or, looking almost black.
When he wasn’t smiling the severity of his features shone through, making him look much less “friendly” than he normally did.


Xie Lin twisted that ring on his finger, “It’s possible he wants to kill someone.”


The statement was like a sudden lightning strike on level land.
Wu Zhibin abruptly shot to his feet, “What did you say!?”


Xie Lin stretched out a hand and once again took the photographs out of the case file one by one, arranging them into a line.
The cat corpses reappeared before their eyes one by one.


As Xie Lin was arranging the photographs, he seemed to be arranging them according to a certain pattern.
Wu Zhibin looked a few times before realizing that Xie Lin was lining them up according to how level their wounds were—from left to right, the wounds became more and more rough; also signifing the murderer’s technique getting more and more cruel.


This was a very commonly seen phenomenon.


When the perpetrator was using a violent attack to achieve some kind of cathartic release, he would be unable to control himself during the course of the attack.
This was also why many murderers would choose to continue tyrranizing the corpse afterwards.


But Xie Lin pointed in the opposite direction, “Look from right to left.”


Wu Zhibin looked, and his pupils dilated unconsciously.


“These cats died too close together, there’s no way to differentiate them.
But today when I was at the first crime scene I discovered another cat corpse.
When I got there, that cat’s body hadn’t stiffened yet, and that corpse let me confirm the sequence,” Xie Lin paused here, then spoke again, “Have the officers you dispatched gotten there yet?”


As soon as Xie Lin found the crime scene, he had sent Wu Zhibin a message.
Wu Zhibin said, “Yeah, the crime scene’s already sealed.
The physical evidence has been collected as well, it’s being sent for inspection now.


Xie Lin’s hand slowly stroked the cut marks in the picture.


“Compared to other types of knives, there’s an obvious sawing feeling when using a serrated knife, meaning you can clearly sense the feeling of cutting open flesh—Have you used a knife to cut meat before? That feeling of resistance and progress can sometimes be addicting for people.”


Wu Zhibin pinched his brows together as he listened.


“Sharp knives are most often used for quick kills.
Only those driven by revenge or hatred slowly relish in the pain.”


“The cut marks on the first cat are very rough; he cut all the way from the throat to the abdomen, and even stopped a couple of times in the middle.
But look at the last cat.
The killer even started chasing after the smoothness of the wounds.
When he came down with his knife he went slower and slower each time.
He was cool-headed……to the point that…it’s very possible he’s practicing for something.”


“All of that’s just a guess,” Wu Zhibin said.


“And the most important point,” Xie Lin pointed at the knife wound on the cat’s chest.
It was in a slightly off-center spot, and every cat’s chest had a knife wound in a similar position; they had been directly impaled by someone with a knife, “The placement of this wound is special.
Generally, a cat’s heart is between the fifth and eighth ribs.”


Xie Lin used a very ordinary tone of voice to say the most terrifying conjecture, “Only human hearts are positioned between the second and fifth ribs.”




“Of course, these things could be nothing more than coincidences.
I can only say that my gut is telling me the killer might have another objective.”


Wu Zhibin thought back on the day the crime scene was uncovered.
He called Xie Lin to come over and look, and at that time Xie Lin had also been examining the knife marks like this—Since this kid was very young, he’d always been very good at seeing things from the perpetrator’s perspective.


He seemed to know how the killer had broken open the flesh, how he’d followed the edge of the knife moving down little by little.
He knew what the killer was thinking at that moment, he knew why the murder chose this type of serrated knife, and why not a more convenient, flatter and smoother one.


The air conditioning was on in the office.
He looked at Xie Lin’s profile, dimly seeing an image of ten years before, of that teenager sitting in the conference room at headquarters wearing his school uniform.



At the same time, Bianmin Grocery was open until 11:30 and was just about to close for the night.


Somebody pushed open the door to the grocery.


Ding-a-ling, the sound of the doorbell echoed.


The little boy had finished his homework.
He was actually already quite sleepy, and he yawned as he repacked his pencil case.


The sound of rain outside was loud.


It almost masked the sound of the doorbell.



11:35, inside the Yong’an-Division Police Station:


“Put down whatever you’re doing, early tomorrow morning you’re going back to Haimao to keep investigating.
Don’t let a single security camera near the first crime scene slip past.”


Ji Mingrui didn’t totally understand why after Bin-ge had come out of his office, his expression had become so serious, “Okay, Bin-ge.”


He was just preparing to take his good friend’s statement.


No matter how you looked at it, Chi Qing was someone who had appeared at the crime scene.
The necessary procedures still had to be conducted.


Ji Mingrui scribbled in his notebook, raising his head again, “That—” He momentarily didn’t know how to reference the person he wanted to talk about, so he paused for two seconds before continuing, “Mr.
Xie? Come over here too.”


He pointed at the empty seat next to Chi Qing, “Sit here, it’s a good time for you two to give your statements.”


Chi Qing glanced at him briefly.


Ji Mingrui immediately knew what he wanted to say, “Da-ge, I know, these two seats are too close together.
But I’m taking statements here.
I can’t have you sit here and make Mr.
Xie go sit over by the door to the office.”


Chi Qing, “He can sit here, I’ll go over by the door.”


Ji Mingrui, “……”


Ge, not likely.


Ji Mingrui decided to skip over this topic, directly starting to ask his questions, “You start, why did you come out at this time tonight?”


Chi Qing, “Because the weather is good.”


Xie Lin listened to the sound of rain from outside, “You think the weather is good tonight?”


Chi Qing, “Do you have a problem with that?”




Ji Mingrui realized that Chi Qing’s temper was exceptionally intense towards Xie Lin, “Stop it, stop it.
We’re just taking statements, don’t fight.”


Ji Mingrui cleared his throat and continued, “Out of the two of you, who made the first move?”


Xie Lin, “Me.”


Chi Qing, “Him.”


Ji Mingrui, “We can figure this out.
Even if you ran into each other at the crime scene, you can still calmly sit here and talk.”


Xie Lin, “It was my fault, he bought a knife……and then happened to appear at the crime scene.
He seemed suspicious.
I was afraid he’d run away.”


Chi Qing glanced at him, “You were holding a knife.
Do you think you looked so normal yourself?”


Ji Mingrui’s state of mind was extremely complicated while taking the statements.


He wanted to say actually, both of you are extremely abnormal, so don’t be a pot calling the kettle black, alright?




木瓜黄’s author’s note:


Sorry, I’m kneeling down ORZ

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