“I have my own ways. You better handle the matter at the hotel quickly. If this matter escalates onto the news, the business at the hotel will definitely be affected.” An Xiaoning turned around and was about to leave when she suddenly turned back and hugged his waist. With a gentle and affectionate tone, she said, “Actually, you can think of me more.”
With that, she was gone.
Jin Qingyan stood there looking at that small and lively figure of hers leaving, a grin curling up on his face.
An Xiaoning bought two buns before she made her way to the police station entrance and finished them before she entered.
Knowing that she would be coming this morning, Pan Zhenghui arrived there in the early morning and was eating his breakfast. Seeing her enter, he immediately placed his breakfast aside and stood up, heading towards her with his face glowing in happiness. “Mrs. Jin, you’ve come indeed.”
An Xiaoning shook his hand. “Of course, I couldn’t break my word.”
“Mrs. Jin, please take a seat.”
“Chief Pan, you don’t have to call me by that next time. Since I’ve joined, I’m also a part of the team now. Just call me by my name,” An Xiaoning said frankly. “Have all the members of the special group formed by Chief Officer Xu arrived?”
“I got them to come over at eight, they haven’t arrived.” Pan Zhenghui continued, “The contract is in my office. Shall we take this time to go over it, Xiaoning?”
“Alright.” An Xiaoning followed him to his office. The only words she could use to describe Pan Zhenghui’s office were these: simple but grand.
Sitting opposite him, she received the contract and started going through it meticulously. She realized that everything was written prim and proper. All the terms were according to what she had discussed with Xu Yang, so she decisively signed her name on it.
Thereafter, Pan Zhenghui passed her a card and said, “Here’s your salary card. Every month, you’ll receive a salary in your account.”
She took it from him. “Thank you very much, Chief.”
“You’re most welcome.” Pan Zhenghui got up from his seat. “Let me bring you around to familiarize with your environment. It’ll be easier for you to get things done.”
“Alright.” An Xiaoning followed him out.
It was the first time she was able to openly look around the city’s police station. The police officers who passed by all greeted her and Chief Pan in a friendly manner.
Pan Zhenghui introduced her to different places as they went around. When they talked about the formation of the special group, Pan Zhenghui explained, “The higher-up has arranged three members to assist you. One of them is senior officer Ma Jianguo who has worked for a long time in the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit, and the other two are Gong Le and Zu Dong who are both from the armed unit. They’re all very good.”
“Umm, very well. Is there a designated place for us to work at?”
“Of course, follow me.” Pan Zhenghui brought her to a nearby room. There were four desks inside, all of which were facing each other. At any one seat, one would be able to see the other three if they looked up from their seat. It was very good for facilitating communication.
An Xiaoning thought for a moment and said, “Chief Pan, please sit down for a moment. There’s something I would like to talk to you about.”
“What is it?”
“Please take a seat first.” An Xiaoning gathered her thoughts and finally said, “This morning, Shi Shaochuan’s mother jumped and killed herself at my husband’s hotel. You saw the news right?”
“I saw, we went to investigate. Primary investigations suggest that it was suicide.”
“Do you think a woman who has lived out half her life would go to a hotel to commit suicide?” Without waiting for his answer, An Xiaoning continued, “I suspect that the circumstances surrounding her death were unnatural. No matter how upset she was, she would not commit suicide over her husband’s death. Thus, I really want to verify my speculations.”
“Please be more specific.” Pan Zhenghui was at a loss over what she was trying to say.
“I suspect it was Wang Fangfang…”
Pan Zhenghui’s nostrils contracted. “What? Isn’t she dead?”
“I don’t want to exaggerate the truth or keep anything from you. So I’ve been thinking, if it was her, her next target would be Shi Shaochuan’s grandmother. Tonight, I intend to check Wang Fangfang’s grave. Going there alone would be slightly intimidating. Chief Pan should join me.”
“…” Pan Zhenghui was unwilling to go to that sort of place, but he didn’t want to present himself as being ungentlemanly so he replied, “Just right, you can wait for your other three members to come and…”
“With the three of them, you should come along too. It’s set then.”
An Xiaoning grinned. “Chief Pan, you’re truly worthy of your title. You’re so driven indeed.”
“Have a seat then, Xiaoning. I’ll get someone to bring you coffee.”
Chief Pan went out of the room, his throat constricting at the thought of having to go to the cemetery at night.
It was really…
Why on earth did he agree to it!
At 7:50 am, the other three members arrived at the office like they had agreed on.
The four sat at their respective seats, with An Xiaoning getting the ball rolling. “Our special team has officially started work. I’m An Xiaoning, just call me by my name.”
“I am Zu Dong.”
“I’m Gong Le.”
An Xiaoning looked at the last member. He was the over-forty-year-old senior officer Ma Jianguo.
“I am Ma Jianguo. Let’s work well together in the future and strive towards being worthy of the title on our office — ‘Special Crime Unit’.” As he finished, he reached out to touch his shiny, glossy hair.
“Officer Ma is right, let’s go for it, everyone.”
With the new year nearing and such things happening, Shi Shaochuan was in a state of emotional breakdown.
His father had just passed away not long ago, and now something had happened to his mother.
He really could not figure it out, what was wrong exactly?
His grandmother had even fallen ill and was now bed-ridden.
That frail woman who was already very old had lost all her appetite, and she even flared up when she saw Jin Qingyue.
“Look, you’re Jin family’s missy after all. You’ve only just gotten engaged and your future in-laws have met their end.”
Although Jin Qingyue was also upset, she felt that putting all the blame on her was not fair to her at all!
“Grandmother, I know you’re devastated. However, this has nothing to do with me. Please don’t be superstitious, Grandma.”
“Superstitious?” Old Mrs. Shi continued, “I’m afraid, the next one would be these old bones of mine.”
Shi Shaochuan stepped up. “Grandma, that won’t happen. After I’ve buried my mother, it’ll be the new year.”
“What worries me is that this new year won’t be a good one.” Matriarch Shi shut her eyes, taking a deep sigh.
The two left, and Jin Qingyue said under her breath, “What does your grandmother mean by that, how can she blame me for what happened to your parents? What can be wrong with me?”
Shi Shaochuan knew this had nothing to do with her and replied, “It’s just too coincidental, so everyone’s making casual guesses. I’m in a very bad mood, please understand.”
Jin Qingyue held onto his arm. “Do you think I’m a curse to your family too?”
“No.” He looked at her and affirmed, “I really don’t think that way, it’s true.”
“Are you still willing to marry me?”
“Our marriage has been fixed, hasn’t it?” Shi Shaochuan raised his hand to caress her face. “It won’t change just because of what happened in my family. Don’t worry.”
She nodded, but she still felt vaguely uneasy inside.
Both his parents had been fine, so how did something happen to both of them so suddenly, without any warning?