Ji Man was almost strangled to death. There were several times when she felt as if her heart was going to stop beating. But, suddenly, the fake ghost let go of her and surprisingly started running out of Feiwan Courtyard.
"Master." Dengxin was so flustered that she wasn't able to say anything else. Her hand hovered over her master’s bruising neck.
Ji Man hurriedly waved her hand away. She was still alive. She just needed to get her breath back.
"What happened here?" The first person that rushed over here was Liu Hanyun. Seeing that Nie Sangyu was slumped on the ground at the doorway with her clothes disheveled, she hurriedly came forward to help her inside. "What's wrong? It's such a cold night. Why are you outside?"
The two lowest-ranking servant girls that had fainted were still by the doorway too. Liu Hanyun glanced at them, then she ordered Chunpi to light some candles and inform the marquis.
After being wrapped up in a quilt, Ji Man didn't return to her senses for a long time. Finally, she said, "Someone pretending to be Muxu came into my room to scare me."
Stumped for words, Liu Hanyun looked around before asking. "Muxu?"
"En, it wasn't real. The person impersonating her was a man." Ji Man touched her sore neck and accepted the hot tea that Dengxin brought her. "My throat hurts. Let's wait until the marquis arrives to talk."
Liu Hanyun pursed her lips and said, "Didn't the marquis go to Luoyan Courtyard? Who knows if it's possible to get him to come tonight?"
While they were talking, Mu Shuiqing had also arrived and was quietly sitting nearby to keep Nie Sangyu company. Hearing that someone had been pretending to be a ghost, she frowned and said, "They really don't know when to stop."
Remembering that Xuwu had said that trouble came from involving yourself with people that have sinister intentions, Ji Man inwardly sighed. He really was quite accurate with his prediction. Since he was so good at fortune telling, why couldn't he have helped her avoid this misfortune?
One after another, the other women in the harem came over. Even Wen Wan scurried over here to watch the amusing show, but Xia-shi still hadn’t come.
With a furrowed brow, Liu Hanyun said, "Someone should call Mistress Xia over. Since there's someone out there pretending to be a ghost, it'll be better if we're all gathered together."
By this time, Marquis Moyu and Nie Chenyu had also come over. After Ji Man had finished recounting tonight's event, Xia-shi finally came over. She was quite late.
Feeling very discontent and looking as if she had been disturbed from her sleep, Xia-shi said to Nie Sangyu, "What are you guys doing in the middle of the night? You’re always dealing with unending trouble because the position of the main wife will always attract the jealousy of others.”
Ning Yuxuan glanced at Xia-shi, then he pursuing his lips and said to Nie Sangyu, "I've already ordered for all of the servants to wait outside in your courtyard."
Ji Man nodded. She went outside with her hands cupped around the teacup. There were a lot of lit lamps outside. All of the servants standing outside didn't looked neatly put together, and they seemed half-awake and half-asleep.
If she wanted to find the culprit, she had to do it quickly. Otherwise, if she waited and the other person had already destroyed the evidence, what was the use in trying to catch the culprit? Ji Man personally walked over to the group of servants and closely examined them. She eliminated the ones that didn't have the right height or body type. After that, there were eight servants left that looked more or less similar to her assailant, but only one of them had slightly wet hair.
Ji Man stepped forward and asked, "Which courtyard are you from?"
That servant lowered his head and answered, "This servant is from Cailian Courtyard."
On the side, Xia-shi nodded. "Yeah, he's from my courtyard. He's quite hardworking."
Ji Man paused, then she turned her head and looked at Guibai. "Examine his body for me. See if there's any bruises on the inner part of his right arm and his left shoulder."
Guibai made a sound of assent. As the group of the women waited on the side to watch this good show, Xia-shi blustered, "It can't be him, right? Madam, why would you suspect that he was the one pretending to be a ghost? He already withdrew to rest before I went to sleep."
Liu Hanyun lowered her eyes and said, "There's no need for you to say more. Just wait to see the result."
Nie Chenyu was feeling very discontent that she was bothered tonight and was impatiently standing behind Ning Yuxuan.
Looking at the bruises on Nie Sangyu's neck, Ning Yuxuan slightly frowned.
After Guibai examined that servant, he restrained that servant and said, "My lord, Madam, it's as Madam said. There's bruises on the inner part of his right arm and left shoulder."
Was it really going to be that simple? Ji Man was flabbergasted. In the group of servants, that servant had been the only one with damp hair, and she had caught the culprit on the first attempt.
Ning Yuxuan slightly frowned. He glanced at Xia-shi.
Xia-shi was at a loss. Looking at the servant, she mumbled, "It's him..."
In a low voice, Marquis Moyu ordered, "Guibai, bring other servants with you and search Cailian Courtyard."
"Understood." Guibai immediately left after acknowledging the order.
It was only now that Xia-shi started to feel panicky. "Haohao just fell asleep. Don't wake up him during your search."
Guibai didn't bother listening to her words as he led a group of servants away.
Tugging on Ning Yuxuan's sleeve, Nie Chenyu said, "This isn't a big deal. My lord, let's go back to rest? Your robe is too thin to be standing outside in this weather."
Ning Yuxuan waved his hand. "You can go back first. I'm going to Cailian Courtyard too.”
Seeing that Nie Chenyu wasn't happy, Wen Wan, who was standing nearby, smiled and said, "Younger sister Chenyu, you're being too ignorant. In the marquis's heart, Madam is naturally the most important one. Something just happened to her. How could he possibly still have time to care about you?"
Ning Yuxuan looked at Wen Wan for a moment before taking Xia-shi with him as he headed towards Cailian Courtyard.
Ji Man pursed her lips and followed after them with Liu Hanyun supporting her by the arm.
This night was doomed to not be peaceful. Items used to fake being a ghost were found in Cailian Courtyard. And, what a coincidence, these items were found in Xia-shi's bedchamber.
Xia-shi knelt on the ground with a dazed expression.
Liu Hanyun softly scoffed, "What good fortune. Madam has been so caring towards you. How could you even think about using a fake ghost to hurt her?"
Xia-shi pursed her lips and raised her head to look at Marquis Moyu. "I didn't. My lord, believe in me. It's impossible for me to do something like this. Those items don’t belong to me either."