Chapter 2 – Julien One

TL: cici, Editor: shirani, QC: Lady Blue

Synopsis: Huashi District has a murder case. I need two people to go there with me. Hurry up!

 

First Published on Ainushi. 

 

 

In the Public Security Bureau of Yancheng, the clock showed that it was eight o’clock in the morning.

 

Stuff from the office had arrived successively. Logistics Officer Sun, yawned in the administrative office  as he shouldered a barrel of water to deliver to the office of the old director. He pushed the door open, however, he found that their old Director Zhang had already made himself the first cup of tea of the day, and was talking on the phone with a grave expression.

 

Their old director had already reached 50, and was a volatile old fossil- he carried his own bottle of water wherever he went, still used a non-smart phone which offered half a month standby time, never came to work in civvies, and had several suits of uniforms, among which he picked one to wear everyday according to the weather. There was a deep furrow between his eyebrows, which looked like the third eye of “Er Lang Shen” (1). That is the result of him always being unhappy. His laughter was as rare as a blooming cycas revoluta.

 

Voices leaked from the old telephone in the office, Sun half knelt and tore down the wrapping of the barrel, and heard someone at the other side of the call say: ”Director, I know this happened in an area under my jurisdiction. Yes, this is my mistake, but…”

 

Sun looked at the two eyebrows of Director Zhang which had connected with each other, and silently wondered what had happened.

 

Yancheng was holding a very influential international meeting, thus the heads and press of various countries in the world were all here. Many companies and schools had stopped functioning temporarily. Traffic restrictions were enforced on all private vehicles. All security departments were under high pressure.

 

Sun saw the old director’s face getting colder. The old director lowered his voice, trying his best to speak softly: ”North Nanping Drive, less than three kilometers from the main hall. I have said it before, we need to make sure nothing happens this month, and we better clear all booths along the street. Now you have a murder case! Old Wang, overfill the quota ha?”

 

“But, it was midnight, sir…”

 

“We notified all units to enforce night patrol one month ago. Do you expect criminals work eight hours a day and five days a week?”

 

“Yes, yes, I am not shrinking my responsibility, but you too know that Huashi Western District has been in chaos for a long time, and there is a large number of floating population…”

 

Director Zhang held his temper and talked to the head of Huashi District Sub Bureau for about five minutes, found that the other party showed no sign of regrets and kept making excuses. He spontaneously burst into rage and shouted with accumulated anger: “What is it that I know? Is western district not under your jurisdiction? Not your ground? Now you say it is in chaos! What the hell were you doing all these years?”

 

Both Sun and the Director of Sub Bureau were frightened and were silent out of fear.

 

Director Zhang took a mouthful of tea to calm down, but bit the tea leaves by mistake. He spat them back to the cup.

 

After that, he stretched out only one finger, typed the word “garrote” on the dusty keyboard, searched it in the intranet, and immediately his screen was filled with the screenshots of news.

 

In the wee hours last night, a man’s dead body was found in an alley of Huashi Western District. The corpse was in a frightening state. At the very beginning, someone posted this news as a curious story to the web. There are lots of things that are much more curious and scary than this online, so at first it didn’t gain much attention.

The heads of Huashi District Sub Bureau, however, in fear of things happening in this time of stress, did something stupid- they wanted to hide this from the public, so they first deleted the post, and then announced that they found a body of a tramp, dead of unknown reasons to hide the truth.

 

Out of their expectations, those punks who had first found the body took clear photos of the scene, and spread them out to gather attention. These photos, together with the sub bureau‘s attitude towards this, gave the commuters in buses or subways inspiration to imagine. As a result, this case created a great sensation. Even municipal administration office had called to query about it.

 

Director Zhang put on his reading glasses, opened a post titled “Gangs robbing garroting people suspected to be haunting the downtown” which got the most hits before deleted, and obviously, most people believed it. The posts even had photos attached. When he opened the post, a formidable picture of the body without obfuscation appeared on the screen.

 

Director Zhang: “…”

 

He felt that he shouted too early just now, but at his age, it was really hard to shout at an even higher pitch, so he gave up and resuming with his normal volume: “Our work isn’t worth your talents. You should be working in some advertisement company. How great is the effect of publicity!”

 

“Those trouble-making kids! Taking photos of a dead body, how wicked they are! Please be at ease, sir. I have arrested them already, and also we will delete all photos and posts. We will control the situation.”

 

Director Zhang leaned against the back of his chair, and kept kneading the center of his eyebrows: “Now the most urgent task is to break the case quickly and catch the murderer or criminal, if there is one. Deleting post… Are you web police? This case must be solved as soon as possible. And tell your men not to disclose any information. I will soon send a few men there to provide you with technical guidance. Wang Hongliang, within one week, if there isn’t enough progress, you will have to resign!”

 

Director Zhang shouted at the director of Sub Bureau, and hung up the phone. Sun hurriedly put the empty barrel aside, and opened his notebook since he predicted that the old director would give out instructions.

 

As expected, director Zhang made a gesture: “Get the people from the criminal investigation team.”

 

Sun raised his head: “Director Zhang, you want to bring all of them?”

 

Director Zhang thought for a moment, looked at the LCD monitor in front of him – the face of the body in the photo was already swollen and twisted, but Director Zhang could still figure out that it was the face of a young man. He kept his mouth open, like he was in shock, and faced the lens vaguely.

 

“Get Luo Wenzhou, ask him to lead somebody there.” said Director Zhang, “The case might not be very complicated. Tell him I will deal with Wang Hongliang, that old thing, after this month. He will know what to do.”

 

Sun: “…”

 

Through glasses, Director Zhang looked at him doubtfully.

 

“Di…Director Zhang,” Sun forced a smile, “Captain Luo… He is, actually, not here yet.”

 

Luo Wenzhou arrived at work exactly on time everyday. Office hour started at 8:30, so he would not appear in his cube at 8:29- as long as he was not on duty.

 

Coincidently, his car was restricted that day. Luo Wenzhou didn’t want to stand in crowded bus, so he fetched a “Er Ba” which was old enough to be displayed in the museum, fixed it by himself, and wobbled to work on it.

 

He was very handsome- he still looked like an adolescent boy, but one could easily tell that he was a mature man by his manners and temperament. He wore a pair of in-ear headphones and rolled up his sleeves. Muscles were barely visible through the well-fitting shirt. He had a pair of legs which could stretch out and stand on the ground, even when riding an old-fashioned beam bicycle.

With a dozen pancakes hanging on the left handlebar, six or seven cup of soybean milk hanging on the right one, Luo Wenzhou’s hands relaxingly hung on the heavily overloaded handlebars, and entered the entrance of police bureau just on time.

 

Just upon entering the Bureau, Luo Wenzhou saw the guard was stopping a flower delivery girl from going in.

 

“We cannot let you in- Why? Lady, this is public security bureau, not Flowers Fruit Mountain (2). All packages should be left in the mailroom for security check and registration.”

 

“How can flowers be left in the mailroom? Won’t they droop?” The flower delivery lady turned back and saw Luo Wenzhou, stretched out one of her hands and pointed to him, “You don’t allow me in, but allow a food delivery guy in?”

 

The guard: “…”

 

Luo Wenzhou raised his head, faced the flower delivery girl and smiled, showing his coquettish white teeth: “Because the food delivery guy is handsome, fit, and well proportioned.”

 

The guard really was very worried about the image of the bureau: “Good morning, Captain Luo.”

 

“Good morning. Have you had your breakfast? If not, help yourself.” Luo Wenzhou held his bicycle with one foot on the ground, “Belle, to whom are the flowers being delivered? I can take them in for you.”

 

The flower delivery young woman was embarrassed by him, checked the card hastily: “Oh… Deliver to criminal investigation team, a gentleman called Tao Ran.”

 

Right at 8:30 am, Luo Wenzhou entered the office on time, threw the flowers at Tao Ran’s desk: “You…”

 

He was just able to say one word since Director Zhang sent someone to catch him. Luo Wenzhou had to hold back his following words, and instead, stretched out a hand and pressed on Tao Ran’s desk: “I will talk to you later.”

 

The whole criminal investigation team was shocked. All team members were frozen and stared at the pretty flowers in front of Police Officer Tao, as if there was a time bomb buried inside their stalks.

 

Policewoman Lang Qiao pulled out magnifying glass and disposable gloves from her drawer, leaned forward gingerly from the neighboring desk, surveyed the flowers, then pulled out a piece of brown paper perfume card.

 

This brave lady, under public eyes, opened the card with a cold face, and saw a few sentences written with very standard Kai font: “It is windy, both my hands and feet are cold, but my heart is warm. I don’t know why, however, my heart is always soft. I must get close to you, so that I will not feel sad or hurt.” (3)

 

“From ‘Fei’,” said Lang Qiao, “Fei what?”

 

Tao Ran grabbed the card back: “Knock it off, give it back to me.”

 

“Actually the flowers are a gift from his girlfriend, I thought Big Boss Luo was going to confess to you in public.”

 

The colleagues surrounding him all patted their chests. The sentence “Scared me to death” could be heard continuously from different people. Then, all singles recovered their fighting force with the speed of light, took out the breakfast brought by Luo Wenzhou, and at the same time dutifully carried the flag of fighting “deviationist”.

 

“Vice Captain Tao, when did you leave FFF (4), have you reported? Has the organization given consent?”

 

“This Tao-Tao, not generous at all, so mean.”

 

“Vice Captain Tao, there is only 37.6 yuan left in my salary for this month, no spare money for dog-food (5), you know what you should do.”

 

“Go away,” Tao Ran put the card away, then found an inconspicuous spot to hide the flowers, “Where does this girlfriend come from? Don’t make trouble.”

 

After this big bunch of evidence has been exposed, this guy still wants to escape? Hearing this, people could not stand and rushed to him with noises like heated oil, intending to encircle, pursue, obstruct, and intercept Vice Captain Tao.

 

Right at this moment, Luo Wenzhou who hurried off just now pushed the door and came back again. He patted the door frame: “Huashi District has a murder case. I need two people to go there with me. Hurry up!”

 

 

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(1) Er Lang Shen: a Taoist god, with a third truth-seeing eye in the middle of his forehead

(2) Flowers Fruit Mountain: A mountain in legend, where the Monkey King Sun Wukong used to live

(3) please take a look at “The author has something to say”

(4) FFF: means the union of singles, so leave FFF means not-single any more

(5) dog-food: Food for “single dog”

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The Author Has Something to Say

“It is windy, both my hands and feet are cold, but my heart is warm. I don’t know why, however, my heart is always soft. I must get close to you, so that I will not feel sad or hurt.” 

These sentences come from Chinese author Shen Congwen’s article Xiangxing Letter

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