Chapter 25: Playing Detective
As they arrived at their destination, Erica coordinated with Jerry and informed him of all the details she had noticed about the man who was following them earlier. Jerry skillfully sent another one of his men to where the trail started hoping that some surveillance cameras were able to capture the stalker’s appearance so they could identify him.
While Karissa’s miserable encounter with Ririna in the elevator helped dispel the unwanted pressure and awkwardness they were in, Erica knew she couldn’t lower her guard for Ririna’s sake. She wasn’t aware of the blue envelope that Ririna received, but she knows Ririna has triggered the Zhou family and have piqued the attention of some underground personalities when she came back.
The old woman in front of her had an unreadable face as she read all the documents Ririna had presented earlier. Ririna was impressed that the woman could stay calm even if the details are very disturbing. Madam Lin’s daughter-in-law and granddaughter were killed within their own home. While Madam Lin didn’t approve of her son’s marriage to Rima Chen, she deeply loves her five-year-old granddaughter.
Both mother and child were found dead in the master bedroom, lying on the bed and was confirmed to be dead for four days before they were found. The cause of death was asphyxiation. Madam Lin’s son was staying abroad to overlook their family business when it happened. When he received news that his wife and daughter were dead, he immediately came back to find out what happened.
Two weeks later, a man was detained. He confessed that he is the one who murdered the woman and her child. He claimed that his only motive was to rob some money and electronic gadgets that he could sell for a high price. The apartment building where they stayed had a very loose security hence he was able to sneak into the compound.
Madam Lin found it very suspicious as if someone is hiding the truth about the case. Since Ririna desperately needs the ten percent share that she has, they made a deal. Madam Lin will give up all the shares that she has without any payment, as long as Ririna could uncover the truth about the murder case they both suspected.
“So Rima really had another man aside from my son?” Madam Lin asked.
Ririna who was busy admiring the scenery on the top floor glanced at the older woman and slightly nodded in affirmation.The evidence doesn’t lie. Rima had committed adultery while her husband is busy working away from his family.
The lease contract for the apartment is under the name of the suspect and Rima Chen. Aside from it, the pictures and the sworn statement of the landlady confirms that the suspect and Madam Lin’s daughter-in-law claimed that they were husband and wife with a lovely daughter. They lived together for almost seven months until the suspect left and never returned until the night of the murder.
These details were never added to the official investigation. Ririna has an idea why the authorities didn’t bother to reveal it. Someone is trying to hide the truth and is very willing to pay a huge sum of money so the investigation will stop. If it wasn’t for the shares that she needed, Ririna would drop this case and stop playing detective.
It was obvious who’s been trying to bury the secrets. It was Madam Lin’s son himself. He is in denial about his wife’s actions. As Ririna’s team ran a background check about the suspect, it was revealed that he and Rima were a couple back on their high school days. The man was really in love with her but she chose to marry another man instead.
The man was so poor that he decided to work hard to prove that he’s worthy of her affections. Although Rima married a rich man, she felt unloved. Her husband was hardly ever around leaving her and her daughter alone in their house. During the second year of their marriage, she met her ex-lover again and rekindled their affair. Whenever her husband came home, she stayed at their matrimonial house and when he was not around, she came back to the apartment she had leased.
After three years of their affair, her lover reached his limits. Rima refused to divorce her wealthy husband but wouldn’t accept to break up with her lover either. This was the main motive of the crime but what pushed the man to commit the murder was something that Ririna never thought she would find out.
When Ririna visited the suspect in his detention cell and revealed that she knows the truth, the suspect claimed that he was expecting her. He confessed everything to her without missing a single detail. The crime was instigated by a man named ‘Hattori Ikeda’. The suspect claimed he had never met or seen this man. He only received letters in a blue envelope. Something that Ririna realized the same one she has on her.
Drifting in her own thoughts, Ririna wonders why is ‘Hattori Ikeda’ after her? The Spider of the Underworld targeted her? Her blue envelope was unsigned, unlike the one that the suspect received. But based on the written scripts, she was sure that it was written by the same person. She has never encountered him before. Is he the one responsible for her mother’s death? He even left a clue for her using the willing suspect he’d created.
