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Zu Dong searched Dong Hai for the latter’s mobile phone and handed it to An Xiaoning.

“Start driving,” An Xiaoning instructed.

She began scrolling through his WeChat account on his mobile phone for further clues, which were, however, scarce.

Having arrived back at her home, she took off the mask while Fan Shixin rushed forward to greet her, “You’re home, Young Madam.”

“Please help me retrieve the deleted WeChat history on this phone. I’d also like to know if there are any records of this phone being used at XX beach, please find that out using the IP address.”

“Got it.”

They then headed towards the police station.

Dong Hai was detained in the interrogation room.

An Xiaoning proceeded towards the interrogation room. “You were disguising yourself?” asked a stunned Dong Hai upon sight of An Xiaoning, who looked different from the girl he was with earlier, though she was clad in the exact same clothes.

“You don’t have to know about that. Last year, a body belonging to a seventeen-year-old girl was found along XX beach, which the murderer had tried to hide beneath stones. However, he failed to do so and things did not go according to plan. Are you in any way related to this matter?”

“Of course not,” he eagerly answered.

“Great, I expected you to say so. Dong Hai, Yang Yue’s parents were divorced since she was young and she had been living with her grandmother, who passed away years ago. You’re in a similar predicament as her, yet you did not try to empathize with her and even killed her instead. I’d really like to know why you were so cruel to such a poor girl like her.”

“It wasn’t me, I didn’t kill anyone. This is a lawful society, you can’t accuse me without concrete evidence. As the police, aren’t you aware of that?”

“Concrete evidence? You’ve already revealed your identity the moment you told me your birth characters. I’ve read from your fortune that you committed an act of murder last summer, and you were fated to be punished by the law. Although the event has already passed, the omen has yet to disappear. If you didn’t kill anyone, why is it still stated that you’ll be facing a sentence? Besides, do you know how we managed to find you?” An Xiaoning sneered.

Dong Hai remained silent, avoiding eye contact with her.

“We found your comment on Yang Yue’s post on WeChat, which was rather flirtatious. If you’re not related to her at all, why would there be such comments? After much investigation, we’ve found that no one has verified the existence of Yang Yue’s boyfriend. However, it’s stated in her fortune that she had a boyfriend at the time of her death. Who else could it be other than you? You may deny it, but the truth will be out once we recover the chat history on your WeChat account from your mobile phone.”

An Xiaoning picked up the teacup Ma Jianguo brought her and began sipping on some tea slowly.

“How did you know she had a boyfriend?”

“Seems like you don’t know what I’m known for. Let me tell you, I’m great at fortune-telling, I can read every aspect of your life at one glance.”

“Nonsense,” he said sneeringly, cocking his head towards the side.

“Your father met with a mishap when you were six years old, and your mother remarried twice. She gave birth to a son with her current husband. You were brought up by your grandparents, and you got more and more rebellious as you grew older — you dropped out of middle school to join the triads and rarely stayed at home. You were often disrespectful towards your grandparents, even though they were the ones who raised you…”

Dong Hai stared at An Xiaoning in astonishment — his reaction had given everything away.

“I’m right, aren’t I? You’ve been in two relationships in the past, and your cyber-relationship with Yang Yue was the third one. You made a girl with whom you share a similar plight come all the way here from another city just to look for you. Yet you ended up killing her in such a cruel manner and dumped her body stark naked along the beach. Dong Hai, you’re so young yet so vicious and cunning.”

Dong Hai hung his head low and kept mum.

“Boss, that fellow is calling you again!” An Xiaoning placed the teacup onto the table and answered the call, “Hello.”

“…”

“Alright, bring it here at once.”

A smile formed on An Xiaoning’s face as soon as she ended the call. She turned towards Ma Jianguo and said, “We’ve managed to recover all the information and records he had deleted from his phone. I’ve instructed someone to deliver it to us right away.”

“Great, our painstaking efforts have not gone to waste after all,” said Ma Jianguo, who was initially doubtful of An Xiaoning’s capabilities. However, after working with her for the past two cases, he now saw her in a different light — she had earned all of his respect and admiration with her impressive efficiency.

Gradually, the team of four began to feel relieved as they sat in the interrogation room, waiting patiently for Fan Shixin to deliver the relevant documents.

In less than half an hour, the documents were delivered.

Seated opposite each other, the four of them began perusing the chat history.

All of a sudden, Ma Jianguo slammed the table agitatedly and exclaimed, “It’s him.”

After looking through the chat history, An Xiaoning looked up at Dong Hai, who still had his head hung low. “We now have sufficient evidence to prove that you were the one who made her flee here for you. Dong Hai, do you have anything more to say?” she said.

“There’s nothing I have to say,” he answered calmly.

“Why did you kill her? What made you decide to kill a girl who had gone out of her way to come look for you?” An Xiaoning questioned.

He raised his head slightly, staring blankly into thin air.

“You may do whatever you’d like with me, I don’t wish to talk about this matter anymore,” he said sluggishly.

“There must be a reason for you to kill someone. Look how much of an imbecile you are, killing a girl at such a young age. Besides, it’s already been more than a year since it happened, and you didn’t even have the guts to turn yourself in. I can’t believe you’re actually planning to live the rest of your life in peace if we hadn’t arrested you. Meanwhile, the victim had died a wrongful death. Speak up, why did you kill her?” Ma Jianguo interjected, demanding an answer from him.

“We had an argument and I couldn’t control my emotions in the heat of the moment, so I plunged her head into the basin. She ended up drowning to death afterwards.”

Upon hearing his vague response, An Xiaoning continued to ask, “What sparked the argument?”

“It was just a trivial issue, which I cannot remember now. Initially, I kept silent and allowed her to scold me. However, she continued to do so and even mentioned that she wanted a breakup. In a moment of pique, I decided to kill her. Only then would she have stopped going off about it.”

An Xiaoning could not tolerate what she was hearing any longer and decided to leave the interrogation room while the rest of them continued with the interrogations.

She returned to her office and took a seat on her chair as she pondered over some thoughts in silence.

She was almost fast asleep when Ma Jianguo, Zu Dong, and Gong Le entered.

“How did it go?” she asked.

“Just like that. We’ve handed the case over to the prosecutor so we’ll wait for the verdict to be out. I reckon it’ll be a death sentence, for sure. In my opinion, the purpose of the death sentence is not only to punish,” said Ma Jianguo.

“What other purpose is there?”

“To let the murderer understand that the victim’s life is just as valuable as his. Team Leader, you’ve really given me an eye-opener. With your help, we’ve managed to crack a few cases that we weren’t able to previously within just a few days. Very impressive indeed.”

Resting her chin in her hand, An Xiaoning answered, “Do you think I can manage to do this continuously? I won’t be coming in tomorrow.”

“What are the three of us going to do, if you don’t come? The Chief will definitely assign us to a special task,” Ma Jianguo said worriedly.

“Aren’t we a team? You guys should take a break too, since I won’t be coming,” said An Xiaoning.

“Dream on,” Pan Zhenghui remarked upon hearing their conversation as he entered.