Chapter 126 – Choosing Cosmetics?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Inside the spacious room, there was a man. He was dead, hanging for all to see. His eyes were wide open. His white complexion gave a finishing touch to the sinister appearance that came with death, not alleviating the terror the sight of it gave.
Wei Yi’s ear-piercing scream was naturally heard, and it attracted a crowd. The first one to run to the scene was the waiter.
“Young master, what-” He didn’t even finish his question as his gaze met with the sight of the hanged man. Fear took his voice away. Bang! He dropped the teapot in his hand. He fell to the floor. His softened legs couldn’t support him.
In an instant, chaos spread throughout the whole inn.
Ji Yunshu, who had just finished tidying her things, was drinking tea when she heard the commotion outside. She wore a new veil and pushed the door. Then, she saw a crowd of people standing in the corridor on her left most side. Everyone was pointing at something inside a room and noisily talking about something.
The sudden movements outside also disturbed Jing Rong who came out to find the source. Coincidentally, he saw Ji Yunshu who has the same intention as him. He quickly took the lead and barred her way before warning her, “Go back in and wait inside. There’s too many people here.”
“Go back inside!” His tone wasn’t that of a request but an order.
Ji Yunshu wanted to voice her discontent, but in the end, she restrained herself since Jing Rong did that for her own good. She nodded in resignation and was about to return, when she saw Wei Yi sitting on the floor in the middle of the crowd. “Wei Yi? How can he be there?” Anxiety could be heard within her voice.
Jing Rong also saw Wei Yi when Lang Po arrived with several guards trailing behind him. “Prince, what happened?”
“Weren’t you supposed to keep an eye on Wei Yi so that he won’t run around causing trouble?”
“I…” Lang Po looked in the direction of Jing Rong’s line of sight. His eyes fell on Wei Yi. He gawked and quickly ran toward him.
Wei Yi, who was still sitting on the ground, had an expression dyed with terror, causing his face to pale from fright. After Lang Po made his way out of the crowd, he helped Wei Yi get up, and only then did he notice the scene inside the room. ‘So, it was a hanged man.’ He didn’t lose his cool and focused on hurriedly getting Wei Yi out of there.
After returning to their room, Lang Po supported Wei Yi to the bed. Ji Yunshu rushed inside the room. As soon as he saw her, Wei Yi burst into tears. “Shu’er…” He threw himself at her and refused to let her go.
“Wei Yi, what happened?”
“I saw…” He couldn’t speak further; the words were stuck in his throat, and he no longer tried to speak after a while.
At that moment, Jing Rong came in and saw the two people “hugging” each other on the bed. He turned to Lang Po to inquire what had transpired, “Tell me the situation.”
“Someone hanged himself in that room.”
“It’s still unknown.”
When Ji Yunshu heard their conversation, her heart skipped a beat. She didn’t know why, but when she heard there was a corpse or dead people somewhere, she always felt like her mood soared. She must have an occupational disease.
If this matter about the dead man were to be spread outside, the inn would certainly lose business. So when the innkeeper rushed to the scene, his expression was very unsightly. He slapped his thigh and summoned several servants. “Hurry, hurry, hurry! Quickly take this man down.” The servants were hesitant before they decided to approach the body. It took them great effort to take the body down.
“Step aside! Step aside!” A voice loudly resonated from beyond the mass of people. Then, several people carrying blades pushed into the crowd. The man leading the group appeared to be in his forties, furnished with a beard and a robust body. As he came in, he suddenly flashed an insignia.
“The people from Yu province yamen.”
This region was under the jurisdiction of Yu province. Therefore, it didn’t come as a surprise for the innkeeper to see those people. His face quickly revealed his anxiety as he bowed to them before explaining the situation. “Constable Zhang, this matter had nothing to do with us.” Constable Zhang squinted his eyes but didn’t reply back. He wore a grim face as he swept a glance at the surroundings. Behind him, several runners stepped forward to examine the body.
The innkeeper opened his mouth and explained to the crowd with haste, “I apologize for the inconvenience this situation had caused, but there’s no need to panic.”
“This is a human life we’re talking about. Your inn is such an unlucky place.”
“No, no, no! Everyone, our inn had long established reputation. For a man to hang himself in one of our room i-is an unexpected accident. Since it’s like this, all costs for today will be waived. I hope you will forbear us and be lenient. If this were to spread, it won’t be good for us.” The innkeeper threw caution to the wind.
