Chen Shi went into the bedroom and found that it was very simple and plain. It had a bed and a computer. However the desktop was missing. He checked the dust that had collected on the floor and found that someone had moved something. The desktop was forcibly taken away, deduced from the USB cable behind it being torn apart.
The broken cable they found earlier and the one they just discovered was one and the same.
Chen Shi looked around the place and muttered to himself, "As a manager, isn’t his lifestyle a bit too poor?"
He also found that the legs of the chair had created a lot of friction marks on the floor. Obviously, this person often sat in front of the computer for long periods of time. Before the autopsy, he had found that the victim had a ring of fat around his waist and had hemorrhoids. These were all characteristics of a sedentary lifestyle.
There was a lot of cigarette ash on the table as well as the remnants of soups and sauces that had splashed and fallen from the food he ate. Some of these splashes were found on the computer.
Tao Yueyue scorned, "He’s as dirty as you."
"Nonsense. My house is very clean."
“Is it? The table and underneath the bed are all very dirty.”
"Really? We’ll clean it up tonight."
Tao Yueyue opened a drawer. "I found an important clue!"
"I told you not to touch anything!"
Chen Shi walked over. There was a weird mask in the drawer. The mask was made of wood but the craftsmanship was very poor. It was most likely randomly carved using a scroll saw used in carpentry. Its right eye, nose and mouth were exposed while other places were all covered. There was a stick at the bottom for gripping.
Chen Shi took a look at it while moving it around in his hands, then sniffed the inside of the mask. There was a heavy smell of garlic and alcohol. He said, "This mask has been worn."
"What do you think the mask was used for? Will it be related to the case?"
"I don't know, and I don't want to know. I don't think it has anything to do with the case."
"That’s just your arbitrary assumption!"
Chen Shi who once used the same words towards Lin Qiupu had his words turned against him. He put the mask back in the drawer. “We don’t have time to check each and every single clue. We won’t check this mask. We should just focus on the case at hand.”
"Why don't you have time? Aren’t you unemployed?"
"Kid, don't say such hurtful things like that, okay? Uncle made a bet with someone. If the case is broken within 24 hours, then we can go to the best restaurant for a meal, okay?"
"Okay!" Tao Yueyue was delighted.
Chen Shi went outside the unit and asked the neighbourhood aunty, "What is the name of this house’s owner?"
"He is not the owner of this residence. The house is rented and Master Lu is called Lu Jianye."
"I remember that he’s the manager of a lighting company. Is his salary not very high? Why does he live in a rented house? The house is so plain and shabby. What about his wife? When did they divorce?"
The aunt of the neighbourhood smiled. "Officer, you have too many questions. I don't know what his income is like... As for the wife, oh, I should say ex-wife. I remember that they divorced very early on."
“Is there any way of contacting her?”
"The neighborhood committees should have her contact details. I’ll go and help you find it.” She said as she went downstairs first.
Chen Shi told the two policemen, "My colleagues will come over and investigate this house again. You shouldn’t go in just yet. The city bureau has taken over this case.”
"Then the death of his son..."
"Where is the corpse right now?"
"We put it in the hospital!"
"Which hospital? The forensic analysts will have to go over and check the body.”
They all went downstairs together. At this time, Lin Dongxue called and said with surprise, "Chen Shi, is this for real? My brother told me that you are investigating the case alone? Does he trust you this much now?"
"He doesn’t trust me. It’s just that none of you were available this afternoon… Where have you been?"
"I took a half-day to attend a traffic safety class. After two days, my driver's license will be returned to me. I only just got back to the station."
"Perfect. Help me check the financial situation of the victim. I will send you the extensive details through text later on.”
"Okay! Are you sure you’re going to be okay alone? Do you need..."
"No, I made a bet with your brother to solve the case within 24 hours.”
"I can't understand you men." Lin Dongxue remarked before hanging up the phone.
Tao Yueyue pulled the clothes of Chen Shi, and Chen Shi asked her what happened. Tao Yueyue pointed at the silhouette leaving. "The uncle just walked to the front and suddenly turned around. I feel that he’s a bit suspicious. Could it be the murderer?"
Chen Shi smiled and poked her nose. "Everything you said in the beginning was correct. Your last sentence however, is jumping the gun a bit.”
"This is my reasoning! Those two police uncles are standing there. The man left as soon as he saw them. He must feel guilty, so he is the murderer."
"What kind of reasoning is this?"
"Do you want to go up and talk to him?"
"No, don't go!"
Even if they got lucky and this person happened to be the murderer, if they went up to him, they wouldn’t have much to ask him about.
Chen Shi followed his own principles. You must have something to go on when investigating a case. He must make a choice when investigating. He couldn’t chase every clue like a cat lured by a laser pointer. The strange mask that was just found in the victim’s house and its relationship with the whole case was not clear. Therefore, he decisively gave up that angle.
If not, it would be impossible to solve the case within the time limit.
The aunt of the neighborhood came back with a printed document in her hand. Chen Shi glanced at it and said, "His wife isn’t in this city?"
"Who was the child’s custody awarded to?"
"At the time, custody over him was awarded to the father, but the child was already nineteen this year. He went out to work... I say working, but he’s just been fooling around with shady people and gangsters all day. He often went to his dad for money. When his dad didn’t give him money, they would quarrel. One time, their argument was particularly intense. A computer mouse was thrown around and almost hit a pregnant woman downstairs. At that time, I went to criticize and educate that boy. Right, officers, I have to divulge something. His son dropped by yesterday.”
"It was probably around five or six o'clock. Someone saw his son running down with a desktop. Lao Lu chased him as he yelled at him. His words were pretty terrible. He called his son disrespectful and that he knew that he should have just shot him at the wall instead. I have never seen Lao Lu yelling at someone like that. His temper had always been very good... Guess what happened next? His son actually threw the computer into the river. Then, Lao Lu jumped down to try to salvage it. There were a lot of people who witnessed this.”
“How is Lu Jianye with water?”
"He should know how to swim because he swam back by himself at the time. He sat under a willow tree on the shore and cried about how his son wasn’t filial at all.”
“He can swim?” Chen Shi muttered to himself, revealing a disappointed look. “Then, how did this all happen?”
"I don't know. The neighbors asked him, but he only responded that his son was terrible, getting physical when he couldn’t get the money he wanted. We don’t know about the specifics though."
"Which river are you talking about?"
"It’s in the area. Didn’t you see it when you came over?"
"Excuse me, but could you take me to the location where that situation happened?”
Chen Shi asked the two policemen to go back first and wait for the people in the city bureau for handover. Then, he went to the river with the aunty. This "river" was very shallow and narrow with the flow rate being very slow. In fact, this “river” was made because the developers were trying to get a marketing point of having water that surrounded the neighborhood. The water came from an actual lake that the little community was built next to.
Chen Shi picked up a branch from the ground and inserted it into the water. The whole branch was completely submerged. The water depth in this area should exceed one meter. He mumbled, "It seems that the victim could indeed swim."
1. Masturbated instead.
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