Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 37: Setting Up the Pieces
Xu Youyi returns to the Zhou mansion, where Zhou Heng finds her in the bedroom. ‘Youyi!’ he calls out, rushing forward. ‘I came as soon as I got your telephone call.’
Xu Youyi throws her arms around him. ‘A-Heng!’
Zhou Heng smiles, gratified.
‘I didn’t realise what kind of person she was,’ Xu Youyi tells Zhou Heng. ‘I can’t believe she was lying to me all this while. I was so good to her, I trusted her so much…’
‘I’m very shocked to hear this,’ says Zhou Heng. ‘To think that you were living with her for all this time! It must have been so dangerous for you!’
He stands up. ‘I’ll make you a cup of calming tea. You should go to sleep after drinking it.’
Xu Youyi clutches his arm. ‘Please don’t go.’
Zhou Heng sits back down and puts his arm around Xu Youyi. ‘All right then, I won’t go.’
He smirks again.
Xu Youyi, her face hidden from Zhou Heng’s gaze, looks determined.
Some time later, Zhou Heng says, ‘Youyi, there are a few things at my department I need to take care of. I’ll be gone for a little while.’ He tucks Xu Youyi into bed. ‘Why don’t you take a nap, and once I get home, I’ll cook you dinner myself.’
‘Come back soon,’ says Xu Youyi drowsily.
The minute Zhou Heng shuts the door behind him, Xu Youyi sits up and gets out of bed.
She marches down the hallway. Zhou Heng keeps all his important things in his study…
Xu Youyi rifles through Zhou Heng’s study…
…and comes across a drawer she can’t open. It’s locked.
She searches through the papers on top of Zhou Heng’s desk, but to no avail. Then she catches sight of a trophy on the top shelf of one of the bookcases. She takes down the trophy, and finds a set of keys inside it. Found it!
At this very moment, Zhou Heng is stepping back through the manor’s front door. He hands his coat to a servant, who says, ‘You’re back already, Young Master?’
Zhou Heng holds up a finger to his lips. ‘Shhh. Let’s not disturb madam. I’m just here to pick something up.’
Upstairs in Zhou Heng’s study, Xu Youyi unlocks the drawer and finds a notebook inside, which she flips through. What’s this?
Meanwhile, Zhou Heng makes his way up the stairs, his footsteps echoing through the house.
He steps into the bedroom, and finds it empty.
Looking unsettled, he backs out of the bedroom and glances sharply down the hallway. He heads for his study.
At the door of his study, he pauses for a long moment, his expression grim.
Then he opens the door and steps inside. ‘Youyi? Are you here?’
His eyes fall on the locked drawer and the trophy.
Hastily, he fishes the keys from the trophy and unlocks the drawer.
Inside is the notebook, seemingly untouched.
At that moment, Xu Youyi walks in through the door of the study. ‘A-Heng? Why are you home again so soon?’
Zhou Heng hurriedly lets go of the notebook and shuts the drawer.
‘Youyi, I thought you were asleep,’ he says, walking over to her. ‘What are you doing out of bed?’
‘Pregnant women don’t sleep very soundly,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘Since I was awake and couldn’t fall sleep again, I thought I would go through the closets. It’s getting cold, and we should take our autumn clothes out of storage.’
‘You should let the servants do it,’ says Zhou Heng.
‘But they won’t be able to do it as well as I can,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘Oh, by the way, I found some old clothes of yours. Should I get rid of them?’
Zhou Heng doesn’t say anything. He simply stares at her.
‘What is it?’ asks Xu Youyi.
Zhou Heng breaks into a smile. ‘Nothing. Thank you for everything you do.’
Some time later, Xu Youyi sits across from Jiang Bin at a cafe. ‘What did you want to speak to me about, Miss Xu?’ asks Jiang Bin.
‘Do you believe that hotel attendant’s accusations?’ Xu Youyi asks him.
Jiang Bin hesitates for a moment, then says, ‘Although I always suspected Yan Wei of being involved in Zhang Wan’s murder, I believe someone framed her for Chu Huizi’s murder.’
‘Then you should find out who bribed the attendant,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘That will tell you who was really behind the murder.’
Jiang Bin sighs. ‘Do you think I haven’t tried? Whoever instigated this hid their tracks well, and I’m under tremendous pressure from my superiors as well. Do you have any leads, Miss Xu? Is that why you came to me today?’
Xu Youyi hands him the newspaper article about Chu Huizi’s secret rendezvous with a mystery man. ‘Read this first.’
‘What is this?’ asks Jiang Bin.
Xu Youyi hands him another piece of paper. ‘Then look at this. A telephone number I found in Zhou Heng’s study.’
Jiang Bin studies it. ‘What are you trying to tell me, Miss Xu?’
‘Zhou Heng and Chu Huizi were lovers,’ Xu Youyi explains. ‘You can confirm this with President Wang from my publishing company, as well as the Jing Bao reporter who took the photograph. In addition, when Zhou Heng came by the studio to give me the divorce papers a few days ago, he left a suitcase behind. I went to return it to him, but in the process, I discovered that he was conspiring with Agent Bai. Agent Bai had previously tried to kill me by drugging me and and driving the car I was in into the lake. He was also the one who tried to shoot Xie Yifan on the bridge the other day.’
Jiang Bin stares at her in stunned silence.
‘You must be starting to connect the dots, Detective Jiang,’ Xu Youyi says. ‘And as for Chen Shuangcheng’s death, I’m sure the truth will be revealed once you track down Agent Bai and arrest him.’
‘I understand,’ says Jiang Bin. ‘Thank you, Miss Xu.’ Then he leans forward. ‘But Miss Xu — you’ve gone to such great lengths to protect Yan Wei. You even lied about sneaking her out of the police station on the day of the fire.’
Xu Youyi is silent for a moment. ‘Yes’ she says finally. ‘Since that’s why you suspect Yan Wei of being involved in Zhang Wan’s murder, I’ll tell you the truth. The reason I took her away from the police station that day, and the reason I tried to cover it up, is because she’s an orphan who doesn’t have any identity papers. I was afraid she would get into trouble. While I’ve been trying to help her regularise her status, the process is a complex one, and she still hasn’t received her identity papers yet. This has absolutely nothing to do with the murders.’
‘It’s that simple?’ asks Jiang Bin dubiously.
‘Yes,’ says Xu Youyi. She puts on a look of wide-eyed innocence. ‘If I’d known it would cause so much trouble, I would have told you everything from the beginning.’
‘Also,’ she adds, ‘just before Jiang Wan died, I heard her tell Zhou Heng, “I ran over a little girl in your car. If you disobey my wishes, then I’ll expose you.”‘
Jiang Bin is stunned once again.
Xu Youyi puts on a doubtful expression. ‘I don’t know if that brings you any closer to solving the case?’
Jiang Bin rises. ‘I will investigate this to the best of my ability.’
Please view the original manhua here.