We went to the gynecology department where Qu Tingting worked. Strangely, while the other departments were mostly empty, there was a long line of patients here waiting to see the doctor.
I asked a woman in line who the doctor was here, and she impatiently replied, “It’s Dr. Cheng, of course! Haven’t you heard of him? He’s the most famous gynecologist in the country! I came from the suburbs early this morning just to see him!”
“Dr. Cheng?” asked Bingxin. “You mean Dr. Cheng Yahui?”
The woman nodded. Bingxin informed us that Cheng Yahui was also a lecturer at her college. He was a young doctor still in his thirties. He was also single, handsome and incredibly talented. The man had published many papers in reputable medical journals. While he used to work in a top hospital in the city, he was transferred here for some unknown reason. Still, since he was a famous doctor, his patients followed him no matter where he worked.
“Why would such a great doctor be transferred here?” I asked.
“Hey!” cried Bingxin. “Are you saying that this is a lousy hospital?”
“Well…” I smiled wryly. “You wouldn’t deny that it’s a step down from the last hospital he worked in, right?”
Bingxin pursed her lips, but went on to explain, “I heard some gossip about him having an affair with one of his patients. That woman was the wife of a powerful man, so when the scandal was exposed, the husband demanded that Dr. Cheng be punished. He had to resign from his last position. I have a friend who had a crush on him, but when she found out about this, she was completely heartbroken!”
“Ugh, I hate those kinds of scumbags!” cursed Xiaotao.
At that moment, Qu Tingting came out from the doctor’s office and called the name of the next patient to go in.
“There are too many people here,” stated Xiaotao. “Let’s just barge in!”
We entered the doctor’s office ahead of the patient, causing a wave of complaints behind us.
My first impression of Dr. Cheng was that he was indeed very handsome. He wore a pair of golden glasses and seemed gentlemanly. When he saw us, he stood up in shock and asked, “Which one of you is my patient?”
His voice was smooth and alluring. My guess was that his loyal patients weren’t merely impressed with his medical skills.
In my hometown, there was a very beautiful nurse in the community clinic who looked just like Lin Chi-ling. Because of her, some young men would visit the clinic every thirty minutes. Some even broke their own leg just for a chance to see her.
“We’re the police,” Xiaotao announced, showing her badge. “We’re here to investigate a case.”
Dr. Cheng made a gesture for us to take a seat. He rested his elbows on his desk and interlaced his fingers after sitting down.
“How may I help you?” he calmly asked.
Xiaotao showed him the photos of the three victims. When Dr. Cheng was looking at the photos, I noticed that Qu Tingting who was standing next to him looked a little nervous.
“They’re my former patients,” stated Dr. Cheng. “What happened to them?”
Upon hearing this, I knew that we were on the right track.
“They’re all dead!” Xiaotao answered.
“What?” asked Dr. Cheng, clearly shocked. “Who did it?”
“We wouldn’t be here asking you questions if we knew who did it,” said Xiaotao. “Were you… particularly close to them, Dr. Cheng?”
He pushed up his glasses and smiled.
“Surely you’re not suspecting me, are you, Officer?”
“Oh, don’t worry,” replied Xiaotao. “It’s just a routine question.”
“They’re my patients. That’s all there is to it.”
I noticed that he moved his hands away from our sight and rested them on his lap. His ears turned slightly red too. He was clearly lying.
“Where do you live, Dr. Cheng?” I asked.
“I haven’t bought a house in this neighborhood,” he answered, staring at me with interest. “So I’m currently staying in the staff quarters. Why do you ask?”
“If my guess is correct,” I sneered, “I think a woman booked a room in a hotel near the medical school this morning, expecting you to join her, and that woman’s name is Xiaowen!”
“How did you know?” Dr. Cheng was terrified. Then he realized what he just said and his voice changed drastically. “That’s a preposterous accusation!”
As expected, the model Xiaowen had clearly been expecting him in that room. But when he bailed on her, she called her rich boyfriend instead.
Did he really not meet her this morning? I had some doubts about this.
“It looks like you’re a very busy man,” I said. “You don’t even know about a murder case that happened not far from here. Xiaowen died this morning in that hotel room.”
Dr. Cheng broke out in cold sweat.
“What does that have anything to do with me?” he argued. “I admit that this patient was interested in me, but I never humored her. Is that illegal?”
“Where were you between 9 am and 10 am this morning?” Xiaotao asked.
