Chapter 113: Spare Love

Chen Shi said, “Half a month ago, Kong Tingting got drunk at a nightclub because she just got dumped. She was so smashed that she was like sludge on the floor. You took her back to a motel and had an intimate relationship with her there. For whatever reason, you left her a note that lied about giving her AIDs as well as a funeral shroud. From then on, Kong Tingting used all means possible to retaliate against society. At three in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, you went to find and murder her. Before she completely died, you raped her.”

Han Le was so flustered that his whole face was breaking out in cold sweat. “You’re speaking nonsense! The incident clearly happened at night and I have an alibi for that… What does three in the afternoon have anything to do with me?”

Chen Shi responded, “This trickery you used was learned through one of the novels you read, right? You even carefully wiped off the dust on the electric box. However, you forgot about the freezer. When the power was cut, the items in the freezer melted and lost their form. Besides that, there’s also an eyewitness.”

Lin Dongxue added, “According to Karl’s Exchange Principle, the criminal will leave material evidence at a crime scene, but they will also take things away in the process. We’ve already found residue of the items you tried to burn at your house and are currently in the process of testing them.”

Chen Shi whispered to correct her, “It’s Locard’s Exchange Principle.”[1] Lin Dongxue, who had failed in showing off, laughed a little like an idiot. 

Han Le suddenly raised his voice. “That’s impossible! Burning is the best method to get rid of DNA on items.”

“Did they say that in the book? If you blindly believe a book, you might as well just figure it out yourself. When they say it’s the best method, they mean full incineration. Are you still not going to confess? Your struggles are pointless at this point. We have sufficient evidence to hand you over to the courts now. If you’re honest now, at least you can get it off your chest earlier.”

Han Le, who was still drenched in his own sweat, kept gulping down saliva as he panicked. 

Chen Shi continued, “If you put a secret of that caliber in your heart and lie to the whole world, the pressure and anxiety must be terrible to bear, right? Just let it out. You’ll feel a bit better. We’re not going to laugh at you.”

Han Le’s mouth kept opening and shutting as he hesitated whether he should talk or not. His hesitation finally disappeared from his face. “I left the note and a funeral shroud for her.”

“Why did you do that?”

“I… I was in love with her for ten years. TEN years! I was already trying to pursue her in university. I would take walks with her, treat her to meals, drop everything and be the first one to comfort her when she was down, console her, give her advice, but she never liked me back. I was always the spare tire. Do you know what being a spare tire feels like?”

“When we were in our second year at the university, she dated a senior who played basketball. My heart felt as though it were ripped out. I tried comforting myself saying that it would be fine as long as she was happy. Within a year, she broke up with that guy. I spent a whole night with her to console her. I was thinking that my chance had arrived, right? But after a few days, she got together with another classmate. Everyone at my dorm laughed and ridiculed me. It felt terrible, but what could I do? I could only just wait again.”

“I waited and waited until ten years flew by. I saw her changing boyfriends one after another. There were even unemployed street rats and middle-aged men who were ugly but rich. No matter how much I did for her, she never gave me a chance. All I got was ‘I’m going for a shower’, ‘I’m going for dinner now’, and ‘You’re a nice guy.’ When she worked as an MC anchor online, she even slept with this guy who gave her a few donations online… I can’t even keep count of how many people she’s slept with, but I was never included in that list. I would never be included. She was always cold and contemptuous towards me and out of my reach. She was my idea of a goddess, but in the eyes of others, she was no different from a prostitute.”

“Can you please give me a cigarette?”

The two patiently waited as he vented everything and Chen Shi lit up a cigarette for him. 

Han Le let out a big exhale and continued, “Maybe I was influenced by the news, but I thought of a great idea. I needed her to think that she was infected with AIDs. When everyone in the world were to abandon her, I would extend her my arms… But this wasn’t important. My lie would bring her to love me.”

Lin Dongxue’s face twitched. 

“My chance finally came when she was dumped. Actually, I should say that she was dumped AGAIN. That night, she said that she wanted me to stay with her for a bit. I knew the drill. I’d have to listen to her, send her back home and the like. Nothing would happen between us. This time, I didn’t accept her request. Instead, I secretly stalked her as she went to a club for some drinks. She got super drunk like a blob. At a small, crappy motel on top of a moldy bed, it was the first time I could taste her beautiful body. It was amazing…”

“Don’t you have a girlfriend?” Lin Dongxue questioned. 

“That’s not true love!” Han Le continued, “That night, I did it with her three times. I finally reaped the rewards of all my past efforts. Then, I left the props I prepared earlier on the bed and quietly left. Sure enough, her mentality was a bit off thereon. She didn’t post much in her social circle. She didn’t even play her online games. After a while, I noticed that things weren’t going well. After she was ‘infected with AIDs’, she actually tried to sleep with as many men as possible. What’s ridiculous was that she hadn’t even considered me even at this point!”

“Maybe she didn’t want to pass it onto her friend.” Lin Dongxue reasoned. 

“Nonsense. I was always looking at her social media accounts. Her ‘prey’ were all the tall and muscular types. It was the same as her old boyfriends as well. For her, I even went to the gym. So why didn’t she pick me? Was I a different breed that she couldn’t touch? So, I became extremely angry. My love turned to hatred. Since I couldn’t have her, then nobody could. I needed to kill her!” Han Le said as he grit his teeth. 

He threw away the cigarette butt and changed his tone. “I thought my plan was flawless. I found her in the afternoon that day. I didn’t even want to talk to her at that point. After she opened the door, I immediately took action. I stabbed my goddess. My heart was full of pain and pleasure. It was as if I personally strangled my youth wasted on her without looking back. Then, I raped her over and over in a craze until her dying breath. When I calmed down, I realized that this was the longest time I’d spent with her since the day we first met. We were so intimate that I cried. I was quite regretful. My feelings then were really complicated.”

“I sat in a daze until the evening when her phone suddenly rang. I was a bit panicked when that happened. It turns out that she had a date with a man. So, I sent over a message impersonating her saying she was on her way. But the man kept urging and even called again and again. I finally thought of a plan after a while. Didn’t she take on the online anchor role for a while? There were recordings of her on B Website. You can go investigate that if you want to.”

Chen Shi took out his phone and searched for it. The videos weren’t very popular. Han Le said, “These videos were all saved by me. I am her number one fan. Go look at her third video at around forty minutes.”

Chen Shi skipped to the specified time. It showed Kong Tingting receiving a call and said, “Honey, I’m on my way. I’ll be there soon,” then it played a knocking sound. It wasn’t the sound of someone knocking on the door, but rather the notification sound of someone arriving in the chatroom. 

Chen Shi showed an expression of finally understanding something. The question he couldn’t answer no matter how much he worked through it in his head turned out to be so simple. 

“The voice that was heard by Wang Shilun was just this recording?”

“Correct. Did I also fool you guys?” Han Le smirked. 

1. Edmond Locard’s theory. It’s usually taught at the police academy.  

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