Chapter 81: Corpse Hidden in a Cave

Chen Shi remarked, "Who is this? Their luck is so good. The lottery has accumulated three first prizes since nobody won."

Lin Dongxue echoed, "Wow, 20 million! If I had that much money..."

"Would you give me a little?"

"Sure. Based on our friendship, I’ll send you a million."

"It seems that our friendship is not deep enough... Thank you in advance."

The car parked outside the community that Lin Dongxue lived in. She was already tired and slouching. "I have an early shift tomorrow. I really want to have a good sleep-in.”

"You can’t stop moving if you’re alive. Don't complain and just rest up early tonight."

The suspect in the previous case was quickly handed over to the judiciary and awaited trial. At the commendation meeting held in the bureau, the chief specially issued an envelope with money in addition to the bonus for the police officer who made the merits. He told Lin Qiupu, "I heard that there is a very special consultant in your team that helped your second team break through several major cases."

Lin Qiupu saluted, then took the envelope with both hands. "He did not accept the position of consultant."

"Haha, this guy!" the chief said with a smile. "The bonus should be brought back to him. I have to express my gratitude. I hope that everyone will continue to work hard. There are more than 100 emergency calls per day in Long'An City. There’s almost a criminal case every day. The burden on your shoulders is very heavy and your work is harder than most positions. The rewards are thin compared to the effort you have to exert. You are the city's immune system, the most solid line of safety for the people. All criminals will be frightened when they see you all, the defense line. Our efforts and sacrifices are in exchange for the security and stability of the city. Please polish your eyes and clench your fists, and don't let go of your vigilance."

The police officers all saluted. Some people thought to themselves that the chief seemed to have more words to say today than usual.

Lin Dongxue once again invested herself in the intense work. They spent a week cracking a wife-killing case that was not suspenseful nor full of twists. This morning, Lin Dongxue received a phone call from Lin Qiupu, telling her to wear a thicker jacket. Today she was going to hike up a mountain.

Lin Dongxue asked excitedly, "Brother, do we have a team-building activity?"

"Team-building your head! One male and one female body were found in the mountains. It’s in Cao Ji."

Although it was a case, when everyone heard that they were going to climb a mountain, the officers were very excited. They finally managed to change their mood. Lin Qiupu contacted a bus company to rent a car and took everyone to the suburbs.

Cao Ji was located in the southwestern part of Long'an City. It was a small country town that developed its tourist attractions around the barren hills a dozen years ago. Unfortunately, no one came. As such, they allowed half the mountain to be taken over by timber merchants and only used the other half for whatever tourism they could find. 

At the end of November, the weather was very cold. In order to climb the mountain, everyone wore jackets and down jackets. On the other hand, Peng Sijue was still dressed in a suit and only added a scarf.

When they saw the informants, they realized how crudely they were dressed. The informants were a group of college students who came out to hike wearing uniform grass-green windbreakers and professional equipment.

They had found the bodies yesterday and were arranged to stay here by the local police station. After waiting for a whole night, when they saw the criminal police arriving, they became excited. 

The original bodies were found in a cave in the middle of the mountain. A man and a woman were wearing the same style of hiking clothes. Both of them were smashed in the face by stones. The weapon should be the blood-stained stone thrown beside their bodies. The two were holding hands, so it looked like a passionate double-suicide. 

"Why would they passionately smash their faces?" Lin Qiupu pondered, "Who knows the typical hiking route?"

A college student in his 4th year was voted to lead the way. There was also a local person in charge of the place and two civilian officers that grouped together at the front. 

The mountain road was long, and the hillside was almost vertical when you looked down. When they climbed the mountainside and looked down, they couldn’t help feeling dizzy. Xu Xiaodong and the college students who led the way climbed quickly, but everyone else soon began panting.

Lin Dongxue was too tired and had to sit on a gentle slope while she panted. Xu Xiaodong threw a towel from above. "Dongxue, wipe your sweat away. You might catch a cold if you’re constantly being blown by the mountain winds.”

"Thank you."

"No, no. Stop for a while!" pleaded another policeman.

Everyone stopped to rest on the spot. Lin Dongxue felt like she had been climbing for a long time, but when she looked at the watch, it was only 9AM. At this time, Chen Shi sent a funny message to her. Lin Dongxue took a photo of the mountain-range and sent it.

After a while, Chen Shi replied, "Team-building activities?"

"Investigating a case. It’s up in the mountains. I’m exhausted."

"Do your best!"[1]

After a while, Lin Qiupu got everyone to climb again. When they finally reached the top of the mountain, many people sighed with relief and wanted to kneel down to cheer at the sky.

The college student informed the others, "You have to go down the south side of the peak, as the cave is halfway up the mountain."

 “Why didn’t we start at the south from the beginning?” Lin Qiupu asked.

"The south side is too steep. There is a small road from above that can enter the cave."

"How do you know this route?"

"We have been here before; the cave is relatively flat and is a good place for shelter from the wind. There is no problem with lighting a fire inside. We originally planned to camp there. We didn't expect to see dead people when we entered. Almost scared us to death"

"Everyone, you’ve had enough rest! Let’s continue!" Lin Qiupu announced.

The people dragged their heavy feet and continued walking along the steep path on the south slope. They soon came to the middle of the mountain where a rock lay. Although the rock and the mountain road were half a meter apart, crossing over was slightly terrifying at such a high altitude.

Finally arriving at their destination, Lin Dongxue felt almost happy upon seeing the dead bodies. There were a pair of male and female corpses lying side by side in the cave. The two were wearing thick hiking clothes and their faces were disfigured. There were no noticeable characteristics, only that the corpse on the left had long, smooth hair and dainty hands.

Due to exposure to the weather, the skin of the two people were frozen and bloodless, making it almost as pale as paper. Fortunately, there were no wild animals around the area.

Peng Sijue took the forensics team and marked the blood and debris scattered around the bodies. Photos were taken of everything. Lin Qiupu reasoned, "We can’t come to this place a second time. After the photos, collect everything back to the bureau. Old Peng, what do you think?"

"Murder. This is definitely a murder."

"The bodies are lying so neatly together and there are drag marks on the ground. Obviously the murderer deliberately placed them like this afterwards... Does he want to create the illusion of two people committing suicide out of passion? The work is too poorly done."

Peng Sijue checked the pockets of the bodies and found keys, change, chewing gum, throat lozenges, etc…, but no cell phone or ID. It may have been taken away by the murderer.

The murderer mangled the face of the deceased and apparently did not want to let people know their identities. So they even took the other items that could identify them.

He inspected the face of the deceased. "The male deceased was injured before his death, and the female was injured after her death."

"Captain, there’s a footprint here."

"Take a photo of it!"

1. Literally "add oil". It’s a phrase for cheering. The equivalent of “gambatte” in Japanese and “fighting” in Korean. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Add_oil 

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