ITTMB 67

Instigation

What was the secret behind the photo frame?

An opportunity to discover the truth was laid right in front of Ning Ning.


Pei Xuan suddenly received a notice from the company, requesting him to report back to the main office.

“When are you coming back?” Ning Ning was holding a grey coat in her hand.

“I’m leaving tonight, I will return in four or five days.” Pei Xuan said as Ning Ning put on the coat for him. He laughed. “Why don’t you stay here to help me look after the house?”

Ning Ning pretended to hesitate before smiling. “Deal.”

They kissed farewell before Pei Xuan left.


Ning Ning stood at the door and waved him goodbye, the smile on her face slowly faded when the car disappeared from her view.

She turned around and went back into the house, locked the door, then walked step by step to the corridor full of photo frames.

Usually a person would hang at most three or four photo frames on the walls, no one would fill the walls like Pei Xuan did.

Ning Ning looked into her own eyes in the photo frame for a while before taking it down.


When they changed the photo frames last time, Pei Xuan was the one responsible for changing the frames, while she was only responsible for passing them to him. Pei Xuan seemed to be blocking what was behind the photo frames back then, thus she did not have a good look.

Now she could see clearly.

“This is…” Ning Ning raised a hand and touched the wall behind the photo frame.

On the wall was a peephole.


She touched the peephole, then her vision shifted onto the photo frames by the side. She walked over and took them down one by one.

She took down the photo frames as she walked down the corridor. Big or small, every photo frame ended up on the ground behind her. She abruptly turned her head when she reached the end of the corridor and felt a shiver run down her spine.

Behind her was a wall full of peepholes.

She did not dare to look again after that one look. She turned around and walked towards the kitchen.


No matter if it was the corridor, the kitchen, the piano room or the guest room, the photo frames hung on the walls had been tampered with. The floral dress, the piano, and the right eye of the person in the photo hid a secret.

A hidden peephole.

She finally opened the door to the bedroom.

The snow-white double bed, the pillows decorated with the word ‘happiness’.

Along with those was the last photo frame of Yan Qing in the house.


Ning Ning slowly walked towards it. The photo frame which hung on the wall was as tall as a person. The bride inside was looking at Ning Ning quietly, it seemed like she had been expecting Ning Ning to come.

“…Yan Qing.” Ning Ning slowly raised a hand, caressing the eye in the photo, “Are you inside?”

That eye flickered as if it was looking at something behind her.


Ning Ning abruptly turned around.

A knife was raised behind her!

“Ah!” Ning Ning screamed. She had narrowly avoided the kitchen knife as it swung down. The knife had slashed the photo frame, the Yan Qing inside the photo frame had her head split open.

A few strands of hair fell to the floor. Ning Ning looked at the other person, feeling unsettled. “Li Ping Ping!”

Li Ping Ping turned around with a knife in hand. She looked very terrifying, her eyes were shining in excitement.

Ning Ning dodged as she moved towards the door while asking, “How did you get in here?”


…How strange, Ning Ning clearly remembered locking the door, how did Li Ping Ping get inside?

Li Ping Ping smiled triumphantly. She took out a bunch of keys from the pocket of her pants and shook it at Ning Ning.

“What do you think?” She asked.

Ning Ning’s pupils twinkled.

“Who gave you the keys?” Ning Ning asked in a low voice, “Pei Xuan?”

Li Ping Ping didn’t answer her. She put the bunch of keys which belonged to Pei Xuan back into her pocket, then raised the knife and walked towards Ning Ning.


Ning Ning turned tail and ran, but her body was too chubby. She panted as she ran, Pei Xuan’s words ringing out in her mind.

“Eat more.”

“There is less to feel on a skinny person, I’d like for you to have more meat on your body.”

“Come, open up. Let me feed you.”

“It’s fine, even if you get too fat to walk, I’ll piggyback you.”

Plates of fat geese, roasted pig, and cake were given to her in the name of love, it made Ning Ning who was originally chubby grew even more fat. She really could not run anymore, she was like a pig waiting to be slaughtered.


Li Ping Ping caught up to Ning Ning within two to three steps, the two of them ended up in a scuffle. Ning Ning was holding on dearly to Li Ping Ping’s wrist, the knife was inches away from her. It seemed like if she were to loosen her grip, the knife would stab her in her eye.

“Pei Xuan is just using you!” Ning Ning suddenly roared at Li Ping Ping.

Li Ping Ping was stunned for the moment, the strength of her hand had weakened a little.

But her hesitation was only for a short moment, the murderous gleam gathered in her eyes once again. What could Ning Ning do? Sweat was pouring out of Ning NIng’s face, the tip of the knife was getting closer and closer to her eye…


“Yan Qing is alive!” Ning Ning suddenly shouted, “Look at the wall, look at the peephole! She is watching us from behind the wall!”

“That’s impossible!” Li Ping Ping blurted out as her eyes couldn’t help but look towards the wall.

Coincidentally, the moment she turned around, the photo frame that she had split open fell off the wall with a crash, revealing the peephole behind it.

When Li Ping Ping was caught up looking at the peephole, Ning Ning took the opportunity to grab the knife from her, but Li Ping Ping came back to her senses just in time, the two of them started wrestling again.

Obesity ruined people’s lives. In this crucial moment, being a-hundred-eighty kilogram was completely useless. Li Ping Ping pushed Ning Ning to the wall. She placed the knife on Ning Ning’s neck. She was in no hurry to cut Ning Ning open, instead she breathlessly said, “You are lying to me again. We saw her getting buried together! How could she be alive?!”


The coldness of the blade seeped into Ning Ning’s skin, she had goosebumps. She said as she panted, “Did you see her corpse?”

Li Ping Ping, “…”

Ning Ning, “Did you see it or not?”

Li Ping Ping, “How could there be no corpse when there was a coffin?”

“Couldn’t it be someone else’s corpse?” Ning Ning asked.

Li Ping Ping laughed as she found the loophole this time. “Her parents and her husband were there, how could they mistake the corpse?”

“For the sake of ridding themselves of the scandal.” Ning Ning said.


The two of them stopped moving, it seemed like they turned into an oil painting.

“…For such a stupid reason?” Li Ping Ping started laughing.

“Is that reason really stupid?” Ning Ning asked.

She knew that her line of reasoning was a little far-fetched, but no one would be able to cover all grounds in such a situation, she could only try her best to make Li Ping Ping believe in this line of reasoning.

“A person who got involved in such a big scandal, not just herself, even her family would not be able to take it as well. But the deceased is never affected. No matter the size of the scandal, it would disappear once one was deceased.” Ning Ning said.

What she just said was nonsensical, but after careful consideration, it felt like it made some sense. Li Ping Ping seemed to be confused and Ning Ning did not want to give her time to gather her thoughts.


“What are we doing fighting for our lives here? This might even be something that Pei Xuan and Yan Qing had set up!” Ning Ning shouted, “Think about it. If Yan Qing did not die, the two of them would still be husband and wife, what would that make the two of us? The third and fourth party? We might not even be the third and fourth, they just want the two of us to kill each other…”

She turned her head around abruptly and shouted at the wall, “…Let her see!”

A person who had a dark heart would usually think about the darker side of things, Ning Ning might not be telling the truth, but it sounded like the truth to Li Ping Ping.


Li Ping Ping looked uncertain. For the sake of provoking her further, Ning Ning suddenly smacked the wall. “Yan Qing! Are you inside? Yan Qing! Do we look like jokes to you?”

She did not care if anyone answered, she smacked the wall harder and harder.

Li Ping Ping felt distraught from the smacking, she shouted, “Enough! You said she’s alive right? Then bring her to me!”

She took a step back and signalled at Ning Ning to walk forward with the knife. Ning Ning turned the house upside down under the coercion of Li Ping Ping. The sweats on her forehead accumulated more intensely as she went through the house, because all she found were a bunch of peepholes, but she could not find the door that led into the walls.


“Let’s tear the wall down.” Ning Ning suggested, “There’s a hammer in the storeroom.”

“You think I will let you get your hands on such a thing?” Li Ping Ping mocked.

“But she’s just inside!” Ning Ning said, “Why else would there be so many peepholes on the walls? For decoration? Or is it for someone to look out from the inside?”

“…” Li Ping Ping fell silent.

Just when Ning Ning thought she had convinced Li Ping Ping, the knife was pressed on her neck from behind her, Li Ping Ping’s voice coldly rang out, “Forget it, I will tear the wall down after I kill you.”


In the moment of life and death, Ning Ning roared, “I have an idea!”

The knife on her neck stopped after it gave her a shallow cut.

“You don’t have to use such a troublesome method…” Ning Ning said while sweating profusely, “I have a simpler method.”

“…What method?” Li Ping Ping asked.

“Pei Xuan.” Ning Ning swallowed and said, “Pei Xuan will definitely come back to see if you succeeded.”

“…Go on.” Li Ping Ping said.


