Chapter 9: Julien Eight

TL: cici, Editor: Lady Blue, QC:me3

Synopsis: “So…” Wang Hongliang smiled, “he’s lucky!”

 

First Published on Ainushi. 

 

Wang Hongliang was in the summer of his life, but since he spent half of his life in drowning in alcohol and sex, there were already signs of aging on his face. The fat on both cheeks was slackened and grew at its own will to the point that it reached his chin. At first glance, he looked like a shar-pei dog plotting to subvert mankind.

He leaned forward and observed Ma Xiaowei, who was detained while holding a cigarette and smoked to create some part of the North Gate of the heaven (1).

Ma Xiaowei was so thin that he looked pitiful and clumsy. And he was tense even when alone. His pair of eyes, which looked like they were about to jump out from their sockets, seemed to have difficulty on focusing on the same spot for longer than a moment, so that it had to look everywhere up and down.

Wang Hongliang stared at him with head inclined, and said to those next to him: “So, they brought him back to the Bureau in dejection?”

Standing next to him was the head of the Sub Bureau Criminal Investigation Team, who kept a low profile when investigating cases–He gave commands basically by following the trend and always relied on the leaders to make conclusions, which was exactly like a microphone for reporting things to higher level and passing on messages to lower level. He picked up an ashtray beside him, holding it to catch the cigarette end dropped by Wang Hongliang: “Xiao Haiyang reported so.”

“I didn’t expect this, really! It doesn’t even look true–How can there be such a coincidence in the world?” Wang Hongliang laughed with “haha” sound. His eyes were invisible while his teeth were exposed. Now he became a shar-pei dog singing like a serf, who had won a war with higher status people. “No wonder the fortune-teller said that although I will have a hurdle this year, I will eventually meet someone who will bring me luck. A 30000 dollars talisman is not totally useless. In addition to lacking success but having more than enough failures, that Xiao Haiyang is even of a little use.”

Someone standing next to him asked respectfully: “Director Wang, what do you think we should do now?”

“Luo Wenzhou stretched out his hand too fast,” Wang Hongliang gathered his sparse hair together with hands. “Otherwise, the major suspect being a relative of a leader in the Bureau is already a good reason to ask them to disappear from my sights.”

Saying this, he turned around in circles several times, then waved his hand: “Never mind, give them. Luo Wenzhou is not afraid of others scolding them for favoritism. What am I afraid of? Now that the second suspect has appeared, it just shows that the case is a lot more complicated than we imagined, and it is a murder and body dumping case at first–we should blame the misleading testimony of the people around that area, they disrupted the investigation direction and the noise they heard is not related to the case. They can investigate anywhere as they wish–may it be Cheng Guang Mansion or any other place–as long as it is not in the ‘West District’. We fully support the work of the Bureau.”

“Director Wang is bold but cautious,” the head of the Sub Bureau Criminal Investigation Team apple-polished him with a smile, and added. “Please refer me to the place you got the talisman, it’s really too efficacious.”

“Sure. When you visit there just tell them you are referred by me, then things will be a lot cheaper,” Wang Hongliang patted the shoulder of his subordinate. “As a normal person, when you reach my age, you will find that there are a lot of things you have to believe. Things like getting promoted and getting rich always rely on your fate–Oh yes, the family of the deceased are coming, aren’t they? Send them to the Bureau together with the suspect.”

When he was walking towards outside after finishing talking, he suddenly remembered something. He looked back at Ma Xiaowei, and said meaningfully: “Look at this kid. He’s inconspicuous at the first glance, but if you observe him carefully, his face is actually very auspicious. He has a really full forehead and a fleshy chin. (2)”

The subordinate beside him didn’t get his meaning.

“So…” Wang Hongliang smiled, “he’s lucky!”

When the whole Huashi District Sub Bureau was studying theology, the Yancheng Bureau revealed a heavy depression.

When Tao Ran came out from the interrogation room, he was so tired that he leaned against the wall and slowly took a deep breath. According to what people said, this Zhang Donglai had a fever when he was a child which burned his brain, as a result, he grew up to be a pure and cute sucker. One had to forgive him eight times every minute to let the conversation continue– it was good that it was the good-tempered Tao Ran who interrogated him, if it was someone else, the table would have already been flipped.

Luo Wenzhou was waiting for him at the door. He held a USB flash disk in his hand and was unconsciously rotating it back and forth among his fingers.

Xiao Haiyang, who was listening to the interrogation, stood far away and maintained a certain distance with him–this boy seemed to be a little afraid of him.

Luo Wenzhou raised his eyes: “How was it?”

“Zhang Donglai said he may have drunk a little bit of wine that day, and saw an unemployed youth was badgering his younger sister. So he thought that young man was a rogue and beat him on impulse. And afterwards, he didn’t remember which unemployed youth he beat. I showed him the photo of the deceased. He said that it seems to be a bit familiar but he was not sure. Besides, he said he has neither given anyone any gift as an apology nor has he given anyone a phone–I think the latter is true. Even now that boy didn’t feel that beating someone was wrong.” Tao Ran pinched his nose. “By the way, has Fei Du come?”

“He left already,” Luo Wenzhou responded, then he remembered something. He stared at Tao Ran and said, “That little bastard is getting more and more bastardly. It’s all because of you pampering him.”

Tao Ran: “…”

He always felt that this complaint sounds weird.

Luo Wenzhou reached out a hand and threw the USB flash disk in his hand to Tao Ran: “Take a look at this. There may be something useful in it.”

Tao Ran caught it doubtfully: “What is this?”

“I don’t know, but I guess it’s the surveillance camera record inside and around the Cheng Guang Mansion.” Luo Wenzhou glanced at the grumpy Zhang Donglai in the surveillance camera. “I’ve met his sister, a pretty normal girl. Make a phone call and confirm with her whether what Zhang Donglai said is reliable or not. I will tell Director Zhang about this.”

However, when Luo Wenzhou went to the office of the director for the second time, he didn’t see the old director.

A tall, sturdy man looked up and nodded at Luo Wenzhou with a pleasant facial expression: “Come in.”

This man was almost at the same age as Director Zhang. There was an old scar above his right eyebrows, which extended from the forehead to right above the eyelids. But that didn’t make him look fierce. The person still looked very kind.

Luo Wenzhou stared at this unexpected person: “Director Lu?”

Director Lu, named Lu Youliang, was Director Zhang’s deputy and an old criminal policeman. Back when various kinds of technologies were immature, he participated in solving a large number of major cases, arrested countless vicious prisoners, and was one of the legends in Yancheng City Bureau. Even those who never took things seriously had to restrain themselves in front of him.

“Ah, if you need to report something talk to me for now, Director Zhang is currently staying home to avoid arousing suspicion–you really shouldn’t bring him back. If someone is suspected, he should be taken away and investigated on the spot. What do you mean by bringing him back here? Do you want to play favoritism and cover up for him or do you plan to tell a very poor lie which actually reveals the truth?” Director Lu sighed and reached out to point to Luo Wenzhou. “Wenzhou, everything about you is good, except that sometimes you think too much. You are too tactful.”

Luo Wenzhou didn’t change his facial expression, looked out,  swept his eyes through the empty corridor, and then carefully closed the door: “Uncle Lu.”

Director Lu was puzzled.

“There is a criminal policeman of the Sub Bureau downstairs, whose name is Xiao Haiyang,” Luo Wenzhou kept his voice very low. “When he reported the details of the case to us the first time, he said ‘cannot rule out the possibility of here not being the first scene’. At that time it sounded a little unnatural to me because whether it was the first scene or not had to be judged according to the forensic and physical evidence. In the condition where obvious features are absent and the evidence is not yet obtained, few people will discuss whether it is the crime scene there or whether it is a body-dumping case. Wang Hongliang also reacted. He immediately scolded Xiao Haiyang when I was there. I didn’t take it seriously and just thought that this Xiao Haiyang may have a different way of thinking than ordinary people.”

Director Lu said in a low tone: “I don’t quite get what you mean.”

“Director Zhang asked me to investigate Wang Hongliang,” said Luo Wenzhou. “I just received the informant’s report and suspect that Wang Hongliang has colluded with drug gangs in Huashi District.”

Director Lu frowned: “But Huashi District is an outstanding anti-drug district.”

“Yeah. Are you not curious from where they grabbed so many useful informants?” Luo Wenzhou spoke quickly. “The reporter said they have an ‘officially franchised’ drug trafficking network. Those who are not in this organization will be immediately uncovered once they enter the area under the jurisdiction of Huashi District.”

Director Lu: “Evidence?”

“We are collecting,” said Luo Wenzhou. “Let’s go back to the case. Yesterday, we accidentally got testimony from nearby people, which says that around nine o’clock, some people were heard quarreling near the crime scene. Wang Hongliang then promptly arrested a juvenile suspected of being at the scene when the case occurred. The boy was thin, kept drifting his eyes, spoke incoherently, was always in fear, and gave testimony full of loopholes. However, no matter how we interrogated him, he insisted that he didn’t see anyone in the crime scene–and now we do have evidence to show that the body may have been moved after death.Then questions come. If the quarreling noises residents heard has nothing to do with this murder case, why didn’t the juvenile dare to tell the truth in the beginning? Why did the criminal policeman Xiao Haiyang imply to us at the very beginning that that place is not the first scene? Is it possible that he knew from the beginning that no murder occurred there?”

Director Lu could not help but stand up and made a few circles.

“Uncle Lu,” said Luo Wenzhou, “There are many mixed clues in this case and a lot of things are very ambiguous. I suspect that these are two cases entangled together. Tao Ran and that Xiao Haiyang found out that this case is related to Zhang Donglai very coincidentally. If I didn’t bring him back here immediately at that time, Wang Hongliang would probably use this issue as an excuse to stop Director Zhang and us from intervening this case. The kid who was arrested earlier may die of ‘excessive drug use’ in the Sub Bureau tomorrow morning, and all his testimony can be attributed to nonsense spoken after taking drugs. The suspected murderer will be an arrogant rich second generation.”

Director Lu asked: “What are you going to do?”

“For the time being, Zhang Donglai should be regarded as a key suspect,” said Luo Wenzhou. “As long as we appear to move our sight away from the Huashi West District, and separate these two intertwining cases, Wang Hongliang will probably use this opportunity to hand over the murder case to us like pushing the boat with the current.”

Since the criminal investigation team worked overtime to investigate the surveillance camera record video provided by Fei Du, when Luo Wenzhou arrived at home it was already late night. As he just opened the door, he heard a “meow”. A Chinese garden cat poked its head out.

Luo Wenzhou gently pulled it into the room with his feet: “Meow meow for what? I haven’t eaten as well… ah?”

He found a new parcel in the mailbox at the door. He picked it up and observed it. On it, there was a line written with a familiar Regular Script Style handwriting: “To Luo Wenzhou”.

Luo Wenzhou opened the package. There was a sealed evidence bag inside, which contained a few cigarette butts.

 

 

=======================================================

(1) the North Gate of the heaven: An entrance to the heaven in Taoist legends, which is surrounded by fog and smoke.

(2) a really full forehead and a fleshy chin: In fortune-telling, this means rich and noble fate.

=======================================================

Liked it? Take a second to support cici on Patreon!