The Judge 15
“Wei Yingxian’s time of death is approximately 2 or 3 AM today.” An Yining placed the autopsy report on Shen Yexi’s office desk. “After this guy was let out, he had been in his hotel room the whole time. Our people had already gone there. There are blood stains in the hotel room. The primary crime scene is probably there.”
Shen Yexi said, “Tell them to check the phone in Wei Yingxian’s hotel room to see if a call was made to my place last night.”
An Yining was befuddled. “What did you say?”
“In the middle of the night yesterday, a suspect called and I picked up.” Jiang Hu continued, “You’ve met that person before too.”
“Ke Ruhui?” An Yining blurted it out and could not help breaking into a cold shiver. “What the hell, that old pervert!”
“Actually.” Yang Man rubbed her jaw. “This old thing, Wei Yingxian, did get what he deserved. He sure had tons of backdoors and connections to be able to be released even after everything…”
Shen Yexi slammed a cup on the table, and the resounding sound interrupted Yang Man’s words. The people turned their eyes at him and Shen Yexi raised his jaw with a grim expression. “Yang Man, no matter what despicable things he did, the authorities would be waiting for him. Ke Ruhui did not have the right to write this ‘Judgement’. He isn’t some Supreme Court Justice either. He’s just a serial killer.”
Jiang Hu thought to himself, the words he wanted to say were stolen again.
Shen Yexi turned to ask him, “Tell us the truth. How deeply do you understand this person?”
“Very deeply.” Jiang Hu considered, halting peculiarly. “I think for many years, my only target of study was this person.”
He was speaking the truth, and Shen Yexi was well-aware of that too. But he still couldn’t help feeling a bizarre sense of irritation. Sheng Yao could discern that Shen Yexi was clearly feeling sour, so he coughed lightly to steer the conversation. “Then, let’s talk about this person. How did this godlike extraordinary character become so mentally perverse?”
“Ke Ruhui… He has a high IQ and is born with an exceptionally keen sense of observation. Calling him a genius wouldn’t be an overstatement.” Jiang Hu paused. “But I can’t sense any feelings from him that ordinary people should have—except narcissism and rage. His abnormal family and childhood were his initial motivation in joining the psychology field. In this field, he was calm and strong, with matchless talent. He believes himself to have walked further than anyone, and understands the truth better than anyone else.”
“If he understands the different motives to commit crimes, why would he go and murder them himself?” Su Junzi asked.
“He’s incapable of being sympathetic and feeling grief. No matter what he does, who he hurts, he won’t feel any guilt. He’s antisocial and twisted. From his perspective, as long as he wants to, anything goes,” Jiang Hu said, “Sometimes, he even seems like a robot.”
“He knew why people will kill, but he doesn’t believe murder is bad?” Shen Yexi considered Jiang Hu’s words before saying, “At the very start, he copied the murders to study them. Then, why did it get out of hand?”
The corners of Jiang Hu’s lips arched into a slightly mocking smile. “No matter his motive, he’s still a despicable murderer. Even if Ke Ruhui doesn’t admit it himself, what reason he used to cover it up won’t matter either, because his murder motive is the same as thoseutterly repulsive serial killers. His actions from start until now could satisfy the criminal spin model. A simple murder can no longer satisfy his desire for control. He began to search for rewards, for a more interesting way to kill.”
“What was his reason this time?” Shen Yexi asked. “Just like what he told you last night. Because of your previous doubts and opposition, he’s demonstrating his might to you?”
“That’s what he thinks. His narcissism already prevents him from clearly seeing his own state.” The edges of his mouth furrowed tightly after his words. His voice was extremely cold, but that was not the case for his expression. Psychologists were human too. Like Ke Ruhui who can never understand the fundamental reason for their behavior. Like Jiang Hu, who always spoke the most objective words, but were unable to maintain the most objective state of mind.
But Shen Yexi could tell. He interrupted Jiang Hu’s thought process, “He’s searching for a more stimulating game that could satisfy his desires. And you’re his next target.”
Jiang Hu raised his head to look at Shen Yexi.
“He asked you to find him within 24 hours. What will he do, and what will you do, or should I say… what will we do?”
