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A Lunatic Says He Loves Me

A Lunatic Says He Loves Me: Chapter 22

22. Eighteen Levels of Hell 5

“Captain Ling, Ge Jiaqi and his lawyer have left the police station.”

“Received.” Ling Feng pressed his earpiece and pointed to the sofa. “Sit.” He picked up the file folder on the table, took out the information about Ge Jiaqi, and handed the remaining documents to Han Rong. “Take a look.”

Han Rong put the file aside and said coldly, “Officer Ling, I have no interest in participating in your case. I just want to know why I’m here. Kidnapping is illegal!”

“Mr. Han, do you know you have a sleepwalking disorder? We don’t mind pulling up the surveillance footage. You indeed walked into the police station on your own. If you don’t believe it, you can ask your cohabitant. Running to the police station to sleep on the sofa in the middle of the night—we’re quite troubled by it too.”

Following Ling Feng’s gaze, Han Rong saw Ji Yan enter with a smile. “Sorry to trouble you.”

Han Rong recalled that after Chen Sheng’s infidelity, he had indeed experienced sleep issues, with several instances of memory lapses between sleep and wakefulness. For some inexplicable reason, he looked at Ji Yan’s smiling face and believed him, casually moving on as he picked up the file and started reading. The latest documents were photos of symbols taken by Bai Xinhui at the crime scene, and the case was classified as a serial murder by the Serious Crimes Unit.

Han Rong held up a photo and said, “Assuming the symbols were left by the killer, do you think these five cases were committed by the same person? If you look closely, the handwriting of these five symbols is not similar. Some are sharp and fine, some bold, some childlike, some smooth… Have they been analyzed?”

Bai Xinhui replied, “When I took the photos back that day, I gave them to the forensics department for examination. Experts believe the five symbols were written by five different people.”

Han Rong nodded, “Although we can’t yet determine the motive, one thing is clear. These five people were brought together by some common factor, like strands twisted into a rope.”

Ding Ding clenched his fist indignantly, “Exactly! Five criminals gathered for a ‘hellish’ party!”

“These criminals share some similarities and differences. A broad initial profile suggests they are 18 to 25 years old, with obsessive personalities and extreme religious beliefs. Rather than believing in traditional gods, they believe in themselves. I think it’s better to focus on their differences first, investigating each case one by one. Don’t rush; solving five cases at once—I’m not a god.”

Ling Feng pondered, “Okay, let’s do it your way. Which case do you think we should start with?”

“The most recent one, with the most preserved evidence.”

A stack of papers emerged from the fax machine. Bai Xinhui picked them up, examined them closely, and said, “The autopsy report for Pang Dahai is out. A large amount of anesthetic was found in his body, and his intestines contained pen fragments and glass shards, indicating possible torture before death.”

“I’ll take the files home. I’ll notify you if I find anything.” Han Rong picked up the envelope and left, with Ji Yan following him.

Watching them leave from the surveillance room, Ding Ding asked, puzzled, “Why not tell him about Ge Jiaqi?”

Ling Feng rubbed his sore nose and said, “Right now, he thinks he’s Adu Shisan. How am I supposed to explain Ge Jiaqi’s identity as a writer? Besides, he previously believed Ge Jiaqi wasn’t lying, so I’ll temporarily trust that Ge Jiaqi didn’t kill anyone. Let’s focus on solving the cases and finding the real culprit behind the five murders.”

“Are we just going to let Ge Jiaqi go? I still think that kid is no good!”

“Of course not! Would a normal person consult an obscure religious book like 《Rebirth Records》? And it’s such a coincidence that symbols from the book appear at five crime scenes. Even with a simple mind, one can tell Ge Jiaqi is connected to these cases! Immediately contact Jinjiang and ask them to cooperate with the investigation and take down 《Blind Detective》. Have Wildfire keep an eye on Ge Jiaqi and report any movement immediately!” Ling Feng laughed coldly, “Using novel plots to commit crimes, are you? I’ll shut down your novel and see how you do it!”

Ding Ding was confused, “Who is Wildfire?”

