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“I’m fine, I just had a sudden premonition that something ominous is about to happen. Hence, I won’t be coming in today, and I’ll see how things go before deciding if I’ll come tomorrow. But I’ll still keep tabs on this case, we’ll discuss it over the video conference later.”

“Alright,” Ma Jianguo acknowledged with a nod.

Clutching her palpitating chest, An Xiaoning grabbed her purse and hurried home.

She felt a huge sense of relief as soon as she arrived home, though she was unsure if it was just a placebo effect.

“Young Madam, didn’t you go to the police station?” Auntie Chen asked while pouring her a cup of red date tea.

“I’ve decided not to go today. I got an ominous feeling all of a sudden, so I’ll be staying home today.” After a moment of hesitation, An Xiaoning continued, “Auntie Chen, please get Chief Fan to come see me in my room, I have something to tell him.”

“Alright.”

An Xiaoning sat down on her bed and opened her laptop. She logged into her account and added the accounts of Ma Jianguo, Zu Dong, and Gong Le.

She then set up a group chat and began a video conference call.

After reading the girl’s birth characters, An Xiaoning said, “As stated in the autopsy report, she had indeed drowned to death. Let’s make a trip down to the place she had stayed in tomorrow. We’ll see if her spirit is still around. If it isn’t, then it would really be a tall order to crack this case. After all, the best way to crack a case is to hear the truth straight from the horse’s mouth.”

“Sure, we’ll go with your plan. Let’s find out the location of the place she had stayed in at the time.”

“Alright.”

An Xiaoning then ended the video call, after which Fan Shixin entered her room. “Young Madam, I heard you were looking for me?”

“Yes. No matter who comes to look for me today, don’t inform me of their arrival and make sure I don’t see them at all.”

“Got it. But, Young Madam, why did you instruct me to do so?”

“I just had a feeling something bad would happen today. I’m experiencing the exact same feeling I did during the mishap involving Chi Rui’er previously. I’m suddenly feeling flustered out of nowhere. Whatever it is, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Alright, you may take your leave.”

“Yes.”

Fan Shixin relayed An Xiaoning’s instruction to his underlings and called for security to be tightened around the entire residence.

Having remained at home the entire day, An Xiaoning began to feel a little more at ease, although the ominous feeling had yet to go away.

It was past eight o’clock in the evening when Jin Qingyue turned up at An Xiaoning’s home again.

Fan Shixin abided by An Xiaoning’s instruction and refused to allow Jin Qingyue to enter.

“Sorry, Missy, Young Madam has ordered us not to allow anyone to enter the house today, whoever it may be.”

“She must really be something to be able to foresee that someone would come forth to see her today. What a lame excuse. I have to see her now for an urgent matter,” Jin Qingyue said, sneering.

“In that case, please come by again tomorrow morning instead.”

“Fan Shixin, how dare you try and stop me! I have something to ask her in private, get lost,” Jin Qingyue exclaimed, glowering at him.

“Please leave, Missy,” Fan Shixin refuted as he turned around to close the gate, leaving Jin Qingyue outside.

Jin Qingyue stared wide-eyed at the sight before her, in disbelief that she would actually be denied entry to her brother’s home.

She had no other option but to leave, boiling with anger.

An Xiaoning put down her binoculars while standing on the balcony. Doesn’t matter. Jin Qingyue wouldn’t be up to anything good anyway, she thought to herself.

She then returned to her bedroom.

She instantly felt better and rejuvenated after a warm and relaxing bath. Just as she was stepping out of the bathroom, she received a call from Jin Qingyan, who insisted she turn on the video call function.

Thus, An Xiaoning gave in to his request and switched it on.

She sat down on the bed in her bathrobe and began chatting with him over the video call. Seeing how eager he was, she decided to remove her bathrobe, baring her body for his viewing pleasure.

Jin Qingyan began to feel blood gushing through his veins as he stared at the provocative sight before him on his screen. An Xiaoning burst into laughter at the sight of him mimicking the action of devouring her.

“I wish I could teleport through the screen and pin you down beneath me.”

“Well, pin me down now if you dare. Would you like me to perform a little erotic dance for you?” she asked suggestively.

“No, I’m going to bed now,” said Jin Qingyan, ending the video call right after he finished speaking.

Hardly suppressing a smile, An Xiaoning placed her mobile phone onto the table and tucked herself beneath the duvet on the bed. She then turned down the temperature on the heater before closing her eyes to sleep.

However, she began to feel pangs of worry at the thought of the strange feeling she had at the police station, which she could not quite put into words. Yet, it was the exact same feeling she had felt previously. Could this be yet another premonition?

Filled with uncertainty, she thought it would be a safer option to remain at home whenever such a feeling struck.

An Xiaoning woke up the next day to realize that the ominous feeling was gone. She heaved a huge sigh of relief, feeling as if a weight was finally lifted off her chest. She then proceeded to go about her daily activities, like having breakfast and heading to the police station. Jin Qingyue arrived just after An Xiaoning had left, making a wasted trip again.

She proceeded to call An Xiaoning, only to find that the latter had switched off her phone, causing Jin Qingyue to boil with anger as she waited in her car by the entrance.

There were some matters she had to ask An Xiaoning in person.

In the police car, the team arrived in Benyang District, a place in the city notorious for its lack of security.

After parking the car by the entrance of a guesthouse, the team of four alighted and headed towards the room the victim had stayed in.

Unfortunately, they did not manage to find any clues nor the victim’s wandering spirit.

After returning to the car, An Xiaoning asked, “There’s no information about her boyfriend in the case file, why is that so?”

“Boyfriend? That can’t be, it says here that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. I remembered checking with her affiliates, and they all mentioned that she didn’t have one,” said a puzzled Ma Jianguo.

An Xiaoning shook her head in disagreement. “That’s not true, it’s mentioned in her fate that she indeed had a boyfriend at the time of her death.”

“Sis Xiaoning, does that mean her boyfriend could be the prime suspect?” said Gong Le with an epiphanic clap.

It was a potential clue. “Zu Dong, let’s head towards her house and begin our investigations from there. If we still can’t find a single clue, then we’ll continue from the guesthouse. We’ll just have to go with the elimination method,” An Xiaoning instructed.

“My thoughts exactly. Although it’s a bustling district in the city, there’s a higher chance that the murder was committed by someone she knew, rather than a stranger. But of course, we can’t deny the fact that this is a chaotic district, which is indeed rather dangerous for a teenage girl to be staying alone in. If my daughter has the guts to travel alone to such a faraway place, I’ll definitely break her legs,” Ma Jianguo remarked.

“Well, you’d first have to get a wife before you can have a daughter,” An Xiaoning mocked.

Ma Jianguo was speechless.

The journey from the city to the victim’s house had required a total of four hours on the expressway.

Upon arriving at their destination, they had a quick lunch and hurriedly split the tasks amongst themselves. Ma Jianguo was responsible for keeping in touch with the victim’s parents and asking if they had any of their child’s personal belongings; Zu Dong and Gong Le were in charge of visiting the school the victim had attended while she was still alive. Lastly, An Xiaoning proceeded straight to the victim’s house.

The victim’s uncle and auntie were currently residing in the house.