Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 73 11


Chapter 73: Giving Up Love for the Rest of Life Part 1

Amid the haziness, Bai Jin Xi feels that person’s hand on her neck loosen suddenly.  Her body loses support and falls to the ground in an instant.  Like a patient with asthma, she gasps for air.

It’s still and quiet behind her again.

Her throat is burning.  It hurts so much that she can’t feel anything.  Her consciousness is still a bit blurry.  Jin Xi struggles to get up immediately and turns around.  With her body swaying, all she sees is the empty basement and the staircase.  Not a glimpse of that person can be found.

She holds her neck with one hand and stumbles her way up the stairs to leave the place.  The sky is already very dark.  There’s nobody in the house either.  At a distance, she can see a group of investigators exploring the backyard area.  The moment she steps into the yard, the bright white searchlight on top of a police car stings her eyes.  She raises her arm to block her eyes and limps towards Han Chen.

_____

Han Chen has just finished a phone call from the bureau chief.  After hanging up, he recalls the image of Bai Jin Xi squatting in the basement and immersing in her own thoughts just now.  He can’t help showing a slight smile.

He looks up and sees that the others are digging into the soil in the yard.  They’ve already found some dead cats and dogs.  They all have different degrees of bone fractures and wounds.  It’s possible that Shao Lun was using them as practice tools.

He turns his head subconsciously and is stunned in an instant.

Bai Jin Xi is walking over to him.  The light illuminates her face.  It’s pale and almost lifeless.  Her neck is covered in bruises and finger marks.

Han Chen dashes over to her.  But someone in front of him is even quicker.  Xu Si Bai in his white lab coat drops his pen and notebook and reaches out his arms to support her.  He cries out, “Jin Xi, what happened?”

Everyone looks towards them in shock.  Jin Xi looks at Xu Si Bai’s frightened and painful expression and shakes her head slightly, “I’m fine.  Just now……” her voice is extremely raspy.

In the next second, a strong pair of arms removes her from Xu Si Bai’s embrace.  She lifts her eyes and catches Xu Si Bai frozen in his expression.  She also sees Han Chen’s eyes.  His eyes are dark and cold as they stare at her willfully.  His arms are wrapped tightly around her.  He then lifts her up horizontally off the ground.

“What happened?” his voice is cold like ice.

Tears flow from Jin Xi’s eyes immediately.  She reaches out her arms and hugs him.

A lot of people come to them and are all in shock.  Xiao Zhuan says full of anxiousness, “Xiao Bai!  Xiao Bai!  What happened?  What happened to your neck?”  Xu Nan Bai also comes over and says in shock, “Junior (female) Classmate?  Are you alright?”  Qin Wen Long shouts his orders, “Close off the area immediately!  Xiao Bai, did Shao Lun come back and attack you?”

Jin Xi glances at Han Chen and then sweeps her gaze across the faces around her.

Qin Wen Long, Xu Si Bai, Cold Face, Chatterbox, Xiao Zhuan, Xu Nan Bai, Xiao Yao, three other investigators, and two forensic officers.  These are all the people present.

“Just now……” she says with her cracking voice and then asks slowly, “who entered the house?  Who came out of the house?”

Everyone is stunned.

Everyone who’s present is an elite criminal investigator.  Who doesn’t know what she means?  This house has already been sealed off by the police and there are many officers patrolling the area.  The possibility of an outsider being able to enter the place is too low!

No one says anything.

Xiao Zhuan murmurs, “Xiao Bai, everyone has been coming and going.  We’ve all been inside before.  But……we’re all our own people.”

Jin Xi pants softly without a word while grabbing onto Han Chen’s shirt.  Han Chen also has his head down and looking at her.  After a brief moment, he says, “Xiao Zhuan.”

Zhou Xiao Zhuan responds, “Here!”

“Take good care of her,” he hands Jin Xi over to Xiao Zhuan.  Xiao Zhuan takes over carrying her carefully.  Jin Xi waves her hand, “Put me down.  I’m fine.”  She then sees Han Chen making eye contact with Cold Face.  They lean against the side of the farmhouse, one on the left and one on the right, and then run inside.

Everyone else becomes nervous.  Qin Wen Long keeps an eye on his phone while ordering his troops to set up blockades on all potential exit routes.  Xu Nan Bai and one of the investigators squat in front of Jin Xi and ask her to describe the features and characteristics of the person.  Chatterbox calls the ambulance……

_____

Han Chen and Cold Face enter the house, look around and notice nothing out of the ordinary.  They walk down to the basement.  It’s still empty without a single trace of footsteps left behind.

“The attack most likely happened here,” Cold Face says, “If it happened on the main floor, we would have noticed.”

Han Chen doesn’t comment.

He pictures in his mind of Jin Xi squatting by herself deep in her thoughts but is attacked by someone from behind strangling her neck while she struggles to break free.

He feels a swamp of cold air entering his heart.

They go back upstairs and examine the place in detail.

“Leader, right here,” Cold Face says standing inside a small storage room beside the bedroom, pointing to a narrow window.  The window is open.

“When we arrived, all the windows were closed,” Han Chen says calmly.

They look out from the window and see an area of grass, farmland, and woods.  There’s no sign of the person.  But on the soil below the window, there is a footprint.

They look at each other and then hop down from the window one after the other.  Han Chen continues walking following the footsteps.  But after four to five meters, he reaches the end of the grass field and the footsteps also disappear.  Cold Face, on the other hand, is lying on the ground examining the footprint.  He says, “Male.  He’s wearing a shoe cover so the pattern of his shoes cannot be identified.  He’s about 170-180cm and weighs about 70-75kg.  Based on the stride, he should be a young and fit lad.  There’s not much else we can infer.”  He pauses, looks up at Han Chen and says in a low voice, “The majority of the people in the backyard fits these criteria.”

Han Chen keeps quiet for a moment before responding, “Let’s go.”

_____

Jin Xi is sitting in the passenger seat of a police car.  Xiao Zhuan is accompanying her at the side of the car while Xu Si Bai is squatting in front of her.  The ambulance isn’t here yet, so he’s performing a simple check-up on her.

Xu Si Bai takes his gloves off.  His slightly cold hands touch the bruises around her neck in the most careful possible way.  Xiao Zhuan on the side feels awful seeing Xu Si Bai, who always looks peaceful, actually showing such an aching expression.  And when he looks at the bruises on Jin Xi, he feels even more awful.  He stands there quietly and doesn’t say a word.

Jin Xi leans against the chair and lets Xu Si Bai carry out his check-up, but she’s still rather terrified.

Who was it?

Who snuck in and attacked her?  The person clearly wanted to kill her but why did he give up in the end?

When her consciousness became hazy, what happened then?

Situ Yi?  Shao Lun?

……

I was one of the serial killers from five years ago.

I’ve already done some investigating and found that there were 64 victims and more than one killer.

……

Or could he be related to the case in the past?

Jin Xi feels chills in her heart and her hands turn into fists.

“Honey (wifey).”  A voice says in her head suddenly.

It’s Han Chen’s voice.  It sounds as if it’s echoing from deep inside her mind.

She feels her head hurting severely, so she holds her forehead with her hand immediately.

“Honey (wifey),” the voice says again.

“What’s wrong, Jin Xi?” Xu Si Bai notices something wrong.  He grabs her hand.  Jin Xi pulls her hand away almost instantly out of reflex.  She continues frowning while holding her head.  Xu Si Bai’s hand is frozen in midair.

There’s a certain extremely familiar yet frightening feeling encompassing her whole body again.  Darkness, burning sensation, repressive, and chaos……that is the feeling of suffocating just like when she was being strangled in the neck by someone.  It’s the exact same strong feeling of suffocating.

Blazing fire, smoke, sounds of explosion……many scattered pieces of imagery flashes across her mind.  They’re all very blurry, but they’re all very painful.

“Honey (wifey),” she hears Han Chen’s voice say.  It’s raspy and it sounds mournful.

Tears begin to flow from her eyes suddenly.  She closes her eyes wanting to see the images clearer, but everything in her mind is a blur.  She can’t remember any of them.

She opens her eyes again and sees both Xu Si Bai and Xiao Zhuan looking at her with full of concern.

And Xu Si Bai’s dark and calm eyes actually look a bit watery.  He doesn’t say anything, but she knows that he must be so worried and sad that he can’t find words in his mouth.

She recalls how he embraced her just now but was pulled away by Han Chen in front of everybody.  She recalls him wanting to hold her hands just now but was rejected by her.  Jin Xi’s heart starts to ache from tenderness.  She pats the back of his hand lightly, “I’m fine.  Just now……Han Chen was just too anxious.  Please don’t mind.”

He keeps quiet for a second and then answers softly, “I understand he was anxious.  Because I was too.”

Jin Xi doesn’t respond back.  Zhou Xiao Zhuan also doesn’t say a word.

“You should stop talking,” he advises her softly, “In the next few days, you can only eat mild flavor liquid food.  Once you’re in the hospital, tell the doctor to give you some medicine to decrease the swollen area.  Got it?”

Jin Xi nods.

She sees Han Chen and Cold Face walking out of the house.  He takes his gloves off and is walking quickly towards her with a straight back.

Qin Wen Long goes over and pats his shoulder, “This area is rather remote, so the ambulance hasn’t arrived yet.  Take Jin Xi to the hospital first.  We’re about done here, so I’ll take care of this for you.”

“Mm,” his eyes are still staring at Bai Jin Xi.

Jin Xi is also looking at him.

Han Chen walks to the side of the car.  Xu Si Bai stands up.  The two men exchange glances.  Xu Si Bai doesn’t say anything.  He walks back to the surveying area in the backyard without turning his head.

Jin Xi watches Han Chen bend over to help her put on her seatbelt, close the door and sit in the driver’s seat.

“How are you now?  Is it better?” he turns his head to look at her.  His dark brown eyes don’t show any expression.

Jin Xi nods, “A lot better.”

He starts the car and zooms out of the farmhouse.


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