Chapter 24: Ill at Ease
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
Just not too long ago, when Zhan Se and Wang Tongsheng were talking, Bai Muchuan was still listening attentively.
Why did his facial expression change after looking at his mobile phone for a while?
Quan Shaoteng’s doubts were all explained by that novel “Murder The Dream Guy”.
“Brother!” He motioned Bai Muchuan to go to the smoking area and handed him a cigarette. “It’s so unlike you to get distracted over a woman. It’s not your style!”
Such a straightforward style of his was somewhat similar to Bai Muchuan.
Bai Muchuan took the cigarette and held it near his nose before throwing it back to him. “Say more nonsense and I’m gonna sew your mouth up!”
However, this threat did not work on Quan Shaoteng.
“Hehe.” He just laughed it off and lit the cigarette. Once again, he tempted Bai Muchuan by handing the cigarette toward him and placing it in front of his mouth. The moment Bai Muchuan could not withstand it anymore and finally held it in his mouth, Quan Shaoteng smiled. “That’s more like it. Speak. If it’s not about women, what is bothering you that your mind suddenly wandered off?”
Bai Muchuan creased his eyebrows.
In Xiang Wan’s latest update of “Murder The Dream Guy”, besides demonizing Detective Fang Yelan in her story, she also wrote about how the case would be, going forward.
She wrote: Ah Sheng must have an underlying reason. He was not considered caught by the police, but rather, he had deliberately planned in a way to let the police arrest him while acting like he was trying to flee. He also confessed to the murder charge directly, but it was all his attempt to protect his lover.
Xiang Wan had told Bai Muchuan about her conjecture that day.
No matter in both fiction and reality, she did not give an answer to this “underlying reason” of Ah Sheng. It had become a baggage to carry over to the next chapter.
“I’m thinking that this may be the direction for a breakthrough.”
“Ha! Just like this?” Quan Shaoteng remarked after listening and looked at him in an incredulous manner. “Little Bai, for Pete’s sake, when did you become so superstitious?”
Bai Muchuan shot him a chilly glare. “What does this have to do with superstition?”
“This is even more severe than superstition!” Quan Shaoteng inhaled a puff of the cigarette as the corners of his mouth turned upward, forming an alluring smile like a whirlpool of seduction. “Although I don’t like reading novels as much as you do, I do know something about it. The genres in the novel are basically transmigration, eastern fantasy, cultivation, horror, and thriller… which one of it is not made up? If you take it too d*mn seriously, your thinking could be influenced by it!”
Bai Muchuan gave him a cold gaze.
“I know, right!”
Quan Shaoteng rolled his eyes. “Worthy to be taught! Not stupid at all.”
Bai Muchuan sat down and drank a mouthful of tea. “Can mystery be the same as transmigration and cultivation?” he continued the topic, “you’re a layman.”
“…” Quan Shaoteng was speechless.
“On top of that, you, the layman, actually wanted to lecture a pro.”
“…” Quan Shaoteng made an innocent face and continued to keep his mouth shut.
“Writing a mystery fiction is actually a kind of inference based on the known clues of a case,” smiled Bai Muchuan. “Which means it is based on facts. It is also a comprehensive analysis of human nature, social environment, case details, and other factors that possessed realistic referential significance!”
If Xiang Wan were to hear this, she would be staring with her eyes wide-opened in disbelief.
That day, Bai Muchuan had told her in a just and severe manner that inference was a novel, evidence was the reality, and there was no logical relationship between them…
Yet secretly, he agreed and affirmed her views.
Wasn’t Detective Bai obviously saying one thing but believing another?
Of course, with regards to this matter, Bai Muchuan had totally ignored the fact that he had denied Xiang Wan’s views before. In a decent demeanor and his pair of cold eyes looking at his best pal, he continued to educate him, “As for you, you’re in training, and you’re good at nabbing criminals. But when it comes to solving cases… haha!”
Bai Muchuan gave him a meaningful “you are still too inexperienced” look before putting out the cigarette in the ashtray and strode slowly back to the interrogation zone.
The pretty boy Quan Shaoteng was left standing alone in the wind, downcast, melancholic, and depressed…
Little Bai was implying that a woman was better than him in terms of solving cases!
Wang Tongsheng drooped his head. From the psychological aspect, he was resisting Zhan Se’s questions.
“I don’t know, don’t ask me anymore. I don’t know anything, and I don’t wanna say anything.”
Zhan Se was silently observing two of Wang Tongsheng’s fingers that he kept twisting about under his desk. “That’s not what you said earlier. You told me you know everything. You know how Zhao Jiahang had died, how Er Niu had died, and the entire story of this case. Why do you suddenly not know?”
Wang Tongsheng lifted his head strongly as she retorted. He seemed in a hurry to defend himself. “Those that you’ve said, those things… I, I know that!”
Zhan Se smiled. “So do you really know, or do you not know?”
Wang Tongsheng’s eyes seemed to have lost its luster as he looked down quietly.
