Chapter 18: You Are Too Scheming
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
It was one o’clock in the afternoon when they left the Criminal Investigation Unit.
The sun was now burning brightly as it dried up the last trace of moisture on the ground.
Xiang Wan thought of a very important thing when she left the Criminal Investigation Unit.
“Detectives, have we eaten lunch?”
Bai Muchuan turned around—the glaring sun caused a light ray to flash from his car keys, and also from his pair of cold, crystal clear eyes.
The one who answered her was Detective Huang, who was beside Bai Muchuan. “Teacher Xiang, you have not eaten lunch?”
Somehow, Xiang Wan had a bad feeling after seeing Huang He’s doubtful look.
“Don’t tell me both of you have already eaten?”
Huang He nodded his head as he looked at Xiang Wan and Bai Muchuan in confusion, seemingly pondering how to reply. “After the press conference, all of us had a casual meal together!”
Xiang Wan felt anger burning within her.
This Bai Muchuan is too scheming!
Since he had already eaten, why didn’t he say it when Nanny Li asked? Instead, he had to reject in such a righteous manner that implied he would forgo food and sleep in the name of work as well as justice?!
She felt as if anger rose from the bottom of her foot, and she looked like she had been stung by a bee at the butt. She asked Bai Muchuan unhappily, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Bai Muchuan’s nonchalant face had a slightly puzzled expression. “Did you ask?”
Yes, she did not ask. But his conversation with Nanny Li was totally not like someone who had “eaten a casual meal”?
Xiang Wan was actually not that angry. This was because she knew that Bai Muchuan had no obligation to take care of her meals. Somehow, she had the feeling that she had been fooled, which could be where the anger came from.
“I’m so hungry that I’m going to die. I need to eat before I work.” She furrowed her eyebrows in vexation. Her look of annoyance was a little charming.
Bai Muchuan took a glance at her and threw the keys over to Huang He, but continued to walk in front.
Huang He gave a shrug and motioned Xiang Wan to follow them. “Teacher Xiang, let’s go, we’ll accompany you to grab a bite outside.”
Xiang Wan felt lucky to have Huang He around, who was more sensitive and knew how to take care of other people’s emotions. If not, she would have probably died of anger because of Bai Muchuan.
Outside the Criminal Investigation Unit, there was a wide, spacious street. If one walked straight about 100 meters, they would see an alley where there was a variety of shabby and simple eateries. Xiang Wan was accustomed to eating in such places, but she did not expect that Bai Muchuan, who owned such an expensive watch, would eat at such a place.
“A bowl of noodles,” he said.
The owner looked at the three of them with a pause. “Okay, coming right up. Please take a seat.”
Xiang Wan now understood, or so she thought.
Bai Muchuan would not be eating, and he would not be picking up the tab. He might have thought she could not afford an expensive meal so he chose this cheap place.
She suddenly felt a sour feeling in her stomach and sat down sluggishly. Bai Muchuan was seriously looking at something on his mobile phone. “Detective Bai is really understanding!” Xiang Wan commented with a simper.
Bai Muchuan did not even look up. “No need for thanks.”
Thank you? my foot! Xiang Wan was cursing inside her head. Having met someone who was so calm, she couldn’t find an avenue to vent her anger.
The three of them were quiet.
They sat down together in the same table and played with their mobile phones until a bowl of noodles was placed on the table. “Wow!”
Yummy! To her surprise, the noodles were really tasty!
Xiang Wan had been to many noodle restaurants and eateries in Jin City, but she had never tasted anything like this.
She slurped and stuffed the noodles into her mouth. After easing her hunger for a while, she gave Bai Muchuan a friendly gaze.
“If the food is nice, no matter where the location is, its name will spread far and wide. The noodles here are just like that! They are delicious, refreshing, and not sticky. Detective Bai, thank you!”
Bai Muchuan curled up his lips meaningfully.
Xiang Wan suddenly realized what she had just said.
Detective Bai already said there was no need for thanks, but in the end, she still went ahead to thank him.
She buried herself in the food and finished up all the soup as well. Then she burped…
She saw a fair and slender hand stretched out to her, holding a piece of tissue.
Xiang Wan looked at the owner of the hand strangely. Detective Bai was expressionless, but his eyes seemed to be telling her, “You eat like a pig.”
Fine, Xiang Wan thought that she should forgive him on account of the tasty noodles.
Xiang Wan wiped her mouth and closed her eyes in satisfaction for a second. Bai Muchuan got up at that instant to pay the bill.
Eh? Xiang Wan was embarrassed and wanted to pay for herself, but Detective Bai had already paid and walked out of the eatery.
Under the radiant, scorching sun, a middle-aged young 1 woman’s heart was burning.
Unsure why, but Xiang Wan felt that when Bai Muchuan went to pay for her, it was an especially manly act.
Maybe it might be that she had not been in a relationship before—well, that was what she thought to herself—so she was easily moved and impressed by little acts like this? On the way to Zhao Jiahang’s house, Xiang Wan was contemplating over this problem.
However, with Detective Huang taking the wheel, Bai Muchuan closed his eyes for a rest, too lazy to open his eyes. He was totally not on the same channel as her.
Xiang Wan felt she had been worrying for nothing.
Mr. Zhao Jiahang did not live in the city.
It was said that he had specially chosen a piece of land in the outskirts of the city with excellent fengshui and had built a… castle.
Let’s just call it a castle.
On the exterior of the castle, the designer had adopted the ancient Chinese courtyard design. However, the main building was similar to a classic European castle where its walls were white and encircled in lush greenery. The color contrast was very striking. The courtyard was full of tall evergreen trees. The large canopy of the trees covered the castle which was exceptionally cooling.
… Or to put it in another way, it was rather spooky.
Chilly! That was Xiang Wan’s first reaction when she entered the place.
Maybe it was the large white lanterns on both sides of the door.
Maybe it was the pieces of long white strips of cloth that were hanging on the trees in the courtyard…
Maybe it was the huge Chinese character “Dian” which meant libation at the mourning hall…
Maybe it was the memorial portrait that she had seen numerous times on the Internet…
At that moment, the creepy feeling came back to her once more.
Ever since young, Xiang Wan’s mom did not allow her to attend funerals—she said that the Yin Qi 2 in the mourning hall would be too heavy for those people who did not have enough Yang Qi 3 , and people like that were very likely to fall sick. Xiang Wan did not believe all these. Now that she stood in the mourning hall, she felt a bone-chilling eeriness. The music that was playing there seemed to be able to etch the sadness into the bone marrow. And when she looked at Zhao Jiahang’s smiling mourning portrait, it had felt so lifelike to her…
She believed it.
Maybe such a thing as Yin Qi might actually exist after all.
Bai Muchuan looked at her ashen face and remarked, “Never seen a mourning hall before?”
Geez! Xiang Wan was agitated by his words. Subconsciously, the fear that grew from the depths of her heart suddenly reduced. “Who would go to mourning halls every day for fun?”
Bai Muchuan pursed his thin lips. “Go in and pay your respects.”
It was a custom in China that the deceased needed to be respected.
The three of them paid their respects and exited the hall. It was at this time when Xiang Wan noticed that they had not yet seen the person they had come for——Mrs. Zhao.
Huang He and Bai Muchuan exchanged glances. They found a worker managing the mourning hall and showed him their police badges when they came outside of the hall.
“Hello, we are looking for Xu Zhaodi—Mrs. Zhao.”
The young lad was startled. He looked carefully at the police badges and turned away to make a phone call.
It was unknown what he had said on the phone. When he turned around, he looked much better and with ease. “This way please!”
The distance between the white castle and the place where the mourning hall was set up was approximately 200 meters.
Stepping into the boundary of the castle, Xiang Wan walked gingerly. She was full of curiosity but was not daring enough to check out the place.
The castle was very mysterious.
However, the lady owner of the castle was even more mysterious.
Mrs. Zhao had “received” them separated by a curtain of white chiffon.
She said that she was ugly, and therefore, it was not convenient for her to receive guests for fear of scaring them!
In the case file Xiang Wan saw earlier, there were pictures of Mrs. Zhao after the car accident. Besides the paralysis of her lower limbs, she sustained injuries on her face as well. She might not have been able to regain her original looks.
Thus, if Zhao Jiahang had to see such an ugly face every day, how could it be possible for him to refuse the physical temptation of youthful beauty?
The human nature was ugly and practical.
Xiang Wan felt a tinge of sympathy toward the woman behind the chiffon curtain.
Especially when she heard her gentle voice, she actually developed feelings of closeness.
“Xiao Cheng, go get some water for our guests. And this lady, what do you like to drink…”
“There’s no need to,” Bai Muchuan interrupted, “we’re here to ask some questions.”
His cool tone chilled the atmosphere instantly.
Detective Huang paused for a second and hurriedly put on a smile to alleviate the awkward atmosphere. “It’s like this, Mrs. Zhao, we have some doubts about your husband’s case and need your cooperation to verify certain things. Originally, you will need to come personally to the Criminal Investigation Unit for a statement, but considering your inconvenience, and that you have so many things you need to deal with at home currently, we’ve come to you instead…”
His words made a lot of sense, not to mention he was so much nicer.
Xiang Wan heaved a sigh of relief while Mrs. Zhao gave a chuckle.
“My legs are indeed not convenient. But there’s hardly anything for me to deal with, in regard to his matters.”
Her tone sounded a little stiff. Xiang Wan thought that it might be due to the fact that she learned of Zhao Jiahang’s infidelity after his death, and have found it hard to accept. She puffed a sigh inside her heart.
However, Bai Muchuan was clearly not as sympathetic. He motioned Huang He to take down the statement accordingly as he started the questioning with a cold voice.
“When did you know the existence of Tian Xiaoya?”