The Tang Dynasty’s Female Forensic Doctor Chapter 67: Talented Youth

“A mutually destructive destiny…” Ran Yan was itching to laugh out loud, but then she thought that the feeling of schadenfreude was not a very good thing. In the end, she could only press her lips and endure the desire.

This appearance of hers fell into Ran Yunsheng’s eyes, and he thought she had truly fallen for Xiao Song. He spoke a bit concerned: “Ah Yan, I heard recently that uncle (father’s elder brother) is currently having marriage talks with the Yan family. Second Master Yan is indeed a man o rare talent, having boundless prospects…”

“Tenth brother.” Ran Yan interrupted him and said smiling: “Although I do not know what kind of man is suitable for me, I know that Xiao Song’s kind is not the right one.”

Because the previous Ran Yan was fairly weak, Ran Yunsheng was always worrying about her, wishing he could carry her inside his pocket and protect her.

“M-hm. Tenth brother always forgets that our Ah Yan has grown up.” Ran Yunsheng sighed.

They turned around and were about to walk past the door when they noticed a youth wearing a white wide-sleeved robe standing at the main gates, and couldn’t help but wonder for how long he has been standing there. He looked rather feeble as the moonlight cloaked his tall frame. He held a blue-clothed bundle in his hands, and as soon as he saw Ran Yan, his cheeks turned red. But even so, he gritted his teeth and walked over.

“Miss.” Sang Chen quietly called her.

Since it has been quite a few days since Ran Yan has seen this rabbit, she was much more amiable with him when compared to her formerly attitude, “Why is this rabbit looking for me?”

Sang Chen’s expression turned blank as soon as he saw Ran Yunsheng. He looked as if he was on the verge of crying, but then held his tears back. Tightening his arms around the cloth bag, he turned around to go away.

Ran Yan opened her mouth to speak but didn’t know what to say. Every time she faced Sang Chen, she felt that her two years of psychology were in vain. She can’t figure out what actually goes through his mind that causes him to take this series of actions.

“He feels somewhat familiar. Ah Yan, who is he?” Ran Yunsheng was a little doubtful as he saw Sang Chen staggering while running.

“He’s Sang Chen, style name Sui Yuan. He is the village’s new teacher.” Ran Yan repeated Sang Chen’s never-changing self-introduction.

“Sang Chen?” Ran Yunsheng abruptly raised his voice, forgetting about his manners for a moment.

Ran Yan turned to look at him, and the moment she was about to question him, she noticed Sang Chen running and puffing towards them. He took the bundle and stuffed it in Ran Yan’s bosom, his cheeks completely red, “This… Today is the joyous Double Seven Festival. Since Miss has always treated this one (humble) with great consideration…”

Treated with great consideration? Really? Ran Yan looked at him in disbelief.

“Mr. Sui Yuan.” Ran Yunsheng suddenly remembered and interrupted his stammering words.

Sang Chen was annoyed and glared at Ran Yunsheng with imposing righteousness, “This Gentleman, to interrupt another person’s words is to violate the virtues of a noble man.”

“Mr. Sui Yuan’s guidance is right.” Ran Yunsheng made a serious and honest bow as he apologized.

Sang Chen’s expression was much more relaxed after seeing the other’s good attitude in recognizing a mistake, and at the same time, he was a little puzzled, “Do we know each other?”

“It is only natural for Mr. Sui Yuan to not know this student, but this student has long been an admirer of yours.” Ran Yunsheng smiled beautifully.

Such a bright, refreshing, and beautiful smile really caused people to be filled with envy and hate. Sang Chen’s heart felt stifled, but he couldn’t blow up without any reason due to the other person’s modest and amiable attitude, because if he did, then he would not be acting accordingly to a Gentleman’s behavior. He could only turn to Ran Yunsheng and politely reply, “Gentleman is too courteous. I (humble) am only a countryside teacher, how could there be a reputation to be known. I wonder who this Gentleman is?”

Ran Yan was surprised to see these two exchanging words with each other. Looking at Ran Yunsheng’s attitude, can it be that this rabbit is actually someone amazing? However, he wasn’t much older than twenty years old, can he truly be a famous scholar?

“This student name is Ran Yunsheng.” Ran Yunsheng said.

Ran Yunsheng? Sang Chen’s eyes shined. Although he didn’t know who Ran Yunsheng actually was, but seeing that he shared the surname ‘Ran’, he was probably Ran Yan’s older brother. His face immediately relaxed, and he said with a smile: “I (humble) will no longer hinder you two from going to rest at this late hour. Farewell.”

Sang Cheng’s mood completely shifted, and he happily trotted along the bridge.

“Is he some influential figure?” Ran Yan asked with her brows raised.

Ran Yunsheng withdrew his gaze and spoke with a cheerful expression: “Ah Yan, I noticed that he seems to like you. If you are not opposed, I will ask him to propose marriage at home tomorrow.”

This time Ran Yan was indeed shocked. Ran Yunsheng was equally respectful in his treatment towards Xiao Song and Sang Chen, but when it came to marriage talks, he jumped to stand by Sang Chen’s side without the slightest hesitation.

“Sui Yuan’s surname originally wasn’t Sang, but Cui. He is the di son from the sixth daughter-in-law of the Cui clan from Boling. At that time, Sixth Master Cui was determined to take a woman from a small family as his wife. The Cui clan’s elders were strongly against it. One year after marrying into the Cui clan, that Madame gave birth to him, and in the second year, she passed away. Until her death, she was never able to enter the ancestral temple. Sixth Master Cui died five years later from depression, and Sang Chen was then sent to his maternal grandparents’ home. But it was only in recent years that the Cui clan has written his name in the clan genealogical record.” Ran Yunsheng explained.

“So, he is quite famous?” Ran Yan couldn’t help sighing. For Sang Chen to be accepted by that kind of big and influential family, it’s probably because he was able to make a name for himself.

Ran Yunsheng nodded, “He participated in the imperial examination during the sixth year of Zhengguan and seized the first place in one swoop, becoming the number one scholar in the mingjiang [1]. At that time, Yu Shi’nan and other great scholars all fought to have him as a disciple, and their struggle created a big uproar around this matter. Ultimately, the emperor decided to let him continue his studies until he reached sixteen years old, then he would be entrusted with an official position. In Zhengguan’s seventh year, he took part in the jinshi test and got the first place in this subject. Oh, that’s right, in that year, Xiao Song scored below him and ranked at second place! In Zhengguan’s eighth year, he again entered the jinshi exam and was again the top scorer. During Zhengguan’s ninth year, he enrolled in the mingjing section, and before the list of successful candidates was announced, in the ninth year of Zhengguan, he also applied to the jinshi section… The emperor had a fit of anger when he learned of this matter and made people throw away his examination papers.”

Xiao Song, that kind of lofty and powerful high-ranking official, has once stood under him? But, they were both successful candidates in the highest imperial examination subject, so how can the difference between their temperament be no less than that between Heaven and Earth?

Ran Yan was lost in her thoughts when she heard Ran Yunsheng say: “Zhengguan’s ninth year happened to be the year he turned sixteen, and so, he was appointed to the position of court academician. Although this position wasn’t highly ranked, it was a significant and honored one. However, he only served for six months before resigning. The imperial court worried that he would continue to enroll in the imperial examination and ordered that, whenever the name Sang Chen was found in the registration, it will not join in the examination score. But from then on, he actually didn’t join the imperial examination again, and his whereabouts remained unknown.”

‘Ten years is too much for mingjing; fifty years is too little for jinshi.’ Someone in their fifties who passes the jinshi will be considered young and promising, so it can be seen how difficult it is the jinshi exam. But this person has treated it as nothing special; as if it was just an ordinary thing to handle. Can Sang Chen really be the person who Ran Yunsheng spoke of?

Ran Yan has never observed in that rabbit any qualities that are normally seen in talented youths. But it certainly seemed to be him when hearing about the way he dealt with things. Even so, she couldn’t help asking: “Haven’t you recognized the wrong person?”

“Most probably not! I once saw a portrait of him in his work ‘A summary To The Imperial Examination’, a portrait painted by none other than the daughter of Yan Liben, the Vice-Minister of Public Works. It was his sixteen years old self, and I can see that there are some resemblances with his current appearance.” Ran Yunsheng spoke confidently.

Ran Yan asked, “What is ‘A summary To The Imperial Examination’?”

“It’s a book. It’s definitely a work of incomparable greatness!” Ran Yunsheng’s peerless beauty was filled with admiration.

“In this book, he pointed out the abuse and the corruption in the imperial examination, and how to deal with the various categories of the examination. He also analyzed the preferences of each invigilator and made different examples for each invigilator’s preferences. In addition, there’s an analysis of each official in the whole court that may come to act as an invigilator, so this book is highly regarded as a classic.”

……

The corners of Ran Yan’s mouth twitched, “This really seems something he would do.” Ran Yan spoke and a small curiosity emerged in her heart towards Sang Chen’s legendary experiences. When she opened the cloth bag he had given her and saw the thing inside, her face immediately darkened. She wanted to take this cloth bag straight to Sang Chen and smash this thing in his face.

“It’s an Orchid Chengni Inkstone [2]!” Ran Yunsheng was amazed as he stretched his hand towards the inkstone, his gaze oozing admiration.

“If Tenth Brother likes it, you might as well take it. I already have four inside the house anyway.” Ran Yan indifferently said, “That’s all he ever gifts me.”

“This…” Ran Yunsheng put the inkstone back into the cloth bag and answered, “This is a Qixi’s gift, how can I take it. Ah Yan can fetch one of the other ones to give me.”

“Just take this one since there’s no difference in them.” Ran Yan replied.

The two walked side by side towards the courtyard. Miss Xing was already waiting at the gate and bowed to greet Ran Yunsheng appropriately. After straightening her body, she saw that not only was Ran Yan’s hair hanging loosely but her clothes had changed. She anxiously asked: “Why is Miss like this? What happened?”

“No need to worry, it’s nothing worth notice. How could something go wrong with Tenth brother there?” Ran Yan said.

Miss Xing nodded and pulled Ran Yan into the courtyard.

Ran Yunsheng walked one step and stopped, saying: “It’s already deep into the night, I’ll be leaving now and come again tomorrow.”

“It is so late. It would be better for Tenth brother to stay at the manor.” Ran Yan turned around to say.

Miss Xing chimed in: “The adjoined courtyard was tidied up the day before yesterday. Although it can’t compare with the Fu, it is nevertheless comfortable. Traveling so late at night is not very safe, it’s better for Tenth Master to stay over.”

Ran Yunsheng revealed a beautiful smile, “Ok, I’ll dispatch a guard to go back and notify.”

Ran Yan’s heart also felt happy when she saw Ran Yunsheng in such high spirits, and her lips curved slightly.

“Miss Ran!”

A tall and sturdy silhouette was passing the gates, reaching Ran Yan and saluting her with both hands, saying: “Following Miss’ cue, the yamen could find the murder weapon’s origin in the Yin Fu. The murderer has already been captured and I (a bit humble) am taking the team back to the yamen.”

This person is Yang Yong, the team captain. Ran Yan has a pretty good impression of this man whose face was filled with righteousness.

“The murderer?” Ran Yan couldn’t help asking: “Who is it?”

Yang Yong hesitated. There was no need to report this kind of matter to a Young Miss, but even so, he still replied: “It’s Master Yin’s concubine, Miss Wei.”

How could the murderer be caught this quickly? Ran Yan has never seen this Miss Wei. She tried to recall but there wasn’t even one memory of her, only what Yin Miaomiao has said, that she was the concubine Yin Wenshu had taken two years ago.

Two years ago, two years ago is when Yin Wanwan died and also when Yin Wenshu took a concubine. This is such a coincidence; can the murderer really be Miss Wei?

“Captain Yang, could you tell me the details?” Ran Yan asked.

“I (a bit humble) am also not clear about the specifics of the situation, only that, the provincial governor personally brought people to Miss Wei’s bathing room to get the bucket used to strike the person. There were still some small stains of blood in its surface, and there is also a witness. Inside the Fu, only Miss Wei has the habit of using honeysuckle, jasmine and alder to take a bath.”

“Thank you very much for your hard work this time, Captain Yang.”

“This is my duty, Miss doesn’t need to be polite. I’ll take my leave now.” Yang Yong saluted with his hands once again and then left through the gates, leading the soldiers out of the Ran Manor.

Is it truly Miss Wei? Ran Yan didn’t know why, but she was feeling somewhat anxious, especially when considering what she heard Yin Miaomiao say at the river embankment tonight. It’s obvious that there are some more secrets to Wanwan’s death, and her intuition is telling her that this case is not this simple.

Why would Miss Wei want to frame Fourth Master Qin? Han Shan was a regular customer in the Cai Xiu House, so there is a high possibility of him being poisoned by Cui Mei. For what reason would Cui Mei kill him and shift the blame into Fourth Master Qin? In other words, what is the motive behind this murder? 


[1] Mingjing and Jinshi are categories in the imperial civil examination. Jinshi was much more difficult, so its enrollment rate was lower than Mingjing. The students who were not very confident in their abilities ended up taking the Mingjing test. The topics in the Mingjing were relatively easier and its enrollment rate was much higher.

[2] Shangxi Chengni Inkstone

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