Record Of Washed Grievances Chapter 15: Criminal Prison Division (Part 2)

Double posting for this week. I have to say that this author is killing me as most of the chapters end with cliff-hangers. 😂😁 I can’t stop reading and doing the translation!

This chapter was edited by Din2.

 

She absolutely and honestly could not fight the yawn when Dan Yu Lan already entered the prison cell and came towards her: “You really spoke the truth, word for word. What is your name? What was the origin of the person? Which location did the master come from?”

Actually he already came as early as before the youngster lashed out at Wang Bing Sheng. From the beginning he kept silent about the cause of death, just wanted to know how much the youngster understood with regards to autopsy. Contrary to what anyone might expect, he had not let him disappointed.

The youngster’s understanding towards livor mortis (the discoloration after death) was more than the average coroner. He was very thorough in his explanation. Dan Yu Lan knew himself that he was rude to ask, but his heart impatiently wanted to know this gray robe youngster’s identity. Especially his master, what kind of a person could instruct and produce this kind of disciple.

Zhuo Qing’s corner of mouth was rigid thinking that this person’s line of questions was very rude!!

Putting down her embarrassment and covering her lips with hand, Zhuo Qing with a cold voice along with an obvious melancholy, answered: “Official Daren, I think you misunderstand one matter, I am not your subordinate, even more I am not a criminal. You have the right to question me, but whether or not I want to reply to your question will only depend on my mood.”

Dan Yu Lan did not expect that he would answer like this and was absent-minded for a split second.

The corner of Lou Xi Yan’s mouth had a smiling expression however it was also increasingly intense. His temperament was absolutely unrestrained, thinking about it this way, he was already polite to him last night.

“Impudent!” Fearing that Dan Yu Lan was angry, Wu Zhi Gang hastily berated: “Official Daren questioned you, you dare not to answer?!”

With both hands on her chest, Zhuo Qing did not get angry, instead mockingly laughed: “I am having a conversation with Official Daren, you dare to interrupt?!”

“You…” This, this, this was simply just a rebel!!

Wu Zhi Gang was so angry, his complexion and chest were violently moving up and down, his finger was incessantly trembling at Zhuo Qing. He wanted to speak a lot of words for a long time but yet had not been able to speak it out.

Zhuo Qing was somehow startled. It did not matter, he himself had not seemed to explain anything ah! It was unlikely to get a stroke, ok… These ancient time people’s capabilities to resist and fight were rather weak! Zhuo Qing was really worry that he would faint. Luckily, both of the bailiffs brought up an older man to come in, breaking the awkward moment.

“Daren, Li Ming arrived.”

Regarding Zhuo Qing’s lacking in manners, Official Dan could only restraint his emotions. Prime Minister Lou was calmed and unruffled in the middle of the chaos. Wu Zhi Gang could not vent his anger anywhere.

The thought of anger at this time could only be turned over to Li Ming with a roar: “Li Ming, Lin Bo Kang was murdered last night, and you were the only person that had met with him. What did you see at that time? Did you or did you not kill him!!”

Li Ming hurriedly knelt down and lowered his head. Even though his voice was shaking, his train of thought was nevertheless very clear: “Daren, accuse me wrongly ah! I (Xiaoren) am the housekeeper of the Lin Family. Master stayed in the prison for a few months, received many hardships. I merely came to give clothes to Master. At that time, Master’s mood was not good. Xiaoren did not dare to stay too long, only saying a few words to ease his anxiety. After leaving behind the clothes, I left. Xiaoren was only staying for less than one burning incense stick time (about 30 minutes) in the prison. At that time, it was raining so hard. The tree outside of the prison cell was blown away and broke apart the door. Xiaoren still helped the big brother bailiffs to move the tree.”

This Li Ming’s figure was a little sturdier than the deceased, basically he would be able to strap tightly a person after he lost consciousness and hung him on the top of the beam of the roof. According to the time of death and his coming to see Lin Bo Kang, Li Ming’s suspicion was the biggest also, but there was no conclusive evidence. Reasoning for the details of a case was always Gu Yun’s specialty, she was solely engrossed in autopsy.

Quietly turning a few steps backs, Zhuo Qing retreated to the outside door of the prison, lazily leaning against the wall and repeatedly yawning. There should not be anything related to her afterwards….

“You said that you came to deliver the clothes. In that case, was Lin Bo Kang in front of you when he was changing into his new clothes and shoes?”

Slightly raising his head to look a glance at Dan Yu Lan’s simple clothing, Li Ming once again lowered his heard and quietly answered: “No.”

With a gentle voice but also a suffocating pressure feeling, Dan Yu Lan continued to ask: “Except for delivering clothes to give to him, what did you still want to help him to do?”

Li Ming had not pondered very long for this next question and answered: “Xiaoren only wanted to give clothes to Master and spoke a few sentence and then left.”

Dan Yu Lan suddenly entered the inside of the prison gate, went to the right side of the bedside. The simple and crude slab of wood that was used as the bed was covered with straws. Dan Yu Lan raised his hand and lightly picked up a few strand of straws near the bedside. One fussy footprint shockingly appeared: “There was one muddy footprint at the deceased bedside, but the deceased wore a pair of new shoes. Let’s just consider that was the old shoes, but the deceased was already in the prison for a few months and rarely went out, it was also unlikely to have this much dirt. It was raining heavily last night and you were the only one who came to see the deceased in the prison at that time. This shoes print was exactly yours that you left behind when you were hanging the dead body, yes or no?”

Zhuo Qing slightly narrowed her eyes in a moment, the footprint was not easy to see clearly since it was located and intertwined among the straws. It was more difficult to discover and Dan Yu Lan all along was simply outside the prison door but unexpectedly he paid attention at this a little. A very attentive and sharp person ah!

Li Ming was shaking all over and without elaborating said: “No…”

Wu Zhi Gang could not tolerate it and shouted: “Take off his shoes so we can inspect and validate it!”

Two of the bailiffs immediately accepted the order, quickly dragging Li Ming to take off his shoe. After one comparison answered: “Daren, Li Ming’s shoe and this one’s footprint were identical.”

After validating it, Wu Zhi Gang was even more arrogant and aggressively stood up to say: “It was really you!! Li Ming, you really had big guts!”

Zhuo Qing snorted disdainfully, this could only proof that Li Ming had stepped on the slab at that time. Nothing more, this was also a secondary proof and could not be used to convict him!

Li Ming was already trembling just like a wind that was destroying a leaf, immediately crawled on the ground to beg forgiveness and answered: “I…. Daren, Xiaoren simply… Xiaoren simply lost control temporarily. It was not my intention to want to injure Master!”

He pleaded guilty? Zhuo Qing always felt something was fishy but also could not figure out where the problem was! Lou Xi Yan’s eyes gloriously flashed through for a second but quickly disappeared.

“You were in the prison before but it was no more than one burning incense stick time. You killed a person, changed his clothes, forged the scene to look like he hung himself and handled everything, you still dared to say that you lost control temporarily! Unless you still have something to hide! Speak!”

Slightly hold his voice high and with determination eyes, Dan Yu Lan’s body emitted a feeling of righteousness. Li Ming was scared, shivered with cold and could not say anything. Even Zhuo Qing was also shaking and dazzling impressively.

Li Ming’s eyes were slightly moving, very much frightened, simply incessantly asked for forgiveness: “Daren, please spare me. Daren, please spare me!”

If Li Ming really did this much with a thorough plan to want to kill a person, it could clearly be seen that he was a calm and also cold-blooded person. How could he frighten this much now? He was the Lin Family’s housekeeper and there should not be any big deep hatred towards Lin Bo Kang, so what was the motive to kill him?

“Li Ming! You are one ungrateful person. When Husband was alive, you were not treated badly!!” Madam Lin was unable to resist her anger and resentful feeling. How could she ever expect that the person who killed her husband had unexpectedly followed them for a lot of years as a housekeeper!!

The villager also wished that they could beat to death this ungrateful person. There was somewhat chaos for a moment in the prison. Dan Yu Lan made a prompt decision and said clearly: “We will imprison this person! Wait for this Official’s investigation for Lin Bo Kang’s case file. We will do the hearing of the case again! We will have our own judgement to judge the case on the merits whether it is pros or cons.”

“Yes.” The bailiffs immediately escorted Li Ming to enter the other side of the prison.

Madam Lin and the villagers were also led out of the prison by the bailiffs. Lou Xi Yan softly clapped his hands, the corner of his mouth raised to smile and said: “The Imperial, Civil and Military all said that Official Dan was calm and bright when he was hearing to judge a case. I saw it today and as expected, it was indeed lived up to his famous reputation.”

“Prime Minister Lou was over-praising.”

Still with a calmed expression which Lou Xi Yan was accustomed too, two people moved away from the prison gate side by side.

Wu Si saw Lou Xi Yan came out and at once met up with him. Extremely grateful, he said: “Prime Minister Daren, thank you very much that you gave us the conclusion of the case. Please rest assured, it was our wrongdoing that we kidnapped the young lady, however we absolutely had not made things difficult for her. The young lady was a good person and still helped us to write the accusation. She also gave an autopsy for the benefactor a moment ago. The young lady…”

“Hold on!” Lou Xi Yan’s face that always has a smile is stiff now.

He said: “You said that youngster who did the autopsy a moment ago was Qing Feng!!” Qing Feng? It turned out that youngster was unexpectedly a woman?

Dan Yu Lan looked at Prime Minister Lou’s face, only to see he was all shocked. This Qing Feng was really not simple, could let Prime Minister to expose his upset and annoyance. Not many could do it!

Who is Qing Feng? Was she not called Zhuo Qing?! Wu Si was puzzled and unconsciously, his head raised to look for Zhuo Qing, but where was her shadow in the prison?? With a surprise expression, he said: “Where is she?”

Record Of Washed Grievances Chapter 14: Criminal Prison Division (Part 1)

This chapter was edited by Din2.

 

“Yesterday evening?!”

Wu Zhi Gang’s pair of little eyes opened widely, ferociously was glaring at the embarrassed Wang Bing Sheng. He scolded: “What exactly did you say that was correct? The time of death was even unclear. What kind of a coroner are you!”

“Dead body…” Wang Bing Sheng’s even voice trembled. He gently and cautiously looked at Zhuo Qing’s glimpse to see that she kept silent.

He whispered an answered just now: ” Dead body appeared to look like this type of the strip of burning bruises and it was stiff at the beginning. This was an indication that the deceased just barely died not long ago…”

Zhuo Qing slowly raised her head. Wang Bing Sheng immediately did not dare to say anything anymore and withdrew. Just a moment ago, he saw the bruises on the deceased’s back. He was really ashamed and unable to show his face. It was because he was excessively over confidence on himself so he would neglect such an important point. This eccentric youngster said and also figured out something that was not wrong. He was really ashamed.

Wang Bing Sheng mumbled and also was not able to say anything. Zhuo Qing coldly said: “You, come here.”

What is he up to?! Wang Bing Sheng stumped for words to consider if he should step forward or not. Looking at his face that was still somehow guarded, Zhuo Qing impatiently shouted: “Come here!” What is he doing being so slow, she can still eat him!

Wang Bing Sheng swallowed his saliva and still walked slowly behind Zhuo Qing. He also did not know what was going on himself. He felt old to confront this individual who took charge and wrapped up tightly as a youngster. Overall, he felt incessantly lacking in his confidence.

Lou Xi Yan’s hands were at his back, forefingers were tapping lightly, face was constantly soft with a scholarly cultured smile. But he was watching attentively at Zhuo Qing’s eyes that were exceptionally bright.

Squatting at the deceased’s foot, Zhuo Qing calmly explained: “This type of strip that appeared after death was called livor mortis (the type of discoloration on the body after death). Under normal circumstances, it would show about two hours after death…”

Incorrect, what’s the measure of time that’s being used here… Shichen (two hour periods of the modern time)? Really troublesome!

Converting secretly, Zhuo Qing once again continued to say: “One to two shichen (two to four hours) time after death, it would begin to appear. Three to four shichen (six to eight hours) time after death, it would clearly visible. This length of time, the livor mortis would maybe disappear but when you released the hand, it would re-appear once again. After six shichen (twelve hours) time of death, the livor mortis would link together into one piece and deepen in color. At this moment, the livor mortis already could not completely disappear, only a little fade, after stopped pressing the livor mortis, the recovery to the primary color was also slow. After twelve shichen (twenty four hours) time of death, even if you used a finger to oppress the livor mortis, it would no longer change the color. It would also no longer disappear.”

Wang Bing Sheng listened very seriously, but nevertheless his eyebrows were wrinkled deeply. Do not believe? Zhuo Qing pointed at the livor mortis, said: “You press it.”

Wang Bing Sheng nodded, he really wanted to seek the confirmation and used his forefinger to press the livor mortis with some strength. After he released the livor mortis, it was somewhat faded and a moment later it slowly resumed to the primary color. According to her theory a moment ago, the deceased indeed died about 6 shichen hours (12 hours) ago.

Wu Zhi Gang firmly and anxiously asked: “Wang Bing Sheng, what he was saying, is it true?!” If it was true, Li Ming was the biggest suspect!

“This…” Wang Bing Sheng hesitated, looked a quick glance at the side of the youngster. He still had to report back to his supervisor and said: “I do not know. I only know that the livor mortis would appear on the dead body within 2 shichen time (4 hours). The longer the time of death, the deeper the strip, as to what he was actually saying, I… am really not clear.”

Shamelessly speaking, he really did not know that looking at the strip could see the accurate time of death. If it was at the beginning, he would surely reject the youngster’s explanation, but when he was listening to the youngster’s explanation a moment ago, the youngster’s words were irrefutable. He really did not dare to rush to judgment.

Wu Zhi Gang was very angry when he heard that Wang Bing Sheng did not know whether or not the youngster’s explanation was true. He shouted: “How did this official know then, what he was saying was the truth or empty words?”

Slightly sighing and casting glances at Zhuo Qing, Wu Zhi Gang asked in a loud voice: “How did you proof that you spoke the truth?!”

He started to feel that this youngster was odd, but looking at Prime Minister Lou’s face, it was not good to attack him.

