Upon hearing this, Lin Dongxue’s cheeks began to heat up. “What nonsense are you spouting?”
“Don't misunderstand. The ‘like’ I used is not in the literal sense. ‘Like.’ Do you understand? Don’t think too much about it.”
Lin Dongxue rubbed her finger around on the table and breathed a sigh of relief, “Tch, you scared me so much that my heart started pounding...”
“What kind of reaction is that?”
“Don't misunderstand!” Lin Dongxue raised her volume and stated, “I was scared that I was confessed to by an old uncle. I would obviously be flustered.”
“I didn’t misunderstand. Rest assured, I like mature women.”
“Thank you for letting me go!” Lin Dongxue clapped her hands together and gave a thank-you gesture to him.
After drinking the milk tea, Chen Shi left. The lab tests and autopsy were carried out throughout the night, so she stayed until 10 o'clock in the evening. Soon, Lin Dongxue felt that it was meaningless to continue to stay there, so she went back home to rest first.
The next morning, she ran into Lin Qiupu as soon as she got into the bureau. From the dark circles on his eyes, Lin Qiupu had not gotten much rest last night.
Seeing each other again, the brothers and sisters were a bit awkward and tense around each other. Lin Dongxue looked up and reminded, “We had an agreement. You’re not allowed to order me to do anything with regards to this case.”
“Okay, okay, if I said it, I’ll do it. But you need to pay attention to your own safety when you’re investigating alone. You shouldn’t be alone at night...”
“You’re doing it again!”
Lin Qiupu closed his mouth. The destination of the two people was the forensics lab. Lin Qiupu tried to reconcile on their way over. “Sister, we should find a time to have a meal!”
“Why?!” Lin Dongxue asked grumpily.
“To have a chat.”
“I’ll think about it... Oh yeah, didn’t we agree that you won't call me ‘sister’ at the station?”
Lin Qiupu smiled bitterly. He reflected the whole night last night and felt that he really did control her a bit too much. He decided to find a time to sort out some of the misunderstandings between them.
After all, he did not want his only relative in the world to regard him as a passer-by.
Peng Sijue obviously did not sleep for the whole night. The whole unit was all getting by through coffee alone. The laboratory work was progressing smoothly, however the drug test was the most difficult of all. The results of the drug test found a certain macromolecular compound in the stomach of the deceased. It should be a drug. Peng Sijue compared it to hundreds of common anaesthetics, but there were no matches.
Peng Sijue handed the test reports to Lin Qiupu, and Lin Qiupu gestured over to Lin Dongxue with his mouth. “Give her a copy too.”
Peng Sijue looked at the two curiously. “What? This time you pair of siblings are competing against each other? It is impossible to understand what goes through the minds of you immature mortals.”
“Old Peng, when did you become a deity? Saying we’re mortals and all.” Lin Qiupu snarled.
“Xiao Wang, print another copy... I can’t do this anymore. I need to rest for a bit.”
The two looked at the test report in their hands and Lin Qiupu asked, “Can you really do this by yourself?”
“Whether I can or not is my own business.”
“Let’s go to the school together later in the morning... I am not interfering with your business. If you want to go somewhere else, I will not stop you.”
No matter how she was going to investigate, the starting point of the case was the school, so Lin Dongxue agreed.
Taking into account the impact and commotion it would cause, they decided not to drive a police car. After getting to the school, the principal personally met with them. A few polite greetings were exchanged expressing sadness and grief, but also involved intentions to strengthen school management and security. Lin Qiupu interrupted him impatiently. “The identity of the deceased has not been confirmed. We have a generated picture of the deceased's likely appearance on hand. You should photocopy it and distribute them to the class teachers.”
“Okay, but they still have classes right now so it will have to wait until later.”
“No problem, we can wait.”
The police temporarily set up in the office. At around 10am, a balding middle-aged uncle rushed in. He clutched the generated picture of the deceased and snivelled, “Officers, this... Is this true?”
“What's wrong, do you know the deceased?” Lin Qiupu asked.
