Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
With a hospital bed number, their goal was much easier to find.
Lin Chen was sitting by the hospital bed. On it lay an old man wearing an oxygen mask. He looked extremely weak and seemed to be running out of time.
Fu Hao squatted behind Lin Chen and whispered, “Shixiong, how did you know what kind of man Yu Yanqing met at the hospital?”
“It’s simple. In addition to relatives and friends, those who can change a person are the ones that they’re in love with. As we know, love can make people do crazy things.”
When Xing Conglian stepped into the room, he happened to hear this.
He quickly stepped towards the bedside and asked, “Where did this man come from?”
“Shixiong seemed to have found a suspicious person. Yu Yanqing might have a boyfriend in the hospital.”
Hearing Fu Hao’s cautious statement, Xing Conglian frowned. “But in Yu Yanqing’s profile, it didn’t show she had a boyfriend in the past.”
Xing Conglian was rarely anxious. After all, there was information missing in the investigation, and this was an important clue that could lead to solving the case. This was truly inept on their part.
“Their relationship seems to be secretive. I had to use a special method to inquire about it,” Lin Chen said calmly, as if to comfort Xing Conglian.
“Then we are now?”
“Waiting for someone.”
As if in response to Lin Chen’s words, an extremely vigilant female voice came from the door of the ward. “Are you family members of the patient? I haven’t seen you before.”
A small nurse was standing there holding a white tray.
Xing Conglian took out his credential and flashed his golden badge, which only made the little nurse’s expression more nervous.
He gently invited the nurse to the bedside.
Lin Chen looked up and asked, “Has something happened to this hospital bed recently?”
The nurse’s face flushed. She hurriedly took a step back and tried to leave, but Xing Conglian blocked the doorway.
“Will this hospital not let you speak about it?” Lin Chen put his hand on top of the old man’s hand and turned around. “We have our way of finding out in the end, but we hope that with your help, we can shorten the investigation time.”
Lin Chen spoke sincerely, and because of that, the nurse found it hard to refuse.
The little nurse stammered for a while, her face turning red, before she could speak coherently. “The previous patient on this bed… jumped to their death on August 10th.”
“What was the patient’s name?”
Xing Conglian quickly took out his phone and called the technician.
The chief of security at the hospital quickly arrived. When he heard that the police were going to seize the video of Feng Xuejuan jumping off the building on August 10th, his face instantly turned grim.
Originally, because of the corpses in the morgue, the outpatient volume of the city’s hospital had shrunk considerably. If a serial killer was involved with the hospital, this could ruin their reputation.
However, Xing Conglian was unrelenting, and, in the end, the security chief had to take them to the surveillance room.
The hospital security personnel were still retrieving the video. A young technician sat in a swivel chair, raised the brim of his cap, and quickly slid over to push people away.
He glanced at the file format, quickly searched for the file, finding the right time, and pulled up the scene that captured Feng Xuejuan jumping off the building.
A thin woman in a hospital gown leapt out the window and could be seen falling down like a kite that broke off from its string.
However, because of the reflection, the window of the ward was so white that it was impossible to see specifically inside the room.
Fu Hao could only lament regretfully.
Xing Conglian clicked his tongue as he walked to the window and looked out.
The hospital had installed perfect surveillance that covered almost all public spaces. He looked around, and his gaze finally fell on a camera mounted on the courtyard wall.
“What number is that camera?”
He stretched out his hand and pointed to the rotating camera on the wall.
The security chief glanced at the direction of Xing Conglian’s finger, moved his fat body, and ran to the filing cabinet to look through some documents.
Wang Chao raised his eyes, looked at the monitor, and quickly searched for the number.
His fingers tapped the keyboard furiously. Then the screen went dark and quickly lit up again with an unexpected scene greeting them.
The black and white pixels squeezed together. On the screen, the dead old man of Chunshui Street was sitting on a bench basking in the sun.
“It’s him!” Fu Hao’s hand clicked on a young man who had his back to the camera.
Wang Chao hurriedly pulled up the surveillance on the other side and slowed the video down. Eventually, the face of the young man standing on the pavement became clear. It was the young man who died in the park!
Ten seconds later, Yu Yanqing also appeared on the screen. She stood under a tree not far away from Feng Xuejuan’s body, which was still lying in a pool of blood, and was still twitching slightly.
Silence filled the surveillance room.
Everyone could only feel chills take over their bodies, as if they had been pushed into a walk-in cooler.
Suddenly, a burst of piano music sounded from indoors. The music was so chaotic that it made everyone tremble, bringing them back to their senses.