‘The vast horizon will be tainted with darkness. The wild jasmine flower will wilt. God’s reward would be wasted’
Ririna ribbed her chin. What’s the meaning of this? A warning?
Her eyes narrowing at the thought. He had planned this all along. Did he also manage to deduce that she wouldn’t be able to get Eli’s shares so he used Madam Lin’s issue instead?
She felt rather creepy about him as if he’s following her every move. He instigated a murder just to send her a message, what else is this man capable of?
Turning back her attention to the present, Ririna could see that the old woman’s eyes were darkened. Maybe she knew all along that her daughter-in-law was cheating behind her son. Her jaws hardened as she looked at the intimate photos of the two lovers. Proofs that Rima had been cheating for years.
“The child, who fathered her?” Madam Lin’s hoarse whisper to Ririna.
Ririna understood why she’s in doubt. With Rima’s past actions, someone will surely question her daughter’s parentage. Why does the child always suffer the consequence when their parents did something wrong? Wouldn’t it be much better if they bear it themselves? They are the one who made the problem and they should be responsible for it.
“You don’t have to worry about it. She was your kin and blood.” She replied. Although the child suffered the same end as her mother, she felt that it was unfair. She wondered if she is a good enough mother for Skyler.
Is she too selfish not to let her son know about Eli? No, not really. She will tell him about his daddy soon, but not now. She isn’t mentally and emotionally prepared to explain it to Skyler.
Madam Lin released a sigh, she could finally be at peace. Her son might still be in denial but she always knew Rima had never truly loved him. Her heart still grieved for her dead granddaughter though. If it wasn’t for her mother’s adultery, the child would have lead a better life.
“You have fulfilled your part in our deal, Miss Han. I didn’t expect that you would manage to find a way to gather these details.” Looking at the men that bear the crest of the Park Family, Madam Lin couldn’t help but give a small smile to the young woman. It seems that the rumors are true – the devil has gotten rid of Karissa Wang for someone better. She had no idea that she would meet the devil’s future wife today.
She could see some similarities between Yelan Han and her daughter. If only Ririna had longer and wavy hair, she could pass as a doppelganger of her deceased mother. Her eyes, her nose, even the way she smiles are the same as Yelan. How many years has it been since Yelan died? Even though they weren’t of the same age, Madam Lin knows Yelan Han because she was her junior.
Ririna could see what’s running on the old woman’s mind when she caught her looking at the crest of Eli’s family.
“Mr. Park has nothing to do with it,” Ririna doesn’t know why she even has to clarify this. “He only offered a security assistance because of an emergency earlier.” She added.
Madam Lin only nodded in reply and signed the documents, handing all her shares of Han Zhou Entertainment to Ririna. She has no use for it. She only bought those shares because she had a debt to Yelan and this was her payment, to keep the shares away from Yelan’s ex-husband. Now, she is giving it back to the rightful owner, Yelan’s only daughter.
Ririna and Erica just reached the ground floor of the Pavilion Hotel when Ririna’s phone rang. Seeing that it was Eli, she answered it without hesitation. His team has lost the trail of the stalker and wasn’t able to find any clue to know their identity. As she listened to him talking, she walked five steps behind Jerry and Erica to give themselves some privacy. She only halted in her steps when her eyes caught someone familiar.
Eli’s voice could still be heard on her phone but she wasn’t listening and responding anymore. She could hear Eli’s voice calling her name, asking her if she was alright. But her attention and focus have already been taken away by another man.
The man she hasn’t seen for more than sixteen years. She could never forget him. His facial features might look much older but she is certain it is the same man who helped her escape from her torture cell and left her in an orphanage to save her.
Towards her surprised reaction, the man sent a small grin. As he strode past her rigid form, only a few words were left behind.
“Hello there, little princess. Long time, no see, isn’t it?”