The relationships in the prince’s mansion was really a mess.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou stood next to them and had a headache. Madam Han was Guard Qin’s aunt. Guard Qin’s ‘private relationship’ was actually with the third young lady.
In fact, thinking carefully, the third young lady did indeed go to the backyard yesterday afternoon. She said that she saw her fourth sister hurrying to Hongmei Park and asked her about it. Yu Hanjiang treated the third young lady as a witness but ignored one fact. What was the third young lady doing in the backyard?
The prince heard his daughter’s own admission that she had a ‘flesh relationship’ with Qin Rui and was so angry that he felt a pain in his head. He pointed to Qin Rui. “Qin Rui, how dare you have a private relationship with the third young lady behind my back! Come, drag him 100 blows!”
The third young lady immediately rushed over. “Father, he has been teaching me martial arts every day since two years ago. All of my martial arts have been taught by Brother Qin. I liked him first. IF you want to fight then just hit me!”
This girl had a strong temperament and was very brave. She stopped in front of Qin Rui and refused to let anyone do anything.”
Qin Rui heard this and finally moved slightly as he watched the third young lady. “Your friendship is remembered by this subordinate but please don’t ruin your innocence because of me.”
Qin Yiru blushed for a moment. “Father, I really do like Brother Qin!”
Madam Han had just woken up. She heard this and stared at the prince. “Rui-er has no parents since childhood and I brought him up. I can be considered half his mother. The third young lady has such a deep affection for Rui-er. I’m begging you, can you allow their relationship? Rui-er is good at martial arts and will surely protect her…”
Qin Rui gazed at the third young lady with a complicated expression before finally saying with red ears, “It is all up to my aunt to decide.”
The prince frowned and looked closely at his daughter.
His third daughter had always been arrogant and brash. She was like a wild horse that was hard to tame and it wasn’t easy to change the way she thought. If he disagreed, she might cry, fight or hang herself and then the prince’s mansion would be too ugly…
Qin Rui’s family background wasn’t bad. Madam Han was from a famous family and he was currently serving as a guard in the prince’s mansion. His status wasn’t worthy of the third young lady but he was highly capable in martial arts. As long as he treated the third young lady sincerely, it wouldn’t be difficult for the prince to find him or job or even make him a leader in the imperial army. Thinking of this, the prince simply nodded. “According to my wife’s words, I will agree to your marriage.”
The third young lady looked excited. If no outsiders were present then she would probably jump up and run outside.
The prince continued, “Your older sister has just passed away and you are still young. Your marriage can wait two years. Go back and discuss it with your mother.”
The third young lady nodded obediently. “Yes, Father.”
The girl had come over in a hurry. She heard that her sweetheart had been sent for questioning and she hurried to make a false testimony for him. Unfortunately, Qin Rui was an upright person and broke it down. However, Mrs Han was Qin Rui’s aunt and she was willing to fulfill their wishes. This was completely unexpected.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang seemed to have indirectly become matchmakers?
The third young lady looked at Yu Hanjiang and blushed. “Daren, I lied just now. I was wandering around the backyard yesterday and saw Guard Qin hurrying to the Buddhist temple like he was chasing someone! He was so powerful that I couldn’t catch up. Just now, I was worried you would misunderstand him so I talked nonsense.
This testimony was consistent with Qin Rui’s testimony.
Yu Hanjiang thought carefully. Qin Rui looked upright and serious and shouldn’t have lied. So it seemed that yesterday, he did indeed see a person entering the prince’s mansion over the wall and chased them. This should be a key to the case.
Yu Hanjiang glanced at Qin Rui and spoke softly, “Guard Qin, please tell me about yesterday’s situation in detail.”
Qin Rui nodded. “Yesterday, I was patrolling the prince’s mansion when I saw a figure flying into the backyard from a corner. The person’s light footwork was a ghost and I was afraid that they were an assassin, so I chased them. Unfortunately, this subordinate wasn’t good and after a while, the person disappeared. The last place I saw them was near the Buddhist temple.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “Disappeared into thin air?”
Qin Rui replied, “It was like they disappeared into thin air. This subordinate chased them to the Buddhist temple and saw the fourth young lady passing by. I asked her if she had seen the assassin and the fourth young lady shook her head, saying she had never seen a stranger.”
Qi Yiru blurted out, “No, that isn’t right!”
Qin Rui looked back at her. “What’s wrong?”
“I saw you rushing in the direction of the Buddhist temple and couldn’t catch up with you. I called out to you but you ignored me. Therefore, I turned to stroll to the rockery and found the fourth young lady hurrying over from there. How can she be there and at the Buddhist temple at the same time?”
Qin Rui insisted, “This subordinate really did see the fourth young lady at the Buddha temple.”
They looked at each other.
According to the timeline, the third young lady first saw Qin Rui going to the Buddhist temple and then saw the fourth young lady near the rockery. Qin Rui saw the fourth young lady at the same time in the Buddhist temple. How could there be two of them?
Yu Hanjiang immediately noticed the problem. “The fourth young lady that Guard Qin saw was likely someone posing as her.”
The confessions of the third and fourth young ladies met. They did meet near the rockery yesterday afternoon. Therefore, the fourth young lady that Qin Rui saw at the Buddhist temple definitely wasn’t the real person.
The fourth young lady liked to cover her face with white gauze and the guards rarely came to the backyard. Therefore, the specific appearance of the fourth young lady wasn’t very clear. If they saw a woman with white gauze then they would subconsciously think this was the fourth young lady.
In fact, the person Qin Rui saw was the real murderer!
She knew light footwork and was strong in martial arts. She was accidentally seen by Qin Rui when crossing the wall into the backyard. Qin Rui was very alert and immediately chased her. She couldn’t get rid of Qin Rui’s pursuit so she led Qin Rui to the Buddhist hall and then covered her face with white gauze, pretending to be the fourth young lady.
In order to confirm this speculation, Yu Hanjiang called the fourth young lady over.
Qin Rui carefully examined her and paled. “The person I saw was different.”
Qin Rui felt regretful after realizing he had been deceived. “No wonder. This subordinate searched all over the Buddhist temple and couldn’t find any traces of the assassin. It turned out the assassin was dressed as the fourth young lady and walked away right in front of me!”
At this point, Qin Rui felt guilty and clasped his fist in his other hand as he spoke to the prince, “This subordinate was incompetent and let go of the assassin. Please punish me!”
The prince frowned and waved his hand. “Forget it, the fourth young lady seldom goes to the front yard. You have never seen her so it is normal to admit the wrong person. Then it seems that the masked woman was likely the one who tried to assassinate me at the dinner yesterday?”
Yu Hanjiang also thought this was likely.
The fourth young lady’s expression today was very depressing because she had heard the news of Young Master Lin’s death. After all, she had sincerely loved this man and Young Master Lin suddenly died like this. She was sad but it wasn’t easy to cry in front of her parents. Thus, she trembled and cried out with red eyes, “Yu daren, please be sure to catch the murderer who killed Young Master Lin. Don’t let him die in vain!”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “You can rest assured that I will do my best.”
Mrs Han was weak and her forehead was covered with sweat. The prince hugged her and said, “I will take my wife back first to rest. Yiwei, come and accompany your mother as much as possible. Yu daren, I’d like you to continue investigating this case.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and spoke politely and sincerely, “Goodbye, Your Highness.”
The prince withdrew with Mrs Han and the fourth young lady while the third young lady also pulled Qin Rui to run.
Young Master Lin’s body was sent to the Lin family. Due to the status of the royal family, the Lin family didn’t dare make a fuss. They would certainly put pressure on Yu Hanjiang to solve the case as soon as possible.
Yu Hanjiang was under a lot of pressure.
Their group quickly returned to the prefectural magistrate’s office where Shao Qingge and Liu Qiao were waiting for them. They worked together to sort out today’s clues.
Xiao Lou stated, “I think that Qin Rui’s testimony can be believed. Since he and the third young lady are a pair, the probability of the two of them being murderers is very low. The third young lady’s hot temper means even if the relationship was found, she could kneel down in front of the prince for permission. There is no need to kill at all.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, those two people don’t seem to have planned it in advance.”
