Chapter 144 – Autopsy (part one)
Note: Please note that certain parts of the chapter are not for the faint of heart. Don’t eat before reading this chapter.
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Of course, they couldn’t be blamed for acting this way. Such sensational murders rarely occur in the capital.
The governor rubbed his hands together as he welcomed Jing Rong. His expression was wrinkled as if he ate a sour lemon. He swallowed his saliva and was about to salute Jing Rong, but the prince stopped him from doing so. “No need for that. The case investigation takes priority.”
The capital governor nodded. Then, he glanced back at the inside of the room. He looked like he wanted to retch but endured it. He rushed to state, “Your Highness, I have already called the coroner. He said that the victim bled to death from the wounds created when both of their hands were chopped off.”
“The deceased’s face was also peeled off. The body is inside.” The governor pointed towards the interior of the room.
Jing Rong observed the governor’s expression, and he heavily sighed inwardly. It is quite a shame for the empire’s taxes to be wasted on people who couldn’t be bothered to do their own jobs properly.
Ji Yunshu approached Jing Rong and watched him for a bit before turning her attention to the capital governor. “Can I go in to examine the body?”
“Teacher Ji, that body…” He didn’t complete his sentence as Ji Yunshu had already readjusted her hold on her sandalwood box and resolutely walked forward. The governor intended to block her way, but he wasn’t fast enough. Ji Yunshu was one step faster and had already entered.
The corpse was so gruesome, but Ji Yunshu remained unperturbed as she went into the room. ‘Does that man even have a stomach? He really doesn’t feel like vomiting?’ Jing Rong’s expression was equally unperturbed, following a few steps behind Ji Yunshu which stunned the spectators outside. This situation made all their stomachs clench in discomfort because Jing Rong was the lord and since he entered, everyone have to follow him.
However, after giving each other meaningful glances, several people retreated out of the courtyard instead. The dread of looking at that corpse again and losing their appetite overwhelmed their sense of duty. Unfortunately for the governor, he couldn’t escape his duties and had no choice but to follow Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu. He stroked his empty stomach with apprehension before proceeding into the room where the corpse laid. Since she arrived, Jing Xuan had observed everyone’s expression and after hearing the description of the corpse’s condition, her curiosity was stirred even more.
As they said, curiosity killed the cat. That girl’s brain must have holes in it.
After pondering for a moment, Jing Xuan also went inside.
Inside the room, the coroner had just covered the corpse with a white cloth. His nose was wrinkled in disgust. Even when he covered the corpse, he was pinching the cloth with only the tips of his fingers.
Ji Yunshu watched his behavior and inwardly sighed. ‘Are you telling me that even this man can become a coroner? No wonder people say that the capital is nurturing useless people. The rumors were real.’
“Is the autopsy finished?’ asked Ji Yunshu.
The coroner sized up Ji Yunshu. Her slender build and fair skin made her be categorised as a small scholar. With prejudice, he faced her with outward disdain. “Of course. I am done examining the corpse. What? Do you have any complaints?”
“Yeah.” She gave a very honest reply.
The coroner’s face froze, then he looked at her up and down. “What do you know about this? Hurry and get out of here!”
“I don’t know?” Ji Yunshu’s tone was low as she perfunctorily asked. The corner of her mouth faintly stretched. “Fine. Then, let me ask you what’s the deceased time of death?”
“A day ago!”
“What is the cause of death?”
“What event could have led to her death?”
“She was raped. Isn’t that obvious?” The coroner replied with impatience. In his long career of more than twenty years, this was the first time that someone was questioning his competence.
‘How strange.’ Ji Yunshu remained indifferent. She put down her sandalwood box and reached for the white cloth. She pulled it away, revealing what resembled more like ground meat than human flesh.
The victim’s face has been neatly skinned. What remained was the sight of red flesh and muscles that seemed as if it were burnt by fire. Trace of blood could still be seen, dried, but silloning from certain parts on the face and ending their course in the victim’s hair which had pieces of grass stuck in. From the face alone, this corpse looked like a mummy! Because the victim was found naked, her body was flimsily covered with some cloth. Yet it couldn’t hide that her hands were chopped and missing. The corpse was extremely sinister and terrifying to look at.
