When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 56

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:55:07]
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Chapter 56: Chapter 58



Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation


When Xu Xu called Ji Bai, she had already taken a taxi and arrived at the police station. The sky was dark and the air was clear which made her entire body seem to be shrouded in a gloomy chilliness. She walked up the steps to the police station and soon saw Ji Bai appear at the top end of the stairs with a mobile phone in his hand.


“Let’s talk after we get in.” When Ji Bai looked at her frail yet energetic figure, he felt a pain in his heart as he pulled her into his arms.


Right now, all the criminal police officers were out on patrol but Ji Bai had returned to the office to report their progress to the Station Chief, after which he had decided to take a nap. The criminal police unit’s huge office was empty, so Ji Bai led Xu Xu along and made her sit down on the sofa. Then, he poured her a cup of warm water and held her hand. “You can start talking.”


Xu Xu had far less experience in solving crimes compared to Ji Bai, especially when it came to the investigation of a crime scene, which was the most crucial part of their job. Both Ji Bai’s sharp senses and his experienced logic was more developed than hers. However, with only a few traces left at the crime scenes and since the murderer had committed crimes seemingly randomly, it would be difficult to investigate this case using their normal techniques. On the other hand, Xu Xu’s psychological deduction would not be affected or restricted.


Xu Xu nodded and began, “Over the past few days, I constantly imagined myself in the shoes of a perverted killer to figure out what he was thinking and started having some strange thoughts…”


When she said this, Ji Bai could not help but avert his gaze to look at her stomach. Nevertheless, she ignored this and she quickly picked up a pen and paper. She started drawing rapidly while she spoke.


“First of all, in the past three months, something huge must have happened to the murderer.


“This is because we have gone through all the cases that had occurred in the past few years and there isn’t any similar missing person incident. This proves that Bai Anan is the first victim.


“There are always reasons behind each choice a person makes, even if they aren’t obvious, they will still be subconscious at the very least. The reason why the murderer chose this time to start committing crimes must be because there had been some changes in his life.


“There are many possibilities as to what this change could be – it could be love, health, career, or an accident… Regardless of what it is, we can figure out the answer based on his behavior. ”


Ji Bai nodded solemnly while Xu Xu continued, “We have previously concluded that the murderer has a strong desire to establish close relationships with the victims. However, why does he like this type of victims?


“The reason why he had this desire must be due to something that he lacked. What are the common characteristics of the victims that deeply attracted him?


“Young and beautiful? Could the murderer be old, ugly and feel inferior about himself? No. If so, he could have chosen simpler victims, such as younger students, who could be deceived more easily as compared to white-collar workers;


“The victims had too many more remarkable features. Firstly, they had either just graduated or be graduating soon. Both of them carried excellent qualifications and their futures seemed boundless; their wonderful career and life had only just started while their futures looked bright. Secondly, look…”


Xu Xu took out both victims’ photos taken during their everyday life and laid them out. “Don’t you think they look more energetic and youthful as compared to ordinary people?”


Ji Bai lowered his gaze and looked at the girls in the photos. The girls had beautiful features and a bright smile on their face. Each of their movements looked very lively and their bursting vitality seemed to radiate through the photos.


Xu Xu looked at him and said, “Because of this, I think that there are two great possibilities. Firstly, the murderer could have suffered a huge setback in his career recently. Secondly, the murderer is suffering from a chronic disease, which may be difficult to be cured or even incurable, which is why he would be attracted to such ‘vitality’.


“Regardless of the reason, the meaning behind it stays the same. It clearly reflects that he hopes that his own life could be just like theirs and he wants to start over again.


“As a psychopath, the way he satisfies his urges is to prey on their bodies and lives. As it stands, he’s probably already addicted. ”


Ji Bai remained silent for a moment before answering, “Go on.”


