Chapter 359 - The Murderer Is Someone Else
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
The man who had gotten Wei Yi something to eat rushed outside at that old man’s voice, berating him, “What time is it now? You’re late by an hour.”
“Many apologies, sir. Today’s roads weren’t in good condition and I’m nearly blind now so it took me a bit longer to get here. I’ll make sure to be earlier next time.”
“Forget it, forget it. Quickly move the supplies in.”
“Yessir,” the old man complied, hurriedly unloading the large baskets of vegetables from his cart to the kitchen. He was not actually late - the Gaoshan Village had strict rules: whether it was firewood delivery, or food supplies, they all had to arrive in the middle of the night. The kitchen helpers and Xiao Yu stood to one side, watching that old man work.
Inspiration struck Wei Yi; he rolled up his sleeves and waddled his way over to the old man, giving him a hand at moving with a large childlike smile on his face. He said cheerfully, “Grandpa, let me help you.”
That old man was taken aback, stopping Wei Yi, “Let me do it, young master.”
“It’s no problem! I’m very strong. Just rest here.” Wei Yi continued in earnest.
Xiao Yu scoffed, pulling the kitchen bandit aside, “A fool is a fool - volunteering for menial tasks like this.” They stood watching once more as the sweating Wei Yi carried basket after basket into the kitchen.
Phew, it’s finally finished!
“Thank you, young sir, thank you…” That old man bowed repeatedly.
Wei Yi held onto his hands, correcting him, “I’m not a young master. My name is Wei Yi - ‘Wei’ as in ‘position’, and ‘Yi’ as in ‘alone’.[1. Might have to explain in detail. Wei Yi's Wei isn't the 'wei' in 'wei zhi (position)' but 'fang wei' as in defend. 'Yi' can be explained as 'abundant' or 'sun/bright', not alone as in 'yi ge ren (i.e. one)' If you remember in the early chapters, Wei Yi made the same mistake. Well, it looks like he hasn’t learned despite Ji Yunshu correcting him.]”
Huh? That old man was illiterate; he did not understand what Wei Yi was talking about.
Xiao Yu and that kitchen bandit had their arms crossed in front of their chests as they rolled their eyes at Wei Yi, “Scholars just love to show off, still explaining word by word.”
Pfft - Confucius and Mencius would surely vomit blood if they heard all these.
As Wei Yi placed the very last unloaded basket onto the cart, he secretly tucked the items in his sleeve underneath that basket without anyone noticing. The old man also knew nothing of this, pushing his cart away.
Wei Yi scratched his head, turning to Xiao Yu, “Brother Xiao Yu, why didn’t you pay him? The Grandpa went through all this trouble to send you vegetables.”
“Pay him?” How, fresh! Xiao Yu laughed unabashedly, “To supply the Gaoshan Gang with vegetables is that old man’s fortune - he still wants to receive money for it? Dream on!”
“No more ‘buts’. Grab your food and scram.” He stuffed several buns into Wei Yi’s hands, pushing him towards the woodshed where he was held captive.
In the woodshed.
Ji Yunshu sat upright, leaning against a heap of dry grass. She felt her body getting colder and clammier, her chest becoming heavier and heavier as she kept her eye on the door. A cry of ‘Second Master’ could be heard from where she sat; Zhao Qing was the Second Master, the First Master’s younger kin brother, so even though he was watched, it did not mean that he was also forbidden from moving around.
“Open the door,” Zhao Qing coldly ordered.
“Open it.” Zhao Qing was much less courteous this time. The guard swallowed, opening the door without much struggle.
Moonlight and light from a lantern overlapped to form a strong bright beam, stinging Ji Yunshu’s eyes which had grown accustomed to the darkness. She closed her eyes instinctively as she adjusted to the light, opening her eyes to see Zhao Qing’s tall, a striking figure enter the woodshed, towering over her like an ominous cloud. The door slammed shut behind him with a clack.
Zhao Qing looked down at Ji Yunshu. Even though her face was enveloped in darkness, her ghastly pale skin could not be hidden, “You really have no fear.”
Ji Yunshu managed an awkward smile, “Isn’t the Second Master the same? Coming here on a rescue operation all by yourself.”
“Did you think I was here to save you?”
“Of course not,” Ji Yunshu reasoned. “Second Master had not been here in a year since your falling out with the First Master. Why would you come here to save me?”
“You’re a smart one.” Zhao Qing bent down on one knee as he continued, speaking to her at eye level. Her deep set of eyes were as clear as a stream, unpolluted, shimmering - Zhao Qing almost drowned in them. He quickly set himself right, steadying his gaze and expression, his gruff, bearded face becoming stern, “Since you’re a smart man, then tell me - why did I decide to storm this place?”
“This one doesn’t know.”
“Oh? So the famous Teacher Ji from the Capital also has something he can’t figure out?”
Ji Yunshu’s hands around her knees trembled, her gaze shaking in suprise, “How did you know?”
“It wasn’t hard, I just dug around a little bit. I actually was making a guess as well, but seeing your reaction, I think I was right.”
Ji Yunshu frowned, “If you went to all that trouble to investigate me, then I’m sure you must also know who that young master I was travelling with is?”
Zhao Qing was inexplicably calm, “There was some big news from the Capital recently - Prince Rong had been ordered to leave the Capital for Yufu County to investigate something about relief silvers. A prince leaving the Capital on royal decree is no small matter, what’s more, Prince Rong left the Capital with that famous Teacher Ji. To have the ability to kill forty of Zhao Huai’s men, who, if not Prince Rong?” It was not a question - he was absolutely certain.
Ji Yunshu stared at him; this man was quite formidable, quite different from Zhao Huai. He looked like a wild, uncouth man, but he was actually very detailed and conscientious. His sharp gaze bore a stark contrast to his current appearance. Ji Yunshu laughed, “Since you’ve worked it out, let me guess as well.”
“You want me to investigate Jiu’er’s death.”
Ugh! Zhao Qing was startled. He started to tremble, slowly regaining his composure as he pushed himself up against his kneecap, standing up. There was an overflowing sadness in his eyes.
He lowered his gaze, fixing it on Ji Yunshu’s crown, speaking after a long while, “When Jiu’er died, I wasn’t by her side. She lay on the floor in a pool of blood with Zhao Huai next to her. He held a sword in his hand then, the very same sword that pierced Jiu’er to her death.”
“Since you know how Jiu’er died, why do you still want me to investigate it?”
“I just have second guesses.”
“What if… the murderer’s someone else?”
Ji Yunshu slowly raised her head, asking in return, “Why would you have such doubts?”
Zhao Qing paused, “Zhao Huai’s my kin brother - I know him. If he killed her, he wouldn’t deny it. But he wouldn’t admit that he killed Jiu’er. I don’t know if I should believe him, or believe what I saw.” He hesitated. There were doubts, a stone making home in his heart for a year.
Ji Yunshu questioned again, “Then, could you tell me who ‘Jiu’er’ is?”
Grenn's Rants Corner
Open another pandora box...?
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