“Miss Ning, please take a seat.” Captain Li filled a paper cup with water and placed it in front of Ning Xi. He noticed that Ning Xi’s eyes were somewhat swollen, and there was remnant make-up on her face. Even though she didn't show much on her face, her slightly shaking hands betrayed her uneasiness.
“Thank you.” Ning Xi took a sip from the cup. The water was a little hot, and there was an aftertaste of the paper cup. However, she didn’t mind all these. “Captain Li, can I understand the entire flow of events with regard to the case?”
Captain Li never had any fear even when faced with the most violent criminals. However, the delicate and beautiful actress before his eyes made him feel somewhat helpless. He looked awkwardly at Office Liu beside him, ready to shove the task of explaining to him.
Officer Liu touched his cap, then gave Ning Xi a consoling smile, “Miss Ning, there are some areas in the case that we can’t reveal right now. But don’t worry, we’ll definitely not let any suspects off, nor will we malign an innocent.”
Hearing such perfunctory words, Ning Xi took another sip of water, “Then, can I know who were the ones who harmed my mother?”
Officer Liu’s fingers were interlocked, as he hesitated for a moment before replying, “Yes, of course you can.” He pulled out a drawer, and took out the A4 paper right on top. It was evident that they had prepared this beforehand. “The suspects’ details are written here. Miss Ning, please take a look.”
Prior to reporting the case, Ning Xi had already known that this matter was certainly linked to the Ning family. However, when she read the materials, she remained as furious, to the point that she really wanted to kill someone.
Six of them. There were actually six of them!
Back then, when her father was alive, her mother had always been filial to her grandparents, and had also taken good care of her father’s siblings. Their family’s financial situation was the best, so if the other families met with some financial difficulties, her parents would step in to help.
Yet, how did these people treat her mother?
After her father passed away in the accident, they started coveting the two houses belonging to her family, and the compensation money that her father exchanged his life for. In the end, just for all these, they even forced her mother to death. How could they be called relatives? They were just a group of blood-sucking monsters.
As she recalled the image of her mother falling to the ground, blood splattering everywhere, Ning Xi suddenly felt her heart aching so badly that she couldn’t breathe.
“Miss Ning?!” Officer Liu noticed Ning Xi’s face was drained of colour and quickly opened the door of the reception room and motioned for a female officer outside to come in to help.
The female officer who entered the room first was patiently patting Ning Xi’s back, her voice gentle and reassuring, “Miss Ning, calm down. Take a deep breath, take a deep breath.”
As police officers, they have seen too many life and death separations. There were some who were indifferent in the face of truth, some were apathetic, while others would be so sad that they would go into shock. Hence, Ning Xi’s condition wasn’t new to them.
“I’m fine, thanks.” Ning Xi steeled herself, as she stood up and looked at Captain Li, her gaze burning, “Can I see them?”
Officer Li was silent for a moment, before saying with some difficulty, “My apologies, Miss Ning…”
“I understand." She turned around numbly and walked out of the room. The clamouring around her, the people walking past her, all of them were non-existent in her mind. The joys of her childhood and the subsequent painful moments was like an opera, replaying endlessly in her mind, but she couldn’t find a point for her to vent her emotions.
The Dongnan Police Station officers all knew that the suspects from the “suicide” eight years ago had already been apprehended. Hence, when they saw Ning Xi’s ashen face and numb expression as she walked out of Captain Li’s office, they all looked at her with sympathetic yet helpless gazes as she walked out of the station.
It wasn’t that they weren’t empathetic. However, for such matters, there wouldn’t be any use in bystanders saying anything.
One officer was worried that Ning Xi would be too engrossed in her own thoughts that she might get into an accident, hence he specially got two other female officers to follow behind her, at least to ensure that she was safe until she went to her car. She was a renowned public figure. If an accident happened to her right at their doorstep, their police station would probably drown by the spit of the world.
Ning Xi had just walked out of the police station and was preparing to board Zhang Qingyun’s car when she saw two middle-aged women going down on their knees before her. Within a short span of thirty seconds, they were surrounded by a number of reporters and passersby who were holding their phones up.
She looked down at the two women wailing before her and shrugged herself free from their hands, as she chuckled with a nonchalant expression on her face. She knew who these two women were. One was the wife of her eldest uncle, another the wife of her second uncle. They haven’t met in eight years, and they had aged quite a bit, so she almost couldn’t recognise them.
Things have already developed to this extent, so Ning Xi no longer had anything much to say to these so-called relatives of hers. However, it was obvious that these two women were well-versed in crying and making a scene, forcibly positioning themselves as the weaker party.
They hastily spoke about how their children at home needed their two fathers, how difficult their families’ financial conditions were, how their husbands had been remorseful all these years, and that all they requested was for Ning Xi to write a letter of forgiveness.
It was no wonder why the reporters had been sharp enough to pick up news that she was here. These two women had probably released the news, so that they could block her out here and capture their pitiful side, in order to gain the sympathy of the masses.
Did they really think that in the eyes of the law, “I’m justified because I’m the weaker party” is omnipotent?
Under the countless cameras and phones, Ning Xi’s tears fell out instantly. She pushed the two women away and sobbed pitifully. Under the cameras, her face was pale, and the swelling in her eyes were clearly visible. “You said that your family was poor, she said that it wasn’t easy because of their children’s health and studies. However, did you ever think that the person that you harmed was my mother! It was a life!”
“When my parents were alive, didn’t they look after all of you? Didn’t they help you financially?!” Ning Xi grabbed the woman closest to her, her voice hoarse as she yelled, “Do all of you even have a conscience? My mother treated you so well, why did you have to kill her! Why?!”
The two women who came to cause a fuss didn’t expect Ning Xi to react this way suddenly. Originally, they thought that since Ning Xi was now living so well, she wouldn’t appear too badly in front of the reporters. Unexpectedly, in the face of so many reporters and bystanders, she didn’t even retain an ounce of dignity.
“Wasn’t all you wanted just money?” Ning Xi opened her handbag, then grabbed a wad of cash and threw it before them, before wailing loudly, “If you want money, I’ll give it to you! You can have whatever amount you want, but return my mother to me! Give her back!”
The women didn’t pick up the money on the floor. They stared at Ning Xi in a daze, then observed the crowd around them, wishing that they had never appeared here today.
Ning Xi didn’t care about them, as she squatted down on the floor, hugged her knees and sobbed.
There were a few emotional people in the crowd who already couldn’t resist crying. Even people who weren't easily carried away by their emotions couldn't help but feel their hearts aching. Hence, their gazes towards the two women changed - how could they be this shameless?
Taking one’s life, then demanding the victim’s daughter to write a letter of forgiveness. Was this something any human would do?
As the saying goes, the vengeance of the death of one’s parents was irreconcilable. What were these two women thinking? If you could kill because your family was poor, or if your children were still young, and the one you murdered was a relative who had offered you quite a bit of help before, wasn’t your conscience already eaten up by dogs?!
When Chang Shi Gui arrived at the Dongnan Police Station, he saw a number of people crowding at the entrance. These people were shouting about the shamelessness of some people, about how they were a nest of criminals. He didn’t have the mood to care about any of this, but when someone mentioned Ning Xi, his footsteps stopped abruptly.
Squeezing through the dense crowd, he saw Ning Xi, who was still kneeling on the floor and sobbing. Her sobs were like sharp needles piercing his heart, creating countless wounds that couldn’t be concealed.
“Xixi,” He walked forward, then kneeled down and took Ning Xi into his arms, lightly caressing her head, “Don’t cry, don’t cry.”
“Shi Gui…” Ning Xi looked up at him. Initially, she was only half acting and half upset, but she finally couldn’t contain her emotions, as she fell into his chest and started crying without any qualms.
Chang Shi Gui didn’t expect Ning Xi to cry even harder with his appearance. He hastily patted her back, and didn’t bother about whether there were people secretly filming, as he focused on softly comforting Ning Xi.
Right now, nothing was more important to him than getting Ning Xi to stop crying.
The two aunts who came to find trouble for Ning Xi tried to use the opportunity to sneak away. Unexpectedly, Chang Shu Gui’s bodyguards stopped them without anyone noticing. They couldn’t leave even if they wanted to, and could only suffer the torture of having all sorts of disdainful looks thrown at them.
“Let’s get into the car first.” Chang Shi Gui didn’t mind the embarrassment, but Ning Xi didn’t want her boyfriend’s sorry state to be seen by others. She tugged at Chang Shi Gui’s sleeve, signalling for him to bring her to the car.
Chang Shi Gui, who would unconditionally agree to anything Ning Xi said, immediately protected her with his embrace, then pushed the crowd aside as he led her to his own car.
This time, none of the reporters stopped Ning Xi, nor did anyone pester her with questions. As reporters, they might be lacking some morals, but they were still humans. Anyone with eyes could tell that Ning Xi’s emotions were on the verge of collapse. They really didn’t want to be the last straw that broke the camel, nor were they willing to do it.
However, much as they didn’t have the heart to interview Ning Xi, that didn’t mean that they were unwilling to question the two women who came to stir up trouble. Once Ning Xi left in the car, the reporters immediately surrounded them and started hounding them to questions.
The two women hadn’t met with such a situation before, hence they were quickly overwhelmed. Whatever that they should or shouldn’t say were all captured by the cameras.
“Didn’t I say that you needn’t specially rush over?” Ning Xi had drank half a bottle of water, and her mood had calmed. It was only that her voice remained extremely raspy.
Chang Shi Gui instructed the driver to stop by the curb as he ran into a pharmacy to purchase some lozenges. He opened the package and immediately put one into Ning Xi’s hand. "I didn’t accompany you the last time, this time, how could I bear for you to face this alone?”
The lozenges tasted of licorice; it was somewhat bitter, but there was a lingering sweetness amidst the bitterness. Ning Xi felt that her parched throat was no longer as painful anymore.
“I was just acting for the reporters. I wasn’t really that upset, don’t worry about me.” She smiled at Chang Shi Gui, but she didn’t realise that in Chang Shi Gui’s eyes, her smile was so weak and forced.
“Do you want to see the suspects?”
Ning Xi nodded. Before their sentencing, she wanted to meet them once.
Chang Shi Gui heard this and said, “Let’s rest for a night first. I’ll go with you to meet them tomorrow.”
Ning Xi nodded.
As for the four suspects who were currently in a detention centre, they didn’t know how much of a storm their arrest had brought to society.