Not much to say except…more to come!
Please help by leaving a comment if you happen to have found any mistakes, thanks!
“Last night?!” Wu Zhi Gang’s originally already not very large small eyes widened in anger, and viciously glared at the fidgety Wang Bing Sheng standing by the side, and scolded: “What do you have to say for yourself, just what is this?! You can’t even clearly identify the time of death, what kind of coroner are you!”
“The corpse….” Even Wang Bing Sheng’s voice was slightly shivering. He looked at Zhuo Qing very carefully, only after seeing that she kept silent did he reply in a small voice: “For the corpse to have these kinds of burn-mark like stripes to appear, and for it to have began to stiffen, that proves that the deceased had died not very long ago….”
Zhuo Qing slowly raised up her head, Wang Bing Sheng immediately didn’t dare to continue talking on.
When he saw the bruises on the deceased’s back just a while ago he really was so ashamed he couldn’t even show his face anymore. It’s all because he was too self-confident, thus resulting in him overlooking such an important point. This suspicious youngster didn’t say anything wrong, he was indeed shameful.
Wang Bing Sheng stammered and stammered but couldn’t say anything, Zhuo Qing coldly said: “You, come over here.”
What did he want to do?! Wang Bing Sheng was startled, considering whether or not he should go up.
Seeing that he was still standing there with a highly guarded expression, Zhuo Qing impatiently shouted: “Get over here!”
What was he dillydallying around for, it’s not like she’s going eat him whole!
Wang Bing Sheng swallowed down his saliva, and still very slowly walked towards Zhuo Qing’s back. He himself didn’t know what was going on with himself either, he’s already this old, but when facing this youngster who’s bundled up so tightly, he always feels unconfident for some reason.
Lou Xi Yan’s hands were crossed behind his back, and his forefinger was lightly tapping in a rhythmical beat. On his face was the same gentle elegant light smile, but his eyes which were attentively watching Zhuo Qing were exceptionally bright.
Crouching down beside the deceased’s feet, Zhuo Qing calmly began to explain: “These stripes which appear after death are called livor mortis. Under normal circumstances, two hours after death…”
No, the unit of measurement for time here is that what-do-you-call-it…shi-chen* right? How troublesome.
After inwardly converting it all, Zhuo Qing continued to say: “After two shichen it will begin to appear, and after three to four shichen it will become very distinct and easily visible. At this time if you press down on the livor mortis marks the color of it will lighten up or even disappear, and if you let go again the livor mortis marks will reappear again. Six shichen after death, the livor mortis marks will connect together and become a whole patch, the color will become darker. If you press down on the livor mortis marks at this time it will not completely fade away, and the color of it will only slightly lighten up, and if you stop applying pressure the speed in which the livor mortis marks reverts back to it’s original color will also be slower. Twelve shichen afterwards, if you use your fingers to press down on the livor mortis marks it won’t change shades, and it won’t disappear either.”
Wang Bing Sheng listened very seriously, but his eyebrows however were frowning more and more.
Don’t believe me? Zhuo Qing pointed towards the livor mortis marks, and said: “You, press down on it.”
Wang Bing Sheng nodded, he too wholeheartedly wanted to confirm it too. With his forefinger he used some strength and pressed down on the livor mortis marks, after letting go the stripes had somewhat faded, and then after a short while it slowly recovered back it’s original color.
According to what he just said, then the deceased had indeed passed away six shichen ago.
Wu Zhi Gang anxiously said: “Wang Bing Sheng, is what he said true?!”
If it really is true, Li Ming would be the most suspicious person!
“This….” Wang Bing Sheng hesitated, and glanced at the youngster beside him, however he still reported back the truth: “I don’t know. I only know that once a corpse reaches one to two shichen afterwards these stripes will appear, and the long it passes after the time of death, the streaks become deeper in color, as to what he said, I…..am not really sure.”
When he says it aloud he truly is ashamed, he really didn’t know that it was possible to accurately determine the time of death just from looking at these stripes. If he had said this at the beginning he definitely would’ve have just denied this youngster’s words, but after listening to him for a while, this youngster’s speech is certain and irrefutable, he truly doesn’t dare to rashly make a conclusion.
Wang Bing Sheng’s one phrase of I don’t know made Wu Zhi Gang get extremely angry, and shouted: “Then how is This-Official supposed to know whether what he said is the truth or just random nonsense?”
Lightly making a cough, and side glancing at Zhuo Qing, Wu Zhi Gang asked in a loud voice: “How can you prove what you said is the truth?!”
Since the very beginning he had thought this youngster was suspicious, but for the sake of Prime Minister Lou’s honor and reputation he had held back.
Very nice, the answer to this question is —- I can’t!
Based on this time period’s settings, how can she prove that what she said is completely based on scientific research? Unless she has to tell them she has a master’s degree in X medical science, a young chief forensic investigator, and published many academic papers before….or should she do a live demonstration of a corpse dissection. If she did that Mrs. Lin would probably pounce onto her and rip her into shreds!
Zhuo Qing laughed at herself and lightly slapped the back of her head. What was she doing gathering around and joining in with these ancient times peoples?!
Leaning back on the jail cell’s ice cold rock wall, Zhuo Qing indifferently replied: “What I said was the truth, however I don’t know what kind of method I should use to prove myself in a way which you can all understand.”
