Chapter 17: Confession — I really like you.
Regardless of whether these words stemmed from sympathy or sincerity, Ye Zhen Zhen’s heart eased somewhat.
She finished the leftover orange juice in her cup before calling Uncle Wu to come to the bar to pick her up. Zuo Yi rubbed his right hand’s knuckle on his little finger. His eyes danced with laughter as he said, “I remember the route from the bar to your house.”
“But I don’t have enough cash to pay the passenger fare.” Ye Zhen Zhen set down her cup and stood up from the sofa. Zuo Yi chuckled lightly, leisurely sitting on the sofa while drinking his orange juice.
Uncle Wu arrived soon after, but just as Ye Zhen Zhen was about to leave, Zuo Qian Man’s high heels clacked against the floor as she came upstairs. Dong—dong—dong— “How come she is leaving so quickly? Was your chat unpleasant?”
Zuo Yi fished out a cigarette and lit it, unhurriedly blowing out a ring of smoke. “A chat between a police officer and a suspect has never been pleasant.”
Zuo Qian Man stared blankly from her spot. The burning cigarette held between Zuo Yi’s two fingers crackled as he walked past her, smiling. “Sweet dreams, good night.”
Zuo Qian Man: “…”
After Ye Zhen Zhen returned home, she took a hot bath, consumed her medicine, and went to sleep early. She had to go to the hospital for an examination tomorrow, so she didn’t want Dr. Ji to see her with a spiritually depressed appearance. Possibly because of the extreme stimulus she received today, even the medicine was unable to prevent her dreams of being pushed down the stairs by a hand.
She opened her eyes, waking from her dream. Before her was a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling, resembling a monster baring its fangs and brandishing its claws. She violently gasped for air and tried to pacify her drum-like beating heart. This dream had seemed so real; it was very difficult to believe that it was merely a fantasy originating from a facade.
Closing her eyes, she recalled the question Zuo Yi asked her when they were in the car.
Do you believe you are a murderer?
She had been dumbstruck and unable to reply. She couldn’t do anything to vouch for the innocence of the 21 years of life that she couldn’t remember.
Accepting that she was once again suffering endless insomnia, she didn’t know when she finally fell asleep, but it was already 9:00AM the next day when she regained consciousness.
She hastily washed her face and rinsed her mouth, grabbing a slice of bread from the kitchen along with a glass of milk that seemed untouched before dashing outside to the car.
It was 9:40AM when she reached the hospital. She luckily made it just in time for her physical examination. After she somewhat stoically complied to the examination, the doctor told her she would be able to come again next week to receive the report. She nodded and thanked the doctor. Ye Zhen Zhen glanced at her watch; it was nearly 12:00PM.
There were three patients waiting outside of Dr. Ji’s consultation room, so Ye Zhen Zhen sat down and patiently waited for her turn. A hazy wave of sleepiness engulfed her while she waited and waited, her body and mind seemingly on the verge of collapsing. She struggled, but her strength was not enough. She fell asleep straight onto the bench she was sitting on.
“Zhen Zhen, Ye Zhen Zhen…”
A disjointed voice echoed in her ears, as if it was clearly flowing through her bloodstream. Ye Zhen Zhen wearily opened her eyes, her fuzzy gaze catching sight of Dr. Ji’s face. She tilted her head and subconsciously lifted a hand to grope Ji Zhe Yan’s face. “Dr. Ji…”
Ye Zhen Zhen appeared to be very fond of the tactile sensation beneath her hand as her fingers stroked his face lightly twice more with a reluctance to part.
Ji Zhe Yan’s body clearly stiffened. It took a good moment before he was able to remove Ye Zhen Zhen’s hand and set it on her own knee. “Why did you fall asleep here?”
“Mn.” Ye Zhen Zhen’s mind gradually woke up. When she saw that Ji Zhe Yan was right in front of her eyes, she blushed a light red. “I was waiting here for you, but I ended up becoming somewhat sleepy while I waited.”
Ji Zhe Yan looked at her for a moment before sitting down beside her. “Are you still having nightmares?”
“Did you undergo the physical examination today?”
“Yes; the doctor said that the report will come in next week.”
Ji Zhe Yan nodded lightly. “I’ll notify you when the report comes.”
“Okay.” Ye Zhen Zhen curved her lips. Some people truly resembled the sun; as long as one’s gaze rested upon him, they would feel like they were continually illuminated by the sunlight.
Ji Zhe Yan didn’t speak for a moment. The hallway fell silent for a while before she heard him say, “I don’t have anything this afternoon. Last time, I said I’ll treat you to a meal at my home. Do you have any time today?”
“Yes!” Ye Zhen Zhen responded with lightning speed. If it were not for the purpose of meeting with Dr. Ji, she wouldn’t have waited here for so long. “I applied for a day leave today because I needed to come to the hospital for an examination.”
Ji Zhe Yan hummed softly, adopting a somewhat awkward appearance again. “Although it’s not quite morning anymore… Are you hungry?”
“Not hungry, not hungry!” Ye Zhen Zhen repeatedly shook her head. As long as she could eat lunch personally made by Dr. Ji, it didn’t matter how long she had to wait!
Ji Zhe Yan chuckled and stood up from his chair. “Then let’s go.”
Ye Zhen Zhen was dazed for a moment. This time, she absolutely wasn’t misinterpreting his actions. Dr Ji truly did laugh! She bounced up from her chair and exclaimed in a tone that was similar to praising a child, “Dr. Ji, your laugh is really attractive!”
The corners of Ji Zhe Yan’s lips rose minutely into a slight awkward smile. He coughed drily and quickened his steps. “Wait for me downstairs first. I’ll go change my clothes.”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s eyes narrowed like a kitten’s. Was Dr. Ji shy? Too cute.
Ji Zhe Yan lived in an apartment not very far from the hospital; it took less than twenty minutes to arrive there by car. Ye Zhen Zhen followed Ji Zhe Yan into the elevator. The split second those elevator doors closed, Ye Zhen Zhen could no longer restrain her nervousness. It felt like as though she could even feel the other’s breath in this kind of sealed space.
As the elevator ascended each floor, so did Ye Zhen Zhen’s current mood. This nervousness persisted all the way up to the 27th floor, where the elevator finally came to a halt. Ye Zhen Zhen watched as Ji Zhe Yan retrieved his room keycard. Di. The door clicked open slightly.
Ji Zhe Yan’s home was almost the same as what she had imagined—clean, neat, minimalistic. She looked all over the place, as curious as Granny Liu visiting the Grand View gardens1 even though her surroundings merely held a few commonly seen household appliances.
“You can rest in the living room for a while; I’ll call you when the food is ready.” Ji Zhe Yan had already taken off his suit jacket and begun tying an apron he fetched from somewhere around his waist.
Ye Zhen Zhen set down her bag and looked at him with an eager expression. “I’ll help you in the kitchen.”
Ji Zhe Yan pondered this and then nodded in assent. He grabbed ingredients from the refrigerator and brought them into the kitchen. Although Ye Zhen Zhen spoke of helping, her cooking capability was limited to washing vegetables. Red and green vegetables floated on the water’s surface, unexpectedly resembling a pretty painting of some kind. Ye Zhen Zhen washed a tomato between her hands as she watched Dr. Ji skillfully crack an egg into the bowl. A laugh escaped from her as Ye Zhen Zhen remarked to Ji Zhe Yan, “Dr. Ji, we’re acting like a newlywed couple.”
Ji Zhe Yan, on the verge of cracking the second egg in his hand, paused. He lightly tapped the egg against the rim of the bowl a moment later. “You’re still a student. Don’t foolishly think of such things.”
“I only have one year left until graduation.” Ye Zhen Zhen intentionally emphasized this. Ji Zhe Yan tilted his head to glance at her, as if he was reflecting on something.
“Do you still remember the things you have previously learned?”
Ye Zhen Zhen: “…”
She recalled those three classes she had listened in for her major and immediately felt that her prospects were somewhat grim.
Could she truly finish her studies one year from now?
Once all the vegetables in the sink were washed clean, Ye Zhen Zhen stood to the side and admired Ji Zhe Yan’s knifework. His hand looked very beautiful, each clearly defined finger fair and slender while also nimble enough to steal a person’s life away. Ye Zhen Zhen watched and clapped her hands together over and over again as she exclaimed in admiration. Those hands accustomed to scalpels held a kitchen knife with a skill reaching perfection as well.
Ye Zhen Zhen felt that Dr. Ji could be a pianist too. She could already see Dr. Ji’s fingers dancing across the keys.
Ji Zhe Yan ended up making two fragrant vegetarian dishes and tomato egg drop soup. Ye Zhen Zhen took a seat at the dining table, resembling a young animal crying piteously for food as she hopefully stared at the kitchen. Ji Zhe Yan held two bowls of white rice and set them on the table. “Okay, you can eat.”
Ye Zhen Zhen impatiently stuffed a piece of bok choy into her mouth. She was instantly moved to tears, her eyes glistening. “Dr. Ji, this is the most delicious bok choy I have ever eaten in my entire life!”
Her words made Ji Zhe Yan want to laugh slightly. He ladled out a spoonful of stewed beef brisket with tomato into Ye Zhen Zhen’s bowl. “Don’t just eat vegetables. You should eat a reasonable amount of meat as well.”
Ye Zhen Zhen lightly mixed the beef brisket and tomato stew in her bowl before bringing a small amount into her mouth. The fragrant yet tender rice made her heart soften soon after as well. Tears fell down with a pa pa. Ji Zhe Yan stared blankly at her. He walked up to Ye Zhen Zhen, his gaze towards her revealing his complete loss at what to do. “What’s wrong?”
Ye Zhen Zhen lifted her head. Sobbing and sniffling, she choked out, “Dr. Ji, I really like you. B—but, I might be a, a murderer. Will you still accept a murderer?” Ye Zhen Zhen’s hold on her emotions finally crumbled. She really was afraid that she had killed her own grandfather.
Ji Zhe Yan’s brows furrowed. He bent down a little and looked at Ye Zhen Zhen flatly. “Who said you are a murderer?”
“Th—they are all suspicious, and—and even Officer Zuo said, said something like this…” Ye Zhen Zhen’s tears dropped one by one, each one unrepentantly shattering Ji Zhe Yan’s heart a bit more and leaving him in unendurable pain. He gently wiped away the tears on Ye Zhen Zhen’s face, pressing a soft kiss on her lips. “Believe me, you are not a murderer.”
Police Station. Zuo Yi’s office was like a war where the dog jumped after the flying chicken. Hao Zi dashed inside and made a beeline for Zuo Yi’s office desk. “Leader, Lawyer Qian’s information is here.”
Zuo Yi grabbed the report from Hao Zi’s hand and flipped through it. The moment Hao Zi finished gulping down a large glass of water in one breath, he said to Zuo Yi, “Lawyer Qian and Ye Hong Sheng have been best friends for many years. Ye Hong Sheng has always held a great deal of trust in him, which lead to him seeking Lawyer Qian to handle his last testament. The probability of him being bribed is not very high.”
Zuo Yi skimmed through the material in his hands with lightning speed. He nodded and stated, “The lawyer’s testimony has a very high degree of credibility.” Of course, he didn’t mean that a lawyer was unlikely to speak lies. Instead, a judge was more likely to trust a lawyer’s testimony in court.
Li Xin Ran turned away from the computer and looked at Zuo Yi beside him. “Don’t tell me that the murderer is really Ye Zhen Zhen like he implied? But why would Ye Hong Sheng suddenly want to change his will?”
Zuo Yi thought for a moment yet only replied to his first question. “Not necessarily. It is also probable that another person knew Ye Hong Sheng wanted to change his will, so they killed him.”
Li Xin Ran wrinkled his brow. “Apart from Ye Zhen Zhen, who else could it be?”
Zuo Yi stared at him silently.
Li Xin Ran’s eyes suddenly widened. “Qin Kong?”
Thanks 【Su Tan】 Little angel threw a hand grenade and landmine! Muah~! Muah~! （づ￣3￣）づ╭?~
- A simple person being overwhelmed by new experiences and luxurious surroundings ↩