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   Chapter 108 Murder Cases At The Birthday Party (Part One)

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 10449

Updated: 2018-09-07 10:05

"Blood streak?" Wu Qi instantly straightened up and said to Lady Shun Qing, "Your Ladyship, do you mind showing me the peach-shaped carving made of jadeite?"

Lady Shun Qing nodded and passed the peach-shaped carving to Wu Qi. Wu Qi examined it carefully for a while before he said hesitantly, "The jadeite is of top quality. Besides, judging from the craft, the peach-shaped carving is indeed a top-grade one. But it's not as good as the carvings made by Master Jing'an. I have heard that if a jadeite is stuffed in a dead man's mouth and buried with the dead body, it will bear blood streaks when it is taken out. But the peach-shaped carving is too big to be stuffed into a dead man's mouth. The blood streaks in the carving are an ominous indicator. I know that if a jadeite is stuffed in an animal's mouth before the animal is suffocated, the jadeite will bear blood streaks indicating that the animal died with strong resentment."

Upon hearing this, Lady Shun Qing frowned and said unhappily, "Anyway, the peach-shaped carving is an inauspicious object. It brings bad luck on such a happy day."

Yun Shang said gently, "Your Ladyship, who has touched the peach-shaped carving? When I presented the peach-shaped carving to you, there were no blood streaks in it. According to what Wu Qi said, it takes a long time to form blood streaks in a jadeite. Only a little time has passed since I presented the gift to you. How can there be blood streaks in the jadeite carving so quickly? I have every reason to suspect that the peach-shaped carving presented by me has been changed by someone."

Upon hearing this, Wang Jinhuan frowned and said to Lady Shun Qing, "Your Ladyship, I think someone is trying to frame Princess Yun Shang. The jadeite carving was presented by Princess Yun Shang. The schemer knows that If something is wrong with the carving, Princess Yun Shang will take the blame. Obviously, the schemer is trying to frame the Princess and curse you."

Yun Shang squinted and then replaced her expression with a subtle smile. Wang Jinhuan was quick-minded. If he had said that the schemer swapped the birthday gift, then the schemer would be charged with larceny and get a relatively lighter punishment. By claiming that the schemer was trying to frame the Princess and curse the Ladyship, those crimes would warrant a higher punishment. When found, the schemer would be put to death.

Yun Shang certainly knew that it was the Empress who made the plot. She knew it when she accepted the peach-shaped carving from the Empress. Yun Shang leaned back in her chair. She looked very composed, as if she had nothing to do with the ominous object. She said, "I believe that Prince Shun Qing and Your Ladyship will find the truth of the matter and prove me innocent."

Prince Shun Qing glanced at Yun Shang and found her to be calm. He thought highly of Yun Shang for being able to handle a challenging situation with ease. He rose to his feet and said, "This is a big matter and there are many guests present. We can't conduct an investigation. I will call all the people who have touched the peach-shaped carving to the drawing room and I will keep all the guests here with an excuse."

Prince Jing nodded and said, "Well, that sounds all right." After this, Prince Jing stood and walked toward the drawing room.

Yun Shang smiled and followed Prince Jing.

"I respect Prince Shun Qing. I trust him, " muttered Prince Jing. Since Yun Shang had learned traditional Chinese martial arts, her hearing had improved tremendously. So she heard Prince Jing clearly.

"You mean the schemer made the plot to create disharmony between Prince Shun Qing and his wife and me. Then Prince Shun Qing would suggest that you don't marry me, " said Yun Shang. Then Yun Shang thought to herself. 'If this is the schemer's intention, I will do nothing to hinder his actions. Just let Prince Shun Qing and Lady Shun Qing detest me.'

Judging from Yun Shang's tone, Prince Jing knew the direction of her thoughts. He smiled and said, "I will feel relieved if that's what the schemer wants. But apparently the schemer wants you to die." He then leaned closer and whispered in Yun Shang's ear, "You must think I didn't see what you did. When all eyes were fixed on the stage, you put antidotes into Prince Shun Qing and his wife's cups."

Yun Shang took a step back and said, "That's right. I did."

"Help! Help! Wu Qi is dead and all his facial orifices are bleeding." The guests were in an uproar. Yun Shang's ears pricked as she heard the exclamations. She looked at Prince Jing and spoke with a slight smile, "I'm bad-tempered and I don't like being forced to do something I loathe. What do you think?"

Prince Jing reached out and wrapped an arm around Yun Shang's shoulder. He grinned as he spoke, "I will make you love it. You will love it, I promise."

Yun Shang frowned. Before she could reply, rapid footsteps could be heard behind them. Yun Shang turned and saw Qin Yi run toward her. "Your Highness, Wu Qi is dead. Prince Shun Qing asked you and Prince Jing to go to the banquet hall."

When Yun Shang and Prince Jing reached the banquet hall, a physician was kneeling on the ground and checkin

g the body. Beside the dead body knelt a woman who was Wu Qi's wife. She was crying loudly.

A while later, the physician rose to his feet and curtsied to Prince Shun Qing before he said, "Your Lordship, Wu Qi was poisoned."

"Poisoned?" Prince Shun Qing frowned and thought for a while. Then he ordered the servants to present all the things that Wu Qi had touched to the physician, and asked the physician to check those items carefully. A while later, the physician shook his head and said, "Those things are not poisoned."

Upon hearing this, Wu Qi's wife stopped crying and stood. She said, "Prince Shun Qing, there was nothing wrong with my husband before he came to meet you. When he returned, he had been poisoned. Do you know what my husband touched when he was standing by your side?"

Prince Shun Qing frowned and said, "Only the peach-shaped carving made of jadeite."

Prince Shun Qing promptly asked a servant to bring the box and the peach-shaped carving. The physician inspected the box and said, "Your Lordship, the poison is on the carving."

Just before Prince Shun Qing could say something, Wu Qi's wife started to wail and exclaimed, "Princess Hui Guo, my husband has never offended you. Why did you murder my husband?"

All eyes were fixed upon Yun Shang. The Princess shivered slightly and spoke gently, "It was the Empress who asked me to present the peach-shaped carving to Lady Shun Qing. Moreover, just now many people touched the jadeite carving. Why was Wu Qi the only one who was poisoned? As Wu Qi asked to see the peach-shaped carving, Lady Shun Qing took the carving from the box and passed it to Wu Qi. Lady Shun Qing is very well now. Do you mean Lady Shun Qing poisoned your husband?"

Prince Jing frowned and stood in front of Yun Shang as if to protect her. Then he said to Wu Qi's wife, "Mrs. Wu, you shouldn't talk nonsense."

Mrs. Wu looked at Prince Jing's cold eyes and shuddered with fear. A moment later, Mrs. Wu wailed again. "My husband is dead for no reason."

"Your Lordship, a housemaid's body has been found in the backyard. Her facial orifices are bleeding, " said a middle-aged man who seemed to be the butler. He ran hurriedly toward Prince Shun Qing as he spoke.

Upon hearing this, Prince Shun Qing frowned and said to the butler, "Lead the physician to the backyard and let him check the body."

The butler immediately led the physician to the backyard.

All the guests present started to whisper to one another. Prince Shun Qing said with a deep and solemn tone, "Today, there have been two murders in my mansion. We haven't found the killer yet. So I ask all of you to stay in my mansion until we find the killer."

Wu Qi's body was placed in the backyard. A while later, a servant reported the result. He claimed that the physician found that the housemaid and Wu Qi had the same symptoms. They were all victims of the same poison. The housemaid had been in the backyard during the party and had not been seen anywhere else. It was impossible for her to have touched the peach-shaped carving.

Two people had died during the party. The joyous atmosphere had vanished in an instant. All the guests felt frightened.

The guests had been divided into two groups according to their gender and were brought to two different rooms in the mansion. Yun Shang, Prince Jing, Wang Jinhuan and Mrs. Wu were brought to Lady Shun Qing's house.

Except for Mrs. Wu who sobbed occasionally, all the other guests present, sipping their tea in silence.

"Your Lordship, I found this both on Mr. Wu and the housemaid." The butler walked hurriedly to Prince Shun Qing and reported. The butler held a tray on which lay two sachets. The sachets were embroidered with the same picture. The picture depicted two mandarin ducks playing in water. One was blue, the other was pink.

As Prince Shun Qing was about to reach for the sachets, the butler stopped him immediately and said, "Your Lordship, be careful. There is a certain poison in the sachets."

On hearing this, Prince Shun Qing withdrew his hand. An inquiring look appeared on his face. The butler said, "I have already asked the physician to check the sachets. The poison on the sachets were the cause of the housemaid and Mr. Wu's death."

"Really?" inquired Prince Jing. Prince Jing rose to his feet and stepped forward to reach for the two sachets. Prince Shun Qing instantly exclaimed, "Qingyan!"

Prince Jing smiled and said, "Uncle, it's all right. I have brought the poison-proof bead with me. I won't get poisoned even if I touch the poison." Prince Jing opened the two sachets and found a lock of hair and a parchment in both the sachets.

All the guests stepped forward to see these two items. Neat handwriting was displayed on the parchment. It said, "When those red beans* come in springtime, flushing on your southland branches, take home an armful for my sake, as a symbol of our love. From Ru Mo*. On the other parchment were bold and forceful words. It said, "If love between both sides can last for aye, why need they stay together night and day? From Qian An."

(TN: Red bean, called a love pea or a love token, is a symbol of romance; Ru Mo is a female name.)

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