Chapter 122: "The Great Punishment"

The police officers immediately went to verify the matter, came back and reported, "There was a nightclub owner who said that he received a call that afternoon that told him that the police would come tonight. He believed it, just in case."

Lin Dongxue instructed, "Lao Zhang, can I trouble you to take a trip to the telecommunications company and check if the four kids called the nightclub?"

Seeing the progress of the case, the boss got very excited and praised, "The criminal police is truly something else. You guys take swift and driven actions! Not like the local police who are grass bags."[1]

"Hey, don't talk nonsense like that!" Chen Shi lectured. "I need to ask you something. Have you had any disputes before the robbery?”

"I haven’t. The satisfaction of the customers coming to this store is very good. This robbery was the first time in five years since the store opened."

"You said that this is the head office. What about the other branches?"

"I don't know about this. I can give you the contact information of the branches."

Chen Shi wrote down the numbers and said to Lin Dongxue, "These children seem to be very sloppy but they are actually smarter than they seem. They like to trample on social order and commit little crimes to flaunt their rebellious attitudes."

"Do you suspect that they were motivated to pick this store?"

"Yes... There are so many branches. It’ll be too slow to visit them one by one. We should just call and ask!”

The two stood there and called around. The manager of one branch said that a girl tried to steal a handbag a month ago but was discovered by the clerk.

Lin Dongxue sent the photo ID of Niu Mudan, the only girl in the group, to the manager. The manager responded, "Yes, it's her! But her makeup back then was very heavy, like a ghost. The clothes were also smart."[2]

"Thank you for your cooperation."

After hanging up the phone, Lin Dongxue excitedly said, "Okay! I’m 100% certain that they did this."

The police immediately acted and woke up the four kids who were still sleeping in their houses and took them to the bureau. Under Chen Shi’s suggestion, they did not immediately interrogate them. Instead, they left them isolated for a while. Chen Shi said that when people were hungry, they had the worst judgment capabilities. Lin Dongxue laughed, "You are a devil!"

At noon, everyone ate ribs on rice in the office. The four children wailed in starvation in their respective interrogation rooms. "Are there no human rights? Let us out! We have to eat!"

Chen Shi ignored them. "Leave them in there for a bit longer. We’ll give them instant noodles later and they’ll confess.”

At two o'clock in the afternoon, Chen Shi really bought instant cup noodles and a jug of boiling water to an interrogation room. In front of the hungry, red-eyed Zhang Jinlei, he poured the water into the cup noodle and held the lid down with a clip. He then sat down, smiled and asked, “Are you hungry?”

"What do you think?!" Zhang Jinlei glared at him.

"As long as you confess, this bowl of noodles will be given to you."

"Fuck your mum!"

Lin Dongxue knocked on the table, "Pay attention to your position here."

"Are you two a couple? You guys always appear together. Sister, you have a really good figure. Why don’t you shoot AVs? You should have sex while wearing a police uniform. That would definitely be super exciting. I promise I’d fuck ya.”

Lin Dongxue was so angry that she was about to stand up but Chen Shi stopped her and patted the back of her hand. Chen Shi shook her head gestured for her not to be impulsive.

Chen Shi said, "At 9:00 pm on December 10th, what did you and your friends do?"

"I was doing your mother."

"I’ll remind you then, the location was on Xinglian Road."

"Yeah, I made your mother scream."

Chen Shi revealed a sneer that indicated that he was angry. Then he stood up, picked up the noodles, and placed it in front of Zhang Jinlei. Zhang Jinlei faltered in fear, "What are you doing? What are you doing? The police are hitting people!"

Chen Shi tipped the noodles in front of him, "I’ll give you a rule now. Every time you say a dirty word, I will extend the interrogation by an hour per word. You just said four dirty words, so we will see you four hours later."

As they were leaving the interrogation room, Zhang Jinlei yelled behind them, "Let me out! I want to sue you guys! I have to pee!"

Lin Dongxue remarked, "I thought you were going to beat him up just then."

