Chapter 154: Heavenly-priced Guitar

Chapter 154: Heavenly-priced[1] Guitar

As they were about to go to the bathroom, Tao Yueyue suddenly said, "Spray you to death! Spray you to death!" It turned out that she was using the luminol to spray a small bug that was snuggled in between the floorboards.

Peng Sijue cautioned, "Don't move it. Be careful of getting bitten.”

He clipped it out with a pair of tweezers and put it in a test tube. He carefully observed it. "It’s an insect that eats cockroaches, white ants, and the like."

Tao Yueyue said, "I was bitten by it when I was a child. I got red rashes all over my body that swelled up."

Chen Shi commented, "There are insects in such a clean home?"

Peng Sijue reasoned, "It’s normal to have termites on solid wooden floors. Furthermore, the underfloor heating is above twenty-five degrees.”

Chen Shi wiped his finger on the shelf and looked at the dust on his fingers. "From the amount of dust, it can be deduced that the place has not been cleaned for a week. It is not surprising that there are bugs... Don’t they hire maids or cleaners though?"

They got to the bathroom and continued checking for blood with the luminol reagent. There was also a lot of blood here, mainly concentrated near the water drainage. Someone had washed themselves here. In addition to the blood, Peng Sijue was able to find some fibers and hairs, some of which were very long. It seemed to have been left by a woman.

"I will ask someone to come and collect fingerprints later." Peng Sijue called his subordinates.

Chen Shi went outside. He stepped on something when he turned around on the first floor. There was a wire that had fallen under the sofa. Chen Shi took it in his hand and unraveled it. He noted, "It’s a string from an instrument."

The second room on the right-hand side of the door was the victim’s study room. There was a lock installed here. The other key that had been found on the body came in handy.

The three opened the door and the so-called study room held no books inside. Instead it was filled with his personal collections. There were guitars, oil paintings, signed baseballs, etc. Peng Sijue noted that the air conditioner was still running and said, “The temperature and the humidity were meticulously controlled to protect his collection.”

"For the rich, these collections are just another form of money staying beside them." Chen Shi opened the glass door of the guitar showcase and took one in his hand.

"Don't break it. This guitar is very expensive," Peng Sijue reminded.

Tao Yueyue tugged at Chen Shi’s clothes and asked, "Aren’t these guitars just made of wood? Why are they so expensive?"

"Because it’s used by famous people. Look at this, what is written on it... Doctor’s prescription?" Chen Shi couldn't read the signature on the box. "Old Peng, do you know?"

Peng Sijue shook his head. "I’m not well versed in these things."

When Chen Shi put the guitar back, he noticed some flaws. The display rack seemed to be made for five guitars, but there were only four on it. He asked Peng Sijue for a magnifying glass and studied the dust. He commented, "One of them is missing. It was taken away. I found a broken string in the living room just now.”

"Would this be the motive for killing?"

"It’s possible!"

"I know someone who can value instruments. I’ll call him now."

The two each took out their mobile phones. In the project group, everyone had already found a lot of clues. Chen Shi didn’t have the time to thoroughly look at them. He sent a message, “Who can contact the house cleaner of the victim? Give me their contact information.”

After a while, someone sent a number over. It’s so convenient to have backup, Chen Shi thought.

He dialed the number and it was a woman who answered. Chen Shi stated his identity and said that he wanted to see her. He said they should meet at Lu Zhendong's home.

While they waited, Chen Shi found that there was a camera in the room, and the lights on it were still on. Peng Sijue said, "It’s great! There’s footage."

Chen Shi took a look at it and said, "It’s useless. It’s viewed wirelessly. The memory card inside has already been taken as well."

Chen Shi lit a cigar, took a puff, and walked around the house, trying to consolidate the current clues on hand. Tao Yueyue asked, "Uncle Chen, can I eat the ice cream in the freezer?"

"Is there ice cream? You can go ahead and take it yourself."

Peng Sijue frowned. "Can you not treat this place as your own home? Can’t you be more aware of the position we’re in?”

Chen Shi smiled shamelessly, "These things are going to expire anyway."

Tao Yueyue opened the freezer and exclaimed, "Wow, there’s so much food in here!"

Chen Shi glanced at the freezer. There were frozen wontons, frozen dumplings, frozen sweet glutinous rice balls[2], and microwavable rice. He called Peng Sijue over. Peng Sijue picked them up and the food all stuck together. He said, "They should have been purchased together. It may have been bought about half a month ago."

"Did the deceased intend to spend the New Year’s winter at home?" Chen Shi opened the upper layer of the refrigerator. "There are lots of ingredients bought. They’re all expensive ingredients as well. The victim should not be the kind of person who enjoys eating frozen foods."

“Who would love to eat frozen food?” Peng Sijue stated in discontent.

Chen Shi closed the refrigerator door and his eyes stopped on the handrail of the spiral staircase. He walked over and shook it. "It's loose here. There’s a worn area of paint on it like it was worn down by a rope or something similar."

He took a deep breath and then asked, "Hasn’t it smelled since we came in?"

"I realized ages ago!" Peng Sijue confirmed.

"I have already figured it out. It’s the smell of doggies.” Tao Yueyue announced.

"The victim did have a dog, but why haven’t we seen any dog supplies around here?"

"Has it been disposed of?" Peng Sijue pondered.

Chen Shi immediately opened all of the drawers and cabinets. He found a dog bowl, a dog toy and the like under a closet. He picked up the dog bowl that was close to being a big basin and looked at it. "It seems to be a large dog. It may have been killed by the murderer.”

“Is it possible that this dog bit the murderer?” Peng Sijue put forward his own ideas.

"You can look around and see but I’m not hopeful." Chen Shi said.

Someone knocked at the door. The instrument appraiser had come. When he entered the door, he asked, "Is this not Mr. Lu’s house?"

"Have you been here before?" Peng Sijue asked.

"I heard that Mr. Lu won a guitar used by Huang Jiaxuan at an auction a week ago. It’s worth more than 40 million yuan, which is big news in the instrument collection forums."

Chen Shi asked, "Lu Zhendong plays musical instruments?"

"He is just a collector. He doesn't understand music. I once ate with him. When I heard the news of his death, it was quite shocking."

"Come in and appraise them!"

The instrument appraiser picked up the four guitars and identified them. The four of them were worth a lot of money, but the one that Lu Zhendong won at the auction wasn’t amongst them. Chen Shi took out the broken string he found on the floor and asked, "Is this the guitar string?"

"Yes."

"If a precious guitar lost a string, would it affect its perfected appearance? I don’t understand much about this.”

"Some expensive guitars are sold at such a high price due to their craftsmanship. Some sell at a high price because of the value-added... You can interpret this as the feeling you get from it because of the story behind it. This guitar definitely belongs to the latter department, so the lost string does not affect the value.”

"This guitar used by Huang Jiaxuan is worth 40 million?"

"Correct."

"So, if someone wants to take it with them and sell it, would they be able to do so?”

"Just take me for example. If someone is willing to sell this guitar to me for 10 million, I would be very happy to buy it, and I would not say anything about it afterwards."

"You’re not afraid of buying a fake?"

"Not afraid. Guitars aren’t like calligraphy and paintings. They aren’t easy to create or imitate. Also, it’s a niche item to collect and the value is quite high.”

“Can you help me pay attention to who has this guitar in their hands?"

“Is there a reward?” The guitar appraiser smiled through smoke-teeth[3].

Chen Shi also smiled. "I believe that Lu’s father will never be frugal towards people who provide clues. I won’t mind urging him with a few praising words either.”

"Okay, I will definitely pay more attention."

After sending away the guitar appraiser, Chen Shi said to himself, "Would a friend kill him for a pricey guitar? Is this case so simple?”

"Even if it’s a case that causes the whole city to erupt in discussion, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily complicated.” Peng Sijue reasoned.

"I hope so. I’m still looking forward to a peaceful New Year!"

"Are those your honest thoughts?"

"None of your business!"

1. Very expensive/the level just under priceless. 

2. https://my-live.slatic.net/p/5219572031410c2409bcfe16a0b39605.jpg 

3. Yellow teeth due to smoking. 

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