"What is it?" Hearing Yang Hong mention strange things, Zhao Yu was obviously very curious, and chased the topic.
"Um" Yang Hong started to recall, "I remember, during that years preliminary competition, our Fengling County had an amazing student. I cant remember the name well, but she was a girl for sure, and even before the competition, she was famous in our county. Apparently, she passed the tenth level when she was only twelve, and learned from the best instructor in the capital. Basically, she was super amazing." She continued, "If I recall, during the rematch, I actually saw her once. Her clothing was very old, and even had patches on it. I imagine her household wasnt very well-off, but her piano skills were crazy. Even though we were all at the tenth level, we were clearly a level below her."
"Right" As if remembering something, Yang Hong said in a hurry, "The weird thing happened here in Qianshan City! She crushed the competition with her insane scores, but for some reason, her name wasnt on the list of final competitors. Apparently, someone said she decided to retire from the competition the night before! Isnt that weird?!"
Zhao Yu carefully considered what Yang Hong said, and also felt it was very strange. He asked in a hurry, "You sure that she made it to the finals?"
"Mm" Yang Hong scratched her head with both hands, and smacked her lips, "Its really a blur right now. This might have been what I heard from other students parents, or from my mom. Oh right, I almost forgot! Just ask my mom! That year, she almost reached piano level ten herself! If its about piano, she will definitely remember!" Unexpectedly, Yang Hong cared even more about the case than Zhao Yu. Not caring if she would bother the old lady so early in the morning, she called her mother without hesitation.
Just so Zhao Yu could hear clearly, she even put it on speaker. The voice of an elderly quickly came through the phone, Yang Hong explained the situation to her mother. To make sure her mother cooperated, she even lied and said she was currently being interrogated in the police station.The old lady was scared by this, and immediately explained everything about the situation back then. Even though her summary was about the same as Yang Hong, the old lady was much more detailed.
As it turned out, that year they indeed had a piano prodigy in Fengling County. She had shown promise since she was young. Despite her familys poor conditions, her parents gave everything in order to let her learn piano. According to the rumors, they even sold the villages shrine! And the girl genius also did not let her parents down. Within a few years, she won all kinds of awards, gaining fame in Fengling county. Before attending Qinshan Citys Tenth Grand Piano Competition, everyone had high expectations for her. They all expected her to be at least one of the top three! Once one of the named universities target her, the girl could be considered set for life, her future was endlessly bright!
At the time, due to their similarity in age, Yang Hongs mother often used the girls various achievements to scold Yang Hong, saying things like "Both of you guys are learning piano, but do you see her? See how good she is?" But unexpectedly, the genius who entered into the final competition with such overwhelming momentum suddenly decided to drop out from the competition the night before! No one knew the reason for her sudden retirement, but there were many rumors. Some said she coughed up blood from exertion while practicing piano. Some said she was kidnapped. Some even said that she eloped with a boy. Ever since the piano competition, no one had seen the girl since; even her parents had disappeared. Due to the suddenness of the situation, the competition organizers pulled her from eleventh place, which caused the girls name to not appear on the results.
Even a few years after the competition, there were still people who talked about her. But as time passed, the genius and her household had long faded from everybodys minds.
"Child prodigy? Girl genius" Somehow, Zhao Yu subtly felt that the girls sudden retirement had something to do with the case. What had happened to force her to retire the night before the competition? Then, after her retirement, why did she and her parents disappear? This would not have interested Zhao Yu on its own, but once it was connected to the Lost Hand Case, it was incredibly perplexing. Zhao Yu instinctively felt that the girls retirement from the competition had something to do with the Lost Hand Case! If he could find her, then maybe he would uncover new evidence!
"Mom!" Yang Hong also cared about the case and asked through the phone, "Do you remember the name of that child prodigy?"
"Li Dan!" The old ladys memory was good, she spoke without hesitation, "Fengling Countys Li Family. Not only was she from the same village as my mother, but she also had the same name as your second aunt! Child, if theres anything the police need, just come ask me, Ill confess everything I know! If you dont have any issues, dont stay at the police station for too long! Dont let people think youre doing bad things."
"Okay mom! Im done, Im going to hang up now!" Yang Hong awkwardly hung up. The way the old lady said that she would "confess everything" made it seem like the two of them were criminals. "Thats my mom. Once she starts talking, theres no end!" Yang Hong raised her head, "How was it, Officer Zhao. Was this helpful for your investigation?"
"Fengling County, Li family, Li Dan!" Zhao Yu repeated the information, "Ill have to do some research before I know. If this helps the case, Ill give you a good samaritans award!"
"Keep the certificate, Im in debt to you anyway!" Yang Hong joked, "But next time when you jump to our balcony, make sure to tell me first!"
"There wont be a next time!" Zhao Yu promised. But after the promise, the two stared at each other for a good three seconds. The atmosphere was more than a little awkward.
"Uh, so we..." Zhao Yu pointed at Yang Hong, then at himself, as if wanting to say something but could not find the right words.
"Its fine! I got it!" Yang Hong was very understanding, "The case is more important, you have something on your mind. As for us, we wouldnt be able to enjoy ourselves anyway! Whats the point then? You saved me, I will never forget that, the one-time free service is a long-term promise!"
"Great!" Zhao Yu gave the other a thumb up, then grabbed Yang Hongs phone. "Here, leave you phone number, and WeChat! Once I catch the culprit and get the reward, Ill take you to a four-star hotel!" Then, not even sure why, Zhao Yu gave the other a salute and turned to leave.
"You, youre leaving now? How are you going to get back?" Yang Hong asked with worry, "Youre not going to go to the police station in that, right? How about I find some clothes for you?"
Before Yang Hong had finished, she heard the sound of Zhao Yu closing the door.
"That guy! Always in a hurry." Yang Hong looked at the empty house, and felt rather uncomfortable. Thinking back on what Zhao Yu had said about the Lost Hand Case, she could not help but make a cutting motion on her right wrist with her left hand. She felt goosebumps cover her body.