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79 The Serpent Shaped Wound

    It was at the peak of business in the Hundred Flower Hall, though the lanterns outside the brothel were not lit, the interior was as bright as day. There were countless figures among the light breezy muslin curtains, that caught onto every girl's figure making them all seem graceful.

    Madam Lu had been correct, men were lustful creatures who would jump up at every chance to grasp at a woman like some maddened animal driven crazed from hunger.

    The corner of madam Lu's lips lifted as she watched from the staircase above. Her hand waved a few times and the fan gave off a slight breeze that fanned her perfume into the open area. She looked at servant Zhao and said "Look at what I've made. I have been placed in such a rundown place, with such scarce resources and look at what I have made on my own. How did you compare?" She spoke as though showing off her every accomplishment to this rival of her's even if this woman had been in her prime so long ago.

    Servant Zhao seemed not to have cared for what madam Lu was saying instead, she whispered in a low voice: "The investigation on Ma Wei has been completed. Does the head madam want to hear?"

    "Speak!" Madam Lu hissed and placed her fan by her side.

    "We found that there were no signs of struggle in his study or any other roads that led to the abandoned place, he was probably taken by a strong force or knocked out before he was brought there."

    "Did you find anything on his body?" Though it may not have been of use, perhaps the shape of the wounds inflicted on the body could offer a clue as to who had been the murderer and what kind of sword style this person used would be the key to figuring the person's identity.

    "Ah yes, there was a wound, it was the shape of a snake." Servant Zhao said.

    "Snake shaped wound?" Madam Lu repeated as though she had just thought of something that was infamous in the martial world, "But we have no enmity with them." She said, not understanding why such a thing had occurred. She had been careful as to not offend any of the more powerful organizations that could not be easily dealt with unknown backers.

    Servant Zhao paused in deep thought.

    "What is it?" Madam Lu asked worryingly.

    "Nothing, I just felt it was odd."

    "What?"

    Servant Zhao said: "When we wet to the scene, there were oddly no signs of a struggle if the torture scene had happened there, don't you think the ground would have been covered in blood? But there was none over there, but there was something I found strange, in the area where the wound was made, the blood should have dried making it very difficult to peel off, but it had been easy." Servant Zhao looked towards madam Lu with an uneasy expression, "There may have been someone that arrived at the scene before us and took something away."

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    "Did you find anything in his study?" Madam Lu asked.

    "His study did not seem to be ransacked, but there was also nothing that had recorded his dealings with us." Servant Zhao spoke tactfully.

    What they were most worried about, of course, was not the rice merchant's death, but whether his death could be used against them in some way. Truly as the saying goes, people only know to think of themselves in times of disaster.

    "That's good." Madam Lu let out a sigh of relief, looking back down at the guest enjoying themselves below in the Hundred Flower Hall.

    "But there were two bags of the rice you had cut to with sand spilled out near the entrance of the dilapidated shop, whoever it was most likely knew what we were up to."

    Hearing so, madam Lu was filled with uneasiness "Have you found who he was close to." In the end, she did not even refer to him by his name.

    "Yes, according to the information, his name is Sun Cheng and he is the assistant to the rice merchant Ma." Servant Zhao only referred to him by what the people addressed him by.

    "Is that man currently in the border town?" Madam Lu asked, with her nails gently tapping on the wood carved railings, though the sound produced had been drowned out by various sounds going on below, servant Zhao still felt as though she heard the sound up close.

    "Yes, he has his family here."

    "Good, we will take action after new years eve, allow that family to have one last family reunion." Madam Lu said in a tone full of viciousness.

    Servant Zhao was quite shocked, didn't she have to find the record before she moved? What if Ma Wei had never told his assistant Sun Cheng about the deals, then wouldn't they be killing an innocent person?

    In the end, she still could not comprehend madam Lu's bloodlust. She gave a light sigh...

    [Dear Sun Cheng, if you have to blame someone, blame the fact that you were the assistant of rice merchant Ma. There is nothing you have done wrong, it is only guilt by association.]

    Servant Zhao silently thought to herself, thinking that if there had been a wandering spirit around her, they would understand.

    She slowly left madam Lu's side, to go back to her work. Perhaps there was a slight bit of pity that lingered around, but the fact that madam Lu had allowed him to spend the last holiday with his family was already a merciful act on her behalf.
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