Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue were watching from outside. Lin Dongxue said, "I didn't expect that there would be significant progress this year. If this case is solved just like this, I really have to go to the temple to burn some incense."
Chen Shi asked, "Do you think Yue Chao took the girl to the scene and wanted to kill her in the same way? Did he have a weapon on him?"
Xu Xiaodong said, "There wasn’t one on him or in his car. Our colleagues are searching at the scene now. He might have thrown it in some corner.”
"Who is that girl?"
"Yue Chao said that she is his girlfriend. She’s so drunk that she can't answer any questions."
Chen Shi smiled and whispered to Xu Xiaodong, "She looks pretty!" Lin Dongxue poked him, complaining, "You’re not being serious at all."
In the interrogation room, Yue Chao was still wasting time. Lin Qiupu said, "If you want to drag this out, I’ll play along. This is my job anyway, so I can keep you company no matter what.”
Yue Chao looked like he wasn’t willing to accept the situation. "You have to guarantee not to leave a stain on my records!"
"You’re still afraid of that?" Lin Qiupu flipped open a document in his hand. "Look at what you did before. When you were fighting in high school, you were punished by the school. Later, in the drama troupe, you were almost jailed for the same reason. Then you changed your jobs several times and didn’t manage to stay in any of them for a full year.”
Yue Chao admitted his defeat and asked, "You’re not suspecting that I’m the murderer, right?"
"It depends on the evidence and your testimony."
"Fuck!" Yue Chao shook his head. "Okay, okay, I’ll tell you the truth. A month ago, our classmates at the high school reunion talked about the murder of Yan Qilin. Then I heard that Zhang Jinlei went there every year on Qixi to burn paper in honor of her memory. Zhang Jinlei and I don’t get along, so I wanted to give him a piece of my mind. So, I ordered my girlfriend to put on a red dress to frighten him by acting like a ghost tonight!"
"How do you explain this pack of salt?"
"I was planning to sprinkle salt on the ground to lure him over. Then my girlfriend, who would be hiding in a corner, would come out and scare him. This is called a dramatic effect. I learned it in the troupe." Yue Chao smiled.
"That girl is your girlfriend?"
"She’s drunk like that but still needs to scare him? Do you think your statement will hold up?"
"Why should I lie to you? When she sobers up, you can just ask her. How could I be a murderer?"
"Then we’ll talk again when she’s sober!”
Lin Qiupu asked the police to come in and detain Yue Chao first. Chen Shi knew everyone's thoughts. If Yue Chao spent the night here and no new dead body appeared tomorrow, then he was most likely the suspect.
It didn’t seem like there would be results in the short-term, plus it was getting late. Chen Shi said to Lin Dongxue, "I'll head back first. Do you want me to give you a ride?"
They hadn’t been able to have a good rest since they had been busy with investigations over the past few days. The next day, Chen Shi slept in and got up at 8:00 in the morning. He went out with Tao Yueyue to have a leisurely breakfast, before rushing to the bureau.
It was calm in the bureau and no new dead body had been found. Yue Chao was still in the detention room. The girl confirmed Yue Chao’s words after sobering up last night, but the police weren’t buying it. This was just what Yue Chao had said to the girl. Whether he wanted to deceive and lure the girl to the scene and kill her was unknown. The two had only known each other for about a month.
According to their previous understanding of Yue Chao, he was a playboy. His girlfriends changed constantly and he was skilled in hooking up with girls.
Chen Shi felt that he wasn’t the murderer. Yue Chao gave off the impression that he was impetuous and ostentatious. It didn't seem like there was rational thought behind whatever he did. Nor did he seem like someone who would persist in doing something over the course of six years. Besides, what would the motivation be?
Chen Shi went to look for Lin Dongxue. The people in the office said that she and Little Li had gone to the scene where Yue Chao was arrested.
So Chen Shi went to the detention area where Yue Chao was lying in a solo detention room sleeping. Hearing someone coming, he sat up immediately and said with a smile, "I'm really not a bad person. Can you please let me go or return my mobile phone to me? If I don’t go to work today, I’ll have two days of wages deducted."
"Telling me that is useless. Rest assured, you’ll be let out after 24 hours if there’s no evidence."
"Fuck. 24 hours? I don’t have that much free time to waste here!"
"Then why did you have the time to frighten Zhang Jinlei last night? Oh yes, I have one thing I’m curious about. What was the reason you dropped out of school back then?"
Yue Chao was silent for a long time before reluctantly saying, "Personal reasons."
"Can't you talk about it?"
"I say, six years have passed since that case and you should have asked everything there is to ask! The police are also incompetent. After six years, you still can't catch the murderer. You’re just setting yourself against me. I know that I didn’t have the best track record in the past, but you can’t view others through colored glasses. You’re all insisting that I’m the murderer. Are you trying to make me the scapegoat because you can’t catch the real murderer?”
"Your imagination is too rich. Everything must be asked and clarified in an investigation. Tell me, why did you drop out of school back then?"
Yue Chao licked his lips before falling silent again.
Chen Shi observed his expression. "If I’m guessing correctly, the reason for your dropping out was related to Yan Qilin. That’s why you won’t talk about it. You’re worried that the police would suspect you, right?”
"She harmed me!"
“My grades were particularly poor at that time. I basically had no hope of taking the university entrance exam. I just fooled around every day. Once, I was caught smoking in the toilet by the class teacher. The class teacher immediately slapped me without saying anything. I was young back then-”
"You fought back?"
"No, no, how could that be possible? I still knew what was appropriate and what was not. I just said some ruthless words, saying that I’d find some brothers to fix him up. Perhaps it was karma, but the damn old man was beaten on the way home from work two days later and his mobile phone and wallet were stolen. I swear that it had nothing to do with me. He didn’t know who did it either, but said that it was me. Then the school created a small court. The dean, deputy principal, and chief of security grabbed me and conducted a trial. I told them it wasn’t me, but they didn’t believe me at all. My mother even went to plead with the class teacher. This pleading was embarrassing. It was like some yellow mud had fallen on my pants. Even if it wasn’t feces, others would think it was. The school seemed to have found a witness and said that they saw me sneakily following the class teacher that night. They said that they’d give me some face and asked me to drop out myself. I couldn’t do anything but suck it up and drop out. In hindsight, the school only forced me because they didn’t have any evidence."
"That witness was Yan Qilin?"
Yue Chao nodded. "I kept brooding over this matter, and I often went to the school to ask around about it. Later, I heard that the witness was Yan Qilin. We normally never spoke to each other, so I didn't know why she would accuse me like this. On her way home from school, I stopped and confronted her. I asked her when she had seen me hitting someone. At that time, it was quite late, and Yan Qilin was a little scared, so she screamed. I started pulling her clothes, then Zhang Jinlei, who was passing by, saw it and started hitting me without any hesitation... Later, Zhang Jinlei and Yan Qilin spread rumors at school saying that I wanted to sexually harass Yan Qilin. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I just wanted to seek justice. I know I’m a problem student in everyone’s eyes, but you guys can’t put this shit on my head!"
When he got to that point, Yue Chao covered his face and seemed as if he felt terribly wronged.
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