Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I have promised that we will see the end of this novel and I intend to keep that promise. Please don’t worry as I won’t drop this novel. I’m doing this translation as a hobby so I will ignore the thief… But I do want to say that I’m not asking for any money or donation to do this translation.
A lot of sweet moments in this chapter. Over 4,500 words.
This chapter was translated by Sian and edited by Din2.
Zhai Xing Pavilion
The sun shined brightly outside the window, Zhuo was lying on the bed, not knowing her own mood at the moment, what she should use to describe it!
At the bedside, Lou Xi Yan softly blew the decoction of herbs medicine inside the spoon, when he was sure that it was not hot, only then he sent it over to her mouth. His clear and glossy eyes were looking dotingly at her, this time, she would want to drink even poison, right! Zhuo Qing’s heart was crying piteously, but she still opened her mouth, and shallowed down that herbs medicine on the spoon.
She knew that Lou Xi Yan was really good to her, he was feeding her to drink the medicine one spoon at a time, moreover, they said that he asked the Imperial physician to concoct a special herbs so it was not too bitter, but Zhuo Qing who used to eat western medicine still became frantic. Even though she really wanted to continue enjoying his great care in feeding her, but this medicine was really extremely unpleasant to drink! When Lou Xi Yan gave her another spoon in front of her again, Zhuo Qing immediately took the medicine bowl from his hand, and finished drinking it in a mouthful!
Even though it was somewhat hot, and also bitter, but it was better to just get it over with, rather than prolonging her agony! Zhuo Qing poured down a couple big cups of water afterwards, to push down the foul taste in her mouth. Lou Xi Yan was laughing helplessly looking at her, Zhuo Qing pretended not to see it, she asked: “Are you not busy these days? How do you have time to stay at home all day long?”
She was lying down at home for three to four days, although he did not keep her company all the time, but the time when she had to drink the medicine three times a day, he would show up, she did not even have any chance to get rid of the medicine.
Lou Xi Yan took the medicine bowl, and put it one the short table, perfunctorily answered: “Sick leave.”
Sick leave? Zhuo Qing laughed, but she did not question closely either, but she was rather in high spirit and asking: “I heard that you waged a war with the East and West Empress Dowagers at the Imperial garden on that day? How unfortunate that I did not see your violent rage look.”
Xi Wu came over to look after her for the past few days, speaking with radiant and delight that Lou Xi Yan was very heroic that day, very cool, she simply exaggerated the fight like it was with a group of look alike devils. Even though she did not dare to believe Lou Xi Wu’s words entirely, but she probably knew, that Lou Xi Yan was surely angry that day, moreover, his anger was not small either.
Lou Xi Yan was somewhat between laughter and tear: “You want to see?”
Zhuo Qing was still nodding her head, laughing heartily, she said: “As long as it is not to me, I am really interested to see it quickly.” Who made Lou Xi Wu to speak so wonderfully like that! It made her curious endlessly.
Lou Xi Yan immediately ignored her words, nevertheless, he pulled up the thin quilt, and helped to cover her properly, with a soft voice, he said: “Lie down again and go to sleep.”
Even though it was midsummer, she was really not this weak! Zhuo Qing shook her head, while throwing the quilt to the inside of the bed, she answered: “It has already been a good several days, I am also a medical expertise, my health does not have any peculiar reaction, so it should not have any lingering repercussion from the drowning, you can feel relieved.”
She had cooperated with the medical treatments for the past few days, merely because she, herself also knew that drowning could very easily induce bronchitis afterwards, pneumonia, and so on. But it was already many days like this now, she felt that her own body was already in a stable condition, she certainly did not want to be trapped on the bed!
Her forehead really revealed a thin layer of sweats, Lou Xi Yan did not force her any longer, “If the Empress Dowager gives an Imperial decree to make you enter the palace again these days, you do not need to pay attention to it.”
Zhuo Qing lightly knitted her eyebrows, smilingly said: “As a matter of fact, is this not regarded as resisting the Imperial decree, not respecting it?”
“Before we get married, you possess a serious illness, can not go down from the bed, naturally can not enter the palace.” Lou Xi Yan deliberately aggravated ‘serious illness’, this two words.
Zhuo Qing understandingly smiled: “Understood!” She naturally did not wish to enter the Imperial palace, after the matter this time, she estimated to see that two old women again, it would be hard to have a calm attitude, not seeing them would be the best.
