by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 11 – Autopsy (1)
“There’s no rush in driving people away. Suicide or homicide, let’s take a look of the corpse and the truth will naturally be reveal.” A corpse is absolutely unable to lie!
The cold voice, which indistinctly echoed, sounded particularly ear-piercing inside the lobby. Moreover, the one who spoke was a strange person wrapped from head to toes in a gray gown. Wu Zhigang impatiently shouted, “Who are you to have such insolence and make a racket in the main hall?”
“I… “ What could Zhuo Qing replied with? The corner of her mouth lightly lifted and she carelessly replied, “I’m just a passerby.”
Everyone was flabbergasted. ‘What kind of answer is that?!’
Lou Xiyan gently stroked his nose and pretended to lightly cough in order to hide the fact he was laughing hard. ‘A passerby? How lucky, he decided to appear.’
‘H-h-he…This is holding the law court in contempt!!’ Wu Zhigang’s complexion turned black from anger. ‘This ignorant boy thinks the law court is what kind of place?!’ For a moment he forgot that Lou Xiyan was still there. He walked into the middle of the lobby, pointed at Zhuo Qing and angrily spoke. “Ridiculous, guards! Restrain him for me and…”
“Lord Wu” A low mild voice called him. The voice was like a bucket of cool water that had just poured on his head. He became clear-minded. Turning back, he respectfully answered, “Chancellor has something to instruct me?”
Lou Xiyan got up, while asking, he smoothed out a wrinkle on his clothes. “Where is the body right now?”
Wu Zhigang looked at the bailiff that reported earlier. The bailiff hurriedly replied, “It’s still in the prison.”
Lou Xiyan strolled through the lobby towards the side door. Wu Zhigang was greatly alarmed. He immediately followed and anxiously asked, “Chancellor Lou, you mean…?”
“Let the coroner makes the autopsy. I will personally supervise it. I want to see if the end result is a suicide or a homicide.” Lou Xiyan was tepid which made Wu Zhigang unable to see if he was happy or angry. He followed behind him all terrified as his sleeveless garment had become all moisten from cold sweats.
When Madam Lin heard the request for an autopsy, with all her energy, she rushed after them. As for the villagers, Lin Bokang’s death was so sudden that they wholeheartedly wanted to see with their own eyes. So, a crowd of people rushed towards the side door, but the bailiffs’ long cane had already block their way long ago. “You cannot go in!”
Madam Lin grabbed the long canes and shook them ferociously. She tried jerking the canes out of her way while crying out, “What? But, he is my husband!”
Wu Si’s strong body stood next to Madam Lin. He asked with a completely simple and honest face, “Big Brother Officer, let us go in!”
“Out of question!” The bailiffs didn’t really look at them and they glanced around without any possibility of a leeway.
Zhuo Qing was half leaning on the door frame. She idly looked at the to-and-fro tussle between the villagers and the bailiffs. They didn’t understand anything at all. Even if they went in, it was useless. It was better for them to pray that Chancellor Lou was incomparably wise in judging this case which was unusual compared to normal. Yawning, she turned around and went out. She was extremely sleepy. Ever since she mysteriously came to this place, she couldn’t take a wink of sleep. She just wanted to find a place where she could properly rest. Then, she could think about what she should do next.
From the door threshold, a man stepped out and a cold voice as clear as flowing water sounded out, “Let them in.”
The person who came in was Chancellor Lou’s personal bodyguard. The bailiffs looked at him, not daring to obstruct, they immediately lowered the long canes. Madam Lin rushed inside followed by the villagers.
Hearing the very pleasant voice, Zhuo Qing curiously turned her head to look. A bright and awe-inspiring image appeared at this moment beside the side door. He was Lou Xiyan’s imperial bodyguard. Zhuo Qing slightly squinted her eyes and secretly sized him up. He was around 190 cm tall with snow white skin and dark brown hair which suited him very well. His facial features were clean with azure colored eyes seemed almost like a see-through colored glass. To sum up, he could fit on the top list of the most beautiful mixed-blood male. However, the most special thing about him wasn’t his features, but the lack of expression on his face. He appeared neither grimly ruthless nor gentle and soft. It felt like some kind of mismatch temperament. She wasn’t very fond of this kind of temperament, but she had to admit he was quite charming!
Suddenly, the man walked towards her. She pulled her hat lower and wait for him to walk pass her. However, he stopped besides her and calmly stated in a cold voice, “Let’s go.”
“Go where?” Zhuo Qing feigned ignorance.
“I don’t mind dragging you there.” He replied in an indifferent voice as his pale hand tightly grabbed Zhuo Qing’s arm.
“Stop! I can go by myself.” ‘This man is so forceful!’
