"You don't need to prosecute this case. We will arrange it ourselves."
"Sir, do you have any common sense? This kind of criminal case will definitely be prosecuted."
"That must also be arranged by us. This involves the privacy and future of the artist. It cannot be taken to court casually and made public."
"I will contact you when the case is solved. The judicial trial is not the responsibility of our public security agency either."
The representative from the talent agency was finally sent away. Lin Qiupu was exasperated. Three days had passed since the death of the rice collector. The police had learned a lot of information from the missing police officers and the arrested rice farmers.
The name in the ID card used by the man who escaped was Chu Wei. His real name was Qin Dazhu. He was 45 years old, and had many criminal convictions.
Based on the information provided by the witnesses, they had already created a criminal sketch of him and they were offering a reward for information leading to his arrest in the few villages that he frequented. The second team, third team and the local police station also patrolled and made rounds every day to track down his whereabouts.
Although looking for someone was like finding a needle in a haystack, Lin Qiupu knew that it was impossible for a person to leave society. He needs to eat and sleep. He has various needs, so he has to come into contact with people and leave behind traces.
Following these traces, the police will get closer and closer. They’ll get closer and closer until he is caught. It was only a matter of time.
At this time, Lin Dongxue called and said, "Brother, we’ve found Chu Wei's whereabouts."
Lin Qiupu’s spirits were lifted. "Where is he? I'll come over right away."
Chen Shi and Lin Dongxue were in a family-style restaurant on the side of a highway. The store was a mess. An employee had been beaten up until his face was swollen like a pig’s head. When shown the wanted warrant, he said with certainty, "This is him. He ran to the restaurant and took away the money in the cash register, as well as some packs of cigarettes being sold outside. He even slapped me while telling me... telling me..."
"Telling you what?"
The employee clenched his fist in humiliation. Tears came down when he thought of what happened a few hours ago. "Telling me to say, 'Welcome.'"
"Don't you usually say that?"
"I do. We’re in the service industry and have to make people feel at home. I don't know what's wrong with this man. He’s a moron, a madman. Shoot him dead when he’s arrested!"
Chen Shi glanced at the outrageously-priced menu on the wall. He was well aware that this place existed to con drivers. The food provided was so unpalatable that people doubted life itself. How can the same oil, salt, sauce and vinegar be combined into such a disgusting taste?
Chu Wei must have felt like venting his anger during this foray. Chen Shi asked, "Did he have dinner here two days ago?"
"I don't know. He definitely has never been here."
"Don’t you have security cameras?"
"In the drawer. You can use it if you plug it into the computer."
Chen Shi was completely speechless.
Chen Shi called Lin Dongxue outside and said, "This guy is getting more and more outrageous. He stole a truck the day before yesterday, stole food yesterday and robbed the money today. Moreover, he didn't cover up his face or wear gloves. He didn’t care about being witnessed at all."
"I think this is his final frenzied outburst."
"Wait, he had stolen these to fulfil basic survival needs. Logically speaking, there’s a syndicate behind him. His boss certainly wouldn’t want him to act in such a high-profile manner. Has he already been abandoned by the syndicate? If this person can be discarded any time, it just proves that he isn’t a threat to the syndicate."
"I received news in the morning that a warehouse in Xiaoyu Village had been rented under the name of the dead person. The owner of the warehouse said that the contents were emptied three days ago."
"Wasn't it that night three days ago? Let's go and see!"
"My brother is coming over soon."
"Good, then he’ll clean up the mess!"
"How capricious." Lin Dongxue smiled.
When the two arrived at Xiaoyu Village, Chen Shi, who had been in a daze all the way, suddenly said, "Infighting!"
"Given Chu Wei's current situation, he has no ability to dispose of more than 100 catties of marijuana. Sudden emptying of the warehouse that night indicates that someone had taken the goods away. If the syndicate took the goods, why didn't they take him away as well? This shows that the syndicate intended to kill him. He must have survived by a fluke, so he suddenly abandoned himself to despair and stopped caring about anything."
"Killing him after he’s not useful anymore. How pitiful!"
"But it’s also a kind of inevitability. Whether this mysterious syndicate is like a Northeast tyrant or the Italian mafia, the plot will be the same when dealing with this kind of matter. This is based on the considerations of interest."
"Following this reasoning, if the syndicate fails to kill him, they will continue to attempt to do so, but in an even more frenzied manner?"
"Yes, so we have to catch Chu Wei quickly. He’s already an abandoned chess piece. He will provide a lot of useful information after he’s arrested."
"Then what Chu Wei is doing now? Besides hiding, do you think he will take his revenge on the syndicate?"
After thinking for a while, Chen Shi said, "He doesn't have this ability. I think his best revenge is to surrender. Of course, survival is his greatest current need."
The two went to check the warehouse. The police had come before, but they found nothing except for footprints. The batch of marijuana had been wrapped in plastic film, so no residue would have fallen on the ground.
Leaving empty-handed, Chen Shi stood on the street thinking about where to check next. To be honest, he didn't like this kind of work involving finding people, but he had already intervened and could only help all the way to the end.
"Why don't we go and eat something? There’s a Chongqing hot pot restaurant next to us. I don't know if it is authentic or not." Lin Dongxue suggested.
"Haha, you’re becoming more and more like me now... What time is it?"
"It's 2:00 in the afternoon, and we don’t seem to have eaten lunch yet."
"Then..." Chen Shi suddenly stared straight in a certain direction. Lin Dongxue followed his line of sight and saw a few youngsters sitting on bicycles by the roadside, smoking, talking and laughing. They looked very young. Perhaps they were only senior high school students.
"Smoking cigarettes at such a young age?" Lin Dongxue frowned.
"Those aren’t cigarettes!"
Chen Shi walked over, and Lin Dongxue quickly followed.
When they got closer, Chen Shi became even more convinced that they weren’t cigarettes. First of all, the "cigarettes" had been hand-rolled with letter paper; secondly, very little smoke floated out. The reason why ordinary cigarettes produce such big clouds of smoke is because they’re full of scraps. Some cigarettes are even mixed with shredded paper. The last was the change in their expressions when they inhaled the “cigarettes”.
Chen Shi motioned to Lin Dongxue to go around from behind, and Lin Dongxue nodded knowingly.
Chen Shi stepped forward, pulled out a cigarette from one of the boys' mouth, sniffed it, and said, "What’s this?"
"Country bumpkin, haven't you seen marijuana before? Do you want them for a hundred yuan a stick?" the boy said, and the others burst into laughter.
"Put it out and come with us."
"Motherfucker, who are you? Is this a fine? There’s a fine for smoking, but there’s also a fine for smoking marijuana?" The boy said, and the others kept laughing.
When Chen Shi showed his ID, their expressions were stunned and they exchanged glances with one another. The boy jumped off the bicycle and was about to run. Lin Dongxue, who had been lying in ambush behind them, captured his hands behind his back and pressed him against the tree. "You still dare to run?!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter