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An Xiaoning was not detained in the police station, though she was not allowed to leave either.

Although she was stuck in such a sticky situation, she was still concerned about Mo Li and instructed Mei Yangyang to take good care of her.

Mei Yangyang abided by her instructions and arranged the servants at An Xiaoning’s home to take care of Mo Li, who was residing in the basement.

An Xiaoning remained in her office alone.

“Team Leader, all the evidence is pointing towards you right now. There are no fingerprints on the knife other than yours. Besides, there are also several eyewitnesses. I reckon the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit is going to pinpoint you as the culprit,” Ma Jianguo said softly upon returning to the office.

“If they’re so certain that I’m the one who did it, then I can only say that they’re nothing but an empty shell. That’ll really make me begin to wonder just how many cases they have wrongly prosecuted in the past.”

“Actually, they’ve been rather prejudiced against us ever since you started working with us, mainly because they’ve constantly been compared to us. They’ve also been facing frequent criticism from Chief for taking way longer than you to crack cases,” said Ma Jianguo.

“Is that so? I really think that you can never be too cautious of the people around you. Such troubles and messy situations are always bound to happen. How frustrating,” An Xiaoning groused, holding her hands together.

“Team Leader… I believe that you’re definitely not the one who did it. You don’t have anything against that old Madam, why would you kill her? Besides, to put it across crudely, she’s already 70 years old, there’s not much longer for her to live. You didn’t even have to bother killing her. You’re not that free anyway. I just heard from one of the police officers who were involved in investigations, Mr. Jin and his father had broken out into a heated argument at home, allegedly because of you. I can tell he strongly believes that you’re not the culprit too.”

Resting her chin in her hand, An Xiaoning closed her eyes and sank into deep thoughts.

The entire incident had completely caught her off guard, causing her to be at a total loss on what to do.

“Boss, someone is calling you again!”

She swiped the answer button to pick up the call. “Hello.”

“Xiaoning, are you alright?”

“Yes. It’s just, I’m afraid I would have to continue to be involved in this for some time. But it doesn’t matter,” An Xiaoning answered softly.

“Rest assured, I’ll do my best to stop the negative news about you from spreading. Don’t worry,” said Gu Beicheng.

“Thank you.” Holding back her sudden tears, An Xiaoning continued, “I didn’t kill her.”

“Of course I know you didn’t.”

“That’s all I needed.” An Xiaoning took a deep breath and said, “There’s nothing that can defeat me entirely, unless I choose not to stand back up from where I fell.”

“That’s what I like about you,” Gu Beicheng answered after a moment of hesitation.

“I’m hanging up.”

“Okay.”

Noticing that An Xiaoning did not have anything to eat throughout the day, Pan Zhenghui decided to buy her some fast food. “Xiaoning, eat something,” said Pan Zhenghui, placing the box of fast food onto the table.

Realizing that she was rather hungry, An Xiaoning picked up the chopsticks and began digging in.

“Is the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit in the midst of investigating?” she asked.

“Yes, they are. But the general conclusion is already out. Xiaoning, all of us strongly believe that you’re innocent, but in the eyes of the law, evidence is ultimately key. We cannot prosecute based on personal trust. Xiaoning, I’m sure you know very well just how powerful the Jin family is. Jin Qingyan’s parents are insisting that they witnessed you murdering old Madam Jin with their own eyes. On top of that, they also warned that they would be proposing the matter to the government’s political leaders, should we be unable to give them a satisfactory answer,” Pan Zhenghui explained.

“Chief, I could no longer see old Mrs. Jin’s spirit in the bedroom when I entered. By rights, one’s spirit would still be present shortly after their death. Besides, the bloodstains on her had already dried up completely, yet the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit was unable to deduce such a simple conjuncture. I really have nothing to say about their abilities. I’m very certain that old Mrs. Jin had died at least five hours before I entered. The guests wouldn’t have been present five hours earlier.”

“Xiaoning, the autopsy report was released long ago. It wasn’t mentioned that the old Madam died five hours earlier. Rather, it was concluded that she had died at the time that you were there.”

“That can’t be. Could it be because of the knife?”

“What about it?”

“The knife was stuck in old Mrs. Jin’s neck, so I pulled it out…”

“Why did you do that?” Pan Zhenghui asked.

“There were no bloodstains when I was there. I only found the bloodstains on her pillow after I pulled the knife out.”

A police officer pushed the door open and called out, “Chief, you have a call from the higher-ups.”

“Got it.” Pan Zhenghui quickly stood up and exited.

The office was filled with silence once again. An Xiaoning felt her head throb with a major headache. Somehow, murder cases simply felt different now that she was involved herself. To make matters worse, she was not allowed to carry out investigations herself.

An Xiaoning had no choice but to sit and wait helplessly, not sure how much longer she would have to wait before she could go home.

Half an hour later, two police officers from the Serious Crimes Investigation Unit entered. “Team Leader An, we’re now arresting you as the prime suspect of the murder, and you will be temporarily detained.”

“Okay,” An Xiaoning conceded. She did not resist because she was well aware that there was no point in explaining or defending herself at this juncture.

An Xiaoning was brought to the custody room, where police officers who passed by began to discuss fervently amongst themselves. However, An Xiaoning knew not to succumb or be affected by any false rumors or gossip about her, for she was upright and innocent.

She believed that she would only be held in custody temporarily.

There would definitely come a day when the truth surfaces.

It was only a matter of time.

All she had to do was wait for that day to arrive.

An Xiaoning stayed awake throughout her first night in prison.

She simply could not fall asleep.

A lot had gone through her mind.

On the second day of detainment, An Xiaoning began to grow restless and impatient, especially since her phone had been taken away from her. By the third day, she eagerly desired to know the current situation going on outside of prison.

However, there was no way she could do so.

Being detained within these four walls was akin to being completely isolated from the outside world.

Days of living in darkness awaited her.

Full of torment and turmoil.

Time crawled by slowly day by day.

An Xiaoning’s initial impatience had turned into emptiness.

She had not seen a single soul apart from the officers who brought her her meals each day.

Hugging her knees while seated on the bed, An Xiaoning began to recall the 16-year-old youth whom she had once helped. He must’ve felt this way then , she thought to herself.

Wronged and accused, yet helpless.

Just when she thought she was growing stronger, she began to realize just how small she really was.

So small that she could not even see herself.

An Xiaoning had known all along that wealthy families often brought about the most trouble. The richer they are, the more rivalry and power struggle there was amongst them. Yet, she truly understood that fact only after she had experienced it herself.

Half a month passed.

It was the start of November.

The temperature was freezing. However, An Xiaoning was still dressed in the same set of clothes she had worn to the birthday party, which she had never once changed out of throughout her time in prison.

An Xiaoning began to wonder if she had been forgotten about.

On the evening of that day, Pan Zhenghui finally appeared.

“Xiaoning.”

An Xiaoning looked up at him and responded, “Yes?”

“You haven’t been eating well lately. I bought these from the restaurant especially for you. You’ve lost weight,” said Pan Zhenghui, bringing with him some piping hot food, which smelled heavenly.