Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Time was passing quickly and within the blink of an eye the sky had turned dark. Zhao Yu was on the phone with someone inside his small bungalow.
“Hello… why doesn’t this work anymore?” Zhao Yu was poking at the stove with one hand letting the flames grow larger, while the other held the phone he was speaking to Li Luoyun on. “Leader Li, why not try slapping him in the face? If that doesn’t work, stab him with needles!”
“Stop joking around!” Li Luoyun said. “The doctor said that Jiang Ke’s head had withstood a heavy blow. Although there’s no need for a craniotomy, he’s definitely unconscious and not faking it. The doctor also said that his body was covered in wounds that were in line with those of an explosion. Detective Zhao, it seems that there was some kind of explosion at the nightclub the other day. Do you know what happened?”
“I thought I told you!” Zhao Yu said. “The explosion wasn’t at the nightclub; it was at the seafood market! I guess he was injured there, although he didn’t feel the effects until he got to the nightclub and fainted.”
“Ah, now that you mention it…” Li Luoyun agreed. “From the CCTV, we indeed saw Jiang Ke surrounded by lackeys. He was jumping up and down and took quite a beating! I guess the trauma triggered the injuries in his head? Anyway, Detective Zhao, don’t be too worried. The doctor said that based on the results, it won’t be long before Jiang Ke wakes up. Rest assured, the moment there is news I’ll let you know!”
“Alright…” Zhao Yu said. “Interrogate the investors and Jiang Ke’s subordinates again! Remember to contact me if there are any changes!”
The only reason Zhao Yu was being this cooperative was that Yu Sunfeng had mentioned that they were able to kidnap Jiang Ke because they received news beforehand. Therefore, the informant was most likely linked to Yu Sunfeng’s crime organization.
After hanging up with Li Luoyun, Zhao Yu gave Ma Laodan a call and asked if he had any connections in Gao Lanqi to listen for any news. However, Ma Laodan was just a local bully and wasn’t really that involved, so he could only promise Zhao Yu that he would try.
Gao Lanqi’s police had actually already set up that sort of underground channel. For an area like this with so many connections to high-level crimes, it wouldn’t be good if word got out. That’s why local police had taken this very seriously and had adjusted the investigation level accordingly. However, there were still no leads. The arsonist and the group of criminals had all disappeared without a trace.
It wasn’t just the barn fire but also Wu Fangfang’s murder, the Rural Homicide case, and Jiang Ke’s prison break. All of those complex cases seemed to have died with the fire.
Other than Zhao Yu caring for his wounds, nothing else had happened that afternoon. The information from Ran Tao from Yao Ming, Cheng Ke from Chang Ming, Wu Xiu from Jing Hai, Li Luoyun from Pu Bian, and Miao Ying from Gao Lanqi had all been summarized for Zhao Yu. Even with all of that information, there were no useful leads. They were effectively back at square one. Having had experience with such unsolvable cases in the past, Zhao Yu had perfected the art of staying calm. Unlike the past when he had always been hasty.
At that moment, he stood in front of numerous whiteboards where he had sorted all of the information, removing anything unrelated. Then, he tried to begin a new train of thought regarding the case. But there had been too many questions and too many accidents. Whenever Zhao Yu tried thinking about the case from a different angle, it quickly reached a dead end. He could only go back and start again.
Just like that, he started again and again. He spent countless hours writing his trains of thought related to the case only to erase them and start over. The noodles Miao Ying had cooked for him had long gone cold. Although it was difficult, Zhao Yu got more and more excited as he wrote. He felt closer to the truth than ever. In his gut he felt that the truth was within his grasp, he just hadn’t reached it yet!
The clock struck midnight and Zhao Yu’s fountain pen had found a new name. It wasn’t Jiang Ke, but Wu Fangfang! “Dear, you’ve found a new lead? Quick, tell me!” Miao Ying said. Zhao Yu had so many breakthroughs in the past that Miao Ying had almost expected this.
“I have decided!” Zhao Yu said, pointing at Wu Fangfang’s name. “Let us start from the beginning!” Upon hearing this, Miao Ying almost fell down.
“Since all the cases are somehow linked to Wu Fangfang, why not start investigating her? Didn’t she grow up in Gao Lanqi?” Zhao Yu asked excitedly.
“Zhao Yu…” Miao Ying said with a defeated tone, grabbing him by the shoulders. “It’s not that I want to be a Debbie Downer. If it was any other situation I wouldn’t even mind if you started from the time Wu Fangfang was still in her mother’s womb! But we’re running out of time!”
“Listen to me,” she told him. “First thing tomorrow we’re going down to the office to explain the situation! We still have to get engaged in June! You can’t possibly expect me to exchange engagement rings with a fugitive, right?”
“Uhm…” Zhao Yu sighed, frowning. “You’ve thought this through! But Miaomiao, haven’t you realized? From Wu Fangfang to Jiang Ke to Yu Fusheng, including all those criminals and Cao Sifen, all of the cases they’re involved with are related to Gao Lanqi! Don’t you think that’s some sort of hint?”
“What hint?” Miao Ying shrugged. “Do you think the arsonist is still in Gao Lanqi? Or…”
“I don’t know,” Zhao Yu said, shaking his head. “Anyway, give me some time! Two days, just two days! If I can’t find anything in two days then we’ll head down to the office.”
“This…” Miao Ying seemed hesitant.
“You see,” Zhao Yu pointed at the names on the whiteboard. “Since these people are all related to Gao Lanqi, we should properly investigate their activities here and see who they’ve been in contact with, where they’ve been seen, that sort of thing!”
“I don’t need you to tell me that! Do you think I’m stupid?” she asked.
“But…” Zhao Yu pointed at Wu Fangfang’s name. “Was she actually here?”
“About that… Wu Fangfang and the arsonist had nothing connecting them, so of course we didn’t check her out!” Miao Ying answered.
“Which is exactly why we will check!” Zhao Yu said seriously. “Didn’t I say just now, we have to start from the beginning! The whole case began with Wu Fangfang’s murder. Since we are already here in Gao Lanqi, why don’t we take a break from everything else and just investigate Wu Fangfang’s background? See what happened when she was in Gao Lanqi two years ago? For example… for example…” As Zhao Yu was saying this, he was making a rectangle with his hands.
“Oh…” It was only after that gesture that Miao Ying understood. “You mean the photograph of Wu Fangfang and Jiang Ke?”
“That’s right! At the moment we can only confirm the photo was taken in Gao Lanqi. If we can find out the story behind it, then we may be on to something!”
“Right…” Miao Ying nodded while thinking. “I almost forgot, since the photograph was placed by the murderer, if we can find out where it came from then we have a really good lead to follow! D*mn…”