After chatting for a long time, Chen Shi glanced at Liu Jin's feet and asked, "Last question. Mr. Liu, what size shoes do you wear?"
"Okay, thank you for your cooperation."
Turning around, Xu Xiaodong asked, "Brother Chen, do you think he’s suspicious?"
"Vaguely. We can continue to follow up."
Later, they visited a few more people and had a meal in between. After doing some things to distract himself, he didn't seem to be so angry anymore. After thinking about it carefully, the source of Lin Dongxue's anger was because he pretended to be deaf and dumb when she suggested getting married. The rest was just pretext. She wouldn’t be so stupid as to think that he wanted to sleep with the sales lady.
Chen Shi asked Xu Xiaodong, "Is it bad to reject when a woman mentions marriage euphemistically?"
"Brother Chen, why are you talking about this again? I'm not a woman, so I don't understand, but... maybe... probably. Girls still want to live a stable life! Dongxue said that she wants to marry you?"
"Forget it. I’ll apologize. Things have to be made clear!"
"Where’s your dignity?"
"Men should know how to be magnanimous, okay? Men who are magnanimous have dignity!"
"Sounds like an excuse."
After returning to the bureau, it turned out that Lin Dongxue had already gone home first. Seeing that it wasn’t early, Chen Shi didn't go to her house in the end. He hesitated while on the phone at night, wrote and deleted messages, but finally didn't send any out.
How should he explain his unwillingness to get married?
This involved his secret, but this secret had always been a sore point between the two of them. Lin Dongxue always asked, but Chen Shi was reluctant to talk about it. For this reason, they’ve had a few quarrels, all of which were old scars.
What he did in the past would always affect the present, like a shadow that followed him. He couldn’t hide the past by just changing his face. He had avoided it for too long and no longer had no courage to face it. Thinking of this, he felt very despicable.
Tao Yueyue saw him lying on the sofa in a daze, went over and asked, "Uncle Chen, did you guys quarrel again today?"
"You guys didn’t make up?”
"Oh, this kind of thing takes some time. How are you doing at school?"
"Very good. If we move, will we not be able to play with Sister Gu in the future?"
"You can go to her office to look for her."
"Verbally, we’ll say that we’ll often contact one another, but in fact we won't keep in touch anymore.”
"Don't you like that house very much?"
"I like it, but..." Tao Yueyue hesitated, "I’m worried that Maoqiu won’t adapt to the new environment."
"It'll be okay. Buy a big cat climbing frame for it, make some cat corridors on the wall, just like what you see on TV, and it’ll definitely adapt quickly. It’s such a large space, it will be very happy inside."
"I’m going to go play games."
The next morning, Chen Shi went to the bureau and found that Lin Dongxue wasn’t in the office. Xu Xiaodong said that she had come to check-in in the morning and then went out immediately to investigate the case. It was really to avoid me.
Today, they would continue to investigate the few people from yesterday, focusing on Liu Jin.
Liu Jin had lied. After investigation, it was found that his parents had already passed away. Although Liu Jin had inherited a house in his hometown, he had also inherited debts from his father. His father owed a lot of debts from gambling, and the house had been quickly taken away by the creditor to settle some of the debts. As for the rest of the debts, Liu Jin couldn't pay them back, so he went to Long'an to work, and had barely contacted his relatives over the past few years.
Liu Jin's card had a deposit of 400,000 yuan in savings of unknown origin.
Liu Jin’s body size and foot size matched the murderer’s. Chen Shi’s level of suspicion of Liu Jin was only at 30%, because one thing still didn’t make sense. The murderer was able to enter the deceased’s home and had even shared steak and wine with the second victim, Mr. Li. However, Liu Jin and Mr. Li had quarrelled with each other before. There was a huge gap between their occupations, ages and backgrounds. Could this be possible?
To confirm this, Chen Shi also checked Mr. Li's sexual orientation and concluded that he definitely was heterosexual, but no woman appeared around him.
Of course, there was one: The sales lady!
In order to verify this, Chen Shi sent a text message to Gong Jianqin, "I want to visit your residence. It’s just to investigate the case. Please choose a suitable time!"
The other party replied, "Today?"
"It’s best if it’s today."
"Tonight then. I get off work at 6:00."
During the day, Chen Shi checked all the information about Gong Jianqin that he could find, and what she reported was true.
At 5:00 in the evening, Chen Shi went to Gong Jianqin’s residential area. He arrived early to prevent her from going home first and hiding things. At 6:30, Gong Jianqin appeared and said with a smile, “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. Why did you suddenly want to come to my house?"
"I don’t want to state the reason."
"Am I in your list of suspects?"
"I suspect everyone, including your manager, your colleagues, and your customers."
Gong Jianqin seemed a little restrained as she brought a male stranger home. Chen Shi tried his best to maintain a socially-safe distance. He walked into her house and looked around. It was a pretty good house. There were various signs that she had lived alone there for a long time.
"Miss Gong, what is your monthly income?"
"It’s pretty good during the peak season, but the off-season is a bit worse. For example, it’s the off-season right now."
"To be specific, how much did you earn last month?"
"About thirteen thousand."
"What about last year's year-end bonus?"
"Because I was the sales champion last year, I received an award of 300,000 yuan."
Chen Shi nodded. He felt that Gong Jianqin could be eliminated motive-wise. She didn't need to buy a house, and her income wasn’t low. Moreover, as a salesperson, she wouldn’t want the price of the house to be lowered, or her commission would shrink.
After a short stay, Chen Shi left. Gong Jianqin asked politely, "You just took a look and left? Don't you need to ask anything?"
"Then I’ll just ask some questions casually. How long have you been single?"
"For quite a long time..." She smiled in embarrassment, "It's been about a few years. Although I'm a salesperson and meet quite a lot of people, there are few that I fall for. Other than selling houses, I don't know how to make friends with people."
"It might be better to cultivate some hobbies."
"I'm a fairly crass person. I don't like anything other than earning money. My former boyfriend also thought that I was too realistic, and we broke up after that... By the way, the launch will be on the day after tomorrow. Just a reminder."
"I will definitely be there. Thank you for your cooperation. I’ve disturbed you."
After leaving, as per the old rules, Chen Shi monitored her from downstairs to see what her follow-up reactions were like. The window remained calm, and she also didn’t go downstairs to throw out the trash. Gong Jianqin didn’t come out until it got dark and when he was about to leave. She hadn’t even changed her clothes and went directly to the underground parking lot to pick up her car.
Chen Shi immediately went outside the housing district to fetch his own car and waited for Gong Jianqin's car to drive out before he tailed her.
In the end, she just went to the sales department. Chen Shi saw her getting out of the car. She didn’t enter the sales center. Instead, she went directly to the property under Phase C and entered the unit building with House 1818.
Chen Shi seemed to catch a whiff of something suspicious and got out of the car to follow. He didn’t take the elevator. He climbed up the stairs to the 18th floor and stopped in the dark stairwell.
There was only this suite on the entire 18th floor, so the corridor wasn’t lit. The darkness and silence were oppressive. Chen Shi stayed motionless like a stone sculpture. After waiting for a long time, he even became a little unsure about whether she had come in or not. At that moment, he heard an indistinct moaning sound drift out from within the house...
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