Xu Xu nodded. “Secondly, the “angel killer” incident was never published in mainland China. According to Yang Qinglin, there were only a few photos which appeared on several mainstream BBS in the middle of the night, but they were all taken down a few hours later. Ever since then, there hasn’t been any more news about it. Therefore, there aren’t many people who knew about the incident in the first place. There are only two possibilities to why the murderer is so familiar with this case. Firstly, he used to work or live in Hong Kong. Secondly, he used to be a hardcore network forum user – these types of people are often college students or young white-collar workers.


“Thirdly, the fact that the murderer chose this particular location to dump the bodies reveals that he’s very familiar with the forest area; he must have frequently entered and left the forest area over the past few months. Although there isn’t any surveillance footage of most of the roads in the forest area, there are surveillance cameras on the main road leading to the forest area in Lin City. We can take the surveillance tape from the transportation department and analyze them;


“Fourthly, as you said previously, the murderer must own a secluded house and only those with flexible working hours would be able to stalk and observe the victims. This is also one of the screening criteria.”


After Ji Bai finished listening to what Xu Xu said, he did not reply immediately. Instead, he remained silent for a moment to collect his thoughts before answering, “Everything that you have just said is speculation and there isn’t any evidence to support it. Moreover, some of the things you’ve mentioned cannot be traced but even if they can be traced, there will still be a huge number of people who fit the criteria. This method can only be used as a complementary attempt… I can at most arrange up to two criminal police officers to assist you.”


Xu Xu nodded even though she still had a strong feeling that she would be able to find this person. Even so, objectively speaking, there were many uncertain factors and it was very possible that she would turn up empty-handed. Ji Bai needed to oversee the overall investigation and it was impossible for him to assign the core members to assist her with something so risky, so she could understand why he said this.


“Okay, two members along with myself should be enough.”


Ji Bai smiled, then got up and handed a picked up a folder from his table and handed it to her. Xu Xu looked through it and a smile appeared on her face.


Ji Bai smiled back at her. “I have already asked Zhao Han to go through the records. There are more than 500 private cars that have been in and out of the forest area more than three times within these three months. There are more people in the city with private villas, warehouses, and suburban houses but this should be able to save you some work.”


Ji Bai quickly arranged for two criminal police officers to report to her but by the time Xu Xu had delegated their respective screening tasks, the sky had already gotten bright.


Xu Xu also assigned a heavy workload to herself but she had to take a nap on the sofa in Ji Bai’s office before she began because she was too tired.


Ji Bai also stayed up the whole night. Moreover, he still had a meeting with Da Hu and the others in a few hours to investigate the situation surrounding the second deceased, Li Tiantian. He massaged his temples and sat down next to Xu Xu while she immediately scooted over to sleep on his lap. He smiled and picked up the draft paper on the table which was covered in messy writing. “When you analyze, do you like to write and draw like this?”


“When I’m thinking hard, I will scribble randomly.”


“Did you do the same with the paper trail that you left during the Brother Lu’s case?”


“Yeah.”


Ji Bai’s gently stroked her cheeks with his thumb. “Then why did you write my name a bunch of times?”


Xu Xu smiled, then closed her eyes and did not answer him. After a while, she suddenly thought of something and flung open her eyes with a stiffened look on her face. “You didn’t hand in that piece of paper as evidence, right? That would be so embarrassing.”


“Of course I did.” Ji Bai replied plainly. Xu Xu raised her hands to cover her face and sighed. Ji Bai looked at her slightly red cheeks as a smile appeared at the corners of his lips.


According to the rules, he was supposed to hand it over. Nevertheless, due to his own private interest, he did not do so. Even until now, the pile of shredded paper filled with her deductions and yearnings was still being kept in his drawer along with the lonely ring. However, he did not want to let her know this for the time being.


During noon three days later, Xu Xu finally completed the heavy data crunching along with her team members. When she looked at the result of the cross-screening, she was stunned and said to both of her assistants in a low voice, “This is absolutely confidential.” Then, she took the result and went to look for Ji Bai.


