This chapter was edited by Din2.
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!!
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. 😜