“Normally speaking, we don’t have a time limit to solve a case or catch someone.” Seated at his office desk, Sheng Yao reasoned with a cup of coffee. “Unless the criminal had something with a fixed time limit, or if they had hostages.”
“Xiao Jiang even mentioned earlier that this Ke Ruhui has a very strong desire for control, and his target is not the victim, but us. So, he’ll clearly point us to a path and tell us the game rules to follow,” Yang Man carried on.
“So, to sum up, his next target is definitely someone related to our previous case.” Su Junzi smiled. “Other than the police officers, the people related to our previous case are now in jail. The only exception is Wei Yingxian who had just been released. That’s why he was the first to be killed. The bloody ‘Judgement’ on the wall is a mockery aimed at the public safety system for employing such parasites.”
Jiang Hu looked at them blankly. An Yining raised an eyebrow. “Dr. Scatterbrain Hu, the heck is that expression? As you know, whoever will take after whoever is in their company and all that. Of course we’ll be influenced too.”
Jiang Hu pressed a hand against his forehead. “I guess I can retire now.”
“Perfect.” Shen Yexi was beaming. “Retire then, retire then. I’ll give you financial support.”
“Oh—” The people were in an uproar.
“Go do what you should be doing. We’re at work, stop thinking about useless things, you bunch of youths with unhealthy minds!” Hypocritically, Shen Yexi faked a sternness and cleared his throat. “Which is to say that the people related to our previous cases, other than the ones who are no longer in this city, are us… Mn, no, there’s still another.”
The people waited for him in anticipation.
Shen Yexi gave Jiang Hu a wide grin. “Back then, to get Li Jingrong on the hook, we mentioned the bait, our comrade Song Xiaofeng. I’m afraid that this comrade is going to have to make contributions to public safety once again.”
Song Xiaofeng certainly had connections to Ke Ruhui, given his visits to Zhiliao Teahouse and his gun of unknown origins. But when Jiang Hu mentioned wanting to ask him questions, and how “Song Xiaofeng” had almost recovered, it was actually nonsense cooked up to deceive Li Jingrong. As this person’s treatment was very difficult, and he was too deeply immersed in his delusion and refused to cooperate with the doctors, he was still fluctuating between getting better and relapsing even now. There was not much progress.
Jiang Hu sighed. “I really can retire now…”
An Yining had already left to contact Song Xiaofeng’s main doctor.
When Song Xiaofeng’s main doctor, Zhong Xi, received An Yining’s call, she was about to check the wards. Previously, prior to using Song Xiaofeng’s name to dupe someone, they informed her too. She felt like sighing each time this patient was brought up. He was basically the source of her sense of defeat right now.
“Mhm, alright, I can cooperate. As long as you do your part to protect him… And the patient’s condition right now is…” Zhong Xi’s words halted in her throat. The ward in front of her eyes was empty. The person who should be inside was gone.
An Yining slammed down the receiver, her expression awful.
Shen Yexi had a bad feeling. “What happened to Song Xiaofeng?”
“Missing—Cap Shen, we lost again.”
“Please, you’re the loser—Jiang Hu, Sheng Yao, Yang Man, come with me to the mental hospital, hurry up!” Shen Yexi got up sharply. “Junzi, follow up with Wei Yingxian’s side. Yining, get some people to block off the roads near the mental hospital. Don’t even let a single fly escape, be quick.”
Perhaps it was a lucky coincidence. This happened in less than ten minutes before An Yining’s call, right when the nurses were changing shifts.
A male nurse had fainted near the washroom, because he had breathed in too much ether.
“Setting up the roadblocks was the right move.” Shen Yexi sucked in a deep breath, his face grim. “It’s impossible for Ke Ruhui to knock out an adult man and drag him away. It’s unlikely that he’ll have the strength to just drag this man out of the hospital, so Song Xiaofeng likely followed him of his accord.”
“The roads are blocked and their portraits are sent out, but there’s still no news.” Yang Man hung up the call, reporting the current situation. “They shouldn’t be far.”
“Split up, bring some people to search the area,” Shen Yexi said.
Sheng Yao was about to leave when Jiang Hu called him. He turned, slightly befuddled. “Mn?”
“Do you still remember why Song Xiaofeng was in the hospital?” Jiang Hu said.
Sheng Yao remembered now, and could not help scratching his nose. “Oh, yeah. It’s actually pretty awkward for me too if we meet too.”
“Let’s put aside whether it’ll be awkward. Dr. Zhong said Song Xiaofeng’s condition fluctuates between good and bad. If you end up finding him first, regardless of how miserable his circumstances are, you have to be prudent. He’s not an ordinary victim. He’s a dangerous patient with a severe delusional disorder.”
Sheng Yao laughed and waved. “I’ll handle it, don’t worry.”
Reality showed that the jinx was not Su Junzi alone. The first one who found Song Xiaofeng was really Sheng Yao.
The hospital location was very remote, with few nearby households. When he found Song Xiaofeng, that person was tied up enough to look like a rice dumpling, and was huddled up in an abandoned garage in a neighborhood with plans of demolishment. Even his mouth was sealed.
Once Song Xiaofeng saw Sheng Yao and his few inspectors approaching, he began struggling, emitting muffled cries. He was still donning the patient wear, his hair unkempt, with dust from the garage all over him. He looked just like an unwanted stray dog. Who knew how he was turned into this state in such a short period of time.
Sheng Yao surveyed the surroundings in vigilance, and ordered in a low voice, “Two of you guys, untie him. Be careful. He… He’s not quite mentally sound. The rest, hold onto your weapons. Get into groups of two and split up to investigate for any traces of a suspect.”
Sheng Yao was meticulous after all, particularly after Jiang Hu’s reminder. He remained two steps away, watching two officers untie Song Xiaofeng from afar. It was only when the tape was removed that he nodded with a smile, “How are you? Alright?”
Song Xiaofeng’s eyes were staring straight at him. Sheng Yao’s sole fear was that this person would utter the name, “Jing”. While his expression was calm and composed, he had already mentally cursed Jiang Hu, who suddenly showed extreme potential in jinxing others—Why did only the bad things come true, but not the good ones? Like this, it was difficult not to resent society.
Song Xiaofeng stared at him for a while before speaking up hoarsely, “You are… You’re a police officer. I heard them call you Sheng Yao…”
Sheng Yao exhaled a breath of relief—good, good. He was not that unfortunate. Although this man occasionally relapsed, he was clearly in a good condition right now, so he walked closer to him. “Did your kidnapper look like a modest forty-year-old degenerate man with some grey hair?”
Song Xiaofeng contemplated and nodded. Two officers supported him to his feet. Sheng Yao noticed that Song Xiaofeng’s legs were a little weak. “Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere? Or are you injured?”
“I’m a little dizzy,” Song Xiaofeng said. His face was smeared with dirt, and he looked miserable. “That person injected me with something…”
“Bear with it, the ambulance will come immediately.” Sheng Yao told the receiver, “Cap Shen, I found him. In the building with demolishment plans at the back. Get some medical personnel over here.”
He turned back to ask Song Xiaofeng, “Where did that man go?”
Song Xiaofeng looked up to figure out the direction. He pulled an arm free to point in a direction. “There…”
Sheng Yao nodded and notified the people searching for Ke Ruhui. “Northwest, pursue him.”
He had yet to finish the word, ‘him’, when he caught Song Xiaofeng’s knees slackening, his entire body falling forward. When he had pointed the direction for Sheng Yao, he had pulled his arm free from an officer holding him up. Now, as he suddenly fell down, the people beside him failed to catch him. Sheng Yao instinctively stretched out his arms to catch him, and Song Xiaofeng fell into his arms.
The force of having an adult man’s entire weight on him caused Sheng Yao to take three or four steps back before he managed to hold him properly. “I say, are you al…”
Song Xiaofeng raised his head and flashed a smile that turned Sheng Yao’s head numb.
The officer, who was flung away by Song Xiaofeng, caught sight of a cold glint flashing across his vision, and broke into a scream, “Sheng-ge!”
The author has something to say:
Oh, oh~~ The most nauseating few days are pver now. I’m only left with eight examinations and a big assignment before I’m free, oh oh oh~~~
 In the original raws, An Yining said “咱又丢人了” (we’ve lost the person), but the phrase “丢人” could also mean “lose face”, which is the meaning that Shen Yexi takes on as he retorted with “你才丢人呢” (You’re the one who lost face).