Translated by: TaffyGirl13
“Huh? Trauma impairment? Me?”
Jiu Shen, who was informed of the conjecture after waking, stared with wide eyes.
It wasn’t just Dong Feng that had been bothered by the contents of the text. Yu had also arrived by himself a bit later, and now had a slightly concerned expression on his face. However, everyone there still finished eating the cakes, and Yu used their current supplies to prepare a steaming pot of fruit tea.
“Looks like that really is true.” Yan Si earnestly studied his dazed friend. “Although I didn’t major in this field, we can still try some mystical spiritual methods of having you recall your past…”
“Rather than letting Yan-dàgē try that, it would be safer to have Dong Feng do it.” Yu Yin had no favourable impressions of a certain forensic investigator.
“I don’t have a license. If you go crazy, I’m not taking responsibility,” Dong Feng coldly stated from the seat furthest away.
“…I can adapt to it or find someone myself, really.” As the person in question, Jiu Shen suddenly felt a bit dejected as he accepted the sliced cake and fruit tea from Yu.
“Considering that you’ve already adapted to the point of not showing any indicators, the incident should’ve happened when you were very young,” Dong Feng drank his fruit tea as he informed the other the conclusion they had just looked into.
“By the way, your mom is a great person. She even said she’d invite me over to eat next time, with free-range chicken & mushroom soup. As expected of a great mother that raised such a son. Good women are amazing. I really hope that I can also find a wife that can cook so well too,” Yan Si commented confidently as he took a whiff of the fragrant tea.
“What exactly do you mean by those words that really sound like you were just bothering my mother…wait a minute, when did you speak with my mom?” Jiu Shen was so dumbfounded that he froze with a bite of cake still in his mouth.
“After you fell in battle, Xiao Dong-zai and I planned out the mission together; great minds really do think alike. I thought that if we were going to get acquainted with your parents, we might as well meet up, so I called to ask your mother.” At this point, Yan Si sounded just the tiniest bit apologetic, “But we accidentally got too enthusiastic while chatting and spoke for over an hour. I’ll help you pay some of your cellphone bills this month.”
“…You used my cellphone to chat with my mom?” Jiu Shen pulled out the device from his pocket and saw that there really was a record of calling home. He pressed a hand against his forehead; he was really starting to feel a headache now.
“Can I bring my old roommate with me to hang out with your mom? If there’s going to be delicious food, the more people the merrier.”
“Forget Prosecutor Li. And don’t take advantage of my mom.” Although his mom really did love interacting with others, he had zero desire to see his mom getting mixed together with a certain forensic investigator…Ahhhhhhh—
“Relax, I’m very courteous. There won’t be any lack of gifts.” Yan Si flashed him a friendly smile.
That’s not the issue at all!
Jiu Shen was seriously starting to feel on the verge of losing his mind.
“Putting aside awkward incidents, I asked if you had previously encountered any strange events…not that I want to bring it up, but your childhood was a bit too disastrous, Jiu Shen-xiǎodì. How did you have a neighbour’s discarded firework explode on you? Wouldn’t a normal person stay further away?” The contents of Jiu Shen’s childhood were clearly part of a tragic drama! Yan Si couldn’t help but shed tears of pity for the other, though it was originally more like tears of laughter.
“That was the big brother next door tossing it in the wrong place. It fell underneath the car, which was pretty dangerous, so I went to pick it up but then it exploded on me.” Does that count as disastrous? Wouldn’t the car having such a thing be the true disaster? Jiu Shen did not understand why one would stay further away.
“You really are a good kid,” Yan Si said earnestly from the bottom of his head. Really, a clumsy, foolish, and gullible little kid.
“Why does it sound like you’re insulting me.” Jiu Shen did not feel happy at all.
“Don’t mind the details. In any case, your mom said that you did run into a strange incident when you were very young. In summary, you seem to have gone missing while playing with a bunch of your cousins. Everyone looked for you for a very long time, and finally managed to find you in a ditch at a nearby construction site around dawn.” On the phone, the housewife said that the child might have fallen in himself while playing around, so she hadn’t found it that odd. However, she had been suspicious because Jiu Shen usually would never go to the areas that the adults warned about, even if his older relatives ran around. This had been the sole exception. Moreover, he had scared himself to death; a child trapped in a ditch for an entire night was definitely a catastrophe. When the adults had rescued the child, the child had been crying to the point of nearly being unable to breathe and had suffered nightmares for many nights afterwards.
“…I really don’t recall that incident, but I heard my mom mention it before. It was before elementary.” Jiu Shen had no memories of the matter, but his mom would occasionally talk about it during scoldings. Besides, there was no way he could remember everything from when he was a child, so he had never paid it any mind.
“If you don’t know yourself, then use that as a point and try to think back on anything that might have caused trauma-induced memory impairment. Being stranded that night is already enough to leave trauma.” Dong Feng recommended, “Or you can just try asking a doctor. Otherwise, your condition from earlier might end up becoming an issue if it happened in a dangerous place instead of your day-to-day.”
“Actually, I had no idea I had such a condition before today. It’s probably difficult to trigger.” Or should I be saying that it’s very lucky I didn’t trigger it before? Jiu Shen tilted his head in thought, but he still could not figure out what the root cause was. It might really have been this incident of falling into a ditch. No wonder I was about to die of fright when I was in the forest that night.
“It’s the possibility that is the concern for these types of matters.” After confirming that the current situation was not particularly urgent, Dong Feng finished his fruit tea and stood up. He patted his pants and picked up his backpack. “I’ll be heading home first then.”
“I’ll bring you…”
“I’ll pass. I got a ride,” Dong Feng eyed Yu as he rejected Yu Yin’s offer. “That’s all then. Jiu Shen-gē, if you have any other questions, you can contact me.”
“Thank you,” Jiu Shen felt extremely moved.
“Xiao Dong-zai, aren’t you a bit too biased? How come Jiu Shen-xiǎodì can contact you but I can’t?” Yan Si protested.
“I’ll accept you on the day you die,” Dong Feng retorted before spinning around and leaving.
“…Don’t complain, I get hung up on all the time too.” After that day, Yu Yin had called Dong Feng multiple times. At the beginning, he had received a text saying to ignore their conversation and the clash, that it was all a normal reaction. Afterwards, he’d get his calls declined every time. While visiting, Li Zi Hong had mentioned that this was a very typical pattern and to not be bothered by it. However, Yu Yin still felt some guilt.
He did not know how Dong Feng thought of the incident that day, but he personally felt very apologetic.
That was also why Yu Yin had been extremely surprised to see Dong Feng run over after the text today, with a similar attitude as before. And this placed Yu Yin a bit more at ease.
“I’m going to step out for a moment.” Jiu Shen read the other unopened texts on his phone and then quickly shot up. “A friend is looking for me.”
“Don’t get lost,” Yan Si waved.
“You can go get lost! Your entire conscience is already lost!”
“How did you know?” Yan Si was astonished. “If you see it, make sure to tell it not to come back. It’s been banished so it should just hurry up and find a new home.”
Jiu Shen shook his head and left immediately.
When Jiu Shen arrived at the location in the text, he spotted Yuan Zhen Ting sitting in a cafe two blocks away. From the distance, Yuan Zhen Ting waved at Jiu Shen at his seat.
“How did you know I was here?” Jiu Shen was a bit surprised as he quickly strode over.
“The person that answered your phone said so. He told me that you were having an internal battle and soul searching or something. That person spoke a bit oddly, so I was a bit worried and asked where you were. He said you were around here, so I rushed over to check in.” After all that had happened this morning, Yuan Zhen Ting had not gone to work today and had decided to make this extra trip.
Jiu Shen’s thoughts towards Yan Si were filled with censored blanks.
“Did you wait long?” Jiu Shen felt slightly apologetic, as it had been over half an hour ago when he had received the text.
“It wasn’t that bad. It’s not like I have anything to do today anyways…Is something wrong?” Yuan Zhen Ting noticed the other suddenly look at him with narrowed eyes. He glanced around, not sure of what was going on.
Jiu Shen scratched his face and, after some thought, decided to still ask, “Did anyone from your family go missing?”
“Why do you ask that?”
In that moment, Jiu Shen definitely sensed the other’s raised guard. Without a change in expression, he answered, “I saw a search announcement at the police station today. There was an older man that had a similar figure to you. I heard that up until now, there still hasn’t been anyone to identify him.” After seeing Yuan Zhen Ting again, Jiu Shen finally realised where the sense of familiarity came from.
