Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 6 13


Chapter 6: Beginning of the Battle

There are actually many rumors regarding Han Chen.

Some say, he is the best criminal investigator.

His out of this world investigation skills and fierce personality make up this incredible detective whom even the most cold-blooded criminals are afraid of.  He reportedly had spent seven days and nights without sleep just to catch one of the most wanted criminals.  When he arrested him, his emotions were already close to the edge of eruption; it is said that no matter which murder case falls into his hand, they will never go unsolved.  There was once a difficult case that had been troubling the local police for months, but after he paid one visit to the crime scene, he was able to confirm the suspect……An old veteran criminal investigator who had worked with him before commented: You cannot not remain unconvinced by him.  His brain is like an intricate computer; his logic and calculative skills as well as his attention to detail are unbelievable; his pace is surprisingly fast too.

But there are some who say that he is the worst criminal investigator.

Although his skills are unimaginably incredible, he is unconstrained and bad-tempered. It is said that, he was originally hired by the Ministry of Public Security as one of the most distinguished young specialists, and the youngest first class officer, who was to stay at the central government office. However, he insisted on being a regular criminal investigator at a local station, which made the Ministry of Public Security very mad.

Rumors also say that he hasn’t been getting along well with the Chief of Provincial Police and other fellow officers.  It’s because he is proud and aloof; he’s not close to anyone.  When he’s on a case, he works relentlessly; others who work with him feel exhausted; no one can stand it.

Furthermore, he often requests for days off and disappear for a few days or over ten days.  No one knows where he goes to or what he does; he does not work collaboratively at all.

Some even say that he often hangs out at the red-light district; dining, drinking, gambling, having sex and all the like; his lovers are all across the country.  But this is an unconfirmed rumor; otherwise, he would have been kicked out of the central government long ago.

……

Due to his fame, Bai Jin Xi had also once imagined what this Great Master looked like.  He must be a manly man who’s fierce, bad tempered, and unrestrained.

Of course, she had also imagined him as one of the typical men who frequent the nightclubs.  She thought that he would be a matured man in his thirties; probably with a scar on his face and missing a finger on his left hand or something.

Who knew that when the two characteristics are mashed together, he would look like this?

Young and handsome, cold and fierce, and full of hostility.

Bai Jin Xi glances at this “rumored” man again.

She has always been someone who becomes tough when she meets another tough person; meeting his serene yet provoking gaze, she is full of determination.  She fiddles with her necklace with one hand (this is her small habit; most detectives have this kind of gestures or habits), and speaks in front of the other police officers who are full of anticipation:

“According to victim Ma Xiao Fei, she has not have any conflicts involving money or arguments with anybody.  She is also unfamiliar with the suspect’s body figure.  Of course, we will still need to investigate her social network further.  But based on other similar sexual assault cases that happened in the victims’ homes in the past, it’s very possible that it was done by a stranger.

There have not been any other sexual assault cases using similar methods in the area or in Jiangcheng as a whole.  Therefore, this should be the suspect’s first offense.  Since this is an old area, the streets are complicated, so people who are not from around here would easily get lost; but he was well planned for the crime.  He must have spent a lot of time stalking her before.  Therefore, I can conclude the following: one, it’s possible that he lives nearby or works close to here.  The main search area is within 5 kilometers; two, he has enough free time and flexible hours to be able to plan and commit the crime.”

All the criminal investigators nod, agreeing with these common characteristics; most cases are done by people around the area.  By the window, Han Chen’s eyes spark, but he doesn’t say anything.

Bai Jin Xi continues, “Thirdly, if we can confirm that it was done by a stranger, the suspect that we’re looking for would be a driver, a worker, an expedited delivery man, delivery person……etcetera.  An employee who is powerful and skillful.

This is because during the whole time, the suspect clearly showed his masculinity and anger.  During the assault, regardless of whether she was facing him or her back was towards him, he had dominance over her; he wounded her unnecessarily, which I think helped him release his anger and feel pleasure at the same time.  He also damaged items in the apartment that he didn’t have to; we did not find any loss of possession……

Imagine a man like this: well-built, powerful, suppressed views of masculinity, and hatred towards reality.  You might not be able to find anything wrong with him during the day, but it’s likely that he has chosen a job that shows his traits as a man and strengths.  Since he used nylon ropes and tape to take control of the victim, he was agile, his work hours must have been flexible, so I believe that he would be a truck driver, an employee of a moving company, or electrical technician……etcetera.”

After her long speech, all the officers are in silence.

Han Chen is also quiet.  It’s just that his expression doesn’t seem to have changed; his handsome face still looks cool and indifferent as always.

