Chapter 8: Julien Seven
TL: cici, Editor: Lady Blue, QC: me3
Synopsis: When Luo Wenzhou heard his remark, which goes against all law and morality, he couldn’t help but feel his palms itching to pick up this scum Fei and beat him soundly.
First Published on Ainushi.
Lang Qiao carried a folding umbrella and ran into the office building by using two steps to cover three steps distance, leaving a long trail of wet footprints.
When she was climbing up the staircase, she slipped and almost fell into the ground. She hurriedly grabbed the balustrade, looked up and saw Luo Wenzhou walking down from the floor where the office of the Director was.
Luo Wenzhou looked into her eyes wearing a rare dignified expression.
Lang Qiao stretched out her hand to twist the bangs affixed to her forehead: “Big Boss, what on earth happened? You are so serious. I am a bit nervous.”
“Today, according to the clues given by He Zhongyi’s roommate, Tao Ran and that little glasses in the Sub Bureau deduced that He Zhongyi may have contacted a mysterious figure,” Luo Wenzhou whispered. “It is said that for some reason, that man has had conflicts with He Zhongyi during his working hours. After that, in order to make an apology, that man gave him the phone.”
Luo Wenzhou was tall, had long legs, and walked very fast. Lang Qiao had to trot all the way to keep up. Heard these words, she felt like her brain was about to evaporate along with her wet hair. She repeated sort of stupidly: “Has had conflicts? And… and gave a cell phone? Then I have conflicts with people in the metro everyday, why isn’t there anyone giving me one?”
Rarely, Luo Wenzhou didn’t reply to her joke with banter: “Tao Ran and that boy re-investigated the delivery spots where the deceased worked. They visited all spots along his delivery route, and finally found a witness in a chain coffee shop. The witness said that when He Zhongyi was ready to leave the store after delivery some days ago, he indeed had a physical confrontation with someone near the entrance of the store. The store’s surveillance camera recorded the license plate number of that person.”
As they were talking, they moved to the outside of the interrogation room. They looked across the glass from one side and saw Tao Ran sitting opposite to a young man.
The man was in his early twenties. His hair was dyed in flaxen color and everything worn on his body carried name brand. He was trying his best to subdue his anger, but he was extremely furious to the point that his hostility was obvious on every part of his face.
“Yes, I may have beaten this pleb, so? I have beaten a lot of people, but I really played no role in this case. If you don’t believe me, you can always ask Fei Du if I was with him that day. I tell you, Officier Tao, if not for the sake of Mr. Fei, you dare to arrest me like this, I fuck… I already…”
Lang Qiao stared blankly at the arrogant young man inside: “Is he the second suspect? Why bring him back to the Bureau deliberately?”
“Early at that night of the case, the deceased had said he would go to a place called Cheng Guang Mansion and this man was inside Cheng Guang Mansion that night.” Luo Wenzhou sighed. “This man is called Zhang Donglai, he is the son of a prestigious local entrepreneur.”
“Oh, a descendant of a rich family,” Lang Qiao winked. “So?”
Luo Wenzhou: “And he is also Director Zhang’s nephew.”
Lang Qiao: “…”
Before she could restart her crashed brain, a police officer on duty ran to them, and whispered to Luo Wenzhou: “Captain Luo, someone called Fei came and said he wanted to meet Vice Captain Tao.”
Fei Du politely expressed his thanks to the officer on duty who brought him a drink. Then he took a sip and put it aside–unbelievably, the coffee they brought him was some kind of instant coffee with a bizarre sesame oil flavor.
He looked around and observed the interior decoration of the Bureau, and felt worried about the taste of whoever was in charge. Beside, the decoration being shoddy, there was still some paint spots at the corner of the desk. Probably because it was newly painted. One could still smell the paint if they tried.
Luo Wenzhou came in and saw that Fei Du was examining the textures on their tables seriously. He frowned and looked very gloomy–if the table was not hollow, Captain Luo might have suspected that there was a body hiding beneath it.
