When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 8

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:54:50]
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Chapter 8

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

It was springtime in Beijing. The sky often was a noticeable light gray color as a thin veil of haze covered the sky like a great curtain.

Ji Bai was leisurely sitting on the white lounge chair in his own courtyard. There was a pot of tea beside him and a still swimming pool in front of him. The flowers had blossomed all around the peach trees by the water and the petals which were now scattered all over the ground were exuding a light aroma.

He took a sip of his tea and closed his eyes. He could only hear Xu Xu’s voice in his ear. Her voice which was as calm as water actually made the night seem even quieter.

While on Xu Xu’s side, Ji Bai’s words triggered a deep desire to prove herself. “I’ll give you two minutes”.

Xu Xu took a deep breath and answered, “Okay.” Then, she quickly came up with a battle plan in her mind before launching into a fully-focused combat state.

“First of all, according to the statistics of China’s criminals who endanger the safety of the general public over the past ten years, 989 of them are male and 966 of them have a high school level of education or lower. Therefore, we can hypothesize that the criminal is a male with a lower level of education.”

“Yeah,” Ji Bai moved his head to light a cigarette, “continue.”

“Secondly, the motive of the criminal is very clear.”

If he wanted to take revenge on ordinary people, then there were three other larger parks with a higher number of visitors nearby. If he were to commit crimes in these parks, then it would be much more difficult for us to trace him. However, the criminal did not choose these parks. Instead, he took went for the risky option and chose to commit crimes in the few parks closer to the CBD.”

“These parks were designed by the government and built using the funds donated by some of the financial groups in the CBD. Sometimes ordinary citizens will also visit the park, but most of the residents around CBD are foreigners and businessmen. They are all wealthy. In the mind of the public, these parks symbolize the CBD in its entirety.”

“This leads us to two points: Firstly, the criminal is very familiar with the area. He most likely works or lives in there. Secondly, he was targeting random victims within a specific range. His intentions were obvious. He wanted to take revenge on the higher income group of the city, or exact revenge on the CBD. ”

Ji Bai smiled silently but his tone was calm. “Why can’t he be an unemployed person? Why must he be a white-collar worker who was fired by the company? Why must he be a security guard?”

Xu Xu quickly replied, “Among the unemployed group, it is possible that some of them may hate society, but it is unlikely that they will hate the CBD in particular since they did not even have the chance to fully experience it and witness all its decadence. You will not hate something that you barely understand or something too unreachable. Moreover, very few people were left unemployed by the CBD”

“As such, white-collar workers who were fired are unlikely to take revenge against the company or someone specific. Regular businessmen would not hate the higher income group of people because they are also one of them. How can they hate themselves?”

“The most suitable description of the criminal is that he is someone who is unable to reach the prosperity and wealth of the CBD but is close enough to see it and develop a hate for it. Therefore, they are one of the low-income workers working in the CBD.”

“There must have been a big setback in his work recently, which further enhanced his frustration and hatred towards the wealthy groups of the CBD which eventually led to him committing these crimes.”

“Moreover, for an unwilling young man, a security guard job has relatively decent status relative to the other low-income jobs.”

“In addition to this, the criminal’s time pattern for committing crimes is random. This indicates that his working hours are also irregular. The working hour of the CBD’s security guards is split into three shifts. ”

Ji Bai was silent for a second before he asked, “So you deduce that he does not go to work on Saturday morning and afternoon based on the time he committed the crimes?”

Xu Xu answered. “Yes. There was an incident on Saturday afternoon. Due to the high number of visitors during the weekend, it’s not possible for the blade to be buried on Friday. It could only have been buried on Saturday morning or noon.”

Ji Bai did not say if she was right or wrong. Instead, he frowned while reading a sentence on the report. “His character is easily irritated. When he was a juvenile, he most likely broke the law a lot. At the very least, he was severely disciplined by his school authorities. There must also have been some major changes in his life, such as strained family financial issue, divorced parents when he was young, or something along the lines of that. This could also have been a very superficial love relationship… What is all this nonsense?”

