Everyone looked at Chen Shi, so he explained, "In this case, because of the coincidence of certain surnames, everyone unconsciously associated the current parties with the ancient case together, but they ignored an important point. In society nowadays, it’s not necessary to kill the husband in order to have an affair, so this is not a motive for murder at all.”
Ximen clapped his hands together in agreement. "Look! This police officer here is reasonable. His level is a lot higher, unlike you lot! Is it wrong that my surname is Ximen? That is just because my father is surnamed Ximen!"
Chen Shi smiled. "Why don’t you all go downstairs first? I want to talk to Mr. Ximen alone.”
The police officers all left, and Ximen Sheng, as if finding a friend, invited the three into the room. This was a presidential suite, so it looked very luxurious and grand. Ximen took out a drink from the refrigerator. After sitting down, Chen Shi clarified, “Don't misunderstand, we are also investigating the case."
"I know! Investigate away. I am not afraid of the shadows and accusations since I didn’t kill him. I have never even thought about murder before. I would say this even if I had to die."
"Yes, I don't know why they won’t let us go!" Pan Xiuying echoed.
Chen Shi questioned, "How did you two come to know each other?"
"We met on WeChat!", "We met at the station." The two responded differently at the same time.
Chen Shi pointed to Ximen Sheng. "You say it first!"
Ximen Sheng started, "We started to get to know each other on WeChat. We talked for a while, and felt like we made a connection. Then, I asked for a photo of Xiuying. I fell in love with her at a glance... Finally, we came out to meet..."
“The first time we met was at the station next to the Xi Hu Park.”
"You wore a white dress that day; Beautiful like an angel descending upon Earth."
"You were wearing a suit and driving a Porsche. It looked so cool!"
The two began to recall while flirting with each other with their eyes. The three got goosebumps just from listening to them. Chen Shi interrupted them. "Okay, okay. I understand... Then you two officially began dating?"
"Yes, love was in full swing!" Ximen grinned with his eyes.
Finally, Chen Shi couldn’t stand it anymore. "I want to talk to you alone. Can I?"
"Afraid we’re organizing our testimonies? Well I have nothing to be afraid of. There is a small bar downstairs, let's talk there."
Just before he left, Chen Shi explained a few words to Lin Dongxue, and then went to the small bar in the hotel with Ximen Sheng. Ximen ordered a drink, but Chen Shi only had a cup of tea. Chen Shi asked, "Has Ms. Pan ever mentioned her family situation?”
"Yes, she’s mentioned it! In fact, the moment I saw her, I could tell that she was a woman who lacked love…”
"Okay, okay. Are you a poet? Just answer straightforwardly.”
Ximen crossed his arms. "I actually pity her quite a bit!"
"A flower was inserted in the cow dung. Her husband is trash and can’t do anything right in any aspect. Before we met, she looked gloomy and grim. However, after meeting me and my diligent nurturing, she looks alive again.”
"Hey, don't suddenly drive again, I can't stand it. Seriously though... Is it a common thing for a beautiful woman to be with an ugly man?"
"Psh!" Ximen had a look of disdain. "Do you know why the two married each other? The old turtle posed as a rich man when he was young. He took the money from selling the family house to take her travelling and filled her with endless compliments. At that time, she was young and couldn’t resist the temptation, so she began liking him. It turned out that the old turtle was a poor guy!"
"How poor is he?"
"The kind of poor that has a monthly salary of only seven or eight thousand!"
Chen Shi felt a stab as he rubbed his chest. He snivelled, "My monthly salary is about the same."
"Sorry, I am not targeting you. I meant the old turtle dishonestly posing as a rich man even though he wasn’t."
"You mentioned that she has looked better recently?"
"Yes, ever since we began dating... Women, you know they’re not going to be alright unless they’re satisfied in that area!"
"How long has it been?"
"Three months or so."
"How has she gotten better?"
"Her complexion has gotten better and her hair has gotten darker. Did you know? She used to have white hairs. Also, her figure has gotten better too. This last point I have the most right to talk about!"
Chen Shi captured a clue in his words and touched his chin for a moment. Ximen Sheng asked, "Why are you particularly concerned about this? Is your wife not satisfied?"
"I don't have a wife."
"Then you have to work hard! If a man doesn't get relief for a long time, he will get into a lot of trouble! How about I invite you to a good place after this case is finished?"
"Thank you, but no need!" Chen Shi forced a smile. "Sorry about this, but I also need to ask about the 50,000 yuan again."
"Why do you care about this too? I’ve already said…” Ximen Sheng jumped up immediately.
"Don't be mad. I’ll listen to whatever you have to say."
Ximen Sheng calmed down and recalled with his head down. "I was deceived!"
"I went to the resort with Xiuying that day. Before we met up with each other, I suddenly received a strange phone call. Listening to the voice, it seemed like it was Xiuying’s. She cried saying that she was involved in a car accident with someone. The other party asked for 50,000 yuan via card. I put the money on the card and didn't think too much about it. When Xiuying and I met up, she told me that she hadn’t driven that day. That’s when I realized that I was cheated!"
"How were you able to get scammed?"
"When I listened to the voice, it sounded exactly the same. I was so concerned that I didn’t think too much about it at the time. It’s so hard to prevent scammers nowadays.”
"Can I ask you another private question?"
"Do you guys use protection when you guys do it?"
"Preventative measures are definitely not a problem! After I had my second child, I went to the hospital for a vasectomy operation. There is no chance that there’s going to be a problem!"
"Okay, thank you for your cooperation!"
Ximen Sheng stood up and held out a hand. "It’s a lot more pleasant to talk to a police officer like you. You’re unlike those people that ask endlessly. What should I call you? Let’s have a meal together one day.”
It’s a common thing for people to try and get on good terms with the police. Chen Shi smiled. "Sorry, we have regulations around this, sorry to reject your good intentions."
"I hope you break the case soon."
After coming out to meet Lin Dongxue and Xu Xiaodong, Chen Shi asked, "What did she say?"
"She said that she was deceived by Wu Dalang in the beginning. Wu Dalang pretended to have a lot of money at home and married her. They began arguing every day. Wu Dalang operates a shop online. Business was able to get them through life but they weren’t wealthy... Also, she mentioned that the Wu brothers have a good relationship with each other."
"Fraudulent marriage is exactly the same as what ‘Ximen Qing’ testified to.”
Lin Dongxue smiled. "You lectured others, but didn’t you also just call him 'Ximen Qing' as well? Where should we go next?"
"Is Wu Dalang's house sealed?"
"It’s not a murder scene, so it’s not sealed. But if you want to go in, you must ask Wu Hao...” Lin Dongxue made a face. “I feel that the informant is a bit crazy. I don’t want to see him again.”
"He may have intermittent explosive disorder, so he’s unable to control his temper..." Chen Shi fell to a silence.
1. Wu Dalang is the brother who was killed in the Jin Pingmei story. Jin Pingmei is framed as a spin-off from Water Margin. The opening chapter is based on an episode in which "Tiger Slayer" Wu Song (the younger brother) avenges the murder of his older brother by brutally killing his brother's former wife and murderer, Pan Jinlian.