Xiaotao and I walked into the interrogation room. I had to admit, seeing such a big star up close did excite me a little. However, with so many people watching outside, I managed to keep my expression solemn.
Yi Xi spoke with a slight accent, "Ms. Huang, the coffee here tastes horrible. Don't you police have better coffee? Even a suspect has his rights."
Xiaotao pulled out the chair and calmly sat down. "Mr. Yi, the coffee you drink is what we drink. If you don’t believe me, you can check the pantry."
"When can I leave?” Yi Xi pushed the cup aside and leaned into his chair. “You’ve wasted my whole day and cost me a loss of at least three million. Who’s going to compensate me for that?"
Seeing the bastard put on airs the moment we entered the room fueled my impulse to pound the table and vociferate for him to behave. But I could tell the lawyer sitting next to him was another tough nut to crack so I refrained.
"Let's talk about the case first!" said Xiaotao, crossing her arms.
Yi Xi winked at his lawyer who soon cleared his throat and retorted, "You’ve asked your questions. What else is there left to say? Mr. Yi is a very busy man. Please make this quick so we don't waste each other's time."
"Since Mr. Yi is so busy, why don't we call a car for you?” sneered Xiaotao. “How can such a trivial matter like a murder compare with your schedule, am I right?"
The lawyer took a moment to respond. "No, we have a car." Then he glared sullenly at Xiaotao, "Ms. Huang, please watch the way you speak. Is this the attitude an officer of the law should have?!"
"Then why don’t you tell me what attitude should an officer have?" retaliated Xiaotao.
This sort of wrangling wouldn’t get us anywhere and I was at the end of my patience. "Let's cut to the chase,” I scoffed, violently pounding the table. “Suspect Yi, did you know the dead victim we found in the car?"
Hearing my address, Yi Xi was displeased, his lawyer replying on his behalf. "We have already discussed the matter. My client claims that he doesn’t know the deceased at all."
"The judicial process is based on evidence,” Xiaotao chuckled coldly. “Based on our investigation, only two people have the keys to your Rolls Royce. One of them is your agent and the other is you. At the time of the incident, your agent was in the middle of a talk with a director about a script and you weren’t there, so you were the only one with access to the trunk. Additionally, we found your fingerprints all over the trunk and the hotel housekeeping stated that you were alone in your room at about noon yesterday when you were visited by a stranger who never left. How do you explain this?"
Yi Xi immediately furrowed his brows, but his lawyer answered impassively, "That is only one side of the story, which is what the hotel staff claims. A lower-class person would make up anything to involve themselves with a big star like Yi Xi."
Yi Xi’s sunglasses made it inconvenient for me to judge his expression while his lawyer kept a constant poker face, rendering Cave Vision useless.
"Do you mean to say that because of her humble status, what she reported to the police isn’t credible?” I accused. “And you’re rich so every word you say must be true, am I right? But as far as I know, the entertainment circle is teeming with lies and deceit!"
"Sir, please keep to your questions,” the lawyer’s eyebrows screwed up slightly. “Don't make any personal attacks on my client."
In fact, my goal was to provoke them but they were completely indifferent to my efforts.
"You have no evidence to support the housekeeping staff's testimony,” added the lawyer. “You have to at least show us the hotel's monitoring videos."
The investigation report did mention that the hotel's surveillance hadn’t captured anything, a fact which the lawyer fully grasped. Xiaotao bit her lower lip, frustrated at the helplessness of the situation. However, I was suddenly struck with a thought–how did the lawyer know about this?
"How do you know there was no monitoring?" I asked.
"We have no obligation to answer this,” the lawyer calmly replied.
But Yi Xi clutched his pants nervously, his reaction implying there was more to this than meets the eye.
By this point, this particular line of questioning had reached a dead end. I began from a different angle and asked, "Who was the man who drowned in the car last night?"
Yi Xi straightened up and whispered to his lawyer. Xiaotao was about to slam the table to obstruct their private conversation but I shook my head at her. Their little tricks didn’t bother me at all because I was recording everything with my cell phone under the table. Discerning their exact words would be easy through technical means.
"The drowned man was just an ordinary friend of Mr. Yi’s,” explained the lawyer. “The two went out for a relaxing drive last night but ended up being chased by a group of reporters. His death is entirely their responsibility."
"With a dead body in your car, isn’t it more appropriate to deduce that you went out to get rid of the corpse rather than just a casual drive?" I quipped.
"Please don't word your questions in such a way that misleads my client!" retorted the lawyer.
"So you mean to say that two people went out for a drive with a dead body in the car but your client is completely unaware of where it came from?"
"Yes, it must be the work of someone who intends to frame my client," came the lawyer’s brazen reply.
"What is the name of a drowned man?” interrupted Xiaotao, rapping her knuckles harshly against the table. “He should at least have a name, right?"
"This has nothing to do with this case," replied the lawyer.
"Do you think it makes any sense to hide his identity?” mocked Xiaotao. “The police will find out eventually."
The two men spoke to each other in hushed whispers for some time before the lawyer said, "The man's name is Wu Xiucai. He’s an agent, but he doesn’t have a cooperative relationship with Mr. Yi."
"How did you know him?" asked Xiaotao.
"I've already said that he’s just an ordinary friend,” the lawyer remarked. “In this line of work, it’s normal for my client to come into contact with people from all walks of life."
"We found a..." Xiaotao began, but I immediately interjected, "We didn't find his cell phone on him. Who was he in contact with before his death?"
I casually asked the question, to which the lawyer elaborated on. Xiaotao threw me a puzzled look. I was well aware she wanted to ask about the document but I thought it better to keep this trump card to ourselves for the moment.
My intuition told me that there were certain secrets behind the man’s strict defenses! We had to uncover them before we could pry Yi Xi's mouth open.
After several more questions, the lawyer relied on his gift of the gab to wash Yi Xi clean of the accusations against him. This was my first experience with a lawyer so unscrupulous he could talk his way out of anything, including his client's crimes. The interrogation was a waste of time so I looked at Xiaotao meaningfully.
"Let him go?" she whispered in my ear.
I nodded, "If you don't, the fans might burn down the station!"
"Thank you both for your cooperation,” sighed Xiaotao. “I’ll take you to apply for bail pending trial. Please do not leave Nanjiang City during the investigation."
"We will try our best to cooperate," said the lawyer.
"Not try, you have to!" Xiaotao smiled sarcastically.
Once we were out of the interrogation room, Yi Xi swaggered past the officers haughtily as an eager Dali looked on. I cast a warning look at Dali for fear he would embarrass the police by asking for an autograph.
As soon as Yi Xi walked out of the bureau’s doors, the fans outside gave a loud cheer. They were well behaved and acted prudently, having ceased the rambunctious protests and the self-willed crowding. His fans stepped aside as if their actions had long been organized, opening a path for their idol as they shouted in unison, "Yi Xi, don’t worry! We're with you!"
Yi Xi blew a kiss at his fans, a move that had one of the girls passing out happily on the spot. By the time the reporters came around, a car had already taken him away. Dali watched the scene, his eyes filled with admiration and longing, "What a show-off! Dude, why don't you take the idol route as well?"
I disdainfully said, "I’m proud to go by my strengths!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter