Chen Shi got back to his seat and continued to eat. Lin Dongxue glanced at the monk and said, “Look, he’ll sell you an amulet in a moment.”
“Is this a bet?”
“Sure. Whoever loses invites the other for dinner.”
The two waited and the monk filled his stomach, came over, and did a Buddhist ritual towards Chen Shi before leaving.
Lin Dongxue was stunned while Chen Shi smiled. “It looks like he’s a real monk.”
“Don't always guess based off of your gut feeling, okay?”
“I didn't guess randomly. Nowadays, scammers are rampant on the street. When I see such people, I have to first assume that they’re fake.”
“That's your way of thinking, so I won't say anything. Let’s go!”
The two went back to the car and just started it up when the young monk passed by. Chen Shi rolled down the window and asked, “Where are you going, Master?
The little monk did a Buddhist gesture and responded, “Thank you, donor. I want to go to the Public Security Bureau.”
Lin Dongxue exchanged glances with Chen Shi in surprise before asking him, “Little Master, are you going to report a case?”
Chen Shi beckoned. “You should get in the car first. They don’t allow parking here.”
The young monk didn't seem to have been in a car before and couldn't pull the door open for a long time. Chen Shi reached over and opened the door for him. After entering, Lin Dongxue said, “I'm a criminal police officer. What case do you want to report?
The young monk was very excited and said, “Amitabha, it is really fate to meet you two donors... I would like to ask, are murder cases under criminal police’s control?”
“Criminal police are specifically responsible for this,” Lin Dongxue replied. It seemed that the young monk didn’t have much societal common sense. Careful observation revealed that he was extraordinarily young. Because of his shaved hair, he even looked like a minor.
However, his face was pretty decent. If he looked after himself, he would be a handsome young man that would attract a lot of second glances. They weren’t sure why such a young man turned into a monk.
“What a coincidence!” Chen Shi smiled. “The two of us, one is a driver and the other is a police officer. They are exactly the people you happen to need.”
“He doesn’t need you anymore with me here!” Lin Dongxue said. “Little Master, what case are you trying to report?”
“It’s a long story.”
“Then, let's change the place and sit down and talk!”
Chen Shi took the car around the street and parked under a tea house, then the three went upstairs. The little monk only asked for a plain cup of tea. He faced the table, conducted the Buddhist ritual, and took out a small book from his pocket, which he pushed over.
It was a very old book. Lin Dongxue remembered that when she was in elementary school, she used something like this. It also had outdated cartoon patterns on it. The edges were severely worn and the paper had become yellow.
When they opened the book to take a look, there were several people drawn in it with a pencil like a poorly drawn comic strip. In the first picture, three people sat and chatted together. The perspective of the picture was very odd. There were two people with their backs to them, but the faces could still be seen.
In the second picture, a man was beating another man and a woman was holding the perpetrator's leg for mercy.
In the third picture, a man and a woman were in a room. The man seemed to be bullying the woman. Another man comes in with fury visible on his head.
In the fourth picture, Man A hits Man B's head with an unknown tool. Man A looked fierce, and a woman was kneeling on the ground with tears falling exaggeratedly from her eyes.
These pictures seem to have been drawn by children, but they had a creepy feeling to them and made Lin Dongxue shiver.
She looked up and asked, “Little Master, what is this?”
“These pictures show the process of a villain killing my father and robbing my mother. I was only five years old back then and I saw it all with my own eyes. This is what I drew later. I only remember these.”
“What's your name and how old are you?” Chen Shi asked.
“My name is Chen Xuan and I’m 18 years old this year.”
“Can you elaborate on this matter?”
“Okay. When I was a kid, I lived in Long'an City. My parents were very kind and loved each other. My mother's name was Yin Wen and she taught me Pinyin and literacy. She looked after me at home every day. My father's name was Chen Guang, an employee of Ruihua Factory. Every time he had a break, he’d take me out to catch dragonflies… Later on, my father got to know someone who discussed business opportunities with him. I don’t remember it very well. Who would have expected this man to be a beast dressed in sheep’s wool? He even... violated my mother. My father tried to reason with him but was hacked to death by knife. I still remember my father crying and shouting at me before he was killed… 'Chen Xuan, hide! Hurry up!' I fled outside and ran while crying, but I got lost. Later on, I was found by an abbot and became a small monk at the temple. The abbot was very nice and raised me. He taught me the principles of Buddhism and life. He told me that everything in the world has karma and not to be obsessed with revenge. I’ve spent over a decade in the temple. This year, the abbot passed away. I... I still can't let go of this thing in my heart. I thought of calling the police in the city and asking for an explanation for my parents!”
Chen Shi flipped through the book, and the “plot” was exactly the same as Chen Xuan said. He said, “Although we’re going to investigate this case retrospectively, the evidence may no longer exist since it’s been so long. It may be very difficult to solve this one.”
“How much money do you need? I can go and raise it!”
“Police don't need money to investigate. I mean this case will be very difficult!”
“But my mother may be alive! She may have been dominated by the bad guy for over a decade!” The little monk suddenly became very agitated.
Chen Shi exchanged looks with Lin Dongxue. “Do you remember anything else?”
The little monk shook his head. “Not much. My memory is very blurred.”
“It doesn't matter what we’ve just talked about. We have to go back and investigate.”
“Okay!” The little monk put his hands together. “I know this is a bit difficult and forceful, but for the past ten years, this is something that I have thought about day and night. Please don’t just try to appease me temporarily. I will recite prayers every day.”
“Rest assured, we will definitely be mindful of this. Are you staying in the city? Do you have a place to live?”
“It's okay. I’m a monk. Eating and sleeping in odd places are a habit now. It doesn’t matter.”
“Then leave your contact details!”
The young monk took out his mobile phone and the two exchanged contact information before parting from each other. Chen Shi took the small book for investigating.
After leaving the tea house, Lin Dongxue asked, “How do we investigate this case? There’s no clues!”
“Let's study it with Old Peng and your brother!”
“Psh, my brother will definitely say that it’s foolish. We don’t even have a body, so how can we investigate anything?”
The two rushed to the bureau and Lin Qiupu was still working overtime, writing a report on the computer. After hearing the two's story, he widened his eyes. “Foolish! We don’t even have a body, so how can we investigate anything?”
Lin Dongxue smiled secretly and mouthed to Chen Shi, “I'm right!”
“I'm not asking you to file a case. I’m asking if you can let me borrow Lin Dongxue, Xu Xiaodong, and Old Peng so I can check it out first. If there are any leads, we can just file a case then!”
Lin Qiupu looked helpless. “As long as they themselves agree.”
Lin Dongxue raised her hand. “Captain Lin, I want to try and follow up. This case looks quite challenging.”
“This kind of old case without leads won't do much for you in terms of experience.”
“If I haven't tried it before, how can I know if it’ll do much for me or not?”
“Okay, I'll give you guys a week. Let it go if there’s no progress after a week.”
“Okay, brother!” Lin Dongxue agreed with excitement.
1. Typical phrase used by monks. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Amitabha-Buddhism
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