# 11. Moyu The Official Evaluation was based on the Official Assessment System, and inspections were done every three years, with "Four Cases" and "Eight Laws" as the passing standard. Unqualified officials were demoted or even stripped of their position. The case was important for the future, So it was easy to understand. The other party had a distant relative who is interested in this matter. If the relative went ahead to impeach him, He would be fucked. Changle County had a large backlog of unsolved homicide cases, which could be grounds for criticism by political opponents. "How did he die?" Xu Qi'an asked casually. "He went to the countryside to collect rent. When he came back in the middle of the night, He met a thief in the inner courtyard of his house, where he was killed.", A colleague tutted. "Is there any evidence?" Xu Qi'an asked. "His wife heard the sound, and when she went to check, the man had already died in the courtyard. But we found some footprints in the outer wall." "Is it possible that his enemy disguised himself as a thief to commit the murder?" Xu Qi'an poured himself a cup of tea and took some candied fruit from his colleague, which he put in his glass. His tone was similar to his tone when discussing murder cases with his colleagues in the police station. "I have asked his wife, children, servants, and neighbours. The deceased didn't have any enmity with anyone recently." "Did you ask the Night Patrollers?" "The city guard said there were no suspicious people nearby that night." There were three walled areas in the capital, the palace, the inner city, and the outer city. Although there were Night Patrollers in the outer city, there was no curfew, and the city gate was not closed until 12 o' clock at night. Merchants could enter and leave the city gate freely as long as they left a report in advance and hold a voucher. This system had greatly improved commercial activities in the capital and promoted economic development. Xu Qi'an nodded, "So, If it's a thief, They should be someone acquainted with the area around the well in Kangping Street." "How can you tell?" "The thief could enter and leave the house at night without being spotted by the Patrol, which means he was sneaky and well aware of the the their patrol patterns." Xu Qi'an instinctively reached for a pack of cigarettes in his pocket while analysing the case. He was disappointed to find it empty. He couldn't help but think of when he was working in the police station, where everyone gathered in groups of twos or threes, discussing cases. As a result, He became influenced by his colleagues and became addicted to smoking. Several colleagues were taken aback, and looked at Xu Qi'an. "That's very reasonable." "Why didn't we think of this?" "Ningyan has become a lot smarter after entering the prison." No systematic method was used to solve cases; arrests and case handling were all based on experience and the runner with the best performance would become the constable. "You didn't think of it, but Constable Wang must have thought of it. Have you inquired in the west of the city?" Xu Qi'an was low profile and didn't show off. The colleague replied, "I have been inquiring there for two days, but no suspects have been identified." The west of the city was a slum, filled with lowlifes, people good and bad all mixed together. If there were any disturbances of the peace, the bailiffs would head out with some assistants, and if they caught one, they caught one. "How much money was stolen?", Xu Qi'an subconsciously reasoned and asked. A colleague glanced at Xu Qi'an, whose tone suddenly seemed similar to the County Magistrate, and replied, "No money was stolen. The deceased just came back from collecting the rent, where he only collected loose silver, copper cash, and rice. How could it be possible to escape with a large sum of money?" *That’s not right!* Xu Qi'an narrowed his eyes, If I was the thief and was stealing money, I would definitely choose to steal the day after rent collection, not the day of rent collection. He didn't express his doubts, quietly eating his sunflower seeds while listening to his colleagues talking. It's a pity such a beautiful woman is going to be a widow at such a young age. With her figure, those breasts, aiya, you wouldn't find such a beautiful person at the Goulan. Even if it takes a tael of silver to sleep with her for a night, I’d do it." "She’s not that young any more. She's 20 years younger than that Zhang, and seems to be in her early thirties. A woman of this age can't stay widowed." Hearing this, Xu Qi'an said with emotion, "A 30 year woman is great, They know their way around the bed, and the taste is the best." This old saying didn't get the approval of his colleagues. They looked at him and joked, "How could a virgin like you, who’ve never been to the Goulan, know jack shit?" If you want to practice as a martial artist, you can't lose your virginity before you break through to Qi Training. If one wanted to walk the path of a martial artist, then before they surpass the barrier to Training Qi, they must not loose their virginity. Once their *yuanyang* is released, it would become difficult to ever open the “gate of heaven”. Therefore, the *Ruyi Jingu Bang* that Xu Qi'an carried for