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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The next day, Xu Lan arrived at the police station early in the morning. He was keen to find out if there was anything new from Qiu Ling’s side after the news got out last night.
He made a call to Xiao Xu in the morning. However, Xiao Xu’s answer was disappointing. Qiu Ling seemed to be unaware of the development and carried on with her daily routine – work, gym, and sleep.
“Are you sure that you’ve followed her closely?” Xu Lan squinted his eyes. His pupils were dark as a dried well, one could never know what would crawl out from within.
“Sergeant Xu, I’m sure! Even if Qiu Ling so much as sent a message with her handphone, we would’ve been alerted. She didn’t send anything strange last night,” Xiao Xu answered with conviction.
“Alright, keep following after her. Let us know if anything comes up,” said Xu Lan after a moment of deliberation.
“Yes! Sergeant Xu, I’m going to hang up now. Qiu Ling is getting ready for work.” After hanging up on Xu Lan, Xiao Xu focused on his mission.
“Xiao Li, get me a pack of cigarettes!” The more Xu Lan thought about it, the more aware he was of the emptiness in his mouth.
“Sergeant Xu, didn’t Xiao Li report to forensics today?” Xiao Liang said at the same time.
“Ah, yes. He’s at Sun Fei’s now.” Xu Lan gave his lap a slap as he realized that he had to get cigarettes on his own now.
Xu Lan leaned against his chair and thought, ‘It was no coincidence that Qiu Ling appeared in all the surveillance footage from all three areas. It’s only a matter of time before we catch her red-handed. With Jingxinyuan victim’s father around, she’s not the only one in the picture now.’
“Papa, Sister Xiao Jing offered to bring me for fried chicken later. Can I go?” Bai Wu who was dressed in new clothes hugged Xu Lan’s leg happily as he asked for Xu Lan’s permission.
“Yes, but you can’t overeat, okay?” Xu Lan waved at him and left for the interrogation room.
“Okay. Thank you, Papa!” Bai Wu held Zhu Jing’s hand happily and hopped his way out.
Xu Lan laughed and shook his head as he marveled at how simple a child’s world was. Immediately after, he launched himself back into work.
“Li Kui, do you still remember me?” Xu Lan sat across Li Kui and asked solemnly.
“Of course I do, you’re Xu, Sergeant Xu,” Li Kui answered gingerly.
“What an unexpected twist, I did not expect to see you so soon! Why? Did you admire us for our talent and came to make friends? Or did this place reminded you of home?” Xu Lan snickered.
“No, no. That’s not what it is.”
“No? Violation of traffic rules leading to an accident, causing grievous injuries, death, or loss of property to another person, this is punishable with three years imprisonment. Where special circumstances presented itself, more than three years but less than seven years imprisonment may be given. Heh…” Xu Lan smiled as he detailed Li Kui’s crime coldly.
“As two people are still being operated on, their survival isn’t guaranteed. We’re looking at seven years imprisonment or more for hit-and-run cases that caused the death of another person. I see you really do miss us,” Xu Lan said and took a sip of tea. Li Kui shivered in fear and started murmuring.
“Mercy is for those who come clean. Explain yourself! Why did you hit Officer Li’s car?” Xu Lan stood up in a rage after slamming the table.
“I… I drank too much last night. However, I have a batch of goods that I must deliver by today and I decided to take a risk. I didn’t think that… Sergeant Xu! It’s not my intention to harm someone! I wouldn’t dare to even if you gave me an extra gut!”
Li Kui who was still in shock stuttered as he replied. He slumped against the chair and would have fallen onto the floor if not for the board in front of him.
“What sort of goods? Why did you knowingly drink when you know that you have a delivery to make? This is definitely your fault. Think twice before you reply, we have real-time surveillance here. Every word of yours could be used against you by the prosecutor!”
Xu Lan noted down what Li Kui said as he incited him further.
“No, it was an emergency delivery. I’ve been drinking with my colleagues before I found out about the delivery,” Li Kui replied after a moment of hesitation.
“Who’s the sender? Who were you drinking with?” questioned Xu Lan.
“The contractor told me to make the delivery. As I didn’t have money for the casino, I just drank with my colleagues. They all know about it,” elaborated Li Kui.
“Which contractor? Why would a contractor ask a drunk construction worker to make a delivery? What about those who were drinking with you? What are their names!”
Xu Lan noticed the flaw in his story and pursued further.
He would love to see just how good of a liar this person was.
“He’s the contractor I used to work with. I needed money so I asked him for jobs. I didn’t expect this to happen. Sergeant Xu, if I had seen this coming, I wouldn’t have the guts to do it!”
Li Kui seemed to be answering honestly but his words were not as genuine as his looks would suggest!
“Which contractor is this? I would love to meet the person who has the guts to employ someone like you. Meanwhile, write down all the names of your colleagues who were drinking with you. I shall see if your story checks out.” Xu Lan stared at Li Kui and passed him a notebook.
“This…” Li Kui’s face darkened as he panicked in search for a reply.
“So, are you going to write?” Xu Lan stood next to the table and took a sip of tea before smashing the cup onto the ground.
“Did you think that we’re still in the dark? We’re giving you one last chance to come clean! How can you be so desperate for money, to think that you did something so impugnable! Would you like to see a screenshot of the message ordering you to harm the officer?”
Xu Lan shouted confidently. It was a gamble and he was gambling on the car accident last night being a conspiracy.
Li Kui’s eyes widened and he looked at Xu Lan in fear. He could not believe that all it took was one night for him to get caught. That man promised that he would be fine and look at what happened!
“Everyone’s equal before the law. Do you still think that someone can help you now? Let me tell you this, no one!” Xu Lan elaborated in an attempt to fuel Li Kui’s anxiety.
“You’ve found out about everything?” Li Kui asked uncertainly.
Xu Lan did not answer. He took a new paper cup from the drawer and filled it with water. He sipped on the water as he became increasingly certain of his choice to gamble. It was all thanks to Lao Hu that he reached an epiphany.
From Li Kui’s perspective, Xu Lan’s silence was an affirmative answer to his question.
“It was the man from before. He wrote a letter telling me to be at Taihe Road and collide into the car once it was here. He promised to take care of everything else and offered a remuneration of one hundred thousand dollars. I’ve received a deposit of thirty thousand dollars,” Li Kui cried as he said.
Xu Lan looked at the gambler before him who once earned an honest living as a construction worker. He ended up forcing his daughter into prostitution and putting his life at risk.
‘Gambling and drugs, do they really have that strong of a draw, to think that so many people are attracted to them?’
After giving it a serious thought, he still could not comprehend. He felt that he did not do anything wrong like those, and yet, he was denied entry into his home. Whose fault would that be?
Xu Lan turned his back as his tears started to fall. After all that time he spent with Bai Wu, Xu Lan felt that he caught a crying bug from him.
He wanted to smile, but his faint attempt at putting on a smile resulted in an expression that was more hideous than a crying face.
Bai Wu was constantly worried about Xu Lan leaving but was Xu Lan not the same? The years he spent serving in the police force, those were the years he lived in exile from his family…
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