When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 25

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:54:57]
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Chapter 25

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

When Ye Qiao saw Ji Bai and Xu Xu again, she was less anxious, but more alert.

Ji Bai passed her a cigarette and she thanked him softly. Her hands were still shaking as she lit up the cigarette.

“Your previous statement was too simple, I hope that you can cooperate and tell us everything that transpired that night in detail.” Ji Bai said in a low tone.

Ye Qiao looked up with her swollen eyes and sighed. “I have nothing else to add, I’ve told you everything that I remember.”

Ji Bai seemed to either have not heard or ignored her declination as he went on to ask, “When you arrived at the scene, did you see any other cars or anyone leaving?”

Ye Qiao lowered her eyes to the table and shook her head. “No.”

“How did you get into the villa?” Xu Xu asked.

Ye Qiao paused for a while before answering, “Ye Zixi opened the door for me.”

Ji Bai looked at her and said slowly. “It was already ten at night and she stayed at a hillside villa, so there was nobody around at all. Weren’t you afraid that Ye Zixi was going to hurt you if you went there alone?”

Ye Qiao’s heart ached. Ji Bai’s words made her recall the image of the noiseless mountain on that night, whereby the trees swayed gently under the moonlight like somber apparitions. She stopped her car by the roadside and looked at the brightly lit villa not far away. She felt her heart ache so much that she felt as though she was being cooked alive. She imagined her husband and her cousin sister having an affair in their secret home and her husband who had such a strong desire for lust repeatedly ravishing another woman’s body. She wanted to vomit out of disgust. However, once she thought about her handsome, capable husband, she was overwhelmed by a sense of attachment, which made her reluctant to walk out.

What was this silent yet torturous feeling taking over her as she was walking towards Ye Zixi’s house?

At that moment, Ji Bai’s low voice called out to her as though he was in a different dimension, promptly snapping her back to reality. “What was the situation like when you walked into the house?”

Once again, images flooded into Ye Qiao’s mind as she replied with a hoarse voice, “It was very dark and very cold when I walked in…” She took a deep breath and continued, “I saw Ye Zixi sitting on the sofa, and she asked me why I was there…”

“What else was happening in the house?” Ji Bai suddenly cut her off.

His gaze was piercing, which caused Ye Qiao to subconsciously become even more careful as she recalled the situation when she entered the house. “I didn’t notice too much. The air conditioner was on and she was probably making supper, as I heard the microwave go off. Then we started arguing…”

“I made around five to six cuts, I don’t really remember. I was very afraid at the time.”

“I can’t remember the exact time I arrived and left since I didn’t look at the time. I reached around ten and left at around eleven, that’s all.”

Ye Qiao’s statement was not as perfect as the fake one from before. When she encountered questions that she could not answer, she just claimed that she had forgotten, or simply kept quiet.

As they walked out of the hearing room, Xu Xu tapped Ji Bai’s arm. “Teacher, I have some thoughts about the case, can I discuss them with you?”

Ji Bai turned around but saw that there was no redness on her face. Her eyes were gleaming in their dark, deep-set sockets, but at the moment, even her eyeballs that were always clear were bloodshot too.

He had almost forgotten that she had been awake for as long as him.

“Alright.” He stared at her and nodded. “We’ll discuss it tomorrow. You’re going home to sleep now.”

Xu Xu was stunned. “But I…”

“Quickly head home, I’ll call your apartment’s guardhouse in half an hour.”

Xu Xu was not an arrogant person, so while she still felt quite dissatisfied, she obeyed him and returned home to sleep. Ji Bai made do with two to three hours of sleep in his office, then he picked up his car keys and drove towards Lin An Mountain.

The sky was completely dark by then, and the mansion that was hidden from view by the dense jungle looked equally murky. The dark clouds in the sky rolled in thickly and oppressively, further intensifying the gloomy atmosphere. In this environment, you would inevitably think of the homicide from that day, and about how many people stained their hands with blood in the house, and more so about how many people kept quiet about it.

Nonetheless, the chilly night sky jolted Ji Bai awake and stopped him from getting sleepy. After greeting the police officer outside who was in charge of guarding the scene, he switched on the power supply and walked in through the desolate porch.

After staying in the living room for an hour, Ji Bai combined everyone’s statements and behaviors. He quietly arranged the clues in his mind, and the situation became apparent to him. That made him temporarily relieved, so he decided to take a look upstairs before he left.

The second floor was dead silent and everything was left exactly how it was during the day of the incident. Ji Bai stood in front of the wardrobe and pondered again, then he suddenly heard soft, faint footsteps coming from downstairs.

‘Who would come back to the crime scene at this time of the day?’ He thought.

He silently made his way to the stairs banister and looked down. When he did so, he broke out in a cold sweat even though he was normally an extremely calm person.

There sat a person leaning against the sofa with a tilted head, near where Ye Zixi’s body was found.

After his initial shock, Ji Bai identified the person. As Ji Bai made his way downstairs, the figure heard him and looked up, only to exclaim in confusion, “Teacher?”

As she watched Ji Bai approach her with an odd look on his face, Xu Xu did not even realize that she had scared him and simply thought that he was mad that she did not return home to sleep, so she quickly said, “I’ve slept for four hours, it’s enough.”

Ji Bai ignored her statement and asked, “Did you come here to study the case?”

