The Judge 9
Turning to find Jiang Hu still standing there in a daze, Shen Yexi grabbed his collar and pulled him into the car. “What’s on your mind? Let’s quickly go!”
Jiang Hu’s brows furrowed slightly, and he turned to him with a question, “If the culprit behind Zhang Xiaoqian’s case was really that forensic detective called Qian Sha, what do we do?”
Shen Yexi started up the car as he ruffled his head, caught a little between laughter and tears. “What do you think? Catch the killer, the court trial, hold them in custody, and naturally after that, public charges and a jail sentence. What’s there to think about?”
Jiang Hu widened his eyes at him, wondering, why is this damning man so hardheaded?
Shen Yexi also threw a glare at him with widened eyes, saying righteously, “We’re on the job, stop tempting me to make mistakes!”
When faced with occasional Immoral Syndrome, Jiang Hu already couldn’t be bothered to roll his eyes.
“Honestly, Qian Sha killing Zhang Xiaoqian is easily explainable with logic. Why would Zhang Xiaoqian stop on his way back, unguarded against his attacker? If this person, whom he had lusted for a long time, approached him of their own accord, it’s natural to be overjoyed and put down his guard.”
Shen Yexi drove as he nodded in deep approval. “If you stopped me by the road in the middle of the night, you’ll definitely be able to commit a crime with how defenceless I’d be.”
Jiang Hu said, “There’s a construction site in front. Stop the car there.”
“To get a slab and commit a crime.”
Shen Yexi burst into sniggers. “You actually know what a slab is? Stop learning bad things from those hoodlums in the office.”
Jiang Hu replied breezily, “If the office is full of hoodlums, then, aren’t you the head of the hoodlums?”
Shen Yexi ended up shutting up..
Jiang Hu chuckled and continued, “But if Qian Sha is really the killer, if her motive is completely to carry out personal revenge, then why would a characteristic of a serial killer show up in the murder scene? These cases occur every ten days in different cities. If Qian Sha is the killer, who is her accomplice? When other cases happened, what was she doing?”
“Mn?” Shen Yexi frowned, driving with his eyes on the road. “”Sounds like something that a large organisation of unknown size would do. Now that you say that, it reminds me of evil cults and all.”
Jiang Hu leaned back on the passenger seat, head slightly tilted and expression solemn in silence. After a moment, he asked, “Have you heard of Charles Manson?”
“Hm… I think so.” Shen Yexi racked his brain hard. Having a bad memory was one of his causes of distress. “I believe that a teacher mentioned it in one of the classes in police academy. He was the leader of some organisation, right?”
“He was the son of a prostitute, born illegally in America. Then, he started what we know as ‘Manson’ Family, a murder organisation made of his followers. Their first batch of victims was the wife of the film director, Roman Polanski—actress Sharon Tate—and her four friends. They said that they were chopped over 150 times. Afterwards, the executive of a supermarket and his wife were stabbed to death. Back then, the killers also wrote words on the wall with the victim’s blood.”
Shen Yexi could not help but turn to glance at him. “That can’t be… How can it be so similar to Ke Ruhui, that old geezer?”
Jiang Hu didn’t make a sound.
“So… you mean that in this murder case, it’s highly likely that we’re facing something like an evil cult?” Shen Yexi asked.
“Leaving bloody words after murdering and having a fixed frequency as they cycle through different regions in a unified manner, they must have an organisation and detailed plans before they act. So far, every murder left behind no clue.” Jiang Hu paused. “It’s just like a virus that seeped among normal people…”
Before he finished, he was interrupted by Shen Yexi’s hand suddenly patting his head. Shen Yexi said, “Good boy, don’t be scared.”
Jiang Hu was surprised for a moment, before he sharply slapped away his hand. He shot back in anger, “Buzz off. Stop patting my head all the time as if I’m a dog.”
“I’m patting you to make you dumber so you’ll stop being so tricky and crafty. If you become dumb, you won’t have to work, and you’ll just wait for me at home to support you.” Shen Yexi laughed stupidly.
