ISOL Chapter 22
Thoughts are italicized
Ran Fei Ze secretly carried Su Xiao Pei through the Yamen’s door
*[Yamen is the administrative office where the bureaucrat administered government issues of the town]
Stone Town is a small town, and the Yamen only consist of 3 courtyards, the courtyard near the main door is the hall where it is served as a court of law, the back coutyard is the residence. The magistrate and five constables are only the members of the government.
During this time, because of the incidences of the rapist, there was only two constables that were guarding the Yamen. Late in the night, Yamen’s courtyard was silent when two people jumped into the courtyard. The two men knocked on the door scaring the two constables inside.
Before the constables were apprehend the ‘burglars’, one of them showed his waist tablet, saying that it was the order of Constable Bai Yu Lang
*[Waist tablet that officials carry with them to show their authority or to identify themselves]
One of the middle-aged constable named Liu Xiang took a looked at the waist tablet. It was real, and he, instantly, knew that this tablet belongs to Ran Fei Ze. Liu Xiang heard a lot of rumors about Ran Fei Ze, due to those rumors, Liu Xiang admired Ran Fei Ze. He didn’t expect Ran Fei to be so young
Ran Fei Ze met with the magistrate as well as a few higher-ranked constables, they said a few greetings before talking about the main topic.
Ran Fei Ze pointed to Su Xiao Pei, telling them that she was kidnapped, and he had saved her. But the kidnapper disappeared, therefore, they came here to report, hoping to catch the kidnapper.
The few officials became alert when they heard that a lady was kidnapped, all the government workers believed that now it was their town that was being targeted by the kidnapper. Liu Xiang immediately, send his men to report to Bai Yu Lang and Head Constable Qin.
Su Xiao Pei shook her head, “The person who kidnapped me was not the same criminal as the one on the reward notice. I am 100% confident that this kidnapper is the same kidnapper as the one who took Tang Lian.”
Every one of them looked at each other, some of them not believing Su Xiao Pei.
“Did Miss saw the kidnapper’s face?”
Su Xiao Pei shook her head.
“In that case, how does Miss know?”
“The person who kidnapped me and the criminal that was on the reward notice is completely different based on their behavioral pattern of the crime. Their MO is different; therefore, it is impossible to be the same person.”
Everyone continued to look at each other, is there anything wrong with what she says?
It seems that they understood but, yet it also seems that they do not understand.
This person who has short hair yet doesn’t dressed like either a man or a woman and sounds like a genius but, yet the accent is weird.
“Miss Su’s father is a famous Head Constable, Miss Su was influenced and learned a lot from him. Everyone should listen to what she said.” When Ran Fei Ze opened his mouth and starts talking, the tone when he speaks somehow made people listen to him.
A famous Head Constable? She was influenced and learned a lot from her father?
Well, she did say something like this to him, but her words were much more conservative than this. How did the situation change when the words came out of Ran Fei Ze’s mouth? He says it with so much confidence when an affirmation will suffice but with the way he says it also makes Su Xiao Pei believe him.
Su Xiao Pei looked at Ran Fei Ze, and he smiled at her as if he had nothing to do with it, in the eyes of strangers, it looked like he was encouraging Su Xiao Pei to express her ideas.
Su Xiao Pei tried to smile but was unable to. She turned her head and said to the government officials, “Sir, I will have a discussion with Soldier.”
She pulled Ran Fei Ze to the side, and whispered, “Famous Head Constable? Soldier should not reveal too much, what if the job is not handled properly?”
“I was also deceived by you, so I am helpless as well.”
Su Xiao Pei turned her back to the constables and let out a sigh. So, her helplessness can go until this point?
Okay, I cannot continue to pursue his attitude again, otherwise this will not end.
“Soldier, I have thought of a plan, I would have to trouble Soldier to make a trip to the Tang family and tell Miss Tang Lian that you did not manage to find me. And that you do not know where I was, that I am a strange person, I did not even tell you when I left. And you do not want to care anymore, thus, you came to tell her. As well as, ask the constable to disguise themselves as commoners and squat outside of the Tang family and observed if Miss Tang was in contact with anyone for two days. If Miss Tang did secretly meet up with a man, or if the man secretly finds her, either way, I am 100% sure that she will meet with the mountain bandit.”
“Why will that happen?”
“I am dead, the mountain bandit did not manage to catch a lady, naturally he will contact her again. You did not manage to find me, no matter what, she will dare to contact the bandit with confidence. Tang Lian is the only person who recognize the mountain bandit. My death will make her feel guilty and stress, this will allow you to catch her, interrogate her and able to make her confess to her crimes.”
Ran Fei Ze frowned, “Are you sure that Miss Tang and your kidnapping is related? Miss Tang was also a victim of mountain bandit’s kidnapping, and her reputation is ruined, she has no place to go. Why would she help the kidnapper? If the criminal did find her, wouldn’t she be shouting for help?”
“Soldier, please believe me.” Su Xiao Pei also do not know how to explain to him, time is tight, and if they did not act fast, the chances of them catching the criminal and Tang Lian would decrease.
