“Who are you scolding, Captain Lin?” A voice suddenly sounded from above.
Lin Qiupu looked up and found that Lin Dongxue was back. He smiled. “Nobody. Just thinking about a case on hand.”
“Are you understaffed? Would you like me to assign people back from the task force?”
“No, you can focus on the wanted man. I'll do this case myself.”
“Then, I'll head off!”
Seeing that his sister is now a full-fledged policeman, Lin Qiupu smiled with pride and then got up to enter the interrogation room.
Lu Yicai was left in the interrogation room alone for a long time. When Lin Qiupu came in, he was inexplicably nervous. Lin Qiupu didn't rush to speak. He organized the documents in his hands, switched on the recorder, and sipped some tea. These were ways to put pressure on Lu Yicai. He was observing Lu Yicai's expression from the corner of his eyes and could see that something was wrong with him.
Lu Yicai’s “torture” was just about finished. Lin Qiupu finally broke the silence. “You and the deceased Zhou Taiyang have talked quite frequently recently. What did you talk about?”
“My master misses me.”
“It seems he likes you very much... If you won’t talk, we can just investigate. Us doing the investigation will put you in a reactive and passive position, whereas right now you still have the opportunity to proactively confess.”
“Proactively confess? What do you mean, officer? I didn't kill anyone! Don't look at me like you’re looking at a murderer.”
“Since you didn’t kill anyone, why won’t you say anything?”
Lin Qiupu slammed on the table really hard, and Lu Yicai was shocked. Lin Qiupu said, “Won't say anything? Okay, I'll waste time here with you.”
Lu Yicai clearly didn’t have the mental capacity to take on so much pressure. He said while trembling, “I’ll tell you, but can you not detain me here?”
Lin Qiupu folded his hands on top of the table and stared at him.
“Previously in the factory, there was a problem with a batch of goods. The director of the factory went and tracked down who was responsible. My master actually used me as a scapegoat and caused me to lose my job. I decided to do unto him what he did to me since I had something to hold against him anyway. Plus, I really lacked money recently, so I asked him for some money.”
“What did you have on him?”
“His wife died in 2002. It wasn’t a natural death. She was poisoned by Zhou. How do I know this? Because I was on duty one time and Zhou slipped into the workshop in the middle of the night. He said that he forgot his mobile phone and at that time, I felt a bit suspicious of it. Upon inspection, it was found that a tin can containing some chemical materials had been touched. It was a highly toxic thing and usually strictly controlled. One month later, his wife died. He cremated her before he announced the news. Don’t you think that was suspicious? One time, I drank some alcohol and hinted that I knew about it. Zhou remembered that and soon after, he framed me and caused me to lose my job. I was really furious, so I... asked him for money! Officer, does that count as extortion?“
“How much was it?”
“Two, three... Three, four... Four… Fifty thousand!”
“Is there an exact figure?”
Lu Yicai was sweating and he finally admitted, “More than 100,000!”
“Do you have evidence in your hands? He listened to you just like that?”
“No, this is called a thief's guilty consciencE... Does it count as extortion without evidence?”
Now that Zhou Taiyang was dead, no one would sue him. However, Lin Qiupu didn’t tell him this.
“Apart from this?”
Lu Yicai recalled, “I think he wanted to hurt me!”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I asked him for money. The relationship between us has always been very rigid. He also often secretly attacked me in his circle of friends on WeChat, saying that he ‘offended the little villain this year’ and the like. Tch, who’s the villain here? During this time, he spontaneously invited me to dinner seven times. I’ve been avoiding his invitations. How can I go to a Hongmen feast? If he poisoned the food, I wouldn’t know what hit me. After all, this guy has a history.”
“Zhou Taiyang is dead. Are you relieved?” Lin Qiupu asked deliberately to sound him out.
“No! ... I didn't kill anyone. I really didn’t. I can swear to God that the guy named Zhou must’ve offended others. This is called a wicked person receiving karma from another wicked person.”
“Let’s talk about your alibi on the night of the Lantern Festival.”
“I was dining with my date.”
“Do you have their contact information?”
Lin Qiupu recorded it down to check afterwards. He let Lu Yicai go first and told him not to leave Long’an City in the meantime.
Peng Sijue sent him a message asking him to head over to the forensic department. Lin Qiupu arrived to find everyone who had gone to the crime scene to collect evidence was back. He asked, “Are there any new findings?”
Peng Sijue handed over a photo in his hand. “During the on-site evidence collection, we found a secret slab on the floor under the five-tier drawers.”
Lin Qiupu took a look and saw a small bottle hidden. “Where is this item now?”
“Here! This little brown bottle doesn't need to be tested. It smells exactly like cyanide. It has 20ml inside; enough to kill a whole building’s worth of people. A plastic dropper was found as well as a savings card. I called the bank and this card was just issued on the 22nd. Stored inside is…” Peng Sijue held out a hand to emphasize. “Five million!”
“So much money? Zhou Taiyang can’t possibly have so much money. Who is the owner of the card?”
“A person named Wang Shengli.”
Lin Qiupu recalled, “A rich man went to see him that night. The card might have been given to him by the other party, but why did they give money to him?”
“Is it possible that they were paying him to murder someone? The other party might have asked Zhou Taiyang to poison someone?”
“No, the kid who just left the interrogation room has reason to believe that this bottle of poison was likely prepared for him and has little to do with this card.” Lin Qiupu looked around. “Is there anything else besides this? Did you find shoe prints or fingerprints?”
“Five sets of fingerprints have been found and identification is still in progress. The shoe prints couldn’t be collected properly because of how messy the scene was.” A technician smiled in embarrassment.
“Try to collect it again! If there isn’t a complete print, then just get incomplete ones.” Lin Qiupu said.
“But the floor there is really dirty...”
“This is the order!” Lin Qiupu commanded. “I'll go with you this time.”
The technician looked at Peng Sijue as if asking for help. Peng Sijue looked down at the documents and acted as a bystander. They were very helpless. The chair was not hot yet, but they had to return to the crime scene once again.
Lin Qiupu returned to the scene and began looking for the weapon around the community. He turned over each trash bin, attracting the suspicious gazes of many aunts. After looking for a whole afternoon and finding nothing, Lin Qiupu stood up. His eyes flashed black a few times.
However, Lin Qiupu was not discouraged. This is how he investigated his cases. He didn’t rely on sudden flashes of insight and epiphanies, but through exhaustive investigation.
He sat by a flower bed and had a cigarette while he rested. An aunt walking a dog passed by and asked, “Boy, have you lost something of value? You’ve lifted your bum here as you searched all afternoon.”
Lin Qiupu smiled and said nothing because he didn’t want to disclose the details of the murder case.
One of his team members called from the bureau. “Captain Lin, we’ve found a picture of the mysterious visitor.”
1. You’d feel alert and get scared when you’ve done something wrong (usually).
2. A trap using food as a pretext. If you go in to eat, you’d die.
3. I’m assuming that the author is trying to convey that he was very fatigued from searching all afternoon.
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