In fact, Yu Hanjiang didn’t really have any evidence that Qiao Xuening used a stand-in for the last martial arts drama and that the stand-in had broken her leg. However, sometimes interrogation required fishing. He could ask questions first and then judge whether it was true or false based on the other person’s expression.
Qiao Xuening deserved to be someone who won a trophy for acting. She heard this question and looked at Yu Hanjiang with surprise. “Officer Yu, what are you talking about? I don’t understand. The last time I shot the martial arts movie, I performed the entire thing by myself. Many people from the crew can testify for me.”
Yu Hanjiang stared into her eyes. “So in the early morning of the 17th, did you personally go to the mountains to shoot the variety show Close Your Eyes When it is Dark?”
Qiao Xuening smiled. “Of course. The directors and guests of the variety show know what I look like. Can this be faked? I don’t have a twin sister. If you don’t believe me then you can check my household registration.”
The agent next to her also hurriedly explained, “Officer, I can guarantee that Xuening did go to the show that day. In fact, Xuening has never used a stand-in. I suggested she use a stand-in for this dance scene because I am worried about her legs but she rejected it.”
Qiao Xuening added, “Also, it is necessary to sign a contract when using a stand-in. Officer Yu, you can check the contract records of my agency.”
She met Yu Hanjiang’s gaze with a serious expression. “Being an actor has been my dream since I was a child. I treat every scene with the same attitude. I am very serious when filming and will do everything by myself. Even if it is a difficult scene, I will learn and make breakthroughs by myself rather than relying on a substitute to solve it.”
The agent nodded. “Xuening has a good reputation in the circle. Officer, you can ask the directors who have worked with her. Her serious attitude is well received by the directors in the circle. She has debuted for 10 years and it isn’t easy to reach her present state. You suspect that she has a stand-in without any evidence. To be honest, this is a bit insulting.”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang glanced at each other.
The two people spoke together and made it seem true. It was difficult to tell from their performance.
Yu Hanjiang skipped this topic and sent a look to Xiao Lou. Xiao Lou understood what he meant and immediately calmed the scene. “Miss Qiao, don’t mind it. We are just asking routine questions because we heard the director talk about a stand-in. We were just asking about the situation, not directly convicting you.”
Qiao Xuening had a good temper and smiled. “I can understand and I will naturally fully cooperate with the police investigation. It is just that I’ve told you everything I know regarding Xiao Yan. I don’t know anything else.”
The agent asked, “Do you have a clue about her killer?”
“It is being checked.”
A trace of regret flashed in Qiao Xuening’s eyes. “I hope that the case is solved as soon as possible and Xiao Yan receives justice.”
Yu Hanjiang turned on his phone and retrieved a photo of Lin Yiyan’s death. In the photo, Lin Yiyan was lying in a bathtub filled with ice cubes, knife marks all over her body. Qiao Xuening’s pupils shrank when she saw the photo and her face was pale. “Officer, this… how could Xiao Yan die so miserably?”
Yu Hanjiang had placed a photo of the deceased in front of her and observed her reaction.
Qiao Xuening’s reaction was normal. She was surprised like any ordinary person when seeing a photo of a dead person. He took back the phone, sat on the sofa next to her and took out a notebook and pen. He asked while recording, “Do you know if there is a relationship between Lin Yiyan and ice?”
Qiao Xuening was still stunned. “Ice? I haven’t heard of it.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned slightly. “You’ve really never heard of anything. Think about it.”
Qiao Xuening thought about it and suddenly recalled something. Her eyes lit up and she said, “She likes to use ice cubes in summer to chill red wine. Drinking cold red wine will cool off the heat. She once told me that cool red wine has beauty effects and drinking a glass every day will make my skin better.”
She paused before continuing, “It is winter but there is heating at home. The temperature should be above 28 degrees. She might’ve continued drinking cold red wine.”
Yu Hanjiang noted down this point and asked, “Can you elaborate on your relationship with Lin Yiyan during university?”
“We were roommates in the same dormitory in university. My parents are both company employees and I have never acted before. I was admitted to the movie school and learned acting from scratch. Xiao Yan was the same as me. Therefore, we both had a lot of common languages. We often went to the library to read books together. We soon became good friends who talked about everything.”
