Chapter 54 - The Skeleton's Examination

A yin-yang corpse? What was that? The puzzlement was visible on everyone’s face.

Jing Rong was like a curious child; while he was concerned about the injuries on Ji Yunshu’s back, it did little to stop him from inquiring about the human remains that they had just discovered, “A yin-yang corpse? What’s that? Why would a body be buried under this tree?”

Ji Yunshu crouched and started to explain, “This humble one isn’t able to ascertain the cause behind a body being buried under this big tree. However, a yin-yaang body is merely a term referring to an intersex person. In other words, the deceased is someone who possessed both male and female reproductive organs!”

Huh! Such a thing actually exists? Is it a monster?

The statement surprised everyone once again. It was the first time they had heard about such a thing.

Jing Rong was bewildered as he observed the pile of bones. After just glancing at it and touching it a few times, he was able to determine that this skeleton belonged to a yin yang person. Teacher Ji, you’re really awesome!

“How did that person die?” Jing Rong inquired.

Ji Yunshu did not reply for a moment as she was busy wrapping her handkerchief around her hand. Next, she turned the skeleton over and found a thin silky fabric covering the skeleton’s chest which had yet to completely rot. She carefully peeled it off, exposing all twenty-four intact rib bones to the light of day.

Gently brushing off the remaining dirt on the bones, she began to carefully examine their state and found fine cuts along the ribs, leading her to a single conclusion, “The deceased should be in his forties and was stabbed to death with a knife, a sword or at least an object with a sharp edge.”

“Are you certain?” Jing Rong narrowed his eyes. 

Ji Yunshu pointed at the remains and declared, “The shoulders and rib bones showed no less than 22 scratches. Those scratches could only be caused by a sharp object stabbing through the flesh and penetrating deeply to the bones. My initial judgment told me that the murderer should be at least a head taller than the victim. Moreover, in normal circumstances, only four to five stabs in the right place would be enough to kill someone, but for the deceased’s body to present more than twenty stabs and each of them reaching the bones, what reason would have pushed the murderer to crazily stab the victim so many times?”

Jing Rong understood as soon as he heard her explanation, and so did everyone else. 

Ji Yunshu untied her handkerchief and turned to Jing Rong with a stern look, “Your Highness, are you dispatching anyone to notify Lord Liu?” What are you doing by being so idle, instead of notifying the yamen of this homicide?

When Jing Rong heard her, he immediately sent one of his subordinates to the yamen.

In no time, Magistrate Liu had led a group of runners to the Grand Canal Manor. He was about to clasp his hand and greet Jing Rong when the latter stopped him, “No need for empty greetings. Dealing with this case is more urgent.”

“Y-y-yes, Your Highness…” After stammering a few words, Magistrate Liu retreated next to Ji Yunshu. He observed the skeleton nestled under the tree before asking Ji Yunshu, “Yunshu, what did you discover about this skeleton?”

Ji Yunshu was calm, “First, let’s bring that skeleton to the autopsy room. As for the specifics, I still need to examine it in detail before declaring myself.”

“Can the portrait of this skeleton be drawn out in a few days? I will post it and hopefully someone will come to claim it.”

“I’ll need time to draw the portrait. In the meantime, find some people to bring the remains back to the yamen. I absolutely don’t want to overlook a clue, so it’s best if they also the surrounding soil back too. I’ll go to the yamen tomorrow for the examination." The wounds on her back were becoming exceedingly painful and she could barely endure it!

“Good then. Let’s do that then.” The magistrate was very cooperative. He waved his hand and a few runners came forward with a big white fabric. They then spread it besides the remains and started to cautiously move everything on it, afraid that any abrupt movement might damage the skeleton. This kept them busy until the afternoon.

After each piece of the skeleton was properly collected, Magistrate Liu hurriedly returned to the yamen while Ji Yunshu planned to return home. As she passed in front of Jing Rong, she stated, “Your Highness, I’m afraid that we will have to seal the access to the vicinity of this tree. If anything urgent requires my presence, this humble one will come right away.”

“Rest assured. I’ll let people cordon this area off and forbid people from approaching it.” He replied in a straightforward manner.

