She squinted at it as she tried to remember, and a flash of insight rocked her brain. Perhaps it was her intuition, but she started searching the corpses of the other men in black. As she suspected, she found the same jade pendants on all the corpses.
“What is this?” asked Lang Po.
“A breakthrough, I think...” answered Ji Yunshu.
Ji Yunshu gave Lang Po no time to ask questions and hastily left the scene with the pendant in hand. Lang Po followed in her footsteps as they walked through the memorial hall. Upon returning to the burnt corpse, Ji Yunshu knelt down and aligned the pendant with the circular marking found above the buttocks.
Indeed, a perfect match.
Even the patterns which ran along the circular jade pendant had been faithfully reproduced.
Ji Yunshu took out her handkerchief, which was stained by the coal-like liquid that had been boiled out of the hyoid bone. The stain had the same color as that dark mark, and, were the hues of that mark more intense, it would have reminded one of the dark blood that’d come out of Jing Rong and Fu Bo’s wounds earlier.
These five people were killed by Shiban poison! Does this mean that the men in black from tonight were the ones who killed them? But then, who were those men in black?
Every strike from their swords had aimed to take Jing Rong’s life. Were they here for revenge? With Jing Rong’s overbearing character and his princely status, having a few enemies in the jianghu  should not be surprising in the slightest.
Lang Po, who lacked the sophistication to follow Ji Yunshu’s thoughts, seemed very surprised and asked with great perplexity, “Teacher, what… are you doing? These jade pendants are?”
Ji Yunshu removed the pendant from the corpse, showed it to Lang Po and asked, “Do you recognise this?”
He shook his head.
Ji Yunshu was disappointed by his answer, “Each one of these men in black carried a jade pendant. If we can figure out where these pendants came from, then it will probably lead us to those who are plotting against your master’s life.”
“It mustn't be this simple,” answered Lang Po.
“Why so?” asked Ji Yunshu.
“Teacher, you might not be aware of how things are done in the jianghu. Had these people really come here to kill his Highness, they would not have worn the pendants. That would be too easy of a giveaway,” explained Lang Po.
A stupid mistake indeed. That was the fatal flaw in Ji Yunshu’s deduction.
“But the only clue we have right now are these pendants. Whether they were intentionally left here to mislead us is another matter. We should investigate them regardless.” Ji Yunshu stuffed the pendants into Lang Po’s hands and continued, “Don’t forget to tell your Prince that Shiban poison is not to be taken lightly. It is made using the flower petals of a species of tangerine tree which only grows in the harshest of colds. I had thought it to be extinct, but it seems like there are still people out there who are planting those trees. If we can find out who would grow such a tree, surely we can find the source of this poison, and the culprits themselves.”
Lang Po stared back at Ji Yunshu in amazement as he tried to digest what he had just heard. He had listened to the praises of the county magistrate, but he’d still had his doubts about Ji Yunshu. After seeing her solve the Zhou’s case and hearing her deductions now, he was convinced - she was too amazing.
Lang Po was still lost in his thoughts when Ji Yunshu added, “By the looks of it, Prince Rong won’t wake up until tomorrow. How about you stay here for the night? As for the corpses outside…”
Yes, what about the corpses outside?
This was no small matter, and surely the magistrate needed to be informed of what had transpired. But she was worried that Jing Rong would want to keep this a secret, away from intrusive eyes. Lang Po helped her finish her thoughts, “Teacher, this is a matter of utmost importance. Please don’t tell anyone else about what happened tonight. I’ll dispose of the corpses outside.”
Ji Yunshu nodded. “We part ways then. Please don’t forget to inform the Prince about our findings today,” said Ji Yunshu.
This is the end of it then. Now that the investigation is over, there is no longer any connection between Jing Rong and I.
It was already the hour of the boar . Ji Yunshu wiped the bloodstains off her hands, and, in a futile effort, tried to clean her robes. However, the blood had already dried and completely stained it. What a waste of a garment.
Ji Yunshu picked up the lantern she had left in the corner of the wall and walked home guided by its dim light. Upon arriving at the Ji mansion, she immediately threw her clothes into the brazier. Her heart raced as she recalled what had just happened; that was too close of a call, and it burdened her spirit heavily. The weakness in her limbs prompted Ji Yunshu to slowly fall into a deep slumber as she lay on her bed. But even then, she stayed tense until the very moment she lost consciousness.
The morning of the following day arrived mercilessly, accompanied by heavy snowfall, painting the landscape white once more.
This time, Ji Yunshu woke up very early.
Luan’er entered the room trying her best to suppress a yawn. White steam wafted from the tea set in her hands as she gently put it down. She asked Ji Yunshu in a quiet voice, “Miss, when did you get home yesterday?”
“Very late,” answered Ji Yunshu.
“Are you done helping out at the yamen? You’ve been working nonstop the last few days, and I worry about your health…” Maids from ancient times fell into one of two categories, those who worried sick about everything, like Luan’er, or those who were sick with a lack of compassion for any and all matters.
Ji Yunshu poured a cup of tea for herself, and tasted it as she answered the question, “Did you put the semiaquilegia root into the water last night as I told you to?”
Luan’er nodded and trotted out of the room. She came back with a delicate box which contained the medicine and put it in front of her young miss, “Are you really going to gift this to the housekeeper at the Zhou Mansion?” asked Luan’er. She clearly thought that gifting such a precious item to a stranger was a waste, and the reluctance was visible in her eyes.
Ji Yunshu answered by picking up the box and said, “I’ll go to the Zhou Mansion right now.”
“It’s still snowing outside miss, how about I go instead?” proposed Luan’er.
“I’ll go myself, I still have some belongings left at the Zhou Mansion,” answered Ji Yunshu. She picked up an umbrella at the door, and was gone before her last word had finished echoing around the room.
Luan’er stared at her departing back with a frown and sighed with worry.
Ji Yunshu did not want to stay in the Ji Mansion, this unfortunate place in which the previous owner of her body had starved to death. The more she thought about it, the more irritated she became. At thirteen years old, should the flower of adolescence not blossom with the utmost splendor? Instead, it had wilted through coldness and hunger. Could there be a more abominable atrocity? Had she not transmigrated into the body at that time, Luan’er, who was barely ten years old at the time, would most likely have shared the same fate ...
Ji Yunshu shook off the snow which had accumulated on her umbrella, and put it away as she neared the Zhou Mansion.
Miss Zhou had been exhumed the previous day, and the white strips of cloth  which hung at the entrance had already been removed. However, the Zhou Mansion was still uncomfortably gloomy, contrasting against the awe it used to inspire in its visitors. The servant who manned the door came to greet her as she approached. “Teacher Ji, what brings you here? I’ll go tell Master right away.”
“There’s no need for that, I’m here for your housekeeper.”
The servant was perplexed, but nevertheless proposed, “Please come in, sir. I’ll get Uncle Jing right away.”
The servant led Ji Yunshu to a side hall, and hurriedly departed to fetch the housekeeper.
It was not long before the old housekeeper arrived, his back as hunched as ever. Both his hands were clasped tightly together at his abdomen; his every movement cried out the word servitude.
Hello everyone, my name is Zhao, and have just joined to work on BPC. This is the first chapter I’ve worked on for BPC, and I’m new to the scene, so hopefully, I’ll be worthy enough to share some of Grenn’s mantle for the translation of this very interesting novel. Please leave a comment below if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, and I’ll make sure to check them! :)
 Jianghu is a Chinese term that designated the underworld as in mafias/triads, assassins, etc.
 The hour of the boar: 9-11pm
 White is the color of mourning in China, and it is common practice for people to decorate their houses with white cloth if someone from the household passes away.Previous Chapter Next Chapter