Then, the rest of their journey was spent with a police siren. They reached Nancheng sub-bureau, unimpeded, but arrived to find no signs of Qian Sha.
In fear of alerting the enemies, Shen Yexi did not inform anyone of their visit. It was only after they dashed over that Mo Cong called to report the situation. Logically speaking, Qian Sha should be obediently sitting in her office at this time.
Her computer was still turned on. But having been untouched for a long while, it was already in hibernate mode. Qian Sha’s jacket was still hung on the rack at the back of the office, her phone on the table with multiple missed calls. Her wallet and ID were in her jacket pocket, untouched. No matter how they looked at it, their owner appeared to have just left for the washroom or went for a walk.
The people began their search while Sheng Yao took over Qian Sha’s computer.
The last one to see Qian Sha was a forensics intern. With a half-asleep face, he spoke in a daze, “Ah? Forensic Detective Qian? Didn’t Forensic Detective Qian go to the washroom…”
Shen Yexi didn’t answer him, but beside him, Inspector Wang was first to roll his eyes at him. “She’s been in the washroom for so long, did she fall in? Captain Shen, after your call, I’ve been searching for her everywhere. Back then, I honestly thought she was in the washroom, and even told the children to tell her when she’s back. I didn’t think much of it, but who’d expect that she won’t be back from a bathroom trip… Right, did you need her for something?”
“We suspect she’s connected to Zhang Xiaoqian’s murder.” Yang Man’s words were vague. She pulled over the intern’s collar. “Which washroom is it? Bring me there.”
“Ah…” This little guy likely hadn’t seen such a beautiful woman who could be so tough as well. He may not be buff and muscular, but he was a man as well. Yet, he could be dragged away by her so easily.
Inspector Wang was dumbstruck. “She… She and… And Xiao Zhang… Ah? Captain Shen, this isn’t time for playing around!”
“Don’t worry, we don’t have any concrete proof as of now. It’s only a suspicion, so we’re just asking her some things.” Shen Yexi patted his shoulder and gave him a friendly and cordial smile, which made Inspector Wang shudder. He gave a glance at these armed and aggressive comrades—
Was this an attitude one took when you were just going to ask questions? Who were you fooling!
Shen Yexi fished out some change from Jiang Hu’s pocket and shoved them into the vending machine for three bottles of coke. He passed one to Jiang Hu, and extended another to Inspector Wang with an obvious smile. “They’ll search for her first. Xiao Wang, I have something to ask you.”
Inspector Wang expressed that as a bystander who did not know the truth, he felt immense pressure. He accepted Captain Shen’s sugar-coated bullet with pursed lips. “Alright, ask away.”
“I heard rumors that Qian Sha reported Zhang Xiaoqian for raping her. Is it true?”
“This… This… You also said that it was a rumor…” Inspector Wang’s gaze first touched Shen Yexi before he looked down. He pursed his lips before looking up to meet his gaze, expression helpless.
“Looks like it’s true,” Jiang Hu said.
His sudden words gave Inspector Wang a fright. He raised his head to meet a pair of amber eyes staring unblinkingly at him. Jiang Hu was expressionless. Even with his glasses as a barrier, he could sense his gaze well, impossible to be ignored. It was a little cold, as though he could see through everyone.
Inspector Wang thought to himself, the last time he was here, this youngster had looked like a rather harmless and warm guy. How could he be so overbearing?
Gossip and news could not be absent from any place, and the sub-bureau was only a place of this size. To say something unpleasant, it was simply extremely ill-fortuned. If anyone were to have anything at all with another person, it would be the talk of the town.
Inspector Wang naturally had heard of what Shen Yexi said before, but he found it too embarrassing to admit. After all, nevermind if it was a scandal, but now, it had something to do with murder—and it might even be a chain of murders. Were there even many things more sinful than this criminal charge? If he uttered just one wrong word, it wouldn’t be just a regular-sized problem.
Inspector Wang originally intended to muddle his way through it, but he was unexpectedly exposed by that modest-looking, graceful young man.
