Before long, everyone in Marquis Kang’s estate had learned about Cai Da’s death.
At that moment, Mo Ruo was still reading in his room. After Tang Si’s little tantrum, he remained so perturbed that he could not even focus on reading. He was continually distracted by the person on the bed, his eyes frequently wandering towards her and immediately darting away again.
Although it was time for bed, he couldn’t possibly share a bed with Tang Si.
We aren’t married yet, so what would it mean if we sleep on the same bed? He cut off that train of thought with a shake of his head and proceeded to look around the room, trying to find a spot he could sleep. However, other than the tables and the chairs, he could only sleep on the floor. His back had never been in a good condition, and he would definitely suffer if he had to spend the night on those hard and unyielding surfaces. No way could he do that!
But if he spent the night in another room, he worried that that sleeping lump would feel scared and end up coming along too! Thus, he gave up on that idea as well.
While he was trying to figure out what to do, someone knocked on the door.
Knock, knock, knock! It sounded very urgent.
“Young Master Mo, the Marquis requested that you go to the woodshed.”
Huh? Why does he need me at the woodshed in the middle of the night? Mo Ruo tossed his book aside and got up to open the door. “Why does Marquis want me to go to the woodshed?”
The manservant’s forehead was drenched with cold sweat. He lowered his head and answered in a trembling voice, “Young Master… you’d better take a look yourself.”
How bizarre! Mo Ruo stared at the pageboy as he deliberated, then nodded and flung his sleeves aside. “Let’s go!”
Right after he stepped out of the room, Tang Si tugged on his sleeve. “I’ll come with you!”
When did she come out? Mo Ruo looked at Tang Si’s grip on his sleeve, then slowly shifted his gaze up into her eyes. The woman stared at him pleadingly with her pitiful round eyes, looking rather innocent.
Mo Ruo likely would never get rid of this piece of sticky candy.
He brushed off Tang Si’s grip on his sleeve, and replied in an irritated tone, “Don’t cause me any trouble.”
Tang Si smiled and gave her word. “I promise.”
The two of them then followed the manservant, heading towards the backyard.
It was in the middle of the night.
All the maids and the manservants had rushed to the woodshed where Cai Da was detained. They were all shivering where they stood. Some of them wanted to leave, but also feared that they would run into ghosts if they were to return to their respective rooms alone. Thus, they chose to stay with the crowd instead.
Some of them were whispering to each other. "Have you gone inside to look? How did he die?”
“I dare not enter the room. I heard that Cai Da’s tongue was severed and the lost section was covered in blood. How gory!”
“His tongue was severed? How did that happen?” The speaker hunched into himself and took a fear-filled glance towards the room. He gulped and whispered , “Could this… really be the ghost causing mischief?”
Another person who heard this claim shivered. “Stop calling this a ghost haunting. Teacher Ji said that there are no ghosts in this world. These are all the work of humans scaring others.”
“Do you really believe Teacher Ji’s words? You believe there’s no ghost just because he said so? If it weren’t a ghost, how would you explain everything that had happened in the estate? On top of that, two people died today! How would you explain this?”
Uh! The man quivered, not knowing how to reply.
In the woodshed, Marquis Kang frowned and rubbed his nose as he looked at the dead Cai Da on the floor. His face was an ugly green, not out of fear but because the gruesome state of Cai Da’s dead body made him nauseous.
After he rested for a bit and no longer felt as nauseous, he turned to look at the two servants who had been guarding Cai Da. “Did anyone enter the woodshed while he was in there?”
“You didn’t notice anything amiss at all?”
Marquis Kang was enraged. “What were you doing? I told you to guard him closely! How did he die all of a sudden?”
The two servants quickly got on their knees and kowtowed to Marquis Kang in panic. “Marquis, we really have no idea how it happened.”
“Did you leave your position and return to your room secretly?”
“No. We really didn’t return to our rooms. We followed Marquis’s instructions and have been on guard at the woodshed all along. We dared not take our task lightly and did not leave our positions at all.” You’ve wronged us!
Marquis Kang calmed himself and heaved a sigh. “Get up.”
The two servants stood up timidly.
Again, Marquis Kang asked, “Have you informed Teacher Ji and Young Master Mo about this?”
“Someone has gone to fetch them.”
Just then, Ji Yunshu and Jing Rong arrived.
They had originally been waiting for Marquis Kang and Cai Da, but quickly rushed over when they heard of Cai Da’s unexpected death . Their worry had actually come true! With Cai Da dead, they could no longer find out what happened the night Granny Lin was murdered.
The frown on Marquis Kang’s forehead deepened as he saw the two of them arrive. He went forward to greet them. “Your Highness, Teacher Ji, look at this...” He gazed at the dead body on the floor.
They saw it!
Cai Da’s gruesome, dead form lay on the ground. Blood overflowed from his mouth, half his tongue on the ground while his eyes remained wide open.
Ji Yunshu solemnly crouched down to check the body. The servants and maids gasped in shock at her action.
Teacher Ji is so brave! Not only did he dare touch Granny Lin’s dead body, he didn’t even hesitate to inspect Cai Da’s body either! He is basically fearless!
How would they know that Ji Yunshu had seen many even ghastlier corpses than this?
While Ji Yunshu checked the body, Jing Rong interrogated the guard whom he previously ordered to bring Cai Da to his room, “When did he die?”
The guard answered, “This humble one discovered his body when Your Highness sent me here. However, this humble one doesn’t know how long he has been dead.”
Jing Rong nodded and did not press on.
Ji Yunshu stared at Cai Da’s wide-open eyes and realised that his eyes had not yet turned cloudy. Next, she manipulated his limbs, finding that they had not yet stiffened completely. It should not have been long since he passed away.
After that, she lifted her gaze to look at Jing Rong and said, “Your Highness, this humble one needs your help.”
Jing Rong needed no further elaboration from Ji Yunshu to know that she was requesting his help for the autopsy. After all, her hands were still wrapped in bandages.
Obediently, Jing Rong crouched down beside her. “Tell me. Where do I start?”
“Open his mouth and let me have a look.”
“What do you want to see?”
“His tongue.” Ji Yunshu took out a handkerchief and passed it to Jing Rong. “Use this.”
Jing Rong took a deep breath before he took the handkerchief and laid it on his palm. He used two of his fingers to carefully press on Cai Da's two cheeks to force his mouth open, the handkerchief separating his hand from Cai Da's skin.
When Cai Da's cheeks were pried open, coagulated blood flowed out of his mouth but was fortunately blocked by the handkerchief.
Ji Yunshu craned her neck to look into the bloody mouth. Cai Da's yellow teeth were all stained with coagulated clots of blood, as was the rest of his mouth, while a large chunk of his tongue was missing. It was a ghastly sight. The wound on his tongue had uneven edges, obviously indicating that it was not cut with a sharp object. He had certainly bitten off his own tongue to commit suicide.
Thus, Ji Yunshu concluded, "He has been dead for almost four hours, and he bit off his own tongue to commit suicide."
Jing Rong let go of Cai Da's cheeks and gently brushed his eyelids closed. Then, both Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu slowly stood up.