Jin Qingyue glared at him while remaining silent.
Hugging her legs, Shi Shaochuan continued to plead, “Yueyue, our baby is almost six months old, we can’t just end her life because of a mistake I made. I won’t do that again, I promise. I’ll prove it through my actions, alright?”
Jin Qingyue let out a sigh and said, “Get up.”
“I won’t unless you forgive me. I swear to you, Jin Qingyue, I’ll never involve myself with any woman except you in the future, or else I shall be killed by a car,” Shi Shaochuan swore solemnly.
Jin Qingyue expressed assent and warned him sternly, “I hope this will be the first and last time that I find out you’re having an affair. If you ever cheat on me again, I won’t forgive you easily, Shi Shaochuan.”
Shi Shaochuan jumped for joy immediately and stood up to hug her in agitation. “Honey, I won’t dare to do that again.”
However, the tension within Jin Qingyue had not eased one bit. In fact, she was unsure if she had made the right decision to forgive him.
She was also aware that what he had done would leave a dark memory in her heart and cracks in their relationship that can never be repaired.
Pan Zhenghui managed to get the approval of Xu Yang and informed An Xiaoning of the good news, thus arranging for her to set off in half an hour’s time.
“Chief Pan, have you interrogated the servant who told me to enter Old Madam’s room?”
“Xiaoning, we could not find the servant you described,” Pan Zhenghui answered.
“What? Why are you only telling me this now? That woman is very suspicious. Please bring me to the simulation room. I can still remember her face pretty clearly,” said An Xiaoning.
“Alright.” Pan Zhenghui proceeded to bring her to the simulation room.
Once the portrait sketch was out, An Xiaoning matched it with the image of the woman in her head and said, “I’m very certain she was the one who called me.”
“Let me scan this into the database and see if we can find any matching documents and identities.”
“Alright,” An Xiaoning agreed with a nod.
After waiting for twenty minutes, the police officers informed them that, after the system scanned through the database of household registers of all the citizens in the country, there was indeed a person whose face matched the sketch.
Pan Zhenghui and An Xiaoning began to feel worked up upon hearing the news.
After taking a look at the photocopied document of the suspect’s household register, An Xiaoning identified confidently, “It was her.”
“If only we’d allowed you to sketch the portrait earlier, you wouldn’t have had to be imprisoned for so long,” Pan Zhenghui exclaimed, smacking his thigh in an epiphanic moment.
“I thought you guys had already interrogated that servant, and yet you still haven’t even found her.” Pointing at the information on the photocopied document, An Xiaoning continued, “It says here that this woman is a local. Let’s go look for her now.”
“Three of you, come along too,” ordered Pan Zhenghui, gesturing for Ma Jianguo and the rest to follow.
“Okay! Team Leader, here’s your tea,” said Ma Jianguo as he handed An Xiaoning the cup of hot tea he had made for her.
“Thank you, Officer Ma.”
“Let’s go, Team Leader.”
In the darkness of the night, the five of them set off in a police car and headed towards the target’s home.
The search was extremely successful.
They managed to find the place straight away.
Knock knock! “Is there anyone home?” An Xiaoning called, knocking on the door.
A middle-aged woman answered the door. “Hello, Auntie, is this Liu Yingying’s home?”
“Yes, you are?”
“We are from the Criminal Police Unit and we’d like to talk to her about something. Is she in?”
“Criminal Police? I’m her mother, may I know what crime she has committed?” the middle-aged woman asked in shock.
“Auntie, don’t worry, she didn’t commit any crime. We’d just like to ask her some questions.”
“She hasn’t been home in two months. She’s been working in the city.”
“Which part of the city?” An Xiaoning asked.
“I’m not too sure about that, but she said she’s getting paid a hefty amount to work as a servant for a wealthy family. Perhaps her father would know, let me ask him.” The middle-aged woman retreated backwards and welcomed them into the house. “Please come in.”
The five of them followed her into the house.
“Hubby, where does Yingying work at in the city?”
“The Jin family.”
An Xiaoning and Pan Zhenghui exchanged glances.
“Uncle, are you sure that it’s the Jin family?”
“Yes, you guys are?” Liu Yingying’s father confirmed.
“They are the Criminal Police. They’re here to ask Yingying some questions. Please take a seat, I’ll get Yingying’s father to call her,” said Mrs. Liu.
“She really didn’t break the law?” Mr. Liu asked apprehensively.
“Uncle, she really didn’t. We just need her assistance in investigations,” An Xiaoning reassured upon noticing how worried Liu Yingying’s parents were.
Mr. Liu whipped his phone out to give Liu Yingying a call, only to find that she had switched off her phone.
“I can’t get through.”
An Xiaoning took a look at the information on her household register and asked, “Auntie, at what time was Liu Yingying born?”
“At about seven or eight o’clock in the evening.”
“Was it on the 28th of September in the year XXXX?”
“No, it’s the 18th of September,” Mrs. Liu corrected.
“But it says 28th on her household register.”
“That was a typo made by the staff at the Registry back then.”
“Auntie, are you sure that she was born on the 28th of September XXXX at seven or eight o’clock in the evening?” An Xiaoning murmured.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
An Xiaoning’s body swayed all of a sudden. Noticing that something was amiss, Pan Zhenghui asked softly, “Xiaoning, what’s the matter?”
An Xiaoning shot him a glance and said to Liu Yingying’s parents immediately, “Thank you, Uncle and Auntie. We’ll be taking our leave. Please give us your contact number.”
“Alright,” Mr. Liu agreed and provided Ma Jianguo with his contact number.
They then left the Liu family home in a single file. Once they got into the car, Ma Jianguo asked curiously, “Team Leader, why do you want their contact number?”
“To contact them easily once we’ve found Liu Yingying’s corpse, of course,” An Xiaoning said with a sigh.
The rest of them looked at each other in dismay. In disbelief of what he had just heard, Pan Zhenghui asked, “Does that mean Liu Yingying is dead?”
“Yes, it’s been more than ten days since she died. Seems like she was killed during the time I was detained. If only we found her on that very day the incident took place,” An Xiaoning lamented, feeling rather regretful.
After some thought and analysis, Pan Zhenghui answered, “No, she would’ve already fled the moment she brought you to Old Madam’s room. She must’ve been instigated by someone and killed after her job was done. The mastermind definitely wouldn’t have allowed her to live. Even if we tried to look for her that day, it wouldn’t have been easy to find her. But we didn’t make a wasted trip this time, at least we know that she was indeed a servant at the Jin family’s home. What’s puzzling though is that the butler denied the existence of such a servant when we questioned him two weeks ago.”
“Show this photograph to the butler later. If he still denies it, then it seems there’s a mole in the Jin family’s household,” An Xiaoning instructed as she handed Ma Jianguo the portrait sketch.
“Lend me your phone,” An Xiaoning said to Ma Jianguo.
“There you go.” Ma Jianguo whipped his mobile phone out and handed it to her.
An Xiaoning quickly dialed Jin Qingyan’s mobile number and placed the mobile phone beside her ear.
After several seconds of a melodious dial tone came Jin Qingyan’s hoarse voice, “Who’s speaking?”
“Qingyan, it’s me.”