Ji Bai was talking to the criminal police officers in plain clothes who were patrolling the mountainous area. When he saw the report that Xu Xu handed over, he was also astonished. He quickly hung up the phone and stared at her with his dark eyes.


Xu Xu looked serious. “He is the only one in the entire city within the age group of 20 to 40 who have worked in Hong Kong before, he was also diagnosed with cancer 3 months ago. Furthermore, he had gone in and out of the forest area more than 5 times over the last 3 months where he owns a forest villa.”


Individually, these facts did not seem to not have any direct relationship with the case, and all of these were just suspicions. However, it signified something when several possibilities were all matched to a single person.


Xu Xu continued, “Ji Bai, although we’re still not sure that he is the murderer. Remember, the murderer committed necrophilia on the second victim, and this kind of serial killer would not easily change their methods, especially since this kind of violation would destroy his fantasy about building an intimacy with the victims – that is, of course, unless he has become mentally unstable. I speculate that he will commit another crime soon…”


Ji Bai nodded with a serious look on his face and growled, “We need to watch Lin Qingyan 24/7.”


The weather over the following days was gloomy. The perverted murderer seems to be laying low and there were no incidents. Nonetheless, nothing could be kept a secret forever as the rumors about the murderer gradually started spreading around Lin City.


Zhao Han and another criminal police officer were responsible for monitoring Lin Qingyan’s villa. That evening, the two of them were hiding in the woods as per usual and guarding the villa quietly.


Suddenly, Zhao Han’s cell phone rang. It was Da Hu. “Lin Qingyan drove out of the city with a woman in his car. We can’t get too close so we can’t clearly see who she is.”


Zhao Han and the other criminal police officer instantly became energized. As expected, they eventually saw a Buick multi-purpose vehicle driving along the mountain road. When he arrived at the front door of the villa, a man got out of the car, from his figure and clothing, they knew that it was Lin Qingyan. Seconds later, he pulled open the rear door, leaned inside and carried a woman out of his car.


Zhao Han was watching with a set of binoculars from afar and he saw that the woman seemed to have fallen asleep. Her long hair was covering her face and she was lying in Lin Qingyan’s arms. Lin Qingyan carried her into the villa and the lights soon lit up.


“Captain, what should I do?” Zhao Han asked Ji Bai through his mobile phone.


Ji Bai said, “Let’s wait for a while.”


The mountainside was dark and the surroundings were quiet. Zhao Han and the criminal police officer kept their eyes fixed on the villa and waited. Suddenly, they heard a woman’s sharp scream sound followed by a deafening silence. The both of them were shocked.


If they were to take action now, it will inevitably blow the operation, but as police officers, it was impossible for them to take risks at the expense of the victim’s safety. Ji Bai low voice shouted at them through the mobile phone. “Go!”


Zhao Han and the other officer ran down the hillside and rushed to the front door of the villa. They saw the brightly lit living room through the window but there was no one in there. They vaguely heard a soft music coming from inside.


The two of them kicked the door open and ran all the way to the innermost master bedroom, following the source of the music. The door was slightly ajar and the sound of music was already very loud, but they could still faintly hear the sound of a woman sobbing. Zhao Han was stunned as he pushed open the door without hesitation.


Instantly, the two people in the room turned their heads at the same time and looked at them in shock.


Under the soft lights, they saw that the entire room was filled with blossoming roses to form a bed of flowers. Yao Meng was sitting on the sofa among the roses while sobbing whilst Lin Qingyan knelt on the ground with a black velvet ring box in his hand. At that moment, he was putting a shining diamond ring on her finger.


“Why are both of you…” Yao Meng helped Lin Qingyan up and stared at them with her mouth hanging wide open. Suddenly, she asked in disbelief, “Do you suspect that he’s the serial killer?”


Zhao Han and the other officer did not answer her as Lin Qingyan also turned to look at them, frowning silently.


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