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Published at 14th of January 2016 12:27:02 PM

Chapter 35

Jian Yao is in front of his ‘body’ .

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They are in a morgue that belongs to the Ministry of Public Security .   A room with dull grey walls .   A lifeless and cold room .


Though she thinks she is prepared, she is still repelled by the sight .  


His body burnt into an unrecognisable charred corpse .   The only conclusions they can make of the remains are that he is very tall, not too thin, but not fat either, which fits Yin Ziqi’s description of him .      


According to the police, his car went off the cliff during a high speed pursuit with the police .   There was an explosion at the bottom of the hill .  


“Is that ‘him’?” Jian Yao asks Bo Jinyan .


During the hot summer days, Bo Jinyan usually wears a white shirt and pant without his jacket .   But today, he has his full suit on .   Even his shoes are nicely polished .   It’s a sign of respect for meeting someone for the first time, even though he’s no longer alive .  


He does not answer Jian Yao’s question .   Instead, he looks at the body for a few seconds, then he greets ‘him with a small smile’: “Hi . ”


His voice is mellow and soft .  


 Jian Yao is used to his unusual behaviour .   But others are perplexed: “You know this guy?”


Before they get an answer, Bo Jinyan has walked out of the room .





The conference room of the Ministry of Public Security .


It’s a meeting between the representatives from China and the FBI from the US .   Bo Jinyan looks like a different person from the charmer who called her “Your Majesty” yesterday .   Today, he is a professional with a sharp mind and distinguished capability .  


Jian Yao sits quietly at the back with a few other supporting staff members .  


One the side of the round table sits the reps from FBI . They share the results of the DNA testings: “We have successfully identified the deceased . ”


They project a picture of an Asian man on the screen .   He is wearing a suit .   He looks like he is in his late twenties .  


“Jiang Hao .   American born Chinese . IT engineer . ” FBI rep looks at Bo Jinyan: “Simon, you should be familiar with who he is . ”


Everyone is surprised by the statement .


Bo Jinyan replies with a mocking tone: “What an honour - He’s one of the survivors I helped rescued from Flower Cannibal No . 1 . ”




Jiang Ho fits the profile drew up by the FBI .   The physical attributes, his nationality, what he was wearing at the time of death (a match to Yin Ziti’s descriptions)… He is a rich and intelligent expat that returned to China about 6 months ago .   He had the means to stalk Bo Jinyan, and the ability to leave the clues at the crime scene .  


What is his motive?


 The FBI have come up with two explanations:


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1 . Post traumatic stress disorder prevented him from living a normal life . The mental illness turned him into an abuser .  


2 .   Perhaps he was an accomplice of the Flower Cannibal from the start .   He pretended to be one of the victims to escape from being arrested when the Flower Cannibal was captured by Bo Jinyan and the FBI .  





At the end of the meeting, Jian Yao walks up to Bo Jinyan .   He is still standing by the table, reading the document that contains information about Jiang Ho .  


One of the FBI investigators comes over to Bo Jinyan: “Simon, good job . ”  He gives Bo Jinyan a handshake .


They said they owe the success of this operation to Bo Jinyan .   He successfully set a trap for Jiang Ho to step into .   Without his help, they would not be able to identify him so quickly .  


Jian Yao is happy for Bo Jinyan too .   But Bo Jinyan just hangs a faint smile on his face . He does not show any signs of excitement, or relieve .  




When they leave the Ministry of Public Security, it’s past lunch time .  


Bo Jinyan is very quiet .   Jian Yao asks: “So, case closed? “  She heard the FBI investigators discussing about booking their air ticket to go home .


Bo Jinyan: “Yes .   Case closed…at least officially . ”


There seems to be more to his sentence .   Jian Yao asks: “Are you saying Jiang Ho is not the person we are looking for?”


Bo Jinyan answers: “I don’t know . ”  


That’s true .   His death is too sudden .   It’s hard to believe that it’s all over .   Just like that .   


Bo Jinyan gives a smile: “Well, time will tell .   If he is still alive, he will come back, won’t he?”




Night .   The moon is shining brightly in a cloudless and clear sky .


Jian Yao is in Bo Jinyan’s apartment .   She is reading a book in his study .  


Since she has made up her mind to ‘follow his footsteps’, she is not losing any time to upskill herself .  



However, she is only ‘following his footsteps’ in the area of work . But in the area of love… 


How will she know what’s really in his mind?   


“Why are you staring at me?” He asks without even lifting his head .   He is reading a book in the other corner of the room .   He seemed to be focusing on his reading .   How did he know she was staring at him?


Jian Yao blushes and answers: “Mmm… just observing . ”  After all, she is reading a book on behavioural evidence .  

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Bo Jinyan puts down the book he is reading .   He looks into her eyes: “You can move into my apartment .   You can stay in the study . ” 


Jian Yao: “… I am not going to move in with you . ”


Bo Jinyan gives a slight frown: “My assistant should be by my side 24 hours a day . ”


Jian Yao is used to his self centred and unreasonable requests by now .   She simply answers him: “I like to have my own space .   Just call me when you need me . ”


He decides to drop the subject, but he is not happy that he is ‘rejected’ again .   He gets up, loosens his tie and gets ready for a shower .


Just as he steps out of the study, he hears Jian Yao says: “Besides… when I have a boyfriend… in the future… I will be living with him, right?  I can’t be at your side 24/7 . ”


Bo Jinyan stops and turns around to look at her .   His icy gaze is making her slightly uneasy .  


“Whatever…” He says in such a small voice that it’s almost not audible .   Then he walks off .


Jian Yao can hear the ‘bang’ of his bedroom door .  


Jian Yao can’t help but laugh .   He started it by first asking her to find a boyfriend (after the accidental kiss) .   Now he can try and imagine what life can be like if she does have a boyfriend!




Jian Yao reads for a little longer .   Then she remembers about what happened in the morning .   She stands up and walks over to the book shelves .   She pulls out the box that labelled “California Flower Cannibal” .


It’s the biggest of all the case boxes .   She puts the box carefully on the table and takes out the content inside .   It has a big folder inside,   There are documents that explain why it was such a difficult case to solve .   There was no pattern to how he chose his victims .   People of all ages, from different backgrounds and ethnicity can end up being his victim .   Although he came from a broken family .   He had his fortune from investing in the stock market .   His wealth made it easier for him to conceal his crime .  


Then there’s information on all the victims .   She picks up a few files randomly .   There are some photos which are quite gruesome .   She quickly moves to the next file .   She sees a familiar name .   Simon Bo,  Bo Jinyan .




 Bo Jinyan comes out from his shower .   His hair is still wet .   But he doesn't take too much notice .   He is thinking about what Jian Yao said earlier .   Obviously, he is less important than some ordinary guy that doesn’t even exist yet .   He is not happy about that .  


He walks out to the lounge .   Jian Yao also walks out from the study .   She has the file in her hand .   His name is on the cover of the file .  


Bo Jinyan sits down on the sofa and turns on the TV .   He is deliberately ignoring Jian Yao .  


After a while, he feels someone sitting next to him .   Jian Yao is pulling his sleeve .   He turns around, and sees her beautiful eyes: “Can I have a look at your scars?”


“No woman has seen my body before . ”  He answers .   He continues to watch TV .


“But it’s important . ” Jian Yao pleads with him,” I am your assistant, and it is related to the case .   I have the right to inspect . ”


Bo Jinyan looks at her .   He starts to unbutton his top .   His eyes are still looking at the TV .


He takes off his top .   The sight of his broad shoulders and muscular body is before her, she looks down to the middle of his sleek chest .


Below the chest, close to the heart, is a dark red scar .   Further down, there’s another long, slightly more shallow scar that lines his abdomen .  

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There’s less scars in the front of his body compared to the back .   But they look like wounds that implied life threatening injuries .    


The images and words from the file she is holding in her hand flashes through her mind .   In the file, it was recorded that “Simon disappeared for six months .   When he was recovered, he was severely wounded, and suffering from hypovolemia and early signs of multiple organ failures .   He was unconscious and cared for in the intensive ward for four days .   The FBI eventually captured the Flower Cannibal based on information provided by Simon .   He helped saved twelve other victims that were in captive with him at the time . ”


Jian Yao looks at him .   He never mentioned about his past experiences .   Tears form in the corner of her eyes .


“Have you seen enough?” He asks in a cold tone .


Jian Yao ignores the question .   She reaches her hand out to touch the scar on his chest .   The cold rugged surface is warmed by her finger tips .  


How deep is the wound?  How much pain did he suffer?  


Suddenly, she feels her hand is grabbed by his .  


She looks at his hand, then gradually move her gaze up to his face .   Is he…blushing?

She hears him say: “It’s ticklish .   Don’t touch my scars . ”  


Jian Yao thought she could hold her tears in .   But when he said that, she can’t help but smile .   And the tears that she tried so hard to contain escapes down past her cheeks .


Bo Jinyan clearly does not expect her to cry either .   He is stunned .   He looks at her .  


Jian Yao is a little embarrassed .   She turns around to grab some tissues to wipe her tears .


“If I knew it would make you cry, I would never have shown you . ” Bo Jinyan says while buttoning up his shirt .  


More tears stream down her face .   Such a tender statement…


She takes more tissues .   She knows he is still staring at her: “Don’t look at me .   Watch your TV program!” she says to him .


“Ok . ” He mutters and goes back to watching TV .


She sits down next to him .   Her red eyes are still wet .   She sniffles and clears her noses and throat .   Phew…Ok… 


Then she feels some weight on her shoulders .   Bo Jinyan has put his arm around her .


Her whole body stiffens as he comes closer towards her .  


“Don’t cry . ”  He says in a soft voice .




The pictures and sounds from the TV continues .   There are no other movements in the lounge .   Bo Jinyan’s hand is still draped over her shoulders .   She can smell the fresh clean scent of soap that lingers on his body after his shower, and his warmth that’s passed on to her because of their closeness .  


How much time has gone by?  Half an hour?  Fifteen minutes?  No one knows .   No one is counting…  The mobile phone in Bo Jinyan’s pocket buzzes .


He retrieves his arm that was around her shoulders .   Jian Yao gives a small quick stretch . She wished the phone never ringed and she could remain in his arms forever…


He didn’t catch the disappointment in her eyes .   He looks at the caller ID, and answers: “Hi, Fu Ziyu . ”


Fu Ziyu is asking Bo Jinyan about Jiang Hao .   Jian Yao decides it’s time for her to go back .   She takes the file to return it to the study .  


As she walks past Bo Jinyan, she says to him: “I’m going . ” 


Bo Jinyan looks up: “Ok, bye . ”


On the other end of the line, Fu Ziyu says: “It’s late .   Jian Yao is still there?”


“Oh, she was crying just now .   I was soothing (comforting?) her . ” Bo Jinyan says it like it’s the most natural thing in the world .  


(Note from TB:  Re: translation for ‘soothe’ - The word used here in chinese is 哄, which is the same word Bo Jinyan used when he deboned the fish for Jian Yao .  哄 can be used in many ways, like coax, pamper, soothe .   It has connotations of intimacy :) )


Jian Yao is extremely embarrassed: “You are not allowed to tell him!”




After Jian Yao returns to her apartment . She washes up, gets changed into her pyjamas and lies on her comfortable bed .


It’s late at night . She looks at the ceiling for a while .   Then she sits up and walks to her handbag .   She takes out a photo .   A photo she made a copy in Bo Jinyan’s study .


It’s a photo of Bo Jinyan . He’s lying in a cave .   He is lying on the ground .   She couldn’t tell what the colour of his shirt is, because it’s stained with blood .   His handsome face is pale . His eyes are shut .   He is lying unconscious, next to a pool of blood .  


Jian Yao looks at the photo for a long time .   Then she gives a big sigh .   She holds the photo close to her lips and gently kisses Bo Jinyan’s ‘cheeks’ .  




Shortly after Jian Yao leaves, Bo Jinyan is also ready to rest .


He takes off his top next to the bed .   He looks in the mirror and sees the scars on his body .   He thinks about Jian Yao .   Her fingers touching his body .


He uses his fingers to touch the same wounds Jian Yao lays her hands on earlier .


It’s not ticklish .  


Then why is it ticklish when she touched him?


He remembers her beautiful hand .   And the sensation he felt when her fingers touched his skin .   It’s like a white feather brushing past softly and gently .  


A woman’s touch .


Something stirs within him .   Feels like heat is coming out from within him through the wound .  


He stands in front of the mirror for a while .  



He heads to the bathroom and takes a cold shower before going to bed .