When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 62

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:55:10]
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Chapter 62: Chapter 65

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

As they neared the mountains, the temperature began to drop. Thin layers of snow could be seen blanketing the top of every mountain in the dim evening skyline as the air in the forest became much thicker. The weather was freezing cold, and the horizon was out of sight.

Ji Bai made an emergency brake and stopped his car at the three-way fork on the road. Da Hu immediately hopped out, but after looking at the traces on the ground, he just kept quiet.

This was the main road leading up to the mountains and due to the high volume of traffic, the tire marks on the snow were unreadable, it was impossible to distinguish them. However, if they were to blindly move forward, they would enter the vast forest that stretched thousands of kilometers. As the mountain paths constantly intertwined, and most of them were not under surveillance, Lin Qingyan could have very well brought Xu Xu down any one of the routes.

On top of that, even if Ji Bai had the manpower to sweep the whole mountain, it would still take a couple of days to do so. Furthermore, the reinforcements were still on their way here.

Da Hu got back into the car and looked at Ji Bai’s slightly reddened eyes. Even though the current situation seemed hopeless, he could not just stay put, so he popped the extremely tough question and asked Ji Bai, “Captain, where do we go from here?”

Ji Bai gazed at the dark mountains, his hands gripping onto the steering wheel to the point where the blood could not properly circulate.

As they continued to lose precious seconds, his heart seemed to sink deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. Besides this, he feared that he would never be able to hold her hands and be with her again; the mere thought of it caused him unimaginable pain.

However, he quickly dispelled the thoughts, choosing not to let it infect his head and torment him soundlessly. Instead, he only had one thing on his mind right now, which was to find her.

That being said, there were neither tracks for them to follow, nor any logical deductions for them to act on. Ji Bai could deduce a killer’s characteristics from just a footprint, but now he had to search for a needle in a haystack in order to get them out of this crisis.

Right then, Da Hu interrupted his thoughts by asking slowly, “Should we go to Lin Qingyan’s villa in the mountain? That’s his anchor point, perhaps they’ll be there…”

Ji Bai did not reply.

He suddenly recalled something that Xu Xu had said in the past.

It was not long after Tan Liang’s case was closed, when Xu Xu was on leave nursing her body at home. When Ji Bai returned home from work, he saw her sitting on the couch, and on the wall opposite of her were photos of Lin Qingyan and Yao Meng.

Upon hearing him come in, Xu Xu asked calmly. “In your opinion, how does Lin Qingyan actually feel about Yao Meng?”

What kind of relationship was it?

Love fused with hate? They had to remember that Lin Qingyan’s fiance was killed by Feng Ye, and Yao Meng was Feng Ye’s ex-lover, so it was still possible that revenge was very much his motive, but he just had not made his move yet.

It could also be that he felt nothing toward her at all and that the relationship between Yao Meng and Feng Ye was the only factor which made her his final target.

Xu Xu shook her head when he suggested these, “That’s not it, Third Brother.” She removed a photo from the wall and passed it to him. In the photo, a man and woman hugged each other under the night sky, looking for intimate and very much in love.

“You can’t use normal logic to decipher the thoughts of a psychopath.” She said very seriously, “Things like love and hatred that normal people see as important might mean absolutely nothing to him – psychopathic killers like him rarely ever kill for ‘hatred’. His world is far more quiet, clear, and resolute than what normal people can imagine. In his world, the rules and standards are different – he commits crimes because he needs to.”

“He needs to?”

“Yes, just look at Lin Qingyan. He has had countless opportunities to kill Yao Meng, and even if he had marked her as his final target, it would still be unnecessarily risky for him to keep a former police officer in such close proximity. Despite this, he chose to establish a close and intimate relationship with Yao Meng.

“Therefore, regardless of the reason, we must understand that he placed a certain unique importance on Yao Meng. In order to figure out what he is planning, we have to think like a psychopath.”

Right, she said to think like a psychopath.

Lin Qingyan had kidnapped Xu Xu, that much has already happened and there was nothing they could do to change it. However, where would his warped logic cause him to take her to kill her?

Ji Bai looked up and met Da Hu’s anxious stare.

“We’re not going to Lin Qingyan’s villa.” He said quietly, “We’re going somewhere else.”