Dr. Cheng laughed. “I’ve been in this hospital all morning. I didn’t even have time to go to the restroom! If you don’t believe me, you can ask Nurse Qu.”
“These three patients had been in an intimate relationship with you!” I asserted.
“I will sue you for slander!” Dr. Cheng snapped. “I take issues of professionalism seriously! I treat everyone who walks through that door with respect! The minute they walk out of my office, I cease to have anything to do with them!”
“Your professionalism?” I sneered. “I wonder why you got fired from your last position? I’m sure I’ll get an answer if I ask around.”
Dr. Cheng blushed.
“Is it right to hold a mistake that a man made in the past against him forever?” he retorted. “I swear that I had nothing to do with these women apart from being their doctor. Xiaowen did have interest in me, but I never paid any attention to her. If you don’t believe me, ask Nurse Qu!”
He almost recited this sentence like a mantra. I looked over at Qu Tingting and she nodded silently.
It seemed that Qu Tingting obeyed Dr. Cheng’s every command. She probably lied about never having seen the three victims before earlier to cover for Cheng Yahui. There was something fishy about this man for sure.
“I’m sorry, officers,” said Dr. Cheng coldly. “I’m busy here. There are still many patients waiting for me outside.”
“We’ll meet again, Dr. Cheng,” stated Xiaotao.
“You’ll only be wasting both our times,” replied Dr. Cheng sternly.
As we were about to leave, Bingxin suddenly rushed up to Dr. Cheng and shook his hands.
“Excuse me, Dr. Cheng!” she chirped. “I just want to say that you really are as handsome as a movie star!”
This was clearly not the first time Dr. Cheng had heard a compliment of that nature.
“Thank you,” he told Bingxin, his charm turned back on. “You’re pretty cute yourself.”
“Um… Would you mind giving me your number?” asked Bingxin in a saccharine tone.
Dr. Cheng gave her his business card, and Bingxin grabbed it immediately.
“By the way,” she added, “I’m not a police officer. I’m a student at the nearby medical school. I merely followed my cousin here so I could meet you. Would you mind if I come here and ask you some questions sometimes?”
Dr. Cheng smiled, but stopped himself when he realized that we were still in the room.
“Only to ask questions, okay?” he said. “Nothing else!”
Bingxin laughed merrily and thanked him. We then left the room.
Once we were out, Dali muttered, “I didn’t know you liked this type of guy, Miss Sun.”
“I don’t!” said Bingxin. “I was just testing him!”
“Was that even necessary?” asked Dali. “As soon as we entered the room, he was leering at you and Xiaotao-jiejie like a pervert!”
“Yeah,” nodded Xiaotao. “I agree that there’s something seriously wrong with that guy.”
Bingxin handed Xiaotao the business card and asked her, “Would this be helpful, Xiaotao-jiejie?”
“Not really,” said Xiaotao. “We’ve still got much more to do. Still, that was pretty good acting back there! It’ll come in handy when you join the police force one day!”
Bingxin laughed heartily. It was quite a significant compliment seeing that it came from Xiaotao, who was a very good actress herself.
“There’s one thing no one seemed to notice,” I mentioned. “When Bingxin was acting all giddy in front of Dr. Cheng, Qu Tingting was glaring at her as if she was thinking of killing her!”
“Really?” Bingxin was completely startled.
“I had a hunch that she has a crush on Dr. Cheng,” Xiaotao commented with a frown. “I’m not sure if Dr. Cheng ever responded to her feelings for him, though…”
Dali laughed. “Surely not! Dr. Cheng isn’t blind! Why would he bother with the blue-faced beast? I mean, look at the victims! They’re all incredibly hot!”
Xiaotao and Bingxin both glared at him angrily. Dali buried his head with great shame.
“All three victims were Dr. Cheng’s patients,” said Xiaotao. “This can’t be a coincidence. Assuming that he is the murderer, what could be his motive for killing those women?”
“Perhaps because he wanted to cover up his affairs with them?” Dali suggested.
I thought that was a bit too far-fetched. We went on to discuss this, but none of us could come up with a believable motive for Dr. Cheng’s murders. Judging from Dr. Cheng’s looks and character, it probably wasn’t because the women rejected him either.
Did the victims stumble upon some skeletons in his closet? Maybe he had a strange fetish that he didn’t want the public to find out? Or perhaps an addiction?
“Regardless of his motives,” said Xiaotao, “I’ll assign some officers to watch Cheng Yahui’s every move from now on.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter