It was a particularly moving scene unfolding in front of Ji Yunshu. Jing Rong was using one hand to protect her, while another hand blocked the palm strike and a kick flew at the shadow’s chest. The kick connected with a dull thud and sent the attacker to the floor, who spat out blood as he fell.
Chaos broke out in front of the mourning hall.
Ji Yunshu was well protected behind Jing Rong. On the floor, the man who was kicked by Jing Rong leaned toward Suyun.
“Lin Duan!” Suyun suddenly screamed, crawling over to the man who had fallen. She started crying when she saw him spitting blood.
He felt a burst of pain on his chest, but once he saw Suyun, his face broke into a warm smile. He stretched out his hand to stroke her face, “Yun’er, I’m fine. Don’t worry.”
“It’s because I’m no good. I always end up harming you.”
“Don’t say that! Yun’er, for you, I can do anything.”
“Lin Duan, I implicated you.”
The sight of this pair of unfortunate lovers together was indeed, quite touching.
Yet, Jing Rong’s face displayed anger. His eyes seemed like twin balls of fire as he stared at Ji Yunshu. Their eyes locked together. His questioning tone made it obvious he was restraining his anger with effort, “Is that your way of fishing out the two murderers?”
Ji Yunshu bluntly nodded.
“This method is prohibited!” Jing Rong vetoed it without a second’s hesitation.
Why was this deity so quick to anger? She wasn’t afraid of dying, so what was he afraid of? She felt reluctant to try and decipher his thoughts. Instead, she neatly twisted out of his grasp with a side step. In the end, they were two “grown men”. Sticking so close to each other, it would be hard to avoid people gossiping!
She took another glance at the unfortunate lovers. She really hated to break them apart, but it was not the time to feel sorry for them. “It appears that you are Suyun’s lover, the accomplice who helped her to create that accidental fall. At that time, the reason why Qiaoxin couldn’t see anyone else in the attic was because you’d hidden yourself under the roof. You waited until Qiaoxin was below the attic to push down Miss Zhou, leaving no trace of your presence.”
At this point, Lin Duan did not even bother denying. Instead, his face was brimming with rancor as he gritted his teeth, “Damn her! She tormented Yun’er to the point that her life was worse than death, and still didn’t plan on stopping. She went as far as to cause Yun’er’s miscarriage. Damn her! She deserved to die!”
“Lin Duan, don’t say it.” Suyun wept until she was weary.
Ji Yunshu was at a loss for words, whereas Madame Zhou was on the verge of fainting.
She looked over at the pair of lovers, with hatred enveloping every inch of her heart, “What a good pair of indecent people. Our Zhou family didn’t treat you badly, but you collaborated with each other to kill my daughter!”
“Dear, since the identities of the murderers are revealed, I will notify Lord Liu. Please take care of your health, so that no harm comes to you.” Lord Zhou sighed, then turned to the servants and beckoned them over with a wave of his hand. “Bring them to the yamen. Let Lord Liu take care of the rest.”
“Understood.” Several male servants stepped forward and supported them up. But they did not release their grip and continued to restrain the couple.
“Yun’er, you should’ve listened to me. We should’ve left this place yesterday night.” Lin Duan cried out in regretand tears fell from Suyun’s face.
Ji Yunshu interjected, “Did you believe that you could have escaped if you left yesterday?”
Lin Duan coldly smiled. “Why couldn’t I escape? If Yun’er had agreed to leave with me yesterday, we wouldn’t have fallen into your hands today.”
Ji Yunshu did not know where his confidence came from. She bluntly stated, “If you had tried to escape the Zhou mansion yesterday, you would have been welcomed by an arrow piercing into your heart.”
As her words fell, a burst of footsteps could be heard in the distance. A dozen yamen runners burst into the mourning hall and surrounded them. Liu Qingping, followed closely behind by Lang Po, had arrived together. Lang Po remained silent, walking until he was next to Prince Rong, taking his place behind his lord.
