ISOL Chapter 31
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!! For those that celebrate CNY, 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè), 恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái), 万事如意 (wàn shì rú yì). Happy new year, I wish you a year of wealth and prosperity and may everything go well this year!
For those that don’t celebrate CNY, I do hope that you enjoy your holidays.
I will ‘see’ you guys next week. Again, I apologize for the late chapter.
Qin De Zheng was sixteen when he joined the Yamen, he worked and train hard, he became a constable when he was twenty years old. Being a constable means they must be polite to the citizen, the job was also hard and tiring, it was risky, and the income was not a lot. But Qin De Zheng did not complain, did not accept any bribe, did not create fake evidence, he just concentrated on his work. He did not have any money nor power, but he made his way up, step by step, to be the Head Constable he is today. As far as Qin De Zheng know, if you broke the law, or did any evil deeds, you must pay for it.
That day when Bai Yu Lang ran over to him saying that he got some news for the murder case in Stone City. He listens carefully to how Bai Yu Lang praised Ran Fei Ze, and agreed to whatever was said. What Bai Yu Lang said was reasonable and it was a solid lead. Qin De Zheng is old-fashioned. He often relies on opportunity that was given to him to solve the case. Even though Bai Yu Lang does not have experience of being a Constable, he is able to gain knowledge due to his family’s reputation. But Bai Yu Lang felt safe doing his job due to Qin De Zheng’s teachings. Qin De Zheng did not expect that not only did Bai Yu Lang manage to complete the job but he also did a excellent job. Bai Yu Lang also did a thorough investigation on Ma Zheng Yuan.
Bai Yu Lang was very happy with his success, but Qin De Zheng is a very careful person. After carefully reviewing Bai Yu Lang’s information, he found that there was an eccentric lady that had appear in the middle of the story. She had looked at the case, asked a few questions and had manage to point out the important points of the case. Qin De Zheng was shocked that the details had coincide with the facts,
He had never seen this kind of skills before, but he had seen this type of situation with criminal accomplices. It was normal that he has doubts. But this was only a theory, as he had not seen them yet. He wants to meet this lady, and this Ran Fei Ze that Bai Yu Lang kept praising. He just did not expect for that tragedy to happen once more. He was busy again, he had to put aside some time to listen to what Liu Xiang had to say. Liu Xiang said that the Lady at Stone City had manage to pinpoint the criminal and the truth just by talking. Qin De Zheng was suspicious after listening to Liu Xiang.
He was afraid that that this lady has the skill.
Qin De Zheng decided to test her. At this moment, Qin De Zheng saw Su Xiao Pei.
Short hair, curvy and looked docile. Even after using a scissor to cut her hair, it would not become like hers, her appearance looks okay, her eyes are clear, and Qin De Zheng felt that she was not a bad person.
He was looking at Su Xiao Pei and saw that she was staring back at him. Qin De Zheng finds that she was very rude, but he has no objection. He remembered what Bai Yu Lang had reported to him, he described that even though Su Xiao Pei was weird, she is harmless.
Qin De Zheng looked at Ran Fei Ze who was sitting beside Su Xiao Pei. He was relaxed and comfortable, as if he was a guest.
Qin De Zheng turned back to stared at Su Xiao Pei, and asked, “Miss talked about Ma Zheng Yuan’s family situation and about the situation that has happened. How did Miss know about it?”
“Deduction.” Su Xiao Pei was sitting upright, and spoke carefully, trying her best to not reveal her eccentric vocabulary.
“How did you deduct?” Qin De Zheng asked urgently.
“Based on the actions of Ma Zheng Yuan and the clues that was written in the book.” Su Xiao Pei was not frightened and answered fluently.
“Miss was not aware of the crime, didn’t go to the scene but was able to tell the origins of the crime just by looking at the case notes. Miss’s way of deduction is unheard of.”
This is too suspicious.
Su Xiao Pei glanced at Ran Fei Ze who had asked her to be cautious when talking. But currently, in this situation, Su Xiao Pei is afraid of talking nonsense again.
Ran Fei Ze was also watching her, said, “All you have to do is speak carefully, speak in a way that everybody is able to understand.”
Su Xiao Pei nodded and turned her head to face Qin De Zheng, “Head Constable would’ve seen this deduction skill before. Just as you had seen earlier, I only glanced at Soldier for a moment and did not say a word and yet Soldier knows what I was worried about. I mean, know why I was troubled. That was why he answered me, let me explain further. Head Constable thinks that this is nothing new, but what Soldier did just now was what I said by deduction. Soldier knew that my accents, tone and manners are weird, and he often warn me to be cautious when speaking to people, that was why when Head Constable asked me questions, I was only able to explain them in a few words. Just with that glance, Soldier was able to deduce what I was thinking. He deduced what I was thinking with just an action of mine.”
Su Xiao Pei suddenly changed topic once she had reached this topic, “Head Constable, have you eaten candy before?”
Qin De Zheng was stunned by the sudden change in topic. But Su Xiao Pei did not wait for him to answer. She didn’t pause in her explanation and continued talking, “As everybody knows, candies are sweet, what if I said that Head Constable had eaten a log of candy before, eaten until you are sick of it. Even when you had not eaten a bite of candy, even when you did not see the candy, you would have the sick feeling again just by remembering it.”
After listening to Su Xiao Pei, Qin De Zheng had felt the sweetness in the mouth, and quickly grabbed a cup of water to drink.
Su Xiao Pei continued speaking, “Head Constable had solved the case, but yet, you still saw the victim, with a wound on her head, bleeding profusely. You would’ve deduced that the victim was strike on the head. Even though you did not see the suspect’s action but in Head Constable’s mind, that action was seen clearly. Therefore, Head Constable was able to know how the suspect killed the victim. When Head Constable saw the wound, you are able to infer how much pain the victim was in, that is because Head Constable had received injuries before, and you knew how painful those injuries are…”
Su Xiao Pei had not finished what she was saying when Ran Fei Ze interrupted her, “That’s enough, Head Constable should’ve understood what you are saying.”
“Oh.” Su Xiao Pei paused and then summed up what she was going to say. “With insight and experience, you are able to deduce what happened.
Qin De Zheng stared at Su Xiao Pei and then shift his glaze to Ran Fei Ze.
Both Su Xiao Pei and Ran Fei Ze were calm and relaxed.
In fact, this long story that was told by Su Xiao Pei, basically what she meant was that with knowledge and experience, anyone was able to deduce. But Qin De Zheng has to admit that if Su Xiao Pei had only said that, it would have far less persuasiveness than her long story.
“Miss is still young, where does your knowledge and experience come from?” Qin de Zheng was not willing to give up and continued to ask.
“I was fortunate, I was taught by my father and master. I have learnt a lot.”
Qin De Zheng asked again, “I heard that Miss’s father is a Constable as well. May I ask where is he stationed?”
Ran Fei Ze had looked over as well, Su Xiao Pei licked her mouth and replied, “He passed away. That year, there was a chain of murders, killing Constables, and the government set up a trap to catch the murderer. My dad had instructions to capture the murderer, but the murderer saw the trap and he killed my dad. After that, I studied under my Master and got to where I am today. Head Constable Qin, your next question will be ‘where is my hometown’. What I can tell you is just my skills. Like Soldier, he is very capable and knowledgeable, he has good judgement and keen insight, you would more likely believe what he says. I don’t want to lie, but my hometown is too far away. I can’t say or explain many things, I hope that Head Constable Qin is able to believe me. I came here to find someone, once I have found him, I will leave. I just happen to come across this case regarding Ma Zheng Yuan. Since I have the skills, naturally, I also want to help to solve it.”
She looked at Ran Fei Ze after speaking, and thought about it. Now with this atmosphere, it is best to not mentions the five tales.
Qin De Zheng did not speak. For a long time, he was travelling, and he had met all sorts of people. He is confident in his skill of recognizing what type people they are just by interacting with them. He finally understood why Bai Yu Lang had dared to investigate the origins of Ma Zheng Yuan after listening to them. He also understood why Liu Xiang had said that even though this Miss is weird, her words are credible. About her search, Liu Xiang had said that Ran Fei Ze had mentioned it him during their journey.
Qin De Zheng turned his glaze to Ran Fei Ze. Qin De Zheng have not met Ran Fei Ze before, but he had heard a lot of things. He had heard Bai Yu Lang mentioned Ran Fei Ze’s accomplishments. This gentleman is famous, though Qin De Zheng had never met Ran Fei Ze, after meeting him, Qin De Zheng felt that Ran Fei Ze can be trusted.
Qin De Zheng decided to trust his instincts.
“Last night, in Ning’an City, the eldest lady of Sima house was murdered. Ma Zheng Yuan made another move under our watchful eye, what does Miss think?”
“I am not familiar with the case; therefore, I do not have opinion.” Su Xiao Pei honestly answered,
Qin De Zheng stared at her, and thought for a while before deciding to reveal the case notes to her, “Miss Sima’s body was found in her in her own room this morning, she was stabbed right in her heart, and she was dead for quite some time. She was not dressed properly, her hair was shaved off, the MO of this case was the same as the previous few. What else does Miss needs to know?”
Su Xiao pei frowned, “She was stabbed only once?”
Qin De Zheng also frowned, stabbed too little? “The action was fast and accurate, and since the stabbed was directly at the heart, it was fatal.”
“He didn’t care about fatality, but torture. Of course, the fatal wound was the final move, but during the process, he was calm…” Su Xiao Pei felt that it was strange, the more she said, the quieter she became.
Qin De Zheng was waiting for Su Xiao Pei to continue, but Su Xiao Pei did not continue talking but ponder. Qin De Zheng looked at Ran Fei Ze, but Ran Fei Ze did not voice out anything, he only poured himself a cup of tea.
Qin De Zheng turned his glaze back to Su Xiao Pei, but suddenly, Su Xiao Pei talked to Ran Fei Ze, “I am also thirsty.”
“Pour your own cup, Head Constable, I’m sure you don’t mind if we ask a cup of tea.” After speaking, Ran Fei Ze smiled at Qin De Zheng.
With Ran Fei Ze around, Su Xiao Pei dared to pour her own cup of tea. Qin De Zheng said nothing, he does not care about tea, but from what Bai Yu Lang had said about this lady, he thought that she was very smart and capable, but now, she could not explain?
“Head Constable, how messy was Miss Sima’s clothes? Was she raped? Were there other injuries on her body?”
Qin De Zheng thought about it, all of a sudden, Su Xiao Pei threw a few questions his way, her way of questioning, made Qin De Zheng embarrassed. He had never discussed about clothes and innocence with a lady before. Su Xiao Pei’s words were vulgar and rude, making him quite uncomfortable.
“Head Constable, how was Miss Sima’s attire? Were there any evidence of her being molested by the murderer? Was she injured anywhere else?”
Ran Fei Ze asked Su Xiao Pei’s questioned again, Qin De Zheng shook out his reverie and quickly answered Ran Fei Ze’s questions. “When we arrived, the Sima family had placed the body at the side, her clothes had been properly arranged, but the servant who had found the body said that the young miss was killed, and the clothes were messy. But due to reputation, the servant did not say much. But just with the shaved head, it is consistent with the previous murders, that is Ma Zheng Yuan’s actions. At the scene, after inspecting the corpse, there was no other wounds.
“There were no defensive wounds?” Su Xiao Pei whispered.
Ran Fei Ze said, “Does this means that Miss Sima did not struggled?”
Qin De Zheng also felt that something was wrong, but this can also be said, “It would be reasonable to say that if the victim’s acupuncture point was pressed, she wouldn’t be able to move, or if she were unaware or not ready, one move would result in her death, therefore there was no signs of struggle.”
“That’s good, this means that it is not the same MO.” Su Xiao Pei finally confirm it, “Head Constable, if I remembered correctly, in the previous cases, the victimized women were raped after their hair was shaved, then they were killed. The perpetrator used intimidation and violence to control the victim, rather than pressing their acupuncture points, to prevent them from moving. Since the criminal managed to escape, he did not let the lady move. He prefers the victim to be able to struggle rather than not. What he seeks for is torture and the victim’s fear. Can Head Constable confirm that the victim was molested?”
Su Xiao Pei changed her way of speaking, using what Ran Fei Ze had taught her. “There must be a reason why the perpetrator changed his MO. What if Miss Sima was scared fraught by Ma Zheng Yuan, she was so scared till she dares not struggle or move. Ma Zheng Yuan, taking this chance, shaved her head and did not hit her, but did he make the final move? Head Constable, this is very important. Why did he let Miss Sima die so easily rather than letting her die in pain, what had happened before?”
