Chapter 319 – Do You Believe in the Heavens?
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Ji Yunshu’s expression darkened as she asked, “What’s the matter with this case?”
The Capital Governor sighed, “That woman’s daughter was a famous songstress in a brothel, but was tainted by a man one night. She died that same night in that room, but the man is a young master of one of the influential houses in Yufu County and he proclaimed that he didn’t kill her. He even bribed the local yamen. When the coroner examined the body, he reported that she committed suicide by ingesting poison and this case was concluded as such. That woman has persistently insisted that her daughter would never take her own life, so she has traveled all the way to the Capital to submit this claim.”
“Does she have any evidence or proof corroborating her claim?”
“She mentioned something – something about her daughter having a son. The day before she died, her daughter told her that she would remain in the brothel for only one more day before leaving Yufu County to raise her son somewhere else in peace, therefore she was certain that she would never commit suicide.”
The Governor pulled out several crumpled pieces of paper from his sleeve and handed them to Ji Yunshu, continuing, “These are the claims she submitted. Please have a look, Teacher Ji.”
Ji Yunshu stretched out a hand for the papers but was intercepted by another hand. She followed those fingers upwards only to meet Jing Rong’s disgruntled gaze. He glared at the capital mayor, “Governor, did you not understand what this Prince meant earlier?”
The Governor’s face turned green – he, of course, understood his intentions, but – “Your Highness, if this case was not so tricky, this official would also not have-”
“Is there no-one in the entire capital yamen and Supreme Court who is capable of taking over this case? Is the court feeding a bunch of useless animals?” Jing Rong bellowed.
Lord Yi shook in his boots, but continued slowly, “Please calm down, Your Highness. This official knows that he shouldn’t trouble Teacher Ji with such a matter, but this case happened three years ago and would be difficult to investigate. Everyone across the capital, even the entire Great Lin, knows of Teacher Ji’s capabilities. As such, this official thought of Teacher Ji – if Teacher could solve this case, then this official along many others, could then submit our letters of recommendation for Teacher Ji to become the next Disciplinary–”
“Enough!” Jing Rong cut the Governor off before he could finish. This governor sure was testing his limits!
Ji Yunshu was likewise surprised; Jing Rong had already known of the Capital Governor’s plans to request for her help in solving the case, but had rejected it on her behalf. Who could have expected that the Governor would be unfazed despite Jing Rong’s warning and pay her a secret visit personally, only to meet Jing Rong straightaway? How interesting!
Jing Rong was furious as he sternly spoke, “Governor, this prince will repeat this only once more – this is a case that you and the Supreme Court should handle. Discuss how you would do this behind closed doors and leave Teacher Ji alone.”
It was as if he had been slapped across the face as the Governor’s cheeks began to flush. He gulped his saliva nervously and sighed, “Yes, this official understands. It was this official’s mistake.”
“Good,” Jing Rong replied curtly and returned those claim papers he had intercepted previously.
Lord Yi received them with both hands as he paid his respects, “Then this official… will trouble and bother Your Highness and Teacher Ji no longer. This official will take his leave.”
In the short span of their back-and-forth, Ji Yunshu caught a glimpse of the words “Ye’er” on those papers – where had she seen them before? Just as the capital mayor stored the papers away dejectedly, Ji Yunshu called out, “Lord Yi, please hold on.”
He stopped immediately and turned around expectantly. As Ji Yunshu headed towards the Governor, she was pulled back by Jing Rong. He stated firmly, “This is a case you cannot investigate.”
“I want to decide for myself.” She pushed Jing Rong’s hand away and extracted the papers from the Governor’s hands. Those papers should have been unsoiled, the writing on it neat and meticulous, but instead, the papers were crumpled, wrinkled, faint water marks still visible. Some of the ink had been stained and washed away, the written words difficult to make out unless one looked really carefully.
Ji Yunshu conscientiously perused those claims, her face darkening as she finished. She held those papers tightly in her hands, only to carefully keep them after a while as she asked Lord Yi, “Can I meet this person?”
The Governor nodded enthusiastically, “Of course, Teacher.”
“Hold on.” Jing Rong stopped him and pulled Ji Yunshu aside, “This case has nothing to do with you. This Prince doesn’t want to drag you into any more needless matters – all you have to do is to concentrate on the ‘Lin Capital Case’.”
Ji Yunshu had a sad expression on her face as she asked him softly, “Do you believe in the heavens?”
Hm? “Why do you ask so?”
“Perhaps this was all fate, perhaps it was fated for me to investigate this case, because I have met this woman before. There is one page missing from this claim, and that page is in my possession – since the heavens wish to give me this case, I have no reason to refuse.”
She remarked steadfastly, “When I first joined the yamen five years ago, I was indeed looking to feed myself, but I realised thereafter that there are too many wronged people, too many unfair cases in this world. I cannot just watch as these people die maligned without doing anything. Since the heavens have bestowed upon me the ability to solve cases and examine corpses, then this is my responsibility and not simply me being meddlesome. It’s just like Your Highness having to bear your own responsibilities.”
Jing Rong was both astonished and shaken by her words. He finally spoke, “It looks like this Prince must worry about you this entire lifetime.” Yes, he agreed!
A smile blossomed across Ji Yunshu’s face as she retorted, “You said that – remember, I’m a meddlesome troublemaker, you must look after me forever.” Their eyes met, smiling.
Not long after, Ji Yunshu followed the Governor to the capital yamen to meet the woman she had bumped into that rainy day. She sat dazed on a bench outside, holding a frayed, yellow bag in her hands nervously. She clamored quickly before the Governor as she saw him approaching, dropping to her knees and rugging on his official robes, crying, “Milord, I’m begging you. You must bring my daughter justice, I beg you.”
“Please get up first.”
“My daughter was killed; she didn’t commit suicide – there is no way she would. Milord, please help me, please help my daughter, I’m begging you, I’ll kowtow before you, please.” She began to bow as she pleaded, making Lord Yi flustered.
Ji Yunshu’s heart twinged. She squatted down and helped the woman up from the ground. That woman’s emaciated face was a deadly pale – one could only imagine how much she had been through in the last three years in her pursuit of justice. Ji Yunshu muttered softly, sorrily, “Madame, please, first get up.”
That woman looked at her, trying to place where she had seen her before, “It’s you?”
Grenn’s Rants Corner
JY and her inspirational speech.