Remembering when Lou Xi Wu was talking to her, when she fell into the water, Qing Feng was crying until her eyes were swollen, Zhuo Qing hurriedly said: “Can you send a message to Qing Feng, telling her that I am fine, I am afraid that she will be anxious.” Even though she did not have any sisters feeling with Qing Feng, but Qing Feng was really sincere to her. She was still touched, since she occupied this body, she would consider Qing Feng as her own close relative, ok.”
“You can be at ease, I have already sent a message to her.” There was chaos on that day at the side of the lotus pond, he was anxious incessantly, but Qing Feng’s hateful eyes, he would never ignore it. He had this feeling that this woman, would definitely not going to accept anybody’s bullying and humiliation. That place in the harem, with her kind of temperament, she would not step on anybody’s feet, then she would get bully until she was completely covered with cuts and bruises, both circumstances were not good situations.
Zhuo Qing did not know Lou Xi Yan’s mind, and she was concerned with another problem: “Based on the investigation, who wanted to kill me?”
Lou Xi Yan stared blankly: “You knew?” He always thought that she could not swim, after she fell into the water, it was a chaotic situation, as it turned out, she knew it.
Zhuo Qing nodded her head, remembering her struggle in the water on that day, her complexion became somewhat cold: “Actually, I can swim, I have also looked at the wooden stakes under the water. The cause of the collapse was absolutely not because of the worn down by years of non repair, moreover, the cause of my drowning was because I was pressed down under the water. This was enough for me to make a determination that it was an intentional homicide, I think that the murderer is her, but I have no evidence.”
“I can not be sure whether or not it is her at the present time, but I will not drop this matter at this point, you rest properly, and do not be anxious again.” Hearing what she said, that she was drowned because she was pressed down under the water, Lou Xi Yan’s heart was tightened once again, she must be frightened and felt helpless at that time! Taking Zhuo Qing lightly and holding her in his bosom, he was caressing her hair gently, he was comforting her, but at the same time, he was comforting himself. He did not even dare to imagine, if he did not go to the Imperial garden on that day, or did not have Mo Bai by his side, what was the consequence? He would lose her forever, unaware that his hands were tightened up slowly, only her warm body temperature could make his heart to be calmed and quiet now.
Being in Lou Xi Yan’s bosom suddenly, Zhuo Qing stared blankly at first, when she sensed that his hands were tighter and tighter, she knew that he was still distressed because of her. Her face lightly leaned against his shoulder, Zhuo Qing stretched her hands, closely hugging him back, she said softly in his ear: “I am alright, really.”
Her soft voice actually appeased his heart, he wished to be able to protect her in his bosom continuously like this, but it was impossible. Merely seeing her soft hair, Lou Xi Yan lowly sighed and said: “Let Mo Bai protect you in secret in the future, ok?”
“No.” Zhuo Qing sat up suddenly, immediately rejected the offer.
Lou Xi Yan knew that she liked to have freedom, did not like to be restricted by anybody, but he did not anticipate that she would be this determined. Lightly caressing her cheek, Lou Xi Yan softly coaxed and explained: “He will not hinder or prevent you to do anything, you can go to any place, he will simply protect your safety.”
Zhuo Qing was smiling, and she answered: “I am not talking about this, he is your personal imperial bodyguard, I will feel relatively relieved if he is protecting you, you are the Prime Minister, there will be many more dangers on your side. If you are worry about me, you can look for another person to protect me, ok, anybody can.”
Lou Xi Yan cared and loved her dearly, she knew it, but she was not a porcelain doll, one bump and she would break into pieces, the matter at the lotus pond was her negligent. As a modern person, she had not changed the way she was thinking, and did not understand what the women in the harem were thinking. But she understood it now, and she would keep this moment in her heart.
“Qing-er, that kind of frightening from the last time, the first time was already enough. I will not be able to endure it a second time, I already have many people who can protect me by my side, I do not normally use Mo Bai either. I can not keep you company at all times, but I will be anxious at all times because of you. If Mo Bai is following by your side, I will have a peaceful mind, promise me, ok?”
His hands on her waist were tightened up again, both of them tightly embracing each other, Zhuo Qing could feel his heartbeats, compared to the first time, it was quicker. Zhuo Qing wanted to refuse again but she swallowed her words, smilingly said: “Ok.”
He was really thin, did not have a strong and muscular figure, but she felt very safe. Softly closing her eyes to enjoy his embrace, Zhuo Qing suddenly thought of something, she opened her eyes and said urgently: “I have one request, it is very important!”
Lou Xi Yan slightly stared blankly, and asked: “What is it?”
“Can I choose the wedding dress and the design of the phoenix crown?” She was wearing three layers of skirts on that day and she was nearly unable to breathe. Lou Xi Wu said that the wedding dress from the Imperial household was seven layers, even though the Lou family was not the royal family, there would have six layers at the very least, then she would be tormented to die again!
“Just this one matter?” Lou Xi Yan did not know whether to laugh or cry.
“En.” Zhuo Qing seriously nodded her head, strictly speaking, this matter regarding her wedding day was very important.
Lou Xi Yan broke into laughter, he held her in his embrace again, smilingly said: “The madam wants to say what, then it will be it!”
The delicate and magnificent of the inside of the lady’s chamber, it should have a lingering fragrance, unfortunately, the inside of the room was filled with the strong smell of the reeking of blood. The blood on the floor had not completely dried up yet, the light pink of the mattress was covered by the blood to become a scarlet, the bed clothing of the woman on the bed was entirely taken off. The bright and clean skin did not have any wound, after careful inspection, one could see a thin red line on the left side of the chest. Lightly supporting the skin, one could find about three inches length of an incision, the incision was very neat, it was thin and soft, where the blood was flowing, it was already dried up at this moment.
Dan Yu Lan slightly pressed the chest a little harder, the clear hollow was already shown, this corpse was missing a heart.
The murderer’s knife position was very accurate, the deceased did not have any binding mark in her body, also did not have any struggling bruise. The pair of eyes were opened, the mouth was slightly opened, the face’s expression was extremely frightened. They did not have any drug to knock them out, why they did not struggle either, what did one see that could show this frightening expression like this?!
After checking up and locking up the doorway, Lu Jin’s brows unconsciously knitted tightly, he walked to Dan Yu Lan’s back, and said: “Daren, the door lock does not have any damage, also does not have any trace.”
Looking one glance at the corpse on the bed, Lu Jin shook his head and said: “Except the left side of the chest, the other part of the body did not have any bruise, the door was also locked up tightly. The only thing that was missing from the corpse was the heart, and the technique in these two cases in the past were practically identical. It has been closed to two months since the third case of the removing of the heart, moreover, all the dead people were the offsprings of the famous family, the aristocratic family’s young ladies, this time was unexpectedly the Noble Woman An Ning.”
The other was leaning on one side, one tall and thin man whose hands were on his chest, his young face was full of anger, he lowly shouted: “The celebration is almost here, the case like this has happened unexpectedly, moreover, I see that the tendency is getting more and more intense also, if this case is not solved, the Emperor will also flip out.”
His speaking voice just barely faded off, one bailiff ran to come over, he stopped at the outside of the door, urgently said: “Daren, the Emperor’s order, to declare you to enter the Imperial palace immediately.”
Lu Jin looked one glance at the white man, his mouth did not conceal or block, it was good now, the dog’s mouth did not spit out the elephant tusk! (An analogy saying that a bad guy can’t tell good things with his mouth).
Cheng Hang curled his lips, his mouth did not guard the door, speaking without thinking, who would have imagined that it was coincidental like this! Carefully looking towards Dan Yu Lan, his complexion did not have any change, Cheng Hang admired him secretly, Daren was worthy to be a Daren!
Lu Jin and Cheng Hang were considered the skilled students whom he brought up, Lu Jin’s mind was meticulous, with a steady behavior, his autopsy was somewhat skilled. But Cheng Hang was usually somewhat careless, but his energy was very vigorous, he was dedicated to his work. They transferred back here because this case was very tough to crack!
“Lu Jin, Cheng Hang, I am handing this over to you.” Based on their experiences and abilities, there would not be any problem.
Taking off the gloves, Dan Yu Lan went out of the door with his large strides, Lu Jin and Cheng Hang looked one glance at each other, they were somewhat anxious.
Inside the Imperial study, Yan Hong Tian, sat on the dragon throne, his dark and heavy complexion was scary, one group of the maids’ heads were lowered on the ground, they did not dare to breathe with this type of atmosphere. Dan Yu Lan entered the Imperial study, he already knew why the Emperor announced him to enter the Imperial palace today.
“Pay respect to the Emperor.”
As expected, Dan Yu Lan’s words had not even finished yet, Yan Hong Tian did not ask him to rise up either, with a cold and firm voice, he asked immediately: “When can the removal of heart case be solved?”
Dan Yu Lan hesitated for a moment, and he could only answer according to the facts: “Chen does not know.”
“Absolutely disgraceful!” Along with the rage, a couple of dark red reports were thrown down at Dan Yu Lan’s feet. Yan Hong Tian slapped the table and stood up, pointing his finger at Dan Yu Lan and he said angrily: “If there are a few more days, the civil and military officials are grieving and sick because of the painful loss of their loved ones, they do not need to go to the Imperial court, do not need to handle the official business! The celebration is going to start soon, this kind of case happens in the capital unexpectedly, the people are alarmed, where will Qiong Yue’s prestige be put out?” The angry voice resonated in the Imperial study, all of the palace eunuchs and palace maids were kneeling on the ground.
Dan Yu Lan bowed down his head, confronting the scolding voice, he could not provide an explanation, it was already two months, they unexpectedly did not find any useful clue. The murderer still continued to commit the violent acts, in the capacity as a head of the Criminal Prison Division, he did not fulfill his duties.
He wanted to solve this case by any mean, still in silent, it was the most thing that he did not expect to see, angrily sitting down, Yan Hong Tian did not look at Dan Yu Lan anymore, with a cold voice, he said: “Chen will give you one month, no matter what method you use, whom you assign, you must solve this case. If you can not solve this case within one month, this Criminal Prison Division will be dissolved and you will be sent to prison for three years!”
“Chen accepts the Imperial decree.” He did not hesitate or could provide an explanation, Dan Yu Lan calmly accepted the Imperial decree.
His approach made Yan Hong Tian’s anger somewhat vanished gradually, and he did not want to make things difficult for him either, waving his hand, he said impatiently: “Withdraw, ok.”
Dan Yu Lan turned around to leave, but his complexion was never grave from the beginning.
Lying down on the bed for several days, Zhuo Qing could finally get down from the bed and walked everywhere, just like the previous days in the morning. Lou Xi Wu would come over to accompany her chatting, saying something about the wedding ceremonial robe and the style of the phoenix hat. Today was already noon, but she still had not seen her shadow, not knowing what to do, Zhuo Qing decided to go and look for her.
Just leaving Lan Yue building, she saw Jing Sa and about two dozens people who dressed as the Imperial bodyguards, he was in the middle of saying something, soon, they were divided into two teams, then went into two different directions, it seemed like they were patrolling.
But there was never any Imperial bodyguard who patrolled at the Prime Minister’s manor ah? Being curious, Zhuo Qing walked forward and asked: “Jing Sa, what are they doing?”
The wedding invitations were already sent out, the news of Zhuo Qing and Lou Xi Yan’s wedding had been scattering inside the capital for a long time. There was no doubt that Zhuo Qing was the mistress at the Prime Minister’s manor. Jing Sa could not say if he liked or disliked this new mistress, but since she was master’s wife, Jing Sa’s attitude seemed to be even more respectful: “Madam, the celebration is almost here, there are so many people mingling inside the capital, Master is worry about the security at the Prime Minister’s manor’.”
Still somewhat not used with Jing Sa’s transformation, Zhuo Qing embarrassedly smiled, and answered: “Ok, I get it, then you get busy, ok.”
She still could not adapt to the ancient time’s concept of seniors and juniors, just like Xue Xian Xin who was always looking to bother her. This time period, it was very unusual for her, every time she heard the calling of ‘Ling-er, Ling-er’ for the whole time, it gave her goose bumps.
Walking towards Lou Xi Wu’s courtyard all the way, Zhuo Qing discovered that there were more than two Imperial bodyguard teams whom she just saw, there were suddenly many bodyguards who were patrolling inside the manor, she felt somewhat strange.
Entering Lou Xi Wu’s courtyard, her maid, Su-er immediately met her up, Zhuo Qing made a silent gesture to her, because she saw Lou Xi Wu was sitting in the inside pavilion, lifelessly staring at one direction. Wanting to tease her, Zhuo Qing walked to her side, suddenly uttered a smile and said: “Who are you missing? Becoming foolish like this!”
Lou Xi Wu was really scared hearing the voice, but she did not return her usual curse and ruckus, she was rather propping her cheeks, her eyes unexpectedly had a little faint of teardrops.
