“Where did you grow up as a kid?"
"Does your biological mother still stay in contact with He Taiyang?"
"Does He Taiyang and his wife quarrel often?"
Lin Qiupu opened his notebook again to confirm these prepared questions. Song Lang had asked him to ask He Jingjing out, get her to drink something and ask some casual questions. It sounded simple, but it was very difficult for Lin Qiupu. He didn't know how to chat “casually” with a female of the same age. As a criminal police officer, if he asked some questions about her family, would his intentions seem impure?
When he got near Taiyang pawn shop, he found that the pawn shop wasn’t open for business. There were three black cars of the exact same model parked in front of the door. Lin Qiupu vaguely had a bad premonition.
When he approached the Taiyang pawn shop, he heard the sound of things smashing inside. A man roared, "Apologize and make amends? How are you going to compensate us? Eat this and I’ll pretend nothing happened."
Some people have come here to cause trouble!
Lin Qiupu stepped forward to push the door open, but the door was actually not locked. He went to the office and saw a few men in black suits crowding inside. Some vases and pottery lay smashed on the floor. He Jingjing and He Jun knelt on the ground miserably, with faces covered in blood.
These guys with unknown backgrounds saw that a little policeman had run in and their arrogant expressions disappeared. One of them, who had long hair, sneered. "Nice, you actually dared to call the police! Watch your backs!"
As he spoke, the people were about to leave, but Lin Qiupu shouted, "Don't move. Come back to the bureau and explain everything clearly."
"Officer, what is there to explain? We’re friends with He Jun. We’re just playing around." The long-haired man said with a fake smile, "If you don't believe me, you can ask Little Junjun."
"Yes, yes, Brother Feng was just playing with me. He didn't hit me." He Jun said in a trembling voice, obviously under pressure from the long-haired man.
Lin Qiupu wasn’t wearing a gun. He took out his handcuffs and said, "Follow me back to the bureau!"
"Go back to the bureau? Don't waste our time. Why don’t you ask them whether they dare to sue us?" The long-haired man walked out directly, but Lin Qiupu blocked the door to prevent them from leaving. Unexpectedly, a tall and well-built man in a suit pushed Lin Qiupu away.
The group of people walked out of the shop rudely. Lin Qiupu chased after them. The three cars started. He gritted his teeth, took out his phone and took a picture of the license plate of one of the cars.
The other party noticed his movements and turned the car around quickly, seemingly intending to hit him.
The car aggressively reversed at high speed, raising a cloud of dust under its wheels. Lin Qiupu was very frightened, but kept telling himself “I am a policeman! I am a policeman!”.
He didn't dodge, and when the rear bumper of the car was a few centimeters away from him, it slammed to a halt. The long-haired man poked his head out from the driver's seat and said with a thumbs up. "Little policeman, you do have a backbone!"
Then, the car drove away, leaving exhaust and dust in Lin Qiupu’s face.
After the incident was over, Lin Qiupu finally felt fear wash over him. If the car hadn’t braked in time, he would have been disabled for the rest of his life. He walked back into the store in a daze with his legs trembling, and took a paper cup from the water dispenser. It took several glasses of cold water to calm his nerves.
"Thank you. If it weren't for your appearance, we would really not be able to make it through this crisis today." He Jingjing came out to express her thanks.
"No... It’s nothing. I'm a policeman, this is what I should do..." Lin Qiupu noticed blood on He Jingjing's forehead. "Did they beat you?"
"They pushed me once and I bumped into the table. He Jun was the one who was beaten badly!"
He Jun walked out while supporting himself against the door. There were no injuries on his face, but there was a lot of dirt on his clothes. He was limping when he walked. He Jun didn't feel grateful. He said, "You didn’t come earlier or later, but right at this moment. Brother Feng must think that I had called the police!"
"If he hadn't come in time, you would have been lying in the hospital right now!" He Jingjing reproached him. She went back into the office and brought out a small plastic bowl with mung bean starch jelly in it. Upon closer inspection, he found that some thin and bright fragments mixed in. "Mung bean starch jelly mixed with glass shards. That group of people told He Jun to eat this for them and they will pretend that this matter never happened. If you ate this, you would have died!"
"Why are you telling them everything?!" He Jun grumbled.
"What right do you have to stop me from talking? You incited today’s trouble!"
"Yes, I brought it upon myself, so I’ll deal with it myself! There’s no need for outsiders to get involved. I’ll eat shit, let alone glass shards. I should have this kind of mentality since I walk this path!" He Jun shouted in anger. Perhaps he aggravated his wound- he took a deep breath and clutched his waist.
"Shut up!" Lin Qiupu interrupted him. "They’re people sent by that ‘old man’?"
"Yes, they’re Lie Guoxiao's subordinates! They came to cause trouble today because of the painting. He Jun wanted to make use of them to kill He Taiyang, but now that He Taiyang is dead, they’re directly going to him to settle the debts. He lifted a rock and smashed his own feet!"
"Don't mention his name!" He Jun's eyes widened.
"I'm going to mention it! I'm going to mention it!" He Jingjing said angrily. "You don't need to know what Lie Guoxiao does. He is the most powerful person in Long’an. No one dares to offend him. His godsons are the richest and most powerful people in Long’an. If he wants to make a person disappear, that person will disappear from the world, and even the police wouldn’t be able to find any evidence."
Lin Qiupu's eyes widened, and he couldn't believe that even after twenty years of fighting organized crime, there would still be such an underworld boss.
He took out his notebook, "Lie Guoxiao? How do you write those three characters?"
"‘Lie’ as in ‘fierce’ in ‘fierce fire’, ‘Guo’ as in ‘country’, and ‘Xiao’ as in ‘hero’."
"You don't want to live anymore?" He Jun slammed the wall. "Tell the police his name, and we’re all finished."
He Jingjing said angrily, "Why should I be afraid of him? Why should I be afraid of him!? What's so scary about a damned old man?!"
He Jun sighed, clutched his chest and went to another room.
Although Lin Qiupu had unintentionally discovered this major piece of information, he didn’t forget his mission on this trip. He took out a napkin and hesitated for a long time before saying, "Why don’t you wipe the blood off your head!"
"Thank you, you’re so kind." He Jingjing took it, wiped the blood from her head, and threw the balled-up napkin into the wastebasket.
He had to think of a way to get this napkin.
He Jingjing asked, "Is there anything else you need?"
"Ah no, it's okay. I'll have another glass of water."
"I’ll pour it for you."
He Jingjing went to the water dispenser to pour him water. He wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to steal the napkin, but his cell phone rang unexpectedly. Song Lang said via the phone, "Have you gotten He Jingjing's DNA?"
"What does 'almost' mean?" Song Lang laughed over the phone, "The plan has changed. Directly summon He Jingjing to the bureau. We need to confront her face-to-face over certain matters."
"Then... do you still want me to collect her DNA?" Lin Qiupu glanced at He Jingjing.
"Why is the little fellow so upright? We’re already calling her in, so of course we don't need to collect the DNA. Bring her back quickly."
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