Chen Shi asked, "I heard that you were friends with Geng Zhangle. Did you know each other when you were young?"
Director Wei laughed, “Playing together when we were young is nothing worth talking about. We were just a bunch of young people messing around on the streets. Oh yes, we also fought with other groups and grabbed their territory. Geng Zhangle was our boss. Could his opponents from back then have taken revenge against him?"
"Who were they?"
Director Wei listed a few names and Chen Shi noted them down one by one. Then he asked, "I heard from the factory employees that you pay Geng Zhangle a very high salary, and you were basically supporting an idler."
"We were good friends! Not a single place was willing to take him in after he was released from prison. How could I not help him out as an old buddy? Besides, he was actually very responsible when guarding the door. There has been basically no theft occurring in the factory over these years."
When he said this, Director Wei concealed a trace of panic with a smile.
The two chatted for a while longer and he asked about Director Wei’s alibi before they said goodbye. After preliminary probing, Chen Shi felt that Director Wei could be listed as a suspect. He vaguely felt that there was some secret between Director Wei and the deceased.
Lin Dongxue received a text message from the Information Department. It was a list of people Geng Zhangle had contacted before he died. It included Li Zhen, Director Wei, his daughter, and his daughter’s boyfriend. Chen Shi said, "Let’s focus on investigating Director Wei first. Let's go to Geng Zhangle's house and have a look."
"Yesterday, a colleague found out from the bank that Geng Zhangle's ICBC card had recently received 400,000 yuan, but the money was quickly transferred away."
"Was it before or after his death?”
"Noon on the day of the incident."
"Can you find out where it went?"
Geng Zhangle’s family had already set up a mourning hall. His daughter, Geng Qing, and her boyfriend were wearing mourning clothes and burning joss paper in front of Geng Zhangle’s altar. Geng Zhangle’s old gang of buddies were playing mahjong in the living room and there was constant laughter coming from them, which seemed a bit out of place for the occasion.
Chen Shi said to Geng Qing, "My condolences. We just came to take a look."
"Thank you. When can my father's body be brought back? The funeral home has been contacted, and I’m going to cremate him in the near future." Geng Qing's eyes were swollen, as if she had cried.
"We will do it as soon as possible." Chen Shi glanced at the living room. "Who are those people?"
"They’re all my dad’s friends. Look at my dad’s character. Only these few people came after his death, and there are no relatives! I’ve gotten over it these last two days. Sudden death might not have been a bad thing for him. He’d only suffer with health like that in old age. Leaving so suddenly would actually spare him a lot of trouble."
"Uncle Geng met with sudden death? Was it because of rheumatism?" the boyfriend asked in a low voice.
"As for the cause of death, the police haven’t come to a conclusion yet." Chen Shi asked, "Your last name?"
"My name is Wang Mengqi. This is my business card. If you need anything, you can contact me at any time." Wang Mengqi handed over a business card.
Chen Shi glanced at him. He was the sales manager of a children's food company. He smiled and said, "A manager. How young and promising!"
"That’s too much praise. I’m just working for others."
"Geng Qing, can you step aside and have a talk with us?"
The three moved to the bedroom, and Chen Shi asked, "We found 400,000 yuan in your father’s card. The money was transferred away on the day of his death. What happened to this money?"
"I don't know!" Geng Qing was taken aback.
Geng Qing thought for a while. "Have you checked all those people?"
"We checked, but there’s nothing suspicious. Oh yes, how was his relationship with Director Wei?"
"Emm, he often told others how strong his relationship with Director Wei was, but on a few occasions when he was drinking at home, he scolded Wei for taking revenge after owing favors or something... Ah, right, my dad has a QQ account. Do you want to have a look?."
Geng Zhangle had applied for a QQ account using his daughter’s computer. Geng Qing asked them to try Geng Zhangle’s mobile phone number, and they managed to log in. All of his friends were women. His screen name was "The Last Big Brother of Jianghu" and his profile picture was a selfie wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette.
Chen Shi thought that this uncle was quite trendy, but before the spirit of the deceased, this kind of remark was disrespectful, so he didn’t say it out loud.
This QQ account was mainly used by Geng Zhangle to play games. There wasn’t much in his chat history. There were only some flirtatious chat records with some middle-aged women. Chen Shi asked, “There are rumors that your father and Li Zhen’s wife were in a relationship. Was this true?”
Geng Qing admitted reluctantly, "My dad was indeed a bit immature. He often fooled around with other people’s wives and had been beaten several times as a result, but I know he was actually going crazy from being so lonely and wanted to find someone to talk to."
"Where is your biological mother?"
"They divorced when I was young, and my mother remarried. She passed away a few years ago."
"Was there any contact between the two of them?"
"They were basically strangers. Although my custody went to my dad in court, I lived with my mom when my dad was in jail. At that time, my mom had given birth to a baby with my stepdad and focused all her energy on the baby. She didn’t care about me much. I was like an outsider in their home. I also hated my dad at that time. Why did he get a divorce and why did he have to go to jail? Then my dad got out of jail and got a decent job. He saved his salary to put me through school. No matter what outsiders say about my father, I know that he treated me truly well. Better than how my mother treated me..." At this point, Geng Qing had to wipe away her tears again.
"Old Chen, look at this." Lin Dongxue opened the mailbox on QQ and found a whistle-blowing letter in it. It was riddled with typos, and she could just barely make out the meaning. It basically talked about how Director Wei had embezzled money, misappropriated wages, and led an immoral lifestyle.
"This was written by Geng Zhangle. It seems that their relationship isn’t that simple..." Chen Shi suddenly saw Geng Qing's boyfriend's face reflected in the computer screen. When he turned around, Wang Mengqi was standing at the door and eavesdropping.
Wang Mengqi said, as if to hide his embarrassment, "Little Qing, the joss paper has run out, where did you put the rest?"
"In the big bag next to the sofa."
Wang Mengqi left with an "Oh".
The conversation topic returned to the whistle-blowing letter. Lin Dongxue speculated, "Maybe Geng Zhangle was really holding something over Director Wei somehow. Could it be that Director Wei couldn't bear it any longer..."
"And committed murder to silence him?" Geng Qing asked in surprise.
"Let’s investigate that!"
Geng Qing saw the two off, and Chen Shi asked her, "How long have you known your boyfriend?"
"More than two years."
"How was his relationship with your dad?"
"Very good. He often bought things for my dad. He bought the color TV, refrigerator, and massage machine at home. My dad even praised him for his filial piety, but recently..." Geng Qing stopped talking. "Forget it, I should tell you. Recently, my dad had planned to set me up with the son of Factory Director Wei. I don’t know what the hell he was doing. Mengqi and I’ve been dating for two years. We have even reached the point of discussing marriage. Why did he organize a blind date for me? He said that Little Wei had a good family background and was highly educated. He might be taking over as the factory director in the future. For this reason, my dad and I quarrelled, and in the end, I didn't go on the blind date."
"Does your boyfriend know?"
"Yes, there are no secrets between the two of us. He said that my dad just loves to fawn on the rich and to just ignore him."
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