Chapter 859: Old Zhang's Predicament

Seeing this piece of paper, Chen Shi looked shocked. "Zhang Jianjun? Old Zhang? This car was dumped here on purpose for us to discover!"

"What does 'unforgettable decision' mean?" Lin Dongxue said.

"Call Old Zhang and ask him to quickly confirm the situation of his family." As soon as Lin Qiupu took out his cell phone, his cell phone rang. It was from the bureau. When he answered the call, his expression became solemn. He said, "Hurry up. We need to go back!"

The three hurried back to the bureau. In the conference room, almost all the members of the second team were there. Old Zhang sat there with a frightened and miserable expression. He was holding an old-fashioned Nokia mobile phone that had already been discontinued. The mobile phone was sealed in a plastic evidence bag.

"What happened?" Lin Qiupu walked in and asked.

Old Zhang’s throat moved, but he couldn’t speak. A police officer replied on his behalf, “Someone sent this thing to the bureau in the afternoon. There was a recording on the phone saying that they had kidnapped Old Zhang’s wife and daughter and required Old Zhang to make his own choice. Dialing the number 1 would allow his wife to survive. Number 2 would allow his daughter to survive. However, he only has twenty-four hours or both of them will die when the time is up."

Another police officer added, "This is probably not a prank. Up until now, we haven’t been able to contact the two of them. All their colleagues, classmates and acquaintances have been contacted. They all said that they haven’t seen them since 2:00 in the afternoon. "

"Let me listen to the recording!" Chen Shi said.

Old Zhang was unwilling to hand over the phone to another person. He played the voice message with his trembling fingers. The voice was Ling Shuang’s. The content was exactly the same as the police had just said. There were some background noises, as if it was recorded outdoors.

After listening, there was a moment of silence in the room. Although Lin Dongxue couldn’t bear it, she still told them what they had just discovered just then. She took out the “diagnostic report” from her pocket and said, “In the afternoon, we tracked the surveillance footage and found the suspect’s abandoned car. We found this in the car."

Old Zhang couldn't wait to take it, grabbing it with both hands. Everyone was afraid that he would tear the paper apart. Old Zhang's eyes moved back and forth over the text, reading it three times. He burst into tears. "I’m not a good father. If I was a bit more responsible, the family relationships wouldn’t have become as rigid as they are now, and they wouldn’t be involved in this matter!"

Lin Qiupu put his hand on Old Zhang's shoulder. "It's not your fault! All of us will accompany you..." He raised his head and said to everyone, "Start checking from mobile phone, recording, and files. We still have twenty-four hours. We’ll definitely make it!"

Everyone agreed energetically. At this time, Peng Sijue's voice sounded. "There’s still a clue here."

They saw him standing at the door, holding an appraisal report in his hands. "In the place where the first deceased was found, I found some particles of flour and limestone debris."

"Flour mill?" Lin Qiupu said, "Check to see how many flour mills there are in Long'an and whether there’s a place to hide among them."

Lin Qiupu wanted to take the mobile phone in Old Zhang's hand, but Old Zhang was reluctant. He said, "If it doesn't work, then let Tingting survive. She's still so young..."

"What are you thinking? The investigation has just begun and you’re giving up? We need to do our best to find them while not thinking about the outcome of failure."

"What if we fail..."

"Old Zhang!!!"

Old Zhang swallowed his words back. Little Li was a fellow sufferer of distress and said empathetically, "Old Zhang, you should go and rest for a while and not overthink."

Old Zhang sighed, took his cigarette case, and went out.

Lin Qiupu asked everyone to start investigating immediately. Chen Shi said, "I'll go to Old Zhang's house and have a look."

Lin Dongxue said, "I’ll go too."

Leaving the Public Security Bureau, Chen Shi looked at the night sky and said, "This is too passive!"

"What?"

"The mobile phone and the 'diagnostic report' were both prepared a few hours ago, indicating that the people had already disappeared at that time. Zhou Xiao set up the case for us to break, and he can calmly choose the next victim. We’re being completely dragged by our noses!"

"I also understand this, but Little Li's father has already been killed. He really will attack all of our family members. How can we ignore Old Zhang's affairs?!"

"They completely have a hold on our weak spots!"

"Let’s check for clues first!"

The two went to Old Zhang’s wife’s residence and Old Zhang’s daughter’s dormitory. There were no intuitive clues left behind. They tried their best to bring back some surveillance footage, photos, hair, and shoe prints, hoping that gold could be found from within the sand.

After the investigation was over, Chen Shi took a look at the time and found that it was already 10:00. He called Tao Yueyue. Tao Yueyue’s cell phone was dead, which made him anxious. He said, "I have to pick up Yueyue."

"Let’s go together!"

When they got to Wei Zengmali, a good friend of Yueyue's house, she said that Tao Yueyue hadn’t come today, and that she had gone home by herself after school. Wei Zengmali said that she was going to go to the bookstore with her today, but Tao Yueyue said that she had something to do.

Hearing this, Chen Shi suddenly became anxious and kept thinking wildly on the way home.

He drove the car directly to his house, almost hitting the flowerbed. He pushed the car door open and rushed into the building, shouting, "Yueyue! Yueyue!"

When he opened the door to his house, he found that the lights weren’t on. Chen Shi's heart dropped. As he was looking around, Tao Yueyue came out of the bedroom rubbing her eyes. "Uncle Chen, did you just come back?"

"Why couldn’t I get in touch with you, child? You worried me to death!" Chen Shi smiled with the joy of regaining something he’d lost.

"Sorry, my phone is still charging."

"Come here!"

Chen Shi hugged Tao Yueyue tightly. Although it was a bit selfish to think this way, he really didn't want the things between Little Li and Old Zhang to happen to him. If Tao Yueyue were to be brutally killed, he would have a mental breakdown.

"Yueyue, it’s very dangerous outside these next few days. You should stay at home from tomorrow onwards. Don't go out for even a step. Don't go to school." Chen Shi warned.

"But we’re about to have the junior high examination..."

"Tell your teacher that you aren’t in good health."

Lin Dongxue said, "Old Chen, I think the school would be safer, right?"

Chen Shi frowned. In a sense, Zhou Xiao had succeeded. This threatening feeling was like a sharp knife pressing down on his heart, making him unable to breathe. If it weren't for an extremely cold-hearted, ruthless person, they wouldn't have been able to think up this kind of revenge.

Chen Shi corrected himself. "Tomorrow morning, I will send you to school, and I will pick you up when school is over. Don't be alone at any moment in time."

"Uncle Chen." Tao Yueyue pushed him away with a wry smile. "How many times have you said those words? You can't pick me up on time every time. I know you’re busy with the case. Don't worry about me. I can protect myself."

"This time, I guarantee that I will definitely..."

"You don’t have to guarantee anything. Didn’t you say that we’re not related by blood, but two independent people living together? I like this feeling very much. You’re starting to worry about me, afraid of this and that. This feeling is like you’re my real dad. Although I don’t hate it, I still feel pressured."

Chen Shi shook his head and smiled before scratching the bridge of Tao Yueyue's nose. "Be careful by yourself."

Chen Shi stood up and was about to leave when Tao Yueyue asked, "You still have to work?"

"Emergency situation. I won't be back tonight."

"Oh…"

When Chen Shi was about to close the door, Tao Yueyue suddenly called out, "Uncle Chen!"

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing..." Tao Yueyue lowered her head as if stopping herself from saying something. "You guys need to be careful."

 

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