Chapter 726: My Dream

When Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue were leaving the Public Security Bureau together, Xu Xiaodong caught up with them. "Brother Chen, last time you asked me to check the surveillance footage and I discovered something. On March 23rd, Duan Lin and an uncle walked into the housing district together. She was also helping the uncle carry his bags."

"What did the uncle look like?"

After Xu Xiaodong described him, Chen Shi said, "That’s Duan Lin's father."

"In that case, do I need to continue checking?"

"March 23rd? ... Haha, this discovery is very important, thank you!" Chen Shi patted Xu Xiaodong on the shoulder.

After Xu Xiaodong went back, Lin Dongxue said, "Uncle said he had arrived on the 24th, so he lied to us?"

"And the 23rd was the day Duan Lin died..."

"Uncle was the man who dismembered the corpse?" Lin Dongxue raised her eyebrows.

"Isn't that a bit absurd? A father found his daughter dead and the first thing he did wasn’t to call the police. Instead, he chopped up his daughter and sent it to nine 'suspects'... I think based on his educational background and age, he wouldn’t be such a schemer."

"You don't know his educational background or experiences. His daughter committed suicide. He knows that it’s useless to call the police and can only obtain justice by himself."

"Then you think he was the one who killed Little Wei?"

"I noticed that the smartphone he was using is very new. He said that his daughter had traded up and given it to him, but is there a possibility that the phone belonged to Duan Lin?"

"If it was Duan Lin's cell phone, he should know who killed his daughter."

"This is just your hypothesis. Duan Lin's mobile phone may not have this clue. Maybe the person wanted to impose 'death control' on Duan Lin from the beginning, concealing all aspects of his true identity to prevent himself from being exposed later."

"Then the uncle got hold of the cell phone, found the nine people, chopped up his daughter and sent the parts to them to probe the identity of his daughter's boyfriend?" Chen Shi shook his head, "I keep feeling that there are many flaws with that."

"Then... we’ll investigate the background of the uncle first. You don’t oppose it, do you?"

"No objection. Let Xiaodong do it!" Chen Shi sent a text message to Xu Xiaodong, asking him to investigate Duan Dazhu's information and attached a "1" to it.

Xu Xiaodong replied, "Not ‘1’. I want ‘2’!"

"Okay, okay, ‘2’!"

Lin Dongxue asked curiously, "What does this mean?"

Chen Shi laughed and replied, "According to the secret code that Xiaodong and I set, ‘1’ stands for treating him to supper, and ‘2’ stands for treating him to dinner. It saves us the trouble of typing it out each time."

"You seem to be training a police dog, Pavlov?"[1]

"I think it's quite appropriate to describe Xiaodong as a police dog. This kid has good physical strength, strong execution ability, and a simple heart. I was thinking that if he is fired one day, I would hire him to work at the detective agency."

"Why would Xiaodong be fired? He will be my good subordinate in the future!" Lin Dongxue winked mischievously.

They arrived at an art studio and met Little Four. It turned out that he was an art teaching intern there. Seeing the two arrive, Little Four hurriedly covered up a painting he was working on, and went over. "Is Little Wei dead?"

They had informed him about this on the phone earlier, and Chen Shi nodded. “Originally, it shouldn’t have been revealed, but after the police’s investigation, we feel that the eight of you are also similarly at risk, so we specifically came to tell you to be careful in the near future.”

"It means..." Little Four raised his eyebrows. "The person who sent us the body killed Little Wei?"

"There is a matter related to the case. We must ask this for clarification. Which part of the corpse did Little Wei receive?"

Since he was already dead, Little Four no longer hid this information and replied dispiritedly, "I saw that he had a leg in his bag."

"What about you?"

Little Four indicated his right arm by clutching  it near his elbow with his left hand. "Right arm!"

"Who received the head?"

"I don't know!"

"Why don't you know? You only received the arm, so how did you know that it was Duan Lin? Duan Lin wasn’t your girlfriend. She was someone else's girlfriend." Chen Shi had said these words to sound him out. He was observing Little Four’s expression.

Little Four’s expression did not change. He took out a cigarette and asked, "Can I?"

Obviously, he was a bit more honest than when they met last time. Perhaps the death of a friend was a bit of shock to him.

"Go ahead!" Chen Shi said.

Little Four lit up a cigarette and explained, “You know how QQ groups have an anonymous function? We were having dinner together one night, and an anonymous message was sent to the group. It contained a video recorded by Duan Lin while she committing suicide by cutting her wrist. That person said excitedly, ‘Brothers, I’ve succeeded. A foolish girl has died for me. This life has been worth it!’ Of course, I personally felt that this kind of thing was a bit too much, but everyone was very excited and were guessing who it might be! Brother Xiao said that playing around is one thing, but one shouldn’t actually put lives in harm’s way. He told whoever that girl belonged to that he should hurry up and take her to the hospital or call an ambulance."

"At that time, did you know her name was Duan Lin?" Lin Dongxue asked.

"I did. The anonymous person himself said that he had posted Duan Lin's photos before. We have an unwritten rule. Whoever has a new girlfriend should share her photos with the group for everyone to comment on. This was to prevent us from falling in love with a woman, because we’re all ruthless hunters... Miss Police Flower, please stop furrowing your brows. I’m just making an objective statement! That person was anonymous when he posted Duan Lin’s photos. Duan Lin’s body and face looked average. Furthermore, she was from the countryside. We thought the person was embarrassed of her, so he sent it anonymously, but it turned out that he wanted to toy with her until she died!"

"After Zhang Xiao said that, who stood up to call or leave?" Chen Shi asked.

"Brother Xiao was rather generous after all. He told us to go back to our own houses at the time, which allowed the person to preserve a bit of privacy. I don't know who called the ambulance because Duan Lin wasn’t my girl! Death control is one of the games of PUAs. It can be said to be an advanced pursuit, just like how the top type  of play in sadomasochism circles is to let slaves self-mutilate and commit suicide. I find it hard to explain how I feel about this in a few words, but I won’t try it. After all, my rank isn’t that high."

"What high-level pursuit do you have?" Chen Shi asked.

"Haha, to find a rich woman to support me. Then there’d be no need to work for the rest of my life! As for Brother Xiao, I know his dream is to have a threesome without spending any money, but to persuade two women to participate willingly. Due to this, I don’t know how many slaps from ex-girlfriends he has endured. Have you seen A Clockwork Orange? The hero's dream is to rape a woman in public. I know this is very perverted, but I can understand him. You ordinary people will be content if you have one lover during your lifetime. We aren’t the same. We are very empty and are all just diaosi.[2] In this life, we can’t afford to drive luxury cars or live in luxury homes. We can only collect stamps and try to sleep with a few more women while we’re young. In the beginning, it was just to sleep with them. As time passed, it became a kind of addiction that couldn’t be stopped. Using the same words when deceiving people. People are the same when they take off their clothes. Even their actions in bed are the same. However, it was just to find a little difference amidst those things that were the same. With that, one is satisfied. After becoming satisfied, there is an even greater emptiness, just like a person drinking sea water to quench their thirst while they’re lost at sea. They can only drink continuously and drink until they die! Even though they know this would be the end result, in the moment when the cool sea water enters the throat, it feels fucking amazing!"

While saying that, Little Four seemed to be gazing into the distance, unexpectedly giving off a sublime air.

1. Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning. 

2. Diaosi is a Chinese slang term, often used in a comedic manner, that refers to a young male of mediocre appearance and social standing. Born into a humble family, he has no car, no house, and no connections. Yet as the term went viral on the Internet, Chinese youth from all backgrounds began to embrace it. 

 

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