After a while, Zhou Xiao Zhuan says excitedly, “Leader, well said.”  Bai Jin Xi smiles at him and the both of them gaze toward Han Chen at the same time.  Probably due to their arrogant expressions that a hint of smile brushes across Han Chen’s eyes.

He obviously looks better smiling than not.  His dark pupils look as if they have sparkling; cold yet captivating.

But Bai Jin Xi has lost a fight against him before, so she can’t help but shudder from his faint smile.

She keeps a straight face and smiles in front of everybody, “Let’s get to work.”

Everyone shouts back with, “yes,” and starts getting back to work; those who are searching the area continues searching the area; those who are planning to probe the neighbours go probe the neighbours……

Bai Jin Xi is just about to go outside with Zhou Xiao Zhuan when she suddenly recalls something.  She turns and looks at Han Chen whom she has neglected completely, and says in realization, “Oh right, Detective Han Chen of the provincial station.  I almost forgot to ask, what other valuable opinions do you have?”

Her voice is crisp and clear, so it’s not until now that everyone realizes that their attention had been fully captured by Bai Jin Xi’s speculations and they actually forgot about this big shot.

Everyone halts what they’re doing and looks towards Han Chen.

Bai Jin Xi is also looking at him with a slight smile.

And provoking him slightly.

Han Chen doesn’t say anything.

One of his hands is resting on the window sill as he stares at her in coldness.

He takes out a pack of cigarettes, takes one out, and holds it between his fingers.  His other hand is holding the lighter, but he doesn’t light it.  He fiddles the cigarette with his long fingers.

The two continues to stare at each other for a while.

Bai Jin Xi suddenly feels like she has brought this upon herself.

Alright, so super detective is nothing more than this.  She knew that legendary rumors are just for fame.  She had defeated him, hasn’t she?  She has shocked him, hasn’t she?  He has nothing else to say, right?

The corners of her mouth raises.  She turns around and plans to leave with Zhou Xiao Zhuan.  After waiting in an awkward moment of silence, everyone has also turned back to get busy with what they’re doing.

“At the scene, there are three……” a deep, powerful, and a rather heavy Beijing accented voice speaks again, “obvious points of suspicion.”

Bai Jin Xi’s heart pounds; she turns her head along with everybody to look at Han Chen.

His pale chin lifts slightly.  His dark eyes staring at Bai Jin Xi, like the deepest end of silence and full of tension.

“Point of suspicion one: the suspect used his mouth in the end to let the victim climax.  This is very rare in a sexual assault case.  Why?”

His voice is low and steady.  Although he has such a handsome face, his voice is deep and moving.

The officers are startled; Bai Jin Xi is slightly startled too.

“Secondly,” he places the cigarette into his mouth, “why did he break a bunch of things at the scene?  Maybe it’s because……” he glances at Bai Jin Xi, “You said it was anger, but maybe it’s to cover up something else.”

The officers start nodding.  Bai Jin Xi’s mouth twitches.

“Thirdly, during the assault, why did he have to open the bedroom window?” Han Chen lowers his head, lights the cigarette, and then says calmly, “Is he a stupid idiot?”

Bai Jin Xi is completely stunned.

The first thing that comes to her mind is the words, “stupid idiot.”  For a handsome and refined man to say them out feels a bit unsuitable.  But he said them rather naturally in his flippant Beijing accent with a roll of his tongue; cold, fierce, and cruel.

The second thing is the question of why the window was open.

The area is mixed with all kinds of people, and is unsafe.  The incident happened in the middle of the night.  Ma Xiao Fei lives alone in a low level apartment, so it’s unlikely that she would leave her windows wide open.  After surveying the place, the windows in the living room and hallways are all closed.  According to Ma Xiao Fei’s report, only the bedroom window was opened by the suspect.

Opening the window will expand the view while also decreasing the effect of sound proofing.  It’s a disadvantage for committing crimes.

Why did the suspect open the window?

Everyone is immersed in the thought.  Han Chen on the other hand, already has a cigarette in his mouth.  He walks straight out the door without bothering to look at anyone.  He reaches out his hand and rests it lightly on Si Si’s shoulder who has been waiting outside.  They walk down the stairs.

_____

It was around 1am when Si Si received a phone call from Ma Xiao Fei asking for help.

They’re neighbours, and have a close relationship; Si Si would leave her boy with Ma Xiao Fei to babysit sometimes.  Ma Xiao Fei was terribly frightened in the dark when she thought of Si Si, the independent and strong single-mother.

After Si Si arrived at the scene, she was also scared and shocked.  She asked Ma Xiao Fei if she wanted to call the police.  Ma Xiao Fei, who’s also an independent woman, nodded in tears painfully.

Si Si called Han Chen first——she knew that he was a criminal investigator.

And then, the police arrived.


