ur stomach issues flare up and then you’ll know whether or not it matters.”
Wu Zhibin wasn’t that particular.
When he used to go out on missions, coming back alive wasn’t a sure thing.
Paying attention to a meal or two…no matter how much it hurt, he regarded it as a small affliction.
He sat on one side and ate his food, and Xie Lin sat on the other casually flipping through photos.
Just after Wu Zhibin had broken apart his chopsticks, he saw that Xie Lin was looking at the crime scene photos of the cat corpses from that day.
With an unchanged expression, he flicked some rice into his mouth, “You seem to have a special interest in this case.”
To other people it might not be obvious, but to Wu Zhibin it couldn’t be more clear.
Xie Lin had been officially invited into the Criminal Investigation Unit as a consultant when he was fifteen, but even earlier than that—the Unit Chief Xie Feng’s bookshelf was packed to the brim with specialized books and the case records from all kinds of cases from inside and outside the country.
Xie Lin had looked through all of them.
To say that this naturally extremely gifted kid had grown up on those kinds of crime records would not be an exaggeration.
There was no case he hadn’t seen before, why would he be this interested in an ordinary-level case of killed cats?
Xie Lin didn’t deny it.
He glanced at the corpses of those cats again, saying only, “There’s a……person who’s caught my interest.”
“A suspect?” Wu Zhibin asked.
“I can’t say for sure,” Xie Lin said, “Actually, there are a couple of things about him that are inconsistent with the idea, but he is indeed suspicious.”
Xie Lin finished looking through that pile of information, discovering that the situation was basically the same as when he had gone to the crime scene originally, “There’s still only this? No progress has been made at all?”
He was fine before this was brought up, but as soon Xie Lin mentioned it Wu Zhibin was about to blow a fuse.
He lay down his chopsticks on the table and picked up his cane from off to the side, walking over to the door.
He used his cane to point from afar, speaking with an imposing air to the couple of newbies who had been sneakily watching the situation inside the office, “You, you, and you.
You three, get the hell in here.”
After ten seconds, Ji Mingrui, Su Xiaolan, and Jiang Yu stood blod upright and formed a line.
Wu Zhibin finally settled the score, “What the hell have you guys been doing, it’s been five entire days, and you haven’t made any progress at all? Sometimes, I really admire just how capable you guys are.”
No one dared to speak, but then Xie Lin stood in to help alleviate their embarrassment, “What’re you being so harsh for? Can’t you be a bit nicer to the newbies.”
Wu Zhibin tapped his cane on the floor, “Every year I’m older than the last, and I can’t take being aggravated.
Actually, I hope they can also have mercy on me, and not aggravate me all the time.”
Ji Mingrui, “……”
Su Xiaolan, “……”
Jiang Yu who was blushing because his idol had looked at him, “……”
Finally it was still Ji Mingrui who bravely stood up against the danger threatening his life, “Uh, it really is because, it rained……”
Everyone tactically agreed that ‘the rain’ was an extremely unfavorable factor.
But Xie Lin looked at those pictures for another while and said, “The rain might be a valuable clue.”
Everyone simultaneously turned to look at him.
Xie Lin spoke again, “Why was it a rainy day?”
“From examining the footprints, the dump site doesn’t have the traces of someone having stayed there for a long time to commit the crime.
So, that isn’t the first crime scene.
Someone who clearly isn’t very strong, but still specially moved the bodies.
This indicates that there must be something particular about the first crime scene that made him move the bodies—For some reason, he couldn’t keep hiding the bodies there.”
“There are no more clues at the dump site, but there must be more to be found at the first crime scene.”
“House cats are more docile, it doesn’t take much strength to capture one,” Xie Lin’s gaze passed over that silver Scottish Fold, the only cat with an owner, and hovered on the bodies of the remaining six strays, “But stray cats are different, and it’s also winter right now; where could someone catch this many stray cats without expending a lot of strength?”
At that moment, muffled thunder echoed in from outside with a rumble.
Immediately after, the pitter patter of raindrops started pounding on the windows.
