The three of them came over and saw that there really were a few drops of blood on the ground. Chen Shi took a photo and then took a sample. The blood should have dripped on the ground while the murderer was hiding there with the weapon.
They checked the alley again. Chen Shi looked at the gradually darkening sky. "Aiya, did you notice who hadn’t slept well among those people?"
"I think that they all had red eyes. It should be because they had been drinking... Do you think that the murderer hadn't slept all night after killing them?"
"In the past, there was a case that was solved that way. It was very extraordinary. After committing murder, they’d be in a state of high tension and excitement. At the same time, they’d be worried that they hadn’t handled the scene well, leaving clues behind. The first time that people kill someone, they would usually have insomnia for the first three days."
"Where did the case take place?"
"‘Gushi Hui’! But the next time you see them, you should take a good look and see who doesn’t look well."
"You really suspect that group of people?"
"What’s your opinion?"
"From the scene, this was a premeditated murder. The murderer chose the day of 918, put the deceased in Japanese military uniforms and made them kneel as if apologizing, indicating that they wanted to cover up their true motives. It may have nothing to do with those bunch of drunkards."
"Speaking of military uniforms..." Chen Shi looked back and froze.
It turned out that Xu Xiaodong was lying prone on the ground with his buttocks in the air as he sniffed a clod of dirt on the ground. The two couldn't help but laugh out loud. They walked over and Lin Dongxue asked, "What are you doing?!"
"Major discovery! Major discovery!" Xu Xiaodong stood up. "Someone had vomited here, but it had been shoveled away. Look at the dirt marks on the ground."
Chen Shi squatted down to check. Sure enough, there were traces of dirt having been shoveled away. He rubbed a little bit of residual liquid with his fingers and smelled it. "It’s indeed stomach acid. Take a sample!"
"I made a contribution!" Xu Xiaodong said elatedly.
"Don’t be too proud. This may not have been left behind during the murder." Lin Dongxue said.
"By the way, where did the military uniforms come from?" Chen Shi asked.
"The crew said that they had been taken from the prop warehouse. Captain Lin checked the scene and there was no sign of the lock having been pried open. The prop master said that Fujiwara had the key."
"He had the key?"
"The scenes with the two had finished filming that day, but the director said that he wanted to re-do a shot. The prop master went off to eat first, and the key was handed over to Fujiwara. He was asked to return the clothes to the warehouse once they were done.
"Who knew about this?"
"Still asking... There are more people in this crew than expected."
"Let’s go to the warehouse and have a look."
The three arrived at the prop warehouse and found that several trucks were emptying the warehouse. Chen Shi asked the staff at the scene. They said that the filming had been finished, so they weren’t renting the warehouse anymore.
"Who is the prop master?"
"I am!" An auntie walked over.
"We are the police and want to ask you about some things…”
The prop master said that there were dozens of people present at the time. There were actors, directors, stage crew, and costumers present. Chen Shi took out his book. "Which of these people were present?"
"None of them were."
"There are so many things in this prop warehouse, but you just gave the key to a featured extra?"
"Uh, this..." The prop master was very embarrassed. "Actually, we have been filming this movie for half a year. Everyone’s very familiar with each other and I wasn’t worried. The things in here aren’t worth much anyway.” She picked up a costume. "Look at the fabric of the clothing. These are only worn when filming. Who would steal them?”
"So there are no security cameras in here?”
"I want to see the key."
The prop master handed over the key. There was a wooden tag with the words "Third Prop Warehouse" on it. There was a hole punched into the tag and the key hung from it. The prop master explained, "This is the key to the film and television base. When we rented it, we prepared a few spares. We’re going to hand them back soon after we’re done with them."
"Who has a spare?"
"Me. The costume designer and director also has one each.”
After their questioning, Lin Dongxue asked, "Should we go to see the costume designer and the director? Since the filming has been finished, they’ll be leaving soon."
"Okay, let’s go and meet them!"
After interviewing those two people, it was already 10:00 late at night and there wasn’t much progress. They went home at that point.
The next morning, Chen Shi woke up at 8:00 and found that Tao Yueyue was frying up some eggs. He said, "Yueyue, you don’t need to go to school today?"
"It’s September 18th in addition to the weekend. It’s so nice to have three days off in a row!"
"It would be nice if the murderer took holidays off."
"Uncle Chen, what interesting case are you investigating?"
"Two Japanese people have died..."
While eating breakfast, Chen Shi discussed the case with her. Tao Yueyue listened attentively. She said, "The murderer must hate the Japanese!"
"Didn’t you say that the murderer had left the alley at that time? Why did he have to go back to kill again? At that time, it was very dark. The one called Fujiwara ran down to check the condition of his friend, indicating that he didn’t see the murderer and the process of the murder. But why did the murderer have to go back and kill him as well? That’s why I think that the killer hates Japanese people.”
Chen Shi didn’t take a child’s opinion seriously. "You wouldn’t be saying that the motive for murder is national enmity, right?"
"I think the person called Tamura must have deceived them!"
"Just a feeling!"
"By the way, it’s a holiday today. Do you want to visit the film and television city?"
"No, there’s no point if I have to come with you to investigate the case. I might as well go and play by myself!"
On the way to the Public Security Bureau, Chen Shi considered Tao Yueyue's words and felt that she made some sense. The murderer's overly deliberate "performance" had made them ignore the motive of "hating Japanese" from the beginning.
But he didn’t consider private hatred. Tamura had spent six years in China and spoke good Chinese. The people around him didn’t know much about him. He might have actually deceived the murderer, so the murderer hated Japanese. Thus, Fujiwara became collateral damage.
In the morning, he continued to investigate the case. When Lin Qiupu went to yesterday’s murder scene and saw something, he suddenly became furious. "Who did this?!"
The tree at the scene of the corpse abandonment had it’s bark scraped off and "Sasaki Kojirou and Yekaojinju died here" had been written on it using a marker pen. These two names were the names of the Japanese characters in the drama that the deceased had played. The characters were both heinous Japanese officers.
Lin Qiupu ordered, "Find out who did it and teach them a lesson. They’re really too bold, actually daring to come over and mess up a murder scene!”
This gave everyone a good laugh the whole morning, but they still needed to investigate. The "culprit" was a brave person but they hadn’t been very cautious. They had left footprints at the scene. The police came to the dorm that the featured extras had rented, and finally found the “culprit”, Lu Baoqiang.
Faced with the police's inquiry, Lu Baoqiang became scared, and said with shame, "I thought that these two Japanese deserved to die. I wanted to vent my hate so I woke up last night, and just..."
Lin Qiupu said, "You still think that you’re just?"
"No, I don't think these two were liked by either side. They deserved to die."
"Okay, come back with us!"
"Wait!" Chen Shi interjected, "You said they weren’t liked by either side. What does that mean?"
1. Gushi Hui is a Chinese literary magazine published fortnightly in Chifeng, China. It’s supposedly one of the leading titles in the country.
2. Master Japanese swordsman. There’s lots of movies and anime that reference Sasaki Koujirou.
3. IJ (editor) and I both can’t figure out the Japanese name here, sorry…
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