Unfortunately, there was no time for later discussions, as when the sun was no longer in the sky and the cold chilly weather set in. Under the cover of the night, the emperor's guards raided Shen manor and put the entire manor and everyone in it under tight lockdown.
The guards had forced their way into the manor, rummaging and ransacking practically seizing everything that could be converted into money.
This was the proper procedure, for when an official ended up as a criminal, with their status stripped from them. There would normally be soldiers that invaded their grand manors and confiscating everything they owned, down to the last grain of rice. This was how officials could lose everything within a day. This was also the reason for families to fall apart, left with nothing.
The entire Shen manor was practically torn down, all the mantle pieces, decorations, anything of value was now in the hands of the government.
As of now, the only place that was not touched and taken apart was the servant's quarters, where all the servants were gathered. Da, Zhong, and Zan were still unconscious from their traumatic experience earlier in the day.
"What fools, they still have the leisurely to sleep at a time like this." Captain Zhou of the guards, said with a smirk on his face. Staring at those three people like idiots for sleeping at such a time.
"Please forgive them, my lord, they encountered a scare this morning and were rendered unconscious." Housekeeper Jiang said, lowering himself to the guards.
"Oh? What kind of scare?" Captain Zhou asked.
"This…" Before housekeeper Jiang could answer, he was interrupted by a guard coming to give a report.
"Captain Zhou, there is a strange place in the manor."
"What about it?"
"It seems isolated, located in the far corner of the manor. It is only closed off with a desolated wooden door. The servants said that it was the old master's forbidden ground and no one is allowed to enter. Should we also search it?"
"Search? Of course, why not?" Captain Zhou scolded his subordinates with the obvious answer. When did they, ever have to ask permission before searching the household of a criminal?
"Go? No! You can't go ah!" Zhong called out, he woke up in a sweaty state and bloodshot eyes. It seemed that he was in a state of panic as if waking from a bad dream.
"What nonsense is he talking about?" Captain Zhou seemed angry that a servant was ordering him around.
"You can't go in there, my lord… Can't go in!!!" Zhong yelled out, he was completely unaware that the property was being seized, he only heard that someone wanted to venture into the forbidden ground.
"Why not?" Captain Zhou asked, there were no traces of anger in his voice, it now turned into curiosity.
"The dead run it," Zhong said that sentence clearly.
"What is he saying?" Now he was furious, facing a servant who was mumbling incoherent words.
"Don't go in there…"
"Sorry my lord, this morning he and two others ventured into the area and ended up like this." Housekeeper Jiang said.
"Oh? What's in there?"
"They came back in a delirious state, claiming there were hundreds of dead bodies stored there. It would be best not to go." This was a piece of friendly advice that they should have taken.
As soon as captain Zhou heard the reason, he scoffed "How useless were they? To get frightened into this state after seeing a couple of dead bodies."
"My lords, don't go in there!"
If only they had listened. Things would not have turned out this way. They would not have become one among the hundreds of corpses. Never to be recognized, never to be heard from again.
Unfortunately, the past could not be repeated.
Captain Zhou ordered two of his men to follow him into that area that was called the forbidden ground. Of course, they would be on high alert due to the warning they received. All they could think about was 'How bad can corpses even be, we have seen countless of corpses, what they said was truly an exaggeration.'
The rest of the guards were told to escort the confiscated items and the servants of the Shen manor back to the ministry of justice, so that everything may be logged in properly. Not a single person was exempted, even Da, Zhong and Zan who were unconscious were brought on stretchers.
Although Shen manor did not have as much valuable items that would be seized in the raid of a corrupt officials' household, there was still a good amount of valuables, since the Shen household was considered a decent clan that had their roots in the imperial capital for a few generations and it was impossible for them to be dirt poor.
As for captain Zhou, he told his subordinates to return to the ministry of justice first, saying that he would search the forbidden ground for anything 'suspicious' to report back to his superiors.
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