Lin Qiupu was sitting in the office. Scenes of the past came back to him. He glanced at the photo of himself and Song Lang on the table. Every time he looked at the slightly smiling Song Lang in the photo, his heart was always full of mixed feelings.
Why did I suddenly recall my first experience of solving a case? Is it because Chen Shi had called him "Little Lin" when he was unconscious that day? Normally, no one would address him that way at all. Could Chen Shi be...
No, that's impossible!
The gap between them is too big. Their appearance, age, speaking style, small habits...
But the more Lin Qiupu pondered the differences between the two, the more he found that the two had an amazing similarity.
It can’t be such a coincidence. It can’t be! He dismissed his own speculation, thinking that there couldn’t be such dramatic things happening in reality.
But if Chen Shi is really Song Lang, how would he face him? Arrest him, or would he arrest him after telling him about how he’s missed him these past few years?
Lin Qiupu felt conflicted and tugged at his hair in anguish. He knew that he wasn’t smart, and it was easy for him to get into a dead end when thinking about things. Perhaps this was a misjudgement to begin with. Chen Shi is older than him, so it’s natural for him to call him "Little Lin".
The ringing of his phone brought Lin Qiupu's thoughts back to reality, and he picked up the receiver.
"The pawn shop case... where is it... I want this case..."
He had just received a call from the police call centre saying that there was a murder in a pawn shop in Shangma Street. Lin Qiupu was very familiar with this name. He thought that surely it couldn’t be such a coincidence? He was just reminiscing the case just now, but there was another murder in the same place?
He called Lin Dongxue and several other police officers to go to the scene to have a look. Before leaving, he suddenly instructed Lin Dongxue, "Call Chen Shi!"
When he arrived at the scene, Lin Qiupu learned that the murder had happened in a pawn shop called Sanyuan. He looked diagonally opposite. Taiyang pawn shop was still in business. The shop seemed to have grown bigger, and the sign had changed to one with large, gold-gilded characters. That dusty little shop from back then was much more stylish now.
Seven years had passed since that case. That pawn shop was now completely owned by He Jingjing. Was she operating it herself, or did she sell it to someone else?
Song Lang once said that this kind of woman was like a cancer cell and was not worthy of sympathy. When he worked under Song Lang, the teachings that Lin Qiupu wrote down in his notebook were also kept in his heart, which benefited him a great deal.
Just as Lin Qiupu turned around, a car stopped at the door of the pawnshop. A woman in a red qipao got out of the car with a women’s cigarette held in a small ceramic cigarette holder in her hand. She had makeup on, but Lin Qiupu still recognized at a glance that she was He Jingjing.
Compared to seven years ago, she had obviously gotten a lot fatter, and her formerly thin face had also rounded out, making her seem more charming. Calculating her age, she was probably in her thirties at least.
He Jingjing noticed the police car and policemen across the road. She probably saw Lin Qiupu too, and she smiled slightly at him.
Another person got out of the driver's seat with two plastic bags in his hands that had the name of a certain supermarket on them. This man had dark skin, buff arms and eye-catching tattoos on his wrists. He had a crew cut.
Although his appearance had undergone some changes, Lin Qiupu still recognized him as He Jun!
This surprised Lin Qiupu greatly. Why were they back together again? However, Lin Qiupu didn't know much about the repercussions of the case back then, because a few days after the case was closed, he was thrown into another murder case. There was neither time nor need to visit Taiyang pawn shop again.
"Brother, what are you looking at?" Lin Dongxue said, "Are you looking at beautiful women?"
"Nonsense. Those two people are related to a certain case that I participated in. I’m a little surprised seeing them after a few years... Hasn’t Song Lang arrived?"
Realizing that he made a mistake, Lin Qiupu hurriedly corrected himself. "I mean Chen Shi!"
"Haha, you scared me. He said he was shopping with Yueyue and will arrive later."
"This guy isn’t punctual at all!!"
Lin Qiupu said angrily. The balance in his heart tilted slightly towards the sceptical side, because Song Lang was someone who was never late.
The police walked into the pawn shop where the murder had been committed saw that the locks on the cabinets next to the wall had been brutally pried open and that the place was in disorder after being rummaged through. An old man was lying on the ground with a large amount of dried blood on his forehead. His posture after falling down was slightly twisted. His legs faced forward, but his upper body was twisted towards the ground, his left hand stretched out, as if he wanted to reach something.
There was an overturned padauk chair next to him, and an ashtray stained with blood had fallen at the feet of the corpse. Peng Sijue picked it up, examined it under the light, and said, "The fingerprints on it are very clear."
The person who reported the crime was a shop employee. The guy was terrified. He had heard the sound of something being thrown down and smashed downstairs early that morning. He thought that a burglar had entered this place which would be terrible, so he ran downstairs to take a look. A man was hitting his boss’s head repeatedly with an ashtray, and the old man was lying on the ground, convulsing. His left leg was convulsing in a particularly terrifying way.
"Then... the man turned his head and saw me. I screamed in fright. I hurried upstairs, jumped from the window to the roof next to me and ran, breaking the tiles on the roof underfoot. I didn’t bring my mobile phone with me and didn't dare to come back. I ran to the nearest police station in my pyjamas to report the crime."
"Go and check it out." Lin Qiupu instructed Lin Dongxue, and then said to the guy, "What did that man look like?"
"It was too dark. I couldn't see clearly. He was wearing a jacket and probably about his height!" The guy pointed to Xu Xiaodong. "Oh yes, he had also spat, and it should be on the floor."
"Captain Lin, there is a piece of dried sputum on the ground." A forensic officer lifted a painting that fell on the ground and found the sputum.
Lin Qiupu asked the man again, "When you witnessed the murder, was it this messy here?"
"No, it was as per usual. Perhaps he rummaged through the place after I ran away. If I didn't run away, I would have probably been killed too. It's scary just thinking about it!"
"What's your boss's name?"
"How long have you been working here?"
"I just graduated and I’ve only been working for a year. My dad and Boss Shen are friends. Since I couldn’t find a suitable job corresponding to the major I studied, my dad asked me to work here. Boss Shen usually treats me well..." When he got to this part, the guy showed a sad look.
"When the autopsy is finished, please help us to check what is missing here."
The results of the autopsy were exactly the same as the statement of the young man. Boss Shen died at about 4:00 in the morning. He had been hit on the head multiple times, and some glass fragments were found in his flesh. Peng Sijue’s preliminary autopsy results judged that the cause of death was a ruptured cerebral artery.
When the corpse was being taken away, the employee asked to burn some joss paper money to see Boss Shen off. Lin Qiupu agreed to this request. The guy burned the paper at the door and cried for a while.
Then he put on his gloves and started to check the things on the scene. The things here had all been pawned by customers and they all had records. After verifying them one by one, the guy said, "A painting is missing!"
"A landscape painting. It had been painted in the Yuan Dynasty. It’s quite valuable!"
Previous Chapter Next Chapter