Author: Chai Jidan
Translator: synecdoche-acookie, chiangyushien
It was only when Housekeeper Wang was able to stand stable enough and calm his breathing that Mu Xueshi noticed Mu Wan’er was still wiping her tears. I don’t know if it’s because she’s holding a silk handkerchief or I just watched way too many TV dramas but, I feel her crying’s too fake. When she came in a while ago, she’s still smiling; but now, she’s shedding her tears.
While Mu Xueshi was thinking about this, Mu Wan’er gently took him into her arms and hugged him as she sobbed softly. She sobbed as she was wailing ‘Xue’er, Xue’er.’ Calling him like this made Mu Xueshi’s forehead sweat since he felt it was sappy and somewhat creepy.
In the meantime, Housekeeper Wang, who was on the side, had completely calmed down. He bowed to Mu Wan’er and said: “Madam, you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t be too emotional. It’s better for you to go back and take a good rest. Young Master Xue trekked all the way here, so he would also need to take a good rest. This Old Servant will order the servants to prepare lunch. Third Prince, Young Master Xue, please have a rest first in the principal room for a moment.”
Mu Wan’er nodded and was about to leave; however, the moment she turned around, her eyes met the Third Prince’s, which immediately made her frightened. Her elder sister, Imperial Concubine Mu, had already died, but she did not have the time to see her elder sister before she died. Although Imperial Concubine Mu died from illness, who knew the real reason behind her illness. Now that Mu Wan’er had finally met the Third Prince, her fear got worse and worse.
The Third Prince did not look at her from the start, yet she could sense the strong and harsh aura he was emitting. Mu Wan’er hurriedly showed courtesy and asked to be excused, but when she turned around to leave, she could barely walk steadily. Fortunately, there was a servant by her side to support her by the arm, so she was able to conceal her fear.
The four, who stood together a moment ago, had their own opinions. No one paid too much attention to Mu Xueshi, while on the other hand, the Third Prince, who was already accustomed to Mu Xueshi’s strange behavior in the past few days, no longer looked into anything that Mu Xueshi was doing.
“Let’s go and eat!”
Mu Xueshi shouted and dashed toward the kitchen as if he was unstoppable. The Third Prince skipped in front of him and all at once, Mu Xueshi bumped into his embrace. Because of this, Mu Xueshi’s vision became blurry and It took a while before his vision became clear again.
“Why did you stop me?” Mu Xueshi mumbled in dissatisfaction, “I’m starving!”
When the Third Prince glared at Mu Xueshi, Mu Xueshi immediately behaved. The Third Prince asked: “Why are you running to the kitchen?”
“I’m starving. It’s a habit of mine. In your small courtyard, when they cook or prepare something, I often steal something to eat.”
“Why do you need to pilfer food?” The Third Prince frowned.
Mu Xueshi replied calmly: “I don’t know. It’s very exciting to stand in the kitchen and secretly take things on the plate. My mom used to…uh…nevermind.”
Mu Xueshi just realized that he could not reveal too much about his past; otherwise, the Third Prince would doubt whether he really had amnesia or not.
After hearing Mu Xueshi’s words, the Third Prince said coldly: “In the future, if you steal something to eat, you’ll be caned fifty times.”
“This…I get disciplined for everything!” Mu Xueshi wailed in dissatisfaction, “I haven’t stolen food for so many days now, you’re being unreasonable.”
The Third Prince coldly snorted: “If you can redress your own injustice, your days will be limitless.”
Even if I redress the injustice, my days would still end anyway, it’s just that you wouldn’t even know about it. Mu Xueshi gazed at the Third Prince’s handsome face from the side and sighed hard, then he walked to the principal room with his head hanging down low.
After having lunch, instead of resting, Mu Xueshi and the Third Prince went to the small courtyard on the other side of the principal hall. The houses on both sides of the small courtyard were symmetrically built, with a courtyard in the middle. It had two principal rooms and four side rooms. Mu Xueshi and the Third Prince stayed in one of the principal rooms and now, they went to the other principal room where Imperial Tutor Mu was killed.
In the middle of the room, there was Imperial Tutor Mu’s spirit tablet which was placed on a big table. Since it was initially decided that Mu Xueshi was responsible for it, there had been countless people who went in and out of the room. Some came to offer their obeisance while some came to clean; as a result, the crime scene had been completely destroyed. Looking for clues to the case was practically impossible.
Since Mu Xueshi carried a heavy responsibility on his shoulders, he earnestly listened to the Third Prince’s explanation about everything that happened on the day of the crime. According to the servants, on the night Imperial Tutor Mu was killed, it was Wu Cai who entered his room and saw Mu Xueshi staring indifferently on Imperial Tutor Mu, who was burning on the ground with cuts and bruises all over his body. Afterwards, Wu Cai testified that it was Mu Xueshi who did it and Mu Xueshi also did not refute it.
“Is that all?” Mu Xueshi looked like he still wished to have more information.
The Third Prince nodded.
Mu Xueshi banged on the table. He stood up bravely and said with resentment: “From what I see, that Cai something isn’t a good man. That evening, I rushed into my father’s room. If he said he saw me with my father when he was in flames, does that really mean I burned him? I’m not an idiot. Why didn’t I hide after burning the body and just waited to get arrested? I must’ve been accused unjustly! Humph…humph…”
The Third Prince shot a glance at him and Mu Xueshi realized that he had misbehaved. Hastily, he quieted down, sat and listened to the Third Prince explain.
“At that time, you really didn’t refute.”
Mu Xueshi could not help but stand up again and shout: “I must’ve been forced!”
The Third Prince suddenly put up his big hand to press Mu Xueshi down. His eyebrows were knitted and he looked displeased.
“In the first place, the one who presided over your case was me and before I could even question you, you’ve admitted all your sins.”
“This…” Mu Xueshi gulped and asked: “Then why are you still investigating this? Don’t tell me you’re making me look for some false testimonies and evidences? Do you want to shove your responsibilities onto others?”