Translated by: TaffyGirl13
Chapter 2: The Return of the Dead
There were no lights, just a few candles.
The flame’s faintly pulsing glow caused the surrounding dark space to blur together with a constantly flickering, mysterious hue. At a quick glance, it looked like some ancient mystical ceremony was being conducted.
The indistinct glow illuminated the mess of objects and the mottled walls.
Chunks of cement had already fallen from the walls, exposing the spiderweb of old-fashioned bricks. A large and ugly black gecko was currently swishing its long, thick tail between the cracks of the bricks to forcefully break through, causing dust to fall everywhere with a rustling sound.
This place was a bit like a basement, or perhaps a long-abandoned warehouse. The damp ground had accumulated uneven patches of sewage water. The air was saturated with the smell of mould.
He stood motionless there like a statue, with his back facing the circle of lit candles.
The energetic candlelight magnified the reflection of his back projected on the opposite wall, forming a sinister, gigantic shadow. Quietly lying underneath the shadow was a lidless coffin.
The coffin was not large and was entirely pitch-black. It seemed to have been placed there for several years, as the bottom of the coffin that was soaking in the water had already started to reek. The dark body of the coffin was covered in large patches of mould, disgusting dark-green among layers of white fuzz.
He stood three steps away, lost in thought as he stared at the coffin. His cracked lips slowly curled upwards into an unnoticeable arc to form a strange smile on his suntanned face.
Yes, he was smiling, with a smile that would make a person’s blood run cold. His turbid pupils carried an inexplicable anxiousness and anticipation, as though impatiently waiting for something.
“Wei Wei, how is it? Do you like that skin?”
He muttered to himself as he faced the coffin.
However, soon after, some slight movement came from the coffin as though replying to him.
“Wei Wei, what do you think? Isn’t this skin beautiful?”
The wrinkles between his brow slowly relaxed as the smile on his lips gradually widened.
Yet the noise from the coffin vanished.
Immediately, the surroundings sank into silence.
He waited for half a beat, then immediately began to panic. Unable to control his emotions, he took a step forwards as he frantically asked in worry, “What, Wei Wei, are you mad at me? Do you not like this jiějie’s 1 skin?”
But there was still no movement from the inside of the coffin.
He began to grow anxious. Just as he was about to cross over to take a look, a weak voice suddenly came from the inside. It cut in and out with a faint echo, floating indistinctly through the quiet space.
“Yes, it’s Daddy. Daddy is here, Wei Wei, Wei Wei.”
He shed tears of joy as he collapsed next to the coffin and fixed his gaze inside.
“No need to thank Daddy. Wei Wei is such a good girl. This is Daddy’s present to you.”
“Mn, it’s good if Wei Wei likes it.”
He nodded gratefully and relaxed. After some thought, he said, “Why don’t Daddy help Wei Wei find a set of teeth? That way, Wei Wei won’t have to work so hard to talk to Daddy.”
He chuckled and stood up, wiping his wet eyes as he murmured quietly, “Don’t worry, Daddy will find a set of pretty and neat teeth for Wei Wei. Wei Wei should just get some rest first. Be good and wait for Daddy to come back.”
After saying this, he struggled to lift the heavy coffin lid next to his feet and carefully covered the coffin. He couldn’t help but glance at it again before reluctantly turning to blow out all the candles. He strolled out slowly from the darkness…
Outside the room, the sun shone brightly.
Despite it being extremely chilly today, with the temperature close to zero degrees, the winter day’s warm sunlight still made one feel exceptionally cosy. After being under it for a long time, it even made one feel vague ripples of exhaustion.
Thus, at this precise moment, Ye Xiao was lazily sprawled on his office desk under the sunlight. As he laid there, he briefly closed his eyes until suddenly, a folder smashed down onto his head. This shocked his muddled brain awake.
“Ugh, that really hurts. Could you please not hit my head all the time? The more you beat it, the dumber I’ll become.”
Ye Xiao muttered this while hugging his head as he shot Su Mu a glare.
