# 13. Interrogation
Xu Qi'an looked at his, without much optimism.
It was too difficult to obtain evidence after so many days have passed.
"Fingerprints can't be checked, It's almost impossible to obtain evidence in this way. The shoe prints are certainly not Zhang Xian's... Well, after removing these methods, Which methods available in this era can help me solve this case..." He dug deep into his head to find a way.
"These subordinates only know to look for benefits. They can squeeze water from stone if it benefitted them but are too incompetent in their work."
The County Magistrate was just letting out his anger in the back hall; a homicide was already a large case, and the victim really just had to have been relatives with Mr Xu[^1] in the Censorate.
What was an official in the Censorate like?
They praised themselves as being the most incorruptible, but were rabid dogs that would bite whoever they didn’t like, would not hesitate to impeach whoever did not meet their fancy.
Thin faced Master Xu, wearing a goatee accompanied him with a smile and said, "If the situation continues like this, they have to moyu."
Every person in officialdom was a wily old fox, the Magistrate knew the virtues of his subordinates.
When it came to these operations in the officialdom, The subordinates were at most at the level of primary school, The ones at the temple were the best at these skills, followed by the border officials.
"Moyu?", The county Magistrate Zhu snorted, "In the past, it would have been fine. Right now, we would be impeached in the Official Evaluation on the grounds of false evidence. How can this official deal with this matter?"
As he was talking, Constable Wang rushed to the inner hall, crossed through the door and stopped. With excitement in his eyes, he said respectfully, "Sir, I have a hypothesis for the case of Zhang. This one requests you to issue a ticket so this one can arrest someone."
County Magistrate Zhu and Master Xu looked at each other. The former sneered and the latter showed a smile to each other.
Seeing the weird behaviour of two of them, Constable Wang urged, "Sir? Time is of the essence here."
The county Magistrate Zhu patted the table and cursed, "You idiot, You want to moyu at this time. Did your brain get replaced by a pig?"
That trick was fine in normal times, but there was a problem using it at the time.
After the prisoner makes a confession, his confession and case dossier must be submitted to the Criminal Department, and the Criminal Department will give a verdict to the criminal after verification.
With the Official Assessment coming soon, the atmosphere of the capital was tense. While tidying up their tails, everyone watched each other and wanted to catch the tails of their political enemies.
Constable Wang hurriedly defended, "Sir, you misunderstand, this one is really sure to catch the real murderer, not moyu. Please believe me, Sir."
*You think this official doesn’t know of your capabilities*... The Magistrate Zhu was not at ease about this, and he glanced at Old Wang, "Tell me everything carefully."
Constable Wang thought “It’s time for me to show off.”
"Sir, listen to me carefully, There are many doubts in the Zhang case...."
Old Wang reproduced Xu Qi'an's inference, and told the two officials.
County Magistrate Zhu sneered at first, but his waist straightened unconsciously as he listened. In the end, He was speechless, but he was frowning.
He was deep in thought.
"Wonderful!", Master Xu clapped his hands with a loud 'pop' and became excited, "Very meticulous, very clear. From the inconspicuous details, you inferred the entire story of the case. Even a veteran of the Criminal Ministry couldn't have done more that this."
Although the story had yet to be verified!
But this line of reasoning undoubtedly pointed out a direction to the confused county officials.
Constable Wang smiled, "It's just a small matter."
County Magistrate Zhu snorted, "Tell me, Who taught you?"
Constable Wang stayed silent for a moment, pressed his thoughts into his mouth, and said truthfully, "*Kuaishou* Xu Qi'an."
Kuaishou was not a live broadcast platform, and Xu Qi'an was not the anchor either. Kuaishou was the name of the Fast Clerk, also called the Bailiff.
*Xu Qi'an*... County Magistrate Zhu took the lead in responding, "So it was him."
The county Magistrate Zhu and Xu Pingzhi had had a few drinks together, and they were fairly friendly. A few years ago, Xu Pingzhi spent twenty taels of silver to get a bailiff position for his nephew.
In Great Feng, the position of an official can be passed to their children. So, a job is as stable as a old dog's golden rice bowl.
"It would make sense if it was." County Magistrate Zhu smiled.
Master Xu's eyes flashed as he thought of the tax and silver case involving the Xu family, and immediately asked, "What do you mean?"
Constable Wang listened carefully.
County Magistrate Zhu smiled, "The tax robbery case raised up a storm in the city. The Xu family was the first to bear the brunt and should have been held accountable. Do you know why the Xu family was able to escape from crime?"
Constable Wang said immediately, "I heard that it was Master Xu from the Royal Guard who assisted in handling the case. His Majesty was tolerant and saved him from punishment."
