# 95. Sangpo Lake A slashed throat doesn't kill instantly. The murderer acted very cleanly. They hadn't slashed the throat, instead opting to cut the carotid artery. The murderer should have been an experienced expert. In Xu Qi'an's previous life, a cut to the carotid artery was a fatal wound that even the gods couldn't cure, definitely leading to death. However, it didn't lead to instant death. But the small lieutenant had died instantly on the desk, without any struggle, without splattering any blood. Due to this, It could be inferred that the cause of the death wasn't the slash to the throat. The real cause of his death was a fatal injury to his brain, which led to him not having any chance to struggle, instead dying on the spot. The murderer had smashed his frontal bone, then slashed his throat with a single cut. This image appeared on everyone's minds upon observing the forehead of the deceased. Xu Qi'an touched the body of the deceased, observing carefully, before he said, “The deceased's body shows rigor mortis, but the liver mortis had stopped occurring. The cornea is also quite cloudy. This indicates that the death time was more than 17 hours ago. The murder happened last night. "I suggest the investigation begin from the following directions: First, the night travel certificates recently issued should be investigated. Second, ask the Imperial Guard if they had encountered any suspicious persons nearby. Third, consult the Nightwatchers in charge of night patrol in this area. Fourth, ask the family members about the deceased's recent interpersonal relationships." No one talked for a long time, as Lyu Qing and the others stared at him in a daze. *This, this was all?* *He’s found the direction?* *This was hardly any time at all, and yet he’s given such a clear and definite reasoning, and pointed out the direction for further investiagtion.* Even if Xu Qi'an's status as a master in crime-solving was known by everyone, everyone still felt that he was "Too quick". Lyu Qing thought for a while before saying, "Let the coroner check out the body first." Generally, upon encountering a homicide case, the officers would bring their assistants and conduct a preliminary inspection first, so they can reason better based on the clues on the scene. The result given by the coroner was similar to Xu Qi'an's judgment, although it was much less detailed than his judgment. Song Tingfeng and Zhu Guangxiao felt that it was normal, but Lyu Qing and the other officials nearby spontaneously burst into admiration towards Xu Qi'an. "A pity, A real pity. He's already a Nightwatcher, and he can't transfer to the Constabulary..." Lyu Qing mentally let out a regretful sigh. If she had such an excellent and outstanding colleague, it would be joyful to arrest criminals and solve cases together with him. Lyu Qing called the Bailiffs sent to ask questions, and asked about their results. It was concluded that the deceased didn't make any enemies recently. Also, no guests were visiting last night as well. The deceased had been in a good state of mind recently. Lyu Qing, who couldn't think of anything for some time, frowned. "The deceased was just a small lieutenant. So, We can deduce that it couldn't have been a vendetta. What could be the reason for letting the murderer enter the house late at night and commit murder?" Lyu Qing had a rich experience in criminal investigation. Hearing his words, her eyes lit up, and she immediately called the deceased's spouse to ask, "Did your family come to the possession of a large amount of silver lately? Maybe, Liu Han had mentioned something to you." The pretty woman tried her best to think for a long time, before she said sadly, "A few days ago, my husband said that he would take us out of the capital to live a chic life." Lyu Qing and Xu Qi'an looked at each other, confirming something, "How many days ago?" "About ten days." The woman couldn't remember the time clearly. ... On the way out of the courtyard, Lyu Qing, in a deep voice, said, "He accepted a bribe and was silenced." Xu Qi'an nodded. The guess was very reasonable, and he thought so too. Song Tingfeng frowned and said, "However, What can a small lieutenant be silenced for?" Xu Qi'an thought for a while. After catching hold of a vague something, he said, "If I remember correctly, the Jinwu Guard is in charge of the east gate of the inner city and the east gate of the imperial quarters." As soon as he said this, everyone's face changed color. Xu Qi'an said, "Perhaps we should go to see Liu Han's immediate supervisor. We should go back to the office to report this matter, and come back to question him after receiving a warrant." Liu Han's Boss was a Jinwu Guard *Baihu* Captain. Although both were Baihu, Jinwu Guards had a higher status than the regular Yudao Imperial Guards. The latter was the security guard of the unit, while the former was the bodyguard of the leader. If Xu Qi'an and the others wanted to go questioning, they needed to have a warrant issued by the office as proof. It was similar to the search warrants in his previous life. After returning to the Nightwatchers office, He reported the matter to Li Yuchun. Brother Chun took the matter very seriously and said after thinking deeply, "This matter is very strange. But, the imperial city is quite heavily guarded. A small lieutenant can't make a fuss. The Jinwu Guards will investigate this matter by themselves. However, since His Majesty's Ancestor Worship Day is nearing, we should focus on this matter." He immediately gave a warrant. After waiting for a while in the Nightwatchers office, Lyu Qing and others from the Constabulary also came, and the group moved to the east gate of the Imperial City. Baihu Zhou was currently out on patrol with his squad, only coming back after two hours. After receiving notice that the Nightwatchers and the constabulary had come knocking, he immediately went to receive them. Baihu Zhou had a bushy beard, and triangular eyes, and he looked quite ferocious. He wasn't easy to get along with at first sight. Song Tingfeng said, "Baihu Zhou, Do you have a lieutenant named Liu Han under your command?" Baihu Zhou, with a look of annoyance on his face, was just about to reply when he suddenly saw one of the bronze gongs pull out a piece of paper from his robes, and ignite it with his qi. The next moment, his pupils were covered by a layer of clear light. *Qi Watching Technique?