As for Lord Liu, he had transformed from his usually cowardly and scoundrel’s persona, instead donning the bearing of a county magistrate. He issued a firm order, “Grab those people and send them to the prison, where they will await for this official to report to the Ministry of Justice. I will handle their punishment after that.”
“Yes, Milord.” The yamen runners took Suyun and Lin Duan from the Zhou’s servants and shackled their wrists with iron chains.
Lin Duan was surprised, “You knew beforehand that it was us and had arranged for people guarding outside?”
Ji Yunshu replied, “Incorrect. I only made Lord Liu deploy people outside just in case. I didn’t know about your identity yet. However, if you had tried to leave the place with Suyun yesterday, it would have been an irrevocable confession to your crime!”
“I truly believed that there was absolutely no oversight in the plan, but I never expected that I was playing into your hand.” However grudging, his tone contained some trace of admiration!
The county magistrate waved his hand. “Hurry up and detain them.”
The yamen runners were well versed in crowd control, and promptly corralled anyone who wanted to leave.
Suyun stopped in front of Ji Yunshu and stared at her for a moment before asking, “How did you know that I injured my leg and that I was pregnant?”Ji Yunshu replied with a solemn expression, “Last night, I deliberately tripped your leg. So, of course, I’ll know you have a bone fracture there. As for how I knew you were pregnant, it’s because I took notice of your hipbone. For women who miscarried, their pelvis would be obviously retracted.”
Suyun gasped in surprise, “Teacher Ji, you are very intelligent. You only saw my handkerchief once, but you were already capable of clearly deducing my story. But I don’t regret anything. That night, as I looked at her body on the floor, poisoned and devoid of life, within the darkness enclosing me, I suddenly felt... liberated. I no longer need to endure her torments, to feel any of that pain. If I had to make the same choice again, I would still choose to kill her.”
Suyun’s confession made Ji Yunshu feel disturbed and extremely upset. She rubbed the handkerchief in her hand before giving it back to Suyun, “I’m returning this to its rightful owner.”
“Thank you.” Suyun took it softly, and calmly smiled.
Finally, Suyun and Lin Duan were sent to prison.
Once again, Zhou Mansion sank into an atmosphere of deep sorrow. In the end, Madame Zhou could not longer take it and fainted. Lord Zhou seemed to have aged considerably in the past day, as his whole being felt weary. His daughter had been ill all her life, and her maidservant was involved in an illicit affair which lead to the current tragedy. If this news spread, the Zhou family would no longer have any standing in Jinjiang city.
Ji Yunshu spoke, “Lord Zhou, my condolences.”
“Teacher Ji, thank you very much for finding the ones who killed my daughter. Unfortunately, as a father, I am truly ashamed. My own daughter was ill, but I hadn’t even noticed that.”
“No one can blame you for that. This humble one has said earlier, this kind of illness is not easy to detect as the symptoms are not evident most of the time.”
Lord Zhou sighed heavily once more.
As Ji Yunshu had not returned to her home the whole night, she was really worried that her absence would be discovered by that ravenous wolf of a father. Well, in the case that it had fallen apart, there weren't many things tying her there anyway.
The county magistrate hastily returned to the yamen first to write a report for the Ministry of Justice. Under the big snowy sky, Ji Yunshu departed soon after from Zhou mansion with an umbrella in hand. However, she had yet to walk very far when Jing Rong chased after her and walked with her, side by side.
Under the sky filled with snowflakes, they treaded the streets together, leaving their footprints imprinted on the mantle of snow. Both of them were holding an umbrella, forming a special, inclusive, atmosphere. As for Lang Po, he was following behind them in the distance.
Jing Rong glanced at Ji Yunshu and glimpsed the slight frown at the tips of her brows. She had solved a case, but why did she look like this? “Did Teacher Ji have something on your mind?”
She nodded, “I have this strange feeling.”
“Strange? What’s strange?”
Ji Yunshu hesitated slightly. She came to a halt and glanced at the confused Jing Rong,“I was just thinking about that sculpted crystal candlestick.”
Grenn's Rants Corner
My god! The length of the chapter suddenly jumped. *wipes sweat*