Chapter 30 Julien Twenty-nine

TL: cici, Editor: MochiMochi

 

Synopsis: The girl who was innocent was sitting there and drinking in anxiety. The girl who was not was already dead.

 

First Published on Ainushi. 

 

Chen Yuan must have known that not any of her personal belongings would be able to escape from them, and even her close relatives would be closely watched. When He Zhongyi’s case was on the cusp, under the pressure of the situation, Wang Hongliang even sent men to watch Chen Zhen who knew nothing about their secret, not to mention Chen Yuan who was involved in it.

How did she, a helpless girl, manage to contact Cui Ying under Wang Hongliang’s monitoring network?

They were not sure if Wang Hongliang’s gang had conducted an in-depth investigation into the people Chen Yuan had contacted, but at least they seemed to be at peace with Cui Ying for the time being; why would that be the case?

There were only two possibilities: either Wang Hongliang’s people were brainless, or they believed that they had found what they want.

Chen Yuan somehow sent something to Cui Ying, and soon afterward, Chen Yuan died. Wang Hongliang’s gang was very quiet and did not touch Cui Ying – what did this mean?

Luo Wenzhou’s eyes were very cold.

Two possibilities: first, this girl in front of them, who was not deeply involved in the society and whom anyone could easily understand, had betrayed Chen Yuan.

Second, Cui Ying panicked and had entrusted the whole thing to a person she trusted – Zhao Haochang.

Zhao Haochang betrayed Chen Yuan and told Wang Hongliang the secret for some reason.

At this time, Tao Ran got a call from the Bureau. He picked up and listened in silence for a while, then lowered his head to type a message on the phone before showing it to Luo Wenzhou.

“Wu Xuechun just gave her testimony in the hospital. She pointed out that Huang Jinglian and a few others provided protection for the drug trafficking network and got commission for it, but she had never seen Wang Hongliang in person.”

Luo Wenzhou frowned slightly.

Tao Ran typed swiftly: “As for Chen Yuan, she said that they were called ‘fresh’. Wu Xuechun’s exact words were: Huang reported to someone unknown, who considered the “girls in the field” dirty and usually only liked to play with girls outside. When he found someone hard to “work” with, he would use a little drug. When he got tired of the girl, she would already be beyond saving. Then she would be disposed to them.”

“Wu Xuechun said that there was one guy in Huang Jinglian’s gang who liked taking videos. Based on her testimony, we found some videos from that person’s computer. Most of them were recordings of people gathering for drug or sex. Chen Yuan was found in one of the videos. Based on the image, our forensic scientist thought it was likely that she was already dead.”

Luo Wenzhou gave Tao Ran a questioning look – did Huang Jinglian confess?

Tao Ran shook his head.

Luo Wenzhou silently turned the cigarette case over a few times in his hand, and suddenly said, “Ask them to send us the video.”

His previously casual attitude suddenly turned harsh, which gave Cui Ying a turn.

Cui Ying looked very much like someone in a schoolyard. She had long hair, wore a pair of delicate glasses and had a habit of biting straws. When she looked at something with wide-open eyes, a sense of kind and naive innocence could be observed.

The girl who was innocent was sitting here and drinking in anxiety. The girl who was not was already dead.

“Send it here and show her,” Luo Wenzhou stopped making gags, reached out and pushed the drink on the table aside. “Cui Ying, I don’t want to keep going around in circles with you. Now I will tell you the truth; your teacher Zhao has been arrested.”

Cui Ying’s eyes widened: “Wh…”

Tao Ran’s mobile phone vibrated. A video file was received. Luo Wenzhou took it and pushed it directly to Cui Ying. It was dim in the video, people were dancing wildly, and screaming rose one after another; the person who was taking the shot was also dancing around, so the camera view was dizzying.

A man blundered out of a small door and waved at the camera: “Look, this one seems to be no good.”

Before he finished the sentence, he had already laughed out loud for no reason. This mysterious laughter was a typical symptom of drug overdose. Then he bent over and pulled a naked woman out of the door behind him.

Not knowing what kind of restricted video this was, Cui Ying wanted to move her eyes away automatically. Luo Wenzhou, however, kept staring at her: “Zhao Haochang is suspected of a few crimes such as murdering, dumping corpses, kidnapping and abduction.”

Goosebumps arose on Cui Ying’s wrist.

Then, the camera of the mobile phone suddenly zoomed in, and the person holding the camera grinned in the background: “Let me take a shot! Let me!”

The camera moved up and down Chen Yuan’s body, endlessly taking shot of her face and private parts. Cui Ying covered her mouth with her hands. She looked as though she was about to throw up.

