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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Just when everyone was betting on whether Xu Lan would or would not come out unscathed, he burst out of the door with a swagger and presented himself in front of everyone.
“Yes!” The slender young man from before immediately stood up after hearing his name being called out. Under Xu Lan’s direct gaze, the young man awkwardly massaged his own nose.
“Get your things in order. You’ll follow me to Jingxinyuan and have a look at the scene,” the no-nonsense Xu Lan immediately directed.
“Yes!” The moment Xiao Li realized it was serious business, he became extremely excited and immediately went to start the car.
“Sergeant Xu, where have you been? Why is it that you have a kid with you all of a sudden?” asked a lady in a ponytail.
“Oh, this is my son. I was absent cause I went back to fetch him,” he replied, after which he placed Bai Wu down and nudged him to greet everyone.
The child had always been worried that Xu Lan would not want him someday, but at that time, the man’s actions proclaimed to the world that Bai Wu was his son. Even if the boy himself wanted to run away, he could not!
“Come here, say hi to all these big brothers and big sisters,” Xu Lan squatted down and placed both hands on Bai Wu’s shoulders so that the boy would feel at ease.
“Hello everyone. My name is Bai Wu. I’m three and a half years old. This is my papa.”
That last sentence was said while looking at Xu Lan, and once again, tears started forming in those eyes. He tried hard to fight them back.
“Alright, alright, don’t cry. I’ll be going out with Xiao Li for a bit. You wait for me here. I’ll come back and pick you up again, okay?”
Xu Lan reassured Bai Wu while stroking the boy’s cheeks.
“I’ll wait for Papa!” Bai Wu replied determinedly.
Everyone in the police station got word that Sergeant Xu had brought back a cute little son, and they were all enchanted by the boy. They surrounded him and made him happy.
Having set off with Xiao Li, Xu Lan first requested to be sent to his rented room so he could take a look at it, after which they would go to Jingxinyuan. The room was an important detail, for it would be a big problem if he had nowhere to stay for the night.
“Xiao Li, the files say that the perpetrator first rapes his female victims, then he’ll slice off the victim’s breasts and sew her private parts shut?”
Xu Lan could not help but ask after seeing the information in his hands.
“Exactly, such a perverse character. Such madmen should be caught and locked up in prison. The sooner the better! The way they go out and harm people, it scares me just to think of it!”
A cold shiver came over Xiao Li as he replied Xu Lan. Earlier that morning, the young man had accompanied old man Hu to the crime scene. It was a spectacle too horrible to endure.
That was all that Xu Lan responded with. He then diligently studied the case files, stopping only when Xiao Li told him that they had arrived.
“Sergeant Xu. You better prepare yourself.” The young man could not help but voice out another reminder as they stood outside the third floor entrance.
By then, the place had already been fenced off by police tape. As soon as the door was opened, the stench of blood came crashing toward them. Something caught their eyes. It was a pair of high heels that lay flat in the middle of the entrance.
Further down, there was a living room, complete with two sofas and an LCD television. There were also some plants and a large toffee chair!
Xu Lan’s pupils immediately contracted; then his eyes scanned across the room. His eyesight was better than it was the previous night, and yet, he realized that everything he saw the night prior was exactly the same as what he was seeing then!
In other words, he had witnessed a murder and let the criminal escape!
He smashed a fist into the sofa, and the bang gave Xiao Li a fright.
“Sergeant Xu, what is it? What did you notice?”
“Nothing, let’s go in and see,” Xu Lan said weakly.
The scene in the lady’s bedroom was even more gruesome, making their hair stand on end. Fresh blood stained the whole bed, soaked the mattress, and dripped to the floor: it was everywhere.
Naked on the bed was a young lady. Her legs were tied to the bed and spread open. Her once-bouncy chest was now flat – those voluptuous breasts had been cleanly sliced off by a sharp knife.
Xu Lan recalled the bloody scalpel. He was so near to the perpetrator.
If only he had been more alert, or maybe slightly braver, would the girl not still be alive?
He could almost see the girl’s grudging expression looking back at him and hear her extreme anguished wailing.
“…sergeant, Sergeant Xu! Are you alright?”
Xiao Li saw Xu Lan’s increasingly pale face and immediately called out to the latter.
“Yes, yes. Search carefully for any traces that were left behind,” he responded while massaging his temples.
“There were none. We went through everything this morning, not a single trace was left behind. The suspect’s no beginner. He’s really good at covering his tracks. Just when we thought we had a lead, he’d disappear, which is why we still couldn’t get to him, even now.”
Xiao Li held up his phone, mouthed a silent ‘ Namo Amitabha 1 ‘, then took a few snaps of the woman. He carefully took pictures of each angle, for this was the only way to find the tiniest traces of evidence.
“Eighteen this year. She works at a bar,” Xiao Li said.
Xu Lan tried hard to remember the previous night’s scene. The love-hungry look that she had was simply not something any eighteen-year-old would rightly have.
“Xiao Li, go and find out if the victim had any boyfriends. This could be our breakthrough. The files made no mention of this information.”
Xu Lan said, though he clasped his hands behind his back and thought about it for a moment before making the remark.
Then, Xu Lan went into the living room. His prints would no doubt be present on the toffee chair and window curtains. The man’s soft groans and the woman’s soft breathing lingered on in his ears. Now, however, she had become a cold dead body.
Wait a second!
He remembered the man switching on the light, what if he could lift some prints from it?
“Call our colleagues from forensics 2 over here!”
Once Xu Lan entered into work mode, his serious attitude earned him much respect from others, who found themselves involuntarily obeying his every order.
Forensics rushed over immediately. They collected samples, and under Xu Lan’s orders, were made to focus their attention on certain places. Of particular importance was the entrance – it was classified as the main area of interest.
The night before, his sudden appearance would more or less have caused the murderer to make a mistake. If, considering all that had happened, a breakthrough could not be made, then…
It was something he dared not imagine. How could a meticulous, calm, and level-headed person still be able to preserve the perfection of a crime scene despite being suddenly discovered? It was like, their criminal artistry was similar. Yes! That must be it! The artistry of the crime was similar!
“Xiao Li, find out if the boyfriend had any history of mental or psychological illness.”
“What’s up with you, sergeant?”
Naturally, Xiao Li was puzzled as to Xu Lan’s conclusions. After all, Xiao Li was not at the scene of the crime when it happened.
“Sergeant Xu, we’ll head back first. When the results come out, we’ll be in touch,” said forensics toward Xu Lan, who was deeply immersed in his thoughts.
Having gathered all the necessary samples, forensics were off.
“Right, apologies for the trouble. Xiao Li, we should get going too.”
“Eh? But Sergeant Xu, we were only here for a short while and you already want to leave?” asked a puzzled Xiao Li. He looked shocked at Xu Lan’s decision.
“We’ll go back and check the surveillance footage.”
Xu Lan turned back, saw a stumped Xiao Li, and found it hard to restrain his laughter. Youth was a blessing at times, but in other situations, it may be a curse.
Besides, he was no longer alone. A small boy was waiting for him to return.
“Ah, okay. The surveillance footage has been retrieved. It’s waiting for you to take a look at it.”
Xiao Li massaged his nose and together with Xu Lan, they left Jingxinyuan.
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