“Meaning, you still cannot prove yourself!” Wu Zhi Gang was just going to make things difficult for her, but then remembered that this youngster and Prime Minister Lou seemed to have a rather good relationship. Caution is the parent of safety* after all. Turning around and looked towards Lou Xi Yan with clasped hands, he softly asked: “Prime Minister Lou what do you think….?”
He believed that what this youngster said is the truth, so he must have a learned from a famous teacher. His master, he must be someone renowned and prestigious. He can prove what he said is the truth if he had just announced his master’s name. He doesn’t mention it, so there can be only one reason for that; he doesn’t wish to reveal his identity!
Doesn’t he know that the more secretive he his, the more it makes others pry? Luckily he isn’t someone’s impatient! He lightly raising up the corners of his lips. Just as Lou Xi Yan was about to say something, a clear and raw but firm and persistent voice suddenly rang out: “What he said is indeed the truth.”
Everyone looked towards the source of the voice, Zhuo Qing slightly lifted up the edge of her hat. She could only see a man who’s a little over thirty standing outside the prison. It seems he’s been here for a while already.
He seems to be quite tall, nearly the same as Lou Xi Yan, though Lou Xi Yan appears more thinly. He isn’t as handsome as Lou Xi Yan, but he has a pair of deep and resolute eyes, unlike Lou Xi Yan, whose slender eyes always seem to be smiling making it so others can never really tell what he’s thinking. That person is wearing a simple and practical deep blue changpao*, and looking at him he seems to look somewhat travel-worn, like he had hurriedly rushed over her from some other place. Though he doesn’t exactly look like he’s distressed, however he still looks a bit sloppy. Unlike Lou Xi Yan, who always appears calm, and his clothes are always bright and neat!! Plus……wait a minute, why is she constantly using Lou Xi Yan to compare?! She must have gone mad….Zhuo Qing had yet to understand why she was acting so out of character, when Wu Zhi Gang and the other bailiffs called out together in unison: “Ti Xing Si-daren!!”
Criminals & Prison Division?! Zhuo Qing raised her eyebrows, having more interest towards him.
Anyone who studies forensics knows of Song Ci*. This person has the same official position as Song Ci, though even so does he have the same skills as Song Ci!
Slightly raising his hand towards everyone, then Shan Yu Lan greeted Lou Xi Yan by raising clasped hands, his slightly low voice which didn’t have any dis-respectfulness but was indifferent said: “Prime Minister Lou.”
Lou Xi Yan walked up a step, and amidst his slightly raised eyes there was a thread of ridicule which swept past, then he smiled and said: “Shan-TiXing* came back just in time.”
Not too early nor too late!
Shan Yu Lan didn’t get bothered by his words, and disciplinedly replied: “This was originally This-Lower Official’s responsibility, it’s truly my fault to have inconvenienced you Prime Minister.”
Lou Xi Yan seemed like he was already accustomed to such, and not casually nor seriously smiled in response: “Shan-TiXing’s words are too much, we are both just serving the court after all.”
This is the rumored false greetings among the bureaucrats?! Zhuo Qing was so bored she wanted to yawn. And in reality she actually did yawn too, she was really tired!!
Just as she was unbridledly yawning away, Shan Yu Lan already walked through the jail cell door, coming straight towards her: “What you said is indeed the truth, and not even a word was incorrect. What is your name? Where are you from? Who is your master?”
The corners of Zhuo Qing’s lips froze in position, this person’s questioning is a little too blunt!!
– Shi-chen (时辰): Ancient China’s counter of time; Just multiply whatever hour by 2 to calculate shichen.
– Caution is the parent of safety (小心駛得萬年船): That’s not exactly what I wanted to translate it as but I had no other way to do it properly without being too direct…? I can change it if you think it’s better the other way. This just basically means being cautious leads to a long life (my way of saying it).
– Chang-pao (長袍): Long Chinese styled robe clothing.
– Song Ci (宋慈): (1186-1249) A lawyer from Southern Song, and also the editor of Record of Washed Grievances – not this novel, it’s an actual record of crimes and said to be the world’s first legal forensic text (1247.)
– TiXing (提刑): So you see, I couldn’t think of a translation for the title…Ti Xing is the short form for Criminals & Prison you see, so Official/Director Shan of Criminals & Prison Division isn’t completely correct, nor does it sound good. So therefore I had no choice but to leave it as is. Just keep in mind the meaning when you read it, and it refers to the fact that he’s in charge of the Criminals & Prison Division meaning that once officials like Wang Bing Sheng gives a judgement of guilty to a criminal, they end up in prison and is no long within their jurisdiction, anything after that is up to the Criminals & Prison Division. The full title is Ti Dian Xing Yu Si (提點刑獄司), and according to wikipedia, it’s apparently an official’s position specifically from the Song Dynasty (does not apply to story), and this position is a senior official position of the Criminal Prison Division, only appointed specially by the Royal Court, and the position changes around every three years (may or may not apply with the story). This position is a “path”position among the judicial system, meaning you have to have the proper qualifications to be selected aka very excellent and knowledgeable. They mainly control all penalties and things within the prison no matter it be of a province’s prison, or governmental prison, or even the military prison. They authorize the death penalty and etc punishments, as well as having the authority over other officials and their subordinates + supervises and can exert control over these county officials of this certain path (the judicial path).
If anyone has any suggestions for a better title, please do suggest something, thanks!