Volume 1: Case 502 — The Intoxicated Frozen Corpse
“Give me an hour. If I can’t get a confession within the hour, I, Yan Xie, will change my last name to yours.”
Edited by Beth
“His face?” Yan Xie was a little surprised.
Jiang Ting stared at him.
“..no. It was too dark, and he had a gun.”
“You weren’t able to see what he looked like? What about his height? His build? Any unique characteristics?”
Yan Xie contemplated for a moment. “It really was too dark. However, he was of considerable height with an average build. But when he ran away, he was very fast.”
Jiang Ting nodded silently. After a pause, he suddenly spoke up. “This case can’t be investigated any further.”
His voice was light, yet very decisive. Yan Xie had long since passed the age where he would meaninglessly throw a tantrum, but his expression still changed. “What did you say?”
“You won’t be able to find any concrete evidence relating to drug manufacturing from Hu Weisheng. In this situation, where you can’t get a testimony, then you can’t detain anyone. Continuing the investigation of the sales of fake drugs might be the best way for now. The risk is that not only are Hu Weisheng’s methods illegal, he has also antagonised the drug cartels. Now that the true vicious criminals are involved, the police that are left to investigate will be exposed to unprecedented risks.”
Yan Xie looked directly into Jiang Ting’s eyes. It took him some time before he eventually opened his mouth; his voice light yet dangerous. “Why? Because we’re afraid of criminals?”
Jiang Ting did not answer his question directly. “They have an extraordinarily faultless criminal network that basically has no end to it. It’s far more powerful than you think it is, and even stricter..”
“Is it because of that bag of drugs?” Jiang Ting’s narration was interrupted by Yan Xie.
“That bag of drugs was an abnormality, and you recognised the clue within it, didn’t you?”
Without waiting for Jiang Ting to respond, Yan Xie stood up almost right in front of him. “That drug, and the fake Adderall sold to Feng Yuguang were the same. So you wanted to hide it, didn’t you?”
Jiang Ting had his hands above the blanket, one rested over the other. Towards the pressing interrogation, he had no reaction. Even his tone didn’t change in the slightest. “If you still want to quibble over the matter of the drug, then I’ve already told you before. I only wanted it for myself.”
The incandescent light fixture of the hospital room emitted a faint buzzing noise. Other than that, there was only the breathing of the two men, which hit each other’s face.
Yan Xie slowly leant back, standing up straighter as if he had not just put up an aggressive front.
“The morning before yesterday, the parents of the deceased Feng Yuguang came to Jianning from Beijing and went to the mortuary to claim the body.”
There was no reaction from Jiang Ting.
“The Feng’s only had the one child. His father was a businessman while his mother, since a few years ago, stayed home full-time to take care of him. Feng Yuguang was very filial. Although sometimes he was playful— every year, every holiday or even his parent’s birthdays, he never forgot to call home and send gifts. Amongst family and friends, he was well known for being a promising child; he was also his parents’ only hope and pride.”
“Each and every victim was once their parents’ hope and pride,” Jiang Ting responded.
“His mother is sixty this year and couldn’t handle the shock. When she saw the body, she fainted right away. His father was howling nonstop in the meeting room of the city bureau, banging his head repeatedly on the table. The several forensic doctors weren’t even able to stop him. With their ages, they’re no longer able to have another child who would be a pale imitation as a consolation. The rest of their lives will be spent in endless pain and despair, one day after the other, without an end in sight.”
“Jiang Ting.” Yan Xie called him by his name, speaking slowly. “That student who suffered and struggled til his death inside of the freezer was once alive, too. He had parents, relatives, classmates and friends. To you, he may only be a simple victim, as is written on the report, but to many other people he was their entire world. If the criminal is not caught and executed, he will forever be named as nothing other than a drug addict who is not able to rest in peace. As police officers, if we don’t clear his name, who else will voice his grievances and take on his revenge?”
“—why can’t his revenge be carried out?” Jiang Ting countered. “Since the other group have already employed trained killers to clean up after them, do you think they’ll let off Hu Weisheng, who has exposed the new drug to the police?”
“If you were the victim, would you be appeased having your killer dealt with by illegal means?!” Yan Xie exclaimed forcefully. “Bringing criminals to justice is not only just for bringing comfort to the victims’ families, but also to deter potentially more serious crimes! If they do have a drug-selling network like you mentioned, then in the future how many more Feng Yuguang’s will there be? How many more aggrieved parents must we meet at the morgue?!”
Yan Xie’s low tone was so resonant it left people feeling blank. It felt as though even the cracks between the bricks of the walls were secretly trembling.
Jiang Ting’s brows did not even twitch. He replied calmly, “There’s no need for that. Being a policeman is also only a job. If you died, your parents would be as equally anguished as well.”
