When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 16[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:54:54]
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
When Ji Bai voiced out the two deductions, Xu Xu was frightened. Many details began flashing through her mind. They were blurry, but she was almost certain about them.
Ji Bai took his time and said in a low voice, “The injury on the deceased’s abdomen was messy and not clean. Since there are many wounds, the culprit must have tried to stab the victim multiple times with a knife. Meanwhile, the four other injuries were clean and neat, so there should be two culprits. That is because there used two completely different techniques.” He took his time to explain everything.
“I agree with this point.” Old Wu nodded.
Another criminal police officer asked, “Could it be the same person? After all, the culprit might have initially been a little nervous and unfamiliar with his knife but gradually gotten used to it.”
Old Wu replied, “The position and direction of which the blades penetrated the body is different. It should not be the same person.”
Xu Xu had no experience in the investigation of knife-related injuries. However, when she heard this, she related it to her major, “There should be a gradual process if the culprit was getting used to it. It is impossible for someone who was so hesitant with their first attempt to become that firm and confident with their second attempt. This also reflects the two different mentalities of the culprits while they committed the murder. One of them might have been hesitating and was scared while the other one might have been very determined. If it was the same person, then their mentality would not have changed that drastically in such a short time.”
“What about the secret lover?” Another police officer asked.
Xu Xu looked towards Ji Bai and saw his calm yet sharp gaze. Since he was not smiling, there was a cold and strong look on his face.
“The wardrobe does not make sense. One of the cabinets is packed to the brim, while the other two are only half-filled. However, the clothes are not arranged according to seasons or styles in any of the cabinets. The same goes for the shoe cabinet. After looking at the whole estate, we know that Ye Zixi likes things to be very neat and tidy. Someone most probably took away all of their clothes and quickly moved her clothes over as a disguise. In addition to this, even though there isn’t any solid evidence to prove that a man lived in this villa, the decorative style of the apartment does not make sense. The black heavy leather sofa and the huge calligraphy painting does not look like something that is normally found in the residence of a woman who lived alone. Right, Xu Xu?”
Xu Xu suddenly heard him say her name and nodded. “If Ye Zixi was living alone, then she would more likely have chosen a modern minimalist style or perhaps a more exquisite and fashionable layout.”
Old Wu also added, “Furthermore, a single unmarried woman living alone in a villa in the middle of the night is suspicious. It is highly possible that she was meeting her secret lover. Based on how famous Ye Zixi was, the world should have known about it by now if it was a normal relationship. Moreover, with her financial influence, if she wanted to live in a suburban villa, why not choose a better-developed area? Why would she choose somewhere inaccessible like Lin An Mountain?”
“According to our initial analysis, we can make this secret lover our primary suspect. However, we must not rule out the other possibilities.” Ji Bai briefly stated their preliminary conclusion.
When they got back to the police station, it was already noon. Everyone hurriedly ate their lunch in the conference room as Ji Bai asked, “Where is Ye Zixiao?”
Zhao Han pointed towards the interrogation room opposite them.
Xu Xu raised her head to look towards that direction. She saw Ye Zixiao sitting still in the tiny room. His hair was messy and there was an expressionless look on his face. He did not even touch the lunch box and tea in front of him.
“The fourth brother of the Ye Family is actually quite kind.” Someone sighed. “It’s understandable that he did not see the text messages since he was asleep. No one would blame him.”
Another person added, “Yes. He would most likely not have been able to save her even if he had rushed over immediately – especially since Ye Zixi texted him whilst on the brink of death. The five-blade wounds were caused after her death. This indicates that the murderer either went back again, or she sent the text message when the murderer was not paying attention. Either way, the murderer had not yet left when she sent out the message. After Ye Zixiao left the city, it would have taken him at least half an hour to reach the villa. By the time he arrived, the victim would most likely already be dead. Furthermore, her mobile phone could not be found on the crime scene, so the murderer most probably took it.”
Yao Meng did not go to the crime scene that morning. After she heard this, she sighed aloud. “It must be hard for him to see his sister’s dead body.” She lightly patted Xu Xu’s arm after saying this.
