The next morning at 5:30 am, Lu Junchi pulled Su Hui, who was still sound asleep, out of bed. After a few days of getting used to each other, he had figured out how to wake Su Hui up as quickly as possible.
Su Hui was still groggy as he got up, changed his clothes, brushed his teeth and washed his face, and followed Lu Junchi outside.
“Clothes…” Lu Junchi straightened Su Hui’s collar and patiently reminded him, “Where’s your waist brace?”
Su Hui then realized and went back to get his waist brace, also picking up his eye mask.
Lu Junchi handed him a box of milk and a sandwich for breakfast. Su Hui took the items and walked out.
TN: Aaah this is so domestic!
In the hallway, Lu Junchi stopped him and said, “Professor Su, are you planning on wearing slippers outside?”
Su Hui looked down and only then realized that he was wearing slippers.
Lu Junchi felt like he was in a war, but finally managed to get Su Hui into the car at around 6 am.
Su Hui took a few bites of breakfast in the car and then said, “I’m sleepy.” He put on his eye mask, leaned back, and fell asleep. After two minutes, he seemed uncomfortable and took off his eye mask, grabbing a plush tissue box from Lu Junchi’s car as a pillow.
When Su Hui opened his eyes again, they had already arrived in Qin City. He stretched lazily, lifted his eye mask, and asked, “Are we almost there? Where are we going? To Li Yawen’s home?”
Lu Junchi had been in charge of the arrangements and only now did Su Hui remember to ask.
Lu Junchi sighed with a sense of resignation: “Professor Su, you finally remembered to ask. What if I took advantage of the opportunity to abduct you without your knowledge?”
Su Hui picked up a straw and inserted it into the box of milk, making a sound as he sipped it. “No, I trust you.”
“Li Yawen’s husband has been on a business trip recently and is not in Qincheng, so we only arranged to meet with Li Yawen today. Since their divorce, Li Yawen has not bought a house and has been living in the flower shop she owns.”
Lu Junchi parked the car and pointed to a flower shop by the roadside. “Here we are.”
Lu Junchi and Su Hui entered the flower shop.
It was not a very large flower shop, only about 100 square meters. The flower shop was open for business, but there were no customers or other employees besides the owner, Li Yawen.
She stood up when she saw Lu Junchi come in.
Lu Junchi quickly explained the purpose of their visit and showed his identification. Li Yawen had already contacted Qiao Ze yesterday and knew that the police would visit her today.
She stood up, changed the status of the store to closed, locked the door, and walked back to the table in the back.
The flower shop was divided into two parts. There were several tall flower racks in the front, with various potted flowers displayed on top, several bouquets placed on the right side, and several brochures for selecting flower patterns and customizing flower baskets next to them.
As soon as Su Hui entered the shop, he smelled a strong floral fragrance. The fragrance was a mixture of many different flower scents, and his sense of smell was particularly sensitive as his vision and hearing were not very acute.
Li Yawen was thirty years old this year and was the eldest daughter in the family. She had already heard about the matters concerning her younger brother and sister-in-law, and anyone who encountered such matters in their family was considered unfortunate, especially for a divorced woman like her, as her family was her only source of support.
However, she was now wearing a lotus colored long dress, with her hair tied up behind her head, and her expression was very calm, as if there was no one in her eyes but the flowers.
There were several newly arrived flowers on the table. Li Yawen trimmed the branches and leaves while saying, “Actually, I’ve already explained the sequence of events before, but it seems that Officer Lu doesn’t believe me. I’m not lying, and you can ask my ex-husband about it.”
Lu Junchi followed the rules and took out his recording pen and notebook, saying, “Actually, what you said is consistent with what your ex-husband said, and we don’t think you’re lying. However, we feel that your description is too vague. We came here today after driving for several hours on a business trip just to know every detail of that night.”
Li Yawen lowered her head and snipped off the shrivelled roots of the flowers, looking a bit embarrassed. “But no matter how many times you ask me, my testimony is still the same.”
Lu Junchi asked, “Li Yawen, may I ask why you got divorced?”
“Reason?” Li Yawen hesitated for a moment, still keeping her head down. “Our feelings had broken down, and there was no direct connection to the robbery case.”
“Really?” Lu Junchi asked again, “But a few months ago, we found records of you showing affection online…”
These were also discovered when he compiled the data last night. All of those accounts had been cleared after her divorce, but the internet has a memory. Lu Junchi used his police authority to retrieve them.
