Chapter 5: Honesty is to Leniency as Resistance is to Harshness

Lin Qiupu sneered at Chen Shi, and Chen Shi smiled in return as Lin Qiupu instructed Chen Shi to read and recite the eight characters situated behind the officer.

“Resistance will be met with harshness, and honesty will be rewarded with leniency[1]. Was my pronunciation on point?”

“You’re neither the first nor the last dishonest criminal to sit in that seat. You really thought-”

“Pay attention to your wording, ‘Great’ Captain Lin. I am only a suspect, not a criminal. By law, I am still an upstanding citizen! Detaining me without providing any form of evidence, as well as interrogating me, this act in it of itself is illegal,” Chen Shi did not back down by even an inch. 

“No evidence!” Lin Qiupu was furious, “If you can’t remember on your own, then I’ll help you remember. On the night of September 11th at 2:00 am, a female passenger by the name Gu Mengxing was in your car. The text message she sent to her boyfriend during the ride proves that you verbally sexually harassed her. The next day, her body was found near the riverside. There were obvious signs of rape. You dare say that you’re completely innocent?”

Three pairs of eyes stared at Chen Shi. His face passed a trace of surprise before immediately reverting to normal. 

“On the morning of the 11th, there was indeed a beautiful female passenger in my car. However, I sent her to the destination she requested, Feng Zhilin Hotel. My driving records can be used as proof,” Chen Shi calmly stated. In this situation, if he didn’t tell the truth, then he would be suspected even more. 

“Where was the starting point of the trip?”

“Shi Houzi Road. There was also a barbeque stall close by, and I stayed for about two hours flagging down customers.”

“Why did you stay there for so long?”

“I fell asleep.”

“As far as I know, you would have had to pass through the scene of the crime on the way to Feng Zhilin Hotel from Shi Houzi Road.”

Chen Shi rolled his eyes, shook his head, and smiled, “Go check the driving records!”

“Driving records can be forged.”

Chen Shi laughed loudly, “Motherfucker, what kind of truth are you after? I told you, yet you won’t believe me. I told you that there was evidence, yet you say it’s forged. You can’t wait to paint this pot black, can you? When you solve a case, is it like a blind date to you? Do you consider the investigation solved as long as they look the part?”

“Watch your attitude!” Lin Qiupu commanded coldly. 

“I am an innocent citizen who has been detained, and not given access to any food or drink, even though it’s well past noon. Not only have I been humiliated by your words, but you’re also trying to force me into confessing to a crime that I have not committed. I just fucking expressed my dissatisfaction a little; how is that unreasonable?”

Lin Qiupu had an expression on his face that was as if he were looking at rubbish. He picked up the phone next to him and exchanged a few words before asking, “Is it true that you verbally harassed the female passenger?”

Chen Shi responded as though he was reciting words from a book, “In regards to verbal harassment, the sexual harassment law in our country is explicitly described. The first example is as follows: using vulgarities to tease the opposite sex. The next one is stated as, ‘Describing your personal sexual experiences to the other party and telling any lewd or otherwise perverted jokes.’ Included in the final example is reading the opposite party any unwanted erotic literature. In this sense, I did not verbally harass her. Instead, I just had an ordinary conversation with her.”

“Don’t dodge my question! What I asked was whether you verbally harassed the passenger.”

“It is you who has yet to ascertain the concept of harassment. In your opinion, what constitutes harassment? Ordinary chit-chat? Asking someone for their contact information? Probing about their family’s situation? Does any part of what I just said legally count as sexual harassment to you?”

Lin Dongxue was speechless. Hoping to change the situation, she changed the angle of the interrogation, “According to the drive to the precinct, you seem to be very enthusiastic about female passengers. I reckon that it’s inappropriate to show such excessive enthusiasm for lone female passengers at two in the morning.”

“That’s simply your opinion. To oppose your opinion, first of all, I am simply a very talkative person in general. Second, I like the opposite sex, and I am a single male. I saw a young and beautiful female passenger getting into the car. Is there anything wrong with making conversation? Just then, in the car, did our conversation violate you in any way?”

Hearing this, Lin Qiupu asked Lin Dongxue, “What did this guy say to you in the car?”

Lin Dongxue twirled her hair around her finger and slowly replied, “It was just an ordinary conversation.”

Chen Shi saw that they gave an inch, so he took a mile, “As a single male, I think that it is perfectly normal to make conversation with the opposite sex on any occasion, at any time, as is reasonable, logical, and legal. As I drive to make a living, I am in the car for almost twenty-four hours a day. If I don’t open my mouth and talk to passengers, I’ll die from bad breath all alone.”

Lin Qiupu slapped his hand on the table, “Quit arguing over the minor details and face the main point. The fact is that the deceased was in your car, you harassed her, and then she was raped and killed on her way to her destination!”

Chen Shi scratched his neck, “When you say it like that, your point of view sounds quite reasonable. Hey, so and so, give me a smoke.” Finishing his sentence, Chen Shi summoned one of the police officers with his index finger, indicating for a smoke. 

The three officers looked at each other. To smoke here means that you will confess. They couldn’t believe that this guy was so quick to confess after arguing for so long. Lin Qiupu gave him a Hongtashan-brand cigarette. As he was about to light it for him, Chen Shi interrupted and said, “Oh, please. You carry two different brands of cigarettes on you. One for criminals to smoke and one for yourself. Who are you trying to fool? Take out that pack of Zhonghua, man.”


“You think my nose is just for display? You have the smell of Zhonghua on you.”

Lin Dongxue put her hand over her mouth as she tried not to laugh. Lin Qiupu took out his packet of Zhonghua and lit one for Chen Shi, who exhaled smoke with a satisfied expression. The three waited for him to confess, yet the sole thing that came out of his mouth was smoke and only smoke. 

Seeing the cigarette being burned until it was finished, Lin Qiupu urged, “Hey, hey, let’s speak the truth now, yeah?”

Chen Shi looked up at the ceiling and recalled emotionally, “Thirty years ago-”

“Why do we need to go back to thirty years ago?” The minute-taker sulked. 

“Thirty years ago, on an autumn night, a dog outside your house was killed by a car. The next day, you were born!”

“You!” Lin Qiupu stood up and slammed his hand on the table so hard that it would’ve even shaken mountains. “Justice Bao would truly be proud![2] Boldly insulting law enforcement officers - You’re courting death!”

Chen Shi put out his cigarette, “I only spoke of two separate incidents, though. When did I ever mention reincarnation? What insults did I speak of?”

Lin Dongxue tried not to laugh. Lin Qiupu was so angry, merely glaring at Chen Shi without saying a word, as the minute-taker paused, a little confused[3], not sure if he should write down the last exchange in the interrogation report.

Chen Shi rationalized, “The things that you just mentioned are all facts that I concede as correct. However, being in the wrong place at the wrong time does not mean that there are cause and effect between the two. Also, it does not mean that those things are related just because you put them together in a sentence. This is basic logic. Until there is any concrete and indisputable evidence, those are just isolated incidents!”

“Very good! Very good!” Lin Qiupu was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to say at the moment. 

Lin Dongxue thought: This guy is unlike other criminals where they bullshit their way through every question. In fact, he has only been speaking words of reason, without evading any questions. Moreover, he does have a point. His thinking is very detailed and without flaw. This person doesn’t seem to be ordinary. Perhaps the truth is that he isn’t the murderer after all. 

Lin Dongxue glanced at Lin Qiupu’s enraged expression and was ashamed of her inner doubts and wavering conviction. 

There was a knock on the door, and a police officer gave Lin Qiupu the investigation results of Chen Shi’s driving records. Lin Qiupu glanced at it and exchanged a few words with the officer before nodding his head to indicate that the officer could leave. 

Lin Qiupu flipped through a few pages of the document he had in his hands and said, “Oh, your so-called evidence seems to be quite unfavorable for you…”

“Oh, cut the crap!” Chen Shi said impatiently, “You’re even trying to make me nervous with an empty threat. I can see that you’re using all the cards in your sleeve[4]. I only took one order that whole day; how would I not know where I was going?” 

Lin Qiupu, whose scheme had been noticed, had an awkward look on his face, “Who are you calling a skill-less donkey!?”

“Are you not properly educated in the Chinese language? I wasn’t saying you were a donkey; it’s an idiom. I didn’t say ‘Captain Lin is inept,’ did I? Besides, why would I describe donkeys in such a negative context? They are such hardworking and bright animals! Give all the donkeys in the world an apology!” 

Lin Qiupu was so angry and humiliated that his whole face and ears turned red. It was the first time that he had been disgraced like this by a suspect. It seems that I have to show my true skills. 

Lin Qiupu picked up the phone and deliberately raised his voice, “Xiao Wang, shut down the monitoring system!”


1. The eight Chinese characters produce more than eight English words. 

2. Chinese proverb. Essentially means that the person in question has guts/is really daring. The proverb compares them to Justice Bao (Bao Zheng) who was a Chinese politician during the Song Dynasty, who constantly upheld honesty and justice, impeaching even his own relatives and even relatives of the emperor himself. As you can imagine, sentencing a relative of the emperor requires guts. He became a legendary figure. Calling someone a dog in Chinese holds a more severe connotation than that of the English interpretation. Calling someone a dog is the equivalent of calling someone a beast, incapable of thinking for themselves and only takes orders from their masters. Here, Lin Qiupu associates the incidents with each other, even though it can just be seen as a coincidence, because he feels personally attacked. 

3. The wording they used essentially means that the person is confused, and is showing a face like this meme:

4. An idiom that was derived from a place with no donkeys. One day, someone brought in a donkey to that town, and a tiger wanted to eat it. As the tiger has never seen a donkey before, the sheer size of it and how loud it sounded, it feared the donkey. As the days past, the tiger closed in on the donkey and pushed/shoved the tiger. The donkey got annoyed and kicked the tiger. As such, the tiger realized that the donkey didn’t have many qualities and the tiger doesn’t need to fear it. Then he ate it. This idiom is saying that once all cards have been shown, as they have very limited capabilities, they can’t do much thereon. 

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