Chapter 19: Trial
The night was beautiful and treacherous.
The bright moon in the sky was not dimmed at all by worldly strife, but radiated a cool glow that shone on everyone.
Escorted by the Jin Wuwei, Qin Jiu went down the mountain road.
Mountain wind blew through the cracks, sounding like an instrument from the borders. The air was cold, throbbing-cold when you breathed.
The winding road was as bright as day by lantern light, and the black stones and bare trees on both sides of the road were clearly visible.
Yan Su was in front of Qin Jiu, riding his horse slowly forward, his black hair and robe blown by the mountain wind, as if an immortal that wanted to fly. His back was tall and lean, with its own innate imposing manner that made people want to look up.
Qin Jiu narrowed her eyes and looked ahead, this straight back figure gradually coincided with another figure.
The young boy sat on the horse, wearing bright purple clothes, riding a horse with a jade belt at the waist, kicking out with black riding boots, and wearing the same colored embroidered cloud pattern cape. Young and handsome, heroic, threatening, energetic. He had a bow and arrow in hand, squinted, aimed, and drew. Because of the strength of his body, the muscles under the clothes contracted. The young and handsome face shone with thin layer of sweat.
At that moment, it was like her heart was hit by this arrow.
“Master Qin, please get on the carriage!” she heard Xie Dichen say.
Qin Jiu found that she had went down the mountain road, standing in front of a carriage.
On the side of the carriage, Yan Su stood up and looked back at her. In the moonlight, he had sharp eyes with a coldness that made people breathless.
Qin Jiu squinted and said with a smile, “Criminals like me can still ride in carriages. Thank you very much.” Qin Jiu smiled and got into the carriage, leaned on the mat, and closed her eyes.
She was really tired.
Tomorrow might be a tough battle, so at this moment, the most important thing was to save energy. Qin Jiu relaxed and became sleepy.
She didn’t know how long it took, but the carriage stopped, and someone opened the curtain.
Qin Jiu opened her eyes and realized that this was the prison in the capital.
Qin Jiu yawned and strolled down from the carriage. Escorted by the jailer, she entered the prison. She had not been in prison long before she was referred to the hall for trial.
As a matter of fact, Qin Jiu knew very well that the case she committed was not a big one, but because she was caught by Yan Su and because of her special status, the case would not be small.
It was past seven and the morning sun already rose.
The door of the capital court was opened, and the people on duty were divided on both sides. The eunuchs shouted out to commence court, the majestic voices going out in waves, making the onlookers shudder.
Sunlight peeked in through the window, turning into bright spots like cloud-renderings on the surface of the black stone marble.
Qin Jiu knelt down in the hall, staring at the patterns on the black stone.
The judge of the court Yin Menghuai was sitting at the hall desk and His Highness Anling was there too on standby.
Menghuai was a wiry old man, appearing around fifty years old with small eyes that shone with shrewdness and sophistication.
There were many rich and powerful people in the capital, so to rise in the capital, you must know how to please these people, otherwise, you wouldn’t survive.
Menghuai smoothed his beard, looked down to Qin Jiu who was studying the floor tile patterns, and also looked to the side and saw the cold face of His Highness Anling, his heart beating like a drum.
He knew that His Highness Anling and the Heaven Sect had always stood on opposite sides. Today, right after the new Heaven Sect’s disciples arrived at the capital, she was arrested by His Highness Anling, accused of using young boys to practice evil martial arts. If this was true, the Heaven Sect would be disgraced, and sending a disciple to serve the court every few years would be canceled. But for now, the Heaven Sect has a lot of power in the imperial court, and Concubine Hui in the palace was not easy to deal with either. It would be difficult to handle this case. However, he couldn’t afford to offend His Highness Anling either.
Menghuai thought for a minute, since it was His Highness Anling who submitted for trial, the only choice he had was to punish this Heaven Sect’s disciple severely.
He narrowed his eyes, striking the wood plate and shouted: “Guilty woman Qin Jiu, you solicitated young men to have sex with you and used them to practice evil martial arts. Do you admit your guilt?”
Qin Jiu slowly raised her head, glanced at Menghuai, and smiled: “What are you talking about? I merely took a hot spring bath at Princess Zhaoping’s Palace, why was I charged guilty?” Qin Jiu’s tone was like the spring breeze, her smile as pure as a white lotus, but Menghuai vaguely felt pressure in her gentle eyes.
Menghuai glanced at Yan Su and wiped the sweat on his forehead, continuing to state, “With witnesses and evidence here, how can you deny it? Bring the witness in!”
Then, there were the sound of footsteps and Qin Jiu looked back to see her maid Cherry brought in.
Qin Jiu had a cold smile in her heart. She finally exposed her fox tail, so she must think this time she was finished!
Cherry was the maid of Qin Jiu who had served her in the Heaven Sect for two years. She had always been very loyal in front of her, but due to Qin Jiu’s own experiences, it was difficult for her to trust anyone. Soon, she found out that she was actually a spy Yao Xi’er placed at her side. What Qin Jiu did and said everyday, and her master’s attitude towards her, was all conveyed to Yao Xi’er by Cherry.
This time, originally, it was not Qin Jiu who was sent to Lijing–it was Yao Xi’er.
Qin Jiu knew that Yao Xier liked the master very much, so she was willing to stay with him instead of coming to Lijing. Most of the women who were sent to Lijing from the Heaven Sect over the years would marry the nobles in the capital like Concubine Hui. Of course, Yao Xi’er didn’t want to.
Qin Jiu joined the Heaven Sect for the purpose of coming to Lijing through the the Heaven Sect, so she wouldn’t let this opportunity go. She took advantage of her master’s closed training and used Cherry to pass the message that the master spoiled Qin Jiu very much to Yao Xi’er little by little.
Yao Xi’er quickly sent Qin Jiu to Lijing as an excuse for her illness.
Not only that, on the way to Lijing, they were assassinated several times. Qin Jiu dared to guarantee that some of the assassins were sent by Yao Xi’er. Maybe, she had already become a rival in love in her mind.
Other than Durian and Loquat, most of the people around Qin Jiu were from the master, so Qin Jiu was too lazy to fight back.
Let them kill each other. Let them die.
Along the way here, Cherry didn’t stop doing bad things to her, but ultimately did not succeed.
Now, she might’ve received an ultimatum from Yao Xi’er, so Cherry wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to use the hand of Yan Su to let kill her.
However, they dreamed too nicely.