“You’re lying!” A voice suddenly came from behind without any emotion. It was Bai Muchuan—whom Wang Tongsheng dreaded the most.
To Wang Tongsheng, the detective who had a pair of cold, frosty eyes seemed to be able to see through one’s heart.
Wang Tongsheng did not dare to look him in the eye. His heart was putting up a fierce struggle. The attempt to resist was pushed to the edge of the cliff again, and as a result, he became even more agitated. “I did not lie! Detective Bai, I’m really not lying.”
Bai Muchuan sat beside Zhan Se, nodded at her, and threw Wang Tongsheng a question.
“You deliberately followed Xiang Wan and let her notice your presence which, in turn, led the police to arrest you, then you lied and pleaded guilty of the murder. Who are you protecting?”
“I didn’t!” Wang Tongsheng shook his head and still wanted to argue. However, his voice sounded a lot weaker. “I killed him. That’s right, I killed him. There’s no need to ask again. I’ve already pleaded guilty, is that not enough?”
Repeated questioning by different officers was originally a test of a person’s will.
Even if Wang Tongsheng had a strong will, he might not be able to handle the questioning. Moreover, he was not someone who had a strong will, to begin with.
The desperate cries of Wang Tongsheng entirely exposed his weak mentality.
Bai Muchuan and Zhan Se exchanged glances. “Teacher Zhan, let’s call it a day,” said Bai Muchuan in a cold tone. “I believe you now know everything you wanted to know. Whether to tell the truth or not, it’s his choice, but if anything happens, he will bear the consequences.”
Zhan Se: “…”
She paused for a while and stood up slowly.
“Alright, let’s call it a day.”
Wang Tongsheng was completely baffled by Bai Muchuan’s words that made neither heads nor tails.
“You… what do you want from me exactly?”
Bai Muchuan curled up his lips slowly. “To dig out the person you want to protect, and to restore the truth. Wang Tongsheng, we will not accuse a good man, and neither will we miss a bad person. You can be rest assured.”
Wang Tongsheng’s eyes were fixated on him with a look of deathly despair.
It was not easy to find out who killed someone, but it was certainly much easier to find out who someone wanted to protect.
There was a limit to the scope of a person’s social circle of relationships and interactions. Family, love, friendship—those were all to it.
As long as the police wanted to, they could dig out anything.
Wang Tongsheng’s face was ghastly pale without a hint of blood. It was as if he had been drained of energy and sank onto the chair.
When they got out of the detention center, the sky was completely dark.
Quan Shaoteng took a deep breath and his face was full of joy. “Even the air in this place is full of the aroma of hotpot. Little Bai, let’s go for hotpot!”
Bai Muchuan gave him a casual look and turned to ask Zhan Se.
“Teacher Zhan, what do you think of Wang Tongsheng?”
Zhan Se had done criminal profiling for the ZMI organization before. As her description had an uncanny resemblance to the perpetrator himself, she got famous. Bai Muchuan valued her opinion more than Quan Laowu’s skewed theories.
However, Zhan Se hesitated for a long time before she responded.
“The analysis you made earlier is right. Wang Tongsheng should not be the murderer. At the very least, he did not have the malicious intent to kill. When I was chatting with him, I found that he has no hatred toward Zhao Jiahang, the deceased, as indicated otherwise in the case. So much so that… in my opinion, there is an unusual emotion similar to that of sympathy or guilt.”
Unusual? Sympathy? Guilt?
Did all these arise due to having killed Zhao Jiahang or was there something else?
No conclusion yet.
Bai Muchuan called Huang He and asked him to make arrangements for a thorough investigation of Wang Tongsheng’s social relationships.
Of course, the focus was on his romantic relationships.
When he finished dealing with work-related matters, Quan Shaoteng had long since been impatient.
“Are we still eating hotpot? It’s been a hot day, and we’ve been working with an empty stomach. Little Bai, aren’t you tired at all?”
Bai Muchuan sneered and glanced sideways at him coldly. “Did you starve to death in your previous life?”
“… Just you wait!”
“Teacher Zhan, please wait a while. I’ll make a phone call first,” Bai Muchuan said to Zhan Se.
Before dinner, he had an even more important task to do—compensate Xiang Wan her laptop.
Although he had been portrayed as a reviled scum by her, scolded and cussed by numerous readers, things that needed to be compensated had to be compensated. He had rejected her exorbitant demand back then as he got impatient being entangled over trifles. He wanted to quickly settle all this and send his guests to the detention center, and this did not mean that he really would deny her of the compensation.
Nobody picked up the phone.
One more time.
From the detention center all the way to Ocean Sky Hotpot, Xiang Wan’s mobile phone was still unanswered.
Bai Muchuan was a bit ill at ease.
“Both of you, please go ahead, I’ll be back later.”
He dropped Quan Shaoteng and Zhan Se outside Ocean Sky Hotpot, then he did a turn and headed straight for Xiang Wan’s rented apartment.