Ran Fei Ze thought about it, and finally nodded, “Okay, I believe you.”
Su Xiao Pei was overjoyed, and said, “Then, I will leave it to Soldier to explain to the officials. Her way of talking is not as convincing as Soldiers’, they would be more willing to listen to you.”
Ran Fei Ze understood that she was right, the credibility of the same words that was being said by either Ran Fei Ze or Su Xiao Pei has a big difference. More importantly, only she, Su Xiao Pei, and him will believe her words, others may not. So, instead of her talking to them, it is better for him to speak.
He nodded his head, took Su Xiao Pei over, and said to the officials, “Sir, Miss Su has told me about her kidnapping, at that time, it was dangerous. But the noticed said that kidnapper targets rich, young and beautiful ladies, compared to Miss Su, there is a great difference.” Although that is a fact, but he did not have to say it out right… Su Xiao Pei thinned her lips, ignore what Ran Fei Ze said and was carefully observing at the official’s reaction.
Ran Fei Ze continued, “Once, I met Miss Tang on the mountains and rescued her. Today, I saved Miss Su on the same mountain. Based on my humble opinion, this kidnapping case is similar to the kidnapping of Miss Tang. The mountain bandit is very violent, and he is still committing crimes. The ladies are delicate and weak, and they would have to rely on you, officials, to bring him to justice and to the citizens.
Su Xiao Pei wanted to give Soldier an applause, he knows how to analyze, knows when to show weakness, knows when sing high praises, and most of all this person really knows how to talk.
All of the officials nod theirs head, agreeing with Ran Fei Ze’s view
Ran Fei Ze said, “If sirs are willing make the decision for the citizen, then I will be relieved. Miss Su has returned from being kidnapped, the kidnapper is on the move, now is the best time to find him. Just now, Miss Su and I discussed a plan, if sirs are willing to listen if it works?”
Naturally, the officials were willing listening, so Ran Fei Ze continued to talk, “Miss Su was chased by her kidnapped and she lose her footing and fell into the water. The kidnapper thought she was dead. This allowed Miss Su to escape from him. The kidnapper will not be happy as they did not manage to catch Miss Su, thus, he will definitely return to town to plan again. Miss Tang managed to run away from the kidnapper, thus, the kidnapper will feel unhappy about it. The kidnapper will probably target Miss Tang again. Ask Sir to disguise yourself as a commoner and patrol the outside of Tang family. If Miss Tang comes into contact with any suspicious man, arrest the person to interrogate, there will be gains.”
The town magistrate listened to Ran Fei Ze and nodded, “This is somewhat reasonable. When Miss Tang disappeared, we did not have a clue and searched in vain. Now, we have to try this.”
Ran Fei Ze said, “Miss Tang does not have any memories of when she was kidnapped, naturally, she does not remember what that criminal looked like. If the criminal knew about this and get close to Miss Tang, Miss Tang won’t know, and she won’t shout for help. Sir, please pay attention to this point. Miss Tang is now in a situation, thus, ordinary men will not get close to her, so…”
He didn’t say clearly, but Liu Xiang understood what he meant, and continued, “I understand, if there is any suspicious person, I will bring them back for a trial.”
Ran Fei Ze nodded his head, “I will go back to the mountain and patrol around. The mountain bandit just caught someone and return to the mountain, they are bound to leave behind some clues. I will go up and find some evidence.”
In that case, everyone clarifies their parts of the plan and acted separately.
Ran Fei Ze went to the Tang family and told Tang Lian that Su Xiao Pei disappeared. Tang Lian was uneasy and thanked Ran Fei Ze. Ran Fei Ze saw her expression and he finds it hard to believe that she is involved. But he is more curious where Su Xiao Pei’s confidence comes from.
The officials discussed among themselves and they disguise themselves around the Tang family.
The magistrate placed Su Xiao Pei in his home, and his wife was looking after her, and explained to his family to not speak about it.
When Ran Fei Ze depart from the Tang family, he returned to Boss Song’s wine shop.
This night passed quickly, and nothing happened.
When the day dawned, Ran Fei Ze and Boss Song went to the mountains. The officials guard the Tang family, seriously, and they thought that this case would prolonged to a few days. Unexpectedly, they were only working for half a day when something happened.
At noon, after the family had eaten, those that needs to rest, were resting. Those that needs to do work, was working. And the outside of Tang family was quiet, there was nobody outside. Suddenly, Tang Lian, carrying a basket of clothes, stepped out of the main entrance of the house, and went to the back of the house, to the well to wash her clothes. A while later, a peddler saw Tang Lian, carefully looked at the surrounding before stopping at the well. Tang Lian and the peddler looked at each other, then, Tang Lian carried her basin, stood up, and walked to the side of the peddler and talked to him.
This situation looks suspicious. In the afternoon, there was nobody around, thus, it was quiet. peddlers would rarely come out to sell their goods at this timing. Even if peddlers came out to sell goods, they would shout to seek attention to sell their goods, but this peddler did not, he just walked straight to the well. And Tang Lian’s expression was suspicious.
