When I suggested that Bingxin should participate in Murder Reenactment, Xiaotao opposed it immediately.
“It’s already risky enough letting her join us in the investigation,” she said. “And now you’re suggesting her to do such a dangerous thing? If Sun Tiger finds out, he won’t do anything to you, but I’ll be in deep trouble!”
“Why do you need to mention my dad all the time?” Bingxin argued. “I want to contribute to the investigation and help catch the murderer. Besides, Song Yang-gege will always protect me, right?”
“Contribute?” Xiaotao raised an eyebrow. “So you really insist on being part of the investigative team now, huh?”
Bingxin pursed her lips and replied, “If Song Yang-gege can be a consultant to the police, why can’t I be one too? I’m a medical student who specializes in forensic pathology! I have the qualifications!”
“Oh, please,” Xiaotao sighed. “If it wasn’t for your father, I would’ve asked you to leave a long time ago.”
The two stared each other down with their arms akimbo. I tried to defuse the situation by saying, “Let Bingxin do it this time, Xiaotao. Don’t worry, the dose isn’t high and the four of us will be with her at all times to protect her, so she’ll be fine. If there’s the slightest sign that something’s wrong, I’ll wake her up immediately.”
“Is there really no other way?” asked Xiaotao with a frown.
“Not if we want to catch Qu Tingting tonight,” I said.
Xiaotao heaved a long sigh.
“Let’s be very careful, then,” she finally relented.
“Awesome!” cried Bingxin as she clapped her hands in excitement. “What should we do first?”
I took Qu Tingting’s nurse uniform which was hanging on the wall and gave it to Bingxin. She changed into it, then put on the nurse’s cap too. Although her figure wasn’t as good as Xiaotao’s, her temperament suited the nurse uniform much more. With the outfit on, she transformed convincingly into a kind and gentle nurse.
“Do I look like a nurse?” Bingxin asked.
“To a T!” cried Dali, pretending to wipe away his nosebleed. “If you were a real nurse, I’d break my own leg just to get admitted into the hospital!”
“Oh, stop it!” Bingxin responded with a smile.
“The princess has transformed into a nurse!” Xiaotao teased her. “What a sight!”
Bingxin was about to launch her counterattack, but I felt the need to stop them before they got embroiled in another fight.
“Let’s hurry up!” I said. “We’ve got no time to waste!”
I smeared the Dream Elixir on a wooden mask and told Bingxin to put it on.
“Nothing’s happening, Song Yang-gege!” she said after putting on the mask. “Does anyone else smell a strange fragrance? It’s…” She stopped mid-sentence and was now standing still like a puppet.
I slowly said to her, “You are Qu Tingting. Remember that, you are Qu Tingting…”
After repeating it several times, Bingxin suddenly spoke again.
“I am Qu Tingting,” she said in a voice that sent shivers down my spine. “I am Qu Tingting and I love Dr. Cheng, but he never wants to look at me. He is always surrounded by beautiful women, and I want to take him away from them. I will kill every woman that comes near him!”
The last sentence was spoken in a tone so serious that it disturbed us very much. Even Wang Yuanchao subconsciously reached out to his gun because of it.
Bingxin then began to walk around the room as if sleepwalking. She first made a gesture as if she was organizing some objects, but these objects were non-existent. It was like she was miming. It seemed that she had fully entered the role and was repeating what Qu Tingting did in her daily life.
Dali watched her closely and whispered, “Can she see us?”
“No,” I answered. “She’s now Qu Tingting.”
“But how can she become Qu Tingting?” he asked. “This is too mysterious! How does this potion work?”
“I don’t know,” I replied, shaking my head.
The Song family’s secret techniques had been passed down through generations like a doctrine. What could be used to solve murders, whether it be scientific or not, was all recorded and accumulated in the book The Chronicles of Grand Magistrates. Murder Reenactment was derived from the witchcraft of the ancient Chu Kingdom. It was the most mysterious technique and was most effective for murderers who experienced emotional fluctuations. Still, no clear theoretical explanations about its scientific basis was given anywhere in the book.
After a few minutes of arranging invisible objects, Bingxin sat at the desk and started writing a letter. It was exactly the same letter we found earlier— even the handwriting was exactly the same. Halfway through, she stopped and tore the letter into pieces and was about to throw it away, when she stopped and pulled the drawer open instead and took out a lighter. She burnt the letter in the ashtray.
How did Bingxin know that there was a lighter in that drawer? It was very surprising indeed, but it was nothing compared to what happened next.
Bingxin suddenly stood up and went out. Everyone followed her closely. She ended up leaving the hospital. I asked Wang Yuanchao to drive. In case Bingxin was about to take a taxi, we had to have a car that cooperated with her.
Wang Yuanchao drove slowly behind Bingxin, who skipped along the road like an innocent girl, even stopping to pick a flower on the way. There was no flower on the plant that she picked, of course, as it had already been plucked by Qu Tingting earlier that day. I also noted that those who studied pharmacology often were knowledgeable in botany as well.
Bingxin pinned the flowerless plant on the nurse’s uniform and walked on. We followed her closely behind. After walking about half a mile, she stood at the side of the road and tried to hail a cab. Yuanchao immediately stopped, then Bingxin opened the car door and sat in the passenger seat. She told Yuanchao, “Liuzhou Road.”
Xiaotao, Dali, and I squeezed into the back seat in a hurry. Bingxin said nothing along the way; she just hummed a song to herself. It seemed that my first impression of Qu Tingting was wrong. She was actually a cheerful and happy girl.
“What’s wrong with my face?” Bingxin suddenly said, breaking the silence in the car.
We were all taken aback. It seemed that she was talking to the driver.
“I was born with this birthmark,” Bingxin continued to say. “Some people say that this birthmark means I had a fatal injury in my past life. I probably died horribly then!”
She giggled. But then her tone darkened as she continued, “Maybe my parents thought I was too ugly when they left me at the door of the orphanage. I’ve never seen them before in my life. I don’t even know what they look like.”
“No, don’t feel sorry for me!” she added. “Let me tell you a secret. I am in love with a man. He’s very handsome and charming. Everyone laughs at me, but he treats me kindly and smiles at me. As long as I can see him every day, I’m a happy girl!”
She giggled again.
“Poor girl…” sighed Xiaotao.
The car arrived at the destination. Bingxin paid the driver and got out of the car. The rest of us immediately followed her. We were at an old neighborhood. She entered a building and went to the basement. Then she stopped in front of a door and reached into her pocket. I realized that this was Qu Tingting’s temporary residence. I quickly got hair clips from Xiaotao and picked the door open for Bingxin.
Bingxin made a gesture of unlocking the door with a key, then pushed the door open. The smell of chemicals permeated the room, almost making us cough. But what was even more disturbing than the smell was the sight!
It was a small room with a desk in the center. Bottles and jars littered the desk. The walls were covered with photos and newspaper clippings. The photos were all of Cheng Yahui, taken from the side or the back. Qu Tingting probably secretly took them with her phone. The newspaper clippings were about Cheng Yahui as well—they were all about the awards that he received and the public welfare activities that he participated in.
A doctor’s white coat hung on the wall. Below it, there were objects like ballpoint pens, facial tissues, plastic buttons, hair and nail clippings in jars. These were probably from Cheng Yahui as well.
There was no furniture except for the desk and the bed. Cheng Yahui had never been here, but he occupied the whole room. He was everything to Qu Tingting. I thought that even the most rabid fans of celebrities wouldn’t do this kind of thing!Previous Chapter Next Chapter