Chapter 372 – Moss
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don’t read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
The moss that those two dislodged were fresh!
The roof had long been immersed in rainwater but since nobody bothered to clean it, a thick layer of moss populated the entire roof. The moss on these men however, was different from those on the roof – there were hints of dull yellow amongst glistening fresh green.
Ji Yunshu could recall that she had once stumbled upon a cave of tombs; there were seven chambers and each was completely covered with moss. To prevent anything from happening to the coffins, the entire research team meticulously researched all the possible forms of moss before beginning their excavation. As such, Ji Yunshu vividly remembered what she had once researched.
There were fourteen main types of moss: seven types were aquatic, three types were terrestrial and four types were thermophilic. Matte moss were a form of terrestrial moss that typically grew on smooth surfaces and rocks, never on roofs. The type of terrestrial moss that could be commonly found on roofs belonged to an outlier form: the lichen! She quickly scanned everyone’s hands and faces and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up as her mind whirred.
Zhao Huai scoffed in distrust, “Nobody else was here.” He turned to Ji Yunshu, “From the beginning, only you and that fool were here. Only you came into contact with these remains. It was clearly you who destroyed it; even if it wasn’t you, it must have been that fool!”
The aforementioned fool was still snoring away; the commotion did not wake Wei Yi up as he turned on his other side, facing the other direction.
Ji Yunshu rebutted, “What good would it do me if these remains were ruined?”
“But, who else, if not you?”
“The First Master should think about who would benefit the most if this skeleton was destroyed!”
Who could it be? Zhao Huai’s surety wavered for a moment as he turned. “What do you mean?”
“Who else but the murderer would destroy these bones? Since the culprit could evade those people outside and ruin the skeleton without us knowing, then there are only two possible explanations. Either those two guarding this place lied, or…”
The guards interjected quickly before Ji Yunshu finished speaking. “First Master, the two of us were always outside. We didn’t even dare blink! Nobody entered through this door – we never lied, and there was no noise coming from inside. There’s no way we wouldn’t know if something happened – we could even hear a pin drop in the silence of the night!”
“Yes, yes, First Master, you must believe us!” The two of them eagerly clarified themselves – they did not appear to be lying.
Zhao Huai nodded, obviously confident in their honesty. He firmly rebuffed Ji Yunshu. “I know my men – they would never lie to me.”
“Then that leaves the second possibility – someone highly skilled in lightness skill leapt up onto the roof and secretly smashed these bones.”
Zhao Huai rejected her conjecture, “Nonsense. There are multiple nails scattered across the roof – how could someone enter the room that way?”
“As the First Master of the Gaoshan Gang, you must have eliminated and destroyed countless corpses. Wouldn’t you have heard of something called the ‘Bone Crushing Powder’? It’s similar to ‘Corpse Dissolving Powder’.”
Zhao Huai did not answer.
Zhao Qing looked troubled, “Then, if the person who ruined these bones was the same person who threw the corpse into the wine urn a year ago, then the likelihood of the murderer still being here in the village is high?”
“Yes!” Ji Yunshu was sure.
Zhao Qing told Zhao Huai, “Since the murderer’s still in the village, you should to order your men to lock down this place. Investigate each person thoroughly – we cannot let the murderer escape!”
Unexpectedly, Zhao Huai’s temper exploded. “Enough investigating! Isn’t it just a body? Just take it that this boss was unlucky, that my fine wine was messed with!”
Ji Yunshu questioned, “Since the culprit’s right here, why not check?”
“I think you’re just making things up! What Bone Crushing Powder – these are just your baseless accusations.”
“If you don’t believe me, you can have your men bring a bowl of soy sauce here. Place some of the remaining crushed bones inside. If red sediment floats up to the top, then you can prove that Bone Crushing Powder was definitely scattered on these remains.”
Zhao Huai ordered his men to do as Ji Yunshu had said, still somewhat doubtful. The result – a sticky, red substance floated up to the top of the soy sauce exactly as she described.
Ji Yunshu began to explain, “When the Bone Crushing Powder dissolves the bones, both the powder and bones would meld together. If you soak the mixture in soy sauce, you can separate the powder and bones – the Bone Crushing Powder would settle into a sticky, red layer above the soy sauce. The culprit must have leapt up onto the roof, removed a tile and poured the Bone Crushing Powder in.” 1
Everyone stretched their necks, straining for a better view of the bowl’s contents – the evidence was there for all to see! But Zhao Huai flipped that bowl of soy sauce to the ground and it fell with a clang, startling the sleeping Wei Yi.
Wei Yi rubbed his eyes, turning groggily towards the source of the noise, only to discover that the tiny room was crammed full of people. He hurriedly shuffled behind Ji Yunshu, tugging at the corner of her sleeve. She patted his hand to soothe him.
Zhao Huai’s fuming gaze shifted from that broken bowl to Ji Yunshu. He smirked, “So what if there was Bone Crushing Powder inside? You could have been the one who put it there!” Zhao Huai concluded, “It’s obviously because you couldn’t figure out the truth behind these bones and decided to destroy them, stirring my gang up from within. You’d best think of a way to escape, or you never will!”
Ji Yunshu was hapless, “I’m being watched by so many people here, how would I run away? Moreover, I have no need to do this – since I’ve said that I can discover the truth, then I definitely will.”
“I don’t care about what you say – in any case, just stop investigating those bones!” He waved his hand dismissively. No more investigating! Nothing good has come of it.
Zhao Huai ordered. “Men, lock up this scholar and that fool. If they disobey, kill them.”
“Understood!” Several ferocious-looking men came forth, restraining Ji Yunshu and Wei Yi in an instant.
Wei Yi cried out anxiously, “Shu’er!”
Ji Yunshu tried to struggle against them as she questioned, “The murderer has now ruined this skeleton, who’s to say that he would not harm the living next? As the First Master, why are you leaving this alone? The evidence is right before your eyes – this matter is obviously suspicious!”
“Stop with your dangerous statements.” He commanded. “Bring them away!”
Ji Yunshu was stripped of her chance to convince him as she was taken away alongside Wei Yi, the two of them locked up once again in that musty woodshed. Wei Yi pounced into Ji Yunshu’s embrace, asking, “Shu’er, are we never going to return? Why hasn’t Brother Jing Rong come to bring us back yet?”
Ji Yunshu did her best to comfort him, but her mind was somewhere else!
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Why is Zhao Huai acting so weirdly? So is he guilty or not?
- 1. The JYS brand of pseudoscience strikes again! Don’t try this at home kids. It won’t work. ↩