Xu Xu was a little embarrassed. “Behavioral analysis emphasizes victim analysis, so I wanted to give it a try.”

Ji Bai looked at her and thought, ‘How brave.”

Ji Bai already come to his own conclusion, so there was no need to continue staying there, but since Xu Xu was there, he decided to wait. Since there was still a long time until daybreak, Ji Bai glanced outside and said, “Take a look then, I’ll wait for you.”

Xu Xu nodded. She no longer acted as though she was not allowed to be there and started actively strolling around the living room to examine the crime scene – from the air conditioner to the messy side table, nothing escaped her curious eye… As she was looking closely at the microwave, she suddenly felt a warm breath right beside her. She shot a sideways glance and found that Ji Bai was already standing beside her and was also looking at the microwave.

“What did you find?” He asked in a low tone.

Xu Xu replied, “I’m still looking.”

He kept quiet then. Xu Xu opened the cupboards to take a look as well, but the warm breathing kept following her closely, Ji Bai followed her.

Originally, Xu Xu was indifferent, but when she looked up, she saw that he was mimicking her actions and she soon found herself subconsciously staring at his handsome side profile. Subsequently, she suddenly remembered the night before and the way his faint smile was barely noticeable on his slightly lowered face under the warm luminescence.

Xu Xu remained silent for a brief moment then turned to look at him. “Teacher, can we investigate the scene separately?”

Ji Bai was not trying to bother her. In truth, since he was bored, he actually wanted to observe her performance and possibly give her some pointers. So upon hearing this, he felt quite strange. “Why?”

Xu Xu said, “I need some peace and quiet. I don’t like having people around me.”

Ji Bai was not too concerned so he turned around and looked for a chair far enough, then sat down and waited.

As he waited, he realized that watching her from afar was likewise quite interesting. As he watched her little figure frowning with her head lowered, ducking to her left, then crouching to her right, he felt her energetic aura rub off on his, which made him feel quite contented.

Suddenly, Xu Xu, who was standing at a corner of the hall, subconsciously hugged herself.

Midnight was really much colder than expected, and on top of that, the weather was gloomy. Not to mention that they did not turn on the heater either so as to avoid tainting the crime scene. Ji Bai looked at her then walked over.

Xu Xu was still rubbing her arms when she heard the footsteps approach her, then she felt a weight draped over her shoulders. When she turned around to look, she saw that Ji Bai was now only wearing a thin sweater as he stood beside her. He had placed his coat on her body.

“Thank you, but you don’t have to.” Xu Xu said as she tried to take it off.

Ji Bai sighed. “Don’t be so polite, how are you going to investigate the case tomorrow if you catch a cold?” That being said, his heart jumped with joy when he saw her tiny body wrapped up snugly in his shirt.

Xu Xu hesitated then said frankly, “There’s really no need for this, I’m not used to wearing other people’s clothes.” She took the coat off and passed it back to him.

Ji Bai glanced at her calm and collected look then took his outerwear and laughed, “Is it because you think that I’m dirty?”

Xu Xu instantly felt apologetic and quickly replied, “Of course not.”

His coat was filled with his warm breath, and it neither smelled of sweat nor did it smell awful. Moreover, it made her feel restless for some reason, which she brushed off as just her not being used to it. In reality, she had never worn anybody else’s clothes other than her brother’s.

She looked very sincere and her face was slightly flushed when she handed the coat back. Ji Bai heart was beating quickly in the presence of this tiny person was standing at arm’s length in front of him with her shoulders shriveled. He spoke slowly, “Even if you don’t want to wear my coat, I can’t just leave you feeling so cold. There’s another way.”

When Ji Bai said this, he did indeed feel a bit impulsive. A remote mountain, a dark night, an empty house, and his woman shivering beside him from the cold. The situation was perfect – this was the perfect opportunity to hug her. Whilst it was a bit of a stretch, Ji Bai actually felt somewhat conceited. He felt that there was a possibility that Xu Xu might not actually reject him if he tried to move in. They were on pretty good terms after all, so even if she had no feelings towards him at the moment, she might be willing to give it a shot after some consideration.

He looked at her deeply with his eyes. However, as he was thinking about pulling her into his arms, she spoke up. “Yes, there’s another way.”

The two locked eyes with one another…

And Xu Xu started hopping on the spot.

“I’ll be fine after jumping for a while, I just need to get my blood flowing. Don’t worry.” While explaining, she jumped again. Since the two of them often exercised together, she felt natural hopping and jumping in front of him.

Ji Bai paused for a moment then burst out into unrestrained laughter. His attractive face was completely relaxed and the wrinkles appeared at the corner of his eyes. Looking at his cheerful smile that had come out of nowhere, Xu Xu laughed along too.

After a couple of minutes of jumping, Xu Xu abruptly stopped and looked at Ji Bai seriously. “I figured it out.”

Ji Bai maintained a smile and looked at her. “Very well.”

When Xu Xu was about to speak, Ji Bai continued, “In that case, let’s each write down the name of the culprit and see if our deductions are identical.”

Xu Xu quite enjoyed this feeling of crossing swords – there was just an indescribable chemistry and excitement whenever they did this, so she nodded enthusiastically.

A brief moment later, they showed each other their notebooks.

“Ye Ziqiang. Ye Jin.”

“Eldest child and second child of the Ye Family.”