The two walked into the empty warehouse and Chen Shi told him what happened there that year. Three years later, the scars in their hearts had already scabbed over, but touching them again would still cause faint pain.
Peng Sijue asked a key question, “Han Luoxi's gun has a maximum of 8 bullets. How many shots did you hear before entering the warehouse?”
“More than three shots. There is a lot of echo here, so I couldn’t hear clearly.”
“Do you know what was written in the case file?”
Chen Shi, who had not seen the police file, shook his head, and Peng Sijue continued, “When Han Luoxi's gun was found, it was empty. Only Han’s and your fingerprints were on it. In addition, it was stained with the blood of Li Mu and Han Luoxi. Five bullets were found at the scene. Han Luoxi had two in her body and Li Mu had one in his forehead. From the rifling marks, all the bullets were shown to have been shot from Han Luoxi’s gun.”
“I shot Zhou Xiao once with my own hands. It stands to reason that there should only be four bullets at the scene. Did Zhou Xiao get a police bullet using his own means?”
“Are you sure he has this capability? Police bullets are hard to come by, and even if they can source them, they would have left clues.”
“Old Peng, what anomalies did you find during the autopsy?”
“Li Mu had Han Luoxi's blood on him and Han Luoxi had Li Mu's blood on her, but Li Mu's time of death was about three hours earlier, and someone seems to have tampered with Li Mu's forehead wound.”
Chen Shi walked back and forth in the warehouse, reimagining the scene from that year, and muttered to himself, “What was going on with the extra bullet?”
“If Zhou Xiao had intentionally framed you, why should he leave you a bullet?”
“I think he made a mistake. Type 64 police issue pistols can hold seven rounds of bullets, but Han Luoxi always keeps one in the barrel of the gun, so the number of bullets she had is 7 + 1. At that time, I heard gunshots and ran inside. Zhou Xiao didn't have much time to check and had hurriedly unloaded the magazine but he didn’t expect that there was still one in the barrel.”
“When you fired at him, was the gun lighter than usual? Did he look shocked?”
Chen Shi shook his head. “I can't remember. I suffered a lot of shock at the time and these details are now blurry to me... But I couldn’t have shot Han Luoxi and Li Mu anyway.”
“Let’s recreate the scene!” Peng Sijue proposed.
The two recreated the scene at that time. Peng Sijue stood in Zhou Xiao's position, and Chen Shi stood in Song Lang's position. He remembered that he was kneeling beside Han Luoxi's body. His body was covered with Han Luoxi's blood.
Peng Sijue suddenly had an idea, “It’s said that when the Italian mafia frames the police, they would dig out the bullet from the deceased, and put a policeman's bullet into the wound... I am thinking that there was actually no additional bullet. The one in Li Mu’s head might have been the one that you shot into Zhou Xiao’s shoulder. Which also explains why Li Mu's gunshot wound had been tampered with.”
“He had already shot Li Mu with another gun in advance and took the bullet from the wound! Thus Li Mu died three hours earlier... So he intentionally left me a bullet for the sake of letting me shoot it? The bullet wouldn’t have left any marks on the scene, and he can easily take it out and stuff it into Li Mu's gunshot wound. His own body is the most suitable...But what if I had shot to kill?”
“Zhou Xiao knew that you wouldn't. You can’t shoot a suspect as a policeman if he is defenceless. If you do, it’s murder! And you couldn’t explain the situation at the scene. You had already left the force, and your status was sensitive. Zhou Xiao had already framed you earlier. Although the evidence was insufficient, he had already sowed suspicion towards you long ago in the police force.”
“I really wanted to kill him at the time!” Chen Shi sighed. “However, during the instant of the shot, I deliberately shifted the muzzle. I really wanted to arrest him... This lunatic!”
“But on the bright side, Zhou Xiao's three-year-old gunshot wound would be a good proof of your innocence... If it really exists!”
Peng Sijue's last sentence made Chen Shi smile bitterly. “How was Han Luoxi captured and killed by him using her own gun? I heard the gunshot and arrived at the scene about five minutes after that. Han Luoxi's skill was so good, how could she have been killed?” Chen Shi suddenly remembered a detail that alarmed him, “I remembered, Zhou Xiao was wearing the same clothes as Li Mu! There were rope marks on his wrists.”
“Zhou Xiao posed as Li Mu, lying on the floor with his back to Han Luoxi. When Han Luoxi turned him over to confirm his identity, Zhou Xiao made her faint.”
“The gunshots that you heard were actually Zhou Xiao shooting and killing her and firing on all sides of the room. He left a bullet for you just to let you pick up the gun and shoot him.” Peng Sijue followed Chen Shi’s thoughts. “They did find a trace amount of anesthetic in Han Luoxi’s body.”
Chen Shi closed his eyes and sighed, “Why did I fall into such a trap?”
“Because you loved her too much. Han Luoxi was your weakness and Li Mu was Han Luoxi's weakness. I heard later that Li Mu was her biological father. After Li Mu divorced, Han Luoxi took her mother's last name. You must arrest Zhou Xiao in order to clear your name. If that day really comes, would you resume your previous identity?”
Under the gaze of his close friend, Chen Shi shook his head, “Song Lang died that night. For me, that name is a curse, a past that I have no desire to recall, and I'm fine living like this now.”
“You’re running away!”
“Whatever you want to call it.”
“One more thing. You saw Zhou Xiao's face, right?”
Chen Shi took out a piece of paper from the folds of his wallet. It was a pencil sketch. He had drawn it based on the memories of that time. Peng Sijue took and examined it. Chen Shi said, “Remember the criminal psychology profile we did for him three years ago? At the time, you suggested that Zhou Xiao may not be a single person and that his criminal style and goals are extremely unstable. Perhaps it was two or more people who cooperated together.”
“Your opinion was that he has multiple personalities.”
“But I am more inclined to your opinion now, because he was able to dig out the bullet in his body in a very short time. He wouldn’t have been able to do it alone. There may have been another accomplice at the scene. Even if my shot had killed Zhou Xiao, this accomplice could also ruin my life.”
“He really wants to ruin you!” Peng Sijue sighed.
“Remember how we found the name Zhou Xiao?”
“He himself wrote it on the wall with the victim's blood at the murder scene, and since then, Zhou Xiao has become the serial killer's codename.”
“Well-informed, hard to catch, clean in their crimes, and having indiscriminate targets. Now, I think that Zhou Xiao is actually a gang... Maybe someone in this gang was ruined by Song Lang, so they designed this elaborate framing.”
“The victim... Wang Daji, have you ever met him before?” Peng Sijue asked suddenly.
“Yes, he was actually at my house before he was killed.”
Previous Chapter Next Chapter