Mysteries in the Imperial Harem: Chapter 111
Chapter 111: Gu Yun’s Discovery
After the persons outside the cell left, Gu Yun and Zhuo Qing looked into the room which was completely engulfed in darkness. They just stood there like that and there was no movement in the dark at all. Zhuo Qing looked at Gu Yun puzzled, as if silently asking, was there truly someone there?
Gu Yun nodded her head. She had heard a strongly suppressing breathing from the corner. Pulling Zhuo Qing further away from the wooden fence, Gu Yun then approached the darkness and call out softly, “Hui Jun?”
Because of the call, heavy breathing sounded immediately from the darkness. It was unknown it was due to the fear or surprise. One could only hear noises from the darkness but not see anyone in there.
Gu Yun thought for a while before she pulled the silk handkerchief from her sleeve and asked, “Have you seen this silk handkerchief before?” In order to let the person inside see clearly, Gu Yun deliberately went to the small window where the light shone into the place.
The moment Gu Yun unfolded the silk handkerchief, the person in the dark could no longer remain indifferent but she never would have thought that the moment when the silk handkerchief was unfolded, a dark figure immediately rushed out of the darkness and her hands reached out of the wooden fence as if they were trying to snatch the silk handkerchief from Gu Yun’s hands.
“Who are you –“
The hoarse voice sounded as sharp and piercing like tires screeching halt. The female pressed against the wooden fence, with an abnormally pale face and exceptionally thin body, looked obviously malnourished. Her hair was dry and sparse and her bloodshot eyes looked straight at the silk handkerchief in Gu Yun’s hands like it was going to pop out from her sockets
“Who are you!” That female shouted as she came forward with gashing teeth and sharp fingers.
Even though she looked terrifying, Gu Yun did not take a step back but now she had a headache. This person vision was disorganised and behaviour was manic, it seems that she was somewhat mentally abnormal. Interrogating people like that would not likely to gain anything. Her shoulders sunk as Gu Yun turned back and Zhuo Qing wink at her and smiled, “Let me do it.”
Gu Yun nodded her head and handed the silk handkerchief to Zhuo Qing. After determining that where she stand would not be in the reach of the female, she then quietly retreated to the side.
“Hui Jun, calm down a little. We have no ill intentions and only wanted to ask you a few questions.” Zhuo Qing’s voice was cold but her tone was soft and she spoke slowly.
That female stared at the silk handkerchief in Zhuo Qing’s hands and dash forward madly, turning a deaf year to Zhuo Qing’s words.
Zhuo Qing slightly frown, it seems to be a form of psychogenic paranoid psychosis. Zhuo Qing kept the silk handkerchief. Losing the source of stimulation, Hui Jun shifted her glaze to Zhuo Qing but that pair of eyes were gloomy peering. Zhuo Qing seized the opportunity and looked into her eyes and comfortably continued, “You recognised the silk handkerchief, is it the Consort’s silk handkerchief?”
Both of them looked at one another and Gu Yun could felt that Hui Jun was much calmer but still did not answer Zhuo Qing’s question.
“Do you know Yi Yue?”
Zhuo Qing continued to ask but Hui Jun black bottomless eyes continued to stare at her. Her mouth moved a little but there was no sound.
As the skies got darker, no one spoke any more. In the prison cell, one could only hear Hui Jun’s heavy breathing as Gu Yun leaned against the wall to wait.
“That year, what were you looking for in the Empress’s palace?” After a long time, Zhuo Qing’s voice sounded again. As compared to before her voice was no longer gentle, as if there was a faint trace of control inside.
“Search for the letter…”
The hoarse voice was suppressed very low.
“Letter…” Hui Jun whispered as a thin layer of sweat formed on her forehead.
“What did the letter say?” Zhuo Qing asked in detailed. Hui Jun who had quieten down became restless at this moment. Her hands which were at her sides clenched to a ball of fist and her ashen face was filled with fear, “No… That is a secret. A secret… If spoken will bring death!”
Another secret? Gu Yun chest tightened a little more as she continued to listen.
Hui Jun’s mood swings were drastic and Zhuo Qing immediately changed to another question, “Was the letter found?”
“It was found.” Hui Jun answered this question very quickly.
“Where is the letter now?”
“At… At…” It was unknown what Hui Jun thought of as her eyes was infected by the craziness and she screamed loudly, “Blood… So much blood! Red! Red colour… Red colour. Red colour!”
“Hui Jun?” Zhuo Qing wanted to say more but Hui Jun suddenly jerked into a squatting position and curled herself up. She hugged her head with erm arms and trembled as she kept repeating, “I don’t know. I don’t know anything. Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me!”
Zhuo Qing suddenly took a step back and Gu Yun quickly stepped forward to support her. Zhuo Qing looked very tiredly as she shook her head to speak, “Nothing can be asked with her current condition. Let’s leave.”
Gu Yun glance at the female reduced to a corner and could only nod her head as she supported Zhuo Qing out of the jail.
The skies outside was already dark and the late autumn breeze was slowly blowing, bring some strands of flower scent. Both of them took a long breath, removing the stuffiness air that was trapped in their chest. The unpleasant smelt and dim light in the prison made one endlessly depressed.
After an entire busy day, Zhuo Qing felt tired and Gu Yun escort her out of the palace. As they walked, she asked, “Hui Jun’s condition can be treated?”
Zhuo Qing was silent for a while before she exclaimed, “A lot of time is required but now her environment would only make it worse.”
Gu Yun recalled the memories and organised Hui Jun’s reactions and words, trying to extract clues from them, “In her condition, are her words credible?”
“Just now I tried to hypnotize her and the effect was not good. In her current condition, she would not lie but her words are confused of logic and what she imagined. So it would be misleading.”
Gu Yun nodded her head and spoke of the preliminary result of the investigation and her own speculations, “Yi Yue’s death and Hui Jun’s madness was due to a ‘secret’ and this secret involved with the Empress. The key point could be in the letter.”
“Another secret.” Both of them looked at one another before they laughed.
That side when Zhuo Qing and Gu Yun left the Palace, this side Ru Yi had reported to Qing Feng their movements today, “Your Ladyship, Lou Furen and Miss Qing went to the Weaving Department in the afternoon then went to the Imperial Prison and left after half a shichen (1 shichen = 2 hours).”
Qing Feng listened quietly and spoke after a long time, “You can withdraw.”
“Yes.” Ru Yi nodded her head and withdrawn.
Their actions was much faster than she had expected. Qing Feng gently rubbed the warm jade but there was no warm in her eyes. Just investigate on like this and don’t disappoint her.
Currently all the leads pointed towards the direction of the Empress so Gu Yun decided to make a trip to Yi Lan Palace. As Zhuo Qing had been accompanying her in the investigation for the past seven to eight days, her body was very much tired out. This morning, Gu Yun did not let Zhuo Qing accompany her and she alone went to Yi Lan Palace. After explaining the reason of her presence, the palace maid went in to report and a tall female clad in blue walked out. Her facial appearance was elegant and well-mannered.
Walking to her, that female gave a slight bow and smiled, “What is the matter for Miss Qing to come to Yi Lan Palace? The Empress is not feeling well and have yet to rise thus unable to see Miss today.”
Gu Yun secretly looked that this person in front and felt that she was somewhat different that the others in the Palace. Her body did not portray any humbleness and there was wilfulness in her brows but she looked so gentle and her smile was perfect. Gu Yun felt that she was either very good at camouflaging herself or has a split personality.
Gu Yun glance at the name placard that was hanging at her waist and said, “No problem. Miss Shui Xin, can I ask you a few questions?”
Shui Xin smiled and replied, “Of course.” The last time at the full month banquet, she seen Qing Mo once and that time she felt that she was impressive in her young age and now confronting face to face, she find that her sharp eyes were very sinister and reminded herself to be careful when dealing with her.
“How was Yi Yue usually is?”
“Yi Yue had been very well-behaved all along and also did things very gently.”
“Did she have any grudges with anyone?”
“Did not see that she had any grudges with anyone.”
Whatever Gu Yun asked, Shui Xin answered. After Gu Yun asked a few questions, she knew that she would not be able to get additional information from her and turned the direction of the questioning, “Can I go to her room to look?”
Gu Yun thought that Shui Xin would evade this question and did not think that she would have replied that readily, “Of course.”
Shui Xin let her into Yi Lan Palace and walked beyond the courtyard and towards a row of small houses. After being a police for so many years, Gu Yun had the habit of observing the surroundings. Many a times things would look like it was not special but could be the piece that tie all the evidence together. When she investigated she found that the well was the first crime scene and since this Yi Lan Palace had so many secrets, there was no guarantee there was nothing suspicious.
Shui Xin walked to Gu Yun’s side and saw her every movement. Her mouth curved to a faint arc and she slowed her pace down so that Gu Yun have the opportunity to look carefully at Yi Lan Palace.
Finally both of them reached in front of a small room. Shui Xin pushed open the door and said, “Yi Yue always live with Xiao Si but today Xiao Si is on duty so if there is any questions, she can be summoned over.”
“Not needed. I will look around by myself.” She had already called for everyone that Yi Yue often communicate with a few days ago. She only want to take a look and see if there are any clues in Yi Yue’s room.
Shui Xin smile lightly and turn to the side to let Gu Yun enter but she just stood by the door and waited. The room was not big and there were not much things. Gu Yun could feel a line of sight constantly observing her and she automatically ignored it. Gu Yun rummaged the room, thinking that perhaps Yi Yue found the letter and was killed because of it.
As Shui Xin stared at the methodical search of the room, she carefully focus on the figure. She was really curious, the Qing family was only an ordinary house, how did they raise these three daughters?
After searching for another round and not finding any leads, Gu Yun could only give up and walked to out the door, when she saw Shui Xin being somewhat lost thinking about something. Gu Yun took out a piece of cloth the size of a finger and asked, “Have you seen this piece of cloth before?”
After taking the cloth, Shui Xin looked carefully for a moment before replying, “If I am not mistaken, this seemed to be like the material from the guards’ uniform.”
Guards? The guards’ uniform were dark red in colour. Seeing the doubts in Gu Yun, Shui Xin smiled and continued, “The material of the guards’ uniform different due to the rank so the colour will also be different.”
Placing the cloth back into the dark bag at her waist, Gu Yun nodded her head, “Many thanks. I will leave first. If there are anything else, I would then have to trouble you again.”
Towards the gentle female voice behind her, Gu Yun had only one feeling. This Shui Xin was not simple at all.
Her words was watertight that not one drop of water can leak out and with her magnanimous way of conduct had a ladylike demeanour. But there was small calluses on the knuckles of her index and middle fingers. She was a female official and naturally need not do menial task so where did the calluses come from? Gu Yun had seen someone with this kind of callouses and it was a bounty hunter that used flying daggers. Was this Shui Xin also a master in using hidden weapons?