Jiang Ting was the sort of person who appeared to possess a very mild temperament, from his looks to his disposition. However, that feeling of gentleness and flexibility was only for appearance sake. He was in fact naturally tough and unassailable. No matter how passionate the words, they could not move his cool and firm attitude in the slightest.
Yan Xie’s throat bobbed, as if he was holding himself back. Before long, he suddenly asked, “You said you wanted to keep the bag of drugs for yourself.”
Jiang Ting did not respond.
“But the blood test from your car accident shows that in the past two years, you haven’t taken any drugs.”
“So, as a person who doesn’t take drugs, why do you want to the drugs? To practice high school chemistry?”
“Just accept that I want to sell it for cash,” Jiang Ting answered smoothly. And towards Yan Xie’s thorough investigation of his medical history, he wasn’t surprised at all. “Is that so strange?”
His answer was smooth and without pause. If it were anyone else, they may have been stumped. However, Yan Xie was a Senior Criminal Investigator, with more than ten years of experience under his belt. Before Jiang Ting’s voice had even faded, he was sneering. “Sure, it’s not that strange. But what I’m more interested in, is that you were in fact confirmed dead following the explosion at the plastic factory. And yet, Yang Mei saved you from the scene of a car accident on the highway before bringing you back to Jianning. I speculated that you had probably been kidnapped by the drug dealers between that period of time, but as you were the Captain of the Anti-Drug team— such an important position— why weren’t you tortured by those criminals?”
“…” There was a subtle change in Jiang Ting’s expression.
Which he then countered with, “How do you know there was no torture?”
“— no need. There’s no need to show me your medical history nor remove your clothes.” Yan Xie cut off Jiang Ting before he could continue. “Actually, there’s only one thing I have to ask. Why weren’t you given any Ketamine?”
The atmosphere surrounding the confrontation froze briefly.
“Don’t tell that the use of Ketamine to induce confessions would be illogical. We’ve all gone through the same interrogation training, and those drug dealers are even more aware of it than us. In times like this, it’s better you start talking nonsense than remaining silent.”
Jiang Ting finally asked, “What exactly are you trying to say?”
Yan Xie stood up straight, slotting his hands into his pockets. Because of the lighting coming from behind him, he looked even taller and created a sense of oppressiveness.
“Captain Jiang, in my eyes you’re not the pure and innocent man who has been falsely accused,” Yan Xie calmly spoke, “I hope that you’re still the righteous and disciplined policeman from five years ago. But if you continue to obstruct my investigation, then I have no other choice but to suspect that you have some sort of secret beneficial relationship with those drug dealers.”
Jiang Ting laughed; finding the whole situation absurd.
“It’s no longer early, we’ll end our conversation here for today.” Yan Xie turned away. “Take care and rest well.”
The door slammed loudly. Jiang Ting leant back in his bed and kneaded the centre of his brows with two fingers.
“…” After a long time, he eventually opened his mouth, where he murmured some curses silently.
“You idiot—!” Chief Wei tossed a file hard onto the table in front of Yan Xie, roaring with all his might.
Everyone in the meeting room was hunched over, silent like the dead and desperately wishing they were invisible.
As the party involved, Yan Xie held a cigarette between his fingers, with an ankle across knee. Expressionlessly, he endured the spray of saliva from Chief Wei, exhaling a long stream of smoke.
“Why were you acting alone? Why didn’t you file a report? Why didn’t you ask for a partner?! You could have gotten yourself killed by the suspect! Why did you let a passerby climb up onto the rooftop to take a look? After being pushed down the stairs by the suspect, he’s still in hospital! If his family complains to those higher up the chain of command, I’m going to strip you, tie you up and use you as a shield!”
“It’s fine, Lao Wei1,” Yan Xie leisurely responded. “I have been to the hospital already. The passerby was moved by our dedication to solving the case, and has agreed not to file any complaints.”
“…” Anger bubbled up within Chief Wei. With all his strength, he yelled, “Bullshit!”
Qin Chuan, who was sat behind Yan Xie, was caught in the crossfire. He removed his gold-rimmed glasses and after taking out his handkerchief, wiped the saliva off of them.
“Xiao Gao!” Chief Wei was still furious. “Report the status!”
Gao Panqing, from the field team, was currently hiding behind Ma Xiang, trying his very best to pretend he wasn’t there. Having been named, he stood up resignedly.
“Uhh.. our brothers in the field team and the technical team have worked overnight and surveyed the suspect, Hu Weisheng’s, family. From the drug-manufacturing instruments which Captain Yan seized, we’ve discovered many fingerprints. Right now, we’re still investigating them further. But for that, we interrogated Hu Weisheng again, but that Hu fellow insisted he was only sold the fake drugs, and knew nothing about the drug’s trade. Currently, there’s been no further development on a potential confession…”
“He’s learnt some lessons from the rape attempt in Gongzhou,” Yan Xie frowned. “Manufacturing and dealing drugs is enough to have him in front of a firing squad, while distributing fake drugs and causing death will, at most, get him twenty years.”
