“Shu’er, this is heavy. I’m holding onto it for you.” Wei Yi obstinately stated.
It left Ji Yunshu completely speechless.
Meanwhile, Jing Rong’s complexion had become a bit dark! He asked Wei Yi, “What did you just call her?”
Hey, you’re focusing on that?!
Wei Yi innocently replied, “Shu’er! She is Shu’er, so I called her Shu’er!” Compared to 'Yunshu', that name was more intimate!
Jing Rong glared at Ji Yunshu. His eyes were filled with jealousy.
Ji Yunshu stared back with empty eyes, feeling the beginning of a headache. She took back the gift from Wei Yi and returned it to Jing Rong, “Many thanks for your good intentions, but this set of calligraphy is too precious and doesn’t suit me.”
Then, she pulled Wei Yi aside, “Let’s go.” The both of them hurriedly left Treasure Calligraphy House.
Jing Rong was furious. He dumped the calligraphy set onto Lang Po and chased after Ji Yunshu and Wei Yi.
Coincidentally, when Ji Yunshu and Wei Yi left, they ran into a few yamen runners.
“Oh? It’s Teacher Ji.” One of the yamen runners was gasping for breath, his expression filled with anxiety.
“What happened?” asked Ji Yunshu.
“Mi… Milord needs you to go to the prison.”
“It’s about that Yu Sao. Right now, she is still holding onto her daughter’s body and refusing to let go despite the horrible stench. We tried to convince her several times without success.”
As if she was that resourceful! She had dissected many corpses, but it did not mean she possessed the solution for everything!
After thinking for a moment, Ji Yunshu still nodded, “Fine. I’ll go right away.”
She just did not expect Wei Yi to tug on her, “Shu’er, where are you going?”
“Wei Yi, do you remember how to get back home?”
He shook his head, “I don’t remember.”
No choice then. Ji Yunshu declared, “Then fine, follow me quickly.”
“Alright! I’m behind Shu’er.”
As soon as he said that, Jing Rong arrived and inserted himself into the conversation, “I’m coming too.”
Oi, oi, oi! I’m going to the prison. Are you trying to create more trouble for me?
In the end, everyone went to the prison together. As Ji Yunshu was worried that Wei Yi could not adapt himself to the environment inside the prison, she made the two jailers, who were guarding the entrance, look after him.
Jing Rong also left Lang Po outside, going as far as sternly warning him to properly take care of Wei Yi.
Why did she feel there was a hidden meaning in his words? In any case, she did not ponder too much about it and followed a jailer into the prison.
Jing Rong followed behind them, not appearing to be indisposed at the sight of the surroundings, as if this was a normal occurrence which he was familiar with.
Finally, they arrived outside Yu Sao’s cell.
The vile stench of a rotting corpse assailed their noses, making them nauseated. Ji Yunshu wrinkled her nose as her pretty eyebrows knitted together. She looked inside of the cell, but only saw Yu Sao’s back. Ah Yu’s body was still held in her embrace, as Yu Sao faintly rocked her while mumbling without stopping, just like before.
“Open the door.” Ji Yunshu voiced her command.
The jailer froze, “This…”
“If you don’t open the door, how can I bring out Ah Yu’s body?”
That’s right! The jailer smiled with embarrassment. He unlocked the chains holding the prison cell’s door.
Ji Yunshu was about to enter, but Jing Rong pulled her back, “I’ll go in first. This isn’t a request, but an order!” In the end, he was simply worried about her safety.
He went in first, pulling Ji Yunshu behind him. A rotting stench pervaded the whole prison cell, assailing the senses of duo, making it difficult for them to keep their eyes open. Ji Yunshu and Jing Rong slowly approached Yu Sao without making any abrupt movements, as to avoid provoking her madness.
“Yu Sao.” Ji Yunshu softly called her name, but there was no response.
Ji Yunshu took another step forward and slightly stooped over. She stretched her hand and gently touched Yu Sao’s shoulder. The instant her slender fingers came across Yu Sao’s shoulder, the woman abruptly turned her head. A pair of bloodshot and ferocious eyes glared at her. It sent goosebumps throughout Ji Yunshu’s body.
In that instant, Jing Rong had already stepped in and shielded Ji Yunshu. Both of them were frightened by Yu Sao’s eyes.
“You are all evil people. Only him… only he treated me the best!”
Huh? He? Who is ‘he’? Ji Yunshu had an ominous premonition, stirring the stifling lump on her heart. She asked, “Who is the ‘he’?”
Yu Sao coldly laughed as her eyes shifted and stayed fixed on her daughter’s body. Then, she started to cry again. “Ah Yu! I’m sorry! Mother was bad. Forgive me. You must forgive mother!”
Ji Yunshu did not give up. She pushed away Jing Rong and crouched in front of Yu Sao. She pulled on Yu Sao’s arm and continued to question her, “Is there something else you have yet to confess about? Tell me. Is there anything else? You mentioned a ‘he’, but who are you referring to?”
Yu Sao began to laugh heartily. She was mad and took no heed to Ji Yunshu’s questions. Her arms only tightened her embrace on Ah Yu.
