The truth came so suddenly that even Lin Dongxue was taken aback. Yet when she thought about it carefully, Ma Xiang being 39 was indeed something Chu Shifang had personally stated that night, and there was no other evidence than that. Everyone had been misled by her.
According to the previous hypothesis, 39 and the murderer “Reattached Finger” were a pair of partners. Perhaps they were actually a criminal couple?
Chen Shi looked at Chu Shifang and said in a measured tone, "I’ll just ask you one thing. Are you a woman?"
"What... What does that mean?" Ai Ying and the others didn't understand at all.
Chu Shifang pursed her lips and after a long time, she replied, "I didn't think that someone would see through this matter in my lifetime. Did you figure it out yourself, or did I reveal some flaws?"
Chu Shifang pointed to Chang Juan's position. "Let me sit there and answer your questions slowly. In addition, please let Chang Juan go. I was the one who killed Ma Xiang."
"No, she didn't kill Ma Xiang..." Chang Juan said.
"Okay, it's already gotten to this point. There’s no need to lie in front of the police anymore." Chu Shifang smiled bitterly. After the truth was exposed, she was actually relieved. "Chang Juan, you did a good job. I promised to take revenge for you. I did as I said. Ma Xiang deserved to die, and I... will soon be punished by the law."
Chang Juan furrowed her brows as if she couldn't bear it.
"I don't quite understand." Ai Ying said, "How could Sister Chu be 39? Then who’s the real 22?"
"She is two people at the same time. 39 and 22. It’s very easy to pretend to be two people on the Internet. This person is the real major shareholder." Chen Shi said.
Lin Dongxue asked the others to go outside for a while. Then Chu Shifang sat on the interrogation chair. Chen Shi asked her if she wanted tea and she replied indifferently, "Give me a cigarette!"
"Aren't you suffering from lung cancer?" Chen Shi asked tentatively.
Chu Shifang widened her eyes slightly. "It doesn't matter anyway. I won't be able to live for long anyway."
"It's still better not to smoke. I’ll pour you a glass of water."
Chu Shifang wrapped the cup with her hands. "I can tell you now what happened that night... Actually, I originally planned to use Chang Juan to guide the police step by step to catch Ma Xiang without exposing my existence, but I found that it was too motherfucking difficult. Ma Xiang gradually realized what was happening and the police’s curiosity was too great. You kept investigating my identity, which put me in a very passive position. My original plan couldn’t be realized, but I promised Chang Juan that I’d definitely avenge her. Hence, that night I lied to Ma Xiang and lured him to the abandoned villa. I told Ma Xiang that I had found the little tail he always wanted to get rid of.
"After they met, Chang Juan was very emotional and asked why he wanted to kill her parents. Ma Xiang didn't plan to answer. He was about to attack Chang Juan, but I unexpectedly stabbed him and Ma Xiang collapsed onto the floor, asking me why..."
Chen Shi said, "We also really want to know why."
Chu Shifang sighed, "You can think of it as a terminally ill killer finally finding the right path, or maybe it was his love for Chang Juan and the hope of doing something that would compensate her."
"Since your goal was to kill Ma Xiang, why did Ai Ying receive your text message?" Lin Dongxue asked.
"No, I didn't send a text message to him. This kid had found his way there. I thought about it after the fact. The kid might have installed some tracking app on Chang Juan's phone... After he arrived, he contacted me and said that the police were with him. Thanks to his text message, I wasn’t caught by you guys. I quickly relayed a few things to Chang Juan and left that place to meet the three of you."
Lin Dongxue was taken aback for a while, remembering that Chu Shifang was indeed at the resort back then, and they actually didn’t doubt her at that time.
"What did you relay to Chang Juan?"
"'Take responsibility for the crime. I’ll protect you.' This was what I told her. I own 61% of her equity, so she must unconditionally execute my orders. You already know what she’s like. She’s a 'living puppet'. Even if she was highly suspicious, you wouldn’t suspect her. Besides, I believed in your ability to handle cases."
"Then why did you do this? You have a terminal illness and want to make up to Chang Juan. Why did you go about it in such a roundabout manner?" Lin Dongxue said.
"Because I can’t be arrested for the time being. I still have some things to deal with. In fact, I’ve already written a confession which would be sent to the police’s email inbox on the day of my death. Chang Juan would be fine. Only bad people would die this time!"
"In that case, what’s the relationship between you and Ma Xiang?" Chen Shi asked.
"First of all, I will answer the question you just asked. I used to be a man. Ten years ago, I was a man. Then something happened. I can only live as a woman. My old name was Chu Xiong. Ma Xiang and I were a pair of hitman partners. It sounds very cool, but in fact, we were like the dumb thieves in Crazy Racer. Our ability was average, but we looked forward to making a fortune all day long. Killing Chang Qing and his wife was the largest commission we ever received. The employer generously gave us a large sum of money. The mission was to kill the family of three. It had to be done efficiently without leaving any traces.”
"We picked an opportunity to do it while they were out, but we found that the little girl wasn’t with them. Yet we still did it. When we tied the couple together, that damn pervert Ma Xiang became very excited. I persuaded him to calm down, but he didn't listen. He raped Chang Juan's mother, Shen Yan, and tied Chang Qing next to them as an audience. It was too motherfucking perverted. I couldn't bear the scene at all...”
"He only killed the couple after venting his disgusting animal desires. We faked the scene and withdrew. Then the employer's people found us and took us to a place. I had a bad premonition... Sure enough, the employer knew what we had done and wanted to settle it with us. I complained incessantly in my heart. It was obviously something Ma Xiang had done, but I had to suffer misfortune with him. We were beaten by the employer’s subordinates. We desperately begged for mercy. The employer said darkly, didn’t we like to play? He got us to ‘play’ there. He got us to make out with each other in front of a bunch of people!”
"In order to survive, we could only endure our disgust while kissing and touching each other. However,no matter what we did, there was no sexual response. After all, we’re not gay. Even if we were, we couldn’t get any erections in such a situation. The employer got a bit impatient and asked someone to take my..." Chu Shifang's cheek muscles twitched. Her throat kept moving, but she couldn't speak. "Then he forced Ma Xiang and I. And I..."
Chu Shifang finally broke down. She covered her face and burst into tears. She cried and said, "Ten years have passed since this incident, but I still can't forget it. For me, it’s a nightmare that will never go away. Even if I couldn’t be a man, I couldn’t be a eunuch. I gave myself hormone injections and simply lived as a woman. Ma Xiang had never been able to get it up since that day. Even though he committed those rape and murder cases later, he had to bring a special tool. We got married... It sounds a bit funny, but it’s only in name. At our age, if we don’t have a family, we would be suspected by the people around us. But how can people like us have a normal family?"
Silence enveloped the interrogation room, making people feel stifling oppression. After a full minute, Chen Shi asked, "Who was that employer and why did they want to kill Chang Juan's parents?"
"I don't know what his name was or why he wanted to kill their family. I only know one thing. Zhou Tiannan was the person in charge of contacting us!"
1. Loose end.
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