Standing at the entrance of the building, Si Si holds Ma Xiao Fei by the shoulders and then turns to advise Han Chen, “Big Brother Han, I’ll take her to the hospital first.  You……”

Han Chen nods, “Go.”

The ambulance and police car leave the place quickly.  Two officers are guarding the entrance, and probably because the famous detective is here, they greet him politely.

Han Chen nods, leans on the wall, and continues to smoke.

_____

This is what Bai Jin Xi sees when she comes downstairs.

The sun is already out, lighting up the streets and buildings everywhere, painting it with vibrant colors.  Han Chen is standing in the shadows with his jacket taken off.  He’s only wearing a dark colored shirt and a pair of black pants.  One of his feet is resting flat against the filthy wall behind him.

He is smoking with his head down; the smoke surrounds his pale fingers.  His side profile has distinct contours and his facial features are refined and beautiful; his long lashes cover his eyes.

It’s just that, watching him hold the cigarette with two fingers make him seem isolated and heartless.

A thought springs into Bai Jin Xi’s mind: he really does look like a bad-ass cop.

Han Chen raises his head as he notices her watching him.  His eyes are dark brown and clear as always.  Smokes come out as he exhales.

Bai Jin Xi shoves her hands into her pockets and walks right past him.

They brush past each other.

“You cried from pain?” a low and deep voice suddenly asks impassively.

Bai Jin Xi is stunned before she realizes what he is trying to say.

She came to work with red swollen eyes today.  Other than Zhou Xiao Zhuan, all the officers took a second look at her.  This fella……cried from pain?

Her shoulder……

He’s actually putting her down……

Bai Jin Xi stops her footsteps and takes a deep breath.

Her arm moves at lightning speed and in a second, she presses it against his neck.  She holds him by the wall with a “thump”!  But he doesn’t fight back, allowing her to take control.  His long narrow eyes are semi closed, watching her silently.

Her movement was too loud.  The two officers at the front entrance have been startled and are now peeking at them, “Officer Bai……”

It’s worth mentioning that in their eyes, Officer Bai has always been tough and violent, and she now has the quiet handsome legendary investigator pressed against the wall.

Bai Jin Xi isn’t even bothering to explain to them.

The alleyway between buildings is cramped; their two bodies are almost touching each other.  Since he’s tall, Bai Jin Xi has to stand on her tiptoes in order to hold him by his neck, so her entire body is pinned against his.

He isn’t showing the slightest bit of worry; quietly staring at her.  Now that they’re so close to each other, Bai Jin Xi notices that his pupils are dark and large, like a child’s pair of eyes.  No wonder she can’t help but be captivated by his eyes when looking from afar.

However, it’s impossible for Bai Jin Xi to show any friendliness.  She sneers.

“I’m usually not this violent,” her usual crisp voice is suppressed, sounding deep and fierce, “but some people go too far and are too hateable, so there’s no helping it.”

He looks at her and doesn’t say anything.

His silence irritates Bai Jin Xi.  It feels as if she has given out a punch, but can’t tell what her opponent is up to.

Just when she is about to release her arm, he suddenly raises his eyes; just like the night when they first met; they’re covered in icy coldness.

“I don’t usually threaten others either,” he says slowly, “I was investigating a private matter at Su Se.  If you continue to butt in……” he pauses.

Bai Jin Xi is a bit surprised.

She feels a big force towards her arm in an instant.

She can’t believe it, but it’s too late!

He didn’t even lift an arm; he just stood up straight and his chest raised forward.  It was so forceful that Bai Jin Xi arms couldn’t hold him still.

Damn it!  Bai Jin Xi releases her arms and wants to escape out of reflex.  But where would she escape to?  Her vision suddenly goes blurry and before she knows it, a powerful arm is held against her neck——he has actually pressed her against the wall backhanded.

The cramped and dark space is permeated with the smell of mold and dirt.  Bai Jin Xi is embarrassingly being pressed against the wall by him; she almost loses her breath.  She wants to kick him subconsciously, but she actually doesn’t dare to as she looks into his dark brown eyes.

It’s as if he could sense her thought, a hint of smile brushes across his cold and apathetic gaze.

Bai Jin Xi grits her teeth, “You bastard!”

His expression is calm while his gaze is forceful.

The two of them stare at each other; eye to eye; breathing against each other.

Bai Jin Xi refuses to submit.

She knows that he’s waiting for her to admit her loss.

This cold and scheming fella.

But she doesn’t want to step down.

One second, two seconds, three seconds……

“Jin Xi?”

A clear and gentle voice suddenly speaks from nearby.

Han Chen and Bai Jin Xi both turn to look.

In the open area in front of the building, Xu Si Bai, who’s wearing a white lab coat, head cap, and gloves, is looking at them scrunching his eyebrows.


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