This is what he had heard from Xu Qi'an just now.
Master Xu glanced at the look of County Magistrate Zhu, and asked hesitantly, "What's the inside story about this case?"
The details of the missing tax silver case wasn't accessible to the rank of Master Xu, but County Magistrate Zhu was the head official of Changle County. Although he was just a small fish in a place like the capital where the honourable and powerful gather, He couldn't have sat in his current position without backing.
County Magistrate Zhu snorted, "Xu Pingzhi is just a vulgar Martial Artist, He's just a scapegoat in this case..." Suddenly he paused, as if he didn't want to say too much, and said, "It's not him who saved the Xu family."
"Who is it!" Constable Wang asked subconsciously.
Master Xu flashed the answer in his mind, waiting for the follow up from County Magistrate Zhu.
"It was Xu Qi'an who solved the truth of the tax and silver case. This matter is recorded in file. This official has an old classmate who works in the Capital Prefecture government." The county magistrate said, "The son takes on the father’s crime, and for it he atones. Although he's just his nephew, the idea is the same."
Master Xu took a sigh of relief, "After that incident, Xu Qi'an should’ve been locked up in the government prison, how did he solve the case?"
County Magistrate Zhu said in deep thought, "I thought that was unbelievable, but I understand it now."
Master Xu also thought of the method, "Only the dossier?"
Using only the dossier... Constable Wang was confused, but this kind of official secret could occasionally be heard from the three officials above him.
He couldn't believe that Xu Qi'an did such a great action in this tax silver robbery and rescued the Xu family.
Constable Wang thought, "How could this happen, it doesn't make sense."
When this kid arrived first, he was simple and stubborn, and only knew how to silently get on with his work. He was very much a numbskull.
Such a numbskull, how could he have solved the case in a blink of a eye?
When Constable Wang returned to the lounge with the warrant, Xu Qi'an had fallen asleep on the table. He had thought too much last night, and only went to sleep after midnight.
Others reached out to wake up Xu Qi'an. Constable Wang immediately stopped them and said in a quiet voice, "Let him sleep."
He picked two people casually, "Follow me to the Zhang house."
The three bailiffs, with their own deputies, a total of nine people, hurriedly left the Changle County Office.
The deputies were temporary workers, part of the corvee system. They are comprised of common people, and do the work without pay, food or housing.
But they had a important advantage: They never had to become scapegoats.
Xu Qi'an, awakened by the "Mighty" voice, wiped the saliva from the corner of his mouth, and walked towards the county hall.
He assumed that the people had already been arrested and brought back, and the Magistrate was in the hall interrogating them.
In the public hall, there was the magistrate, and the various other staff and the attendants.
Before the large table, there were three squads of government officials standing to the left and right, and two people were kneeling in the middle: a young man in embroidered moiré blue robes and a beautiful woman in a purple skirt.
The woman looked frightened and restless, while the young man was relatively calm
Zhu county Magistrate slapped the gavel angrily, and said loudly, "Who is under the hall!"
The woman glanced at the young man subconsciously. The young man gave her a calm look and straightened his waist, "This humble citizen is Zhang Xian."
The woman said in a low voice," This civilian is Yang Zhenzhen."
County Magistrate shouted," How did you two kill Zhang Yourui, speak the truth!"
The young man Zhang Xian was shocked, "Why does the honourable Magistrate say so? How could this Humble citizen kill his biological father?"
County Magistrate Zhu said, "Where were you when the incident happened?"
"I was in the study."
"Why were you not with the madam?"
"This humble citizen was looking at the accounts."
"Do you have a witness?"
"How could there be a witness in the middle of the night?"
Zhang Xian's answer was clear and neat. He didn't panic. So, he either had a clear conscience or had already made a draft of the events.
Based on his reasoning, Xu Qi'an preferred the second possibility.
Although he didn't have a alibi, there was no evidence to prove that he was the murderer. The reasoning is inference but couldn't act as evidence. Without real evidence, There could be no suspicion for crime...
The county magistrate turned to look at the woman and said, "Madam Yang, this officer asks you, you and Zhang Yourui have married for ten years and didn't have a child. Why are you pregnant now? Honestly, did you go to bed with your stepson and murder your husband?"
Yang Zhenzhen was taken aback and cried, "My lord, this humble woman was wronged, and she isn't in good health. In recent years, she has been treated every day and finally got pregnant with her husband's flesh and blood. How can the lord accuse me of killing my husband and conduct this injustice."
And burst into tears.
How could the truth be found in such a trial? Xu Qi'an looked at the watery woman for a moment and thought of a good idea.
[^1]: A different Xu: Xu from the Censorate has the surname 徐, Xu Qi’an has the surname 许