nineteen years, hadn’t been used to subdue a single demoness. ... The Back Hall where the Magistrate lived. The dark-skinned Constable Wang, who looked like a old farmer on the field, lowered his head, listlessly listening to the Magistrate's Scolding. The county Magistrate's surname was Zhu, he was rich and fat, from Yanzhou, a top three *Jinshi* in 20th year of Yuanjing, good at business talk but bad at public affairs. He was a scholar who lacked professional ability, but knew how to act as a official. His advantage was that he still had a bit of a conscience, so he was greedy, but not that greedy and incompetent, but not to the point where it actively caused harm to the people. His disadvantage was that he showed a bad temper to his subordinates, and he was quick to curse up a storm. "Incompetent, How incompetent could you be?" After knowing that Constable Wang still didn't find anything yesterday, Magistrate Zhu was furious. "You are a experienced veteran but were stumped by a mere murder case for so many days." Constable Wang caught the sweat in his forehead while feeling a chill in his back. The Official Evaluation was just around the corner, and Magistrate Zhu was getting more irritable lately... Clerk Li didn't dare to intervene, even if he had been friends with Constable Wang for more than a decade. Li knew that the county magistrate always wanted to get a promotion, and promotion required two conditions: Backing and Achievements! If you only had backing and no Political Achievements, It was easy to be impeached and the position would be unstable. A stable rise was only possible with Political Achievements and Backing together. Where does the achievement come from? The official Assessment is a important standard to assess achievements. A quarter of a hour later, Magistrate Zhu looked away and took a sip from his teacup. According to the customs of the officials, Having tea meant seeing off guests! Seeing this, Li pulled Constable Wang, who lowered his head and remained silent, to leave in embarrassment. ... Constable Wang returned to the lounge with an ugly face, which caused the messy room to suddenly quieten. Everyone looked at Constable Wang cautiously. "Boss, Did Magistrate Zhu scold you again?" Constable Wang rolled his eyes, grabbed the teacup and took a sip, " Damn it! Where can I find the culprit? I'm so unlucky today. I also lost a cash[^1] of silver." *That money was lost by you*... Xu Qi'an shrank his neck and drank some tea to cover up his guilty conscience. The silver obviously had nothing to do with you. After listening to Constable Wang's complaint, A minor officer quickly gave him a bad idea, "Why don't we do some *moyu*?" Xu Qi'an frowned. *Moyu*, “feeling for fish”, a technical term in low-level official circles! It meant: Find a substitute for the culprit. Restricted by technology and equipment, many ancient cases were unsolved, and the detection rate was extremely low. Sometimes, officials seeking political achievements, pressured by superiors, or forced by some other reason would find a culprit to replace the criminal to show some work. The process went like this: first, the local officials select a group of old criminals who often commit crimes, write their names in paper and fold them, and touch a paper casually. Whoever was touched would become a scapegoat - the fish. That’s why it was called *moyu*. After the unlucky guy was locked up, the officials went to the lockup and have the staff perform a set of assembly line operations called "Beating into submission". Even the toughest people would be willing after this. The superiors were satisfied, the official in the middle was appreciated, the staff were rewarded; win, win, win for everyone. The scapegoat wasn't wronged, they were after all a cancer to society regardless, so sending them off to reincarnation earlier was also a benefit to society at large. There were many similar operations in the officialdom. Constable Wang nodded, "That's the only way, young Li, you can handle this matter, pick a few scapegoats, older ones." Just as young Li was about to nod, Xu Qi'an frowned and said, "Wait! Boss, there are many doubts in this case. It's possible to solve it." Xu Qi'an couldn't accept this truth. Although he hadn't been a policeman for many years, His three views as a policeman still existed in him. Although the scapegoat was a bastard who would have already committed many crimes, they weren't guilty of death. Even if their crimes are enough to have them killed, there was still some space. Looking for a scapegoat would be a waste if the real culprit was still at large. Constable Wang lowered his face, and gave him a unhappy look silently. Everyone tried to persuade him: "Ningyan, don't worry about it." "The boss is scolded everyday, You can't do anything about it. And besides, they are bastards that regularly commit crimes." Those with a better relationship with Xu Qi'an said, "Ningyan's family has just encountered a catastrophe, so it's inevitable that he's a little sensitive to such things." Constable Wang turned a deaf ear to their words, stared at Xu Qi'an unhappily and said with a sullen look, "Tell me, How could we investigate?" "Give me the dossier!" Xu Qi'an said straightforwardly. --- [^1]: Cash (weight)