Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou returned to the office and checked the fingerprint identification information. As their colleague said, Yu Xia had a car accident four years ago and her ID card in the database showed she was ‘accidentally killed.’
Yu Hanjiang searched the computer database for the name. He had the impression that this was a university classmate of Qiao Xuening and Lin Yiyan. Sure enough, he found Yu Xia in a photo of Class 3 of the movie academy.
Yu Xia’s parents had died a long time ago. She was admitted to university through a work study program. Although the girl worked hard and won scholarships every year, she was ugly for an artist, especially in the movie academy where beautiful women were everywhere. She was the ugly duckling compared to the other female students.
As the ugliest girl in the class, she had a very low sense of existence. She didn’t participate in any club activities or party with her classmates. She studied hard every day, wore big glasses and looked like a nerd.
Their class later had several people become popular including Lin Yiyan and Qiao Xuening. These people never mentioned a classmate called Yu Xia in any interviews. She was like a green leaf amongst many flowers.
She would always be a supporting role in the entertainment industry unless she got plastic surgery. Moreover, the second and third female leads had beauty requirements and even villains had to be pleasing to the eye to attract the attention of the audience. Ugly villains had long been out of fashion and it was hard for her to gain roles.
Looking at her acting experience before her ‘death’, it could be found that she played some passersby and was at the bottom of the cast list. The audience didn’t even bother to watch all the way to the end.
Xiao Lou found an interview with her on the Internet. The reporter asked her, “Your classmates Lin Yiyan and Qiao Xuening are so popular. Do you have any private contact? Will they help introduce some resources to you?”
Yu Xia replied, “They are all famous people and we rarely have contact after graduation. Flowers always need green leaves to set them off. I know I’m not as good-looking but there can’t always be good-looking people in TV series. There should be some clowns. I am very clear about my position.”
People sneered at the interview. “She’s really ugly! Isn’t she trying to use our two goddesses Lin and Qiao to get attention? This old classmate is too shameless!”
Yu Hanjiang saw this and couldn’t help frowning. “Yu Xia’s acting career after graduation was very unsatisfactory. She had been playing passersby for many years and her treatment is similar to that of an extra. Qiao Xuening should’ve promised her many benefits so she was willing to be Qiao Xuening’s stand-in.”
Xiao Lou agreed, “Her face might not be her own after the plastic surgery but she can be respected by the crew when acting as a stand-in for Qiao Xuening. There are fans and a large amount of money unlike when she was playing the passersby roles.”
Should she act as a passerby every day, relying on a meager income to support herself while acting as an extra for a lifetime? Or should she go along with Qiao Xuening’s plastic surgery and become Qiao Xuening’s stand-in, enjoying the star treatment. Yu Xia chose the latter.
Xiao Lou murmured, “No wonder her acting skills are so good. After all, she graduated from the movie academy as a top student. She might’ve become popular if it wasn’t for her appearance.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, if you find a professional person to act as a stand-in then you don’t have to worry about getting found out when acting. The secret transaction between Qiao Xuening and Yu Xia must be found in order to completely unlock the secrets. I will immediately arrest Yu Xia right now. As for Qiao Xuening, she is probably fleeing to the airport. I have already sent colleagues to the airport to watch. They won’t let any suspicious people go.”
In the streets late at night, the police cars whizzed past with their sirens on.
Yu Hanjiang acted swiftly and went to ‘Qiao Xuening’ who was in the hotel arranged by the crew. Qu Wanyue had been looking for an excuse to teach Qiao Xuening regarding dance movements. She heard the knock on the door and was relieved. She guessed that Group Leader Yu had arrived.
Sure enough, the agent opened the door to see Yu Hanjiang in a police uniform standing seriously at the door. He produced an arrest warrant, “Miss Qiao Xuening, no, it should be Miss Yu Xia. We suspect that you are related to a murder case. Please come back with us to assist in the investigation.”
The agent was stunned. “W-What?”
‘Qiao Xuening’ in the room heard this sentence and her face instantly paled. She might have the best acting skills but it was difficult for her to remain calm when Yu Hanjiang placed the handcuffs on her wrists. In addition, Yu Hanjiang had called out her real name.
The agent followed Yu Hanjiang to the police department and was interrogated overnight. She said she didn’t know anything.
Yu Hanjiang asked, “Haven’t you found that Qiao Xuening’s personality isn’t quite right in daily life?”
The agent replied with a sad face, “Ever since Qiao Xuening was hit by the exposure of her nude photos, her spirit was a bit abnormal. Therefore, she will sometimes forget things or suddenly change her mind about things. I tried my best to follow her and didn’t dare to stimulate her. I never thought there would be two Qiao Xuenings!”
