Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 10 5


Chapter 10: The Suspects

Dawn.

Bai Jin Xi pushes the office door open.  The first thing she sees is the man sitting by the window.

Dark grey shirt made of excellent quality.  His sleeves are rolled up, revealing his pale yet well-built arms.  Half a cigarette is resting on the ashtray with smoke rising from it while he’s holding a cup of coffee and reading a newspaper with an impassive gaze.

Bai Jin Xi knows very well why Han Chen has appeared so early in the morning——”Department store sales associate rapist case” dedicated team office.

This case is so hard to solve and he’s such a legendary detective, so how could the cunning District Chief let the opportunity of having support slip away?  Apparently, the District Chief took Xiao Zhuan with him and visited Han Chen’s hotel room last night.  He invited him, as the “provincial leader”, to help with investigating the case.

He raises his head and glances at her as he notices the noise.  Those solemn and beautiful eyes continue to penetrate into others’ hearts.

Bai Jin Xi takes her seat.

The room is quiet.

After writing her report for a while, Bai Jin Xi can’t help but raise her head to stare at him.  Seeing that he doesn’t notice, she scrunches up a piece of paper and throws it at his face.

Han Chen catches it easily without even looking.

He then turns towards her; his eyes are emotionless.  He lifts his arm slightly and throws the scrunched up paper away.

Bai Jin Xi says, “Han Chen.  This is my case.  I can’t say anything about you being here, but everyone knows the rules.  The one thing that a case cannot have is too many leaders.  We should keep our peace.  I don’t like others stepping in when I’m solving a case.  Do you understand?”

Han Chen glances at her, holds his newspaper back up, and says coldly, “No.”

Bai Jin Xi, “You!”

She says after a while, “What do you want then?  I’m talking to you nicely, so why do you have to be so difficult……”

“Criminal psychological reasoning……” Han Chen interrupts her, “is the most useless, naive, and opinionated out of all investigation methods.”  He continues slowly, “Why do I have to understand?”

Bai Jin Xi is struck dumb.

Staring at his cold and impassive eyes, she suddenly realizes.

He’s not quarreling with her or trying to take revenge by putting her down.

He really despises or even loathes criminal psychology.

_____

Criminal psychology, as the name implies, uses reasoning in psychology to advance in crime solving.  Bai Jin Xi is able to infer that the suspect lives nearby and is likely to be a factory worker through the use of psychology, and not from real evidence.

Bai Jin Xi likes criminal psychology; she likes the feeling of conjuring the impossible and being able to veer off track.  She’s very good at it too.  Every time she observes the scene of the crime, the descriptions of the criminal would automatically float into her mind——it seems that her knowledge and skills that she learned from police academy haven’t disappeared despite her having lost her memory.

But in the current police forces of China, not many of them accept or emphasize on criminal psychology.  Some veteran officers even reject or dislike it feeling that psychology is too abstract and is not dependable.

Bai Jin Xi never thought that a young and well-known legendary investigator such as Han Chen would actually be so conservative and close-minded.

She remains silent for a second, and then suddenly stands up.

She doesn’t look at him.  She walks straight to the middle section of the white board.

The white board still has her conclusions from yesterday written on it:

“1, 25-30 years old.  High school education, and flunked the college entrance exam;
2, Divorced, or has been dumped by a long time cohabiting girlfriend;
3, Likes to drink, fight, and gamble;
4, A factory worker, expedited delivery man, driver, etcetera;
……”

“Han Chen,” she calls his name.

He lifts his eyes to look at her.

“Listen to my analysis before you make your conclusion,” she says.

He doesn’t say anything.

He puts one of his arms flat on the armrest, while placing his other arm on the other side casually.  His eyes stare at her serenely, as if he’s examining her, yet he looks indifferent at the same time.

Bai Jin Xi rolls her eyes.

She gave the other investigators a quick summary yesterday and didn’t have time to provide a detailed explanation.  She was just in the process of writing the detail report just now.

She starts again slowly.  But once she does, her speech is sharp and provoking:

“The most useless criminal psychology tells us that there are four types of rapists.”  She glances at him, “Type one, a self-compensating rapist.  They are unsuccessful in real life and have low self-esteem.  They may even be shy, detached, and an introvert.  They rape others to compensate their inabilities.  It’s clear that our suspect is not of this type;

Type two, an abusive rapist, as in sexual perversion.  They would conduct acts of extreme violence on the victim for pleasure.  Although our suspect did wound our victims through abuse, it’s still far from violent;

Type three, an impulsive rapist.  Clearly, he is not this kind either.

