I was not expecting the events (or reveals?) in this chapter at all.
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
“Jiu Shen-gē, this is for you.”
Jiu Shen was spacing out, gazing at the clear sky that was starting to change to a different landscape. When he heard his name, he was brought back to his senses and he spotted Yi Tai waiting for him with a paper cup in hand.
“Thank you.” Jiu Shen hurriedly accepted the steaming cup. As his hands wrapped around the warmth, he realised that it was hot cocoa.
“You’re welcome. That’s boiled with the hot water Da Wen and the others brought.” Yi Tai gestured at where the other party was currently handing out the other drinks. He was similarly holding a cup in his hands as he sat down next to Jiu Shen. “Jiu Shen-gē doesn’t come out frequently to hang out with the bike group, I assume.”
“Yeah, this all counts as my first time. It’ll probably be a challenge to do it in the future.” Spending the past few days enjoying the night rides was a special occasion. Jiu Shen knew that this was only a brief interlude, likely the only chance he would get. As a result, he very much treasured this short, special moment.
Yi Tai smiled and did not say anything else.
“Oh yeah, have you been alright running around like this every day?” After asking others, Jiu Shen had learned that the university student in front of him had been leading the group for a while. Even a typical student that loitered around a lot would not do such a thing; while coming out once in a while was fine, doing so every day was tiring on the body.
“Just like you, it’s only for a short period. It’ll come to an end soon.” Yi Tai looked over at Yuan Zhen Ting, who was currently in distance making a call as he said, “After all, this isn’t my bike group. Lin Yu Ji is dead, but there is still one other guardian that will return.”
“Mhm.” Even if Song Ou did not come back, Da Wen would take care of things until the next leader appeared. If things did not continue running, then the group would disband until a new one formed. Thus, Yi Tai was not particularly concerned about the future development. Ultimately, that was just what these types of existences amounted to.
“…Won’t your family be worried?” Jiu Shen cautiously asked. He knew that the people that had picked up the university student this time and last time were not his parents, but someone else unknown. It seemed like the boy’s family was a bit unusual. Considering that their child got mixed up into this kind of complicated territorial war, wouldn’t the parents be nervous?
“I wonder…would they be worried?”
Yi Tai chuckled at Jiu Shen’s dumbstruck expression. He took a sip of his drink while replying, “I’m joking. My father is permanently residing overseas due to his company, and he doesn’t know much about what goes on here. My mom died from an accident a long time ago. My dad remarried to a beautiful local woman while I was in senior high, and they just had a baby girl last month. She’s as adorable as a doll.”
“Your family let you live over here alone?” Jiu Shen was somewhat astonished by these circumstances; it was no wonder that this boy was super independent.
“No, they’ve always insisted on me moving back. But I like this place, so I half-threatened my parents by force to let me remain here.” Yi Tai was slightly proud of his own methods as he continued in a pleased tone, “My parents are leveraging living expenses, and I have people to help manage and clean. So the life isn’t bad at all.” Sometimes, he and his parents would spy on each other. They constantly wanted to probe into his lifestyle here, then nitpick on any found flaws to pressure him to move back. As a result, he would defend [against these attempts] as an idle post-meal pastime.
However, the matter with his eyes had made them explode last time and they had been about to force him without an alternative. Luckily, he had stopped it quickly.
Yi Tai gazed out at the blurry scenery as the corners of his lips turned upwards and he downed the rest of his drink.
“Is that really alright?” If it was not because the change in family members had expelled him, Jiu Shen could not quite understand why the other wanted to stay behind. If this started back in senior high, wouldn’t it have been better to live with the family for a time?
“It’s fine. As I just said, I like it here, whether it’s the place or the people or the food. So moving over there would be a bit troublesome.” Yi Tai raised his pointer finger and said seriously, “Think about it: if you wanted to eat things like mayi soup, aiyu jelly, or steamed rice cake but cannot find them anywhere, wouldn’t it be a bother?”
