Chapter 17: I’m Most Afraid of Places Like This

After getting in the car, Lin Dongxue planned to go home.

Looking at Chen Shi, who was focused on driving, she thought to herself. On one of her rare days off, she shouldn’t be with this guy the whole time. She should quickly go home and comfortably relax on her sofa as she watched one or two episodes of “YanXi Raiders”.[1]

She knew that she was born beautiful. She had been confessed to many times ever since she was a child. She didn’t even know when she accidentally revealed her smile to people. People who had a crush on her mistakenly thought that it was an expression of interest.

It’s not that I think I’m above them, it’s just that I just can’t stand it when people I don’t like have interest in me.

Therefore, I must not let Chen Shi think that he has a chance!

Moreover, he is a driver, and I am a police officer. I’m afraid that I will not be meeting him again in the future. It would never be so coincidental that we would run into cases when we are together. It’s not like we’re in a movie…

“Someone jumped off the building!” There was a scream in the little community quarters next to the road they were on.

Chen Shi slammed on the brakes abruptly, pushed the door open and rushed in to the quarters of the apartment complex. Lin Dongxue couldn’t even ask for him to stop in time. She complained internally, but still took her seatbelt off and got out of the car.

The two rushed into the quarters of the apartment complex and saw a group of residents underneath an apartment block. Chen Shi continuously repeated, “Let us through” as he separated the crowd and squeezed himself through. When they had a clear view of the person who jumped, Lin Dongxue was so shocked that she covered her mouth.

It was a child, probably in the first or second grade of elementary school. He fell in a flower bed filled with small shrubs and flowers wearing his undershirt and shorts. His head was covered in blood.

Chen Shi examined his neck and alerted everyone present. “He is still alive. Hurry and call 120! Which floor did he jump from?”

One resident answered, “This child is from Old Xu’s family who live on the third floor. Is it because the parents are not home and had shut him in the unit alone? But why did he fall down?”

Chen Shi gestured Lin Dongxue with his head and instructed, “Go look at the third floor. I will look after the kid here.” Then he began to talk to the child constantly, trying to wake him up.

Lin Dongxue went up to the third floor and several residents also followed. Lin Dongxue knocked on the door. When no one answered the door, she asked the residents, “Is there a master key for the units?”

“Don’t think so, but there is a locksmith near us! But it has to be issued by the police station.”

Lin Dongxue showed her badge to them. “I am a police officer. Tell him to come and unlock it. I’m here as a witness!”

Lin Dongxue stood in the corridor waiting. Suddenly she smelled the pungent smell of blood. At first, she thought it was the smell in the corridor However, as she sniffed closer to the door, she found that the smell was wafting out from the house.

Lin Dongxue was scared and immediately called Chen Shi. “Hey, things are a bit wrong. I smell the scent of blood.”

“You need to think of how to get in immediately. Don't mess with anything after you go in. Wait for the ambulance to come and then I will come up as well.”

After hanging up the phone, Lin Dongxue suddenly thought to herself. Why did I call him first rather than inform the station?

She was going to give Lin Qiupu a call, but then thought against it. The smell of blood might not be human. She should go inside the house and verify it before calling it in. It may well have just been an ordinary accident. 

About fifteen minutes later, the locksmith arrived. Seeing Lin Dongxue's ID, he began to unlock the lock. After two or three attempts, the lock was opened. When the door was opened, the living room was full of blood. Behind the sofa was a pair of feet in slippers. It was obvious that someone lay there.

The onlookers made a burst of scared exclamations and everyone began gossiping, “Is the Lao Xu family in trouble?”, “Was it a thief?”, “This happened in broad daylight! What were the property managers doing?!”

After some time, everyone began slowly squeezing into the house as they gossiped. Lin Dongxue desperately tried to stop them. “Everyone stay back! I am a police officer! There may have been a murder case here. Do not tamper with the crime scene. Thank you all for your cooperation!”

