Chapter 64 – Fighting Over the Skeleton
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Madame Jiang was dressed in fine silk. She wore a pair of jade circlets on her wrist, a golden hairpin in her hair, and silver earrings. Each and every one of these items was a rare treasure.
The type of attire she wore was on the same league as Ji Muqing’s and Old Madame Ji’s.
‘If I get to know where she’s buried, I definitely have to memorise the location! If by chance I was fortunate enough to excavate her burial place in the future, it will truly be a blessing!’
Yet such a well-dressed lady seemed to have the word “arrogance” carved on her forehead. Her upright posture and cold expression, as well as, her tone all seemed to scream “I’m high and mighty so obey me!”
Had she not announced her name, Ji Yunshu would have been inclined to believe that she was a distant member of the Ji family! This type of woman had always been difficult to deal with…
Hearing that her request was to take back the corpse, the magistrate obviously denied her this. “Madame Jiang, this is a murder case; it needs to be thoroughly investigated before the corpse is returned to you.”
“What murder case? All I know is that corpse is my husband’s, and I want to bury him immediately.” Madame Jiang’s tone emphasized this point, her gaze turning dangerous.
“I don’t allow it! This is a murder case. Since it has been reported to the yamen, then we will investigate everything until the truth is revealed. No matter who it is, we will not obscure the truth. Everything has to go according to the procedures dictated by the laws of the Great Lin. And you, Madame Jiang, are not an exception to this.”
Wow! oh Lord Magistrate, that was awesome. Can you see Ji Yunshu over here turning into your biggest fan?
Madame Jiang’s gaze was like a sharp sword piercing toward the magistrate. “Lord Liu you want to talk about laws with me? Fine, I’ll talk about laws with you.”
Shifting her feet a bit, she lifted her head and spoke, “Which law of the Great Lin dynasty dictates that the family members of the deceased are not allowed to bring them for burial? And which law allows the yamen to hold onto the corpse of the deceased? That skeleton is my husband’s; what’s wrong with me bringing my husband’s remains for a proper burial? Do I need the yamen’s approval for that?”
The magistrate was rendered speechless since those laws really didn’t exist! The magistrate was robbed of all his arguments. Now, he didn’t even know how to respond!
Ji Yunshu shook her head slightly. ‘Where was that imposingness from earlier? Why was it gone so quickly?’ Unable to help it, she flicked her sleeves and stepped forward.
“Madame Jiang, I’m afraid you cannot bring the body of the deceased back home, as of right now.” A voice rang out refuting Madame Jiang.
Only now did Madame Jiang notice the “young man” with delicate features and looking like a gentle spring breeze. However, those ink-like eyes gave off an icy cold feeling. “And who might you be?”
“This one is a humble painter employed by the yamen. I hope that Madame Jiang might calm down and think this over. Master Jiang died of a violent death, and the murderer has yet to be found. Hence, I am afraid the corpse cannot be returned to you.”
Madame Jiang was too used to getting her way. How would she tolerate someone who dared to talk back to her?
Her voice rose sharply, “My husband went mad and disappeared that year. Now that I can find his corpse, of course I want to bring it back! As for the rest, I don’t wish to talk about it. As for dying of a violent death, what is your reason for saying that? That’s simply preposterous.”
Though her willowy brows didn’t move much, that aura and presence could easily overwhelmed a person.
Ji Yunshu replied to her, “Madame Jiang, a murder case is a murder case. Since it happened, the yamen has to solve it. On Master Jiang’s skeleton there are signs of him being stabbed around 20 times at different place. Besides, looking at his ankle bone, it can be inferred that he received bruising to that area just before he died as well. All of these prove that he got into a struggle with someone before he died; therefore, this means that he was murdered.”
