Volume 1: Case 502 — The Intoxicated Frozen Corpse
“With a twist, that person crashed into Yan Xie and they fell into the booth. Grabbing onto his face, he forcefully turned it around, and straightforwardly pressed a kiss onto him.”
Edited by Beth
It wasn’t only the interrogation room, but even the individuals standing behind the one-way mirror were all stunned. Gou Li muttered, “The fuck? What’s happening now?”
It was as though Hu Weisheng was sitting in an electric chair; his expressions twitched strangely. His already distorted features looked even more crooked now, with his hoarse breathing loud and clear.
“That Jiang fellow did things that weren’t by the books— he deserved what was coming to him. He deserved death.”
“This buddy of his, is he a policeman too? Is he from the Prosecutor General’s Office or another institution? What do you mean by not doing things the right way— who has interrogated you previously? Is there some unspoken rule within the Gongzhou system?”
The sound of banging could be heard from the other side of the mirror. Qin Chuan was knocking on the glass as he shouted into his bluetooth earpiece: “Old Yan!”
Yan Xie paid no attention to what was going on outside of that room, instead only watching Hu Weisheng gripping his cigarette tightly, gnashing his teeth as he repeated, “I don’t want to die! I didn’t commit a capital offence— I was only brought along to collect the goods. They can’t just burn bridges like this— killing that Jiang fellow then killing me…”
“Who brought you along for the collection? Where was the pick up? Who is the one who wants to kill Jiang Ting?” Yan Xie abruptly stood up, thrusting himself into Hu Weisheng’s face. “Hurry up and tell me! If not, then we might as well just let you go free and come tomorrow you’ll be the one smeared across the highway!”
— if Jiang Ting had been there to hear Yan Xie shout ‘we might as well let you go free’ he might have already had been slapped before he could finish his sentence.
So afterwards, when Yan Xie recalled this incident, he too heavily regretted that he shouted the latter part of his speech without any thought and care.
His original intention was only an attempt to scare him, but as it stated within the textbooks handed out within the police academy, which were compiled through numerous experiences, it explained that in the matters of interrogation, any slight mistake could result in the officer’s efforts going down the drain.
Hu Weisheng’s gaze subconsciously fell upon the grisly photograph. “Yihe Road’s Three Spring Trees. They say that all the new goods come from…”
He suddenly stopped.
Yan Xie watched as the man’s expression drastically changed, like some incredulous mime. Hu Weisheng turned from green to red and then red to purple before finally, ghastly pale. He gritted out, “It’s not right.”
Yan Xie’s heart pounded.
“—liars.. you’re lying.. you fucking dare to lie to me?!” Hu Weisheng’s voice continued to grow in volume until it turned into manic yelling. “You fucking dare take me as a fool?! This isn’t— I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill you, you motherfucker! You—!”
The handcuffs clanked loudly against the metal chair. Seeing that the situation had gone downhill, the policemen outside pushed the door open and rushed in. The few simultaneously forced Hu Weisheng down, the veins in his neck bulging. Extremely crude and vulgar words spilled from his mouth and in the chaos of the interrogation room, the words sounded dreadful.
“You motherfucking bitch, squeezing this out from me like this, you’re going to die horribly…”
“Old Yan?” Qin Chuan quickly entered. “Are you alright? What happened?”
Yan Xie stared at that photo, unable to say a word. His mind was blank, and his brain was spinning rapidly.
Not right— what wasn’t right?
The person was already ground into paste, so there was nothing human-like in the photograph at all; not to mention any identifiable characteristics. Only half a head was vaguely visible in the corner of the image, with the back of the bloody head facing the camera. Even Fan Si’s own mother couldn’t recognise him.
Hu Weisheng had clearly already fallen for the bluff, so what made him suddenly realise something wasn’t right?
What detail in the photograph made him absolutely sure that this meat-paste was actually not his accomplice?
“Old Yan!” Qin Chuan slapped his shoulder. “What are you doing? You’re getting obsessed!”
