Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou returned to the police station and summarized the current situation, the important clues and rearranged the timeline.
On October 29th, it was Lin Yiyan’s 30th birthday and a large number of stars in the entertainment circle sent her blessings. Yu Hanjiang noted down the name of these stars in a small book.
On November 7th, Lin Yiyan’s World of Mortals costume drama was successfully completed. In the next few days, Lin Yiyan accepted many media interviews and participated in a variety show recording on November 10th.
On November 11th, the dog that Lin Yiyan and Qi Ming bought together 10 years ago died of illness.
On November 13th, Binzhou City ushered in the first heavy snow since the start of winter and the temperature of the entire city dropped sharply.
On November 16th at noon, Lin Yiyan and the director and producer of World of Mortals had a meal together. She went to bed in the afternoon and went to the restaurant to meet with the editor-in-chief at 7:30 in the evening. She left after receiving a WeChat message at 8:30 and returned to her apartment.
On November 17th, at 1:30 a.m. on the day of the incident, Lin Yiyan changed clothes and cars and drove the No. 502 black car to the Yuehu Villa. She met with Cheng Yu at 2:00 a.m. and they entered the villa area one after another. At this time, Qi Ming was already waiting in the villa area and saw the affair between Lin Yiyan and Cheng Yu.
At 3:00 a.m., Cheng Yu drove away. Qi Ming entered the villa and had an argument with Lin Yiyan. He took a taxi to leave at 3:40. At 4:00, Lin Yiyan’s car was driven away from the villa area.
At present, the period between 3:40 and 4:00 was completely blank without any physical evidence. This would be the focus of the next investigation.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou headed to the Binzhou Movie and Television Studio in the afternoon.
The movie and television studio was located in the suburbs and there were several crews filming here. Yu Hanjiang didn’t want public opinion to spread for the time being so he wore casual clothes as he drove a private car to the crew of Twin Flowers.
Tomorrow was the opening ceremony and the entire crew was extremely busy. The arrival of two strange faces attracted too much attention. Yu Hanjiang saw Old Mo in the crowd instantly. Mo Xuemin was gesturing with a few colleagues to set up the scene. The moment he saw Yu Hanjiang, Old Mo’s eyes lit up and he immediately handed over his work to his colleagues to run over.
Yu Hanjiang greeted him. “How is the crew side?”
Old Mo lowered his voice. “Once Xiao Liu came over, she told us that Group Leader Yu and Professor Xiao were investigating a case and that everyone should stay calm. I have been familiarizing myself with the crew these days along with Long Sen, Teacher Qu and Xiao Liu. No accidents have happened yet.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Where is Cheng Yu?”
Old Mo pointed to a studio in the distance. “Shooting will start tomorrow so makeup photos are being taken today.”
Xiao Lou asked curiously, “Are all the leading actors here?”
Old Mo nodded. “They are all in the crew.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou looked at each other and walked together toward the studio.
There were several security guards in the studio to maintain order. It was difficult for strangers to approach but Liu Qiao saw Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou and ran over with excuses to lead everyone to a secluded corner. She spoke softly, “Group Leader Yu, you’re here! How is the first case?”
Yu Hanjiang answered calmly, “We locked onto two suspects and ruled them out.”
Liu Qiao and Old Mo, “……”
It might sound useless but solving a case was such a process. First, a few suspects had to be identified, carefully investigated and eliminated. Then the remaining person could be identified as the real culprit. Group Leader Yu and Professor Xiao were fast and eliminated both suspects. Obviously, many clues had been found.
Xiao Lou asked, “Has there been anything wrong with Cheng Yu these past two days?”
Liu Qiao said, “He has a bad temper and has fought with his agent every day. I heard him arguing with his agent at least five times in the past two days. My older sister is patient enough with him like she is raising a son.”
She paused before adding, “Cheng Yu has a bad temper but I don’t think he is bad-hearted. He is just a bit willful. He will argue with the agent and then the next second, he will take the initiative to peel oranges for her. He is like a child who hasn’t grown up.”
Xiao Lou could imagine it. “He is a rich second generation who was spoiled by his family. It is normal to be more capricious. Have you asked him about Lin Yiyan?”
Previously, Yu Hanjiang told Liu Qiao that she could try to bring Lin Yiyan up and Liu Qiao definitely hadn’t forgotten this.
