The young master of Zhen Duke manor and Jiang’an Marquis’ shizi came, no maid dared to offend them.
After a while, the door reluctantly opened a small crack, “This servant greets young masters and miss.”

Behind the crack of the door was a beautiful maid.
She saluted with a dignified and beautiful comportment, but her eyes were fixed on the ground.
Even with the jade young master who was famous all over Luoyang in front of her, she was determined to never raise her eyes.

Ming Huashang thought it was a little funny; this was probably the first time Ming Huazhang received such a cold reception from a woman.
Ming Huazhang didn’t seem to care, and asked plainly, “Does Wei Zi live here?”

The maid trembled even more when she heard this name, and she pointed in one direction tremblingly, “Wei Zi is favored, so she doesn’t sleep with us, and lives in a room by herself.”

Ming Huashang followed the direction she pointed in and turned her head, only to see that the door and windows of the house in front of her were tightly shut, and there was a sense of gloom even in broad daylight.
Ming Huazhang continued to ask, “Has anyone moved anything in her room?”

The maid shook her head with all her might.
Wei Zi became a ghost, who would dare to touch her things? Ming Huazhang asked, “Did you see her go back to the house last night?”

The maid nodded, “That’s right.
Yesterday, after that…incident happened, the Gongzhu was restless and Wei Zi served by her side and didn’t come back until the first hour of Haishi1.
I saw Wei Zi enter the house with my own eyes, and everyone else can testify.”

“Did she come out again after entering the house?”

“No.” The maid said with her head lowered, “Wei Zi is haughty and doesn’t like to talk to others.
We all know her temper and dare not approach her.
When she came back last night, her complexion was not good, and she didn’t come out after entering the house.
We didn’t dare to ask and stayed far away from her.”

Standing behind them, Jiang Ling said to Ming Huashang in what he thought was a low voice, “Not coming out after entering the house, yet found hanging in the forest this morning, it really was the work of a ghost.”

Ren Yao was following behind at the very back.
She didn’t want to come, but she didn’t dare to be alone, so she could only bite the bullet and follow.
When she heard Jiang Ling’s words, she unabashedly sneered and rolled her eyes.

Jiang Ling gasped, rolled up his sleeves, and was about to fight Ren Yao, “What do you mean? Seeing that you are a woman, I have given way to you every time.
Don’t be ungrateful…”

“Alright now, just speak less, and don’t interrupt.” Xie Jichuan stopped Jiang Ling with the same aristocratic young master smile on his face.
Xie Jichuan looked graceful and weak, but when he grabbed Jiang Ling, who lived his life riding horses, raising leopards, and being famous for growing tall instead of brains, he was pulled back with a single tug.

Ming Huazhang ignored the farce behind him.
His face was calm and serious, like freshly fallen ice and snow, untainted, “Then after she entered the house, did you hear any unusual noises?”

The maid seemed confused.
She thought for a while, then shook her head slightly, “It should be… probably not.
It was quiet last night.
Today, at fourth watch, the mountain road was blocked.
We were awoken to serve and send news.
We didn’t notice anything unusual.”

The maid still didn’t dare to look up, and her body was trembling slightly when she answered.
Ming Huazhang knew that they believed in ghosts, so he didn’t make things difficult for them, and said, “Then can I go to Wei Zi’s room to have a look?”

The maid hesitated.
Taiping Gongzhu issued an order forbidding entry, but the person in front of her was Ming Huazhang, so she dared not refuse.
Thus, she said, “Young master, you can look from the entrance, anymore, this servant cannot make the decision.
The Gongzhu ordered, no one can discuss the dead.
Young master, please don’t make things difficult for us.”

Ming Huazhang understood.
Two servant girls died in the Gongzhu’s villa, and one of them served Taiping Gongzhu closely.
The Gongzhu must be in a bad mood now, why would she want to hear about things related to the word “death” again?

Ming Huazhang thanked them.
Even if he was facing a maid, his attitude was the same even when facing Taiping Gongzhu or Wei Wang: noble and indifferent, irrespective of the noble or lowly.
He walked to Wei Zi’s door and gently opened the door.

Ren Yao didn’t dare to approach.
Thankfully, Xie Jichuan didn’t move, so she stopped as well.
Ren Yao didn’t want to know what was inside at all, yet some brainless trash relayed everything in surprise: “Yo, it’s completely clean, even the quilt wasn’t folded.
I said it must have been done by a ghost, or else why does it look like there was no movement at all!”

Ming Huashang poked her head out from Ming Huazhang’s side and peered carefully into the room.
Indeed, the room was too peaceful.
All kinds of small objects were scattered randomly, and Ming Huashang could imagine the scene where the owner put them down casually.
There was no sign of fighting or struggling in the room.
Half of the quilt was open, and the other half fell to the ground as if the owner got up in a hurry and would come back to sleep later.

If she hadn’t known in advance, Ming Huashang would never have imagined that this was a dead person’s room.
Everything was as natural as if Wei Zi did sleep, got up in the middle of the night, and suddenly disappeared.


亥时 (hàishí): 9-11 pm

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