“Uh…huh? Er…that’s a bit…” Why mayi soup? Jiu Shen was at a loss for words.
As he was pondering the question of mayi soup, Ah Fang strode over after finishing his information exchange.
“It’s about time. The bike group is dispersing. Want to go back?” Ah Fang yawned and checked his watch.
“Alright.” Yi Tai stood and accepted the helmet. “Jiu Shen-gē, be careful with your foot.”
Jiu Shen had not imagined that the other person would’ve noticed that he had sprained his food two days ago, and he was a bit touched. “Ok. You guys take care too, see you next time.”
Yi Tai nodded. Now that that most of the bike group’s members had left, he and Ah Fang took their leave as well.
“Considering the time, do you want to just go sleep at my place, Jiu Shen? My home is closer.” Yuan Zhen Ting pulled his bike over and passed a helmet to the other. “You look like you’re about to die. How about it?”
Indeed, after the trouble today and another all-nighter, Jiu Shen felt like he was about to collapse, so he nodded after some thought.
As Yuan Zhen Ting had said, his home was much closer.
They drove for a bit after leaving the mountain to arrive at a somewhat older apartment complex.
As it was early morning, there were already a few elderly outside doing exercise. Yuan Zhen Ting parked his bike and led the way into the building.
Jiu Shen scanned the place. It had been renovated by the owner, with each floor filled with multiple single homes. It seemed to be specially rent out to students or single working adults trying to save money. As a result, the conditions were not the best, though every place had its own door and lock.
Yuan Zhen Ting opened one of the middle doors and switched on the lights. “You can put your shoes wherever.”
There weren’t that many belongings in the home, which Jiu Shen found a bit surprising. He hadn’t imagined a male university student to have such a tidy place. Aside from daily necessities, there was not any other junk. The trash seemed like it was dumped in a timely manner too. There was absolutely no mess in the residence. However, the space was not that large, around 2-3 ping. With just a bed and some small furniture, it looked a bit narrow.
The homeowner went in to fish out a spare pillow while Jiu Shen sat at the entrance and slowly took off his shoes.
Then he noticed that although the place had been cleaned, there was a crack behind the door with some dark dirt, as well as some fragmented leaves.
“I have boiled water left, and the bathroom is next to where you’re taking off your shoes. You can just sleep after a basic washup.” Yuan Zhen Ting found some clothes to lend Jiu Shen, then took out some instant noodles from under the table. “Want instant noodles? Or I can go somewhere nearby to buy food. The breakfast shops should all be open now.”
“No need, thanks.” Jiu Shen took the clothes and eyed the other’s hand for half a beat. “You seem to get injured often.”
“Yeah, I move things around a lot for work; the bike group sometimes ends up breaking out into fights when trouble comes up like the past few days too. I’m used to it.” Yuan Zhen Ting shrugged and glanced at the new and old wounds interweaving across his palm. “But it’ll be fine in a few days, it’s nothing.”
There weren’t any photos or the like in the room. After showering and changing places with the other person Jiu Shen felt those eyes on him once again.
Compared to the previous few times, it was not as intense, though still equally terrifying. Fortunately, there was someone in the bathroom, plus it was already daytime. He could deal with it enough to not run into walls to escape…No, it’s still really scary.
The gaze felt as though it was coming from the door. Jiu Shen immediately crawled over to shrink back in the opposite corner as he anxiously scanned the vacant room.
Bringing that kind of thing with me was what I was afraid of the most! Damn it!
Fortunately, it did not last very long this time. Yuan Zhen Ting opened the bathroom door, and the feeling immediately vanished.
“What are you doing?” The homeowner stared oddly at the guest curled up in the corner.
“No-nothing…” Jiu Shen burrowed himself in the blankets prepared for him. Once the relief hit him, the sleepiness surged forth.
I should probably wrap things up after I wake.
