by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 15 – Criminal Justice Department (2)
Just when she was yawning without any restraints, Shan Yulan had already walked through the door of the prison cell and went directly to her. “What you said, word for word, was certainly the truth. What are you called? Where is he? Where is the master who took you in?”
In fact, Shan Yulan had already arrived at the time when the youngster was reprimanding Wang Bingsheng. From that moment up until now, he kept silent because he just wanted to know how much this youngster knew about autopsy. The kid didn’t disappoint him. He understood the livor mortis more than an average coroner. Shan Yulan knew he was rude with all his questioning, but, in his heart, he was eager to know more about this youth in gray clothes, especially his master. What kind of person was this master to be able to teach such a disciple.
Zhuo Qing’s mouth was frozen in the middle of her yawn. Shan Yulan’s questioning was too impolite! Embarrassed, she used her hand to cover her mouth. Her ice-cold voice was like an enthusiastic audio-tape coming to an end as she replied. “Great Criminal Justice Official, I think you misunderstood something. I am not your servant nor am I a convict. You are entitled to question me. However, whether or not I reply, will depend on my mood.”
Shan Yulan didn’t think he would get such an answer. He was despondent for a split of second. In contrast, Lou Xiyan’s smile became increasingly more pronounced, appearing full of satisfaction. He had a temperament without the slightest scruple. It had to be said that the him last night was already quite courteous.
“Impudent!” Fearing that Shan Yulan would get angry, Wu Zhigang hurriedly berated Zhuo Qing. “The Criminal Justice Official is questioning you. You dare to not reply?!”
Zhuo Qing didn’t become angry. She crossed her arms over her chest and mockingly said, “The Criminal Justice Official and I are having a conversation. You dare to interrupt?!”
“You!!” ‘This, this, this is practically rebellion!’ Wu Zhigang was so angry that smoke could almost be seen coming out from his mouth and nose. His face was flushed red and he was violently heaving his chest. The hand that was pointing at Zhuo Qing were shaking incessantly, but there was no words that came out even after a long time.
Zhuo Qing was a bit startled. ‘Ah! He should not be so tense and seemed like he had not say something. It’s unlikely he had a stroke… These ancients’ ability to defense against issues like this is their weak point!’
Zhuo Qing was truly worried he would passed out. Fortunately, one of two bailiffs, a middle-aged man came in and broke the awkward atmosphere in the cell.
“Sir, Li Ming has arrived.”
Regarding Zhuo Qing’s lack of manners, Official Shan restrained his emotions and Chancellor Lou was calm and unruffled in the midst of the chaos. As for Wu Zhigang, he was half dead from anger that kept churning inside him which could only be vented on Li Ming in a fit of violent outburst. “Li Ming, last night, Lin Bokang was murdered by someone and you were the only one who saw him yesterday. Did you see anything at that time or are you the one that murder him?”
Li Ming hurriedly kneeled down and lowered his head. Although his voice was somewhat shaking, his reasoning was nevertheless hundred percent clear. “Ah! Sir, you wrongly accuse me! This lowly person is taking care of the Lin’s family matters while Master had to stay in prison for a few months, receiving many sufferings. I only came to give Master some clothes. At that time, Master’s mood wasn’t very good. This lowly person didn’t dare to stay too long. I tried to ease his anxiety with a few words and only left behind the clothes before departing. I only stay in the prison less than the time of a stick of incense to burn. At that time, it was raining very heavily outside and a tree was broken by the wind. This lowly person also helped the bailiffs to move the tree.”
The build of that Li Ming was slightly more robust compared to the deceased. Basically, he could have the force to hang someone to the beam of the prison roof. What more, according to the time of death, Li Ming was the most suspicious, but there was no conclusive evidences. Speculating on a case was always Gu Yun’s speciality. As for her, she was solely engrossed in autopsy. Quietly, she retreated several steps to outside of the prison cell. She lazily leaned on the stone wall and continuously yawned. This wasn’t her problem anymore…
“You’re saying that you came to deliver clothes. Did Lin Bokang changed into his new clothes in front of you?”
Li Ming slightly raised his head to look at the simply attired Shan Yulan and, once again, lowered his head. He replied in a neutral tone, “He didn’t.”
With a flat voice that made people suffocate from the feeling of oppression, Shan Yulan continued to ask. “Except giving him clothes, did you help him to do something else?”
This time, Li Ming didn’t think very long before answering, “This lowly person only deliver clothes to Master, said a few sentences and left.”
Suddenly, Shan Yulan entered the prison cell towards the right side of the bedside which was a simple and crude board with a messy rice straw on it. He lifted his hand and lightly picked up a few strands of rice straw. With astonishment, an indistinct footprint appeared. “On the deceased bedside, there is a muddy footprint. However, the deceased had new shoes. Even if he was wearing the old shoes, the deceased was inside the prison for a few months and rarely came out. It also couldn’t be that much dirty. Last night happen to have heavy rain. At that time, only you were together with the deceased in the prison. That shoe’s print is yours and you left after hanging the body, yes or no?”
