Chapter 24: Confrontation and Choices
“Now it not the time to question whether we believe you or not…… You are indeed the biggest suspect with the largest motive.” Carter who was by Li Xiao Man’s side voiced out in broken Mandarin.
Pang Bo looked Carter in the eyes and said: “Yellow skinned devil, what is your meaning? What gives you the right to say that the victim was killed by Ye Fan.”
“No*, I’m not being subjective … instead i’m actually being objective here. I never said he was… the murderer, i’m only bringing up the facts, the suspicions… are not small.” Carter spoke with a serious and resolute tone. He thought hard and gave an analysis:”
What Liu Yun Zhi said… makes sense, the deceased and Ye Fan had conflicts, there is a motive for… murder. Moreover the distance… is very close, the conditions for acting out… is fulfilled.
[T/N: The No* is in English, the rest in broken Chinese]
Although he did not speak very fluently, everyone in the group understood his meaning and like many people in the west, they liked to base their conclusions based on facts and evidence.
“Devil, you really don’t know anything about the ways of the world. Something so obvious and yet you have to make it sound like a mathematical problem. One-track minded!”
“What is this…… devil?”* Carter was confused and said: “I’ve heard you say this many times…. however what does it mean?”
[T/N* It is a derogatory way of address that Chinese people use on westerners]
“You are a devil with a one-track mind. I’d rather not explain myself.” Pang Bo said snappily and ignored him. Thereafter he turned to look at Li Xiao Man and said: “Why don’t you say anything? You should have a good understanding of Ye Fan right?”
Li Xiao Man was slender and elegant, under the dim illumination from the cell phones she seemed like a fresh lotus giving off a delicate fragrance in the darkness. Her face was calm as she gently said: “Based on my heart I don’t believe that Ye Fan is the killer however he is the most suspicious person right now……”
“Li Xiao Man!” Pang Bo was infuriated and loudly interrupted her: “You are really heartless! Don’t you get it? Even though you guys have already broken up, there’s no need to be so heartless! Do you really want to sprinkle salt on Ye Fan’s wounds?”
“I don’t have any other intentions, I’m just saying the facts only.” Li Xiao Man was calm as she said this. Her complexion was beautiful and her skin as white as jade as she wrinkled her brows and said: “I haven’t been acting against anyone. I only want to say that since the murderer dares to kill someone, there isn’t anything that he won’t dare to do. Under these circumstances we are all in grave danger and I wish for more objectivity and less subjectivity. The truth is Ye Fan is the most suspicious and the other people also have a small amount of suspicion on them.”
Pang Bo sardonically said: “In the end you still say that Ye Fan is the most suspicious meaning that you don’t believe in him. Why bother talking so much!” He heavily turned his head as he said: “I’ve really been mistaken in my opinion of you. In the past I thought that once you made your decision on matters your friends would never be able to convince you otherwise. Now I understand that it isn’t that your personality is firm or decisive but rather cold-hearted and emotionless.”
At this moment a nervous and weak voice sounded out: “I…… I believe in Ye Fan, I believe that…… he is not the killer.” It was the gaunt looking female classmate, her body was scrawny and delicate as she walked over with her head looking downwards. It was clear that she was very nervous.
The originally innocent and happy young lady after living years of disappointment her esteem was low and was no longer bubbly. It was difficult for her to speak properly in front of everyone and it could seen she was ill at ease.
This was also the main reason why Ye Fan felt especially compassionate towards her.
Pang Bo was similar to Ye Fan and also felt compassion towards this timid female student. She certainly was not like this in university, she used to joke around with Pang Bo and Ye Fan, talking and laughing like pearls*, the three had an exceptionally good relationship. Being with her made it easy for one to feel happiness.
[T/N: The Chinese text is 笑语如珠, not sure if it’s a typo ]
“Liu Yi Yi, thank you!” Ye Fan laughingly looked at her and nodded.
“No need for thanks, I believe that you are not a killer…..” Liu Yi Yi’s voice was weak and made one feel pity as she stood there ill at ease.
“If it isn’t him, who could it be?!” Li Chang Qing angrily continued: “Beside Ye Fan, who else would have a motive for killing?! This is his revenge!”
The female student who was by Liu Yun Zhi’s side once again spoke up: “Ye Fan how could you be so heartless! That was our classmate who we all knew for four years!”
“Let me repeat, I did not kill anyone.” Ye Fan spoke with firmness as well as calmness and responsibly said: “You can suspect me, but until matters have been investigated clearly please refrain from splashing dirty water at me*.”
[T/N* Chinese way of saying ‘don’t frame me’]
“The truth is in front of our eyes, you and the victim are right next to each other and the closest, no one could possibly bypass you to kill him without anyone else noticing. You are also the only one with a motive!”
Pang Bo’s temper was short and could not hold it in as he angrily said: “Can you be more reasonable, before we reach a conclusion to who actually is the murderer, stop placing a feces bowl over other people’s heads*. I really don’t understand after graduation what happened. If i said it nicely you and Liu Yun Zhi parted ways, if i were to say it the way it was, it would be that Liu Yun Zhi ditched you! You were hateful of him! Why are you eagerly sticking to his side now, helping him beat the gongs and drums**”
[T/N* Refers to making a scapegoat or framing someone]
[T/N** Refers to making a big hoo-ha and blatantly spreading out information to the public]
“You…… This is a personal attack!” The female student’s face become white with anger as her body trembled and she pointed towards Pang Bo.
“Attack? That’s right, attack chicken!*” Pang Bo was someone who was unwilling to be at a disadvantage and his mouth was quite venomous at times as he said: “This is what I call using a poison to fight a poison, seeing a human we speak human language, seeing a ghost we speak ghost language and what about seeing a toad? We just need to use our spittle to drown it!”
[T/N* Author uses a play on words 攻击, 攻鸡. While the former refers to Attack the latter refers to Attack chicken. The way both words are read are similar in Chinese.]
“You!” The female student was tremble and too angry to say anything more.
Liu Yun Zhi’s expression was gloomy as he said: “Enough! Pang Bo are you still a man? Is there any meaning to saying all this?” The Vajra in his hands was still releasing dim lights and it was especially striking in the darkness. It reminded the group that he held power and if there were any altercations it was unlikely that anyone could go against him.
Pang Bo also looked gloomy as he said: “It’s because the killer isn’t Ye Fan but you guys are pestering endlessly. This is what I call using an enemy’s own methods to obtain retribution*.”
[T/N* refers to get revenge by playing back at his own game]
Ye Fan’s gaze swept from Li Xiao Man and looked at the others. At this moment three students stepped forward and said: “We believe that Ye Fan didn’t kill anyone.”
Together with Liu Yi Yi, Zhang Zi Ling and Pang Bo, there were already six people standing on Ye Fan’s side. If Ye Fan was included that was seven people and there were only 16 people left in the group. It would seem that Ye Fan’s side was fast reaching half the number of people in the group.
Lin Jia was beautiful and her body was slender, her double eyelids gave her a very natural flair and under the current circumstances she spoke calmly but still seemed enchanting and charming.
“I also feel that it can’t be Ye Fan, we know his character and he isn’t that kind of vicious person. He has never been a calculative person……”
Li Chang Qing was displeased and interrupted her speech saying: “Besides him who else could it be! Does anyone among us seem like we are able to kill other? Who would have those kinds of thoughts!”
Pang Bo was immediately infuriated and glared over saying: “Li Chang Qing can you be any less lacking in moral sense! Can you still find any other reasons to splash some dirty water? I would really love to press this bronze plaque down on your face! Such an arbitrary argument and you actually dare to bring it out?!”
“I can’t be bothered to reason with you!” Li Chang Qing was too angry and turned away. Even now his face was still swollen from the beating given by Pang Bo on the stone altar.
“I also believe in Ye Fan, he’s not that kind of person. He would never do such a vicious thing.” At this moment, Wang Zi Wen walked over and chose to believe in Ye Fan.
Zhou Yi had been a bystander from the start and at this point he made a choice. Seeing the divine light emitted from the Vajra within Liu Yun Zhi’s hand then at the calm and composed countenance of Ye Fan, he said: “We can’t easily make a conclusion who is the killer. I also believe that Ye Fan did not kill the classmate.”
At this moment a large majority of the people stood on Ye Fan’s side. He knew that some people were genuine while some people had only acted after considering the flow of the situation. They believed that since he could be so calm when faced with Liu Yun Zhi’s Vajra, he must have a trump card and therefore made a speculative bet.
“If it isn’t Ye Fan who could it be. Is it possible that the killer could be someone else from among us?” Liu Yun Zhi coldly said as he stared at Ye Fan followed by Pang Bo.
“Please keep your attitude in check! Don’t think that just because you’re holding a glowing stick others will be afraid of you!.” Pang Bo was indifferent and fiercely said: “Even with my dull bronze plaque I can still smack you into disability!”
The colour on Liu Yun Zhi’s face drained as he gripped the Vajra tightly and walked closer!
Ye Fan held onto Pang Bo who wanted to rush over and faced the group speaking in a stern and earnest voice: “I can tell everyone that the killer isn’t in our midst.”
[T/N We are currently trying a slightly different format by leaving the original direct translation for the Chinese idiom then leaving the actual meaning as a note below do let us know if you like it!]
[T/N This author sure loves his idioms]