Wang Yuanchao escorted me into the station without suspicion from any of the officers. In the lockup, I noticed Xiaotao sitting in one of the cells, reading a book. I tapped the door gently, drawing surprise from Xiaotao. But when she wanted to speak, I gestured for her to remain silent.
I was glad to see Xiaotao doing well. "Don't worry, we are trying to clear your name!" I whispered.
"I'm not in a hurry. I’ve finally got some good rest these past two days,” she smiled. “My dad is worried and he's going to ask the city leaders for help. But I warned him against going through the back door. Otherwise, I might really become a suspect... "
"Take care, alright? We’ll meet again in a couple of days."
Wang Yuanchao placed me in the innermost detention room. He stood outside keeping watch. Wang Xuebing was sitting on the ground with his eyes closed and reciting Buddhist scriptures. I knocked on the prison door and greeted, "Hello, old man."
Wang Xuebing opened his eyes in surprise, "Aren’t you the..."
"Yes, it's me,” I said. “I’d like to talk to you about something!"
"I have nothing to say. I have already given my statement. If you have any questions, go to Captain Xing!"
"I’d like to talk about something else,” I sneered. “Who is your master?"
Wang Xuebing's pupils suddenly contracted, which was enough proof of his association with the Dog Trainer's hand. "I don't know what you’re talking about,” he retorted.
"Why fear if you aren’t guilty?” I scoffed. “I’ve discovered that you don't have a daughter at all. You killed Qin Aonan and you participated in the set-up!"
"How did you..." Wang Xuebing blurted before coming to his senses. "Slander!"
I didn't have much time to slowly observe him so I deliberately urged, "You participated in the Vietnam War, a soldier who fought on the frontlines. You’re a hero with outstanding military achievements. But who would’ve thought you were a man without integrity, becoming someone else’s dog!"
Wang Xuebing bit his lip and refused to say a word. "What's it like to be a dog? What reward does your master give you?" I goaded.
"I forbid you to insult me like this..."
"So you admit to it?" I asked.
Wang Xuebing's lips trembled, "If you experienced what I did, you’ll understand what it is like to be forced to surrender. You won’t stand here spouting words of sarcasm."
I didn’t expect him to say this. It seemed he wasn't brainwashed deeply, possibly because the Dog Trainer was anxious to frame Xiaotao.
"How did he do it?" I questioned.
Wang Xuebing froze as if unable to speak, cold sweat dotting his forehead. "I–I will not betray my master. I will never betray him," he choked.
Those who had been brainwashed had a fuse in their heads, and Wang Xuebing's "fuse" was his loyalty to the Dog Trainer.
Wang Yuanchao pointed to his wrist, reminding me that time was running out. I sighed and said, “I will see you soon, old man!"
I recorded everything he said, though it couldn’t be used as evidence. His words confirmed my speculations.
Wang Yuanchao immediately took me away. At the door, I was suddenly stopped by someone. When I turned around, I was greeted by Captain Xing’s stern face. He was followed by two officers.
Glancing at me, Captain Xing ordered the other two to leave. Then he said, “Yuanchao, bring the 'suspect' here!"
As soon as we entered an empty conference room, Captain Xing exploded, "Consultant Song, how can you do such a thing? Who allowed you in here?"
Of course, I couldn't involve Sun Tiger. "It was my idea. It’s got nothing to do with Wang Yuanchao."
Captain Xing shook his head and sighed, "Don't you believe in me? I’ve collected a lot of evidence, all of which proves that it was a crime of passion. Huang Xiaotao will be sentenced to five or six years at most. With the support of the media and the public, she may even get a reduced sentence."
"Do you know what five or six years in prison means to a policeman? What is she supposed to do when she comes out? And stay with the criminals who were sent in there by her own hands? She might not even come out alive!"
Captain Xing slammed the table, "What else can I do to help her? All the evidence shows that she killed Qin Aonan and this is the most I can do! Please stop lying to yourself. I understand what you’re feeling and I know you can't accept it, but this case is really a matter of fact."
I knew that Captain Xing was only doing his duty but his eyes were clearly blinded by illusion. "Listen to this recording then," I snapped, grabbing my cell phone.
When I played the conversation between myself and Wang Xuebing, Captain Xing sputtered, “You must have synthesized this!"
"Look at the time. It was recorded five minutes ago. Do you think I have the ability to do that?"
Knocked sideways by the sudden revelation, Captain Xing muttered repeatedly, "That’s impossible... Impossible..."
I explained the truth of the entire case roughly and summarized, "Everything was arranged by the Dog Trainer. As long as we find the man who executed the switch, we can prove Xiaotao's innocence!"
Captain Xing bowed his head, saying nothing.
"Have you investigated the Dog Trainer?" I asked.
"Yes! I've been investigating this person since Deng Chao’s case. But he has no criminal record and hasn’t personally committed any crimes. I can tell you this, even if he’s sitting here now, I have no reason to arrest him," replied Captain Xing.
The Dog Trainer was indeed one of the most special criminals. His hands weren’t stained with blood but he manipulated everything like a puppet master lurking in the dark. It’s no wonder he was assigned by the organization to oversee Nanjiang City.
Captain Xing added, "According to what you say, he likes to turn others into slaves who work for him. As long as these slaves don't accuse him, he’s innocent."
"No, he’s not innocent,” I refuted. “Actually, I have an idea! The Dog Trainer's business is to clean up after criminals. And the people he deals with are all vicious criminals so there won’t be a written contract between him and his client. How can he ensure that these people will pay after the job is done? I’m guessing he must have a handle on them."
"What do you mean?" Captain Xing glanced at me curiously.
"The Dog Trainer holds a lot of evidence of the crimes others have committed. If he can be brought down, all his clients will be arrested, including the four young masters,” I explained. “This evidence, in turn, can be used against him as proof of blackmail and extortion. It’s enough to send him to prison."
Captain Xing arched an eyebrow, "So what you’re trying to say is, the key to solving the case of the four young masters and Huang Xiaotao lies in him alone?"
"That's exactly what I mean," I nodded.
After reflecting for a considerable amount of time, Captain Xing pointed out, "But we can't establish a case."
"Let me take care of him! I’ll find enough evidence to file a case." In fact, I was thankful for the fact that I was just a consultant, not a policeman.
"Then you should be careful. I will reinvestigate Huang Xiaotao’s case. That way, we can at least delay the judicial process."
Turning Captain Xing around was one of the biggest unexpected gains today. When I said my thank yous, Captain Xing waved, "Don't thank me. You did all of this. I’m relieved to learn that Huang Xiaotao is innocent. But there is one thing–you’re not allowed in the station before the case is solved. There are reporters everywhere. If you’re seen participating in the case, the public might question the police’s impartiality."
"Don't worry, I won’t show up again," I assured him.
Captain Xing stood up and shook hands with me, "I hope the next time we meet, we will be at the celebration party and won’t have to meet in secret. I’ll personally make amends to Huang Xiaotao!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter