Chapter 414 - When Did You Have Such A Weird Habit?
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How could a man just enter the yamen from the back door so easily in the middle of the day? Ji Yunshu was not convinced.
The yamen runner added, “Many apologies, Teacher Ji. I’ll chase him out right away.” He pulled the man out from beneath the table with all his might, “This is the yamen. Where did you come from? How did a mad man like you get inside? If you were to offend anybody, you’ll be skinned alive! Damn it, quickly leave, come on!”
“Vengeful spirits, there’re vengeful spirits, they’re here for revenge, vengeful spirits are seeking revenge…” That man grasped onto the door frame with inhuman strength, refusing to budge.
“Come on, if you insist on staying, I’ll have someone carry you out like a dead man. Move it!” The two of them began their struggle once more, but that mad man proved to be as strong, if not stronger than the yamen runner. The door frame rattled as the two continued their struggle.
Wen Lingyang walked away from his desk, but he could not offer any help, nor could he remain aloof; in the end, he just stood there watching, unable to take sides.
In the process of the yamen runner’s and the stranger’s tug-of-war, Ji Yunshu suddenly noticed a mark on the strange man’s clothes. With her heightened suspicions, she immediately grabbed that man’s sleeve to check, an uneasy premonition growing within her chest. Her worries were evident in her tightly knitted brows.
That yamen runner, confused by Ji Yunshu’s actions, released the man and awaited further instructions as he retreated to the door. Ji Yunshu’s gaze turned serious as she asked him curiously, “Who exactly are you?”
That man was once again balled up in a fetal position on the ground, his arms braced around his knees, still muttering those same words, “Evil spirits are here for your lives…”
The yamen runner tried to grab Ji Yunshu’s attention, “Teacher Ji, I think I’d better bring him outside, in case he bothers you and Advisor Wen.”
“There’s no need.” She stood up, “Please bring Master Mo here.”
That yamen runner scratched his head quizzically, but did as he was told. Wen Lingyang was similarly clueless, and he asked, “Teacher Ji, what’s going on?”
“We’ll know better when Master Mo arrives.”
“Oh,” Wen Lingyang remarked, then kept silent as he waited.
That yamen runner returned in no time, bringing not just Mo Ruo with him, but also Jing Rong and the Shi siblings. With this atmosphere...were they here to start a fight?
Upon seeing Ji Yunshu here instead of her room where she was supposed to be, Jing Rong began to bubble with rage; this woman really doesn’t rest! If she goes on doing this and collapses, what will happen to my future little Jing Rongs? However, as he turned, his interest was caught by that trembling man next to the doorway.
Mo Ruo sauntered in, shooting worried glances towards that mad man. He questioned, “Did Teacher Ji have me rush here to treat this man? Or to guess who he was?”
Can you speak in a kinder tone? Ji Yunshu did not answer his questions, instead pulling up that man’s sleeve, intending to show that mark she had discovered to Mo Ruo. Before she could start however, Jing Rong had already cut in with a weird comment. “When did you develop such a weird habit?”
“Grabbing another man’s clothing seems to be your new habit. The last time, it was something from the Chang Estate, and this time, you’ve pulled it off the man himself.”
Nonsense! Ji Yunshu cursed him under her breath. Tsk tsk tsk, were you and Mo Ruo professionally trained as children? All the words that come out of your mouth can kill. Ji Yunshu rolled her eyes, ignoring Jing Rong. She pulled up that man’s sleeve once more, pointing out the ink stain to Mo Ruo.
Mo Ruo immediately caught on! He dusted his robes as he knelt down, rubbing that averagely-sized, well-demarcated stain. He contemplated for a moment, then nodded at Ji Yunshu!
Ji Yunshu felt the hair on the back of her arms stand with his confirmation. That man’s muttering still continued, as if he were in a deep trance.
Mo Ruo asked curiously, “Who is he?”
“No idea, he ran inside here himself.”
“Ran in here on his own?” Mo Ruo examined that man, listening more closely to what he was saying. Mo Ruo muttered to himself softly, “Vengeful spirits are seeking revenge? Did he…” He did not finish, but Ji Yunshu and Jing Rong were both aware of what he was trying to imply, unlike the others present - what did this all mean?
Ji Yunshu instructed that yamen runner again, “Could I trouble you to inform Lord Fang of this situation? Please ask him to come here immediately.”
“Huh?” That yamen runner was by now, utterly confused.
Jing Rong raised his voice, “Why aren’t you moving?”
“Oh, yes, yes, yes…” He scrambled outside, almost tripping over his own feet. Very soon, Fang Mingsan arrived. Ji Yunshu quickly summarised what had occured, explaining the implications of her discoveries. Everyone’s doubts cleared up in an instant!
“So, is Teacher Ji saying that this mad man is the murderer?” Fang Mingsan asked.
“I’m not sure if he is, but he keeps going on about evil spirits. Additionally, the ink stain on his clothes is identical to the one on Old Master Chang’s clothes. This case may be connected to him in some way.” Ji Yunshu herself was not entirely confident either, but...
“Then he must be the murderer! For a mad man to murder isn’t strange - the three cases can be concluded!” Constable Zhang remarked in his hoarse voice.
What concluded? Old Zhang, could you not be that careless and impatient? Ji Yunshu refuted him straightaway, “Mad men can be murderers, but such a meticulously planned series of murders doesn’t sound like something a mad man can achieve.”
Constable Zhang pondered for a moment, then pointed at that man on the floor, “Then, could he be faking it?”
“You’re the mad man. If he’s faking it, why would he surrender himself by entering the yamen?”
That’s true! Constable Zhang chuckled awkwardly. He decided to keep his mouth shut, lest he be ridiculed for his poor comprehension.
Out of professional habit, Wen Lingyang had picked up his own notebook and brush, commencing his recording as soon as Fang Mingsan arrived. He was curious as well, “Since Teacher Ji doesn’t believe this man to be the murderer, then how is he connected to this case?”
Ji Yunshu replied, “He may not have killed those men, but it’s strange for him to speak of evil spirits without any basis. Likewise, the ink stain on his clothes couldn’t have appeared out of nowhere. If he were connected to the case, I think that he might have seen something on the night of Old Master Chang’s murder. My other conjecture would be that he saw the killer, perhaps even come into contact with him, resulting in this ink stain.” Those present nodded in understanding.
Fang Mingsan bent down and asked that man, “This official wants to ask you - have you been to the Chang Estate? Seen the killer?”
“Vengeful spirits are seeking revenge.”
“If you know who the real murderer is, just tell us. Don’t be scared.”
“Who are you? Why were you at Chang Estate that night?”
Urgh! They couldn’t get anything coherent out of him. A yamen runner stationed at the front of the yamen ran in just then, puffing, “Lord, that… that Li Mingzhou is here.”
Hmm? “What’s he here for? Wasn’t his name already cleared?”
“He said he’s here to look for his younger brother.”
“Younger brother? Why would his younger brother be in this yamen? Ask him to look elsewhere.” Fang Mingsan waved him away.
That yamen runner’s face began to twitch as he pointed shakily at that man on the ground, “Li MIngzhou said that this man is the younger brother he’s looking for.”
It looks like this case was not just strange and suspicious, but also much more complicated than initially perceived! Additionally, it was surely connected to Li Mingzhou!
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Hmm... a mysterious brother and a vinegar-pot Jing Rong...
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