Chapter 314 - The Strange Corpse
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
“Because there was ginger powder inside the coffin. This ginger powder had the effect of protecting the corpse from humidity,” said Ji Yunshu.
Jing Rong was clueless.
“Amongst all the coffins excavated from Lin Mountain, only this one had ginger powder spread inside. Could it be that someone deliberately put it in?”
Ji Yunshu shook her head. “Last time when we opened all the coffins, I remembered smelling a ginger fragrance. At that time, I attributed the odor to the materials used for making some of the coffins, so I did not put much importance on that. The powder could explain why the putrefaction process of this corpse is much slower. However, the more I think about it, the stranger this feels. Why would the smell of ginger come from the corpse itself? To be specific, the smell seemed to be more concentrated on the clothes and not the actual coffin, which explained why the scent could only be detected when the coffin opened.”
After listening to her explanations, Jing Rong studied the inside of the coffin with more attention.
Then, he stared at the tiny piece of cloth which was stuck to the ribs of the skeleton.
He scowled and spoke his thoughts. “Those people died in a fire, so even if there were any clothes that were spared from the flames, it shouldn’t look like that. It should be black from the smoke or at least, partially burnt. Yet, the clothes on this skeleton do not have any traces of being burnt, as if that person didn’t die in the fire. In addition, the deceased is supposed to be a servant of the Imperial Duke household. Shouldn’t he be garbed in satin or better clothing? Something is fishy.”
A subtle light reflected within Ji Yunshu’s sharp eyes. She tapped the edge of the coffin as a thought came to her mind.
“Someone might have tampered with this coffin after it was buried.”
“If my guess is correct, this is the only explanation to our mystery. After this corpse had been buried, someone had dug up and switched the deceased’s clothes before sprinkling the ginger powder on him to preserve the body.”
Who would do such a thing? Jing Rong was shocked by her conjecture.
Ji Yunshu continued to explain. “That person only switched the clothes to cleaner ones which showed he or she was very familiar with the deceased. They went as far as to dig it up, change the brunt clothes to cleaner ones and sprinkling ginger powder on them. From those actions alone, it could be seen that person didn’t want others to know about it.”
She finished her analysis.
Her deductions weren’t baseless talk.
Jing Rong asked, “Have you already recreated the deceased’s portrait?”
“Not yet.” She sighed lightly. “Forget it. Let’s focus on drawing his portrait first. Afterward, we will look into who would want to sprinkle the ginger powder for him. Perhaps, if it was a person, he might be the one we’re searching for.”
“It would be great if it is.”
“I believe the case will have a breakthrough when the portrait is done.”
Jing Rong nodded in agreement.
Ji Yunshu wiped her hands and turned around. She hinted with her eyes at the two servants nearby to bring the coffin inside. She also instructed them to put the skeleton back into the coffin, closed the lid and covered it with a white cloth.
It was already dark outside when they were done.
Jing Rong had yet mentioned the matter of Yufu County’ disaster relief’s fund to Ji Yunshu.
Since it was getting late, Ji Yunshu decided to eat supper with Jing Rong.
On the table, there were four dishes but none contained meat. There were Chinese cabbage, coriander, tofu and Chinese squash. Each dish contained one ingredient. The overall looked plain and bland. It was unappetizing just by looking at it.
Jing Rong looked at their supper and felt distressed for his loved one. This woman ate this kind of food every day? How will her body fatten with only this? Thus, he decided.
“You should eat better to nurture your body.”
He ordered the servants to take away the dishes. “Bring more nutritious dishes. I want a chicken, and also bring me a swallow’s nest. Be quick!”
“Yes, your Highness!” The maidservants took the vegetable dishes in a hurry.
When the dish of cabbage was picked up, Ji Yunshu stopped the maidservant and took back the dish.
“Although this can’t be compared to fish or meat, it still has its own nutritious value and tastes delicious in its own way. Sometimes a lavish meal is too greasy and will harm the body in long term. Besides, it is already quite late. Eating too heavy won’t be good and might cause indigestion.”
Indigestion? I always eat like that at this time. Jing Rong pouted and choked his anger.
All the dishes were placed back on the table. Ji Yunshu started to eat without hurry. Jing Rong looked at her in silence.
“You’re not eating?” She raised her eyes as she inquired.
He swallowed his words and was about to pick up his chopsticks when a maidservant came in to report.
“Teacher Ji, Miss Ji has come.”
As soon as she reported the news, Ji Wanxin walked through the entrance in small steps. She raised her eyes gleaming with gentleness and the first thing she glanced at was Jing Rong. There was a slight fluctuation within her eyes. She appeared slightly bashful as she quickened her pace, and her hands were nervously grabbing her lapel. However, those small details went unnoticed by the two occupants in the room as Ji Wanxin had concealed it well.
When Ji Yunshu saw Ji Wanxin, she got up quickly and went to welcome her.
“Why did you come here so late?”
Ji Wanxin lowered her head and her lips curled up slightly. “I just want to see you.”
“Come in quickly; It’s cold outside.”
Ji Yunshu took her in and a maidservant took off her cape.
“Have you eaten yet?”
Ji Wanxin shook her head.
Ji Yunshu took her to a seat and ordered people to bring another set of chopsticks and a bowl.
From the start, Jing Rong had not looked at Ji Wanxin. He was busy stuffing himself with Chinese squash. It didn’t take long before his frown on his face eased.
Oh! It’s actually delicious.
Ji Wanxin sneaked a few glances at him before carefully asking, “Why are you here today, your Highness?”
Jing Rong didn’t seem to hear her.
Ji Yunshu answered instead of him. “He is freeloading.”
Free...loading? What is freeloading? Ji Wanxin had a vague understanding of the word based on the current context.
Frustration welled inside of her as she looked secretly at Jing Rong from time to time. She bit her lips slightly but was able to maintain her smile all the time.
Ji Yunshu looked at Jing Rong. That guy can really eat. He was gobbling everything like a vacuum,
making it look like the dishes were very delicious.
Ji Yunshu kicked his leg.
Ouch! He let out a painful yelp.
Then, he raised his head and looked at Ji Yunshu. “What? You don’t like me finishing your vegetables?”
“Then, what were you doing? Is your foot itchy?”
She didn’t respond.
“Be good and eat your food.” He resumed eating.
She blushed in shame and had an awkward expression. Bro, my big sister came for a visit. You should at least show some decency. Also, can’t you watch your word a bit?
Ji Yunshu had no choice but to say something to her half-sister. “Eat a bit more. Squashes are good for you.”
She put some squashes in Ji Wanxin’s bowl.
“Yunshu, you don’t have to mind me.”
While they were speaking, Ji Yunshu treated Jing Rong as air.
“Right, I have prepared some medicinal ingredients that you can take back with you,” she said.
“Your body is hollow from the illness. I happened to have some green shells which would be beneficial to your body. Remember to soak it in water for a few days before grinding it into powder. Then, dilute it with nectar. You can drink one cup a day.”
Green shell had the properties of expelling cold and heating the body.
Grenn's Rants Corner
Lol! Jing Rong needs his proteins.
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