There was an infinite number of possibilities, but he could only choose one option. If he chose incorrectly, he would be getting further and further away from Xu Xu, such that they might be parted forever.

When Xu Xu woke up, she opened her eyes to see nothing but darkness. She immediately realized that a layer of thick, heavy cloth covered her body, and not a single ray of light could penetrate it.

A sense of dread arose in her heart, but she did not move and kept in her original position.

She could feel that her wrists and ankles were tightly bound by ropes. However, her clothes were still on, and her body felt fine, so she was slightly relieved. She was wearing a thin layer of fabric which, for some reason, was slightly moist, such that the chilly air still caused her to shiver slightly as she laid there in silence. She could also hear the rustling of leaves in the wind as well as the occasionally distant bird call.

As expected, Lin Qingyan had brought her to the snowy forest.

At this moment, she heard a woman panting lightly next to her, followed by some sensual moaning. The rapid breathing of a man and woman blended together, sounded heavy and in-sync.

Upon hearing this, the hairs on Xu Xu’s body stood up.

A while later, the movements stopped and the man asked gently, “Are you cold?”

The woman’s voice was very weak as she replied, “No… I’m not.”

Even though Xu Xu suspected it, she was still stunned to have her suspicions confirmed. It was Lin Qingyan and Yao Meng.

After this, Lin Qingyan chuckled and said, “Wifey, look at how beautiful the snow is. It’s upsetting, but when I’m gone, I won’t be able to hold you like this anymore.”

Yao Meng went silent for a moment before replying, “I don’t want you to die… I can’t bear the thought of it.”

Lin Qingyan laughed. “Really?”

“Of course it’s true. You’re the most important person in the world to me, this will never, ever change.”

Lin Qingyan fell silent for a moment and Xu Xu could only hear Yao Meng’s noticeable short and rapid breaths. All of a sudden, Lin Qingyan laughed again, this time sounding very cheerful. “Let us prove this then, shall we?”

“… ok, but how do you intend to do that?”

Xu Xu’s heart sank when she heard this. Sure enough, she heard Lin Qingyan getting up, then his footsteps slowly approached her. Seconds later, the cloth covering her body was abruptly pulled away.

The first thing Xu Xu saw was the serene sky and the dark forest. Next, she saw Yao Meng, and then Lin Qingyan, who was a few steps away from her. In addition to this, there was also a huge, white woolen blanket underneath all three of them.

She looked around a bit more and realized that the terrain around them seemed quite familiar – she had been here before.

She couldn’t believe that Lin Qingyan had actually brought her here.

Lin Qingyan grabbed Xu Xu’s arms, then he pulled her up in an unexpectedly gentle manner. “Can you get up?”

Xu Xu dared not disobey him, so she scrambled to her feet and found herself looking into Yao Meng’s eyes. The two of them were in utter disbelief.

Yao Meng’s limbs were also bound by ropes. She wore a loose, plaid cotton shirt, and a fluffy, dark blue skirt. Lin Qingyan’s earlier affections had left a noticeable aftermath: Yao Meng’s hair was in a mess, several of her shirt buttons were undone, and her skirt was pulled up to her knee. Aside from that, she was clearly lethargic, and her face looked pale. Xu Xu did not know if Lin Qingyan had fed her drugs or whether he had taken other measures.

Lin Qingyan’s eyes were filled with glee as he watched the two of them stare at each other quietly. He pulled Yao Meng into his arms and spoke softly, “Look, she was the one who asked you to turn around that day, which in turn led to that devil Tan Liang defiling you. Don’t you hate her?”

Yao Meng’s face turned even more pale, whereas Xu Xu just stayed put.

Lin Qingyan continued, “Wifey, you’ve hated her all along. Indeed, I too feel like people like her are an eyesore.” After saying this, he reached into the bag beside him and took out a black gun before handing it over to Yao Meng. “I’m going to die soon. If you kill her, I’ll be held accountable for and you won’t get in any trouble.”

Yao Meng remained silent after he said this. She neither confirmed nor denied the statement, instead avoiding Xu Xu’s gaze and looking back at her lover. “I do hate her, but how I feel about her has nothing to do with my love for you. Qingyan, I don’t need to kill her to prove my feelings for you. I don’t want to kill anyone.”

Lin Qingyan reached his hand out to lift her chin. “Wifey, don’t lie. You know that it’s related.”

