Bone Painting Coroner - Chapter 771 - Lack of Evidence
Chapter 771 – Lack of Evidence
Translator: Iris, Editor: Choufleur
Ji Yunshu shook her head. She had no idea. Perhaps she had hit a sore spot, which caused Zhang Daqi to be so flustered.
The commotion grew louder and attracted the attention of the warden outside, who was running to the cells. The sound of their footsteps grew closer. Vice-Chancellor Yu rushed into the cell and reminded her anxiously, “Teacher Ji, there’s no time.”
Ji Yunshu pursed her lips, her own breathing speeding up in anxiety as well. She would not be able to learn anything when Zhang Daqi is so worked up. She pulled out a bottle of medicine from her sleeve in a swift motion, and hid it under Zhang Daqi. She instructed, “This is a salve for your injuries. Use it when no one’s watching. Relax, if you’re really innocent, I’ll find a way to save you. But you have to stay alive, at all cost.”
“Um!” Zhang Daqi’s entire body grew tense.
The wardens were about to arrive at the cell, Vice-Chancellor Yu yanked her to her feet and hid her behind him.
“What’s going on?” The two wardens questioned as they rushed over. Both of them were terrified of the criminal dying in his cell.
Vice-Chancellor Yu coughed calmly and straightened his face, “Nothing. He just got a bit worked up while I was questioning him, that’s all.”
The wardens looked at Zhang Daqi, who laid on the ground with his limbs flailing in the air, his eyes looking straight up and his bloodied mouth opening and closing like a goldfish. They were suspicious, but they took Vice-Chancellor Yu’s words as truth. “If the Vice-Chancellor is finished with his interrogation, please leave soon. Or else… if something were to happen, we cannot take responsibility.”
“Fine, I would not put you two in a spot. We’ve asked all we can anyway.”
And so, Vice-Chancellor Yu waved his sleeve and brought Ji Yunshu out of the prison cell. The warden locked the door behind them and finally relaxed.
Before they left the prison, Vice-Chancellor Yu instructed them, “You need not alert Lord Li about my visitation today, understand?”
The wardens nodded and answered, “Yes, yes.” They also did not want to cause any unwanted trouble, of course they would agree.
Ji Yunshu kept her head low and followed Vice-Chancellor Yu closely. But, just when she walked past one of the wardens, that warden thought something was amiss and stopped in his tracks to think until the other warden walked right into him. “What are you thinking so hard about?”
“Don’t you think that person who’s following Vice-Chancellor Yu is a little strange?”
“Strange? Where? You’re overthinking it.”
The warden shook his head silently and returned to his post as well.
Jing Rong’s carriage awaited them outside the prison. Jing Rong ordered the coachman to leave immediately after the pair got into the carriage. On the way back to the Rong estate, he asked, “So did you learn anything?”
Ji Yunshu frowned, “He’s not the murderer. But he was there at the time of murder.”
“When I asked if the murderer was from the Zhang Village, he became really worked up. His face contorted in pain, like he could not express his suffering or as if he were hiding something.”
“Hiding something? Why is he hiding it? Who is he keeping it a secret for?”
“I don’t know.”
Vice-Chancellor Yu chimed in, “Teacher Ji, we don’t even have the evidence to prove Zhang Daqi’s innocence. The execution is tomorrow, what are we going to do?”
“We’ll have to do something. He’s not the killer, we can’t just let him die.”
Jing Rong’s eyes darkened in worry, “But we don’t have any evidence.”
Yeah, the lack of evidence loomed over them like a cloud. And with such a short time left, they can’t dig up new evidence either.
Ji Yunshu remained quiet even after they returned to the Rong estate. She sat in the courtyard for hours and barely moved. The sun vanished past the horizon and the moon rose to take its place, but Ji Yunshu stayed motionless in the courtyard. The maids tried to persuade her several times, but each time they brought her a warm cup of tea, the cup of tea turned cold without a single sip.
Jing Rong came and saw her sitting alone in the courtyard. The maids quickly explained to him, “Your Highness, Teacher Ji has been like this all afternoon. He won’t eat or even drink a sip of water.”
Jing Rong immediately took the cup of tea that the maids just refilled and told them, “All of you can leave now.”
He held that cup of tea, walked over, and sat down across her. Then, he placed that cup of tea next to her hand and said, “The weather’s really cold. At least warm yourself up with a bit of hot tea.”
But she remained deep in her thoughts.
Jing Rong then wrapped his hand around her frozen fingers, “Yunshu, you’ve done everything you can. I know you have a lot of questions and you firmly believe that Zhang Daqi is not the murderer, but the outcome has been set in stone, neither of us can change it.”
“That’s not it…”
“Do you expect me to knowingly send an innocent man to be executed?”
“You’re that firm in your belief.”
“Yes.” She affirmed and grabbed his hand instead. “There’s still so much missing from this case. If we decide before the truth has been revealed, then we would be killing the innocent and disregarding the value of human life.”
“I know. I’m just as worried as you. When we came back, I’d already sent someone to Zhang Village, maybe we’ll find a clue in Zhang Daqi’s home. If there’s anything, we’ll know right away.” He nudged the cup of tea towards her. “Drink something first.”
She relented with a short nod and reached out to pick up the cup. Just when her fingers touched the porcelain, she yanked her hand back. It was too hot! She moved so fast that the cup dropped and smashed into a thousand tiny pieces. Just when it shattered, a ray of light flashed past her eyes. It was so bright that she turned away instinctively and squeezed her eyes shut.
Jing Rong asked anxiously, “Are you alright?”
She nodded, and looked at the shattered cup on the ground. A scene appeared in her mind.Ah!She realised something.
She collected and organised her thoughts. “I got it! I know how the murderer moved the Buddha statue. I know who the murderer is!”
Hm?Jing Rong looked at her with a quizzical look.
A bright smile bloomed across her cheeks and she held his hand tightly. “Actually, the base which the Buddha statue rests on is empty.”
“We’ll find out once we piece together the broken pieces.”
Hm.Ji Yunshu quickly called for Lang Po and gave him a few instructions. He listened with shock before heading out to do her bidding.
The lonely night grew colder…
At Yuhua Pavillion
Mo Ruo had been strangely anxious in the past two days, and had trouble sleeping at night.
It was already dark outside, but he hung up a lantern at the corner outside the pavilion, as if he was waiting for someone. He would look at the street, then up towards the pavilion, and back and forth many times. His young disciple saw his actions and commented to Mo Ruo as he brought up the dried herbs, “Shifu, you should sleep soon. It’s already so late,Shimuwon’t be coming back tonight.”
Rubbish!Mo Ruo glared at his student, “What are you talking about? Who’s waiting for her?”
“What’s there to be embarrassed about?Shifuhas been hanging up a lantern here for the past two nights, just in caseShimucame back. Before this,Shifu, youwouldn’t even light up the lamps in the house even if it had gone out.” He teased Mo Ruo.