CHAPTER 10 A MURDER CASE AROSE, INJUSTICE AND MISFORTUNE UPON MYSELF
These days Long Er suffered terrible headaches.
Because Elder Yu surprisingly was free enough to find him for a chat.
Of course, this year was incredibly busy, so Elder Yu knew better than to bother second master while he was handling his affairs. She only came to ask if second master have taken a look at those marriage candidates’ picture.
For a moment Long Er couldn’t think of what to say, he made Li Ke throw that large basket of picture scrolls god knows where. So he only answered vaguely, “En”.
Elder Yu then quickly asked: “Have you found a suitable match you fancy? Want to know how you would spend this New Year? The best would be going around making official visits to put things in order 1. If the second master had a suitable wife she would be preparing some gifts and dealing with other party’s affair establishing relationships and making inquiries for information. Just as good is making that matchmaker who pays visit here to discuss some things leave.”
Naturally Long Er answered he haven’t.
Elder Yu then ask: “Then what kind of beautiful girl 2 does second young master like?”
Elder Yu have asked Long Er for the criteria for picking a wife no less than ten times, and every time Long Er would vaguely pass on an answer. He have already said all of his excuses before, so picking a person have become more exact for Elder Yu. Long Er understood the situation this time, he needed to carefully consider how should he respond, or else if he is not cautious, that girl from the rumor would be brought over by Elder Yu. That definitely would be bad.
Long Er thought for a moment, if he said “able and virtuous”, then Elder Yu would definitely be able to recommend several people; if he said “a good personality”, that would also not be sufficient; if he said “a passionate one”, Elder Yu would jump up and down picking a candidate, definitely would say each and every one is not bad; then what about appearances, uhn, if not someone beautiful, then Elder would not be so full of confidence.
Long Er was vexed, sigh, he was afraid this time all the excuses he said in the past would come back and contradict what he said to Elder Yu.
Long Er had no other choices, he turned his head to think, he looked at several jade-green bamboos outside, and suddenly said: “Elder, you have been so busy taking care of me, it is definitely been hard on you, but if I take a wife, then that wife definitely must be a unique woman.”
“Unique?” Elder Yu stared blankly: “Second master’s “unique”, what do you mean by that? A unique beauty, a unique “able and virtuous”, or a unique passion….”
Long Er raised his hand interrupting her, he said: “Elder, when I said “unique”, then it definitely is so unique it makes people not care about her appearance, temper, or if she is passionate kind of unique.”
Elder Yu wore a very blank expression, to be said in this perplexing manner, that kind of “unique”, in the end what kind of unique is that?
Thinking about it, how would one hear about this kind of girl, other than being unique does she have no other strong points? Furthermore, can unique be a strong point? Elder Yu was confused, in the end what kind meaning is this?
Looking at Elder Yu’s frustrated appearance attempt to understand what Long Er meant, he smiled and in a serious tone: “I, Long Er, will definitely marry a very, very unique girl.” In actuality, Long Er himself doesn’t even know what he meant by unique, but in any case to make Elder Yu leave him alone was certainly good.
Elder Yu indeed couldn’t think which house’s young miss had this type of “unique”, so she planned to go find Jing City’s most famous matchmaker for advice. In order to face the late old master and madame in the afterlife, she must find a wife that second master likes.
Long Er smoothly avoided the situation once more, he was feeling happy. However this good feeling won’t last more than a day.
Night has come, Long Er prepared to leave the accounting room back to his sleeping quarter to rest, when his subordinate came to urgently report to him. The report said Long estate’s Sheng Long Tea Shop’s shopkeeper Lu, who was at Xi You Street’s Fu Yun Lai Inn, was arrested 3. Accused of Xiang Fu Tea Shop’s boss Zhu Fu’s murder. Because it was a homicide case he was arrested at the scene of the crime, so as of now he was already detained at the government office 4.
Human life is beyond value, there was also a witness who saw the crime, and the magistrate already slam the table (TN: guessing he slammed his gavel kind of) opening the court and requested immediate interrogation.
As soon as Long Er heard, he called to prepare a horse in a rush. For the past few years, he intended to expand the tea business, and that Zhu Fu’s Xiang Fu Tea Shop had a little bit of a debt, but it had a very good base of operation. Long Er had his eye on it, he wanted to purchase it for the Long clan properties. (TN: man dies, Long Er perfect time to buy his shop for the profit!)
