Chapter 9: My Capability
The second victim’s name is Ji Ya Xin.
Ji Ya Xin has had the feeling of being stalked by someone recently.
But it was an unconfirmed feeling, and she had no proof of it. She felt that the police would definitely ignore her case if she reported it.
She’s a sales associate at the company’s perfume counter; has fairly good pay and lives independently. It’s just that her shifts end late at night every day; the mall closes at 10pm, and after she finishes checking the transactions for the day, it’s 11pm by the time she arrives home.
The stalker usually appears on her way home from work.
In the long and shadowy alleyway, and the narrow corner void of people, she always hears steady footsteps following her at a distance. But whenever she turns around, she sees no one.
“Could it just be a coincidence that someone passed by?” an officer asks.
She shakes her head.
She’s certain that those footsteps were from the same person.
But Ji Ya Xin wasn’t too nervous about it.
She’s quite pretty and is used to being pursued by quite a few admirers ever since she was young; there were a couple who wouldn’t give up. So she thought maybe this was also one of her admirers and it wasn’t a big deal.
Furthermore, if he really had bad intentions, she wasn’t afraid either. She usually carried pepper spray in her purse. She had great reflex, confidence, and had never been taken advantage of. If he dared to do anything to her, she would definitely be able to protect herself and call the police.
With that in mind, Ji Ya Xin kept herself alert of the stalker, and tried her best to get off work at the same time as her colleagues. A few days later, she noticed that the stalker stopped appearing.
He must have backed off.
Therefore, she didn’t take it to heart.
It was Wednesday.
It was 11:30pm when she left the department store. Her colleague who usually took the same way home as her was out of the country, so she headed home by herself.
But she didn’t care much.
Nothing happened on her way home; she picked the routes that were well lit with street lamps, and didn’t hear any footsteps following her.
Her home was on the third floor. It was already late at night, so the corridors were quiet. To her surprise, all the lights on the second and third floor were out. She sighed and fetched for a small flashlight and keys from her purse. She opened her apartment door while humming a melody.
The instant she opened the door, shivers ran through her whole body.
It was because she heard another person’s breathing; deeply and steadily.
Standing at a place very close to her.
Ji Ya Xin’s body was completely stiff as she turned her head.
At the side of the corridor with many stuff piled up, a tall man was standing with his back leaning against the wall; silently and unnoticeably.
Ji Ya Xin could feel all the blood in her body rushing to the top of her head. Her heart pounded heavily. She dashed into her home!
But it was too late.
The man grabbed her by the waist and covered her mouth with one hand, preventing her from calling for help.
The door slammed shut behind the man. The lights switched on, and she was dragged into the bedroom by the man. She struggled with all her might, but it only made him grab her harder. Her tears were flowing out of fright. When she raised her head, she saw the pair of eyes behind a black mask.
Double eyelids, with very dark pupils; they were calm, profound, merciless, and without any emotion.
It was only after she was tied to the bed and stripped naked that his gaze changed.
A very deep, suppressed, and sad kind of gentleness.
Ji Ya Xin lied flat in helplessness. She watched him get up and open the bedroom window. The sound of long chiming bell resonated in the room, as if signifying her dwindling. He even dimmed the bedroom lights, making everything seem soft and blurry. Lastly, he went to the living room and turned on the TV.
It was broadcasting late night news; its low volume made the apartment lively in the midst of all the quietness.
He finally returned to the bedside, and started to kiss and touch her slowly.
Ji Ya Xin’s eyes were pleading.
She had already accepted her fate. She just hoped that he would not hurt her further.
His eyes met hers; he could read the meaning of her gaze.
But he chose to avoid them.
He then tortured her body mercilessly.
Bai Jin Xi closes the door lightly as she comes out of Ji Ya Xin’s room.
She lifts her head and watches the other criminal investigators getting busy with their work; the atmosphere is tense and full of nervousness.
After standing silently for a moment, she walks towards that man squatting by himself in the corner of the living room——Han Chen.
Just like last time, he is wearing a pair of black leather gloves. He is bending down on one knee; handsome and smooth. He is fully concentrated on examining some marks on the ground. Due to his focused gaze, he seems less fierce, and his eyes look more delicate.
He notices right away when Bai Jin Xi approaches from behind. He raises his head to look at her.
Honestly, every time he stares at her with those eyes, Bai Jin Xi falls in a daze for a brief moment. It must be because his facial features are too prominent while his eyes are too cold.
She asks, “Any clues?”
He turns back and continues to look at the floor, “Soon.”
A response that doesn’t answer the question, yet it stuns Bai Jin Xi.
He’s going to solve the case soon?
Bai Jin Xi squats down beside him immediately, watching him.
He doesn’t bother looking at her though. He says softly, “You don’t understand.”
Bai Jin Xi stares at him with her eyes wide.
F*ck, he’s too belittling.
Bai Jin Xi keeps her silence for a moment, and then says, “Give me a cigarette!” Her tone is rough——this is her real reason for coming to him.
She usually doesn’t bring cigarettes with her and controls her addiction very strictly at home. But she has strong urge to smoke right now, so she naturally wants to take advantage of some of his good stuff.
Han Chen has lowered his head and is touching the mark on the floor. He answers absently without lifting his head, “Right pocket.”
