Chapter 39: The White Night

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve gave birth to two sons—Cain and Abel—after stealing the forbidden fruit. Cain was responsible for growing vegetables, and Abel was responsible for rearing livestock.

When the two brothers made sacrifices to God, Cain only used some of the fresh vegetables that he grew, but Abel sacrificed the most delicious lamb he had. Because of that, God preferred Abel’s offerings, causing Cain to be jealous, and he eventually stoned his brother Abel to death because of this jealousy.

None of this escaped the eyes of God. God called Cain to himself and asked where Abel went. Cain lied and said that he did not know. God became angry and cast a curse on Cain and his descendants. They were henceforth exiled and would never receive the glory of God ever again!

Some theologians believe that since then Cain was driven out of the Garden of Eden and became a blood-sucking monster. His descendants also lived in ghoulish castles, and every time they appeared, legends of terrifying vampires would crop up, notably like the legend of Count Dracula in Europe.

“Dude,” said Dali, “you even read the Bible?”

“No, I haven’t read the Bible,” I said. “But I encountered these legends in other books.”

“Isn’t it ironic that there is a vampire in the place where God is worshipped?” asked Huang Xiaotao.

“Miss, it’s not like that,” the nun said. “Where there is light, there is always darkness as well. God and the devil are like the two sides of the same coin. Besides, the child had improved after he received the education from the director.”

“That child didn't improve at all,” said Dali. “He just sucked a woman's blood a few days ago...”

Huang Xiaotao gave Dali a look, and the aunt asked in astonishment, “Is it true?”

Huang Xiaotao had no choice but to say, “We are still investigating the case. The identity of the murderer is still inconclusive.”

The nun made a cross with her fingers across her chest and muttered, “May the Lord forgive his sins.”

She then led us to the door of an office and knocked on it.

“Come in,” said the voice of a man inside.

The nun opened the door and explained, “Director, these people are from the police. They’re here to investigate a certain case.”

We then went in. There was a desk in front of the door, and a man who was about fifty or sixty years old with salt-and-pepper hair and glasses was sitting at the desk, typing. There were stacks of books on the desk, most of which were related to the Bible.

The director stood up and said, “I apologize for the mess. Please have a seat. Ren-mama, will you go and pour a few cups of tea for the guests?”

Dali’s ears pricked up at the use of the suffix -mama. He leaned close to me and whispered, “Ren-mama?”

I smacked him with my elbow and told him not to talk indiscriminately.

“It’s not what you think, idiot!” I said. “It’s an honorary suffix for nuns, and totally different from what you see in the drama My Fair Princess.”

Huang Xiaotao gave the director a brief explanation. He nodded, then said, “I do remember a child that fits your descriptions! His name was Bai Yue. In fact, I was the one who gave him this name. White is his skin color, and the night is his favorite time of day. His life was incredibly tragic. I heard that his mother was a prostitute, but he was too young to remember his mother’s appearance and name. For professional reasons, his mother abandoned him. He was a loner for a long time, and he rarely interacted with other children.”

“A… prostitute?” Huang Xiaotao was visibly surprised.

It seemed like there was a reason why Bai Yue chose a prostitute as his victim.

“Director, do you know where Bai Yue went?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“No, I don't,” he said. “After he escaped, we heard nothing of him at all. I was worried about him at the time, and I sent people around to find him.”

“How do the orphans who grow up here live once they get older?” I asked.

“We will teach them some basic knowledge,” said the director, “which is equivalent to the nine-year compulsory education, so that they can have the skill to support themselves after adulthood. Of course, some orphans are willing to stay and serve God after they grow up.”

I saw that the director’s office was very simple and praised, “You are truly an admirable person! You’ve built this orphanage and contributed so much to society!”

The director smiled and said, “You’re too kind. I was an orphan when I was a child, and I survived because of the grace of the Lord. Therefore, I am willing to dedicate my life to him! The orphanage has only been established for several years. It used to be extremely difficult, but gradually we’re getting better as there are now government grants and donations from all walks of life, and some grown-up orphans occasionally come back to help as well.”

We finally said thank you and prepared to leave before we even finished the tea. But before I left, I suddenly remembered something and asked the director, “By the way, have you seen Bai Yue recently?”

When I asked this sentence, I used Cave Vision to observe his reaction. The dean was slightly surprised and then calmly replied, “No!”

“Okay, thank you!” I nodded.

After going out, Huang Xiaotao asked me, “How did you know that we’ll find clues to the murderer’s identity in the orphanage?”

“It's actually more like a wild guess,” I said.

“A wild guess?” asked Huang Xiaotao.

“Bai Yue looks strange and he has the propensity to suck blood,” I said. “Whoever gave birth to such a child would be mortified to say the least. So, I guessed that there were two possibilities: one is that the parents took him to the major hospitals for medical advice, and the other is that he was simply abandoned."

“So you thought if there was no clue to be found in the hospital, there will be clues in the orphanage?” asked Huang Xiaotao.

“Bingo!”

When I left the orphanage, I repeatedly thought about the director’s reaction. When people lied, there would be some bare detectable reactions. They were called microexpressions in psychology, and examples included when the person’s eyebrows were slightly raised, or when their eyes could not focus in one place, and when their lips tightened.

When I talked to the director just now, he did have some abnormal reactions. But I wasn’t sure if it was because he was lying or if it was because he noticed that my eyes changed color. Besides, I’d never used this technique in real life before.

Huang Xiaotao saw me looking at the orphanage and asked, “What’s wrong, Song Yang?”

“Come on, let’s do a small test,” I said.

After that, I suddenly turned on my Cave Vision. My eyes shocked the two, and Dali asked, “Dude, your eyes just changed colors! You’re not some kind of monster, are you?”

“Dali, how many times have you been beating the meat this week?” I asked.

Dali widened his eyes, “Dude, what the fuck?”

“How many times?”

“Zero! I don’t do those kinds of dirty things!”

I turned off my Cave Vision.

“You lied,” I said.

Dali’s face turned red. Beating the meat was no big deal at all among guys, and it’s a subject that we joked about quite often, but it was a totally different thing when Huang Xiaotao was right there with us, so I understood why Dali would be hesitant to talk about it.

“Dude, why would you expose me in front of Xiaotao-jiejie like that?”

“I’m sorry, I’ll buy you some ice cream when we go back,” I said.

I explained that I was just testing to see the micro-expressions when people lied. Dali reacted excessively, yet the director looked calm, but they actually had the same kinds of reflex—nostril enlargement, pupil contraction, and slight redness of the ears. The reactions were fleeting, but it definitely did not escape my Cave Vision.

Through this test, I was very sure that the director lied—he had definitely seen Bai Yue recently!

Huang Xiaotao was shocked.

“I knew it! The saintlier someone’s reputation is, the less credible they are! Song Yang, should we rush back and confront him about it?”

“No,” I said, “I don't think that would make any difference. Since he is set on keeping it a secret, there’s nothing we can do to make him say it. Also, we don't have a search warrant. I suggest sending a few police officers to monitor him here. For the time being, it’s better to just let him believe that we don’t suspect him at all.”

“Okay, then let’s do that!” said Huang Xiaotao. “By the way, what did you mean by beating the meat?”

“It means…” I can't think of a way to answer her. I found it surprising that Huang Xiaotao was not familiar with the expression. But then again, it might not be so surprising if she had never had a boyfriend before.

“It’s a game, a new mobile game!” Dali quickly interrupted. “We boys love to play it!”

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