Chapter 30: Identity — What name did she sign with?
Li Xin Ran had the urge to cry. Out of his entire career, this was absolutely the case with the most twists and turns; nothing could rival it.
Zuo Yi stared at Ye Kang Ping for a moment before saying with sincerity and earnest, “Mr. Ye, weaving an excuse like this to shed off a crime is not very pragmatic.”
“I’m really not lying! When we got there, she really was already dead!” Ye Kang Ping was anxious. This was exactly why he kept refusing to speak earlier, because he knew that if he spoke, there was a high possibility of him being painted as the murderer. “That night, we originally intended to meet up with Ye Zhen Zhen as planned, but just as we reached the hall, we saw her lying on the floor in a pool of blood. At that time, we were really frightened. I went up to see if she was breathing—she wasn’t.”
Zuo Yi wrinkled his brows. His intuition told him that Ye Kang Ping was being truthful. “Carefully explain the situation at that time; was there anyone else?”
Ye Kang Ping pursed his lips and recalled, “Back then, we were too shocked, so we did not notice if anyone was upstairs or not. At that time, however, Ye Zhen Zhen was gripping a knife tightly.”
Li Xin Ran paused in the middle of notetaking. Holy shit, could Ye Zhen Zhen have killed Ye Hong Sheng only to lose her life by falling down the stairs?!
This case nearly caused him to collapse.
Zuo Yi raised his brow and asked, “What happened to the knife?” This murder weapon, they had not been able to find it up until now.
Ye Kang Ping hung his head. “It disappeared.”
“Disappeared?” Zuo Yi repeated, a faint laugh echoing in his voice.
Ye Kang Ping immediately became aggrieved. He knew—he knew that if he said it like this, they would definitely not believe him! But that knife…truly had disappeared!
“After we found Ye Zhen Zhen’s dead body, we went upstairs to my father’s room and discovered…that he had already been murdered. I was very confused at that time, and Qian Qian had quickly burst into tears from stress. Then suddenly, we heard a shriek from the drawing room. We ran down to take a look and realized that the girl who looked identical to Ye Zhen Zhen had fainted beside Ye Zhen Zhen’s corpse. Originally, we had her wait in the car; we don’t know why she secretly followed us in. The situation at that time was too complex. I did not have time to think it over; thus, I decided to execute the plan to the best of my ability. We carried Ye Zhen Zhen’s corpse out and buried it on the hill. After that, I suddenly realized that we left the murder weapon at the crime scene. I was scared Ye Zhen Zhen had killed my father. If this was revealed in the investigation, the fake Ye Zhen Zhen would not be able to inherit the estate. So, I raced back, but…the murder weapon had already disappeared.”
Zuo Yi’s brows furrowed tightly. If everything Ye Kang Ping said was true, then there were two possibilities—the first was that the murderer was still at the location then and took advantage of their departure to take away the murder weapon; the second was that a third party discovered the crime scene when they left and took the murder weapon. There were still very many aspects of the case that were unexplained or illogical.
He raised his head to glance at Ye Kang Ping and asked, “After you buried the body, did the fake Ye Zhen Zhen wake up?”
Ye Kang Ping shook his head. “No. Although the murder weapon had disappeared, we had no time to look for it. We cleaned up the bloodstains in the drawing room, and then…carried the fake Ye Zhen Zhen up the stairs before pushing her down.”
“Ah, so you actually put on the full play and did not worry about her falling to her death?”
Ye Kang Ping choked and replied, “That was exactly what I was afraid of, that she would end up dead if we threw her down, so we only pushed her down from halfway up the stairs.”
Zuo Yi laughed grimly. “Then it seems that she should thank you for your consideration.”
Ye Kang Ping: “…”
He clamped his mouth shut and spoke no more.
That very night, the police found Ye Kang Ping’s corpse burial site; sure enough, they dug up an already decomposed body—but it was still recognizably Ye Zhen Zhen. The authorities called for an urgent meeting, as this case had ascended to another level.
Zuo Yi and his small team worked all evening, none of them catching a wink of sleep when they were swept into the meeting. When they emerged from it, each and every one of them looked like a zombie.
