Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 16: Gathering Evidence
‘Young Madam,’ says Yan Wei. ‘How you must have suffered!’
Yan Wei? Xu Youyi exclaims mentally. Then she very quickly catches on, a metaphorical light bulb going off in her head. ‘Auntie Wang! What are you doing here?’ she asks.
‘These are some warm clothes the young master asked me to bring you,’ says Yan Wei, handing Xu Youyi the bundle of clothing through the bars. ‘So that you don’t catch cold.’
Then Yan Wei gives Xu Youyi a meaningful look. ‘Why are you looking so ill, Young Madam? Is it your gastritis again?’
After a moment, Xu Youyi gets the message. She keels over suddenly, groaning and clutching her stomach. ‘Young Madam, are you all right?’ Yan Wei asks with apparent concern.
‘What’s going on?’ asks the police officer, rushing over.
‘Young Madam is having an attack of gastritis,’ Yan Wei tells him. ‘Could you please bring us a cup of warm water?’
The police officer clicks his tongue. ‘Tsk, how annoying. Wait here!’
Yan Wei watches as he leaves. ‘He’s gone,’ she says at length.
‘Yan Wei, what are you doing here?’ asks Xu Youyi.
‘We don’t have much time,’ Yan Wei tells her. ‘We need to focus on the important points. Tell me what happened that night.’
Xu Youyi complies. ‘That night…’ she begins.
A brief timeskip later…
‘I see,’ says Yan Wei.
‘I think there must have been something going on between Chu Huizi and Chen Shuangcheng,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘He spoke to me before I went into the bathroom, and he seemed to have some improper designs on me. And the bathroom was very close to the crime scene…’
‘Hm, I’ll investigate,’ says Yan Wei.
Just then, they hear footsteps. ‘Somebody’s coming!’ says Yan Wei.
By the time the police officer reappears, mug in hand, Xu Youyi is lying on the floor again, clutching her stomach. ‘Young Madam…’ Yan Wei calls out, in apparent distress.
‘Here, the warm water,’ says the police officer, thrusting the mug at Yan Wei.
‘Thank you, thank you1’ says Yan Wei, accepting it. Reaching through the bars again, she tilts the mug to Xu Youyi’s lips. ‘Be careful, it’s hot.’
As Xu Youyi takes small sips from the mug, Yan Wei asks, ‘Are you feeling a little better?’
‘I’m feeling much better,’ says Xu Youyi, her hand wrapped around both Yan Wei’s hand and the mug. ‘Please don’t worry about me.’
‘Please be sure to take care of yourself,’ says Yan Wei. ‘I believe that the truth will out.’
The police officer looms over Yan Wei. ‘All right,’ he says. ‘Since there’s nothing more to worry about, you need to leave now!’
As Yan Wei follows the police officer out of the room, she looks back at Xu Youyi. Wait for me.
Xu Youyi gazes back at her wordlessly.
In an alley, Yan Wei sheds her disguise, pulling off the wig and wiping away the old age makeup. If I want to find out what kind of relationships Chu Huizi had, she says to herself, I’ll need to pay a visit to her home.
And so, at three o’clock in the morning, we find Yan Wei rappelling onto the balcony of Chu Huizi’s home.
She lands gracefully…
…and with a soft ‘click’, unhooks herself from the rope. Then she sees a faint light inside the room.
She quickly flattens herself against the wall. Was that a torch? she wonders. There’s someone inside?
She can hear sounds of shuffling and scraping from inside the house. They seem to be looking for something? Could it be Chen Shuangcheng, trying to get rid of the evidence?
She reaches into her toolbelt, and takes out a length of fine wire. I can’t let him take anything away!
With another click, she successfully picks the lock of the balcony door. She opens it a crack, and peers inside. I can’t see any movement…
With a ‘BANG!’ she throws the door open, and bursts in.
The room is empty. Did they get away?
As she makes her way across the room, something catches her eye, and she stops.
Lying on a chest of drawers are three photographs of Chu Huizi and Chen Shuangcheng, in rather intimate poses.
Yan Wei picks them up. These photographs are still here. Could the intruder have just been an ordinary burglar?
She takes one of the photographs with her. Just this one should be enough. I’ll leave the rest for the police…
A shadowy figure watches her from outside.
The next morning, Chen Yong rushes excitedly into Jiang Bin’s office, waving the photograph. ‘Boss! We found this in Chu Huizi’s purse while we were going through the evidence this morning!’
Jiang Bin takes the photograph. ‘Why didn’t you see this yesterday?’
‘We were so focused on the witchcraft doll and the red string yesterday,’ Chen Yong explains, looking a little embarrassed, ‘we didn’t check the compartments in the purse carefully enough.’
‘Send a team to search Chu Huizi’s home at once,’ Jiang Bin orders. ‘And bring Chen Shuangcheng in for questioning!’
‘Yes!’ says Chen Yong, rushing out of the room again.
Please view the original manhua here.
- Xu Youyi addresses Yan Wei (in her elderly servant disguise) as ‘王妈’. While ‘妈’ is the same character as the one for ‘mother’, it is used here as a term of address for an older female servant, and has therefore been rendered as ‘Auntie’.