“Yes. These are the characteristic of a criminal with an ‘antisocial personality’.” She looked up at the photos of the blades on the white whiteboard and slowly said, “As for whether the criminal is in a relationship or not… I have a feeling that although he has good perception and judgment, he is not mentally mature. Even if he is a little clever… the paper blades put together to form a five-pointed star, pouring river water or even spicy hot pot soup on the blades, it all seems like the revenge of a depressed teenager. It’s not smart and relatively impulsive.”

The two of them went quiet for a while but Ji Bai was the one who broke the silence. “Are you done?”

“I’m done.” Xu Xu took a look at her watch and added, “1 minute and 58 seconds.”

Even though her tone was very calm and even slightly proud, her breathing had clearly gotten heavier.

Was she nervous? Ji Bai squinted and took a drag of his cigarette.

These days, when the two of them were on the phone, Xu Xu gave him the impression that she was an outstanding female nerd. Also, that she was a worthy apprentice and subordinate. That was it.

However, her image became livelier as he heard her breathing over the phone. The image Ji Bai had of her was as clear as day: She had short hair, a small face, pale complexion, and a serious expression. She was undoubtedly smart, arrogant, but also stubborn. In addition to this, the innocence of a young girl had yet to fade.

Yes, this girl was well-suited to become someone who was prepared to face the worst of humanity and its gory aftermaths. However, she still lacked experience.

Thus, Ji Bai did not hesitate to formally lecture her. “Xu Xu, are you used to solving cases by making up all these unrealistic theories and guessing with your so-called ‘gut feeling’?”

Xu Xu immediately frowned and replied stiffly, “If you consider my analysis ‘guessing’, then I have nothing to say.”

Ji Bai sneered. “You are not convinced?”

“Sorry, I am not convinced.”

“Then why didn’t you catch the suspect?” asked Ji Bai coldly.

Xu Xu could not answer him.

The two of them did not say anything as they could only vaguely hear each other’s breathing through the phone. After a while, Xu Xu spoke up. “Is there anything else? If not, I’ll hang up.”

Ji Bai was stern and replied with his own question. “What are you in a hurry for?”

Xu Xu suddenly felt a rare feeling of anxiety.

However, she quickly heard him go on to say, “Why can’t you find the suspect? It’s very simple. Assuming your conclusion is correct, something must have gone wrong in the investigation process because of some kind of unpredictable deviation. If that’s the case, then you have your reason why the criminal was able to elude our initial search.”

Xu Xu was stunned but Ji Bai continued, “Ask Zhao Han to take you back tomorrow to check again. You must go and check everything in person. Dig around and observe everyone there. You must do it personally instead of hiding in the office.

“The criminal is definitely someone you’ve all seen before. Since you know him so well, you will be able to recognize him if he was standing in front of you even if there isn’t any clear-cut evidence.

“I will return to Lin City tomorrow afternoon. I want to listen to your new report on the morning of the following day. ”

Xu Xu was speechless. Only now was she sure that Ji Bai actually supported her.

He surprised her by going on to say that “even if there isn’t any evidence, you will be able to recognize him if he was standing in front of you”.”

That was because Xu Xu’s lecturer, Cui Yihua, a well-known professor in criminal psychology used to say the same thing to her in private. “A truly excellent criminal psychology profiler will be able to spot the suspect even if no solid evidence is available.” The professor would never openly say this to the public because it would no doubt come off as too subjective.

As a police officer who did not specialize in criminal psychology, Ji Bai had actually said the same thing to her after listening to the report. This proved that he had amazing perception and understanding. He really understood what she was doing.

For someone like Xu Xu, a person who was passionate in analysis and speculation, having someone who understood her thinking was something far greater than actual praise. Therefore, she did not mind how Ji Bai had provoked her in the past since she could now brush it off as him correcting her mistakes. On the contrary, he had a profound understanding of criminal psychology and extremely bold trust in her. That made her feel a little excited and touched.