* Zhou Baihu restrained the irritability between his brows, "Yes." "He's dead." Song Tingfeng said. "What!" Baihu Zhou couldn't hide his surprise. Lyu Qing asked, "Was there anything unusual about Liu Han recently?" "No." "While he guarded the east gate, did any suspicious people or objects enter or leave the imperial city?" "No." Zhou Baihu shook his head, "Many soldiers are guarding the imperial city. So, it's useless to bribe only a single person. You could bribe all of them, but it's impossible." Zhu Guangxiao said, "What if they bribed you?" Baihu Zhou's complexion changed, as his suppressed irritability surged up, "What do you mean?" Song Tingfeng smiled and said, "It's just a normal question. Why should Baihu Zhou be angry? His Majesty is about to worship his ancestors. We don't want to make any mistakes in this critical time." After being asked a few more times, Baihu Zhou held back his temper as there was a bronze gong with Qi Watching Technique observing him from the side. After Xu Qi'an's Qi Watching Technique's time ran out, Song Tingfeng smiled and said, "Thanks for your cooperation. We'll take our leave." On the way back with Liu Qing and the others, Xu Qi'an said, "He didn't lie." Song Tingfeng narrowed his eyes, "Perhaps Liu Han was silenced because of other unknown reasons." Zhu Guangxiao said in a deep voice, "Let's put this case on hold for now. Currently, The ancestor worship ceremony is the most important matter." The day after tomorrow was the day when the emperor worships his ancestors, and everything else should take a back seat to it. After saying his goodbyes to Lyu Qing and the others, Xu Qi'an deliberated on the case in the side hall, but to no avail. So, He put Liu Han's affairs aside. ... Gengzi Year, October 15, Jiazi. The time to pray for blessings, fast, and offer sacrifices to ancestors. Soon, the day when the royal family worships their ancestors arrived. Xu Qi'an wasn't a stranger to it. At this time of the year, the gates of the inner city would be closed. Second Uncle, who was a Baihu in the Imperial Guard, would be transferred to the inner city to maintain martial law since the people in the inner city were required to stay at home and not go outside. A similar sacrifice also happened at the beginning of spring. That is, Offering sacrifices to the heavens, praying for good weather this year, and peace to the country and its citizens. Beginning yesterday, the inns in the inner city were checked one by one, and all the jianghu people were driven out to the outer city. The restaurants were closed, and people weren't allowed to stay at inns overnight. As a Nightwatcher, Xu Qi'an was assigned to stand guard in Sangpo Lake. Sangpo Lake was a small lake, next to the imperial city. Willow trees were planted by the lake, but the willow leaves hadn't sprouted yet. A winding corridor was built on the surface of the water, connecting to the white marble platform in the centre of the lake. There was a temple in the platform, where a plaque was hung, with four characters written on it: 永鎮山河 *Yong Zhen Shan He* Eternally Suppressing Mountains and Rivers! Sangpo wasn’t an ordinary lake; it had an associated legend, relating to the founding emperor of Great Feng. According to legend, "Sangpo" was called "Xuanwu Lake" in ancient times, due to the mythical Xuanwu black turtle beast living in it. Once, that founding emperor of Feng had failed in an attack, and fled with his remaining army to Sangpo lake, his food and ammunition spent. At the moment of despair, the lake bubbled, and a Black Tortoise came cutting the waves, with a divine sword sticking out of its back. The Black Tortoise said that it had been waiting there for hundred years, waiting for a destined person to arrive. After finishing speaking, it presented the Divine Sword and drifted away with the waves. After obtaining the Divine Sword, the founding emperor pondered on the dao in the lake for three years before he broke through and regrouped his troops. After that, he won every battle and overthrew the decadent former dynasty. After unifying the Central Plains, the Great Feng established its capital on Sangpo Lake. Sangpo Lake was the place where the founding emperor enlightened on his dao and had extraordinary symbolic meaning. Therefore, The royal family of the Great Feng held an ancestor worship ceremony there every year. The temple in the lake enshrined a portrait of the founding emperor. *Liu Bang also killed the White Snake before revolting. I don't know how much water this legend is holding...* Xu Qi'an looked at the high platform in the lake and lampooned. --- Author Note: Other authors are copying their novels from the comment section. If they have writer's block, they open the reviews, and say, copy, copy, and a new chapter comes out. And I can only look at the chapter to laugh: These guys are too stupid. Then how do I write fast, As I don't dare to copy from your reviews... Hey, Please be more civilized, Why do I have readers like you?