Chapter 381 - The Truth Revealed (Case Closed)
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The three of them looked at each other. The atmosphere was filled with a heavy silence.
What went wrong? The evidence was flawless!
Mo Ruo gazed at Jing Rong, then confided his doubt, “When I was performing acupuncture on Zhao Qing, I saw a scar on his neck. It was cut by a knife. From the state of recovery of the scar, the cut should have been made a year ago. And the scar was very thin, so it must have been slit by a very sharp, thin and small knife.”
Ji Yunshu initially had some uncertainty about her theory, but she grew more confident with Mo Ruo’s words. “I overlooked something. Soaking in alcohol has as similar effect on the skeleton as storage at ice-cold temperatures; both have a preservative effect. The estimated time of death would also be affected by the materials used to brew the wine. When I accidentally spilled the medicine on Jiu’er’s skeleton earlier, a small part of the bone turned red instantly. If I remember correctly, among the medicaments you prescribed, there was something called the Seman Platycladi. It will penetrate the skeleton and turn the colour of bone into red. However, the skeleton has to be older than two years for this to happen. According to what you said, if Zhao Qing really has a scar of a knife cut on his neck, and the scar is a year old, then my deduction is most probably right.”
It was at least ninety-eight percent correct!
Jing Rong deliberated on their words for a few minutes before coming to a conclusion. “What you meant is that Jiu’er had actually died two years ago. The person who married Zhao Huai was actually… Zhao Qing?” This… This was the anecdote of the century!
Jing Rong gave a mocking laugh as he shrugged helplessly. “What on earth are these two brothers up to?”
Isn’t this homosexuality?! Mo Ruo deliberated for a moment. “It seems that Zhao Qing had not two, but three personalities. And the third, was none other than Jiu’er,” Ji Yunshu nodded her assent, but at the same time felt a tinge of chilliness in her heart.
She continued the analysis. “Two years ago, Zhao Qing’s second personality pushed Jiu’er and made her fall. Her shoulder and head hit the corner of the table and she died on the spot. Not long after Zhao Huai buried Jiu’er’s body, Zhao Qing’s second personality uncovered Jiu’er’s grave, cut off her head and threw the rest of the body into the urn. During the process, he developed ‘Jiu’er’ as a third personality. The other two personalities thought that Jiu’er was still alive. A year ago, the Jiu’er personality wanted to marry Zhao Huai. Unexpectedly, Zhao Qing’s second personality reappeared. This personality hated Jiu’er for loving Zhao Huai instead of himself, and thus killed Jiu’er once again. This whole self-written, self-directed play left that knife scar on his neck.”
Mo Ruo had some queries, “I don’t understand. If the third personality was Jiu’er, why didn’t Zhao Huai reveal him? It’s impossible that no one in the village knows about it.”
“Think about it. Zhao Qing liked Jiu’er. If he knew that he had killed Jiu’er with his own hands, how could he take the truth? Thus, Zhao Huai collaborated with all the people from the village to act along with this play for a year. All the way until the Jiu’er personality was killed.”
“Wasn’t this show too elaborate?” An icy chill ran down his spine.
Zhao Huai’s voice drifted in from the door. His expression appeared solemn and dreadful as he stood at the doorway and blocked it with his enormous build. He then walked in and stared at Ji Yunshu, “You’re really something. Just with some tiny clues, you figured out the whole story without missing anything,” he paused briefly, eyes turning dark, and said, “But… You shouldn’t know about this secret.”
This was the secret of the whole Gaoshan Gang. A family’s shame must not be spread abroad.
He reached for the sabre on his waist as he spoke. Shi Ziran wanted to pull out his sword the moment he saw Zhao Huai move, but was stopped by a look from Jing Rong. Shi Ziran had no choice but to stand aside on alert.
“Don’t worry. Since this is Gaoshan Gang’s secret, we will not mention a word about it.”
“Who can I trust?”
“Is your secret so valuable? Is it worth my chattering?”
Of course not! Zhao Huai contemplated quietly.
Ji Yunshu said, “Actually the truth doesn’t matter anymore. What matters most now is curing Zhao Qing’s illness. This is not just a thorn in Zhao Qing’s heart, but also yours. Jiu’er’s death had a great impact on you too.” It was as if she could see right through Zhao Huai.
Some time later…
Zhao Huai removed his hand from his sabre. Right at that moment, someone came in from the door. “First master, bad news!”
Zhao Huai replied as he walked out hurriedly, “What happened?”
“Somebody ambushed our village! There are a few thousands of them. They don’t look like they are from the capital, neither do they seem to be from Shanhuai County. From their banner, they’re from Jing Province.” Zhao Huai scanned everyone in the room with his eyes. Ji Yunshu, Jing Rong and Mo Ruo came out as well.
Zhao Huai was enraged. “You actually order people to ambush us!”
His apparently calm expression suddenly flared with killing intent. His bloodthirsty eyes seemed to be fathomless pools of fury as he glared right at them.
Jing Rong was confused and asked Mo Ruo, “Did you give any orders before you came?”
Mo Ruo shook his head and got suspicious, “Zhang Huanping and Lang Po didn’t receive your command. Logically, they wouldn’t attack the village.”
Weird! Thus, Jing Rong told Zhao Huai, “The command to attack wasn’t from this Prince. There must be some misunderstanding.”
Zhao Huai refused to give in. “Since I made my pledge, I was about to let you all go in five days’ time. But it seems that, I, Zhao Huai, will have to break my promise now.” He narrowed his eyes and gestured. Immediately, thirty to forty bandits appeared from the roof and tightly surrounded the courtyard. Each of them held a spear aimed at the people within the yard. To be able to encircle the place with such speed and with all their weapons ready, it was not hard to deduce that Zhao Huai had prepared all these beforehand as a failsafe.
Wei Yi suddenly stood up from the staircase he had been sitting on. He hid behind Ji Yunshu and looked around with his clear eyes. He then pouted but did not dare to utter a word.
Jing Rong scanned the room with his eagle-like gaze. The closely packed arrows surrounded them and left no way out. If he were to make a gamble, he couldn’t be sure of a win.
He fixed his gaze and said calmly, “Zhao Huai, instead of shooting us to death here, why don’t you let me go to the foot of the mountain. With the Prince’s order, the troops will definitely retreat. We could all avoid a massacre.”
“If those people listen to you now, it naturally means that they attacked on your orders. Letting you go now would be like releasing a tiger to its own cave.”
“If you kill us now, the three thousand troops will attack. It will be a lose-lose situation. What’s the good of killing us then?”
“Three thousand troops? I will not give in even if there are thirty thousand troops. Since you guys played dirty, you can’t blame me for being brutal. If I am to die, we will all die together. Then Zhao Qing’s secret will be kept forever. But for now, I will first send you all to hell.”
His hand rose in mid-air, index finger and middle finger approaching each other. Then... snap!
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Can you believe it? Jiu'er is Zhao Qing?? Poor Zhao Huai!
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