Kaowei said in surprise, "How can you be sure?"
"This is just reasoning." The bandaged man said calmly, "Last night, Ms. Zhang called the office. Who answered the call is unknown, but we can reason like this: The murderer must have been among those who obtained the information. They killed Ms. Zhang to keep her from talking. From the result of this behavior, they were preventing Wang Xi from being found by the underworld. What would happen if Wang Xi was found? After betraying his twelve eldest brothers, he would definitely be dealt with severely. The truth is that he probably won’t be able to come out after going in. The murderer doesn’t want Wang Xi to be caught, indicating that Wang Xi has something they can use against them, and Wang Xi getting caught would affect them. The status of the murderer may be fairly high because the higher the status, the easier it is to get information. Another thing is that a high-status person may have things that could be used against them."
Kaowei thought about what he said. "If the murderer is really high in status, they could have just told that group not to come in the morning."
"It’s probably not that simple. The underworld is a group structured by authority and the morals of the underworld. Why has the reward for Wang Xi existed the whole time? The eldest brother who was betrayed by him is now either in jail or has been shot in execution. The main body of revenge no longer exists. This reward is actually to redeem the dignity of the gang, to show everyone that traitors won’t end well. That’s why the murderer can’t call off the action, even if the murderer had a fairly high status... By the way, when did Wang Xi disappear?"
"Six years ago."
"Six years ago?"
"Yeah, even I find it unbelievable. After he disappeared, I lived like this day by day, year after year. When I look back, it had already been six years, but it is as though it happened yesterday." Kaowei let out a pained sigh.
"Were there any suspicious points before or after his disappearance? Or perhaps he said implicit words to you? Please try to remember."
Kaowei lowered her head and didn’t say anything. She thought for a long time before saying, "On the day of his disappearance, I asked the hospital security to let me take a look at the security footage. As a result, I saw two people clad in black walk into the ward the day before the disappearance. However, they didn’t take Wang Xi away because after they left, the surveillance footage captured Wang Xi slipping down the stairs to smoke."
"Are you sure it was him just from the security footage? Plus, he had severe burns. He should..." The bandaged man pointed to himself, "be wrapped up the same as I am now?"
"I'm pretty sure it’s him. I know all of his little movements. I heard a person coughing in the street the year before last. The sound was exactly the same as his coughing. I immediately chased after him, looking in the crowd like a crazy person, but I couldn’t find him in the end. I cried for a long time under a closed bookstore."
Soon after Wang Xi's disappearance, Kaowei couldn't sleep at night and held his clothes to sleep. Thinking of these things, tears welled up in her eyes again.
The bandaged man stretched out a hand and patted her shoulder lightly. "I understand this mood. The feeling of losing an important person is like a piece of the heart has been taken away."
Kaowei nodded while desperately holding back her tears. These words resonated with the feelings in her heart.
Returning to the case, the bandaged man continued to ask, "How long did the two men in black stay in his ward?"
"About three or four hours."
"Late at night?"
"Yes, when it’s very late, visitors aren’t allowed in. I don't know how they snuck in."
"Are there other points?"
"I received a call from him on the third day he disappeared. I was going crazy at the time. I kept asking where he was. The other side didn’t say a word then hung up on me. I dialed this number again but couldn’t get through."
The bandaged man pondered with his eyes cast on the distant road, where several wild dogs were fighting for a bone.
He said, "I think that Wang Xi's disappearance isn’t simply due to him being targeted. He made a deal with someone."
"Is it the murderer who killed Ms. Zhang?"
"Perhaps. This may involve the internal struggles within the underworld’s organized crime-syndicates. It’s impossible for us to know the specific details. Did Wang Xi leave behind any mementos?"
"What mementos?! He isn’t dead yet!" Kaowei snapped.
"Okay, I apologize, I meant to ask if anything was left behind."
"Sorry, I overreacted. He didn't leave anything behind except a few pieces of jewellery, but those pieces of jewellery have already been pawned by me. I originally planned to save them for a lifetime."
"Can they be redeemed?"
"I don’t have the money."
"This isn’t a problem. I’ll pay for them."
Kaowei shook her head. "There won’t be any clues in them. It’s ordinary gold jewellery. I’m a tacky person and I like gold jewellery. He’d give it to me every year on my birthday."
The bandaged man took out a card. "Withdraw money from here. Take all of it out. This is my last bit of savings."
Kaowei hesitated to take it. "What would you do if you ran out of money?"
"I’ll earn it again. I want to find an ordinary job and live simply. I’ll stay away from... far away from my previous life."
"What the hell do people live for?"
The bandaged man seemed to be smiling. "In order to find the answer to this question... Let's go home!"
After saying so much, Kaowei felt much more relaxed. On the way back, the night breeze was very refreshing.
When they walked near Goupi Alley, the bandaged man saw a van parked at the entrance. He suddenly hid behind the telephone pole. "We won't go together. You go home first."
"How about you?"
"I’ll be back later."
Passing by the van, Kaowei took a look inside. The car was empty.
When she got home, she had just boiled the water to take a bath when suddenly, someone knocked on the door heavily. Based on the sound, she knew that it wasn’t the bandaged man.
She opened the door timidly and saw the "Impressionist" standing in the doorway with a gloomy expression on his body. A few subordinates were behind him, and the "Impressionist" walked in arrogantly, sitting at the table while smoking a cigarette. He said, "I'm so stupid. I actually forgot that you used to be Wang Xi's girl. Someone called and said that he was in this alley. Except for your place, I couldn't think of where he would hide. Search!"
The subordinates went upstairs, then came down to report, "No one lives there."
The "Impressionist" sneered and glanced at Kaowei. "Where have you been when it’s so late?"
"I was on the night shift."
The "Impressionist" threw a cup that was on the table to the ground and slammed on the table. "Be honest!"
That was Kaowei’s favorite cup. Kaowei was also angry. She roared, "If you’re going to ask questions, then just ask questions. Do you have to scare people? I haven't seen Wang Xi, and I don't know what you’re talking about!"
"You’re lying! Otherwise, why are you shaking?!" The "Impressionist" roared.
"You slammed on the table and threw things. Can I not be afraid? I tremble when I’m afraid." Kaowei retorted.
The "Impressionist" laughed, then suddenly stood up and slapped Kaowei to the ground. Kaowei covered her face. The smell of blood permeated her mouth and her cheeks swelled up like steamed buns.
She could also choose to tell them the truth, but that was useless. They would insist that the bandaged man was Wang Xi.
What these people wanted wasn’t the truth. They just wanted the ‘truth’ they believed in.