Volume 7, Chapter 16: The Owner of the Fingers

The man who suddenly barged in was the aforementioned triplets’ father. Apparently, his name is Buo’en. Unlike his name, his temperament was far from composed—in the chaos of his forced entry, the match was inevitably interrupted.

(T/N: 博文, Bo Wen in Chinese,  meaning: erudite, or well-learnt in the scholarly arts)

He seemed to have registered Jinshi and the weirdo’s presence, but he had a reason to be caught up in his own matters.

“You claim these fingers belong to your son…” Dad said.

The spectators had left the theatre due to the commotion, leaving behind only those involved in the matter.

With the match interrupted, the weirdo tactician looked like he had something to say, but by the time somebody noticed, he was already sound asleep, face planted against the Go board.

It seems he had tired himself out. His official aide was attending to him in the corner and looked like he wanted to ask Maomao to take over in Dad’s stead. He quickly zipped his mouth after she scowled though.

En’en and Yao, who had stayed behind due to curiosity, ended up looking after the weirdo instead.

Yao got lightheaded from seeing the fingers on the table. She may be used to it for the most part, but she probably baulked at seeing it severed.

With the weirdo in this state due to the intruders, the match will probably be resumed in the future.

“Everything’s been recorded down properly, so it’s not a problem,” Rahan said to Jinshi. “Once this is settled, you can continue.” 

Although Jinshi appeared somewhat placated by this, he wore a displeased expression on his face.

Even though he had put in the effort to make use of every underhanded, sly maneuver to ensure a flawless victory for himself.

(Of course, with such a large difference in skill level, the weirdo’s win is almost guaranteed.)

However, from the way things turned out, it seems Jinshi had colluded with Rahan after all.

Being a man who sold out even his biological father and grandfather, if there’s something to be gained, it follows that he would go as far as to sell out his adoptive father.

(Should I pursue this matter?)

No, even if she asked, it would just drag out this entire farce.

Maomao was more bothered about how Buo’en had lunged at Dad.

“Can you explain what you mean?” Dad asked.

Buo’en was being restrained by his two sons.

Having made an abrupt entrance, the three of them looked out of place. If they then try to use violence on Dad, it was inevitable that they would be held down.

Jinshi had stayed behind with an inexplicable expression. With the match disrupted, he had a hopelessly complicated look. “Let’s have you speak up, shall we? You must have a good reason to put a hamper on our match, right?”

It appeared Buo’en still retained enough common sense not to refute Jinshi. He couldn’t seem to say it properly, so one of the triplets behind him took over. “I can’t find older— second brother.”

Second brother, the second oldest brother, so would that make him the middle of the triplets? She heard that he had been wrung dry about what he did the other day during the thunderstorm amongst various other things.

“He’s been missing for three days. This morning, this cloth pouch was delivered to our home.”

The fingers were from an adult male. He said that it was the second son’s, the one who wasn’t here.

“Please let me take a closer look,” Dad said.

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” Buo’en screamed, but fell silent when Jinshi glared at him.

Whilst he’s hardly related to the incident, he was at least aware of the circumstances. The same went for Yao and En’en.


(Even that person stayed behind. What’s up with that?)

It was the Grandmaster of Go person who had been observing Jinshi’s match.

The grandmaster was sitting on a chair with an innocent look. He was really imposing, so Buo’en and his sons couldn’t say anything.

It seemed like they had a lot to say, but as long as Jinshi’s eyes were on them, they had to explain it in a calm manner. Buo’en took a deep breath and continued. “Because of you, my son was taken to court and detained. And not just that, lawsuits of past wrongdoings followed in succession.”

He reaped what he sowed. The youngest of the triplets averted his eyes. The second brother must have also taken the blame for his crimes.

The father was concerned for his son, but it was too late. He had covered up for his prodigal sons, but did he not realise his disciplinary style was flawed?

“You’re asking who among us had kidnapped your son?” Dad asked.

“ISN’T THAT OBVIOUS?” Buo’en slapped the table loudly in response.

“Has anyone looked into it?”

“There’s no way I’d know, right? Do you expect me to watch my children’s movements individually?!”

(It would have been better if you had.)

Maomao studied the fingers. The severed section had already darkened.

(If it were fresh, it could have been reattached but.)

Could this be chopped after death, or before it?

She heard that there are differences in cutting the human body whilst it’s alive versus when it’s dead. Dad would know, and above all, his grim expression when he saw the fingers was telling of something.

And, one more thing.

(The nails are discoloured.)

The colour right at the centre had changed into a blackish-green.

“….” Maomao tugged Yao and En’en’s sleeves.

“What is it?” Yao asked.

“I was thinking we should pass out some tea. Please give me a hand,” Maomao said.

“Ahh, that’s true.”

They didn’t need three people, but if she asked Yao, En’en would come. And if she only asked En’en, Yao would be unhappy so it can’t be helped.

“But do we have tea?” Yao asked.

“We do, but it might be good to provide something that’s a little superior.” En’en glanced at Jinshi. As long as she is aware of who he is, she wouldn’t take out something strange. Although she didn’t harbour any warm feelings towards him, she is a capable court lady who can show consideration over that at least.

“He’s not going to head back?”

“He likes sticking his head into strange matters, so I don’t think it can be helped,” En’en said.

As expected, En’en wasn’t going easy on him. While it’s harsh to listen to, Maomao recalled she often made similar comments on many occasions herself.

“If it’s fruit juice, we have a lot. As Rakan-sama’s refreshments,” Yao said.

“Fruit juice, huh.” Maomao stroked her chin. “Do we have grape juice?”

“I think we do. It’s stored in glass bottles so the quality should also be good.”

“Then shall we go with that?” Maomao headed to the waiting room at the back of the stage.

“Umm, are you allowed to just take some as you please?” Yao seemed worried.

“He received a lot, huh. He’s asleep so he won’t know if we take one bottle,” Maomao said.

“…if Maomao says it’s fine, shouldn’t it be fine?” En’en was also in favour, so she decided to look for an offering.




They returned after preparing cups for several people, but the discussions seemed to be at an impasse.

Buo’en was shouting. Dad was listening in silence.

Jinshi was sitting still and doing nothing but his fingers looked like he was grasping onto a Go stone. Was he thinking about his next move?

The Grandmaster of Go’s face was unreadable. She didn’t know why he was even here.

Rahan had stayed behind, but the post-tournament settlement of affairs seemed rough. The manual cleaning as well, but it appeared that he had already received advance payment so he was writing a letter about what will happen in regards to the weirdo teaching.

“Here you go.” Yao and En’en handed out the fruit juice.

“Wine?” Rahan looked daunted for an instant but seemed to realise it was fruit juice after sniffing it. Like the weirdo, his alcohol tolerance was low. It probably wasn’t unreasonable to make a mistake since it was held in a container usually reserved for wine.

It was when En’en handed a glass to the alleged eldest of the triplets.

The cup was flung away.

Red liquid sailed through the air. The metal cup clattered across the floor.

“Brothe….” The youngest son made a disgusted look.

En’en was dripping in red liquid, but her expression was unchanged.

(Fortunately, it wasn’t Yao.)

If it were, En’en would become scary. En’en wouldn’t tremble if fruit juice got on herself, but she changes when it comes to her young lady. Of course, En’en didn’t act like she was standing before a man she knew to be lustful.

“My apologies. I wasn’t aware of your preference.” En’en went to clean up, her movements indifferent.

Maomao took it upon herself to hand it to the remaining two people.

(I knew it.)

The wrinkles on Dad’s face deepened. His brows lowered in sadness.

Maomao had noticed it, so there was no way that Dad hadn’t.

Dad let out a small breath and stood from his chair. “Do you hate grape wine?” he asked the oldest son.


His enunciation was somewhat poor.

“Isn’t grape wine your favourite?” Buo’en tilted his head. “No, that doesn’t matter now. More importantly, look for my son. Otherwise—”

“I already know where your son is.” Dad shook his head sadly as he looked up.


“Your son. It’s your second son, right?”

“That’s right!”

Though she wasn’t Dad, Maomao also felt sad.

(He doesn’t know, does he?)

This annoying man called Buo’en was thinking that his child was truly gone.


(To think that he couldn’t tell his children apart either.)

Dad pointed to the oldest son, the one who knocked over the cup. No, the second son who is pretending to be the oldest son.

“…what do you mean?” Buo’en asked.

“The one who disappeared is the oldest son. Regarding that, I think we better ask the two sons of yours who are present,” Dad said.

Buo’en stood up and tried to make a grab at Dad. However, the remaining military official stepped between them.

“What are you saying! Don’t spout nonsense!”

“What nonsense. It’s the truth.” Maomao found herself stepping forward as well. She unintentionally spoken, then retreated half a step. “I’ve gone and done it.”

“Shall I explain what happened in the way I understood it?”

Jinshi finally opened his mouth. The Grandmaster of Go beside him also nodded.