The deceased in the freezer was similar to Yuan Zhen Ting. Though their facial features were not very close, their overall figures were near identical, as well as some minor details like the corners of their eyes.
How did I not make the connection?! I guess it really is true when people say that you won’t notice things when you’re too close. No wonder I had the feeling that Yuan Zhen Ting seemed familiar at first sight.
“I see…” Yuan Zhen Ting smiled. “I heard that my dad went missing, and it seems to have been a while. I don’t know the details, but maybe the announcement you saw really was my dad.”
“You guys don’t live together?” Jiu Shen took note of the other’s cold response as he followed them to pay the bill and leave the café.
“No. I live on my own and he lives on his own. At the beginning of the year, his boss called and furiously stated that he didn’t go to work. I never heard of him again after.” Yuan Zhen Ting shrugged and said, “That guy loved drinking and was violent. He never went to school so he went around doing part-time jobs, hard labour, etc. and never brought home his wages, which he spent on either drinking or gambling. The family expenses were all covered by my mom cleaning other people’s homes. Since I was a kid, my mom and I were always beaten. A few years ago, my mom died from overwork, so I moved out by myself. The bastard would occasionally run back asking for money…I still have scars on my body from being burned by his cigarettes.” He lifted his clothes to show Jiu Shen the row of scars on his abdomen. “I have more on my back. There was even a time when he grabbed a knife and tried to kill us. In the end, my mom, who was protecting me, was stabbed. Until she died, she still suffered from residual effects; it would hurt her every time it rained.”
The uneven appearance of the wounds were undoubtedly cigarette burns. Jiu Shen did not know what to say. He had been beaten by his mom a few times as a child too, but not this type of pure abuse. His mom always had some kind of reason to beat him.
But it wasn’t as though he did not understand these children’s suffering. He had seen it way too many times for work. Domestic violence never got resolved completely; the social workers that wanted to help were limited by insufficient manpower and faulty reports from the families because they did not want to publicise their various sufferings. It was impossible to effectively prevent such matters from occurring again.
“So I’m really not surprised if he died. I swore as a kid that I would kill him one day so that both my mom and I wouldn’t have to live under his shadow. After I grew older, my mom ended up dying, and I had promised at her grave that I would send him down to repay my mom…so it’s a pity that I couldn’t do it with my own hands.”
Jiu Shen was completely frozen, dumbstruck by Yuan Zhen Ting’s furious expression.
Yuan Zhen Ting quickly calmed back down. He changed to a lighter tone as he asked, “Oh right, if you’re free, do you want to come with me? The bike group is going a different route today. I heard the scenery is pretty good.”
“…I do.” Jiu Shen accepted the helmet and lowered his head. After a moment of hesitation, he asked, “You’re left-handed?”
“Yeah. Is there something wrong with that too?”
Yuan Zhen Ting chuckled. “What in the world are you doing? That won’t do; if you’re always spacing out at work, you’ll definitely get bullied.”
“Don’t tell me you really have been?”
Yu Xia stared at the clinic in front of him.
According to the address that the three people had provided him, it was indeed this clinic. The entrance had a small, inconspicuous clinic sign. The front door was tightly shut, and the glass was not the usual transparent glass, which made it impossible to check the situation inside.
There was no knowing if they were temporarily out or what. In any case, there was a “On Break” notice in front, and there weren’t opening hours or anything.
Yu Xia massaged his temples. After some thought, he decided to directly break in. However, before he could do so, he suddenly heard a faint noise behind. When he spun around, he did not see anything there, though he did sense something present.
This type of situation had happened before. Yu Xia let out a snort, decidedly not threatened.
Right as he raised his foot, his cellphone rang. It was a text message from Ah Liu. The contents were simple; that something important had happened and that he should head back as quickly as possible.
“What the hell.” He called back, but couldn’t connect even after two or three attempts. Yu Xia had no idea what the other person was doing but sending such a text meant something must have happened. It seemed that he would have to finish this inspection soon and hurry back.
He stowed his phone away and tried pushing the door. As expected, it was tightly locked. There wasn’t any shadow visible behind the frosted glass either.
He could faintly hear indistinct noise from inside.
It was not a sound that an adult would make. Rather, it was light, soft footsteps, something that a very small child would make while running around. It was not just a single person, but multiple that overlapped.
