Chapter 19: Suspecting Something?
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
His words were really straightforward, poking at where it hurt the most.
Xiang Wan took a look at Bai Muchuan’s expressionless face. Of course, she couldn’t expect him to be compassionate.
The mention of that name was another blow to Mrs. Zhao. She seemed to not expect that either and took quite a long time to answer. “You are the ones who told me… from the press conference this morning.”
The wind was brushing against the chiffon curtain. It was as if the wind had blown her words away and were floating about, with a surreal feeling.
However, Xiang Wan could feel that Mrs. Zhao’s voice was trembling and seemed to be trying to control her emotions.
Of course! A woman who only knew of her husband’s betrayal after his death—who would be willing to be repeatedly asked about her husband’s lover?
Xiang Wan’s feelings of compassion were squared at that instant.
However, Bai Muchuan, who still had an indifferent expression, dealt another heavy blow to Mrs. Zhao. “According to a witness, a week before Tian Xiaoya’s death, both you and Mr. Zhao had a fierce quarrel, and you were heard yelling at him, telling him to clean up his act. And if he didn’t do so, there will be someone else to do that for him! Did such a thing happen?”
The thin figure behind the curtain jerked upon that question.
Mrs. Zhao took quite a while to respond without any obvious emotion. “I’ve never said that. Who’s the one who told you all these? We can confront this face to face.”
“We will prove the credibility of the statement!” acknowledged Bai Muchuan. “Next question, where were you on the night of 20 July at ten o’clock?”
That was the time of Zhao Jiahang’s death.
The people present in the room knew about that. Of course, Mrs. Zhao knew that as well.
Without any hesitation, she replied, “I was at my parent’s place, the Xu residence. They can vouch for me.”
Bai Muchuan did not reply if her family’s testament would be of use. He just continued to put forth another question with his cold voice, “Both yourself and Mr. Zhao have been married for eight years, and you rarely go back to the Xu residence. You did not even go back once for the past three years, why did you choose to go back alone on that very day? Coincidence, huh?”
“Do I have to answer that?” said Mrs. Zhao, who paused for half a second.
Bai Muchuan narrowed his eyes. “You must.”
Mrs. Zhao seemed to lift up her head and looked straight at him through the curtain. “I quarreled with him.”
“Why?” asked Bai Muchuan.
Such an aggressive way of questioning was very annoying and frustrating. In fact, Xiang Wan had that same experience once. Mrs. Zhao obviously found it rather unbearable as well.
“This concerns my privacy. Detective, may I know if you’re suspecting that I killed my own husband?”
Bai Muchuan put on a solemn face. “Anyone that can be suspected in this case is my target of suspicion. Mrs. Zhao, we’re just trying to uncover the truth of your husband’s death as soon as possible. Isn’t that what you’ve been hoping for?”
Mrs. Zhao was attacked by his detached tone of voice and seemed at a loss of how to respond.
She seemed to take in a deep breath before she gave an awkward reply.
“That day, he came back from a business dinner where he drank some wine and wanted to do it with me. My body was not convenient so I did not agree, but he insisted, much to my chagrin…”
A creepy breeze seemed to creep into the room.
Xiang Wan felt it hard to imagine the scene.
Mr. Zhao was, after all, a dashing man. Mrs. Zhao…
She sighed but Bai Muchuan was like a questioning robot with no feelings. “How long have you both not enjoyed a sexual relationship?”
Mrs. Zhao was abashed by the questions. “It has been years.”
“How many years?”
“A couple who did not enjoy a sexual relationship for six years and you’ve never doubted if he had a woman outside?”
Bai Muchuan’s piercing question was very powerful.
The secret wound was being cut open, and it was bloody.
Mrs. Zhao stayed silent for a long time.
Bai Muchuan gave her enough time to think before he said slowly, “I’ll give you a chance to reorganize your thoughts. Just answer my first question.”
After going one big round, he finally brought Mrs. Zhao back to the most crucial question.
However, Mrs. Zhao was mentally strong and defended herself.
After a long while, she sighed slowly. “I’ve been unsure and have had suspicions, but I have not managed to confirm this aspect. That woman, Tian Xiaoya, I really don’t know her.”
The corners of Bai Muchuan’s mouth turned upward. “So, you didn’t know how she died and didn’t want to know either?”
Mrs. Zhao’s voice sounded weak and far away. “I do not know, and I don’t want to know either.”
Bai Muchuan slowly stood up and asked his last question, “Today is your husband’s memorial service. Why aren’t you there?”
“It’s my private affair, Mr. Detective. I believe it has nothing to do with this case, is it?”
Mrs. Zhao’s patience had obviously reached its limit, her tone had long since become extremely blunt.
However, the person she met was Bai Muchuan.
He replied in a businesslike manner, “Your private matter happened to be my work issue. No conflict.”
Xiang Wan: “…”
This tepid attitude of his always drive people crazy!
Not to mention Mrs. Zhao, even Xiang Wan herself felt indignant toward him.
She had just lost her husband then found out about her husband’s betrayal. And the police came to interrogate her, pressing her for answers. Which woman would be able to stay comfortable with all this?
The woman behind the chiffon curtain must have been infuriated to such an extent that she did not speak for quite a while.
At this moment, Bai Muchuan gave Huang He a meaningful glance. The latter part of the routine inquiries was now handed to him.
The moment Huang He took over, the atmosphere immediately became different.
Detective Huang had a mild disposition, where one would feel pleasant and comfortable with him like a spring breeze. He gave off the sense of security similar to that of a “community police officer”. Mrs. Zhao’s agitated nerves gradually relaxed as she gave an account of the whole story again.
They took 30 minutes to complete the questioning.
Detective Huang closed his file and turned to look at Bai Muchuan. “Boss!”
