After leaving the office, Chen Shi went to the forensic department to find Peng Sijue. Lin Dongxue followed behind and asked, “There’s no corpse. Why are we finding Captain Peng?”
“Don't think so rigidly. We may have found a corpse somewhere else during this decade that would have just been unidentified. If you use the DNA of the young monk to compare it, you may find the corpse to be his father’s.”
“You’re right! Why didn't I think of that?!”
However, Peng Sijue actually had a day off today. Still, Chen Shi was not discouraged and said to the person on duty, “Can I get a kit that draws blood?”
“Brother Chen, just take it as you please.”
After taking the tools, Chen Shi called Peng Sijue and asked him to come out to eat. Peng Sijue’s voice was eight times higher on the phone. “You’re asking me out for dinner? Who else is going?”
“What are we eating?”
“I know you don't like to eat hot things. I know there is a vegan restaurant in Gongzhou Road which is very good. I wanted to try it long ago.”
“Lin Dongxue is treating!” Chen Shi said. Lin Dongxue glared at him.
“I’ll arrive at 5:00. If you guys are ten minutes late, I will leave.”
After Chen Shi hung up the phone, Lin Dongxue asked, “Why did you say I’m treating?”
“Didn’t you just lose the bet where the loser needs to invite the other to a meal?”
Lin Dongxue made a helpless expression. “I am willing to accept my loss.”
“I’ll call the little monk over as well.”
Chen Shi texted the young monk and told him the address. The young monk returned a prayer emoji, making Chen Shi smile. “He is indeed a monk.”
At 5:00, Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue rushed to the restaurant on Gongzhou Road and saw Peng Sijue talking to the young monk. Chen Shi was wondering how they had already familiarized themselves with each other when they hadn’t even been introduced yet.
Upon listening, it was found that they were actually saying—
“The scriptures mention that the thousands of worlds are constituted by the karma of sentient beings. There are also worlds outside this world. There are as many worlds as there are stars. The scriptures are not as idealistic as you’ve made it seem.”
“Science has proven that the world is made from atoms. Your old ways of thinking are simply untenable.”
“But sir, you cannot deny its materialism and speculation. Buddhism is not a religion, but a philosophy and way of life. It is a way to understand everything!”
“Fuck, you're ‘standing’ while bluffing?!” Chen Shi said.
Peng Sijue looked embarrassed and said, “This little monk is too eloquent. The monks are advancing with the times.”
“Okay, okay. Let's just eat!”
Peng Sijue found that the young monk was following them and cast a doubtful look at Chen Shi. Chen Shi said, “We’re together.”
The young monk clasped his palms together in ritual and said, “Hello sir!”
The vegan restaurant was newly decorated, and the four of them took their seats. Everyone took turns ordering. They ordered sweet and sour pork ribs, mapo tofu, teriyaki sea cucumber, etc. The young monk rushed to say, “Amitabha!” and readied himself to leave.
Chen Shi said, “Just rest assured, Master. These are all made from tofu and gluten. I checked on the Internet. You won’t need to worry at this vegan restaurant. They don’t even put onions and garlic.”
“Thank you for your consideration, donor. A monk’s six roots of sensations are pure and clean and will be happy with coarse tea and light rice.”
“It's okay. You're here just to add a pair of chopsticks. If we order things especially for you, wouldn’t that be a waste of money?”
The little monk was persuaded and stopped protesting.
When the dishes came to the table, Chen Shi explained the case while Peng Sijue kept looking at the young monk with a surprised expression. As so many years had passed, the young monk seemed calm and indifferent when recalling the events that happened.
“Human memory...” Peng Sijue began.
“I know what you want to say. People's memories can't be trusted, but no matter how much they can't be trusted, I don't think he can remember such a big thing incorrectly.”
“What if he lied? ... Oh, it’s not that I don’t believe you.” Peng Sijue said the latter half to the young monk.
“We’ll have to investigate it. If we can, we’ll continue. If we can’t, there’s nothing we can do anyway,” Chen Shi said as he took out the blood drawing tools from the bureau.
Seeing that they were going to draw blood, the young monk was a little nervous. Peng Sijue explained the DNA process and the young monk cooperated, allowing him to draw a tube of fresh blood.
“I'll go back and compare!” Peng Sijue said, “But I have a few questions about your 'story'. First, did you actually see your father getting killed? Second, apart from your parents, don’t you have any other relatives you can depend on? Third, forgive me if I offend you, but you were only five years old and you went to become a monk. You shouldn’t know too much about the relations between men and women. Did you see the ‘bad person’ rape your mother, or did you see your mother cheating with this ‘bad person’? Are you able to ascertain this?”
The last question was too harsh and the little monk's body trembled. He put his hands together and said, “First, I saw my father was stabbed and there was a lot of blood. He was almost dead at that point…”
“What was your mother doing?”
“She was tied up by the bad guy!”
“I think this is the self-rationalization of your memory. Your mother may not have been tied-up, but you have modified the details in your memories to make the mother's bystanding behavior of sitting on the side lines reasonable.”
The young monk pursed his lips. He lowered his head and kept reciting “Amitabha” to calm himself down. Lin Dongxue said to Peng Sijue, “Captain Peng, we will discuss these details together later.”
The little monk finally calmed down and said, “Second, besides my parents, I have an aunt in Long'an. I met her a few times when I was a kid, but I didn’t know where she lived. So on the night of the incident, I didn’t know where to find her. I panicked and went down the mountain.”
“Third, I don't really know about the relations between men and women, but my parents were very loving towards each other. When she was dominated by the bad guy, my mother screamed incessantly. Do you think that’s still cheating?”
Peng Sijue shook his head silently. It seemed like he still didn't believe the little monk's memories.
In fact, Chen Shi did not believe it either. In his opinion, the killing might have happened, but the truth of the whole incident may not be the same as the young monk recalled.
Chen Shi asked, “Do you remember what season it was?”
“It was a hot day because I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. When I ran away, I fell down and hurt my knee. You can still see the scars from that!”
Lin Dongxue looked through the note book. She pointed to the upper right corner of the third drawing and said, “What is this cross in mid-air?”
“I remember something coming from the window. It was a light in the shape of a cross... Yes, it was like that kind of glass.” The little monk pointed to the partition in the restaurant, which was covered with diamond-shaped frosted glass.
Chen Shi stood up, walked behind the partition, and turned on the flashlight on his phone. The cross-shaped pattern appeared after the light was transmitted through the glass. Chen Shi asked, “Like this?”
The little monk shook his head. “It was bigger than that. It was longer at the bottom, too.”
“Isn't that really a cross then?” Lin Dongxue was shocked. “Could it be near a church?”
The little monk added, “I remember there was a pink and purple light. It kept flashing and it was very eye-catching.”
Peng Sijue went on his mobile phone and opened a color map to get the little monk to identify the colors. The little monk pointed out two of them with certainty. Peng Sijue asked him to identify other colors to confirm that he was not color blind.
“Even if the church is decorated with lights, it wouldn’t use such bright colors,” Lin Dongxue remarked.
Chen Shi shook his head. “It's not necessarily pink and purple. White and red light can match to create pink, and purple can be created by blue and red light. Blue and white led lights are very common, so the glass might have been red.”
“Red?!” The little monk was shocked to the point of tears. “Yes, my father's blood was all over the glass!”