The crystal candlestick? The one that Miss Zhou lit every night?
Jing Rong had an angry and annoyed face, but in an instant, his sharp features loosened into surprise, “Don’t tell me there’s a problem with that candlestick?”
Ji Yunshu pondered for a moment. The more she thought about it, the more her mind was nagging her about an oversight, but the murderers had been apprehended already. They could not possibly have overlooked anything!
Thus, she shook her head and answered him, “It’s nothing… I must be overthinking things.” She slightly lowered the umbrella in her hand and resumed walking.
This scholar, he seems covered in a veil of mysteries. He speaks in a way that I’m unable to guess his thoughts! Jing Rong caught up to her in a few strides. At the same time, he rolled his eyes and asked, “I still have some doubts, do you mind enlightening me?”
“Are you thinking about why I told Lord Liu to deploy his troops around Zhou mansion?”
“How perceptive!” He had not even asked yet, but the scholar’s guess was spot on! Jing Rong nodded with an extremely pleased impression. “I simply don’t understand how you could determine that the murderer was amongst those inside the Zhou mansion? Also, how did you foresee them staying in the mansion, awaiting capture? If this Prince was the murderer, I would have long escaped, far from here!”
“Think about it, Your Highness. If the murderer was able to put poison in Miss Zhou's medicinal concoction and could secretly bring the body to the attic without being discovered, it means that this person was extremely familiar with the layout of the Zhou family’s mansion. It had a higher probability than the culprit being a stranger, so if I eliminated Lord Zhou and Madame Zhou from the suspects list, all that was left were the servants. Since the murderer didn’t want people to suspect him about Miss Zhou’s faked accidental fall, it wasn’t necessary for him to escape either. In addition, all the servants in this mansion have signed a slave contract, which means that if one of them had gone missing, a report would’ve been sent to the yamen. However, ever since Miss Zhou’s death, the yamen had yet to receive such a notice from the Zhou family. Therefore, I could deduce that the murderer was still inside the Zhou mansion.”
“The murderer certainly didn’t imagine that his meticulous plan would be exposed, which left him extremely afraid. With such thoughts, he might want to escape, so when Lord Liu left yesterday, I told him about this matter and had him deploy people in the vicinity, taking some measures in case the murderers did try to escape. If he did escape, the yamen runners would be able to catch him red-handed.”
“To sum it all up, when you arranged everything with Lord Liu beforehand, you still didn’t know the identity of the murderer.” Jing Rong narrowed his eyes.
Ji Yunshu nodded, “If I had known, there would be no need for me to stay for a night, and I probably wouldn’t have discovered that the murderer was in fact two people. It would have ended with Miss Zhou probably dying with remaining grievances. I was surprised that Suyun practically delivered herself to the door. It was also by chance that I saw her handkerchief. This is truly Heaven’s will. It’s really not an exaggeration!”
At this moment, Jing Rong’s heart gave birth to a sincere admiration for her! But in an instant, he rebuked, “Teacher, since you are this intelligent, how could you use such a clumsy method to draw out the second murderer? If it wasn’t for me, perhaps, you would have already been sent to the doctor.”
Ji Yunshu was aware of his small guts. You’re still thinking about that?! Didn’t I let you help me out?! He was clearly reprimanding her, but why was he showing such strong worry and deep concern?
Ji Yunshu did not want to ponder too deeply about it, “If that method could draw out the murderer, it was worth taking the risk. What harm could there be?”
“You’re really eloquent, aren't you!”
“Since this humble one has cleared your Highness’ doubts then, we should also part ways here. You’re not planning to follow me home, right?”
Jing Rong’s indignant face unexpectedly became radiant. He observed Ji Yunshu’s round and lukewarm expression, “If you have a spare bed at home to accommodate this Prince, I’m willing to follow you home. What harm could there be?”
How could a monarch’s child could actually be this shameless?
“My house is a lowly abode that does not befit your status. I will take my leave, no need to accompany me.” As she threw these words, she swiftly accelerated, and quickly walked away.
This Jing Rong was like a sticky candy. Instead of leaving obligingly, he dashed forward. In an instant, a strong gale tousled Ji Yunshu’s gown. Then, right in front of her, stood the tall and ramrod Jing Rong, blocking her way. His tall height and her short stature stood diametrically opposite of each other. If she did not have the umbrella above her head, she would have bumped into Jing Rong’s chest… again.
As Ji Yunshu raised her head, her eyes locked onto Jing Rong’s. This unexpected meeting of their eyes caused both their hearts to skip a beat!
Unexpectedly, Jing Rong was the first to initiate the conversation, “Are you thinking about abandoning me?”
“Huh?” The question disturbed Ji Yunshu’s heart, causing her ears to turn a brighter shade of red. Fortunately, her hair concealed the change.
“Don’t forget that you promised when this case was closed, you would investigate my case. Could you have forgotten about this matter?” Jing Rong’s eyebrows rose, and his tone turned somewhat overbearing.
So that was it! Ji Yunshu let out a sigh. For no rhyme or reason, to suddenly spout out “don’t abandon me”, it really would cause people’s imagination to run wild!
She replied, “Prince Rong, a hanging man also needs to breathe. Can you let this humble one rest for a night and investigate your case tomorrow?”
“Who told you not to properly rest yesterday night?”
The rhetorical comeback left her speechless! Hey! Your Highness, I didn’t rest last night in order to solve this case! Unlike you who didn’t properly eat your supper!
Jing Rong showed off a winner’s magnanimity at Ji Yunshu's speechlessness, “It’s decided then! This prince isn’t inhumane. You want to rest? Then, I’ll let you rest during the day. Tonight at the hour of the rooster , I’ll wait for you at the memorial hall. If in the end, the five corpses rot, it will be more laborious for Teacher to investigate.”
This person’s brain was really full of rot! Didn't he hear that she only needed the bones to investigate? This was inhumane. The night was bitterly cold and she hadn’t slept a wink, how could resting during the day be enough? But... “As you wish, your Highness. This humble one does not dare to not be present. I will see you at the memorial hall tonight, at the hour of the rooster.”
How come her obedient words felt uncomfortable to his ears? He turned around and watched her delicate figure gradually getting further away. The corner of his mouth slightly rose into a smile - it was an intoxicated smile that made it seem like he was drunk on an aged wine.
Lang Po, who was watching over them from a distance, arrived in front of Jing Rong in a matter of moments, “Prince Rong, You and Teacher Ji… Did you mention the Imperial Duke’s case?”
Jing Rong’s expression froze on the spot. His previously gentle eyes turned into icebergs, “There’s no hurry. Perhaps behind this case, there are numerous people involved. Although Teacher Ji is intelligent, I cannot easily trust him. If there is a mistake, all the blame would fall on me.”
“This subordinate understands.”
Jing Rong had some doubts, thus he immediately instructed Lang Po, “Secretly investigate everything related to Teacher Ji. The people this prince wants must have a completely clean background.”
Lang Po bowed his head, “Yes, your Highness.”
Jing Rong took a deep breath of cold air. His gaze was still fixed on Ji Yunshu’s back that was rapidly vanishing into the distance.
He had already left the Capital for half a year to solve the Imperial Duke’s case. If Ji Yunshu was trustworthy, then his return to the Capital wouldn’t be far away!
Grenn's Rants Corner
I now know that I can't translate 14 chapters in a week while going to work. *dies*
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