(Title – 誰是兇手？[下] – Shéi shì xiōngshǒu? [Xia] – Who’s the Murderer? [III])
Usagi notes: Welcome to our new translator, synecdoche-acookie! （＾ω＾）
“Ah, I see.” Zhi Li said in a meaningful tone.
Gong Zhu waved his left hand and looked furiously at Zhi Li: “What kind of policeman are you? You won’t arrest the real murderer. You just know how to find us trouble. Can we go now?”
“We still haven’t interrogated you. I heard that you and your sister-in-law were lovers before?”
“How did you know? Indeed, that was a long time ago. Is it possible that you’re completely doubting Xinhe and I from the start? Xinhe and I already stopped seeing each other. She’s just my sister-in-law.”
There was nothing of great value that was gained after the inquiry, and they have professed that at the time of Bi Fang’s murder, they were watching television at home. This alibi proved that their relationship was not credible. The others were somewhat worn out already. Chu Haoyu leaned back on the chair and swayed back and forth: “What’s to be done next?” Everyone did not answer. Ke Bu looked at Zhi Li. He was holding the rope from the crime scene that was used for hanging the corpse. His face was expressionless.
Ke Bu and Zhi Li arrived at the town’s small restaurant to prepare for dinner. There was a man outside who was sneakily trying to look inside. Ke Bu’s keen sight quickly identified him as one of the eyewitnesses. Ke Bu grasped the handle of the door and called him in: “Let’s eat together.” The eyewitness began to eat unceremoniously and seemed to have never been to the restaurant.
“Did you see other things that evening? Why didn’t you say it during that day?” Ke Bu spoke.
“I was afraid of offending someone and then get retaliated on. I’m only a farmer.”
“What did you see?”
When he heard the farmer say this word, Ke Bu was shocked — a ghost?! Is there really such a thing in this world? The farmer took a few mouthfuls, then said: “There was a white shadow that passed by and went to the right side of the woods. During that time, I was so scared so that my legs started shaking.”
Not long after eating and returning to the police station, the door was pushed open. A very beautiful lady came with an exquisite black and red notebook in her hand. The lady was dressed in style. The long thin and slender scar between her forehead and left eye was like a tattoo — it was dazzling and eye-catching.
(Zhang Luo loudly said these words and the corner of his eyes had been deliberately aimed at Su Youyan. He did not expect that Zhang Luo was such a person’s lackey. Ke Bu roughly guessed that Zhang Luo’s name was there in the notebook; therefore, he was now actively trying to offset his points.)
Su Youyan walked straight toward Zhi Li and opened the notebook up. Disregarding the other people’s astonished look, she said: “Bi Fang participated in the cross-dressing club. The club chooses different venues each year to hold their events and this year it was this town that they chose. One was held a month ago on the 6th. It was also the same day that Bi Fang died.”
“This explains why Bi Fang came to visit this small town wherein he didn’t have any relatives.”
Su Youyan nodded then spoke: “After investigation, it was found that one month ago on the 6th, on that evening, there was a couple, man and woman, who seemed to be quite intimate in the woods, but eyewitness didn’t see their appearances clearly. During that time, they thought that the couple came out to take a walk so they didn’t think much of it.”
“How long has it been since Bi Fang joined the club?”
“Ten years or so.”
Ke Bu, who was alongside, was listening carefully. In his mind, he faintly knew who that man and woman in that woods were. If Bi Fang took part in the club’s activity during that day, would that not give that man and the woman the opportunity to go there to be alone?
“Another person had also been to the woods.”
“Who?” Ke Bu impatiently asked. Su Youyan gathered too much information. He, himself, stayed in the town for a long time and yet he was also not well-informed about this.
Su Youyan changed her direction to the other policeman: “You.” Everybody turned their eyes on him, staring at Ying Xiujie with surprise. Ying Xiujie was dumbfounded for a moment, then he just shrugged: “So this was actually uncovered. Recently, it’s been circulating among the villagers that there’s a ghost in the woods, so I was a little curious and went there to see if it was really a ghost.”
“That scared me. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the case, and there‘s no need to talk about it.” Ying Xiujie laughed and looked back at Su Youyan: “And you are?”
“I am Su Youyan, Zhi Li’s…” Su Youyan did not say anything afterwards.
Chu Haoyue jeered: “Girlfriend?”
Ke Bu’s stomach somewhat tightened and looked at the two. Su Youyan shook her head and asked Zhi Li: “Oh that’s right, what am I to you?”
(It seemed that Zhang Luo could not arrive at making up this part of the dialogue. Indeed, what was Su Youyan to Zhi Li? No one could find the words to describe their relationship. She was an independent person who has her own personality and would occasionally poke on Zhi Li while attaching herself to Zhi Li, regarding him as some sort of treasure that she needed to protect. Ke Bu was also quite surprised himself. He could not endure Zhi Li and any other woman together but took it for granted that Zhi Li and Su Youyan were allowed to be together. There was no ambiguity between them and no romantic love, but there was some kind of connection between them that was different from his connection with Zhi Li.)
Ke Bu’s mind was entwined by tens of millions of silk threads in the case. After Zhi Li turned his back on Ke Bu and went back to the woods again, Ke Bu could sense Zhi Li reaching a conclusion based on his expression, although it was very subtle. What did he realize? Rope, insulin, club, widow’s tears, the younger brother’s anger, the ghost in the woods — altogether, something did not feel right. In the end, who was the murderer??
