Although Chen Shi was neither a police officer nor someone in charge of that, he still said, "I will relay your message."
"Thank you so much."
"Which app do you use to chat with others?"
"We can use the same apps that sighted people use. The mobile phone has a screen reading function. Even reading novels is not a problem but I still love to listen to storytelling... By the way, there’s an app recently which allows you to voice chat with others, called xx."
That app was the one that the killer used to look for her prey. Chen Shi asked, "Do a lot of blind people use this?"
"Do the blind have their own social circles?"
"Yes, mainly alumni groups. Everyone graduated from a handicapped school. They gather together during the New Years and special holidays. People segregate themselves into groups. As a police officer, most of the friends you know should be police officers too... Is this your girlfriend?"
"How do you see..." Upon using the word "see", Chen Shi immediately uttered, "I'm sorry!"
"It's okay. I smell her on you, haha."
Lin Dongxue heard the words and buried her face in embarrassment. Chen Shi continued to ask, "Can I ask you a silly question? Do you have something like a sixth sense?"
"Hmm..." The owner pondered without stopping his massage. "If I say yes, you may feel that it is a little hard to believe. For example, if we walk in front of the wall, there will be a sound wave that echoes back to us and we’ll naturally know that there’s an obstacle there. Let me tell you something even more incredible. Some blind people can use echoes to locate things, just using this clicking sound... They can find things by the reflected sound waves. Of course, that would require training. Do you know what blind people are most afraid of?"
"It’s difficult to differentiate sounds on rainy days?"
"Yes, it’s especially true with umbrellas. The raindrops drip down umbrellas, creating noise. It’s really hard to gauge directions, so it's easy to get lost. We usually don't go out when it rains... Sir, can you see if it’s going to rain outside?"
"It's okay today, but the weather forecast says it's going to rain in the next few days."
After the massages were over, Chen Shi paid for their services and left. The two visited several other blind women that day. They either worked in massage parlors or were full-time housewives. They didn’t seem suspicious.
After running around the whole day, Lin Dongxue was so tired that she began to doze off in the passenger seat. Chen Shi said, "Sleep for a while. I’ll wake you up later."
Lin Dongxue lowered the back of her seat and fell asleep. Chen Shi drove the car to Longhua Road. He stopped and locked the car, then went straight to the agency, opened the door and went inside to see Sun Zhen playing a game. kk was teaching Tao Yueyue how to steal wallets. He said in both shock and anger, "Why are you here?"
Tao Yueyue was so scared she hid behind the sofa, staring at Chen Shi with half her face poking out.
kk stood up and asked, "Brother Chen, why are you here? Yueyue’s school is close to this place. She just came here to play after school. I’m just passing on my skills." He said as he raised his eyebrows up and down proudly.
It seemed that Tao Yueyue had been here more than once. The little devil would have been greatly attracted to this "criminal tuition class".
Chen Shi’s built-up disappointment exploded. "You... Why didn't you tell me?"
Tao Yueyue responded innocently, "You didn’t tell me anything in advance. You’ve been busy the past few days and you never go home as well."
"Are you happy learning how to steal?"
"You can learn but don’t use it in school."
"I know. I’ll stray to a bad path sooner or later. Rather than learning this from bad people outside, I might as well learn it from Uncle kk, whom you are more comfortable with. I promise not to mess around with it."
Chen Shi laughed at her so-called rationale. He thought mentally that kk was the person he was least reassured by.
kk praised, "Yueyue's so clever. She understands as soon as I tell her something once.. What promising talent. I want to pass on my lifetime’s worth of acquired skills and train her to become Long’an’s king of thieves."
"Low-level skills!" Sun Zhen said with disdain. "What era is it? You’re still busting doors and prying locks? And you’re still proud of it?”
"Oh no, why is there such a big smell of vinegar in here? Yueyue wasn’t willing to learn your hacking skills, so someone’s jealous now?"
Sun Zhen snorted, "I’m telling you that in the next 20 years, every family will use digital locks. Learning hacking will be the way to go. You’ll lose out if you have no vision.”
"Alright, alright, you two." Chen Shi poured himself a glass of water and sat down. "How’s business?"
