When I heard the news, I was shocked. "Let's meet up and talk about it!" I suggested.
"I’ll see you at the same café," replied Wang Yuanchao.
After I informed Bingxin, Dali and I headed there together. Meanwhile, Luo Youyou was tasked with renting an apartment, preferably one with a basement and complete security for our temporary stronghold.
We waited a while at the café for Bingxin to arrive. I was worried that something had happened to her so I called, to which she replied she was on her way.
Only by the time we finished a cup of coffee did Bingxin arrive, handing me an envelope. Inside was a tracker button given to me by Sun Tiger. Knowing I was dealing with the Dog Trainer, Sun Tiger called for caution.
"By the way, why isn’t Song Xingchen here today?" asked Bingxin.
"He was shot by the Dog Trainer’s man this morning but his life isn’t in danger!"
Upon hearing this, the others looked astonished but we quickly proceeded with summarizing our intelligence. Bingxin got an officer she knew to check the Dog Trainer's number but hit a dead end. The person they found was obviously not the Dog Trainer whom I met with. Additionally, the phone calls lasted less than thirty seconds each time, so they couldn’t trace the call.
Wang Yuanchao reported that Wang Xuebing was now detained which meant he was under the protection of the police. Hence, there was no way we could get in touch with him. But even if we somehow managed to, how would we prove that he was working for the Dog Trainer?
I continued down this line of thought–at the time, Wang Xuebing had Xiaotao's gun in his hand. He pretended to have a heart attack and knelt on the ground, then fired a shot at Qin Aonan which explained why he was looking to the left when he died.
Because Xiaotao and I were thrown off balance, we didn’t pay any attention to Wang Xuebing's actions. He might have left his gun at the scene. I remember seeing a trash can nearby which must have been removed by someone else to perform the switch.
Bingxin cried, "By the way, I asked my dad for something today. Let me show it to you!"
She took out a USB flash drive and plugged it into her laptop. There were some video files–surveillance videos of the ballistics center after the incident. People came and went in the video which Bingxin fast-forwarded till several officers appeared.
Wang Yuanchao blurted, "I know them. They’re all colleagues."
Bingxin pointed to the screen, "The bag in their hands contains the gun brought back from the scene."
In the video, a man in a white lab coat with a stack of files in his arms walked past and bumped into the officer holding the evidence. The papers were scattered all over the ground so the officer helped pick them up. Then, the man left.
I instructed Bingxin to play the video frame by frame. We stared intently but found nothing. Finally, I enlarged the picture and repeated it from the beginning.
After scrutinizing the video three times, I suddenly shouted, "Stop!"
The video was paused at the exact moment the man bent down. There was something fuzzy in his hand that matched the color of the evidence bag.
In the next frame, whatever was in his hand disappeared.
"Is this the moment he switched the gun? That speed… It’s crazy!” exclaimed Bingxin. “The video is 24 FPS so he actually completed the switch in one-quarter of a second."
"Some magicians' hands are so fast that they can't even catch them with high-speed cameras!" commented Dali.
"Looks like that's our guy,” I nodded. “Can we get a better look?"
Bingxin restored the video back to normal. The man had a mustache and wore glasses, which were obviously part of his disguise. Additionally, he was smart enough to know the position of the cameras and never showed his face throughout the whole process.
"I have already put out the news,” said Wang Yuanchao. “My informant is inquiring about this man. We should have results in the next two days."
"As long as we catch him, we will have an important witness who can overthrow Xiaotao's conviction! By the way, how is Captain Xing’s investigation going?"
"My dad says Captain Xing has decided that Xiaotao is the murderer, and the direction of his current investigation is merely to collect evidence that is beneficial to commuting the sentence as much as possible,” lamented Bingxin. “My dad says there’s not much time. In three or four days, Xiaotao will be transferred to the detention center."
"There’s really not enough time!" I sighed.
I rapped the table with my knuckles as I pondered. "I want to see Wang Xuebing."
"It won’t be easy, but I can give it a try," answered Bingxin.
When calling Sun Tiger to explain my request, he lowered his voice to refuse, "No, I have taken a great risk to secretly help you. You mustn’t contact the witnesses."
Bingxin conveyed Sun Tiger’s refusal so I motioned for her to hand me the phone. "Uncle Sun, thank you for everything."
"It’s nothing. Xiaotao is one of my trusted subordinates and I don't want her to suffer injustice! But because I have a personal relationship with her, I must avoid suspicion in this case. Alas, being the Director isn’t easy."
"We found something!" I cried.
Upon listening to my brief explanation of the situation, Sun Tiger was filled with astonishment. "It was Wang Xuebing who fired the gun? Are you sure?"
"It is only my speculation at present," I admitted.
After a few seconds of silence, Sun Tiger responded, "Your speculation is very bold but I believe in your intuition. However, without evidence, everything else is useless."
"Whether it's the four young masters’ case or the Xiaotao’s case, all the answers now lie with the Dog Trainer,” I stated. “So I want to see Wang Xuebing and obtain information from his lips."
After a moment’s contemplation, Sun Tiger reluctantly relented, "Match your watch to mine. Find a way to enter the station at three o'clock in the afternoon. I'll buy you fifteen minutes, but not a second more! You have been to the bureau many times. You mustn’t be caught on surveillance."
"Don't worry!" I assured.
I immediately called Lao Yao whose languid voice came from the other end of the line, "I'm sleeping. Is there work to do again?"
"Would you be interested in an extremely challenging job?" I baited.
"Speak!" Lao Yao was an eager beaver at once.
"Hack into the surveillance system of the city bureau and block all images captured from 3:00 to 3:15 pm today!"
I heard the sound of Lao Yao sitting up in bed. "Holy shit! That is challenging, but isn't it illegal?"
"I’ll be honest with you,” I smiled wryly. “We’re in a pickle so this is unauthorized. It’s alright if you’re not comfortable doing this."
"Am I that sort of person to you? If I abandon you in your time of need, how can it be true love? We’ll speak to each other later then."
In this critical period, these friends with all sorts of skills seemed all the more precious.
Glancing at the time, I noted we had half an hour to go.
Bingxin interrupted, "Song Yang-gege, how are you going to sneak into the station? More than half of the officers there know you. "
"It's going to be difficult,” I sighed. “How about I change my clothes and wear a mask?"
"That’s no good. It'll be too easy to see through such a flimsy disguise.” Wang Yuanchao shook his head. “I know, I'll arrest you. I'm not allowed to participate in this case but I can still get in and out of the station."
We headed to a nearby clothing store and bought an outfit that was completely different from my usual style. I looked like a punk. Wang Yuanchao grabbed a wig from one of the mannequins and put it on my head.
"Haha,” laughed Bingxin. “You look so different!"
When Wang Yuanchao pulled out his handcuffs, I teased, "Officer Wang, please show mercy."
"If you’re this polite, you’ll blow your cover!"
Then, Wang Yuanchao handcuffed me from behind, shoving me. "You’re coming back to the station with me!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter