This Is a Settlement
Whether or not they were afraid was something that Feng Yu Heng did not care about. Ever since she had come to Da Shun, her days had never been peaceful. The wind and waves had both come before. Could it be that she would still fear a prefect from Lan Zhou? Would she still fear an eighth prince? One after another, she dealt with enemies. She knew that the further things came along, the more she would win like a BOSS. There was no point in being afraid. She could only continue to train herself and continue charging forward. After charging through, she would be completely free.
Jiang shi was taken away by Xu Jing Yuan and did not return for the entire night. The next day, just as Ji Ling Tian made up his mind to look for Feng Yu Heng to try and think of a way to make this matter private before the Mid-Autumn Festival, news came from the government office. The case of Jiang shi taking imperial daughter Ji An’s jade would be held today. Lord Ji was invited to attend.
Ji Ling Tian had no choice but to change his course of action on the spot, heading to the government office first. He was thinking at first that since he had been called to attend, imperial daughter Ji An would also be among the invited. Meeting anywhere was still meeting. It would be better to head over to the government office. Moreover, the madam’s case would be tried in the court there. If he did not go and watch, he would not feel at ease.
Who knew that after arriving at the government office, he would not find Feng Yu Heng. Aside from Jiang shi and Ji Xiang, there was only one other person of importance. Apparently, the person in charge of Nirvana Pavilion was called Qing Yu.
Ji Ling Tian fiercely gritted his teeth and could not help but ask Xu Jing Yuan: “Lord Xu, what is the meaning of this? Since this official could be called out, why do I not see imperial daughter Ji An here?”
Xu Jing Yuan was puzzled, “Why would imperial daughter be here?”
“Hmph!” Ji Ling Tian said in a cold voice: “Even this official came. What is the meaning behind her not coming?”
Xu Jing Yuan understood, “It seems that lord Ji is competing with imperial daughter. Then this office will settle a debt for you. Prefects in Da Shun start from the fifth rank, but as a prefecture on the southern border, and with Lan Zhou being a large territory and having a unique environment, the prefect of Lan Zhou might be a standard third rank official, but it is treated on the same level as a standard second rank. Lord Ji, is what this office said correct?”
Ji Ling Tian sat up a little straighter. He was clearly very content with this description, nodding and saying: “That’s right.”
“Then this office just does not understand!” Xu Jing Yuan loudly said: “A lowly standard second rank official actually dares to compete in ranking with a lower first rank imperial daughter? Lord Ji, were you muddled from anger because of your madam’s thievery or what? That is an imperial daughter, not an official of the court. She’s a member of the imperial family!” Have you eaten too much and have nothing better to do? He forcefully held himself back from saying that last bit. If this was not in court, Xu Jing Yuan would definitely have insulted him with a torrent of abuse. What border, he was also the head official of the capital. He was no worse than Ji Ling Tian.
Even if this was the case, Ji Ling Tian’s face turned red then white from what was said. After hearing the onlookers erupt into laughter, he felt that he could no longer continue to attend this hearing. Thinking of how he could shake the earth in Lan Zhou with just a stomp, he now had to suffer this humiliation while in the capital.
But whether or not he listened was not up to him. Xu Jing Yuan slammed the gavel* on the table and loudly shouted: “What people are kneeling in the court!”
The trial had officially begun!
Jiang shi and Ji Xiang had been locked in jail for a night. Their proud attitude hand almost been completely wiped out. When they saw their master being humiliated, there was nothing left in their hearts except fear. They replied to anything that Xu Jing Yuan asked. While trembling, they were able to provide a clear explanation. But when Xu Jing Yuan finally asked about the most important part of the case, Jiang shi suddenly became spirited and loudly fought back: “It’s not at all like you are saying! Imperial daughter Ji An did not lose the beautiful jade. That jade was sold to me for 80 million taels of silver!”
And Xu Jing Yuan was waiting for her to say this: “Oh, then did you provide the 80 million taels of silver?”
Jiang shi shook her head, “At that time, there was not enough money. She said that I could bring the jade back first and pay the money once it was I had gathered enough.”
Qing Yu, who had come to the trial, let out a “pft” and laughed, “Lord Xu, everyone in the capital is familiar with imperial daughter Ji An. When has she ever engaged in this sort of losing transaction?”
Xu Jing Yuan shook his head, “How could that be possible. Not to mention a piece of beautiful jade, even if it was a handkerchief, imperial daughter would never allow you to take it back first then provide payment later.”
The people sent by the imperial daughter’s manor to attend court could not help but facepalm. Was their imperial daughter really this stingy?
But Xu Jing Yuan continued: “But speaking of selling the jade for 80 million taels, this office must ask this madam, do you know jade?”
Jiang shi repeatedly nodded, “Naturally, I do.”
Xu Jing Yuan raised his hand and shouted loudly: “Would craftsman Bai please come out.”
Very quickly, some government officials brought craftsman Bai out from a side hall. When Ji Ling Tian saw craftsman Bai had come, he could not help but frown. When it came to knowing jade, the person known as the best craftsman would naturally know jade the best. This Xu Jing Yuan had actually called him to the trial?
Just as he was thinking this, craftsman Bai had already begun looking at the box of jade. This continued for the duration of half a cup of tea before he finally stopped looking. He could not help but repeatedly sigh: “It’s an exceptional piece of jade. It’s exceptionally rare, and it’s a treasure.”
These words had come from craftsman Bai’s mouth, and it had guaranteed that the jade was of exceptional quality.
Xu Jing Yuan then asked Jiang shi: “Madam, do you agree with craftsman Bai’s assessment?”
In regards to this, Jiang shi did not have any objections, thus she also nodded: “I do.”
“Then as madam sees it, how much is this box of jade truly worth?” Xu Jing Yuan asked Jiang shi, “Is it more or less than 80 million taels?”
In regards to this box of jade, Jiang shi liked it to the utmost extreme. In her heart, she had already thought about the price once. Upon hearing Xu Jing Yuan ask about it, she immediately said: “Not just. My eyes are lacking, but I still know that this piece of jade is a top-quality piece. 80 million taels of silver sounds like quite a bit, but if it’s compared to this piece of jade, it’s truly… too little.”
Xu Jing Yuan did not say much, only looking toward craftsman Bai. Craftsman Bai pondered for a bit and gave a very impartial price: “80 million taels of gold is worth it!”
These words caused everyone in the court to inhale sharply. Those people that had been kept outside of the court craned their necks to try and look at the piece of jade that was valued at 80 million taels of gold. Unfortunately, the jade was at the front of the court. How could they manage to see it.
Ji Ling Tian sat to the side and felt a buzzing in his mind. He had a hunch that not only was this case definitely lost, but it would also be a terrible loss.
Xu Jing Yuan finally spoke up once more, asking Jiang shi: “Craftsman Bai is the best craftsman in the world. Do you agree with his assessment on the price?”
Jiang shi sighed and nodded, “I do.”
Thus Xu Jing Yuan spoke up once more: “This jade is worth 80 million taels of gold, but you said that imperial daughter Ji An wanted to sell it to you for 80 million taels of silver. This madam, are you sure that you are clear on the situation?”
Jiang shi immediately said: “Perhaps imperial daughter does not know jade!”
Once these words were said, Qing Yu immediately replied: “That is not so! Even if imperial daughter does not know, his Highness the ninth prince does. At the very start, his Highness offered a price of 50 million taels of gold, but they could not afford it.”
Jiang shi nodded, “Right, that’s why you gave up on the price.”
The people inside and outside the court began to laugh. Dropping the price from 50 million taels of gold to 80 million taels of silver, had imperial daughter Ji An’s mind become waterlogged?
Jiang shi also felt that this reasoning was too unstable. At this time, Ji Xiang, who had been kneeling at her side without speaking, suddenly said: “That’s because they found out about our madam’s identity! That’s why they did us a favor, settling at a price of 80 million taels.”