Madame Jiang waved her long sleeves, her eyes practically spitting fire at Ji Yunshu. She spoke in an extremely unhappy tone, “How do you expect me to believe what came from the mouth of a lowly painter? I’m telling you right now, today I am not going to allow this matter to be investigated any longer. This is, after all, my Jiang family’s private matter. Whether to investigate it or not is up to me.”
“You are clearly protecting someone.”
“Protecting? What nonsense are you spouting?” Madame Jiang became even more agitated.
Ji Yunshu spoke forthrightly, “An old man came forward to testify about Master Jiang’s death which he personally witnessed. He has already told me everything and has also agreed to stand witness in court to apprehend the murderer!”
Hearing this, the magistrate stepped closer to her and asked, “Yunshu, is this true? Who is the murderer?”
Ji Yunshu’s gaze looked extremely certain as it met Madame Jiang’s. She spoke, “He told me himself that the murderer was your younger brother, Madame Jiang.”
“How could I murder my own brother-in-law?” The one who spoke was the man standing beside Madame Jiang. His face appeared anxious as he stepped forward to refute this. Pointing at Ji Yunshu, he continued, “Don’t talk nonsense! I didn’t do it- During the days my brother-in-law went missing, I wasn’t home at all!”
Only now did Ji Yunshu carefully examine this person. Her first impression was: sloppy and frivolous!
Ji Yunshu persisted, “These words were spoken by that old man. He claimed he witnessed it.”
“Simply a joke.” Madame Jiang humphed coldly, as she pulled her younger brother behind her. She looked at Ji Yunshu from top to bottom before speaking, “This young sir, should you be speaking the truth, why would that old man tell you who the murderer was in secret and not report it to the yamen? You had better not randomly accuse people. Without evidence, how can you just point out the murderer? Isn’t that ridiculous?”
“Everything I say is-” Ji Yunshu was cut off halfway.
“I believe you must be speaking about Seventh Uncle? Ah what a coincidence, he just so happened to pass away from an illness this morning.”
‘Hah?!’ “Dead?” Ji Yunshu was stunned for a moment.
‘Was he silenced?!’
Madame Jiang pressed even further, this time, aiming the spearhead at the magistrate, “Lord Liu, I do not wish to say anymore. Would you please bring my husband’s corpse out and hand it to me, immediately. I wish to let him be properly buried as soon as possible.”
The magistrate spoke, “But there were indeed knife marks on the skeleton.”
“Lord Liu must have been unaware that before my husband died, he turned mad and would often stab himself with a dagger. Those marks must have been accumulated over the years and not inflicted by someone else.”
“That… After Master Jiang went missing, Madame Jiang, you moved to the capital, but why was his corpse still found under the large tree in your old manor?” Magistrate Liu became suspicious!
Madame Jiang was still completely unfazed. She cast a gaze at Ji Yunshu and spoke in a calm tone, “Didn’t this young sir say this before? My husband twisted his ankle when he was alive. Perhaps a few days after we moved to the capital he came back and accidentally twisted his ankle, hitting his head on the tree and ending up dead. That’s a possibility.”
‘Simply searching for explanations!’ The magistrate asked Ji Yunshu in a faint voice, “Was there any blunt trauma to the skull?”
She nodded her head. “There is, but the force of the collision would not have been strong enough to be fatal. At most, it would leave a bump.”
“Since there was damage to his head no matter how much, I still spoke correctly.” Madame Jiang was just as arrogant as before.
Without any new evidence, there was no way to refute. Especially now that “Seventh Uncle” has died!
If they couldn’t find any more evidence, that skeleton might really be taken away by Madame Jiang.
“What, are you still not willing to hand it over? If I were to make a complaint to the supreme court, I’m afraid you won’t be able to keep that official’s hat of yours any longer, Lord Liu.” Her words were filled with threats.
Just as her voice settled… “And if this prince does not allow it?” Jing Rong’s voice resounded from outside the courtroom!
Grenn’s Rants Corner
Madame Jiang knows how to argue and Jing Rong smash her argument with the might of his status.