CR: Chapter 271

Yu Hanjiang returned home that night and made plans for the next investigation.

First of all, Qiao Xuening vowed that she never looked for a stand-in and that her company would have a record of the contract. If so, it proved that she concealed it from everyone, including her agent and other colleagues. The agent’s performance today was normal. She did seem unaware.

Then Qiao Xuening and the stand-in might have some type of private transaction. This required checking Qiao Xuening’s bank account over the years, including her cash flow. If she had a record of withdrawing a large amount of money or transferring money to someone, he could check if it matched her filming schedule, especially during the filming of her martial arts movie ‘Sword Rain’.

Secondly, the hospital where Qiao Xuening stayed needed to be investigated. They would talk to the attending doctor about Qiao Xuening’s situation and see if they could find any details about the stand-in.

The third point was her motive to commit the crime.

On the surface, Qiao Xuening and Lin Yiyan were good sisters. They were roommates in university and went to the library every day. They talked about everything. If there was really hatred or conflict between them, it must be at two turning points.

First, the two of them went for an interview together. Lin Yiyan was accepted and became the heroine of an online drama that became an instant hit. However, Qiao Xuening was unsuccessful. Did something happen at the time? Did she hold a grudge about it?

The second turning point was when Qiao Xuening became a huge hit. She could’ve gone further and consolidated her status as a movie queen in the entertainment industry. However, someone exposed her private photos and splashed dirty water on her, saying she was too poor and loved the rich. This was why she abandoned her boyfriend who was her first love. This caused her personal setting to collapse. A water army drove the rhythm on Weibo and the naked photos spread all over the forums as the otakus’ chatting material.

It hit her so hard that she even wanted to kill herself out of depression.

Later, she recovered her image and won a lawsuit against the scumbag. She strengthened herself and re-entered the public’s vision. Everyone stopped taunting her due to sympathy for her experience.

Due to this, she was silent for two years. For an actor, two years was really important. Was this matter related to Lin Yiyan?

Yu Hanjiang sorted out all the clues to the case from beginning to end.

Zhou Yuanyuan, who was detained due to suspicion, could also continue to be questioned tomorrow.

Zhou Yuanyuan had her role stolen by Lin Yiyan and was disfigured in a car accident. A telescope, posters, gloves and other evidence were found at her home. She insisted that she wasn’t the murderer. Since no stronger evidence was found, the police couldn’t convict her but they couldn’t let her go.

***

The next day, Yu Hanjiang returned to the police department and first questioned Zhou Yuanyuan. The disfigured woman looked indifferent and only repeated one sentence. “I’m not a murderer.”

Her hatred of Lin Yiyan was very obvious. The posters with the face scratched over were shocking but the posters and telescope weren’t direct evidence. The fruit knife found at her home didn’t have any blood on them. In addition, no fingerprints or hair were found at the crime scene…

She couldn’t be convicted just because she hated Lin Yiyan. Yu Hanjiang continued to have her stay in the detention centre while he went to see the doctor at the hospital with Xiao Lou.

They asked for a lot of details about Qiao Xuening’s hospital stay.

The doctor told them, “Qiao Xuening? I was very impressed with her. She was in pain during the fracture recovery period. Just like a child learning how to walk, she would gasp for breath with every step. However, she had strong endurance and never shed tears. She gritted her teeth and endured it.”

Yu Hanjiang wondered, “What is the characteristic of her voice? Can you elaborate on it?”

The doctor said, “She had a cold all the time and her voice was a bit hoarse.”

A hoarse voice. It was just like when she filmed Close Your Eyes When it is Dark in the mountains. At that time, her voice was hoarse due to a cold. Was it a coincidence or deliberate?

Then Yu Hanjiang asked, “Was there anyone accompanying her when she saw the doctor?”

“She was always accompanied by her agent.”

“How was her relationship with her agent?”

The doctor smiled. “She didn’t speak very much. Every time she came for a check, she was always in a hurry and rushed away. Big stars are afraid of being photographed by the paparazzi. Big sunglasses, scarves and hats are the standard. She covered her face very tightly. After the x-ray was taken and I told her some precautions, she left. She didn’t talk to me very much.”

