Life in the detention centre wasn’t easy. Ning Xiuli was here for only a couple of days, but she couldn’t stand it already. Meals that were nowhere near “delicacies”, narrow single beds on metal frames, and the seemingly unfriendly cellmates - all of these made Ning Xiuli extremely uncomfortable.
When she heard the warden announcing that she had a visitor, she rushed out eagerly from the cramped room, fantasizing about which family member it was, who had come to send her some clothes or food.
However, when she walked to the reception room and saw that her husband, eldest and third brothers were there too, she felt that something was wrong. Why would the police agree for the four of them to meet their relatives together? Wouldn’t they be worried that the four of them might match their testimonies?
There was doubt in her heart, but she didn’t dare to ask, and could only tremble as she sat down at the table. Initially, she wanted to speak to her husband, who was seated nearby. However, she noticed the warden nearby watching her, hence the tiny amount of courage that she garnered immediately dissipated.
Her husband looked up at her, his gaze full of reproach and grudging. Suddenly, Ning Xiuli also felt aggrieved, so she turned her head away and ignored his expression.
A few minutes later, the heavy door was pushed open. Ning Xiuli saw a man dressed in a suit walking in. She recognised him immediately - this was Ning Xi’s boyfriend. Ever since she learned that Ning Xi had become a superstar, there was always a sense of unease in her heart, hence she would normally pay more attention to news about her. She had seen a photo of this man in one of the entertainment news articles. It was said that this man was rich and powerful, and few people could offend him.
Why was he here? Could it be that he was here to help Ning Xi to get back at them when they were now down and out?
As expected, behind this powerful-looking man was Ning Xi. They haven’t met for eight years; Ning Xi was no longer that fat girl, and she bore a strong resemblance to her parents.
Ning Xiuli shrunk her head back, not daring to look at Ning Xi.
Ning Gaofeng and Ning Qianfu’s expressions were not much different from Ning Xiuli’s. Perhaps all of them knew in their heart that they had gone overboard, so none of them dared to face Ning Xi.
The only person who appeared indignant was Ning Xiuli’s husband Zhao Quanhe. He cocked his head up and glared at Ning Xi without a word, as though he was blaming the Ning family for screwing up his life, hence he was extremely resentful.
Ning Xi took in his expression, then sat down two metres away from the four of them. Her chilling gaze swept over all of them; the three from the Ning family shrunk back further, and they didn’t even dare to look up at all.
“Eldest Aunt, Uncle, Eldest Uncle and Second Uncle.” After Ning Xi greeted them, the three Ning family members shuddered, while Zhao Quanhe snorted loudly.
Ning Xi’s gaze finally fell upon Zhao Quanhe, her expression frosty as she said, “You might be willing to let me call you ‘Uncle’, but I’m not willing to do so. The purpose of my visit today is not to reminisce about the past.” Her eyes were fixed intently on Zhao Quanhe, not letting go of a single expression on his face. “Back then, when you murdered my mother, who was the mastermind?”
The Ning siblings gave one another looks, then eventually, all of them looked at Zhao Quanhe.
“Why are all of you staring at me?” Zhao Quanhe defended himself, “If it wasn’t all of you who suspected that Qin Yi was planning to run away with Second Brother’s compensation money, would I have gone with all of you to look for her, and eventually resulting in that accident?”
“No, that’s not right.” Ning Gaofeng suddenly recalled that it was Zhao Quanhe who had intentionally said some misleading things back then, such as how the husband of someone’s daughter had passed away, and the daughter had taken the money left behind by her husband and remarried, or kept a lover, guiding them to think negatively towards Qin Yi, and in the end, causing such a tragedy. “It was you! If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have treated Sister-in-law that way.”
“Hah!” Zhao Quanhe laughed mockingly. He simply didn’t bother looking at Ning Gaofeng, as he looked down, refusing to say anything else.
“Zhao Quanhe, now that things have blown up, who do you think can save you?” Ning Xi slowly started, “I guess Eldest Aunt doesn’t know this, but a few years back, you started keeping a mistress outside, and she even bore you a son.”
“What?!” No matter what, Ning Xiuli wouldn’t believe that her husband would do such things behind her back. She thought that Ning Xi was making up stories to sow discord between the couple. However, when she saw her husband’s frantic expression, she knew that Ning Xi wasn’t lying. “You conniving bastard, I married you for more than twenty years, rising early and going to bed late, never had good food and nice clothes, and you actually had a woman outside!”
At this point, Zhao Quanhe didn’t want to hide anymore. He looked at Ning Xiuli’s bawling and shouted impatiently, “It’s all because you can’t give birth to a son. I’m doing this to leave a descendant for the Zhao family!”
Ning Xi looked nonchalantly at the two handcuffed people arguing and coming to blows, then forcefully separated by the wardens. When the couple’s argument simmered, she said with an indifferent expression on her face, “Even if all of you took the money before I went abroad back then, you wouldn’t be rich enough to keep a mistress and illegitimate son.” At this point, she narrowed her eyes, “Zhao Quanhe, who instructed you to do all these back then?”