Yan Xie stood up. The chair screeched as it shot back from the table. “I’ve got it.”
Qin Chuan frowned. “… What did you get?”
Hu Weisheng’s cursing and swearing stopped abruptly.
“The only identifiable characteristic shown in this photo is the short hair, while your accomplice is a woman with long hair. That’s why when Feng Yuguang turned into a maniac after taking the drugs and wanted to get out of the car, she was unable to stop him. That’s also why you’re protecting her, not only because you’re afraid she can’t handle being interrogated, but also because you two have a further connection,” Yan Xie spoke slowly, “You like her.”
Hu Weisheng’s lips trembled, looking completely different from the enraged person he previously was.
Yan Xie casually shoved the photo into Qin Chuan’s hands.
“Immediately shift the focus of the investigation onto Hu Weisheng’s relations, including money transfers, dealings with tenants and any peculiarities in his phone records. From sixteen to sixty, investigate every single one of them— go now!”
Three Spring Trees.
From its name, it can be guessed that the owner tried their best. However, a night club was a nightclub, so there was no elegance to it at all. Flashing multi-coloured lights stemming from the dance-floor swung around while shot glasses were strewn across the bar top. The DJ was bobbing his head to the background music which was so loud it was like there was a pile-driver onsite. There was no chance for quiet conversation. Even if people were only a few short steps from one another, they could barely hear a word even if it was being shouted at them.
“Give me the Macallan 25, neat. No need for fancy tricks, just give it to me straight.” Yan Xie stuffed a few notes into the female bartender’s sexy cleavage. “For you.”
The charming eyes of the female bartender had been emphasised with makeup. With a slick, seasoned gaze, she glanced at Yan Xie’s appearance, and turned around with a smile.
“Everyone’s in position, our informant is currently moving towards you.” In his earpiece sounded the unrestrained laughter of young men and women. Next came Qin Chuan’s teasing. “Your purchase just now has emptied half of your team’s monthly expenses. I think it’s time that Chief Wei goes to hospital to check his blood pressure again.”
Yan Xie lifted his head, looking around. However, in his position, the only thing he could see was rogues running about wildly.
“Hah, I’m always the one coughing up the money. You speak as if the bureau has that sort of money to give out. Now where’s that informant?”
Qin Chuan replied, “He’s coming over.”
“Handsome, you’re here alone tonight?” The female bartender returned, her hips swaying. She personally poured him half a glass of whiskey, and her bright red fingernails drew lightly down the back of Yan Xie’s hand. With half-lidded eyes, she laughed, “Where’s your girlfriend? How could she dare to let you out alone?”
The corner of Yan Xie’s lips quirked up. “When did I have a girlfriend?”
The ambiguous lighting deepened his facial features. He looked very much like a suave young man from a rich family, while still exuding a thick aura of masculinity. The bartender smiled even brighter, and so sat down in his lap. A fair arm with fake gold bracelets hung over his shoulder. “What a coincidence, I’m here alone tonight as well.”
Just as she was about to be seated fully on his lap, a fatty huffed and puffed his way out of the crowd. His eyes swept around, falling onto Yan Xie’s body, and immediately made a gesture as though he was wringing the neck of a chicken.
“Darling, I’ve got some business to do now, I’ll come find you later.” Yan Xie patted the bartender’s buttocks, pushing her out from his arms. His smile was like an unruly rascal, and after signing the bill, he pushed the almost full bottle of Macallan into her overwhelming bust. “Help me hold it.”
Qin Chuan: “Old Yan, you hooligan, deliberately taking advantage of others hahaha–“
Yan Xie’s smile did not change, and from between his teeth he gritted. “Be a little more objective. With my face, the listed price would start at fifty thousand, so exactly who gained an advantage here?”
