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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After taking a sip of tea from the cup that Zhu Jing handed over, Li Xiu then placed it aside and explained to Xu Lan. “No new findings. I initially came here because I wanted to invite you to surveillance room three-o-four, but I met our comrade Li Fei at the door, so I told him to call on Section-Chief Sun.”
Xu Lan nodded. “Mm, by now we would have roughly seen all the footage from each area. If we compare all of them together, we might discover something new.” Then he mumbled, “Xiao Jing, bring all our colleagues as well as the tapes to room three-o-four.”
“Yes, Sergeant Xu,” responded Zhu Jing. She ushered the others out while packing her things.
Xu Lan preferred the attitude shown by Zhu Jing compared to Xiao Li. She was blunt and open-hearted, as well as deft in handling work. Most importantly, she did not talk so much.
When everyone had left the room, Xu Lan pulled his chair up to Li Xiu and asked, “Officer Li, the area within Honghe should be the trickiest. Some of the tapes might already be covered up. That is why, I would like to ask you, Officer Li, regarding your opinion of the case.”
Li Xiu had already given constructive proposals twice, therefore Xu Lan wanted to see if Li Xiu had any further opinions regarding the case.
“Hm…the criminal is stubbornly vigilant and his trails are virtually non-existent. I was thinking if there is a need to take risks and use live bait,” replied Li Xiu as he adjusted his glasses.
“Live bait? What are you getting at?” Vaguely, Xu Lan could sense what Li Xiu wanted to do, but there was still an element of disbelief that such a suggestion would even be brought up.
“The killer’s targets are prostitutes who aren’t on good terms with their families. If someone were to sufficiently ignite his interest within this period of time, would he make another move?” questioned Li Xiu.
“But we only have ten days. Gaining the trust of the killer and urging him to commit another crime within just over a week’s time? It doesn’t seem very plausible,” refuted Xu Lan.
“What if the woman is such a person from the very beginning? When we discussed the case, I noticed that the killer seems to have some psychological illness. Under stressful situations, the desire to relieve himself of the pressure will be stronger. We’ll publicly announce our progress on the case every single day, or to put it simply, we’ll exaggerate it. We’ll let the killer think that he is on the verge of getting caught, so when he liberates himself of that stress, we’ll be waiting to reel in the catch. What do you think?”
The corner of Li Xiu’s lips curled upward; as he smiled, he slanted his head to the side. Xu Lan saw those subconscious actions and was somewhat amused. Li Xiu was older than Xiao Li by no more than a few years, yet he went about his job with an experience that could only be described as novel.
Xu Lan nodded in agreement. “Mm, I’ll talk it over with Lao Hu. When the time comes, we’ll let the little lady deal with the reporting. But where shall we look for our bait?”
“We’ll find it in Lanshan. Didn’t you guys mention that Lanshan was –” Li Xiu obscurely replied.
Xu Lan stood up and patted Li Xiu on the shoulder, then smiled and asked, “Haha, Officer Li, I wonder why the higher-ups were willing to throw you down to our place?”
“…I came here on my own accord. The case interests me, so I took the initiative and offered myself. I wanted to come here and take a look myself,” replied Li Xiu after a brief pause.
Xu Lan was stunned – he never expected that such people still existed. He chuckled hard and said, “Just call me Lao Xu or Xu Lan. No need to be so foreign with each other. Come on, let’s head to room three-o-four.”
Under those glasses, Li Xiu’s pupils expanded. Glee crept over his face and reached the outer corners of his eyes.
“Mm! Can I call you Brother Lan? You can just call me Xiao Xiu,” he remarked excitedly.
“Yes. You can call me whatever you want. Let’s go,” Xu Lan candidly replied and headed straight to room three-zero-four.
“Brother Lan, wait up.” Holding in a smile, Li Xiu hastened his footsteps and caught up to Xu Lan.
He always thought that the police station was filled with stubborn people who persist in their own views and refuse to acknowledge new ideas; the opportunity to meet such an able and straightforward person was wholly unexpected.
“Ah, Lao Xu, you’re finally here. Xiao Li was just telling me how you and Li Xiu’s thinking were very much identical. Do you regret not having met him earlier? There must be a lot of things for the both of you to talk about,” teased Hu Cheng as he saw the two smiling men enter.
“Haha, Lao Hu, I guess you could say that. It feels like we’ve known each other for a long time.” A hearty laugh escaped Xu Lan. He waited for Li Xiu to come over, and subsequently patted him on the shoulder.
“Good, but keep all that to yourself first. Come over here and watch the videos.” Seeing the two of them like that, Hu Cheng also smiled, but his stained teeth and wrinkled face made him look a bit older than usual.
“Mm, yes. We have to get down to business.” Xu Lan nodded and walked over to Hu Cheng’s side. Sun Fei was concentrating on the video in the Honghe area and paid no attention to the activities happening around him.
Xu Lan called for Wu Wendi as well. Even though Hu Cheng had been respectful toward her, there were still some things that needed to be explained properly.
A few knocks came from the door.
“Please come in.” At that point, no one knew who could possibly have come to the room, so everyone turned their attention toward the door.
“Hello everyone! I’m Xiao Xiu’s personal doctor. I brought you all some milk tea! It’s almost one in the morning, so I came to reward everyone,” said the burly fellow as he entered with hands full of milk tea.
“Lao Liu, did you not go home?” asked a surprised Li Xiu.
The middle-aged fellow handed over the milk tea one by one and walked up to Hu Cheng.
“Director-General Hu, your line of work is not easy at all. It’s late and you guys are still working overtime.”
Lao Liu’s hand fished out some Chunghwa 1 from his pants pocket. Xu Lan – who craved for them – looked at the cigarettes with dazed eyes.
“You see, Xiao Xiu’s body isn’t well. The doctor said he cannot go one night without sleep. So would it be alright if he were to call it a day here?”
“I’m fine, Lao Liu. It’s only one day…” Li Xiu anxiously tried to explain after Lao Liu finished his sentence. The paleness in Li Xiu’s face seemed to have increased exponentially since the afternoon.
“Even if it’s only one day, it won’t be allowed!”
With a firm attitude, Lao Liu immediately reprimanded Li Xiu; this was despite Lao Liu’s somewhat deferential manner toward Hu Cheng. Rather than calling himself Li Xiu’s personal doctor, Lao Liu should have said that he was a butler, the kind that took care of every aspect in Li Xiu’s life.
Hearing Lao Liu utter those words, Xu Lan looked at the time in astonishment and said, “It’s already one in the morning? Well…”
He turned to Hu Cheng and waited for Hu Cheng’s response.
In that one night alone, time flew by rapidly. Unbeknownst to everyone, four to five hours’ worth of time had passed. Not once did Bai Wu try to call again, and neither did he hitch a ride 2 to the station.
“We’ll wrap it up here for today. It’s very late indeed. Go back and rest, everyone. We’ll continue our struggles in the morning!” Hu Cheng exclaimed.
“Bless the heavens. And here I thought we’d be pulling an all-nighter and staying overtime,” a young man that had barely just walked in happily remarked.
“Go home guys, go home. Hurry and go get some sleep.” Everyone stood up, rubbed their dry and heavy eyes, then left.
“Xiao Li, could you send me back?” Xu Lan called out to Li Fei as the latter was following everyone out.
“Ah? What’s wrong Sergeant Xu? You were so strong-willed moments ago, yet now you can’t wait a while longer?” Xiao Li stood there and responded, though he mulled it over before actually saying it.
The shocking thing was that Xu Lan did not refute. Was it a tacit agreement, then?
For heaven’s sake! The boy had Xu Lan eating out of his hand!
“But Sergeant Xu, our places are at opposite ends. How about I give you the car keys?” Xiao Li found himself in a tight situation. It would at least be better if Xu Lan had the keys, as opposed to taking a cab.
“Brother Lan, are you staying around Jinxin? It so happens that I’m staying there too. Would you like a lift?” Li Xiu stopped walking, then turned back and asked.
“…well, I have you to thank, Xiao Xiu!” Xu Lan replied gratefully, but not before casting Xiao Li a glance.
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