As he said this, Ling Shu's gaze never left Yue Dingtang's face.
His reaction was unexpected.
Yue Dingtang showed a slight look of surprise.
"Why do you think that?"
Ling Shu asked in return, "Have you seen Du Yunning's corpse with your own eyes? Have you personally checked? Is it really Du Yunning?"
Yue Dingtang fell into deep thought, and opened his mouth slowly after a while.
"I remember that she had a red mole near her left wrist, and on school days, the female students would make fun of her and say it was a palace mark. Also, she fell off her bike before, leaving a scar behind her knee. I saw all of this."
Now it was Ling Shu's turn to frown.
Yue Dingtang: "What was it that made you have such doubts?"
Ling Shu: “In the process of my deAh Langs with her before Du Yunning was born, I found that she was not only dissatisfied with Yuan Bing’s many things, but was also very likely to have the intention to escape from the Yuan family. Even the day before she met with an accident, she had proposed eloping with me. After I refused her, she said one sentence.”
“Uh?” Yue Dingtang spoke with a questioning tone.
Ling Shu: “If you won’t come with me, I’ll go by myself, go far away to the ends of the world, don't regret it then.”
Yue Dingtang: “That does sound like her tone.”
Ling Shu, no longer happy: “I guess you think I’m making up stories?”
Yue Dingtang: “Of course not, but Yunning had always said a lot and done little since she was a child. Although dissatisfied with her own situation, she never had the courage to make a change, like when she went abroad for her studies, or even when she was married off.
Ling Shu: "If we only go by this sentence, of course not. Do you remember, I told you, she wanted to entrust a fortune to me for safekeeping, to avoid it being taken away by Yuan Bing."
Yue Dingtang hummed in response, not thinking that Ling Shu was stalling for time.
For the other party to bring it up again at this time, there must be something previously omitted.
Sure enough, he heard Ling Shu say: "At that time, she gave me a list of assets, which listed the assets she wanted to transfer. But I saw the handwriting of two people on it."
Yue Dingtang: "Could it be her female servant who wrote it with her?"
Ling Shu: "I know that when she got married to the Yuan family, she only brought one person with her, the female servant who is still with her now, but the other person can't read."
Yue Dingtang: "So there was someone else helping her plan and leaving the Yuan family?"
Ling Shu: "Du Yunning is weak-minded and has no opinions of her own. It's impossible for her to have the courage to leave the Yuan family alone. When she invited me out before, she just complained and cried, but recently she started to talk about running away, and even prepared a list of valuables for me to keep. It's been planned step-by-step, which is not something she could've thought of."
Yue Dingtang pondered: "So you suspect she used you as a scapegoat to attract attention, and then faked her death and ran away with someone else?"
Ling Shu: "It's not impossible."
Yue Dingtang: "Why didn't you tell me this important clue earlier?"
Ling Shu: "Because your timing of appearing is really too coincidental, I cannot determine whether you are related to Du Yunning."
Yue Dingtang: "Do you still think like this now? If I say, your current situation is like being surrounded, I am the only one who can open a way of life for you. Don't you want to find out the real culprit and let her have peace in the underworld? Besides, she was a good girl."
Ling Shu remained silent.
Yue Dingtang couldn't tell anything from his expression.
It wasn't like this a long time ago.
He would be competitive in academic performance and often talk about the current situation, news of society. Who knew where he got so much news from, but every time after class, he was surrounded by three layers of people, and students were willing to listen to his stories which were slightly exaggerated and full ofups and downs.
Although Yue Dingtang felt that most of the words were nonsense, he actually liked to listen. What teenager doesn't like to hear those mysterious stories?
He never admitted it on the surface, but he always stood outside, pretending to pass by inadvertently, and eavesdropping.
In the crowd, Ling Shu was always the focus of pursuit. His expression was changeable, with some pride in his lively demeanor, especially his eyes. Even when he wasn't smiling, he seemed to be smiling, and his eyebrows were even more vivid when he was dancing.
It was not like this at all, lazy, fighting for nothing, taking things as they come.
"I'm going out to get a smoke."
Yue Dingtang got up and was walking out, feeling around in his pocket, only to realize he had left in a hurry and had forgotten to bring cigarettes.
Half a pack of cigarettes were tossed over from Ling Shu, and the other person gave him a sidelong glance.
Before Yue Dingtang could even be moved for half a second, he heard Ling Shu say, "Two for one! I'm poor."
Yue Dingtang: ......
Ling Shu guessed he wasn't really going out for a smoke.
After all, when Shen Renjie had sent him over earlier, there were still two patrol officers who were escorting him outside.
Shen Renjie didn't dare to take this responsibility, and Yue Dingtang still had to solve all these troubles himself.
Sure enough, before he had even lit half a cigarette, the person surnamed Yue had already returned.
Ling Yao and the old servant had already arranged a table of dishes.
It was not as exquisite as the Yue Manor, but it was homely.
Ling Yao wiped her hands and took a deep breath.
"There wasn't enough time to buy the dishes you like to eat, so Aunt Hong and I just made something quickly. Please be understanding!"
Yue Dingtang glanced at it, smiling, "Elder sister, so many dishes and you call it 'quickly.' I don't even eat this much at home."
Ling Yao chuckled, "That's different. You're our guest, so we have to make sure you feel welcome. Come on, sit down, don't be polite. Eat more. If you don't eat enough today, I won't let you go out!"
Yue Dingtang originally hadn't planned to stay for dinner, but Ling Yao was insistent, and Ling Shu had not yet given him a final reply regarding Du Yunning's case. He agreed and removed his coat and scarf.
Without a word, the old servant immediately came to take it away and promised to return it before the guest left.
The servants for the wealthy were rarely as meticulous and sharp-eyed as this, and an attentive person could easily see the former glory of the Ling family from these details.
Yue Dingtang's eyes fell on the dining table where the old servant had placed his coat. Inadvertently, he noticed that the corner of the table was badly worn and a piece of paper was stuffed between one of the table legs.
Ling Yao was a good cook. Yue Dingtang had eaten at the Ling family before, and she had cooked the meal herself. The long-forgotten familiar taste, combined with Ling Yao's enthusiasm, was enough to offset Ling Shu's negative indifference.
"Dingtang, where are you working now?"
Ling Yao served him a bowl of chicken soup and asked casually.
Yue Dingtang: "I'm teaching law at the university, mainly teaching the history of Western legal systems."
Ling Yao's eyes lit up: "It's a good job, decent and leisurely. Are there a lot of knowledgeable female teachers at the school?"
Yue Dingtang: "There are a few, but not many."
Ling Shu felt uneasy: "It seems like someone is knocking at the door, I'll go see."
Ling Yao shouted, giving Ling Shu a paralyzing spell, and then smiled and looked at Yue Dingtang.
"What kind of girls are they? Are any of them unmarried? You and Ling Shu are old classmates. I don’t have any other requirements for him, only hoping he will get married soon. The woman doesn't have to be wealthy, as long as she is of good character and her family background is clean."
"Ling Shu isn't like you. He's always running errands at the police station. All his colleagues are men, and the only women he sees are suspects. It's hard to expect him to find someone on his own. If he waits until he's thirty, he'll be a bachelor!"
Ling Shu let out a helpless sigh: "Sis, can you at least let the guest eat a meal in peace, don't scare him away!"
Yue Dingtang said, "It's alright. There aren't many female teachers of the appropriate age at school, but my third elder sister knows a lot of people, I'll ask her to keep an eye out for us."
Ling Yao smiled, her eyes and brows both lifting, and nodded in agreement.
"Dingtang, you're so outstanding, you must have gotten married already, right? When should we have the newlyweds over for a meal? Sis doesn't have much else to offer, but my cooking skills are still impressive."
Yue Dingtang laughed: "Not yet, my family isn't in a rush."
Ling Shu seized the opportunity: "Sis, look at him, he hasn't gotten married yet and you're asking him to help me find someone? That's like asking a blind man to light a lamp!"
Ling Yao sighed: "You're such an outstanding person, there must be someone willing to pursue you. They'll be queuing up from outside the city walls to the North of the Su River. Unlike Ling Shu, I'm afraid no one would even take him if he shouted from the streets."
Ling Shu: ......
Yue Dingtang, as if the firewood wasn't burning hot enough, consoled her: "Maybe Ling Shu has a girlfriend outside and just hasn't told you. Sis, don't worry too much, these things should sort themselves out."
Ling Yao rolled her eyes: "Him? As long as he doesn’t bring home a dancer one day asking to marry her, I'll thank the Heavens!"
Ling Shu couldn't help but comment: "You said last time that as long as I was willing to marry, you'd even accept a dancer."
Ling Yao gave him a stern look.
The topic ended, and after a few moments of silence--
"Dingtang, you've been overseas for a few years, why haven't we heard from you since then?"
"I stayed in France for three years, and then traveled around Europe for another two, visiting several countries."
"So you can speak all the languages of Europe then?"
Yue Dingtang calmly said, "Not really, I can speak English and French fluently, but I can only say a few phrases in Russian and Spanish. After returning, I almost forgot them since there isn't the same language environment."
Ling Yao said, "That's amazing. No wonder you can teach in college. Our Ling Shu can't even speak a few sentences of foreign language up to now."
Ling Shu: ...
Finally, he understood that Yue Dingtang was the "exceptionally brilliant child next door". As long as he was there, it was doomed that he couldn't have a peaceful meal.
"Big sister, you can't say that. We have been speaking Chinese since we were young, so it's natural that we would feel uncomfortable suddenly going abroad. I have seen people who have stayed abroad for several years, but still can't speak a foreign language, and still stammer when they meet foreigners."
Yue Dingtang eased the situation in time.
"You are right, but after all, they are both abroad. You should compare the good ones, not the bad ones. If Ling Shu can have half of your ability, I wouldn't have to worry so much."
Ling Yao looked at him, and when she did, her face lit up, her voice softened, in stark contrast to when she faced her younger brother.
"Ling Shu was very outstanding when he was studying. Now, everyone's post-graduation experiences and directions are different. With Ling Shu's ability, he will surely have a bright future soon."
Yue Dingtang comforted and looked at Ling Shu, who had a face of despair, feeling quite good.