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Published at 16th of April 2016 10:45:02 PM


Chapter 19

Zheng Yi was momentarily stunned . The facts spoke louder than his eloquence .


Nodding his head, he lowered his voice, “Understood . ”

“Besides that, we also discovered some synthetic fibres underneath her fingernails – these fibres probably came from objects such as sanitary masks . ” Forensic Scientist Zhu continued, “The deceased only suffered from one fatal stab wound, which pierced her liver . Based on the angle of the wound, it appears that the suspect was much taller than the deceased, and a rough gauge of the suspect’s height would range from 178cm to 185cm . ”

The captain knocked on the table sharply, and reminded the team, “This point is still under debate . Keeping in mind that the murder happened alongside the rape, the deceased could very well have been lying on the ground when she was murdered . If we use the angle of the deceased’s wound to narrow the suspect’s height, we may very well end up eliminating the suspect from our pool of candidates . ”

“Yes . ”

Flipping the autopsy report open, photos of the deceased Wei Cai flashed before Zheng Yi’s eyes . Wei Cai’s wrists, shoulders, and thighs, all reflected bruises and wounds commonly suffered during self-defence . It also proved that she put  up a struggle against her perpetrator .

After the meeting ended, Zheng Yi dragged Senior Yang into his very own office, and poured a glass of water for him, “Stressed – if we’re unable to resolve the case soon, we’d most likely drown to death from all the saliva that would be spat at us . ”

“There are some special cases, where simply relying on the traditional methods of investigation is insufficient . ” Senior Yang drank a mouthful of water, “Sometimes, we have to rely on what I talked about during the previous meeting –”

“Criminal psychology . ” Zheng Yi completed Senior Yang’s sentence for him .

“Precisely . ” Senior  Yang responded, “Let’s use this case as an example – why do you think the rapist committed the rape? There could be four types of reasons for the rape: First, power driven criminal, where the criminal committed the rape to satisfy his strong desire for power and control; second, the emotionally driven criminal, where the criminal committed the rape in order to build extremely intimate relationships; third, the venting criminal, where the criminal committed the crime in order to unleash all his inner rage, unhappiness and dissatisfaction; fourth, the curious criminal, where the criminal committed the crime in order to satisfy his curiosity about sexuality – such criminals are often youthful criminals committing a standalone crime . ”

Zheng Yi nodded, “I took a look at the report you wrote . In the report, you mentioned that after your interview with the two victims, your preliminary determination was that the criminal in this present case is one who is driven by his desire to vent . ”

“Yes . The power driven criminal tends to be in an older age group; the emotionally driven criminal tends to be extremely meticulous and detailed, and because of their desire for a relationship, they would often take the victim’s feelings into consideration and communicate with them . ”

“A youth who is a venting criminal . ” Zheng Yi murmured to himself .

“I’m not surprised that our venting criminal’s crimes escalated from rape to murder . After all, he’s enraged and he’s encountered innumerable obstacles in his life, and he’s desperate to vent all his frustrations; and yet, the victim struggles against him, trying her best to defend herself . She would probably humiliate him, and scold him . The criminal, now experiencing a new wave of obstacles once more, gradually escalates into murdering the victim . Furthermore, the criminal used a knife to stab the deceased to death – the stabbing action itself is an action which has strong underlying connotations of venting . ”

“Yes . ” Zheng Yi nodded his head once more before continuing, “Rapists who specifically target youthful girls are often in a similar age range as his victims . ”

“Yes . ” Senior Yang flipped his notebook open and placed it in front of Zheng Yi, “This is the suspect’s profile which I came up with after looking at all the clues . ”

Zheng Yi glanced at the notebook, memorising the points written on the notebook .