Fei Du raised his eyelid and found that it was Luo Wenzhou, but didn’t seem to be taken by surprise and just briefly nodded to him: “Take a seat.”
Luo Wenzhou: “…”
This boy acted like this was his home!
Fei Du stirred sesame oil flavoured coffee with a plastic spoon and asked: “Where’s Tao Ran?”
“He’s busy.” Luo Wenzhou pulled out a pen, spread out a notebook and without any nonsense greeting, went straight to the point. “In the evening of the 20th, that is, the day before yesterday, were you together with Zhang Donglai? Think carefully before you answer.”
Fei Du leaned on the back of the chair, raised his head slightly and sit with his ankle on his knee. Although his sitting posture did not qualify as “improper”, it inexplicably made people think that that space was too small for him.
He stared at Luo Wenzhou with a half smile, and asked: “Captain Luo, am I a suspect?”
Luo Wenzhou glanced at him coldly.
Fei Du threw up his hands in a casual manner: “Then you’d better be polite to me. I am not a suspect and an interrogation summon is not mandatory, therefore if I am not happy I can leave at anytime.”
“Oh,” Luo Wenzhou put his pen aside. “I have to coax you so you’re happy first? Okay, tell me how do I do that. Should I sing you a song now or go out to buy you a bag of sugar?”
Fei Du who had just been issued a toffee card by Officer Tao: “…”
The wind and rain outside hit the window and produced a burst of noises. In the room, two people who disliked each other sat in silence.
After a while, Luo Wenzhou, thought he was probably being a bit childish, scoffed at himself. He pulled out a cigarette case, gently knocked it on the corner of the table, and then was about to light up a cigarette.
“I do mind.” From the side Fei Du answered without being asked. “I’ve had a bit of pharyngitis lately.”
Luo Wenzhou said with a skin-deep smile: “If you are sick, we are not far from achieving world peace.”
However, he still put the lighter down, held a cigarette which was not lit, and rotated it a few times in between his fingers: “Zhang Donglai said at about eight o’clock the night before yesterday, he met you at the entrance of Cheng Guang Mansion, and you didn’t leave until midnight. So, you can testify for him for that period of time.”
“I arrived there before eight o’clock, left at ten past zero, and I did greet him both times.” said Fei Du coolly. “However, the host arranged a very ‘rich’ event. If I told you he was within my sight for the whole night, it would be illogical and you will not believe it. ”
Luo Wenzhou teared the cigarette paper as if his hands were bored and had to do something: “Why? Aren’t you two always fooling around together?”
Fei Du supported himself with his elbows on the table and leaned forward slightly. As he did this, the smell of his cologne, swept by the rain and mixed with moisture, overwhelmed Luo Wenzhou: “Because I don’t like sharing a partner with another man–Captain Luo, if you keep asking these boring and pretending-to-be-pure questions, I will have to say goodbye to you.”
“It’s hard to tell that you are quite particular about it.” Luo Wenzhou did not even raise his eyebrows, just mocked as if it’s a requirement for his job to be humorous and then added: “In other words, you can’t prove that Zhang Donglai didn’t kill someone at Cheng Guang Mansion on that day.”
“I can’t, but someone can. If it’s necessary, I can get everyone, who had been in touch with him that night, within two hours. I think one handbag per person should be good enough as payment for running an errand.”
Luo Wenzhou poked his pen nib on the table: “Are you implying to me that you intend to use fiscal and sex trade to forge testimony of witnesses?”
“What? Will your elites worry about whether they cannot tell if several young models perjury or not?” Fei Du shook his head. “No, I’m telling you why it is impossible for Zhang Donglai to be the murderer.”
Fei Du leaned against the back of the chair again, pulled himself away from Luo Wenzhou and said with his peculiar lazy tone: “For Zhang Donglai, it is obviously unwise to do it with his own hands. Instead he can find someone to kidnap the deceased, and then either detain him illegally or secretly killed him. Anyway, the West District is filled with floating population and there are countless people leaving without telling anyone everyday. Nobody will notice that one single person has disappeared. And even if someone calls the police, no one will really care about it.”
