Chapter 251 - In A Fight, Every Party Is Right
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You don’t know?
Minister Liang screeched, “Say that again!”
The shopkeeper paused for a moment before she continued, “At that time, the store was a mess; there were so many people - i-it was difficult to see what was happening.” She meekly lowered her head even further.
The little servant girl keeping vigil next to Miss Liang’s body piped up as the shopkeeper finished, “You liar! Didn’t you personally tell me that she pushed our young miss then? Why are you changing your tune now?”
A fleeting flicker of recognition passed through her eyes as the shopkeeper quickly shook her hands in explanation, “I was startled just now too - I just said whatever passed through my mind. I only realised that I didn’t see anything clearly after I calmed down. Moreover, the floor was slippery - it’s still possible that Miss Liang slipped and fell on her own.” Her voice faded away into almost nothing, in fear that she would be implicated.
The other two women hurriedly added, “Yes, it was crowded then - we didn’t see anything clearly either when the two of them were fighting. All we heard was that someone died; and that floor really is slippery - I’ve fallen before.”
“Yes, yes! I’ve fallen before too; Miss Liang must have slipped accidentally - it’s not anyone’s fault.”
“She’s got her eyes in the clouds usually; it’s unsurprising she’s not careful with her steps.”
Hearing this, the little servant girl fell onto her young miss’s body, breaking out into desperate sobs. Was her young miss that unlucky that she slipped and fell to her own death?
Minister Liang, in his grief and despair, turned ashen at the shopkeeper’s words. In his anger, he almost pulled out the yamen runner’s sword again but was luckily stopped in time by Governor Yi, “Lord Liang, since there are no eyewitnesses, we can’t prove that it was Miss Ji’s fault, you…” The Capital Governor felt he was caught in a tight spot.
“Are you planning on just leaving this murder case as is? When my daughter’s death was this tragic?”
“This…” Before Lord Yi could begin, he was interrupted by the prickly Ji Muqing.
With her two older brothers at her back, Ji Muqing felt more confident and no longer victimized. She straightened her back and haughtily claimed, “Didn’t I say that I didn’t do it? There were so many people around, I was pushed from behind as well but I’m still alive - who would be so unsteady that she would fall with a single push? She must have slipped and fallen - don’t try to frame me for something I didn’t do. I would never kill!” Her shining eyes narrowed like those of a sly, conniving cat.
Minister Liang, teary and red-faced, slapped his own thigh with a flourish of his sleeve, “What twisted fate!” He trudged towards his daughter’s corpse lifelessly, sobbing. So is this it then? What could he do when the witnesses changed their statements?
Ji Li pulled Ji Muqing over, gently warning, “Have you not made a big enough scene?”
“Eldest brother, I …”
“If there’s anything you want to tell me, save it for when we return home.”
“Yes!” Ji Muqing nodded.
Ji Li approached Minister Liang spontaneously, offering in his sincerest tone, “Lord Liang, my genuine condolences for your loss.” Genuine? Condolences? My foot! Minister Liang was too broken-hearted that he paid no heed to Ji Li, hatred and reproach burning within him.
Just as Ji Li was about to lead Ji Muqing out of the Capital yamen, Ji Muqing headed for Ji Yunshu, who was standing in a corner, tilting her chin arrogantly, “Don’t think that you have atoned for your sins towards the Ji Family with what you did at the rouge store. I’m letting you off today, but next time, you will reap what you sow.”
“Suit yourself.” Ji Yunshu replied nonchalantly.
Unsatisfied with Ji Yunshu’s answer, Ji Muqing smirked and whispered into Ji Yunshu’s ear, “Eldest Brother and Second Brother can’t touch you, but it doesn’t mean I can’t - you must have seen what happens when you cross me. There is only death.”
Hmph, I’m so scared. Ji Yunshu rolled her eyes, crazy! “If you have what it takes, then sure thing; but you and I both know all you have are your two brothers.”
“What do you mean?”
“It hasn’t even been an hour and the tides have turned - even an idiot would know why!”
Ji Muqing heaved a sigh of relief. She wasn’t an idiot - of course she knew why! It must have been her two loving older brothers who had prepared everything before they arrived. In any case, she need not bear the brunt of this crime, so she turned and left, smoothing out her hair carefreely.
As she turned, Ji Yunshu noticed a small bloodstain on Ji Muqing’s back. A loose thread hung where that spot sat, missing the pearl it once held. Could it be - that that wound was a product of Ji Muqing and Miss Liang’s tussle?
Ji Yunshu walked up to Miss Liang’s corpse when the court had cleared. She knelt down, addressing Minister Liang, “Lord Liang, the young miss is already dead - she won’t been revived even if you mourn her so.”
The sobbing Lord Liang looked up at her, “Teacher Ji, was my daughter’s death purely an accident?”
“I took a quick look previously, she did slip and fall. As to whether she was pushed or not, I’m not sure either.”
“Weren’t you great at solving these cases? Please lend me a hand,” he pleaded desperately.
Ji Yunshu considered briefly, recalling the bloodstain she noticed on Ji Muqing’s back, “Let me have a look at the body.” He nodded and moved aside.
Ji Yunshu pulled off the white cloth covering the body, inspecting every part of Miss Liang’s body, from her hands to her neck, and even her clothes. As someone who paid so much attention to her attire, there was no reason why Ji Muqing had not noticed that missing pearl, so it must have fallen off in their scuffle. But - the young Miss Liang’s body was not stained with blood; Ji Muqing could not have reached behind her back and scratched that pearl off, so, where was that wound from?
“Did you make any discoveries, Teacher Ji?”
She shook her head, covering up the corpse once more, “My sincerest apologies; I have found nothing new.”
“Then, did my daughter really fall to her own death?”
Ji Yunshu kept silent. Honestly, she had not witnessed the scene; the witnesses also claimed their innocence. In a fight, every party was right - only the heavens knew the truth.
“Lord Liang, I think it’s best to bring Miss Liang’s body back home for a proper burial.” Minister Liang began to cry inconsolably once more. After making sure that Lord Liang had left, Ji Yunshu left the yamen herself. “Let’s go!” she called out to Wei Yi who was waiting for her next to the stone lion statues outside.
Wei Yi immediately stood up and chased after Ji Yunshu, questioning, “Shu’er, I saw Big Brother Ji and Brother Ji Huan enter just now - did you see them too?”
“Yes, I did!”
“Did you talk?”
Ji Yunshu made no comment, and dragged Wei Yi towards Yuhua Pavillion.
Grenn's Rants Corner
I have to say that Ji Li and Ji Huan are great umbrellas for Ji Muqing. Such competent brothers, but Muqing is so spoiled that her thoughts process is stunned, forever wallowing in pettiness.
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