At the same time, Luo Wenzhou punched the table: “Have you seen it? That’s how Chen Yuan died.”

Cui Ying stood up abruptly.

Luo Wenzhou: “She trusted you and entrusted you with a vital secret, but you handed it to a scum right away! You pushed her to this end.”

“No, it’s not him…” Cui Ying shook her head weakly.

Luo Wenzhou asked relentlessly: “If it’s not him who betrayed Chen Yuan, then is it you? How do you explain why she died just a few days after she called you?”

The evergreen good cop Tao quietly entered his working state: “Don’t scare her – girl, my partner didn’t lie to you. Less than two weeks after the last time Chen Yuan contacted you, she died in an accident – were you close friends?”

Cui Ying staggered back to her seat: “Nonsense, Teacher Zhao is not that kind of person…”

Tao Ran asked gently: “What kind of person is he?”

“He is very mature and very calm… He, he told me, there was nothing new under the sun, he was never surprised at anything. The reality was that the weak was prey to the strong. Those who were lucky to be the carnivores would swallow the flesh of the preys mercilessly…”

“Only tigers and leopards are able to hunt the jackals; as rabbits, we can only wait, wait for the right time, or wait until we become tigers and leopards.” Cui Ying cried out tearfully. “He said that the police are all rubbish, he will not cooperate with them.”

It was only after she had completed her sentence that she realized that the two people in front of her were also policemen. She stopped hurriedly, and kept sobbing with no more words.

Tao Ran: “Do you believe us?”

Cui Ying rubbed the hem of her clothes with force.

“Your Teacher Zhao is already one of the tigers and leopards,” said Luo Wenzhou coldly. “People kept talking about the unsuccessful suicide in Huashi Eastern District on Wechat Moments (1) last night. Have you seen it?”

Tao Ran continued: “Zhao Haochang murdered a man and dumped the body to the so-called ‘Golden Triangle Open Space’. You apparently know of this place?”

Cui Ying took a breath. She looked numb.

Tao Ran lowered his voice: “What happened?”

“He…he once told me a joke that, if you kill someone, you can carefully avoid the police and dump the body at their trading place, those rubbish will not even dare to investigate…”

“Cui Ying,” Luo Wenzhou whispered, “What on earth did you give Zhao Haochang?”

“A video,” said Cui Ying bewilderedly, “Only a video.”

As she was talking, she gritted her teeth, hooked a red string with a chicken-bone amulet on it out from her neck. She tore the small bone in the middle, and inside was a mini USB disk.

As Luo Wenzhou felt that this girl was so silly that she carried something so vital with herself, Lang Qiao was leading a group of people into Zhao Haochang’s house.

It was bright and clean. The aesthetics of the decoration showed a preference for westernization. There were huge floor-to-ceiling windows and wine cabinets. It was located in a grand high-rise in the bustling area, with a good view of the street and low-rise buildings.

At first glance, there was nothing strange in his home. It was a typical urban middle-class home.

The policemen searched over and over and finally concluded that the condo had neither a secret passage nor a hidden safe. It was as clean as a prototypical hotel room.

“Nothing,” Lang Qiao stood in the well-lit living room, and called Luo Wenzhou, “The cabinets, cupboards… even under the bed, it is an ordinary commercial building. The property developer deliver hundreds of the same sets, it is impossible for them to build a secret room for him alone. There are only about one hundred square meters, we checked inch by inch. Unless there is an Anywhere Door in his home, it is impossible to hide things here. Boss, I have double-checked. Apart from here, there is no other property under Zhao Haochang’s name. If what President Fei guessed is correct, would he lay those perverted things in other people’s place?”

“Oh, yes.” Lang Qiao paused, and added, “The relevant documents of the arson case were also obtained. There was nothing useful. First, it was too long ago. Second, since all the villagers said it was committed by the idiot, there was no thorough investigation. There were only several photos of the scene and the arsonist.”

The idiot in the photo was indeed a man short of soul and wisdom. He was wearing a big ragged cotton jacket, and only one sleevelet. The sleevelet was so dirty that you had to examine it very carefully to distinguish the florals on it.

Luo Wenzhou paused for a short while and continued: “Wait a minute, accept the video invitation.”

Lang Qiao stunned and clicked “accept”. She then found herself connected to the camera facing a computer screen. The entire criminal investigation team in Yancheng City Bureau, together with Director Lu, were surrounding it.

A video was playing on the computer. It was recorded with a pinhole camera. In the beginning, there was a blurry black background. Then they heard a scream, and a young woman with dishevelled hair jumped into the center of the screen. Her pupils were dilated and her face was pale. She stretched out a hand, like she was thirsty for something or pushing something away.

At this time, someone outside the camera said: “Almost there, give it to her.”

The camera slowly turned by an angle and captured the man who was speaking – it was Wang Hongliang. Standing next to him was Huang Jinglian, who was bending down and whispering something!

A low inhaling sound could be heard everywhere in the office.

Director Lu smacked the table: “Now he cannot escape!”

The camera turned back to the woman and moved a few steps forward. Then, a tray passed across the camera, and someone picked up the syringe on it.

A moment later, the restless woman took a deep breath and twitched. Her face relaxed, revealing her beautiful and delicate outline.

She lay unmoving on a small couch, and watched the people on the other side of the camera for a long time.

Suddenly, the camera shook, as if the person behind the lens was pushed by someone. Huang Jinglian went into the camera and urged, “Go away, don’t get in the way.”

He kept pushing the person behind the camera until they reached the entrance, and the camera finally had a chance to turn an angle and once again aimed at the room.

Wang Hongliang held a cigarette in his mouth and strolled to the side of the half-conscious woman, and caressed her shoulder. Then he grinned towards the direction of the camera. “I’m getting tired of this kind, it’s a little boring to eat rice paste everyday.”

The person behind the camera hurriedly took a few steps back, banged the door of the room, and the video ended.

“The woman in the video who got injected with drug is already dead. The cause of death is also excessive drug use. The method of closing the case is exactly the same as that of Chen Yuan.” Luo Wenzhou lit a cigarette. “This video was taken by Chen Yuan, and soon afterward she was buried in the files in the same way. It seems that she had recorded her own ending in advance.”

“When Chen Yuan was in school, she often went out to work to support the family. So she was frequently absent and had very normal grades. She did not pass the judicial exam when she graduated. Because of her family’s financial conditions, she did not continue to study along with her classmates. She initially went for law firms, but due to lack of relevant qualifications, the pay was not good enough. In order to reduce the burden on her family as quickly as possible, she found a sales job with higher salary and relatively freer working hours as a temporary transition, hoping to pass the judicial examination on the second year and obtain a formal job.”

“Her company sells a variety of replicas of famous-brand wines. The Blessing Grand View was one of the major customers. She met Huang Jinglian and his gang there. Because of her outstanding temperament, Huang Jinglian liked her, and tricked her into drinking a glass of wine with special sauce. She became what Wu Xuechun referred to as ‘fresh’.”

“A female college student who has accepted formal legal education.” Director Lu sighed.

“Chen Yuan wanted to commit suicide, but was not willing to give up so easily. This was Chen Yuan’s last words left to her friend Cui Ying,” said Luo Wenzhou slowly. “She used the company’s online store to order something for Cui Ying, stuffed all evidence she collected into the red wine package, and sent it to Cui Ying. The evidence includes this video, the names of several trading places, their code words and a letter.”

“’No one can save me, but I have to do all I can.’ This was the first sentence she wrote in her letter.” Luo Wenzhou paused, “This is all Cui Ying knows.”

“Besides-” Luo Wenzhou turned the phone towards himself, “Lang Qiao, are you still listening?”

“Yes, boss, what?”

“Cui Ying once disclosed this to Zhao Haochang. Zhao Haochang interrupted her in the middle of it and told her not to talk about this on phone. He invited her to a small winery in the suburb. On my way back I had investigated that winery. The owner of the winery rented a community land for a business club. He once illegally built and sold some small property houses-”

“Give me the address,” Lang Qiao understood his meaning immediately, jumped to her feet, and signaled the crowd, “Follow me!”

The sun was shining, the grapes on the trellis had withered, the scattered sophora flowers had almost faded and lowered their “heads”. A row of small property “mini mansions” were silently hidden in the corner under the radar. The landscaping had not been completed, revealing the atmosphere of a combination of urban and rural areas.

A group of policemen pushed away the jittery administrators, and opened one of the gates to search independently.

“There is a basement here!”

Lang Qiao walked down the narrow stairwell in the lead. The smell of hygroscopic agent assailed her nostrils. She turned on the wall lamp, looked up, and was shocked.

Luo Wenzhou answered a call from Lang Qiao, and without saying anything, he walked to the door with a cigarette in his mouth.

Two cases, one week’s work; at this point, most details of the puzzling case were clear and they had even found convincing evidence, but somehow he had more and more doubts in his mind.

Tao Ran stopped by: “What are you thinking about again?”

Luo Wenzhou didn’t want to talk about his doubts too much at the moment, so he answered without thinking: “Thinking about Fei Du.”

Tao Ran was surprised: “Oh?”

Before Luo Wenzhou replied, someone chimed in: “Thinking about me? That’s rare, what’s up, Captain Luo?”

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(1)WeChat Moments: A social media.

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