Chen Shi asked, "What is your relationship with Kong Tingting?"
"We’re university classmates and friends."
"Surely it’s not just that?"
"Oh, you must have spoken to Xiao Wang, right? Yes, I tried chasing her in the past, but she never agreed to date me. I actually haven’t been in contact with her for a long time now. When I heard that she’d died, I felt like it was all so sudden.”
Chen Shi had been observing his body language and expression the whole time. Han Le’s line of sight slightly flickered, as if he was hiding something.
He decided to throw a bomb out. "Did you know that Kong Tingting thought that she had AIDS before she died, so she went crazy and slept with heaps of men?”
"What!?" Han Le looked shocked. "Impossible! She’s not that kind of girl!”
"This is a matter of fact, so you don’t need to assert your opinion on that."
Han Le stayed in a silent daze for a while. "I see. I guess that people change. Maybe she’s no longer the pure girl who used to recite vocab words under the willow tree early in the mornings.”
"Do you know if she had any bad blood with anyone?"
"How would I know? I’ve told you that I haven’t been in contact with her for a long time. I also can’t just hang onto a single tree till death. In fact, I already have a girlfriend. There she is.” He gestured with his chin at one of the checkout counters. There was a short-haired girl with freckles standing there.
Chen Shi took out his mobile phone and exchanged contact information with him. "Contact us if you think of anything else."
"Then we won’t bother you any longer."
Lin Dongxue tried to use her eyes to communicate with Chen Shi, but Chen Shi consciously turned a blind eye to it. After leaving the supermarket, Lin Dongxue asked, "Why didn’t you ask for his alibi?"
"We can’t ask him too many questions at once."
"Do you think he is telling the truth?"
"I feel like he’s concealing something... Miss Lin, have you had a spare tire before?"
Lin Dongxue widened her eyes. “Why are you asking this? All girls are a bit vain and like being surrounded by stars as if they were the moon. I’ve never done things like that before.”
Xu Xiaodong said, "I’ve been a spare tire before."
"Talk about what it felt like."
"I liked a girl when I was in middle school. I asked her out, but she never wanted to walk with me in front of my classmates. Later on, I found out that she already had a boyfriend. I was honestly so hurt."
"Did you want to kill her?" Lin Dongxue asked curiously.
"No. I was just sad… Of course, I hated her a little bit."
"The feelings of a spare tire are truly so tender. We should observe this Han Le guy." Chen Shi said.
Chen Shi did not leave and instead snuck into the employees locker room. A big sister walked in and questioned, "What are you guys doing?"
Chen Shi gave Lin Dongxue a look and Lin Dongxue pulled out her badge. "We are the police; we are investigating a..."
"Case of theft! You have an employee who lost an important item and only reported it yesterday."
The big sister did not see that Lin Dongxue’s badge said “criminal police”, so she believed that what they said was true. “Why don’t you find the manager?”
"It’s involving privacy. The person who reported the case didn’t want to make a big deal out of things. Can we trouble…” Chen Shi asked as he gestured towards the lockers.
"Ah yes, no worries. It’s obviously appropriate to cooperate with the police.”
The big sister went to pick up the keys. Chen Shi asked her to open several lockers one after another as he pretended to look for things. Finally, he asked to open the locker with Han Le’s name on it which contained Han Le’s clothes. Chen Shi saw a hair in the locker with his keen eyes and took it out when the lady wasn’t paying attention.
There was a book underneath some clothes. It was a detective novel named "The Iris of the Night". The author was called Xin Bai. Chen Shi remarked, "Eh? It’s the author from last time.”
"Officers, have you found the item?"
"No. Let’s look at the other lockers."
They looked at all the lockers to avoid suspicion and then thanked the lady before leaving.
The three discussed where to go next as part of their investigation. In the task force group chat, Peng Sijue said that he had some progress on his end. In addition, Lin Qiupu said that a friend of the deceased had some things they wanted to talk about. As the friend was located fairly close to the area the three were currently at, he asked them to go over for a visit.
Chen Shi said, "Then let’s split up temporarily. I’ll go find Old Peng back at the bureau and you two should go visit the friend to get information.”
Lin Dongxue mocked, "Captain Peng is always first place in your heart."
Back at the bureau, Chen Shi went straight to the forensics department. The room was so cold that he could probably freeze to death. The police officers in there were all rubbing themselves trying to warm up. Peng Sijue sat in front of a microscope and looked intently without being bothered by the chill in the air.
"What's wrong? The forensic squads changed to the Gu Mu clan?" Chen Shi remarked.
A police officer chimed, "The captain is doing experiments on food rot in the refrigerator."
There was indeed an old refrigerator in the room now. Chen Shi chuckled. "How dedicated!"
Peng Sijue didn’t turn around and said, "The current temperature is 5 degrees. For the ice cream in the refrigerator to melt to that point would take a lot of time… In addition, I also looked at the experimental data from the University of Tennessee. At 30 degrees, the decay of the body will accelerate for five hours."
Three universities in the United States jointly built a corpse farm with various bodies. There were corpses that were put in water, buried, sealed, etc. in order to collect data on the decay of corpses under various situations for the purpose of solving crimes.
Peng Sijue said, "Was there a power outage on the night of the incident? If so, there would be a five-hour error in the inference of the death time. But how can we confirm that the power outage had occurred that night?"
"On the way back, I suddenly had a conjecture. Maybe the murderer killed the victim at three in the afternoon. Then, they went outside the door and pulled down the power switch. The next morning, they quietly came back and turned the electricity back on. From the perspective of the forensic doctor, the room was always air-conditioned. Therefore, the time of death would be estimated to be less than it actually was. They knew it would be judged that the murder case occurred at 7 o’clock in the evening. However, the house would have been at a normal temperature the whole time... This is reverse thinking. If the murderer really did this intentionally, they must be very smart.”
"Inducing thoughts towards a forensic doctor. That’s too smart. Why would they try and do that?”
"Perhaps for their alibi. When the police find them, they can easily produce an alibi for 7PM that night."
Peng Sijue indulged in this angle for a moment. "There is another possibility. The power outage might have occurred before. The food in the refrigerator rotted quite a while ago and the murder case actually happened at 7 o'clock that night. Don't forget, the man mentioned that he had a conversation with the victim at 7 o’clock.”
"I said it was just a conjecture. It’s a bold assumption that requires careful proof.”
"I think you’re making out the murderer to be more complicated than they actually are.”
"No, when a person wants to get rid of their sins, they will show more wisdom than usual. This is called desperation."
"There’s no point in discussing conjectures here. It’s better to go to the scene and look at it again."
Chen Shi immediately agreed, but then stopped in his tracks. "Wait, I have something for you." He gave Han Le's hair sample to Peng Sijue, "Compare it with the DNA found on the deceased."
Peng Sijue gave the hair to one of his assistants. At this time, another police officer came over. "Captain, the results of the sample came out. The DNA matched perfectly to Shao Dahai."
Chen Shi asked what happened and Peng Sijue explained, "It seems that there’s no need to make a trip over to the crime scene again. The suspect has been confirmed."