Terrorized with shock, An Xiaoning called out softly, “Old Madam?”
However, there was no response at all from old Mrs. Jin, whose eyes were tightly shut.
An Xiaoning reached out to pick up the knife, only to find that there were bloodstains on it and that old Mrs. Jin’s pillow was drenched in blood.
At this very moment, a bunch of people showed up at the door, appearing to have been in a hurry. Jin Qingyan was shocked beyond his senses at the sight of An Xiaoning standing there with a knife in her hand.
Mrs. Jin hurried to the side of the bed and fell to her knees as she wept out loud, “Mother.”
Mr. Jin was plunged into a state of grief just as he was in the midst of a celebratory mood.
Teary-eyed, he cried in agony, “Mother!”
Jin Qingyan stood rooted by the door, afraid to take another step forward. His eyes were red and brimming with tears; he could not believe the scene before him.
As soon as he regained his senses and rationality, he closed the door shut right away and walked towards the center of the living room. Clenching his fists, he announced to the guests, “My grandmother isn’t feeling too well today. I’m afraid we won’t be able to carry on with her birthday celebration.”
“Is old Madam alright?”
“What happened to old Madam?”
Jin Qingyan was bombarded with questions from the curious guests, to which he answered, “We’re not too sure about her current condition. But may everyone please take your leave.”
With his hands trembling slightly, Jin Qingyan turned around and returned to his grandmother’s bedroom.
He closed the door, leaving the butler and servants outside.
“Mother!” Jin Qingyan exclaimed as he frantically pulled his mother away to stop her from yanking An Xiaoning’s hair any further.
“Qingyan, let go of me. I’m going to shred her into pieces. She killed your grandmother.”
“How are you so sure that Xiaoning is the culprit even before any investigations? I don’t think Xiaoning has a reason to kill Grandma.”
“Qingyan! Didn’t you see that she was holding the knife earlier? Who else but her could’ve killed your grandmother!?!” Mrs. Jin hollered in agitation.
Although her hair was a complete mess, An Xiaoning still maintained her composure and said calmly, “It wasn’t me. I was told by a servant to come in here because old Mrs. Jin was looking for me. I noticed the knife on her neck when I entered, thus I pulled it out.”
At this point, she absolutely regretted her decision to pull the knife out.
“An Xiaoning, stop feigning ignorance, you were the one who killed her! I’m going to call the police to arrest you right now!”
“We must call the police right away!” Mr. Jin bellowed sternly.
“Let’s check the surveillance cameras before calling the police. Xiaoning doesn’t have a motive to do that. Besides, she wouldn’t be so foolish as to do something like that here,” Jin Qingyan refuted.
“Qingyan, this is your grandmother’s life we’re talking about!”
“I know that she’s my grandmother. That’s exactly why I must get to the bottom of this matter and find out who did it! Just because you saw it with your own eyes doesn’t mean it’s true!”
An Xiaoning looked at him with tears in her eyes.
He believed that she was innocent.
She was rather relieved to know that she had his trust.
It was rare to have someone believe her completely in such a tricky situation.
Not wishing to argue any further, Mrs. Jin said, “Let’s look at the surveillance camera’s footage then. We’ll watch it together.”
An Xiaoning was not worried or afraid at all to view the surveillance camera’s footage since she did not kill old Mrs. Jin.
The butler brought the surveillance camera footage.
They then played it in front of everyone, including An Xiaoning.
However, the surveillance cameras had malfunctioned and stopped recording the moment old Mrs. Jin woke up in the morning.
It was the suspicious part of the entire matter.
Mr. Jin smashed the laptop and hollered at Jin Qingyan, “What are you waiting for? Just because you think she doesn’t have a motive doesn’t mean she really doesn’t. We’ll leave this matter to the police.”
“Father, if we hand it to the police and they manage to find out that Xiaoning wasn’t the one who did it, then we would’ve wrongly accused her and caused her reputation to be tarnished. I believe I have the means to find out the truth. Just give me some time,” Jin Qingyan insisted.
“Is her reputation more important than arresting the murderer!?! Don’t forget, I’m the head of the family, you’d better shut up!” Mr. Jin snapped in a moment of pique.
Staring at him, Jin Qingyan retorted, “I just don’t believe that she did it. You’re the head of the family, but I’m the head of the Jin Corporation. I will get to the bottom of Grandma’s murder.”
“I’m not going to let you handle this matter,” Mr. Jin refuted, pointing his index finger at Jin Qingyan.
“Call the police and get them to come immediately,” Mr. Jin instructed.
“Hold it!” Jin Qingyan tried to stop the butler, who ignored him and exited the door.
An Xiaoning remained standing and said, “I know I’m a prime suspect, but I really didn’t kill old Madam. Could you tell me her birth characters? I’ll investigate the case myself,” said An Xiaoning.
“Are you kidding? Why would I let a murderer investigate the case?” Mrs. Jin scoffed distastefully.
“Mrs. Jin, I’m not a murderer. It’s obvious that someone is trying to frame me!” An Xiaoning exclaimed, keeping her eyes fixed on Mrs. Jin.
“Who would want to frame you? Who would have the guts and audacity to do something so outrageous in my home?”
“How would I know?”
“Of course you’d know, because you were the one who did it. We all saw you holding the knife with our very own eyes, yet you’re still trying to deny it. Don’t think we can’t do anything to you just because Qingyan is defending you. I was just being kind by inviting you to the birthday party, yet you were so brazen to have killed Qingyan’s grandmother. An Xiaoning, how vicious of you,” Mrs. Jin rebuked.
“Mrs. Jin! How could you just accuse me like this? The truth behind this matter will be out sooner or later,” An Xiaoning retorted.
The police officers from the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit arrived in no time.
They scanned the crime scene and took down notes. However, they were rather astonished to hear that An Xiaoning was the prime suspect.
Two of the police officers brought An Xiaoning back to the police station while the others stayed behind to carry out further investigations.
Upon arriving at the police station, Pan Zhenghui came over to ask her about the matter personally, after which An Xiaoning told him about the events that took place. Pan Zhenghui then told her not to worry and wait for the evidence to be out.
Due to the fact that it was a grave matter which involved the Jin family and An Xiaoning, Pan Zhenghui ordered for the matter to be strictly kept under wraps.
Mei Yangyang headed to the police station upon hearing the news. She sat down beside An Xiaoning and listened to her explanation.
“Sis, it’s reported all over the news that Old Madam Jin’s 70th birthday party had turned sour and that all the invited guests were told to leave. There are now speculations that something disastrous had occurred because someone had also witnessed the arrival of police cars.”
“Old Mrs. Jin’s spirit wouldn’t have left the room yet if she had just died not long ago. The strange thing is, I didn’t see any vengeful spirits in her bedroom at all. The bloodstains didn’t seem to be fresh either. It doesn’t look like the murder had just taken place. I reckon old Mrs. Jin must’ve been dead for at least five hours,” An Xiaoning speculated.
“Five hours? Sis, why do you think the murderer wanted to kill old Mrs. Jin?” Mei Yangyang asked softly.
“That’s what I’ve been wondering too. Old Mrs. Jin had always kept a low profile and rarely left her home. Besides, the murder took place within the Jin family mansion. If the murderer wasn’t one of the invited guests, who else could’ve killed her for no reason?”
“Sis, after hearing you tell me what Mr. Jin had said, I suddenly felt like he truly loves you.”
An Xiaoning was indeed very touched and grateful to see that he insisted on believing her, although she was the prime suspect in this life-and-death matter involving his own grandmother.