Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
It was another brand new day, as the clock had just struck midnight. Strangely enough, as the miracle adventure had yet to send any ending notification, Zhao Yu couldn’t get a new hexagram.
As the outdoor temperature continued to drop, the heat in the office was turned up to its maximum level. However, the heightened temperature didn’t bring a cozy sense of warmth, but rather an oppressing sense of suffocation.
Of course, everyone knew that the suffocation was really more a mental state of the team’s current mood than anything. After all, this case before them was tricky!
Even though almost all of the clues were gathered, they still were not done. But, as long as they could arrest Li Fei, the whole truth would certainly come out! However, regarding the problem of arresting this prime suspect, everyone was at a loss.
Where is Li Fei?
How do we find him?
As he was Tao Xiang’s senior, he must be good at disguising himself and finding good hiding places. To find him among the vast sea of people in this big wide world seemed even more difficult than pigs flying!
What concerned the team even more was that, according to the age estimation that Flying Squirrel Gao had provided, Li Fei was already an old man in his sixties.
What if he has already passed away?
Would the Headless Female Corpses Case then stay an unresolved case forever?
As he was pondering all of these things, Zhao Yu let out a sigh. But, Zeng Ke suddenly stood up and shouted, “Team Leader, I found something! Come and take a look at this.”
Zhao Yu wondered what Zeng Ke found, so he hurried over.
“Look!” Zeng Ke pointed at his computer screen and said, “I used the light and shadow portrait to make a quick comparison with our information! Then, I found this!”
With one click of the mouse, the monitor was suddenly flooded with more than a hundred ID photos. Some were even in black and white.
“This…” Zeng Ke double-clicked on one of the photos and said, “Look, this person, does he look like Li Fei?”
Everyone was surprised and had their eyes glued to the screen. The zoomed-in ID photo showed a man who really did look like Li Fei!
Zhao Yu didn’t understand yet, so he asked, “Zeng Ke, where did this photo come from?”
“The intel folder!” Zeng Ke replied excitedly. “The one that you gave to me! This is the digital information that the 2003 special force compiled for the Headless Female Corpses Case!”
“Oh.” Zhao Yu then recalled that, when he first took over the case, Chen Zhuo had copied the information for the Headless Female Corpses Case from the data center.
“These ID photos were recorded carefully back when our seniors first investigated the case! Most of them are related to the witnesses and informants!” Zeng Ke said. “The photo was a work ID…” He read the corresponding information on the ID, “Gao Jin Funeral Parlor! The person’s name is Xia Lianxi!”
“Oh my God! Gao Jin Funeral Parlor?” Ran Tao was frightened now. “This person was a staff member in a funeral parlor? Is he really Li Fei? What is going on?”
Ran Tao was shocked, and Zhao Yu was even moreso. The person in the photo before him shockingly resembled Li Fei’s portrait. Plus, his identity as a funeral parlor staff member was very suspicious.
“Hold on, let me check the record!” Zeng Ke opened the digital folder and found the targeted folder easily. He read out loud for everyone to hear, “Oh, this is what the 2003 special force team left behind. Back then, when the special force found out that the method that the murderer used to embalm the dead bodies had become more and more advanced, they suspected the murderer was working as an official embalmer in a funeral parlor.”
He continued to read from the intel, his eyes getting wide, “Hence, they investigated the funeral parlor staff members that worked within the area where the deceased victims were from. They intended to look for suspects among them. So, what we are seeing now were the photos that they compiled during that particular investigation.”
He looked up at the team, who were all listening with held breaths, and said, “Gao Jin was the city that the fourth victim, Zhang Xiaoxiao, lived in before she died. The 2003 special force searched through the local funeral parlor employees and Li Fei was actually among them!”
“Oh my God! Then, you mean they already found the photo? But, why didn’t they find him then?” Ran Tao was surprised. “If they were to investigate in detail, wouldn’t they find out about him?”
Zeng Ke shook his head. “The murderer killed Zhang Xiaoxiao in 1996, while this investigation wasn’t until 2003! By then, many vital and a lot of evidence had already been lost. Li Fei might have stop working in the funeral parlor by then! We can’t really know anything aside from the current data before us at the moment.”