Su Mu couldn’t be bothered to bicker with him. He frigidly met Ye Xiao’s eyes and asked, “How’s your progress on the thing I asked you to investigate? The higher-ups are already staring to push this case.”
Ye Xiao yawned loudly and tossed a data packet over as he replied, “Here. The old house that Shen Guo Zhong lived in forty-nine years ago was torn down ages ago. Now it’s been renovated into a shopping mall and office building. As for his wife, she remarried long ago as well and accompanied her second husband overseas without any correspondence. Looks like this Shen person really did live a solitary life. No one even went to offer any sacrifice at his grave after he died.”
After saying this, Ye Xiao paused for a moment to ponder something. Then he added, “But I did find something else that was a bit odd.”
“What was it?”
“It’s related to Shen Guo Zhong’s daughter, Shen Wei.”
Ye Xiao flipped the data packet open and pointed to a paragraph as he said, “According to the records, Shen Wei died from a sudden fire that broke out in her home. By the time she was sent to the hospital, she had already stopped breathing. However, before she could be sent to the funeral parlour, Shen Wei’s body unexpectedly went missing.”
“Yes, it suddenly vanished from the hospital morgue.”
Ye Xiao knocked the data packet and stated, “Since the hospital couldn’t contact her father, Shen Guo Zhong, and her other relatives had cut off contact, this matter was just left unsettled. After all, this wasn’t anything glorious for the hospital either. It was also at this time when Shen Guo Zhong disappeared without a trace. A few months later, the serial murder cases began to occur.”
Ye Xiao said this all in once breath. Su Mu raised a brow at him as he replied, “So you suspect that Shen Guo Zhong took Shen Wei’s body from the hospital?”
“I can’t think of any possibilities aside from that.” Ye Xiao leaned back against his chair as he pondered out loud, “First he suffered his wife’s betrayal, then he lost his only daughter. Perhaps the chain of heavy blows twisted Sheng Guo Zhong’s psychological state, leading to him committing a series of unpardonable crimes. What do you think?”
Ye Xiao looked at Su Mu sitting at the desk across from him. Su Mu thoughtfully studied the pile of data in front of him and was silent for a beat before quietly saying, “It would be great if the matter really was that simple.”
Ye Xiao was taken aback by this. He scratched his head somewhat impatiently as he asked, “I seriously don’t understand why you’re so caught up on this case from forty-nine years ago. What exactly are you suspicious of?”
Su Mu raised his eyes to meet Ye Xiao’s eyes but did not reply.
Ye Xiao let out a helpless sigh and waved his hand as he huffed, “Ok, ok, don’t keep being overly suspicious of everything. Don’t you think that our current investigation is completely off-track? No matter how bizarre or complicated that case was, we should just leave it at that. No need to dive any deeper. I can very clearly tell you that the murderer that year, Shen Guo Zhong, is already dead. And the dead could never crawl out from the coffin to commit crimes!”
Ye Xiao hands were clenched into fists as he made this declaration with full confidence. However, the moment his voice faded, a sinister chuckle came from behind him without any warning, shocking him to the point of chills running down his spine. He whipped his head around to see Mei Mei’s pale face peeking out from behind long hair. Her curved lips grinned crazily at him.
“Who told you that the dead can’t crawl out from coffins to commit crimes?” She asked eerily.
Ye Xiao’s face twitched as he shot back in annoyance, “Oi, mould woman, can you not go around trying to scare people with hocus-pocus stuff? Science has proven that there isn’t any elixir that can bring back those from the grave. Dead people cannot be revived.”
Unexpectedly, he heard Su Mu let out a scoff at these words.
Ye Xiao turned to stare at Su Mu, then back at Mei Mei. Finally, he asked in indignation, “What, neither of you agree? If you’re able to, go ahead and refute my words.”
Su Mu did not utter a word. The words “you’re not worth conversing with” were written all over his aloof expression as he went back to looking at documents.
Mei Mei laughed creepily as she blinked and replied, “Do you know of Jack the Ripper?”