The room’s atmosphere was beyond fiery.
There was a direct connection between Sun Hui Ying’s death and Zheng Yuan Xiang’s mother.
After checking the relevant communication records, they discovered that Zheng Yuan Xiang’s mother had found the clinic first. Upon knowing that the girl was pregnant, she had asked a few friends and heard of a clinic that could handle any kind of matter as long as one could afford it. The clinic would not ask any extra questions and would even dispatch personnel to pick up the patient for the service.
“But! That little princess went voluntarily!”
The woman sat in the room, glaring viciously at Yu Xia and Li Zi Hong sitting across from her. “She was only fifteen or sixteen, what did she know about having a child?! She didn’t want it either, you know! She was terrified to death and came begging me, pleading me. If it wasn’t for my son, I wouldn’t want to spend that money on her!”
“We know that isn’t it.”
Yu Xia pulled out some letters sealed in evidence bags. Sanchia had helped them find all the letters she had received, and even kindly ordered them by date. She had also gone as far as finding the most recent voice messages on her phone. Among all these, they had finally found what Sun Hui Ying had wanted to leave behind yet had not dared to write.
“The letter that Sun Hui Ying anonymously sent to the TV station directly states that ‘her lover’s mother swore she would give her a place in the future. Although the thing she had to do was terrifying, she would try her best to get through this obstacle for the sake of that future and promise’.”
Although it’s terrifying, his mother said there wouldn’t be any issues, that the future would definitely be perfect.
As long as I listen to his mother’s words, I will be accepted as a member of the family. Everything has already been arranged for me.
The phone call recording clearly captured Little Sheep’s extremely uneasy tone.
Even though Zǐzǐ doesn’t know what happened, if you are feeling uneasy, you should find your own family to discuss it first!
Some things must not be decided rashly. Do not get deceived. You have to think it through properly. If you feel it’s terrifying but you don’t dare to bring it up with your family, then at least discuss it with your most trusted friends first. Do not, under any circumstances, do anything foolish!
This had been Sanchia’s response.
Soon after, the call ended.
The next day, Huang Xu Guang’s number had appeared in Sun Hui Ying’s call log. She had started regretting it right before leaving, but in the end, she had still boarded the black car to be brought to the clinic.
“I think…Hui Ying might have remembered that promise from when we were little…? When we first started abacus lessons, we were only in first grade. I told her then that my mom said I had to protect girls, that if anyone ever bullied her, I would make sure to get justice for her.”
After hearing the recording to the TV station, Huang Xu Guang had expressed this sentiment sorrowfully next to his parents.
“But I really did want to help her get justice. I just have no idea how things became like this.”
After telling this matter to Lin Yu Ji, the latter had done some kind of probing before making a decision, which had resulted in his lips being sealed forever.
Everything had originated from this place.
Yu Xia looked at the woman and spread out the letters. “Do you want to continue spouting lies? We already found identical objects attached to the bottom of both Sun Hui Ying’s and your shoes, which also matches the samples collected from the clinic. The two of you clearly went to the same location that day…We even found your hair at the clinic. In addition, the tapes from the cameras at the morgue were sent over, and clearly captured the thief that stole the clothes. The administrative group immediately recognised the person as a homeless. When they went to ask the person in question, the response was that a woman had paid him to steal the items…”
“Then go find proof!” The woman slapped the table and screamed, “You need proof that I killed that little slut first! She wanted to ruin my son’s future! She just happened to die! But it wasn’t me that killed her. Don’t even try to bring it up until you have the skills to prove it! Before then, you can just have a long talk with my lawyer!”
“Of course. We have plenty of time.”
Yu Xia closed the folder and coldly said, “We’re just afraid you won’t be willing talk.”
“I’ll keep you company any time! Trash! You cops are just parasites leeching off taxpayers’ money!”
They left the interrogation room and bumped into Sun Hui Ying’s parents in the hallway.