“Yeah!” Zhao Yu recalled having read in the yellow notebook, where Captain Jin and his teammates had recorded their feelings of helplessness.
He then said, “During the time when the case took place, the information wasn’t as advanced, so one’s identity could be forged easily. Plus, most of the staff members in funeral parlors were temporary workers, so the overturn was high. Hence, it’d be difficult to find them! It was already a miracle that the special force was able to find these photos!”
“D*mn it. This Li Fei is so cunning! I bet that Xia Lianxi is only his pseudonym too!” Ran Tao said. “He used his employment in the funeral parlor to hide his true identity, and, mmmm, I bet this made it a snap to transport the dead bodies, too, right? Yeah! He could do that just by driving the funeral’s official car! H*ck, it gives me chills just thinking about it! This person is really psychotic! He’s so twisted!”
“In other words,” Cui Lizhu said disappointedly, “Although I found my uncle’s photo, we still can’t find him?”
“Uncle? This…” Ran Tao thought about it, then gulped nervously.
“Theoretically!” Zhao Yu said. “But, even if there is only a one percent chance of success, we can’t give up. So, Ran Tao, hurry up and bring this to Flying Squirrel Gao. See if he can identify this person as Li Fei. If he can, tell Captain Sun to change the pictures in the wanted notice!”
“Yes, Sir!” Ran Tao didn’t delay any further, but held the information with the photo and left immediately.
But, just as he opened the door, a person with a white robe entered. It was none other than the forensic expert, Gao Facai, who the Central Criminal Division had hired to help them with the case! By that time, it was already past midnight, so the forensic expert’s sudden visit surprised them all.
“Hey? Master Gao? This is a surprise!” Out of courtesy, Zhao Yu quickly greeted the man and shook his hand. “Why have you come to pay us a visit?”
Gao Facai seemed to be exhausted. However, he explained the purpose of his visit politely. “Team Leader Zhao, it is nothing special, as my most important tasks are done for now. I simply saw that the lights were still on, so I decided to pop by and chat with you!”
“Oh, well welcome then!” As it was the first time that Gao Facai had ever come to the office, Zhao Yu introduced him to his teammates.
After that, Gao Facai took out a delicate looking cigarette from his pocket, then offered one to Zhao Yu. “Team Leader Zhao, would you like one?”
“No!” Zhao Yu shook his head, then spoke somewhat rudely, “I advise you not to smoke in here as well!”
“Oh?” Gao Facai was surprised that Zhao Yu would be so curt. However, he could only smile awkwardly as he placed his cigarette back in its carton.
Then, he was attracted by the whiteboard, as it was now filled with information. He walked nearer to take a closer look.
He then complimented, “Police Officer Zhao, your work is quite detailed! I’m impressed! How are things going by the way? Has there been any progress in the case? I heard that you found another important suspect…”
Zhao Yu knew that Gao Facai must have already heard about their latest situation. However, in order to be polite, he went along with the pleasantries and told him briefly about Li Fei.
Then, Gao Facai kept quite for a while. He looked at the whiteboard for very long time, then let out a heavy sigh.
“Team Leader Zhao, have you read the report that I sent over earlier?” Gao Facai suddenly asked.
“Oh, yes.” Regarding the report, Zhao Yu read it, but it was full of complex, professional jargon that he couldn’t understand too well. Hence, he asked, “I wonder what Master Gao thinks?”
Gao Facai turned around to face Zhao Yu and told him sincerely, “Team Leader Zhao, to be honest with you, there’s actually something that I’m very worried about…”
“Oh? What is it?” Zhao Yu asked.
“Well…Regarding the Headless Female Corpse Case’s six dead bodies and skulls… The murderer obviously kept current with his embalming techniques!” Gao Facai said, his face solemn. “His embalming skills got better and better! In the end, when it came to the last dead body, to be frank with you, his embalming skills were on par with even a top notch embalmer! I have been observing his embalming methods as they evolved, and I have come to a conclusion that no one seems to be willing to see…”
“Oh.” Looking at Gao Facai’s serious expression, Zhao Yu quickly asked, “What is it?”
“I feel that the murderer was addicted to embalming dead bodies!” Gao Facai expressed his concern. “What I’m most worried about is that Bai Lili might not be the last victim! The murderer might have killed more people than we even imagined!”