The sound of a knock on his window woke Lin Chen.
The cleaning auntie, in a yellow poncho, stood outside the window.
Lin Chen got up and went over to open it.
She barked, annoyed, “Xiao Lin, do you have the key to Yan Qing’s storage room”
Lin Chen shook his head.
Then he suddenly remembered something and asked, “Isn’t school closed today”
“Yes, but the boss didn’t give us the day off.” The auntie leaned on her tall broom, “I drew the short straw on sweeping the floor.”
Lin Chen acutely noted the anomaly.
Why did Aunt Bao Jie come to him for Yan Qing’s key
He questioned, “Who told you to ask me for the key”
“Oh, it’s because you two are close.” The auntie smiled.
She had always been fond of the handsome youth, so she was more talkative.
“She resigned and said she left her key with you.
It’s not Everyone knows she went to you whenever there was something.
The older woman continued talking, but Lin Chen had a bad premonition.
Yu Yan Qing resigned, but instead of returning her keys, she told everyone they were with him
But, the keys were not with him, and if there were no key, the logistics department would have to break down the door.
Just what was behind that door
“I might have the keys, but I’ll have to look for it.
Could you sweep everywhere else first” Lin Chen leaned down to say this to her then turned around and went back to his bedside, dialing Cong Lian’s number.
He was alone when Cong Lian arrived, leaning against the basement door like he’d been there for a while.
The forensics team followed Cong Lian, and Lin Chen straightened, nodded in greeting, and made way for them.
A single, dim, yellow bulb lit the stairwell, and the pale light made his face gloomy.
As a criminal investigator, Xing Cong Lian could, of course, detect the unnatural odor in the air.
He put on a pair of gloves and opened the basement door.
The heavy scent of blood squeezed the air from everyone’s lungs for a moment.
They were accustomed to this, however, and quickly set up the appropriate restrictions on the crime scene according to regulations.
Soon after, the dark basement was bright.
Damaged desks, dilapidated beds, and textbooks were strewn about the floor, everything illuminated by the bright light.
Even the dust glittered in its shine.
There was an ochre-colored door at one end of the room.
An officer found the master key and showed it to Cong Lian for his opinion.
Cong Lian glanced at Lin Chen then took the key and went over to the door.
The act of opening a door was simple.
All one needed to do was insert the key, twist, and the door opened with a click.
But for Xing Cong Lian, there was nothing harder to do than just that.
The thick scent of blood wafted out the moment the door opened.
Cong Lian placed his hand on the door and looked back at Lin Chen, “Even I am beginning to suspect you.”
A flashlight shone into the room, and the scene ahead brought shivers to everyone present.
Countless tools, such as mops, pruners, hoes, even broken ones, were piled in the narrow room, creating a dirty, dark backdrop.
Yu Yan Qing’s naked body was crouched in the corner, bearing countless wounds, and her blood was splattered to every corner of the room.
It was as if copious scarlet worms climbed the wall, sucking away the vitality of life.
In her hand was a standard utility knife.
Its blue handle and blade were covered in coagulated blood.
Despite being experienced police officers used to murder scenes, they still couldn’t stand such a bloody picture.
The whole room was silent.
One could hear a needle if it fell.
The first sound came from the click of a camera’s shutter, followed by the flash, then the forensic team crouched and took photos from various angles.
Then a forensic examiner went in to rearrange Yu Yan Qing’s body, each movement slow and solemn.
No one spoke.
The moment Yan Qing was laid out, a handful of sand spilled from her stiffly clenched fingers.
Fine, white, and delicate, the sand flowed like aphids rushing away.
Xing Cong Lian seized Lin Chen’s hand and pulled him out of the basement.
The typhoon season was strange.
No one knew when the rain would stop, and the sky looked low and dark as if it could fall any moment.
Xing Cong Lian pushed Lin Chen down onto a bench in front of a lush, fragrant camphor plant.
He retrieved a bottle of mineral water from the trunk of his car, stuffed it into Lin Chen’s hands, and sat down.
As an officer, he knew very well that other than God, no one else could predict death unless they were the murderer or the instigator.
But, he was also convinced Lin Chen was not the murderer, so now the question was: What role did Lin Chen play in this case
“I’m not the murderer.” Lin Chen said frankly while he calmly unscrewed the bottle’s cap.
Very few could face this kind of interrogation and answer calmly.
“You were in the station when the incident at the park happened, so of course, you’re not the murderer.” Xing Cong Lian replied.
“Then you believe I didn’t kill Yu Yan Qing.” Lin Chen looked up and took a sip of the water.
This was the second time Lin Chen said the word believe to him.
And Xing Cong Lian thought, of course, he did.
But there were things that simply cannot be said, and some questions that had to be answered.
“What is it” Cong Lian asked.
“Do you remember that letter”
“She said, ‘My dear, I can finally face death calmly.’ I.
.” Lin Chen stared at Cong Lian, eyes cold, “Think about it, when would you use that word”
“I can finally eat crayfish, or, finally, I can drink cold beer.
.” Xing Cong Lian answered honestly.
“Clearly something finite, finished, over with, or something as good as done, if not already.”
Cong Lian nodded, indicating he understood what Lin Chen was trying to say.
But, even if she had already decided to die when she wrote the letter, it didn’t mean Yu Yan Qing was the perpetrator of the incident at the park.
There was no logical connection between the two.
After a long while, a possibility occurred to him.
“Was she forced to write it”
Lin Chen shook his head.
“She wrote in first-person.
She was very self-aware when she wrote the letter.
.” Lin Chen’s voice became unusually gentle, as if immersed in nostalgia, “She wrong letters to me before her death, and there was no difference between those and this one.
You know, if Yan Qing was coerced, her mood would have fluctuated heavily.
Her writing would have become messy from trembling.
But, I didn’t see anything like that.”
Cong Lian mussed his hair.
“Then what the hell was the girl thinking Writing that creepy letter”
“I’ve only read some of the letters.
The rest, I think it’s best to give to the police as the deceased’s possessions.”
Lin Chen was a little sad.
He never imagined, when receiving those letters, he would one day have to deal with them like this.
Maybe he would quit his job and leave the school without the letters, but handing over all those letters filled with the girl’s thoughts to the police was the worst ending.
He headed back to the dormitory to get the letters, but there were people waiting for him at the door.
Three men in suits.
Their clothing was neat, their expressions formal, and their shoes meticulously polished.
Two had their faces plastered on small billboards throughout the city; the principal of the school, and a member of the board of directors.
The last was someone Lin Chen already knew for a long time.
Many times over, whenever there was a knock to his dorm or residence, this person stood at the door.
Butler.” Lin Chen stood in front of the small dormitory and bowed slightly, greeting the thin man before him.
In this day and age, only the rich had butlers.
And, to afford a noble, silver-haired butler, one had to be at the top amongst the rich.
Therefore, when a butler of such a wealthy family stood in front of a dilapidated dormitory, he looked very out of place.
Like in all those movies with nasty villains, Chen Ping coughed like he was being choked as if the place was full of dust.
His head was tilted down, so it looked like he was looking at the young man from high above.
He actually appreciated Lin Chen.
How to say this.
As the old butler of the Chen Jia, he knew a lot of secrets.
Naturally, he also knew what this young man had done and how prejudiced his master was against him.
Like a wild mustard plant growing against the harsh wind, young people who could face oppression calmly were always remarkable.
But, he was a professional.
Chen Jia gave him a salary equivalent to an executive in any enterprise.
His existence was to solve any type of trouble for his master, including, of course, making trouble too.
So, he drove hundreds of miles over to Hong Jing, found the people connected to Chen Jia in the local area and turned to the directors of the three small cities in Hong Jing to make a request.
Few could refuse a request from Chen Jia, let alone one so trivial.
To dismiss the dorm warden of a certain school.
In fact, something this trivial didn’t require the presence of both the school principal and the board of directors.
He didn’t even need to meet Lin Chen.
But, as he was about to leave, someone rushed into the principal’s office.
They announced a corpse was found, and the dorm warden named Lin Chen had already reported it to the police.
“Lin Chen, right You’re fired.” The principal said, head held high.
“Why” Lin Chen looked up at the noble butler and the proud principal.
“Look at what you’ve made the dormitory look like.
That corpse in the tool room, isn’t that your responsibility Look, you’ve even brought all these officers onto the campus!” The principal shouted, voice loud enough the entire building could hear.
In the echo of the roar, a voice calm as water flowing in a stream responded.
The principal was startled and embarrassed.
He hadn’t expected the young man to accept it so simply and in such an understated manner.
But before he could respond to that, another voice came from behind the fired dorm warden, one even flatter and more unpleasant.
You have complaints in working with us officers, ah”