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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“I’ll explain,” he said as he grasped firmly on one of the pictures. “I wasn’t on good terms with my daughter.”
It was a photograph capturing the moment when Li Kui was sitting inside the bar, surrounded by red lights and emerald-green bottles. Beside him was the deceased, Li Xinyi, who was passing money over to him.
“I knew that she was working in Lanshan.” With the truth in full view, denial was not an option.
Three days ago, they met at the bar. Li Xinyi gave him three thousand dollars. It was the last time Li Kui saw Xinyi. Her thick makeup and the way she dressed made her almost unrecognizable to her father.
“After news broke out, any normal person would come to the police station as you did. However, in your case, it did not seem to be out of concern for your daughter, but purely to cause a commotion. Why is that so?”
Xu Lan’s dark eyes stared at Li Kui. The former could breathe a sigh of relief now that a breakthrough had been found.
“Yes. It’s because of a letter. Someone sent a letter to me saying that if I make a big fuss in front of the police station, they would give me a lot of money. Officer, I know I…”
Ashamed, Li Kui looked down and rubbed his hands nervously.
Xiao Li suddenly took the compress and flung it onto the table. He looked at Li Kui with angry eyes, and said, “I need to take a piss.”
To think that there were still such people in the world. The man did not care about his own daughter and chose instead to bring a mob to cause unrest at the station just for the sake of money.
His daughter had been working since she was fifteen. Her whole life was dedicated to earning money for him, but he simply squandered them away. He did not even have the decency to say no to the money he was offered and instead stripped all remaining dignity from the deceased.
“My only shortcoming is that I love gambling. That’s all. At the time of her death, my wages were not paid yet. That’s why I followed the letter’s instructions. I rushed here without thinking too much about it.”
“So why come this morning? What was that all about?” Xu Lan asked after taking a sip of tea.
“Another letter. When I woke up, there was another letter at my door, asking me to come here.”
“Do you still have it? The letter?” Xu Lan raised a brow and asked delightedly.
“Yes, it’s in my room,” he replied instantly.
“One last question. Have you met the person who sent the letter?” Xu Lan placed the crucifix down on the table and looked at Li Kui, wondering if the odds were good enough that a surveillance camera might be present in the construction workers’ hostel.
“No, I’ve never met the person. Both times I found the letter at my doorstep. I don’t know who put it there. My colleagues have never seen the person either.”
Li Kui waited uneasily for the interrogation to end. The letter had directed him to act with much vigor outside the station, but it failed to instruct him on how to maintain a level head inside of it.
“Officer, am I guilty of anything?” he asked cautiously.
Before he got addicted to gambling, he was a well-behaved construction worker. Cards turned him into a cold-hearted degenerate gambler.
“Do you think what you did was right?” Xu Lan scoffed. “I’ll let Xiao Xu lecture you soon. Go home and reflect on yourself. Your daughter was never enough for you.”
“Yes, yes, yes! I will! I will reflect on what I’ve done.” A wretched smile unfolded rapidly over his tanned face.
Xu Lan squinted and left the room with the files in hand. Xiao Li was standing outside the door while stomping his feet angrily. As soon as he spotted Xu Lan, he rushed over.
“Chief Xu, you’re letting him go just like that?”
“Well, what else are we supposed to do with him? It’s not like he’s the killer. Why are you so worked up? Do you want to lock him up?” An amused Xu Lan stared at the furious Xiao Li.
“A person as heartless as he is should be locked up! The man was willing to let his daughter prostitute herself for the sake of money! And now she’s dead! Li Xinyi’s dead and he’s still using her!” came Xiao Li’s aggrieved scolding.
A sigh was all that Xu Lan could muster. He shook his head helplessly and continued walking to Hu Cheng’s office. Yes, what Li Kui did was despicable, but in the absence of lawful wrong, there was nothing the officers could do.
Hu Cheng and Li Xiu were already in the office. They left the surveillance room because the Hu Cheng knew Xu Lan would soon be reporting any findings.
Before Hu Cheng left, Xu Lan gave him some assurance. Not only did Xu Lan complete his duties without fleeing from responsibility, he even made good progress on the case. It exceeded Hu Cheng’s expectations. If the same case happened earlier, it would have already been put on the shelves for a month.
There were a couple of knocks the door.
As always, Hu Cheng was seated at his work desk smoking his tobacco, filling the whole room with smoke. Li Xiu – who coughed uncontrollably – was seated at the farthest end, away from Hu Cheng.
“Did you see it, Lao Hu?”
Through the midst of the thick smoke, Xu Lan asked, for he knew that Hu Cheng just came back from the surveillance room. The fact that their superiors sent over a commissioner showed just how important the case was.
“Not bad.” Hu Cheng nodded and took another puff.
The scent of the smoke instigated Xu Lan’s desire to smoke as well. He subconsciously felt around in his pocket. It was empty, and his lips curled slightly.
“We’ll have a meeting later and see what the others have to say. It’ll also be a good time to get Officer Li up to speed with the case,” said Hu Cheng with another forced smile.
The meeting was also Li Xiu’s formal introduction to the rest of the station, and in Xu Lan’s mind, Li Xiu’s influence was no small matter.
Another door-knock sounded.
“Yes, come in.”
“Uncle Hu, I heard you’re back, I wanna come and say hi.”
Bai Wu said meekly as he pushed the door open, attracting the attention of everyone in the office.
“Oh, even the kid knows how to greet me? Lao Xu, your son is becoming cuter and cuter!” Hu Cheng was all smiles as he rapped the electronic cigarette.
Xu Lan did not expect Bai Wu to enter the office. The man was happy, and wanted to hug him but surprisingly, Bai Wu did not even look at him! The boy simply went over to Hu Cheng and climbed up the old man’s knee.
With pursed lips, Xu Lan’s gaze was fixed on Bai Wu, yet not once did the boy’s fiery eyes turn to look at him.
“Whose boy is this? He’s so adorable.” Li Xiu’s eyes flickered radiantly as he looked at the boy.
“Ah, he belongs to this man. Lao Xu, did you make him angry? The boy looks like he’s avoiding you.” Hu Cheng teased.
Xu Lan’s expression seemed to be that of a man who was facing his greatest enemy. Upon seeing that look on his face, Hu Cheng laughed.
“My young friend, what’s your name?” Similarly, Li Xiu could not help but go closer. He wanted to hug the boy too.
By then, Lao Hu had ceased smoking.
The boy looked at Li Xiu’s sickly features. A gust of wind seemed sufficient to topple the man over. Bai Wu then turned to look at Xu Lan. His papa was still the most handsome.
Xu Lan was the best: thick eyebrows, big eyes, a gentle attentiveness, well-built, and he was never bothered over small matters. Tanned skin was more attractive than pale, sickly-looking skin.
“Can I hug you, little Wu?” Li Xiu went closer and asked softly.
Bai Wu sized up the man and all of a sudden, the faint smell of blood permeated through the air. The boy’s eyes immediately became alert.
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