Old Mo’s head was about to burst and he couldn’t help saying, “This prince’s mansion is really complicated. If Guard Qin’s testimony is true then the masked woman he saw yesterday is probably the one who killed the eldest young lady!”
Yu Hanjiang shook his head. “No.”
Old Mo and Long Sen were both at a loss. “It isn’t her?”
Yu Hanjiang explained, “If this woman is the assassin who tried to kill the prince then she wouldn’t be the murderer of the eldest young lady and Lin Shaobo. It was because the eldest young lady’s death was disguised as a suicide. She was first poisoned and then hung from a tree. Young Master Lin was strangled from behind and then thrown into the pond. If it was the assassin, why not kill them with the sword?”
Thinking of the assassin who stabbed Yu Hanjiang with a sword, the two people suddenly realized. “Yes, if it was the assassin then why hang the eldest young lady from a tree?”
“Stabbing them with a sword is more the style of the assassin!”
Yu Hanjiang stated, “This investigation of this case has to be split. At present, the masked woman that Qin Rui saw is likely to be the one who tried to assassinate the prince. If we follow this line then we can find the assassin organization. The real murderer of the eldest young lady and Young Master Lin is still uncertain.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “Can the prince’s suspicion be ruled out?”
Yu Hanjiang shook his head. “He still can’t be ruled out. I still think the cause behind the deaths of the eldest young lady and Young Master Lin is because they saw something they shouldn’t have known and were killed by an acquaintance.”
Yu Hanjiang glanced at Xiao Lou, who nodded and took out the map of the four kingdoms that he obtained from the capital.
Xiao Lou unfolded the map on the table. Yu Hanjiang pointed to the map and said, “Da Qi and the Yan state in the northwest have been fighting all year round. Da Qi doesn’t interfere with Chu and is friendly to Zhao. The second young lady and the second prince of the Zhao state are to be married. If the prince uses the power of the Zhao state to rebel, the success rate will be very high. The sudden arrival of the Zhao envoy group in Jiangzhou shouldn’t be that simple.”
Mo Xuemin agreed. “The timing of the Zhao envoys is indeed a bit coincidental.”
Long Sen said, “However, I’m sure that the emissaries of the Zhao state who entered the prince’s mansion that day were in the front young. The prince invited the two of them to the study to talk and they shouldn’t have run into the eldest young lady in the backyard.”
Yu Hanjiang asked him, “Were all the emissaries men?”
Long Sen nodded. “Both of them were men. They wore the clothing of the Zhao state and are very recognizable.”
Yu Hanjiang said, “The Zhao envoy group might still have a woman among them. Some things don’t require close communication with the prince. Don’t forget, there is still a person in the palace.”
Xiao Lou immediately responded, “The second young lady, Princess Sukan?”
Mo Xuemin carefully considered it and agreed. “This second young lady isn’t an ordinary woman. When the murder occurred, the third young lady was panicked and the fourth young lady was pale. Only the second young lady was calm and self-contained. When answering questions, she was clear, conversational and had good manners. It is all the style of an elegant woman.”
Xiao Lou added, “the key is that she has a close relationship with the Zhao state. If the prince really wants to use the Zhao state’s power to rebel then she can help her father. My guess is that perhaps the agreement that the prince and the Zhao state reached… If I remember correctly, the princess’ marriage object is the second prince of Zhao? The second prince isn’t the crown prince, correct?”
Mo Xuemin replied, “Yes, the Zhao state’s crown prince is the oldest prince.”
Yu Hanjiang touched his chin, “If the Eighth Prince helps the second prince of Zhao to become the emperor of Zhao, then his daughter will be the empress of Zhao. Then Zhao will help him usurp the throne and make him the emperor of Qi. Is it such a mutual benefit agreement?”
Everyone heard this and felt cold.
Unexpectedly, the murder in the prince’s mansion involved so many clues and even involved the power struggle of two countries. It was no wonder why the name of 8 if Hearts was ‘Beacon in Troubled Times’. This plot really deserved to be called troubled times.
Yu Hanjiang’s reasoning seemed to be getting closer to the truth but there was still a mystery that couldn’t be solved. Were the assassins sent to kill him the same as the one sent to kill the prince? Who was behind the scenes?