“Thank you.” She paused. “I…”

Ji Bai could tell that she was moved from the tone of her voice. However, she fell silent just as he thought she was about to say something about his long-overdue recognition. Then, she solemnly yet monotonously said the two words, “Thank you.”

‘She’s really not good with words’ Ji Bai laughed to himself. “Okay. I’ll hang up now. Sleep early.”

The next morning, Xu Xu went to the police station and immediately started working with Zhao Han. At that moment, the two of them received a text message from Ji Bai asking them to start their investigation on the guards at the CBD parks as well. This was because they had a similar job scope as the security guards and also had three shifts.

Xu Xu did not agree with his order: The working environment of the park guards and the CBD office security guards were very different. Thus, they would not be triggered by the difference between the rich and the poor.

Zhao Han also mentioned that they had investigated the parks’ guards in the beginning but had not found any suspects.

However, Ji Bai insisted. He only said one thing, “The criminal had committed four crimes but has not yet been captured by any cameras.

“This indicates that the criminal should be very familiar with the park’s security system. Furthermore, all four parks were planned and built similarly.”

This meant that Xu Xu’s behavioral analysis contradicted Ji Bai’s logical reasoning. However, they naturally had to follow the orders of the great Captain Ji.

Although Xu Xu disagreed with Ji Bai’s idea, she still attentively executed his order. By the end of the day, Xu Xu and Zhao Han had met with all the security guards from three of the parks. However, they still did not find the suspect.

Finally, they went to Ruiying Park where the first case had occurred. This park was the farthest away from the CBD, so it was the last one on their list.

The sun was setting when Xu Xu and Zhao Han were sitting in the office of the head security officer. The office was located in a single-story house and there were more than forty TV monitors mounted on the wall.

The head security officer’s surname was Ding. He was a medium-sized, forty years old man with a kind looking face. The way that he spoke was very mature and experienced. He cooperatively took out all of his employees’ resumes.

Nevertheless, their investigation still came up with nothing.

There were a total of 30 security guards in the park. 18 of them did not have duty on Saturday morning and 8 of them met the age and academic requirement. However, these people had not been severely punished recently.

Xu Xu proposed that she wanted to see everyone, but Captain Ding was troubled. “Only those who are on duty right now are present, the others have most probably left. Is it okay if you come again tomorrow? I will inform everyone to be present.”

Xu Xu and Zhao Han walked out of the captain’s office. At that point, the sky had already turned dark. The stars were shining like shards of crystal quietly placed in the night sky. The two of them sat on the bench in the park, slightly exhausted.

“We will start investigating the CBD security guards tomorrow.” Zhao Han said, “Captain Ji arrived earlier this afternoon and he should start working tomorrow.”

Xu Xu did not speak. She had been thinking about what Ji Bai said last night.

“There might be some unpredictable deviations that allowed the criminal to escape our search.”

If the criminal really did hide his actual identity in some way, then it meant that the screening criteria that she had provided was unreliable, no?

Ji Bai also said, “Even if there isn’t any evidence, you will be able to recognize him if he was standing in front of you.”

Without any evidence or benchmarks. Only by looking at the person…

Xu Xu suddenly stood up and rushed to the captain’s office. Zhao Han followed her from behind whilst calling out, “Xu Xu, what are you doing?”

Xu Xu did not answer. She pushed open the door and walked to the captain. Captain Ding was very surprised by their return. “Is there anything else, officer?”

Xu Xu nodded and thought for a moment before saying, “The person we are looking for is not that tall, relatively thin and is quite attractive.”

“He pays a lot of attention to his appearance and the way he dresses. He spends a lot of money on clothing. However, people often feel uncomfortable with the way he dresses”

“He likes to express himself, but what he says often makes people feel suspicious of the authenticity of his words.”

