It took two days for Chen Shi, Lin Dongxue, and Xu Xiaodong to sift out footage that captured The Silent Man from a large number of surveillance videos. Three bottles of eye drops were used. Chen Shi was dizzy from watching it all. Xu Xiaodong asked, "When there’s automatic face recognition systems, it’d be good. I’m not nearsighted from playing games, but I’m about to be nearsighted from watching surveillance footage all day.”
"Be more grateful. At least we can watch it at 4 times or 8 times the normal speed. Think about the previous era where you could only watch in real time. The life of the police was even more sad." Chen Shi said.
"But there weren’t so many weird criminals at that time." Lin Dongxue said.
Chen Shi smiled and shook his head. "Youngster, don't think the past is better than the present. Do you know how many rampant criminals there were over twenty years ago?"
"Tch, you’re really trying to sell it with your age. How old were you then anyway?"
Chen Shi marked all the locations where The Silent Man had been photographed on the map and then tried to connect them. Lin Dongxue was puzzled by his intentions. Chen Shi explained, "This is my thinking. Although The Silent Man has a map, he may not be able to distinguish North, South, East, or West and went in the opposite direction. That’s why he was delayed by several days."
"It's no wonder that after the incident, he appeared twice at the first scene. It was to set off again after going back to the starting point!" Lin Dongxue suddenly realized.
Xu Xiaodong couldn't help but feel annoyed. "We should have sent someone to monitor the scene of the first case at that time so this wouldn’t have happened."
Lin Dongxue narrowed her eyes at him. "Hindsight is 20/20. Even after knowing that there was going to be a second murder, we wouldn’t have expected the murderer to run back to the crime scene for this purpose."
There was a miserable cry from the corridor. It turned out that it was the family of the deceased Li who came to claim the corpse. The three stopped arguing. Chen Shi sighed and shook his head. "Let’s hurry up and get back to work so we don’t have a third murder!"
Chen Shi connected the points on the map using the map found at the crime scene. It required a lot of brainpower to sort out the chronological order of The Silent Man appearing at each point. Xu Xiaodong felt that his head was turned to mush just from watching, but Chen Shi got it done. He pointed to the map and said, "From these routes, The Silent Man’s sense of direction is really worrying. Over the last two days, he’s been looking for the Food Administration Bureau’s compound like a headless fly. He only had this map on hand and there’s no North, South, East, West indicated on the map. Only up, down, left and right.”
Lin Dongxue said, "According to these routes, the starting point for The Silent Man is near Binhe Road. Does he live there?"
"It's very probable. Let's take a trip over!"
Xu Xiaodong said in a rush, "I'll go too." After watching surveillance videos for the past two days, he had been excited to go out to investigate the case, but Chen Shi said to him, "You don't have to go. Stay and watch the surveillance footage. Find out what's missing."
"Huh?" Xu Xiaodong opened his mouth in disappointment. "This guy is very dangerous. What if there’s a conflict? I should go!"
"We aren’t stupid. We won’t say anything when we see him. If we find him, we’ll let you know." Lin Dongxue said.
Chen Shi said that he’d order Xu Xiaodong a crayfish rice bowl at noon, which made him willingly stay to watch the surveillance footage. The two immediately set off and went to the vicinity around Binhe Road. Next to this road was the Huolang River, which traversed between the East and West of Long'an.
There was a legend about this river which was well-known in Long'an. In ancient times, a tradesman saw a white dragon come out of the water. The white dragon took off its scales and turned into a man to go ashore. The protagonist in the folktale’s biggest hobby was stealing clothes, and the tradesman was no exception. He stole the dragon's clothing and put it on. He changed himself into a dragon and plunged into the water. Since then, the weather here has always been smooth-sailing, and people say that the tradesman was guarding the area which slowly became a city.
The two of them walked along Binhe Road and asked about The Silent Man at the shops along the way. Lin Dongxue said, "I have a question. He has a low IQ and only recognizes the accent. How can he confirm that he killed Qin Wanmu?"
"Haha, you’re right!" Lin Dongxue's words made Chen Shi understand a suspicious point. "The deceased Mr. Song and Mr. Li both had their clothes lifted up. I didn't understand what was going on at the time. Now I understand. Qin Wanmu most likely had an identifying mark on him like a birthmark or scar. The murderer lifted their clothes to confirm this."
"In that case, why can't he confirm first and then commit murder?"
Chen Shi pointed to an uncle passing by the road. "How would you make sure that he has a birthmark?"
"Hmm... It's difficult."
"The same is true for The Silent Man. He can't communicate normally. Put yourself in his shoes. When he was walking on the streets, he suddenly heard a familiar accent and blood immediately rushed into his brain. He didn't have the mind to think about it at all... This kind of person is very lonely. For him, communication is more difficult than killing people!"
"Then what the director did to him was more than just getting him to take medicine, right?"
"I also want to know the truth, but I sincerely hope that he will stop killing irrelevant people, or find the director quickly."
"Captain Lin found out Qin Wanmu's information from a real estate agency. We may be able to see him in person today."
Chen Shi nodded. "Let's do our part as well."
The two went to a housing village in the city and asked an uncle who was sitting at the door smoking a cigarette. The uncle said, "This person you’re talking about should be Puppy. He lives here!"
Lin Dongxue was excited that they found him and asked the uncle, "Where does he live?"
"Aunt Yu's house." The uncle pointed to a door.
The two went to knock on the door of that house and there was an old voice in the house that said, "The door is unlocked. Come in!"
Pushing open the door, they found that the room was dimly lit and there were pots and pans on the table. An old lady was sitting on a bed covered with a shabby mosquito net, coughing, "Who are you looking for?"
"Do you know Puppy?"
"Who are you people?"
"His friends." Chen Shi said.
"Nonsense. He doesn’t have friends. Are you here to trouble him?" The old lady was very alert.
Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue exchanged glances, and Lin Dongxue said bluntly, "We’re the police."
The old lady insisted that they take out their ID. Lin Dongxue showed it to her, and the old lady waved. "Bring it over! Bring it over!" She took it and touched the gold letters on the police badge with her hand. It turned out that she was blind.
The old lady finally believed them. "Did Puppy come into trouble outside?"
"He’s come into a little trouble. Do you know where he is?" Chen Shi asked.
"He hasn’t come back for the past two days."
"He' always lived here?"
"He’s lived here for over two years."
"Auntie, who is he to you?"
The old lady laughed. As she laughed, she began coughing again. When she started breathing well again, she said, "We have no relationship. Two years ago, there was heavy rain. Someone squatted at the door of my house. I knocked him with my cane, but he still didn't say anything. I thought he was a dog, but when I touched him, I found out it was a person. I thought he was very pitiful and gave him a cold bun. I didn’t know that he didn’t leave, but instead stayed squatting under leaves for the whole night. I found out the next day and said he shouldn’t stay here, but to another house to beg. What could a poor and blind old woman give him? ... However, he didn't speak. When I was heading out, he’d support and help me across the road. At night, he’d sleep by the door just like a dog. My heart couldn’t take it, so I’d give him any leftovers I had. He’s very loyal. He helped me repair the roof, catch mice, and wash the dishes. He goes to the garbage dump if he has nothing to do. If he picked up anything good, he’d bring it back to me to 'honor' me. Once, he picked up a bag of rotten vegetables from the door of the restaurant. After eating it, we almost died of poisoning... I thought that this kid was really good, and I felt he was also a pitiful person, so I took him in. He can't speak. He only whimpers. But when gangsters came here a few times to cause trouble after getting hired by black-hearted demolition dealers, he’d beat them away easily. Now, with him here, even thieves are afraid to come. Everyone thinks that this kid is like a dog who can look after the house, and they all like him, so they call him Puppy."
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