Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
You know who the murderer is?!
Finch looked at Cesar in surprise and asked, “You know who hurt her?”
Cesar smiled slightly and said, “No, but if someone hurt Ding Xue, then that person is still here. After all, he can’t get out either, right?”
Finch was speechless, and so was Qi Zhen, Ling Bai, and Chen Jia. They were all thinking, Wow, your analysis is so helpful.
At once, everyone looked away and didn’t pay any more attention to Cesar. Only Finch glanced at Cesar quietly. He felt that Cesar seemed to really know something, but since he didn’t say it, then naturally, Finch wouldn’t ask him in front of everyone.
Anyway, Finch couldn’t beat anyone in this situation; if he encountered the ghost, he could only run for his life, and if he encountered the murderer, then he might not be able to win in a fight. Following Cesar closely was his best bet, because if Finch died, then the police officers would have to help clean his body up and it would waste the country’s resources.
Because of Cesar’s interruption, the awkward atmosphere dispersed.
Continuing like this wasn’t helping anyone, so Chen Jia stepped forward and said to her gently, “I’ll treat your wound for you.”
Ding Xue was still angry at him, but Chen Jia was very good at comforting people, and he was mature and steady, too. With coaxing as well as pestering, Chen Jia was finally able to bring Ding Xue into a room, and he went in after her after getting a first aid kit.
Because Chen Jia and Ding Xue left, everyone else also dispersed.
Qi Zhen’s expression was still dark, and he smiled sadly at Finch. “Do you suspect me?”
Finch thought, Is telling the truth or lying better? After all, I don’t dare to trust any of you. Qi Zhen mistook his hesitation and smiled bitterly. “Suspecting me is normal, but I can guarantee that I didn’t hurt Ding Xue.”
Ling Bai said truthfully, “Qi Zhen was with me the entire time, so maybe Ding Xue saw it wrong, or maybe she…” was framing them.
After all, it was all one-sided opinions, and no one had evidence.
Finch laughed awkwardly and nodded. “I believe you two.”
Finch and Cesar returned to their room again, but Finch knew that he wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. He decided not to go to bed at all, and instead paced around, saying worriedly, “What did you know before?”
Cesar glanced at Finch and said dully, “What I said.”
Finch was silent.
Cesar looked at Finch, and his gaze softened. He seemed to want to step forward, but in the end, he didn’t move and instead went to draw the curtains and look at the deep night sky. He added, as he seldom did, “Although the murderer is still here, no matter who or where they are, at least one thing’s for certain, which is that they aren’t able to kill all of us. If they did, then they wouldn’t have had to run away and play such silly tricks.”
Finch really did feel a little comforted…
Knowing that the murderer wasn’t strong enough and had weak points was reassuring…
Finch thought, But then again, is there any ghost strong enough to kill you?
Chen Jia closed the door and began to treat Ding Xue’s wound.
Ding Xue’s wound was on her arm, and it was probably inflicted by a knife. The wound was deep and she was bleeding heavily, and she bit her lip but still couldn’t help but groan.
Chen Jia looked sympathetic and said, “Hang in there.”
He began to apply medicine to the wound and wrap it up.
After a while of taking care of the wound, Ding Xue was soaked with sweat. She collapsed weakly into Chen Jia’s arms, panting heavily, her face drained of color.
Chen Jia kissed her forehead gently and said warmly, “Don’t be scared, I’ll stay here tonight, okay?”
Ding Xue’s eyes slackened. Besides the pain, she was also exhausted and sad, practically unable to keep going. After losing her mother, she was only a helpless girl.
Although she was still very angry at Chen Jia, there was no one else she could rely on now except for him. Thus, she seemed to be clutching at her last ray of hope as she grabbed Chen Jia’s sleeve tightly and said with teary eyes, “Don’t go.”
Chen Jia nodded, and his eyes were extremely gentle. He held her shoulder and said, “I won’t go.”
Ding Xue snuggled closer to Chen Jia, and after a while, she seemed to finally calm down a little. Resentfulness bubbled inside her, and she seemed to decide on something as she said to Chen Jia, “We can’t just sit here and wait to die.”
