After coming out of Old Jia Number Four’s house, the two returned to the scene of the crime. Lin Qiupu was talking to a man in a suit. The man in the suit was agitated and gestured fervently. When she approached, Lin Dongxue heard him say: "You police must hand over all the clues you have at present. It’s up to us to decide which ones will be made public media-wise."
"Sir, I understand your feelings, but if you do this now, it will only hinder our work in solving the case."
With this parting sentence, Lin Qiupu left the man and went up to Lin Dongxue. He said, "He was sent by that female singer’s company and made a bunch of unreasonable requests, haii!"
At that moment, the man in the suit was on the phone. His eyes kept staring at Lin Qiupu, as if he was going to take revenge on him.
Lin Qiupu said, "The victim in this case is too special. The bureau will definitely pay special attention to it. We probably won’t be able to rest for the next two days."
Lin Dongxue said, "Brother, Old Chen and I think the murderers are the rice collectors. They want to use the female singer to divert attention."
"You two are speculating again?"
"I have evidence, and I will get Old Peng to go and check it later." Chen Shi said.
Lin Qiupu nodded. "You can investigate however you wish. As long as it is within the scope of my authority, you still have this bit of freedom. As long as the case is solved, everything will be settled easily."
"Can I borrow some staff?" Chen Shi said, "I have an idea. If I can find all the rice collectors in these villages here, I can definitely get a lot of information from them. I suspect these rice farmers and collectors have been engaging in some kind of secret transaction."
"Don't even think about this. The people in the team are already tense enough, and people from the nearby police station are also rushing over... not to mention that this person even came to the scene in order to 'supervise the battle' himself!" Lin Qiupu secretly pointed to the man in the suit.
"Okay, we will investigate it ourselves!" Chen Shi sighed, "By the way, if it’s convenient, can you bring the equipment that tracks phone signals over? The rice collectors have been hiding so we can only use technical means. "
"I’ll contact the bureau."
Lin Qiupu went back to the scene, and Lin Dongxue asked, "What are we going to investigate now?"
"Let’s find Old Jia Number Four!" Chen Shi said decisively.
According to the ID card usage records, Old Jia Number Four was currently in a motel in a certain county town, and the two hurriedly drove there directly.
It took over three hours to get there from Wangchenggang. Although it was already 1:00 in the afternoon, the two of them weren’t in the mood to eat and went straight to the motel. Old Jia Number Four hadn’t checked out yet and they found the room he had booked from the front desk.
The motel employee opened the door with a key. There was no one in the room, but the quilt on the bed hadn’t been folded and there was luggage on the floor. He should still be nearby.
"Excuse me, we’ll wait here for a while!" Chen Shi said to the motel employee and he left first.
The room wasn’t big. Chen Shi saw that there were some small cards of that kind on the floor. A pirated book that was worn out from being read too many times had been flung onto the bedside cabinet. There was a trash bag hanging next to it with a lot of snack wrappers inside. Old Jia Number Four had been hiding here for two days so he was most likely very bored.
As he was so obedient to the rice collectors, there was obviously a mutually beneficial relationship between the two parties. That was why Chen Shi thought that it wasn’t ordinary rice at all. Either there was a problem with the rice itself, or the rice harvesting was being used as a cover for conducting some kind of transaction that couldn’t be exposed.
With a click, Lin Dongxue opened the suitcase on the ground, and Chen Shi asked, "You’re so eager to search before he even comes back?"
"It’s boring to be waiting here!"
There were clothes in the suitcase, but there was also a bag of seeds at the bottom with "Shennong No. 24" written on it. A little girl holding rice seeds had been printed on the red cover. The image had been poorly-cropped, and there were a few small bags of rice seeds inside. It seemed quite ordinary.
The rice seeds they had been looking for had appeared in front of them so easily. Both of them were a little surprised. Chen Shi took a bag and examined it in his hand. He took out his mobile phone to check the information on it, and said, "The production plant’s address is fake. There’s no such company at all."
