Chapter 37 – The End of You and Me
Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
She squinted as she pondered, and a shocking revelation came to her.
From an urge which perhaps stemmed from her woman’s intuition, she started searching the corpses of the other men in black.
As she suspected, she found the same jade pendants on all of these corpses too.
“What is this?” asked Lang Po.
“A breakthrough, I think,” answered Ji Yunshu.
Ji Yunshu gave Lang Po no time to ask questions and hastily left the scene with the pendant. Lang Po followed her steps as they walked back.
Upon returning to the burnt corpse, Ji Yunshu knelt down and aligned the pendant with the circular marking found above the buttocks.
‘Indeed, a perfect match.’
Even the patterns which ran along the circular jade pendant were faithfully reproduced.
Ji Yunshu took out her handkerchief, which was stained by the coal-like liquid that was boiled out of the hyoid bone. The stain had the same color as that dark marking, and, were the hues of that marking more intense, it would have reminded one of the dark blood that came out of Jing Rong and Fu Bo’s wounds earlier.
These five people, they were killed by Shiban poison!
‘Does this mean that the men in black from tonight were the ones who killed them? But then, who are those men in black?’
Every strike from their swords aimed to take Jing Rong’s life. Were they here for revenge?
With Jing Rong’s overbearing character and his princely status, having a few enemies in the jianghu 1 should not be surprising in the slightest.
Lang Po, who lacked the sophistication to follow Ji Yunshu’s thoughts, seemed very surprised and asked with great perplexity, “Teacher, what… are you doing? These jade pendants are?”
Ji Yunshu removed the pendant from the corpse, showed it to Lang Po and asked, “Do you recognize this?”
He shook his head.
Ji Yunshu was disappointed by the answer.
“These men in black, each one of them carries a jade pendant. If we can figure out where these pendants came from, then it will probably lead us to those who are plotting against your master’s life.”
“It mustn’t be this simple,” answered Lang Po.
“Why so?” asked Ji Yunshu.
“Teacher, you might not be aware of how things are done in the jianghu. Had these people really come here to kill his highness, they would not have worn the pendants. That would be too easy of a giveaway,” explained Lang Po.
A stupid mistake indeed.
That was the fatal flaw in Ji Yunshu’s deduction.
“But the only clue we have right now are those pendants. Whether they were intentionally left here to mislead us is another matter. We should investigate them regardless.”
Ji Yunshu stuffed the pendants into Lang Po’s hands and continued, “Don’t forget to tell your prince that Shiban poison is not to be taken lightly. It is made using the flower petals of a specie of tangerine tree which only grows in the harshest of colds. I thought it to be extinct, but it seems like there are still people out there who are planting those trees. If we can find out who would grow such a tree, surely we can find the source of this poison, and the culprits themselves.”
Lang Po stared back at Ji Yunshu in amazement as he tried to digest what he had just heard.
He had listened to the praises from the county magistrate, but still had his doubts about Ji Yunshu. After seeing her solve the Zhous’ case and hearing her deduction, it made him felt that she was too amazing.
Lang Po was still lost in his thoughts when Ji Yunshu added, “By the looks of it, Prince Rong won’t wake up until tomorrow. How about you stay here for the night? As for the corpses outside…”
Yes, what about the corpses outside?
This was no small matter, and surely the magistrate needed to be informed of what had transpired. But she was worried that Jing Rong would have wanted to keep this a secret from intrusive eyes.
Lang Po helped her finish her sentence, “Teacher, this is a matter of utmost importance. Please don’t tell anyone else about what happened tonight. I’ll dispose of the corpses outside.”
Ji Yunshu nodded.
“We part ways then. Please don’t forget to inform the Prince about our findings today,” said Ji Yunshu.
This is the end of it, now that the investigation is over, there are no longer any connection between Jing Rong and I.
It was already the hour of the boar 2. Ji Yunshu cleaned the bloodstains off her hands, and, in a futile effort, wiped her robe, on which the blood had already dried out.
‘What a waste of a garment.’
Ji Yunshu picked up the lantern she had left at the corner of the wall and walked home in its dim light. Upon arriving at the Ji mansion, she immediately threw her clothes into the brazier.
Her heart raced as she recalled what had just happened; that was too close of a call, and it burdened her spirit heavily.
The weakness in her limbs prompted Ji Yunshu to slowly fall into a deep slumber as she laid on her bed, but even then, she stayed tense until the very moment she lost her awareness.
The morning of the following day arrived, accompanied by heavy snowfall, painting the landscape white.
Ji Yunshu woke up very early.
Luan’er entered the room with a yawn, and put a tea set from which white steam emanated onto the table. She asked Ji Yunshu in a quiet voice, “Miss, when did you get home yesterday?”
“Very late,” answered Ji Yunshu.
“Are you done helping out at the yamen? You’ve been working nonstop the last few days, and I worry about your health…”
Maids from ancient times fell into one of two categories, those who worried sick about everything, like Luan’er, or those who were sick with a lack of compassion for all matters.
Ji Yunshu poured a cup of tea for herself, and tasted it as she answered the question, “Did you put the semiaquilegia root into the water last night as I told you to?”
Luan’er nodded and trotted out of the room. She came back with a delicate box which contained the medicine and put it in front of her master.
“Are you really going to gift this to the housekeeper at the Zhou Mansion?” asked Luan’er.
She clearly thought that gifting such a precious item to a stranger was a waste, and the reluctance was visible in her eyes.
Ji Yunshu answered by picking up the box and said, “I’ll go to the Zhou Mansion right now.”
“It’s still snowing outside miss, how about I go instead?” proposed Luan’er.
“I’ll go myself, I still have some belongings left at the Zhou Mansion,” answered Ji Yunshu.
Ji Yunshu picked up an umbrella at the door, and left before she finished her sentence.
Luan’er stared at her departing back with a frown and sighed with anguish.
Ji Yunshu did not want to stay in the Ji Mansion, a place in which the previous owner of her body starved to death. The more she thought about it, the more irritated she became.
At thirteen years old, should the flower of adolescence not blossom with the utmost splendor?
Instead, it wilted through coldness and hunger. Could there be a more abominable atrocity?
Had she not transmigrated into the body at that time, Luan’er, who was barely ten years old, would most likely have shared the same fate.
Ji Yunshu shook off the snow which had accumulated on her umbrella, and put it away as she neared the Zhou Mansion.
Miss Zhou was inhumed the previous day, and the white strips of cloth3 which hung at the entrance had already been removed. However, the Zhou Mansion was still uncomfortably gloomy, contrasting with the awe it used to inspire in its visitors.
The servant who was at door came to greet her as she approached.
“Teacher Ji, what brings you here? I’ll go tell Master right away.”
“There’s no need for that, I’m here for your housekeeper.”
The servant was perplexed, but nevertheless proposed, “Please come in sir. I’ll get uncle Jing right away.”
The servant led Ji Yunshu to a side hall, and hurriedly departed to fetch the housekeeper.
It was not long before the old housekeeper arrived with his back slightly hunched and both of his hands clasped tightly together at his abdomen.
His every act cried out the word servitude.
Hello everyone, my name is Zhao, and have just joined to work on BPC. This is the first chapter I’ve worked on for BPC, and I’m new to the scene, so hopefully I’ll be worthy enough to share some of Grenn’s mantle for the translation of this very interesting novel. Please leave a comment below if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, and I’ll make sure to check them! 🙂