When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 60

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:55:09]
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Chapter 60: Chapter 63



Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation


When Xu Xu woke up, she saw a small yellow lamp hanging above her head, as well as a bleak, unfamiliar ceiling.


Ji Bai was sleeping in a chair beside her bed, still dressed in the same muddy clothes. Outside the window, the night sky was dark and gloomy, which made his face seem especially handsome under the faint glow of the moon.


It was now dawn, so the air was extremely chilly. Xu Xu’s throat was a little dry so she could not help but cough, though she did try to muffle the sound with her blanket. Ji Bai immediately opened his eyes and turned toward her as he held her cold, petite-looking face in his large hands. “You’re awake.” Then, he poured a glass of water for her and added, “It’s nothing serious, your blood sugar level was just a little low, so you’ve been given an intravenous drip. We’re now at the village health center where you’ve been resting overnight. We’ll return to Lin City tomorrow.”


“Mhmm.” Xu Xu sat up and took the glass of water. She felt so much better after the warm water flowed down her throat.


Ji Bai pulled his chair even closer to the bed and stared at her with his dark eyes. After a while, he couldn’t hold it in any longer and thus, flashed her a faint smile. “Imagine getting this mad…”


Xu Xu frowned and replied, “Aren’t you mad?”


Ji Bai grabbed her hands and kissed them softly. Since her skin was originally pale and delicate, it was now not just red from the IV drip, a small part of it had turned green too. Ji Bai held her hands without saying a word.


Angry? Of course he was angry. There were clearly two murderers, but right now the irrefutable evidence showed that a single person did everything. It was all terribly frustrating.


Nonetheless, this was all the more the reason why they could not crumble right now. As a criminal police officer, one needed to maintain a certain cold-blooded persistence.


Therefore, he smiled plainly and tried to calm Xu Xu down. “We shouldn’t hurt ourselves regardless of how angry we are. Besides, when have cases ever been so easy to crack?”


Xu Xu nodded. How could she forget? Normally, she had a much more stable mentality than most people, but after witnessing Yao Meng in so much pain, even she found it hard to control her emotions.


After a while, her drowsiness wore off. She gazed off at the rising sun before getting up. “I’m going to wash my face.”


Ji Bai held her down on the bed. “I’ll fetch the water, you just stay still.”


Xu Xu watched as he walked beside the window before picking up the thermos flask on the floor. After this, he poured the water into a basin. His tall, powerful figure and his energetic movements could not help but give Xu Xu a sense of security.


Xu Xu stared at his wide back and then asked, “What’s your take on this?”


Ji Bai knew that if they did not discuss things clearly, then she would definitely keep thinking about it. After he handed her the water, he replied, “There are three things that caught my attention.


“Firstly, the victim this time was different. The first victim was a white-collar worker; the second, although a postgraduate, was already interning in an organization, which aligns with your description of his preferred type of victim; however, the third victim was just an ordinary university student, there was nothing special about her.


“Secondly, the methods used in the cases were different. Obviously, the first two were carefully planned, such that to this day, nobody knows how the victims went missing. This made it difficult for us to track the culprit. Despite this, the third victim was only killed after she entered the forest to hike, after which Tan Liang was so lazy that he even abandoned the corpse in the same area. This made me certain that from the third case onwards, the entire incident took place in the forest, and that the culprit was, in fact, still in the forest. This eventually led us to capture Tan Liang.


“Third, the degree of thoroughness of the killer was different. Even if the footprints next to the second corpse was accidental, the footprints beside the third corpse were way too obvious.”


Xu Xu nodded. “Before you left the mountain, I saw the photos that Da Hu took of the place. The cave that Tan Liang lived in felt simple, disorderly, gloomy, and impulsive… Despite the fact that the third corpse was handled in a way similar to that of the Angel Killer incident, I agree with your deductions – though the planning was similar, the execution was miles apart.


“That being said, why would Tan Liang take the blame for the first culprit? What is the relationship between them?”


Ji Bai answered faintly, “I suspect that the statuses of these two people are worlds apart. Logically, there shouldn’t be any opportunity for them to contact one another. I’ve already sent someone to check their communication records, they’ve never contacted each other.


“Nonetheless, there must have been an incident that allowed them to meet.”


The two of them remained quiet for a while, then Ji Bai took a stack of documents out from his bag and laid them out on the bed. Under the warm light, the pair furrowed their brows and started sifting through them quickly.


Sometime later, Ji Bai suddenly held up a photo of the crime scene and handed it to Xu Xu. His black eyes were glimmering, and his voice was low yet energetic. “I figured it out. It’s here. The location where the second corpse was abandoned was in the forest Tan Liang was in charge of so this was where they met. It’s possible that the first culprit came into contact with Tan Liang as he was disposing of the corpse.”


Xu Xu’s heart stopped as she connected the dots; soon all the clues fell into place and she quickly nodded. “Yes, this explains why Tan Liang’s footprints were found beside the corpse, and why there were signs of necrophilia. Previously, I thought that the culprit’s mental state was changing and that he was becoming more aggressive. Now, it seems like the sexual violations before and after death were likely two different crimes!”


Ji Bai pondered for a moment then agreed with her deductions. “Though we don’t know why the first culprit managed to convince Tan Liang to take the blame for him, this explanation is far more logical than Tan Liang being the sole criminal. The evidence found in the cave could very well be the work of another person, which were later passed to Tan Liang to be placed in the cave.”


As possibilities filled their minds, they became more excited. In spite of this, when Xu Xu noticed his stern expression, her voice became discouraged. “We don’t have any evidence.”


Ji Bai did not say anything. He frowned a little and looked at the bright sky outside the window as well as the peaceful mountains standing magnificently off in the distance.


That’s right. Without any evidence, there was nothing they could do right now.


Seconds later, he turned to look at Xu Xu. “Do you know about the serial killer case in Baiyin City?”


Of course Xu Xu knew about it, it was one of the most famous unsolved cases in the country in recent years.


Sixteen years ago, over 9 females were killed in Baiyin City in the Gansu Province. The culprit either raped then killed them, or sexually violated them after killing them. On top of that, he always removed their organs and stole them. The youngest victim was an eight-year-old girl, and the case remains unsolved until today.


Ji Bai’s expression turned cold. “That year, the country sent the most capable criminal police officers to investigate the case. My instructor, Captain Yan was one of them.”


Xu Xu nodded, back when she exercised in the morning, she often saw Captain Yan’s muscular figure stretching under the rising sun.


Ji Bai continued, “Later on, my instructor told me that there was no way to crack the case if it was meant to be unsolvable. They even found the culprit’s semen in the young girl’s body, but they still could not find the culprit. Each time the culprit committed a crime, it was planned so thoroughly that he left behind no traces. A group of senior figures, who were all renowned detectives in the country, broke into tears when they looked at the vandalized corpse of the girl, but they still could not solve the case.”


Xu Xu’s heart ached upon listening to what he said. She did not reply, but she understood why Ji Bai was telling her about this case.


Ji Bai looked at her, his voice was so gentle, but his eyes were burning with determination. “Indeed, there are some criminals who are able to cunningly escape the long arm of the law, such that justice and righteousness could not be upheld. Since there’s no more evidence surrounding this case, the Provincial Department will soon announce the case to be closed. Nevertheless, we are much more advanced than my instructor’s generation of detectives, so although Lin Qingyan may not have left any evidence behind, but thanks to your grit, at least we know that he’s most likely the culprit. We aren’t going to allow him the chance to harm anyone again. Don’t worry, we won’t stop our investigations until he’s convicted.”


While Ji Bai and Xu Xu stayed at the mountain, Lin Qingyan accompanied Yao Meng as she gave her statement at the police station. Then, they returned home in Lin City.


