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43 Murderer

 She had touched an unknown liquid when she had fallen. Her hands were unusually sticky. She rubbed her ankle as she stared at the huge thing that had tripped her with furrowed eyebrows. It looks like a rock, but it was softer and bigger than a rock. She could not see clearly at all with the darkness around her. She stood up to push away the leaves that were blocking the light to get a clearer view.

She took a few steps back in sudden, immediate fear.

It was a dead body. More precisely, it was a dead female.

The white dress on the female's body was crumpled and pulled all the way up to her chest. The bottom half of the female's body was an utter mess. There was blood everywhere. The blood was bright red, with a metallic smell. It took Xia Qingyi a few moments to realize that her hand was covered in blood. Her ankle was covered in blood too.

Xia Qingyi knew that she had to stay calm. She did not know if the girl was still alive. She took out her mobile phone from her bag and dialed 120 and 110. Once done, she quickly retreated to the side of the road and sat down by a rock. She did not dare to look at the female. She calmed herself down, pulling her thoughts into order as she considered what had just happened.

The police had arrived first. A few policemen in uniform walked over at the sight of Xia Qingyi, who had blood smeared over both her hands. One showed his badge, and said, "Hello, I am Police Office Zhang Yang. May I ask if you were the person who reported this?"

Xia Qingyi stood up. She only nodded, exhausted from what had just happened.

"Can you tell us about the entire process that led up to your call to us?" A policeman wearing a hat took out his notebook in preparation to take down the details.

Xia Qingyi looked towards the cordoned-off crime scene. Countless people entered and exited the area as some took photographs while others engaged in discussion. She asked instead, "Is the girl dead?"

Zhang Yang looked at her oddly. "There are no vital signs."

Zhang Yang continued, "What state was she in when you first saw her?"

"Her face was pale. Her dress had been pulled up to her chest and her underwear had been pulled down to her knees. Both of her hands were bruised. There were signs of a struggle. There must have been a rope tied behind her. There were other smaller injuries on the rest of her body, though I didn't see them properly. She only had one red shoe on. There was a lot of blood on the ground, mostly under the upper half of her body. Hm... I think that's all I remember." Xia Qingyi tried her best to recall everything she could.

Zhang Yang started to look uneasy after hearing Xia Qingyi say this. The majority of people would have been frightened to tears if they had encountered such a situation and would immediately have asked to go home. This student who looked like a delicate little girl, however, was able to describe the crime scene calmly and in detail. His suspicions were growing.

"Who are you?" Zhang Yang's expression grew solemn.

Xia Qingyi blinked. She smiled awkwardly, "My name is... Xia Qingyi."

"What's your relationship with the victim?"

"I don't have a relationship with the victim. I just happened to be passing by and discovered her accidentally."

"This is such a hidden corner. How did you get here accidentally?" Zhang Yang's questions started to be more aggressive.

"I've just started attending this school. I was on my way home but I got lost trying to find my way out."

"Is there anyone that can prove it?"

"No" Xia Qingyi stared at the police officer, who looked at her as if he was staring at a criminal. She could not help but ask, "Police Officer, are you treating me as the murderer?"

"Before we finish the investigation, anyone could be a suspect. We seek your cooperation." Zhang Yang replied with conviction and anger.

Xia Qingyi smiled at this, "Please think about two issues before you suspect me. Firstly, the victim's clothes were ruined, and there were many small injuries on her body. She seems to have been sexually violated. If I were the murderer, how could I, a girl, have raped an unknown girl? Secondly, unless I'm wrong, the fatal injury to the victim was the cut to her throat, which resulted in excessive blood loss. The murdering weapon used was something like a surgical scalpel used in a hospital, which is easy to carry around and is both sharp and quick. Now, how could a young and weak girl like me have had the strength to subdue her before killing her?"