Chapter 46 – Whose Daughter?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Suyun committed suicide!
No one expected this to happen.
The yamen runner handed over a bloody handkerchief to Ji Yunshu…
On that soft and silky handkerchief, a few slanted lines of words were written in blood, making the red and blue mulberry flowers stand out!
Ji Shuyun slightly paused before reaching out to receive the handkerchief!
What originally should have been a delicate handwriting now seemed harsh due to the blood tracing out the letters.
Three rows of words could be seen clearly:
I am willing to use my life to request
Lin Duan’s safety!
To Teacher Ji
Her hands violently shook!
Her fingertips brushing against the threads of the embroidered mulberry flowers felt like they were stabbed by countless tiny knives, cutting into her heart! She should have been quicker in solving the case! If only she was a bit quicker… The feeling of regret was like an onion being peeled layer by layer under her nose, causing her eyes to redden.
She looked to the old housekeeper and lashed out. “Did you know that you have harmed not only one but two lives?”
The old steward lowered his brows and eyes and for the first time revealed a hint of guilt and remorse.
“I… I didn’t want to do that.” He shook his head.
“But you ended up killing someone, hurting someone else in the process.”
“It wasn’t my intention. I didn’t think…”
The next moment, he raised his head abruptly. All the former calmness and apathy was gone as he agitatedly roared at Ji Shuyun. “I killed my own daughter; do you think I’m happy? If she hadn’t done those things, I wouldn’t have killed her.”
“Don’t say it!”
Two voices rose one after another. Lord Zhou who had been silent until now agitatedly stepped forward, his shocked and terrified eyes glaring at the old housekeeper. His face was bright red as he pointed at him. “You once promised me that even if you died you would never speak about this to anyone!”
Wasn’t the Zhou family’s young miss’ father supposed to be Lord Zhou? When did she become the old housekeeper’s daughter? This revelation shocked everyone, including Ji Yunshu.
‘Truly, what an astonishing secret!’
Jing Rong, who silently melded into the background, grinned as he slightly lifted his brilliant eyes. A single hand lightly patted his uplifted knee. He was clearly quite amused.
‘Hurry up already. This prince want to hear the whole story.’
Due to Lord Zhou stopping him, the old housekeeper did not continue. However, his body could be seen faintly trembling. Those deep-sunken eyes were filled with tears as he sobbed with regret.
The magistrate scratched his head, his face full of confusion on what to do next. So, he simply picked up the gavel once again.
Ji Yunshu secretly rolled her eyes at him. This person’s brain must be malfunctioning. ‘Why on earth would you slam the gavel down at this time?!’
The magistrate cleared his throat before asking. “Speak clearly! What does that matter refer to? Tell me everything in a well-organised manner. I want all single details to be included. In court, you must not hide anything or else I will have to introduce you to the paddle.”
‘Introduce your sis!’ thought Ji Yunshu.
At this moment, Madame Zhou hunched over and sighed before stepping forward. “Let me say it.” Her voice was so low that it was barely audible.
Lord Zhou moved forward to pull her back as he spoke fearfully, “Wife, don’t.”
“It’s already come to this. What’s there to continue hiding?” Her gaze seemed to be calmer than before.
Her gaze shifted from the magistrate to the old housekeeper still wracked with sobs, before once again landing on Lord Zhou.
Her eyes filled with reminiscence, she recounted, “Twenty years ago when I married my husband, I never managed to give birth to any children for the Zhou family. No matter how I nursed my body, it was useless. After being diagnosed by many doctors, we learned that it wasn’t because my body couldn’t get pregnant, it was that my husband’s body… wasn’t able to impregnate me. During that period of time, my husband was often worried about this issue. Everyday he would drink himself into a stupor, so I…” Having spoken to this point, Madame Zhou started choking up as she used her sleeves to wipe her tears.
Looking back up, she continued, “I wasn’t thinking clearly then, making me come up with the idea of having Ahjing helped with that matter. I just wanted to get pregnant so that my husband would stop worrying. After he knew about it, my husband didn’t blame me. Instead he helped me hide this matter. We all thought that this secret would die with us.”
Her gaze landed on the old housekeeper before she continued, “But a few years ago, Ahjing’s daughter came to the mansion to visit him. Because she accidentally dirtied Ning’er’s clothing, she was locked up. In the end, she was tortured to death… The scar on Ahjing’s face was an injury caused by Ning’er while trying to rescue his daughter. Although Ahjing grieved over his daughter’s death, Ning’er was also his daughter. So at that time he didn’t report it to the officials or tell anyone. Only my husband and I knew of it.”
At this very moment, Madame Zhou was a sobbing wreck! Lord Zhou’s face was scrunched up as he reached out to embrace his wife, clearly upset.
Ji Shuyun roughly understood what happened.
Lord Zhou was sterile! So, Madame Zhou got pregnant with someone else! The old housekeeper had two biological daughters. One daughter was killed by the other, and he… killed the remaining one!
‘What a complicated story!’
No wonder after knowing that the old housekeeper was the real murderer, Madame Zhou was not upset, and Lord Zhou did not fly into a rage.
This case’s conclusion was now clear. But everyone’s hearts were heavier than before.
Even Jing Rong who had been watching with enthusiasm just now displayed a more serious expression, his heart feeling a little stifled.
The magistrate licked his dry lips. According to the procedures, he had to ask again, “Housekeeper, due to your daughter’s death at the hands of the young miss Zhou, you had the urge to kill her when she was abusing you that night, is this correct?”
After a moment’s pause, the old housekeeper curled up his body, deeply burying that ferociously scarred face and hiding away his once gentle eyes, now filled with remorse!
Only a single word was heard, “Yes.”
The magistrate nodded his head, satisfied. He looked at his legal advisor who took the freshly written confession and walked to the old housekeeper. He placed the confession in front of him and pressed the old housekeeper’s thumb on the red wax at the bottom of the paper.
The young miss Zhou’s case has finally concluded.
But no one could bring themselves to be happy about it, especially Ji Yunshu.
While the old housekeeper was brought to prison, Lord Zhou and Madame Zhou hugged their heads and cried their hearts out, heartbroken, as they left!
Ji Yunshu remained standing in the courtroom as she stared blankly at the plaque above the hall.
“Justice and Fairness!”
She couldn’t help but sigh. She was still holding onto that mulberry flower-embroidered handkerchief.
She truly hated herself. Hated herself for not resolving the case faster. Had it not been for Ji Lingzhi making trouble, perhaps she could have saved Suyun before the young woman decided to kill herself!
She hated herself even more for leaving that oil lamp to her.
Seeing that Ji Yunshu was staring into space for so long, Magistrate Liu raised his hand and waved it. “Disperse, everyone disperse now.”
The yamen runners, having received their orders, departed.
Jing Rong had also left at some point; his shadow was nowhere to be seen.
Grenn’s Rants Corner
*moment of silence* …