This opportunity was caused by shopkeeper Lu, the information that was reported about shopkeeper Lu these past day was this Zhu Fu was being hesitant over and over again, but he was certain in a few days he would succeed in his plan. However he never thought that he would have heard news of Zhu Fu’s murder. (It’s talking about how Long Er was trying to buy Zhu Fu’s teashop but Zhu Fu was hesitant of selling)
Long Er dispatched people to have some matter arranged, one person was sent to the government office to put things in order and make inquiries, look at how the current situation was. Another person was sent to inform shopkeeper Lu’s family, to help settle things for the Lu family. A third person was ordered to go check up on the dead Zhu Fu’s relatives and situation.
To say shopkeeper Lu was a murderer, Long Er had his doubts.
For Long Er to understand people he has to have eyes 5, shopkeeper Lu wrote good articles discussing good tea products, he most definitely didn’t seem to be a businessman. But Long Er already seen his natural disposition of handling himself, that he left him in charge of the Long family tea business.
Shopkeeper Lu have been with Long Er for many years; he is a compassionate, studious, and virtuous person, who normally abstain from eating meat as part of his belief in Buddhism and treated people generously. Giving advice on tea tasting and recording business transaction, shopkeeper Lu did both. On top of that, Long Er opportunely thought to bolster the business, rumors of Long Er’s plan spread among the street stalls that rich influential merchants held a discussion about it. Even though the good tea product were not exclusively owned by Long clan tea shop, because of shopkeeper Lu selling tea without substituting shoddy goods within good product nor doing any shady business the shop was well received. Furthermore, the shop had the most variety of products, while being the most elegant and honorable shop.
Thus shopkeeper Lu’s teashop’s business was incredibly prosperous. Yet despite that, he never in the slightest became arrogant, on the contrary he became increasingly more cautious and conscientious working earnestly. This made Long Er definitely admire his work ethic.
To now say that he killed a man, Long Er first thought was this event was somewhat strange.
Long Er quickly arrived at Fu Yun Lai Inn, at this moment at the inn’s gate entrance was a sporadic gathering of onlookers, coming out because of the homicide case. Everyone was rouse from their sleep, congregating at the scene whispering.
Long Er made a signal with his eyes, his subordinates immediately went forth making inquiries. Long Er urge his horse onward, from the head of the street to its end he looked around to gain a clear understanding of the situation. Also going around Fu Yun Lai Inn to take a look at its surrounding, seeing who would be here at this moment, what was the state of its surroundings, he silently kept in his mind.
Although that inn was the scene of a homicide case, there were many people trying to look in, unafraid of whatever misfortune could still be here. However the surrounding were nevertheless very easy to overlook. Thus Long Er personally first went around the compound, looking around attentively, just barely before entering that Fu Yun Lai Inn.
At this time at Xi You Street, inside of the inn all of the officers have portable lantern keeping guard, the incident at the rear court’s second floor guest room already have numerable officers strictly guarding the place. In side of the room were detectives 6searching the room for evidence.
Long Er already looked around attentively, waiting for his subordinates to come back and report to him about the discrete inquiries and information they learned. Magistrate Qiu Ruo Ming already have personally came to inspect the scene of the crime and already brought back a corpse, a suspect, and a related staff member to the magistrate office.
Long Er nodded, explained a few words leaving behind his subordinate to continue find out more about the situation and by himself he left the inn and got on his horse towards the magistrate office. Even though it is already late night right now, the magistrate’s inner lantern light were brightly lit.
Li Ke came a step earlier and already asked a few questions, when he saw Long Er came he went up to welcome him in a low voice and rapidly reported: “Boss Zhu was killed at Fu Yun Lai Inn’s second floor Sky Room No. 6 and at the scene of the crime there was a girl who got injured. She is still unconscious. At the time shopkeeper Lu was found, covered in blood, still holding a dagger, he was checking to see if that girl was breathing.” Long Er nodded, remaining calm and quiet, only walking towards Officer Wei waving a hand.
Officer Wei of course knew the renowned Master Long Er, earlier he had someone enter to report, and hastily went out to lead Long Er to the Office Main Hall. Above the big hall stood very neatly two rows of officers. Magistrate Qiu Ruo Ming sat high above the office hall, with bright gazes and emitted a somewhat prestigious aura. Seeing Long Er come, he stood up and cupped his hand in greeting, he called his subordinate: “Give him a seat.”
Long Er cusped his fist in return to Qiu Ruo Ming: “Thank you, DaRen 7.” And afterward openly sat down without care.
Qiu Ruo Ming also understood what Long Er came here for, thus with an ugly face said from above: “Young Master Long Er, tonight at the Fu Yun Lai Inn a homicide was discovered, Xiang Fu Tea Shop’s owner Zhu Fu was murdered. This Lu Si Xian however was captured at the scene of the crime. Since this about a human life, benguan (a superior’s way of referring to one self) definitely will investigate strictly and relentlessly in order to bring justice to the dead.”
Long Er cupped his hand: “Da Ren is an upright and straightforward person, who is able to distinguish right and wrong with acuity, truly capable of executing the criminals. Lu Si Xian although is my teashop’s shopkeeper, if he has walked down the wrong path, then Long Mou Ye will absolutely not side with him. But if he have some other reason, then Long Mou Ye will definitely with everything in my power assist Da Ren find the true criminal.”
When Long Er’s finish speaking Qiu Ruo Ming tightly pursed his lips, unable to reply. This Master Long Er is well known for being stingy and covering up his errors, this speech internal meaning was clearly pointed out. He was putting pressure on him.
Lu Si Xian was captured at the scene of the crime, the arrest was quick and also investigation showed the decease Zhu Fu and he recently had repetitive contacts, the content of each contact being the Long Clan wanted to buy this Zhu Fu’s shop. Furthermore Zhu Fu was slow and haven’t responded to their request. In this way one can infer the motive which is indeed considerably sufficient. Although at this time the court have yet to open investigation, in Qiu Ruo Ming heart he have already somewhat made his decision, but he also have to obtain evidence to convict them of the crime.
Right now Long Er watched on the side as the court open to examine the case. Qiu Ruo Ming understood, in this case he certainly need to examine the case while being careful and once again careful. Aside from the desire to execute the criminal, he still needed to convince one person and make them concede. He definitely cannot let anything slip-up otherwise this Long Er will seize the opportunity as a topic of derision.
At this time an officer hastily came rushing in and whispered into Qiu Ruo Ming’s ear, Long Er took advantage of this opportunity to size up each and every person inside the office hall.
Lu Si Xian kneeled at the bottom of the hall, his body covered in blood, his face pale white, but he looked towards Long Er’s eyes, who not in the least dodged his gaze. He seem to harbor magnanimous feelings: “Second Master, it wasn’t me who killed Boss Zhu, I absolutely would not walk down the path of evil.”
Long Er slightly nodded towards him, expressing himself as someone who would not throw away his servants no matter what. He said: “Keep calm, Qiu Da Ren is upright and honest, if you are innocent, Da Ren will definitely investigate the truth of the matter, giving you justice.
A big hat was fastened 8 on Qiu Ruo Ming, who purse his lips when he heard Long Er. He told a few line towards the officer, then that officer accepted the command and left.
Long Er looked behind Lu Si Xian, at his back stood four men, Long Er gazed at them one by one sweeping his gaze from top to bottom. Li Ke on the side of Long Er’s ear said in a low voice: “That blue shirt fatty and black clothes old man are both shopkeeper Zhu’s shop assistant. One of them is called A-Fu and the other is called Jiang Ying. That lanky one is Fu Yun Lai Inn’s owner, Liang Ping, and behind him wearing a servant shirt is the inn’s waiter Shan Zi. It was the both of them who first saw shopkeeper Lu. “
At this time, two officers and coroner lifted up a corpses and remove the covering. It really was Zhu Fu.
The coroner submitted the autopsy report, and loudly spoke: “Reporting to Da Ren, the decease Zhu Fu cause of death have been found out, he was stabbed to death by a dagger or a sharp weapon. The murderer also stabbed the victim twice, even stabbed him from the back. This stab was at the waist and this one was from the back of his left chest.”
While the coroner spoke, an officer led a housewife in and as soon as she enter she fell beside Zhu Fu’s corpse and bawled, crying: “Xiang Gong (respectable way of referring to one’s husband), Xiang Gong, you died very miserably…”
Qiu Ruo Ming knocked on the hall’s wood (probably gavel) and loudly spoke: “The one who came is surely Zhu Chen Shi?”
That Zhu Fu’s widow tearfully answered, Qiu Ruo Ming said: “Stand up for the time being and go to the side, and wait for Benguan investigate the truth of the matter, I will give your husband justice.”