“Deceased? He was still very well yesterday, how did he die just like this? I mean, why didn’t he come to class today? Sorry... Sorry, this blow is just too heavy for me. Let me calm myself down and have a seat.”
Lin Qiupu poured a glass of water for the teacher as he sat down and took off his glasses to wipe them. He explained, “This child is in my class. His name is Du Lei and he is the class representative for our class. His results are very good, and he is also a very good boy. Such a good child, how could...” He trailed off as he put his head in his hands, but Lin Dongxue noticed that there were no tears in his eyes at all.
“What are his family circumstances like?”
“I did a home visit not too long ago. Du Lei's parents are working out of town. They come back once a year, and so he lives with his grandmother. The grandmother's eyes and ears both don’t function too well, so the child often takes time to help his grandmother do housework. He is especially obedient and sensible, and doesn’t usually concern or surround himself with delinquents. Haii, a good child, how come...” He grieved.
“Don't be sad, which students does Du Lei have a good relationship with?”
“I don't know the situation between the students. I’ll have to go to the class to ask. I will tell you later.”
“Who did he meet with last night and who did he leave school with yesterday? Could I please trouble you to ask? If it’s convenient, could you please bring the relevant people here... It’s just a general inquiry. Please ask those children not to be afraid.”
“Okay, no problem. I will try my best to cooperate with the police and try to catch the murderer as soon as possible... Can I ask if this incident will affect my job performance review this year? If this incident goes public, I am afraid the principal will put the blame on my head, but you all know that there are so many children in a class. I have no ability to multiply myself, how can I manage all of them from school to their homes?”
“You can rest assured that we will communicate with the principal regarding this.”
“Thank you! Thank you!” The class teacher walked away in great gratitude.
Lin Dongxue scoffed “There’s a child who is dead and he only cares about his own review?”
Lin Qiupu drank a sip of tea from the thermos he prepared and responded, “It’s reasonable. Everyone is afraid of getting into unlucky situations. You don't have to be too harsh on him.”
By noon, students from Du Lei’s class had come in to provide their input to the situation. When the children saw the police, they were a little nervous. Everyone had their own version of events. Some children insisted that the deed must have been done by certain individuals because Du Lei had some fights with them. Some people said that they saw Du Lei leaving school with some other kids to go to an Internet café. Some said that Du Lei was probably killed by “Perverted Wu”; “Perverted Wu” was the nickname of the class teacher.
With seven mouths and eight tongues, everyone's words began to hurt Lin Dongxue’s brain. However, Lin Dongxue noticed that three children had mentioned Du Lei and a child named Wang Jinsong often together. Lin Dongxue asked, “Who is Wang Jinsong?”
“Snot King! He is gay with Du Lei.”
Lin Dongxue smiled. “Do you know what being gay means? Can I trouble you to bring him over?!”
After a while, Wang Jinsong was summoned over to meet with the police. He was also extremely nervous upon seeing them. Lin Dongxue comforted, “Don't be afraid, we are only asking about the situation. Everyone has been saying that you have a good relationship with Du Lei. Is that true?”
The child nodded and Lin Dongxue asked again. “When was the last time you saw him?”
“We came out of school at half past five and we ate lamb skewers on the way home. Then, I asked him if he could show me his mathematics homework. When he opened his schoolbag, he found that he had left it back at school, so he went back to school to get it. Since the bus came, I didn’t wait for him.”
“Do you both take the bus?”
“Yes, we live very close...” After his response, Wang Jinsong suddenly looked very nervous, and started fidgeting with his hands.
“And this is the last time you saw him?”
“Yeah... What happened to him? Was he killed?”
“This is not convenient for us to disclose. Is there anything you wish to add?”
Wang Jinsong scratched his head in thought, then added, “Right, he told me that the Chinese teacher is really annoying.”
1. He said this in English.
2. There should only be seven tongues, but in this case, seven mouths produced eight tongues. This expression means that they just wouldn’t stop talking, almost as if there was an extra tongue babbling along with them out of nowhere.
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