The trees’ shadow was swaying outside the window, the bright villa was extremely quiet. Xu Xu looked up to see Ji Bai’s dark black eyes, she slowly said: “Firstly, according to the latest forensic results, Zi Xi died in the time frame from 9 to 11 o’clock. Images from the surveillance cameras on the road showed that Zhang Shiyong arrived at the villa at 12 o’clock, so he isn’t the perpetrator. Based on the content of the text message and the clothes he didn’t manage to destroy, his statement can be trustworthy, Zhang Shiyong really was lured to the villa.
Next, Ye Qiao also isn’t the culprit. Based on the surveillance cameras and her statement, she was at the scene for less than an hour. In such a short time, a woman like her can’t possibly complete a series of actions which included murder, sabotaging the security monitoring system, stabbing into the victim several times, cleaning up the crime scene. Moreover, it also doesn’t explain the different types of stab wounds on the victim’s body. It isn’t because Shiyong came and stabbed her a few more times. According to the surveillance cameras on the road, when he arrived, Ye Qiao had already left. Where can he find a paper knife within this isolated mountain in the middle of the night?”
Once we find that two people who appeared at the scene around the time of the murder aren’t the culprits, then we need to revisit the original hypothesis to see where we went wrong.
We predicted Ye Zi’s time of death based on forensic results and the text message asking for help sent from her phone at 22:17. But from Ye Qiao’s statement, she said it was very cold that night, but the air conditioning was on. This is very strange, it’s spring now, even if someone is turning on the air conditioning, then it should be towards warm, why did Ye Qiao have the impression that it was cold? Low temperature may alter the body’s time of the death. Thus, there is a high probability that Ye Zi died before 9 o’clock.
In addition, Ye Qiao said, she had heard the sound of the microwave while coming inside the house. But that night, Ye Zi Xi had made salad and Sushi, she didn’t need to use the microwave. Perhaps what she heard wasn’t the noise from the microwave, but it was from the sound of a message getting sent successfully. I went to find out, recently, mobile phones can install applications that could set timer for a message to be sent. If the perpetrator has a high level IT skill, they can even download a virus, which after finishing sending the message, the application can immediately be removed. That would not leave any trace. Therefore, it is likely that the culprit set the time to send the message and turned on the air conditioning to decrease the room temperature. Using simultaneously these two strategies, it would disrupt the time of death. Unfortunately, Ye Qiao took away the cellphone when she came to the crime scene.
If this hypothesis is established, we need to investigate the alibis of the suspects before 10 o’clock. According to their statements, there is only the eldest son, Ye Qiang, and the eldest daughter, Ye Jin. These two also fit our descriptions of the killers. As for Ye Qiao, I think she either saw her brother’s car or saw them on their way to the scene, or that she guessed who the culprit is, hence she intends to be the scapegoat for her elder brother and sister. When she arrived, Zi Xi should have been dead.”
After Xu Xu finished her presentation, in her calm eyes there were hidden confidence and expectation to be recognized.
Ji Bail smiled: “Not bad. Actually, at the very beginning, I also suspected them. A person who’s capable of cleaning up the scene so perfectly will inevitably be able to create alibis for themselves. However, you missed the most important point.”
Xu Xu was stunned.
Ji Bai said: “Where’s the evidence? All the things you’ve talked about just are speculations, where’s the evidence for prosecuting them?”
Xu Xu lowered her head in thought, she can vaguely feel a certain clue but it’s yet not clear.
Ji bai wasn’t intending on being gentle or condescending to her at work, even though she wasn’t considered to be his future girlfriend. He believed Xu Xu also wouldn’t need it.
So catching her puzzled face, Ji Bai didn’t try to cherish nor adore the flower, but directly criticized: “Your biggest problem is that you are always putting too much thought on analysis and ignored researching for evidence. While discussing about Zhang Shiyong, you didn’t think about the important evidence “clothing”. It’s the same now, in fact you already mentioned the significant evidence to solve the case, but you didn’t think deeply into it. Now I’m not pointing it out, you go home and try to think about it, we will break the case tomorrow.”
Tonight the weather was gloomy, it was forecasted that it would rain. While observing the scene, Xu Xu already heard the pitter patter sound of rain from outside. When the two went out through the villa’s door, heavy rain was pouring down. The woods and mountains were even more ambiguous in the rain.
Xu Xu was shivering, took out a small folded umbrella from her bag and turned to ask Ji Bai: “Did you bring an umbrella?”
Ji Bai was holding a bag with a heavy umbrella inside, but he calmly shook his head: “I did not bring.”
The area of the villa was quite large. The distance from the door to the parking lot was more than ten meters.
The area the villa covered seemed to be getting bigger, to get to the parking lot one had to go a few tens of meters. Xu Xu opened the umbrella and handed it to Ji Bai then she stood close to him.
The ground was slippery, water was running rapidly, the sound of the rain falling heavily. Holding the umbrella on one hand, Ji Bai walked shoulder to shoulder alongside with Xu Xu under the heavy rain. She slightly lowered her head revealing the slender neck and the calm tilted face. He actually was experiencing a pleasant tranquil feeling that, he didn’t want to do anything to disrupt this moment.
Although Ji Bai almost had the whole umbrella above her head, but her small shoulders were still exposed outside, a few raindrops had fallen on them.
In his ear was the sound of the rain like the sound of waves, raindrops from along his hair which was quietly dripping down, seemingly flowed into Ji Bai’s heart. Ji Bai placed his hand on her shoulder,and gently held her closer to him.
Xu Xu was walking with her head lowered, her shoulders suddenly became heavier, a familiar hot air once again enclosed her making her a bit stunned.
A thought that she had denied, a purely intuitive reaction, once again like a feather glided through her heart.
Xu Xu turned around, seeing that Ji Bai got wet and his black hair plastered against his forehead, his deep eyes were looking at her intensely.
Two pair of eyes made contact. The hand which was holding her shoulder did not move. Her eyes were shining, obviously observing and studying, seemingly trying to find any clue from the depth of his eyes.
Silent few seconds later, Ji Bai spoke: “What are you doing all dazed? The umbrella is so small, if you walk slowly then both of us will get sick. Walk quickly.”
The two speeded up.
However, Xu Xu wasn’t as indifferent as Ji Bai thought. After a few steps, she felt his strong hand on her shoulder and his warm chest. Her whole body had an uncomfortable feeling that was hard to describe, her heart was beating faster.
The two arrived at the parking lot, Ji Bai let go of her then: “quickly get in.”
It was three in the morning when Ji Bai sent Xu Xu home. While leaving, his expression was very normal.
Xu Xu got on the bed; thinking about the important evidence that Ji Bai mentioned, she fell asleep without noticing anything. At a certain moment, she suddenly woke up, the first image which appeared before her was his handsome side profile and tall figure. It seems that his silhouette was engraved into her heart, indelible.
Xu Xu never thought Ji Bai was acting unusual. Although his outward appearance looked stern but he was always concerned about his subordinates. At that time it was raining heavily, the umbrella was small, if it were Zhao Han or Yao Meng, perhaps he would also be caring towards them like her.
This thought made Xu Xu feel that the abnormal person was herself. It was obviously a hug of friendship originally, nothing more, thinking of it always made her mood became distraught.
Finally, Xu Xu couldn’t sleep, tucked one hand under her chin sat on the bed and started thinking. She’s a healthy woman, and recently started frequently paying attention to Ji Bai’s masculine body, perhaps due to hormones.
Early the next morning, Xu Xu arrived at the police station. Seeing Ji Bai’s face, she thought of the hormones so her attitude was very calm: “ Master, I’ve thought of the important evidence.”
Because Ji Bai wasn’t intending to express his emotions so quickly, he was also calm as usual. He nodded and smiled: “Good.”
Ye Jin was immediately invited to the police station.
Ji Bai did not immediately interrogate her but let her sit alone in the interrogation room.
As each second, each minute passed, the sunlight gradually became stronger outdoor, the small interrogation room was quiet and hot. Ye Jin was wearing a black blazer, the thin body upright. Her head was slightly lowered and she quietly waited.
Her unusual calm attitude made some people, who originally did not suspect her, rise to have doubts.
Zhao Han said: “Too wise becomes dumb, she is deliberately looking calm, contrary to others who were more skeptical.”
Ji Bai looked at Ye Jin through the glass: “No, she’s calm because she already expected today’s result.”
Everyone was stunned while observing Ye Jin, their sentiments at the moment was difficult to put into words.
Finally, the colleagues who went to Yip to collect evidence came back with good news. Ji Bai took the assessment report and entered the interrogation room with officer Wu.
Ye Jin looked up, her face was calm and peaceful. But meeting with Ji Bai’s sharp gaze, she was a bit shocked, then her eyes flashed a dark look.
Outside the interrogation room, an officer exclaimed: “This woman truly isn’t simple.”
After some basic questions, Ji Bai cut to the chase: “From seven to ten o’clock on the night of the murder, where were you?”
The same question but this time Ye Jin stayed quiet.
Ji Bai continued: “ In fact right from the beginning, I already suspected you, a criminal that could clean up the crime scene so well probably also knows that less trace at the crime scene means the degree of danger would also be lower. Why did the culprit make such useless actions like using paper knife to fabricate the crime scene? Unless the criminal is trying to cover up more obvious traces.
Ye Jin quietly watched Ji Bai, did not speak up.
“Ye Qiao likes to collect Swiss army knives. On his chain it would be normal for him to have limited edition knife from Swiss but he doesn’t have one.” Ji Bai spoke slowly: “This kind of knife would leave behind specific cuts, it’s very rare to find people who’ve ordered such luxuriously expensive knives from abroad. This can easily be investigated.”
Ye Jin’s face slightly changed color; on the corner of her mouth vaguely appeared a miserable smile.
Ji Bai continued: “ Ye Qiang has bad temper and is impulsive, he has a history of violence. It’s likely that he accidentally killed Ye Zi Xi, then used the Swiss knife to create the wounds like the “blade case” to mislead the investigation of the police. On the night of the incident, you and he talked on the phone to discuss work. Perhaps Ye Qiang told you about what happened, since he left such clear traces, you had to find a way to save him, and need to use real paper knives to create the wounds to cover up the wounds made by the Swiss knife. Where can you find a paper knife in the middle of the night? You’re in charge of the company’s finance; going into the storage room to get paper knives is as easy as turning a hand.
Ye Jin was still silent.
“Of course, afterwards you inevitably have to modify the inventory records to conceal it. But we got the record from the provider that delivers office supplies to Yip. After comparing, we found that on the night of the murder, the storage room was indeed short of five paper knives. We also found the camera footage of the company, on the afternoon that day, you were the only one who went into the office supplies storage room. Moreover… “Ji Bai’s cold gaze stared straight at Ye Jin: “The composition of each knife belonging to different factories are different, different shipments also have differences. According to the assessment results, the paper knives on Ye Zi Xi, belonged to the same batch of knives contained in the company’s storage room.
At this moment, Ye Jin looked up. She calmly looked at Ji Bai and spoke: “In fact, even if you didn’t come to look for me today, I would have taken the initiative to come to the police station.”
After pausing for a moment, she softly said: “I can’t let Ye Qiao take the blame on our behalf.”
Edited by No.5 proofreader
Ye Jin is really smart, I wish she didn’t do that. She didn’t even do anything wrong, but now she has to go jail. She’s quite similar to Xu Xu except for the fact that Xu Xu wouldn’t make such a bad decision. Xu Xu is a lot more rational.
Another extra chapter, thank you for your donations toward WASL fundraiser.I’m very thankful regardless of the amount you’ve donated.
Thoughts on chapter? Be sure to comment/like/follow. It really makes my day.