“Alright, you guys go back and rest first. Come back in the afternoon.” Looking at their appearances, Zuo Yi did not have the heart to make them continue working overtime again.
Li Xin Ran yawned and clapped Zuo Yi’s shoulder, saying in a slurred voice, “Leader, you go rest too.”
“Mn.” Zuo Yi nodded at him and turned around to return to his office. He sat down in his chair and massaged his temples. He contemplated for a moment before dialing Ye Zhen Zhen’s number.
Last night, Ye Kang Ping had been taken away by the police and had not returned home since. That morning, Ye Zhen Zhen woke up and learned that Sun Qian had also been taken away. She faintly felt a sort of bad premonition. Indeed, not long after, she received a call from Zuo Yi. He did not say much in the call, but he told her to immediately come to the police station. Ye Zhen Zhen absentmindedly ate breakfast before sitting in Uncle Wu’s car as he hurriedly drove to the police station.
Zuo Yi was still alone in the office. He appeared very tired, dozing off as he leaned back into his chair. A mug of steaming black coffee rested on the table. Ye Zhen Zhen stepped forward and softly called out, “Officer Zuo?”
Zuo Yi’s eyelashes fluttered. He slowly opened his eyes and saw Ye Zhen Zhen in front of him. His mood abruptly became complicated. His heart became a bit uncertain upon seeing Ye Zhen Zhen look at him in such a way.
Although she had not known Zuo Yi for long, he had always given her such penetrating and resolute looks. For her to be able to cause Officer Zuo to expose such an expression…she felt that she might be standing in the middle of something big.
Zuo Yi poured her a cup of water and repeated everything that Ye Kang Ping had told him yesterday. After she finished listening, Ye Zhen Zhen’s complexion became just as pale as Ye Kang Ping’s yesterday. She had believed that she really might not be Ye Zhen Zhen, but she had not expected the true Ye Zhen Zhen to already be dead.
She clasped the paper cup with both hands, seemingly wanting to draw a bit of warmth from it. Zuo Yi gave her time to digest it all. Finally, Ye Zhen Zhen whispered, “Are you going to arrest me now?”
If that truly was the case…she wanted to see Dr. Ji one more time before facing death.
Zuo Yi suddenly wanted to laugh in amusement at her. He stood up and flicked her forehead, like last time in the noodle shop. “This is all from Ye Kang Ping’s one-sided story and cannot be taken completely as fact. We are not entirely convinced. Furthermore, although you are suspected of swindling a large sum of money, that is not fait accompli.1 We do not have the time to care about that right now.”
Ye Zhen Zhen sipped from the cup of water and did not speak up.
“However, you cannot leave A City,” Zuo Yi suddenly added after the moment of silence. Ye Zhen Zhen’s mouth flattened into a line. As expected, he was afraid of her absconding instead of facing punishment.
She downed the rest of the cup of water and got up to leave. Zuo Yi called out for her to stop. “Do you not want to know why you and Ye Zhen Zhen look so alike?”
Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips and did not reply. Zuo Yi suggested, “You can get a DNA test.”
Ye Zhen Zhen laughed. “And what will happen after the test results?”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s parents had died long ago. Now, Ye Hong Sheng and the true Ye Zhen Zhen were both dead. The ties between her and the Ye Family had already severed completely. Moreover, she didn’t want the results to tell her that she was abandoned by the Ye Family at birth.
Zuo Yi choked at this question. His eyes darkened. “Do you remember my sister-in-law, Zuo Qian Man?”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s brows furrowed. She sent him a puzzled look.
“I use my mother’s last name. My dad abandoned us when I was young and ran off with another woman. My mother raised me on her own, suffering bitterly. When I was in my sixth year, a burglar entered our room only to be discovered by my mother. He then killed my mother before fleeing.”
Ye Zhen Zhen stared blankly at him, a somewhat complicated look crossing her face. If Zuo Yi had not told her, she truly would not have expected him to have such a past. Did he say all that in order to comfort her? But…she did not know how to comfort him.
She pursed her lips and spoke in a rather raw voice, “That’s why you became a police officer?”
“Mn.” Zuo Yi thought it was a ridiculous matter, a smile crossing his face suddenly. “I originally wanted to personally capture the person who killed my mother, but before my summer vacation ended after my sixth year, he had already been captured by the police.” At that time, the police officer uncles were omnipotent heroes in his eyes.
Ye Zhen Zhen did not know what to say. She felt that perhaps Zuo Yi simply did not need her comfort.
“What do you intend to do afterward?”
Ye Zhen Zhen was startled. She truly had nothing planned. She did not know who she was and did not know where her family was. She did not even know her own name.
Zuo Yi looked at her gloomy expression. His lips smoothed into a faint smile as he said, “If you are in a difficult situation, you can call me at any time.”
“Thank you, Officer Zuo.” Ye Zhen Zhen stood up from her chair and smiled at him. She then left the police station.
Outside the door, Uncle Wu’s car was waiting for her, but she felt that she did not qualify to sit in this car. She had Uncle Wu drive himself back. After that, she blankly stood there blankly.
She did not know where to go.
Almost subconsciously, she remembered Dr. Ji. Central Hospital was quite far from where she was, but she did not want to spend the Ye Family’s money to take a taxi. She thus walked.
This walk brought her to the hospital at noon. She sat on the bench outside the entrance of the hospital and dialed Ji Zhe Yan’s number. The instant she heard Ji Zhe Yan’s voice, her grievances and worries seemed to overflow. Her tears flowed like a flood spreading unchecked. One after another, her anxieties rushed forth. “Doctor, Doctor Ji…”
Hearing her stammer his name because of her sobbing, Ji Zhe Yan felt scared. “What happened?”
Ye Zhen Zhen did not speak and simply cradled the phone, crying incessantly. Ji Zhe Yan frowned, and his voice obtained a cold edge. “Where are you?”
Possibly intimidated by Ji Zhe Yan, Ye Zhen Zhen obediently answered, “I, I’m at the hospital entrance…”
The call did not end, and instead, Ye Zhen Zhen heard a burst of rapid footsteps. Soon after, Ji Zhe Yan walked out of the hospital. He glanced around and saw Ye Zhen Zhen sitting across the street on a bench, and his footsteps quickened.
Ye Zhen Zhen cried, mewling like a kitten. Ji Zhe Yan crouched down and wiped away her tears with a tissue. “It’s okay; it’s alright. Tell me what happened.”
“Doctor, Doctor Ji, I’m homeless…” Ye Zhen Zhen burst into tears again after saying this.
Ji Zhe Yan frowned. He did not see the Ye Family’s car when he came over. “How did you get here?”
“I, I walked here from the police station…” Ye Zhen Zhen began crying even more broken-heartedly after recalling this. “Doc—doctor Ji, I’m very, hungry. My, my legs will collapse soon…”
Ji Zhe Yan’s brows twisted together. It would take at least a couple hours to walk from the police station to the hospital. He massaged Ye Zhen Zhen’s calf muscles to help her relax. He glanced up at her. “I’ll take you to eat after; just relax.”
At the police station, Li Xin Ran rushed energetically into the office with a document. “Leader, we found that agreement Ye Kang Ping spoke of!”
Zuo Yi stood up from his office chair and walked toward Li Xin Ran. “What name did she sign with?”
If they knew her name, they could find her identity very quickly.
“Eh…” Li Xin Ran’s expression became a bit queer. He directly handed over the document. “You should see for yourself.”
Zuo Yi took the offered document and glanced down. His expression also became queer.
The name she used was…Li Gou Dan.2
I finally fixed my update schedule; this is simply too challenging!
- Definition: An accomplished fact, something that has already occurred; a (colloquial American) “done deal”. ↩
- Yes, Gou Dan as in “dog egg” (狗蛋) … There’s actually a whole backstory behind this. But essentially, this is a meme in China, originating from 《 One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes 》 (李狗蛋) Li Gou Dan: internet slang; refers to having a soft, feminine face and a strong, manly body. Because… a delicate and pretty face made Li Jing mistakenly believe someone was a girl, only for them to be a healthy, robust male with terrifyingly exaggerated muscles. ↩