Chapter 798: Expert in Blackmail

Old Zhang said, "Isn't this the same as those rogues in Tianjin selling fairy peaches before liberation? They would take a rotten peach and say that it was a fairy peach, forcing people to pay a high price for it."

Chen Shi nodded, "Yes, they’re all extortions in the name of buying and selling, taking advantage of the other party’s fear."

Lin Dongxue said, "It's no wonder that Boss Shen wanted to sell this painting, not hesitating to pay a 40% commission. It’s because he knew that the painting couldn’t be kept. Lie Guoxiao found out about it and sent Liu Feng to teach him a lesson... Wait, if this is the case, Liu Feng’s motive for murder seems to have been established. Boss Shen wasn’t afraid of threats and was unwilling to hand over the painting, so Liu Feng went over late at night to kill him and steal the painting!"

This reasoning convinced many people, but Chen Shi didn’t agree. He said, “People from the underworld generally don’t kill. They know the seriousness of the penalties. Since the motive was just a painting, he didn’t need to kill him."

"That's not necessarily the case." Old Zhang said, "People from the underworld are very violent and impulsive. I’ve dealt with a case in which two groups of gangsters, who didn't know each other, went to eat barbecue. The boss served one of the tables their dishes first. A quarrel happened, and the matter got worse. The two sides refused to give in so they fought each other. As a result, 13 people were killed or injured. The sentences for the few who survived added up to 50 years. Think about how much trouble was caused."

"There is a barbecue restaurant called ‘Thirteen Brothers’ on Shihouzi Road. Could it be that..." Chen Shi said.

"Yes, that's the one. The roasted pig's trotters are especially famous." Old Zhang smiled.

"Some people’s lives are jokes!" A voice commented from a dark corner.

"Who made that remark? Xiaodong, was it you?!" Lin Qiupu glared at Xu Xiaodong.

"No... it's not me!" Xu Xiaodong looked innocent.

Lin Qiupu said, "Since Chen Shi has made such a speculation, let's investigate accordingly. We can search Liu Feng's house. The employee's testimony has loopholes. Get him to think carefully again."

Lin Dongxue said, "Should we go straight to the enemy’s den and look for Lie Guoxiao to understand the situation?"

Chen Shi said, "It's useless. If you visit this kind of old, treacherous and slippery guy, he won't say anything."

Everyone dispersed. Chen Shi was going to accompany Lin Dongxue to the scene. Lin Dongxue said, "Didn't you say you wanted to buy fish for Yueyue?"

"I’ve suddenly become interested in this case, so I’ll buy it tonight. It’s the same anyway." Chen Shi smiled.

"Is it the same? It won’t be fresh at night."

"Would you mind going to the seafood market halfway through the investigation?"

"Haha, this is truly touching fish!"[1]

"Touching fish" took a while. When the two got to Shangma Street, they found that Lin Qiupu was actually chatting with a woman, the female owner of the pawn shop opposite them from yesterday. Lin Dongxue said in surprise, "Brother, why are you here?"

"Getting to know the situation from an old acquaintance. Allow me to introduce her. Her name is He Jingjing, and she is the adopted daughter of He Taiyang whom I mentioned in the morning."

Lin Dongxue looked up at the sign. "You’re now running this pawn shop?"

"Haha, it’s just to earn a living... Captain Lin just asked me about the matter. I just want to say that you police are really smart. You actually saw through that old man's tricks."

"You mean how Lie Guoxiao uses fakes to extort people?!" Lin Dongxue was shocked.

"Yes, he didn't just do it once or twice. As long as any owner of a pawn shop in the city has precious ancient paintings in their hands, his henchmen can find out right away, and then think of ways to extort it. That old man’s collection is said to have a total value of more than a hundred million, and he didn’t spend money to buy any of them. As long as people have power and influence, they will have money. It’s really true!" He Jingjing sneered.

"Why does he always target pawn shops?" Lin Dongxue was puzzled.

"Because this industry is a gray industry. Most pawn shops operate loan shark businesses concurrently. If you want to lend out money, you have to collect loans and you will need to have connections with people from the underworld. Some pawn shop owners themselves are from the underworld."

"Have you been extorted too?"

"He took a painting of Zhang Detian’s."

"Zhang Detian's painting?" Lin Qiupu was familiar with the artist's name.

"Yes, it’s the one that my adoptive father collected back then. It was actually a big mistake. He Jun and I only learned about it later too. My adoptive father had the authentic piece in his hands. After Old Thief Lie found out about it, he pawned a fake. My adoptive father knew he was being targeted, and just accepted his misfortune. He exchanged his genuine one for the fake. Who knew this stupid boy He Jun would swap it back again? In the end, Lie Guoxiao had the fake returned to him. That was why that scene happened that day. Officer Lin, if you hadn't shown up at that time, our shop would definitely have been smashed by those people."

Lin Qiupu suddenly realized, "Could it be that after He Taiyang died, the one left in the shop was the real one? That's how it was!"

Lin Dongxue said, "This old man is too wicked. He extorted over 100 million yuan. Let him sit in prison until he rots."

"It's useless!" He Jingjing shook her head. "As long as no one dares to sue him, it isn’t considered illegal.  Moreover, those pawn shop owners had given him the authentic paintings themselves. The pawn shop records also noted that they were authentic. There’s no evidence. "

"Miss He, would you dare to sue him? As long as you’re willing to sue him, we will do our best to collect evidence and eradicate this malignant tumor!" Lin Qiupu said.

He Jingjing smiled bitterly. "I don't dare to sue him. I don't want to go missing mysteriously one day. Maybe someone else is willing to stick their neck out, but definitely not me. It's not easy for me as a weak woman to even carve out a space for myself in Long'an."

Lin Qiupu persuaded her to stand up for justice. He Jingjing refused to agree no matter what. Lin Qiupu had no choice but to change the question, "Did you see Liu Feng enter Boss Shen's shop last night?"

"I did. At about 10:00 in the morning, Liu Feng led a group of people and they rushed into the store. There were banging sounds from inside. I could probably guess what was going on. Maybe Mr. Shen was unwilling to give up the painting, so Lie Guoxiao exerted pressure covertly and found some random reason to teach him a lesson."

"A group of people?"

"Yes, a group of people. They drove two cars."

It seemed that a new loophole had appeared in the evidence provided by the employee. After saying what needed to be said, He Jingjing said that she had to get back to work. She smiled at Lin Qiupu and said, "Officer Lin, let’s have tea together when you have the time!"

"That's absolutely impossible." Lin Qiupu replied in dead earnest.

"You’re as unreasonable as you were seven years ago." He Jingjing smiled and was about to leave. Chen Shi, who had been silent the whole time, asked her, "Did you go to Boss Shen's shop yesterday?"

He Jingjing only noticed Chen Shi then. Although she had never seen this uncle before, his sharp gaze seemed familiar. He Jingjing said, "You are..."

"I’m with Captain Lin, so I’m naturally also a police officer." Chen Shi claimed.

"I... I went there once. They had gangsters messing with them. Although we didn't dare to stand up for justice, when the gangsters left, it was only right for us to go over and offer a few comforting words. After all, we’re neighbors and in the same industry." He Jingjing said.

1. “Touching fish” is slang for slacking, so she’s making a pun here. 

 

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