The sounds lasted for a while, and Chen Shi was a little embarrassed to hear them. This voice echoed throughout the corridor, and there seemed to be faint crying in between. Gong Jianqin was calling someone's name softly, but it couldn’t be heard clearly. It was probably the man who was with her at the moment.
Strangely, the other person's voice wasn’t heard during the whole process, and even in the final stage, the man was very silent.
Then everything calmed down and silence enveloped the entire floor. Could someone be dating her here, and that person had waited here beforehand?
Was he a tenant from another floor of this building who had quietly come out without telling his wife?
Half an hour passed, and there was no sign of activity during the period. Chen Shi suspected that she had already left. Of course, this was impossible, because he was keeping watch on the stairs. If she had entered the elevator, the light in the elevator would have illuminated the entire floor.
He decided to go down first and drove the car parked outside to a nearby supermarket. This was the route Gong Jianqin had to take to go home.
Sitting alone in the car, the cigarette that Xu Xiaodong had given him yesterday was still under the windshield. Chen Shi picked it up, prepared to light it, and stopped himself in the end. He texted Lin Dongxue, "Sorry, I had a bad attitude. Please give me the opportunity to apologize in person!"
The rock sunk to the bottom of the ocean. There was no reply.
He texted Peng Sijue. "Are you off work?"
Peng Sijue returned a "1”. The meaning was unknown.
"Come over later. I’ll invite you to eat steak and drink red wine!"
"State the matter directly!"
"Old Tsundere!" Chen Shi smiled as he grumbled. After waiting for a long time, Gong Jianqin's car passed by and Chen Shi drove back to the sales office.
Back in the building from just now, he walked into House 1818. He used his mobile phone as a flashlight and looked for clues on the ground. He only found a pool of liquid and collected some of it with the cotton swabs and specimen collection bottles that he carried with him.
There was a circular mark on the wall one meter above the ground. It was unknown how it had been left behind.
After pondering over it for a long time, Chen Shi walked into the elevator which had a surveillance system installed. He went directly to the property manager and asked for the surveillance video. It turned out that Gong Jianqin had gone upstairs and came downstairs alone. Before and after, except for Chen Shi, no one else had been to the 18th floor.
With all kinds of doubts, Chen Shi went back to the bureau to look for Peng Sijue. By that time, everyone had gotten off work, and Peng Sijue was sitting in the laboratory, using the computer.
Chen Shi said, "Help me test something."
"You said you wanted to treat me, but I waited for you until 9:00."
"Sorry, I was investigating the case."
Peng Sijue sighed, took the specimen bottle to start the test, and said, "There’s food on the table."
There was a small induction cooker on the table, and Chen Shi said, "No need. Let's go out to eat later and have some wine tonight..." When he lifted the lid and found the sweet and sour pork ribs being kept warm inside, he changed his tune. "Where are the chopsticks?"
Eating the fragrant sweet and sour pork ribs and rice, Chen Shi said sentimentally, "The sweet and sour pork ribs from the cafeteria are still so delicious. They haven’t changed after so many years."
"Have you quarreled with Dongxue?"
"You also know about it?"
"Xiaodong really has a big mouth!"
"He didn’t say anything. People saw you two standing outside quarrelling that day.
"Do you and Gu You usually quarrel?"
"Why would we quarrel? We’re not dating each other. It’s just limited to having an occasional meal or going to the movies together..."
"Sleeping together and the like." Chen Shi added for him.
Peng Sijue rolled his eyes at him. "Speak no evil."
"Your kind of relationship is actually quite good, keeping a distance from each other..."
"Gu You knows who you were before!"
Chen Shi almost spewed out a mouthful of rice, and Peng Sijue said, "I didn't tell her. She already knew it."
"If you didn’t tell her, how would you know that she knows?"
"I'm too lazy to explain the cause and effect."
"She knows who I am? She still pretends not to know?" Chen Shi pondered. In the beginning, it was suspicious that Gu You had moved in opposite his home. After a long time had passed, he gradually stopped finding it suspicious.
No, I have to find an opportunity to ask her!
"Chen Shi!" Peng Sijue roared, "What did you bring for me to test?"
"This is vaginal discharge."
"There’s only vaginal discharge?"
"Only this. If I have to mention something else, then there’s some urine, belonging to the same person."
"Did I miss something?"
He went back to the scene ten minutes after. If two people had done it there, they would definitely have left something behind. Why was there only one person’s...?
Besides, the house was empty and there wasn’t even a cushion. It was definitely not as comfortable as a hotel or doing it at home. Why did she choose that place?
Why in that house?!
Before he knew it, a bowl of sweet and sour pork ribs had been emptied, and Chen Shi said, "Let’s go and eat steak."
"I've eaten long ago. If I waited for you, I’d have starved to death."
"Another day then!"
Peng Sijue accompanied him out and they walked out of the Public Security Bureau. It was only then that he lit a cigarette. Chen Shi admired his self-control very much. He didn’t smoke during working hours and only did so after work. His previous self would have gone crazy after not smoking for an hour.
Seeing that Chen Shi was watching, Peng Sijue handed over the cigarettes. Chen Shi smiled and shook his head, "Don't tempt me."
"Do you know when I started smoking?"
"After I disappeared?"
"Around November 2015."
"Isn't that after I disappeared?"
"Can you not imagine that your love is reciprocated? By the way, are you planning to return to the police force? You won't be a driver forever, right?"
"Things are quite good now. I’m very free."
"You’re running away!"
"Escaping is sometimes the solution."
"Zhou Tiannan is dead. His subordinates will soon take action. You have to be careful."
"I think you people who wear police badges have to be more careful than me."
Peng Sijue looked at the night sky. "Don't go missing again!"
After leaving behind this sentence, he drove away, which made Chen Shi feel moved for a long time.
The next morning, Chen Shi made a hearty boxed breakfast and placed it on Lin Dongxue's table. He wrote "Not made by Chen Shi." on a sticky note and put it on top. Then he went off to continue investigating the case with Xu Xiaodong.
Yesterday, Xu Xiaodong had made some progress. He discovered that Liu Jin had bought narcotics, ropes, small knives and the like before the incident. Furthermore, one of Liu Jin’s friends was Zhang Chuang, who had a notorious history of getting into fights, drug abuse, and organizing a prostitution ring.
This discovery made Xu Xiaodong very excited, and he kept chattering the whole way, "I knew this youngster had a problem long ago!", "If I can render meritorious service this time, I have a shot at getting a promotion in the second half of the year, hahaha!", "Brother Chen, why aren’t you talking?"
"I was wondering why he had bought a rope?"
"Maybe he has some backup plan. I think that this may be a gang committing crimes. Liu Jin's friend helped him to murder people and lower the house price. Liu Jin then helped this friend in turn, so that they wouldn’t be in the list of suspects when the police investigate.”
"Swap murder targets? That's a good idea... But you’re blindly guessing and have no basis for it."
"Don't you often come up with crazy ideas?"
"Am I the same as you? Mine are called reasoning. Reasoning is based on facts."
"Brother Chen, what’s your level of suspicion towards Liu Jin right now?"
After thinking about it, Chen Shi replied, "Thirty percent."
1. Japanese loan word “傲娇” which means a person who is unfriendly and blunt on the outside but warm and tender on the inside.
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