Bai Muchuan was staring at an oil painting on the wall. He turned back slowly after hearing Huang He’s voice. “Finished?”
He wasn’t even listening just now? Huang He felt embarrassed. “Yes.”
Bai Muchuan was casually brushing his sleeve. “Collect a fingerprint sample and we can call it a day!”
Under normal circumstances, after the statement had been recorded, it had to be signed off by the witness or suspect, and a fingerprint sample had to be collected by the police. Huang He had Mrs. Zhao sign on the statement earlier.
But the fingerprint…
Mrs. Zhao was not only half paralyzed in the car accident, but her fingers were also badly hurt. Four of her fingers out of two hands were disabled, and under such a circumstance, collecting a fingerprint seemed impossible.
“Boss…” Huang He felt that he was caught up in a bind.
The first time when they had to make a trip to see Mrs. Zhao, Detective Huang was one of the police officers who came over. At that time, he wanted to collect her fingerprint, but he was unable to collect it. His captain, Bai Muchuan, knew about the situation. Why did he let him collect it again?
Is it because his mind is somewhere else and he has forgotten about this incident?Huang He thought.
Huang He stared at him dubiously, but Bai Muchuan’s expression did not seem like he was joking around.
“If one finger failed, will all 10 fingers fail? If the first attempt failed, will all the 10 attempts fail?”
His words were especially cruel for a person who had been hurt before.
Huang He had no choice but to comply. Heaving a sigh in his heart, he asked Mrs. Zhao with a kind smile, “I need to trouble you again, Mrs. Zhao.”
“It’s alright,” Mrs. Zhao spoke slowly and did not reject that request. Of course, she could not refuse the request, either. “Come, Xiao Cheng, help me.”
Mrs. Zhao did not remove the chiffon curtain.
Behind the thin curtain, she pushed her wheelchair to move forward, and Xiao Cheng hurriedly supported her by the arm.
A hand stretched out through the curtain.
Xiang Wan felt as though her heart was being torn apart.
What kind of hand is that?
For the first time, she realized the word “emaciated” could be used to describe someone so aptly.
There was not a bit of meat on the wrist, and the arm was thin and dry. There was a jade bracelet on the wrist. It seemed so heavy as if it would break her wrist at any moment. Her shriveled skin was pale without a trace of blood because she seldom basks in the sun. Her 10 fingers bent abnormally. They were deformed because of the accident where one would feel creeped out at the sight of the hand.
Xiang Wan’s heart was pounding rather furiously. Huang He’s nerves were also tensed up. Bai Muchuan was the only person poised and steady.
No! He’s cold and distant with no compassion.
Once again, Xiang Wan labeled Bai Muchuan with a few more undesirable adjectives.
When the three of them came out from the “white castle”, they noticed that the number of people who came to the Zhao Family to mourn had increased.
Xiang Wan walked on the path surrounded by lush greenery. As she felt a chilly feeling on her spine, she was anxious to leave this place. However, Bai Muchuan walked toward the direction of the mourning hall.
Like a bystander, he stood in different spots of the hall, looking around the place but did not communicate with anyone. After that, he left silently.
“What have you seen?” asked Xiang Wan. After getting in the car, she could no longer hold back her inquisitive mind.
“No one from the Xu Family came,” Bai Muchuan replied lazily, leaning against the seat.
Xiang Wan was shocked. “You know people from the Xu family?”
Bai Muchuan turned around and replied, “Those wreaths placed outside the hall, not a single one of them was sent by the surname Xu.”
Xiang Wan: “…”
There were so many people, and the wreaths were lined up in rows and columns. She did not even bother to look at who had sent wreaths or who had not. In fact, she was not even concerned about this, whereas Bai Muchuan even bothered to check out such little details?
It was no wonder he could be the Captain of Criminal Investigation Unit, and she couldn’t even write a mystery novel properly.
She sighed secretly inside. She was like a freshman in an organization who met a senior executive and couldn’t contain her urge to consult and ask for help in regard to her doubts.
“Why didn’t anyone from the Xu Family come? Aren’t they in-laws?”
This time, Bai Muchuan did not even bother to take a look at her. He shut his eyes without bothering to explain.
This is so embarrassing!
Xiang Wan felt her cheeks flush red when she heard a chuckle from Detective Huang. “Teacher Xiang, looks like you have not done a good job of analyzing Mr. Zhao? Didn’t you say you used Mr. Zhao as a reference for your fictional character’s background? Don’t you know how Mr. Zhao strike it rich?”
Eh? Xiang Wan was perplexed.
“He was born a poor boy, he’s like a piece of gold that popped out from a ditch in a ravine,” said Huang He. “Mrs. Zhao was his college classmate, and they married soon after they graduated, despite the fact that the Xu Family was against the marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Xu only had one daughter and doted on her like a treasure. In the end… Mrs. Zhao got into a car accident after marrying him for less than two years. She was pregnant then, and she suffered a miscarriage as well as becoming half paralyzed. Hence, the Xu Family has never liked this son-in-law. Nevertheless, he’s already dead, yet none from the Xu Family showed up, this is really strange.”
There is actually such a story behind this?
Xiang Wan really did not know of Mr. Zhao’s past.
Perhaps after he was successful, he had deliberately hidden his embarrassing past. When Xiang Wan looked him up for reference, she only knew of the wonderful things that he had specially created for the public. Who would know this side of him?
“Scum!” Xiang Wan snapped as she felt injustice for Mrs. Zhao. She suddenly thought of something and turned to stare at Bai Muchuan. “The case files of Mrs. Zhao’s accident that you showed me earlier, you must have some thoughts to it. Why didn’t you mention anything about it when we saw her just now?”
“…” Bai Muchuan remained silent.
“You’re suspecting something, right?” she asked.