Twenty minutes later, after listening to Chen Shi's words, Tao Yueyue asked, “That man is coming back to kill me?”
“It is only a threat at the moment, but he is definitely starting to commit crimes again. From tomorrow onwards, you must return early after school. Don't take sparsely populated routes and try to be with your classmates at all times. I will pick you up whenever I have time.”
“I'm not afraid of him.”
“Yes, yes, I understand... Uncle Song was the one who told you this?”
“Ah, yes, Uncle Song has been hunting down this criminal. He never gave up.”
“When can I see him?”
“You will eventually.”
Tao Yueyue glanced at him suspiciously and said deliberately, “If I see him, I want to tell him something about my testimony.”
“You can tell me about it first.”
“I didn't hide in the cupboard when my mother was killed. I was standing next to it.”
Chen Shi was surprised. “He spared you?”
Tao Yueyue nodded. As she remembered the past, she tugged at her pants unconsciously. This action exposed her inner fear. “That night, I smelled something and I couldn’t move. Then, that person came in, turned on the lights, and raped my mother…”
“He sexually assaulted your mother?”
“Yes, I mentioned it before.”
“But I remember...” Chen Shi stopped suddenly. Oh no.
This detail didn't escape Tao Yueyue's eyes. Tao Yueyue said, “I intentionally lied about the rape of my mother. Uncle Chen, you’re actually Uncle Song, right?”
“Why do you say that?”
“Gut feeling! You have a lot of areas that are similar to him. You always say that you still keep in touch with him, but I never saw you back then, and I have never seen you and Uncle Song appear at the same time. You are very good at solving cases, and Uncle Song was the same. You have many small habits that are similar, such as the habit of tapping the steering wheel with your fingers when driving. And you often check your face in the mirror. You’re obviously not handsome, but you’re so narcissistic!”
Chen Shi admired her. Nothing could be hidden from her Tao Yueyue. He put his finger on his lips. “This is a secret between us. You can’t tell anyone!”
“Uncle Song!” Tao Yueyue jumped into Chen Shi’s arms and cried.
Chen Shi patted her on the back. “Don't say that name in front of others.”
“Yeah!” Tao Yueyue nodded with tears.
“What was that about changing your testimony?”
“He asked me and my mother to choose who would die. My mother said to let me die and I said that I was willing to die. He smiled and said to my mother ‘A selfish mother. You should be the one to die’ and then my mother regretted it. She kept saying that she was willing to die, but it was already too late. He stabbed a knife into my mother’s chest.”
“So you just watched your mother get killed? Why didn't you tell the truth back then?”
“Because I wanted him to run away. I hated my mother. I thanked him for killing her and making me an orphan.”
“So you actually saw what he looked like?”
“Yes! I know it's wrong. I shouldn't have lied. I later learned that he killed many people. He isn’t a good person.”
“It doesn't matter!” Chen Shi stroked her head. “The case is not over yet. When you go to court, remember to tell the truth.”
“Will that ever happen?”
“Yes! I have another question. Since you hate your mother so much, why were you willing to die back then?”
Tao Yueyue said sadly, “I am a child born by my mother's bad decisions. She has always regarded me as a burden. Even if she died, I wouldn’t live a life of fortune anyway, so I figured it’d be easier to die!”
“So, in the end, he let you go. How ridiculous.”
“I think that person is a bit like me...”
“Yes!” Chen Shi said seriously. “He also had an unfortunate childhood. The difference is...”
“The difference is that I have Uncle Chen.”
“Cheeky girl!” Chen Shi smiled and poked her nose. “Go to bed early!”
After Tao Yueyue fell asleep, Chen Shi also washed up and prepared to sleep. Looking at his face in the mirror, he still wasn’t used to it even though it had been three years.
He suddenly found a small detail, immediately took out a photo and compared it to his face in the mirror. After seeing it clearly, he suddenly understood something and whispered, “Asshole! You’re actually playing at that?!”
The next day, Lin Dongxue went to work and met Lin Qiupu face to face. Lin Qiupu said, “You’re looking pretty well!”
“I slept well last night,” Lin Dongxue answered.
“Perfect timing. I have a case here for you to take care of.”
“But I have three cases on my hands.”
“Leave those to someone else. You’re more appropriate for this case. Two children disappeared for forty-eight hours and the family is very anxious.”
“Disappearance case?” Lin Dongxue was a little puzzled. “When did we start handling disappearance cases as well?”
“Didn’t you investigate one last time? Remember how much help I gave you back then? Shouldn’t you return the favor?”
Lin Dongxue was very helpless.
Lin Qiupu continued, “And this disappearance case may have already evolved into a murder case. The police found something at the child's house, so he turned it over to us. Follow me to take a look.”
Lin Qiupu took Lin Dongxue to the office and gave her a book, which was affixed with a popular idol sticker and exuded a cheap fragrance. When they opened the book, they could see very beautiful handwriting. It was clear that a girl had written it.
Lin Dongxue flipped through the book and saw a page with the title, “I killed my younger brother.”
After reading the next two pages, she was shocked by the dark, oppressive text in it. She looked up at Lin Qiupu.
Lin Qiupu said, “The missing children, Jiang Hui and Jiang Ming, are half-siblings with the same father. Jiang Hui is 16 years old and Jiang Ming is 13 years old. On the evening of April 2nd, Jiang Ming did not return home from school, and his parents were anxious to find him. Later, they found that Jiang Hui was missing as well, so they went to the police station to report the case. They later found this in Jiang Hui's drawer, as well as a craft knife, rubber gloves, and a bottle suspected to contain poison. The police station handed it over to us... I've taken the bottle to Captain Peng for testing. “
“Half-brother? The brother was born to the stepmother?”
“Looking for someone, I really...”
“You don't need to find anyone. The police station is responsible for finding them. You just need to determine whether it’s a murder case or not. If it is, we will formally file it. if not, we will return the case back to them and withdraw.”
“Okay, I'll head off now!”
Lin Dongxue took a taxi to Jiang Hui's residence. On the way, she read the diary entry carefully. When she arrived at the house, she found that the parents and grandparents were all at home. The family sat depressed in the living room. The dad was smoking a cigarette, the mom and grandma were wiping away their tears, and the grandpa kept sighing in sorrow.
They believed that the children of their family were lost and it hit the family really hard.
After learning that Lin Dongxue was a criminal police officer, her grandmother's blood pressure suddenly spiked and she almost fainted. Lin Dongxue said quickly, “Don't get me wrong. This case has not evolved into a criminal case yet. I'm just here to understand the situation.”
“Endless groups of police have come and gone to understand the situation. Where’s Ming Ming?” the grandmother said sadly.
“You only care about Ming Ming. Isn’t Hui Hui missing as well? You haven't mentioned her at all since yesterday!” the grandfather said filled with indignation.
“Dad, she must have lost Ming Ming. The criminal officer has come to see us, she must have Ming Ming...” The mom said with tears rolling down her face.
“If it wasn't for your usual favoritism towards Ming Ming, why would she do this kind of thing? It's all your fault as a stepmother!” The grandpa yelled angrily.
Lin Dongxue thought, it seems that this family has a big problem!
1. Editor’s note: Again, the timeline suggests it’s probably more like four years.
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