The agent really seemed to have no idea about this. After all, the agent was signed by Qiao Xuening after she came back and it was natural not to be clear about Qiao Xuening’s previous habits. Yu Hanjiang questioned the agent and then Yu Xia. Yu Xia had an ugly expression on Qiao Xuening’s face but she gritted her teeth and refused to say anything.
Xiao Lou was very professional and directly invited a plastic surgeon to check her. The plastic surgeon said in detail, “The mandible has been shaved, her nose is padded and her face is still receiving regular injections. Her eyebrows were shaved and then semi-permanently tattooed. Her double eyelids are cut and her ears have been minimally cut. Her entire face has been worked on and probably only the hair was left alone.”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang, “…….”
It was too cruel. This was really a complete ‘makeover’. The face of Qiao Xuening in front of them was completely different from Yu Xia’s in the information.
Yu Xia had a lot of pockmarks on her face, her jaw was wide, her nose flat and her eyebrows were thick. Meanwhile, Qiao Xuening was a delicate beauty. The plastic surgeon must be excellent if they could perform such successful operations on this face.
Xiao Lou said, “I have sent a message to all the plastic surgery hospitals in the city to see if there are any records.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “The plastic surgery hospitals will keep the patient’s information strictly confidential but it is involving a murder case. They won’t dare to conceal it. There should be results soon.”
At three in the morning, Yu Hanjiang came to the emergency department of the hospital with Yu Xia and asked the doctor to take an x-ray of her. The emergency room department saw Yu Hanjiang’s police officer ID and immediately cooperated with the police. He took her in, did the x-ray and gave it to Xiao Lou when it was ready.
Xiao Lou picked up the film and looked closely at it in the light. “There is no fracture line.”
“She didn’t have a fracture? So it was Qiao Xuening who injured her leg. The one without the fracture is the stand-in.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “Then why wasn’t she stable when shooting the variety show?”
Yu Hanjiang’s voice was cold. “Her acting is very good.”
He looked at Yu Xia. “Miss Yu, do you want to say something?”
Yu Xia’s face drained of blood and she gritted her teeth like she was conflicted.
Just then, Yu Hanjiang received a phone call. “Group Leader Yu, a suspicious person was found at the airport. It was a man. As he went through the security check, we carefully checked and his face was different from the photo on the ID card. A female colleague of ours took out makeup remover and asked him to remove makeup on site. He immediately turned around, ran away and was taken down by us!”
An on-site makeup removal? This female colleague deserved praise for her work.
Yu Hanjiang coughed slightly. “Thank you, I have sent someone to the airport to bring her back to the police department.
Yu Hanjiang hung up the phone and glanced at Yu Xia through the rearview mirror. “Qiao Xuening has been found. If you keep refusing to confess then you will likely be convicted of being an accomplice in the murder case and go to jail with her.”
Yu Xia heard up to here and her expression finally collapsed. She covered her face with her hands and trembled. “I didn’t know she would be crazy enough to kill people and use me as an alibi!”
Back at the police station, Yu Xia confessed everything.
Four years ago, she had been at a low point in her life. Every day, she was worrying about where to pick up her next acting job. Her parents died and her requirements were very simple. She would be satisfied as long as she had enough to eat and a place to live. However, it was sometimes hard to support herself with the pay of an extra.
As a result, Qiao Xuening’s scandal broke out on the Internet. As a former classmate, she also became a melon eater. Unexpectedly, Qiao Xuening found her and made a bold suggestion.
Qiao Xuening told her, “This incident hit me too hard. It is difficult for me to adjust my mentality and continue acting. In fact, I have many resources and I did nothing wrong. It is easy to whitewash myself. If you want to be my stand-in, I can give you a fixed salary that is more than 10 times your income. I’ll give you 30% of the pay for everything you act in.”
Yu Xia was very tempted. It was just a stand-in. Many famous actors in the entertainment industry also had stand-ins. In any case, it was better than her current situation, right? Thus, she agreed.
Qiao Xuening smiled and said, “Xiao Xia, I have to say something bad. The entertainment circle is one that looks at the face if you want to go a long way. Your face isn’t good. How about I pay for your plastic surgery?”
Yu Xia was a bit repulsed at first. Then she thought about how a certain actress had become more beautiful after getting plastic surgery. The number of acting jobs increased and she became more popular. In any case, many people in the circle got plastic surgery. It just depended on whether it was big or small. Yu Xia’s skeleton was actually good and it wasn’t the type that was hard to save. She should be able to look better after minor adjustments?