“Buo’en, I understand what you are trying to say, but shut up for a bit, otherwise the discussion won’t continue. Also, the two behind him, don’t think about trying to run away.”

He gave a stern warning.

“Ruomen. If it’s difficult for you to say, can your disciple speak for you? It seems your capable disciple has reached the answer.”

Jinshi was saying something unnecessary.

“If she’s mistaken, you can verify her answers like a teacher.”

“…Maomao.” Dad looked at her.

All eyes were fell on her so she reluctantly stepped forward.

Contemplating where she should start from, she first checked the fingers.

The owner of the finger was probably already dead. If she started off by explaining why he died or how he was killed…

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

”Please focus on this nail,” she said.

The discoloured nails.

“The colour of this nail is indicative of the absorption of poison. Most likely arsenic or lead.”

“Lead,” Jinshi said.

It was probably fresh in his memory.

Maomao looked at Buo’en. “Your oldest son liked grape wine, right?”

“…yeah. If I remember correctly.”

“Could he have liked cheap grape wine?”

Maomao recalled it. When Dad told her to take notes before, the eldest son had testified that he went to drink cheap wine.

The poisoned wine incident had been something that was exposed not too long ago.

There may still be grape wine that haven’t been recalled from the market.

If he continued drinking, the poison will appear on his nails.

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

There was nothing strange about the eldest son at the time of her notetaking. If his poisoning symptoms appeared after that…


“Didn’t he die from lead poisoning? In front of you two.” Maomao looked at the remaining two of the triplets.

“Wh-what are you talking about?”

“That’s right. I don’t get you.”

Why are they feigning ignorance?

“I have a question, though.” The Grandmaster of Go raised his hand.

“Yes,” Maomao said.

“Just now, you said that the second son was pretending to the eldest son, but the way you said it sounded like the third son knew as well.”

“Yes. No matter how similar the triplets look, I doubt they can fool themselves. Even if their father hasn’t realised it,” she said, taking a jab at Buo’en.

“…then, did those two cut the fingers and put up a charade?”


“Again, why?” Buo’en asked.

(Has he really not noticed?)

As one might expect from someone called the Grandmaster of Go, he had a good brain. The answer to his question was easy to explain to others.

He might have taken it upon himself to do it.

“If the second son disappears, he can be cleared of his crimes. Is that the case?” Maomao looked at the eldest, no, the second son.

He was glaring at her, but his fists were clenched, unable to retaliate.

“…i-is that true?” Buo’en looked at his two sons.

“Can’t you tell just by looking? Can you really not distinguish between their faces?”

“….” Buo’en strained his eyes.

“…Maomao.” Dad called out to her.

“Excuse me.” Maomao quietly stepped back.

“Then, the remaining two should know where the eldest son is, right?”

When questioned by Jinshi, they had no choice but to answer. A beauty’s face has intensity.

“…he’s buried in the garden. We didn’t kill him. He was drinking wine and suddenly started behaving strangely. His complexion was also bad, and he looked strange. And then…”

The second son said that when he suddenly turned violent, he collapsed and bumped his head.

“We thought of calling for someone immediately. But, older brother said— ” The third son looked at the second son.

Let me be the one who died. And I’ll become older brother.’

For that reason, it’s better to keep the fact of whether he was alive or dead ambiguous.

That he chopped the fingers off the corpse and delivered a threatening letter alongside it to their home.

“WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!” Buo’en’s tone turned rough.

“IT’S DAD’S FAULT!” The second son slapped the table. “If you fail to cover for everyone, you’ll push all the responsibilities onto me alone. The most sticky-fingered was older brother! It’s the same with you! Who do you think covered for you when you laid hands on dad’s concubine!”

“Oi, are you serious about what you’re saying!” Buo’en flared up at the third son, his breaths haggard.

“Yeah, our three-year-old little sister who you’re currently doting on, huh, isn’t she this guy’s kid? And you doted on her since she’s your first daughter, didn’t you?”

“Elder brother! You promised that you won’t speak of it!”

“Are you serious!? Are you SERIOUS!?”


Not just Maomao, everyone else probably shared the same sentiments.

(To cut his fingers because he’s dead is…)

Maomao thought she had no idea about what happened to the corpse of the dead person.

However, she could only be shocked by what she saw of the truly unsightly argument.

When she looked outside, the moon was shining in the night sky. I want to go back to the lodgings quickly, she thought.

- my thoughts:
I'm back, guys! Same schedule as usual, Monday and Thursday. Well, let's have a double chapter release today, since... why not :D
You may also like: