The five suspects were Mrs Mei, Niu Dapeng, Zheng Weiguo, Liu Yuming and Shu Ping. Shu Ping might have the greatest suspicion right now and all evidence pointed to her, but perhaps there were other pits in this secret room.
Before confirming it, Yu Hanjiang decided to re-examine the suspects. He called Niu Dapeng first and calmly asked, “You said last night that you heard someone going to the toilet next door and you saw a light through the crack of the door. There was also a strange noise from the garbage can, right?”
Niu Dapeng nodded. “Yes.”
Yu Hanjiang asked, “What time was this?”
Niu Dapeng scratched the back of his head. “I don’t know. I was confused and didn’t look at the time.”
Yu Hanjiang then asked, “hen did you hear Mrs Mei also going to the toilet?”
Niu Dapeng pretended to be innocent. “No.”
Yu Hanjiang raised his head and coldly stared at him. “Someone saw Mrs Mei and Liu Yuming going to the toilet one by one. You can hear someone in the next room get up at night and the noise of the garbage can at the end of the carriage but you can’t hear the movement of someone in your room opening the door?”
Niu Dapeng’s face slightly changed. This was indeed inexplicable. He gritted his teeth and sullenly said, “I really didn’t hear it. I slept through the night and only woke up for a minute or two. Then I fell asleep again. I really don’t know what happened.”
He insisted that he didn’t hear it but Yu Hanjiang was an experienced interrogator and knew from his expression that this person was lying.
Yu Hanjiang spoke lightly, “You hate Li Zhemin and guessed that the person going to the toilet last night might be the murderer. You are pretending not to hear it in order to protect that person, right?”
Niu Dapeng’s face instantly whitened. His lips slightly trembled but he gritted his teeth and refused to speak.
Yu Hanjiang said, “If you deliberately cover it up and don’t cooperate with the investigation, the police can use the crime of obstructing the case to take you to the police station for another interrogation. You should think clearly.”
Niu Dapeng was silent for a moment before his shoulders finally slumped with frustration. “I-I did hear Sister Mei go to the toilet.”
Yu Hanjiang raised his eyebrows. “The time and how many times did she go?”
“It seemed to be two times. Once around 3 o’clock and once around 4. I really don’t know anything else.” He looked up at Yu Hanjiang. “This thing should have nothing to do with SIster Mei. She is so old and weak. How can she kill anyone?”
“Since you think that she can’t kill anyone, why did you hide the fact that she went to the toilet last night?”
Niu Dapeng knew that he was in the wrong and muttered, “I thought this wasn’t very important. An old person going to the bathroom in the middle of the night is quite normal…”
Then Yu Hanjiang asked, “The second time, the one before 4 o’clock, how long did it take her to come back after going to the toilet?”
Niu Dapeng replied, “The time was relatively long, approximately half an hour? Maybe she had a bad stomach from the food?”
“Did you hear any other voices?”
Niu Dapeng thought for a moment before saying, “The second time Sister Mei went to the toilet, there seemed to be someone in the next room who went to the toilet. It shouldn’t be Liu Yuming since they didn’t bring a light. However, it didn’t take long for the person to come back. I heard the sound of the door opening and closing in less than half a minute.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou glanced at each other. It seemed the one going to the toilet next door was Zheng Weiguo. He stole the IOU note and wanted to go to the toilet to destroy it. Then he found that someone was coming out of the toilet and hurriedly returned to his room. He went out and returned, which could explain why it only took half a minute.
Niu Dapeng spoke seriously, “I really only know this and don’t know anything else.”
Yu Hanjiang saw his sincere eyes and believed him. He nodded and let this person go back.
Immediately after, Yu Hanjiang questioned Liu Yuming of Room 2. Liu Yuming first smiled and put on the ‘I am a good citizen’ act. “What questions do you have? Just ask.”
As a result, Yu Hanjiang directly questioned, “Why are you lying?”
Liu Yuming’s smile instantly froze before he adjusted his expression. “What do you mean? I’m not lying.”
“The time you went to the toilet last night was 3:30, not 3 o’clock.”
Liu Yuming calmed down. “Ah… is that so? I am old and my memory isn’t good. I was probably mistaken. Ah, I always forget something. This time, before going out, my son told me to bring towels and a toothbrush but I forgot again. I could only buy new ones at the station…”
Seeing that he was trying to change the topic, Yu Hanjiang directly interrupted. “Your memory isn’t good? Then how did you remember that you lost your watch?”
Liu Yuming had an awkward expression.
Yu Hanjiang pointed to his watch. “Your watch stayed in the trash until the middle of the night yet it is quite clean and doesn’t have the smell of rubbish.”
Liu Yuming touched his nose and explained, “I found my watch last night and cleaned it in the basin.”
Yu Hanjiang’s voice was light. “Yet the person in the toilet next to you said you went back after washing your hands. You didn’t wash your watch at all.”
Liu Yuming hurriedly denied it. “How is that possible? I wasn’t seen at all!”
The office fell silent. Yu Hanjiang calmly stared and saw Liu Yuming’s face become pale and then suddenly red.
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “Then when you went to the toilet, there really was someone opposite you?”
“…” Liu Yuming wanted to cry.
Yu Hanjiang’s interrogation made him dizzy. He had been walking along the rhythm of the other party. His thoughts were focused on the watch and as a result, he didn’t pay attention to ‘the person who went to the toilet opposite you.’ The other party used these words to trap him and reveal the truth.
Yu Hanjiang found the old man was in a daze and knocked gently on the table with a pen. “A lie will lead to countless lies. It is better to tell the truth. Last night at 3:30, you went to the toilet and what did you see? Was it Shu Ping?”
Liu Yuming’s senses hurriedly returned and he shook his head. “It isn’t her. I didn’t see her!”
Yu Hanjiang raised his eyebrows. “A person in the 4th carriage saw it and told us that last night at 3:30, Shu Ping went to the toilet and hit a nearby garbage can.”
Liu Yuming’s face was red and white and he seemed to be fighting with his thoughts.
Yu Hanjiang continued, “Shu Ping and Ruirui were good friends? When you pursued Ruirui, Shu Ping also helped you a lot? Your relationship with Shu Ping should be very good. You didn’t expect later that Li Zhemin would dig at your relationship and use wine to obtain your sweetheart. Shu Ping was abandoned by Li Zhemin and both of you let down. You can be considered to be in the same boat.”
He put his pen on the table, folded his arms across his chest and calmly watched Liu Yuming. “That’s why even if Shu Ping is the murderer, you don’t want to stand up to identify her. It is because Li Zhemin should de. She killed Li Zhemin and Ruirui will be able to rest in peace in the afterlife. You feel that way, right?”
Liu Yuming’s body trembled violently, face full of horror.
It was because the other person expressed his exact thoughts. This sharp-eyed man seemed to have the ability to read minds, directly piercing into his thoughts. In these years, he had a gentle wife and filial son. His life was happy and he might’ve tried to forget the original things, but the thought of the purely innocent Ruirui was like a knife.
“Li Zhemin should really die! Ruirui was killed by him!” Liu Yuming’s eyes became red as he recalled the past. He roared like an angry beast, “Li Zhemin swore to me that he would treat Ruirui well when he married her. I believed him and thought that since they are married, I should bless them!”
“I didn’t expect that Li Zhemin was actually a beast. During Ruirui’s pregnancy, he cheated on her. He and a young nurse in the hospital colluded together. He sent flowers to the nurse every day and Ruirui inadvertently caught them when going to the hospital for a check. She was angry and entered premature delivery. She almost lost her life in the operating room!”
“She had depression after giving birth but when I saw her, she told me she wanted a divorce. Then not long after, she died of an overdose on sleeping pills! Since she had depression, the police determined that she committed suicide.”
“Suicide? How can there be such a coincidence?” Liu Yuming cried out indignantly. “Do you believe it? I don’t believe it! It must be that Li Zhemin was afraid that after her divorce, the company would end up in her hands. He forced her to take the sleeping pills!”
“…” Xiao Lou had long guessed that Ruirui’s death wasn’t simple yet he hadn’t expected such a past. According to Mrs Mei, Li Zhemin married the nurse only one year after her death. In fact, he had cheated on his wife during her pregnancy and was caught by her. As for whether Mrs Mei didn’t know about this or deliberately concealed it, they would have to ask Mrs Mei to make sure.
“Li Zhemin should’ve died long ago! If it wasn’t for the child being too young, I would’ve killed him when she died!”
Liu Yuming clenched his fists emotionally, his fingers almost pinching into his palms. He clearly abhorred Li Zhemin. On the surface, he was good friends with Li Zhemin. He was probably concerned about the only son left behind by Ruirui. He only married several years after Ruirui died. It could be seen that this man was very affectionate and was moved by his wife’s gentle pursuit.
Yu Hanjiang didn’t hurry to ask questions. Once Liu Yuming finished, he spoke in a low voice. “Were there any abnormalities with the death of Ruirui’s father?”
Liu Yuming took a deep breath to steady his mood. “Chief Lin had bone cancer and multiple metastases. The people from our company visited him before he died. He was sent to the ICU for a month and finally couldn’t be saved.”
It seemed that while the death of her father was normal, the death of Ruirui was likely to be caused by Li Zhemin.
At the time, Li Zhemin had cheated. If Ruirui divorced him then he wouldn’t be able to control the company. After all, Chief Lin had left the company to his daughter. From a legal point of view, this was a ‘gift’ property that a parent left to their child. It wasn’t a jointly owned property that could be divided in a divorce. Li Zhemin’s cheating could also be seen as marital fault and he might not get a single penny.
The moment he divorced, he would have nothing left. Therefore, he forced her to take an overdose of sleeping pills. Since she was depressed, he made it seem that she committed suicide. As long as she died, he would receive her property as her spouse.
Xiao Lou recorded this while feeling a chill in his heart. This Li Zhemin, he really lost his humanity for money!
Yu Hanjiang asked, “Did you talk to LI Mo about this matter?”
Liu Yuming immediately shook his head. “No, I didn’t want to let Little Mo feel pain. His father killing his mother would be difficult for anyone to accept!”
Yu Hanjiang expressed his understanding and continue to ask, “In your opinion, what type of person is Li Mo?”
“Little Mo is sensible and an excellent child. He was very independent from a young age and isn’t close to his parents. He left home at the age of 16 to study. Li Zhemin didn’t do anything apart from giving some money. It was because Li Zhemin had a son with his second wife and loved this youngest son even more. He didn’t expect the powerful eldest son to take over the company a year after graduating and to double the market value. Once he found out that his eldest son had a talent in business, his attitude changed and he kept boasting about Li Mo.”
Yu Hanjiang seized the key point. “Li Mo isn’t the actual power of the company right now?”
“Little Mo is just the CEO. The chairman was Old Li and the equity was in Li Zhemin’s hands. I think that Old Li had a guilty conscience. His son is so excellent but he caused Ruirui’s death. He was afraid that his son would find out the truth. Therefore, Old Li retired in name and asked his son to help manage the company, saying that it was training. Yet he refused to transfer over the real power. My guess is that he is waiting for his youngest son to graduate from university before handing over the company to his youngest son.”
Liu Yuming confessed to this and Yu Hanjiang let him go. Yu Hanjiang didn’t continue to ask Liu Yuming about who he saw last night. Sometimes the answer didn’t have to be said in person. Judging by his expression, he had met Shu Ping near the toilet last night.
Yu Hanjiang followed by questioning Zheng Weiguo. “Did you wake up at 3:40 a.m?”
The gambling obsessed old man’s eyes were disturbed and he fidgeted. It was obvious that the two consecutive interrogations made him confused but he didn’t struggle and soon confessed. “Yes, I woke up once.”
“Was it to steal the note and destroy it in the toilet?”
Zheng Weiguo stared and almost blurted out, ‘How do you know?’
He swallowed back the words and gritted his teeth. “I-I admit that I stole the loan. This crime of stealing shouldn’t be too serious? I didn’t say that I wouldn’t pay back the money I owe Old Li. I just took it to have a look and wasn’t careful…”
Yu Hanjiang interrupted. “You accidentally ate it?”
Zheng Weiguo’s face was extremely embarrassed. He also thought this excuse was too much.
Yu Hanjiang stated, “The crime of stealing the IOU note is lighter than killing. You better be honest.”
Zheng Weiguo immediately confessed. “Okay, I will honestly explain!” He was afraid that his confession was too late and quickly said, “Liu Yuming went to the toilet at three in the morning with his light. I saw that Old Li was sleeping like the dead and secretly took the note from his pocket. Liu Yuming came back and soon fell asleep. Approximately 10 minutes later, the three of them were asleep so I went to the toilet to flush the note away. I was walking over when the door to a toilet opened. I was afraid I would be discovered and quickly turned back to my room.”
Yu Hanjiang glanced at Xiao Lou who was recording this down. Xiao Lou also raised his head and the two people exchanged a look. Their reasoning was absolutely correct. It seemed they were getting closer to the truth.
Yu Hanjiang asked, “Did you see what that person was?”
Zheng Weiguo swore it was true. “I didn’t see it but I know that person must be Shu Ping!”
YU Hanjiang raised his eyebrows. “Why?”
Zheng Weiguo explained, “Shu Ping loves to dress up. She is so beautiful even when she is old. The old ladies of our group wear flat shoes and she is the only one who wears high heels… I saw her shadow from the light of the toilet door and she is wearing high heels!”
“Why can’t it be a woman from another room wearing high heels?”
Zheng Weiguo spoke mysteriously, “It is because not long after she came out, I heard the old lady next door also go to the toilet. Sister Mei has asthma and her breathing and coughing are easy to distinguish. She walked to Room 4 where she happened to bump into Shu Ping. I heard them talking. I don’t know specifically what they were talking about but the two people must know each other.”
Someone who knew Mrs Mei and wore high heels was only Shu Ping.
The interrogation put the early hours of the morning all together.
At 3:10, Mrs Mei went to the toilet. At 3:#0, Liu Yuming went to the toilet and met Shu Ping. Shu Ping dodged into the toilet and accidentally touched the trash can. Liu Yuming realized the identity of the other person and deliberately confused the timeline to protect her, making up an excuse of going to the trash can to find his watch.
At 3:40, Zheng Weiguo went to destroy the IOU and happened to find Shu Ping coming out from the toilet. He immediately went back to his room. This was followed by Mrs Mei going to the toilet and meeting Shu Ping in the corridor. The two people had a brief conversation.
The murderer must be between Mrs Mei and Shu Ping.
Yu Hanjiang wanted to interrogate the two suspects. As a result, Zheng Weiguo had just left the office when Mrs Mei took the initiative to come in. She covered her chest and coughed while speaking calmly, “You don’t have to ask Little Ping. I killed Li Zhemin.”
Yu Hanjiang, “…”
Xiao Lou, “…”
The 70 year old woman had completely white hair, was hunched over and her face was full of wrinkles.
She looked extremely old as she teetered on her feet, like she would fall down at any moment.
Yet at this moment, her eyes were particularly clear as she spoke slowly, “I recruited Li Zhemin into the company. During his interview with several other people, his score wasn’t high but I thought his mouth was sweet and he was motivated. He could be recruited to be trained. It was at my insistence that the company finally hired him.”
She patted her head with dry hands and spoke regretfully, “The root of everything was me. If he hadn’t entered the company, Ruirui wouldn’t be dead, Yuming and Ruirui would be a happy couple and Dapeng wouldn’t have his manager’s position taken away. He could’ve relied on his efforts and achievements for a better left. Little Ping wouldn’t have married a scum who committed domestic violence. She was so beautiful that she could’ve surely found an excellent man…”
Mrs Mei coughed violently and after a few seconds, she spoke calmly. “The root of everything was me. Li Zhemin harmed so many people and we all wanted to let him die. It is better for me to do it. In any case, I can’t live for long…”
The murderer voluntarily confessed and this turn of events caught Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang off guard. Yet the old lady looked serious and didn’t seem to be lying.
She took out a small bag wrapped in cloth from the pocket of her carry-on. It contained a photograph. The girl in the photo had a beautiful and bright expression, her eyes seeming to shine. Mrs Mei looked at the photo and spoke softly, “This is Ruirui. Li Zhemin had long forgotten but… today is the anniversary of Ruirui’s death.”