Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 14: The Arrest of Xu Youyi
(cn: blood; death of minor character)
At Jinjiang Hotel, Jiang Bin tries to slap Xu Youyi awake, calling her name repeatedly. ‘Xu Youyi! Xu Youyi! Xu Youyi!’
Xu Youyi regains consciousness mid-slap. ‘Detective Jiang…’ she murmurs.
Jiang Bin helps her up…
…as she stares at the bloody knife which she’s still clutching in her hand. ‘What is this?’
She’s even more shocked to see Chu Huizi lying dead in front of her.
Jiang Bin snaps a pair of handcuffs around her wrists. ‘Miss Xu, since you’re awake, you should come with us,’ he says.
‘Detective Jiang, I’m not the one who killed Chu Huizi!’ Xu Youyi protests.
‘Whatever you have to say, you can say it at the police station,’ says Jiang Bin, leading her out of the room.
As Jiang Bin leaves the hotel, Xu Youyi in tow, Zhou Heng comes running up to them. ‘Xu Youyi!’ he calls, as he catches up with them.
‘Xu Youyi, I’m the only one who can help you now,’ Zhou Heng tells her. ‘As long as you’re willing to take back what you said before…’
‘There’s no need,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘I believe my innocence will be proven.”
She and Jiang Bin walk off, leaving Zhou Heng to stare at them.
Yan Wei watches from the crowd as Xu Youyi gets into Jiang Bin’s car.
‘Xu…’ she begins, stepping forward, then stops abruptly.
If I rush up to her now, I’ll only cause more trouble, she realises.
She sets her jaw and clenches her fist. If I want to save her, I need to find out who the real murderer is.
At the police station, Jiang Bin asks, ‘Miss Xu, can you please tell me what happened tonight?
‘I went to the ball earlier tonight,’ says Xu Youyi, as she flashes back to that evening’s events.
As Xu Youyi walks into the ballroom, she sees Chu Huizi dancing with a tall, handsome man.
Why is Chu Huizi here? she wonders, just as Zhou Heng appears at her elbow. ‘Youyi…’ he says, offering her a glass of wine.
‘What are you doing here?’ she asks.
‘Youyi, it was all my fault, what happened last time’, says Zhou Heng. ‘I can promise you…’
He puts a hand on her shoulder, which she promptly slaps away. ‘There’s no need,’ she says. ‘I’ve already decided to divorce you.’
‘What are you talking about, Xu Youyi?’ Zhou Heng demands, gripping Xu Youyi’s arm.
Xu Youyi looks back at him. ‘I said — I’m planning to tell everyone that we’re getting a divorce.’
‘Must you be so cruel, Youyi?’ asks Zhou Heng.
Xu Youyi shakes off his grip. ‘Let go of me!’
She stalks off, and Zhou Heng stares after her. ‘Youyi, I won’t let go of you so easily,’ he mutters to himself. ‘I’ll love you forever… forever…’
On the other side of the ballroom, Xu Youyi finds her path blocked by Chu Huizi. ‘Xu Youyi,’ says the other woman. ‘I see your relationship with my senior has broken down completely.’
‘You’ve always been so concerned about Zhou Heng’s well-being, Chu Huizi,’ Xu Youyi retorts. ‘Do you want to be a second Zhang Wan?’
‘Pah!’ spits Chu Huizi, and throws her wine into Xu Youyi’s face.
‘I’ve detested you for a long time,’ says Chu Huizi. ‘Now that you’ve fallen out with my senior, there’s no reason left to indulge you!’
Wordlessly, Xu Youyi wipes the wine from her face. Then she gives Chu Huizi a slap. Chu Huizi’s wine glass shatters on the floor.
‘You!’ shouts Chu Huizi, cradling her cheek.
‘Chu Huizi, don’t think I don’t know that you’ve been trying to blacken my name to the media!’ says Xu Youyi. ‘Let me tell you, even without Zhou Heng behind me, I’m not afraid of you!’
Their altercation is beginning to attract the attention of the other partygoers. ‘What’s going on?’ asks one woman. ‘Haha,’ says her companion, ‘these two have never got on, and now they’ve finally come to blows!’ ‘Even famous authoresses aren’t above fighting in public, it seems,’ marvels the first woman.
‘You’re talking nonsense!’ says Chu Huizi angrily, reaching towards Xu Youyi again—
—and then someone catches hold of her wrist. ‘Chu Huizi!’ says the newcomer. It’s the man Chu Huizi was dancing with earlier. ‘Stop causing such a commotion,’ he tells her. ‘Everyone’s watching.’
Chu Huizi tries to shake off his hand. ‘Chen Shuangcheng! Let go of me! I’m going to tear her apart right now!’
Just then, President Wang appears. ‘Stop!’ he tells them.
‘All of us have a certain reputation to maintain,’ he adds. ‘There’s no need to make things so difficult for everyone.’
President Wang starts steering Xu Youyi away from the other two. ‘Come with me, Youyi,’ he says. ‘I have something to tell you.’
‘President Wang, I’d like to go and wash my face first,’ says Xu Youyi.
‘All right, go then,’ says President Wang.
Xu Youyi is on her way to the bathroom when someone calls after her, ‘Miss Xu, please wait.’
She turns. It’s the man who was with Chu Huizi earlier: the well-known film actor Chen Shuangcheng. ‘I’m very sorry about what happened just now,’ he tells her.
‘That’s between me and Chu Huizi,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘What does it have to do with a big star like you?’
‘Although you say it has nothing to do with me…’ says Chen Shuangcheng, slipping his pocket square from his breast pocket, ‘but my heart still can’t help aching at the sight of an elegant, beautiful woman like yourself being mistreated.’
He reaches out to dab at Xu Youyi’s face with the pocket square. She backs away. ‘Mr Chen, if you have something to say to me, you can say it directly,’ she tells him.
Chen Shuangcheng is silent for a moment, then puts the pocket square away. ‘Zhou Heng doesn’t know how to treat a woman,’ he says, ‘but I’ve always admired your talent, and I hope to have the chance to collaborate with you on a film project.’
‘Thank you for your kind words, Mr Chen,’ says Xu Youyi, turning and walking away. ‘We can discuss collaboration at a later date.’
Xu Youyi finally makes it to the bathroom, where she splashes water on her face.
The world is a dangerous place, and people’s hearts can be cruel, she reflects. She leaves the bathroom, and strides purposefully down the corridor. If I’m to walk this path alone, I must be as resilient as a blade. Let me do this for the people who care about me, who bring me warmth.
At that last thought, Yan Wei’s face appears in her mind’s eye.
Suddenly, she hears a loud ‘CRASH!!’, and someone screaming, ‘Ah! Help me!’
Xu Youyi turns. Was that someone calling for help?
Please view the original manhua here.