Xu Xu understood that Yao Meng was hinting at her to go and comfort Ye Zixiao since Yao Meng had seen them together in the past.
However, Xu Xu did not know how to comfort Ye Zixiao. She felt that it was useless to say anything at this time. Moreover, she was never good with words.
At this moment, Ji Bai stood up. “I am going to talk to him.”
Xu Xu likewise immediately stood up and followed him.
After spending the morning in the police station, Ye Zixiao had finally calmed down. He tried to stop himself from thinking about the scene of Ye Zixi lying in a pool of blood, but his brain was a blur as he heard footsteps approaching. Moments later, Ji Bai appeared at the door and… Xu Xu was trailing after him.
Although she had ruthless rejected him, it felt as though it had happened a lifetime ago. Nonetheless, Ye Zixiao was still a little uncomfortable when he saw that she would be participating in the recording.
Since it was a formal recording, Ji Bai followed procedure and asked for his name, age and other basic information. Ye Zixiao answered these questions one by one. During that period of time, Xu Xu kept her head down to record his answers. She occasionally raised her head to look him in the eyes, but she remained silent. This caused Ye Zixiao to relax but at the same time feel inexplicably uncomfortable.
Ji Bai noticed the change in his expression and continued to ask calmly, “Where were you from 8.00pm to 5.00am last night?”
“I stayed at a bar until 9.00pm and went back to my villa in Jialin Park.”
“Is there a time witness?” Ji Bai asked briefly.
“…No. I could never kill my own sister. There’s no need to be suspicious of me.”
Ji Bai and Xu Xu both looked at him. Then, Xu Xu said, “Think about it again carefully.”
“I already said no.” Ye Zixiao replied briefly before returning his gaze to the table.
Suddenly, Ji Bai turned and spoke to Xu Xu, “You, leave first. Get another clerk in here.”
Xu Xu was stunned but she listened to him and got up and left.
Ye Zixiao did not look at her and kept resting his forehead on one hand. After a while, Yao Meng walked in and Ji Bai spoke once more. “Now you can tell the truth. Mr. Ye, homicide is a felony. We hope that we can write you off as a non-suspect as soon as possible.”
Xu Xu walked out of the hearing room but instead of returning to her seat immediately, she sat on the chair in the corridor.
She knew that Ye Zixiao was lying since he was still wearing the clothes from the night before.
She sat there in silence for a moment. Scene after scene appeared in her mind as a stuffy and suffocating feeling made it difficult for her to breathe.
To be fair, she was not that close to Ye Zixi.
Over the past month, it had always been Ye Zixi who took the initiative to call her and ask her out. She seemed to have a good impression of Xu Xu, so she naturally showed that she had the intention of becoming good friends with her.
Xu Xu was a little surprised and uncomfortable with being so close to her. In addition to this, she was very busy with her work. As a result, Xu Xu probably only attended one or two of every ten invitations she got.
However, Ye Zixi did not seem to mind the way Xu Xu distanced herself. She always made an effort to ask her out, yet she would not overdo it which showed that she was kind and considerate. Gradually, Xu Xu got used to her friendship. One time, when Xu Juan teasingly asked her, “Are you going to eat with Ye Zixi again? How are you closer to her than me?” She stuck out her tongue and answered, “We are friends now.”
Sometimes, Xu Xu also analyzed her relationship with Ye Zixi. She grew up with two men at home, so she had never gotten along with an older woman. In a way, Xu Xu lacked the care of a woman. Thus, when a mature and gentle friend like Ye Zixi appeared, it helped fill that gap…
Now, Ye Zixi was dead.
Xu Xu had been keeping herself occupied by working non-stop all day. Even so, a part of her brain still seemed to feel like a ball of soft linen. She even felt like she had lost her breath a few times.
Nevertheless, she soon understood what was happening to her. This feeling was sadness.
She had passively accepted Ye Zixi’s friendship and was now very depressed.
She stood there silently until her phone suddenly rang. The screen showed that it was an unfamiliar number.