Bai Jin Xi feels that’s more like it, and immediately reaches into his pocket.
The man’s pocket is warm, while her fingers are cold in the middle of the night. The moment she reaches inside, she takes a breath, and starts feeling her way through——she’s got them.
She feels a strong force on her wrist; it’s been grasped by someone.
Han Chen’s fingers, covered in black leather gloves, are grasping her small wrist tightly. Bai Jin Xi raises her head in surprise, and then sees him looking at her solemnly.
“Don’t touch everywhere,” he pushes her arm to the side.
Bai Jin Xi, “……”
Who’s touching him?
After a moment of silence, she says regretfully, “I’ve touched you already, so what should I do?”
Han Chen has already gotten back to examining the marks, but turns to stare at her after hearing what she said.
Bai Jin Xi turns around without looking at him; she walks towards the balcony artlessly.
The sun has not risen yet. The sky is pitch black and quiet; no stars, and lights are sparsely lit. The whole old district seems just like a stooped old woman; aged and decaying, yet it is still very well alive.
Bai Jin Xi fiddles with the things in her hand under the light.
The cigarettes are of the top brand, Suyan; the pretty silver box is still over half full. He seems to be quite addicted and needs to smoke a lot every day. The average salary of a criminal investigator isn’t high; if Han Chen isn’t from a wealthy family, he must be using the majority of his pay to buy cigarettes.
If that’s the case, he’s living a wasted life.
Furthermore, don’t rumors say that he has many lovers and often hangs out at the red-light district?
But he was so protective just now like a hedgehog with its spikes spread out; he really doesn’t seem like a womanizer.
Could the rumors be false?
Bai Jin Xi picks up the matchbox again and looks at it; a small and long box with some English words printed on the front. The matches have light blue heads; a nostalgic and nice scent. She takes one out, strikes it across the side and lights up a cigarette.
After smoking for half an hour, she puts the cigarette out. Looking at the pile of ashes, she repents for not controlling herself.
She looks at the half full pack of cigarettes, takes out ten of them without hesitation, and stuffs them into her pocket. She then puts the rest and the matchbox together.
She turns around and opens the door to go back inside.
The other criminal investigators are pretty much finished with searching the place and are just waiting for her. Han Chen is also done with his examination. He’s leaning by the foyer and seems to be in deep thought; keeping a distance from the others.
Bai Jin Xi tosses the pack of cigarettes and matchbox back to him. He catches them.
They’re both long time smokers, so he knows how many cigarettes are missing just from the weight. He glances at her with sharp eyes.
But Bai Jin Xi pretends that she doesn’t notices, turns around, and walks to face the others, “Let’s start.” She sees him stuff the pack of cigarettes into his pocket from the corner of her eye; she’s delighted that he doesn’t take a closer look at them.
The situation is at its worst.
There are no witnesses and the nearby security cameras haven’t caught anything suspicious either. Although the victim this time and the one from before have similar occupations, they don’t work at the same building, and they don’t know each other.
They haven’t found any fingerprints, footprints, or hair strands from the suspect either——it’s obvious that he had gloves on and was very careful with his actions.
Everyone is waiting for Bai Jin Xi now that they’re done reporting their findings. Han Chen on the other hand has been silent the whole time.
Since it’s the first time they’ve come across a serial crime case and an offender who is very good at dodging investigation, even Zhou Xiao Zhuan is becoming worried, “Leader……What should we do?”
Bai Jin Xi lifts her eyes to look at her long time teammates; a moment of silence.
A slight smile appears on her face as usual.
Zhou Xiao Zhuan’s eyes sparkle.
Bai Jin Xi looks towards Han Chen, who’s standing behind everyone. He stares back at her; cold and passive just like before. It’s just that his gaze is focused, as if he wants to see how she’ll solve the case.
Bai Jin Xi remembers his despise from just now, so she’s suddenly full of determination!
Hey Big Brother, you say that I don’t understand, but I want to tell you that you actually don’t know what I’m capable of either.
She looks around and speaks loud and clear:
“The suspect is male, 25-30 years old. High school education, and flunked the college entrance exam;
His looks are average, but well-built. Someone who has a distinctly masculine body figure and facial features;
He doesn’t have a good relationship, divorced, or has been dumped by a long-time cohabiting girlfriend;
He drinks a lot, likes to fight, gamble, or have bad habits like these. He definitely does one of these or more;
On top of the concluding points from last time, I still believe that he lives within 5km, or even grew up in the area. He often buys pornographic DVDs. Ask around the DVD sellers in the area, we might find some clues.
His occupation is either a factory worker, expedited delivery man, driver……or something that emphasizes his masculinity. It might require some technical skills, and his performance is probably not bad. If he’s a driver, he would take over other cars or speed. We might find some records from the traffic department.
The times of the incidents were Wednesday and Saturday nights. He needed a large amount of time to observe and stalk the victims. Therefore, his work hours must be flexible. Focus on investigating suspects who don’t have alibis on these two nights.
Contact the civil policemen who are in charge of this district and street. Look for clues based on the above criteria. Within this district, there shouldn’t be a lot of men who would meet all these criteria. Before noon tomorrow, we must obtain a list of suspects and prevent him from committing another offense.”
Chapter 9: My Capability