# 15. The Everlasting Desires of Mankind Since Ancient Times "Thirdly, Why did the County Government insist that you killed Zhang Yourui instead of the thief?" "You were quite thoughtful to drag Zhang Yourui's body into the courtyard disguised as a thief, but you made some mistakes." "When Zhang Yourui died, the corpse was lying in the courtyard, with his feet facing the room and his head facing outside. This means that the murderer attacked him from behind with a blunt weapon." "How could this be possible? If the murderer was a thief, they would’ve either stood still or retreated when they saw the homeowner returning. Why would the thief kill a person and still return empty-handed?" Yang Zhenzhen was stunned. She didn't expect the murder to have so many flaws. Xu Qi'an's words had a powerful impact on her, and she felt that her actions had been exposed to broad daylight and she couldn't hide anywhere. Panic almost overwhelmed her. "You won't speak? Zhang Xian didn't have anything to say, so he confessed to your actions. He also said that you had shamelessly seduced him. He didn't want to pester you anymore, but you threatened him with the child in your stomach. That night, It was you who took advantage of the chaos to kill Zhang Yourui." "Zhang Xian is an innocent victim. He knew that there were many flaws in your story and that he was in danger, so he pleaded guilty to the county magistrate. He is willing to donate 500 taels of silver to clear the relationship and pin the blame on you, so you will be responsible for the sin of killing your husband." Yang Zhenzhen became more frightened as she listened and her expression increasingly became desperate. After learning that Zhang Xian betrayed her, her face turned pale as if it didn't have blood at all. "You know what Zhang Xian is like as a person", Xu Qi'an said deliberately. Xu Qi'an didn't know what Zhang Xian was like as a person, but he know that this type of relationship, where it was more sexual desire over true love, was never the most stable. Moreover, Zhang Xian was a rich second-generation[^1]. As he was quite rich, he could eat a lot of abalones, So he wouldn't hang himself on a piece of abalone.[^2] Yang Zhenzhen started to become desperate. "But", Xu Qi'an followed persuasively, "Master County Magistrate is a ray of light in this dark world... He's the meaning of integrity and justice. He didn't believe in Zhang Xian's one-sided words and ordered me to come over and inquire about the case, The county magistrate promised to be lenient if you confessed and spare you from the death penalty." Yang Zhenzhen raised her head immediately, tears filling her eyes as if she was grabbing a straw, and said mournfully," Really?" Xu Qi'an nodded, "Really." Seeing that Yang Zhenzhen's mind was finally shaken, Xu Qi'an immediately opened the door and greeted the scribe at the door to come in and take notes. Yang Zhenzhen's psychological defence was finally broken and she told the truth about the incident. She did have an affair with her stepson and was pregnant with his child. However, there was some discrepancy with what Xu Qi'an said. However, She didn't take the initiative. The process of hooking up with Zhang Xian was summed up in eight words: Stepson please respect yourself, Stepson please take initiative. Zhang Xian had been coveting the beauty of his stepmother for a long time, and while she was alone in an empty room, He saw a seam and entered it. Yang Zhenzhen was half coerced and half willing. It is said that cheating, brings you a moment of enjoyment now, but will bring the whole family crashing down. During the incident that night, the father and son had a conflict where Zhang Xian beat his father to death with a vase. To get rid of the crime, he confessed to Yang Zhenzhen and pretended that a thief had committed the crime. It's a pity that these two were ordinary people, unprofessional, and they made too many mistakes, while also encountering the likes of Xu Qi'an. After making the transcript, Xu Qi'an and the scribe left the Arrest Room. The scribe had been in the county government office for more than 20 years but was convinced by Xu Qi'an's coquettish operation, "The old man has worked in the county government for half his life, and has never met a person like you." The prisoner's dilemma is a common routine... You ancients are making a fuss of small things. Xu Qi'an waved to him, "It's a small technique." He chose Yang Zhenzhen as his breakthrough point because she didn't know the law well. She had long hair and short knowledge, just like most women in this era. When the county magistrate tried the case, Xu Qi'an observed it and noticed that Yang Zhenzhen's personality was weak and that she lacked an opinion. So, This idea came up. He deceived Yang Zhenzhen just