Chapter 67: New Lead

At the meeting, Lin Qiupu informed everyone with enthusiasm, "Everyone, we have leads for this case, for we found that ‘Ximen Qing’...”

Every time the name was mentioned, everyone laughed.

"We found that 50,000 yuan disappeared without a trace from his personal bank statements. The time the money disappeared was around the time of death of the deceased. He apparently doesn’t know where the money has gone either."

"Is it possible to close the net now?" asked a police officer.

"We are still lacking evidence. The focus of our work now is to find out who was the recipient of the 50,000 yuan. If the recipient can be found, then the case will be broken. Everyone needs to bring forth all their energy in order to solve the case within three days."

Everyone was hyped up when suddenly a hand was raised. Lin Qiupu asked, "Old Peng? What do you have to say?"

Peng Sijue asked neutrally, "Captain Lin, have you read the latest autopsy report I gave you?"

"I haven't looked at it yet. Tell me the contents."

Peng Sijue flicked through the document. "According to my second round of post-mortem examinations, there is a suspicious and abnormal bone hyperplasia behind the back of the deceased’s head. The deceased has osteoporosis, hypokalaemia, muscle sagginess, hardening of the arteries and venous thromboembolism-like symptoms. To be clear, it means that their body lacked phosphorus, potassium, and calcium for a very long time. There is also another problem. A large amount of scratch marks were found in his esophagus, which seemed to have formed due to hard objects. These marks have been estimated to have been accumulated over a minimum of three months."

"The victim and the car were all burnt to a crisp. How were you able to identify so many things?”

“Well, that’s why it took a lot of time.”

"So what is your conclusion?"

"I don't think this case can be concluded just like this. To conclude that it was done by Ximen just because the involved party's surnames are Pan and Ximen... Maybe the murderer is taking advantage of this kind of thinking. If it really is Ximen buying his death, then these abnormalities on the deceased cannot be justified. So this case must have another secret behind it."

Hearing Peng Sijue publicly speaking against him, Lin Qiupu was a little angry. "Old Peng, let’s leave that aside and only talk about motivation for now. What do you think the murderer’s motivation would be?”

"You can't avoid it! This is a fact! I think that when the case is finally solved, these doubts and abnormalities should be answered perfectly. Otherwise, it cannot be said that you’ve cracked the case completely.”

Lin Qiupu forced a smile. "Old Peng, Old Peng, who has affected you like this?"

"The autopsy is my job, and the crime-solving is yours. Since the report is finished, I’ll take my leave.” Peng Sijue did not respond to him any longer and left.

If it were someone else who didn’t give him face like this, Lin Qiupu would have exploded in rage at them on the spot, but he was Peng Sijue, so Lin Qiupu could only swallow the fire back down.

Countless pair of eyes stared upon Lin Qiupu. Lin Qiupu grit his teeth. "Captain Peng’s new discovery should be taken seriously. Dongxue, Xiaodong, you both should look at this new angle. Everyone else, continue to trace the whereabouts of the 50,000 yuan!

After the meeting, Xu Xiaodong asked Lin Dongxue, "What does Captain Lin mean?"

"What do you mean what does he mean?"

"He asked us to investigate alone. Did he mean for us to ask the Great God to save the day?”

Lin Dongxue smiled. "Can you still hear the sound outside the strings?"[1]

Lin Qiupu did not mention Chen Shi’s name anymore. Even when he needed to mention the guy, he only ever said “a good-hearted citizen.” Maybe he thought that as the captain of the criminal investigation unit, it was shameful to ask for external help every time. 

"I’ll call Brother Chen!" Xu Xiaodong declared.

"Call him, call him!"

Xu Xiaodong dialed the phone. "Hey, Brother Chen... It’s not much, it’s just that the case has encountered a bit of an obstacle… How did you know? Okay… Okay, we will definitely treat you. Please come!”

After hanging up the phone, Xu Xiaodong was very happy. "The case has hope!"

"Listen to your words. You make it sound like there’s no hope if we were to follow Captain Lin and the team.”

"I didn't say that!"

Half an hour later, the two went to Yong An Soymilk and met with Chen Shi. While eating the breakfast that Xu Xiaodong’s treated them to, Chen Shi mocked, “What’s wrong? Didn’t you say that you didn’t require my help on this case?”

Lin Dongxue’s cheeks became hot. “Originally we didn’t need your help, but today, Captain Peng made some new discoveries that we didn’t consider before. He mentioned that the deceased’s state is a little weird.”

"What do you mean by weird?"

Lin Dongxue took out a copy of the latest autopsy report. Chen Shi looked at it for a while. "Brief me about the case."

The time of the incident was the morning three days ago. The person who called it in was the brother of the deceased, Wu Hao. He reported that his brother had disappeared for two days. In the beginning, this was handled by the standard police station. Later, a homeless scavenger discovered that there was a burnt car in a rural suburb. It seemed like there was a body inside. This discovery brought the two cases together. 

The car belonged to Wu, and the corpse in the car was identified by DNA as Wu.

The car had obvious gasoline residues on it. It was suspected that someone killed Wu and burned him in his car. The deceased was burned beyond recognition and it took a lot of effort to peel the corpse off the car seat. Because of the burning, his fatal wound was never found. The estimated time of death was also just a rough estimate that points to about five nights ago.

So, they began to investigate the interpersonal relationships of the deceased. Wu Hao insisted that it must have been done by the pair of adulterers. The deceased’s wife, Pan Xiuying, and her lover, Ximen Sheng entered the police's field of vision thereafter.

It can be said that when the police officers who participated in the investigation heard the names of the two people coupled with a photo of the face of Ximen Sheng, they immediately suspected him as the murderer.

However, the two had a clear alibi. At the time of the incident, they were together at a resort. Ximen Sheng was very nervous in front of the police, but his evidence of absence was flawless. Lin Qiupu increasingly suspected that Ximen Sheng had paid for the death of the victim.

Therefore, the current work focus was to investigate the financial expenditure of Ximen Sheng.

After listening to everything, Chen Shi commented, "Arbitrary!"

"The deceased is not called arbitrary. He’s called Wu..."[2]

"I mean, your brother is arbitrarily making assumptions and concluding everything based off of that. Just because someone is having an affair, he’s automatically a murderer? The officials of the Song Dynasty during the story of Ximen Qing didn’t even judge cases like this."

Lin Dongxue’s expression became gloomy. Xu Xiaodong challenged, “Brother Chen, let’s not talk about Captain Lin. Everyone in the task force also thinks ‘Ximen Qing’ is the murderer. Isn’t it necessary to rely on intuition when solving cases as well?”

"Intuition and delusion are two very different things, alright?"

"Then how are we going to investigate now?"

Chen Shi looked at the documents in his hand. "Old Peng’s reports have never been wrong. I think there must be a close relationship between these abnormalities in the case and the truth. Let’s investigate again from scratch!"

“From scratch?!” Lin Dongxue’s eyes widened.

"Is it too tiresome? Or should we just ask an ouija board together to ask the deceased who killed him?”

Xu Xiaodong was surprised. "You can do that too?!"

Lin Dongxue looked at Xu Xiaodong as if she was looking at a donkey. "Fine, we’ll listen to you."

Chen Shi called on the waiter. "Add two more buns for me."

After finishing his food and drinks, Chen Shi motioned. "Let’s start working!"

"Where should we go first?" Lin Dongxue asked.

"What’s closest?"

 “The gym where Wu Hao works at is the closest to our current location.”

"Then let’s go there first!"

The trio drove to the gym. There were no guests in the morning, so Wu Hao was playing a mobile game in the lounge area. When he saw the police come in, he became really excited. "Have the adulterers been charged yet?!"

Chen Shi asked, "Mr. Wu, you are so sure that they were having an affair. Do you have any evidence?"

"Didn’t I give the evidence to you all in the beginning? Is this officer new? Okay, let me show you something."

1. It is an expression that refers to reading in between the lines. The whole expression describes a song played using string instruments to imply another meaning other than the lyrics people will take literally.  

2. The word begins with the same pronunciation as “Wu”.  

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