Chapter 25 – Case Closed (part 2)
Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“It’s not true. You speak nonsense!”
Suyun vehemently denied it, as she clenched her hands into fists.
Ji Yunshu pulled the handkerchief in her hand. Her face displayed confidence. “Miss Suyun, I believe you must know the significance of the mulberry flowers for the people in the Western regions. Only girls from the Western regions would embroider two mulberry flowers on their handkerchiefs. The first flower represents themselves; the second, their lovers.”
“You are wrong. I am not from the Western regions. I just casually embroidered them. It is absolutely not like you said.”
“Oh? Then, why did you go to Miss Zhou’s room to look for that handkerchief last night?”
Suyun foolishly stared back.
“Since you can’t come up with a reason, let me help you answer.” Ji Yunshu’s face unhurriedly stretched into a smile. “Because you are a westerner, at a young age you learned the essence of rice poisoning. Also, you took into account that the coroner wouldn’t be able to detect the poison through the autopsy. Therefore, after you murdered Miss Zhou, you secretly returned to her room, worried about the possibility of the body being discovered by Qiaoxin. That’s why you dragged it onto the bed. During that process, your handkerchief got hooked on Miss Zhou’s fingernail, leaving a trace. However, you were completely unaware of this. After you informed your lover about the matter, you hastily departed from the mansion. You only came back last night and went to Miss Zhou’s bedroom, all in order to find your handkerchief.”
When Ji Yunshu spoke up to that part, she raised the handkerchief for everyone to see. On one of the two mulberry flowers, it could be seen that a few threads were pulled out.
“You certainly didn’t expect that because your handkerchief got stuck on Miss Zhou’s fingernail, it caused her fingernail to break. As a result, a red thread was caught on her fingernail. I would like to ask, for a precious Miss that never reused the same thing twice, why could she leave a broken fingernail with a red thread alone?”
“Only one conjecture could explain that riddle; Miss Zhou was already dead at that time. Since you were sick and absent from the mansion, only returning a few days after Miss Zhou passed away, how do you explain the presence of the missing red thread from your handkerchief being on her fingernail?”
“If that kind of evidence is not enough to make you plead guilty, we could reopen the coffin and let you clearly see whether or not that thread on Miss Zhou’s fingernail is the same as the one on your handkerchief.”
“No need. I confess.”
Suyun’s ghostly voice floated out lacking strength.
Ji Yunshu didn’t anticipate that Suyun would admit to her crime this quickly, causing her to clench the handkerchief in annoyance!
The girl who revealed a sinister expression earlier, at this instant, didn’t show any hostility or fear.
That complete reversal of attitude was comparable to a monolith! She was steady and firm. “That’s right. I killed the young miss. It was my doing!”
Her expression underwent another transformation. Her pale lips hooked into a forced smile as she looked at Ji Yunshu, Lord Zhou, and Madame Zhou. Then, she spoke, “Milord, Madame… I killed her. You can send me to the yamen. For this crime, I’m willing to pay with my life.”
Madame Zhou glared at her with bloodshot eyes brimming with endless grief and rage. She stepped forward. Her raised palm slapped down fiercely.
The slap sent Suyun to the floor. Blood trickled down from the corner of her mouth, but she kept quiet and weakly lied on the floor, accepting everything happening to her.
“Why did you want to kill my daughter?! In the end, what did we owe you?! My daughter shouldn’t have died. She shouldn’t have died! Why did you want to kill her…” Madame Zhou madly bellowed.
Yet, for reply, she only heard Suyun’s increasingly lively laughter.
Suyun declared, “Teacher Ji’s conjectures were all correct. Why do I want to kill the young miss? It’s because she killed my child.”
“You’re lying! It’s impossible for my daughter to do that to you.”
“Since things have reached this point, I have no need for lies.” Then, she pointed at the box in Ji Yunshu’s hand and continued, “Every time Miss stabbed those needles in me, it hurt so much… It was excruciatingly painful. Several times I kept holding on. It must be because I endured the pain that she killed my baby. My poor baby!”
Her smile vanished, replaced by an expression of extreme hatred and fury.
The crowd didn’t utter their surprise, as if they were watching a good show! Madame Zhou shook, but she quieted down.
Lord Zhou spoke, “Suyun, my daughter has already passed away, but you still want to slander her.”
This was a great family’s skeleton in the closet, so naturally, even if you beat them to death, they won’t acknowledge it! Right at this time, the trembling Qiaoxin suddenly kneeled down and cried, “Milord, Madame! What Teacher Ji and Suyun said were all true. Whenever Miss was slightly unhappy, she would vent her anger on us. Since she was worried that other people would find the wounds on our bodies, she would only pierce us with the silver needles instead. We didn’t dare to speak out and had no other option but to endure it.”
“Qiaoxin, are you also insane? I can’t believe you’re protecting that homicidal killer! My daughter is young but so sensible. It’s impossible for her to do such things.”
“Madame, everything this servant spoke of can be verified!”
“Nonsense! I don’t believe you!”
Ji Yunshu sighed. This conversation couldn’t continue. With a frown, she spoke, “Lord Zhou and Madame Zhou, your daughter was really a clever and pleasant person, but it’s undeniable that she had a serious illness. When her illness flared up and she experienced an episode, even if she knew about it, it was hard for her to control herself. Her distress due to extreme anxiety led her to harm people and possibly even kill them!”
Madame Zhou asked, “Illness? If my daughter had an illness, how come we don’t know about it?”
“This kind of illness doesn’t exhibit symptoms like a physical illness or disease would. To be precise, her illness came from her mind. Whenever she became slightly unhappy, that feeling would be amplified in her mind, triggering a panic attack. Aside from those moments, she would look the same as any ordinary person. Since Miss Zhou was also intelligent, she knew how to conceal herself well. So, not knowing about her illness isn’t surprising.”
The behavior of those with OCD was truly not easy to explain with concrete words! Considering that she didn’t expect to explain so much, it didn’t turn out too bad.
Madame Zhou’s angry expression didn’t fade away. She still ferociously glared at Suyun. “Even so, my daughter doesn’t deserve to die! You murderer! Pay with your life!” She turned to a servant and instructed him. “Grab her and drag her to the yamen! I want her death to pay for my daughter’s life.”
The male servants quickly recovered their minds and were about to advance toward Suyun, but Ji Yunshu blocked them.
“Wait a moment. I still have a few questions to ask Miss Suyun.”
Then, Ji Yunshu squatted down such that her mouth drew near Suyun’s ear. She questioned her. “Since things have reached this point, are you sacrificing yourself in order to cover for your lover?”
Suyun became scared, but she didn’t utter a word!
“Soon, you are going to die, but he still hid himself in the crowd. You really loved the wrong person.” While she spoke those words, Ji Yunshu’s eyes swept a quick glance at the people present.
Suyun’s originally calm eyes suddenly revealed nervousness.
In an instant, Ji Yunshu took out a dagger from who knew where and yelled in a clear and resounding voice, “It would better if you help me find him!”
Ji Yunshu raised the dagger high above her and ruthlessly plunged it toward Suyun’s heart.
As the dagger came to a finger’s distance from the target, suddenly a shadow leaped out from the crowd and instantly disarmed Ji Yunshu, sending the dagger flying to the ground. Next, that person sent out a palm strike toward Ji Yunshu’s chest.
Right at the moment the palm strike was about to hit its target, at the last minute, a strong force seized Ji Yunshu’s waist, dragging her body back.