Li Yawen’s hand paused, but her gaze was still on the flowers. “Those are all in the past. On the night when the robbers broke in, we were injured but not in danger. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with my ex-husband. When something happened at home, the man was not capable of protecting the woman, so we divorced. Isn’t this a normal phenomenon?”
Lu Junchi asked again, “Then why didn’t you call the police? If you were afraid at the time, seeking help from the police would have been the safest way to ensure your safety, right?”
Li Yawen says, “Officer, although it’s not appropriate to say this in front of you, not everyone trusts the police. When we were tied up by those robbers, the police didn’t come. It was my mother who saved us…”
Su Hui had been silent on the side all along. He was very familiar with the thoughts of those criminals, but these ordinary people, these witnesses, were often his blind spots.
“…Police not only need to arrive at the scene when danger occurs, but also have an important job to prevent more tragedies from happening, and that’s what we’re doing now.” Lu Junchi said, then suddenly reached out and pressed the pause button on the recording pen, “Ms. Li, I’ll be direct. Do you and your husband not want to involve the police because you don’t want to reveal the secret that happened between you two that night?”
Li Yawen finally stopped what she was doing and looked up at Lu Junchi, then looked at the paused recording pen.
She had previously had contact with some police officers due to disputes, including yesterday when Qiao Ze called, but she could feel that the police officer in front of her was different from those she had encountered in the past.
Lu Junchi placed the recording pen on the table and had no intention of continuing the recording, “Ms. Li, after such an incident, I believe you have a lot of psychological pressure. You chose not to mention what happened that night to your mother and quickly sold the house and divorced your husband. For a woman, your world has turned upside down. I understand that you have always lacked a sense of security. Now, if you need it, the police will provide you with some help at any time.”
Li Yawen thanked him with a nod.
“Your previous testimony had some inconsistencies and unresolved issues, so I will persist in questioning until you tell me the truth. These are legal investigations, and the police will not give up unless they receive credible testimony from you. Your answers not only concern your own private matters but are also a matter of life and death for many others.”
Although Lu Junchi’s tone was polite and gentlemanly, his words were firm.
He made it clear to Li Yawen that she could not evade or obscure the facts with vague testimony. Procrastinating on this matter would not benefit anyone.
Li Yawen said, “If you are so sure about what happened that night and feel that we have not described it, then why don’t you ask my ex-husband?”
“We will ask him, but that does not mean we can stop this conversation and leave,” replied Lu Junchi.
He then took out two photos, the corpses of Lu Qin and Ye Zhixue, and tried to find less terrifying images, but the content in the photos was still shocking.
“These two people in the photos died a few days ago, and I believe they went through the same experience as you. You and your ex-husband are the only survivors we know of. If you don’t tell the truth, there may be more victims.”
Li Yawen’s gaze finally shifted as she lowered her head to look at the two photos. If her mother had not come that day, she would have been a corpse by now.
Lu Junchi continued, “Surviving a life-threatening situation and going through a divorce, I imagine these events have had a significant impact on you. And these family matters may not be suitable for sharing with friends or family. If you tell me, I can handle your testimony and help keep these secrets.”
Keeping things bottled up inside can also lead to depression.
Su Hui listened quietly on the side as Lu Junchi gradually backed the woman into a corner and showed her the consequences of other cases, evoking her sympathy and sense of crisis before finally persuading her…
Step by step, he broke down her defenses, resolved her concerns, and asked for the desired result. It may not sound astonishing, but there was not a word wasted.
At this point in the conversation, Li Yawen’s expression finally subtly changed.
She blinked and asked, “Can you keep my secret?”
Lu Junchi nodded, “We can do our best to conceal your personal information and only use your words today as a lead to track down the culprit.”
Li Yawen said, “I don’t want to testify in court.”
Lu Junchi said, “If we catch the murderer and have sufficient physical evidence to prove their guilt, you can be relieved of your duty to appear in court.”
Li Yawen set the flowers aside and poured two cups of water into disposable cups.
Lu Junchi took one, and Su Hui said thank you before gesturing that he still had milk.
Li Yawen kept the remaining cup for herself. She took a sip of water to calm herself down before speaking, “Officers, you might not believe me when I say this… despite being afraid and disgusted by those three people, and knowing they’re not good people, they almost killed me. But I don’t hate them at all. In fact, I’m a little grateful to them…”