It had only been a few short days, but the father’s hair was half-greyed, making him look like he had aged significantly overnight.
The two of them had resigned expressions on their faces as they held hands. Both gave Yu Xia and Li Zi Hong slight nods.
The parents just needed a mental closure.
Even if it was painful, they at least now knew the reason for it.
“They might not be able to obtain the proper conclusion.”
After seeing Sun Hui Ying’s parents off, Li Zi Hong couldn’t help but sigh. “Despite being connected, Zhang Yuan Xiang’s mother really did not personally commit the murder. We can at most only prove that she tricked Sun Hui Ying into the abortion.” With the current legal system and issues related to the medical malpractice and the deceased’s natural physical condition, even the secret doctor from the clinic might not receive a heavy penalty. Of course, they had long since fled without a trace.
“A murderer by virtues.” Like the true perpetrator, yet unable to receive equivalent prison sentences. Yu Xia tightened his grip on the folder. Even if this had come to an end here, there was no way he could relax.
Up until now, Zhang Yuan Xiang’s father was constantly making calls to find other lawyers to help defend his wife.
Sun Hui Ying’s parents should be home by now, silently shedding tears as they tear down the yellow tape.
Starting from today, they will start cleaning the room that has lost its owner.
Sanchia will ask everyone to give a minute of silence to the radio friend that will never return.
“Even if the child made a mistake, it should not have ended like this.”
Yu Xia sighed. Children at that age still believed in intense and pure things, yearning for perfect futures, love, and self-gratification. Any kid was bound to take at least a small misstep, but they did not deserve such a conclusion. They could repeatedly stumble in pain until their body was covered in wounds or could cry in anguish with no one heeding them. These matters would serve as lessons. Then when they grew into mature adults, they would continue living on and fighting to survive for the possibilities of their future. They should not have their time stopped for eternity like this.
For things to end this way because of those mistakes was too extreme of a punishment.
Thinking about it now, he was glad that he had told his own child ages ago that doing anything wrong would result in being killed and stuffed in the toilet. That was why Yu Yin did not step into such messes nor provoke any girls. This was a huge enough relief as it was.
“Prosecutor Li, Boss, come over here and look at this.”
When Yu Xia turned the corner, he saw Ah Liu pop up in the distance. “A colleague helped restore Lin Yu Ji’s memory card. Although there wasn’t much recovered, the issue is very critical.”
Li Zi Hong and Yu Xia exchanged a look, then sped up to follow Ah Liu into the analytical office.
There was a young girl standing inside with the analytical uniform. She greeted the two when they appeared and then asked, “Senior Ah Liu, can I play it now?”
The girl bent over and clicked the recovered data. There wasn’t much, but Yu Xia narrowed his eyes instantly upon seeing them. “This is…”
It was a note file. It had many overlapping points with the one they had obtained in Ye Huan En’s case, with a few addresses from the central district. One of them was the clinic’s.
“What do you think Lin Yu Ji was investigating?” Li Zi Hong furrowed his brows as he likewise recognised the connection.
“An organization.” Like them, Lin Yu Ji had discovered an organization behind the clinic, though there was no knowing when Lin Yu Ji had first started [noticing]. It was very likely that he had found out because of Sun Hui Ying’s case. After downloading this data, he had been killed. The greatest likelihood was that the bike-racing gang had done the deed. They were one of the groups recruited into the lower levels of the organization to handle miscellaneous tasks.
“We found these too.” Ah Liu opened another window.
What appeared were multiple photos. Yu Xia’s photo…the same one that had been in the hands of the thugs that he and Xiao Hai had beaten up, which they had gotten from their employer. There were also photos of Ye Huang En, Li ZI Hong, Ah Liu, and finally one of Jiu Shen. These were all side photos taken during cases.
“The members expected to touch the case. Quick, contact Jiu Shen.” Li Zi Hong immediately called Ye Huan En and soon received a reply that the other was still at the station.
“Jiu Shen’s line won’t connect.” Ah Liu stared at the number that could not be reached again, with the strong urge to strangle the person.
Yu Xia took out his cellphone and received a call from his twin at nearly the exact same moment. “Yeah? You’ve caught most of them…Understood. The leader escaped?”
The bike-racing gang had been completely apprehended by Yu Tong’s group, though a few had run away before they had arrived, including the leader of the gang. After interrogating them all, they had discovered that aside from a few core members of the group, the others did not know anything or completely refused to cooperate. However, they had been able to learn that all expenses were paid by the blonde leader. He was very rich and took on all of the gang’s capital. However, no one knew where his money came from – even the green-haired guy had no idea. This group only listened and followed the leader’s commands. They each received quite a lot of pocket change, which was why they had absorbed more and more similar children to join.
And these people were clueless about the gang’s background.
In Yu Tong’s initial questioning, several members had admitted to ganging up on Lin Yu Ji, even witnessing the process of him being killed. A few had been scared and had quickly left that day.
After the incident, the blonde leader had used this to threaten everyone, saying that because everyone had taken part, they could only follow the gang forever. Otherwise, they would suffer until death. Thus their sole option was to comply completely.
“Find them immediately,” Li Zi Hong quickly ordered. Right as he was about to make a call to report this matter, there was the sound of rushed footsteps outside. Then Xiao Wu charged in.
“Boss! Bad news, the chief prosecutor was shot just now outside the dining hall…Ah, Prosecutor Li!” Xiao Wu was taken aback for a moment, but then he hurriedly snapped out of his shock. “But it’s not critical, just a scrape against the arm. But the officers on-site did not notice any shooter. They’re currently checking the tapes.”
In that moment, Li Zi Hong flashed back to the red and white motorcyclists.
“They already know out internal information. Contact Jiu Shen first.” They still had no idea where the information was leaking out from. Yu Xia clicked his tongue and turned to leave the analytical office when the lights in the room suddenly went out.
As though there was not enough electricity supply, the previously bright lights dimmed then flickered once before going out. Even the computer screen began to waver. The various machines around them made agitated noises.
A photo of a little girl flashed across the monitor.
Yu Xia immediately recognised the photo as the one from the unresolved drowning case, and he clicked his tongue once again.
“Xiao Yu, I’m heading out for a bit.”
Yu looked up from the dough he was preparing and spotted Yu Yin, who had originally planned to stay at home today and make the detailed parts [of his project]. Yet the latter was now grabbing his backpack and rushing to the front door. Yu hurriedly stuffed the dough into the bowl and followed Yu Yin.
“…I just saw a little girl on the computer screen.” Yu Yin had been a bit shocked when it had happened, as he had seen that girl before in the morgue. At the time, he had even asked Jiu Shen if there was a drowned girl that the parents could bring home soon. “I don’t know why, but my eyelid keeps twitching.”
Yu sealed the dough and placed it into the fridge. He quickly washed his hands clean and picked up his backpack as well. “Together.”
They left the house in the afternoon.
Despite not knowing where they were supposed to go, Yu Yin had heard the faint sound of water, and someone seemingly struggling in it. Confusion, helplessness, fear, and dread clung faintly to him.
“I will try my best to help you guys, though I can only do what is within my limits.” Yu Yin was still a bit lost about his own wishes, but he had a general idea of how he should adjust himself.
I don’t need Dàgēgē to push himself.
Jiu Shen-gēgē said he would help me. I believe in him.
The girl with a badly damaged face giggled and ran off.
Yu Yin stared at the indistinct figure and took a deep breath, then started the accelerator.
They still had many things they had to do. It was best if he did not stop here.
“Jiu Shen-gē won’t die from shock, right…”
His first case…
[She’s been] following for such a long time!
Yuan Zhen Ting turned his head to glance at the passenger behind him in slight amusement. “Jiu Shen, are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” Jiu Shen rubbed his nose with the feeling that a certain forensic investigator had probably trash-talked him.
“Don’t tell me you caught a cold after sleeping at my place? When I got up, you weren’t even wearing a blanket.” Yuan Zhen Ting stopped by the road and bought two hot drinks from a vendor.
“Now that you mention it, I do feel a bit dizzy.” Jiu Shen pulled out his wallet and quickly paid. “But don’t you have work today?” The director had dumped a text on Jiu Shen about an order to take temporary leave. After sleeping over, Yuan Zhen Ting had woken him up in the morning to bring him out for breakfast. Then they had wandered around outside. It seemed like the other person did not need to go to work.
“I took vacation,” Yuan Zhen Ting casually replied. After finishing his drink, he crushed the cup and directly tossed it into the garbage can next to them.
Jiu Shen kept his hands cupped around the warm cup. Seeing as the youth had no intentions of immediately heading back out, Jiu Shen got off the backseat and stood next to the bike. “Then are you going to verify your father’s body?”
“…No need. It probably is him. Normally he would come every month to my workplace and kick up a fuss asking for money, but it’s been a long time since he appeared.” Yuan Zhen Ting turned off the engine and smiled. “Since the day he disappeared, I’ve had no more worries. It’s been relaxing as I just live my own life and do what I want to do. So I don’t want to see him again, even if it’s his corpse.”
“Then what price are you going to pay?”
Jiu Shen finished drinking and placed his cup into the garbage can, then climbed onto the backseat. “Head back?”
Yuan Zhen Ting shook his head. “Let’s continue going.”
The bike was started again, and they continued speeding forwards. The landscape around them began to become more remote.
“I swore to my mom that there would inevitably come a day when that guy would be forced to disappear from this world.”
With the chilling wind blowing into his face, Jiu Shen heard the words float over from in front of him with virtually no warmth.
“Then I encountered him. He was not a friend nor an enemy. He contacted me first, saying that he quite enjoying killing people as a source of entertainment. He could easily help me get rid of that person without raising any suspicion or leaving any evidence. He also sent me a gift.”
“A gift?” Jiu Shen tightened his grip on the driver’s clothes, noticing that the bike was speeding up more and more.
“That person had a large amount of information. He said I had a younger female cousin on my dad’s side. Because my aunt died when my cousin was born and no one knew who my uncle was, she was sold to someone by that guy for several thousand dollars. He gave me the material from the transaction.” Yuan Zhen Ting’s eyes were locked on the scenery flying past as he gripped the handles. “Ten years before, the couple that bought my cousin died in a car accident, so my cousin was handed over to someone else. Then she ran away from home and was captured and disappeared like that. After I joined the bike group, Lin Yu Ji and Song Ou found out about this and said they would help me look into the matter. They had their own channels, so I just waited, and waited, until…when they finally got news, Lin Yu Ji unexpectedly died.”
“But you left a wound on the dead body?”
“Why must you cooperate with the bike-racing gang? It was also you that told them Huang Xu Guang was at Da Wen’s place, wasn’t it.” Ever since Jiu Shen had noticed some abnormal details, he had been paying close attention to the other’s every action, including when the latter had made calls or sent texts. That unscientific…unscientific shadow…on the pedals that day was in the posture of a dead person. “Why did you bury Lin Yu Ji’s body? I…I saw dirt that was very similar at your place.”
“…Jiu Shen, your personality makes it very easy for you to suffer the short end of the stick. I’m sure the people around you often treat you as a lackey or a person that’s easy to order you around and bully you into running errands.” What kind of person just starts taking apart another’s hidden cards in the middle of a conversation? Yuan Zhen Ting shook his head in amusement while simultaneously feeling endless guilt about what would happen next.