“He does not get along with others and none of his colleagues are close to him.”

“He has a bad temper and will abruptly flare up. He can’t accept criticism and can’t understand what others are saying. When people talk to him, it always feels like nothing goes in.”

“He would brag to his colleagues about how his family’s environment used to be very good…”

Captain Ding was initially stunned, but as she continued talking, the look on his face slowly changed.

Xu Xu saw his expression and her heart was filled with joy. Nonetheless, the look on her face got even more serious. “Who is it?”

Although Zhao Han did not really understand what was happening, when he saw the look on both of their faces, he quickly reacted. He picked up the resumes on the table and started flipping through it.

“Yang Yu?” The captain was very surprised. “Do you know Yang Yu?”

Zhao Han immediately flipped to his resume and frowned. “But it is written in his resume that he received a 500 yuan bonus last month due to his outstanding performance. Moreover, he has a shift on Saturday morning.”

Xu Xu took Yang Yu’s resume, flipped through it and raised her head again. “What did he do to be rewarded?”

Captain Ding was confused. “The award… it’s about the razor blade case that you are investigating. A tourist was scratched by the blades on the bench. He was the first to find out about it and offer help… In fact, his usual work performance is just average, but because of this incident, the director praised him…”

The look on Xu Xu and Zhao Han’s face changed. Then Xu Xu interrupted him, “Did he change shifts with someone last Saturday?”

Captain Ding immediately reached for his phone. “Wait… let me ask.” He dialed some numbers on his phone and asked a few questions before hesitantly replying, “He did change shifts with someone. He changed it to a night shift.”

“Xu Xu.” Zhao Han could no longer contain his excitement. He pointed at a line in the resume. “He used to be a security guard in an investment bank in the CBD four months ago.”

The two of them looked at each other. They saw the affirmation and excitement in each other’s eyes.

A security guard in one of the CBD’s investment banks would naturally have a higher salary than a park security guard. What was the reason he switched jobs? He was most likely dismissed because he made a mistake.

As for the reason why it was not recorded on his resume? It was very common. Generally, if a company encountered some problematic staff, most of the companies would just let it go on the condition that they leave. Therefore, their mistakes would not be recorded on their resume so as to not impede them from finding a new job.

This was the “unpredictable factor” that Ji Bai had mentioned. The suspect had changed jobs within half a year and hid his mistakes, whereas the razor blade incident had actually gotten him an award. Also, he had changed shifts with someone else. This was why he was excluded during the previous round of investigations.

“Where is he now?” Zhao Han asked in a low voice.

The look on Captain Ding’s face was confused as he replied, “He told me that he wanted to resign this morning and I asked him to look for me at night so that I could talk to him.” He looked up at the clock on the wall and continued, “I’m meeting him at around eight o’clock.”

Xu Xu and Zhao Han both looked at the clock. It was half-past seven.

Zhao Han took out his mobile phone, but it started ringing just as he was about to make a call to the office. After some brief lines from the other end, Zhao Han’s face changed. “We are in Ruiying Park now. The target will appear soon, please send reinforcements immediately…”

He hung up the phone and glanced at the captain. Then, he lowered his voice and spoke to Xu Xu. “Old Wu called, the team found a suspect from the surveillance video. He appeared at the entrance of the parks at times matching that of the crimes. It’s Yang Yu.”

The team has been sending special personnel to check the huge number of surveillance video from each park over the past week. They didn’t think that they would find anything. Moreover, their findings coincidently matched Xu Xu’s deduction.

Right at that moment, they heard footsteps at the door.

“Brother Ding, have you eaten yet?”

The door was originally half-opened as a young man with clear and fair skin pushed it open and walked in. He had an average height, thin eyebrows, and long slender eyes. He wore a black leather jacket on top and a dark blue security pants below. His cheap dress shirt was neatly tucked into his pants in a very eye-catching manner.