Chapter 439 - Black-hearted Merchants? Informing The Authorities?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Their trunks were still here in this very inn? They turned back to look at Ji Yunshu. This scholarly man had very clean-cut features, but his eyes were as unfathomable as the depths of the ocean. If one stared at them any more, they might fall into an icy abyss.
The opera troupe leader asked, “Young master, if you say that those trunks aren’t lost, then where are they??” He was on tenterhooks.
Ji Yunshu flicked him a glance, “Didn’t I already tell you? They’re still in this inn.”
“Inside the inn?” The opera troupe leader was stunned for a moment before quickly turning to glare at at Sanniang, jabbing a finger in her direction, “Since those trunks are still here, then you must have stolen them. You black-hearted merchants! Return our belongings to us!”
“Give them back!”
“Otherwise we’ll inform the authorities!”
The older men in the troupe pushed up their sleeves, preparing themselves for a fight.
Sanniang had no mind to continue her flirtatious efforts. She closed up her fan and tucked it into her waistband, raising one eyebrow at Ji Yunshu, “I say, young master, where’s your evidence when accusing our inn? It’s been around for generations and my workers are innocent. We’ll be sure to report you for your wild accusations if we head to court!”
“Please do.” Eerily calm, Ji Yunshu ignored Sanniang’s piercing stare and instead headed towards the stacked trunks. The red paint that covered them was already flaking with age, and a small speck of it stuck to her finger as she ran it across their surface. The corners of her lips turned upwards as her eyes turned to the waiter who bumped into her upstairs. He was still panting slightly, sweat stains on his forehead shining under the flickering torch lights.
Ji Yunshu approached him slowly, “This young fellow seems to be very tired.”
The waiter trembled as he lifted his sleeve to his forehead. He swallowed, remarking casually, “It’s hot today.”
“Oh? But it’s quite cool today.”
“With how many customers there were today, it’s only natural that I would be a little sweaty with all the extra work.”
“In this one’s opinion, that’s not the reason why.”
Hmm? “What… what do you mean?”
“Your cheeks and neck are flushed, and the muscles in your jaw are popping out slightly - all this points to the fact that you must have lifted something with all of your strength roughly fifteen minutes ago. When someone strains to lift something extremely heavy, their facial and neck muscles will stretch then tense up, resulting in them engorging.” She explained logically.
The waiter staggered back, his beady eyes rolling quicker than his brain could process, “So what if I was lifting something heavy? I’m not that strong - I need to use a lot of strength even when I’m serving dishes.”
Everyone watched with bated breath, their ears perking up as they hung onto every word. Ji Yunshu pointed at that waiter’s sleeve, “The dust on your sleeve is fresh, and the red paint on your clothes is the same as the type that I’ve just seen on the trunks.”
That waiter swayed; his gaze darted around. He hurriedly crossed his arms in front of his chest, hiding the sleeve that was stained with paint as he tried to defend himself, “I’ve never touched those trunks. Stop spouting nonsense.”
“I’ve never accused of touching those trunks; you said those words yourself.”
“I… I didn’t confess - don’t put words in my mouth. The paint stuck to my sleeve when I was wiping tables. They’re not from those trunks. If you continue to make these accusations without proof, then you’re slandering me.” He was afraid, but assertive.
“This one did not malign you - you told me all these yourself.”
Ji Yunshu nodded. She pulled out his arm and pried open his tightly clenched fist to reveal a cut about two inches long sitting on his palm. The wound was still fresh and obviously had not been cleaned, with dried blood crusted messily all over. Ji Yunshu spoke, “You must have gotten this wound while you were moving those trunks - some of the wood silvers must have scratched you as you lifted them.” It wasn’t a question!
That waiter immediately pulled his arm back. He stammered and stumbled, “I…”
Ji Yunshu smiled, “You can stop trying - I only speak of things I’m confident about.” She walked over to one of those trunks, pointing to a spot on its lid, “There’s a streak of dried blood on this trunk. It’s obvious why - when you lifted one of the missing trunks, you were cut and the blood on your fresh wound stained the bottom of the trunk you were holding. Because of the pain, you stacked that trunk on top of this one here. This stain here corresponded to where the blood was on that trunk you stacked and moved away. It’s faint and you’ll miss it unless you’re looking for something that’s not supposed to be there.”
The opera troupe leader finally realised what had happened. He rushed up to grab the waiter by his collar and yelled, “You dirty thief! I’m bringing you to the yamen now, let’s go.” He dragged him away by the neck.
Jing Rong stopped him. He tossed out coldly, “Have you given up on your trunks?”
He replied, “Of course I haven’t!” He tightened his grip on that waiter’s collar, “Hand over my trunks, now!”
“I… I didn’t take them.” He hollered, pushing the opera troupe leader away. He ran behind Sanniang, cowering as he pleaded, “Sanniang, I didn’t… I didn’t take them, I swear!” Pleading innocent!
Sanniang knew better; they must have done it behind her back! However, she couldn’t just leave her own men out to dry. She put herself between the waiter and the crowd, addressing Ji Yunshu, “Young master, you have no real evidence; just saying that he stole them doesn’t prove that it was him.”
Ji Yunshu was neither troubled nor rushed; in fact, she was no different from her normal, confident self!
The opera troupe, on the other hand, was much less composed.
“You stole our things. If you don’t return them to us now, we’re going straight to the officials.”
“Yes, let’s go report them to the authorities now - you’re just black-hearted merchants.”
They began to riot!
Sanniang had seen too many of these; she yelled at the top of her voice, “What are you screaming about? This is this Sanniang Du’s property; anyone who dares make a ruckus cannot be forgiven. Don’t talk about those officials; even if it were the Emperor of the Heavens, this Sanniang Du will give him what he deserves!” She definitely had the confidence and charisma as the crowd fell silent!
Sanniang spoke to Ji Yunshu, “Dead mice don’t fear the cold. If you can find those missing trunks, this Sanniang Du promises to compensate these people double of what those trunks are worth. If you can’t find them however, or any damning evidence for that matter, then I’ll take it that you all are purposely picking a fight with this Sanniang Du. You’ll know the consequences of that then.”
The opera troupe deflated.
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Woah... This Sanniang is something man.
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