Qin Chuan: “Hahahahahaha–”
The forehead of the fatty was covered with sweat, and it was unclear if it was from the heat or his nervousness. With the earth-trembling rhythm in the background, he squeezed his way over, and loudly shouted the catchphrase at Yan Xie. “The famous prince of nightclubs?1”
“…” Yan Xie spoke, “That Qin fellow, I’m going to fucking kill you…”
Qin Chuan: “Come come come, let’s see who’s gonna kill who, come on!”
The fatty fumbled his hands, looking extremely unpleasant. Yan Xie saw that he was overly anxious, so he raised his chin and signalled for him to drink the same glass of Macallan that had yet been touched. The fatty complied and finished it in one shot. Sticking out his tongue afterwards and panting, he raised his thumb at Yan Xie. “Good liquor! Alright, then it’s settled. Follow me!”
Yan Xie stood up and the fatty led him across the dance floor which was filled with fair arms and thighs. Along the way, Yan Xie was taken advantage of countless times, and he then heard the fatty speak into his ear. “Qin-ge said you wanted the white stuff?”
Yan Xie replied icily, “What I want is the ‘blue stuff’.”
The fatty did not understand, and continued speaking into his ear. “I see that you know what’s going on, but these business matters cannot be simply understood by outsiders. If things go south and matters go unsettled, you will be dragging me down with you. So when we meet that person later, you best not say a word and instead leave everything to me. Just watch me and act accordingly. If you understand then nod your head. If you can’t do that, we’ll split immediately. Ok?”
Yan Xie nodded.
The fatty started to speak, but faltered. Worried, he studied Yan Xie, and finally could not resist asking, “Are you really a public servant?”
Yan Xie shot back, “Do you need to see my ID?”
“No need, no need.” The fatty pursed his lips at Yan Xie’s watch, speaking resentfully. “This imitation… really looks like the real deal.”
Yan Xie sneered.
They threaded through the bright lights of the dance floor, bypassing the booths and a huge screen. The volume of the ear-splitting music abruptly decreased by a lot. In the darkness ahead, a flame flickered. Yan Xie stopped suddenly, only realising then that there were two sycophants standing at the end of the stairs leading to the second floor. One had his hair dyed in an ashy grey that was currently trendy, and he was currently lighting his cigarette with his head down. The other had a head of dyed red hair with his hands behind his back.
The fatty spoke quietly. “Stand here, don’t move.” He then walked forward, exchanging a few words with the redhead with a smile.
In Yan Xie’s earpiece was Qin Chuan’s voice. “The grey haired one is called Fei Long, and the red one is nicknamed Kongzai. They’re both fighters. They’ll bring you up to the second floor for the exchange, and once you see the ‘blue stuff’, immediately press the earpiece three times to send a signal. Watch the money for the exchange carefully, that’s your own money. If it’s snatched later, Chief Wei would not make any claims for it under our expenses.”
Yan Xie harrumphed, expressing his understanding.
In just those few seconds, something wrong happened with the conversation between the redhead and the fatty. They argued for a few sentences, and the redhead turned around, waving his arm. “This person is a new face, and you dare to bring him here to buy the goods?”
The fatty: “Kong-ge, my childhood buddy introduced him to me. He’s definitely trustworthy, and he’s extremely rich! …”
“It’s fine, this fellow does have some money,” The grey hair spoke to the redhead quietly. “Just now, he ordered a bottle worth over twenty thousand, didn’t look for the manager, and settled the bill on the spot. He’s probably here for that girl…”
The redhead was finally convinced, and waved Yan Xie over.
Yan Xie stood there, unmoving.
Yan Xie working undercover in clubs like this was basically a gift: all the disguises needed were genuine articles, the expenses incurred while undercover did not need to be reported and no need to be approved, and the most important thing was that he had a sort of conceited arrogance, as well as being extremely comfortable in any of these expensive night clubs. That sort of aura befitting of a rich man’s son that made everyone want to kick him could not be imitated by any other undercover policeman.
The redhead: “Oi, I’m referring to you!”
While smoking, Yan Xie eyed him with a gaze that asked “who the fuck are you, daring to command me”. The redhead frowned, and walked over, grabbing him. “Come here, we’re not harming you. Come and stand here.”
Yan Xie twisted. “What are you doing, what the hell are you touching.”
“Body search, bro, a body search!” The redhead shouted bitterly. “You’re a newbie, and you don’t know anyone. You think we can let you in just like this? Once we finish searching, we’ll take you to go see the goods. Don’t worry, it’ll take less than a couple of minutes!”
Yan Xie paused, casting the fatty a side-eye glance. The fatty too clearly did not expect that a body search would be done, and his expression changed severely. Fortunately, right at that moment, the lights from the stage swept away from them.
Qin Chuan spoke into the earpiece. “What happened?”
Without thinking, Yan Xie wanted to raise his hand to remove the earpiece. However, just as he moved, he suppressed the impulse under the eyes of the redhead.
“Bro, cooperate a little, we’re also only following orders.” The grey hair person flicked the ashes of his cigarette, sighing. “Rumours have been going around these days, I heard an idiot had died a couple of days ago due to an overdose – Ai, what was that about? I’m also only looking to put food on my table, and it’s a difficult time for everyone…”
Unobtrusively, Yan Xie took half a step back.
“No need to say so much to him, what would he know?” The redhead was impatient. “Oi, you, hurry up. There’s still people queueing behind you, and when you’re done with your purchase, we can leave too. Dragging this out, don’t tell me you’re hiding something on you?”
The fatty called out, quaking, “K-Kong-ge…”
— hearing that voice, Yan Xie immediately knew shit was about to happen.
As expected, the redhead looked at Yan Xie, then squinted at the fatty. From that extremely guilty tone, he registered that something was not right. “What are you scared about?”
The fatty: “…”
“Fuck, don’t tell me you’re really hiding something?”
This time, not only the redhead, but even the grey haired fellow was now guarded. They exchanged a doubtful look, and the grey haired guy also walked over.
Yan Xie’s pupils constricted abruptly, and the short three seconds seemed to drag out forever. In the air there seemed to be an invisible violin playing, the melody getting faster and more panicky. Gradually, it released a ear-piercing shriek–
What should he do, run?
The redhead stopped in front of him. “Oi, you…”
— The strings of the violin broke.
All changes happened in the same second. From a booth not far away, a sharp cheer resounded loudly, the loud laughter deafening, and next the screen was knocked away by someone with a crash.
The redhead, the grey haired, and Yan Xie turned towards the noise simultaneously.
That person had their back towards them, drunkenly throwing a handful of cash notes into the air. Countless red notes scattered in the flashing lights, accompanied by the thunderous sound of a fake cannon salute. Half the night club was startled, and dozens of champagne models dressed revealingly stood amidst the rain of money, grabbing wildly and shrieking.
“Fu…” The redhead muttered. “What the fuck…”
Everyone was stunned, only to see that drunken fool who was scattering money everywhere laughing loudly. He turned abruptly, stumbling into Yan Xie, and the two fell into a booth at the same time.
“Handsome, you’re alone?” That man was sat above Yan Xie, smiling drunkenly. “Handsome, come on, give me a kiss. Don’t be shy, hahaha–“
“You fucking made me…” Yan Xie saw that the two sycophants had followed from the corner of his eye. The next second, that person on top of him forcefully turned his head to the side.
Soft lips fell distinctly onto Yan Xie’s ear, and then next was a deft tongue slipping into it – that warm and wet feeling made Yan Xie freeze. He realised something, that was the earpiece!
“…” Yan Xie’s eyes turned inch by inch. He saw Jiang Ting’s face that was a very short distance away from him. In the shadows left by the swinging lights, not a trace of drunkenness could be seen on it, and in fact, he looked so sober to the point that he looked rather stony. Then, his throat moved slightly.
He had swallowed the earpiece, Yan Xie thought.