Xiao Lou took over. “How much did her fracture heal when she was discharged from the hospital? Can she dance?”

The doctor called up the x-ray from her last check-up on the computer. “At that time, the callus had appeared, the fracture lines were blurred and walking wasn’t affected too much. She also asked me if she could dance. I told her that it is better to observe for a while and that she shouldn’t do too much strenuous activity. She should do what she could to avoid sequelae.”

***

The clue the doctor gave was about the cold. It was still uncertain if it was a real cold or her deliberately pretending to have a cold to conceal her voice.

After leaving the hospital, Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou went to the bank to check Qiao Xuening’s account.

The two of them unexpectedly discovered that Qiao Xuening often withdrew cash from the bank. The amount varied in size. Converted to RMB, it was sometimes thousands and sometimes tens of thousands. In the first half of this year, she withdrew one million cash during the filming of the martial arts movie Sword Rain. In November, she withdrew 200,000.

The two of them printed her detailed bank records in recent years as evidence.

On the way back, Xiao Lou flipped through the bank records and couldn’t help speculating, “In this world, you can directly swipe your ID card or WeChat QR code to pay but she withdraws a lot of cash. Will this cash be a salary for the stand-in?”

“It’s possible. If she transfers money into an account then it will leave a record. It is easy to find the other party’s account information. However, if she takes the cash and gives it to the other person privately then it won’t leave any evidence.”

Xiao Lou nodded in agreement. “It makes sense. It is hard to explain so many cash withdrawal records. What bags or cosmetics would she be buying?”

“If we ask her directly then she will just say that it is pocket money. A celebrity can spend tens of thousands on a meal or a shopping trip. We can’t check cash transaction records.”

Xiao Lou said, “However, this cash withdrawal is too suspicious. It just happens to match with the timing of her movie and variety show.”

Yu Hanjiang made a guess. “Suppose she has a stand-in who looks a lot like her. She has to act in a dangerous horse riding scene in a martial arts movie. She gave the stand-in cash in private but didn’t expect this person to accidentally fracture her leg. Therefore, she gave the other party an extra fee for treatment. The other person went to see the doctor as Qiao Xuening.”

“This explains why her fracture recovery rate is faster than normal and why there are loopholes in her answers to the hospitalization.”

Yu Hanjiang followed the other person’s thoughts. “If this assumption holds true, the stand-in was the one filming Close Your Eyes When it is Dark. She isn’t familiar with the other guests and the stand-in doesn’t have to worry about being embarrassed when asked questions. Moreover, in this variety show, she mostly stayed in the tent alone or voted. The process was very simple.”

The 17th was the day of the incident. If Yu Hanjiang’s speculation was correct then Qiao Xuening’s alibi was false. The stand-in helped her shoot the variety show in the mountain so that many people could be her alibi. Meanwhile, she appeared at Yuehu Villa and killed Lin Yiyan.

Xiao Lou was puzzled about something. “We checked the cars under Qiao Xuening’s name. On the night of the 17th, her car was driven into the mountains. The end point was near the shooting location of the variety show. Her mobile phone software showed she didn’t take a taxi to Yuehu Villa. Moreover, we checked all the cars that entered and left the villa during the two days of the incident. There were no vehicles related to Qiao Xuening’s relatives or friends. How did she enter the villa area?”

A living person couldn’t parachute down into the villa area or dig a hole inside?

The surveillance at the door didn’t capture Qiao Xuening or the woman suspected of being Qiao Xuening. In addition, they found the owners of all the vehicles that entered and left the area. These people weren’t related to Qiao Xuening. Qiao Xuening didn’t own any property in the Yuehu villa area. Unlike Zhou Yuanyuan, who lived directly opposite the deceased and whose suspicion was so big that Yu Hanjiang detained her.

How did Qiao Xuening enter the villa area?

Yu Hanjiang was silent for a moment before suddenly saying, “Perhaps she didn’t enter the villa area on the 16th and 17th but… stayed in Lin Yiyan’s villa and waited for an opportunity.”

Xiao Lou imagined this scene and suddenly got the chills. Was it truly as Group Leader Yu guessed and the murderer had in fact been hiding in Lin Yiyan’s villa all along?!


Proofreader: Fictional Reality

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