“Jack the Ripper?” Ye Xiao cocked his head to the side and answered, “That infamous prostitute killer from 19th century England?”
“Yep, that killer.” Mei Mei put down the cup of tea in her hand and changed her sitting posture as she said, “What’s spread around outside nowadays is that this Jack the Ripper killed five prostitutes in extremely cruel ways in London’s Whitechapel area during a short three month-period from August to November in the year 1888. One of the victims was stabbed thirty-nine times, with nine slits across the throat. The other four had their abdomens sliced open and the killer removed their uteruses, even slaughtering a yet-to-be-born baby girl inside the womb. This series of terrible murders was never resolved. Up until now, no one knows who the actual killer was. These are facts that we all know. However, the reality is that there was also a follow-up to Jack the Ripper.”
“Follow-up? What follow-up?” Ye Xiao put on an expression of being all ears.
Mei Mei smirked mysteriously as she responded, “Actually, a century later, Jack the Ripper reappeared. Just as before, he killed five prostitutes within a three-month period. Even the methods of killing were identical. Do you think that an ordinary person could live for so long?”
“Um, even if they could live that long, they wouldn’t have the ability to commit murder.”
“That’s where the critical question lies. Some say that Jack the Ripper had been revived from death.”
“What a joke. It’s just a copycat murder case. On what basis do they say it’s the same perpetrator?”
“The reason is fingerprints.”
“Yes. There were already the most basic ways to retrieve fingerprints by the 19th century. And the fingerprints left behind in those crime scenes a hundred years later were identical to the fingerprints of Jack the Ripper from the previous age.”
Mei Mei flashed a dark grin, then turned around as though ready to do something else. She picked up the book on the table and grew engrossed in reading once again. As she read, she recited a few more words, “That’s why, there is a possibility for the dead to commit the same crimes.”
Ye Xiao couldn’t help but feel show frustration all over his face. As he eyed the book in her hand, he was taken aback to discover the eye-catching words: The Unsolved Mystery from Nineteenth Century.
“Tch, another one of those bizarre books…” He smiled dryly and shook his head.
In the afternoon, Ye Xiao and Su Mu were summoned to the group leader’s office and were inquired about the progress of the case.
Inside the office, Ye Xiao finished reporting the investigation status of the case. At the end, after a moment of hesitation, he worriedly expressed that there was a high likelihood for the murderer to be a serial offender. Thus, he hoped that the media could get involved to announce that girls of similar age range shouldn’t go outside alone at night when it was easy to encounter danger.
The group leader looked at him and muttered, “On what basis do you conclude that the criminal will be a serial offender?”
Ye Xiao was unable to respond for a moment. He glanced over at the taciturn Su Mu and inwardly thought: Basis? I can’t exactly say that the criminal might be the perverted serial killer that was executed forty-nine years ago, right?
Thus, following a moment of silence, he could only say, “I don’t have one.”
“If you don’t have a basis, then don’t just speak so casually.” The group leader’s tone raised an octave as he sternly reprimanded, “This matter cannot be released outside without any evidence. It would definitely incite unnecessary panic.”
“But-but isn’t it still better to raise everyone’s guards?” Ye Xiao discourteously shot back.
“What did you say?” The group leader glared at him and furiously demanded, “If you have the ability to be worrying about this right now, then you might as well quickly arrest the criminal and bring them to justice!”
Ye Xiao respectfully replied. He turned around and, while his back was facing his superior, he quietly muttered to himself, “Tsk, even though you clearly only run your mouth instead of acting.”
Su Mu wordlessly shot him a look.
Then a roar came from behind. “Ye Xiao! Are you secretly cursing at me again?!”
“Ah? How could that be? Eh, Leader, if there’s nothing else, we’ll be taking our leave first.”
He then grabbed Su Mu to hurriedly retreat out from the group leader’s office.
In the hallway, Ye Xiao let out a sigh as he resentfully spat out, “Now what? We don’t have any clues. Don’t tell me we still continue investigating that Shen Guo Zhong?”
