Author: Chai Jidan
Translator: xallisonjanex, chiangyushien
After Mu Xueshi said all these words, the Third Prince became completely reticent. He allowed Mu Xueshi to say anything he wanted, and the Third Prince did not say a word anymore. As soon as Mu Xueshi saw that the Third Prince’s eyebrows were furrowed, he stopped joking around, and he also followed alongside the Third Prince and pondered over it.
Since the Third Prince wanted to look into the case, this proved that he might not be the murderer. If the Third Prince was certain that he was the murderer, he would not have treated him as he did now, because the Third Prince had said previously that he hated the murderer of Imperial Tutor Mu.
Mu Xueshi always thought that he wanted to redress the grievances for the original owner of this body, to make up for his own sins. At this point, he could not just talk about it, he certainly must take some action, too.
Hence, Mu Xueshi took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and tried hard to recall fragments of those detective cartoons that he once watched. However, he could only recall the characters’ faces in the film and could not recall the plots and methods shown. Thus, Mu Xueshi had no other choice but to use the average person’s usual habits of asking about some things that he wanted to know by himself.
“Imperial Tutor Mu…uh…no, when did my father die?”
“On the eighth day of the third month.”
“Then, what date is it now?”
“The eighth day of the fourth month.”
“It’s been a month…”
Mu Xueshi gently put his arms on the edge of the table and rested his face on his arms. He looked worried.
When the Third Prince saw his worried look, his tensed nerves relaxed a little. He fiddled with the tea cup in his hand and looked at Mu Xueshi with a faint smile, wondering what his little head could come up with.
“At that time, did the coroner check on Imperial…my father’s corpse? Was my father really burned to death?” Mu Xueshi looked up again with suspicion on his face.
“His skin and flesh were mostly burned up, leaving only a pile of bones, and there’s no signs to show that he was beaten or poisoned, based on the bones.”
“There’s nothing left behind?” Mu Xueshi asked with perseverance.
The Third Prince shook his head. “There’s no tools or hidden weapons that were found around the body, and there’s no bloodstain found either. It proved that Imperial Tutor Mu was really burned to death, rather than being persecuted to death, before burning the body in order to cover up the crime.”
“Then, maybe he accidentally bumped into a chair or a table and knocked off an oil lamp. In the end, my father had fallen too hard and never got up. After that, the oil lamp burned my father’s clothes. My father wanted to put out the fire, but…uh…but my father’s not that clumsy! This is too much for a coincidence…”
Mu Xueshi talked and talked, then with an embarrassed look, he looked at the Third Prince, lest the Third Prince would laugh at himself.
On the contrary, this Third Prince did not look at him with mockery but said as if he was talking to himself: “According to the servants’ testimonies, Imperial Tutor Mu did go out to drink before, and when he returned to the small courtyard, he was a little drunk.”
Mu Xueshi patted his thigh and said to the Third Prince with great interest, “What I’m trying to say is, my father must’ve been drinking ‘til he was drunk. Then, he accidentally knocked off the oil lamp, which resulted in getting himself burned to death…”
Mu Xueshi was the portrait of a cat that stole a fish. He was very pleased of his stupid reasoning. When the Third Prince saw Mu Xueshi’s foolish look, he mercilessly pulled him to the north of the principal hall, then held Mu Xueshi’s head, forcing him to look at the floor.
Mu Xueshi took back the smile on his face and looked at the floor. Finally, he simply knelt down with his bottom up high. The Third Prince saw Mu Xueshi’s daring move and his throat tightened, forcing himself to hold down his palpitations from nervousness and focus instead on Mu Xueshi, who was kneeling on the floor.
“What do you see?” The Third Prince indifferently asked, then he even kicked Mu Xueshi’s raised bottom, forcing Mu Xueshi to immediately stand up. When the Third Prince touched him like this, he immediately felt that this certain part of Mu Xueshi was quite soft. It would certainly feel good if he pinched it.
Nevertheless, the Third Prince’s face remained cold. There was seriousness and eagerness to inquire in his eyes.
Mu Xueshi slowly stood up and habitually wiped his two small dirty hands on his white robes, leaving behind dark hand marks printed all over it. He then looked at the Third Prince in embarrassment and nervously said: “I can only see a little… I don’t know if anyone took note of this or not…”
The Third Prince lifted his chin and gestured Mu Xueshi to continue talking.
Mu Xueshi took a deep breath, and laughed a few times, then rubbed his hands while saying, “I just think this floor’s very fragrant. Maybe this room’s often sprayed with air freshener!”