When the female officer saw how Ning Xi’s smile became more forced after the team leader asked the question, she couldn’t help but feel for her. She turned her gaze towards the team leader, hoping that he could be more gentle with his questions. In the past, when she was working on cases, she met some families who would be so agitated that they might even vent their anger on the investigators.
“Yes.” Ning Xi nodded, though the smile slid from her face. Chang Shi Gui tightened his hold on her hand, then gave her a reassuring smile.
Ning Xi’s expression was much calmer. “That day, my mother was cleaning up the house. I went out to do some grocery shopping. Just as I reached the stairway of my house after shopping…” She pursed her lips, and the rims of her eyes reddened. She turned her head to the side and said, “If I’d known that this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have left my house that day.”
“From my knowledge, it wasn’t a holiday then. You were in your second year of high school then, so you should have been busy with your studies then. Why weren’t you at school?” Team Leader Lee penned down a few lines in his notebook. He observed Ning Xi’s facial expressions closely, and after confirming that she wasn’t lying, he continued, “Can you tell us about it?”
“Team Leader …” The female officer called out to Lee Hao, looking as though she couldn’t bear to see this any longer.
However, Lee Hao didn’t bother with her, as he continued to stare at Ning Xi.
“By then, I hadn’t gone to school for more than a month.” Ning Xi smiled bitterly. “Back then, I was bullied in school and was locked into the storage room. In order to search for me, my dad met with a car accident. My mental condition wasn’t good then, and my mother was worried about me, hence she took me off school.” She recalled the past many times; if she hadn’t been locked into the storage room that day, her father wouldn’t have died in the car accident, and her mother wouldn’t have met with such a suspicious death.
She hated those classmates. She hated herself too. It was this hatred that kept her through the pain she suffered. It was all so that she could have her revenge.
Were looks really that important? Were body sizes that important? To judge a person from these two aspects, was it foolish or simply superficial?
Team Leader Lee looked at Officer Liu. The latter nodded lightly, but he didn’t say a word. Team Leader Lee observed the situation, then put down the pen in his hand, his expression somewhat solemn. “I’m sorry, Miss Ning, you’re probably upset from having to recall these matters again.”
“It’s fine. I know that you’re doing this for the sake of the investigation.” Ning Xi shook her head, her expression sliding.
“Do you recall which relatives rushed over the earliest after the incident?” Team Leader Lee took out a stack of photos and laid them out on the table. These were pictures of Ning Xi’s relatives who were closer to them by blood. Ning Xi didn’t know when the photos were taken, but she noticed that some of them aged quite a bit, and looked quite different from the faces in her memory.
Ning Xi selected a few of these pictures and placed them before Team Leader Lee, then said with certainty, “The ones who arrived the fastest were them.”
Team Leader Lee took a look at the photos. Among these people were Ning Xi’s paternal aunt, uncle, her grandaunt, as well as her second uncle. From the evidence that he obtained, the victim’s daughter was the underage Ning Xi. Her legal guardianship was originally given to her grandparents, but eventually, her legal guardianship fell upon her youngest aunt as her grandparents were too old and unable to function independently.
“Miss Ning’s memory is really good.” Team Leader Lee packed these pictures into a bag, and continued, “At the scene, did you notice anything unusual?”
“I’ve had a good memory since I was young.” Ning Xi thought back about how her parents had once proudly proclaimed that their daughter was so clever, she would definitely be able to enter the top university in the country, and become a wonderful scientist.
It was really too bad that she was such a useless daughter. She didn’t even complete her high school education when she left for overseas. She didn’t become a scientist too, and became an actress instead.
“Before I went overseas, a neighbouring granny told me that someone had visited my house when I went out to shop for groceries that day. She had even heard the conversation that was taking place in my house.” Ning Xi’s gaze never left the pictures on the table. These so-called relatives were nothing but a bunch of hateful, blood-sucking vampires. That year, shortly after her father passed away, her father’s siblings had instigated her grandparents to seek her mother out to ask for the compensation money. They had given the excuse that they were concerned that her mother would use the money that was exchanged for her father’s life, and the house that her father left behind, for other men.
These people couldn’t wait to express all sorts of worrying things when they spoke to Ning Xi. Things like how her mother wouldn’t care about her anymore if she had a stepfather, or that her father was so filial, it was only right to share the compensation with her grandparents to appease the old couple’s hearts. Every one of them staged a show, all for the sake of the money.
Later on, after her mother’s “suicide”, these people spoke of her mother’s devotion and her plight. Her maternal grandparents had even got into a massive argument with her paternal grandparents, and it was only after they obtained more than a hundred thousand dollars of the compensation that they left in satisfaction.
No one bothered to investigate if there was anything suspicious about her mother’s death. No one was also concerned about the mental welfare of this underaged girl. All they saw was the house that her parents left behind, their savings, and the compensation money. Eventually, it was one of the investigators then who became worried her mental health would be affected by the incidents, and specially wrote a report to his superiors to apply for free psychological counselling for her. After that, she was only able to leave the country after Teacher Yao helped run the checks, assisted with the application, her visas, and even went out of her way to seek help, just so that she was able to go.
She had met many vicious people, but she had also met her fair share of good people. Netizens were right in saying that she had met with some good fortune in her life. These kind-hearted people were the good fortune in her life. And meeting Chang Shi Gui was probably her greatest fortune.
“Could you provide this neighbour’s information to us?” Team Leader Lee’s attention was piqued by her words.
Ning Xi nodded, then provided Team Leader Lee with her neighbour’s current address. “She’s living her with her son now. I just spoke to her a few months ago.”