Yu Sao was like a broken record. “Ah Yu, it doesn’t hurt. It’s really not painful. It will pass in a while. My good Ah Yu, mother let you down. Don’t be angry, mother will sing for you a nursery rhyme from my hometown. When I’m done, you won’t be in pain anymore.”
“Yu Sao, Ah Yu is already dead. If you know anything, please tell me. Yu Sao…”
“It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt. My Ah Yu is not suffering.” Yu Sao continued to repeat the same sentences over and over again.
Ji Yunshu gritted her teeth and reached for Ah Yu. She grabbed onto her thin waist and tried to yank it toward her. The furtive force she used caused Yu Sao to become alert.
“What are you doing? This is my Ah Yu! Don’t take my Ah Yu from me! Don’t…” Yu Sao widened her eyes, and her face became malevolent due to her agitation. She firmly held onto her daughter and lowered herself on the body. She stubbornly refused to let go.
Ji Yunshu, who was stealthily wrestling away the child’s body, looked at Jing Rong. The man was rooted there watching her! Since her struggle was bearing no fruit, Jing Rong tried to pull her up from the ground and told her, “If you’re like this, she won’t listen to you and you might end up injured by her.”
Ji Yunshu twisted her body and avoided his hand. Even if it was not a good method, she still needed to try. If the hard way didn’t work, she would try a softer approach!
Her expression was grave. She lowered her voice and slowly spoke, “Yu Sao, I won’t snatch Ah Yu from you. I only think that she needs to take a rest. Look at her, she fell asleep. It’s very cold here. She will catch a cold if she stays here. Won’t you give her to me? I will take her somewhere to rest and she won’t have to be cold anymore.”
“I don’t want… I don’t want to. Ah Yu is mine… mine…”
“Look at her. Ah Yu is very cold. She’s shivering and she doesn’t want to stay here. If you care for her, give her to me. Alright?” Yu Sao’s expression slightly changed. Hesitation could now be seen on her face.
Slowly, she released Ah Yu a bit, then she stroked the child’s face. Suddenly, she became startled, “That’s true. My Ah Yu is very cold.”
“Will you give her to me? When she wakes up, I’ll bring her back to you.”
Ji Yunshu nodded, “Yes. I promise you that when she wakes up, I’ll bring her back to you.” But Ah Yu would never wake up again…
After a moment of hesitation, Yu Sao finally let go of Ah Yu. The instant she did so, Ji Yunshu quickly took Ah Yu and got up before retreating several steps. She was afraid that Yu Sao would renege on her words and try to forcibly take back the corpse.
However, Yu Sao was eerily calm. After she let go of Ah Yu, she sat there like an empty shell, neither moving nor speaking. She was extremely calm as if she had completely forgot about Ah Yu’s existence.
Ji Yunshu left the cell and waited until Jing Rong did the same. Afterwards, the jailer locked back the prison cell. The jailer pinched his nose while giving Ji Yunshu a thumbs up, “Teacher Ji, you’re really terrific. Compared to you, even after half a day we still couldn’t persuade her to release that child.”
Ji Yunshu was still holding onto the light as a feather Ah Yu. Despite the horrible stench, she did not care about it as her mind was preoccupied by the distress she felt for the child’s death.
“Give her to me,” said Jing Rong. Then, he took the body from Ji Yunshu without any sense of avoidance.
The jailer did not know Jing Rong, so he was not surprised by his actions. Instead, he pointed toward the direction which served as the jailers resting room and said, “Put her on the spread cloth there. Someone is going to take her and send her to the memorial hall.”
Pointing at a prince! Youngster, you must be tired of living! But Jing Rong did not get angry. He carried Ah Yu to the indicated place and put her on the white cloth.
Although Ji Yunshu was surprised by his actions, she was also moved by it. After she saw he was done, she wanted to thank him. But then, she accidentally saw Ah Yu’s palm and became stupefied.
Without saying anything, she took both Ah Yu’s hands and spread open her palms. Her left hand was rough to the touch with a layer of calluses on it, with many marks. As for her right hand, there weren’t many calluses to be seen and her palm was soft.
“Ah Yu is left-handed!” As soon as she concluded that, Ji Yunshu was alarmed.
Jing Rong became puzzled, “What do you mean?”
“Do you remember where the twenty stabs wounds were situated on Lord Jiang’s body?”
He silently recalled, “Most of them were on his right side.”
Then, he frowned. “You’re not thinking that…”
Grenn's Rants Corner
Wei Yi VS Jing Rong
JR uses sarcasm.
The attack is completely ineffective.
WY uses glomp on Ji Yunshu.
JR is enrages and tries to strangle Wei Yi.
WY hides behind Ji Yunshu.
JR attack failed and got dog house.
 This is a wordplay on the fact that Wei is a homophone for “seat” (位) which could also be a classifier for a person, while Yi is a homophone for “one”, which are obviously not used for proper names. It’s like Wei Yi is saying his name meant something like “The one and only one” since the literal meaning is “one person”.Previous Chapter Next Chapter