Chapter 392 - Wen Lingyang
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Moments later, Jing Rong and company moved into guestrooms of the county yamen [1. County yamens serve as courtrooms, offices as well as residences for the officials]. Fang Mingshan was a conarranged a few clean and tidy rooms, and even prepared meals. He was taking good care of them. To prevent any delay, Ji Yunshu ordered Fang Mingshan to bring her the case files of the three incidents.
Constable Zhang handed the files to her, curiously asked, “Has Teacher Ji come to Yuzhou before?”
Ji Yunshu was flipping through the files and did not even bother to lift her head. “I came here once before.”
“When was it?”
“A few months ago.”
“Then… Have you been to a guest house?”
“Back at the guest house, was there a murder?” He seemed persistent.
Ji Yunshu looked up and glanced at him before smiling and answering, “Yes, there was actually one.”
“Was that case…”
Before he finished, Ji Yunshu chimed in. “It seems like Constable Zhang has something to say.”
“No, no. I only think that Teacher’s figure and the way you walk resemble someone.”
“Someone? Who’s the someone?” Interesting.
Constable Zhang replied, “There was a young lady who had the same surname as Teacher. A few months ago, she solved a murder within a very short time at a guest house outside Yuzhou City. Prince Rong was there at that time as well.”
The implication was clear. He was suggesting that Teacher Ji was the veiled lady from a few months ago. Still, without any proof, he did not dare to make any assumptions.
Ji Yunshu laughed softly, then closed the files in her hand. She said, “Constable Zhang is indeed terrible at playing dumb.”
“What does Teacher mean?”
“Your speech and behavior are essentially the same as when I met you a few months ago. Since you have found out my identity, then I will not hide anymore. The reason this humble one is wearing a set of men’s clothes is solely for some ease at work. I hope that you can keep the secret and save me some inconvenience.”
She admitted it! Constable Zhang’s eyes glew in excitement as he spoke, “So it was you Miss Ji! I knew it, you were absolutely the one. I just never thought that the Miss Ji I met back then is now the Teacher Ji who’s so well-known at the capital. I apologise for not realizing earlier.” He cupped his hands and bowed as if he had just met a living Buddha.
Ji Yunshu, “...”
“When I first witnessed Miss Ji solving a case, it was amazing; You broadened my horizons. Not long after Teacher arrived at the capital, you solved another case of missing persons that even the Supreme Court and Ministry of Justice couldn’t handle; later, you even took on the Lin Capital Case that had started fourteen years ago. You’re so admirable. I also heard that before Teacher came to the capital, you had solved many serious cases in Jinjiang County. I never would have expected to meet Miss Ji again today, and even have the chance to work with you for a case! It’s my pleasure!” He puffed up his chest with pride and barely-contained excitement.
Ji Yunshu gave a humble smile. “Constable Zhang, please call me Teacher Ji instead. You calling me Miss Ji non-stop makes me cringe.” There would be trouble If anyone else found out about her female identity.
Constable Zhang hurriedly said, “Yes, Teacher Ji.”
Ji Yunshu stopped chatting with him, continuing to read the files. The summary of the case was not much different from what the old man at the decrepit temple and Fang Mingshan had said. The night before they died, all three of the victims claimed that they encountered ghosts. They were then found hanging on a big tree at their own courtyard the next night. Their legs were rigid and straight, ten fingers curled and stiff, eyes wide open, face painted with horror. It was as if they were scared to death! But why would the killer want to scare them to death and hang them on the trees? Ji Yunshu was still clueless.
She flipped the case files again, then lifted her head and asked Constable Zhang, “Were these files personally written by your county coroner?”
“No, it was our advisor who recorded it.”
“Your county advisor is very conscientious. The record was very detailed.”
“That’s right. Our yamen’s advisor is a young and brilliant scholar.”
Oh? Constable Zhang continued, “His name is Wen Lingyang; he’s known as a young talent in Yuzhou City. After he passed the scholar examinations, he joined yamen as a runner. Many people ask for his help in writing letters as his handwriting is beautiful.”
“I didn’t see him just now.”
“Lingyang visited the residence of the deceased to learn more about the case. He should be back by now.” He looked outside with his long neck, then seemed to see something and shouted excitedly, “Lingyang.”
A tall and slim man walked in. He wore a neat, plain robe. His fair and clean face complemented his scholarly aura perfectly. His eyes were filled with a soulful light that made people unable to look away.
This guy, Wen Lingyang, actually bore a close resemblance to Ji Pei! There was a moment where Ji Yunshu really thought he was Ji Pei.
Wen Lingyang realised that she was staring at him, he was confused. He cupped his hands together and said, “You must be Teacher Ji? This humble one apologises for not being there to welcome Teacher Ji I had visited the Chang residence just now. I hope Teacher Ji can forgive me for being rude.”
The sound brought Ji Yunshu back to her senses. She stood up and went around the table before cupping her hands in greeting. “Advisor Wen took it too seriously. You were running around for the case, how would that be rude?” Wen Lingyang smiled and looked at the open files on the table.
“I wonder if Teacher has finished reading the files?”
“If there are any part unclear, Teacher can always ask me.”
Ji Yunshu took up the files. “The files written by Advisor Wen are the most detailed I’ve seen in years. Even the officials from the Royal Court who are specialised in recording cases aren’t as detailed as you.”
“Teacher Ji overpraises me.”
“I heard from Constable Zhang that Advisor Wen went to the residences of the victims again. I wonder if you have found anything new?”
Wen Lingyang shook his head and sighed. “There are very little clues. The killer did not leave any trace. I went to the tree that the deceased were hung on and looked around to no avail.”
“How about the three bodies, have they been buried?”
“Two of them have been buried. The man who died few days ago will be entombed tomorrow. That was why I went to look for more clues.”
Ji Yunshu contemplated, continued asking, “Was the work of the yamen coroner detailed? Did the direction of the ligature mark and the curling of the tongue appear correct? Were there any other wounds on the body? And the extent of the twist of the deceased’s hands, did the coroner check all of these thoroughly?” A long list of questions were fired off. Constable Zhang could not even follow her train of thought.
On the other hand, Wen Lingyang replied to her questions composedly, “The coroner has checked, saying that the deceased indeed hung himself. There was no other ligation mark on the neck and no other wound on the body. The hands of the body twisted inwards to the direction of the palm and fine threads of the same rope in his fingernails, which indicate that he struggled before he hung himself. There was no trace found of the murderer.”
“How about the tale of ghosts?”
“According to the deceased’s families, all of them saw the ghost on their way home at night; all at the same location as well: the guest room of the House of Eternal Peace.”
“It was said that a few years ago, an official died in one of the first floor rooms of the House of Serenity. Coincidentally, all of the three deceased claimed that they saw a ghost in the same room. This is why people say that this is the work of a restless soul seeking revenge.” It was a waste of his talent to be only an advisor in a county yamen.
Ji Yunshu frowned, “What is this House of Serenity?”
“It is… A place where men seek happiness.”
ChouFleur Rants Corner
A Yunshu fan! yay~
Previous Chapter Next Chapter