There was something wrong with this young girl, Zhuo Qing sat down next to her, quietly asked: “What is going on?”
“I just found out today, that Noble Woman An Ning was killed unexpectedly last night! Her death was very cruel! We played together regularly when we were small, I still met her at the clothing store last month, who could have thought that…… When I met her last time, I said that I wanted to send her a fine silk handkerchief, I made Su-er to deliver it this morning, but she returned with this kind of conclusion.” Thinking of the two of them who were having fun together in the past, Lou Xi Wu could not help to cry.
They were still together envisioning their future before, but now they were already separated by life and death, she was even more sorrowful, it was unexpectedly a violent death, she had seen many of this separation in life and death. Knowing that she was not good to comfort people, Zhuo Qing could only pat her shoulder, comfortingly said: “You must not feel too sad, the police…… The government office will find the murderer who kills her, they will not let her die with grievance.”
Sniffling her nose, Lou Xi Wu whispered in a low voice: “Nobody knew whether or not a person who did it?”
“What did you say?” Zhuo Qing did not believe her own ears.
Lou Xi Wu took the handkerchief that was handed over by Su-er, then she was gently wiping her tears, while saying in a low voice, with a bit frightened: “The people inside the capital are anxious, especially the aristocratic families, later the famous families, every home that has a young lady is anxious if she will meet with any unexpected circumstance. I heard that there were already three to four young ladies that had been murdered, when they found out, all of them were on their own beds gracefully, the beds and the floors were filled with blood entirely. The body did not have any wound, the only thing that was missing was her heart?”
“What?” Zhuo Qing frowned, there was no wound but the heart was missing, how could it possible, or the murderer’s suture skill was very good, or it was just Lou Xi Wu’s gossip. But, there could be a possibility, at the minimum, that there were several murder cases related to the aristocratic families’ daughters in the capital. The murderer’s method was cruel, it was possible that this was a serial killer case.
No wonder, the Prime Minister’s manor suddenly took some precautions with the security like this, Xi Wu was also included in the murderer’s possible victim.
But strictly speaking, if this murderer only picked the daughters of the aristocratic families, what similarities did their bodies have that triggered the murderer’s motive to kill?!
Zhuo Qing was just thinking deeply, Lou Xi Wu suddenly approached her, she whispered in her ear with an extreme mysterious manner: “All of the young ladies who died, their hearts were missing. The others did not say this, but their manors were being guarded strictly like this, but the Imperial bodyguards did not see any unusual condition either and the murderer could still remove Noble Woman An Ning’s heart. Dying inside her room by herself, there was some rumors outside, that it was not a person who did it, but it was rather a demonic monster that liked to eat people’s hearts.”
Zhuo Qing snorted disdainfully: “Ridiculous, the so called demonic monster who kills people, it is nothing but a murderer whose skill in killing is brutal or peculiar, and make people to be frightened. Because they can not find the murderer for a period of time, the frightened people have fabricated the story, nothing more.”
Zhuo Qing’s face filled with disdained, Lou Xi Wu pulled back her shoulder, and asked in a low voice: “You are not afraid?” Even though she did not believe with this demon that ate heart either, but when she heard it, she still felt frightened! Their bodies did not have any wound, but only missing their hearts, would this not let people be afraid?
“Afraid of what?” Zhuo Qing broke into laughter, she answered jokingly: “If you say that it is a demonic monster, then I am not afraid, the heaven and earth have righteousness.”
Her long shape eyebrows slightly raised, her eyes flashed through a trace of sharpe edge, Zhuo Qing with a cold voice, smiled and said: “If what you say about the murderer is true, I am very interested to know, what kind of skill this evil person uses to remove the heart!”
He could remove the person’s heart perfectly like this, if this person’s profession was not a killer, then he would be a doctor.
Lou Xi Wu frighteningly swallowed her saliva, and went to sit on the side, she suddenly felt, that sometimes this sister in law was strange, this kind of frightening matter, yet she would have an enthusiastic look……
The 3rd woman who died, her name & title used these characters 安宁君主 (An Ning Jun Zhu). We couldn’t really figure out what her title was so we decided to use Noble Woman instead of Princess (公主 – gong zhu). Didn’t I tell you that figuring out the titles for these people were a lot more difficult than finding the medical terms for the autopsy. Musical, painting or clothing descriptions were also horrendous.