Zhu Chen Shi could not stop wailing, wiping her tears she kowtowed three times, and finally an officer supported her to a side.
This time an officer held up a dagger: “Da Ren, this was taken from the murder case crime scene, actually it was held in Lu Si Xian’s hand. The coroner already investigate and confirm this is definitely the murder weapon.”
Qiu Ruo Ming took the dagger and carefully inspected it, nodded his head and started his interrogation: “Lu Si Xian, do you plead guilty?”
Lu Si Xian kowtowed: “Da Ren, this small one haven’t murder anyone, this small one was falsely accused.”
“Then you, who was found in the inn in the dead of the night, dagger in hand, body covered in blood have what excuse?”
“Da Ren, this small one today at noon indeed met with boss Zhu at Xi You Street’s Da Sheng restaurant, but when 1-3 pm in the afternoon pass we each returned back to our home. At night, I burned incense and recited Buddhist scripture when boss Zhu’s servant came to find me, he said after their master went out to see me he have yet to return. I then told them about our whereabouts that day, furthermore we split up to search for him.”
When he finished, he turned his head to signal to A-Fu and Jiang Ying, those two nodded their head, confirming Lu’s story.
Lu Si Xian continued to talk: “I went to several places boss Zhu said before he frequented, but I didn’t see him at any of the places. After I thought about it I then went to the Da Sheng restaurant we drank at today, and there a waiter said he still saw boss Zhu in the evening. He even called out to boss Zhu if he wanted to come in again to have a glass, but boss Zhu didn’t seem to be in a good mood, not seeming to be bothered with anything, only engrossed in moving forth. That waiter saw in front of him Yun Fu Lai Inn’s waiter solicit boss Zhu’s business, that boss Zhu stopped for a while but then suddenly really enter. Sheng Da Restaurant’s waiter lost this patron’s business and felt dismayed, so he definitely remembered this. As soon as I heard, I went straight to Fu Yun Lai’s inn to find him. After I entered, the waiter was slumped over the desk asleep, but when he saw me I asked, while yawning he said he knew who I was looking for. He said boss Zhu was staying in the rear court’s Sky guest room number six on the second floor. He sat there not getting up, so I went by myself to the rear court guest room.”
Qiu Ruo Ming then asked: “The one behind you is the said waiter, then?”
Lu Si Xian turned around, and shook his head: “No, it is not this one, that waiter was a bit older.”
That waiter Shan Zi quickly said: “Today inside the front hall this small one and Da Hu were on duty, the one he speaks of should be Da Hu. Before this small one because of this guest came to find…” He pointed at the Liang Ping by his side, and continued to speak: “this guest said he was hungry, wanted to find something to eat, then said the second floor’s corridor’s lantern were extinguished, so this small one stretched my head out to take a glance, and it was as he said. So I took him first to the kitchen to grab some steamed buns and small side dishes, then we went to the storage room to grab a good lantern to put up. After waiting a bit for me to come back we went to the second floor, passed by the Sky Room No. 6, where we happen to see two people lying on the floor, which was covered in blood. We saw him [Lu Si Xian] holding the dagger and going down on the floor to ascertain that girl’s breathing.”
Lu Si Xian kowtowed and said: “Da Ren please investigate the truth, this small one himself went up to that second floor, saw the door of Sky Room No. 6 opened, where boss Zhu and lady Ju lied on the floor, with their lower half covered in blood. My heart was frightened, but I hastily went to check their breathing, boss Zhu already stopped breathing, and in Lady Ju’s hand was the dagger, she lost consciousness. Subconsciously I grabbed the dagger to inspect it, while checking her breathing, she still was breathing. So I called someone and that was when these two came.”
Lu Si Xian pointed at Shan Zi and Liang Ping: “I did not have time to react when they began yelling, thus everyone branded me as the suspect and brought me here.”
When Long Er heard those two words “Lady Ju”, his heart started thumping, it cannot be the Lady Ju he knows, right?”
Qiu Ruo Ming asked: “According to what you said, that dagger was originally found in that lady’s hand?”
“Yes.” Lu Si Xian said, then quickly added: “I know Lady Ju, she is frail, also can’t fight, and both of her eyes cannot see, so she definitely cannot murder a person. I also have never heard of any relationship between boss Zhu and her.”
When Long Er heard this, he was already certain, that girl lying in the pool of blood unconscious, holding a dagger is definitely Ju Mu Er. That, always like to offend him and make him angry, Ju Mu Er.