“Many thanks, Your Highness.” Her voice rolled out from her gradually paling lips. The day was nearing its end and as the sun ended its course in the horizon, the trailing obscurity reached Ji Yunshu’s face, covering the sick pallor on her thin lips. 

Jing Rong blurted out, “The sky is growing dark. Teacher, why don’t you have a meal before going?” 

Is that an invitation? Ji Yunshu thought.

Ji Yunshu pursed her lips into a smile, “This humble one has just been in contact with the dead. If I stay for a meal, I’m afraid that it will lower your appetite. Besides…” Her gaze lagged on the figure of Wei Yi, who was sitting on the stone stairs not far away, while fiddling with an object. That fool was frightened out of his wits just earlier, but now it was as if everything was but smoke before his eyes. The world of a simpleton was as simple as that! 

She retracted her gaze and said, “The sky is getting darker. I still need to send back Wei Yi lest his family gets worried.”

“You really have too many excuses…”

“I… This humble one’s words are all true. I hope Your Highness won’t make things difficult for me.” Ji Yunshu lowered her head.

Jing Rong’s expression suddenly darkened. He clasped his hands behind his back, “Fine. This Prince will not make things difficult for you. However, Teacher Ji shouldn’t forget that I will call on you at anytime for your advice concerning the matter related to the Lin Capital Case.” He was no longer overbearing as he spoke, as if he suddenly became another person. 

I might as well soften my approach as to avoid Ji Yunshu declining my invitation again.

Ji Yunshu clasped her hands in greetings, then called Wei Yi. Wei Yi, who was holding onto an object, happily laughed as he ran to her at her call. Then, he asked, “Big Brother, are we going back? It’s not fun playing here.”

Hmm… Let’s go back.” She was gentle to Wei Yi like before. 

As she led him away, Jing Rong’s eyes followed them tightly, as their figures gradually faded into the distance, until they were no longer in sight. It was only after he could no longer see them that Jing Rong’s gaze changed slowly into an impenetrable wall, preventing anyone from peering into his thoughts.

After a long time, he finally called out Lang Po, who stepped forward, “Any instructions, Your Highness?”

“How much did you understand of Teacher Ji’s explanation of the yin-yang corpse?”

Lang Po scratched his head. He was a rough man, so how could he comprehend so many things? Thus, he truthfully answered, “Err… I think he was talking about that person being afflicted by homosexuality.”

Hey! Hey! Hey! Don’t say nonsense if you didn’t understand anything! Teacher Ji’s explanations were so clear, how did you manage to understand so incorrectly?’

Yet the word “homosexuality” smashed Jing Rong’s mind as if it rang some truth. Behind his back, his hands clenched tightly into fists. He should not have any homosexual tendencies, right?

Impossible! His expression turned solemn as he addressed his subordinate, “Lang Po, didn’t I order you to investigate Teacher Ji’s background? What progress have you made?”

“Your Highness, I investigated, but…”

“But what?” Jing Rong’s expression sharpened.

“Teacher Ji went into… Lord Ji’s residence. He should be a person from the Ji Mansion. This humble one had already dispatched a group of people to investigate further. I believe we should have more information soon.”

“Lord Ji?” Jing Rong immediately frowned, “You mean that old guy Ji Shuhan?”

Lang Po tensed, “Yes, Your Highness.”

Revealing an inquisitive face, Jing Rong’s eyelids lowered as he started to mutter in a low voice, “Ji Yunshu, Ji Yunshu, Ji… In the entire Jinjiang city, only Ji Shuhan’s family bore the surname Ji. I should have thought about it earlier.”

It was absolutely out of Lang Po’s expectations that his prince’s interest in Ji Yunshu was so strong.

Not waiting for Lang Po to react, Jing Rong voiced out new instructions, “Investigate him once again in my stead.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“Investigate when he received the wounds on his back, how he got them and who flogged him. This Prince wants every single detail clearly reported to me.” 

His tone revealed a vicious feeling and extreme anger! This Prince didn’t just drink water to grow up!’

Grenn's Rants Corner

For those who didn't know, Intersex people exist and are not a fiction. They are completely different from transgender since transgender would already have a defined biological gender at birth and are changing to another gender. Intersex people are born with a reproductive anatomy that couldn't be classified as male or female due to variations in their gender chromosomes. For more information, click here.

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