1 . The suspect’s age ranges from 17 years old to 19 years old, and s a taciturn and introverted person . The suspect is extremely cautious and relatively smart . He desires to blend in with his group of similarly aged friends, but encounters huge difficulty in doing so;
2 . The suspect possesses relatively good looks (The people near the crime scene didn’t notice anything unusual, and good looking strangers tend not to raise any alarm bells . )
3 . The suspect had discontinued his studies, or studies in a technical school with little to no discipline (his victims are all from high schools that are commonly viewed as ‘good’ and ‘normal’) .  
4 . The suspect frequently plays truant, and would often loiter in the vicinity of various schools in order to observe his victims;
5 . The suspect is extremely familiar with the area where the rapes took place . As such, it is more likely than not that he lives nearby, or that he frequently scopes out the area before committing his crimes . From this, it is pertinent that the suspect is extremely meticulous and organized;
6 . The suspect has a unharmonious family, and his relationship with his mother is especially strained (When the suspect rapes his victims, he frequently insults them and tortures them) . The strained relationship could be due to the following reasons: (a) He was abused by his mother; (b) He was abandoned or neglected by his mother; and (c) His mother has innumerable sexual partners, or is a prostitute .

Zheng Yi sighed, “I’m amazed at your analysis – but even so, it’s still terribly difficult to arrest the suspect successfully . ”


Senior Yang replied, “Don’t fret . Let’s comb through Wei Cai’s case a few more times – I’m sure we’d be able to find some critical clues that would reduce the size of the suspect pool . ”

“That’s true . ” Zheng Yi returned the notebook to Senior Yang, “The suspect has a vehicle, and given his young age, the possibility of him owning a car is simply too small . However, it is extremely difficult to transport corpses using a bicycle, and thus his vehicle is most likely a motorcycle . ”

————————————————————

The two youths woke up extremely early the next day .

They scurried too and fro within the house, wearing their clothes, combing their hair, brushing their teeth, and washing their faces .

The number of times they went out to play by themselves were simply too little .

Chen Nian stared at her reflection in the mirror, gently combing her hair meticulously and tying it up into a neat ponytail . After ascertaining that no stray locks of hair were sticking out, she placed the comb on the table and walked out of the room .

As it was early in the morning, the temperature was neither too hot nor too cold, and was settled at comfortable level instead . Bei Ye and Chen Nian sat by the table, quietly eating their pastries . Both of them did not exchange a single word .

Gradually, the narrow and small room grew stuffy, as though the entire room was a pressure cooker that was gradually warming up . The two youths set off .

When Bei Ye shut the shutter doors, Chen Nian stood beside him, unable to keep herself from tiptoeing in excitement .

The two youths trooped out of the abandoned steel mill; their footsteps were light as they walked across the field of wild grass . At long last, they reached the train tracks . Bei Ye stopped walking, and turned to glance at the morning sun . Bei Ye suddenly lowered his body and lay on the ground, propping his legs on the train tracks . After a few minutes, he turned to look at Chen Nian, and wordlessly patted the ground next to him, indicating for Chen Nian to lie beside him .

Chen Nian didn’t question him, and simply lay her body next to him and used his arm as a cushion .

The sky was a nice, cool shade of azure blue . Occasionally, a lone bird flew across the sky .

Chen Nian too, propped her legs on the train tracks . “Are we suntanning?”

Bei Ye answered lazily, “We’re waiting for the train . ”

“Waiting for the train?”

“The train will arrive in twenty minutes . ”

“When the train arrives, are we simply going to …… look at it?”

Bei Ye turned his head to stare at Chen Nian, the humour unmistakeable in his eyes, “We’re going to ride the train . ”

“But we didn’t buy the train tickets?”

“It doesn’t matter . ” Bei Ye replied .


Ah, if Bei Ye said it didn’t matter, then it wouldn’t matter that they didn’t have any tickets .  Raising her eyes to stare at the unbroken sea of blue, Chen Nian gradually shut her eyes in contentment . The wind grazed across her cheeks, and the entire world was silent . Just as the two youths were about to fall asleep, the train tracks beneath their feet began to tremble violently . The two youths opened their eyes immediately, and turned to look at each other .

Bei Ye pulled Chen Nian up in one swift motion . The huge, metallic train could be seen from a distance away . It was the green train that was headed towards the countryside, and was of a slower speed compared to other trains .

Chen Nian stared at the train unblinkingly for a few moments before finally discovering the oddity – “The train isn’t go to stop?”

“It won’t stop . ” Bei Ye replied .

“If that’s the case, how are we going to hop onto the train?”

“Even if it doesn’t stop, we’ll still manage to get on the train . ” Having completed his sentence, Bei Ye stretched his hand out towards Chen Nian . Chen Nian’s heart began to beat rapidly, and she timidly placed her hand on his, carefully wrapping her fingers around his huge, warm palm .

“Hey, Little Stutterer . ”

“Yes?”

“Do you ever think about dying?”

Momentarily stunned, Chen Nian turned to look at Bei Ye’s side profile . Returning her gaze to the train tracks that were trembling violently in front of her, she said in a low voice, “I did think about it before . ”

“Me too . ” Bei Ye replied quietly .

The two youths began to shudder lightly, their hands intertwined with each other’s in an unbreakable grip .

“Do you want to die at this very moment?”

“A part of me wishes to die now, but another part of me doesn’t want to . ”

“Me too . ” Bei Ye’s low voice rang out, “But, what if, you’re going to die together with me?”

“That’s why I said, a part of me wishes to die now . ” She turned her gaze towards him, further tightening her grip on his hands .

The hands of the two youths were tightly intertwined, as though their hands were a knotted rope . They were trembling, their eyes fixated on the metal tracks .

Bei Ye asked, “Are you ready?”

Chen Nian nodded, “Ready . ”

The train zoomed past them in a hurry, causing a huge gale as it rushed along the tracks .

Bei Ye hollered, “Let’s go!”


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Chen Nian shouted alongside Bei Ye, “Let’s go!”

With their hands tightly intertwined, the two youths ran after the train as they sped against the wind . As they ran alongside the train, a metallic ladder hanging on the side of the train finally appeared in view . Bei Ye turned towards Chen Nian and hollered, “Jump!”

Chen Nian was unable to muster sufficient courage to slam her body into that metallic wall . Using a single arm, Bei Ye grabbed hold of the metallic ladder and hopped onto the ladder . His other hand still kept Chen Nian’s tiny palm tightly in his grip . “Jump up!”

Chen Nian shook her head vigorously – she was afraid .

“I’ll catch you . ”

With that, Chen Nian took a deep breath, and hurled herself onto the ladder . Without missing a single beat, Bei Ye stretched his arms out to catch her, his arms encircling her waist with ease . The two youths slammed onto the metallic ladder from the force of Chen Nian’s jump . Chen Nian hurriedly grabbed hold of the ladder, and sneaked a glance at Bei Ye . The two youths stared at each other, their chests heaving from the exercise and their stunned and surprised faces displayed no emotion . All of a sudden, the two youths burst into laughter .

They speedily ascended the ladder, and reached the roof of the train .

The turquoise river wound its way through the rolling fields . Beads of sweat had barely begun to form on the faces of the two youths before they were speedily removed by the never-ending gusts of wind that blew past the two youths . As the train neared a small village, it gradually ground to a temporary halt .

Chen Nian and Bei Ye stealthily clambered down the train and ran away, their hands interlocked in an unbreakable grip .

It was an extremely tiny village . A few concrete houses stood a distance apart from each other, each house separated by huge, rolling wheat and paddy fields .

The two youths wandered aimlessly across the huge, rolling fields of wheat, before finally walking past a huge lotus pond . Chen Nian reached for a lotus leaf, and playfully shook the leaf, causing the clear water droplets on the leaf to divide into a few smaller droplets . The owner of the lotus pond was a burly male . Steering his wooden boat from the centre of the pond, he began to near Bei Ye and Chen Nian; on the boat, innumerable lotus seedpods and lotus flowers were stacked on top of each other, forming a nice, small mountain .

Drawn towards the lotus seedpods, Chen Nian couldn’t tear her gaze away from it . A small smile formed on Bei Ye’s lips, and he turned towards the owner of the lotus pond, inquiring, “Are you intending to sell these lotus seedpods at Xi Cheng?”

The owner replied honestly, “Yes, I am . How about this – I’d sell some to you guys at a cheap price . A dollar for each seedpod . ”

It was truly inexpensive . Bei Ye bought seven seedpods, and held them in his hand . The seven seedpods drooped from their stalks, their bobbing motion resembling the heads of seven birds struggling to free themselves from their owner’s grasp .

