(Title – 谁是凶手？[中] – Shéi shì xiōngshǒu? [Zhong] – Who’s the Murderer? [II])
Translator: chiangyushien, Renkun27
The man did not look at Ke Bu. He just threw his ID away: “You had two dead people here and have alerted the higher-ups. I was appointed to come and investigate. It hadn’t occurred to me that there’d be another dead person.” Ke Bu looked at the ID — Zhi Li? Was this person sent to investigate by the higher-ups? Whether or not he was mistaken, he was still a boy who smelled of his mother’s milk . However, Ke Bu still felt that it was important for him to handle this case. Chu Haoyu and Ying Xiujie seemed to have known that the higher-ups would send people here. They did not take it for granted so the two went on blocking more and more of the crowd of onlookers.
(「乳臭未干」an idiom which meant “being young and inexperienced.”)
Now that there was little time to manage so much, Ke Bu carried on with the topic a moment ago: “Cosmetics? Does he want to dress up as a clown?”
Zhi Li raised the bottom of the corpse’s trouser leg: “A clown would dress up?” Ke Bu stared at the corpse’s feet and he was really dressed up.
“Why is he wearing these clothes?”
Zhi Li did not immediately answer Ke Bu’s question; instead, he undid the corpse’s shirt and unenthusiastically said: “There are undergarment strap marks on his shoulders, makeup on his face, and he’s got clean-shaven legs. This man seems to have cross-dressed.”
“Cross-dressed?” Ke Bu was a little unfamiliar with this word, but he quickly refuted Zhi Li: “It may have been the case that the murderer made him wear women’s clothes and helped him shave his legs.”
“If that’s the case, these small details take a lot of trouble. Why didn’t the murderer just let him appear in a woman’s dress, instead of washing away the cosmetics and putting him in a suit.” Ke Bu was utterly speechless by the things that Zhi Li had said. Zhi Li seriously looked around, wrinkling his beautiful brow: “The scene was very clean. The deceased also had no bruises on the back of his hands. There was a wallet dropped next to him. The ID cards and other documents are still inside, but the cash is gone.” Zhi Li looked through the wallet that was on the ground and continued talking.
Ke Bu has been listening carefully to him, to see what kind of nonsense he could come up with: “Robbery and murder?”
“If it’s a robbery and murder, why did the murderer kill two homeless people first? They don’t have any money.” Ke Bu felt that Zhi Li’s argument was reasonable.
Ke Bu looked at the corpse: “His face was almost deformed and was suspended upside down in here. The murderer wanted to make the people see that he was humiliated like an animal. The first two homeless men’s faces had not been beaten. It was only this corpse. The murderer must have some beef with the deceased.”
“At first it was a pig, afterwards it was homeless men. The scene was getting cleaner and the technique was also improving. It seems that the murderer actually killed the first two men to ensure their success this time.”
One word awakened the dreamer. Ke Bu suddenly realized what had happened so he pounded his fist. The murderer happened to choose the homeless men only because it would be difficult to trace their identity, and no one would care for them. After they finished investigating the crime scene, it was already late at night. Zhi Li stretched his back and said to Ke Bu and the others, “Hey, where am I going to sleep?”
Chu Haoyu and Ying Xiujie helplessly looked at each other then took a step back at the same time and pointed to Ke Bu: “You’re going to sleep at Ke Bu’s place during this time.”
Ke Bu turned around and fiercely said, “Why should he sleep at my house?”
Chu Haoyu pulled Ke bu over: “You also know that Ying Xiujie and I are married men.”
“Tell me, if we take Zhi Li back to our houses, isn’t it luring the wolf into our houses? How many women could control their feelings when they see that face? You also don’t want your sisters-in-law to do something that would let us down!”
After they finished their words, the two men disappeared as quickly as they could from Ke Bu and Zhi Li’s side. Ke Bu still struggled till the end: “Don’t you know that you could go to a hotel in town to sleep? Why on earth should you sleep at my house?”
“It’s very dirty,” Zhi Li briefly said. Ke Bu sighed and brought Zhi Li back to his house. After entering the front door, Zhi Li sat on the sofa and turned on the TV. This person absolutely did not consider himself as an outsider: “Hungry.”
Ke Bu rolled his eyes. He poured boiling water into two cups of instant noodles then handed it over. Zhi Li asked him: “Do you live alone? Isn’t it difficult to live alone and not to sleep with your girlfriend?”
“By saying this, do you want to take the opportunity to make me say it out loud that I have no girlfriend?”
“You really think too much!!” Two people were at the dinner table — the taciturn Zhi Li who did not like to talk when eating and Ke Bu, who liked to talk while eating, but did not know what to say.
“After the body was sent away, when will the autopsy results come out? You also know that the small town is very rural.”
“I’m eating now.” Zhi Li did not intend to answer this disgusting question that would spoil his appetite.
“Does the corpse have other hair that was shaved apart from the hair on his legs? For example…”
When Ke Bu was about to say something disgusting, Zhi Li interrupted him: “I said I’m eating now.” This time, Ke Bu sensibly closed his mouth. After eating, Ke Bu tidied up the things while Zhi Li took a shower. He came out wearing nothing on his upper body. His lower body was only wrapped around with a bath towel, revealing his alluring figure. Ke Bu blushed and turned away but he could not help looking around.
(“Hey, Zhang Luo, if you want to tell a story, then you have to say nice words about Lao Zi, and don’t add some weird plots there.” Ke Bu finally could not resist to interrupt. In exchange, everybody glared at him, they were just getting tensed with the plot. Although he knew this has nothing to do with him, no matter how Zhang Luo was saying his name and Zhi Li, it sounded not only awkward, but also made people feel that it was too embarrassing.)
“Where do I sleep?” Asked Zhi Li. Ke Bu tried his best to avoid making eye contact with him: “Sofa.” Zhi Li did not seem to hear him and went to the bedroom. Ke Bu shouted from behind: “I said the sofa.”
“I didn’t hear that.” Zhi Li lied on the bed. After all, he was busy for the whole day, so he quickly fell asleep. Ke Bu stood by the bed, glaring at Zhi Li’s sleeping face, which looked like that of a sleeping child.
Instead of waking up during that moment, Zhi Li unconsciously caught Ke Bu’s wrist in his sleep, lightly pulling him into his embrace. Ke Bu struggled: “Hey, let go.” However, Zhi Li still did not wake up. In the end, since Ke Bu was tired, he fell asleep in Zhi Li’s arms. (In the end, do you want to tell an erotic story or a detective story?!)
The next morning, when Ke Bu woke up, Zhi Li was nowhere to be found. He sat up and got out of the bed as he scratched his head. He found that Zhi Li was drinking coffee in the living room while he was looking at the laptop that he brought. He saw Ke Bu and said: “Just woke up?”
Ke Bu recalled what happened last night and blushed: “Yes.” A voice came over from the laptop: “The dead body has been autopsied. Apart from those wounds on the surface, there’s remnants of insulin in the body. I reckon that there’s a possibility that he was injected with too much insulin so he might have felt dizzy and weak, then that’s when the murderer killed him.” Ke Bu curiously detoured behind Zhi Li. The laptop was in the video mode and opposite was a beautiful woman.
“Let‘s talk about Bi Fang’s circumstances.”
“Bi Fang, an architect, has two daughters, ages 13 and 10, and has a pregnant wife. In order to avoid family planning, they came to that small town but they don’t have any relatives in that small town. Bi Fang has a younger brother. It’s said that Bi Fang’s wife had a relationship with his younger brother before they got married. I’ve called his wife for interrogation and she thought that her husband went to the town to buy things. She didn’t know that he cross-dresses. His wife’s diabetic and is using insulin.”
“You’ve worked hard. I’ll contact you again if I have something, Youyan.” Zhi Li closed his laptop.