Qin De Zheng thought for a while and felt that whatever Su Xiao Pei said had made sense. He answered, “Today, when I saw the victim and the room, I felt that it was the same as the previous cases. Old Master Sima and the magistrate have a friendly relationship, they did not even let Miss Sima’s personal maid to check. The corpse was not carried back to the Yamen, and the victim’s body was only inspected at Sima House.” He paused and sighed, “I reported back to my superiors to discuss, tomorrow morning, I will bring someone with me to inspect Sima House.”
“Head Constable, if it is convenient, I would also like to go.” Su Xiao Pei boldly asked for an invite. She looked at Ran Fei Ze then at Qin De Zheng, “I would like to ask the servant, who had found the body, some questions.”
Ran Fei Ze raised his eyebrows and looked at Su Xiao Pei with disapproval. Qin De Zheng found this a bit difficult.
Su Xiao Pei frowned, looked at Ran Fei Ze and knew that what she did was not acceptable. But there are some things that it is more appropriate for her to ask. Since she was already here, she would not feel satisfied if she did not see this case through.
Su Xiao Pei looked at Ran Fei Ze and stared at him.
Ran Fei Ze coughed, and was stared down by her, and faced Qin De Zheng, “Head Constable, I am not sure if you have a set of small clothes, with hat, for Miss Su to wear.”
Qin De Zheng looked at Su Xiao Pei. It will be obvious that she is a female that is disguised as a male, but she does not care.
She quickly nods her head and rushed to speak to Qin De Zheng, “I will have to trouble Head Constable!”
At night, everyone went their own way. Qin De Zheng went to explain to Fu Yin that there were still some things that needs evidence and that he would need to go to Sima House the next day to discuss, asking for Fu Yin for permission.
While Su Xiao Pei and Ran Fei Ze were sent to a nearby inn to rest. At the request of Su Xiao Pei, Bai Yu Lang came over and told them what he had found in Ji City. The background information of Ma Zheng Yuan and his family situation.
Bai Yu Lang was praising himself, he was proud of what he had achieved. He even talked about how he ran to different cities, how much effort he had spent and finally found someone who had recognized the portrait of Ma Zheng Yuan. That was how he managed to find the Ma family and they did not acknowledge Ma Zheng Yuan, Bai Yu Lang had to resort to using tricks to get the information he wanted. Finally, Bai Yu Lang had managed to investigate that one of the ladies in the Ma family became a nun. Bai Yu Lang went to the nunnery to pry information out of that lady’s mouth, he finally broke through her defense and finally got the information he wanted.
Bai Yu Lang still had not finished what he wanted to say, he was just repeating his story. Su Xiao Pei had stopped listening a while ago, and was at a side, writing her logbook. She wrote down the details of the case and her analysis of Ma Zheng Yuan’s personality.
Cunning, really too cunning.
While Su Xiao Pei was writing, she was also listening to the guys conversation. Bai Yu Lang could not help but come over and look at what Su Xiao Pei is doing, “Big sister, what are you writing?”
Since he could not understand it anyway, Su Xiao Pei ignored him.
Bai Yu Lang could not understand English, but he was able to appreciate beauty, “Big sister, no matter how much you write, your handwriting is ugly. The way you are holding your pen is wrong, your master did not teach you well.” He shook his head while criticizing, having an expression that says, ‘I cannot blame you, I know that it is all your master’s fault’.
Ran Fei Ze was laughing out loud, and Su Xiao Pei’s face was black. Is this little brother Bai drunk?
She waved her hand and chased him away, “Go, go. Both of you should leave, tomorrow, we have to get up early.”
“This is my room.” Ran Fei Ze reminded her.
“That’s right!” Bai Yu Lang also joined in the fun. “Gentlemen does not enter the woman’s room. Big sister, this is Uncle Ran’s room.
F***! Su Xiao Pei packed up her things and thought ‘Your Uncle Ran and me stayed in the same room for a long time, now you come here and say this!’ She quickly packed her things and shouted, “I am going back to my room!”
Ran Fei Ze continued laughing loudly. To answer him, Su Xiao Pei used all her strength to slam the door.
At the same time, in the Sima House, Sima Wan Ru was currently polishing her sword. She polished it very carefully and seriously, but her thoughts were running wild.
“Miss, please rest.” A servant, outside the door, called out. Sima Wan Ru was surprised by a sound and seemed to roused from her thoughts, she stared at her sword and replied coldly, “En.”