An Xiaoning followed the two to where Liu Yan’s parents stayed. What really surprised An Xiaoning was that when both families saw each other, they did not get along well and almost got into a fight.
She stopped them in time and, from here, was able to obtain Liu Yan and her daughter Jiang Shui’s birth characters.
“Police comrade, you must serve justice for my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter! They suffered too tragic a death!” When Liu Yan’s mother spoke about the incident, she was still unable to control her own feelings and bawled with her head facing the sky.
An Xiaoning was also emotionally stirred and suddenly felt that as a member of the police force now, she had a huge responsibility on her shoulders.
“Madam, this case is now being re-investigated. I don’t dare to guarantee how soon we’ll find out the truth. But, we’ll do our very best to let the family of three rest in peace and ensure that the criminal is brought to justice.”
“We’ll put our hopes on this investigation then, please don’t disappoint us again.”
An Xiaoning nodded and continued to obtain other information before returning to the police car.
The other three had yet to return. She sat in the car and meticulously sorted out the information she had obtained, looking at the birth characters of the three victims.
An Xiaoning already had some idea in her heart.
Twenty minutes later, Ma Jianguo, Gong Le, and Zu Dong returned, looking like a bunch of tired dogs.
“My lips are almost torn from talking, and there still wasn’t any useful information obtained at all.” Ma Jianguo opened his bottle and gulped down a few mouthfuls of tea.
“I’ve obtained the victims’ birth characters and got some very useful information.”
Ma Jianguo asked curiously, “What useful information? Quick, tell us.”
“The case file says that the night the victims died, the male victim’s parents were at their eldest daughter’s place right? This was estimated according to the state of decomposition of the bodies.”
Ma Jianguo nodded. “Yes.”
“But, what I see is that this estimation is not accurate. The three did not die at the same time.” She went on, “The female victim and her daughter died one after another. But the male victim died a few days later, and not at that time too. It was an earlier time of the day, and of a different method.”
She took out one of the case files and said, “This says that the three of them were slashed to death, right, since they were all decapitated. However, it wasn’t the case. The female victim and her daughter died of suffocation, while the male victim died from his throat being slit.”
Ma Jianguo, Gong Le, and Zu Dong were dumbfounded. Gong Le asked, “Sister Xiaoning, how did you know he died from his throat being slit?”
An Xiaoning could not be bothered to explain to him. “Don’t ask, this is definitely right. There’s no doubt about it. Since it has been such a long time and nothing creepy has happened, their souls could be gone and they may have reincarnated already.”
Ma Jianguo was puzzled. “They died so tragically, what’s the point of being reincarnated so early? Why is it different from Wang Fangfang’s case?”
“Not every victim is like Wang Fangfang. If not, what is the police here for? Let’s take a rest, then head to the victims’ house to look. Maybe we’ll have some new findings.”
Ma Jianguo passed a bottle of mineral water to her. “Come, team leader, have some water.”
She received it and opened the lid to take a few sips. The few of them rested in the car for ten over minutes, then got down and headed to the victims’ house.
The courtyard was filled with withered grass everywhere.
As the house had been uninhabited for a long time, there was a huge hole in the roof.
With the old lady leading them, they entered the house. It was pitch black inside. The room door was stuck as it hadn’t been opened for a long time. They were surrounded by darkness and a damp atmosphere.
“After they died, I haven’t touched or used anything in their house. Everything is placed where it was. My daughter-in-law wasn’t on good terms with me when she was alive. If, after her death, she knows that I’ve used something from her house, she will definitely not let me off.” When the old lady spoke of this, she sounded vaguely regretful. “My son died when he was only thirty. Just when he was still strong and young, this happened suddenly. He was very close to his wife and listened to her for everything. She was more important to him than his own mother.”
An Xiaoning did not say a word. Her eyes staring at a dark corner, she asked, “Can the curtains there be opened?”
“Yes, of course.” The old lady went forward and pulled opened the curtains. Dust particles flew down at once.
From the moment that the old lady pulled open the curtains, An Xiaoning cried out in alarm and took two steps back. If Ma Jianguo did not grab hold of her, she would have landed on the ground.
“Team leader… what’s wrong?” Ma Jianguo’s eyes circled around the house, feeling slightly creeped out.
An Xiaoning composed her emotions and looked towards the wardrobe at one corner. She was sure that she had seen a small figure with two small pigtails drifting there from the window.
If she had not seen wrongly, that small figure was the victim’s daughter.
She scanned around the house and realized that the little girl was the only soul present.
An Xiaoning reached out and pinched Ma Jianguo’s arm. “Bring the old lady out, you two go out too.”
Ma Jianguo couldn’t be more grateful and went out hurriedly.
An Xiaoning was the only one left in the room at this point.
She looked towards the wardrobe and said, “Little girl, come out now, I can see you. Sister is not scared of you.”
The little girl did not move. However, An Xiaoning plucked up her courage and went forward.
She stood right before her, with only two inches between them.
An Xiaoning bent down slowly, her hands shaking slightly. Seeing a child like that was unbearable to her inside.
“Listen to Sister, okay? I’m a police officer, here to nab the bad guy who did this to you and your parents. I won’t do anything to you.”
The little girl looked at her and only cried. She reached out her hand constantly to wipe her tears away.
An Xiaoning reached out her hand and patted her slowly. “Don’t be scared, Sister will help you. Are your parents still around?”
The little girl shook her head.
An Xiaoning thought that would have been the case and smiled at her. “Then, why are you still here? Can you tell Sister?”
Her face looked extremely scared. A five-year-old child like her had been staying in that form for so long. If she were still alive, she would have been a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old teenager.”
Seeing that she would not speak, An Xiaoning did not rush to probe her for any answers. Instead, she took out a few sweets and placed them in her palm. Looking at the girl with a wide grin, she assured her, “Try one, it’s very sweet.”
She took a look at An Xiaoning and eventually reached out and put a sweet into her mouth.
An Xiaoning looked at the sweet that remained in her palm. It was originally fine, but after the little girl took it, it instantly turned bad.
Throwing it onto the floor, An Xiaoning asked, “Is it sweet?”
The little girl nodded.
“Do you want to go with Sister? I’ll bring you to have nice food, okay?”
She nodded. After all, she was only a five-year-old child.
An Xiaoning went to the doorway and told Ma Jianguo, “Quickly, get me a larger umbrella here.”