After Ke Bu listened to these words, he began to speak plausibly and volubly: “If that’s the case, the murderer must be someone from out of town. Bi Fang has been in small town for only two months. Where could this hatred have come from in such a short time? Did the murderer escape already?”
“This small town isn’t big. If there’s a stranger, it’ll be very easy to notice.”
“I’ve asked Xiujie to bring several eyewitnesses and the family members of the deceased. Let’s interrogate them.”
When the two went there, the police station was already full of people. Zhi Li sat in front of several eyewitnesses. All of those eyewitnesses talked at the same time. They smoked cigarettes and some were still carrying hoes on their shoulders. Amongst those peasants, there was a quite skinny figure who seemed to be venting his worries. His legs were trembling. He took a cup of water and drank a few gulps before he said: “I was in a hurry to go home in the evening and I wanted to take a shortcut. When I got into the forest, I saw that man was hung there. His face was beaten until it was out of shape. Fuck, it was scary. Then, I screamed.”
The other man, who was carrying a hoe on his shoulder was biting a cigarette’s butt. With an unsightly frown, he said: “Coincidentally, a few of us had just finished our labor work and we immediately ran over when we heard the scream.”
“Yeah, I’ve lived for so many years. This is the first time I saw something frightening like this.” Said the other, who was rolling up his trouser’s leg and was stroking his neck.
“Did you guys see any suspicious people nearby?” Ke Bu asked.
“No, strangers in the village will definitely attract attention. Officer, we don’t have any matters anymore. Can we go back to work?”
“Go ahead.” They got nothing from the eyewitnesses there, but Ke Bu always felt that the first eyewitness seemed to have hesitance in his eyes and wanted to say something but he was somewhat uncertain. On several occasions, Ke Bu noticed that the man was looking at him. When Ke Bu looked at him, he looked away in panic and pretended to drink water. Today, Chu Haoyu looked a bit exhausted. He wore a long sleeve on a very hot day. Ke Bu asked with some concern: “Are you okay? Although this case is very important, you shouldn’t overwork yourself. Moreover, don’t you feel hot wearing such thick clothes?”
Just when Ke Bu was about to drew closer, Chu Haoyu walked past him and picked up the documents with a not-minding look on his face: “I quarreled with my wife last night and she chased me out. I stayed outside for the whole night and caught a cold. Don’t worry. I’m okay. It wouldn’t be good if you get infected with flu later.” Chu Haoyu walked toward Ying Xiujie as he turned his collar up.
Chu Haoyu and Ying Xiujie were interrogating the family members of the deceased. Ying Xiujie had a strong bearing: “We’ve already investigated, and your husband had previously bought insurance. You’re the beneficiary. You couldn’t wait for him to die and want to quickly get the money.”
“No, no, why should I do this kind of thing.” Zhou Xinhe was flustered. She felt annoyed.
Gong Zhu, the younger brother of the deceased, patted Zhou Xinhe’s shoulder with his left hand: “Sister-in-law, be careful with your health. They’re just randomly guessing, that’s all.”
“What should I and our children do later?” said Zhou Xinhe while crying. She took out a white silk handkerchief and wiped her tears. It seemed to be a very precious handkerchief. She put it in a very intimate place. There were red flowers that were embellished on the corners of the handkerchief.
Chu Haoyu did not have the heart to see a woman cry. He helped Zhou Xinhe and gave her a glass of water in her hands: “We’re not doubting you. We only want to ask so we can understand the situation. Did your husband quarrel with someone recently?”
“No, no, we don’t have many people that we know of in this small town. We’re also busy taking care of our two children. That’s why Gong Zhu came over to help. Besides, this cross-dressing matter…” Zhou Xinhe seemed to feel awkward about that matter.
“How long have you been pregnant?” Zhi Li suddenly asked. Zhou Xinhe was dumbfounded. She hummed and hawed saying, “Five, five months.”
Author’s note :
This rough story was written by me when I was scribbling in boredom a few years ago. Recently, I occasionally flipped through my notebook and saw the above scribbling, so I conveniently added it on the story. Please bear with me.