“Is someone inside?!” Yu Xia pressed the clinic’s doorbell and then knocked the door twice.
Right as his hand left the handle, there was a sudden thud of a heavy object colliding into the door. The bang came from the inside with a decent amount of force that made the door shake slightly.
Then, he saw a small silhouette appear on the frosted glass. A tiny, dark-red face was pressed against the inner surface with a smile.
Then, he saw a second face, and a third face, all pile up together.
Yu Xia placed his hand onto the holster of his pistol as he frigidly glared at the frosted glass that was starting to turn a bloody red. “If you have what it takes, just come out directly. Don’t bother with the hocus-pocus.”
As though responding to his words, something suddenly scattered behind the door. It was like a tower of wooden blocks collapsing. The faces against the door all vanished, followed by the sound of many children laughing. A heavy rusted stench flowed out from the cracks of the door as dark-coloured blood spread across the ground.
Yu Xia frowned as he watched the blackish blood slowly reach the bottom of his shoes.
Right as he was about to act, a piercing scream rang out from the clinic. It was a terrifying wail of agony, accompanied by multiple different noises of collisions, as though something was running for its life. Then the smells disappeared, and the pool of blood below him vanished as well.
Everything returned to normal in a single second.
“Yo, Mr. Cop #2, what a coincidence!”
He turned his head to see Xiao Hai waving at him.
“Why are you doing here?”
Yu Xia glanced at the girl walking towards him, then eyed the clinic again. He decided to give up on the idea of charging in for now.
“Oh, although Yi Tai-gē said you would deal with it, I was still a bit worried. So after I finished dealing with those bastards, I came ‘round to take a look.” Xiao Hai pointed at the clinic. After she and her brother had handled the thugs that were following Huang Xu Guang’s parents, they had split up to do their own things. “A few female customers said that this place will instantly provide service; even for tricky situations. But you need a connection.”
“That means Sun Hui Ying and Zhang Yuan Xiang couldn’t have come into contact with this type of place.” Yu Xia naturally knew that this type of underground business would have its own system. Children like those two would definitely not have gotten a “connection”. For Sun Hui Ying to have arrived at this place meant someone else had intervened, but who would touch a pure junior high girl? And not hesitate to bring things to this stage?
In that instant, Yu Xia had an idea.
He walked out to call Xiao Wu. The moment the line connected, he heard a bunch of background noise, as well as the evidently large number of sirens. “What happened? Where are you?”
“I’m at Zhang Yuan Xiang’s…that boy’s home. I just arrived, but there were already an ambulance and firetruck here.” On the other end, Xiao Wu’s voice was raised so as not to be swallowed by the sirens. “The firemen said the boy set the house on fire to attempt suicide. Fortunately, the neighbours noticed early on, and he only had some burns and choked on some smoke. He’s being sent to the hospital now. I’m going to follow and help contact his family while I’m at it.”
“Ok, be careful. Also, can you help me check some things…” After telling Xiao Wu what he needed, Yu Xia finally ended the call.
“Anything you need me to do?” Xiao Hai crossed her arms as she glanced at the police officer next to her. “Yi Tai-gē said you shouldn’t hesitate to mention if you need me.”
“I probably do now.”
Yu Xia turned his head to look at the people that had at some point appeared from the alleyway to surround them.
There were eight or nine tall and sturdy men that did not appear to have good intentions. They had metal rods and knives, and even without them speaking, he knew what this group meant.
If it wasn’t Xiao Hai being targeted, then it was him being targeted.
Perhaps taken aback by the fact that there would be two of them, a few of the people eyed the strong-looking man standing in the back – likely the leader.
“That senior high student.” The leader commanded, “The girl isn’t important! Hurry up and get lost!”
Yu Xia and Xiao Hai simultaneously burst a vein.
“Who did you call a senior high student?!”
“Fuck! Did this girl get in your way?!”
That afternoon, a massacre happened in a small alley.
The officers that later arrived to control the situation discovered that it was the thugs themselves that had reported to them, begging and crying for the officers to take them away. They said that they had just been beating people up for others to earn money for food and had no idea children these days were so fierce.
Then the injured, crying thugs had confessed that someone had told them to discipline a boy in front of the clinic. However, they really did not know who the employer was. They had just accepted the money for the job. Afterwards, they asked the officers to quickly arrest them so that they could stay away from the violent boy and girl!
This matter later became a legend at the police station that the older, experienced members would tell the newer amateurs as a lesson to not step on landmines.
“That frozen deceased is Yuan Zhen Ting’s father.”
Upon returning to the police station, Yu Xia immediately went looking for Ah Liu.
Ah Liu clicked open a file, his expression grave as he said, “Jiu Shen just sent a text with this name and asked me to look into whether the one that died in the deep freezer was related to this person. In the end, it really was a match.” Although he had no idea what shenanigans his colleague was up to, this information was enough to give them a headache. “Yuan A Meng, sixty-three years old. Moonlighted various labour jobs. I asked Xiao Wu to call some agencies, and they all said that they haven’t been able to find this person since the beginning of the year. Since it had nothing to do with them, they had not really paid it any mind. A few years ago, he had been involved with multiple domestic violence cases, but because his wife insisted on not pressing charges, he escaped multiple times.”
As Yu Xia read the data on the screen, he felt a vein pop. What in the world is Jiu Shen doing? Even when he’s not working, he’s still randomly digging up things like a groundhog!
“I asked around, and he has quite a few enemies. He has debts from gambling and caused trouble when drunk. He’d often get into disputes with other workers, giving the leaders headaches. But the bosses took it on, not wanting to let him starve to death, thus giving him the lowest-level rough labour for him to scrape by. You guys can probably investigate in that direction.” Ah Liu passed over a list he had just organised and shrugged. “Even though it’s not your case.”
“I’ll hand it over to the people responsible.”
Yu Xia turned his head.
“Although I don’t know what Jiu Shen is doing, he isn’t as stupid as he appears.” That guy should know what he needs to do. Ah Liu was a bit worried, but he still trusted that his friend knew the boundaries.
After watching Yu Xia leave the work area, Ah Liu let out a long breath.
Despite all that, Jiu Shen was getting too close to that bike group. In the past, he would’ve never done such a thing; there was no knowing the dangers. It’s best if all these matters in our hands finish as soon as possible so that he can keep his distance from that chaos.
Ah Liu eyed the clock. It was seriously late already. After being dragged into this group’s work styles, he was realising in alarm that his own overtime had increased.
Right as he was thinking of quickly finishing up some more trivial things, he heard the text notification from his phone. When he pulled it out, he saw that it contained photos of a nightscape, as well as a bag of snacks.
In that moment, Ah Liu suddenly wanted to take back his earlier words.
—That guy isn’t just stupid, he’s beyond stupid!
When Yu Xia left the work area, he received a report from Xiao Wu.
Although it was very fortunate that Zhang Yuan Xiang’s fire had been discovered early, the battle had only truly begun after he had been delivered to the hospital. First, the mother had exploded in fury after receiving the news and arriving at the ER. She had even attacked a few officers that had tried to ask questions. Then the father that had arrived later had begun doubting them. He had refused to let the officers directly come into contact with the boy, so they had never been able to make proper inquiries about the incident.
Since the other party was a minor, they had no ways of directly interrogating the child.
Yu Xia pondered this for a moment, then called his currently resting friend and asked for them to help make this trip out of necessity. Yu Xia hoped to hear the truth regarding some matters from Zhang Yuan Xiang’s mouth. Moreover, he was extremely certain that the child would cooperate. The issue with this incident was not on the young couple, but the adults.
This was why Sun Hui Ying had not left behind any last words.
He stopped in his tracks and turned around to see his brother walking over.
“Here, shots from the surveillance cameras at the end of the street. I helped get several timepoints for you. The black car that took Sun Hui Ying away really did frequently go in and out from the clinic. There were recent timestamps of several girls entering, and there was a familiar face among them.” Yu Tong pulled out from the folder several magnified photos that he had extracted. He and a group of colleagues had swiftly reviewed the footage and communication records after receiving the news. Even Ye Huan En, who had just passed by, had been pulled in to help.
Yu Xia fell silent for two seconds when he saw the images. “Lin Zi Lei?” The female university student and self-proclaimed cousin of Song Hui Chun that disappeared after Ye Huan En’s case?
“Yes, we matched them and it should be correct. She was there too.” After Ye Huan En’s incident, they had sent out a search team but had never found the girl’s whereabouts. Yet, now she had appeared once more. That meant the clinic likely had an undeniable connection to the gynaecologist from that case. “So the search warrant you wanted is here. You can head out immediately.”
