Chapter 43: Saying Goodbye
Ye Jiayao saw his worried look and the beads of sweat on his forehead and laughed. “Why are you so worried? You’ve got to be the only person I know who’s worried that his creditor won’t find him. I am embarrassingly poor, if I don’t charge you for your debt, how else will I survive? It’s Helian mansion, right? I promise that I’ll go look for you.”
Helian Jing relaxed a little after hearing her vow. He put his hand out and made her pledge by slapping each other’s palm.
Ye Jiayao readily slapped his hand to ease his worries.
“Now, go and get ready. Don’t let others wait for you for too long.” Ye Jiayao punched his shoulder affectionately.
Helian Jing gave into the sudden impulse to hug her.
Ye Jiayao was immobile with surprise.
“Big Raorao, you must come,” he whispered next to her ear as he hugged her. He gave her one last squeeze before turning around to leave. He was afraid that he would cry if he spent a moment longer with her.
Why is it so painful?
Suddenly, his heart felt empty and cold. He felt like a little kid that lost his favorite toy. It was just like when big Raorao denied association to him and he stood under a roof, watching the rain fall around him.
He stopped just by the dock and looked back at the boat. Ye Jiayao was waving at him, and he waved back unenthusiastically. “Big Raorao, you’ll come, right? If you don’t come to me, I don’t know where I can find you.”
Ye Jiayao waited until he was gone before walking back inside the cabin, carrying the china doll that he gifted her. She looked up at the planks at the top of the boat so that her tears wouldn’t fall.
Little Jingjing left.?She felt changed.
When she had fled from Black Wind Ridge, she didn’t cry. She didn’t want to cry. She felt upset and disappointed and she didn’t want to shed a tear for that stupid donkey.
Little Jingjing is different.??In so many ways, he became just like her little brother. Bickering with him turned awful days into something bearable. He made their tough journey fun and less like a suffering.
Would everyone she cared about leave her eventually?
She waited until she had control of her tears before taking out the copper coins from her broken jar and putting it into the adorable doll Helian Jing got her. Ye Jiayao saved up some money so that she could buy some relatively good clothes for him when they arrived at Jin Ling. She didn’t want to send him home to his family with his ratty look.
Now… the money was useless.
The canal at night sparkled under the cold silver moon and ethereal twinkling stars. The fishing light from faraway eventually disappeared from her sight.
Helian Jing sat at the end of the boat, holding the dough figurine that Ye Jiayao gave him as he stared blankly at the dark night.
What is big Raorao doing right now?
Xia Chunyu noticed that little Jing had been sat at the end of the boat for quite a while, so he went over to him to see what was wrong.
“Are you still thinking of your friend?” Xia Chunyu asked.
Helian Jing was not in the mood to talk and stayed quiet.
Xia Chunyu sighed. “If you are worried about your friend, let me give him some silvers so you don’t owe him anything.”
Helian Jing said sulkily, “You can’t give him silvers. If you pay him off, he won’t come after me anymore.”
“Having a connection with Jing young Royal Highness is a dream for many people. Don’t worry, he will definitely look for you,”?Xia Chunyu assured him calmly.
“Big Raorao is not that type of person! He is different,”?Helian Jing countered angrily.
Xia Chunyu’s curiosity was evident in his smile. “Oh? Why do you say that? Last time I checked, you can’t see through a person’s heart.”
Helian Jing sounded like a child as he insisted,?“I just know, okay? Big Raorao is different.”
You know? You know nothing! You’re just a willful kid who never grows up. You’re too naive and trusting. Just because someone gave you a bun when you were hungry, that doesn’t mean they’re a good person.
“Running away may have made you more capable, but you still are the same child who doesn’t think things through. Didn’t you ever think of how worried your mother would be? You just did what you wanted and damn the consequences,” Xia Chunyu ranted, fed up with Helian Jing’s antics.
“Why could my brother go on an expedition when he was just 14 and I had to stay at home and do nothing? You even had people to command at 16!” Helian Jing rebutted.
“Don’t you get it? They’re worried about you. The first time you stepped out of the palace, your money was stolen and you had to rely on someone to keep you alive. You almost became a beggar! With that little skills, it’s no wonder they don’t let you out.”
Luckily, little Jing was like his little brother so Xia Chunyu could freely give him the scolding he deserved.
Helian Jing’s face turned red with embarrassment. “How would I learn if I they don’t let me go? Were you already perfect at the beginning?
Xia Chunyu arched his brows and haughtily said, “You tell me.”
Helian Jing tried to settle down. He didn’t think that he was that bad. There definitely were worse young nobilities. It was just compared to his older brother and Chunyu, he was a tragic case. Even big Raorao, a poor man, was infinitely better than him.
“When your brother and mother sees that you are mature and responsible enough, they will give you duties. I would think that after the journey you’ve just been through, you’ll understand more about?having a man’s responsibility,” Xia Chunyu said in earnest, patting his shoulder.
Xia Chunyu went back inside the cabin, and Song Qi hurried to ask, “Does young Royal Highness still doesn’t want to come inside?”
“Don’t worry, let him stay by himself. He just needs to go for a blow and refresh his mind.” Xia Chunyu believed that he had given the spoiled prince a lot to think about.
Song Qi thought he that he had been blowing for a long time now, and if he continued to stay outside, the wind will surely blow him into an idiot.
The night breeze over the canal was cool, and the paddles of the boat made a rhythmic rushing sound. Xia Chunyu’s words sat heavily on Helian Jing’s heart and thoughts.
Man’s responsibility.??Everyone, including his family and constituents,?thought of him as just a kid. Even big Raorao has always said that he was an overgrown kid. Was the problem within himself? He was hot-headed. His behavior was not stable. He had a big heart and big dreams but he lacked the initiative. Who would trust him with anything?
He lifted his eyes to stare at the serene river bank. His eyes looked clear and bright with determination as he decided to change the path he was on.??I’m going to get stronger. I’m going to stop relying on other people to survive. I’m going to be a responsible Jing young Royal Highness. I am going to be a prince that everyone would be proud of.
Six days later, in the early morning, a boat slowly docked into the cargo wharf. Immediately after the boat pulled into the shore, a group of officers commanded it, asking for a person named Jing Rao.
After an hour, Helian Jing arrived at the dock and boarded the boat.
The officers standing guard all saluted in unison. “Jing Royal Highness.”
Li Mao bowed his head and shivered.
He was just a civilian and an honest businessman who has never encountered such situation before. He didn’t know what was wrong. The little brother Li they were looking for was not a bad person. How could he have offended a Royal Highness?
Helian Jing ordered the officers to leave.
“Li Mao, you don’t have to be afraid. I am here just looking for Jing Rao. Where is he?”
Helian Jing, for the past days, has been worried that big Raorao was not going to look for him. Luckily, brother Chunyu taught him a way to estimate when the boat would arrive and he was able to send people to wait at the docks. The guards immediately controlled Li’s boat when it arrived so big Raorao could not run away.
After combing the boat to no avail, they called for Helian Jing who immediately rushed here.
Eh? He sounds?familiar.?Li Mao looked up curiously and stared at Helian Jing, speechless.??Wow, this handsome young Royal Highness with fancy clothes was really that Jing little brother.
After the shock, Li Mao finally relaxed. He thought that little brother Li was a government criminal. Li Mao was scared because hiding government criminals was a ground for penalties. He was just glad that wasn’t the case.
“Royal Highness, little brother Li has gotten off the boat in Zhen Jiang,” Li Mao answered carefully.
Helian Jing hurriedly asked, “Did he say where he was going?”
“Little brother Li said he needed to do something in Zhen Jiang first, then he might head to Jiang Xi.”
Helian Jing was muddled.?How can I find him now?
Meanwhile, outside of the city, Ye Jiayao was lying on an ox cart slowly heading to Jin Ling.
She was hiding from little Jingjing because of his association with Chunyu. To make sure that little Jingjing doesn’t corner her, she got off the boat in Zhen Jiang and transferred to a land route.
“Little brother, I am not going inside Jin Ling City, but the good news is that it’s not far ahead,” the old man who was driving the cart said.
Ye Jiayao got up and jumped off the ox cart, dusting off the hay and straw that stuck to her clothes. “Thank you so much, uncle!”
Ye Jiyao handed a few copper coins to the old man. The ox cart was a ride and she felt that it was only right to pay for it.
However, the old man adamantly refused to take her money.
Ye Jiayao thanked him over and over before she walked to the city, carrying her bag over her shoulders.
Jin Ling, called Nan Jing in modern days, was famous for its history and culture. It has a history of about 6000 years evident by its prosperity. It is known as an ancient capital for six dynasties and a metropolis of 10 dynasties. Even though it looked different to the history she knew about, it still looked like a very bustling and prosperous capital city. It was not just the center of politics, but also the center of commerce.
Ye Jiayao had planned to find a job to settle down when she arrived in Jin Ling. She would start her plan of vengeance slowly and surely. As a nobleman said, 10 years for revenge was not too long, and it just so happened that Ye Jiayao was a patient woman.
As cooking was her only real skill, she was looking for a restaurant that had an opening for a chef, or even just a helper in the kitchen. Jin Ling City was the heaven of delicious foods. There were countless restaurants inside and Ye Jiayao was excited. The excitement quickly fizzled out, though, when she had gone through so many restaurants that refused to hire new people.
I am the legacy of chefs from 5-star hotels. If I can’t find a job here, I might as well just quit now.
Since she wasn’t able to find a job today, she was forced to find somewhere else to spend the night in. She didn’t have enough money on her, but it was enough to survive in for a few days.
Now, all she had to do was find an affordable accommodation. She wasn’t having any luck on that either. Even the small and cheap rooms in small hotels cost 100 copper coins per night.
Ye Jiayao was worried.
Her idea was great, but the reality was just too cruel.