Back in the city, Xin Bai was still asleep on the bus. Chen Shi woke him up, and Xin Bai jumped up excitedly. "Haha, it's done! I successfully controlled my dream!"
"Can you stop? Don't try these dangerous things and just write your novels seriously!" Chen Shi frowned. "Wasn't today's lesson enough? Do you want to go to the mental hospital?"
"This... was truly really fun!" Xin Bai said ashamedly.
"Hurry up and go home. We still have things to do."
Xin Bai still wanted to follow them, but was blasted away forcefully by Chen Shi’s words. While it wasn’t dark yet, the two planned to see Du Zilin. They could find Du Zilin's address through the police's household registration information database. At around 5:00, they got to a villa.
Through the big iron gate of the villa yard, Lin Dongxue saw that the yard was full of leaves, as if it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time. She said, "Why does this house feel a little eerie?"
"Maybe it's because all the windows are sealed!"
"You’re right! All the windows are sealed with wooden boards, like a haunted house."
They didn’t know if anyone still lived there. Chen Shi tried to press the answering machine at the door and a face appeared on the small screen. The other party stared wide-eyed at them and demanded, "Password!"
"Are you Mr. Du? We’re the police and want to ask you some questions."
Lin Dongxue raised her police officer's certification. The person asked for her to open it. The other party was still uneasy and had to look at Chen Shi's certificate as well, then asked them to name three police colleagues.
"Do you need to be so on guard? We’re really the police." Lin Dongxue was a little impatient.
"It's too easy to make fake documents. I won't open the door without verifying that you guys are real police officers," the other party said.
"All right..." Lin Dongxue casually listed three names.
"Recite the police code for me."
"Are you done?!"
"Don't even think about coming in if you’re not reciting it!"
Lin Dongxue gritted her teeth. It was so troublesome just to enter. She could only recite a few police rules. The face on the screen disappeared and with a click, the iron gate opened.
Entering the villa was like entering an old castle. The house was lifeless. The furniture was covered with dust and iron doors had been installed in the corridor. Lin Dongxue knocked on the door and a man covered in a bed sheet came out and took out some keys. He unlocked the three locks on the iron door one by one.
He brought the two of them to a room. This room had no windows. If you looked closely, you would find that the walls were very thick. There was a layer of fireproof cotton on the walls and ceiling. There were computers, refrigerators, beds, sofas, etc. in the house, and garbage was piled up like mountains, exuding a foul smell.
"First of all, I'm not crazy. The reason why I want to hide here is because someone wanted to kill me. I killed 13 people and came out after only three years in jail. The families of the deceased tried to find me to settle the debt. I could only buy this house and hide in this city," said the man covered in the bed sheet.
"You’re Du Zilin?"
"The one and only. What can I do for you?" He leaned on the sofa and picked up unfinished instant noodles.
"How long have you been here?"
"Ever since I was released from prison. I’ve basically never left. I have a lot of savings anyway, so I won't have to worry even if I hid for a lifetime."
"To be honest, I don't really believe in any acute transient mental disorder. Your lawyer really knows how to find a reason."
"What?!" Du Zilin glared. He threw the instant noodle bowl onto the table, splashing the noodle soup on his hand. "Which family member are you here to ‘seek justice’ for? I wasn’t frugal with the money I should have compensated them with, yet they think I should pay with my life. That is the result of the court's decision. The acute transient mental disorder was written in the judgment by the court. The law supported me. What do you guys still want?!"
"Okay, okay, don't be so angry. We didn't come to you for this matter. Are you from Yinxian No.1 Middle School?"
"Yeah!" Du Zilin was taken aback. "I graduated a long time ago, so why are you asking about this suddenly?"
"There was a girl named Hanmeng in your class, right?"
"Hanmeng?" Du Zizheng giggled. "The girl who smelled like shit? What happened to her? Did she die?"
Judging from this attitude, Du Zilin was definitely one of the bullies from back then. Chen Shi simply admitted, "We came regarding a murder, but the deceased wasn’t Hanmeng. Do you know XX, XX, XX, and Lu Ming?"
"They were all classmates." Du Zilin's expression gradually became tense. "What happened to them?"
"They were killed!"
"What?!" Du Zilin jumped onto the sofa. "I... I was definitely not the one who took the lead in bullying her. The whole class hated her. What could I do? Sympathize with her?! Go fuck your mom! This kind of person was born to be bullied. Bullying her was the politics between our classmates. If I didn’t bully her, other boys would start gossiping and say that I like Hanmeng. That would be shameful. How could I continue living like that?!"
Hearing this, Lin Dongxue frowned secretly, and Chen Shi asked, "Mr. Du, why are you so agitated? Have the four people I just mentioned all bully Hanmeng?"
"You should ask who in our class didn’t bully her!" Du Zilin sneered, "If you were in our class, you would have bullied her too because she was born looking cheap. She would apologize desperately if you touched her once. One time, I slapped her. Each time I slapped her, she said ‘I'm sorry’, causing rage to well up inside of me. Eventually my hands were swollen... Cheap bones. She deserves to be fucked!"
Lin Dongxue couldn't hold it in anymore. "You treated a girl who couldn’t resist like this? What a man!"
"She's a bastard! A bastard! She caused her parents to die when she was born. Her body is stinky, just like shit. Don't tell me that everyone is equal. She’s a two-legged dog who lives just to suffer!" Du Zilin became inexplicably angry when Hanmeng was mentioned. He began pulling at the cotton wool exposed on the sofa with his right hand.
Lin Dongxue wanted to refute this, but was persuaded by Chen Shi's eyes. Chen Shi asked, "Are there any weird rumors about Hanmeng in the town?"
"Yes. Everyone says she’s an evil portent. You outsiders shouldn’t be outraged as soon as you hear about campus bullying. This can be said to be a tradition in the town! There will always be a very misfortunate and ugly person in our town. Or they’d be physically handicapped. This person is the evil portent of the town. Everyone will bully them so our bad luck will be transferred to them. Everyone can live a good life like this. As long as the evil portent dies, there will immediately be a new one, and there will never be exceptions. In the year that Hanmeng was born, the old handicap in the town died. She was the reincarnation of the old handicap. It was reasonable for us to bully her! It’s reasonable! One year, there was a heavy rain in the mountains. My dad was out on errands and didn’t come back till late at night. My mom was so worried that she told me to beat Hanmeng up to take away the disaster and pray for my dad... This is the tradition of our town. Outsiders shouldn’t fucking randomly judge it."
Lin Dongxue could hardly listen anymore.
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