“No, regardless of whether it’s Boss or Ah Si, everyone takes very good care of me,” Jiu Shen firmly stated. Although Yu Xia would hit him, the motive behind it was usually for his own sake. In addition, Yu Xia would often toss snacks at him while claiming it was in return for eating the reserves in his cabinet. Still, it was a large amount, a very large amount. Ah Si really did frequently bully him, but that lowly offender would always find something to make up for it – things that were not cheap and were carefully chosen to match his taste. In addition, people like Ah Liu, Prosecutor Li, Yu Tong, and even Xiao Wu and the others all cared a lot about him. If they really thought of him as just a lackey to order on errands, they would not pay any mind to his movements, nor would basically everyone instantly find out when he ran into glass. Even the officers passing by would express their consolation towards him. “Everyone around me is a good person. I don’t suffer the short end of the stick like you’re saying.”
That was why he loved his current work. The sole downside was that unscientific things would float around.
…Life really never gives more than one good thing.
“Despite saying that, you will still end up getting sold off sooner or later.”
“Why are you saying the same thing Ah Liu did…”
Is my face that sellable?
“I’ll be selling you off first. I’m really very sorry.”
Yuan Zhen Ting braked without turning his head around.
They were stopped in a fairly remote mountain area. The asphalt road ended here, and there was a winding path that entered the forest in front of them. On the dim path in front of them, Jiu Shen saw a familiar face.
Lin Zi Lei was standing there.
“Tie him up.”
Lin Zi Lei held a gun aimed at Jiu Shen as she glanced at Yuan Zhen Ting and tossed a nylon rope at him. Then she went forth to fish out Jiu Shen’s cellphone, removing the battery before discarding it on the roadside. “He arrived ages ago. Let’s go.”
Yuan Zhen Ting complied to her words and tied Jiu Shen’s hands. Then he pulled him along to follow the girl on the path into the forest. “Has support not arrived yet?”
“They’ll still take a while.” The girl walking in front turned her head around every once in a while to confirm there were not issues. “You were the one that said you wanted to join, so don’t play any tricks on us. We won’t show any mercy.”
“I accomplished your request too. Isn’t the one in your hands now the analytical group member you wanted so much?” Yuan Zhen Ting shrugged as he replied in a slight mocking manner.
Lin Zi Lei flipped her hair and continued advancing forwards.
“Shut up!” Yuan Zhen Ting quietly hissed with a glare at Jiu Shen next to him, then warily eyed the girl in front of them that was focused on finding the arranged route.
“You didn’t tie this very tightly…” Jiu Shen stretched his hands out. He frequently unknotted ropes, so he had immediately undid it. Moreover, the other had tied it a bit loosely, which had resulted in Jiu Shen quickly removing it.
“…Can’t you pretend it’s properly tied?!” Yuan Zhen Ting really wanted to strangle Jiu Shen.
“Then-then please tie it again.” Crap, I won’t cause trouble for him, will I?
After continuing onwards for a while, Lin Zi Lei led them towards a different direction and they finally reached a desolate abandoned factory.
It seemed as though it had been out of use for a long time now. The iron building was extremely run-down. Not only did it have no doors or windows, but there were even tons of holes in the walls and roof. However, Jiu Shen noticed that the floor was unusually clean, like it had been swept recently.
When they stepped in, he spotted another very familiar face.
The young, blonde bike-racing gang leader that had barricaded them in the courtyard that day was anxiously pacing back and forth, with a number of cigarette butts discarded on the ground. “Why is the contact so slow? My entire bike gang has been seized by those bastards! Damn it!”
“You still have the face to say that? If it wasn’t because you made this mess, my mistake last time would’ve…” Lin Zi Lei abruptly stopped her somewhat indignant words and her lips curved into a sneer. “Anyways, now you have someone from the police in your hands, so I’ll be fine.”
The blonde shot her a vicious glare. Jiu Shen was at a loss, unsure of how he should react. Then the blonde looked at Yuan Zhen Ting. “That Yuan person was the last one to handle Lin Yu Ji. He swore himself that he would perform well for us, yet the body somehow made its appearance. You guys should be settling your scores with him!”