Yao Meng soaked herself in the bathtub for a very long time, making sure to scrub every inch of her body clean. She couldn’t even cry anymore, everything that happened last night was so obscure that it was like a dream.


She didn’t know how much time had passed, but when she lifted her head up, she saw Lin Wingyan leaning against the door. An overbearing and indifferent look that she had never seen before was plastered on his handsome face. He was smoking a cigarette as he looked at her without saying a thing.


Yao Meng did not know what to do, so she got up and quietly wrapped herself in a bath towel.


A moment later, she heard footsteps approaching from behind her as Lin Qingyan hugged her from behind and lowered his head to kiss her. His breathing was somewhat rapid, and his kiss was quite strong as he moved his hands into her bath towel to caress her. He was extremely rough and forceful, which was completely different from his usual style.


Yao Meng’s body trembled a little, and she instinctively pushed him away.


He stopped kissing her and just held her in his arms without moving. “You’re my angel, nobody can taint you. Tan Liang is dead, and regardless of what he did to you, I’ll still treat you as though nothing happened.”


Yao Meng felt her heart tighten as she caught her breath. Then, she heard him whisper into her ears again, “Do you know how much I love you?”


Three months later.


The winter sun did its best to warm up the land as Xu Xu sat in her father’s study room, reading the local news on the internet. Her father, on the other hand, was hustling in the kitchen.


The headline on the news portal read “Provincial Task Force announces that the airport bombing case has been solved. The main culprit has been arrested, and the police are closely pursuing his accomplices.” Below the news article was a picture of several criminal police angrily holding a criminal down. The person standing on the outermost edge wore a black coat and had a tall figure. Although his face was blurred, she could immediately tell that it was Ji Bai and could not help but smile.


There was also news regarding “Forest Killer Tan Liang”. Two months ago, the Provincial Department had announced that the case had been closed and Lin City, which was previously in an uproar, slowly returned to its peaceful life. Even so, discussions surrounding Tan Liang on the internet were still very much alive. This news article quoted the analysis of a psychological expert which stated that Tan Liang’s perverted behavior stemmed from his unsuccessful career. Previously, he held a core position in the County Forestry Department, but because he offended a superior, he was demoted to a mere ranger while his original position was filled by his superior’s relative. Somebody even made a post claiming that the superior had been detained and interrogated due to the immense pressure from the public.


Xu Xu turned off the computer after reading a while. Then, she took out a case file and searched for photos and information relating to the case.


As she was engrossed in her work, a hand suddenly appeared from beside her and snatched the photos away. When she looked up, she saw Xu Juan frowning down at her. In addition to this, he had also gathered all the information laid out on the table and threw them onto the couch. “You’re still looking at these? My nephew is in your belly, I don’t want him to grow up to become a police officer in the future.”


Xu Xu smiled and looked at his suit and leather shoes, he had probably just come home from work. “You’re home early.”


Xu Juan tossed a children’s painting book at her. “Your husband is a public servant, yet he’s not even home most of the time. As your brother, what else am I supposed to do?”


Xu Xu laughed as she flipped through the children’s book. Xu Juan watched her peaceful expression before speaking up again, “When are you going to hold the wedding ceremony? Are you really waiting until after the child is born?”


“Yes. Otherwise, it’ll be too rushed.”


“You said that you were going to do your marriage registration too, have you done it yet?”


“Not yet.”


Xu Juan frowned again, “Why are you dilly-dallying? You’re going to give birth soon, it must be tough for Ji Bai to deal with your slowcoach ways.”


Xu Xu could not help but laugh.


By the time she finished dinner at her father’s place, it was already 8.00pm. Xu Xu called her private nurse, Xiao Liu and in no time, Xiao Liu was over to pick her up.


