Chapter 11: Accidental Reward

The person getting investigated was provoked and angry, which scared Lin Dongxue. However, Chen Shi was unfazed and merely took one hand and pressed down on his shoulders. He stared straight at the boy, saying, “Do you know what we found on Gu Mengxing’s body?”

“What!?” The guy was confused.

Chen Shi whispered into his ear, “A sexually transmitted disease.”

The boy's face suddenly turned red up to the tips of his ears, and he glanced at Lin Dongxue, whispering, “Then... You were asking if she and I did... That type of stuff?”

“Sexual acts!”

The boy's face got redder and redder to the point where it resembled a ripe tomato. Under the unrelenting questioning of Chen Shi, he confessed while stuttering, “We opened a room together[1] after the company’s monthly meeting one time. It was getting late, so I escorted her home. I jokingly asked her if she wanted to go to a hotel, but I didn’t think she would actually agree to it. It was my first time, so I was a bit confused and anxious. Is this even related to the case?”

“Did you two use protection?”

“I put a condom on during it.”

“Have you been infected with a sexually transmitted disease?”

“No, I have been very healthy.”

“When did this event happen?”

“Two months ago.”

After saying this, the man looked over Lin Dongxue and had an embarrassed expression on his face. Chen Shi patted his shoulder, “Thank you. This information is very beneficial for our investigation.”

“Officers, can I go now?”

“Right, another thing. When did Gu Mengxing have days off?”

“On Wednesdays!”

 “Always on a Wednesday?”

The guy pondered over this for a while, and asked them to wait for a bit while he got their shift rosters before finally remarking, “The company arranged for her to take Mondays off, but she and Xiao Zhang swapped, so as of last year, she had Wednesdays off.”

Chen Shi looked at the roster and seemed to be lost in thought. He then asked, “Alright, one last question. What are her close friends like?

“Oh, I don’t know much about them.”

“Thank you for your cooperation.”

Immediately after Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue left the office, Lin Dongxue asked, “Why do you want to inquire about her best friends? Do you suspect that the murderer is someone close to her?”

Chen Shi explained, “From the perspective of a criminal psychologist, the motive of female murderers is generally very clear-cut. It is related to personal interests, especially emotional ones. I am 90% sure that the woman in my car and Gu Mengxing were acquainted with each other.”

“Criminal psychology?” Lin Dongxue gazed at Chen Shi with an incredulous look on her face.

“Oh please, can’t a driver read books in his spare time? Stop questioning my acquired skill-set and professionalism, alright?”

“I wonder why you are so professional?” Lin Dongxue muttered to him. “Then, do you want to lock onto this suspect? Let’s begin by investigating the interpersonal relationships of the deceased!”

“This will be handed over to you-” Chen Shi was interrupted by the ringing of his cell phone. It was one of his driver friends. His friend gave his concerns over the phone, “Old Chen, have you done anything wrong? Just now, a policeman came to me and asked what you were doing three nights ago.”

After a few exchanges back and forth, Chen Shi hung up the phone, shook his head, and smiled, “Your brother is really a talent. The entire task force has been led into the ditch. They are still checking out the Wang Yueche angle. Why is he so obsessed with that? How can there be such a stubborn person?”

Lin Dongxue stomped her feet, “Don’t say bad things about my brother behind his back!”

“I just merely stated the reality of the situation as straightforwardly as I could. Right, if you want to use this case to gain a meritorious deed, you should not rely on the task force to investigate the interpersonal relationship of the deceased.”

“It’s not about getting credit. The point of investigating cases is to give the victim peace. Your moral compass isn’t right,” Lin Dongxue snorted.

“Okay, okay. Then call your brother and tell him, ‘Oh, by the way, the prime suspect and I are investigating this case together’.”

Lin Dongxue was dumbfounded from this response, while Chen Shi just lit up a cigarette. He instructed, “Our following investigation will provide major gains. You should decide whether you want to make a contribution and get the credit or not. When you find someone who meets the characteristics of our suspect, remember to contact me.”