She replied softly, “Yesterday, I used my laptop to play a TV series starring Lin Yiyan in front of Cheng Yu. He saw it and smiled. Then he asked me if I liked Lin Yiyan. I said yes and that I’m her fan. I have liked her for 10 years. Cheng Yu generously said that he knew Lin Yiyan and could ask for an autograph for me next time.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned slightly. “Did he really say that? Was there anything wrong with his expression at the time?”
Liu Qiao shook her head. “His expression was normal. I was afraid he would doubt me and didn’t dare ask anything else. Group Leader Yu, you suddenly came to the crew to investigate. Does Cheng Yu have something to do with this case?”
Yu Hanjiang said, “He and Lin Yiyan are hidden lovers.”
Old Mo and Liu Qiao heard this and were surprised. Liu Qiao wondered, “Isn’t Liu Qiao eight years older than him?”
Old Mo touched his nose. “Didn’t you say that he is like a child who hasn’t grown up? He probably likes this gentle, older sister type.”
Liu Qiao was silent for a few seconds. “He isn’t the killer? He was ruled out as a suspect?”
Xiao Lou explained, “On the day of the incident, the surveillance at the gate of the community caught Cheng Yu entering the villa where Lin Yiyan lived. However, the time of him leaving and the time of Lin Yiyan’s death don’t match so we don’t think he is the murderer. Still, we will do a routine questioning to see if we can get any clues from him.”
Liu Qiao said, “I understand. Do you want to go straight in to investigate?”
Yu Hanjiang told her, “We want to try not to let outsiders know since the murderer is still hidden in the dark. If we move too obviously, we will help the murderer destroy the evidence. Does Cheng Yu have any private time today?”
Liu Qiao thought about it. “After taking the makeup photos, he will be finished and he is staying at a nearby hotel.” Liu Qiao used WeChat to send the hotel address to Yu Hanjiang. Then Yu Hanjiang went to find Qu Wanyue and Long Sen, both of whom said there was nothing unusual in the crew.
Yu Hanjiang asked them, “Teacher Qu, what do you think of the heroine of this drama?”
Qu Wanyue answered him. “Qiao Xuening looks good on the surface. I talked to her about the details of the dance scene and I feel that she is a serious person. In order to shoot this scene, she went to dance classes for one month. She is a cheerful person.”
Long Sen added, “The props group has no dangerous props. This is an urban idol drama and doesn’t involve any fighting scenes. I have checked them and there are no problems.”
Yu Hanjiang asked his teammates to add WeChat with Xiao Lou. Then everyone was pulled into the WeChat group by Xiao Lou.
Old Mo exclaimed, “WeChat is really convenient!”
Long Sen complained, “It is much more convenient than when I rode a horse for a day and a night to send a letter to the emperor.
Ye Qi came out excitedly. “Group Leader Yu and Professor Xiao, are you in the crew? How is the progress?”
Yu Hanjiang replied casually, “At present, the suspects went from two to zero.”
Ye Qi, “…Is this progress or a regression?”
Xiao Lou sent a smiling emoji. “It seems that the suspects aren’t the murderer. We will continue to expand the investigation side. You should all keep your eyes open and inquire with the people around you about Lin Yiyan’s gossip.”
The team members said they would actively ask.
In the afternoon, the lead actors’ makeup photos were finally taken. Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou went to the hotel where the actors were staying to question Cheng Yu.
They knocked on the door. Cheng Yu’s agent saw two strange faces and wanted to drive them away. As a result, Yu Hanjiang took out his police officer’s card. “I am police captain Yu Hanjiang of the Binzhou City Criminal Police Department. There is a criminal case that needs to be investigated. I hope for Mr Cheng Yu to cooperate.”
The agent saw there was no one in the corridor and nervously pulled Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou into the room. She locked the door behind her and was worried. “What happened? The police? A criminal case?”
Yu Hanjiang told her, “We need to question Mr Cheng.”
Cheng Yu had just finished taking a shower and was on the sofa watching TV. He immediately sat upright when he heard this and asked with a puzzled face, “A police officer? Why investigate me? I am a good, law-abiding citizen!”
Yu Hanjiang took out his notebook and pen and started writing as he spoke. “November 17th, from 2 to 3 in the morning, did Mr Cheng go to Yuehu Villa?”
