Volume 42: Unnamed Poison
On November 20th, Chen Shi went to the park where he and Peng Sijue had agreed to meet up. It was already autumn at the time. He was wearing a windbreaker and had changed his hairstyle slightly.
He couldn't find Peng Sijue no matter how he looked, and Peng Sijue didn't answer his phone. He looked around and suddenly found someone who looked similar from the back by the river. Old Peng was actually sitting under a tree and fishing.
In a joking mood, Chen Shi picked up a stone and threw it into the river in front of Peng Sijue. Peng Sijue frowned, "You bastard!"
"When did you start fishing? Didn't you like archery before?" Chen Shi leaned over and asked.
"There are always many people in the archery arena. Sitting alone in the park, you can think about things quietly." Peng Sijue said as he looked at the water surface which gradually recovered its calmness.
Chen Shi squatted down next to him. "We’re both close to 40, so it’ll be nice to cultivate a little hobby suitable for middle-aged people... What kind of fish are there in this river?"
"Small crucian carps."
"Are they tasty?"
Peng Sijue shook his head. "I never cook."
"You’re so proud saying that... When will you finish? Where are we going to eat?" Chen Shi only cared about what to eat at noon. Maybe they could go for a massage after eating. Recently, his shoulders have become stiff.
Peng Sijue looked at the water without speaking, as if he was engrossed in it.
Chen Shi was an active character, but Peng Sijue was the complete opposite. When everyone came out to have fun together when they were young, he was also the least social out of all of them, always doing his own thing. Gradually, there weren’t any friends left around him. Only Chen Shi was willing to care about him.
"I can't detect the poison on The Silent Man." Peng Sijue said quietly.
"If it can't be tested, it can't be tested."
"This is the first time I wrote 'the poisoning substance is unknown' in a report. Captain Lin asked me what was going on, but I didn't say anything. After that, I carefully read the autopsy report that day and consulted the pathologist at the Material Evidence Center. There was no answer! A nameless poison. This kind of thing had actually appeared. Could it be a new compound developed by the murderer himself? I foresee that I will see this kind of poison again in the future. It’s likely to be determined to be a sudden death, so there’ll be a murderer at large!"
"Is that why you’re so unhappy?"
"It's the same as when you can’t figure out the truth about a case."
"So, was it really poison?"
"Animal experiments were conducted. Rats and rabbits died suddenly within a few seconds after being injected with the deceased's serum. It must be poisoning."
Chen Shi thought, "It must be Xu Fa. Zhou Tiannan's poison expert is also a powerful character."
"Cocaine was detected in the body of the deceased, and the dose wasn’t large. It was only used to interfere with the testing."
"Cocaine? Since the other party has set up distractions, I think that this kind of poison can still be found in the books. However, this isn’t my specialty, so I can't give you any advice! By the way, how could they possess drugs? Although Zhou Tiannan killed a lot of people, they’ve never touched drugs. Is it possible that his subordinates have degenerated to this level now? Aiya, my legs are numb..." Chen Shi stood up and walked around for a while. "You fishermen are really patient. Once you sit down, that’s a whole morning gone. Isn’t it boring?”
"You know me. It doesn't matter how long I stay alone by myself."
"This is what I admire you for... Look at the man over there, sitting motionless."
Peng Sijue turned his head and glanced. The uncle wearing a boonie hat and an outdoor vest kept sitting in the same posture. The fishing rod in his hands was as stable as Mount Tai. He said, "He was sitting there when I came."
"He’s really determined!"
Peng Sijue smiled, "I'm competing against him."
"How are your results?"
"I’ve caught three, but the uncle hasn’t caught a single one..." Peng Sijue vaguely noticed something. "He doesn't seem to have moved for three hours! Old Chen, his hands seem to be a little pale."
"Let's take a look."
Peng Sijue collected the fishing gear and then the two walked over. Chen Shi called out a few times. The uncle didn’t move at all. Chen Shi lifted his hat and saw that the uncle’s face was pale and his eyes were closed.
The two exchanged stunned glances. Chen Shi used his hand to check the uncle’s breathing before declaring, “He’s dead.”
Peng Sijue was about to check his eyelids. Unexpectedly, with just a touch, the uncle maintained his sitting posture but fell on his side like a statue. His joints were completely stiff and his posture had become fixed.
"Okay, we won’t get any rest today." Chen Shi smiled.
The police car arrived at the park soon after, and the police were shocked to see the dead body. There was no sudden death that was like that. He was just like an old monk that died while sitting cross-legged.
His ID, wallet, and mobile phone were found on the body. There were a dozen missed calls from someone with the caller ID "Daughter" on his mobile phone. The ID showed that the name of the deceased was Geng Zhangle, aged 58, and he was an employee of a gear company.
The corneas of the deceased was slightly cloudy. Livor mortis had spread all over his body and were fixed in place. Although livor mortis had formed, it would recede with the finger pressure. His joints were stiff. His hands clutched the fishing rod tightly, so the police had no choice but to borrow a saw from the park manager and saw off the fishing rod. The preliminary judgment was that the time of death was about twelve hours ago. That is to say, he had kept this sitting posture here all night.
Park staff said that they didn't notice anyone here during their last patrol last night. Chen Shi asked, "How many people patrol and what routes do you take?"
"Usually three or four people patrol around the park, mainly because we’re worried about homeless people staying here." When the administrator said this, his expression was a little nervous. Chen Shi thought that this was mostly a lie. People were free to enter and leave the park without payment and it was big and empty. There were only a few administrators, so they would have become negligent long ago.
Chen Shi pointed to the river. "Does the marine police patrol here?"
"They don't come to this side. This river was man-made. It encircles the park and isn’t too deep. There has never been a drowning incident."
"Old Peng... Old Peng?"
Chen Shi discovered that Peng Sijue was facing the corpse in a daze. Peng Sijue stopped zoning out. "It seems that there’s no trauma on the surface of the body, and the pupils are a little constricted. It’s very similar to The Silent Man..."
"Don't think about it so much. How could it come about so soon?" Chen Shi's words were purely to comfort him. He wasn’t too sure either.
"Dad!" A girl ran up crying and was stopped by the police. She said while crying her heart out, "I’m his daughter Geng Qing. You just called me... How did my dad die? Was he killed?"
The police replied, "The cause of death is still being investigated."
"May I see my dad?"
The police urged her not to touch anything. The girl knelt beside the deceased and cried loudly. Chen Shi watched from the side. Her grief wasn’t an act. Chen Shi said, "Condolences. Does he live with you?"
Geng Qing wiped her tears away. "I usually live in the company dorm and only come back on my days off. Last night, my dad said he would go fishing, but he didn't come back even when it got dark. I called his phone and came out to look for him. I was so anxious!”
"Is this where he usually fishes?"
"I don't know. Every time he goes fishing, he goes alone. He’s maintained this habit for over twenty years."
"Why was your first reaction murder? Does your father have enemies?"
1. Serum is the fluid and solute component of blood which does not play a role in clotting. It may be defined as blood plasma without fibrinogens. Serum includes all proteins not used in blood clotting; all electrolytes, antibodies, antigens, hormones; and any exogenous substances.
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