Oh, great!! The answer to this question is… Can not!! At this era, how could she proof that she spoke according to scientific knowledge? Could it be that she wanted to say that she had a master’s degree in medicine, the youngest forensic investigator and had issued so many piece of academic papers… Or the crime scene would become like a biological field anatomy class. She estimated that Madam Lin would rush to pounce and tear her apart!

Zhuo Qing laughed at herself and tried to rack her brain. She followed after these people from ancient times to exploit any excitement?! With her back was leaning against the cold jail prison wall, Zhou Qing answered: “I was telling the truth, but I did not know how to use your comprehension to be able to proof it.”

“In other words, you still can not proof it!”

Wu Zhi Gang wanted to attack but he was having a second thought about this youngster who seemed to have a rather good relationship with Prime Minister Lou. He was careful to proceed with the plan to attack him. He turned around towards Lou Xi Yan and quietly asked: “Prime Minister Lou, you saw…?”

He believed that the youngster was telling the truth. Then, in that case, he was sure that he had a famous teacher who gave him direction and also a well-known person. If only he could announce his master’s name, he could proof that he spoke the truth. He was not willing to speak so there was only one reason, he did not want to expose his identity!

He did not know that the more he tried to maintain his own secrecy, the more people would want to spy on it? Luckily, he did not feel anxious! Softly raising the corner of his mouth, Lou Xi Yan was about to speak when a cold, clear and persistent voice suddenly echoed: “He really spoke the truth.”

All of the people were facing towards the coming of the sound. Zhuo Qing lightly lifted up a little bit of the brim of her hat, only to see a 30 years old man was standing at the outside of the prison cell. It seemed that he arrived a long time ago. He looked really tall, almost as tall as Lou Xi Yan, but Lou Xi Yan appeared even more meager. His appearance did not have Lou Xi Yan’s smartness but he had one pair of deep and firm eyes. They did not resemble Lou Xi Yan’s, that pair of eyes would forever carry a smile and thin pupils that would never let people felt what he was thinking clearly.

This person wore a simple dark blue robe, seemingly covered with some dust, looked as if he came from somewhere hurriedly to come over. Although it could not be regarded as in a difficult situation, but also inevitably somewhat all of a sudden. Unlike Lou Xi Yan who was always calm and appeared well dressed!! But also… Wait, why did she always seize and compare Lou Xi Yan?! She was crazy… Zhuo Qing had not thought clearly why this was not normal, when Wu Zhi Gang and the other bailiffs shouted all together: “Official Daren!!” (Original characters used here were 提刑司大人 – pls see my comment at the end of chapter).

Criminal Prison Division?! (Again the characters used here were 提刑司 which is the same as above without Daren 大人). Zhuo Qing raised her eyebrows towards him with more interests. It was unlikely that people who learned forensics did not know Song Ci (a forensic investigator expert during Southern Song Dynasty – was known as the Founding Father of forensic science in China). This person and Song Ci were in the same official positions, just did not know whether or not he had the same ability as Song Ci!

Facing everyone slightly while raising his two hands, Dan Yu Lan faced Lou Xi Yan, softly greeted with a low sound yet respectful, said: “Prime Minister Lou.”

Lou Xi Yan stepped forward one step. He raised his eyes to tease mockingly and said “Official Dan, you are back at the precise time. Not too early or too late ah!

Dan Yu Lan remained unmoved, punctually answered: “This official should be the one responsible to inconvenience Prime Minister. It should not be.”

Lou Xi Yan was accustomed to the manner of not light nor heavy and laughed: “Official Dan’s words were too serious. You and I all are here in order to serve the effectiveness of the court.”

This was exactly the welcome tradition within the officialdom!? Zhuo Qing was bored and wanted to yawn and she was really beat up. She was really really sleepy!! She absolutely and honestly could not fight the yawn when Dan Yu Lan already entered the prison cell and came towards her: “You really spoke the truth, word for word. What is your name? What was the origin of the person? Which location did the master come from?”

Zhuo Qing’s corner of mouth was rigid thinking that this person’s line of questions were very rude!!
Sian’s comment:
The title of this chapter is 提点刑狱司 (ti dian xing yu si) which means literally a department that carries out punishment to prisoner. I decided to use Criminal Prison Division. I think this department is under the Ministry of Justice (刑部 – xing bu) and believe that Dan Yu Lan is the head of the 提刑司 (ti xing si), that’s why the author used 提刑司大人 (ti xing si da ren) whenever the common people or his subordinates addressed him thorough out this chapter and in chapter 15. My other Chinese friend said to call him “head of the prison guard” when I asked her about this but it sounded so unimportant. I believe his position should be quite high rank. My editor and I also couldn’t agree what title to use for him so I decided just to call him Official Daren for the common people/subordinates and Official Dan when Lou Xi Yan addressed him. 😜