Officers failed to find anything on the sixth floor. He Laowu seemed to have vanished into thin air.
Recalling the moment when she saw He Laowu entering the building, Zhao Li felt a chill of fear. Rubbing her arms, she said hesitantly.” Does that thing really exist?”
Now it was a little past ten in the evening. With the dark sky and dim streetlight, she didn’t even dare to use the word “ghost”, in case that thing might hear it, lurking in the darkness.
Now the same hesitant looks appeared on other officers’ faces. Mindful of their experiences when they were keeping an eye on He Laowu, those two officers felt their hair stand on end.
After snuffing out his cigarette, Captain Cheng said.” No matter whether the perpetrators are human or not, we have to get to the bottom of this case. The appearance can be deceiving, I believed most likely someone pulled a trick, acting like a ghost to spook people.”
Then he turned to Zhang Peng.” Have you found anything about the flood in He Village in 1999?”
After Wang Qing passed the message from Jiang Lan, they had asked the officers back in the station to look through the file. So far, they only had some basic information about the He Village and the villagers there. More detailed information was in the old file.
“They are on it now. The files were too old. They need more time.” Zhang Peng said.
Then he patted Wang Qing’s shoulder.” Where is that young man? He didn’t go down with you?”
When Wang Qing came down to deliver a message from Jiang Lan, Captain Cheng wanted to go to the seventh floor personally to interview the resident, but Wang Qing stopped him.
With a wrinkled face, Wang Qing didn’t know what to think. Recalling the joke Jiang Lan told him and turning it over in his mind, he became more convinced that this is …..not a joke.
The possibility that the kind old gentleman was a dead man made his hair stand on end.
“He said he had more questions for that old gentleman.”
Pausing a second, he added.” He said, the old gentleman on the seventh floor…….is long dead.”
Zhang Peng didn’t believe in ghosts or Gods. Giving Wang Qing a sceptical side glance, he said.” The old gentleman on the seventh floor is Qin Shuyi. I have it on file that he lives an isolated life and is not on speaking terms with the villagers. Despite his eccentricity, he is alive and well. Why do you curse him dead? How can a dead man talk? The man you brought here looks so young. Is he reliable?”
Wang Qing didn’t know how to explain to them. The Tai Sui case was now classified, and the officers involved in that case had all signed the confidentiality agreement. They were forbidden to leak any information about it.
So his words were vague.” Jiang Lan had assisted us in a special case. You will know his capability when he comes down.”
But now Zhao Li, who had gone through the surveillance recordings, had a shocked look on her face.” The old gentleman on the seventh floor?”
Sensing the look on her face changed, Captain Cheng said.” What about it? Any problem with the old gentleman?”
Licking her parched lips, Zhao Li said.” Xiao Li and I were responsible for checking the surveillance video recordings in Block 4…….We had gone through all the videos recorded during a half month period before the murder. We are sure not a single person went to or left the seventh floor in that period.”
The Police always believed that the murderer was hidden in Block 4. So they were assigned to go through all the surveillance recordings round-the-clock to find any suspects. Zhao Li had already noticed there was no sign of activities on the seventh floor. During the night, when every household turned on the light, the seventh floor remained unlit. So she thought the residents on the seventh floor were not home.
So what Wang Qing said shocked her.
Qin Shuyi was at home, but how could a person live without shopping for half a month and never turned on the light at night…..
Zhao Li seemed to be thoughtful, with a shocked, frozen look on her face.
“It is impossible for a normal person to live half a month without shopping for food and other necessities.”
Zhao Peng disputed her theory.” Maybe he just doesn’t like outdoor life? And hoards a large amount of food and other stuff at home? We have seen weirdos like this.”
What he said also made sense. But Zhao Li still felt goosebumps on her arms.
At that moment, a scream coming from Block 4 shattered the night.
Without thinking, they rushed into the building, vaulted up the stairs, and halted simultaneously when they reached the fourth floor.
In front of room 404, a headless male body was hung upside down from the ceiling. Even at this moment, the body was still swaying gently. He Laowu’s wife must have hit the body accidentally after opening the door, causing the blood to spray everywhere, with the stairway wall dotted with the blood. The room door was wide open. He Laowu’s wife and son had collapsed on the ground with traces of blood on their face and clothing.
Li Xiujuan had become worried that He Laowu hadn’t returned home. So she asked her son to go together to look for him. He Laowu’s head had sustained injuries during that flood. After that, his mood was prone to sudden changes, and his behaviours had grown erratic. Li Xiujuan didn’t believe his husband was murdered, figuring he just had another bout of mood swings and hid somewhere.