Hopefully, nothing will happen and that hundred-year-old reputation would be preserved in the end. As soon as everyone heard they were exempt from paying, they were more than willing to agree with the innkeeper’s request before returning to their activities. The innkeeper could finally raise his hand and wipe the cold sweat drenching his face with his sleeve.
After one of the runners examined the corpse, he reported his finding to Constable Zhang, “On this man’s neck, there are two bruises. One is parallel to his neck, and the other is situated on the upper end of his neck. Furthermore, that mark extended upward from his neck to his ears. It must have been created after he died. Someone was trying to emulate a suicide by hanging.”
Constable Zhang humphed, then pulled the innkeeper in front of him before interrogating him in a severe tone, “Who is the first person to discover the corpse?”
“It’s…” The innkeeper thought for a moment, then beckoned the waiter. “Do you know who is the first person to see the body?”
The waiter, who was still trembling from fear, swallowed his saliva and pointed in a direction. “It’s a guest that came earlier.”
“Bring me to him,” said Constable Zhang.
“Y-y-yes! I’ll bring you to him.” The waiter led Constable Zhang along with several other runners.
At this moment, Wei Yi was still in a panic, and it had yet to settle. He shrunk himself in the bed while holding onto Ji Yunshu, who was gently patting his back and whispering comforting words, “Wei Yi, everything is fine. Don’t be afraid.”
“Shu’er, that person… is… is he dead?”
Ji Yunshu didn’t answer him. Her expression sank instead, and she turned to glance at Jing Rong. With perfect timing, Jing Rong looked at her with a rare expression that didn’t show any jealousy.
“Constable Zhang is here!” Behind the door, the voice of the waiter could be heard.
Constable Zhang straightforwardly stepped forward, but his steps had yet to pass the threshold when his path was barred by Lang Po.
“Who are you?” questioned Lang Po.
“Yu Province yamen is handling this case,” answered Constable Zhang as he used his official title.
Usually, when common people hear that it’s the yamen, they would cooperate, but Lang Po didn’t budge one bit. He had no intention of letting that constable pass. “Our young master is inside, so I can’t allow anyone to disturb him.”
“You have the impertinence of obstructing the yamen’s work! Step aside!”
Both men glared at each other in anger without anyone conceding an inch. At that time, Jing Rong came out of the room and arrogantly narrowed his eyes. When Constable Zhang saw Jing Rong, he appeared to be shocked by Jing Rong’s oppressing aura. His intuition alerted him that this man was different from others. As for Lang Po, he stepped aside and stood beside Jing Rong with obvious deference.
“Yu province? Isn’t that under Lord Liang’s jurisdiction? I didn’t expect that old guy is still an official!” Jing Rong’s slightly smiled.
‘That old guy?!’ Constable Zhang’s expression stilled for an instant before turning to the waiter to ask, “Who is he?”
The waiter shook his head, hinting at his ignorance.
Constable Zhang spoke to Jing Rong, “Gentleman, I don’t care whether you are familiar with our lord or not. Right now, there’s a murder in this inn and this waiter said that the first one to discover the dead man is another gentlemen who stayed here. I don’t know if that person can come out. If so, can you please bring him out? I need to ask him a few questions.”
“It’s inconvenient.” Jing Rong didn’t mash his words.
“This is related to a human life. In short, I must take him away. This matter does not allow me to do otherwise. Or did that gentleman inside kill the man?”
Jing Rong sneered. “I said that it’s inconvenient to take him away. If you want to ask him something, then come back tomorrow to ask.”
Right now, Wei Yi is so scared that there was no point in asking anything.
Even if Constable Zhang is a calm man, the runners behind him weren’t able to maintain steady minds.
Shiiing! The sounds of swords being drawn out from their scabbards were heard.
Jing Rong’s subordinates didn’t lose to any of the runners. They also pulled out their swords. The atmosphere tensed as both sides confronted each other, ready for action at any time.
“Is it possible to let me see the dead man?” The exquisite voice of a woman could suddenly be heard. Following her voice, Ji Yunshu came out from the room. A veil was still covering her face, but if anyone was to pay close attention, they would notice her stubborn expression.
Constable Zhang observed Ji Yunshu with disdain. “Young lady, this is a murder case, not going to the market to choose cosmetics. We’re talking about dead people; there’s nothing good to see.”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
So, I have a theory, for every new character, there is a murder.