Yao Meng’s body stiffened.

Lin Qingyan set his eyes on her gently. “If you kill her, I can also die with no regrets. I’ve left all my property to you, and the person you hate the most would be dead, so your life will be so much better after this. Wifey, don’t hesitate, you’re only one step away from happiness.” He pushed the gun into her hand and whispered into her ear. “Wifey, don’t put me in such a difficult position, you know that she has seen our faces and knows of our plot. If you don’t kill her, what should I do?”

Right after saying this, he pushed her forward and helped her aim the gun at Xu Xu. Then, he took out another gun from the bag and pressed it gently against the back of Yao Meng’s head. “It’ll be over before you know it. Don’t be afraid, after you shoot, you and I will be free.”

Yao Meng’s entire body began to tremble as she continued to stand there rooted to the spot. Lin Qingyan saw this and nudged her with the nozzle of his gun, causing her body to sway slightly.

“Shoot!” His voice carried a cruel ruthlessness.

Yao Meng looked at Xu Xu with a grim expression. She raised the gun nervously, then aimed it at Xu Xu’s head again.

The night sky was bitterly cold, and the wilderness was dead silent. Xu Xu was originally shivering from the cold, but the child in her belly seemed to have sensed her unspoken fear and started to kick at her from within. Even so, Xu Xu forced herself to steady her breathing as she turned to look at Lin Qingyan. “Wait. Lin Qingyan, if I am going to die, I’d like to die knowing the truth.”

Yao Meng immediately lowered her gun, while her breathing became more rapid. Lin Qingyan grinned cruelly at Xu Xu, the cruel glint in his eyes showing how much he was enjoying his dominance. “What would you like to know?”

Xu Xu’s heart was going to burst out of her chest, but she sounded composed as she replied, “You were the one who committed the first two crimes whereas the third was done by Tan Liang. Even so, I don’t get it, when did you two start contacting each other?”

Lin Qingyan smiled. “It’s a terrible idea to ask questions which you already know the answer to just to stall for time… it’s alright, I’ll entertain you. Tan Liang found the second corpse, and we all know what he did to it, but he didn’t actually personally know me at the time. Afterward, when the third case happened, I knew that he was the culprit, so naturally I forced him to take the blame for me.”

Xu Xu’s heart skipped a beat. After the third incident occurred, Lin Qingyan was released. During that period, the whole case was taken over by the Provincial Department, such that the people initially assigned to watch over Lin Qingyan were transferred away and asked to help comb the mountain. She couldn’t believe that Lin Qingyan took advantage of this brief window to seek out Tan Liang.

“So, you convinced him to take the heat by telling him that it would bring down his former superior through public opinion.” Xu Xu grit her teeth. “Were there other conditions?” Xu Xu had guessed as much when she saw the news stating that Tan Liang’s former superior had been detained and was being interrogated.

Lin Qingyan nodded. “You’re very sharp. I also anonymously sent his mother a sum of money. He’s quite a filial son, but his methods were too crude. He also knew that he was at a dead end, so he might as well take the blame for me while he’s at it.”

While Lin Qingyan proudly answered the questions, Yao Meng stayed still with her back to Lin Qingyan, tears continually streaming down her beautiful face.

After this, Xu Xu changed the topic. “You were the one responsible for the Hong Kong case too, right? Was Feng Ye just another scapegoat?”

Yao Meng gasped silently as Lin Qingyan looked at her with a smile in his eyes. “Yes.”

Xu Xu wanted to ask more, but Lin Qingyan quickly put his hand on Yao Meng’s shoulder and stopped her. “That’s enough, you’ve scared her.”

Xu Xu’s heart dropped.

So, this was it, huh?

She was at a dead end once again. Lin Qingyan aimed his gun at Yao Meng, after which Yao Meng, like a zombie, slowly raised her gun toward Xu Xu.

A million thoughts raced through Xu Xu’s mind as she forcefully suppressed her fear and panic that was threatening to destroy her. She clenched both her fists tightly and looked straight into Yao Meng’s desolate eyes.

“Shoot me, Yao Meng.” She said softly, “He’s right, this is your only option. I won’t blame you for anything.”

Yao Meng’s beautiful face was emotionless as she choked and said, “You won’t blame me?”

Xu Xu took a deep breath and replied, “I won’t blame you. Shoot.”

It was late at night when the cold wind blew across the snowy land, causing the trees and leaves to sway slightly in the white landscape. Xu Xu sneezed as the cold wind tickled her nose, whereas Yao Meng’s had no more tears left to cry. At the moment, she looked like a mad woman due to her awful, unkempt appearance. Lin Qingyan, on the other hand, held his gun with one hand and coughed continuously into the other as the cold wind continued to batter him.

Xu Xu and Yao Meng looked at each other silently.

Xu Xu gazed at Yao Meng’s with pained eyes. Behind her, Lin Qingyan had his head lowered as he coughed into his hand, so he was not looking at them.

Xu Xu eyes widened and she quickly shook her head slightly.

‘No, Yao Meng, you can’t act rashly. You must shoot’ Xu Xu thought.

‘Please, just shoot me.’

Instead, a determined look flashed in Yao Meng’s eyes as she abruptly turned around and fired at Lin Qingyan. “You psychotic bastard!”

“Dak, dak, dak” The hammer of her gun clicked dejectedly. The gun was not loaded.

Xu Xu’s heart plummeted as Yao Meng’s jaw dropped, whereas Lin Qingyan slowly lifted his head up and looked at Yao Meng with a dull expression.

Time seemed to have stopped at this instant.

Although Yao Meng’s hands were still tied up, she raised the gun and swung it at Lin Qingyan’s head. However, due to the effects of the drugs, her movements were limp and weak. Lin Qingyan laughed bitterly as he grabbed her wrist and twisted it before snatching the gun back. Xu Xu was just a few steps away, but she was completely tied up so she could not do anything to help.

Lin Qingyan panted deeply as he strangled Yao Meng before pointing his gun at her head. “Is this your love? Is this what you think of me? A psychopathic bastard?! So… all this time you’ve only been coaxing me, haha… Do you really think that I won’t kill you, that I won’t be able to bear it?”

Yao Meng just burst into tears as she slumped into his arms and cried out hysterically. “Love? I must have been blind to love you! Just kill me, kill me, please! You’re worse than an animal!”

As Xu Xu watched the scene take place, her heart was filled with sorrow. She stared at the two former lovers as tears began to well up in her eyes.

She had guessed that Lin Qingyan would not kill her with a gun if he had gone through all the trouble to bring her here. After listening to his conversation with Yao Meng, she also suspected that this was a test for Yao Meng. He wanted to see if Yao Meng had truly accepted a criminal like him, and at the same time, he wanted to force Yao Meng to his side.

This was why she had asked Yao Meng to shoot.

However, Yao Meng’s spirit had broken and could not see through his ploy. Xu Xu would never have thought that she would suddenly decide to fight back with such courage. Unfortunately, this only meant that she had sealed her own fate – Yao Meng would no longer be allowed to live.

After this, Lin Qingyan’s expression became calm once again, but his eyes were no longer joyous and happy. He put his gun aside and wrapped his arms around Yao Meng’s waist, then lowered his head and kissed her. Yao Meng moved her head sideways to avoid him, but he trapped her head in such a way that she was unable to get away.

“Alright, if this is the case, then we have no other option.” Lin Qingyan’s voice was incredibly gentle, but the shimmering of his pupils showed that he too was saddened by the sudden turn of events. “I’ll kill her first, then take you with me.” After saying this, he let go of Yao Meng and took a small black bottle out from the bag on the floor. Then, he walked towards Xu Xu.

“Don’t kill her!” Yao Meng screamed. Lin Qingyan ignored her and began to smirk evilly.

As Xu Xu watched him slowly approach her, she had visions of her own death.

Ji Bai sped all the way. The roaring of the engine was so deafening that it was all he and Da Hu could hear.

Seeing that their destination was getting closer, Da Hu could not help but ask, “Are you sure they’re going to be here?”

Ji Bai did not reply.

They were almost at the foot of the mountain where the forest was dense, and the shadows of trees were depressing and serene. There seemed to be some lights coming from the mountaintop, but that too vanished as quickly as it had appeared.

Ji Bai hit the brakes, then got out of the car with Da Hu with guns in hand.

“Over here.” He sounded like he was speaking to Da Hu, but he was actually also assuring himself.

It had to be here, the location of the third corpse.