"To find out who threatened He You'an with death, we must investigate everyone related to her."
"People with power and influence who want to harm her don't need to go through all this trouble, unless they have a specific purpose and don't want to be discovered. Through a series of events, they can mislead others and escape punishment."
"He You'an is confused. Not everyone she knows who has a grudge against her is necessarily involved, and not everything she knows is necessarily correct."
"An example would be, I was walking down the street and accidentally bumped into a pedestrian. I apologized and moved on, but because of my bump, he lost the life-saving money he had prepared to cure his mother's illness, which led to his family's ruin and his own demise. Later, he met me again, but I didn't recognize him anymore. However, he held a grudge and wanted to seek revenge."
"Another example is that I feel like you, Captain Yue, don't like me and think I'm useless. Yet, you insist on transferring me to your side to control and manipulate me, making me feel uncomfortable under your watchful eye. But these are just my own speculations and may not be true. The same goes for He You'an. Don't you think so?"
"Hmm, you analyzed it well. So, what do you plan to do next?" Yue Dingtang didn't even lift his head, but picked up his pen and wrote a few comments on the paper he was revising:
"The argument is good, but the evidence is insufficient. I suggest starting with historical facts."
"If you want to investigate, you have to start from the beginning."
Ling Shu spread out the files on his desk. These were the materials he had obtained from the police station for He You'an's area, which included her place of origin, age, family members, and some basic family information.
It was really convenient to have connections in the city bureau.
When he was in Jiangwan District before, it was almost impossible to get this information. Now with the city bureau's reputation, he could get whatever information he wanted just by asking.
This was what they called ‘using a tiger's skin to make a big banner.’
"He You'an came from a poor family, with both parents deceased and only she and her older brother surviving. When her parents passed away, she was only three years old, and her brother, seven years older, became her sole support. It can be inferred that he raised her to adulthood.
“However, their happiness was short-lived. When He You'an was fourteen, her brother, He Chang'an, went missing while working at the docks and never returned. Some say he fell into the water and drowned, while others claim he angered a gang and was beaten to death in a dark alley.
“As a result, He You'an, a young girl without any family, was left to face an even more difficult life than before.
"At the age of twenty, He You'an began her career in the film industry. Now, at twenty-five, before meeting Shen Shiqi, she had only her beauty but no power or influence. Anything could have happened to her, but she was fortunate enough to meet Shen Shiqi, who helped her become a well-known movie star and was also so knowledgeable and understanding. Impressive!"
"There is a site here where He You'an used to live. I want to go see it and ask her former neighbors. Maybe we can find out something that wasn't written in the files."
After finishing speaking, Ling Shu closed the file and turned to Yue Dingtang.
Yue Dingtang nodded.
"Perfect timing. If you're going out, could you help me with something?"
He took out a photo from the drawer.
"There's a lunch meeting at the Shanghai Hotel's Four Seasons restaurant at noon. Could you go and meet her for me?"
Ling Shu took a look at the photo and whistled.
"What a beauty!" In the black and white photo, a beautiful woman in a Western dress smiled brightly, with a steamship billowing white smoke in the background.
Back in those days, not everyone could afford to have their photo taken. Many people may have never even seen what a camera looked like from birth to death. Even those who had the means to take photos would often feel timid and hesitant in front of the lens, resulting in most people looking serious in their photos.
Confident individuals like the person in the photo were most likely wealthy young ladies who had returned from studying abroad.
"Lucky Officer Yue!" Ling Shu exclaimed.
"Are you going or not? If not, forget it," Yue Dingtang pretended to snatch the photo back, but Ling Shu held him down.
"Of course I'm going! But I don't know what to do or say when I meet her. Please give me some guidance, Officer."
Yue Dingtang said, "She is Zhen Congyun, the youngest daughter of the Zhen family. She just returned from studying in Japan and was introduced to me by my sister. She wants to match us up, but I don't like the way the Zhen family operates. I have no intention of meeting her. Can you go in my stead and tell her that I am going out of town to give a lecture and have no time to meet her? She will naturally back off."
Ling Shu said, "Not many people can be personally introduced by Sister Chunxiao. Could it be the Zhen family that is close to President Wang of the Executive Yuan?"
Yue Dingtang remained silent, but his silence was an answer in itself.
Ling Shu laughed and said, "Miss Zhen is young and beautiful. She was once known as one of the four famous beauties in Nanjing and was even called 'South Zhen, North Lin'. You're amazing, Officer Yue. You have a stunning beauty like her and you're still hesitating?"
Yue Dingtang said, "Zhen Congyun is not just a pretty face. Before she went abroad, she was her father's secretary. She played a big role in the communication between the Zhen family and the Wang family. In the circle of Nanjing officials' wives, Zhen Congyun is also a powerful figure. I am just a teacher and don't want to get involved too much. I am not fortunate enough to enjoy Miss Zhen's company."
Ling Shu replied, "Alright, leave it to me. I guarantee that Miss Zhen will never come to bother you again. However, this person judges others by their appearance. If I go dressed like this, Miss Zhen may not even give me a second glance. This will also damage your reputation. Besides, since we are meeting Miss Zhen today, I should at least pay for the meal. Otherwise, she might go around saying that you are stingy and cheap, right?"
He made a gesture of counting money with his fingers.
Yue Dingtang asked, "How much do you want?"
Ling Shu smiled, "Just give me whatever you think is appropriate."
After Ling Shu left, Yue Dingtang became increasingly uneasy.
While Ling Shu was capable of getting things done, it was only when he wanted to.
If he ended up provoking someone like Shen Shiqi again...
Two hours later, nearing noon, Yue Dingtang's regret reached its peak.
He picked up the phone and dialed the hotel's number.
"Hello, this is Shanghai Hotel."
"Hello, my surname is Yue. Could you please transfer me to the Four Seasons restaurant? I'm looking for someone."
"Sure, Mr. Yue. Please hold on."
The efficiency of the other party was not slow, but Yue Dingtang's eyelids were twitching faster and faster.
Was it left wealth and right disaster, or left disaster and right wealth?
After returning from studying abroad, Professor Yue, who was full of knowledge, began to ponder the superstitions of his ancestors. The restaurant quickly responded.
"Hello, Mr. Yue, who are you looking for?"
"There is a guest in your hotel named Zhen, Miss Zhen. She should be eating with a male guest in your restaurant. He is my friend and I need to speak with him. Could you please ask the male guest to come to the phone?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Yue, but Miss Zhen and the gentleman just left."
"They left together?"
"Yes, when Miss Zhen arrived, she seemed very unhappy. But after the gentleman arrived and they started eating, her mood improved. When they left, she was even smiling."
"Do you know where they went?"
"When we were checking out, I overheard Miss Zhen asking about recent movies. The gentleman said he had tickets and suggested watching the one with the famous actress He You'an as the lead."
Yue Dingtang: ...
His lips twitched, feeling a sense of "I knew it" and "as expected."
Around 5 pm, Yue Dingtang returned to the police station after coming back from school.
The office was empty and quiet. The files on Ling Shu's desk were still in the same position as when he left in the morning, indicating that he hadn't returned.
Yue Dingtang frowned.
He thought Ling Shu was a smart person who knew how to handle things.
Getting involved with Shen Shiqi was unexpected, but after he had already warned him about Zhen Congyun, Ling Shu shouldn't have gone near her.
He was disappointed to find out that he had let him down. How could such a clever person lose their sense of propriety in the face of wealth and power?
The Yue family manor was cold and desolate.
Despite her reluctance, Yue Chunxiao set off for Nanjing to reunite with her husband.
Usually, when Yue Dingtang returned home, he would be greeted with his sister's warm hospitality. Today, although there were hot dishes and rice, they were all made by the servants.
At most, the old housekeeper would exchange a few words with him, and he suddenly felt a bit uncomfortable.
"Is there soup tonight?" he asked the old housekeeper.
"Yes, it's so cold outside and you've been working hard all day. You need to replenish your energy. Miss wrote out the daily menu for the main dishes before she left and instructed the kitchen to follow it. Tonight, we have old duck and tea tree mushroom soup, which has been simmering for two hours. I'll go and serve it to you."
As soon as the old housekeeper finished speaking, the doorbell rang.
"Who is it? So late at night, could it be that Miss forgot something and came back again..."
The old man muttered as he walked towards the gate.
There was no need for him to open the door, as a servant had already returned to report.
"Fourth Young Master, it's Mr. Ling."
Yue Dingtang's hand holding the keys paused.
Instead of letting the person in directly, he asked,
"What does he want?"
"Mr. Ling said he hasn't had dinner yet and wants to come in for a meal."
The servant was also amazed, never before had he heard someone ask for a free meal so openly.
Yue Dingtang raised an eyebrow, "Tell him we've already finished dinner and let him wait."
As soon as he finished speaking, they heard Ling Shu raising his voice outside.
"Captain Yue, Old Yue, you can't do this. You're shutting out your old classmates, friends, and subordinates. Sister Chunxiao just left, and you're already bullying me. You won't even give me a meal. This is unacceptable! Are you trying to trick me into thinking I've already eaten? I can smell the aroma of the duck soup!"
Yue Dingtang remained silent for a moment before finally saying, "Let him in."
The old housekeeper suppressed a smile and personally went to bring the person in.
In truth, he quite liked Ling Shu.
The reason was simple: with Ling Shu around, the usually cold and distant Yue family would have moments filled with laughter, even if Fourth Young Master was often left speechless with anger.
Ling Shu sighed as he entered and sat directly across from Yue Dingtang.
"Uncle Zhou, bring me a bowl of soup with extra meat. I'm starving!"
The old housekeeper chuckled and said, "Alright, I'll serve you myself."
Yue Dingtang said, "You don't treat yourself as an outsider."
"Captain Yue, you're not being fair!" Ling Shu shook his head. "Today, I risked my life for you, fought off a mother tiger, and even took the time to investigate He You'an's case. And yet, you won't even let me have a meal. Be careful, I might just report you to Nanjing."
"Far water cannot put out a nearby fire." Yue Dingtang pointed to his own bowl.
"Tell me about today's situation. If it's not good news, then there's no food for you. Uncle Zhou, don't bother giving him any soup."