Edited by Qiuxue and Noks
The two videos showing the interviews of Sun Ying and the Mother-Father Gao pair firmly occupied first and second place on the hot search list, and because of this, the spotlight was focused on Fan Jialuo’s foreboding sketch of Gao Yize’s scene of death, thereby causing another great upsurge of public outrage to be directed in his direction within just a short period of time. Fan Jialuo had yet again become the target of public criticism, but that same person was currently immersed in his bathtub, leisurely watching a movie on his tablet.
Countless pieces of ice cubes floated on the surface of the water, covering his white body. He was astonishingly thin, with his ribs clearly outlined on his chest and arms that looked fragile to the point that they would easily break in just a single fold; all in all, it looked a little ugly. Moreover, a large dark purple bruise was quietly climbing up his shoulders and spreading towards his neck. If he didn’t find a way to suppress it, his whole body would rot and decay.
Despite this, Fan Jialuo wasn’t worried in the slightest. Instead, he placed his full attention on the movie and whenever he reached a pleasing scene, he would raise his eyebrows and curve his lips—his expression would become very vivid. Such a man was full of vitality, and also showed a certain innocence towards worldly affairs.
During all this, his mobile phone on the washstand continued to ring, with different strings of numbers flashing across the screen each time, before falling silent one by one. These calls came from various people, including his friends, colleagues, random strangers who just wanted to taunt him, crazy black powder fans and haters. He didn’t answer any of the calls, allowing the phone to ring constantly, even without any interruption in-between calls, but this didn’t upset him. In terms of psychological quality, even astronauts would be hard-pressed into matching him.
Only after more than two hours had passed did he finally rise up from the completely melted ice bath and slowly wiped away the lingering moisture on his body with a towel. At that moment, the incoming call’s number on the mobile phone screen changed again, this time displaying the caller ID- Dad.
The tip of his eyebrow was raised as Fan Jialuo accepted the call with great interest. However, before he could open his mouth to say anything, a surly voice sounded out, “Fan Jialuo, did you kill Gao Yize?”
“No,” Fan Jialuo replied calmly.
“Later, I’ll ask my lawyer to send you the paperwork for the dissolution of our adoptive relationship, and you must sign them. It doesn’t matter whether or not you killed Gao Yize, just remember that everything you do from this point onwards has nothing to do with the Fan Family. Don’t give me any trouble, or I’ll dispose of you like garbage.” Fan Luoshan then immediately hung up, without adding any superfluous words. This treatment made it clear—when the adopted son wandered on the edge of despair, his choice was to push him further down rather than reach out with a helping hand.
Fan Jialuo just laughed it off in a low voice. He had long foreseen that Fan Luoshan would act in such a manner, and it just so happened that this was exactly what he also wanted.
The lawyer sent by the Fan Family soon arrived, and without exchanging a single word, Fan Jialuo picked up the pen and signed the document. The lawyer was also very straightforward, directly using a mobile phone to take a photo of the signed document and sending it to his employer.
With the sound of a ping, a new message was posted on Fan Luoshan’s private Weibo, along with the photos he had just received as attachments. He couldn’t wait to tell the world that—there was no blood nor legal relationship between the Fan Family and Fan Jialuo anymore.
Fan Jialuo picked up his cell phone and read the post, chuckling as he mocked, “Mr. Fan is really in a hurry.”
The post published by Fan Luoshan quickly won praises from hundreds of thousands netizens. Some people gloated, commenting:
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
[Without the support of the Fan Family, Fan Jialuo won’t be able to make a comeback this time. I think there are only two paths left in his future, one is the death penalty, and the other is to sit in a prison-cell until the end of his life.]
[Brother, don’t forget that he is a patient with multiple personality disorder and probably can’t go to jail.]
[Shit, it’s not fair! As a person with multiple personality disorder, is it legal to commit homicide? If Fan Jialuo really escapes the law using such sanctions, I’ll be totally disappointed in this country!]
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But from the perspective of the police, a sketch was far from being direct evidence. Unless they could catch the murderer and prove a relationship of employment between the other party and Fan Jialuo through a confession, the sketch would be useless. In this way, the case was considered to have reached a dead end.
In order to prevent the second murder, Zhuang Zhen and several other members of the team kept watch and covered Sun Ying 24/7. They followed Sun Ying’s program, stood on guard when he slept, and even assigned a person to go to the toilet to keep watch whenever Sun Ying resolved his physiological problems. But after five or six days had passed, Sun Ying was still safe and sound, and not even a glimpse of any suspicious person had been caught.
Liu Tao, who was hiding in a nondescript van, couldn’t help but mutter, “What’s wrong with this? The second death notice has been issued. It’s impossible for Fan Jialuo to not be the one to do it! Is he playing with us?”
Zhuang Zhen simply took out his mobile phone and asked in the task force’s chat group, “How is the situation on your side?”
“There is no situation at present, Leader,” replied the man in charge of protecting Zhao Wenyan, Fan Luoshan and Cao Xiaofeng.
“Is there anyone suspicious?”
“No, everything is normal.”
“What about the situation on Fan Jialuo’s side?”
“There’s nothing suspicious on his side either.”
“Has the forensic report of the crime scene been released?”
“The previous two reports that had been released contained no clues. Now, the Forensic Department is conducting a third investigation. The specific situation isn’t clear at the moment.”
“Did you find any witnesses at the scene of the crime?”
“No, we checked all the nearby buildings but couldn’t find any witnesses.”
“Well, I see. Keep your eyes on him. Don’t let him out of your sight.” Zhuang Zhen’s frown deepened, gradually tightening as he pondered on the feeling of having ignored something important.
“Let’s wait and see. Right now, we’re fighting a battle of patience with the murderer,” Liu Tao consoled.
Zhuang Zhen nodded and didn’t speak, but a sense of foreboding filled his heart.
Several people continued to keep a close watch for another three days, but they still did not encounter any suspicious situations. Sun Ying had also finished recording scenes for the variety show and had returned to Beijing. The group responsible for protecting the other potential victims also spent this time in peace. It was as if the death notice issued by Fan Jialuo was simply a joke.
Of course, during this period, the Criminal Police Department was not completely calm, as they had received several new cases, including two homicides. A middle-aged woman and a man in his early twenties had died. As the first team was busy investigating Gao Yize’s case, these two homicide cases were taken over by the second and third teams.
The woman had been beaten to death with a hammer by the mistress of her partner, and the case was solved in an efficient way. The young man had passed by a dark lane in the middle of the night when he was drunk, where he was robbed of his wallet and cell phone, then stabbed. He died because he failed to receive timely treatment. There were no surveillance cameras and witnesses in that particular lane—the street light was also broken. The Criminal Police Department’s third team had not yet managed to identify any useful clues, so they could only conduct their investigation blindly. Generally, the probability of solving a random case like this was very low. Whether or not the dead would receive justice depended entirely on luck.
Even after he returned to Beijing, Zhuang Zhen still ordered people to stand guard over the potential victims on the list. At the same time, he intensified the investigation on Fan Jialuo’s social relationships, but failed to obtain any meaningful clues yet again. The investigation into Gao Yize’s social circle was also in progress, but due to their focus being concentrated on a certain particular relationship, coupled with limited manpower, their overall efficiency was very low, and so there were simply no clues to be found.
The whole task force was at a loss and could only wait and hope for the results of the investigation conducted by the Forensic Department.
Three days later, the Forensic Department sent over their third investigation report. It concluded that the location where the body was found was not suspicious, and they also confirmed that the impact from falling down from the top of a multiple-storied building was what had killed Gao Yize. Only traces of Gao Yize’s activities had been found on the top floor, there were no clues which could help in identifying the murderer; there were no footprints, no DNA, no fingerprints, no witnesses, no surveillance videos nor any other kind of evidence.
