Chapter 50: Interrogation — Plan before acting.
If Zuo Yi’s hypothesis was valid, then housekeeper Zhou’s entire motivation could be summed up into one word—inheritance.
“Go bring in housekeeper Zhou for questioning. I might need to go on a trip in the near future.” Zuo Yi stood up from his chair after saying this and walked toward the door.
Li Xin Ran hurriedly collected his things and chased after him. “Leader, where are you going?”
Ye Zhen Zhen was still waiting in the hallway, some apprehension rising within her. Even though she and Zhou Wen had not known each other for long, she always believed that she could trust Zhou Wen and had never believed that the other woman would have anything to do with this case.
She raised her head to glance around just as Zhou Wen came out. Upon seeing Ye Zhen Zhen, Zhou Wen subconsciously stopped walking. She clearly had not anticipated running into Ye Zhen Zhen. Ye Zhen Zhen saw her and remained silent. Zhou Wen stepped forward and quickly flashed her an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I lied previously.”
Although she knew the person before her was not Ye Zhen Zhen, she still felt inexplicably guilty when seeing her. “Do you remember that time when you heard our conversation from outside the kitchen? At that time, I was arguing with my mother because she made me give a false testimony.” She looked at Ye Zhen Zhen and seemed to want to explain something. “But she said that she did not kill Old Man Ye, and I believe her.”
Ye Zhen Zhen pursed her lips and didn’t say anything. There was no reason for her to believe in housekeeper Zhou like Zhou Wen, regardless of when she had lived at Ye Mansion and at present.
Having perhaps sensed what Ye Zhen Zhen was thinking, Zhou Wen laughed bitterly. “I’m sorry.” She apologized again and then walked around Ye Zhen Zhen.
Ye Zhen Zhen stood alone in the hallway for a while before Zuo Yi and Li Xin Ran came around the corner. When she caught sight of Zuo Yi, she subconsciously called out, “Officer Zuo.”
Zuo Yi nodded at her and walked forward. “I’ll scan that sketch and forward it to D City’s police, with the request for them to help with the investigation.”
Seeing that Ye Zhen Zhen’s mood was listless, Zuo Yi couldn’t help but ask, “What’s wrong?”
Ye Zhen Zhen shook her head. “Nothing.”
Zuo Yi eyed her and suddenly asked, “Do you want to go to D City? If you go to D City, maybe you’ll reap some unexpected gains.”
Ye Zhen Zhen’s eyes brightened. She gazed at him in rapture. “But didn’t you forbid me from leaving A City?”
Zuo Yi quirked his lips and replied, “I plan to head to D City myself in a few days. Do you want to come along?”
Like a child being lured with a piece of brightly colored candy, Ye Zhen Zhen subconsciously nodded. Zuo Yi’s mouth curved into a smile again. Li Xin Ran watched on from the side, unable to tear his gaze away.
He felt like Leader currently resembled a satisfied kidnapper.
“Then once I set a date, I’ll notify you. Go home for today.”
“Okay.” Ye Zhen Zhen politely said goodbye to the two and turned around to leave the police department.
“Such an obedient child; I feel like giving her a small red flower.” Li Xin Ran watched Ye Zhen Zhen walk further away, already falling into the role of a kindergarten teacher.
Zuo Yi tilted his head to glance at him. “How come you’re still standing here; shouldn’t you be bringing housekeeper Zhou in for questioning?”
Li Xin Ran: “…”
He suddenly felt that while the government officials could commit arson, the commoners were not allowed to light lamps. 1
Li Xin Ran worked hard without complaint, bringing in housekeeper Zhou to the police department before the work day ended. It was still Zuo Yi and Li Xin Ran within the interrogation room, but the one they were facing was housekeeper Zhou this time. The atmosphere was different than before.
At least, for Li Xin Ran, this was the first time he had ever seen someone be so calm while they were in the interrogation room.
“Wen Wen spoke the truth. I indeed left at seven o’clock.” Housekeeper Zhou sat with a straight back as she revealed her lies and pled guilty.
Zuo Yi looked at her and asked, “After you left, where did you go?”
“I headed straight to Ye Mansion.” Housekeeper Zhou looked at him in the eyes, her tone still as tranquil as before. “I arrived before eight o’clock. There wasn’t anything abnormal at the residence then. Afterward, I returned to my room. I originally planned on changing clothes before heading to Master’s room, but soon after I entered my room, I heard a quarrel outside.”
Zuo Yi knitted his brows. “Who did you hear?”
“A man and a woman. The woman was the Young Miss, while the man’s voice was quite hard to hear. I’m not sure…” She paused here and then raised her head to look at the men seated before her. “I think, it sounded like Young Master Qin Kong.”
Li Xin Ran finished writing ‘Qin Kong’ and then looked up to eye housekeeper Zhou. Zuo Yi nodded and indicated for her to continue.
Housekeeper Zhou pursed her lips slightly and continued, “At that time, I paid it no mind. Young Miss and Young Master Qin Kong were young. It was difficult to avoid conflict. You should also know that their relationship was not very good, but Young Miss and Young Master Qin Kong had been an unmarried couple all along. It was not my place to intervene, so I stayed in my room for a while until I stopped hearing noise outside. I then opened the door and went out. It was still quiet outside. I saw something black flash past and head in the direction of the back door. At that time, I was suspicious, but then I heard Madam Sun Qian’s screech. I walked down the staircase and saw the Young Miss laying on the drawing room floor, in a pile of blood.”
Housekeeper Zhou spoke all this in one breath. Afterward, only the sound of breathing could be heard in the interrogation room. Zuo Yi waited for her to recuperate before asking, “And then?”
“I was really frightened at that time. My first reaction was to look for the person who pushed down Young Miss just now, so I promptly chased after him.”
Zuo Yi’s eyes shifted. “Sun Qian and Ye Kang Ping didn’t discover you?”
Housekeeper Zhou shook her head. “They shouldn’t have. The back door is in the opposite direction of the drawing room. Moreover, they were also really frightened then and simply wouldn’t have been paying attention to their surroundings.”
Zuo Yi fell silent for a moment before asking, “Did you catch up to that person?”
Housekeeper Zhou shook her head. “He was fast. By the time I went outside, I could not see a trace of him. But…when I passed by the garden, I was knocked out by someone.”
Li Xin Ran: “…”
This performance was simply beautiful, so beautiful that he wanted to cry in the wind.
This time, the only one left unmoved was Zuo Yi. “Did you clearly see who struck you?”
“No. He hit me from behind. Furthermore, it was so sudden that I had no time to react. When I woke up, I took note of the time. It was already nine o’clock then. I had thought it quite odd at that time. Why had an hour passed without the police arriving? Although I don’t know why Madam Sun Qian and them hadn’t sounded the alarm, in order to secure my innocence, I deliberately went around the back toward the front and acted as if I had just returned. When I entered, I saw that they had just called the police. Even though I had my misgivings, I also pretended to be ignorant.”
After a long period of silence and staring at housekeeper Zhou the entire time, Zuo Yi finally spoke. “So, from the start to finish, you only saw the back of the murderer?”
“Yes.” Housekeeper Zhou nodded. “But when I was knocked out, I felt like I could hear the sound of shoveling…it might just be my imagination.”
Li Xin Ran stroked his chin, looking as if he was pondering something. Zuo Yi looked down and asked a seemingly irrelevant question. “The first time we asked you for a statement, why did you lie?”
Housekeeper Zhou seemed to have already expected him to ask this and quickly answered, “Because I didn’t want to be suspected of being the murderer. I know my statement just now doesn’t sound very credible, let alone telling this to the police. But this really is the truth.”
Zuo Yi looked at her with a raised brow. “My final question: what is your relationship with Ye Hong Sheng?”
Housekeeper Zhou’s expression finally shifted slightly, but she quickly recovered. “Employer-employee.”
Zuo Yi buried his head, a small smirk gracing his lips. He had someone send housekeeper Zhou off.
Li Xin Ran looked over his notes and asked Zuo Yi, “Leader, do you believe she is trustworthy?”
Zuo Yi lazily leaned back into his chair, his eyes closed. “Her testimony leads us into suspecting two people.”
“Qin Kong and Wang Er Gou?”
Zuo Yi opened his eyes and glanced at him with a bit of surprise. “You finally seem a bit like a police academy graduate.”
Li Xin Ran: “…”
He decided to ignore Zuo Yi’s remark and thought aloud, “Did someone really strike her? If there was no one, then what was she doing during that hour?”
“Maybe…she did nothing.”
“Why nothing?” Li Xin Ran furrowed his brows. In his mind, he quickly organized the details of the case and went through it once again. “According to your hypothesis, housekeeper Zhou’s motive would be the inheritance. Between confessing now and confessing from the very start, what’s the difference? If Zhou Wen was told to come in and confess, this would make her fear of being suspected as the murderer to be completely groundless. However, why did she instead reveal herself at this time?
“Have you heard of this ancient saying?” Zuo Yi suddenly looked at him. “Plan before acting.”
Li Xin Ran jerked his mouth to the side. “Leader, this literate saying does not fit your mouth, so it sounds a bit terrifying instead.”
Zuo Yi smirked, revealing to him an even more terrifying smile. “This must be what she believes to be the best timing, so as to maximize her benefits.”
Li Xin Ran’s brain suddenly realized what Zuo Yi meant previously about pulling a snake from its hole. He felt as if Zuo Yi had schemes waiting for everyone. “Leader, have I told you that sometimes you are really frightening?”
“I’ve heard this at least sixty thousand times.” Zuo Yi stood up from his chair and walked outside. “I’m heading to D City in three days. I’ll leave this place in your hands.”
“Ah, Leader, you can’t abandon us!” He really couldn’t handle this case, yingyingying. 2
“Tomorrow, go question the brothers of the Qin family. Also, how is the investigation going on Ye Zhen Zhen’s identity?”
“Still no results. Leader, how about you seriously consider me going with Ye Zhen Zhen to D City instead?”
“If you’re not scared of being dissected by Dr. Ji, go ahead.”
Li Xin Ran: “…”
He was scared.
Second update! Complete!