After leaving the restaurant, Chen Shi lit up a cigarette out of habit. Lin Dongxue snatched it from his mouth and threw it into the trash can on the roadside. “You have a gross cigarette smell on your body. If you continue to smoke for a few years, you’ll really become a stinking uncle. You should quit it!”
Chen Shi forced a smile. “I only have this one hobby.”
“What kind of hobby is smoking? Hobbies should be rewarding. I saw an article that smoking not only causes cancer, but also causes cardiovascular disease. It will take fifteen years for the body to return to normal after you quit smoking. If you quit smoking now, you’ll be a healthy old man by the age of fifty.”
Chen Shi smiled bitterly. To be honest, it was a task easier said than done.
“Is there a reward if I quit successfully?”
Lin Dongxue thought for a while, gestured for him to get closer to her and spoke in his ear for a long time. Chen Shi said in disbelief, “Really?”
“Of course! As long as you quit successfully, I will do it for you.”
“It’s a deal.”
After the two pinky promised, Chen Shi took out his cigarettes and lighter. Although he was reluctant, he still put them in the trash can.
From now on, they will be separated.
The two planned to go shopping, but Lin Dongxue received a text message. Lin Qiupu sent coordinates and said briefly, “There’s a murder case.”
Lin Dongxue handed the phone to Chen Shi, and Chen Shi said, “Let’s go.”
Chen Shi asked when he got in the car, “Can I smoke electronic cigarettes in the future?”
“No.” Lin Dongxue said flatly.
At the scene of the murder case, it was the standard familiar scene. The police were taking pictures and controlling the area while several other policemen were questioning the neighbors outside. This was a three-bedroom and two-living room house. Looking at the interior design, the homeowner seemed to be financially well-off.
There was a mess in the living room that seemed to have seen a fierce fight. The body fell under the sink outside the toilet. It was a fat middle-aged man wearing a shirt and suit pants. He was laying by the sink with his mouth wide open. His lips were purple and his skin was pale. Chen Shi's first reaction was that this man was poisoned to death.
Chen Shi glanced at the clothing hanger and the victim’s casual suit jacket was hung on it. He speculated that the victim had just arrived home when he died.
Peng Sijue was examining the body. When he looked at the deceased's throat using a flashlight, he suddenly said, “Close the door.”
The policeman at the door closed the door quickly, while Lin Qiupu, Chen Shi, and Lin Dongxue went over to his side. Peng Sijue glanced at Lin Dongxue. “Dongxue, do you want to avoid this? The image may be a little...”
“Is it that the victim's dick was cut off and stuffed into his mouth?” Chen Shi asked. Lin Dongxue was shocked when she heard his words.
“Do you have to be so direct?!” Peng Sijue glared at him.
“There’s blood on the pants and the throat is bulging, as if stuffed... This is the best thing to cut off a men’s body since it doesn’t have tendons or cartilage. You can cut it off in one go and it’s very symbolic.”
“Thank you for voicing out your valuable opinions.”
Peng Sijue slowly pulled out the thing in his throat and upon seeing the item, Lin Dongxue frowned but she didn't avoid it. As a police officer, there was nothing she should avoid.
“Typical sexual revenge. The killer is most likely a woman and it’s likely that it’s a woman who has been sexually assaulted by the deceased.” Chen Shi stood up and glanced at the sink. There was vomit, mixed with the smell of alcohol and drugs. “The deceased was poisoned. The messy traces in the living room were left after struggling from the effects of the poison. He ran here to trigger himself into vomiting, but it was too late.”
“You're wrong. The deceased was stabbed to death.” Peng Sijue unbuttoned the deceased's shirt and pointed to the center of his chest. “Look at the bleeding point. Help me turn the body over.”
After turning over the body, they found that there were three stab wounds on the back of the body and most of the blood flowed into the stomach. The body was lying on its back just now, so Chen Shi didn't see it.
Chen Shi rubbed his temples awkwardly as Lin Qiupu laughed. “There are times when you aren’t right as well.”
“I wasn’t an expert in autopsies to begin with and I’m quitting smoking at the moment. My brain power is a lot lower than usual.”
“You’re actually quitting? How long have you quit for?”
“How does that count as quitting?”
Peng Sijue interrupted, “About eight hours before, the killer should have poisoned the victim. While the victim struggled violently, attempting to vomit, and the killer stabbed him with a prick-like object from behind, causing his death... The organ was cut off and inserted into the throat after death.”
“Eight hours?” Lin Dongxue looked at her watch. “That's about 1:00 in the afternoon. Who called the police?”
“A housekeeper at 4:00 in the afternoon. She has a set of keys.” Lin Qiupu said, “I have already questioned them and I’m sure there’s no reason to suspect them. The deceased is over 50 years old named Zheng Guohao. He’s living alone and is the manager of a multinational food company. He’s actually retired internally long ago and basically in a leisurely state, but he still frequently goes out to meet with stakeholders.” With that said, Lin Qiupu took out a note paper packed in an evidence bag. “This is the schedule found on the victim’s bedside table. He arranged for dinner with a supermarket supervisor at noon. This person should be the last one to have seen him. I have already contacted the other party.”
At this time, the police outside shouted, “Captain Lin, Captain Lin, we caught a suspicious person! He's downstairs.”
Lin Qiupu and Lin Dongxue immediately went downstairs. Chen Shi figured he’d let them handle that. He walked around the house to see if there were any clues. Although it was really messy in the living room, there were only a few places worth noting. The overturned glasses, the broken alcohol bottles, and the alcohol on the carpet that the forensics team was extracting. Chen Shi glanced at the wine-rack and said, “The deceased seems to prefer brandy. There are several brands here that are common in the market, but they drank a top-shelf bottle of vodka. It seemed as though he knew the killer's preferences, and intended to please them... No, vodka is so strong, who would drink that during the day? Besides, it was a woman as well.”
Peng Sijue picked up a glass and examined the residue on the inside. “It should be vodka that was mixed with juice. Vodka has a slight smell, but it has a high alcohol percentage, so it’s easy to get drunk off of it.”
Chen Shi picked up a broken glass and smelled it. “The deceased drank brandy... There’s a smell of medicine in it. It should be the place where he was poisoned. The victim wanted to make the killer drunk with vodka, but the killer directly poisoned him with his cup.” Chen Shi looked at the bedroom door. “So, the murderer used beauty to win the trust of the victim. A single man in their fifties would be easily scammed! Old Peng, did you find the murder weapon yet?”
“The set of knives in the kitchen was a complete set. There weren’t any that were lost. There was no human blood on them either. The knife should have been brought by the murderer and taken away after the deed was done.”
Chen Shi muttered, “The killer had a clear goal. They brought poison and a knife just to kill the victim...” He walked around the house and found that the traces left by the killer were mainly in the living room. The victim struggled and broke the glasses, and then the murderer stepped on the juice and alcohol, leaving shoe prints on the ground. A size 34 shoe print.
Chen Shi knew that Peng Sijue would have checked everything very carefully. He only checked the places they hadn’t checked yet and found an unexpected trace. There was the aroma of brandy on the door handle.
He called out to Peng Sijue. After alcohol and water evaporated, there were only a few fragrant components left. Peng Sijue had no equipment for direct analysis on hand. He could only rely on smelling it. He sniffed around the door a few times and said, “It’s only on the handle. Did the murderer leave it behind when they left?”
Chen Shi expressed skepticism towards this speculation. “Brandy evaporates quickly on the hand. The deceased struggled for a very long time. The alcohol on the murderer’s hand wouldn’t have lasted that long.”
“Do you want to say that the murderer opened the door during the murder?”
“Yes, but why...” Chen Shi pondered for a long time and smiled. “Is it possible that the murder was done by two people instead?”
1. Size 3 in the US.
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