Although several officials are unable to understand the relationship between the mountain bandit and the kidnapped victim, Tang Lian. But suspicious means that it is suspicious, therefore, all the officials all ran up to catch the peddler just as he was about to run away, and Tang Lian was brought to the Yamen as well.
At this time, Ran Fei Ze came back as well. He found some traces of footprints near the riverside of the mountain. there were several small footprints that was being chased by several big footprints. It seems that the big footprints were the one that belongs to the mountain bandits that was chasing Su Xiao Pei’s small footprints. He measured the size of the footprints of both big and small and compared the size to the shoes of Su Xiao Pei and the peddler. The size matches exactly.
The magistrate heaves a sigh of relief, and immediately interrogate the peddler with Liu Xiang.
But the peddler insist that he was from another town. When he passed the well and saw the lady was there, he thought of selling his goods. He does not have any knowledge of kidnapping, and he had never seen Tang Lian before. The only reason he ran was because he thought the officials, who was dressed as commoners, was going to robbed him.
Tang Lian panicked, but her story was similar, and she had never seen this peddler before. And she approached him to find out what he was selling.
The magistrate and Liu Xiang could not find any flaws. Although, they feel that there were problems with the two of them, but they could not point out where they were wrong. They are unable to deem them as guilty just by the basis of the footprints. In addition, how the mountain bandit looked like, only Tang Lian was able to recognize him, but Tang Lian had forgotten due to her being scared, what should they do now?
Su Xiao Pei was still pretending to be dead, therefore, she couldn’t show her face. She was listening to Ran Fei Ze, who was retelling the story. She asked Ran Fei Ze if that peddler was weird, like did he had short hair, or was his accent different.
Ran Fei Ze was stunned, Su Xiao Pei breathed out a sigh of relief. This person was definitely not Cheng Jiang Yi.
She asked Ran Fei Ze and the officials to leave the peddler alone, and interrogate Tang Lian, alone.
Ran Fei Ze did according to what Su Xiao Pei said, insisting that Tang Lian did not lose her memory, she remembered what the mountain bandit looked like and remembered what had happened on the mountain.
Tang Lian shook her head and deny his claims.
Ran Fei Ze said that Su Xiao Pei was helpless, and only had Tang Lian as her friend. In the end, she was killed by the mountain bandit. Su Xiao Pei had died in an unnatural death. If Tang Lian could not identify the murderer, Su Xiao Pei will die unwillingly, and will unable to cross hell’s gate.
This matter hit directly at Tang Lian’s weakness, she burst into tears and her mood was in a terrible state. She was not surprised that Ran Fei Ze approached her, last night, and said that he could not find Su Xiao Pei and today, she had died. Tang Lian’s reaction confuses the officials, it seems that she had long confirmed that Su Xiao Pei was no longer alive.
However, Tang Lian kept crying and crying, and she was not willing to speak again. It does not matter if the officials scared or persuade her, she was not willing to open her mouth.
At this time, Tang Lian’s family and neighbors rushed to the outside of Yamen’s door, and everyone made a racket.
Tang Lian was a decent lady, but because of her kidnapping and the rumors that was surrounding her, she was suffering. Even though, many people were gossiping, they still have a heart of gold, and they sympathize with her. Nowadays, Tang Lian was detained by the government for no reason. There was no reason for her to talk as she was considered a criminal accomplice for talking to a peddler.
Tang Lian’s mother was crying till she fainted outside the Yamen, every neighbor had heard what happened and they indignation and pity for her. Their voice got louder and louder, and the men even had bamboo pole with them, were angered.
Although, the magistrate acts fairly for the citizen, but, this matter is something that is hard to explain. The outside of Yamen was getting more and more rowdy, the officials are able to see that there are loopholes in the situation, but they are unable to say it out. The magistrate is unable to settle the problem as things are too rowdy, he could only sigh heavily and let them go.
But at this time, Ran Fei Ze stopped them and asked them to listen to Su Xiao Pei.
Listen to Su Xiao Pe?
Although, the officials were suspicious, they entered the backyard of the magistrate’s home with Ran Fei Ze and found Su Xiao Pei.
Seeing Tang Lian’s situation, Ran Fei Ze had begun to believe Su Xiao Pei. He accounts everything that had happened to Su Xiao Pei details for details and asked her, “What does Miss thinks?”
Su Xiao Pei was at the backyard, waiting for news, and she had thought of every possible scenario that could have come up. Now, it seems that everything is coming to an end. She looked up at every person in the room, she had looked at Ran Fei Ze the last, and asked, “Soldier, do you believe me?”
The others are not important, as long as Ran Fei Ze is at her side, she believes that she is able to settle everything else.
“Believe” Ran Fei Ze only gave her one word.
Su Xiao Pei smiled.
He said ‘believe’ not ‘it does not matter’
Su Xiao Pei stood up and stoked the lapels of her clothes, she sighed, “Then, let me go, I will get her to tell me the truth.”