When Luo Wenzhou heard his remark, which goes against all law and morality, he couldn’t help but feel his palms itching to pick up this scum Fei and beat him soundly. He expended a lot of effort to withhold it. As a result his pen nib teared the paper with a “sila” sound and left a hole filled with anger: “Murderers are not often ‘wise’ when committing murder.”
“Oh, you mean killing in the heat of passion,” Fei Du paused. “Are there other blunt wounds on the deceased other than the one that knocked him out?”
Luo Wenzhou: “Is it me questioning you now or you questioning me?”
“That sounds like a ‘no’,” Fei Du said in a rather calm tone. “In a murder in the heat of passion case, the murderer’s emotions are explosive. The rage of the murderer rises to its zenith in an instant, and it’s usually followed by an outburst as the murderer works off his anger on the victim. A victim who fell to the ground without resistance should have had his head smashed like a rotten watermelon – but strangled?”
He held his elbows on the arms of the chair, supported his chin with his fingertips and laughed: “Strangling is a slow, steady and enjoyable way of killing. Sometimes it even comes with a little bit of the sense of ‘that aspect’. Will someone who is so thirsty that his throat is smoking willingly sit down and carefully ‘taste the tea’? I personally think this process is unnatural.”
Luo Wenzhou’s face darkened: “You think killing is ‘tea-tasting’.”
“Just an analogy,” Fei Du shrugged, and avoided the crucial point. “Zhang Donglai will not kill anyone. Even if he did kill someone, he will not dump the body. Even if he did dump the body, the body will not be thrown into the narrow alley in West District with which he is completely unfamiliar. This is the analysis from a rational point of view. From an intitutive point of view–Zhang Donglai, that coward is hopeless. When he’s angry-at most he will curse. He doesn’t have the nerve to kill someone.”
Since the beginning of Luo Wenzhou’s conversation with Fei Du,, the last sentence is the only one that sounds relatively like human words.
Zhang Donglai is the son of Director Zhang’s elder brother. Since he was born when his parents were already past the age for giving birth to kids and the family was in a good condition, he was spoiled to the point that he turned out to be both fragile and useless. Luo Wenzhou had met him several times and he didn’t think Zhang Donglai had the guts or psychological quality.
For other information, they could only rely on the police to verify. Since there wouldn’t be much useful information that Fei Du could give, Luo Wenzhou closed his laptop, stood up and was about to go.
“Hey.” Fei Du suddenly called him from behind.
Luo Wenzhou looked back and saw something small flew towards him. He subconsciously reached out to catch it, and then, he found what Fei Du threw to him was a USB flash disk.
Fei Du said: “Among various criminal cases, there are several situations that would easily draw public attentions. Firstly, the scale of the case is huge. One example of this is terrorist attacks. This is news. Secondly, the means used are particularly weird and brutal, or the case itself is similar to an urban legend such as serial killer. This is novelty seeking. Thirdly, the victim belongs to a low-risk group, such as students and office workers who have regular patterns of life or middle class who keep their noses clean. This is the group panic caused by substitution into the victim. Fourthly, the case involves something that has long accumulated grudges such as social elites event involving public power, privilege, and lack of morality. This topic–this case doesn’t fit any of the situations, yet it attracted unusual attention from the beginning.”
The sound of thunder, which was going to cease its’ activity, came from a very far away place vaguely, added an endless tail to his words.
“After a brief period of unusual concern, people should lose their interest in it quickly. But, right at this moment, Zhang Donglai is dragged in.” Fei Du stood up and walked to the side of Luo Wenzhou. Passing him, Fei Du said lightly: “Is it a coincidence or is someone manipulating you?”
Luo Wenzhou’s eyes froze.
“There’s no need to thank me. I am doing this for Tao Ran.” Fei Du picked up an umbrella, and left without a backward glance.
“Fei Du.” Suddenly, Luo Wenzhou said. “It’s next week, isn’t it? It’s been seven years already, and it’s time for you to make a new start.”
Fei Du ignored him and left at a uniform pace. He didn’t turn his head back and Luo Wenzhou lost sight of him.