Shen Yexi stopped smiling. “Xiao Wang, even if I don’t explain how major this issue is, you understand. If you really know something, do not ever hide it. If there’s anything hard to say, we can talk in private. Let this brother here remind you. Don’t get your priorities mixed up.”
Inspector Wang sighed. “This… This was spread by everyone in private, but no one saw it, so who would know?”
“If so, there was certainly such a thing?”
Inspector Wang nodded. “Zhang Xiaoqian is really not that good a person. As you know, pretty women are rare in our line of work, especially in criminal investigation units and anti-gang units. Everyone is tanned and buff, not much different from large men. Only a few look delicate. Xiao Lu from criminal investigation is one—he’s the one who helped the old granny that day. When Zhang Xiaoqian was new, he had offended Xiao Lu with dirty words just because of his looks. He was even being touchy afterwards, and Xiao Lu ended up giving him a beating. They said that Xiao Lu’s family spent money or something to suppress this. In any case, that kid didn’t dare to do anything to Xiao Lu anymore, and set his sights on Xiao Qian.”
He shook his head. Qian Sha was a forensic investigator. A modest person like her was unlike the bold Xiao Lu. Normally, she had a good temper and cared for her reputation. Unless she truly could not take it any longer, would she expose this?
In any case, Inspector Wang personally believed that Zhang Xiaoqian, this bastard wolf in sheep’s clothing really did do something shameful to her.
“Let me say something. Captain Shen, don’t resent me for having improper thoughts. After Zhang Xiaoqian’s death, none of us may not have dared to express it, but many of us were clapping and cheering… Especially as, before he died, before he died, that… was even done to him. All of us said it was his retribution.”
Jiang Hu and Shen Yexi exchanged a look.
Whether it was retribution, they did not know. But either way, Yang Man had dashed to the female washroom with the intern. Yang Man lifted her chin. “It’s here?”
The little intern touched his chin miserably and nodded.
Right at this time, Su Junzi led some people here too.
Yang Man reached for her waist and pulled out a handgun. “Su-ge, cover me. I’ll go in.”
Su Junzi nodded. “Is there anyone inside?”
“If no one is there, we’re coming in. Search!”
No response still. Yang Man pushed open the washroom and entered. It was empty and very clean. It seemed like the women in this sub-bureau were truly rare. Yang Man’s steps stopped in front of a small cubicle, her gaze falling down.
Su Junzi followed her gaze. From the slight light from under the door, there seemed to be a shadow.
Yang Man knocked. “This is a search by the main bureau. Who’s inside?”
“Lady, if you don’t speak up, I’ll kick the door open.”
Su Junzi turned to peer at her—why does your tone sound like a female hoodlum’s?
Seeing that there was still no reply, Yang Man let out a cold laugh, and announced, “Get out of the way”. Then, she threw a kick, opening the cubicle door that was locked from the inside. The door opened with a screech, and nearly split in half.
In the instant she lifted her foot, Su Junzi had begun to hold a prayer for Dr. Huang like a high priest…
But in the very next instant, his face changed.
The cubicle door opened, and the person inside slid out against the wall, hitting the floor in front of the people.
After a moment’s silence, the intern beside them screamed all of a sudden. “Teacher… Teacher Qian!”
On the woman’s abdomen was a knife. Her eyes were wide open, and the blood had already long dried. Su Junzi bent down to feel for her pulse before he shook his head.
Dumbfounded, Yang Man put the gun back at her waist. “What the hell.”
The author has something to say:
I’ll just put this here~ If there are any typos and such, wait for me to be back from school to fix~~~
 板砖 (lit. brick). There is also an additional meaning on the internet, which is similar to flaming. The harsh criticisms of other people are just like hitting someone on the head with a brick
 你可别犯糊涂: specifically means “don’t be stupid” or “don’t get confused”, but it sounded too severe in English, thus I’ve chosen a more contexualized translation.
 脸面也薄 (lit. her face was thin): to say she was not thick-faced, where face in Chinese refers to reputation and honor.
 很圣父 (lit. very much like the Holy Father): so it’s actually more like God, but personally, the comparison felt too extreme when translated in English.