He is the fourth type: anger transfer rapist.”

Han Chen stares at her with his cold eyes, but his face still does not reveal any expression.

Bai Jin Xi continues, “This type of rapist is full of anger in life, which is why they release their anger through the process of raping.  It’s clearly illustrated whether it’s wounding the victims or breaking things at the scene.

For a lower to middle income blue collar man who desires to show his masculinity and power, what is the best way for him to gain excitement and release his anger in his life living at an old district of Jiangcheng?  The answer is: gambling, drinking, fighting or beating up others, having sex, and street racing.  Therefore, he must have one of these or a few of these habits.”

She finishes telling him this much in one go.  Perhaps it’s due to her concentration that her pair of beautiful eyes are glistening with excitement; staring at Han Chen brightly.  Han Chen stares back at her, raises his hand to take a smoke, and still doesn’t reveal his thoughts.

“He also has a very obvious trait, which is that he still hopes to reconcile with his partner.  To put it simply, he ‘loves and hates’ her.

During the process of raping, he abuses the victims’ bodies continuously.  This is hatred; but then he uses his mouth to let the victims reach their climax, and Ji Ya Xin also mentioned: he dimmed the bedroom lights and turned on the TV to play the news——these things have no effect on covering up his crime, yet they clearly create an atmosphere of ‘home’——this is love.

Furthermore, his masculine facial features and personality most likely help him attract women easily.  Therefore, I conclude: he once had a long-term and steady love relationship.  For example, he might have been married or have been living together.  However, they’ve broken up, so that’s why he feels love and hate at the same time.

As for his age and education?  That’s easy to tell.  Through his choices of victims, it clearly shows his view on life and experience.  Both victims are around ages of twenty-four to five, and are not highly educated, but they are pretty and independent.  In other words, they are ‘working women who have just matured.’  When our manly suspect chooses his victims, he must choose ‘a woman who matches him.’  Therefore, his age is within 25-30 years old.  If he’s younger, he wouldn’t have such views in life.  If he’s older, he would have committed crimes earlier, and wouldn’t be just starting now.

Of course, this is all a cycle of cause and effect.  It’s because he chooses these women that they would call the police after being victimized and not keep quiet about it.  This gives the police more information.

He flunked the college entrance exam.  Since he desires excitement, has a manly personality, and holds hatred in real life, if he had an opportunity to study in university, he would have been able to leave and not be stuck here working as a factory worker.”

……

Bai Jin Xi feels that her analysis is perfect, so she can’t help but feel a bit elated.  She takes a breath, walks to the desk, takes a sip of tea from the cup, and glances at Han Chen.

“How about that?  Do you agree with me now?” she asks frivolously.

Han Chen looks at her in silence.

Because he’s so quiet it makes his facial features seem even more prominent.  His long and narrow eyes, tall nose, and thin lips.  Every single feature is handsomely beautiful, yet they are full of coldness.

“Everything you’ve said is correct.  But, you can’t solve the case,” he says softly, “so how can you make me agree with you?”

Bai Jin Xi opens her eyes wide.

She can’t solve the case?

That’s impossible.

Han Chen speaks again in an extremely impassive voice, “Do you dare to bet?  If you win, I’ll definitely not interfere with the case.  If I win……” he pauses.

Bai Jin Xi finishes his words without hesitation, “If you win, I’ll take you as my leader.  I’ll do whatever you tell me to without a word.”

“Okay.”

Their eyes meet each other and they say nothing more.

The sound of door knocking comes on.  Zhou Xiao Zhuan pushes the door open and walks inside holding a thick stack of files.

“Leader!  Officer Han,” his expression is awkward and helpless, “There’s good news and bad news.”

Bai Jin Xi glares at him, “It has to be good news.”

Zhou Xiao Zhuan throws the pile of files onto her desk, “The good news is, we’ve confirmed the list of suspects.  The bad news is——” he spreads out his hands, “there are 75 suspects.  75, leader!  The highest number of suspects in Jiangcheng history!”