Fancy that Li Ping Ping did not admit that she had been instigated by Pei Xuan. Where would she get her keys from if it was not Pei Xuan and his instigation? Why would Pei Xuan want to come back and check whether she had succeeded?

“You have a lot of doubts, I have a lot of doubts too.” Ning Ning said, “I want to ask him, between you, between me and Yan Qing, who exactly does he like? If he likes Yan Qing, why did he lock her up? If he likes me, why does he want you to kill me? If he likes you, why does he want to turn you into a murderer?”

Ning Ning could not see the expression on Li Ping Ping’s face as the latter was standing behind her. She waited anxiously for a moment before she heard Li Ping Ping ask in a low voice, “What do you want to do?”


Knowing that Li Ping Ping could not see her face, Ning Ning could not help but silently smile.

The world’s most intimate relationship was the relationship between accomplices, the world’s most unreliable relationship was a love triangle.

Pei Xuan attempted to make Li Ping Ping his accomplice, but now this accomplice had been incited by Ning Ning to defect.

“Pei Xuan would take at most three to four days to come back.” Ning Ning took a deep breath, “When that time comes, this is what we will do…”


Three days later.


The train stopped at the train station, Pei Xuan put down the newspaper in his hand, alighting the train with his luggage.

This vacation revitalised him, he stood out strikingly from the crowd.

He waved his hand to hail a taxi.

“Where to sir?” The taxi driver asked.

“University-affiliated High School.” Pei Xuan said.


The taxi stopped at the entrance of the school. The first thing Pei Xuan did after getting off the taxi was to visit Ning Ning’s office. A few teachers were in the office, one of them was marking the students’ homework, another two were casually chatting.

“Excuse me.” Pei Xuan walked over and asked, “Is Yun Lin around?”

“Yun Lin?” The two teachers stopped talking and looked up at him, “She has not been to school for a few days, you are…”

“I am her fiance. I just returned from a business trip and want to pick her up.” Pei Xuan asked with a face full of doubt, “What was that, she had not been to school for a few days?”

“That’s right, it has been around three days.” One of the teachers said, “Tell her to quickly come back when you find her, the Dean wants to talk to her.”

“Alright, alright.” Pei Xuan nodded frantically before asking, “Do you know where she could have gone? Does her roommate know?”

“Her roommate? Ah, Li Ping Ping.” The teacher shook her head again, “Li Ping Ping has not been to school for a few days as well.”

“Is that so…” Pei Xuan looked down with disappointment, then he told the two teachers politely, “Alright. Thank you, I will go home and see if she is at my house.”

Pei Xuan walked out of the school, preoccupied with his thoughts after bidding the two of them farewell. A few people recognised him and even engaged in small talk with him.


The moment he got on a taxi, his worried expression disappeared. He put one leg over the other and leisurely said, “Go to Shade Avenue.”

The taxi stopped in front of his house.

After he got off the taxi, Pei Xuan stood in front of his house for a moment but did not take his keys out—he had long given his keys away.

He took a look at his watch. It was almost time, he counted up to sixty in his mind. His two old neighbours helped each other out the door as they prepared to take a walk at the park.


“Uncle Li, Aunt Li.” Pei Xuan took the initiative to greet them.

“Aiya, Little Pei, why are you standing here?” Aunt Li looked at the luggage in his hands, “Did you just come back from a business trip?”

“That’s right.” Pei Xuan said with a troubled expression after he answered the question, “I’ve lost my keys there, I cannot get into my house.”

“Then go knock on the door, someone is in your house.” Aunt Li immediately said, “I saw the lights were turned on at night.”

“Is that so?” Pei Xuan immediately walked towards the door in front of them, he knocked on the door repeatedly. “Yun Lin, Yun Lin! Open the door, Dear!”


He shouted louder and louder, the expression on his face got more and more nervous.

The two old people looked at each other, nervousness was spreading among them. Aunt Li asked carefully, “What’s wrong? Are the two of you on bad terms?”

“…Something might have happened to Yun Lin.” Pei Xuan said in a low voice, “I just went to her school to fetch her, but the people from her school said that she had not shown up in three days.”

Aunt Li exclaimed. Uncle Li hugged her tightly and said to Pei Xuan, “I will get my son.”

“I cannot wait anymore.” Pei Xuan started knocking the door down when he finished speaking.


Bang, bang, bang…

The door suddenly swung open as he took two steps back to prepare to run into the door again.

Li Ping Ping was standing behind the door expressionlessly with a bloodstained knife in hand.

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