In addition, by checking the surveillance footage from the cameras located in the corridor and the elevator lobby, they had discovered that on the day of, and even several days before Gao Yize’s fall, no one other than Gao Yize himself had made their way to the top floor of the building. Most of the buildings in that business district were densely-built, and it was easy for one to cross between the buildings. But the building where the studio was located was separated from the other buildings by a two-way single-lane road, and the distance between the studio’s building and the one nearest to it was seven or eight meters—by no means was it a distance that ordinary people could cross.
In short, unless the murderer could fly through the sky, it was impossible Gao Yize to have been killed.
Looking at the third forensic report, Liu Tao couldn’t help but say angrily, “Damn it, this case is really strange! How on earth did this murderer manage to access the rooftop? I can’t think of a way even after breaking my head! The identity of the murderer is so clear, but not only do we not have any evidence to arrest this person, we also have to face the complaints being made by the families of the dead, along with being pressured by our superiors, and then be condemned by the public! Damn it, Laozi has been a policeman for decades, and I’ve never had to act so meek before! It can’t be true that in the end, we’re going to have to close the case and conclude that it was an accident?”
Zhuang Zhen stared at the forensic report and fell into deep thought. After a while, he asked, “Has there been any movement on Fan Jialuo’s side?”
“No. He has been wandering outside recently, but without an exact destination. He just drives his sports car throughout Beijing City, not even getting off the car to stop somewhere in the middle, simply driving the entire way. He drives for maybe seven or eight hours before returning to his apartment to sleep at night.” The officer in charge of liasing with the people keeping a watch over Fan Jialuo shook his head and continued, “His lifestyle is very strange, but there is no doubt that this is how he lives at present.”
“Driving around outside all day? What the hell does this kid want to do?” Liu Tao felt that his remaining few hairs were about to be lost. He had never seen a suspect with more arrogance and cunning than Fan Jialuo.
Zhuang Zhen continued to ask, “Has he contacted anyone suspicious recently?”
“No, we have embedded a monitoring program in his mobile phone. He hasn’t answered any suspicious phone calls. Generally, all he does is swipe through his Weibo, play games and watch movies on it. His mailbox hasn’t received any suspicious emails or messages either. His bank accounts have been frozen by the Fan Family and he doesn’t have much money on hand. His secret account hasn’t been found yet. It will be a bit troublesome to check if it involves financial institutions based overseas.”
“Then keep checking and don’t slack off. Right now, what we are competing against are his patience and cautiousness.” Zhuang Zhen had never been one to doubt his own judgment, so he would never give up on uncovering the slightest clue on Fan Jialuo.
The moment the police officer was about to respond to the order, he exclaimed in surprise, “Leader, the second group just sent a message. Fan Jialuo’s car finally stopped! It stopped near a new community in Dongcheng called Moon Bay Garden. He also called the real estate agent to rent a house in that community.”
“Moon Bay Garden? That neighborhood is a famous ghost district. Why would he even think of renting a house there?” Liu Tao thought it was strange.
“He is currently broke and still owes a lot of debt. It might be that he had to sell his house for money,” suggested a team member.
Zhuang Zhen had been most afraid of Fan Jialuo playing dead at home again. Now that his activities were known, it was a good thing. So he ordered, “During the process of moving, he may come into contact with some suspicious people. Make sure to keep a tight watch over him!”
“We know, Leader. You can be rest assured!” The team answered in a loud voice, instantly dispelling their lethargic idleness of the previous few days with this.
When moving, a multitude of people and sundries got involved. It would be natural for Fan Jialuo to hire some workers, and just maybe, one of the hired men could be the murderer!
Noks: Ah… I’m so curious about ‘the second one’… Never thought I’d be waiting for a murder to happen so eagerly… (ﾟдﾟ；)
Frozenmirage: He he he