Chapter 443 - South City Opera Troupe
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Old Master Zhang is dead? He’s a well-known rich businessman in Anfu County! Rumour said that it was Old Master Zhang’s sixtieth birthday, and that they were having a banquet at his residence. Half of the guests were high-ranked county officials, while the other half were noblemen from neighboring cities. The whole residence was occupied with banquet tables and two of the rooms were fully stacked with presents. It was extremely merry.
Speaking of Old Master Zhang, although he appeared to be a polite person on the outside, he was actually a very miserly person, who would never let any silver slip out of his fingers. He was nicknamed ‘iron rooster’ [1. Slang for someone who wouldn’t give out a single cent/feather (both sound the same in chinese)]! To appear extravagant, he arranged many performances for the banquet. There were songs and dances, and they even paid a huge amount of money to hire an opera troupe that came from afar. No one would have expected that Old Master Zhang would fall over at his seat during the play and pass away on the spot! At that moment, everyone was horrified and Zhang Residence was in total disarray.
Liu Zhiliang was petrified the moment he heard the news. The yamen runner reminded, “Lord, shall we head to the Zhang Residence now?”
“Of course. You head over with the rest and lock down Zhang Residence, then inform the coroner to pay a visit.”
“Yes.” The yamen runner promptly went ahead to carry out his task.
Liu Zhiliang cupped his hands and bowed to Jing Rong, “The Prince, this case has come too suddenly, this humble official…”
“Go ahead and do your job. This Prince will not disturb further. You don’t have to send your subordinates to escort this Prince either.”
“Yes.” Jing Rong glanced at the two pageboys who were still kneeling on the ground, shivering. He squinted with his sharp eyes and left with Shi Ziran.
On their way back… Shi Ziran asked curiously, “Prince, is this another mysterious murder case?”
“You want to know?”
“I’m just curious.”
Jing Rong sneered, “Old Master Zhang might have eaten too much and died of excessive eating. How can you find so many mysterious cases on earth?”
Shi Ziran nodded and smirked like a fool.
They returned to the inn two hours later. The moment he stepped into his room, he saw Ji Yunshu sitting there waiting for him. He raised the corner of his lips devilishly and flashed a naughty smile dismissing Shi Ziran and closing the door. He thought to himself, ‘This woman has come to the wolf’s den on her own.’
“You were waiting for me?” He asked.
Ji Yunshu ignored the question. “Brother Lang said that you went to the yamen?”
“Yes. To meet Liu Zhiliang.”
“I heard that someone from the Zhang Residence died?” Ji Yunshu spoke without much emotion in her tone.
Jing Rong smiled, “The news has spread rather quickly.” He took a seat beside her and used a commanding tone, “You listen to me carefully. We’re leaving here the first thing tomorrow.” What he actually meant was, ‘You shall not get involved in this!’
Of course, Ji Yunshu understood his words. She smiled and poured two cups of tea, pushed one of the cups in front of him, and stood up to leave. She had only taken two steps forward before Jing Rong grabbed her wrist and pulled her into his embrace, taking the opportunity to slide his hand around her waist. She couldn’t break free! Their bodies were leaning against each other. A tall one and a short one. A muscular one and a petite one.
Before Ji Yunshu regained her composure, her chin was lifted by Jing Rong with his fingers. Her gaze stared right into his and they locked eyes! “Are you planning to leave just like this?”
Her eyes shifted, “If not?”
Jing Rong appeared to be jealous as he said, “That brat Wei Yi has been occupying your attention the whole journey. It has been difficult for this Prince to even talk to you. Now that you send yourself into my room, you’re like a piece of juicy meat right beside my mouth. How can I just let you go?” He leaned forward as he spoke and rested his forehead against hers. His eyes appeared domineering yet full of tenderness.
Numbness ran through Ji Yunshu’s body as she tried to lean backwards. However, Jing Rong’s hand was firm on her waist.
“Little vixen, don’t try to run away from me. This Prince will eat you alive tonight.”
“Nonsense or not, we’ll find out later.” His lips drew closer.
Ji Yunshu blocked him with her hands pressing against his chest, pushing him a few inches away. She bit her lips, shifted her gaze and said, “It’s late now. You should rest earlier.”
She struggled to escape from his arms and left the room hastily. Jing Rong was left alone in the room, frustrated. I should’ve thrown the woman on the bed and finished it there and then. It’s as if the meat in my mouth fell into the drain. He sighed, then changed his clothes and went to bed.
The next day morning, it was mayhem at the first floor of the inn.
“Have you heard about it? Old Master Zhang passed away last night.”
“I heard about the news last night. Old Master Zhang was celebrating his birthday at his residence and there were a lot of guests. While they were watching the opera, he suddenly fainted on the ground. And when they checked on him, they found out that he was dead.”
“Was it a fit?”
“Old Master Zhang was a healthy man. How would he experience a fit?”
At this moment, someone said in a low voice, “I heard that the coroner sent by the yamen discovered that the Old Master Zhang died of poisoning. Someone poisoned his tea. They have found the murderer and sent them to the yamen.”
“Who’s the murderer?”
“Apparently it’s the young lady who acts as the main singer for the South City Opera Troupe. Her name is Zhan Mo, and was specially requested for Old Master Zhang’s birthday banquet.”
The audience gasped, “What grudge did she hold against Old Master Zhang? Why did she have to kill him?”
Everyone leaned on the table to discuss this intriguing case.
Ji Yunshu and Jing Rong were having their meal at the first floor and overheard the whole conversation. ‘Zhan Mo was the one who poisoned Old Master Zhang? The lady who fainted at the inn at the countryside?’ Ji Yunshu was contemplative but Jing Rong, who sat opposite to her, could not to be bothered. He continued to eat and drink as he said emotionlessly, “Those who can mind their own business will lead long lives.” It was unclear who Jing Rong’s unexpected words were directed to.
Ji Yunshu understood his underlying meaning. Hence, she shut her ears and pretended not to listen to anything.
However, Mo Ruo put his chopsticks down, stood up abruptly and walked towards the people who were still in their discussion. He squeezed himself into the crowd and took a seat. He asked after he poured himself a cup of tea and took a sip out of the teacup, “The South City Opera Troupe? What kind of opera troupe is that?”
Everyone looked the stranger skeptically. Although they were curious, they ignored him and continued their chatter.
One of the people glanced at Mo Ruo in disdain, “You don’t know about the South City Opera Troupe? They’re famous! Rumour has it that they once performed in front of the emperor and other noblemen at the palace. However, the old leader later passed away and the South City Opera Troupe lost their spot in the limelight. No matter how bad their situation was though, they still had their main singer, Miss Zhan Mo. Her voice is alluring. Besides, her performance in the show ‘The Dream of Zhuang,’ brings the character to life. Whoever has the chance to watch her performance will have no regret for the rest of their lives.”
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Hmm... MR why are you so concerned? *sniggers*
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