There was a slight change to Zhao Quanhe’s expression, and he immediately looked down. “I don’t understand what you are talking about.”
“It’s fine if you don’t understand,” Ning Xi chuckled, “Anyway, no one will help you now. If you don’t understand, I’ll just have to visit that young mistress whom you keep at Sanhe Harbour. Perhaps she would know something.”
“Don’t you dare touch my son!”
“What do you mean by this? I am simply visiting a woman who broke up someone else’s family, what does that have to do with your son?” Ning Xi stood up, then looked at Ning Xiuli mockingly, “See, you’ve stayed with such a man your entire life, and even did such a foolish thing for him. Was it worth it?”
At this moment, Ning Xiuli slumped onto the floor sobbing, looking pitiful yet hateful.
“Shi Gui, since Zhao Quanhe refuses to talk, we should go.” Ning Xi turned and walked out. Chang Shi Gui followed her quietly. In his eyes, these few people, who were making such a din, were nothing but clowns.
“I’ll talk! I’ll talk!” Zhao Quanhe's concern for his son was bone-deep. When he heard Ning Xi’s words, he couldn’t sit still anymore. He hastily pleaded, “Don’t touch my son, I’ll tell you everything.”
“That year, someone did ask me to find a way to shut Qin Yi up. He gave me a hundred thousand dollars as a deposit, and said that after I’ve succeeded, he would give me another four hundred thousand.”
“Who was that person?” Ning Xi froze in her tracks, then turned and looked at the distraught Zhao Quanhe.
“I don’t know who he was. However, when I met him on one occasion, he accidentally dropped a name card on the table. I scanned it quickly, but I didn’t see it clearly. I only remember that he was called Chen something Nan, and he was a manager at something Kang.”
“Apart from that, was there anything else?” Chang Shi Gui looked at Zhao Quanhe.
“No, there’s really nothing more.” Zhao Quanhe knew Chang Shi Gui’s identity, hence when Chang Shi Gui asked, he quickly shook his head, fearing that if he didn’t answer properly, he would make this powerful character unhappy.
Chang Shi Gui masked the disgust in his eyes. He turned back and placed his hand over Ning Xi’s shoulder and they walked out of the meeting room.
“Captain Li.” After walking out of the room, he nodded at Captain Li, who was waiting outside. “I think that conversation just now would be useful for the case.”
Captain Li’s expression was somewhat uneasy. Firstly, because Ning Xi’s “questioning” used a threatening tone, which wasn't according to legal procedures. The second was because they actually didn’t manage to discover how complex this case was, and that there were others involved.
He couldn’t help but recall the materials provided to them by one of the other police stations. In the statement made by actress Zhu Lili, she mentioned that Jiang Hongkai had been involved in a car accident eight years ago, but used his own chauffeur as the scapegoat.
A manager at x-Kang Company by the name of Chen-x-nan. Eight years ago. With these bits of evidence, they should be able to limit their search range.
“Don’t worry, we’ll definitely investigate this thoroughly.” Captain Li knew that if they didn’t investigate this properly, Chang Shi Gui and Ning Xi would certainly not let this matter go. Moreover, internally, Captain Li also had the righteousness to help victims seek justice, hence as much as he didn’t agree with how Ning Xi had questioned them, but he didn’t pause or hesitate when it came to the investigations.
“We’ll have to trouble you then.” Ning Xi bowed down to Captain Li, her word of thanks sounding heartfelt and sincere.
“This is what we are supposed to do. Miss Ning doesn’t have to stand on courtesy.” Captain Li avoided the bow, but he liked this superstar Ning Xi even more now. Everyone had feelings, who wouldn’t like someone who supported their work?
After sending Ning Xi out, Captain Li called his team members, and got them to follow this lead.
Eight years ago, there were a total of thirteen companies in the city whose name had a “kang” inside, and there were two workers whose name fulfilled the criteria “Chen-x-nan”. However one of them was female, hence she was eliminated. The only one left was Jinkang Real Estate’s manager. This man was now transferred to the company headquarters, taking the role as the Vice President there.
Jinkang Real Estate - a subsidiary under Jiang Enterprises.
Linking back to the case eight years ago, Captain Li could almost feel as though they had touched the edges of the truth, but in order to obtain concrete evidence, they now had to find this man named Chen Yunan first.
The police would take charge of the investigations. Ning Xi was first and foremost an actress, so she had to report back to the set.
Chang Shi Gui was worried about her health, so he insisted on sending her to the set.
“I’ll pick you up tonight.” Chang Shi Gui saw how pale Ning Xi was and couldn’t help but ask, “Why don’t you rest for today? You can continue filming when you are well-rested tomorrow.”
“It’s fine, I don’t have many scenes today,” Ning Xi shook her head, “It’s not good to make the entire crew wait for me.”
Chang Shi Gui sighed but didn’t reply. When the bodyguard opened the car door, he alighted and turned around to the other side, then opened the door for Ning Xi, “No matter what, your health comes first.”
“Alright.” Ning Xi smiled at him. Just as her feet stepped out of the car, she saw a number of reporters squatting around at the set. From the looks of it, they were specially waiting for her.