Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The shadow from the curtains and the swaying trees outside overlapped rhythmically with each other on the patio of the brightly illuminated villa. Xu Xu looked at the Ji Bai’s dark eyes and said,
“First of all, according to the latest test results from forensics, Ye Zixi died between 9 pm to 11 pm. The surveillance tape showed that Zhang Shiyong arrived at the villa after 12 am, so he’s not the murderer. Considering the content of the text message and the clothes that he didn’t get to throw away, his testimony is credible. It was true that he was called to the villa at the very last minute.
“Secondly, Ye Qiao was also not the murderer. According to the surveillance tape and her testimony, she did not stay at the crime scene for more than one hour. It’s impossible for a lone woman to kill someone, destroy the surveillance camera, add a few more stab wounds, and finally clean up the scene in such a short period of time. Moreover, it is impossible to explain the two types of injuries found on the body. Zhang Shiyong can’t be the second one who stabbed the deceased since the surveillance tape showed that Ye Qiao had already left when he arrived. Besides, where would he have found a razor blade on a deserted mountain in the middle of the night?
“Now that the two people who appeared at the crime scene during the incident aren’t the murderers, we need to go back to the start and figure out where we went wrong.
“We estimated Ye Zixi’s time of death based on the test results from the forensics team and the text message that she sent out at 10.17 pm asking for help. However, Ye Qiao’s had mentioned in her testimony that it was very cold that night and the indoor air conditioner was on. This is very strange since it’s spring now. Since it gets cold late at night, by right, the heater should have been switched on. Why did Ye Qiao say that it was very cold? I deduce that the estimated time of death was incorrectly pushed to be later in the night due to the cold temperature and that the actual time of death was a little earlier than 9 pm.
“In addition to this, Ye Qiao also mentioned that she had heard the sound of the microwave when she entered the villa. However, Ye Zixi made salad and salmon that night, so she did not need to use a microwave. The sound that Ye Qiao heard might not the sound of a microwave, but the sound of a text message being successfully delivered. I’ve checked the internet and found that there’s new mobile phone software that has a setting that allows it to send text messages at the fixed time. If the murderer was good with technology, then they could easily download a virus to delete the software after sending the text message. With this, they could erase any traces of it. Therefore, the murderer had most likely made it so that the text message would be sent at a fixed time, then switched on the air conditioner. By doing this, the murderer was able to confuse us about the time of death. However, the phone was accidentally taken by Ye Qiao who had arrived at the crime scene later on.
“If that assumption is true, then we will need to focus on those who do not have an alibi before 10 pm. According to their testimonies, only the eldest child, Ye Ziqiang and the second child, Ye Jin fits the description of the murderers that we’re looking for. As for Ye Qiao, I think that she probably saw the eldest child and second child’s car on her way to the crime scene, or she already knew who the murderers were. Therefore, she wanted to go to jail in place of her big brother and second sister. When she arrived at the crime scene, Ye Zixi should have already been dead. ”
Right after Xu Xu finished talking, she looked towards Ji Bai. There was a faint sense of confidence and anticipation in her serious eyes.
Ji Bai smiled slightly, “Yes. In fact, I’ve suspected this since the beginning. How can someone who cleaned up the crime scene so well not prepare an alibi for herself? Though, you have missed the most important point.”
Xu Xu was stunned. ‘What was it?’
Ji Bai chuckled softly. “What about the evidence? Everything that you just said are nothing more than deductions. Where is the evidence that can get them convicted?”
Xu Xu lowered her head to think about it, but everything was still very vague. It was true that she did not have a clear lead.
Although Ji Bai had already thought off Xu Xu as his future girlfriend, he was not willing to go easy on her when it came to work. In his opinion, she did not deserve any special treatment.
At this moment, even though he was looking at her confused little face, he did not let her go. Instead, he started to criticize her. “Your biggest issue is that you spend too much time on analyzing and end up neglecting the need to search for evidence. When we were discussing Zhang Shiyong, you forgot that his clothes were key evidence, and the same thing happened today. So in the end, while you’ve figured out key details required to solve the case, you didn’t think about it deeply enough. Furthermore, I’m not going to point them out for you. I want you to think about it when you get home. We will solve the case tomorrow morning.”
The weather that night was dark and overcast whilst the weather forecast showed that there would be rain. While Xu Xu was observing and investigating the villa, she had already heard the sound of raindrops falling on the tile roof, but who would have expected the rain to start pouring like a waterfall in front of the front door a short while later? The woods and the slopes mountains now seemed much darker and distant on this raining night.
Xu Xu shivered slightly, then took out a small folded umbrella from her bag and turned her head to ask Ji Bai, “Did you bring an umbrella?”
Ji Bai was holding a heavy bag with an umbrella inside, but he shook his head. “No.”
The villa was quite big and they had to walk dozens of meters to reach the parking lot. Xu Xu opened the umbrella and passed it to him, then she stood by his side.
The ground was slippery as the water splashed against their shoes chaotically and the sound of rainfall overpowered all other noises. Ji Bai walked alongside Xu Xu while was holding the umbrella with one hand in the heavy rain. She lowered her head slightly to the point where only a small part of her slender neck was shown but, as always, maintained her trademark indistinct face.
This was the first time in a few days that the two of them were in such close proximity to one another. Nonetheless, Ji Bai’s heart did not flutter like how it usually did. Instead, he felt a peacefulness that was so pleasant that he hoped that nothing would interrupt it.
Even though he tried to shield her from the rain with almost the entire umbrella, when he lowered his head to look at her, he noticed that part of her shoulder was still exposed to the rain and a few drops of water were clinging on vigorously to her sleeves.
The sound of raindrops continued to pound the ground like millions of tiny drums. Ji Bai watched as a drop of water silently dropped off the tip of her hair to join its brethren in the mild depths below and caught his breath. Then, he put his hand on her shoulder and held her gently.
Xu Xu had her head lowered while she walked when she suddenly felt a pressure on her shoulder. She stiffened up when she felt a familiar warmth surrounding her.
It was a completely subconscious response, nonetheless, it still managed to remind her of the earlier hypothesis she had so vehemently denied. Like a feather, it brushed across her heart, awakening all sorts of foreign emotions.
She turned her head and saw that Ji Bai’s hair was completely drenched. His black hair was sticking to his forehead as he looked at her with his dark eyes.
The two continued to stare into each other’s eyes as Ji Bai continued to keep his hand wrapped around Xu Xu’s shoulders. He could see the glint in her irises as it trembled softly under the moonlight. There was obvious scrutiny and curiosity in her eyes, as if she was desperately trying to read his mind.
After remaining silent for a moment, Ji Bai smiled. “What are you waiting for? The umbrella is so small, we’ll both catch a cold if you don’t speed up.”
The both of them quickened their pace.
However, Xu Xu was not as unaffected as Ji Bai imagined. After taking a few steps, she noticed the strong hand on her shoulder and the heat from his chest. His actions made her feel very uncomfortable and her heartbeat was thumping chaotically in her ribcage while they walked.
As soon as they got to the car, Ji Bai naturally pulled back his hand. “Quickly get into the car.”
At 3.00 am in the morning, Ji Bai sent Xu Xu home and left as per usual.
Xu Xu lay on the bed and thought about the “key evidence” that he had mentioned, before eventually closing her eyes to clear her head. However, when she did this, the first thing that appeared in her mind was Ji Bai’s handsome side profile. His tall and straight build was like a profound projection that would not go away.
Xu Xu believed that there was nothing unusual about Ji Bai. Even though he looked strict, he was actually very concerned about each and every one of his subordinates. At that time, the rain was heavy and there was only a small umbrella to share between them, so he would probably also have taken care of Zhao Han or Yao Meng in the same way if they were in the situation.
What made her felt odd was that their relationship was clearly supposed to be purely platonic, but why did it seem as though there were still some lingering feelings in her heart that had yet to fade? Thinking about it made her feel uneasy.
In the end, Xu Xu was not able to fall asleep. She wrapped the blanket around her and sat hunched over on the bed, She was a perfectly normal woman so she felt that even though Ji Bai’s body had recently started catching her attention, it was most likely because her hormones were acting up.