Su Mu did not express any opinion, his face as blank as usual. There was no knowing what he was thinking as he quietly walked away by himself.
Ye Xiao stared at the other’s back as he awkwardly scratched his head and mumbled, “Tch, ignored again…”
The sky turned gloomy as evening fell. Large dark rainclouds hovered over the horizon in a stance ready to release a torrent of rain and wind from the mountains. The sun had still been shining so brightly during the day, yet the weird weather had instantly changed faces at the drop of a hat.
When the workday ended, everyone in the special crimes unit rushed to go home before the storm struck, aside from those on night shift. Ye Xiao came back from the tea room after taking a smoke, he found that Su Mu’s desk across from him was already empty. Thus, he gathered his belongings, put on his coat, and left the office.
It was seven in the evening when he returned home. His stomach had been grumbling from hunger for a while already. Ye Xiao fished out his keys and opened his door, then unexpectedly caught the whiff of food’s fragrance. Although it smelled suspiciously like it was a bit burnt, it was still enough for him to drool in desire.
“What’s going on? Someone’s cooking at home?”
Puzzled, he strode in and found that the living room lights were all switched on, yet there was no one in sight. There were two plates of strange dishes on the table. Upon closer inspection, he could just barely tell that one was a plate of paste-like stir-fried tomato and eggs, while the other was…braised pork that was even blacker than ink.
“Heh, did a snail bride visit?”
Ye Xiao turned to scan the surroundings and discovered that the originally messy house had been cleaned up by someone. It was just that the tidied version was not exactly clean nor neat either.
After seeing all this, he couldn’t help but laugh as he called out towards the kitchen, “Brat, stop hiding and just come out.”
The kitchen door slammed open and a petite figure pounced out, diving into Ye Xiao’s arms.
“Xiao-gēge! I missed you so much!”
A voice as bright and clear as silver bells happily rang out next to his ears.
“Ah…you damn brat, alright, come one, let go or else I’ll be choked to death!”
Ye Xiao raised both arms in surrender, but the girl sprawled on his body still hugged his neck tightly like a koala bear.
“My name isn’t ‘damn brat’, it’s Ling Dang!”
“Ok, ok, ok, Ling Dang, Ling Dang, ah…hurry up and let me go, I can barely breathe!”
Ye Xiao cried this out helplessly, and Ling Dang finally released her hold. A sweet smile formed on her lips as she looked at him with a charming head tilt and asked curiously, “Xiao-gēge, how did you know it was me?”
“Aside from you, who else would come cook in my home?”
Ye Xiao rubbed his sore neck and took off his jacket, tossing it onto the sofa.
Ling Dang let out a sputter of laughter. She leapt up and leaned over to elbow him as she asked slyly, “Oh? Does that mean Xiao-gēge really hasn’t gotten a girlfriend yet?”
“What, did the institution old head send you to spy on me and get some information?” Ye Xiao laughed as he rapped her head.
“Tch, you know just as well that the institution head cares about your marriage.” Ling Dang blinked her large, watery eyes.
“Oh yeah, I changed my lock. How did you get in?”
“Oh, the landlord helped me open the door. I told her I was your little sister.”
As she spoke, Ling Dang pushed Ye Xiao into a chair next to the dining table and said, “You must be starving, right? Just wait a moment, I’ll go check to see if the rice is done cooking and prepare some soup too. What kind of soup do you want? Vegetable soup? Or corn soup?”
“Eh, there’s no need for soup. It would be good enough if you cooked the rice properly…oi! Brat!”
Before Ye Xiao had even finished speaking, he watched Ling Dang skip into the kitchen, her dark-black ponytail swinging back and forth as she happily hummed an unknown popular tune.
He couldn’t help but laugh dryly. But then he shifted his gaze and spotted a cartoon-character luggage bag placed in the corner of the wall.
“Hey, brat, are you staying here tonight?” He called out towards the kitchen.
