Xue Chengyi woke up with a hangover and his head felt like it had swelled up. He washed his face and saw his wife sitting in the bathroom burning things expressionlessly.
Xue Chengyi found a shopping bag and put wet tissue paper at the bottom of it as Tang Hui poured all the ashes in it. They also put some other garbage in there to cover it up.
Although the house was warm, it seemed to be freezing.
Xue Chengyi took the lead in breaking the silence. "When this is over, let’s go through the divorce procedure."
"Why?" Tang Hui said coldly.
"Why?!" Xue Chengyi's rage welled up. "You killed my dad!"
"Is his life more expensive now?"
"I have money to treat him now, unlike in the past. We didn’t have any options back then! That’s why we did that!”
"Mr. Xue, don't forget. If my mother didn't ‘suddenly’ die back then, you would still be a no-name. If my mother can't enjoy life, then your dad doesn't deserve it either.”
"You are a vicious woman!" Xue Chengyi gritted his teeth.
"Me? Vicious? I made a lot of sacrifices at the beginning and did not report you to the authorities. Our lives are tied together! No one can leave the other behind. Otherwise, we’ll die together!”
Xue Chengyi was so angry that his lips quivered. At this moment, the doorbell downstairs rang. Xue Chengyi picked up the doorbell phone and asked stiffly, "Who is it?"
"It's me, Old Chen."
"Officer Chen!" Xue Chengyi's tone changed one hundred and eighty degrees. "Did you need me for anything?"
"I’m investigating the nurse’s case. I saw that you were quite busy yesterday so I didn’t ask anything, but I was hoping to ask you some questions today.”
"I’ll come down right away."
Xue Chengyi gave Tang Hui a look, hid the bag of garbage, quickly put on his clothes, and went downstairs. Tang Hui reminded him as he was leaving, "You have to be careful. He is a policeman so he’s going to be pretty bright. Don’t leak anything!”
"He’s investigating the case around the nurse."
"Don’t you know clearly in your heart who killed the nurse? Remember, we went out to eat supper at that time and don’t know anything."
"You’re so stupid. The police would verify that."
"Just say that the store was closed so we turned back."
Xue Chengyi went downstairs and smiled as he greeted, "Has Officer Chen had breakfast yet? Let’s eat together!"
"No need. Can I come in and sit down?”
"Since we just finished the funeral ceremony, our place is still very messy. My wife is currently cleaning things up. Let’s go eat outside.”
The two went to a breakfast stall and ordered a few simple dishes. Chen Shi asked, "It’s said that the money received from women and children is the easiest. Does Boss Xue’s clothing business make a lot of money?"
Xue Chengyi smiled and replied, "It’s not bad. We get by."
"Which year did you start up this business anyway?"
"It was started ages ago. It didn’t do too well at first. Business only improved around 2002.”
"It’s hard in any industry... I need to ask you a few questions. That is, just ordinary questions."
"Sure, I’ll tell you everything I know.”
"At 4:00 that night, did you see any suspicious people coming into the hospital?"
Xue Chengyi shook his head. "4:00? I remember that my wife and I went out to eat supper around that time."
"What did you eat?"
"We were planning to go to a wonton shop, but unfortunately they were closed. We turned back and ate some instant noodles instead.”
"Didn’t your father pass around that time?"
Xue Chengyi was scared and broke out in cold sweat as he responded, "Yes, yes. I meant we planned to come back to eat noodles. However, when we came back, we found that my father had stopped breathing. So, I quickly called the nurse and found that my father had already passed away. Then I called my relatives and friends and relayed the news. I didn’t eat anything all the way till the morning."
"Haii, he’s gone already. I should let him go.”
The two were chatting for a while when Chen Shi’s phone suddenly rang. It was actually his own alarm clock, but he pretended to answer it. “What? You found important clues on the seventh floor?... Don’t move… I’ll come over right now...”
Xue Chengyi looked at him like an idiot. Chen Shi exclaimed excitedly, "We found some clues left by suspects. Maybe the case can be broken today. I will have to go over first."
"No worries, you go ahead!"
Chen Shi went to the seventh floor of the hospital. Lin Dongxue and Xu Xiaodong were waiting for him there. This was the top floor and patients were generally reluctant to live here. As long as the hospital was not full, there would be no one on this floor.
Chen Shi held a mop in his hand and rested it against the corridor. He asked, "Is there any progress?"
Xu Xiaodong reported, "Xue Chengyi invested about 500,000 yuan into this clothing company in 2001. In the second half of the year, the company expanded its market and its share price doubled. He became a deputy manager."
Chen Shi said, "That bastard deliberately told me that it was in 2002."
Lin Dongxue also reported, "I checked the hospital. Coincidentally, Xue Chengyi's mother-in-law suffered from stomach cancer in 2001. She died suddenly during her hospitalization. Xue Chengyi did not ask for hospital compensation. The hospital also didn’t want to bring public attention to the ordeal."
"’God didn't block his financial path.’" It seems that everything is very clear now. Xue Chengyi didn't want to use the investment money to pay for his mother-in-law’s medical expenses, so he killed his mother-in-law."
"What about his father's death this time? With his current financial assets, it shouldn’t be a problem to use some for medical expenses." Lin Dongxue wondered.
Chen Shi thought of the two handprints on the pillow and reasoned, "Xue Chengyi's father's death is a repayment of debt! Tang Hui knows that Xue Chengyi killed her mother. She chose her husband over her mother-daughter relationship and did not report Xue Chengyi. He was able to achieve his career goals. For twenty years, the husband and wife have been bound by this secret. Just as Wang Shuo said in his novel: Two greedy people in the fairy tale dug for underground treasures. The result was that they dug up a person’s skeleton. Although they quickly buried it back and even planted a tree and some flowers on it, they both understood what was buried underneath. When they saw the tree and flowers, they could only think about the skeleton underground. Now that Xue Chengyi’s biological father was dying, Tang Hui asked him to pay his dues, so the two killed the old man together. Unfortunately, they were spotted by a small nurse and the two could only kill yet another person to tie up loose ends."
Lin Dongxue said empathetically, "If it wasn't for the small nurse, this case may never have been known.”
Xu Xiaodong countered, "If you don’t want someone to know something, it’s only possible if you don’t do it."
"Not necessarily. The death of an elderly person with terminal illness is generally not suspected. They wouldn’t accept a coroner’s forensic test either. The idea where if people don’t report something, the government would not interfere is a widespread notion. If it was not for the nurse this time, this secret would have been buried in the darkness forever!”
"How should we find evidence?" Lin Dongxue asked.
"The evidence is definitely there. The little nurse's cell phone has yet to be found. The couple have been busy with the funeral. I think the evidence has not been cleaned up yet... I’ve set up a trap to wait for Xue Chengyi to fall into on his own."
At this time, footsteps came from the corridor and Chen Shi lowered his voice. "Xiaodong, you should hide first. Call me in five minutes. You can talk about anything you want.”
Xu Xiaodong walked away to the other side. Surely enough, it was Xue Chengyi who had come up. Chen Shi showed a smug smile and asked, "Boss Xue, why are you here?"
"Oh, I just came over to do some procedures. I saw your car parked below, and since I knew that you were handling the case, I came up to say hello." Xue Chengyi smiled, his eyes glanced at the room blocked by the police tape cordon. "Have you arrested the real murderer?”
"Don't talk about it. The forensic appraisers are stuck in a traffic jam. They should be here in a minute.”
At this time, the phone rang. After Chen Shi answered, he said with surprise, "What? There are two people dead?! Control the scene first. I’ll come over immediately…”
He said to Xue Chengyi in a panic, "There is another case I need to attend to. Can you stay here and wait for me? There are important clues in here. Make sure nobody goes in. The appraisers will come soon.”
"Sure, you can rest assured!" Xue Chengyi nodded.
Chen Shi took Lin Dongxue downstairs and Lin Dongxue laughed. "This is your trap? Will he be fooled?”
"You’ll be fooled if you have a guilty conscience!"
1. Both my editor and I are unsure if this consistency is on purpose. In chapter 142, Xue Chengyi says that his wife was watching over his father but fell asleep when his father passed.
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