Bai Jin Xi is struck dumb.  She grabs the stack of files, “How can this be?”

Zhou Xiao Zhuan says depressingly, “Leader, we’re in such bad luck!  Within 5km of the crime scene, there’s actually a Blue Star Mechanical Factory.  There are a couple hundred of workers in there, and those guys all meet your profile: 25-30 years old, strong male, high school education, and has flexible hours based on the three shifts that they have.  That factory used to be quite productive, but it hasn’t been doing well in recent years, so there really are quite a high number of them who have been dumped by their girlfriends……Leader, we’ve really hit a dead-end.  There’s no way to tell who’s who!”

Bai Jin Xi is in complete shock.

She turns to look at Han Chen subconsciously.

He’s leaning on the back of his chair, his gaze is serene, and his posture is composed.

He clearly knew that this would be the outcome.

He actually knows all about this.

Zhou Xiao Zhuan is still going on and on about it when Bai Jin Xi just wants to bang her head on the desk.

An area the size of a palm (figurative) can actually have seventy to eighty well-built and young single men who have been dumped by their girlfriends.  This is absolutely ridiculous and testing the limits, isn’t it?!

Furthermore, she has even bet her dignity on it!

Bai Jin Xi, “Cough…..Xiao Zhuan, go outside for a minute.”

“Oh, okay.”

After Xiao Zhuan leaves, the room is quiet again.

Bai Jin Xi is lost without words.  But making up nonsense excuses and refusing to admit her wrong is a must.  Just as she’s thinking of what to say, she sees Han Chen staring at her.  His long and lean bright arms are resting on the table while he’s tapping lightly.  His eyes are serene as usual; still like the waters.

Bai Jin Xi feels a bit uncomfortable from his stare, “About that……”

“Lower your head, shut up,” he interrupts her nonchalantly, “Speak only when I tell you to.”

Bai Jin Xi, “……!”

He has already picked up his cup and taken a sip of coffee.  He continues to read his newspaper.

Bai Jin Xi lowers her head and flips through the suspects’ info furiously.

This is insane!

The room is in a long moment of silence.

Although Bai Jin Xi feels bullied, the case is more important nonetheless.  Holding the suspects’ info in her hands, she quickly starts to focus on reading them.

Soon after, she hears the sound of the door.

When she raises her head, she sees that Han Chen’s spot is already empty and the office door has closed itself gently.  He has left already.

_____

The other side of the door is the larger office of the criminal investigation team.  Han Chen walks past it unconcernedly.  An investigator proactively greets this famous detective, but he only nods back calmly; he’s tall, handsome, and attractive, but he gives others the feeling of being unapproachable.

The entrance of the criminal investigation team’s office faces a long corridor.  No one is walking through it at the moment.  Han Chen leans against the wall, tilts his head to light up a cigarette, and looks far away with his eyes half closed; his gaze is indifferent as he smokes.

The sound of footsteps can be heard coming up the stairs; steadily and evenly.

“Forensic Investigator Xu.”
“Forensic Investigator Xu, you’re here to deliver lunch to Xiao Bai?” a passerby greets him enthusiastically.

“Hello.”
“Good morning.”  That person’s voice is clear and gentle, like a breeze in spring.

Han Chen taps off the ash and raises his eyes to look.

Xu Si Bai makes it to the top of the staircase holding stacked lunchboxes.  His refined and pale face is showing a slight smile.  His eyes meet Han Chen’s when he lifts his head.

Xu Si Bai pauses for a second.

And then shifts his gaze away.  He walks straight past Han Chen as if he doesn’t see anyone there.

Han Chen watches him pass, pauses for a moment, and suddenly smiles faintly.  He continues to smoke while looking to a distant place where the clouds end.

_____

The door squeaks open.

Bai Jin Xi says without lifting her head, “Can I raise my head now?  Can I talk now?  Give me some clear instructions, will you, boss?  Otherwise, I’ll be very scared.”

The person keeps silent for a moment and then calls her, “Jin Xi.”

A voice that is clear and smooth like water.

Bai Jin Xi lifts her head and grins, “It’s you.”

Xu Si Bai walks to her steadily, places the thermal lunch boxes onto the table and asks while opening them, “Who did you think I was?”

Bai Jin Xi says pouting, “That gloomy person outside.”

A hint of smile brushes across Xu Si Bai’s eyes.  He pushes the lunch dishes toward her, sits down, and says gently, “Hurry and eat.”

“Alright,” she doesn’t bother to hold back; she picks up her chopsticks and starts to gobble down delicious food in each of the containers.  She digs in, while Xu Si Bai leans against the leather seat with a peaceful look and his hand resting on the back; he taps casually with his fingers.

It’s just that Bai Jin Xi still has her mind on the case, so after eating for a while, she can’t help but grab the files and read them while biting on her chopsticks.  Xu Si Bai observes her face, glances at the papers in her hand, and asks softly, “The case is not going smoothly?”

Bai Jin Xi lifts her head to look at him.

She never hides in front of her buddy, Xu Si Bai.  She nods and says frowning, “I’ve never come across such a difficult case.”

This is true.

Although she is the super detective of Guanhu police station and quite well-known in Jiangcheng, the bottom line is, how difficult can cases be at a district station?  She has indeed solved a murder case before, but the murderer turned out to be a farmer in a nearby village; he was so nervous that he couldn’t sleep after committing the crime.  She took a look in the village and confirmed the suspect based on their love and hate relationship.  After a brief interrogation, the suspect broke down emotionally and admitted it.  She has also solved a sexual assault case, but that young lad didn’t even wear a condom, so his DNA was everywhere; it would have been hard to not solve the case.

“But this case is not the same,” she says, “The offender had great planning.  He was calm and cruel.  He didn’t leave any evidence.  Furthermore……”  She sighs, “There just happens to be a factory nearby.  There are too many suspects who fit the profile.”

She lays her head flat on the table, feeling helpless.  Xu Si Bai stares at her thoughtfully for a minute and suddenly smiles.

“What are you smiling about?” she glares at him.

His smile slowly disappears.  He looks at her with his bright eyes.

“Bai Jin Xi,” he starts, “there are no case in this world that you can’t solve.  This has been true in the past, and it will always be true.”

Bai Jin Xi blinks.  Her body that felt like a puddle of mud just now suddenly sits up straight.  She stares at him, “Why do you have such confidence in me?”

Xu Si Bai stands up, and packs the lunch boxes one by one.  His refined and handsome face is calm and composed.

“Because you’re Bai Jin Xi.  You’re my one and only……” he lifts his head to look at her, “buddy.”

Bai Jin Xi is stunned for a few seconds.

His casual words ignited her emotions, as if she could feel a burning sensation inside her heart.

After a moment of silence, she nods her head only and says, “Mm!  I can’t say about other things, but after the case is solved, I’ll treat you to a big dinner.”

Xu Si Bai’s eyes show a slight smile, “Okay.”

She must have been exhausted from working on the case for consecutive days, so after finishing eating, Bai Jin Xi feels extremely sleepy after sitting for a brief while.  She squints at Xu Si Bai; he’s reading a book from her desk.

It’s noon and the scorching sun is shining outside; so hot that could burn your skin.  He’s such a peaceful and quiet person; no one can bear to see him leave walking under the bright sun.

“I’m going to take a nap.  You should take a rest too,” she says, “Leave a bit later.”

“Mm.”

It’s breezy in the afternoon, swaying the golden leaves on the tree outside the window.  Bai Jin Xi leans forward on the table, resting her head on her arms.  She falls into deep sleep not long later.

The room is silent.

Xu Si Bai reads the book quietly for a while, and then lifts his head.

Sunlight passes through the small window, shining on Bai Jin Xi’s desk.  A golden strip of brightness on the black desktop accents her soft and pale face.  Her sleeping position is not good; arms and legs spread out like a guy.  It’s just that compared to her usual pride and arrogance, her sleeping face seems a lot calmer.  Her slightly wavy hair falls onto the desktop.  The curved eyebrows on her oval face look as if they’ve been drawn with black ink.  Her cheeks still carry a bit of baby fat, making her seem tranquil and cute.

Xu Si Bai watches her for a moment, puts the book down, and walks towards her.

They’re sitting close to begin with.  He walks to the side of her desk with his gaze still fixed on her face.  The sun shines on both of them; warm yet glaring.  Xu Si Bai closes his eyelids slightly and presses one hand on the desktop.

After a while, he bends over, closes his eyes, and his lips slowly approaches.


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