Handling a Case on Scene
The one that had gone to fetch Lu Song was one of Xuan Tian Hua’s subordinates. Going along with Xuan Tian Hua’s intentions, he directly passed along his master’s words about collecting the corpse. As for whose corpse was being collected, Lu Song still did not know and was puzzled.
As for the governor, Xu Jing Yuan, who came in behind him, he had already heard from Ban Zou. Only then did he follow the servants from the Yao family and hurry over. He did not come alone, as he brought along government workers and a coroner. He had the appearance of someone going to handle a case, which caused Lu Song to become confused.
But once he entered the Yao manor’s gates and saw the corpse on the ground, he was immediately woken up.
He stopped in place and stared wide-eyed at the corpse. A look of horror appeared on his face, but there was even more disdain and anger. No matter what, Lu Song never thought that the person that he had sent out of the province would suddenly return, nor that he would appear in the Yao manor, but why did he die? Damn it! Neither dying earlier nor later, he had to die at this sort of time, and it happened in the Yao family home. Lu Song looked at Lu Yao then at everyone else present. He could not help but begin to feel regret. If he knew sooner what would happen today, he would have had this unfilial son strangled to death sooner.
“Lord Lu, why are standing there and not going in? His Highness the seventh prince is still waiting for your reply.” The guard that had gone to invite him impolitely spoke to Lu Song. What standard first ranked prime minister. As he saw it, he was nothing.
Because he had been called by Xuan Tian Hua, the others did not say anything else. They just waited for Xuan Tian Hua to deal with him, but Xuan Tian Hua acted as though he did not see him. He stood there with his hands clasped behind his back. His gaze wandered, but he ignored Lu Song.
Lu Song was someone that was able to endure. He just remained kneeling on the ground without a single word of complaint. Regardless of his standard first rank title, what did it count for in the face of a prince? He was also very clear on how he ended up in the position of left prime minister. It was just that there was a vacancy that needed to be filled, and the Emperor did not find anyone that was suitable as a replacement, thus it was given to him. But after becoming the prime minister, there was quite a great deal of pressure. Put nicely, he was an official with a very important job. Put negatively, who in Da Shun did not know that the Emperor would have anyone that he disliked become the left prime minister. Once one stabilized their position as the left prime minister, they would be suppressed again and again. This was the case for Feng Jin Yuan, his predecessor and the predecessor before that. Da Shun’s left prime minister position has never been an easy position to handle!
Of course, it was not all of the left prime ministers that had been unfortunate. In the previous era, there were talents that stuck out; however, they had placed their bets wisely by engaging their daughter to the prince that would ascend the throne.
He, Lu Song, was also hoping for such a day. As long as he could improve his position while in the position of left prime minister, what would the disgrace of today count for? Although the Emperor was currently set on handing the throne to the ninth prince, who knew the future? The Emperor’s health was quite good, and those princes were not there for nothing. He had to see who exactly would win and who would lose in this game of chess.
While he was thinking, Xuan Tian Hua had begun to speak, asking him: “The dead one, is he your son?”
Lu Song quickly replied: “Replying to your Highness, that is this official’s eldest son. His name is Lu Cuo.” While he had been focusing on the bigger picture, he had forgotten how a father should react to their eldest son suddenly dying.
This did not cause just Xuan Tian Hua to feel surprised. Even the officials, madams and young misses present were puzzled. They could not help but begin to discuss this. When Lu Song heard what they were discussing, he managed to react to what was happening, but to suddenly start crying over his son now would be too fake. For a while, he did not know what he should do.
Xuan Tian Hua was in no rush. Picking up a chair from the side, he sat down and watched the coroners that were working.
The coroner had also heard what Ban Zou said earlier. This investigation was even more convenient, as he went to look straight at the neck. While looking, he said: “The throat was pierced by something sharp, causing a loss of life. It’s roughly two inches in length.” As he spoke, he opened the deceased’s collar and removed the shirt. He then began to investigate further. “There are scratch marks from fingernails on the back of the neck, and there are water weeds in the hair. There’s a fishy smell mixed with the wet smell. It’s not the smell of rain, so he should have been soaked in a pond. The heel of the shoe was damaged, so he should have been dragged by someone. The time of death is a bit before noon.”
The coroner very smoothly reported these things then looked toward Xu Jing Yuan and nodded: “My lord, he was murdered.”
Xu Jing Yuan had a cold expression, as he turned his gaze toward Lu Yao’s side; however, he turned toward Yao Xian and said: “Lord Yao, should this lowly official bring the culprit back before being tried, or shall they be tried here?”
Yao Xian waved his hand: “Try them immediately! I want to see what sort of person dares to murder someone in my Yao manor. Then after murdering them, they pass the blame to my darling granddaughter.”
Xu Jing Yuan took a deep breath. Before he had come, he had already heard Ban Zou talk about the matter. He just thought to himself that the people of the Lu family really were bold. They actually dared to pour dirty water on imperial daughter Ji An. If this was not madness, what was it?
Receiving Yao Xian’s permission, he immediately began to take care of the case. He had already discourteously sat in Yao Jing Jun’s head seat. Following the process of a case, he first found all of the people that had been around the location of the incident. He then carefully investigated, and the focused was placed on Feng Yu Heng and everyone in the bridal courtyard.
But Feng Yu Heng was not worried. Xu Jing Yuan was one of her people. She naturally trusted this person’s ability to handle a case.
