Regardless of whether A-Jiao approved or not, Jiang Zhengkai went back to work two days after leaving the hospital. In fact, A-Jiao wasn’t completely against it, as she also wanted to know about A-Xiu’s whereabouts. So, right before Jiang Zhengkai left for work, they made a deal that he had to bring A-Jiao along if he found A-Xiu; he wasn’t allowed to hide anything regarding this from A-Jiao. Jiang Zhengkai was reluctant, but agreed to it in the end.
When Jiang Zhengkai arrived at his office, his subordinates immediately crowded around him, offering congratulations. Then they started chatting amongst themselves. People were naturally inquisitive despite the differences in their career. To sate their curiosity, Jiang Zhengkai told them that there had been an explosion right before he fainted that night. He smiled, but did not give any other clarifications or express any additional opinions. Although the other officers were dissatisfied with Jiang Zhengkai’s response, they couldn’t do anything about it because Jiang Zhengkai was their superior.
“Xiaoqiang, come here!” Jiang Zhengkai pulled Lu Xiaoqiang into his office after he was done talking to the office. “There’s something that I need you to do!”
“Inspector Jiang, what do you need?” Lu Xiaoqiang frankly asked as he stood in front of Jiang Zhengkai’s desk.
“Go and get Zhang Nan to take a trip with you to the first crime scene.” Jiang Zhengkai patiently looked at Lu Xiaoqiang with a focused gaze as he continued, “Bring some people and digging tools with you. Apparently there might be something buried outside of the window by the first crime scene.”
“Okay! No problem,” Lu Xiaoqiang readily replied.
“Oh right!” Jiang Zhengkai raised his hand, let it briefly hover above his desk, then gently placed it down. “Actually, forget it! You and Zhang Nan should go first. If you find something, then call me immediately. I’ll also give Mu Mingyuan a call later. If you need any help or support, you can contact him.”
“Okay, Inspector Jiang. Is there anything else?” Lu Xiaoqiang patiently asked one last time.
“No, you can get to work now.” Jiang Zhengkai waved his hand, indicating for Lu Xiaoqiang to leave. However, Lu Xiaoqiang remained in the room and watched as Jiang Zhengkai pulled out the murder files on the alley serial killings. Lu Xiaoqiang didn’t move and lowered his voice. “Inspector Jiang, I actually saw something that night. I haven’t told anyone else; I don’t know if I should tell you.”
“What’s up?” Jiang Zhengkai motioned for Lu Xiaoqiang to sit down. “What did you see? What happened?”
“I…” Lu Xiaoqiang barely started talking before he uneasily glanced at Jiang Zhengkai. “Inspector Jiang, please don’t suspect me of being superstitious. I think I saw my sister that night!”
“Your sister? You saw Xiaomei?” Jiang Zhengkai stared at Lu Xiaoqiang, flabbergasted. “How is that possible? When did you enter the room?”
“After the situation outside went back to normal, I went in,” Lu Xiaoqiang answered. “Actually, I was the first person to enter the room.” When he reached this point, Lu Xiaoqiang lowered his head in embarrassment and started fumbling his words. “Cough! Umm, I didn’t see anything in particular…”
“Oh! No worries.” Based on his sharp instinct, Jiang Zhengkai was certain that Lu Xiaoqiang had seen more. He joked, “But you didn’t cover us up with a blanket after? Haha.”
“I did!” Lu Xiaoqiang blurted out, and then became abashed again. “Inspector Jiang, I swear that I didn’t see anything! Really, the room was very foggy. I’m not lying!”
“Mmm,” Jiang Zhengkai nodded. Leaning back in his chair, he gently gazed at Lu Xiaoqiang. “I believe you! Tell me something else. So what did you see exactly?’
“I saw my sister, Xiaomei!” Lu Xiaoqiang stammered out. “And when I called out to her, she even turned around to look at me. But she didn’t speak. I saw tears run down her face and a smile on her mouth.”
“Really?”Jiang Zhengkai sighed. “Alright, I believe you. Was she wearing a long white skirt and did she have long hair that fell to her shoulders?”
“Yes.” Lu Xiaoqiang was astonished. “Inspector… Inspector Jiang, how… how did you know that?” From what he could recall, his sister, Lu Xiaomei, had hated white clothing when she was alive. So, before that night, he had never seen her wear a long white skirt.
“Never mind!” Jiang Zhengkai shrugged and mumbled, “I think I also saw her that night. Anyways! It’s up to you whether you want to believe what you saw, but I’ll pass on her message to you. She said she loves all of you — dad, mom, and you. But she’s gone now and will probably never return.”
“Oh! Really?” Lu Xiaoqiang nodded and stood up. Even though he appeared aghast, he courteously thanked Jiang Zhengkai. “Thank you, Inspector Jiang. Do you know whether she’s still implicated in these cases?”
“Umm… I guess you can say so?” Jiang Zhengkai cautiously replied. “A-Li and Zhu Yuping’s case are directly related to her, but she had no relationship to A-Xiu prior to her death. She is innocent, and her death was accidental.” In his head, Jiang Zhengkai also silently added, “She didn’t kill anyone!”
Lu Xiaoqiang woodenly nodded his head before leaving Jiang Zhengkai’s office. My sister did not kill anyone! She wasn’t the murderer. These thoughts were enough to console her living relatives. For them, it was enough that she wasn’t the murderer. To be honest, deep down, Lu Xiaoqiang was faintly aware that he really had felt something that night. Although he knew that he didn’t actually see his sister, he held onto the possibility that maybe he had met a fragment of her.
After Lu Xiaoqiang left, Jiang Zhengkai’s emotions were in turmoil. Initially, Jiang Zhengkai did not truly believe what he had seen that night. He thought that the gases released by the explosion had caused him to hallucinate. But, after talking to A-Jiao about it, he found out they had both seen and heard the exact same things. Furthermore, today, Lu Xiaoqiang had told him that he had also seen Lu Xiaomei. Does this mean they hadn’t been hallucinating that night? It was actually all real?
Jiang Zhengkai unconsciously shook his head again and forced out a smile. Maybe the murderer is a magic expert! At this moment, Jiang Zhengkai’s phone rang.
“Hello, honey. What’s up?” Jiang Zhengkai naturally took on a cheerful countenance as he talked to A-Jiao on the phone. “I’m doing fine. Don’t worry about me!”
“Why would I worry about you?” A-Jiao immediately retorted. Then, she lowered her voice in a mysterious manner. “Honey, I found the key. It was in the drawer of A-Xiu’s dressing table.”
“Really?” Jiang Zhengkai felt somewhat shocked and asked, “You really found the key? Are you sure that it’s the right one?”
“It has to be right, doesn’t it?” A-Jiao hesitated a bit. “The key has the tag number ‘808.’ It can’t be wrong, can it?”
“Oh, really?” Jiang Zhengkai was hesitant to believe it. “Then… Alright! Look after it well! I have already sent Lu Xiaoqiang and Zhang Nan to investigate around the alley. Don’t go outside for today. If there’s something, I’ll pick you up.”
“Mm! Okay.” A-Jiao readily accepted. But then she immediately pressed, “Honey, don’t overwork yourself! Why do you sound so tired?”
“Don't worry! I’m doing fine. No worries. Love you, bye!” Jiang Zhengkai quickly expressed his affection before hanging up. Afterwards, he shoved the homicide case materials aside. He shifted his body down and languidly laid his head onto the back of his chair while his eyes stared fixedly at the ceiling. Slowly, he immersed himself into his thoughts and the familiar silence...Previous Chapter Next Chapter