Team Leader Lee looked at Ning Xi in surprise. He would have never expected that a popular celebrity like her would still be willing to keep in contact with her former neighbour.
Ning Xi wasn’t angered by Team Leader Lee’s stare. In the eyes of others, this wasn’t something that was easily understood. She was so cold towards her own relatives, yet she kept in touch with her former neighbour. “Before I went overseas, this granny and her family were worried that I wouldn’t have enough money. It was cold overseas, so they specially bought me some new clothes, and gave me a hefty red packet.”
Team Leader Lee was silent. Before he visited, he had deliberately investigated Ning Xi’s relatives. The outcome of the inquiry made even someone like him, who had seen all sorts of life and death situations, furious. An entire family siphoning off a young lady’s inheritance. These people were truly immoral.
In comparison, the neighbour whom Ning Xi mentioned was so much kinder. It was no wonder Ning Xi would rather stay in touch with them and acted as though her relatives didn’t exist. If he was in her shoes, he probably wouldn’t be as calm as Ning Xi.
Team Leader Lee asked a few more questions, and Ning Xi answered as best as she could. Her cooperative attitude appeased the mood of Li Hao, who had slogged the past few nights away. After leaving Ning Xi’s house, Team Leader Lee threw the car keys to Officer Sun so that he could drive.
The group of four sat in his tiny car. Team Leader Lee yawned. “Did all of you notice anything?”
Officer Sun started the car, and asked hesitantly. “What should we have noticed?”
Seeing Officer Sun’s confused expression, Team Leader Lee almost wanted to smash the document in his hand on Officer Sun’s head. “You’ve followed me for a year, and you can’t even see it?’
Officer Sun shrunk back, not daring to speak further..
The female officer saw how Officer Sun was criticised, so she also didn’t dare to speak. When Officer Liu saw how frightened the two young people were, he chuckled, “They are still young, just guide them more.”
Team Leader Lee’s eyes widened, but he didn’t comment further.
Officer Liu turned back and looked at the luxurious floral carved gate and said thoughtfully, “This female celebrity is not simple.” Struggling alone overseas for close to seven years, becoming such a sought-after actress after returning, but taking out a stack of materials and revisiting a case from the past at the peak of her popularity.
How did she manage to gather all the materials and evidence? Furthermore, no one knew that she had played such an important role in “The Unrivalled 2” before the cast arrived in China. What was she waiting for? Could it be that she was awaiting the moment where there was a surge in her popularity?
It was precisely because nothing was revealed beforehand that there was a sufficient amount of hype created around it when the news was reported.
If that was the case, then Ning Xi was seriously patient. She was a strong memory, was pretty, and good at acting. If someone like her wanted to become a criminal, who knows how many people would willingly be cheated by her?
“Xixi,” Chang Shi Gui hugged Ning Xi. “In the future, you … still have me.”
Ning Xi leaned on his chest, and grunted in acknowledgment. Listening to his powerful heartbeat, her expression relaxed.
Ning Xi could tell that this was Chang Shi Gui’s work phone. She retrieved his phone from his clothes, and placed it in his hand. “Take it.”
Chang Shi Gui picked up the call. After the other party was done updating him, he glanced at Ning Xi, then frowned. “Alright, I’ll come over later.”
Ning Xi left his embrace. “Go and settle your work. I’m not a child, you don’t have to stay with me all the time.” It was not easy for Shi Gui to free up time to accompany her every day. Previously, he accompanied her when she was at the hospital, but he still had to handle the necessary documents.
A man of his status couldn’t simply while his time away courting women. The only men who could dominate the country without doing anything but act cool and arrogantly were the male leads in idol dramas.
Chang Shi Gui kissed the corner of her lips lightly. “You’re cuter than a child.”
“Hurry up, go.” Ning Xi waved him away disdainfully, as though she was chasing a housefly away.
When a stern man reveals some of his sweet-talking abilities, the things he says could drown a person in bliss.
That afternoon, Ning Xi stayed at home alone. She had a simple meal, and just as she was about to take an afternoon nap, she received an unexpected call.
“Zhu Moli?” After Ning Xi picked up the call, she turned on the phone’s recording function. This woman had never been on good terms with her, so she wasn’t as guileless as to put her guard down.
“Ning Xi…” Zhu Moli was coughing over the phone. She sounded unstable, as she said in a hoarse and trembling voice, “Ning Xi, I’ll apologise to you. I was wrong in the past. I’m willing to apologise to you in front of the media. I’ll do anything you want me to. Please save me!”
Ning Xi could tell that Zhu Moli seemed to be in distress, but she was still in doubt. “What’s wrong? Take your time to explain. I can’t understand what you mean?”
“Jiang Hongkai wants to murder me. There are people stalking me everyday.” Zhu Moli sounded almost neurotic. Ning Xi even heard the sound of something being smashed over the phone, before Zhu Moli’s whisper came through. “He’s installed cameras in my house. He’s afraid that I’ll spill his secret.”
Once the word “secret” was mentioned, Ning Xi felt even more suspicious. Was Zhu Moli putting up an act, or she was really …losing her mind?”
What was even more strange was that Zhu Moli had this number of hers. This number was used for communicating with the company’s staff. How did Zhu Moli obtain it? Could the company have leaked her phone number?
When Ning Xi didn’t reply, Zhu Moli suddenly yelled, “Only you can help me now! Please beg Mr. Chang so that he can save me. I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die! Do you know, back then, Chen Zhenzhen…”
“Du du du…” The line was suddenly cut off. When Ning Xi redialed the number, Zhu Moli’s phone was already turned off.
Ning Xi pondered for a while, before pressing down three numbers on her phone.
When strange things happened, the best solution was to contact the police.