The owner generously offered, “I’d give you two two lotus flowers for free . ”

Chen Nian squat by the lotus pond, and reached out to grab two lotus flowers from the wooden boat . Gently lifting a pink lotus and a white lotus from the boat, she raised them to her nose and took a slight whiff . The scent of the freshly bloomed lotus flower wafted into her nose .

The two youths resumed their stroll across the rolling fields, popping lotus seeds into their mouths as they basked in the warmth of the afternoon sun . The freshly picked lotus seeds were extremely tender and fresh, and felt like a gentle stream of pondwater .

“The sun would get hotter after a while . ” Bei Ye commented . Repeatedly strolling by the shore of a lake, he finally stooped down and grabbed a huge lotus leaf after a series of meticulous selections . Removing the stalk of the lotus leaf, he handed the leaf to Chen Nian to serve as a small umbrella .

Chen Nian retrieved it from Bei Ye, and immediately raised it above her head to block the sun .

“Look, there’s some water chestnuts!” Bei Ye squat beside the paddy fields, and retrieved a huge stack of leaves . Easily finding some water chestnuts hidden within the leaves, he easily opened them in one swift motion; Chen Nian lowered herself next to Bei Ye, and observed, “It’s so small . ”

Bei Ye removed the tender white meat from within the shells, and encouraged her, “Try it . ”

Chen Nian lowered her head, gingerly eating the water chestnut . As she retrieved the water chestnut, her soft, gentle lips brushed against Bei Ye’s fingers . Although Bei Ye maintained a neutral expression as he returned the leaves to the paddy fields, his heart trembled quietly, as though a ripple had formed in an initially still pond .


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“It’s really sweet . ” Chen Nian gave Bei Ye a gentle smile . It was extremely fresh and refreshing, unlike those sold on the streets .

This was the true taste of summer .

The two youths continued walking along the fields whilst using the lotus leaf as a shield from the blazing sunlight . Heading into the fields, they plucked some cucumbers and tomatoes, popping them into their mouths immediately; removing their shoes, they waded into the paddy fields and allowed their bare feet to sink into the mud . They napped in stables filled with straw . When they finally woke up, the mud on their feet had long hardened, allowing them to easily remove the hardened chunks of mud .

As such, they continued their exploration .

The path along the fields was narrow, and the two youths were unable to walk side by side .

Bei Ye took a discreet step backwards, allowing Chen Nian to walk in front of him whilst he followed her from behind . He didn’t reach for her hand . The remainder of the path that lay ahead of them was too narrow; there was simply no space for him to stay by her side . He carefully counter her footsteps, his gaze fixated on her back view .

The two youths continued walking tirelessly, as though they were going to walk till the ends of the earth . But, despite the long day, neither of them were the least bit tired .

When the silver moon hung high in the sky, and innumerable fireflies rose from the fields, the two youths finally made their way home .

The metallic train snaked across the wilderness as it bathed in the gentle moonlight . The two youths clambered onto the roof of the train, and seated themselves properly . The night breeze was extremely strong, and slightly cold . The two youths sat next to each other on the roof of the train, staring at the blanket of stars that shone like broken diamonds .

“It looks like it’s going to rain . ” Chen Nian commented .

“It does . ”

“Will it rain?”

“I’m not sure . ”

“What if it starts to rain?” Chen Nian queried .

“Then, the two of us could soak up the rain and become drenched chickens . ” Bei Ye replied .

“But, what if it doesn’t rain?” Chen Nian persisted .

“If so, we’ll look at the stars . ”

Chen Nian turned to look at Bei Ye, and gazed straight into his eyes .

Slowly reaching out his hand, Bei Ye gently stroked Chen Nian’s cheeks, before carefully cupping her in his palms, and kissing her tenderly .

Chen Nian slowly shut her eyes .

The roof of the train was so far from the ground, that one would be able to grab one or two stars simply by reaching out one’s arms .

Looking at the stars – the meaning of this phrase is embodied by this very day itself .



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