Mo Bai slowly released his hand. Without uttering a single word, he went ahead. Zhuo Qing gave him a supercilious look. Whichever the era, bodyguards are all so ruthless! She was not resigned and was unwillingly following him to the prison cell. By the time she caught up to him, she coldly said, “Hey! You with the beautiful eyes, you watch yourself. This time, I just won’t bother arguing with you.” Otherwise…she had the bad habit of holding a grudge.
Mo Bai was startled. ‘Beautiful eyes?’ Because of this pair of eyes, he was abandon by his family, called demon by others. He had no relatives, no friends and no one even wanted or dared to look straight into his eyes. ‘These eyes… He says they are beautiful?!’
He quickly erased the sneer in his eyes. His pale face without any change kept being indifferent like before.
In the prison, Zhuo Qing turned seven or eight times before she finally arrived at Lin Bokang’s cell.
Zhuo Qing meticulously examined the surroundings. This prison cell just happen to be the furthest one. There was no bailiffs on duty entering here and this place basically can’t be seen because of the others prison cells. She didn’t know if this was a coincidence or done deliberately. Moreover, this prison cell was near several others, but they were all empty. In other words, there would be no witness that could have seen whatever event occurred in here.
Zhuo Qing stood the furthest from the prison cell’s door as there was already a bustling crowd of people there. Even so, she could still see the corpse hanging high above from the prison’s beam. The deceased’s complexion appeared to be purple. There were clear signs of swelling. The skin on the face had scattered dots which hinted of a bleeding. He was choke to death without a doubt. Then, she looked further down and her brows unconsciously knitted together.
“Paying respect to Lord Chancellor!” A man’s voice echoed from behind her. Zhuo Qing turned back to look. A man in his thirties arrived in a hurry. He directly faced Lou Xiyan and greeted him with one hand cupped in another.
“Who are you?” Spouting out the question was a middle-aged man. Lou Xiyan’s eyes merely stopped on Zhuo Qing. He had watched her observed the corpse with keen concentration. All night, he was researching on the circumstances surrounding yesterday evening and he discovered there was absolutely no disfigured youth in Niu Jia village. ‘In the end, who is he? Kidnapping Qing Feng must have been his evil plan. What can be his intentions?’ Lou Xiyan was very interested in knowing everything concerning this youth.
The middle-aged man respectfully answered, “This humble person is Wang Bingsheng, the only coroner of Ying Tian office. He had more than ten years of experience examining corpses.”
‘Coroner? That’s what precedes the profession of forensic investigator.’ When they spoke about the autopsy, self-confidence appeared on Wang Bingsheng’s face, so much that it looked somewhat conceited. Zhuo Qing’s irritate mood finally became better. She really want to see how they were going to examine the corpse.
“Good! Then, you carefully examined him and determined if he committed suicide or was murdered.” The coroner was only concerned about the details of the case and didn’t expect people here. If this was a homicide, the implications for this case was bound to not be small. To be able to kill inside Ying Tian office’s prison, how can that person be simple?
Wang Bingsheng entered the prison cell. The bailiffs already took the body down.
The purple face added to the swelling made the original appearance almost unrecognisable. The rigid body was lay down on the floor. Immediately, Madam Lin received a shock and collapse on the ground. “Husband…”
“Ah! Be careful Madam!” The villagers supported Madam Lin and withdrawn to the side. Zhuo Qing took the opportunity to approach the prison cell. She only saw the coroner lifted the deceased’s head, examined the bruise left by the binding and then, looked at the limbs which, in the end, didn’t take a total of five minutes. He stood up and walked back to Lou Xiyan to report. “Reporting to Lord Chancellor, the corpse’s complexion is purple with both hands and feet pointing down. On the foot, there is some kind of burning scar. On the neck, there is a purple bruise that extends from left to right, reaching behind the ears. From this, it seems to be a suicide and the cause of death was from hanging himself with his belt.”
‘Suicide?’ Lou Xiyan was muttering for a moment and then asked, “What was the time of his death?”
Wan Bingsheng hesitated a moment before he replied, “Around four hours ago.”
‘Judging by the livor mortis, the deceased was dead at least more than ten hours!’ Standing outside of the prison cell, the distance was too far from the body, so Zhuo Qing couldn’t determine the exact cause of the death. Besides, she didn’t want to rashly say something since she may invite troubles to herself. She concentrated on watching with attention the corpse and, then, at Lou Xiyan. She decided to throw a brick to attract jade.
“Ah! That’s truly strange!” Zhuo Qing pretended to shout in surprise, “This man is truly fortunate. Before committing suicide, he was able to properly make himself presentable by changing into new clothes and new shoes. How odd, even though he changed his clothes, he didn’t comb his hair!”
 尸斑 (shībān) : It’s really livor mortis and not rigor mortis like most people are used to read which precedes livor mortis. In fact, there exist different stages of death which coroners and forensic investigators used to determine the approximate time of death and the position the body was in for a certain time after death. You can read a summary of the different stages here.