Sure enough, just before nightfall it started raining again.
It was already dark out, and even though it was raining it was coming down quietly.
At the same time, Chi Qing was at home holding a glass of water and looking at his coffee table, seeing the stack of case photos Ji Mingrui had left behind at his house when he left.
Because the lights in his apartment weren’t on, those pictures at first glance looked indistinct, as if they were from a black and white silent film.
Chi Qing drank his hot water exasperatingly slowly, and at the same time picked up that pile of photographs, using the weak light from the television next to him to inspect them.
Only after the light from the television changed colors was that photograph illuminated a bit.
Chi Qing looked for a long time before finally putting that picture down.
He continued to hold his cup and look at the television screen.
Even when the program finished and the television started playing ads, he still didn’t react at all.
After a long while, and the ads finished, he finally started to move.
He felt for his phone, then tapped open his contacts and found the contact labeled “Ji Mingrui.”
However, the person on the other side, Ji Mingrui, was still in a state of questioning his life and himself, “……”
Xie Lin had left already, but Ji Mingrui kept thinking: I am an idiot.
How the hell did he deduce that much stuff?
Finally, he attacked his own soul:
Don’t tell me that I really am a retard!?
(t/n: word kept for adherence to the original text)
Ji Mingrui hadn’t recovered an ounce of his strength, and missed the message Chi Qing sent.
– Aside from the dump site, did you guys survey the first scene.
Chi Qing continued to type.
– The place where the murderer committed the crime is likely somewhere where stray cats gather in the winter.
The defining characteristics of that place are that the entrance is narrow, or you could say that it’s disadvantageous for fleeing.
After sending that message, Chi Qing didn’t wait for the other side’s reply.
He glanced at the rain out the window.
In general, his mood was quite good on rainy days, and today was no exception.
With a rarely seen good mood, he thought of Ji Mingrui who had been wailing in anguish for many days because of those seven cat corpses.
Chi Qing thought that if that person continued wailing like that, he wouldn’t be aware of the case being broken or not; he’d only be aware that the speed at which he could be annoyed to death was definitely faster than the speed at which Ji Mingrui could break cases.
Thus, Chi Qing put on his gloves, picked up an umbrella, and left the house.
The Haimao xiaoqu was not even three intersections away from the xiaoqu he lived in.
Few people were walking down the street in the depth of the night, and the whole time Chi Qing was walking he didn’t run into anyone.
The lawn that had been stained with blood by the entrance to the Haimao xiaoqu had already been cleaned up by someone.
Chi Qing tried hard to remember the composition of this street, and simultaneously realized that the places that satisfied all of the necessary requirements were quite few.
He walked past a few places where it would be easy for stray cats to gather, but didn’t find any kind of traces at any of them.
Chi Qing carried his umbrella and couched there to look.
The ground was completely clean, only having a few shabby cat bowls packed with leftover food.
Then there was only one final place remaining—Not too far from Haimao, there was a small abandoned factory.
That factory had already been left unused for a long time.
Only, recently there had been vague rumors going around that it was going to be refurbished soon.
The rain came down harder and harder.
Chi Qing carried his umbrella, his fingers resting on the handle, and walked towards the factory.
This factory really didn’t take up much space, and most of it was used to pile up abandoned machinery.
The pipes and doors had long rusted over, and the weeds by the door had already grown quite high.
However, the space around the entrance was still flat.
Somebody had been entering through here often.
And what’s more important; somebody was inside the factory.
Chi Qing saw a person’s figure in the darkness.
That person was crouching down at that moment, holding a bloody serrated knife in their hand.
The color of ground below his feet was much deeper than the surrounding darkness; it was most likely a bloodstain that had been there for a long time already.
That person heard a sound and inclined his head slightly.
And thus, Chi Qing stood across from a face he had just seen during the day, one that could immediately shatter his good mood.
木瓜黄’s author’s note:
Xie Lin: You’re very dangerous
Chi Qing: You’re not so bad yourself
Sorry, the word count got away from me, I’m arriving late, you don’t need to meticulously wait
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