“Meets the characteristics? What characteristics? You can remember what she looks like just from seeing her a few times?”

Chen Shi touched his chin and recalled, “She was a woman of about twenty-five years old, had decent looks, and was around 175 centimeters tall. She is very likely to be engaged in medical work. She may be a doctor, and her character is introverted and careful.”

“How do you know that she is a doctor?”

“What was the deceased when she was alive? A medical representative. She has a high probability of knowing a doctor.”

“If this is the case, then wouldn’t the two have become acquainted with each other through business?”

Chen Shi shook his head and stated, “Not necessarily. Medical Ambassadors generally only have business relations with the person in charge of the hospital. Also, if you want to check patient information, you have to ask for a search warrant. It is hard to apply for and is time-consuming. The age of the two people in question are similar, so I think it is very likely that they were classmates. You should search for her within Gu Mengxing’s group of classmates, especially her college classmates.”

Although these were the elementary steps used in a typical investigation, when they came out of Chen Shi’s mouth, they sounded really clear and logical. Lin Dongxue nodded and recorded the instructions down.

“I will leave first as I haven’t started work today. If I don’t do a few rounds of orders tonight, I’ll be drinking the North-West wind[2]. Call me if anything happens,” Chen Shi left straight for the company's front gate.

After they parted, Chen Shi did not go to flag customers down. Instead, he went to the crime scene. After three days, the police had already removed the tape that they had used to cordon off the area. Chen Shi put his hands in his pockets and slowly strolled around the dark, rocky beach. The sound of the tide coursed through his ears. 

His eyes searched the ground for clues. However, after a few days of wind and sun, basically nothing could be seen.

After a few rounds of walking all for naught, Chen Shi laughed and muttered to himself, “It was a thing of the past. Why hasn’t your heart for it died? Is this your destiny?”

As soon as he looked up, he suddenly saw an old lady picking up rubbish[3] walking along the road, carrying a snakeskin bag filled with soda cans and bottles. She was wearing a slim-fit burgundy women's long trench coat, which didn’t seem to match the lady wearing it at all.

Chen Shi noticed one detail at a glance. The long trench coat was double-breasted with buttons lining the coat two-abreast, but one of them was missing. He suddenly caught some inspiration and softly mumbled to himself, “Was the item the deceased was holding...”

Then, Chen Shi strode forward with haste and politely asked, “Aunty, where did the clothes you’re currently wearing come from?”

The aunty looked at Chen Shi with a little fear and refused to answer. When Chen Shi continued to ask several times politely, she finally opened her mouth, and with a hesitant tone, stated, “I took it out from a garbage bin late at night. What do you want?”

Chen Shi smiled, “Don’t misunderstand; I just like this style very much. Could you give that trench coat to me?”

The aunty panicked and grabbed at her chest and asked, “Eh? You want to take it from me?”

Chen Shi took out his wallet and counted out three hundred yuan[4], “No, not take it. I want to buy it!”

The aunty was still on high alert and was very cautious. Chen Shi made up a lie and told her that he wanted to buy it for his girlfriend. She was still suspicious but agreed to sell it. Chen Shi took exceptional care and got a plastic bag out of his car to put the clothes in. He was careful not to put his fingerprints on it.

After the aunty took her leave, Chen Shi looked at the clothes in his hand and exclaimed with joy, “Accidental Reward!”

1. Opening a room means to rent a hotel for sex. 

2. When you eat wind, it means you’re eating nothing. This is often an expression used to describe people who don’t have money or have been waiting for someone/something for a very long time. The former applies to this situation as he hasn’t started work for the day. 

3. There are people, often poor, old or homeless people, who pick up rubbish like cardboard and tins to on-sell in order to make a living. They also pick up whatever they need so that they don’t need to buy it. 

4. 300 Yuan (RMB) equals about $42 USD. 

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