Chapter 145: At Variance but Seemingly in Harmony

Xue Chengyi's little three sat at a table by the door and ate by herself without talking to others much.

Chen Shi pulled a chair over and the woman opened her mouth in surprise. “You are the officer from that day...”

“My surname is Chen, what’s your name?”

“Oh, Officer Chen, my name is Li Ping.”

“Why are you here?”

“I am a friend of Old Xue’s. His father died, so I naturally want to come here to express my condolences.”

“Friend?”

“Haha, I knew we couldn’t escape your keen eyes. You saw us together that day. Yes, we are in that sort of relationship, but his wife knows about us and is turning a blind eye to it.”

“Do they have such an open and harmonious relationship?”

“There are all kinds of couples under the sun. I’m sorry, I have to go back. My child is still waiting at home!”

Chen Shi felt that she was someone he could talk to and stood up as well, “Let's go together, did you drive?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Then let’s take a taxi together and save some money.”

The two went outside the restaurant and Li Ping asked, “Was that your daughter that day?”

“No, actually I am only her legal guardian.”

“She seems a bit familiar. Does she attend the fifth class of the second grade?”

“Yeah, what is your child's name?”

“Li Yantong. I am a single mother.”

“Being a single mother is not easy. I want to talk to you about Xue Chengyi's family situation.”

“What do you want to know?”

“Just let me know whatever it is you know about them.”

“Huh? He isn’t involved in tax evasion or something, is he?”

“No, I am not investigating that. He’s only a little involved in a case. It is not that he’s a suspect. Police work is often like this. Everything has to be investigated.”

“Understood!” Li Ping thought for a second. “He has been married to his wife Tang Hui for 20 years. I feel that their relationship is quite different. Tang Hui has affairs with the younger generation at her work. Xue Chengyi knows about it and Tang Hui also knows about Xue Chengyi’s relationship with me. It’s almost like it’s gone semi-public, but she never talks about it.”

“A couple who appears to be in harmony when they’re at variance?”

“Yes, you summed it up very accurately. I think it may be because Tang Hui is his wife from a young age. I heard Xue Chengyi say that the two had been through obstacles before. At the beginning of their business, his family was very poor and they struggled a lot. They borrowed a large sum of money and Xue Chengyi invested the whole sum. Thankfully, his investment paid off and his business gradually got better. The business went on an uphill road. He also said that one thing happened at that time that he considered really lucky. He said that God had not blocked his financial path.”

“What was it?”

“He didn't say what it was.”

“Which year did he start his business?”

“It was around the year 01 or 02?”

“Do you still know something?”

Li Ping talked about something else. He listened to her until the car arrived. Li Ping said, “Officer Chen, let’s ride the car together.”

Chen Shi declined, “Sorry, I have to check some things with Xue Chengyi.”

“Let's talk again another day then!”

“Okay, thank you.”

Chen Shi returned to the restaurant and the guests had already dispersed. Xue Chengyi was a bit drunk and was crying, “I have not fulfilled the obligations of the eldest son. I am not filial, not filial!” Several younger brothers and sisters persuaded him and said that he’d done enough and that their dad passed away happily.

On the side, his wife Tang Hui looked at him coldly. That expression made Chen Shi interested.

Seeing Chen Shi coming over, Xue Chengyi suddenly stopped crying, and slurred loudly, “Officer Chen, why haven’t you left yet?”

Chen Shi responded, “You’ve had too much to drink. I’ll send you home.”

“No need! Thank you so much for coming today. I’ll ask my brother to send me back.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Chen Shi picked Xue Chengyi up and sent him to a car. He sat in the driver's seat. Xue Chengyi patted his shoulder and said, “You are a friend of loyalty. Let’s go, go home and continue to drink.”

Tang Hui sat in the car and said, “Thank you, Officer Chen.”

“It's okay. Last time, he helped my daughter and I haven't thanked him yet!”

Tang Hui smiled faintly, but when Chen Shi turned his face back around, he saw a pair of gloomy eyes from the rear-view mirror.

On the GPS, Xue Chengyi's address was already entered. Chen Shi chatted with the husband and wife while driving. After arriving home, Tang Hui said, “I will help him up. Thank you, Officer Chen.”

“You're welcome. I’ll take my leave!”

Tang Hui dragged Xue Chengyi into the house and chucked him on the sofa. Xue Chengyi slurred, “Water, give me water.”

Tang Hui went to the bathroom and filled a bucket of cold water. When she got to the living room, she directly poured it on Xue Chengyi. Xue Chengyi immediately sobered up and jumped. He shouted, “Are you crazy?!”

“You’re the crazy one! Why did you acquaint yourself with a policeman? Are you looking for death?!”

“His daughter was harassed by a bunch of hooligans last time. I helped him and he owes me. He can't doubt me... Furthermore, he can’t find any evidence even if he does doubt me!”

“I’m warning you Xue Chengyi. We need to keep in our hearts what we’ve done. We live or die together. You had better be more careful!”

“I... I know!”

“If you know, then that’s good. Just burn your father's relics and mementos so we don't leave any clues.”

Xue Chengyi snorted, “Motherfucker, it’s like my house has frozen over. I don’t want to stay in such a cold house even for a second longer.”

Tang Hui sneered. “You think I like this place? Ever since you did that, this home has only been an empty shell.”

Chen Shi did not leave immediately. He looked up from downstairs. After standing for a long time, he did not see the couple turning on the lights. He wondered why they didn’t turn on the lights even though they were home. They were truly a strange couple.

When he left the community, he asked Lin Dongxue where she was and immediately took a taxi to the hospital.

In the hospital room that Du Ting fell out of, Peng Sijue, Lin Dongxue and Xu Xiaodong were looking for evidence. Peng Sijue searched on the ground with a bio-discovery instrument and found several hairs and fibers. They would need to test them to see if it was related to the case.

“The floor had been mopped recently and there isn’t much dust. The footprints are not very obvious and hold almost no value for forensics,” Peng Sijue remarked.

Lin Dongxue took out a key. “This is the window key found on the deceased. Let’s open it and take a look.”

Opening the window, a cold wind blew in and the three sneezed. Peng Sijue used a flashlight to scan the edges of the window and said, “A lot of dust has been taken off.” He took some samples and prepared to go back to compare it with the dust on the corpse.

Lin Dongxue tried to restore the scene of crime. “The deceased fell to the ground with her face down, so the murderer should have placed her on the window sill, ‘sat’ her on it, and then pushed her from behind.”

Peng Sizhen reminded, “The back of the deceased’s jacket was a bit torn.”

Xu Xiaodong announced, “There are fingerprints here.”

The two cast their eyes to the side. On the edge of the wall on the right side of the window sill, there were four fingerprints. Peng Sijue took a flashlight and shook his head and said, “Fuzzy. I’m afraid it is difficult to extract it.”

“Is it left by the deceased?” Lin Dongxue subconsciously looked at the other side of the window sill and found fingerprints there.

They compared the fingerprints on both sides and found that the posture was very strange. If it was left by the murderer, then that would mean they put both their hands on the window and used their chest to push the deceased down. Even if this were the case, the murderer's arm would be very long and look like Liu Bei[2].

It is also impossible for the deceased to have left them because the autopsy had confirmed that she was dead when she fell.

“The two handprints are of different thickness.” Peng Sijue observed. “The murder was committed by two people!”

1. An expression that described those couples that don’t look like a couple even if they were to stand next to each other. 

2. People said that when he relaxed his arms, his hands would reach his knee, meaning they were extremely long. 

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