“They instructed for you to handle things. Do you really think they’d go looking to cause trouble for a newbie? Wei-jiě was punished last time because of Kang Zhe Chang’s matter. You’d better think of an excuse for yourself first.” Rejoicing at the other’s misfortune, Lin Zi Lei shot a look at the blonde before lifting her chin at Yuan Zhen Ting. “The receiver will arrive in the evening. Bring this police officer into the inside room for now and keep watch on him.”
Yuan Zhen Ting grabbed Jiu Shen’s shoulders and pushed him into a room that was further inside.
Despite being called a “room”, it was tattered to the point where it was basically just the skeleton of the structure remaining. But it had been cleaned, and the weeds and dried leaves on the ground had been swept out. There were just a few small bugs that could be spotted hopping about.
Jiu Shen surveyed the vacant room, then obediently sat in the corner by himself.
“I did not kill Lin Yu Ji. I couldn’t have hurt him.”
Yuan Zhen Ting crouched down in front of Jiu Shen and quietly said, “By the time I arrived, he was already dead, kicked to death by the guys outside…I was much too late…He had ended up that way because of my and Huang Xu Guang’s matters. The only way I could help him was the things I’m doing now. I cannot let his death be in vain.” He raised his left hand, which still had a wound that had not fully healed. “After stabbing the blade into his body, I swore to him that I would make the killers pay the price.”
“Who was the Wei-jiě they mentioned?” Jiu Shen asked in a lowered voice. He had a general idea of the course of events now.
“Don’t know, seems be some kind of gynecologist. I heard that she was replaced and then she disappeared. That’s what Lin Zi Lei said, at least. The day after I buried Lin Yu Ji, they introduced me to Lin Zi Lei. They’re…”
“What are you guys talking about!”
Yuan Zhen Ting immediately stopped talking. He turned his head to spot Lin Zi Lei striding in. “I was just telling him not to think of running away.”
“If you don’t want to get hurt, then just be good and cooperate. You should just get a clear view of things like Yuan Zhen Ting. They might like you enough to recruit you in. We already have people in the police anyways.” Lin Zi Lei rested an arm on her hip and cocked her head to one side as she smiled with a hint of disdain. “Besides, people like you are willing to do anything if you get enough money. There were even people willing to kneel to us for money in the past.”
“…” Jiu Shen turned his head away, deciding not to pay any mind to the provocation. He had been trained long enough by a certain forensic investigator, so he could just sit and ignore it.
Seeing that the other party had absolutely no reaction, Lin Zi Lei felt as though she had been snubbed. She could only turn to Yuan Zhen Ting instead. “They wanted me to teach you how to reach the contact. Tie this person to that pillar – make sure it’s tight – then come out and find me.” She spun around and left the room to walk off elsewhere.
After confirming that she had entered the room next door to play with her phone, Yuan Zhen Ting tied Jiu Shen per the command. “Sorry, you’ll have to figure things out yourself. Since you’re a police officer, you should be capable of escaping.”
“Wait a minute.” Jiu Shen used his foot to stop the youth from standing, and earnestly looked at him. “Exactly when did you learn I was a police officer?” His mom constantly scolded him for not being anything like a cop! Without saying anything, no one would be able to guess it.
“From the beginning. Lin Zi Lei and the others have photos of you guys.” Yuan Zhen Ting bitterly chuckled as he eyed the bandage on the other’s forehead. “I hit you on purpose, sorry. Also, on the day we gave flowers, the text messages were made up by me. You didn’t send any.” He really had exploited Jiu Shen to go deeper into this case in all respects.
Ah…so that’s why he treated me so well?
Even though we only knew each other a few short days, he took such good care of me and was so kind and patient…so it’s because of this, huh.
Jiu Shen lowered his head. “It’s fine, I forgive you.”
“Be careful by yourself.”