Lin Dongxue called and said, “Old Chen, Chen Guang and Yin Wen’s information couldn’t be found in the census information at all. I even searched the names of those with similar pronunciations. However, they didn’t meet the requirements. They might not be people from this city at all.”
“Not from this city? Shouldn't there be a temporary residence permit or something?”
“We’ll have to go to the local police station in the district to check. It would have been filed thirteen years ago though, so I don't know if they would still have it.”
Chen Shi turned his attention to Xu Xiaodong. Xu Xiaodong immediately understood and said, “Okay, Brother Chen. Let me go and check!”
Chen Shi continued talking on the phone. “What else have you found?”
“Captain Peng seems to have a major discovery. He wants you to make a trip back.”
“Then, I’ll go back!”
Chen Shi and Xu Xiaodong parted ways temporarily. When Chen Shi was driving, he saw the young monk walking slowly on the road. Chen Shi followed along, slowed down, rolled down the window, and said, “Little Master, get in the car. There are new discoveries back at the bureau.”
The little monk seemed to still be holding a grudge. He got into the car without a word. He sat in the back seat and clasped his hands together. “Donor, I was wrong just then.”
“Recognized your mistakes? Not bad! Not bad!”
“No, monks should not get angry like that. I will fast to redeem myself tonight.”
“Haii!” Chen Shi sighed. “I’ve lived longer than you and I’ve encountered this situation countless times. Two parties won’t stop quarrelling about their memory of something. One said that it’s round, the other said it’s square. People’s memories change, but everyone is willing to believe their own memories the most. Jump out and think about it from a third person’s point of view. Do you think your statement is correct, or do you think my speculation is correct?”
“The donor, yourself, admits that it’s speculation and not fact. How is that persuasive?”
“How is your memory?”
“Very good. I can recite the Buddhist scriptures just by reading it three times.”
“Okay, okay, let’s put the controversy on hold for now.”
When they got to the bureau, Lin Dongxue came forward and said, “Captain Peng is waiting for you!”
“No rush. Is the portrait expert on the team today?”
“He is. What do you need him for?”
“Follow me!” Chen Shi said to the young monk.
After finding a portrait expert, Chen Shi asked for a face to be drawn out. The little monk shook his head and said, “It’s been so many years. I can't remember the appearance of the bad person.”
“I didn't ask you to recall the face of the bad guy. I’m asking you to recall the face of Captain Peng, whom you met the other day when we went to eat. It’s only been three days.”
“Do you think my memory is bad?”
“Memory is divided into many types. For example, text, logical and visual memory.”
The little monk didn’t want to back down and accepted the challenge. He picked features that were closest to what Peng Sijue looked like on the portrait-reconstruction software. When he finally picked them out, the portrait expert smiled and shook his head. “How is this Captain Peng?”
“The nose is a bit wrong. I'll try again!” The little monk was still unwilling to lose.
Lin Dongxue dragged Chen Shi outside and asked, “What are you doing now?”
“Smashing his self-confidence in his memory.”
“Don't you normally take testimonies seriously?”
“This time is different. It’s been a long time since then. The testimony of the little master is very important, so I must let him face up to his memory... If it doesn't work, I still have another trick!” Chen Shi's eyes became solemn. “Hypnosis!”
In the end, the young monk finally completed a portrait of what he thought most closely resembled Peng Sijue's appearance. The portrait expert printed it out. The three of them took it to see the real Peng Sijue. When he saw the real person, the young monk realized that Peng Sijue looked nothing like he remembered.
Chen Shi patted the young monk's shoulder. “Do you still think your memory is reliable?”
The young monk bowed his head and said nothing. Peng Sijue asked, “What are you looking at?”
“You!” Chen Shi took out the portrait and explained the reason behind it.
Peng Sijue adjusted his glasses. “Isn't this the actor Zhang Ruojun?”
“Are you trying to say you’re handsome?” Chen Shi asked.
“Nonsense. Why did he make my appearance look like Zhang Ruojun? Zhang Ruojun played the forensic doctor Li Ming. Have you seen it before? Therefore, it caused memory pollution?”
The young monk was a little startled but kept silent. Lin Dongxue showed him the still shots of “Forensic Doctor Li Ming” and the young monk admitted, “When I was at a restaurant obtaining edible offerings, I saw this person when it played on TV.”
“This is called memory pollution. Old Peng is a forensic doctor and he’s a bit stern. You subconsciously recalled him as Zhang Ruojun...” Chen Shi concluded, “Human memory is not reliable at all.”
“Let's not talk about memory right now. First, let's take a look at the reliable science!” Peng Sijue handed over a DNA appraisal report. “In the hospital paternity test library, we found a close relative of his named Yin Lin.”
The little monk widened his eyes in shock. “That's my aunt!”
“Your mother's surname is Yin?” Lin Dongxue was surprised. “I would have been able to save a little effort if you told us earlier.” She immediately posted the news on the project group, saving Xu Xiaodong from putting in effort in vain.
The little monk was very ashamed. “I was illiterate at that time. I only knew the pronunciation of my parents' names, so I remembered them as Chen Guang and Yin Wen.”
Chen Shi asked Peng Sijue, “Can this Yin Lin be contacted?”
“Here is her number.”
Chen Shi dialed Yin Lin's home phone and mobile phone with no success. Fortunately, there was a backup contact on the hospital's information. It was Yin Lin's husband.
Chen Shi called the husband full of hope, but the line didn’t connect either. Lin Dongxue was so discouraged that a decent lead that they finally obtained came to a dead end again.
Chen Shi said, “There's her address on it. Let’s just take a trip!”
The little monk said, “I will go too!”
Chen Shi said to Peng Sijue, “We found the crime scene from back in the day. I rented the house. Would you like to see if you can collect any evidence?”
“What does the crime scene look like?”
“I took a photo of it.” Chen Shi showed him the photo.
Peng Sijue stared at the photo for a few seconds and asked, “What do you think I can get? Except the soot you just created with your cigarettes.”
“Pry off the floor and tear off the wallpaper then.”
“Will you pay for it?”
“I’ll pay...” Chen Shi added, “If the case is formally filed, it will be paid by the team.”
Peng Sijue shook his head, “I personally disapprove of people like you and the unrestricted waste of police resources. It’s a waste of effort and inefficient. I have other work to do.”
“Aiya, Old Peng!”
“Okay, okay. I'll go now!” Peng Sijue explained to his subordinates that he wouldn’t be there tomorrow morning. He would go directly to the scene to investigate. People who had no work on hand could also tag along.
The subordinates asked, “Captain, is this a new case?”
“No, it's an old case with no hope of solving.” Peng Sijue said while looking at Chen Shi's eyes. “It's just that someone happens to like challenging work.”
Chen Shi, Lin Dongxue, and the young monk rushed to Yin Lin's past address that was listed and saw the brand new neighborhood. Chen Shi complained, “Why has China rebuilt so many communities and houses in recent years?!”
Lin Dongxue responded, “This seems to be a building that was renovated while they settled the owners temporarily until the construction was finished. We can ask the old residents to find out.”
“No, since Yin Lin lives here, she must have an ID. Let’s go directly to the local police station!”
When they got to the police station in the area, the police searched for Yin Lin's information and a case file came up along with a print-out of her ID information. Lin Dongxue said, “What's this? Did something happen to her?”
“She disappeared. She disappeared about ten years ago and has never been found!” said the police officer.
1. The pinyin is the same, but it’s written differently.
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