Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 31 (1 of 2) 8


Chapter 31: Dearest T (1 of 2)

At the time of the sky being almost fully lit.

At the top of a condo building.

A man sits on a simple wooden table and smokes with his head down.

There’s a wall in front of him.  It’s not decorated, but it’s pinned with many photos, pictures, newspaper cut-outs, and printouts of replies on the White Crane of Yangtze BBS.

On his left-hand side, there is a large floor-to-ceiling window.

The following numbers are written on the glass: 1, 2, 3……all the way to 7.

And for the numbers 1 to 5, they’ve all been crossed out with a big——”X”.  Only 6 and 7 are left, and these two numbers are written larger than the other ones.

The man lowers his head and inhales large breaths from the cigarette.  He then puts the cigarette butt into a small sealed bag and throws it into the garbage bag beside his legs.  He puts on a pair of gloves that are as smooth as skin, hops down from the table, takes down everything on the wall, and dumps them into the garbage bag.

The wall is completely empty now.  He turns around and wipes away the words on the glass window with a towel.

Afterward, he takes a look around quietly before he carries the long wooden violin shaped box on his back as well as the garbage bag filled with traces of him living here, and then leaves.

_____

8am.

When Jin Xi walks into the office, she sees Cold Face standing in front of Chatterbox’s desk holding a thermos and pouring him something; the scent permeates the air.

She goes over, “What good stuff do you have?”

Chatterbox answers right away, “Hot soup for hungover!  I would never have thought that Cold Face would actually boil us hungover soup in the morning!  You’re too virtuous, Cold Face.  I can’t believe there’s this side of you.”

Cold Face doesn’t bother entertaining him.  His eyebrows don’t even twitch.  Instead, he looks towards Jin Xi, “Do you want any?”

Jin Xi says, “Yes, yes, yes!  Of course, I want some!”  She holds out her cup immediately.  She sighs as she watches him pour the soup, “I never thought that besides Xu Si Bai, I would be able to meet another man who knows how to cook!  Cold Face, your attractiveness has just soared up to the sky!”

Han Chen, who’s sitting at his desk not far away, lifts his head and glances at her.

Zhou Xiao Zhuan comes in carrying a big paper bag containing a strong smell of food.

None of them have eaten breakfast yet, so they all turn to look at him.

Xiao Zhuan waves the paper bag in front of them like he’s showing off his treasure, “I’ve always heard that the breakfast beef pies at the provincial station are the best.  I lined up for half an hour and finally got to snatch five of them in the last batch!”

“Wow!” Jin Xi and Chatterbox exclaim in enthusiasm.

He takes the individually wrapped beef pies out one by one.  He gives one to Han Chen first, and then the rest to the others.

Within seconds, the Black Shield Team’s office is filled with the delicious smell of beef.

Jin Xi holds the pie with both of her hands and enjoys eating it bite after bite.  When she raises her head, she sees that everyone is eating it just like her, except for Han Chen.  His back is leaning against the chair as he sits, making him look tall with long legs.  He’s holding the pie in one hand while controlling the mouse with the other; his eyes are on the computer screen as he chews on the food at his own pace.

He’s handsome even when he’s eating.  Jin Xi has acknowledged this a long time ago. A person’s temperament really comes naturally.

After they finish eating, Chatterbox fetches some xylitol chewing gum and tosses it to everyone.  Xiao Zhuan can’t help but sigh, “Xiao Bai, do you also feel that……our team is getting along too well?”

He and Bai Jin Xi have always been a tag team; they often talk among themselves in front of everyone.  Jin Xi answers without a second thought, “Yeah, we’re getting along so well that it’s a bit too much.”

Their voices are not too loud but just audible.  Chatterbox giggles, and Cold Face and Han Chen both smile.

It’s Saturday today, so it’s rather quiet at the station.  Just when Jin Xi turns on her computer, her cell phone rings.

Speak of the devil.  It’s actually Xu Si Bai, whom she hasn’t talked to for a long while.

Jin Xi smiles picking up the phone, “You really can’t be mentioned.  Every time I do, your phone call will come.”

As if it’s out of habit, she always talks to Xu Si Bai in a soft tone, making it seem like they’re close.  Chatterbox and Xiao Zhuan both lift their heads to look at her.

Han Chen and Cold Face, on the other hand, aren’t showing any expression.

Xu Si Bai from the other end of the phone talks in his usual gentle voice, “Is that so?  What did you say about me?”

Jin Xi laughs, “Saying how you know how to cook.  What’s up?”

“Nothing.  I heard about the serial shooting case, so just wanted to call you and ask.”  It sounds like he’s driving as she can hear cars honking and the sound of the engine, “How’s it going?  Are you especially busy these days?”

“Mm.  It’s quite busy,” Jin Xi holds the phone with one hand while tapping her fingers on the table lightly with the other, “But it’s alright.  You’ll have to forgive me as I’m unable to reveal the contents of the case.”

Xu Si Bai chuckles on the other end, “I don’t care about the progress of the case.  Pay attention to your own safety, and take care of yourself well,” he pauses before continuing, “Since you’re busy, I’ll come visit you in a few days.”

Jin Xi smiles with her eyes curved, “Okay.  Since we’re buddies, I’ll treat you to some specialties in City Lan.  Come over soon!  Oh, but not too soon.  At least wait until we solve the case before coming.”

He lets out a laugh again, “Okay.  I’m hanging up now.”

After putting the phone down, Jin Xi starts humming a melody.  She taps her fingers randomly on the table before returning her gaze to the computer screen.  Chatterbox leans over with a smirk, “Bai Mei, aren’t you too gentle when talking to that forensic investigator?  Your gentleness towards the forensic Ge Ge (big brother) is like the warmth of spring, but towards us your comrades, you’re valiant like the autumn wind blowing away fallen leaves!”

Jin Xi scrunches up a tissue and throws it at him, “F— off!  I’ve been friends with him for so many years.”  Xiao Zhuan butts in, “You probably don’t know.  Xiao Bai has always been this gentle when talking to Forensic Investigator Xu!”

Just when Jin Xi is about to retort, a deep voice says in an unrushed manner, “You guys are enjoying yourselves quite a lot, aren’t you?  Should I go buy a pack of melon seeds?” (like a bag of popcorn for watching a movie)

The three of them lift their heads and see Han Chen with one arm on the armrest and the other on the table.  His side profile is apathetic, and his eyes are on the computer screen.

Chatterbox and Xiao Zhuan return to their seats immediately.

Jin Xi bites on her lip, lowers her head and gets back to work.

Han Chen’s cell phone suddenly rings at 10am.

It’s from the leader of the traffic department, “Han Chen!  We’ve found T’s car!  We’re tracking it right now!  You can send your support right away and make an arrest!”

_____

Five minutes later.

At the provincial station’s information technology department’s control room.

The information from the traffic department is without a doubt ground-breaking news.  The analyses that Han Chen made before has finally brought back some results.

The Provincial Station Chief, Qin Wen Long, and everyone at the Black Shield Team is standing behind the IT personnel, watching the live videos of the roads sent from the traffic department.

Since T’s location is rather far from the provincial station, it would be too late for them to try and drive there.  Therefore, Qin Wen Long has requested a special police unit at a district station to pursue.

The first video is from 30 minutes ago on a certain overpass.  The traffic policeman explains to the criminal investigators via the intercom: “About half an hour ago, we found a suspicious vehicle on the Changfeng Bridge outside of North Third Ring Road.”

Everyone gets worked up seeing the black colored C-Quatre on the screen.

The leader of the traffic department speaks on the intercom: “Um……according to the search plan given to us by the Black Shield Team, which is to look at the coinciding points of space and time, we can confirm that this is the vehicle that appeared on suspicious roads before and after the three shooting incidents.  Furthermore, he changed the license plate once in the middle, which was also fake.  But based on the exterior details of the car, our technician is certain that it is the same vehicle.”

Xiao Zhuan asks Bai Jin Xi quietly, “Do you think it’s him?”

Jin Xi responds softly, “Yes.”

Time, place, car model, and two fake license plates……there can’t be another person.

“Where is he now?” Qin Wen Long asks.

The person in charge at the traffic department answers: “Right after discovering the suspicious vehicle, we immediately initiated a trace.  However, he disappeared after getting off of the Chengfeng Bridge.  This is because there are a few nearby streets that don’t have surveillance cameras.  But rest assured, our team is currently combing through all possible routes.  No matter which direction he took off on, he can’t escape the eyes of our traffic police force…… Oh, what?  You’ve found him!  Great!  Put focus on the video!  Captain Qin, have your men take action immediately!”

The video feed suddenly changes to show a not too wide high road in a residential area.  In the black and white surveillance video, the vehicle traveling among the others is no other than T’s C-Quatre, isn’t it?

Qin Wen Long picks up his cell phone immediately, “Attention all teams!  Attention all teams!  T’s location will be forwarded to you right away!  T is carrying dangerous weapons.  Once you are away from the masses, capture him immediately!  Please watch for your safety!”

The members of the Black Shield Team watch without blinking their eyes.  Han Chen, on the other hand, is standing at the very front watching with his rich dark brown eyes, revealing a subtle smile.

His smile makes Jin Xi feel anxious and excited.

Without a doubt, this pursuit catches T by surprise.  It’s because the moment he enters a rather quiet and hidden road, police cars appear in front of and behind him; he speeds up right away, turns around, and drives onto a narrow muddy road.  Ponds and weeds are on both sides of the road, making it seem dangerous to drive on.  The police cars follow close behind him; they make a sharp turn, and catches up to him.

The video stops at this point.


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