Chapter 22: At Loggerheads
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
Bai Muchuan originally wanted to ignore her.
But after hanging up the phone in less than a minute, Nanny Li called up.
She had always been someone who was discreet, but now, her tone felt somewhat uneasy, as if she was heaving sighs of helplessness.
“Young Master Bai, you need to make some time and come back for a while. I, I’m worried. A life is at stake here.”
Since Nanny Li had mentioned that a life was at stake, Bai Muchuan had no choice but to go back.
He went to look for Detective Huang. “Bring them to the detention center, I’ll come back later…”
“Don’t!” Quan Shaoteng flatly refused the impending arrangement with a faint smirk on his face. “I’m already here in Jin City, why don’t you invite me to your place for tea?”
Bai Muchuan looked at him coldly.
Quan Shaoteng curled his lips—he looked cunning as a fox.
The two of them knew each other so well back then. Who wouldn’t know what the other party was thinking?
Going to Bai Muchuan’s house at this time? It was definitely not that simple!
Hmph! Bai Muchuan gave an unhappy snort and strode to the car. Zhan Se was originally not willing to get involved in other’s domestic affairs, however, a reminding gaze from Quan Shaoteng reminded her of the mention of the name “Xiang Wan” in one of the phone calls. She recalled it was that “supernatural writer” Xiang Wan.
She was immediately intrigued.
She was not interested in the whiny, wailing young girl, but was, instead, interested in the criminal mentality involved in the case.
And so, the group of three went to Bai Muchuan’s place.
The Bai residence.
Xiang Wan was still sitting in the living room.
Her ears were filled with Bai Lu’s kitten-like cries as well as Nanny Li’s gentle and mild words of persuasion.
She was tired of listening to the cries, so she took her headset out and listened to the music on her mobile phone.
And this was the scene that Bai Muchuan and the other two saw when they arrived.
Bai Lu was sitting on the balcony railing on the second floor and refused to come down. Her tears were falling like streams, and she looked as if she had suffered an injustice. Xiang Wan was sitting on the sofa in the living room leisurely, where she closed her eyes, unbothered by what was happening.
Boohoo! Seeing Bai Muchuan appearing in the courtyard, Bai Lu started to cry even louder.
“Little Uncle… save me…”
He glanced at Nanny Li, who was at a loss of what to do. She was standing in the courtyard, looking up at Bai Lu. Bai Muchuan pointed a finger at Bai Lu. “You, come down now!”
“Little Uncle, I can’t live anymore,” Bai Lu pouted and shook her head pitifully. “That evil woman Xiang Wan, she tried to strip me just now. She’s going to, going to… boohoo… I… I don’t want to live anymore!”
Bai Muchuan furrowed his brows when he looked at the height between the second floor to the ground.
Before he could say anything, the door to the living room opened. Xiang Wan came out while holding her mobile phone.
“So the ‘parent’ is back? Okay then, let’s talk about the issue of compensation.”
Bai Muchuan was confused by what Bai Lu said in the earlier phone calls. He did not know what was going on between them.
Xiang Wan walked over to him and looked at the wailing Bai Lu who was sitting on the railing of the balcony. Bai Lu was donned entirely in pink, like an apricot plant who wanted to go over the wall, trembling in the wind.
“You can ask her!”
Xiang Wan’s expressionless face attracted the attention of Zhan Se.
Being bathed in Zhan Se’s scrutinizing gaze, Xiang Wan also noticed the beautiful woman with an outstanding disposition.
When a beauty met another beauty, their gazes would be like flashing knives and swords as they assessed one another. Their weight, their vital statistics, and the like would be shown in each other’s minds in the form of numbers.
Then, they would smile and nod, which was considered a greeting.
Just then, Bai Lu started to give her story of what happened.
Young girls tended to be more vulnerable psychologically, so a little grievance would undoubtedly be infinitely magnified in her eyes.
She completely ignored why she had started the whole saga. She only mentioned the cause of the incident with a few sentences. After which, she started to accuse Xiang Wan of how she tried to extort her, and when she refused to comply, how Xiang Wan hysterically tried to strip her clothes and tear her skirt. She felt like… life was suddenly bleak of color. She was full of shame and despair that she even had the idea of committing suicide.
The group of people was stunned.
Bai Muchuan’s face got gloomier as he listened.
He took a glance at Quan Shaoteng who seemed to want to stir up more trouble with cold and frosty eyes.
“Come down first!”
After he roared at Bai Lu, he turned to look at Xiang Wan. “For the compensation, give a more realistic figure.”
In actual fact, Xiang Wan did not want to take the opportunity to extort the Bai Family a sum of money. She was simply angered by Bai Lu, so she retaliated by saying all those things to scare her. But now that she heard Bai Muchuan talk about money coldly, the bitterness in her heart was once again triggered.
With that, she put on a solemn face. “No room for discussion! Surely, Detective Bai knew very well that one must compensate for damaging another’s property?”
Bai Muchuan said, “So Miss Xiang is bent on being unreasonable?”
“Hmph!” Xiang Wan smiled in the face of anger. “Your niece damaged my stuff, and I have to accept her threat of death on things that I did not do. All I want is just compensation, how is that even unreasonable?”
Bai Muchuan narrowed his eyes. “The compensation should be within reasonable limits.”
“I think it’s a reasonable amount,” said Xiang Wan. “The things that you have a price in your mind have other values in my heart. This also includes compensation for mental anguish which is also recognized by the law. It’s reasonable, is it not?”
Bai Muchuan slowly pulled out a frosty smile. “It’s not too much, very reasonable indeed. If so, please provide evidence of the ‘mental damages compensation’ of your damaged items, and do get a good lawyer to sue for damages in court! I will compensate as long as the court rules in favor of you.”
“Haha!” Xiang Wan forced a laugh. “So Detective Bai is preparing to justify her fault?”
Bai Muchuan stared at her intently. His handsome face slowly moved down and back up, scrutinizing her.
“Miss Xiang has studied in Zhong Zheng before after all. Surely, you will know what is ‘take facts as the basis and laws as the criterion’?”
Xiang Wan raised her chin slightly and looked him in the eye with a sneer, without saying anything else.
Both of their eyes met in mid-air as if flames of war were raging around them, yet not a word was spoken.
There was silence for some time when Xiang Wan finally gave a sneer, then she took a glimpse of the young girl still sitting on the balcony railing.
“Fine! You win. Next time, if you want to jump, for goodness sake, please pick a higher spot. Jin City has no lack of high-rise buildings! Putting up such a show will only incur contempt that the Bai Family is not willing to pay the compensation!”
She went back to the house to pick up her belongings—the “wreckage”—and walked passed them.
“Wait!” Zhan Se opened her mouth unexpectedly.
She walked slowly toward Xiang Wan who had her back facing them.
Everyone was startled.
No one knew why she stopped Xiang Wan.
Xiang Wan herself was puzzled and turned back slowly. “Yes?”
Zhan Se smiled as she got closer, “Can I have a moment with you?”
The “moment” was somehow longer than expected.
The two of them stood near the entrance of the courtyard and chatted for more than 10 minutes.
Xiang Wan realized that Zhan Se also went to study at the University of Zhong Zheng.
However, she was a dropout, while Zhan Se was a postgraduate of the University of Zhong Zheng, majoring in Criminal Psychology. She was also the last known disciple of Professor Lu who was a Criminal Psychology Authoritative Expert.
Xiang Wan was full of admiration for Zhan Se, “Greetings Senior! Forgive me for not being able to recognize a great person earlier!”
“Haha!” Zhan Se was amused by her. “Why are you so sour for?”
After she said this, her face changed to a more somber expression. She turned to look at the few people in the courtyard before speaking in a low voice, “In fact, I’m here because of Zhao Jiahang’s case.”
With regards to this, Xiang Wan was rather sensitive.
Without saying anything, she squinted her eyes and scrutinized Zhan Se.
Zhan Se gave a considerate and understanding smile. “You don’t have to be so nervous. I was at the Criminal Investigation Unit earlier and saw the case files, so I know about you.”
Xiang Wan did not know of her intentions and did not dare to say more.
She knew that women like Zhan Se were very competent in what they do. If she didn’t pay attention, she would lose all privacy in front of her.
Zhan Se saw Xiang Wan’s fingers slightly clutching her bag, and her smile slowly subsided. “You know? When we were analyzing the case earlier, you’re actually a murder suspect.”
Xiang Wan’s heart jolt for an instant. She laughed with a slight feeling that suggested she was mentally exhausted. “With regards to this matter, Detective Bai has also reminded me several times.”
“No!” Zhan Se’s eyes turned cold. “I mean your inner world.”
My inner world, what about my inner world?
Xiang Wan looked at her dubiously with her mouth tightly shut.
“You lack compassion. You’re like that toward the deceased Zhao Jiahang as well as Bai Lu who wanted to jump,” Zhan Se explained steadily. “You have to know that a person’s criminal behavior is governed by their criminal mentality. Everyone’s criminal mentality and criminal behavior may be different, but the most basic trait is that they are very indifferent to the lives of others. Not to mention that you even have a motive to commit the crime, the time to commit the crime… and your ability to know the details of the crime that you haven’t been able to explain!”
So this Senior of hers was here to pull the rug out from under or to convict her?
Xiang Wan’s facial expression was not as pleasant. “Sorry Senior, I don’t agree with your views. My compassion should not be wasted on scums and b*tches. My apologies, if you want to convict me, it’s better to do as what Detective Bai said—show me the evidence!”
Zhan Se smiled when she saw Xiang Wan got irritated.
“I’ve told you not to be nervous. I’ve not finished talking.”
“Oh,” replied Xiang Wan with a faint smile, “then may I trouble Senior not to gasp for breath and finish saying everything in one go?”
Zhan Se was startled.
In no time, she chuckled aloud. “Okay, I’ll make this short. I think that this case is not as simple as we see so far. There must be something else…”
Xiang Wan felt that this Senior of hers seemed to be pulling a prank with her.
At this time, faint sobbing sounds of Bai Lu could be heard from the courtyard. She got impatient.
“Alright, I’ll look forward to the day when Senior and Detective Bai can give myself and the general public a satisfactory explanation.”
And Xiang Wan left without turning her head.
When the main door was closed, a gust of wind was formed which caused Zhan Se’s long hair to ruffle.
Zhan Se smiled as she shook her head. Bai Muchuan, who was not too far away, also turned his head to look at the tightly shut main door.