Cheng Yu’s face changed suddenly. “I… my…”
Yu Hanjiang continued, “What did you talk about with Lin Yiyan and what did you do in Yuehu Villa? Please tell the truth.”
Cheng Yu’s mouth twitched violently. “Can I not answer questions about my privacy?”
Yu Hanjiang told him, “You have an obligation to answer when it comes to the dead.”
Cheng Yu’s mouth instantly grew so big that an egg could be stuffed in it. “D…dead?”
Xiao Lou wondered, “Mr Cheng, you didn’t know? Miss Lin Yiyan died in her villa at Yuehu.”
Cheng Yu, “……”
Yu Hanjiang said, ”Mr Cheng, can you show me your conversation with Lin Yiyan on your phone? As a suspect who has been to the scene of the crime, we have reason to arrest you. However, Mr Cheng is a public figure after all. It isn’t good for your image if we take you away in handcuffs. Please cooperate as much as possible.”
The agent realized the seriousness of the situation and immediately spoke. “Xiao Cheng, quickly explain what happened! You didn’t kill anyone, did you? This isn’t a joke!”
Cheng Yu’s body shook and he hurriedly retorted, “Of course I didn’t kill anyone. I’m not crazy. Why the hell would I kill someone? I-I-I…i and Lin Yiyan are just for fun. Really… I left and she was fine at the time. I promise!”
Yu Hanjiang interrupted him. “Mobile phone.”
Cheng Yu was pale as he took out his mobile phone and handed it to Yu Hanjiang in a trembling manner. “H-Here.”
Yu Hanjiang took the mobile phone, opened WeChat and glanced at the chat records between the two people.
At 8:30 p.m. on November 15th, Cheng Yu sent a WeChat message to Lin Yiyan: Sister Yan, I miss you. Isn’t your drama finished? I have to join a crew in a few days and will be busy. It might be another few months before I can see you. Are you free tonight? See you in the old place?
Lin Yiyan replied with an ‘OK’ gesture.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou glanced at each other. It seemed that Lin Yiyan received Cheng Yu’s message during the meal and used the excuse of something happening at home to leave in advance. The following WeChat record was also very complete.
Lin Yiyan: I’m back in my apartment. Is it convenient for you to come over?
Cheng Yu: Damn, the old man suddenly caught me and I have to go to meet a few uncles. I might be late. How about early in the morning? I will drive directly to your place and it won’t be easy to be photographed by the paparazzi.
Lin Yiyan: Okay, I’ll wait for you.
A while later, Cheng Yu told her that he had departed and Lin Yiyan replied with, ‘I’ll see you later.’ The timeline was completely strung together.
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “What about after the meeting? What did you say and do?”
Cheng Yu trembled. “I-I just said I missed her. Cough, we in the car… Well, after we finished, I wanted to stay at her house but Lin Yiyan said that she rarely goes to the villa area. If we park two cars there and the residents see it, they will feel suspicious. She had me leave first and told me to come back tomorrow night. I was also worried about being photographed by paparazzi so I left first.”
He repeatedly promised, “Lin Yiyan was fine when I left! In addition, she sent me a message the next day.
Yu Hanjiang said, “I saw it.”
The last message was sent by Lin Yiyan to Cheng Yu on the evening of November 17th: Xiao Cheng, after going to the crew, take care of yourself. I want to travel with my family and relax. Don’t look for me these days.
Cheng Yu explained, “She told me to come back in the early hours of the morning but then she suddenly said she was going to travel. I thought she was just tired recently and didn’t mind that she wanted to go out for a rest. I haven’t contacted her because I have been very busy these days preparing for the new drama!”
Yu Hanjiang returned the phone to Cheng Yu.
Cheng Yu wasn’t suspicious. He had no motive for the crime and the timing didn’t fit. However, Yu Hanjiang confirmed one thing from Cheng Yu’s mobile phone. After the murderer took Lin Yiyan’s mobile phone, they sent WeChat messages to many people to make everyone think that Lin Yiyan was still alive. Perhaps it could be checked from the people who received the WeChat messages.
Yu Hanjiang asked, “As far as you know, does Lin Yiyan have any good friends in the entertainment industry?”
Cheng Yu nodded immediately. “Yes. Qiao Xuening who is the heroine of this drama is her best friend!”
Proofreader: Fictional Reality