TUMBT : Chapter II – 34

Author: Chai Jidan

Translator: chiangyushien, Renkun27

Proofreader: KainGuru

When Mu Xueshi arrived at the imperial tutor’s manor, the first person he saw was Wu Cai. Wu Cai was standing by the entrance and it was unknown how long he had waited. After Mu Xueshi was carried down from the horse by the Third Prince, Wu Cai walked over.

Mu Xueshi noticed the thick cotton cloth wrapped around Wu Cai’s arm. Knowing that Wu Cai was injured by the Third Prince yesterday and that the Third Prince hurt Wu Cai because of him, in essence, this was Mu Xueshi’s fault.

Wu Cai made an obeisance to the Third Prince with a rather grotesque look, then he faced Mu Xueshi, and said with utmost deference, “Young Master, is it possible for you to give me half of the time it takes for an incense to burn? I have something to tell you.”

Mu Xueshi was very hesitant when he heard this. He originally planned to find Wu Cai himself, but now that Wu Cai took the initiative to approach him, he was a bit worried. He felt bad about having failed Wu Cai. If Wu Cai wants to retaliate secretly and Mu Xueshi goes alone with him, then he would be bound to be at a disadvantage.

After hesitating for a long time, Mu Xueshi realized that the Third Prince was already gone and had completely cast him and Wu Cai aside by themselves. Although Mu Xueshi felt annoyed, he still had to treat Wu Cai amiably.

“About what happened yesterday…”

“Thank you!”

“Huh?” Mu Xueshi scratched his head with an astonished look. He wondered where this thank you from Wu Cai came from.

Wu Cai did not explain too much. He turned around and left. Mu Xueshi was about to stop him when Wu Cai suddenly stopped again, then he suddenly turned around and smiled captivatingly at Mu Xueshi as he said, “Anyway, if you want to clear up your injustice, I know someone who might be able to help you, Young Master.”

“Who? Who? Who?” As soon as Mu Xueshi got excited, he jumped in front of Wu Cai and anxiously asked.

“I’m afraid…even if you know who this person is, the Third Prince wouldn’t wish for you to get to know them. Let’s forget about it. I don’t want to bear such responsibility.”

When Wu Cai told him this, Mu Xueshi became even more curious. He pulled Wu Cai by the arm with all of his strength and begged, “Please tell me, why would the Third Prince not want me to get to know them? He also wants to help me clear up my injustice!”

Wu Cai narrowed his long and narrow eyes and said one word at a time, “Because that person’s the shopkeeper of a brothel.”

“Oh!” Surprised, Mu Xueshi opened his eyes wide and eagerly begged, “Then the more that I must go there. Are there many beautiful women there?”

Wu Cai suddenly laughed and answered, “Of course, there are many beautiful women there, so you’ll surely be dazzled when you see them. This is the best blue mansion [1] in the capital. The blue mansion girls and little grooms compete with each other in terms of beauty. The shopkeeper must also be a true beauty, but she’s always covering her face with a gauze. No one has ever seen her true face.”

([1] Or otherwise known as green mansions, were gold standard brothels. Customers who frequent these establishments were the crème de la crème of society. Women who worked in these establishments are called green/blue mansion girls. They were selected on a very strict basis—basing more on talents than looks. In this story, homosexuality was prevalent in this dynasty so male prostitutes called “little grooms” also worked in these brothels. History-wise, these little grooms work in places called “little groom halls.”)

“Wow!” Mu Xueshi opened his eyes that were as bright as snow and he seemed to be glowing with health and radiating vigor.

“But the Third Prince…” Wu Cai deliberately revealed his concern. “I fear that the Third Prince wouldn’t want you to touch dirty things, so I dare not take you there rashly. I’m afraid that the Third Prince would blame me and my life would be in danger!”

After listening to what Wu Cai said, in fear that Wu Cai would not take Mu Xueshi there, he hurriedly pressed near, boldly pressed his hand on his shoulder, and said, “Rest assured that as long as I’m all right, I’ll guarantee that you’ll be as well. Moreover, I’ll only go there to look around and primarily deal with business. The Third Prince won’t make a fuss about it. Also, let’s just sneak away, hehe…”

After saying this, Mu Xueshi gave Wu Cai a wink and the two looked at each other with smiles on their faces. Mu Xueshi’s whole image was of a cat who stole a fish. Seeing this, Wu Cai was astounded. He really could not associate this person with the original Mu Xueshi, but compared with the forbearing temperament of Mu Xueshi in the past, he preferred Mu Xueshi’s forthright and sincere image more now.

Mu Xueshi also found that Wu Cai was not as annoying as he was when he first met him. He had misunderstood him so much at first that he felt very apologetic because of this. That’s why he decided that he must not break his promise this time. Even if he knew that the Third Prince would be unhappy, he must keep Wu Cai safe.

Thinking that he could go out to have some fun, Mu Xueshi became lively and full of energy. It was only now that he remembered that the Third Prince had disappeared. Fortunately, Wu Cai told Mu Xueshi that the Third Prince was in the study, so he ran there.

“Do you mean to say Tutor Mu went to the madam’s room before the accident?” The Third Prince sneered.

“Yes, when Master came back drunk at that time, he went straight to Madam’s room first, then he returned to his own room and never came out again. When Wu Cai went to Master’s inner room, he found that Master had been burned to ashes and Young Master was standing beside Master’s body indifferently.” Housekeeper Wang stood in the main hall and answered to the Third Prince, who was sitting on the chair in front of him.

“If that’s the case, did someone see when Mu Xueshi went into the room?” The Third Prince asked further.

Housekeeper Wang looked helplessly, then he answered the Third Prince’s question, “No, Master was burned around the time of the Dog [2] and when Wu Cai found Young Master in Master’s room, it was around the time of the Rat [3]. By that time, Master was already practically nothing but bones. Whether Young Master was in Master’s room or not at that particular time, no one knows…but, Ning Yue typically followed Young Master around. Ning Yue should know something, but he hasn’t appeared recently. This old servant doesn’t know where he is.”

([2] Period of time from 7pm – 9pm.)

([3] Period of time from 11pm – 1am.)

“Ning Yue’s dead…” The Third Prince coldly said.

“Oh…this…” Housekeeper Wang’s complexion suddenly changed as he stood silently on one side.

“I know! I know!”

All of a sudden, there was a loud roar. Mu Xueshi excitedly rushed in that he almost made Housekeeper Wang jump out of fear. He bravely slammed the big table then excitedly said, “As long as I find the time difference, right?”

Seeing that the Third Prince and Housekeeper Wang did not respond, Mu Xueshi thought they did not understand so he explained patiently.

“It stands to reason that I was convicted because I was there, right? Now, as long as I find evidence that I was absent when my father met with mishap, I can absolve myself. Since the only witness, Ning Yue, is dead, I could only look for physical evidence. In other words, if there’s something left behind at that time, I can use that to prove that I’m innocent, hahaha…”

In the midst of Mu Xueshi feeling very pleased with himself, he found that the atmosphere inside the room did not become lively because of his laughter. Mu Xueshi thought that he was very clever, but even an old servant like Housekeeper Wang had already thought of this, not to mention the Third Prince, who was as composed as a mountain. However, this idea was easier said than done. To find an evidence from more than a month ago, which proved Mu Xueshi was not in the scene in those two hours or so, was just like finding a needle in a haystack.

When Mu Xueshi saw that the two men still looked dignified, he thought about it again and found that this could really be considered as the first step. Anyway, there was a general direction to follow, so Mu Xueshi smiled optimistically at the two, scratched his head, and said, “That’s all right…I believe that the whole truth will be revealed one day. I believe that I can find the murderer myself…”

After saying this, Mu Xueshi suddenly choked off in speech because he really could not control his mouth and he did not know what he was saying. Now that he made this boastful remark and even looked like he had a card up his sleeves, Mu Xueshi could only slap his own face until it was swollen in an effort to look imposing and try to toughen his scalp.


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