In the evening, Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue went to the film and television city, where the actors lived.
It was only 8:00 at the time. There weren’t many people on the street. The two arrived opposite the kiosk and saw that the auntie was sitting with her back to the door, laughing and knitting as she watched a TV series.
The streetlights were spaced far apart, and the section that the store was in was completely dark.
When the two walked to the front of the kiok, the auntie still hadn’t noticed. Chen Shi said, "Excuse me!"
"What do you wish to buy?" The auntie stood up.
"We are the police and want to verify your testimony."
"Oh, you’re asking about the Japanese that were killed! I really didn’t see Lu Baoqiang going out that day."
"Auntie, we just stood opposite the kiosk for five minutes. You didn't look back and see us at all. You said that you were facing this street all night. We can't believe this kind of testimony."
The auntie looked embarrassed, "I didn't watch TV that day."
Chen Shi glanced at the paused screen on the TV, "Really? Could you show us the broadcast record on the set-top box?"
"Okay, I admit that I was watching TV that day, but when I said that Lu Baoqiang didn't go out, I have proof. It’s because he often buys things here, and he’d say hello every time he passes by."
"Auntie, can you please have some common sense? If he went to kill someone that day, would he greet you?"
"How could he kill someone! The kid is only twenty-five this year and had struggled really hard to move up to becoming a featured extra from an extra. He’s very ambitious. He even wrote a poem. Ah, let me think about it. Something like “One ‘Wang’, one ‘Lu’, both are called ‘Baoqiang’. One day, ‘Lu’ will certainly surpass ‘Wang’”. How can such a good child kill people? And to kill Japanese people?”
Chen Shi shook his head. "I know that you want to help him, but such a subjective testimony won’t be accepted in court."
"He... He wouldn’t kill people!"
Seeing the tiny hesitation in the auntie's expression, Chen Shi asked, "Are you hiding something?”
"It’s illegal to cover up for him."
Frightened by this, the auntie admitted, "Okay, okay, I saw him that day... But he had just come back from going online and he bought a drink from me. He was just at the Internet cafe diagonally opposite me! You can go and check."
"What time was it?"
"It was about 11:00 at night!"
"Why didn't you say so before?"
The auntie said with shame, "I mainly thought that this kid isn’t bad and I didn't want him to get drawn into these affairs. The two who died were Japanese, so no matter who killed them, I think they rid the people of evil... I shouldn’t be saying this, but I thought that you police would just go through the motions and not investigate seriously."
"Whether they’re Japanese or aliens, they’re still human lives. Thank you for being honest today!"
The auntie took two bottles of mineral water and asked, "Will you arrest me?"
"No, but don't do this in the future."
"I'm afraid there won't be something like this again in the future... Let me give you these bottles of water."
Chen Shi still took out two yuan, put them on the counter, then walked towards the Internet cafe with Lin Dongxue. Lin Dongxue said, "Lu Baoqiang's alibi is untenable. In that case, Old Wang’s alibi is also overturned. Speaking of which, why did you suspect Old Wang from the beginning?”
"Take a guess!"
"Because he was nervous in front of you?"
"Many people are nervous when dealing with the police, but nervousness isn’t always suspicious. I had just noticed that when I met him that day, his feet didn’t fit his shoes which should have been larger than his original size."
Lin Dongxue thought for a moment and suddenly realized, "I understand now. He deliberately wore a bigger size!"
"Yes, the suspect was aware that he may have left a lot of evidence at the scene, so he used this trick. It precisely exposed his suspiciousness."
The two went to the Internet cafe and found out that Lu Baoqiang had been online from 8:30 to 12:00 on the day of the incident. Lin Dongxue photographed the Internet record and copied the surveillance footage from the entrance and exit of the Internet cafe as evidence.
Just as the two were about to leave, Lin Dongxue glanced back and tapped Chen Shi's shoulder, pointing in one direction.
They saw Lu Baoqiang with a cigarette in his mouth wearing headphones while fully absorbed in playing a game. He couldn’t hear external sounds, so his voice thundered, "Mage, follow up with a fiery meteor shower. Warriors should go over and hit him. Let me say it again. Don’t call me by name in the group. Call me Young Master!”
The two stood behind him, and he didn't even notice them. Lin Dongxue caught sight of the gaudy screen and asked, "What’s this game?"
"Rebirth. It’s an old game... It should be a private server."
He poked Lu Baoqiang. Lu Baoqiang took out ten dollars impatiently. "Add another ten dollars!"
Chen Shi poked him again. He glanced back and continued to immerse himself in the game. Then he reacted. He took off the headphones and turned his head. He smiled, "Are you looking for me?"
"Lu Baoqiang. You’re like this every day but you still want to surpass Wang Baoqiang?"
Chen Shi's words pierced his heart. Lu Baoqiang’s face and ears went red with shame. He immediately logged off and settled the bill. "I just... play when I have a break. Normally when I am working, I am very conscientious."
"We’re not here to educate you. Let me ask you one thing. Were you online on the day of the incident?"
"Why did you say that you were drunk and unconscious, sleeping in the dormitory?"
"I didn't say that I was sleeping in the dorm. I just said that I was drunk."
"Is there a difference?"
"Whenever I get drunk, I would come to the Internet cafe to sober up."
"Sober up here?"
"Yeah, my friends all know this. After playing for a while, my brain would sober up, and then I would go home and sleep."
Chen Shi laughed. "The previous testimony was really problematic... That is to say, you weren’t with Old Wang at that time. You actually dared to say that he was sleeping in the dorm that night?”
"I was the one who sent Old Wang back that day. He was totally drunk at that time. I threw him onto the bed and then left. When I came back, he was still sleeping, so he must’ve been sleeping in the dorm the whole time..." Lu Baoqiang scratched his cheek.
Chen Shi pondered. It’s reasonable to say that the Internet cafe alibi was more tenable than saying that he was sleeping in the dormitory. Why did Lu Baoqiang hide it? He felt that there was something fishy.
So he asked, "Were you really online the whole time?"
"You can investigate it!"
"Okay, we will check it. However, if we find something that you didn’t personally admit to, then the nature of things would be different. Let’s go!"
Lu Baoqiang chased after them. "That, that... What do you mean by ‘the nature of things would be different’?"
It seemed as though they were about to get a good show. Chen Shi said, "It’s illegal to commit perjury. If you admit it now, it won’t be considered as perjury. Think about it. Even if you become Wang Baoqiang one day, this matter will become a stain on your record."
Lu Baoqiang bit his lip and cold sweat broke out on his forehead. It could be seen that he was having an internal struggle.
Subsequently, he stuttered and admitted, "I... I visited the Japanese’s house that day!"
Previous Chapter Next Chapter