Chapter 62.2- Only Xu Xu’s mind was severely shaken, and her inner being was in turmoil.
Within the cave, the silhouette seemed to glint. Ji Bai growled: “Watch out!” Barely had he spoken, when two ‘bangs’ pierced the air, and the person inside seemed to laugh.
“It’s a tranquilizer gun!” Da Hu broke out in a cold sweat, thankful that no one had been injured.
There was a sudden ‘clatter’ as Tan Liang threw an object onto the ground, then walked slowly towards the cave mouth.
Everyone raised their guns and waited expectantly. Ji Bai aimed his gun with fixed concentration at the centre of Tan Liang’s forehead. The slightest movement out of the ordinary, and he would shoot to kill.
He slowly walked into the light. His ranger uniform was disordered, but his expression was calm and peaceful. The bright light played on his face, bathing it in a peculiar and horrifying cast. His beautiful eyes were black and luminous.
“Put your hands on your head and lie down on the ground!” Da Hu shouted.
A hint of a smile suddenly flashed across Tan Liang’s face.
Ji Bai started, but it was already too late. A trace of blood had trickled out of the corner of Tan Liang’s mouth, the sign of potassium cyanide poisoning, and the laughter deepened in his eyes.
“This world is not fair.” He said weakly. “I really didn’t live this life in vain.”
Everyone watched as he fell to the ground, face up.
Light illuminated the forest the cave was in, flooding the area so it seemed as bright as day. A continuous stream of police officers emerged from the cave, carrying bags of evidence as they reported to Ji Bai:
“We’ve found the rest of the potassium cyanide and aphrodisiac.”
“There are strands of women’s hair in the cave, we’ve collected all of them.”
“We found the city car rental receipt in the waste heap – he used a pseudonym and a fake identification.”
“There are some women’s clothes in the cupboard, together with Johnson’s body wash, razors and other items.”
Ji Bai stood with his hands behind his back at the mouth of the cave, silent and unmoving. As people walked back and forth continuously, the atmosphere was strained and tense. Only Tan Liang’s body lay unmoving on the earth, covered with a white cloth.
The news was transmitted very quickly to the foot of the mountain, and the entire area was boiling over with activity. More and more police officers from other areas flocked to the cave, while the media personnel who had been stationed at the farmhouse also rushed there. They were stopped by the police at the periphery, but their continual flashes lit up the area until it was as bright as day.
Xu Xu was sitting in a police car, waiting. When she received definite news, she got out, threaded her way through the crowd, and made her way towards Yao Meng.
Yao Meng had already gotten up and was sitting at the rear of the ambulance. A blanket was around her shoulders, and a cup of hot tea was in her hands. She was calm, but her eyes were still red, and her gaze still vacant.
Xu Xu walked in front of her, and said softly: “Tan Liang is dead.”
Yao Meng’s shoulders shook slightly. She nodded, and a wry, cold smile lingered at the corners of her mouth.
Xu Xu wanted to say something, but could not think of anything to say which would lessen the trauma she had suffered. Looking at her slight shoulders, tears sprang to Xu Xu’s eyes again, and in the end she remained silent.
At this point, Yao Meng’s colleague walked towards them, and handed her a handphone, while saying gently: “It’s Mr Lin.”
Yao Meng paused for a moment before putting the handphone to her ear. The tears which had originally stopped, started to flow afresh: “Yes . . . I’m here. Ok, I’ll wait for you.” When she hung up, she looked up at Xu Xu.
“Qingyan is coming immediately.” She took a deep breath, and her expression held a touch of coldness: “The killer is dead, and this has happened to me. Xu Xu, are you still going to insist on suspecting Qingyan? Do you believe, now, that you are wrong? I should not have turned back…”
She had not finished speaking when Xu Xu felt a deep stab of pain in her chest, and her entire body stiffened. Both were quiet for a second, and Xu Xu said, in a low voice: “I’m sorry.”
Yao Meng did not speak again, and turned to look away. Xu Xu once again said “I’m sorry”, and quietly left.
When Ji Bai descended the mountain, it was already bright. An excited group of people crowded around, all wanting to have a look at the condition of the dead serial killer.
He felt tired to the bone. Detouring around the crowd, his eyes raked across the car park, searching, until he found a familiar small figure, standing dejectedly by the side of a police car.
When he saw her, his weary heart felt a burst of warmth. Ji Bai quickly walked over and stopped in front of her.
On observing her reddened, tear-filled eyes, Ji Bai did not ask anything, but instead pulled her gently into his arms.
Xu Xu’s heart felt suffocated, and she remained silent.
After a while, Ji Bai realised that she was staring at something behind him, and so he turned his head to look as well.
It was an ambulance, with its interior brightly lit. Lin Qingyan’s suit and hair were in disorder as he sat holding Yao Meng tightly. His ashen face was tense, and his eyes were cold and still. He was completely motionless.
Ji Bai coolly turned his gaze back to Xu Xu, staring into her eyes with his piercing, black eyes: “Don’t think about it anymore. Go back first and rest. I understand.” (心里有数 – idiom, to know very well in one’s heart)
Xu Xu did not utter a sound, but her line of sight crossed his body to rest once again on Lin Qingyan’s figure. This time, as if sensing her gaze, he slowly turned his face until he was looking straight at her.
His expression was cold and full of anguish, resembling a man both furious and pained by the misfortune of his loved one.
Xu Xu continued to stare unblinking at him.
After a while, the anguish in his eyes died down, and his slender eyebrows became peaceful. Moreover, his thin lips suddenly twisted in faint smile.
No one else was looking at him at that moment, and thus no one else noticed the abrupt transformation in his expression. Only Xu Xu was severely shaken, and her inner being was in turmoil.
These past few days she had been unutterably weary. Right now, overwhelming anxiety flooded her mind. She was unable to say anything before the world turned black, and she fainted in Ji Bai’s arms.
TL Checker: Mel