Chen Shi interrupted him, "Mr. Zhang, your son was only a teenager at that time, and you told him this?"
Father Zhang smiled, "That was how I told it to him. Our family circumstances cannot be said to be very good. All hope and resources had been invested in my son. I had taught him a lot of life’s truths from childhood and taught him to be a man above men. Therefore, I was very shocked to hear that he was hanging around with this girl. Of course, young people are not comprehensive in their consideration of issues, and they’re easily confused. Therefore, as parents, all the more that we should give them guidance when they are on the wrong path..."
"Have you seen Yan Qilin before?"
"Yes, his mother told him to bring the girl back for a meal. It could be seen that this girl did not have a good upbringing and had very little substance. She was completely like a barbarian. I personally disliked her a great deal. I really didn’t want my son to be polluted by her."
Chen Shi almost wanted to sigh. These kind of greasy middle-aged men had ears that were merely decorations and insisted on saying whatever they wanted to say.
He changed the question, "How does Yan Qilin compare with Xiao Ran?"
Father Zhang suddenly became really enthusiastic. “That’s like comparing heaven and earth. Xiao Ran’s father and I have been colleagues for many years. I know him very well and he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to educating children. The parenting Ranran received was very good. She’s well-mannered and educated. She can’t be said to be proficient in guqin, weiqi, Chinese calligraphy and painting, but her interests are broad. Ranran and Jinlei have often played together since they were children. I’m not opposed to youngsters dating early. If it’s a girl like Xiao Ran, I can accept it. I know that the two of them are together now. Ranran takes care of Jinlei for me every day. I feel relieved. I visit them regularly. Ranran often reports to me on how Jinlei has been doing."
Chen Shi interrupted him again, "But Xiao Ran didn’t do well in the college entrance examination and only scored enough for band 3."
"That was probably an aberrance." Zhang Fu responded with a laugh.
Lin Dongxue interjected, "Is Xiao Ran's father still working in this bank?"
"He was transferred to the head office last year to become a manager." Father Zhang smiled.
Sure enough, this man’s endorsement of girls totally depended on the status of the girl’s parents. He had incurable straight man cancer. The value of the woman totally hinged upon the worth of the man that they were dependent on.
Chen Shi said, "We haven't been able to talk about the key point yet. We aren’t here to listen to your parenting philosophy. I hope you can be frank and save everyone some time."
"Oh, this officer really knows how to make jokes. I’m not frank enough? Am I not sincere enough?"
"In the past, Zhang Jinlei wanted to sever ties with the family because of Yan Qilin. You finally made a compromise and helped Yan Qilin to gain a special enrollment opportunity at a university. Was this the case?"
"I don't know who you heard this fro-"
The smile on Zhang Fu's face slowly solidified like a wax mask, and then he waved his hands desperately, "There’s not much to talk about. Is it related to the case? Let’s talk about something else!"
Lin Dongxue couldn't stand it anymore. "Mr. Zhang, have you seen what Zhang Jinlei is like nowadays? The girl's death was such a huge blow to him that he still hasn’t been able to get over the trauma. He suffered depression due to this and had tried to commit suicide a few times. He takes antidepressants every day. But this matter has been played down by you. No matter how much you advertise your philosophy, your parenting is still an extreme failure in our eyes."
Father Zhang was embarrassed, but he still laughed. "Haha, the matter has already passed and the person is no longer alive. Is there any meaning for all of you in re-investigating an old case like this?"
"This is our job."
"It’s true that it’s your job, but you also have to consider the impact it has on others. As the saying goes, family shame should not be made public. At the risk of sounding harsh, this is my family's business. What does it have to do with you? Oh, my words were too serious, excuse me, hahaha! Have some tea!"
He was met with their cold faces in response. Chen Shi wanted to see how long he could continue pretending.
Father Zhang put his hand in his pocket and his phone rang suddenly. He pulled it out to answer, "Ah? What... The customer has arrived? I’ll come immediately!" Then he smiled apologetically at Chen Shi. "Sorry, there’s business I have to-"
Chen Shi snatched his phone away, looked at it in his hand and asked, "It was just the alarm that sounded, right? Mr. Zhang, if you are really unwilling to talk, let's talk somewhere else."
"No, this... I didn't break the law. What right do you have to invite me to drink tea?"
"You didn't get any special enrollment opportunities at that time. It was just a deferral strategy. From your detailed understanding of Yan Qilin's father, it can be seen that you’ve contacted him in private. You definitely used all your means to try and break them up!"
Chen Shi threw this bombshell out and Father Zhang’s forehead broke into a cold sweat. However, he immediately covered things up with a smile. “You’re not going to make such a big joke, right? As a parent, who doesn’t want their child to be happy. Even if I don’t support..."
Chen Shi raised his voice, "Is it possible that after all your methods failed, you took extreme measures? In that case, you may be suspected of murder!"
Father Zhang sat down as if he was cornered, sweat falling like rain. "Officer, you can’t say such irresponsible words. I’ve abided by the law all my life and I’ve never done anything harmful to others."
"Really? Would you like to say hi to my friends at the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and have this bank’s accounts checked? Let’s see if you’re so pure and innocent."
The bluff was a violent blow to Father Zhang and he finally looked as though he admitted defeat. He gulped. "Don't, I’ll cooperate with the investigation."
"Let’s talk about what happened in the summer of 2013!"
"That summer... That summer..." Father Zhang's eyes looked blurred. "My son finished the college entrance examination. He had scored over 600 points, but he filled out his choices with band 3 universities. I was so angry that I threatened to cut him off. He actually left without looking back.” He slapped his chest so hard that the slaps resounded loudly. “At that time, my heart was about to break. I had worked hard to cultivate such an outstanding boy, but for a little bitch, he wanted to sever ties with me. That night I cried at home. I mobilized all those that I could mobilize to persuade him to change his mind, but his attitude was very resolute. During those couple of days, I didn’t live like a normal person and used alcohol to drown my sorrows all night. When that was done, I’d quarrel with his mother. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown!”
Recalling the sad past, Father Zhang wiped a few tears away. "I don't understand what I did wrong for the heavens to want to punish me like this. Everything I did was for him! Seeing that the university choices were about to be handed in, I had no other choice. I could only... I could only promise to allow them to be together. I promised to get a special enrollment opportunity and let the girl go to a band 1 university. Actually... I actually lied to them. She had only scored over 400 points. Even if I went bankrupt, I wouldn’t have been able to get her into a band 1 university through bribing connections. That was just a delaying tactic, but how long could I stall for? The admission notices would be sent out in a month. Once Jinlei knew that it was fake, he’d run away from home again and not go to university. I couldn’t bear this kind of shock anymore, so I found the girl’s house. I planned to force them to break up with money. Her father also accepted my cheque, but that old drunkard couldn't control his daughter. They were still together..."
Chen Shi listened on, feeling sad for him. He obviously couldn’t control his own son but had placed hope in another parent’s ability to control their child.
1. Typically middle-aged men who aren’t very capable, like to show off, are obscene, etc. Implies that their integrity and sincerity are questionable. This has become a buzzword among Chinese people and they typically use it to describe fat, obscene and complacent middle-aged men. http://www.eyeshenzhen.com/content/2017-11/02/content_17645240.htm
2. The four arts. Guqin(ancient music instrument) playing, weiqi(Chinese name for the board game Go), Chinese calligraphy and painting are the four skills that ancient Chinese literati and elegant ladies had to master. For more info, here’s the wiki for it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_arts
3. It’s a derogatory neologism used by Chinese feminists to describe men who stubbornly support traditional gender roles and are therefore considered sexist and chauvinistic.
4. Actual Chinese proverb.
5. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is the highest internal control institution of the Communist Party of China, tasked with enforcing internal rules and regulations and combating corruption and malfeasance in the party.
6. Real stratagem that Sun Zi (Sun Tzu) devised during war while waiting for reinforcements. You can read this in his book The Art of War.
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