Chapter 25: Old Master of the Neighbourhood

Lin Dongxue sat in Xu Xiaodong's car and returned to the complex where the murder happened. The two asked each unit about the deceased. However, the incident was late at night so the residents did not hear anything suspicious, only lamenting the situation of the family.

Neighbors mentioned that the family was very kind, especially the male owner who would always greet people as they walked by. He was a really good person. The family often sent food to neighbors, and sometimes cleaned the corridors as well.

As for the question that Chen Shi recommended them to ask, all the neighbours did not know. Only one old master who lived opposite the family said that there was a group of people who recently came to inquire about Kong Wende’s address, holding paint in his hand. They seemed to be loan sharks that came here to splash paint on the family’s home. The old master warned them not to make a mess, and contacted the security guard who shooed them away.

Lin Dongxue was preparing to thank him and end the line of questioning. At this time, Chen Shi called and asked, “How is the investigation going?”

“No progress, everyone informed us that the family’s character was good and that their neighborhood relationships are harmonious.”

“Ask about the relationship between the husband and wife. Do you even know how to investigate crimes?”

After Chen Shi hung up the phone, Lin Dongxue growled. “Are you my boss?” Then directed to the old man, “I have one more question. How is the relationship between the couple?”

“What kind of question is that? They are husband and wife, so their relationship is definitely good. This guy is just randomly commanding you to ask questions. You’re really going to listen to him?” Xu Xiaodong heard the phone call just now and complained.

He didn’t expect the old master to say without thinking, “Their relationship was good before, though I don’t know why, but this year, they were always quarrelling.”

“Really?” The two were shocked. Lin Dongxue pressed on, “Can you talk about it more specifically?”

The old master’s house suddenly made a noise. The old man exclaimed, “My soup has finished boiling. Sorry!” Then he quickly went inside the house. 

The two exchanged glances and Lin Dongxue suggested, “Let’s go in!”

“Let’s not. He didn’t give permission.” Xu Xiaodong hesitated.

“What do you mean let’s not?”

Lin Dongxue went straight into the house and the old man was busy in the kitchen. He took two bowls of rib soup out and offered, “You two should be tired, drink some soup!”

“Ah, no, it’s okay, thank you!”

“Oh it’s fine, let’s talk while drinking.”

The two had to be respectful and so they accepted courteously. The old master said that the couple very frequently quarreled. Basically, they had a big quarrel every five days, and there was a small quarrel every three days. Every time they had a quarrel, they smashed their bowls and pots and the child would cry very intensely. The old madam would take her daughter’s side, cornering him so that her daughter could yell and list out the flaws of the male owner. There were several times in the middle of the night where he heard the male owner yelling, “I don't want to live this kind of life anymore!”

Lin Dongxue thought, this old master is strangely informed about the happenings on the opposite side. She looked around the house, there was no TV in the house. All of the furniture pointed to this old man living alone. Presumably the elderly living alone are very lonely, so they love to pay attention to these sorts of family dramas.

With such a conclusion, she was very proud of herself. It is said that you become similar to the people you surround yourself with and now, even I can do some decent reasoning.

“Old master, do you know the reason why this couple has been quarrelling?” Lin Dongxue asked.

“What for?” the old master squinted and had an expression of a happy gossiper. “What else could it be?[1] But of course, it’s to do with money! The family is carrying such a large debt, and the four people rely on the few thousands that the man brings in, how could they not become anxious? The couple came under such pressure, so even things that are as small as sesames and green beans can be made into such big deals.”

“It seems that you are very in touch with what happens in their family.”

“That's not it. I know everything about this neighborhood!” The old man exclaimed with pride.

At this time, Xu Xiaodong interjected, “Old master, your soup is a bit salty.”

When Lin Dongxue looked at him, the brainless guy was actually drinking soup. He had almost finished drinking the whole bowl. She immediately bumped him with her shoulder, and Xu Xiaodong yelped.

“Then I will add some more water.” The old master was ready to get up.

“No, no, please just ignore him, you can continue! Do you know why their family owes so much money?”

“I didn’t hear about it, but I guess it is because of his father-in-law’s sickness. Her father passed away in March this year. He had been dragging it out for a year and spent a lot of money. Then at last, he passed away, as did the money. I originally persuaded them to treat the old man conservatively, and not to perform the surgery. What is a hospital? It’s a place where money and lives are lost. The old man was already over 80 years old. Whether he leaves early or late, he still needs to leave. There was no need to spend so much money. Sigh. This day and age, when you get sick, they might as well take away your life!”

Lin Dongxue thought about it. It seemed to make sense. Yet she felt that something was wrong. Xu Xiaodong began to evaluate the taste of the soup again. He praised the cooking of the old master. The old master was very happy and hoped that they would come to eat again sometime.

Lin Dongxue suddenly understood and asked, “But will people generally borrow high-profit loans to cure diseases? Even if they were really tight for money, wouldn’t they just re-mortgage their house? Oh yeah, do you know if they re-mortgaged it?”

The old master shook his head, “I don't know about that. You can ask the police station. Little girl, why don’t you drink the soup?”

“Oh, I’ll drink it now.”

After drinking the soup, the old master sent the two out of the door. Xu Xiaodong was still chatting with him. When they left the building, Lin Dongxue gave him a look and scolded, “Are you here to investigate the case or are you here to eat?”

“Oh, you don't understand this sort of stuff. This is to create good relations with the masses. If I wasn’t like this, how would you be able to find out everything you needed to know?”

Lin Dongxue was too lazy to care for him. She sent a WeChat message to tell Chen Shi about their discovery. Chen Shi almost instantly returned a message. “There must be a twist in this matter, you need to visit the company of the deceased.”

Xu Xiaodong peeked at the message from the side. “Does this guy really think he’s the shit? He also commanded us to do his bidding. I listen to orders from Captain Lin, not him!”

“He’s a hundred times better than you!” Lin Dongxue retaliated.

Xu Xiaodong was shocked. “Dongxue, you don’t really like him, do you?”

Lin Dongxue went straight to the outside of the complex and Xu Xiaodong caught up, “It's already five o'clock, why don’t we find a place to eat. I'll treat you!”

“Eat, eat, eat! You only know how to eat. We need to visit the company before they close!”

Immediately, the two drove to the insurance company where Kong Wende worked. The office was still open when they arrived. Xu Xiaodong suddenly had a thought flash across his mind. “I understand now. The deceased works in an insurance company. This case must be related to insurance!”

“How would it be related?” Lin Dongxue asked.

Sigh, let's say someone has interest in his policy.”

“Insurance beneficiaries are generally immediate family members, and outsiders are impossible.”

Xu Xiaodong scratched his cheek and doubled down relentlessly, “I think there is still a connection, let’s ask and see!”

The two found the person in charge of the team Kong Wende was working for, an aunty. When they asked about Kong Wende, the aunt expressed, “Ah, Xiao Kong. He’s very good. He is very dedicated and sincere. He has been working under me for about ten years now and he has never done anything wrong.”

“Did you know that he has a huge amount of debt?” Lin Dongxue asked.

“Debt!?” Aunty was shocked, and then showed a thoughtful expression, but the expression quickly went away, so Lin Dongxue didn’t think much of it, “I didn’t know. It’s his private business.”

“Have he ever invested in insurance?” Xu Xiaodong asked.

“He has.”

“Who was it for?”

“Himself, his wife, her mother, and his child.”

Upon hearing this, Xu Xiaodong excitedly said to Lin Dongxue, “You see? I told you this case was insurance-related!”


1. They actually listed an expression that describes how when you have no money, you will quarrel over absolutely everything.

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