“What?” Xu Jing Yuan and Qing Yu both exclaimed at the same time. Xu Jing Yuan then said: “Say it again? This office did not hear it clearly.”
Ji Xiang repeated herself: “I am saying that they did not know our madam’s identity at first. That’s why they demanded so much! After they found out that our madam is the official wife of the lord prefect of Lan Zhou, a fear appeared in their hearts and let up on the price! Thinking about it… thinking about it, it was probably to make some connections!”
Everyone in and around the court laughed once more!
This time, even Ji Ling Tian could not sit still. Standing up, he moved to kick at the servant; however, he was stopped by some government officers.
Xu Jing Yuan slammed the gavel once more and loudly shouted: “Order!”
Following this, the surrounding officers shouted in unison: “Silence for the mighty!”
Jiang shi trembled once more and heard Xu Jing Yuan ask her: “The dignified imperial daughter Ji An and the future official princess of his Highness Prince Yu, the ninth prince, you’re saying that she would be afraid just because of the identity of a lowly madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect? And for the sake of forming some connections, she lowered the price of this box of jade?” After saying this, he turned toward Ji Ling Tian and said: “Lord Ji, what are you thinking about this matter?”
Ji Ling Tian slightly closed his eyes, and the anger in his heart burned brighter! Damn it! He would definitely strangle this servant to death when he got back. She truly was incapable of anything and liable to ruin everything.
He calmed himself and replied, saying: “She’s just a servant and does not understand things. Lord Xu should not take what she says seriously. Imperial daughter Ji An is a person of royalty. Naturally, she would look down on this lowly official. How could she be afraid.”
Jiang shi was on the verge of crying, as she fiercely glared at Ji Xiang. Ji Xiang also knew that she had misspoken. Kneeling in place, she did not dare make a sound. At first, she was not thinking like this, but she was accustomed to retorting quickly, and she had become accustomed to being in the South where none dared oppose them. Thus those words came spilling out. It was now too late to regret it.
Xu Jing Yuan spoke once more: “Jiang shi, the case of you stealing imperial daughter Ji An’s jade, do you acknowledge your guilt?”
Jiang shi felt that she was being treated unjustly. If she acknowledged it, she would feel wronged, as she really did not steal it. If she did not acknowledge it, the entirety of the case and all of the truths were laid out. She did not have any grounds to stand on. At this moment, she understood that the reason the girl did not allow her to leave a deposit. It was for this retaliation. If there was any blame to be assigned, it would be for them acting to haughtily. If there was any blame to be assigned, it would be that there was nobody in the South that dared to oppose them, such that when they came to the capital, they were a little unaccustomed to being below others. Thinking about it now, rumors of imperial daughter Ji An seeking revenge for a mean look really was not wrong in the slightest.
Jiang shi did not speak for a long time. It was Ji Ling Tian that picked up on it, “Might as well acknowledge it. How do you propose this matter should be resolved?”
Xu Jing Yuan looked toward Qing Yu: “Before coming here, Miss Qing Yu received orders from Imperial Daughter. Seeing as how the Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet is about to arrive, it would be best if this matter did not get too out of hand. To give some face to the prefect of Lan Zhou coming to the capital. It would be best if it was settled out of court.”
Ji Ling Tian nodded, “Many thanks Imperial Daughter for being understanding.”
Xu Jing Yuan continued: “Then Miss Qing Yu, please speak. How should it be settled!”
Qing Yu put on a smile and looked toward Ji Ling Tian: “Our imperial daughter said that settling it out of court is just paying a bit of money. She will just treat this as having never happened.”
“Alright.” Ji Ling Tian could accept this, “Then would the miss please tell us how much imperial daughter is asking for!”
Qing Yu smiled even more wickedly, “It’s not much. It’s just 80 million taels of silver!”
*TN: The gavel here is actually a wooden block, but it has the same function as a gavel.
**TN: This is what they’re saying. At 19:27 of the same video, you can see the “gavel” in action.