Zhuo Qing narrowed her eyes watching. She wasn’t able to clearly see the footprint because of the rice straw. She just discovered a problem. Shan Yulan was always standing outside the prison cell, but, surprisingly, he took notice of this point. He was a meticulous and sharp person.
Li Ming’s whole body was shaking and didn’t explain much. “No, no…”
Wu Zhigang impatiently shouted, “Take off his shoes and verified it!”
Immediately, two bailiffs accepted the order and quickly pulled out Li Ming’s shoes to compare it with the footprint. After they compared it, they reported the result. “Sir, Li Ming’s shoe and the footprint fitted exactly.”
‘I must inspect it.’ Wu Zhigang’s angry flame turned berserk. “It was really you!! Li Ming, you’re have very lots of nerve!”
Zhuo Qing snorted disdainfully. At most, it was only proving that Li Ming had step on the board quickly at that time, that’s all. It was merely a secondary evidence, thus it couldn’t be based on to convict him!
Li Ming was already trembling for a while like he was inside a tempest. Immediately, he crawled on the ground, begging for forgiveness. “I… Sir, this lowly person only… This lowly person only lost control at that time. I didn’t mean to injure Master!”
‘He pleaded guilty?’ Zhuo Qing felt that the situation was a bit fishy, but she couldn’t see where was the problem!
In Lou Xiyan’s eyes, there was a flash of radiance, but it disappeared very quickly.
“In the time of a burning stick of incense, you entered the prison, killed Lin Bokang, switched the clothes and created a suicide scene. You taken care of everything and still dare say it was a momentary lost of control! Unless… you’re still hiding something! Talk!” Shan Yulan’s voice was slightly high spirited. His eyes brimming with unswerving determination and his body overflowing with righteousness. It was without saying that Li Ming got scare to the point he was shivering with cold sweats, even Zhuo Qing shook with excitement.
Li Ming’s expression swayed to extreme dismay, yet he didn’t stop begging for forgiveness. “Sir, please spare me! Sir, please spare me!”
If Li Ming had indeed meticulously plan out this murder, it could clearly be seen that he was a cool-headed and cold-blood person. However, right now, how can he be this frenetic? He was Lin Bokang’s housekeeper and shouldn’t have any deep-seated hatred. ‘What can be the motive of the murder?’
“Li Ming! How can you do something like forget favors and violate justice? My deceased husband wasn’t unkind to you!” The repressed emotions inside Madam Lin turned into resentment as she also didn’t expect this. Her husband’s murderer was the housekeeper that followed them for so many years!
The villagers were also itching to beat that ungrateful bastard to death. At that moment, there was chaos inside the prison. Shan Yulan made a prompt decision and clearly said, “Imprison this man! Wait until I examined Lin Bokang’s files case and, once more, hold a hearing for this case! Right and wrong, crooked and straight, everything will be determine then.”
“Yes, Sir!” The bailiffs immediately escorted Li Ming to another prison cell. Madam Lin and the villagers also followed the bailiffs to outside.
Lou Xiyan softly clapped his hands. The corner of his mouth was rising like before as he laughed. “All the civilian and military officials at court said Official Shan’s hearing of litigation is well ordered and the settling of the case is just and resolute. Seeing it today, it indeed live up to one’s reputation.”
“Chancellor Lou over-praised.” Nevertheless, the expression stayed undisturbed as Lou Xiyan was accustomed to. Side by side, both of them walked out the prison.
Wu Si caught sight of Lou Xiyan leaving. At once, he went to welcome him. He said in an extremely grateful voice, “Lord Chancellor, many thanks to you for giving us the decision. Please rest assured. We were wrong to kidnap the young lady, but we absolutely didn’t make things difficult for her. She is a very good person and still help us write the appeal. Just a moment ago, she even did the autopsy of our benefactor. The young lady…”
“Wait, wait!” Lou Xiyan’s all year long smile went stiff. “You’re saying that the youngster doing the autopsy earlier was Qing Feng?!”
‘Qing Feng? That youngster was originally a woman?’ Shan Yulan looked at Lou Xiyan and only saw stupefaction all over his face. ‘This Qing Feng is indeed not simple as there is not many people that can make Chancellor Lou show he’s upset!’
‘Who is Qing Feng? Isn’t she called Zhuo Qing?’ Wu Si was puzzled and unconsciously raised his head to find Zhuo Qing. There was still no shadow of her ever since he saw her inside the prison. “AH? Where is she?”
 Chinese characters sometimes completely change pronunciation when they are used as surnames. 单 normally is pronounced as dān, but as a surname in this context, it becomes Shàn. You can read the details about translation of surnames : here.
 It’s not a genuine evidence as it was usually a reproduction or substitute for an original or a real item of proof. More details : here.