“They’re probably asleep at this time.” Yu Xia glanced at his watch, though he still grabbed the permit. “I didn’t have the time to kill him. To think he even had the guts to hire people to beat me.” Just thinking about it made him angry. Putting the fight aside, saying those words had given him no desire to hold back.
“Speaking of which, shouldn’t you restrain yourself a bit? How old are you already?” Yu Tong had shaken his head after hearing the report in the afternoon. Fortunately, the other party had not known their opponent was a police officer. Otherwise, they would have ended up with another unending pile of problems and reports.
“Half of them were beaten by your little Xiao Hai.” That girl wasn’t any less merciless than I was! Yu Xia admitted that even he had not been as ruthless as Xiao Hai, who had basically beaten them into a pulp.
“…You want to compare yourself to a child that’s half your age?”
“By the way, there’s a report on the shoeprints from Lin Yu Ji’s body. Also quite a few handprints that were separated one by one.”
Yu Xia flipped to the back [of the papers] and finished reading the words. Then he patted his brother with the photos. “You go capture the bike-racing gang. I’m heading out.”
“Be careful.” Yu Tong had indeed planned to head out as well. He did not forget to add this reminder.
“They are the ones that should be careful.”
Yu Xia was going to beat that group of millennials to death.
“You’re so annoying! How many times do I have to tell you not to bother my child! You’ve even caused him to do something as abnormal as setting the house on fire! I’ll definitely sue all of you cops to death!”
The woman was still screaming in the ER.
Since the nurses seriously could not stop her, they had only requested for them to resolve the issues in a vacant check-up room.
Since undertaking the case up until now, this was actually Xiao Wu’s first time seeing the young boyfriend in person. The previous person that had taken this case had apparently also been painfully expelled by the opposite party.
Zhang Yuan Xiang’s father was some company’s chief executive with a high status. The mother was a very typical housewife. Their lifestyle was pretty generous, and they had spent a large sum on having the child learn various talents as well.
The instant Xiao Wu had seen them, he had known he was doomed. That mother was the type of extremely difficult parent that he had heard stories of. She dressed well and even had a fancy manicure, which meant she likely did not do housework much. Her words were overbearing; every time she opened her mouth, she would start with something like “us taxpayers are funding police like you”…Honestly speaking, he detested people saying things like “us taxpayers” for no reason, then criticising them as though it was the right thing to do. We’re taxpayers too. Xiao Niao pays quite a bit of taxes as well. And it’s not like we’re slacking. Does a boss at a typical company constantly complain about giving money to their employees after paying them salaries? So even after they work to death, they’ll still be badmouthed?
Seriously, is she not afraid of her child taking after her?
Compared to the mother that was still lashing out at the uniformed officers, Zhang Yuan Xiang lay peacefully in the bed. He had his head turned to the side, seemingly not wanting to look at anyone.
As the parents were going through the hundred ways of hindering them, someone entered the ER and swiftly strode over.
“Huh? Prosecutor Li?” Xiao Wu had not expected the other person to suddenly run over here and was somewhat taken aback. However, he hurriedly went up. “Aren’t you…”
“I start work this afternoon, although I will only be officially touching cases next week.” Li Zi Hong smiled. He had rushed over upon getting Yu Xia’s call. After glancing through the condition of the scene, he had immediately realised where the issue lay. “Are the social welfare worker and lawyer here?”
“They’re here, the two standing at the wall. They were just pushed out by Zhang Yuan Xiang’s mother.” Xiao Wu had felt some pity for those two. The instant they had arrived, they had been hit with a torrent of abuse. The lawyer was apparently a friend of the father or something too.
“Then ask them to come here.” Li Zi Hong instructed the officer next to him to shut the door so they would not disturb the other doctors outside. Then he walked straight over to Zhang Yuan Xiang. Seeing his actions, the mother stopped her tirade and grabbed her husband to stalk over and block Li Zi Hong’s way. The pair glared at him with exceptionally hostile faces. “Public prosecutor. My surname is Li. There is no need to be worried.”
“We forbid the police from speaking with out child. We have the right!”
Li Zi Hong looked at the female baring her teeth and claws, then patted Xiao Wu protecting him so that the latter could move aside. “I know he’s very upset, but it isn’t student Zhang that I want to speak to. It is you two.”
The mother was taken aback for a moment, likely having not expected to be targeted instead. Now she was slightly dumbstruck.
“The initial investigation of the place Sun Hui Ying died has mostly finished. A portion of the samples have also been analysed. May I ask if you have proof that you were not at the scene on the day Sun Hui Ying died?” Li Zi Hong pulled out a notebook and flipped through the various data he had crammed this afternoon. While this was not his case, his friendly relation with Gu Wen Ying had allowed the latter to agree with him joining as support. “Mr. Zhang has multiple witnesses at his company. However, where you were that day, Mrs. Zhang?”
Upon hearing Li Zi Hong’s question, the lawyer immediately strode over and quietly muttered several words into the woman’s ears. She then immediately turned an indignant gaze at the young man in front of her. “I don’t need to answer you!”
“That’s fine, it is within your rights.” Li Zi Hong did not mind. He continued on, “After Sun Hui Ying’s clothing from that day was stolen, our investigation team discovered that she had a sweater from that day placed in another room. When it was brought back to sampled, there were some material traces recovered, including hair that was the same colour and length as Mrs. Zhang’s…”
“That shameless little princess always stuck to my son and often came to my home! It’s normal for her to have something of mine!” The woman hissed, interrupting Li Zi Hong’s words.
“Unfortunately, after the police checked the clothing, they discovered that the sweater was new. Sun Hui Ying had bought it on the streets with a classmate that week. Because she had said she had gained some weight and the size was not right, the clothing was not delivered to her home until the day before her death. The cut tag was still in the trash bin. The shop staff and classmate confirmed this fact. In addition, we received camera footage of the delivery truck and the store cameras. Logically speaking, if Mrs. Zhang had not seen her that day, she would not have anything from you on her body.” Li Zi Hong flipped to the next page of his notebook and narrowed his eyes. “Next, we will be accessing all the tapes from the street cameras near your home as well as the ones near Sun Hui Ying’s residence. We’ll be checking communication records too. When the time comes, we will need to inquire more answers from you.”
“I don’t know anything!” The woman let out a sharp shriek.
“It really was you.”
A cold, slightly hoarse voice came from the other side. Zhang Yuan Xiang, who had originally been silently laying in bed, had at some point sat up. His eyes filled with resentment locked onto his mother. “You kept saying you never saw Hui Ying that day. You lied to me! I just knew you had lied to me. You weren’t at home at all that day. I was certain there was something wrong when Hui Ying skipped class, and no one answered the phone at home…”
“Zhang Yuan Xiang! She is your mother, watch your words! What kind of attitude is that!” The father standing off to the side cut off the boy’s accusation as he severely scolded, “Children have no room to intervene in adult matters!”
“You won’t even let me meet with the police!” Zhang Yuan Xiang immediately lost control of his emotions. He ripped the IV drip from his arm, his bleeding arm throwing off the bed covers to expose his treated, mostly burned legs. “I can’t stand it anymore! You guys killed Hui Ying, and now you’re trying to lock me up! I promised before that I would protect her!”
“What are you saying?! What damn promise! I didn’t even do anything after you got someone else pregnant, did I? I’m your mother, as if I’d harm you!” The woman’s screams increased in pitch. “Also, I have no idea how that little princess died! Who cares if she dies? That’s one less little girl seducing males. What kind of negligent family would raise that kind of senseless daughter? Do you realise that your future was nearly ruined by that person?!”
“We were harmed by you!”
“Zhang Yuan Xiang!”
Contrasting the family explosion, Xiao Wu received a call and after exchanging a few short words, hurriedly approached Li Zi Hong and whispered, “Boss wanted me to check the camera footage…”
Li ZI Hong nodded. “I understand.”
He turned to look at the other side where they were still shouting at each other. After some thought, he directly interrupted the family that was about to break out into a fistfight, standing in front of the boy that was nearly slapped. “Let us end here for now. I need the two of you to return with me to the police station. Naturally, you may bring your lawyer.”
“On what basis?!” The woman hissed.
“Our colleague checked the street cameras and discovered that soon after Sun Hui Ying got off the black car, you entered the area too. We have an absolute reason to believe that you have a direct or indirect relationship with Sun Hui Ying’s death. You may have even been the one to bring her there and leveraged all the expenses.”
“I said that I didn’t see her! Let alone go to any clinic!”
Li Zi Hong stopped the woman from trying to charge over and attack. With a grave expression, he said, “As no one knows where Song Hui Ying got her abortion, how did you know it was a clinic? I did not mention that word.”
The extremely noisy room instantly fell completely silent, to the point where they could clearly hear the air conditioning.
The lawyer stepped forwards and prevented the woman from speaking.
“In any case, I will have to ask the two of you to come with me.”
Yang De Cheng opened his eyes when he heard the car door open.
The person that sat in the front seat pressed his fingers to his temples, brows furrowed as though enduring some discomfort.
“Look at yourself trying to get things done as quickly as possible…if you really don’t feel well, do you want to go get checked at the hospital again?” Yang De Cheng opened a thermos and passed it over.
“It’s fine.” After the pain alleviated a bit, Li Zi Hong slowly drank the tea. “I’ll have to trouble you to bring me to the police station.”
Yang De Cheng started the car. When he slid out onto the road, his passenger opened their cellphone to talk with Yu Xia.
“Was it a miss?” Li Zi Hong had more or less guessed that there would not be any results from the clinic. However, he was a bit surprised by how quickly the other party had moved, just like the previous case. Back then, the two people related to the gynaecologist had similarly vanished completely when they had started the search, leaving absolutely not trace behind. This time, they had even discovered Lin Zi Lei reappearing, yet had not expected for her to be one step faster once again.
“They must have an inside connection.” Yu Xia cursed on the opposite end of the line. “They ran away too fast.”
“I think the same. Just start searching from the beginning for now. I’ll see you later.” Having finished relaying information about other related matters, Li Zi Hong ended the call and saw that he had gotten several texts. Most of them were reports on the search results. When he had heard of the two cases from Yu Xia, he had sent out others to assist and speed up the investigation.
There had been nothing unexpected on Zhang Yuan Xiang’s end. Or rather, he and Yu Xia had simultaneously discovered that there was an issue with the boy’s parents, so targeting that direction was likely not wrong. What raised their guard was the clinic, as well as the guns that Yu Xia had brought back from the bike-racing gang this morning—Jiu Shen wasn’t the only one that had thought them familiar. They had instantly recognised the guns as well.
They were the marked guns that had appeared previously.
Based on the members of the modified bike-racing gang they had seized, someone was secretly providing these youths money. They were not the same level as the usual bike-racing gang. A portion of them possessed high-purity drugs, which they had found on some of the bikes that Xiao Hai’s group had smashed up. Just a tiny amount could be sold as a high-quality good for a high price. This was not something that children their age could easily obtain.
In addition, the few members of the gang that they had detained up until now seemed to maintain fearless attitudes, not at all caring about the consequences. They would not answer any questions, which meant they had likely been instructed prior.
It was not a simple [matter] at all.
“Xiao Li…should we make a detour?” Yang De Cheng broke off his friend’s thoughts. He was actually starting to sweat a bit as he began resenting the fact that it hadn’t been the bastard Yan Si to be dragged under.
“Someone is following us.”
Li Zi Hong glanced at the rear mirror and really did spot two motorcycles tailing them. They were not too far or too close, their speed constant as they stayed in pursuit.
Before they even responded, the other party seemed to sense that they had been noticed. The red modified motorcycle and silver motorcycle suddenly accelerated, racing forwards to flank them on both sides. Then they brushed past Yang De Cheng’s car and provocatively charged forwards.
Once they had driven out a distance, the silver bike’s rider turned their body around and lifted their left hand.
Yang De Cheng spotted the object in the person’s hand from the corner of his eye and immediately slammed his foot down on the brakes while keeping a tight grip on the wheel. The car skidded uncontrollably for a distance before crashing into the divider island.
Fortunately, there were no other cars on the road. After the car collided into the island, everything went quiet.
Yang De Cheng waited for the bikes to zoom off into the distance before opening the doors and dizzily walking out. He dragged Li Zi Hong out with him, and the two went to check the small hole in the hood.
“Is this warning you or warning me?” Yang De Cheng had to admit that he had never done anything to be shot at. He leaned more towards doing the shooting at people like Yan Si, Yan Si, and Yan Si.
Li Zi Hong stared at the shot car in silence for a few seconds before speaking.