Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Yes yes yes, her name is Bai Lili! Aiyo… You knew it all!” Ma Wenliang seemed to have goosebumps all over. “That woman died tragically. She even lost her head! And… She didn’t die in Nanjiang, but in Jinzhong…”
Zhao Yu and Cui Lizhu exchanged a glance. It seemed that Zhao Yu’s earliest inference was right. Cui Fangyu really did have an affair with Bai Lili! However, he didn’t know that Cui Fangyu’s affair would indirectly cause the death of Cui Lizhu’s mother!
“Have you heard of Tao Xiang? What is the relationship between the Cui couple and this person?” Zhao Yu asked.
“Tao Xiang?” Ma Wenliang thought for a moment, then said, “Police Officer, I don’t even know a single person with the surname Tao! I definitely don’t know this person!”
“Then, what happened after the child went missing?” Zhao Yu asked.
“Yeah, they didn’t lodge any police report! It wasn’t because Third Bro didn’t want to lodge a police report, it was because he was under police investigation at that time!” Ma Wenliang took a stroll down memory lane and said, “In the end, Third Bro looked for a friend to help him, but not long after that, Third Bro and I went to prison. Mm… I heard that Third Bro’s parents lodged a police report but they never found her…”
Cui Lizhu sighed sadly and said, “It’d be great if I could remember what happened when I was two!”
Cui Lizhu words reminded Zhao Yu that he had the magical Memory Replay Device. If he were to use it on Cui Lizhu, he would be able to see what she saw when she was two!
However, it could only offer a ten-minute clip, s iIf Cui Lizhu were to be sleeping then, he would have used the device in vain. After some thinking, Zhao Yu found that it was still worth the risk to use the device at such a crucial time.
“Actually…” Ma Wenliang paused for a while, then continued to talk about Cui Lizhu’s family’s affairs, “Although Third Bro Cui was their only son, he wasn’t on good terms with his parents! Otherwise, he wouldn’t have needed to join the gangsters at such a young age!”
“Not only that,” Wa Wenliang continued, “But, my sister-in-law was in the same field of burglary. Sometimes, when we would all drink together, the two of them would call each other senior and junior!”
“Huh?” Zhao Yu was stunned. He never thought that the both of them would be burglars. No wonder Cui Lizhu was so talented in it, but….
Suddenly, Zhao Yu thought of another possibility, so he asked, “Ma Wenliang, you kept referring to Cui Fangyu as Third Bro, do you know how this name came about? He’s an only son, after all!”
“Hey! You’re right! Mm… Maybe…” Ma Wenliang pondered while, then said, “I don’t know. I’ve just always called him that! In fact, the whole gang did. They were all kind of like siblings anyway.”
“Team Leader…” Cui Lizhu seemed to make out something from what he had just said. She quickly asked Zhao Yu softly, “Maybe Tao Xiang and my biological father were sworn brothers, so what if Tao Xiang is like a Big Bro or Second Bro?”
Zhao Yu nodded faintly and replied, “Possibly. If they were really fellow apprentices, that could explain why Tao Xiang knew your parents and why they were so close! Plus, Tao Xiang, who was the king of the thieves, might even be the friend that your biological father asked for help!”
“Very possibly!” Cui Lizhu exclaimed. “Do you remember the photo? I was kidnapped by Bai Lili, and then my father told Tao Xiang to look for me. That photo could prove that Tao Xiang found me!”
“True!” Zhao Yu said. “Don’t forget Tao Xiang buried the things in your mother’s grave. This means that he held special feelings towards your mom! Also, Bai Lili had to take partial responsibility for your mother’s death. Hence, not only did Tao Xiang find you, he even…”
“This is what you call a motive, right?” Cui Lizhu interrupted him, a terrified look in her eyes. “So here’s motive to kill Bai Lili, but what about the others?”
“No idea!” Zhao Yu shook his head. “It seems like we have to investigate this further, now that we have a new approach in mind.”
Cui Lizhu continued, “We also need to figure out why, after Tao Xiang found me, he didn’t return me. Did he intentionally take me away because he missed my mother and wanted to raise me as his own daughter?”
“It’s hard to say.” Zhao Yu said. “Let’s take a look at the timing. After you were stolen by Bai Lili, your biological father was put behind bars! Tao Xiang couldn’t even have returned you if he wanted to. Although you still had grandparents, they were never in contact, so Tao Xiang and your biological father weren’t assured that your being with them was a good idea…”
“So, do you think it is the safest bet to follow Tao Xiang? But…” Cui Lizhu had so many questions. “But, when my dad passed away, Bai Lili was still alive. Bai Lili was killed in the wintertime, right? If Tao Xiang had really wanted to kill her, why did he wait for half a year before he took action?”
“Maybe he had to take care of you and had no time to take revenge…” Zhao Yu guessed.
“No way…” Cui Lizhu’s eyebrows were tightly knit as she found this idea too weird. “Team Leader, I still feel that Tao Xiang isn’t the murderer! After all, he raised me! If he were really a serial killer, how could I not have noticed anything? Even if he had split personalities, I could at least see that, right?”
“Look at your dad now! Don’t you see him displaying split personalities?” Zhao Yu refuted her.
“That’s different! That’s because he was knocked on his head! That happened later on!” Cui Lizhu said anxiously. “Think about it. Did Tao Xiang say that line to give us a hint that would lead us to the view six skulls in the box? If he liked my mother, why did he bury skulls in her grave? This just doesn’t make sense!”
“No…” Zhao Yu shook his head and said in distress. “Cui, it does makes sense! It really does make sense! Think about it. If all six of the deceased had something going on with your father…”
“Huh? What?” Cui Lizhu was stunned on the spot.
“Can’t you tell? Tao Xiang was taking revenge on behalf of your mom. He killed all of the women that had some funny business going on with your biological father, so that he could bury them with her!” Zhao Yu said solemnly. “It isn’t realistic to bury six people there, so he opted to cut off their heads and only bury their skulls! Then, the entire Headless Female Corpses Case makes sense…”
“No… No…” Cui Lizhu shook her head helplessly, still not wanting to believe what Zhao Yu was saying.
Although Zhao Yu found it cruel, he had to continue. “Do you know why there weren’t any more headless female corpses after 1998? It is because Du Manting passed away! Thus, Tao Xiang didn’t have any reason to kill anymore!”