Needless to say, Madam Mo was anything but happy when she heard that somebody of the family of her daughter’s fiance had come over because of a robbery that had happened in her own family. “I can’t believe that this is happening! We lost so much face! We have to send somebody to inform your father immediately. I’m afraid we can’t deal with this on our own.” She had her personal maid hurry over to her husband while she made all the other servants come to kneel in the front hall.
The servants were looking at each other worriedly, some of them whispering under their breath to see if one of the others knew what was going on. Madam Mo was standing outside of the room. She glanced at them one by one hidden behind the door. Just which of them had been so bold as to commit this crime? And why would they have done it? Had they been paid by an outsider? Or was there a personal motive behind this?
Mo Ju An stood next to her, wringing her hands instead of observing the servants. She was just as worried as a mother, even though it wasn’t quite because she feared losing face. No, instead, she was just worried about what her fiance might think about this. Hopefully, they would be able to find out what exactly had happened soon. Then she could at least go and explain to him … Meanwhile, she had completely forgotten that her fiance’s brother was still in her house.
At this moment, Liangqiu Huang and Ao Jing were still standing in the same small courtyard, not quite sure what to do since Mo Ju An had left and not come back to tell them what was going on.
“I guess she will try to find out the truth of the matter and only return afterward.”
Liangqiu Huang gave a hum but didn’t quite know what else to say. In his mind, he couldn’t help but ponder further what might have happened. Looking at things right now, it might be that somebody had stolen the painting. And maybe the Mo family hadn’t even known about it until now. In fact, this wasn’t too strange. After all, that kind of painting likely wouldn’t be taken out very often. Thus, not noticing that it was gone wasn’t unexpected at all. But then who could have taken it?
He pondered for a while but couldn’t think of anyone. In the end, he turned to Ao Jing. “Who do you think is behind this?”
Ao Jing slightly raised his brows, surprised that Liangqiu Huang would actually ask him this. Anyway, he wouldn’t complain about it. If he asked, that meant that he slowly started to trust in what he said. It was a step in the right direction if they wanted him to figure things out. Thus, he instead wondered how to go about this.
Naturally, he couldn’t directly say that he believed that it was Merchant Wang. Shangguan Yu had said the same thing and Liangqiu Huang had immediately shut down the idea. If he brought it up now, he would only make himself suspicious. No, right now wasn’t the moment to do that. He had to be more careful about this and wait longer.
Continuing to ponder, he finally shook his head. “I’m afraid it is still too early to make any assumptions about this. But I think the fact that the person who was accused of committing the crime had this painting in particular with him is an important clue.”
Liangqiu Huang frowned. “It was a highly detailed painting. Using something like this would be the best way for somebody who didn’t know my brother to identify him. I don’t think it will tell us very much.”
Ao Jing shook his head. “Mister Liangqiu, I’m afraid that you’re thinking too simply. Somebody killed your brother. Why do you think they did that?”
Liangqiu Huang frowned even more. That was indeed a good question … “They … probably had some conflict with him?” It was difficult to imagine though. His brother was quite well-liked as was the rest of his family. Even if there was a conflict: Who would go so far as to kill him for that?
“But if somebody had been in open conflict with your brother, then you wouldn’t need to ask me who did it. In fact, you wouldn’t have needed those guards to point out just who had killed him either. You would already know who the person behind the scenes is, wouldn’t you? But you don’t. I think that tells us that this matter is a little more complicated than you originally assumed.”
“You mean to say that this might not even be about my brother directly?”
Ao Jing hesitated for a moment but then nodded. “Of course, at this time, it can only be a conjecture. But I do think that there’s more to this than it seems at first glance. The fact that precisely this painting was stolen despite the fact that that would add the risk of alerting the Mo family instead of just having another one painted for the murderer, tells us that it also had a special role in this.
“To be honest, it might be that the connection between your family and the Mo family led to this. Maybe the one behind this is not an enemy of your family but of the Mo family instead. Think about it: Your brother was killed and the murderer carried the painting that your brother’s fiance asked for. What was your first thought upon finding that out?”
Liangqiu Huang did not answer the question but the way his brows furrowed further and further and how his grip on his weapon became tighter told Ao Jing everything that he needed to know. Naturally, he had been right. Liangqiu Huang had thought that maybe the Mo family was the one behind this. Now, he was probably thinking along a different line though.
Well, this was very good. If things continued like this, then convincing him that Merchant Wang actually wasn’t a nice person might not be too difficult. But there was still a lot left to be done for this to work out. Well, he could only hope that it wouldn’t take too long. Otherwise, Shangguan Yu might actually die of boredom in the dungeon.