then. According to the law, after committing adultery and murdering her husband, a woman was to be executed by *Lingchi*[^3], and the adulterer was to be beheaded. It was impossible to be exonerated from a capital crime like this. In this case, It was Zhang Xian who committed the murder, and Lingchi was the punishment for those who kill their father. Xu Qi'an had no problem killing a bastard who killed their father. He just thought that Yang Zhenzhen was an accomplice, and her crime wasn't great enough to lead to death. This point conflicted with the legal concepts he had followed in his previous life. "Every era has its own rules, and the way to survive lies in conforming to the general trend." Xu Qi'an put this idea in his heart. Zhang Xian, who saw Yang Zhenzhen's confession, was caught off guard and confessed in despair. Xu Qi'an went to the inner hall with the two confessions. Magistrate Zhu was holding cup of tea in his left hand, a book in his right, reading intently. He heard someone come in, and seeing Xu Qi’an, put his tea and book down, “How did it go?” Xu Qi’an presented the two confessions, “Fortunately, everything went well.” Zhu immediately grabbed the confession, shook the paper, and inspected it carefully. After inspection, He threw the dossier and cursed furiously," Bastard, Bastard!" Old Zhu felt that his three views as a scholar had been challenged. After showing his anger, his impression of Xu Qi'an rose to its highest point. "Ningyan, This officer will remember you for a good job and ability." "It's all due to the education of the magistrate. This one has only learned a few insignificant tricks from the magistrate.", Xu Qi'an lay on the flattery. County Magistrate Zhu was very pleased. ... After getting off work at just past 4 PM, Constable Wang said that he would treat everyone to a drink, and took eight bailiffs to the pub. The silver standard was stable, and you could book a sumptuous dinner in a big restaurant for a single cash of silver, not to mention in a pub. Because of his divine-like reasoning and even more astonishing interrogation, Xu Qi'an became the protagonist. Even Constable Wang was interested in the interrogation. "The woman had a soft personality and couldn't stand fright. It was not a big deal.", Xu Qi'an was a wily old fox, and never boasted about himself and never left the crowd. But Constable Wang and his colleagues found him enjoyable and felt they had opened a door to a new world. With courtesy, they toasted Xu Qi'an. After drinking for three rounds, the conversation between the elders eventually turned to the brothel and goulan. In this regard, Constable Wang was the protagonist. He patted Xu Qi'an on the shoulder, "Ningyan, I'll take you to the goulan to play around, and taste some meat." Everyone laughed ambiguously since they knew that Xu Qi'an was a virgin. "Boss, will you treat us?" "It'll take a lot of money." Constable Wang refused. No treating, Xu Qi'an said solemnly, "I'm not such a person." I'll not be able to practice Qi in my life if I lose my virginity. There was a lot of knowledge to be learned about the traditional culture of brothels. Xu Qi'an listened attentively and concluded. *The Goulan was a whorehouse, which was aimed at ordinary people... the* qinglou *brothel was more upscale, and the clientele were wealthy businessmen and dignitaries... Isn't this the model of Hair Salons and Clubhouses?* In Great Feng, the Jiaofangsi was inevitably to be talked about when it came to brothel culture. "The ladies of the Jiaofangsi are really beautiful." Constable Wang said with emotion, "They are all the family members of criminals, all of them have delicate skin and tender flesh, and you can pick water from their skin." "At the beginning of the year, I went to play with the county magistrate. I was lucky to have seen Miss Fuxiang[^5], with a beautiful face like the moon." "Who is Fuxiang?" Little Li asked, "Boss, did you sleep with her?" "Fuxiang girl is a *oiran*[^4] of the Jiaofangsi. If I hadn't already had a girl that night, I would have slept with her." Constable Wang blew cowhide as if it didn't need money. "How much does it cost to sleep with her for a night?", Xu Qi'an asked. "30 Taels." Xu Qi'an grabbed a handful of peanuts for Constable Wang, "Boss, eat some peanuts. Let's get drunk." *Is it gold inlaid with jade... 30 taels of silver could buy several ladies for playing with at home...* Bah, since ancient times, The only lasting desire of mankind is to drive up the X price! I would be pretty stupid to go to the Jiaofangsi and sleep with the oirans. --- [^1]: 富二代, *fuerdai* [^2]: An abalone is a type of fish. This is a euphemism. [^3]: Death by a thousand cuts [^4]: See [Oiran](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oiran), it’s the same in China [^5]: 浮香