Leaving the farmhouse, Chen Shi handed over the small book in which he had recorded down notes to Xu Xiaodong. "Go and verify everyone's alibis."
"Ah?!" Xu Xiaodong was shocked. This was a huge task.
Lin Dongxue asked, "Do you think the murderer is among them?"
"The time of the dinner and the times of death were very close. Within the cast, they have equal status with the two victims and have the most contact with them. Therefore, I think they can be designated as suspects."
"Then what was the motive for committing the crime... Could it be due to envy? The Japanese made more money than they do."
"They committed murder just because of that?"
"Don't forget, they were all drunk at the time."
"Well okay, it can be counted as a motive. In my opinion, there should be a deeper motivation."
Just a moment ago, this group of featured extras had mentioned that when everyone was humiliating the victims, Fujiwara had agitatedly gabbled a lot of things. However, everyone present said that their Japanese was very average and that they could only understand some everyday phrases. Therefore they didn’t understand what Fujiwara had said.
Could there be any key information hidden in those words?
Back at the bureau, the autopsies were underway. Peng Sijue handed Chen Shi a few photos showing the bloodstains on the deceased. He said, "Fujiwara's blood covered Tamura's blood. Tamura should have been killed first and Fujiwara was killed later... The liver temperatures were measured, and the time of death were almost the same."
"What about the beer cans that we brought back?"
"The can that you had marked "A" had been drunk by Fujiwara, and it was almost finished. The other can had been drunk by Tamura. Over half of the beer still remained in the can."
"The wound on Tamura's neck had been made by a weapon inserted from the side and then slashing outwards. Based on this, it’s speculated to be a double-edged weapon. The shape of the weapon that pierced Fujiwara was similar, but the position is very high up, probably at this position..." Peng Sijue used one of his assistants for his demonstration. He pointed out the knife wounds. "The first stab was from the back of the first rib to the fifth rib of the front chest. The second stab was from the first rib to the fourth rib in the front chest. The third stab was from the second rib to the third rib of the front chest. The tip of the knife had penetrated the lung lobes and the aorta, and the entire chest cavity was a mess."
After thinking for a while, Chen Shi glanced at the photos again and pointed to one of them. "Was Fujiwara’s blood found on Tamura's chest?"
"There was a little of his blood."
After pondering for a moment, Chen Shi smiled. "Did you know? Saying ‘Tamura’ and ‘Fujiwara’, it’s like we are in one of those Japanese murder mysteries."
Peng Sijue kept a straight face. "I still have things to do. I’ll take my leave first."
"Aiya, I was just kidding! I’m guessing that Fujiwara was squatting down and had been stabbed by the murderer from behind. When he arrived, Tamura might have already collapsed. Fujiwara had squatted down to check Tamura's condition..." Chen Shi asked the assistant to squat down and gestured behind his back. "The murderer stabbed twice from behind. Fujiwara tried to stand up. The murderer stabbed him again, so the third knife wound was almost vertical."
"I think so too. You should continue investigating it. I still have to continue dissecting."
"By the way, I'm curious. Are there any differences in the physical structure of Japanese people? Are their stomachs really very small?"
"Hurry up and get lost!" Peng Sijue ordered.
The mobile phones, wallets and IDs of the two weren’t found at the scene. Since they were foreigners, if their IDs weren’t found, they wouldn’t be able to investigate their communication records.
At the case meeting in the afternoon, Lin Qiupu said, "The embassy has already called. It was to urge us to solve the case as soon as possible. In short, just investigate it as you should."
Chen Shi said, "Can we get a Japanese police officer to come over to help?"
"It will probably be very hard to find someone who speaks Chinese! It's not necessary either. We can just investigate the case ourselves."
"No, I have other arrangements. As long as they’re Japanese, it’s fine. I don't need them to speak Chinese. It’s best if they can’t even speak a single sentence.”
"If you don't explain it properly, I won't help you."
"Really, I don’t even get the right to keep you in suspense... I think the killer has some Japanese communication skills. They’re acquaintances of the deceased, but now they’re going to try really hard to cover up the fact that they can speak Japanese. Therefore, I want to set a trap. We’ll just get a random Japanese person to pretend to be a police officer or someone from the embassy and see who can understand Japanese in this group.”
"Okay, I’ll try to think of a way!"
It was getting late. Chen Shi took Lin Dongxue to the scene again. At the time, there were several crews in the film and television city filming night scenes. Lin Dongxue saw Xu Xiaodong sitting on a prop box eating some food. She tapped his shoulder, "Is the crew’s meal box delicious?"
"I bought it myself! Do you want to eat it? The takeaway boxes here are really good and cheap. I can't believe that there are still meals available for ten yuan."
"We’ve already eaten... How’s your investigation going?"
Xu Xiaodong handed over the book. He had put a tick next to the name of everyone whose alibi he had verified. He said, "I’ve asked the landlord, kiosk operator, and the water delivery people. Their alibis are tenable."
"How were they tenable?" Chen Shi asked.
"At the time of the incident, they hadn’t left the dorm."
"Check it carefully again. There are no security cameras here. These witnesses may not be reliable!"
Lin Dongxue looked around. "This is such a big place. Only the entrances and exits are monitored, and no criminal cases have happened in recent years. What a fluke.”
Xu Xiaodong said, "The main reason is that this is where filming takes place. A security camera appearing in a period drama would be out of place. Even the electric wires are concealed very well.”
"You can continue eating. We’ll go to the scene to have a look." Chen Shi said.
"Hey, hey, I’ll go with you!" Xu Xiaodong gobbled the food down and wiped his mouth before standing up.
They went to the deceased's residence. It was Xu Xiaodong’s first time there and he was very curious. Lin Dongxue asked, "Xiaodong, how is your Japanese?"
"We need to find an interpreter right now, otherwise we can't contact the family of the deceased."
"Just ask the embassy to send someone over." Chen Shi went to the window, looked down, and waved them over. "From here, we can see an alley. Let's go down and have a look."
They went to the alley. There was a corner in the alley. Chen Shi looked up at the window, then looked down. He shoveled the ground with a small plastic spoon, and put the soil into an evidence bag. Lin Dongxue asked, "You found some blood?"
"I found a little. This may have been the scene of the crime."
"So close?" Xu Xiaodong was surprised.
"Old Peng and I discussed the situation in the afternoon. Tamura was killed first, and then Fujiwara. Fujiwara had squatted down to check Tamura's condition and was stabbed with a knife from the back. It should have been like this at the time. Tamura had been called outside by someone, so he put down his beer and went into this alley. About five to ten minutes later, Fujiwara saw Tamura collapse onto the ground from the window, so he came over to check out the situation and was killed by the murderer who was lying in ambush nearby..." Chen Shi looked around. "It's dark here at night, and there’s only the light from the streetlamps at the intersection shining in."
"Looking down from the window, you can see almost everything. Where would the murderer hide?" Lin Dongxue asked.
Chen Shi walked out of the alley. There was a small street outside and it was very deserted at night. He stood against the wall and looked back into the alley. "The murderer was here..."
"Old Chen, there’s blood on the ground!"
1. 行くぞう means “Let’s go!”, and "Yamete"[ref] やめて is combined with “Kudasai” to mean “Please stop”. However, “Kudasai” is dropped when you’re making a polite request without sounding overly polite.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter