The alley wasn’t far from Kang Li's residence. The police had tried to arrest the rapist in this area two years ago, so he had stopped living here for a long time.
Lin Dongxue looked at the house which now housed a small family of three and said, "Well, we came for nothing."
"Let’s go and find a place nearby to have a meal!"
Lin Dongxue looked up at the sky, "It seems like it’s going to rain soon. Let’s head back!"
"Will you go to my place tonight?"
Lin Dongxue pointed upwards. "It depends on the will of the heavens!"
The alleyways were intricately connected in a complicated way. They had gone in hoping to take a shortcut, but they ended up walking further and further away. A small bookstore appeared in front of them. The interior was simple but inviting.
Chen Shi went in to ask for directions and noticed a girl on a ladder organizing some magazines. There were several rows of magazines on the shelf with paper clips of different sizes clipped onto the covers.
He asked, "Excuse me, how do I get out of these alleys?"
The girl was startled, and the magazine in her hand almost fell. She caught it just in time and put it back into place. She said, "Go right and then turn left when you see a barber shop."
When Chen Shi came out, Sun Zhen called him. He said, "I have a blind female from the internet asking me to come out and meet her at eight o'clock tonight. Should we meet her?"
"Where are you right now? I'll come over later."
"Let's meet there. I'll send you an address over WeChat."
Lin Dongxue asked what had happened, and Chen Shi said, "I have news from my external help."
"Could it be the murderer?"
"She has just killed someone. It doesn't match her cooling-off period, but we’ll take a look anyway!"
Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue went out. The skies were already getting dark. Chen Shi noticed that the other shops had turned their lights on. He wondered why the bookstore just now hadn’t turned on the lights as well and why there were paper clips on the magazines.
"Go! We need to go back!" Chen Shi said.
Lin Dongxue didn't know what was going on and followed him back. When he returned to the bookstore, he found that the girl was gone, but the store’s door was still open.
"Where did the person go?"
"She’s blind!" Chen Shi picked up a braille book on the counter. "Magazines of the same thickness on the shelf but with different prices… She used paper clips to distinguish between them. Why did I not think of that?!"
"A blind girl who runs a bookstore by herself?"
There was a staircase at the back of the bookstore. The two walked up the stairs. There weren’t any lights installed in the attic. Chen Shi used his mobile phone to light up the area and saw a bed with a broken guide stick beside the bed.
Chen Shi opened the refrigerator, which had a box of hawthorn berries inside, each individually wrapped in plastic.
"Surely it’s not..." Lin Dongxue said in shock.
At that moment, there was a rattle downstairs, and Chen Shi rushed down to see that the roller shutter had been pulled down. It seemed like someone was locking the shutter outside.
This blind woman was most probably the murderer. By this time, Chen Shi couldn't care less about putting up an act. He took out a lockpick and got ready to unlock the shutter but found that the keyhole on the inside of the roller shutter had already been blocked.
Lin Dongxue ran down. Chen Shi hid away the lockpick and said, "We’re trapped! This blind girl is problematic!"
"I’ll call my brother."
Chen Shi found the switch and turned on the lights. He went through the cabinets and found a household registration booklet. The store owner's name was Tu Yunmeng.
When Lin Qiupu answered the call, Lin Dongxue exclaimed, "Brother, we found the suspect. We’re now in Guyi Lane on Caoshi Street, and trapped in a bookstore."
"You’re so careless! I’ll bring someone over right away."
Chen Shi said, "Look at this!" He held up four movie tickets, all from the same theater nearby. "The times are close to the times of the four murders. Blind people won’t go to watch movies."
"So you have guessed it correctly? Every time she kills someone, she'll recover briefly?"
"Then she’ll go and watch a movie... What’s that sound?"
Lin Dongxue put her ear against the roller shutter and listened, "It's raining! This is good news! She won’t get very far."
Chen Shi gritted his teeth. "I'm afraid it's not good news!"
After waiting anxiously for half an hour, the sound of the shutter being pried open finally came from outside, and the shutter opened up. Lin Qiupu and others stood outside, wearing raincoats. Lin Qiupu handed them two raincoats, saying, "Where did she go? Hurry up and go after her! "
"I don't know," Chen Shi responded.
"Haii, how did you guys handle things? Let’s split up and look for her!”
The two of them put on their raincoats and inquired everywhere within the alley. Several neighbors had just seen Tu Yunmeng leave. They got to the road, and Chen Shi said, "She didn’t bring her guide stick, so it would be impossible for her to cross the road... Unless she can see right now."
"What are you talking about?" Lin Qiupu asked in confusion.
Chen Shi showed him the movie tickets. "Tu Yunmeng is only blind due to psychological reasons, and every time she kills someone, she will briefly regain her eyesight. This is her motive for killing people."
Lin Qiupu was shocked. At that moment, his cell phone rang. After answering, he frowned. "There was a murder close by! It just happened."
"She did it!" Chen Shi looked at the heavy rain. "Her hearing isn’t good right now, so she has to recover her eyesight again... This rain really came at the wrong time."
Lin Qiupu rushed over with some people and Lin Dongxue was ready to follow him. However, Chen Shi pulled her back. He said, "She went to this theater every time after she committed the murders. It must be of great significance to her. Let's go there and check. Let your brother handle the murder case."
The murder had taken place in an alley about a street away from them. The victim was an old lady. Witnesses said that the person who killed her was a girl. The two went into the alley arm in arm and then the girl ran out. They couldn’t make out her face clearly.
The old lady who collapsed onto the ground had also been stabbed several times. It was most likely her that did it.
Lin Qiupu murmured in disbelief. "Could there really be such a thing?!"
At the same time, Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue were rushing to the theater. Sun Zhen called to ask, "Why aren't you here yet, Brother Chen?"
"Just have a casual meal with her and have a chat!"
"Fuck, what if she is the murderer?"
"No, the killer has already been found, bye!"
They got to the theater braving the heavy rain. It was a small theater. There weren’t many people at all, especially due to the weather that day.
When Chen Shi was going up the stairs, he noticed a detail. He pointed it out to Lin Dongxue. There were a few drops of blood on the ground.
The two went further inside to ask around. Chen Shi's mobile phone had captured Tu Yunmeng's household registration booklet’s photo earlier. The front desk replied, "I’ve seen her. She came here to watch the night screening of a movie two days ago and said a few words to Little Zhou back then... She was the only one in that cinema hall, so she left an impression on me."
"Who is Little Zhou?"
"The person who projects the movie. But he’s working right now."
"I want to meet him."
The two went to the projector room and Chen Shi noticed a wet coat hanging on the wall. Little Zhou stood up and asked, "Who are you looking for?"
Lin Dongxue showed her credentials to him. "Do you know Tu Yunmeng?"
"This is her!" Chen Shi showed him the photo.
"Yeah, she's been here to watch a few movies... We’ve talked, but we’re not that familiar with each other."Previous Chapter Next Chapter