During their time in school, Weng Yuhua had been very kind to Su Hui.
Several years ago, there was no specialized criminal psychology department in China. Criminal psychology was only offered as a subsidiary course in the Criminal Studies Institute. Weng Yuhua taught this course and had extensive knowledge of the history of the field both domestically and internationally. He also had many unique insights in the academic realm.
During their university years, Weng Yuhua had taken great care of Su Hui and had intentions of nurturing him. He helped Su Hui publish his first paper in a core journal, introducing him to the relevant academic circle.
Later, Su Hui naturally chose to pursue his graduate studies under Weng Yuhua. He completed his master’s degree two years ahead of schedule. As he neared graduation, Weng asked Su Hui if he would be interested in staying at the university as a lecturer.
At that time, Su Hui aspired to apply his knowledge in practical work and wanted to be on the front lines. Weng did not object to his decision to join the police force and even supported him.
When Su Hui was about to graduate, he received several job offers, some with higher salaries than Huadu. After meeting with Yu Yan twice, Su Hui ultimately chose to work in Huadu.
Years passed since they bid farewell as teacher and student.
Now, as they met again, time had transformed everything. Things had changed, and they had each taken different paths.
In recent years, Su Hui had heard some news about Weng Yuhua. Weng’s wife had passed away three years ago. Since suffering a stroke half a year ago, Weng Yuhua’s legs were no longer nimble, and he relied on a wheelchair for important events. Sui Liangyi, Weng Yuhua’s Shidi, took great care of him and was always by his side. They were not only colleagues and collaborators but also close friends who supported each other throughout their journey.
“Professor Su is here for the rehearsal too?” Sui Liangyi smiled when he saw Su Hui and lowered his head to Weng Yuhua, saying, “Look, we’ve both worked hard for a lifetime, and in the end, it’s your disciple who has made us proud. Integrating criminal psychology with investigative practice, he has solved numerous major cases. Even the rewards we couldn’t have dreamed of in the past, he has achieved.”
Su Hui could sense that Sui Liangyi had some reservations about the results of the award this time. They, as their senior predecessors, had never received such honors, yet he had.
Weng Yuhua didn’t look too well, appearing tired. He spoke, “The Yangtze River waves behind push the ones ahead. This has been a timeless truth. Su Hui has always been my exceptional disciple.”
Then he turned to Su Hui, seemingly explaining on behalf of Sui Liangyi, “Su Hui, with all the things you have done, solving so many cases and enduring hardships, you deserve this kind of recognition. Your senior uncle is genuinely happy for you.”
“Thank you, Professor Sui. Thank you, Master Weng.” Su Hui said, taking out a small box. “Master Weng, I couldn’t make it to your 60th birthday this year, so I bought a small gift for you. Also, after the awards ceremony this afternoon, I would like to invite you to have a meal together.”
Sui Liangyi took the initiative to accept the small box and placed it in Weng Yuhua’s hands. Weng opened it and found a delicate and exquisite tie clip made of gold,signifying its fine quality.
His heart stirred, and he reached out to take the tie clip, clipping it onto his tie.
Weng Yuhua looked up at Su Hui and said, “I’ve accepted the gift, thank you. But we have to hurry back today, so we won’t be able to have a meal with you. Perhaps next time.”
It seemed that after their own segment, they were prepared to leave.
Su Hui didn’t insist and exchanged a few more words with them before turning to leave.
Sui Liangyi pushed Weng Yuhua, walking past the gathering crowd as the event had not officially started yet, and many people were still engaged in casual conversations.
On the stage, the host rehearsed the award presentation: “With his superb criminal profiling techniques, meticulous reasoning, and gathering of evidence, he has repeatedly solved major cases, bringing criminals to justice. Especially this year…”
Upon hearing this, a cold smile appeared on Sui Liangyi’s lips. “Your excellent disciple…”
Weng Yuhua lowered his head and whispered softly, “He is doing his duty.”
Not far away, Director Tan was exchanging pleasantries with the attending leaders. Someone asked him, “Director Tan, are you still investigating that case?”
Director Tan sighed, “Speaking of that case, it’s fortunate that Su Hui is in our bureau. With his efforts, I believe we will soon uncover the truth and bring everything to light.”
“En, Advisor Su is indeed outstanding. But it has taken quite some time. Aren’t you planning to request assistance from the provincial department’s experts?”
Director Tan looked around and waved his hand, saying, “Although the experts from the provincial department are capable, they don’t understand the situation in Huadu. We’ll handle it ourselves. It has been a long time since the incident, and there are still difficulties in solving the case. However, it’s only a matter of time until we find the true culprit behind the scenes…”
Sui Liangyi pushed Weng Yuhua past without making a sound, sitting in the front row on the right side and greeting the other leaders in attendance.
Soon, the entire process was completed. At the appointed time, the leaders took their seats, and the conference officially began.
The conference began with speeches from the leaders.
Then, leaders from various bureaus delivered summaries.
During the awards session, each awardee went on stage one by one.
After two hours, the conference finally concluded.
Sui Liangyi finished receiving his award, greeted the leaders in the front row, and then left the venue.
In the back row, Su Hui and Lu Junchi exchanged a glance, and Lu Junchi also left the scene.
Su Hui’s award was scheduled for the latter half of the event, and there was a half-hour break in the conference agenda.
Sui Liangyi pushed Weng Yuhua out, handing him a cane to support himself. He placed the folding wheelchair in the trunk of the car and then drove him toward the outskirts of Huadu.
Weng Yuhua lowered his head, looking at the tie clip Su Hui had given him.
In the past, his wife always reminded him to wear this small accessory. According to her, the tie clip was the soul of the tie, and it only looked formal and presentable when worn.
There was a time when he had forgotten it, and his wife had even specially taken a taxi to bring it to the venue. Su Hui was there too, watching them tidy their ties.
In the blink of an eye, so many years had passed.
His beloved wife had passed away three years ago, and he still often forgot these details. Unexpectedly, Su Hui remembered.
The car suddenly stopped.
Sui Liangyi got out, opened the car door, and helped Weng Yuhua out, leading him to a bench by the river.
Weng Yuhua furrowed his brows and looked up. This was a secluded spot by the river, and it seemed somewhat familiar.
Sui Liangyi said, “Shixiong, do you recognize where this is?”
Weng Yuhua looked up and recognized the place after a moment. The surroundings had changed a lot, but he still recognized it. It was the former site of 372.
He adjusted his glasses and said, “I recognize it. This is where we made decisions when we were young.”
For him, it was a not-so-pleasant memory.
Twenty years ago, the year-end summary meeting of the public security department was also held in Huadu.
Weng Yuhua remembered that the reason he wanted to establish the 372 Psychological Research Institute was because, during that summary meeting, he, as an advisor to the police bureau, gave a work summary and presentation to all the leaders.
At that time, he was passionate, but the audience below fell silent.
In the end, the leaders gave him a nonchalant remark, “Yuhua, your work is progressing well, and I support your research in these emerging theories. However, what you said lacks data and examples to support it, and there are no tangible results to present. I hope that you can make everything more practical.”
The people below were discussing, “These methods are all from abroad, and they may not work well in our country.”
“Our public security situation is good, and we rarely encounter serial killers or the like.”
“The prevention plans he proposed require a significant amount of manpower and resources, which is simply unnecessary.”
“These theoretical researches are just paper talk. They are fine for teaching in schools but can’t be applied in reality.”
“Yes, that’s why he’s just a figurehead advisor. The police below are not willing to cooperate at all.”
“It sounds exciting, but lacks practicality. The seasoned detectives in our bureau are much more capable of solving cases.”
Weng Yuhua listened, and his face grew paler.
His heart raced, like thunder rumbling. He wanted to refute these people loudly, but he awkwardly stood on the stage, unable to say a word. Those words felt like icy blades flying towards him, extinguishing all the light in his heart. He felt the blood in his body gradually turning cold.
He had studied the relevant theories so diligently, translated the related literature, and popularized the basic knowledge at various conferences.
He started from scratch, being one of the earliest researchers in criminal psychology. He was like facing a wilderness, carrying a heavy burden and taking difficult steps.
He had once fantasized that everything would bear fruit, that the profiling techniques would be applied in every case and play a significant role.
But when everyone looked at him, their gazes were filled with confusion and rejection. It was as if they were listening to a fairy tale.
Was it a waste of time?
Was it meaningless?
Did we really not need such research?
He had taught so many talented students, but they could only change careers or further their studies abroad because they couldn’t find jobs in the country.
He wanted to offer advice to those police officers, but no one was willing to listen to his analysis.
Weng Yuhua was lost.
Should he give up?
Or should he accept everything and become a gentleman who only spoke correct words?
He was unwilling. This was his passion, the career he had once prepared to dedicate his entire life to…
He was already forty and had no more doubts. How far could he go on this path?
Weng Yuhua took a deep breath.
At that moment, he stumbled off the stage, and Sui Liangyi supported him.
“These people won’t understand our efforts,” Sui Liangyi said to him. “Shixiong Brother, our value can be proven to them.”
Weng Yuhua looked at his junior, who had chosen the same path as him, and felt a strong resonance.
Then, he suddenly became clear-minded.
If there was no data, they would collect the data.
If there were no examples, they would solve case after case, study criminal after criminal.
They would face the urban population and summarize their techniques to ground those lofty theories in reality.
In a city with so many people, there would inevitably be potential killers among them.
If they could identify these individuals in advance, it would be the best way to prove the practicality of criminal psychology.
The initial idea was proposed by Weng Yuhua, but the specific implementation was handled by Sui Liangyi. He quickly sought the help of Wang Shaogu from the Huadu Bureau to arrange everything and brought in Zhang Junzhi, who was also studying psychology, to handle the practical operations.
They selected and renovated an abandoned and deserted factory building, labeling it as the 372 Research Institute with the street number as the sign. It quickly got off the ground.
Weng Yuhua’s initial thought was that they needed to achieve results here for outsiders to take notice, so they simplified the procedures whenever possible… In the beginning, the 372 Psychological Research Institute was established as a reservoir of criminal data and a psychological monitoring agency.
Later, they began operating under the guise of psychological research and attracted social funding for their studies.
In that era, with the help of Wang Shaogu’s connections, they gained cooperation from schools and conducted psychological screenings for students, registering potential high-risk individuals.
Weng Yuhua admitted that they had been too eager for quick success and their operations were not standardized.
But he never anticipated what would happen next…
Science and theory were neither right nor wrong, but when there is malice in the hearts of the practitioners, disaster will befall.
Weng Yuhua clenched the walking cane tightly. In the twenty years that followed, he gradually realized that his past choices had bred a monstrous creature.
Their rapid rise to success was built upon countless lives.
Their feet were already stained with the blood of the innocent.
Establishing the 372 Psychological Research Institute was like opening Pandora’s box.
Initially, Weng Yuhua didn’t personally understand how the institute operated. He only received some data and saw processed materials.
But when he noticed that something was amiss, Sui Liangyi told him that they had only conducted superficial psychological studies for the sake of conclusions and data, and it was not advisable to make everything public.
Weng Yuhua believed Sui Liangyi’s lies, thinking that things weren’t so serious.
It wasn’t until one time when he personally visited Huadu and witnessed the institute built by his junior, saw the experimental records, and learned about the people inside…
Weng Yuhua realized the pros and cons of the situation and was shocked.
At that time, the domestic environment had just improved, and criminal psychology was receiving increasing attention. He had already gained fame, publishing numerous papers domestically and internationally, and receiving support from many leaders.
As an expert in the field, he began to feel scared and started to contemplate how to handle the 372 Research Institute.
He knew that if the truth about 372 were exposed, not only would he fall from grace and face controversy, but he would also face punishment and legal sanctions.
Once again, Sui Liangyi came up with an idea. They would use a large fire to destroy all the related evidence, claiming that Wang Shaogu would erase all traces.
By some twist of fate, he agreed and even used some of his connections to suppress the news.
But later, he discovered that Sui Liangyi always seemed to be the first to uncover the truth and obtain information about the criminals in the cases they investigated.
Only then did he realize that there was a connection between him and the people from the institute.
And what happened within the institute was not as simple as Sui Liangyi had claimed.
He had become an accomplice to the heinous acts.
Weng Yuhua had experienced pain, fear, and struggled. He had helped cover up the truth and attempted to erase everything from the past through legal and illegal means. He didn’t want to admit that it was his own misjudgment that had caused this calamity.
But in the end, when he finally wanted to expose everything, his daughter’s life and his own were threatened by Sui Liangyi, turning him into a puppet.
By the time he realized it, he was already deeply immersed in darkness, unable to turn back.
Weng Yuhua sat there in a daze, while Sui Liangyi took out his phone and switched to the live feed of the conference.
The timing was perfect. The next segment would be Su Hui receiving his award.
Sui Liangyi stared at the screen, watching Su Hui approach the stage, receiving the trophy from the leaders’ hands.
The presenter continued with the scripted speech Weng Yuhua had heard before…
Initially, Sui Liangyi’s brow furrowed, but then he relaxed and his lips twitched slightly, anticipating the upcoming scene.
At that moment, a loud explosion suddenly rang out, causing the camera to shatter and fall to the ground.
Fire ignited, and the building collapsed, filling the scene with smoke and chaos.
The screen became invisible, but screams and cries for help could still be heard.
“Quick, call for emergency assistance!”
A smile gradually spread across Sui Liangyi’s face as he admired it all. The person who had made him restless was finally dead.
Startled by the sound of the explosion in the video, Weng Yuhua snapped out of his memories and looked up at Sui Liangyi, whose laughter had turned hysterical. “You did it after all!”
There were specialized personnel and companies responsible for security at the public security conference, but Sui Liangyi, who was familiar with the venue, had probably arranged for people to infiltrate and set up deceptive arrangements.
Sui Liangyi snorted coldly. “Shixiong, you know me well.”
He did know him, understood his wickedness and malice. He was determined to do everything possible to kill Su Hui.
Not only because Su Hui might uncover the truth, but also because of his intense jealousy.
Jealousy, one of the seven deadly sins of humanity.
For Sui Liangyi, intense jealousy was like a beast gnawing at his flesh, constantly biting and driving him into madness.
Originally, after Zhang Junzhi’s death, Sui Liangyi had planned to remain silent and hidden for a while. But recent events, the praises and awards for Su Hui, made it impossible for him to tolerate any longer.
Weng Yuhua lowered his head with a pained expression. “You thought I was stronger than you, so you approached me and destroyed me. You thought Yu Yan was receiving attention, so you had him killed. You repeatedly hindered your students and newcomers below you, not giving them any chance to rise. And when Su Hui didn’t die two years ago, you resorted to the same tricks again…”
Sui Liangyi’s face twisted with a grimace. “Shixiong, I was protecting you, and you know it well. If we let your favorite disciple continue to investigate, he will eventually uncover the truth. The police will discover that you founded the 372 Research Institute. For the greater good, anyone attempting to expose this must die! Only when he dies will we be safe…”
Weng Yuhua gave a bitter smile. “Do you really think the police would believe that a semi-disabled old man like me was the mastermind behind everything?! I was only pursuing academic research. Everything was clearly done by you. If it wasn’t for you, the situation with 372 wouldn’t have developed like this…”
He had misjudged his Shidi. Weng Yuhua had profiled so many criminals, written numerous reports, yet he failed to see that the person beside him was actually the most terrifying and dangerous.
After years of being together, Weng Yuhua realized that his Shidi lacked human empathy but excelled in subtle deception.
In the presence of a murderer, he would show hatred; in the presence of a victim, he would display sympathy.
But it was all an act!
All a disguise!
His ability to learn was formidable. He could feign tears, laughter, and portray every human emotion.
During normal conversations, he gave no indication of any abnormalities.
But his heart remained untouched by anything.
He could wipe away his tears at any moment, revealing a cold expression.
Skilled in disguising himself, understanding his kind, his heart harbored wicked intentions.
He was a more terrifying demon than those who wielded knives and guns!
Sui Liangyi said, “Don’t worry, I’ll figure something out.”
Weng Yuhua’s hand turned cold. “Now that Wang Shaogu and Zhang Junzhi are both dead, what are your plans?”
The scapegoats were no longer present, and the police would soon trace everything back to them. These matters would be exposed soon.
“But you’re still here, Shixiong…” Sui Liangyi laughed and spoke.
Weng Yuhua’s voice trembled. “Aren’t you afraid that I’ll expose everything to the police?”
Sui Liangyi replied, “Shixiong, if you really wanted to expose this, you would have done so earlier and prevented it from reaching this point today. Haven’t you also gained a deeper understanding of many theories through those experiments? Haven’t you also enjoyed the embezzled funds and dividends, elevating your position in the police force? 372 was founded by you back then. Now that problems have arisen and someone must die, who do you think will die first?”
Weng Yuhua lowered his head and fell silent.
He regretted it deeply. When the situation was not as severe at the beginning, he should have stepped forward and exposed the truth. Now, he was already deeply mired in the quagmire.
If an investigation were to occur, he would be ruined, and this deranged lunatic would relentlessly seek revenge on his family.
They were like grasshoppers tied to the same rope.
Sui Liangyi continued, “Shixiong, don’t be afraid. We have money, power, connections, and pawns in our hands. We have destroyed all the data and files. They won’t have evidence to prove our connection to 372. I’ve already chosen a scapegoat for the explosion case, and they will never trace it back to us.”
Over the years, they had constantly dragged others down using various means.
To avoid collective responsibility, those who knew about 372 kept their mouths shut, desperately concealing the truth within.
Sui Liangyi continued with a smile, “So, Shixiong, protecting me is also protecting yourself. Those people were inherently prone to crime, and I merely utilized certain methods to apprehend them in advance. We have achieved our current status by capturing them. These sacrifices are worthwhile for our theories to be accepted by more people, for the field of criminal psychology to advance further.”
Weng Yuhua lowered his head with a dark expression. “What’s your plan?”
After so many years as partners, he understood Sui Liangyi. Though he was insane, he always managed to secure his own escape route and leave unscathed.
Sui Liangyi said, “Now that Su Hui is dead, no one at the Huadu General Bureau has the ability to uncover the truth. In the next step, as expert consultants, we can apply to the bureau and get involved in the investigation of this case, helping Su Hui find the real culprit. Once we take over the case, we can smooth everything out. Only then can we truly be safe.”
Once they became the investigators, gaining control over the case, they would have the authority to define what is right and wrong. Sui Liangyi had already made arrangements for the subsequent steps.
Weng Yuhua closed his eyes, contemplating his suggestion.
Sui Liangyi continued, “The high-ranking official at the bureau, Director Gao, listens to you, doesn’t he? All the leaders are here today. We can drive back now, and you just need to play your role—a grieving teacher who has lost his beloved disciple. Leave the rest to me… This will be like what happened with Yu Yan’s death back then, and the truth will never be discovered.”
Before he could finish speaking, several police cars suddenly raced towards them, surrounding their vehicle.
Sui Liangyi looked up in astonishment. The one who opened the car door was the team leader of Huadu’s Major Crimes Unit, Lu Junchi.
And following closely behind him was someone who should have been dead—Su Hui.
Well damn, I was not expecting that.