Sure enough, Xu Jing Yuan left her side untried and placed his aim directly on the servants of the Lu family that were in the bridal courtyard.
The three kneeled there, while the wet nurse continued to emphasize Feng Yu Heng’s suspicion. Xu Jing Yuan’s subordinates were not courteous in the slightest, as they raised their long batons and swung at her back. This strike nearly caused her to cough up a mouthful of blood. She then heard the subordinate shout “Silence.” She no longer dared to say another word.
Xu Jing Yuan was a smart person. He knew that arguing this matter with servants would never end. The servants would refuse to admit it, and he had the ability to stick with them, but if he wanted to have this case resolved quickly, that was not too possible.
But it was no good if he did not resolve it immediately. Yao Xian was waiting, and this old imperial physician was someone favored by the Emperor, and he was Feng Yu Heng’s grandfather. No matter how bold he was, he did not dare offend him, thus he began to think quickly.
“Young miss of the Lu family, or rather this official should be calling you young madam of the Yao family, do you know what your crime is?” Suddenly, Xu Jing Yuan threw this comment out there. This scared Lu Yao out of her wits. Even the people present were extremely shocked.
Lu Yao was not kneeling in the center at the start, but once Xu Jing Yuan named her, the subordinates immediately went to take care of this. They brought Lu Yao and held her on the ground, forcing her to kneel.
Lu Yao was dissatisfied and repeatedly shouted: “Why are you grabbing me? Let go! I am the second young miss of the left prime minister’s manor. Why are you doing this to me?”
Xu Jing Yuan coldly snorted, “Your father, that would be the current left prime minister, is still kneeling on the ground. What are you shouting about?”
Lu Yao was startled and looked toward Lu Song. Only then did she find that Lu Song was kneeling at the side of the seventh prince. The seventh prince did not call for him to rise, and he did not dare to get up. Her heart trembled, and she no longer dared to struggle; however, she still said reluctantly: “Lord Xu came to handle a case. The victim is my elder brother. What have you brought me here for?”
Xu Jing Yuan coldly said: “This official called you forward. I naturally have my own reasons. So what if he’s your brother? There happen to be people that are capable of doing such vile things to their own siblings.”
“You.” Lu Yao never thought that Xu Jing Yuan would make such an arbitrary statement, directly placing the blame on her. But she was not afraid, as she said with justification: “Do not make unfounded attacks on others. How could I kill my own brother? That’s something that could never happen! Moreover, he’s a grown man, and I am a weak girl. How could I have the ability to kill him?”
These words were reasonable, but Xu Jing Yuan snorted out of contempt. At the same time, he waved to his subordinates and said: “Go and remove the shoes from the Lu family’s young miss.”
“What are you doing? Why are you taking off my shoes?” Lu Yao was a bit panicked. For no apparent reason, her shoes were taken off in front of everyone. For a girl, this was a great humiliation. Even Yao Shu could not bear to continue watching. He wanted to step forward and say a few words; however, he was held back by Yao Jing Jun.
How could the officials care about Lu Yao’s cries. They were very swift in removing the shoes and brought them over to Xu Jing Yuan. Xu Jing Yuan looked at the bottom of the shoe and sneered: “There is mud on the bottom of the shoe. There is also some grass. It seems that young miss Lu is someone that was at the scene of the crime.”
Lu Yao angrily shouted: “I went over before. I met with my brother. After speaking and receiving the gift, I went back. It’s normal for there to be mud under my shoes. There was a heavy rain today. What sort of evidence does lord Xu have?”
“Oh?” Xu Jing Yuan sneered, “Doesn’t this count as evidence? Take it.” He then threw the shoes to the coroner and had him smell the mud under the shoe and look at its surface.
The coroner smelled it and immediately said: “It smells a bit fishy and does not smell like rain. It smells like the water from near a pond.” He then looked at the surface of the shoe, “There are water spots, and it was splashed by water.” After saying this, he stepped forward and had a subordinate grab Lu Yao’s index finger for him to inspect. He then said: “There are traces of skin under the fingernails. The back of the deceased’s neck showed signs of being scratched. It was of a very similar color as young miss Lu’s fingernails.” After looking at the head ornaments, he suddenly pointed at a thin hairpin and said: “The tip of that hairpin is very similar to the item that was stabbed into the deceased’s neck.”
Lu Yao was very shocked, “How could that be possible?” When had she grabbed the back of Lu Cuo’s neck? How could there be scratch marks? The hairpin on her head… could it stab someone to death?
While she was feeling panicked, she subconsciously looked toward the slightly fatter servant at her side. The servant naturally understood very well. She was the one that had killed him, not Lu Yao; however, Xu Jing Yuan had taken aim at Lu Yao. Lu Yao had always been rather cowardly. Now that she looked toward her, she definitely wanted to sell her out. She did not want to die yet and quickly said: “That’s impossible! How could our young miss kill her brother? There’s… there’s no motivation!” After saying this, she seemed to have understood the reason Xu Jing Yuan had placed the crime on Lu Yao. It was to use Lu Yao’s fear and anxiety to find her weak spot. Once Lu Yao panicked, the true culprit would be discovered. When that time came, she would need to admit it no matter what. This governor really played it well!
The maidservant gritted her teeth; however, she heard Xu Jing Yuan say: “You want a motive? Alright! This official also has a motive here!”
At this time, someone from the gate ran over and stood in the middle of the yard, loudly saying: “The body-inspecting granny from the palace has arrived.”