"It’s so good, it’s unbelievable!" kk squatted down on top of the sofa and said, "Although it's boring to catch mistresses and investigate affairs, with the two of us, we get them done in minutes. It’s too easy. It's way better than stealing things. I’m just trying to figure out how to expand our scope and recruit a few reformed special forces to work together."
"Be careful with recruiting. You need to at least inform me first."
"I know. I’ll definitely consult Brother Chen."
"I still have something to ask you!" Chen Shi displayed the text message. "Did you do this?"
kk scratched his head and laughed like an idiot. "I'm not stealing things. I just had nothing to do and wanted to have some fun. It’s mainly because I was inspired by a Korean movie 3-Iron a while ago..."
"What was it about?"
Sun Zhen replied, "Cheating on someone."
"Go fuck yourself. It’s mainly about a guy who broke into empty houses and experienced the life of others. After watching it, I found it interesting. I was restless from watching it and imitated it... Who knew I’d find a dead person when I did it? I didn’t dare call the police, so I texted you.”
"Fortunately, I covered for it and the police didn't investigate it, otherwise you’d have to have your meals in prison again."
kk rubbed his hands together. "I really didn't take people's things. That is, I went in to take a shower, eat a meal, and even helped people to clean up... I swear!"
"In the future, if you encounter this kind of situation, call the police anonymously. Don't text me. Do you think I can explain it away easily?" Chen Shi sighed. This wasn’t his main purpose in coming here. He threw the phone to Sun Zhen, "Little Worm, there’s a newly downloaded app on it. Take a look.”
Sun Zhen opened it for a look, "This is a social dating app."
kk looked at Chen Shi with interest. Before he rambled on about nonsense, Chen Shi said immediately, "This app is focused on voice chat. Many people with visual impairments are using it. The suspect in this investigation may look for prey on it. She should be a young woman who is 167cm in height and weighs 50kg. She should be visually impaired or totally blind. The police are all downloading it for now, but the number isn’t enough. Can you register a few more accounts and see if you can stand by the tree and wait for the rabbit?”
"Fishing law enforcement?"
"It's fishing, not fishing law enforcement... This time, count it as me personally hiring you guys. I’ll pay you."
kk said, "Brother Chen, what are you saying, since we’re in this together, why do we need to treat each other as strangers? … I’ll give you a 20% discount!"
"People who don’t work should just shut up!" Sun Zhen scolded.
Chen Shi immediately handed half of the commission to Sun Zhen. Sun Zhen said, "This kind of work is easy for me. I'll register two thousand accounts for you and say hello to strangers on the app every day!"
"The other person may be blind. She can't read text."
"It will be a bit harder with voice messages, but it’s not a big problem... Brother Chen, do you want us to report to you when we find the target?"
1. Vinegar is associated with jealousy. This is a story originating from the Tang dynasty, when the emperor himself sent a beautiful young concubine to a favored prime minister as a gift. The prime minister’s wife, known for her interfering and henpecking ways, was very jealous. She threatened to kill herself by drinking poison rather than bow to the emperor’s will in the matter. The emperor found this touching but also wanted to test her dedication to her husband. So, he forced the wife’s hand, giving her a vial of poison and telling her to either accept the concubine or die. She drank the vial without hesitation, only to find it full of vinegar. Since then, the words “eat vinegar” have become a popular expression/metaphor for jealousy and envy.
2. This is an expression that is used to describe someone who waits idly for opportunities and does nothing. In the Spring and Autumn Period, there was a farmer in the State of Song. There was a tree stump in his field. One day, while he was working in the field, he saw a rabbit bump into the stump accidentally, break its neck, and die. The farmer was overjoyed at the unexpected gain. He thought, "How wonderful! Game comes by so easily! I'm tired of farming under the hot sun. I can make money from selling the rabbits." Therefore the farmer threw his hoe back into the storeroom and sat beside the stump; indulging himself in the fantasy that other rabbits would come along and do the same thing. He waited and waited but no more rabbits came by. Many days passed before the farmer thought of his field again, by which time the field was overgrown with weeds.