“In our second year, there was a web drama that was holding public auditions for the role of the heroine. The investor in the drama happened to be the largest entertainment company in the circle, Starlight Entertainment. We went to the interview with the attitude of trying it out and Xiao Yan actually passed.”
“Did you feel jealous at the time?”
Qiao Xuening was silent for a moment before replying honestly, “Of course. I was no worse than her. Both of us were newcomers and her acting skills were definitely not much better than mine. She was chosen while I wasn’t chosen. It is human nature to feel jealousy. However, I was quickly relieved. After all, she is a good friend of mine and she can always help me if she becomes popular. One more connection in the entertainment industry is better than one more enemy.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “The drama she filmed became popular and she changed from a small, invisible star to a popular star. During that time, was there any contact between you?”
“Yes, I’ve always been in touch with her. She didn’t ignore me because she became popular.”
Then Yu Hanjiang asked, “Later, she introduced resources to you and you slowly became popular. If it wasn’t for your boyfriend exposing your private photos, your current achievements would be no worse than hers and you wouldn’t have to act in this type of youth drama at the age of 30, right?”
Qiao Xuening looked slightly embarrassed. “Indeed, what happened at the time was a big blow to me and Xiao Yan had been comforting me. At that time, I wasn’t in good spirits and almost committed suicide due to depression. Fortunately, the company of my family and friends allowed me to escape from the shadows.” She glanced at her agent. “Furthermore, I got a blessing in disguise and met my agent who helped me a lot later.”
“You adjusted your mentality with your agent and signed the contract when you came back?”
Yu Hanjiang inquired, “Where is your former agent?”
Qiao Xuening replied, “Married and had children. She left the acting world.”
The questioning lasted a long time. Yu Hanjiang asked clearly about her experiences since her debut. He even asked in detail what dramas she had filmed in recent years and which stars she worked with.
Qiao Xuening was questioned for more than half an hour and was obviously a bit impatient. The focus in her eyes started to blur when answering questions. At this time, Yu Hanjiang gave Xiao Lou a look. Xiao Lou smiled and opened his mouth. “Miss Qiao, do you feel uncomfortable during this period when your fracture is healing?”
The questions abruptly changed direction and Qiao Xuening was slightly taken aback. “Of course. It hurt at first, especially after there was a plaster on my leg. It was inconvenient to walk. Fortunately, I usually exercise and my body is strong. The recovery speed is very fast.”
“Did the doctor tell you about the stages of fracture healing?”
Qiao Xuening smiled apologetically. “He seems to have said it. I’m not a medical student and I don’t understand it well. I don’t remember it clearly.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “After the fracture, how many times did you go to the hospital for a check?”
Qiao Xuening frowned and thought about it. “It seems like… five or six times.”
Xiao Lou was like the most patient doctor in the world as he continued to look at her gently. “During the check, what did the doctor do for you? Do you remember?”
Qiao Xuening wondered, “…Why are you asking about these things?”
Xiao Lou explained. “I am concerned about Miss Qiao’s recovery process because I heard the conversation between you and the director. You have to shoot difficult dance scenes. If your legs don’t fully recover and permanent damage occurs then it is easy to get diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis when you are old. It will be very painful.”
Qiao Xuening coughed lightly. “I don’t remember too clearly. In any case, I took x-rays every time. You can go to the hospital for the specific case records. The doctor told me that I am recovering well. Of course, he doesn’t recommend that I dance but I think it’s okay. I exercised every day after being discharged from hospital and now I have fully recovered.”
“Did the doctor ask you to supplement calcium and to drink bone soup when you were hospitalized with the fracture?”
Qiao Xuening nodded. “Of course. This will promote the healing of fractures.”
Xiao Lou glanced at her and then asked, “Who was taking care of you during this time?”
“My parents. They came to my house to take care of me.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Okay, we really troubled Miss Qiao today. In this case, we haven’t locked down the murderer so we need to collect more clues. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Yu Hanjiang took the initiative to stand up and prepare to leave. Qiao Xuening also stood up and escorted the two men to the door. “This is what I should do. If the two of you want to know something then you can come back to me. I hope you solve this case as soon as possible.”
Yu Hanjiang spoke lightly. “Miss Qiao, don’t worry. We will catch the murderer as soon as possible.”