She didn’t expect to run into a body after opening the door.
The body was still warm. She even felt the warmth coming from under the cloth. The shock was too great that she collapsed then and there, with widened eyes. She couldn’t even make a sound.
Following close behind, her son was also shocked to the core.
With a grim face, Captain Cheng asked Zhao Li to move the victim’s family away from the scene and called the station to request additional personnel.
Two murders had happened in a day. One of them took place under their watch. Now all the officers looked grim.
While officers were busy cordoning off the scene, Jiang Lan finally persuaded Qin Shuyi and his Sunny Doll to go downstairs.
The Sunny Doll looked unwilling, but it always obeyed Qin Shuyi and followed him.
When Jiang Lan reached the fourth floor and saw the body, he glanced at the Sunny Doll.
Now the Sunny Doll had changed to a new body the length of a finger and was carefully put into the shirt pocket by Qin Shuyi. With only its head outside, it was watching the scene.
Jiang Lan thought this kid was spoiled rotten. While pretending to be mistreated, it managed to get He Laowu’s body out in the stairway to make a scene.
He flashed his teeth to the Sunny Doll coldly.
Now you wait, sooner or later you will receive a proper lesson.
Captain Cheng and his men were busy cordoning off the scene and moving the body away. Seeing Jiang Lan, he massaged his temple.” One more dead.”
The other officers instead eyed Qin Shuyi, scanning him from top-down.
Except for his grim look, Qin Shuyi seemed very normal.
Zhang Peng gave Zhao Li a look, which meant: Look, does he look like a dead man? Have you seen a walking dead man?
Zhao Li also looked uncertain.
But Wang Qing was more perceptive. He gazed at Qin Shuyi’s wrist and nudged Zhao Li, indicating his wrist.
Zhao Li looked closely this time:…….
As an officer used to the sight of corpses, she knew what those purple patches meant.
She froze her face, and goosebumps appeared again. Without thinking, she moved closer to the wall, trying to put more distance between her and Qin Shuyi.
The other officers were unaware of this, continuing their work on the scene. After Li Xiujuan saw Qin Shuyi, her frozen looks vanished, and she pounced on Qin Shuyi. With reddened eyes, she screamed.” Did you do it? Did you do it?”
Qin Shuyi took a step back to dodge her. Seeing her miserable looks, he smiled but didn’t say anything.
His smile only lasted a brief moment. No one, except for Li Xiujuan, saw it. In an instant, she collapsed on the ground again, weeping.” You did it, you did it!”
Then she suddenly leapt from the ground and grabbed Captain Cheng’s arm.” He is the murderer. He did all these. Please arrest him.”
Not knowing what went on between them, Captain Cheng furrowed his brow.” As far as I know, this old gentleman is almost seventy. He is not capable of committing murder. And we didn’t find the motive for him to commit this crime.”
As if someone had squeezed her neck, Li Xiujuan darted her eyes from side to side, unable to say anything coherent. But she insisted that Qin Shuyi was the murderer.
Having worked in the Criminal Investigation Department for many years, Captain Cheng didn’t miss her unusual behaviour. Gazing at the agitating Li Xiujuan, he said slowly.” Without evidence, we can’t make arrests indiscriminately.”
Li Xiujuan suddenly calmed down.
Opening her mouth and closing it, she didn’t dare to say more. Without a clue about what was going on, her son dragged her aside.
No one noticed in Qin Shuyi’s shirt pocket, there was a little red sunny doll staring at Li Xiujuan grimly.
Jiang Lan perhaps noticed. But he lowered his eyes and said to Captain Cheng.” I know the identity of the murderer.”
All the people turned to him almost simultaneously.” Who?”
Jiang Lan smiled and gave Li Xiujuan a glance.” I can’t say here. When we finish the job here, I will let you know in the Police station.”
Captain Cheng was doubtful. This serial killer was so unbelievable that he was prepared to work on this case on a long term basis. So he thought there was little chance Jiang Lan could find the suspect easily.
But looking at Jiang Lan’s confident expression, he also felt his opinions were worth listening to. Maybe what he said could provide a fresh angle for solving this case.
So, in the end, Captain Cheng didn’t contradict Jiang Lan.
While they were talking, reinforcements from the Police station had arrived. He Laowi’s body was moved downstairs.
Jiang Lan, Qin Shuyi, Li Xiujuan and her son all got in the Police car, preparing to leave for the station.
When Li Xiujuan walked past him, Jiang Lan saw the little Sunny Doll hiding among her hair. He turned to give the Sunny Doll a warning look: Don’t cross the line.
The Sunny Doll widened its mouth and smiled.