“It was on the day when the vegetable vendor came by. The men were halfway through unpacking the goods and carrying them inside, when another person approached the gate, waving at Xiao Guo to come over. He seemed a bit surprised at first but then still went there and talked with that man.”
Shangguan Yu looked from the servant girl that had just confessed in the tears to the man that seemed pretty angry as if she had really just exposed his wrongdoings. Way to go! He was actually making this much easier. If he had kept quiet and then given a good explanation, nobody would have believed that anything shady had gone on that day. Now, he would probably have a much harder time explaining himself.
The girl still looked at him with teary eyes. “You really did! I saw it with my own eyes. If not for your brother, I would’ve said something long ago.”
Both Shangguan Yu and Mister Mo raised their brows. His brother? Who was his brother?
Mister Mo looked from the girl to Xiao Guo and back again. “Who’s his brother?”
The girl’s face turned red in an instant and she lowered her head, mumbling some unintelligible words. Well, whoever this brother was, her relationship with him was pretty obvious.
Mister Mo sighed and then turned to Xiao Guo. “So, who was that man? And what did he want?”
Xiao Guo hurriedly threw himself to the ground as well, shaking his head. “Master, I swear it wasn’t like this!”
Unfortunately for him, with her hint that this had happened on a specific day and even a clue as to what they had done at that moment, some of the others were thinking back and even backed up what the girl had said.
“Master, I can’t say for sure whether Xiao Guo met with anyone but I do know that we took longer than usual to bring the things on that day. It seems that somebody was either slacking off or disappeared halfway through. I can’t say for sure if it was Xiao Guo but it should have been one of the people carrying the goods inside that day.”
Some of the others agreed with that servant’s words and somebody even suggested what to do to find out more: “Maybe the guards at the back door would know something? After all, they’re the ones who were there the whole time. They should’ve seen if there was indeed a person there.”
Mister Mo nodded and then turned to the servant that had just proposed this idea. “You bring the two of them in here. Oh, also, ask the brother of Xiao Guo to come over as well. I want to see if he knows something about what his brother has done or not.”
Both Xiao Guo and the servant girl that had confessed went pale, seemingly worried that something would come out.
A moment later, three guards came back into the room, following behind the servant. They bowed to Mister Mo and then straightened up, ready to answer his questions while their gazes roamed over the servants that had been gathered. Their expressions turned solemn when they saw what was going on. Apparently, things were more serious than they had realized before.
Mister Mo cut directly to the chase. “Do you remember the last day the vegetable vendor came by? Two of you should have been guarding the gate in the back that day.”
The two of them exchanged a glance and then nodded. “Yes, Master, that was indeed the case.”
“Did you notice something special that they? For example … somebody that the vendor brought with him? An unannounced visitor? One of the servants heading out?”
The two didn’t answer for a moment, trying to think back while the brows of Xiao Guo’s brother furrowed together. It seemed that he was already thinking of something.
After a moment, one of the guards finally nodded. “If I remember correctly, then there was a servant from another estate approaching that day. He asked for one of our servants to come over to talk with him. I couldn’t hear what was going on since they were standing too far away. But I also didn’t think much of it so I didn’t pay too much attention. Servants sometimes talk when they meet outside of the houses.”
Mister Mo slightly raised his brows. The fact that it had been another house’s servant that came by that day was new. He wasn’t quite sure if that was something he should be worried about or if that actually made things less suspicious though. After pondering for a moment, he turned to the other guard. “Do you know which family’s servant it was?”
The guard frowned but finally had to shake his head. “I’m sorry, Master, I’m afraid I don’t. It should be a rich family though. His clothes seemed to be pretty high-quality.”
Mister Mo nodded, not too surprised. He was pretty sure that someone from a family that was less well-off than them wouldn’t dare to casually approach. He rubbed his chin, wondering what to do with his new information.
While it did show that there had been something going on, it didn’t really tell him anything that he would be able to inform Young Master Liangqiu about. In that case, it was as if he hadn’t really managed to achieve anything. It seemed that they would need a confession from Xiao Guo or they wouldn’t get any further.
He looked at the servant but finally turned back to his brother first. “You wouldn’t happen to know what your brother has been up to these days, would you?”
The guard’s expression turned grave and he glanced over at his brother. “I’m afraid I don’t know, Master. Did he do something he shouldn’t have?” The guard’s expression turned even more solemn at this thought and he finally fell to his knees, hitting his forehead on the ground. “If that is the case, then please let me bear whatever punishment you intend for him, Master! My brother is young. I’m sure that whatever he did, it was only because he didn’t know any better. Please have mercy on him!”
On top of the roof, Shangguan Yu raised his brows. It seemed that this story was getting fairly interesting now.