Everything about the plastic surgery was arranged by Qiao Xuening, including the plastic surgery plan which was decided on by Qiao Xuening and the doctor. Qiao Xuening promised her, ‘I will give you a good look.’ The doctor knew Qiao Xuening very well so Yu Xia didn’t think much about it and just cooperated with the examination.
She was a bit nervous when lying on the operating table. After the anesthesia, she lost consciousness and woke up with gauze all over her face. After waiting some time to remove the gauze, she looked in the mirror and was shocked. Why did this face look so much like Qiao Xuening?
Qiao Xuening was by her side at this time. She looked into the mirror and asked with a smile, “Does it look similar?”
Yu Xia, “……”
Seeing the two extremely similar faces in the mirror, Yu Xia shattered the mirror with fright.
Yu Xia spoke up to this point and couldn’t help her eyes turning red. She gritted her teeth and said, “I saw the expected appearance after plastic surgery on the doctor’s computer and it didn’t look like this at all. Qiao Xuening and the doctor lied to me. She made my face look exactly like hers. This was what she meant by a stand-in! She is simply a lunatic.”
Yu Hanjiang saw she was close to losing control of her emotions and couldn’t help interrupting in a low voice, “Later, you still agreed to be her stand-in?”
Yu Xia was silent for a moment before taking a deep breath. “I couldn’t help it. I was poor with no money and no relatives. I couldn’t beat her at all. Besides, she did a great job. She paid for a female body and made it look like me. She put my ID card in the pocket of the corpse’s clothes and caused a car accident where I ‘accidentally died.’ If I didn’t listen to her then I wouldn’t be able to survive in this world.”
Xiao Lou got goosebumps when he heard this.
This Qiao Xuening was really abnormal! She had a strong desire for control. When creating a stand-in, she completely erased the stand-in’s original identity so the stand-in could only live as her. She was also really smart. She could think of buying a corpse…
A corpse was usually sold to medical schools to be dissected by students. If she had connections then she could buy an unclaimed female corpse. She also had a good relationship with a plastic surgeon.
She stuffed Yu Xia’s ID card into the pocket of the corpse’s clothes, making the police think that the female body was Yu Xia. If the corpse had no relatives and the ID card was in the pocket then the police wouldn’t spare the effort of testing DNA. Who would’ve thought the corpse was fake?
Yu Hanjiang inquired, “Who is the doctor who performed the plastic surgery on you?”
Yu Xia spoke the names of the hospital and the doctor. Yu Hanjiang called his colleagues and had them go and catch the black-hearted doctor. Then he asked Yu Xia to elaborate on her injured leg in the martial arts movie Sword Rain.
Yu Xia said that she was originally supposed to film the martial arts scene in the first half of this year. However, once it was almost time to shoot the scene of the heroine chasing the hero on horseback, Qiao Xuening sent her a message at the last minute, saying: [This scene is dangerous. You can take a few days off filming. I also have to get to know the people in the crew so I can talk to them during the promotions.]
Yu Xia didn’t understand but this was her ‘employer’. She went to the hospital for a day using the excuse of a cold and the one who came back was the real Qiao Xuening.
Unexpectedly, Qiao Xuening fractured her leg while filming. The filming was successfully completed but Qiao Xuening had to be hospitalized. As a result, she gained a wave of enthusiasm and countless fans called her ‘the most dedicated actress.’
Yu Xia smiled bitterly. “In fact, the heroine appeared for a total of 70 minutes in that minute. 69 minutes was filmed by me and only 1 minute was filmed by Qiao Xuening… I didn’t understand why she chose to film this scene in person. Then I saw that she had fractured her leg and realized that this person was really cruel to herself. At that time, her injured leg was on the hot search and the number of fans rose by several million overnight.”
Xiao Lou asked, “Where were you during her stay in the hospital?”
“I hid in my rented house and ordered takeout every day. I only dared to let the delivery person put the food on the window sill at the door. Then I sneaked out at midnight to throw out the trash.” She lowered her head as she spoke. “I am just Qiao Xuening’s shadow. If she injured her leg and is hospitalized then I naturally can’t appear.”
Next, Yu Hanjiang asked, “What about the variety show on the 17th? Was it you?”
Yu Xia nodded. “I shot that issue of Close Your Eyes When it is Dark because she requested it. She said that several guests didn’t know her and no one would know anything was wrong. The variety show didn’t need me to say too much. I could just pretend to be stupid and be eliminated. She also told me that she fractured her leg so I shouldn’t run too fast in case people are suspicious.”
Xiao Lou understood. “So you pretended to have a leg injury but you can’t make it too obvious?”
“I haven’t fractured my leg so how could I pretend? I was afraid that I couldn’t grasp it well. I just told the crew that my leg was almost recovered and was slightly lame when I walked. Therefore, they believed it.”
This was why Xiao Lou saw ‘Qiao Xuening’ walking with unbalanced legs on the variety show. It turned out that the stand-in was pretending.
Xiao Lou wondered, “Then why didn’t you pretend when filming the new drama?”
Yu Xia replied, “It is because dance scenes are needed in the new drama. How can I dance if I pretend to be injured? The agent would have to find a stand-in for me but I am a stand-in… in any case, Qiao Xuening said her leg was almost recovered so I told the director I could dance.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang glanced at each other. All the loopholes started here.
The stand-in and real person’s understanding of the leg injury was different. After all, the stand-in hadn’t personally experienced being hospitalized and didn’t know what level of recovery she was supposed to be at. She danced casually in the new drama and was caught by Qu Wanyue, Xiao Lou and the others who followed her closely and realized something was wrong.
During Xiao Lou’s questioning last time, he put forward the ‘bone soup’ she didn’t know about and she replied that the doctor asked her to drink it. Now it seemed that it was Qiao Xuening herself who broke her leg.
On the evening of November 16th, Yu Xia went to the mountain to shoot the variety show. She pretended to be sick with a cold to avoid suspicion. The variety show was filmed during the early morning of the 17th. During this time, Qiao Xuening herself was lurking in Lin Yiyan’s villa and killed Lin Yiyan. She wanted to use the stand-in to create an alibi.
Two days ago, Qiao Xuening secretly went to the small town and killed Xu Kai with the same technique. At that time, her stand-in was in the crew of Twin Flowers. If it hadn’t been for Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou long suspecting her stand-in, her alibi would be perfect.
Initially, Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou thought that Qiao Xuening in the crew was the real one. They hadn’t expected her to be the fake.
Yu Hanjiang stared at Yu Xia in front of him and spoke coldly. “The first time we looked for you, you knew it was Qiao Xuening who killed Lin Yiyan, right? However, you didn’t notify Qiao Xuening that the police are investigating her. You instead sent me a message to check Zhou Yuanyuan to divert our intentions.”
Yu Xia was startled for a moment before chuckling. “Why should I notify her? She killed someone and should be sentenced to death if caught, right? I am her shadow. If she does then I won’t need to be a shadow anymore. I can go into the sun. There will be one more celebrity who looks like Qiao Xuening and has acting skills. All her resources and popularity will… truly belong to me.”
She had an expression of longing on her face. “In any case, I had nothing to do with her killing someone. I just followed her arrangement to shoot a variety show and act for her. I don’t know anything. I just look like her. I’m a victim.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou looked at each other.
The suspects they encountered this time were all actors. In the end, the one with the best acting was the stand-in Qiao Xuening had chosen for herself.
The stand-in didn’t want to be a stand-in anymore and wanted to replace the original person. Therefore, she intentionally or unintentionally revealed some clues to the police and exposed the murderer Qiao Xuening.
By the time Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou left the interrogation room, the real Qiao Xuening had arrived.
The makeup on her face was forcibly removed and her true face was exactly the same as the double in the interrogation room. Her mouth was raised in a smile as she looked at Yu Hanjiang. “Officer, can you really tell who is Qiao Xuening?”
Yu Hanjiang spoke lightly, “It is really hard to tell just based on the face. It is a pity that you didn’t remove your fingerprints during the plastic surgery, nor can you change your DNA.”
Qiao Xuening laughed.
Her laughter was a bit hoarse. Listening carefully, it should be caused by long-term smoking. The laughter echoed in the empty corridor and was very gloomy. This woman had become mentally abnormal. She spent so much energy and money to create a substitute. Then she killed Lin Yiyan and Xu Kai. Perhaps it was just to satisfy her psychological pleasure.
Now that the evidence was solid, Qiao Xuening didn’t bother arguing for herself. “I killed them and I guess that my shadow has betrayed me.. sure enough, I raised a tiger.
Xiao Lou wondered, “Can you tell us what the ice means?”
Qiao Xuening raised her eyebrow. “Have you heard of being buried in snow?” (TL: basically means to hide things. For example, the entertainment companies hiding artists to protect their own interests)
She smiled at Xiao Lou. “Lin Yiyan and Xu Kai joined forces that year to suppress me and I was completely hidden by the company. As a result, those two fools underestimated my resilience. Instead of being hidden by them, I let their bodies be buried ice. I heard that after they die, they will go to the ice hell and never be reborn.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou exchanged looks. So it was like this.
Proofreader: Fictional Reality