“Yep, and not just for today. I’ll be staying here for the next month~”
Ling Dang stuck out her head with a ladle in hand as she made a funny face at Ye Xiao.
“Eh? What? Doesn’t your university have dorms?” Ye Xiao stared at her in astonishment.
“Winter break started today; the dorms emptied out ages ago. I didn’t want to stay there all by myself, it’s too lonely!” Ling Dang grievously pouted her pink lips.
Ye Xiao was dumbstruck for a moment, feeling slightly conflicted.
While having another person staying in his home wasn’t a big deal, this slender and elegant girl before him was no longer the crying little child that would always follow him and bug him for candy back in the orphanage. As a single man and single woman now, living together just felt a bit strange.
Ye Xiao hesitated, uncertain of what to say. However, he heard Ling Dang butt in first, “I’m begging you, Xiao-gēge, I’m really obedient and I listen well. I swear that I won’t cause you any trouble. Will you let me stay for just one month?”
Ling Dang spoke in an exceptionally sad tone, her pitiful little face staring at him expectantly.
Ye Xiao was defeated by her miserable look. He could only heave a heavy sigh as he compromised, “Alright, just one month. But once your winter break ends, you have to return to the school dorms.”
“That means you agree?”
“You already brought your luggage here, how could I not agree?”
“Yay! Awesome! I knew Xiao-gēge loves me the most!”
Ling Dang’s “sadness turned into joy” as she jumped around while excitedly waving the ladle.
“Ah, damn brat! Such a smooth talker!” Ye Xiao shook his head with a chuckle.
When Ling Dang carried out half-cooked rice afterwards, he could no longer bring himself to laugh. He suddenly realised that perhaps this next month would be spent eating half-cooked rice.
Following the dinner that he had gulped down without tasting, Ye Xiao began to feel discomfort in his stomach.
In the middle of the night, while Ling Dang was burrowed in his bedroom and taking up his bed to sleep without a care, he was instead hugging his hurting stomach while curled up on the sofa. He turned left and right, unable to sleep.
“Damn it…I just knew that running into that brat was nothing good…”
Ye Xiao let out a long breath with a bitter expression. Just as he was about to hazily close his eyes, the cellphone placed next to his pillow suddenly rang loudly, giving him a shock. When he grabbed it, he saw that it was actually a call from the station.
An urgent call in the middle of the night usually was not a good thing.
He immediately sat up in a single breath and accepted the call. As expected, there was only a single short sentence from the opposite end.
“A second victim was found.”
Ye Xiao was stunned as he asked, “Where?”
“No.7, M Street, T District.”
“Got it. I’ll head over immediately.”
He immediately hung up the phone and grabbed his jacket as he raced out the door.
By the time he rushed to the crime scene, it was 2:30 AM. The night was very dark, the mist very chilly.
After a storm, the boundless twilight fallen over the alley off the main street was quiet, as though fast asleep. There were only two police cars with their sirens flashing red and blue in turn.
Ye Xiao hugged his jacket tightly around his body as he faced the freezing winds and stepped out onto the cement covered in water. He crossed over the yellow police tape and spotted Su Mu currently walking out from the narrow alley, his handsome face taut with a trace of grimness.
“What’s the situation?” He asked.
“As expected, a serial murder case.” Su Mu pointed at the depths of the alleyway and stated, “The victim was still a young female. The vein in her right arm was severed and she was abandoned in that alley.”
As he spoke, he lifted the bloodstained evidence bag in his hands.
Ye Xiao focused on it and frowned as he asked, “Another Japanese rose?”
“Yes, this time it’s a blue rose.”
Su Mu handed the evidence bag over to the forensic group.
Ye Xiao strode up to him and asked in a lowered voice, “What was the victim missing this time?”
Su Mu met his gaze and replied with only one word, “Teeth.”
Ye Xiao found this slightly unexpected. He hadn’t imagined that the murderer would be perverted to the point where he even wanted to collect teeth.