Chen Jia looked exasperated. “You still suspect Qi Zhen?”
Ding Xue gnashed her teeth and said, “Trust me, it was him!”
Chen Jia fell silent.
Ding Xue said anxiously, “It really was him, he must’ve disliked me and my mom a long time ago, and maybe he also killed Mr. Qi! We’re trapped here now, so he’ll definitely kill us all one by one, I, I… not just me, but even you won’t be able to escape him, because you know too much!”
Chen Jia said slowly, “Do you know what you’re saying?”
Ding Xue pursed her lips. “I know. I know that we’re in a lot of danger right now and that he wants to kill us. We have to make the first move! Otherwise, we’ll definitely die!”
Chen Jia said, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
Ding Xue was indeed extremely angry, resentful, and bitter, but she still hesitated for a moment at the idea of killing someone. In the end, however, she still said resolutely, “Let’s kill Qi Zhen! Without Qi Zhen, there’s only Mrs. Qi left, and she won’t be able to do much by herself.”
Chen Jia looked at her sharply and pursed his lips.
Ding Xue’s eyes darted around, but in the end, she looked Chen Jia dead in the eyes. “Will you help me or not? If you don’t help me, when I die, you’ll be next. In their eyes, you’re just an outsider! Now Uncle Qi is dead, do you think they’ll still tolerate you? Especially since we can’t go anywhere, they won’t let you go since you know these things.”
This seemed to convince Chen Jia.
When Ding Xue realized this, she struck while the iron was hot. “You and I can work together to kill them, and the Qi household will be ours…”
Chen Jia seemed to be struggling with the decision. After a while, he finally said, “Okay, I’ll do it.”
Ding Xue was overjoyed. “Then let’s go now!”
She looked around and found a pair of sharp scissors. Chen Jia took the scissors from her hand and kissed her on the lips, saying, “Let me do these types of things. You can just follow me. There’s… no turning back now.”
Ding Xue smiled charmingly. “Soon, the Qi household will be yours, and I’ll also be yours.”
Chen Jia grinned.
The two of them silently walked out of the room.
Qi Zhen’s room was at the other end of the opposite side of the corridor. This was her first time doing something like this, so Ding Xue’s palms were clammy due to her apprehension. Her worst fears came true when the door of a room opened before they could even get near Qi Zhen’s room. Mrs. Qi was leaning against the door and looking at them uncertainly. She asked, “Where are you two going?”
Ding Xue froze and couldn’t say a word.
After actually encountering something like this, Ding Xue realized that she was still very soft, but fortunately, Chen Jia was next to her… They had originally planned on killing Qi Zhen first, but Mrs. Qi was right in front of them, this damn woman that was looking at Ding Xue in disdain. She had watched Ding Xue’s mother die right in front of her, and even when Ding Rong was dead, Mrs. Qi still humiliated her. If it weren’t for her, then Ding Xue’s mother wouldn’t have died! Ding Xue’s eyes were spiteful as she glowered at Mrs. Qi. Ding Xue was set on finishing what she had started, so she said, “Kill her first!”
Mrs. Qi’s expression changed slightly and she looked at Ding Xue’s contorted expression.
Chen Jia looked back at Ding Xue and asked, “Are you sure?”
Ding Xue hadn’t noticed that something was off yet, so she urged, “Yes, kill her!”
Chen Jia looked at her, and a hint of pity suddenly emerged in his expression as he said, “Okay.” Then, he hugged Ding Xue and stabbed the scissors into her abdomen without hesitation. He used his other hand to cover her mouth so she wouldn’t be able to scream for help, and Ding Xue could only whimper softly.
Ding Xue looked at Chen Jia in disbelief.
Chen Jia let go and watched as Ding Xue flopped to the floor like he was watching a funny drollery.
Mrs. Qi walked over to him slowly, and although she was pale and weak, she was still elegant, luxurious, and beautiful, and her sickliness only made people be more affectionate to her. She leaned against Chen Jia and smiled at Ding Xue. “Little girls just like to take love too seriously.”
Chen Jia hugged Mrs. Qi and seemed to be a little injured. “Don’t you believe that I love you?”