The next morning, Xu Xu went to the police station and knocked on Ji Bai’s office door. Since she passed off her feelings as just her hormones acting up, she was calm when she said, “Teacher, I have found the key evidence.”
Ji Bai was also very calm and Xu Xu knew that he did not plan to reveal the answer that quickly. Thus, he nodded and smiled, “Good.”
Soon, Ye Jin was brought to the police station.
Instead of talking to her immediately, Ji Bai put her in the interrogation room.
As time went by, the sun got brighter and the silent small interrogation room gradually became kind of warm. Ye Jin was wearing a black suit and skirt while she sat up straight with her delicate face looking slightly dejected. She sat there quietly whilst waiting for the officers to start the interrogation.
Since she was abnormally calm, even the criminal police officers who were previously doubtful of her involvement were starting to suspect her.
Zhao Han said, “A wise man can be ruined by his wisdom. We are getting even more suspicious since she’s acting way too calm.”
Ji Bai looked at her expression through the glass window and said, “No, she’s calm because she has already expected this to happen.”
Everyone was stunned, and they looked at Ye Jin once again.
Finally, they got some good news from their colleagues who had gone to the Ye Group to retrieve evidence. Ji Bai took the appraisal report and went into the interrogation room with Old Wu.
Ye Jin raised her head with an indifferent yet gentle expression on her face. As her eyes met Ji Bai’s calm and sharp gaze, she was stunned for a moment before a gloomy expression briefly flashed on her face.
Old Wu who was standing outside the interrogation room sighed. “This woman is not going to be easy.”
After Ji Bai asked some general questions, he proceeded to get to the main points. “Where were you from 7.00 pm to 10.00 pm on the night of the incident?”
It was the same question, but this time, Ye Jin chose to remain silent.
Ji Bai continued, “In truth, I was doubtful from the very beginning. A criminal who was able to clean the crime scene so neatly would surely be aware that fewer traces left at the scene would ultimately lower the risk of being exposed. Won’t it be redundant to use the razor blades to ‘tag’ the crime scene? Unless the criminal wanted to hide an even more obvious clue.”
Ye Jin looked at him quietly without saying anything.
“Ye Ziqiang loves the Swiss Army Knives so it would be natural for him to have a limited edition or a custom-made high-grade Swiss Army knife attached to his keys. Despite this, there isn’t.” Ji Bai took his time to say, “The traces left by this kind of army knife are very special and since there’s only a limited number of people in Lin City who would purchase expensive top-grade army knives from abroad, which makes it very easy to track them.”
Ye Jin’s expression became slightly cold as a bitter smile appeared on her face.
Ji Bai continued, “Ye Ziqiang is known to be quite rash and has a history of being involved in violent fights. He most likely accidentally killed Ye Zixi, then used a Swiss Army knife to make wounds similar to the ‘Blade Injury Incident’ in an attempt to confuse the police. However, the two of you were on the phone because of work that night and he might have told you about the incident. Since he left such an obvious clue, all you could do was try your best to fix it. You used razor blades to disguise the injuries made by the Swiss Army knife, but where could you get razor blades late at night? Since you’re in charge of the company’s administration, it would very easy for you to get the razor blades from the warehouse.”
Ye Jin remained silent.
“Of course, after that, you had to alter the warehouse records to cover this up. Even so, we obtained the supply record of the company that supplies office equipment to the Ye Group. By comparing both reports, it shows that on the day of the incident, five razor blades were indeed missing from the warehouse. We also found the company’s surveillance tape and it shows that you’re the only one who entered the company’s warehouse after work that night. Moreover...” Ji Bai stared at her with his cold eyes, “The quality of the blades from different manufacturers, different places of production and different batches all vary. After running some test, we confirmed that the razor blades used on Ye Zixi’s body are from the same batch as the razor blades delivered to your company’s warehouse.”
Ye Jin remained silent for a moment, then raised her head to look at Ji Bai calmly. “You know, even if you hadn’t pulled me in today, I would have still turned myself in.”
After a pause, she added softly, “I won’t let Little Qiao go to jail for us.”
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