“The victim’s face was slit open horizontally from the corners of the mouth. The entire chin was completely removed.” Su Mu gestured as he added, “Then the teeth were pried out one by one with a sharp tool.”
“Tch, just hearing about it sounds painful.” Ye Xiao shuddered. “Time of death?”
“None – she was fortunately discovered in time while the victim was still holding onto her last breath. However, she fell into a deep coma and it’s still uncertain if she will wake up. She’s already been sent to the hospital.”
Su Mu then used his chin to point at a woman standing nearby as he said, “That’s the first person to find the victim.”
Ye Xiao glanced over.
The woman was currently leaning against a wall to smoke. Her eyes covered with violet contacts were half concealed under her lowered lids as she blankly met the gaze of the young officer looking over. Despite it being the middle of winter, she was wearing a revealing knee-length dress. She wore an elegant and luxurious fur coat on top, and even with the distance between them, Ye Xiao could smell the heavy scent of cheap perfume.
This was not Ye Xiao’s first time seeing this type of woman. He turned his head back to ask quietly, “A prostitute?”
“Yes. She just happened to spot the victim when she was rushing on her way to accept a job, and then she reported it to the police.”
“Oh, so she doesn’t have a bad heart then. Did she see the killer?”
“No, but…” Su Mu was silent for a moment before continuing, “If the victim is able to wake up, she might have seen the killer’s true face.”
Ye Xiao sighed in reply. “What a pity that such a young girl had to suffer that traumatic of an experience. Even if she does wake up, I’m afraid she won’t necessarily be able to maintain a clear state of mind.”
Su Mu lowered his head, his face void of expression. He slowly pulled off his bloodstained white gloves as he coldly declared, “She is the sole survivor after encountering the perpetrator. Regardless of whether she’s clear-minded or not, she must immediately giver her statement if she wakes. We don’t have time to wait. There might soon be a third victim.”
Su Mu’s tone was heavy without any hint of warmth. Mixed together with the winter breeze that blew past, the coldness seemed to strike directly at the heart.
Ye Xiao glanced at him with a somewhat uncomfortable feeling. However, he did not voice any rebuke. He knew that this was Su Mu’s style of doing things; even if he disapproved, there was no changing it.
A week later, the 24-year old victim, Miao Ruo Xue, miraculously regained consciousness. However, Ye Xiao’s words were proven to be true. Miao Ruo Xue’s mental state was very unstable as a result of suffering extreme shock. She spent the entire time either crying or screaming, sometimes even smashing things. When Ye Xiao entered the ward, he was nearly struck in the head by a thermos that she had tossed out. The nurses could do nothing about her, nor could they inject her with too much sedatives. Her mother could only silently sob nearby.
Miao Ruo Xue was a child in a single-parent household. The mother-daughter pair had always relied on each other for survival. Miao Ruo Xue had graduated from dental school last year and was currently an assistant at a private dental clinic. She had been living quite a stable life, yet had suddenly run into this unexpected disaster. It was truly a pity.
Ye Xiao flashed his police badge. Before he could even speak, he was stopped by a female nurse next to him.
The nurse frowned and asked in a criticizing tone, “My apologies to both of you officers, but the patient’s current condition is entirely unsuitable to provide a statement. May I request for you to come again another day?”
“Another day?” Su Mu raised a brow, narrowing his eyes at her as he frigidly asked, “If another victim appears in that interim, are you able to take responsibility?”
The nurse’s words remained stuck in her throat. Seemingly frightened by Su Mu’s icy aura, she automatically took a step back.
“Oi, can’t you improve your tone a bit?” Ye Xiao hurriedly grabbed Su Mu as he tried to smoothe the situation. “Don’t make things difficult for others. She was just speaking the truth.”
Su Mu shot him a look and did not respond.
Ye Xiao looked at the displeased nurse and Miao Ruo Xue’s mother as he earnestly requested, “Would you be able to give me two minutes? Just two minutes is enough. We won’t ask anything much, we just want to ask her to identify a person.”
The mother with greying hair gazed at her daughter on the bed. After hesitating for a while, she ultimately gave a silent nod. Thus, Ye Xiao slowly approached the bedside to study the pale-faced Miao Ruo Xue.
The girl’s age was close to Ling Dang’s, right at the prime of her youth. However, she now looked more like a flower on the verge of withering. She laid in the bed with a very wan and sallow appearance, her eyes shut, clearly not wanting to speak with anyone.
In reality, she could not speak at the moment anyways, as the entire area [of her face] below her nose was covered and set in place by a plaster and bandages. Her entire head was even fastened to the bed frame by equipment. A thin tube stretched out from where her lips were for her to easily drink liquid foods.
Ye Xiao gently called out her name as he went near.
The girl’s eyes remained tightly shut as she remained still.
Ye Xiao lowered his body as he gently said, “Ruo Xue, I know you’re feeling very terrible right now, but don’t worry, no one can harm you again anymore. We will protect you, so you don’t need to worry or be afraid anymore. Just look – we, your mother, and your friends are all by your side.”
As his kind words floated down, the mother couldn’t help but cover her mouth as tears poured out from her eyes. However, Miao Ruo Xue continued to stubbornly keep her eyes closed, not uttering a single noise.
Ye Xiao waited for a while before slowly asking, “Ruo Xue, could you tell me if you saw that criminal’s face?”
Beyond everyone’s expectations, before he even finished asking the question, Miao Ruo Xue suddenly waved her arms around crazily, and a piercing scream ripped out from her throat. She opened her bloodshot eyes and struggled to shake her head, her emotions seemingly going out of control.
“Sorry, Mr. Officer, but the patient’s mental state is unstable. Please get out immediately.”
The nearby nurse could not bear to watch any further. Right as she was about to go forward to stop him, she instead saw Ye Xiao abruptly lean over to tightly hug the flailing Miao Ruo Xue and state in a firm yet gentle voice next to her ear, “Ruo Xue, don’t be afraid. Everything has already passed. Be a bit braver! I promise you, I’ll definitely arrest the perpetrator for you. I’ll definitely make sure the person that hurt you will be punished according to the law! But right now, I need your assistance, alright?”
After struggling for a while, the girl finally calmed down slowly, as though infected by Ye Xiao’s words.
She looked at the unfamiliar, young officer before her with anguish, her eyes glistening with tears.
Ye Xiao warmly smiled and brushed away the strands of hair that had fallen in front of her eyes. He encouraged, “Don’t be scared. Tell me, you saw the perpetrator’s face that day, didn’t you?”
Miao Ruo Xue was silent for a moment, her tears sorrowfully tumbling down from the corners of her eyes.
After a very long time, she slowly nodded with great difficulty.
Ye Xiao wiped her tears and turned to look at Su Mu.
Su Mu pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. The paper had a black-and-white photo of a man on it.
This middle-aged man was no one else but Shen Guo Zhong – the man that had been executed by gunpoint after receiving the death penalty forty-nine years ago.
Of course, no one else present knew that the man in the photo was already dead. Otherwise, they would have definitely thought that these two criminal investigators were likely crazy.
Everyone held their breaths as they focused on Miao Ruo Xue. For a while, the entire ward was absolutely silent.
Miao Ruo Xue was a bit absent-minded as she focused on the man’s photo. After staring at it for a long while, when everyone was starting to suspect she had already forgotten everything, she suddenly gave a minute shake of her head.
“Take a good look. Is it really not this person?”
Su Mu furrowed his brows, his expression one of complete astonishment. It was as though he was suspecting the victim was lying.
However, Miao Ruo Xue had no reason to cover for the criminal.
Ye Xiao anxiously asked once more, “Ruo Xue, are you really certain it isn’t this person?”
Miao Ruo Xue looked at him. This time, she very confidently shook her head.
Ye Xiao and Su Mu exchanged a look. In that moment, both their expressions were somewhat complicated.
1. jiějie = “older sister”, not necessarily biological. Can be used as a pronoun or a suffix. ↑