Chapter 4 – A Violent Death?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Yunshu, no one recognized those five corpses. Tomorrow, you will paint a few more portraits of them. I’ll order people to post a few notices and let other people search.”
Ji Yunshu wiped her hands with a handkerchief and tidied up her sandalwood box before coldly stating, “Tomorrow, I will not work. You find another painter to copy the portrait.”
“That’s also a good option. The time is getting late. Do you want me to call people to send you home?”
“There’s no need. I’m used to walking on the road at night alone.”
“It’s not safe to travel at night.”
“I’m willing to.”
The county magistrate brought embarrassment to himself. Ji Yunshu’s temperament was cold, and to outsiders she might seem aloof. Since he continued to knock heads against her refusal again and again, isn’t he just asking to be rebuffed?
Suddenly, coming from beyond the crowd, someone’s voice loudly reverberated, “Get out of the way! Step aside!”
The crowd was pushed apart. More than 20 people rushed into the area to create a spacious path. Each of them carried a long sword by the waist; their clothes were made of brocade; their expressions were solemn and mighty as they sharply looked straight ahead.
In no time, a man walked through the cleared path. He was dressed in a blue chinese robe made of satin, embroidered with light purple orchids. His golden boots were ornate and embellished with jade. His appearance was far from common with sword-like eyebrows and star-like eyes. He had a bolt and upright nose bridge coupled with thin and tightly closed lips. In the darkness, the light of the lantern illuminated his intelligent and brilliant face, simultaneously highlighting his stoic countenance. He appeared to be calm and collected, but he carried with him a vicious and cold aura.
Next to him stood a tall and sturdy man and a middle-aged man with upright eyebrows.
Ji Yunshu recognized the middle-aged man at a glance. He was her father, Ji Shuhan. Wasn’t he suppose to receive the noble guests from the capital? Could it be that the man in blue clothes is the noble guest?
If Ji Yunshu recognized her father, Ji Shuhan naturally recognized Ji Yunshu. He saw her attire in men’s clothes and then noticed the pile of corpses nearby. Immediately, fury welled up inside his heart, but his expression remained unchanged.
The county magistrate observed his surroundings before scratching his head. His heart was puzzled and inquired the newcomers, “Lord Ji, what is going on?”
“Lord Liu, the five corpses are this young master’s subordinates. Make your people withdraw. This matter has nothing to do with you.”
Ji Shuhan had never put the county magistrate in his eyes, and the way he spoke was extremely contemptuous and arrogant.
The county magistrate was at loss of words, but since the corpses were claimed by someone, he didn’t want to waddle in muddy water. Hence he waved his hand, hinting to all the yamen runners to withdraw to the side.
“Young master, do you wish to carry these corpses to the memorial hall?” Ji Shuhan’s manner abruptly switched to a fawning expression as he whispered his question.
The man stayed silent while frowning. A cold light burned within his eyes as he looked at the five corpses.
“Didn’t these five depart to the capital yesterday?”
“They really did leave for the capital yesterday. I also don’t know how they could be here. Young master, this situation is a bit odd,” stated the big man.
The situation was evidently strange: an abandoned house was on fire, and without any logical reason, five swordsmen were found burned alive within. Furthermore, they were suppose to have left for the capital and shouldn’t have passed through the east suburbs, which was not in the same direction. Then, how did it come to this?
At this moment, Ji Yunshu had already tidied everything up. She was about to leave since her father was here, and she didn’t feel comfortable in his presence. She hardly took a few steps when she heard the man command, “Burn them and bring back their ashes to the capital to be buried.”
“This subordinate shall comply.”
Ji Yunshu got anxious. She halted her steps. She gave an odd look at the man and threw in a few words, “Since the situation is odd, why not ask for the coroner to examine them? All evidence will turn into ashes if the corpses are cremated.”
The man turned and gazed at her when he heard her voice. What entered his sight was a person in plain but refined clothes with a conspicuously thin build. The small frame and delicate appearance coupled with fair skin and the lack of manly bearing gave that person a feminine and delicate feeling.
“Young master’s subordinates are already in such a wretched state. You definitively shouldn’t let the coroner open their chest and pull out their guts.”
“However, these people died from a violent death. Young master, you don’t want to find out the truth?”
“Violent death? Do you happen to know something?” The man slightly narrowed his eyes.
Ji Yunshu didn’t speak. She glanced at her father who looked at her with eyes filled with disgust and anger. She no longer paid attention to him and put on another pair of white gloves. She walked to one of the corpses and squatted down before pulling down the lower jaw.