After leaving Qiao Xuening’s room, Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou immediately went to the meeting room that Shao Qingge arranged for everyone on the top floor. Old Mo, Liu Qiao and the others found excuses to come to the meeting room and waited for the results of Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou’s interrogation. They saw the two men enter the room and immediately surrounded them.
Qu Wanyue was concerned. “How is it? Is Qiao Xuening’s suspicion big?”
Xiao Lou’s eyes were certain. “She is lying.”
Yu Hanjiang explained. “Today, Xiao Lou and I went to question her using fatigue interrogation. First, I asked her many things about her past such as her university years, debut experience and TV series she filmed. This made her fall into her memories and relax her vigilance. Then Xiao Lou abruptly asked her some details about the fracture and the hospitalization and her mind was unable to follow.”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes, there are several holes in her answers about the details of her hospitalization.”
Yu Hanjiang opened the recorded transcript in front of everyone.
Xiao Lou pointed to two lines.”First of all, after being admitted to hospital with a fracture, x-rays will be taken to check the location and severity of the fracture. Then the treatment plan is determined and the patient is discharged after putting on a cast. The swelling degree and skin sensation at the site of the fracture should be observed in the early stags. It is usually around a week or so. After the swelling subsides, you need to go to the hospital for a review. The frequency of the follow-up review is once a month.”
Xiao Lou patiently explained. “Since the healing of fractures is a very slow process, recovery mainly depends on whether a callus is formed. Therefore, the review won’t be so frequent. However, Qiao Xuening said she went to the hospital for five or six checks. Her fracture healed in three months and the maximum number of reviews should be four times. Either she was confused or she didn’t care about it at all.”
Yu Hanjiang asked, “What else?”
Xiao Lou smiled and stated, “Bone soup.”
His teammates were confused.
Xiao Lou said, “The question I asked her was actually a trap. She replied that the doctor told her to drink bone soup to promote bone healing but this isn’t the case. In patients with fractures, the fractured ends will actively release calcium ions and serum calcium will increase. This will also increase the burden on your kidneys. In theory, calcium supplementation isn’t required. The most critical point is that bone soup will only supplement fat, not calcium.”
Liu Qiao also studied medicine but she hadn’t learned this knowledge yet. She heard Xiao Lou’s words and couldn’t help looking at him with admiration. “So Professor Xiao deliberately tricked her? You asked if her doctor told her to drink bone soup? A normal person’s reaction is to drink bone soup after a fracture but a doctor wouldn’t suggest this. Thus, she walked into Professor Xiao’s word trap.”
Long Sen touched his nose. “Bone soup doesn’t supplement calcium? This is the first time I’ve heard of it…”
Xiao Lou told him, “The bones do contain a lot of calcium but it is biological calcium, not free calcium. Even if you stew the bones for a whole day, they won’t be separated from the bones and won’t be directly absorbed by the body. Thus, drinking bone soup to replenish calcium and grow taller is a misunderstanding. Bones contain a lot of fat so drinking bone soup won’t make you grow taller. You will only gain weight.”
Ye Qi couldn’t help complaining. “As a child, my parents often made me drink bone soup. They said it can promote the development of bones and make me grow taller. Fortunately, I didn’t drink too much. Otherwise, I might be fat now…”
Long Sen laughed. “I also drank bone soup as a child but my height should be genetically inherited!”
The team members felt helpless. If Xiao Lou hadn’t mentioned it then everyone would probably think that bone soup should be stewed after a fracture. Obviously, it was the same with Qiao Xuening.
Xiao Lou concluded, “The conjecture that Group Leader Yu and I came up with is probably correct. The person who got the fracture isn’t Qiao Xuening. She has never been to the hospital so her answer is full of loopholes when asked about the details.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “She should have a stand-in who looks very similar to her. The drama she is currently filming is called Twin Flowers. In fact, from the beginning, this was a clue.”
Everyone heard this and suddenly realized. The Lin Yiyan case and the Liang Ting case, the thing the two cases had in common was disguise and substitution. This was the true core of 9 of Hearts.
Jin Xiaoyue had a younger brother. She took his place and killed Liang Ting. If Qiao Xuening had a stand-in then her fracture recovery problem was reasonably explained and her alibi could easily be falsified. She became the most suspicious person in this case, otherwise… why hide that she had a stand-in?
Proofreader: Fictional Reality