Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
In the room, there was a light sound of paper flipping.
Lin Chen turned around and saw that the bedside was dim. Xing Conglian was sitting in the shadows by a tiny light. He didn’t seem to be asleep, as he was looking through something.
There was another person in the room. Jiang Chao sat on the chair next to him. His brows were locked tightly.
Lin Chen pushed off the blanket and sat up.
Xing Conglian’s eyes swept over, but it was too dark, so Lin Chen couldn’t see his expression clearly.
“What time is it?”
“Just after noon.”
Hearing this, Lin Chen calculated carefully. He had only slept for less than an hour and a half, so Xing Conglian probably slept for an even shorter time.
Looking at Jiang Chao’s appearance, it seemed he had discovered important clues that he had disturbed their sleep.
“What happened?” Lin Chen asked.
“Captain Jiang has already found the identities of the three victims.”
“The fingerprints of one of the dead were in the police database. The other two were a student and an employee of Yongchuan University, so the results came back pretty quick.” Xing Conglian divided the information in his hands into two pieces and handed it to Lin Chen. “Take a look.”
Lin Chen was a little surprised. After all, this was a case under the jurisdiction of a different police department. From a procedural perspective, they weren’t in a position to intervene, and Xing Conglian wasn’t an ignorant person. Looking at Jiang Chao, it seemed that they really needed their help.
Lin Chen lowered his head. His gaze fell on the two pages in front of him as he began to read.
There were three victims in this case. What he was holding was the information of two of them.
Li Sa, male, 28 years old. An only child. He left his hometown to work after graduating from high school. He was a painter in the logistics department of Yongchuan University.
Wang Shishi, female, 19 years old. A mathematics student at Yongchuan University. She’s the eldest daughter in the family. Has a 10-year-old younger brother. Wang Shishi comes from an upper-class background, as both her parents were lawyers.
Judging from personal data alone, Li Sa and Wang Shishi, regarding both age and social class, were too far apart. The boy was too ordinary and had a plain background, while the girl was like jade. How did two such people intersect, and what was the reason that led them to be buried under the banyan tree?
Thinking of this, Lin Chen gently pinched the corner of the paper, turned his head, and looked at Xing Conglian’s hand.
So what about the third victim?
“You just said the third victim’s fingerprints are in the police database. Whose is it?” Chen asked.
It was very strange for Xing Conglian to specifically mention that the fingerprints were in the police database and not in the citizen files.
“It belongs to the last victim,” Jiang Chao replied.
Lin Chen remembered the last body exhumed under the tree. It seemed to be a woman about 40 years old. He asked, “Why were her fingerprints registered?”
“Because of a robbery,” Jiang Chao said.
Xing Conglian’s gaze paused slightly, as if he had seen something incredible. He looked up at Jiang Chao and said, in a surprised tone, “Cheng Weiwei… Yaqin Jewelry?”
“What’s the matter?” Lin Chen asked.
“I seem to have seen this name somewhere!” As Xing Conglian spoke, he handed Lin Chen the identity information of the last victim and turned to the file folder related to Yang Dianfeng’s case that he had brought from Hongjing.
Lin Chen lowered his head. The woman in the photo, who looked extremely capable, was wearing a professional suit. Her hair was curled, and her eyebrows were quite charming.
Cheng Weiwei, female, 38 years old. Graduate of Anyang College. Assistant to the general manager of Yaqin Jewelry. Her parents are ordinary retired workers.
Lin Chen placed the information about the three deceased people side by side in front of him. Sure enough, Cheng Weiwei and Li Sa were very different from Wang Shishi.
He took out a copy of the material from the file bag attached to it, raised his head, and asked Jiang Chao, “The 723 Mega Highway Robbery?”
“Yeah, do you know about it too, Lao Xing?” Jiang Chao sniffled. “Last year’s unsolvable case. Ah, if we can’t solve it before the end of the year, everyone in the bureau will have their bonuses deducted. Is this not a hard life or what?”
Naturally, Xing Conglian ignored Jiang Chao’s complaints. He quickly scanned the file and, sure enough, saw the words “Cheng Weiwei”.
On July 23, Yaqin Jewelry purchased a batch of loose diamonds worth nearly 100 million yuan from South Africa and appointed Falcon Security Co. to escort the shipment. The general manager of Yaqin Jewelry and his assistant, together with two security personnel, took a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Yongchuan City in the early morning of July 23. They arrived in Yongchuan at 10 p.m. on the 23rd.
Falco Security Co. sent two special bulletproof vehicles and eight security personnel to pick up the goods and was responsible for transporting them to Yaqin Jewelry headquarters. However, the security vehicle was robbed on the national highway.
Nine people in the car were unfortunately killed, and the loose diamonds worth nearly 100 million yuan disappeared. Except for one person, who was lucky enough to escape.
That person was Cheng Weiwei.
“Nine people died, and only Cheng Weiwei survived. Haven’t you ever doubted her?” Xing Conglian asked Jiang Chao while handing the file to Lin Chen.
“Lao Xing, what do you mean by this? Of course we can, but in regards to how the police handle a case, talk is talk, but everything needs evidence!” Jiang Chao picked up a bottle of mineral water from his lap and took a sip. “Wheel warfare*, ten rounds of interrogation, but she refused to relent. We checked all her communication records and contacts, and even turned her house upside down three times, but found no clues! What can we do? We had to let her go!”
*Military term referring to taking turns fighting against the enemy or adopting roundabout tactics to exhaust the other side physically and mentally.
“Did she say why the robbers didn’t kill her?” Lin Chen asked suddenly.
“She said it was because she was a woman that the robbers spared her…”
“How chivalrous,” Xing Conglian sneered.
“This reason is not enough for you to let her go so easily,” Lin Chen said.
“Ah, of course, but did you know that in the two cars, the other nine people who were dead, their bodies were smooshed as if they had gone through a sieve, but she was completely unscathed. When the police arrived, she was sitting in the blood-soaked car without saying a word.” Jiang Chao gritted his teeth and said, “In the first few days, we couldn’t get her to pry open her mouth at all. Later, when she did speak, she said she didn’t know why the robbers didn’t touch her. If she was an inside agent, then why was she alive? It would be better if they had beaten her half dead so there wouldn’t be any suspicion.” Jiang Chao slapped his thigh. “I mean, look, it really makes no fucking sense!”
“Then did you send someone to follow her later,” Xing Conglian asked.
“What do you think? I followed her for three months but didn’t find any clues. Later, even laozi felt that this bitch was innocent!” Jiang Chao said this angrily and took another sip of water. Perhaps it was the effect of the cool water that calmed him down a little. He suddenly looked at Xing Conglian in a daze and said, “Hey, you took stuff out of your folder. This isn’t related to Yang Dianfeng’s case, is it?”
Xing Conglian raised his head, and there was a rare helplessness in his eyes. “Unfortunately, it does.”
“The vehicles of Falcon Security Co. aren’t equipped with the highway safety warning system that has issues, right?” Jiang Chao opened his mouth wide, as if his chin was about to fall off.
Lin Chen glanced at the file and said, “Not only are they installed on the vehicles, but after investigating the system, it was found that on July 23rd, the driving records of the two bulletproof vehicles Falcon Security Co. was driving were modified.”
“Fuck, doesn’t this mean…”
“There is no proof of death,” Lin Chen said coldly.
In the room, there was an unbearable silence again.
Jiang Chao gripped the bottle of mineral water, causing it to make a teeth-shattering sound. “So, Cheng Weiwei, was she murdered…” Jiang Chao paused, as if looking for the right words. “Because you guys are here… so…”
Lin Chen and Xing Conglian looked at each other.
“We can’t rule out this possibility,” Lin Chen said.
Hearing this, Captain Jiang, who was originally depressed, suddenly became happy. “Then, wouldn’t it be possible to investigate these cases in parallel?” He suddenly jumped up, took a few steps, and opened the door. He turned around and rushed to the two people by the bed and said, “You’re not allowed to leave! This is what you caused. I will report to the director right away. Do you hear me? Don’t move until I come back!”
After he finished speaking, he flew away, leaving the two people in the room looking at each other.
“We can’t leave?” Lin Chen asked.
“I’m afraid so.”
“But the reason is too far-fetched. How can we cause this much trouble?”
“Captain Jiang is easily excitable.” Xing Conglian paused and asked, “But do you think this reason is really far-fetched? I mean… The relationship between Cheng Weiwei’s death and our bringing the file to Yongchuan.”
“It’s hard to say.” Lin Chen shook his head. “First of all, it still depends on the cause of death. If it’s murder…”
“No need to look.”
A voice sounded from the door, interrupting Lin Chen’s words.
Lin Chen raised his eyes and saw the forensic pathologist they had met earlier standing at the doorway, holding a small stack of reports.
“It’s not murder.”
“What do you mean?” Lin Chen asked.
“Soil particles were detected in the bronchi and lungs of the three deceased. At the same time, there were no sleeping pills, hallucinogens, or tranquilizers detected in their bodies. Except for hand injuries, they didn’t have any trauma, no head injuries, no binding traces, and even their skin wasn’t scratched…” The forensic pathologist slowly walked into the room and looked down at Lin Chen. “In other words, the three of them were buried in the grave while they were conscious, and…”
“Didn’t struggle,” Lin Chen said lightly.
“Correct.” The forensic pathologist handed over the autopsy report and said, “They were buried alive.”
This was obviously concluded, but Lin Chen’s heart had no joy.
If Cheng Weiwei, Li Sa, and Wang Shishi were buried while they were conscious and they didn’t have any signs of struggles, this showed that the three of them did this voluntarily.
Thinking of the quiet and content expressions on their faces, even Lin Chen felt a chill down his spine.
Under what circumstances could three people allow themselves to lie willingly in a cold and wet grave, covered with layers of soil, until they suffocated to death?
Why did these three dead people of different ages, classes, and family backgrounds die together? Was Cheng Weiwei’s death really related to the grand theft robbery that took place a few months ago?
“I suddenly feel…” Lin Chen raised his head and looked at Xing Conglian.
“Earlier when you told me to get some sleep, was it because you already knew that we wouldn’t get any tonight?”
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