“The story ends here.” Zhang Luo said.
“That’s it? There are very few clues.”
“It’s already obvious, so let’s get started.” After Zhang Luo finished speaking, everyone began to take their money out. From this group of evil beings, Chu Haoyu expressed his views first: “First of all, based on the story, the most obvious killer is not the murderer. Zhou Xinhe is definitely eliminated. How could a pregnant woman hang up a man?”
“Don’t forget that what one can’t do alone can be accomplished by two of them together. Didn’t they take advantage of Bi Fang going away? Both of them carried on a clandestine love affair under the tree. Perhaps, Bi Fang returned and unexpectedly caught them in the act, so they killed him.”
Ke Bu threw his money over: “I bet that Chu Haoyu was the murderer. Just hearing his name reminds me of a perverted murderer.”
“Please don’t bring personal prejudice here.”
“I also have my own arguments. It’s suspicious that Chu Haoyu wore long sleeves during hot weather. Is he afraid that everyone would notice the needle mark of the insulin injections?”
“I bet it’s Gong Zhu. Didn’t you all notice? He never used his right hand, may it be when he patted Zhou Xinhe’s shoulder nor when he angrily slammed the table, he deliberately did everything using his left hand and hid his right hand.”
“The female ghost inside the forest was probably Zhou Xinhe. It was told that she pulled out a white handkerchief…”
Along with rumbling sound of the running train, everyone seemed to be discussing quite enthusiastically. After everyone placed a bet, Zhang Luo asked Zhi Li, who was resting on the upper berth: “Zhi Li, who do you think is the murderer?”
Zhi Li rotated the pen in his hands and kept on looking at the stack of money and took his time to start talking: “In that case, it’s the first person to discover Bi Fang’s dead body.”
“Why??” Everyone spoke in unison. Su Youyan turned over a page of her book. Looking at her expression, it seemed that she had already known the answer.
“There’s a rumor that said there’s a ghost in the forest, so that everyone wouldn’t dare to approach it. The first two corpses were found during the day, but Bi Fang’s corpse was immediately found at night, which explains that a special circumstance arose. Perhaps, upon hearing the voices of the villagers, he had no choice but to change his game plan. He once said that because he was anxious to go home, he had to go through the forest. He saw the body and its face that was beaten until it looked so scary in the dark of the night and he didn’t even have a flashlight with him. Even if he found the body hanging upside down, how can he clearly see that the face had been out of shape? Insulin is usually given to people with diabetes, and the symptoms of diabetes are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (drinking lots of water), polyphagia (eating a lot), weight loss, etc. It’s even more suspicious that at the police station, he kept on drinking water and he also went to the restaurant to eat. Furthermore, because there exists a relationship between the acting force and the reacting force when beating up other people, the hemp rope that was used to hoist the body will surely leave a mark on the hands. There was no scar on his hand, which meant that he must have worn gloves. At that time, he must have hidden his gloves in a certain place in the woods and the scene was blocked. Just in case he was found, he could tell the police that he saw a white shadow going to the right side of the woods, then he must have hidden his gloves somewhere in the left side of the woods.”
Everyone listened to Zhi Li’s explanation, and there was a feeling of sudden realization, but Ke Bu was unwilling to give up and continued to ask questions: “What is the motive for killing, and how can both of them have a disagreement?”
“Perhaps on the 6th of the previous month, the people in the forest were not Zhou Xinhe and Gong Zhu, rather, they were the victim and the murderer. The murderer mistakenly thought Bi Fang was a woman, and the two of them started flirting, but he later found out that Bi Fang was a man. Because the villagers in the small town were usually conservative, he felt very shameful, disgusted and angry so he decided to kill him.”
“Chu Haoyu, that’s such a weird move.”
“Saying too many words at once, I feel tired.” Zhi Li continued drawing. Su Youyan flipped a page: “Chu Haoyu deliberately wore long sleeves and pulled his collar up. It’s probably all over his body… on his neck and body… there’s hickeys, so he was driven out of the house after quarreling with his wife.”
“Isn’t that setting up an honest person?! Didn’t expect that no matter where he is, Chu Haoyu‘s a rotten person!”
Ying Xiujie asked: ” What about Gong Zhu and Zhou Xinhe?”
“There’s quite a possibility that the child that Zhou Xinhe conceived was not Bi Fang’s. Bi Fang had been in the club for 10 years. The two children are 13 and 10 years old. At first, he might have just liked to dress up, but as the years went by, he might have wished to change his gender. He hoped that he was really a woman and flirted with the murderer in the woods. The intimate behavior proves this point. Then, he was likely distant to his wife for so many years and had an affair, so the possibility for her to get pregnant was very small; therefore, Bi Fang also probably knew that the child was not his, and called Gong Zhu to take care of Zhou Xinhe. Zhou Xinhe took out the white handkerchief that was intimately kept at that time. The red color on the corner was not an embellishment. It was probably blood. Gong Zhu was also aware about this. His right hand was probably wounded and Zhou Xinhe used her precious handkerchief to wrap the wound up. Because of that, he deliberately used his left hand to pat Zhou Xinhe’s back, so that no one could discover their relationship. There’s nothing more to add, right?” Su Youyan put up her hands and Zhang Luo handed the money in Su Youyan’s hand.
“You have already won a lot of money. The money would be good as liquid funds for everyone’s activities on this trip.” Ke Bu pretended to be kind and cheerful.
“I am not very familiar with everyone.” Su Youyan place the money in between her notebook.