Chen Shi said, "Why stop at hitting him? I really wanted to kill him, but for rebellious children like this, doing so would be counterproductive and would only arouse his rebellious feelings. It’s better to cut him down slowly with a blunt knife."

Lin Dongxue smiled. "I’m sure everyone would be happy to hear that!"

Within these four hours, Niu Mudan couldn't help but be the first one to confess. It really was done by them. Niu Mudan said they were led by Zhang Jinlei.

Now they just needed to wait for this little leader to speak for himself.

Four hours after their first contact, Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue entered Zhang Jinlei’s interrogation room again. Zhang Jinlei had no strength to struggle. His pants were also soiled because of his urgency. There was a smell of urine in the room. Lin Dongxue turned on the air conditioner and ventilated the room. The air conditioning made Zhang Jinlei shiver. He straightened up and said, "Give me water."

"Are you still going to talk back at us?" Lin Dongxue said.

"No, no, I’m begging you."

Lin Dongxue poured a glass of water and handed it over. Zhang Jinlei greedily drank it all and gasped after a long time and said, "Motherfucker!"

"Go and wait for another hour." Chen Shi said.

"No, no, this word just then was a modal particle[3]. It wasn’t directed towards you guys. I take it back, I take it back!” Zhang Jinlei was like a tamed hawk, and his ego and arrogance dissipated.

Chen Shi said, "Talk about your carnival that night."

"You mean the incident regarding dining and dashing? I admit to that, but it was just a few hundred yuan. If it’s a big deal, I can pay the restaurant owner back.”

"I’ll say it since you won’t!"

Chen Shi recalled the case that night. After he finished, he picked up a call record obtained from the telecommunications company. "This is the evidence that you called the nightclub and lied that there was a police inspection. You are smart, but not smart enough. You actually used a phone card that was registered with your ID."

Zhang Jinlei clenched his jaw but didn’t say a word.

Lin Dongxue added, "Niu Mudan has already confessed and has pointed out that you were the ringleader behind it all.”

"What!?" Zhang Jinlei raised his head fiercely. "That bitch, I waded through boiling water and stepped through fire for her[4], but she betrayed me?!"

"So, you confess then?" Chen Shi said.

"Confess to what?"

"Your struggling and desperation is really ugly, you know? You’re not cool at all. You are the leader of this little gang, but you’re just like a little swindler playing witty word games here right now trying to talk your way out of it. Do you think they’ll still follow you after you’ve served your time?”

"No, I have a mental illness. I’m bipolar. Sometimes, I don’t know what I’ve done or what I’ve said. For example, just now when I yelled at you guys, that wasn’t me.” Zhang Jinlei began to play new tricks again.

Lin Dongxue was so angry she laughed and looked at Chen Shi. Chen Shi said, "Bring the 'torture tool'!"

"Okay, bring the 'torture tool'!"

Zhang Jinlei struggled hysterically. "Fuck, how can the police blatantly lynch people? I don’t know if you will believe me, but I have a friend online whose cousin’s girlfriend studies law. I’ll definitely sue you guys to death!”

A few minutes later, the "torture tool" was brought in. It was three bowls of fragrant pork rib rice, and three cups of iced cola. Chen Shi put one of the sets on the table and ate it with Lin Dongxue. He said while eating, “These ribs are delicious!"

"Yeah! It’s an old shop. I’m not sure how many criminals’ mouths they’ve opened.”

Zhang Jinlei sat in the interrogation chair, and his saliva flowed to the ground. Finally, he couldn’t help but be tempted by the ‘torture tool’ that tortured him. He said, "Give me a bite, I’ll confess. I’ll confess it all!”

1. Useless. People use these bags to transport waste to incinerate.  

2. The author wrote “smart” in English here. 

3. In case this isn’t too clear, in linguistics, modal particles are always uninflected words, and are a type of grammatical particle. They are used to indicate how the speaker thinks that the content of the sentence relates to the participants' common knowledge or add mood to the meaning of the sentence. 

4. A lot of “I’d do anything for her” expressions.  

Previous Chapter Next Chapter