Mrs. Qi smiled faintly. “At my age, love is no longer important. As long as you take care of me and help me do things, I’ll naturally repay you.”
Chen Jia’s eyes dimmed slightly, but he chuckled. “Originally, I didn’t want to be with her at all, it was you who wanted me to seduce her. I’m willing to do anything for you, but you won’t even say one nice thing to me.”
Blood flowed out from Ding Xue’s abdomen, and she looked at Chen Jia and Mrs. Qi in despair and agony, her eyes filled with disbelief.
Mrs. Qi looked at her in pity, but her words were extremely cold. “Clean it up, I don’t want to see her anymore.”
Chen Jia nodded and turned around to smile coldly at Ding Xue.
Ding Xue looked at him in a daze. He had once been so gentle and sweet to her… but now, he looked at her as if he was looking at a dead person.
The scissors in Chen Jia’s hand was still dripping blood as he walked towards her.
Ding Xue suddenly said, “Did you also kill Mr. Qi?”
Chen Jia shook his head. “It wasn’t me. Don’t try to stall, you better think about yourself first. Don’t worry, I’ll bury you properly.”
Ding Xue closed her eyes and looked as if she was welcoming death.
Then, just as Chen Jia got close enough to her, about to stab her again, Ding Xue’s eyes flew open and she used all of her strength to stick a leg out and trip Chen Jia. He stumbled and fell, and Ding Xue got up and ran without looking back! When she heard footsteps following her, she desperately hammered the door in front of her!
She remembered that this was Finch’s and Cesar’s room, and she didn’t dare to go to Qi Zhen’s. There was no one else she could ask for help here, so this was her last glimmer of hope.
The footsteps behind her got closer and closer, and she seemed to hear his heavy panting. Her scalp tingled, and she used all of her strength to pound on the door and shout, “Open the door! Help me! Help me!”
Just when she was about to give up hope, the door was suddenly opened.
Standing there was that unsmiling man.
Ding Xue fell over and grabbed Cesar’s trousers. “Help me… Chen Jia’s trying to kill me. Chen Jia and Mrs. Qi are together, they tried to kill me…”
Finch walked over too, and he was dumbfounded at what he saw. Finch looked nervously at Cesar.
Cesar frowned slightly, and he pulled his leg away from Ding Xue’s grasp as he said dully, “Is that so? Take me there, I want to see.”
Ding Xue originally didn’t dare to go back, but when she looked back, she found that Chen Jia hadn’t caught up, and because Cesar and Finch were there, she felt a little emboldened. She finally gritted her teeth and said, “Okay, I’ll take you two there, they’re in Mrs. Qi’s room…”
She covered the wound on her abdomen as best as she could, her forehead shining with sweat, and slowly walked there…
Then, they arrived at Mrs. Qi’s room.
Ding Xue froze in disbelief.
Chen Jia was gone, and there was only a pool of blood on the floor…
Mrs. Qi was lying on the ground, and there was a sharp dagger piercing her heart. Her eyes had been wide open when she died; she seemed to have seen something very terrifying, and her hands were clenched into fists.
Cesar looked keenly at Ding Xue. “You said that Chen Jia and Mrs. Qi were trying to kill you?”
Ding Xue’s pupils dilated and she stumbled backward. “Yes, I saw them myself! I saw them myself! He and Mrs. Qi got together a long time ago, and the only reason he got together with me was because Mrs. Qi told him to, they worked together to try to kill me!”
Finch said, “But Mrs. Qi’s dead, and Chen Jia is gone. No one can verify what you say, but we all know that Chen Jia is your boyfriend.”
Ding Xue’s eyes were red as she said, “You two don’t believe me? I was injured by Chen Jia. It was Chen Jia, it must have been him!”
Qi Zhen and Ling Bai heard the commotion and rushed over. They saw Mrs. Qi dead in her doorway as well as Ding Xue’s bleeding abdomen, and they became shocked and scared.
Qi Zhen’s first reaction was the realization that Ding Xue killed his mother, and he hugged his mother’s lifeless body as he said in agony, “It was you, I even said that I didn’t do it on purpose. If you wanted to take revenge, then come for me, why’d you have to kill her…”
Ling Bai was also sad, but he stood there silently as he didn’t know how to console his friend.
There were already three people dead now, and everyone’s hearts were heavy.
Ding Xue screamed, “It wasn’t me! Chen Jia killed her, he and your mother were in a relationship, and they tried to kill me just now. How would I know how she died? Maybe she and Chen Jia were arguing over something so he killed her, it’s not like I made her act immoral and toy with men, so what does it have to do with me?!”
Qi Zhen clenched his hands into fists, but he stopped less than a centimeter away from Ding Xue’s face. He trembled slightly, but in the end, his self-restraint didn’t let him hit an injured girl. He said hoarsely, “She’s already dead yet you still dare to frame her. I won’t forgive you.”
Ding Xue practically fell to pieces; she was telling the truth, but no one believed her, no one! She felt herself bleeding out. Maybe she would die here, in such a scary place. She didn’t want to die, she wanted to leave and look at the world outside, she didn’t want to die here…
Finch looked at Mrs. Qi’s corpse and then at the injured Ding Xue. He frowned.
Cesar stood there indifferently, and when he saw that they had stopped arguing, he raised an eyebrow. “Actually, we just need to find Chen Jia and we’ll know the truth. This villa is only so big, so finding him shouldn’t be too hard.” He looked at Qi Zhen closely. “You also want to know the truth, correct? Being rash won’t solve anything.”
Qi Zhen looked down, his eyelashes fluttering slightly, and said, “Yes.”
Ling Bai grabbed Qi Zhen’s hand and said, “I’ll go with you.”
Qi Zhen nodded.
Ding Xue was injured, but she didn’t dare to stay here by herself, so she used some of her clothes to bind her wound tightly. She gritted her teeth as she got up and looked at Cesar imploringly. “I’ll go with you two…”
Cesar was noncommittal, neither agreeing nor disagreeing.
Finch felt kind of bad, so he walked over and helped support Ding Xue, letting her lean against him. However, he suddenly felt Cesar’s gaze turn colder…
That must’ve just been an illusion, so Finch looked away.
Qi Zhen said, “I’ll search in that direction.”
Cesar said, “Okay, then we’ll go the other way. If something happens, contact us immediately.”
Finch felt that splitting up wasn’t a really good idea; although he hadn’t watched a lot of horror movies, he still knew that this way was the easiest for someone to die. But seeing as Qi Zhen and Cesar agreed on it, Finch didn’t say anything and merely followed Cesar.
He walked cautiously and tensely. A sudden thud made Finch jump. After he got over his initial fear, he realized that it was just a painting falling from the wall.
Finch sighed in relief, and when he saw that it was a painting, he was about to continue walking. However, he suddenly stopped and hesitated. The painting was one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the one that Cesar had determined to be fake.
At the time, because Cesar had inspected it for so long, Finch had also looked at it carefully. Thus, he remembered it very clearly: at the time, there were two wilted sunflowers in the vase.
But now, there were three wilted sunflowers.
Finch felt a chill run down his spine, and he really wished that he had remembered it wrong. He looked at Cesar and said, “Do you still remember how many sunflowers there were before?”
Cesar replied, “Two.”
Finch wanted to cry.
The two of them looked at the painting that was on the floor. Finch’s palms felt clammy, and Cesar’s answer chilled his bones.
Yesterday, when they had looked at this painting, there were two wilted sunflowers, and at the time, Mr. Qi and Ding Rong had been dead. Now, there were three wilted sunflowers, which seemed to indicate that Mrs. Qi was dead.
The painting might change when someone died, and when someone died, another sunflower would wilt… but this wasn’t the scariest thing. The scariest thing was…
There were eight total sunflowers in the painting.
This didn’t match up with the number of people. If they didn’t count him and Cesar, then there were seven total people in this villa. If they did count him and Cesar, then there were nine people.
But there were eight sunflowers in the painting.
If it wasn’t that they were missing a person, then that meant that there was someone else in this villa.
Someone that they hadn’t seen yet.