At the station, Xu Xu had been assigned a desk job due to her pregnancy. Because of this, she could leave work on time every day, and she did not need to handle cases. Ji Bai, on the other hand, was still as occupied as usual. He had been away for work over the past few months, so, after discussing the issue with Xu Juan, they decided to hire a private nurse for her. Initially, Xu Xu felt that it was unnecessary, but since the men were persistent, she eventually relented and agreed.


The nurse was from Beijing, and although they were both ladies, she was exceptionally tall and well-built as she had previously served as a soldier. She was also cheerful and meticulous, taking great care of Xu Xu’s daily necessities.


In the blink of an eye, they arrived home. The two of them entered the house and immediately spotted someone laying on the couch in the dark living room. As Xiao Liu was about to turn on the lights, Xu Xu stopped her and said softly, “You may go back first.” Xiao Liu nodded and left, closing the door behind her.


Xu Xu turned on the lamp and sat opposite Ji Bai.


He was scheduled to return home tomorrow, so he had probably rushed home tonight. His face looked so worn out, and his breathing was deep and long, he was probably so exhausted that he could not help but fall fast asleep.


By now, it had already been half a month since they had last seen each other. As she carefully studied his sleeping figure, she noticed that he seemed to have lost weight, and his chin was covered with a messy stubble. Xu Xu covered him with a blanket, and since she didn’t want to wake him up, she quietly went into the room.


When Xu Xu woke up, the sky was turning bright. She heard some rustling from the living room, so she calmly sat up and waited.


Moments later, Ji Bai appeared at the door. He had already changed into his pajamas, and his stubble had been shaved off, his attractive features looking mild and gentle under the morning light.


“Did I wake you up?” He sat down at the foot of the bed.


“No, I’ve been waking up early lately.”


“I’ll be home for a few hours, then I’ll have to go to the station to work overtime.” He hugged her in his arms. “We’re still not done with the bombing case.”


“Mmm.”


“What’s mmm? Why didn’t you wake me up last night? How long has it been since I last held you in my sleep?”


“Uhm… 43 days.”


A smile appeared on Ji Bai’s face as he lowered his head to kiss her. After this, he grinned at her and said, “I’ll try my best to come home early tonight. I have something to tell you.”


Gazing into his shadowy eyes, Xu Xu nodded.


When the sky turned bright, the two of them got out of bed.


It was Saturday and Ji Bai was getting ready to return to the police station as he was got dressed. Xu Xu rubbed her tummy and said to him with a smile, “Third brother, today I’ll be doing an ultrasound scan, so I’ll finally get see his face. I’ll bring the photo back for you to see.”


Ji Bai nodded and smiled. Then, he had a sudden thought. ‘When I come home at night, will she be willing to change the way she addresses me?’ As his heart fluttered nervously, he peppered her with kisses before leaving.


Once he got into his car downstairs, Ji Bai called Da Hu. “How has Lin Qingyan been?”


Da Hu yawned, he was currently keeping watch in a car outside of Lin’s home. “Captain, you’re back? He’s still the same, he has been going to the hospital every day for treatment.”


“What about Yao Meng?”


“She’s still living in seclusion. Sometimes she’ll go to the hospital with him, sometimes she won’t.”


Ji Bai sighed. “Alright, I understand.”


Da Hu hesitated for a brief moment then said, “Captain, yesterday Zhao Han and I ran into the Station Chief, he asked why we were not investigating the bombing case and we gave him a vague reply. Are you sure we should still observe Lin Qingyan? I don’t think will be able to go on much longer.”


It had been over three months since the serial killer case. In the beginning, Ji Bai was able to arrange for a couple of people to watch Lin Qingyan and protect Yao Meng every day. However, as more cases started occurring, and especially with the recent bombing case, the whole police unit had been so busy that everyone was miserable. At this point in time, Ji Bai was the only one who wanted eyes on Lin Qingyan 24/7. Even the Station Chief had some veiled criticism. Not to mention, Da Hu and the others had their doubts too.


Ji Bai pondered for a while then replied, “Continue watching him, we can’t relax.”


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