Chief Wei almost exploded when Yan Xie mentioned the already-sealed case of Gong Zhou again. “Shut your fucking mouth!”
Yan Xie shrugged indifferently.
Chief Wei turned towards the technical team. “Since there’s already iron-clad evidence from the fingerprints, why are we still so desperately seeking a confession?”
Gao Panqing felt that he was truly unfortunate to speak up after his immediate supervisor had just been scolded by his immediate supervisor. He bit the bullet, “B-b-because we’re unable to get direct e-e-evidence linking Hu Weisheng to drug manufacturing th-through the fingerprints…”
Chief Wei inhaled deeply, trying his best to regulate his blood pressure that was above 180. Gritting his teeth, he spat, “WHY?!”
Gao Panqing looked as though he was about to cry.
“—because Hu Weisheng’s fingerprints only appeared on the bottom of the reaction tank, the lower middle part of the filter, and two spots on the handle of the dehydrating machine. As for the ventilation valve of the gas tank, the cap of the medicine bottles, the joint of the hose and other key operating points of the drug-manufacturing tools, we could not find his fingerprints at all.”
Chief Wei turned his head towards a sudden sound. Yan Xie had pulled out a new cigarette from the box. He did not light it, but kneaded the filter between his fingers as he pondered. “Which means that it’s been confirmed that Hu Weisheng never used these instruments before. He was only in charge of transporting and watching over them. The real drug manufacturer is someone else.”
— for some unknown reason, the scene from a few hours ago flashed through his mind. It was of a silhouette he caught sight of against the backlight while running to the doorway following his struggle between life and death on the rooftop.
Yan Xie then shook his head slightly, forcing himself to put this image on hold.
“You…” Out of habit, Chief Wei wanted to curse Yan Xie. Not able to find the words, he was momentarily stumped, then snatched away the cigarette in Yan Xie’s fingers. “If you’re not going to smoke it, just give it to me. Spoiling things, how wasteful!”
Yan Xie, “…”
Han Xiaomei asked Huang Xing, annoyed, “Director Huang, did you learn from Chief Wei to scold Yan-ge over nothing?”
Huang Xing replied softly, “Shh— all these criminal investigators.. Chief Wei only managed to find a wife when he was nearly forty..”
“The higher ups are placing a lot of importance on Case 502. Even the people from the Provincial Department have asked about it twice already.” Chief Wei swept his gaze across the entire meeting room, speaking loftily, “Now, this case involves drugs, guns and blatant police assault. We cannot sit back and wait for the Provincial Department to force us to submit a warrant. We must take the initiative and first give ourselves a deadline to crack the case. We must make a breakthrough before the criminals clean up any other clues! Yan Xie.”
Yan Xie had just taken out his third cigarette. Unhesitantly, he lit this cigarette. “Yes, yes, go ahead.”
Seeing how his fingers were occupied— how frivolous he was— sitting there with an ankle tossed across his knee, Chief Wei was reminded of how he had cuffed this rich second-generation punk off the streets and into the bureau. He then remembered his own moment of foolishness, where he actually allowed said punk to put on a police uniform and enter the police force. Now, this punk was soon to become one of the division’s heads. And right at that moment, his blood pressure spiked and shot to 180.
“If you don’t solve the case within 72 hours, don’t fucking think about marrying for the rest of your life,” Chief Wu spoke indignantly. “Just strip off your clothes and go home to inherit your family’s coal mine!”
“…” Yan Xie stared at him, stunned. He wanted to speak, but was at a loss for words. Finally, he could not help but start grumbling.
“Why are you like this? You seem very obsessed with stripping me today. I’m a hetero…”
Before he could finish, Chief Wei’s ashtray nearly came smashing down onto his face.
“Fine fine fine,” Yan Xie was helped up from under the table in a flurry. A little pathetic looking, he patted his chest, “Solve the case, solve the case, I’m going to go solve the case now. Lao Gao!”
Gao Panqing looked at him with pleading eyes.
Yan Xie asked, “How long have you been interrogating Hu Weisheng?”
“Three teams have been interrogating him overnight, and we’ve now gone over 8 hours already. This Hu fellow is not stupid. He knows that once he confesses, it would be a death sentence, so he keeps insisting that he only picked up the drug-manufacturing instruments to be sold as scrap. That bag of drugs that could have been the key evidence had also been taken away…”
With a wave of his hand, Yan Xie cut his subordinate off, then raised his index finger towards Chief Wei.
“Give me an hour,” Yan Xie said. “If I can’t get a confession out of the Hu fellow within an hour, I’ll change my surname to Wei.”
Chief Wei was stunned.
Yan Xie swaggered out. Standing there for a while, Chief Wei finally regained his wits. “As if my Wei family needs a trash descendant like you!”