Chapter 52: Human Nature

The manager paced around Xiao Li’s body for a long time and almost smoked an entire pack of cigarettes. Everyone on the scene was very scared.

The manager suddenly insisted, “We have to cut her head off. The police won't know who she is and they won't investigate her all the way to us!” Then, he pointed to the female employees, “You guys go get the tools!”

Under the manager's shouting demand, the female employees slowly moved out and went to the hardware store a few streets over to buy the tools. Among the female employees, there was an accountant who was the manager's relative and his confidant. The whole process was completed under her supervision.

In order to make everyone unable to get rid of their relation to this crime, the manager instructed the female employees to move the body to an open space behind the parking lot and then saw her head off there. They were also supervised while they scrubbed and disinfected the area. 

Later, he called two male employees to wrap the body in plastic and throw it away in the wild. They were told to throw the head and body in two separate places.

Then, the manager took a bag of money from the safe in the office and threw 10,000 yuan to each person. He reminded, “No one can say anything about today! Otherwise, we are all doomed. Do you understand?”

After this incident, the whole company was shrouded in a fearful and oppressive atmosphere. Colleagues did not even smile when they met. Everyone had a look of embarrassment and shame.

The manager also tied up some loose ends, including disposing of the desk that Xiao Li was tied to and clearing all her files to let her existence evaporate completely. He also repeatedly put pressure on the employees.

He told the staff that if the police came to investigate, they would have to keep their mouths shut. The police wouldn’t really harass them and that he would deal with the police himself. 

He also cautioned them that the police would interrogate them separately .They might try to swindle them by saying that others have already confessed. He told us not to be afraid, as these are all common tactics.

“The manager also said...”

“Alright, that’s enough!” Lin Dongxue couldn't listen anymore. She ground her teeth together. “A bunch of monsters!”

Chen Shi asked, “How did he deal with Xiao Li’s family?”

“Xiao Li is a migrant worker. She lived alone and would only contact family occasionally, so they don’t know about this yet.”

“Where did she sit?”

The employee pointed in one direction. “It was originally here, but later...”

“It was dealt with?”

“Yes!” He agreed with a cold sweat.

“Do you have her information?”

“It was all destroyed... Ah, wait!”

The employee took them to the corridor. He opened a power supply box. It turned out to be a small mourning hall with a picture of a girl with electric candles on both sides. Below the photo were some simple gifts such as candy and cakes.

The employee elaborated, “I don't know who set up this little shrine for her, but everyone’s filled with guilt, so they went there to mourn her death.” When he said those words, he wiped a tear away from his eyes. “Xiao Li, I am sorry. I’m not human!”

“What’s the use in saying this now?!” Lin Dongxue hated this group of people to her very bones.

“Do you have nightmares about this?” Chen Shi asked.

The employee assented. “It happens every night. Every night, I dream of Xiao Li without a head, coming to me to exact revenge.”

Chen Shi instructed Lin Dongxue, “Okay, the truth is clear. Control everyone.”

The employee babbled in a panic. “Officers, didn’t you say you would let me off?”

“I didn't say that. Wait until the case is completely clear, then we’ll decide on how to deal with you!”

“I didn’t kill her! I swear! She was even moaning when I was doing her!” He completely had a change in attitude desperately trying to justify and excuse himself. Lin Dongxue really wanted to slap him.

Lin Dongxue called the bureau and Lin Qiupu personally brought a group of people to come over and took everyone away. The company was also sealed.

Lin Qiupu sniggered. “You’re really something!”

Chen Shi smiled. “And our bet?”

“All good. I’ll treat you all to mutton at Dong Laishun in a few days.” Although the bet was lost, the case was broken so Lin Qiupu's expression was particularly relaxed.

However, the case had not really ended. The biggest difficulty in this case was to judge and attribute each crime to each individual. The male employees used all kinds of tactics to excuse themselves during their interrogations. All kinds of ugly lies and tricks were used, making the interrogators sick. 

Peng Sijue suggested to Lin Qiupu, “The deceased died of postural asphyxia. To be precise, she was taking paracetamol. This medicine has a certain deterrent effect on lung function. She was brutally bound while in this state, causing suffocation and death. So the murder portion should be attributed to the person who tied her up.”

Lin Qiupu adopted his professional advice. The responsibility of the murder for the whole case fell on the head of the fat manager. Although he excused himself and tried asking for a lawyer, it was all too late. Soon after, all the people involved were transferred to holding cells to await their trials.

The fat manager’s crime of manslaughter and rape couldn’t be escaped. As for the employees, except for those that suffered penalties and didn’t participate, others have more or less left stains on their records. They would use their whole lives to pay for their one night of madness. 

These were all matters to be dealt with later on. 

While their trials were getting prepared, Chen Shi, Lin Dongxue and Peng Sijue drove to a wasteland in the western suburbs. The bureau was now understaffed with 17 people being interrogated, so the task of finding the remains of the deceased fell on them.

“It should be around here?” Lin Dongxue was looking outside the car the whole time.

“There is a red painted pole in front of us.”

“This is it!”

After parking, the three went into the few hundred acres of wasteland to find a head. It was tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack. Chen Shi searched until his back was sore. He stood up, lit a cigarette up for himself and took a breather. Suddenly, he found Peng Sijue standing beside him.

Out of courtesy, Chen Shi took out a cigarette and beckoned, “Captain Peng, come and have one!”

Peng Sijue took the cigarette offered to him and said, “No one has ever offered me a cigarette because I never smoked in the unit, so they all thought I didn't smoke... How did you know that I smoke?”

“Oh, I didn’t know that you smoked!” Chen Shi smiled. “I only know that this is the polite thing to do.”

“Chen Shi, you always remind me of a person.”

“Let me guess, your friend? People like Captain Peng, so cold-faced and cold-hearted, also has friends?”

Peng Sijue did not pay attention to his jokes and questioned, “A Wang Yueche driver solving three odd cases consecutively is unbelievable! Who exactly are you?”

“I’ve always wanted to know the answer to that question too!” Chen Shi shrugged and smiled. He hit the lighter and used his other hand to shield it as he helped light the cigarette for Peng Sijue.

“Found it!”

Lin Dongxue ran over with joy when she saw this scene and laughed. “When did the relationship between you two get so good? Hey, Captain Peng also smokes?”

“Less nonsense. Let’s go have a look!” Peng Sijue took out a test tube and threw the two cigarettes they just had inside, effectively extinguishing them.

The trio went over to the rotten head in the grass. From the long hair, they could infer that it was a woman. 

Lin Dongxue sighed, “Such a good girl. How did it come to this? How could this group of people be so awful?!”

“This is probably the so-called collective unconsciousness theory. A person with morality placed in the collective will be infected by the atmosphere, lose his mind and become a beast as well.” Chen Shi mused.

“Carl Jung’s theory.”[1] Peng Sijue added, “But why do people do such evil things when they’re in a group? Perhaps at the end of the day, human nature is evil!”

Cold wind blew past them all of a sudden, as if the deceased’s soul was weeping.

Lin Dongxue closed her hands and faced the head as she whispered, “Xiao Li, rest in peace!”

1. Although I’m not 100% sure, I believe that he meant the psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung. This is the Wikipedia page for Carl Jung for anyone interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung

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