The voice at the other end of the line was respectful and gentle. “Hello, is this Miss Xu Xu? I’m sorry to bother you. I am the on-duty manager for the Rotating Ferry restaurant. You and Miss Zixi booked a table for noon today, but we have not been able to contact Miss Zixi…”
Xu Xu gripped the phone tightly in her palm. She lowered her head to stare at her own shadow on the dark cyan floor.
“Sorry, we can’t come.”
With Xu Xu no longer present, Ji Bai interrogated Ye Zixiao with greater detail. He went over what Ye Zixiao said to Ye Zixi when he met her yesterday, what time he had stayed with his female friend last night till and also where they had gone.
Ye Zixiao was no longer embarrassed when he faced Ji Bai. He answered the questions one by one emotionlessly and cooperatively.
However, Ji Bai asked, “Why did you say sorry to Ye Zixi?” He paused for a moment before answering. “Xu Xu scolded me because when Zixi was injured during the razor blade incident, I did not help her decisively. I apologized for that. You guys can ask Xu Xu yourself if you don’t believe me.”
Yao Meng added, “Why did you spend a few hours alone yesterday afternoon? Where did you go?”
Ye Zixiao looked at her beautiful face and suddenly thought about what Xu Xu had said, “Your interest and attention towards women is much stronger than that of a normal person…
He turned his head away a little in annoyance. He stopped looking at Yao Meng and replied stiffly, “It’s because I quarreled with Xu Xu. Officer, I don’t want to answer personal questions.”
After interrogating Ye Zixiao, Ji Bai went back to the office and ordered some people to verify Ye Zixiao’s alibi. After a while, they reported back to him. Several people proved that he had indeed gone to a hotel with a female friend. The hotel’s surveillance tapes also showed that he left at 5 am in the morning.
Ji Bai got his men to release Ye Zixiao and went to the corridor for a smoke. Right after lighting it, he heard a sharp voice from down the hallway.
“Xu Xu, what’s wrong with you?” It was Yao Meng.
Ji Bai looked down the corridor and saw the two girls sitting at the corner of the walkway. They were seated at the entrance to the archive room where not many people frequented at this time of the day.
“Nothing.” Xu Xu kept her gaze fixed on the floor.
Yao Meng sighed.
Ji Bai stopped looking at them. However, he stayed in the corridor and thought about the case as he smoked the cigarette.
A few moments later, he heard Yao Meng gently prod her friend. “Xu Xu, if you’re unhappy, you need to speak up. We’re friends.” But Xu Xu still did not say anything.
Yao Meng likewise remained silent. When she first saw Ye Zixiao yesterday, she was relatively amazed. She could not believe it after she saw how he seemed to be interested in Xu Xu, which was partially due to the fact that the two of them were way too different. After she heard that he was the Ye Family’s fourth brother, she grew even more shocked.
Nonetheless, Yao Meng did not like men like Ye Zixiao, mainly due to her self-pride. She felt as though rich second generations (TN: The children of wealthy families) like him were beyond her reach. In addition to this, she also did not have a good impression of them.
Therefore, she was taken aback but not surprised that Ye Zixiao had gone to a hotel with another woman.
Though, when was facing Xu Xu, her feelings were a little complicated. In all fairness, she felt that Xu Xu should not be with someone like Ye Zixiao. However, if Xu Xu got together with Ye Zixiao, then Yao Meng would feel a little relieved…
After thinking about it, Yao Meng asked, “It’s because of Ye Zixiao, right? You need to think about this man carefully, Xu Xu. After all, his background is different from us. But if you really like him, then I will support you.”
Ji Bai who was on the other side of the hallway took a drag of his cigarette and looked towards them once again.
Xu Xu suddenly cut her off without even lifting her head. “Why do you think that I’m sad because of Ye Zixiao? I don’t want to talk now, so can you just leave?”
Yao Meng did not expect Xu Xu, who had always been docile, to suddenly retaliate so bluntly. Her face immediately got a little red as she turned around and spotted Ji Bai who was standing not too far away. She bit her lower lip, got up, and left without saying anything.
Ji Bai watched as Yao Meng ran away in tears and then looked at Xu Xu who was still sitting in the same spot. Her face was also a little red…
He sighed, then stubbed out the cigarette and walked towards her.