Xing Conglian connected the call. On the other end of the line, the director’s voice was curt.
“Someone’s coming. Get back!”
Xing Conglian knew the old director too well.
While the old man was abrasive and chattered a lot, there were few things that really made him anxious. Recently, the only thing that could give this old man a headache was the young man sitting in front of the monitor.
He glanced at Lin Chen, subconsciously seeing Lin Chen look back at him, as if he knew exactly what was said on the phone.
Outside the police station, someone was waiting.
The man wasn’t waiting in the warm office but under the wet eaves. The rain wetted his epaulets, causing the three-silver star on them to shine brighter.
Lin Chen was sitting in the car when he saw this person in the distance. He unbuckled his seatbelt, but his hand was stopped by Xing Conglian.
He knew that Xing Conglian was worried about him and was grateful for his concern.
“It’s an acquaintance. Don’t worry,” he reassured. Then he resolutely removed Xing Conglian’s hand.
Lin Chen opened the car door and got out without an umbrella and soon reached the eaves of the police station. He hadn’t seen the man standing opposite him in three years. He seemed to have lost a lot of weight, giving him a sharper temperament, like a sword that was about to be unsheathed; the blade, cold and impersonal.
Lin Chen gave him a rare smile, leaned over and bowed. “Inspector Huang. I haven’t seen you for a long time. How are you?”
“I heard that you’re being restless again, so I came to take a look.”
Those same words, coming from anyone’s mouth, would hold the same meaning, cold.
Lin Chen didn’t intend to just take it. He raised his head and looked at the man in front of him. “Huang Ze, you’re too idle.”
Xing Conglian was approaching with his jingling car keys in hand just in time to hear Lin Chen’s response.
How many people had jumped out to find trouble in just three days since they started investigating this case together? Yet Lin Chen’s response to them was more interesting than ever.
He couldn’t help but grin, resisting the urge to laugh out loud. The man in front of Lin Chen had silver stars shining on his shoulders, indicating he was at least two and a half ranks higher than him.
They belonged to the same system, so of course he knew who Inspector Huang Ze was. Rumors naming him the Star of the Police Force and the Messenger of Justice had been used constantly by reporters. Huang Ze also came from a deep family background. Because of that, there was no need for him to accept bribes, so he was honest and upright. He was also mysterious and unpredictable*. The main point, though, was that he was extremely good-looking, and his speed of promotion was something no one could match.
*(神鬼莫测) Idiom describing someone extremely mysterious that even ghosts and gods couldn’t measure. Comes from Three Kingdoms.
Xing Conglian walked up to Huang Ze and saluted. Before he could speak, he saw the other party return a salute and said, “You’re Captain Xing? I’ve been ordered to come and supervise your handling of this case.”
As it turned out, they were targeted by Inspector Huang. No wonder why the old director was so anxious.
However, Huang Ze’s tone was respectful and his demeanor so modest that no one could find any fault with it; though his words actually meant, “I’m here to keep an eye on you, so you best behave”, coming out of Huang Ze’s mouth, it was flawless.
“We have just found an important clue. Inspector Huang, if it’s not too much trouble, could you please give us some advice?” Xing Conglian asked with a smile.
While Xing Conglian was polite, Huang Ze wasn’t. He didn’t even bother to pay attention to him and instead turned around and took the lead in walking into the police station, leaving Lin Chen and Xing Conglian to follow behind.
The policewoman, Zhang Xiaolong, was nervously placing teacups in the office that was filled with a group of top police officers who were gathered around a desk. She was carrying the teapot in her left hand, hurriedly pouring boiling water into it.
When she heard someone walk in, she turned around so quickly she almost burnt herself.
“Xiaolong, be careful.” Xing Conglian laughed.
Lin Chen didn’t speak. He found a chair in a corner and sat down. Surprisingly, Huang Ze ignored the seat that was obviously vacated for him, and instead sat beside Lin Chen. He took out a palm-sized leather notebook and tapped on his ballpoint pen twice, indicating that he was just here to listen.
Xing Conglian stood at the table and glanced at the two of them, feeling the atmosphere getting weird.
He clicked his tongue as Fu Hao and Wang Chao came in. When he walked into the office, Professor Fu couldn’t help but rub his eyes when he saw the person sitting next to Lin Chen. He stared so fiercely that his eyes almost popped out.
He winked his eyes at Lin Chen desperately, which made Lin Chen close his eyes as if he didn’t notice anything.
Because of the arrival of several people, the originally noisy office suddenly became quiet.
Lin Chen leaned back on the chair and watched as people took their seats one by one. The sound of chairs being pulled out filled the room.
Xing Conglian was the last to pull out his chair and sit down. The political commissar* cleared his throat and said, “There has been a breakthrough in our investigation of the September 10th murder case. Captain Xing will go over it in more detail.” His tone was professional. It was clear this was aimed at the newly arrived inspector.
*They are supervisory officers responsible for political education (ideology) and organizing of the unit to which they are assigned, with the intention of ensuring political control of the military. In China, the political commissar is largely responsible for administrative tasks such as public relations and counseling, and mainly serves as second-in-command.
“According to Mr. Lin’s analysis, we have a suspect traced to Feng Xuejuan’s son being involved in this case…”
Before Xing Conglian could finish, the political commissar interrupted, “Lao Xing, like I said so many times, you’re being too arbitrary. We’re looking for evidence when handling this case!” The police commissar slapped the table lightly and started to criticize. “Just because Feng Peilin’s mother, Feng Xuejuan, committed suicide, do you think Feng Peilin is a murderer? What about Yu Yanqing? From the physical evidence we collected, she is the prime suspect for committing all these crimes. You can’t judge a case because of unrelated people’s speculations.”
As if pushed by someone, Lin Chen reluctantly opened his eyes and found that everyone gathered around the table, besides the secretary who was recording the meeting in her notebook, were all looking at him while holding stacks of documents in their hands.
The air conditioner buzzed, bringing out cool air that lowered the temperature of the office.
Lin Chen raised his eyes slightly. He didn’t get angry because of the police commissar’s biting words. After all, he knew better than anyone else that all inferences based on psychoanalysis couldn’t be used as tangible evidence.
“We need an expert.” The political commissar knocked on the table. “But not everyone can be called an expert.”
This was a heavy statement. Xing Conglian wanted to refute, but Lin Chen was quicker to speak up, “What do you need?”
“Can you prove that Yu Yanqing knew Feng Peilin?” Among the silence, Huang Ze suddenly spoke up.
“You two are lovers, right?”
Lin Chen didn’t look at Huang Ze but instead stared inexplicably at the political commissar as he retorted.
“What did you say?”
“You and that girl—you’re very close, right? Although no one in the office knows, you often would secretly go on dates after work.” Lin Chen pointed to the female secretary who was recording the meeting.
Whispers erupted from the office. The female secretary buried her head while the face of the political commissar darkened, showing an embarrassed look.
“Find a shot of Yu Yanqing and Feng Peilin appearing in it at the same time.” Lin Chen spoke calmly. He turned his head to the young technician who was operating the laptop as his elbow involuntarily propped up on the armrest to support his head.
Wang Chao smiled and hurriedly pulled up a shot. After pressing enter, he turned the laptop around and showed it to the crowd.
On the screen, Yu Yanqing was holding a mop and was bent over as she passed by Feng Peilin. Yu Yanqing secretly glanced at Feng Peilin as he moved out of the way.
Lin Chen looked at the secretary gently.
The secretary’s head had buried her head even lower, but her eyes couldn’t help but look at her secret lover. It showed the look of shyness, admiration, with a touch of sweetness, which was the exact look on the girl inside the screen.
“Lao Jiang, you even hid this from me!” Xing Conglian laughed while pounding the table. For the first time, he witnessed the steel-faced political commissar of their unit deflate. It was truly worth the price of admission.
“Alright, alright. Don’t make fun of Xiao Chen.” The political commissar waved his hand quickly. “The case… Focus on the case!”
Outside the office came the sound of heels clicking. Zhang Xiaolong took a stack of documents and ran into the office. Her face was pale as she looked around, a bit frightened.
“What’s wrong, Xiaolong?” Xing Conglian asked.
“You just asked me to check on Feng Peilin. The information shows that Feng Peilin and Yu Yanqing do know each other. Not only are they acquainted, but they are also very familiar.”
Zhang Xiaolong subconsciously looked at Lin Chen as she spoke. She bit her lip and continued, “Feng Peilin used to be Yu Yanqing’s Chinese teacher, and he’s now a teacher working at the city’s Experimental Primary School.”
When he heard this, Lin Chen felt as if he had been struck by lightning and looked at the policewoman, who was still talking in a daze.
“Because of family reasons, Yu Yanqing went to work after junior high. At that time, Feng Peilin was her Chinese teacher. Three years ago, Feng Peilin came to teach at the city’s Experimental Primary School…”