"What's the secret behind this thing?" Lin Dongxue sighed again.
There were footsteps outside the door. Chen Shi signalled with his eyes and Lin Dongxue hurriedly closed the suitcase. The person outside opened the door with a key and the two walked to the side of the door. Sure enough, it was Old Jia Number Four who came in when the door opened. Seeing people in the room, his first reaction was to run away, Lin Dongxue shouted, "Stop right there! Police!"
Old Jia Number Four stopped as if he had been paralyzed, and slowly turned around, with a smile on his face, "Why are you looking for me?"
"Why did you run? Who did you think we were?" Chen Shi asked.
"No... I didn't think about who you were. Isn't it normal to run when you see strangers? Police Officer, do you smoke?" Old Jia Number Four took out a pack of cigarettes that he was carrying.
"No thanks." Chen Shi took out his phone and showed Old Jia Number Four two photos, "Do you know them?"
"Chu Wei and Luo Chuanlong. Do you know them?"
"Oh, oh, oh!" He suddenly realized. "The two masters who collect harvested rice. I know them."
"You know them but you couldn’t recognize them?"
"I just showed you some random photos. When I said their names, you recognized them immediately though?"
"I know them but we only meet once a year. How can I remember what they look like?!" Old Jia Number Four quibbled, and dense beads of cold sweat began to appear on his forehead.
"Let’s go back to the room and talk!"
Old Jia Number Four didn’t dare to refuse, and stiffly followed the two of them into the room. After entering the room, Chen Shi closed the door as well as the windows. This atmosphere made Old Jia Number Four even more nervous and he asked, "Why are you looking for me? I didn't do anything!"
"Then what are you doing here? Why did you run away after harvesting the rice, and tell the villagers that you went to Xi'an?" Chen Shi stared at him.
Old Jia Number Four kept licking his lips nervously. He looked at Lin Dongxue, smiled, and said, "I came to take care of some personal affairs, taking advantage of the farming off-peak season!"
"What personal affairs?"
"Blind date... blind date."
"Who is the other party on the blind date? Call her here for verification."
Old Jia Number Four became even more panicked, and Chen Shi said, "It's useless for you to lie in front of us. No matter what you say, we will verify it."
"No, I didn't do anything. What on earth do you guys want to ask?!"
"On the 17th, two local police officers came to your village to mediate a trivial matter. Do you have any impression of that?"
Old Jia Number Four silently nodded, seeming to realize what Chen Shi was about to ask.
"They’re missing. We found what was on them in your tractor warehouse. How do you explain that?"
"I don't know how they disappeared. My warehouse usually has its doors open, and nobody steals the tractor, so it’s only locked at night before bed."
"One of the policemen is surnamed Jia and he’s related to you. You invited them to lunch that day."
"Yeah, I saw Little Jia and his partner had come to perform official duties that day, and told them to come in for a simple meal. Is there something wrong with that?"
"Inviting them for a meal is fine. Did you drag them to the warehouse after the meal? How did you handle the two police officers by yourself? Or did you add drugs to their meal?"
"No, no, no, I didn't..." Under Chen Shi's forceful questioning, Old Jia Number Four was already in a state of extreme panic.
"If you have nothing to do with their disappearance, why did you hide? Did someone tell you to hide?"
Chen Shi had carefully considered this issue. In fact, Old Jia Number Four had no need to hide, unless this guy was very cowardly and would spill the beans in front of the police. If this was the case, he was the best breakthrough point.
The response Old Jia Number Four exhibited proved that he was indeed not a tough guy.
In order to make a breakthrough, Chen Shi kicked over a thermos and it made a loud noise. Old Jia Number Four trembled in fright. His shirt was already soaked in cold sweat.
"Who made you hide?!" Chen Shi snarled.
"Th- they told me to hide!"
"Who are ‘they’?"
"The masters who collect rice..." Old Jia Number Four lowered his head.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter