Nalan Fang squinted his eyes and slowly raised his right hand as if pushing a transparent door. He said with a lot of emotion, “That day, the moon was dark and there were high winds...”
“Okay, okay, just talk about the process directly.” Lin Qiupu interrupted him.
“General Wang sent someone to chase me down and set the village on fire. My family and children died under his murderous knife. Fortunately, in the crisis, my loyal servant Li Xiang put on my clothes and died for his lord. As such, I was able to escape. When I met with a cliff, I could only hear the sound of a ‘ka-chak’ in the sky... And then there was the sound of ‘suuu’... Then, your majesty got slammed into this world with a ‘pak’ noise.” He nodded solemnly.
Lin Qiupu froze for five seconds as he sorted out his messy thoughts. “Can you elaborate more? Forget it, this isn’t important... Were you naked or dressed when you crossed over?”
“As a gentleman who reigns above all, how can I show my bare self? I naturally crossed through with clothes.” Then, he nodded solemnly again.
Lin Qiupu was persuaded by this logic, but finally asked the key question. He pointed to the item on the table. “This item was also brought along with you?”
“But we just identified it. This was obviously stolen goods from a gold shop. How could it have been on you? Look, there is Zhoutaifu’s inscription on the back, so this can’t be money from your dynasty, right?
Nalan Fang was shocked for a moment, then said, “I don't understand what you are trying to say?”
“Stolen goods... Do you understand? ... Why was it on you?”
“Do you suspect that I’m a bandit?” Nalan Fang looked left and right. “This is ridiculous. My family's wealth is so deep. Why would I do such a thing?
Lin Qiupu was completely out of ideas. After leaving for a break, he came out and saw a crowd of policemen outside. He said sternly, “Is it funny? You don’t have work?”
The policemen retracted their smiles. Someone said, “This person is probably a lunatic. Let's take him to a mental hospital!”
“We can’t rule out the possibility of him pretending to be stupid. The gold shop has lost so much property. He would be sentenced for a minimum of 20 years. If he didn’t pretend to be dumb, how would he be able to go to the hospital instead of prison?”
“If he really is guilty, why would he take the gold ingot out and spend it?”
“Let's take him to a mental hospital!”
“Don't discuss this right now!” Lin Qiupu interrupted them, then looked at Chen Shi. “What do you think?”
“I think his logic is still very clear and complete, unlike ordinary lunatics. The stolen goods were on him, indicating that he has had contact with that gang. We might be able to find out some clues if we continue questioning him using his own line of thought.”
“Would you like to come up and try?”
“Uh, I'm not too interested in robbery cases...”
“How much did it cost to redeem this gold ingot? You haven’t gotten reimbursed yet, right?”
Chen Shi immediately understood what he meant. “Okay, I'll try it. I guess I’m out of luck!”
Chen Shi entered the interrogation room and nodded towards Nalan Fang in greeting. “Hello, we have met in the psychological counseling room.”
“What is the counseling room? You mean that teahouse?”
“Uh, okay, teahouses are fine as well... You should know who we are, right?”
“It’s good that you know. I noticed that you have always claimed to be ‘your majesty’. Then you are a member of the royal family? You said that General Wang killed your family. Was he trying to rebel? Has General Wang already usurped the throne?”
“No, your majesty is part of the royal family, but I didn’t grow up in the royal palace.”
“The place you said was...”
“Your majesty is the son of a concubine. My mother is a concubine surnamed Ji and was very much loved by my father, the emperor. At that time, the internal courts had a fierce fight. My two royal older brothers and the matriarch were very powerful. My father, the emperor, feared that I would be involved in the dispute, so he entrusted me to the villagers to raise me. The place where I grew up is called Qili Village. My adoptive parents are of a wealthy family in the town.”
“How do you know about your identity as a prince?”
“My father left a token with a letter attached, so I found out about my identity.”
“How did General Wang get his eye on you? You said that he was trying to manipulate the prince, but your identity as the son of a concubine who lived in the countryside shouldn’t have posed a threat, right?”
“Big mistake!” Nalan Fang slowly rolled up his sleeves and put his hands on the table, like those who acted in the films set in ancient times. “The emperor loved the second prince and planned to demote the crown prince. The two factions in the palace secretly fought. They actually killed the second prince! My father, the emperor, demoted the crown prince and wanted another successor. General Wang heard about the news and wanted to control me as a doll to manipulate! Fortunately, due to the mercy of those above us, I travelled here and was able to come out with my life!”
Chen Shi’s head swelled up from listening to all this, but continued to question, “So you are the future crown prince, but since you time-travelled over here, it’s no different than dying, right? In your world, I’m afraid that the crown prince will be unlucky yet again.”
“No, I have heard that the prince was killed after committing sins.”
“According to this plot, General Wang has properly usurped then?”
“Haii, my poor father, the emperor!” Nalan Fang sighed towards the sky. “General Wang is so powerful. I’m afraid that my kingdom’s successes over the century would all be taken away.”
“Mr. Nalan, please sit for a while.”
Chen Shi went outside and Lin Qiupu said, “Are you not going to interrogate further?”
“How would I do that? Let's start elsewhere. I think he suffered some trauma, so he’s in denial and trying to modify his memory.”
Peng Sijue came over and Lin Qiupu asked if he found anything. Peng Sijue shook his head. “There is no prior record... But there are high levels of white blood cells and platelets in his blood, and the CRF value is much higher than average. He should have been in a constant state of high levels of stress recently. In other words, it was a major shock to him.”
Chen Shi's conjecture was corroborated by this new evidence acquired and he continued to explain, “In order to escape reality, he fabricated a new identity for himself and the time-travelling.”
“Send him to the mental hospital!” Lin Qiupu said helplessly.
“The mental hospital is essentially no different from a prison. It is nothing more than isolating the anomalous from the standard crowd. I think he shouldn’t have committed a crime. This doesn’t seem too appropriate. Why don’t we let him stay at the bureau for now?”
“There’s no place for him at the bureau. Little Wang, find him a guest house nearby and put a GPS locator on him to prevent him from running around.”
Peng Sijue added, “Buy clothes for him as well. Change him out of this outfit and send it to my lab.”
The police officer immediately went to work. At this time, Lin Dongxue, Xu Xiaodong, and Little Li returned from investigating. Seeing everyone gathered outside the interrogation room, they asked curiously, “Any major progress?”
“Look inside.” Chen Shi said.
Nalan Fang was silently chanting something in the interrogation room like those ancient scholars. Lin Dongxue covered her mouth and smiled. “Lover of the ancients? Where did you find him?”
“You missed a good show.”
Later, the police officer who went out to find a guest house came back and said, “Since it’s May 1st, the nearby guest houses and hotels are all full.”
“What then?” Lin Qiupu's eyes fell on Chen Shi.
Chen Shi coughed, “I should go.”
“I think he should live at your place first. All the daily expenses will be reimbursed by the team.”
“Just think of it as helping the team.”
Chen Shi looked helpless and finally sighed. “I'm really out of luck!”
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