Faced with that kind of corpse, Ji Yunshu tightly pressed her lips and a trace of pity could be seen deep in her eyes.
Although the corpse doesn’t have a face, Ji Yunshu was able to determine that this woman had a beautiful appearance when she was alive. Ji Yunshu walled herself in silence as she saw the incision made on the deceased’s abdomen and chest. The suturing technique used was very crude and lacked finesse. “Really…” Ji Yunshu glared at the coroner. “Some corpses don’t need to be cut open for autopsy.”
The coroner coldly smiled. “If I don’t open them, how can we investigate?”
“I don’t blame you. After all, your skills are lacking.”
The coroner couldn’t retort. Ji Yunshu’s words sounded as if she was blaming him instead despite saying the contrary.
Meanwhile, the instant that Ji Yunshu lifted the cloth covering the corpse, the governor, who was behind her, immediately lowered his head and tightly closed his mouth. As for Jing Xuan, her eyes widened and she opened her mouth in shock for a few seconds. After which, she suddenly closed her mouth. Her face quickly paled before turning green. Finally, she madly dashed outside while on the verge of retching. Not long after, everyone could hear the vague and irregular sounds of Jing Xuan emptying her stomach.
‘Didn’t she want to see the truth? Wasn’t she the one who said she wanted to follow and watch me? She still lacks determination.’ Ji Yunshu naturally didn’t care much about Jing Xuan as she put on her gloves.
Although the victim’s face was destroyed and her appearance couldn’t be ascertained through observation, it was still possible to be determined through other methods. Ji Yunshu pried open the corpse’s eyes and observed the opacity of the cornea1. Then, she saw the livor mortis on the victim’s chest. “According to the degree of corneal opacity and the appearance of livor mortis2 on the victim, the time of death isn’t a day ago but barely six hours ago,” declared Ji Yunshu.
The coroner’s expression turned ugly. He stretched his head to look. He appeared as if he wanted to say something, but he kept quiet in the end.
Then, Ji Yunshu raised the amputated arm for closer examination and said, “The place where the arms were severed is extremely smooth. It must have been chopped by a very sharp knife. In addition, the wound edges are quite even. The blade itself must have been a flat one.” After stating that, she rimmed the inside of wound with her finger and then smelled it.
Her brows creased as she continued to explain further. “The flesh inside it had already started to rot, and not to mention the rotting smell is very pungent. The blood around the wound edge had turned dark purple and had completely congealed there. It is evident that the victim’s hands have been chopped at least three days ago. In fact, she didn’t die from blood loss.”
“What kind of nonsense are you spouting? How could she have not died from blood loss?” The coroner argued.
The hands were obviously chopped off and the face was also peeled off, so how could all those wounds not cause the person to die by massive bleeding?
Ji Yunshu wasn’t in a hurry to explain. She continued to examine the corpse carefully. First, she examined the head. She parted the hair for a better view of the scalp. Suddenly, her expression became stunned. She immediately went to the victim’s legs and uncovered it, revealing a pair of small and jade-like feet. There was pieces of grass stuck on them.
She pinched the victim’s feet. Although the body had underwent a certain degree of rigor mortis, the feet…
Ji Yunshu’s expression twisted and she examined the body even more carefully. This should be it. A conjecture formed in her mind.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Oh my god! Tortured before death?!
- Corneal opacity could be used as a meant to estimate the time of death through observation, but only if the time of death is not too long ago. However, it’s one element amongst many signs that could help estimate the time of death. For more information, click here: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/estimating-the-time-after-death-on-the-basis-of-corneal-opacity-2157-7145.1000269.php?aid=36967 ↩
- Livor mortis is the purple coloration of blood deposit after blood circulation stopped. It started to appear around 2-4 hour post-mortem depending on environmental factors and deepened in color until around 12 hours after death. ↩