“We are just looking… We have been neighbors with Lao Xu for over a decade. Something has happened to his family, how could we not care?” Some people were still trying their best to get in and Lin Dongxue’s arm holding the door frame almost couldn’t stop them any longer.

At this time, a calm and harsh voice came from behind, “Do you all not know the severity of the situation? This is a crime scene. If one of you even leaves half a footprint on the scene, do you know how much more of a burden it would be to the officers handling this case?!”

When everyone looked back, they saw Chen Shi standing at the top of the stairs with his hands in his pockets. Everyone scattered reluctantly and were pissed-off due to his stern demands. 

Chen Shi continued, “Wait, the people on the scene right now need to leave their names and contact information as we will need to come for an individual visit later on.”

One resident responded, “Mister police officer, we are all usually very busy. This murder must have been done by outsiders. What does it have to do with us?” Others echoed this same notion. 

Chen Shi sneered. They were all hiding in their tortoise shells. Nobody dared move forward to help even when it was a child that fell off the building. However, they all competed when they felt like they had a show to watch. Now, when we need them to leave their contact details, they’re all evading once again.

He softened his tone and explained. “I am not saying that this case involves any of you. However, everyone present is an eyewitness. For example, if you saw any suspicious people entering the community, we must know all of this. You think it is up to the police to solve a case? Wrong. Solving a case relies on the clues provided by everyone! You all don't want such a thing to happen to your home one day, right?”

The last sentence was half threatened and half scared them into silence. Everyone left their contact details. Chen Shi took everything down with his phone. 

After finishing, he nodded and warned, “Also, please be sure to keep these incidents confidential. Don't talk about it before the case is solved because the murderer is very likely to be around the vicinity. It is also very likely that this is someone you’ve seen around the area. I am not saying this to alarm you all. If you talk about it everywhere, you might raise trouble for yourself if you’re unlucky.”

Everyone looked pale and nodded. “Then we won’t stop you guys from investigating, officers. Please be sure to catch the murderer!” Then, everyone dispersed.

Lin Dongxue sighed in relief. “I really have to hand it to you. You handled the masses in such an experienced manner.”

Chen Shi smiled and took out his packet of cigarettes from his pocket. “I am the masses myself. How could I not understand them? Besides, I am also using your presence[2]. If you weren’t here with me, they would not have thought that I was a policeman, you know what I mean?” reasoned Chen Shi as he smoked. 

“Hey, you’re smoking here?!”

“I am just smoking here as I think. You should call your brother quickly.”

Lin Dongxue snuck a disgusted look at him. She scolded, “Don’t litter the cigarette butt! I don't understand men like you. Is there anything good about smoking?”

After Lin Dongxue finished the phone call, Chen Shi’s cigarette was also finished. He carefully wrapped the cigarette butt with the tin foil on the cigarette case and then rushed towards the unit and gestured her with his head, “Let’s go in and see!”

“Okay...” Looking at the room with wallpaper that seemed to have been painted by blood, Lin Dongxue was a bit timid. “You go in first!”

“Ladies first!”

“I’ll say, surely you aren’t afraid?”

Chen Shi touched his chin and said, “I’m not afraid of you laughing at me. I’m actually scared. I’m guessing there is more than one death in the house.”

“I thought you were not afraid of neither the heavens nor earth? Well, I’ll go in first then!” Lin Dongxue took a few deep breaths, sucked it up and went into the house. She put her shoes in the shoe cover machine and then Chen Shi came in and hid behind her.

Lin Dongxue thought he was just pretending to be afraid and asked, “Are you really scared?”

“Really!” Chen Shi bitterly smiled. “I’m most afraid to enter places like these.”

1. It is an actual show that was popular. https://i2.wp.com/www.flyhoneystars.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/yanxi-palace-location.png?fit=428%2C240 

2. Old proverb. It means that when you’re a mouse standing on an elephant, wherever you go, the tiger will leave. Not because of the mice, but the elephant they are riding on. In this scenario, he was only able to do that because she, a police officer, was present. 

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