“Wildfire is Wild Grass! The undercover officer who worked with you on the serial escort murders! Undercover officers change their codenames periodically.”

Yuan Fei hung up the phone and turned back, “Boss Ling, I just got a call from a colleague at the Comprehensive Command Department. Ge Jiaqi lied; he’s not here for tourism but to attend the Jinjiang Authors’ Conference!”

“What’s the duration?”

“The conference lasts for a month! But he will stay a bit longer, likely to sign a film and TV contract for his new novel with a local entertainment company.”

Ding Ding frowned, “Why did he lie?”

Ling Feng: “He said he was here for a short trip. Even if he left now, no one would be suspicious. But if he admitted he was here for a month-long author conference and suddenly left, it would be suspicious! Yuan Fei, have the command department keep an eye on the train station and airport. If Ge Jiaqi and that shady lawyer try to leave Xuezhou, report immediately!”

“Ding Ding, you continue to investigate Pang Dahai’s social connections.”

Ding Ding set up a travel tent in the hallway of Fanshi District, fully embodying the public servant spirit of ‘5 plus 2’ and ‘white plus black,’ 1 staking out day and night. Whenever neighbors went out, he would follow, earnestly persuading them with the same lines over and over, “Aunt Liao, please cooperate with us, it’s for your safety.”

He hadn’t been home for a week, with stubble on his chin, wrinkled clothes, and a faint sour smell emanating from him. Other residents constantly called the comprehensive security department to complain. Due to prior instructions from higher-ups, colleagues from the security department made a token appearance, pretending to reprimand him, “Hurry up and leave, don’t bother people,” and then left it at that.

On Monday, Aunt Liao returned home from buying groceries after sending her grandson to school. The sound of her footsteps echoed in the hallway, and Ding Ding, who was in the tent, quickly emerged, appearing beside her in a flash, smiling obsequiously, “Auntie~~”

He exhaled a breath of foul air that smelled like rotten radish and stinky tofu.

Aunt Liao’s face turned green from the stench, “Officer, it’s no use pestering me. I really don’t know anything. He’s not a local resident here; the house is rented. He moved in last year and isn’t here often. When he does come back, he brings unsavory people. Two days before the incident, I saw a woman in a pink lace dress hugging his waist and going home with him! She’s clearly one of the girls from the street behind!” She said, her face showing disdain, “Good riddance that he’s dead. At least he won’t corrupt my precious grandson!”

Ding Ding’s expression became serious, “What did that woman look like? When did she enter and leave?”

“That day, I brought my grandson home from tutoring, around eight in the evening. I was about to close the door when I saw them coming out of the elevator. The woman had long hair covering her face, so I didn’t see clearly. I just know she was tall, even hunched over, she was half a head taller than Pang Dahai. I don’t know when she left.”

“Was Pang Dahai sober at the time?”

“Probably drunk, I smelled a strong odor of alcohol.” Aunt Liao covered her nose and said in a muffled voice, “Officer, please leave. I really don’t know who he usually associates with!”

“You could’ve said that earlier!” Ding Ding quickly packed up his things and rushed back to the police station, not forgetting to inform the others via WeChat.

[Rich Second Generation]: There’s a clue! Neighbor Aunt Liao recalled seeing a tall woman with Pang Dahai two days before the incident. Judging by her inappropriate attire, she might be a prostitute.

[Anti-Porn Fat Otaku]: There’s a Red Light District street near Fanshi District, with both men and women!

[Sunny Sunshine]: Pang Dahai, 54, an executive at a certain company. He owns a villa and two luxury cars. In 2016, he rented unit 301 in Fanshi District but didn’t live there often. Successful in his career, single and unmarried, why rent a place in an old district? Records show that his parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised by his father, who was an alcoholic and often beat him. This kind of environment easily creates a distorted personality. I suspect Pang Dahai had sadomasochistic tendencies, either liking to abuse others or being abused to the point of death. Therefore, he needed a secluded, cheap place away from the upper class’s attention, which is Fanshi District. Considering there’s a Red Light District street nearby, this place was a ‘treasure trove’ for him.

[Bald Detective]: The autopsy report indicates Pang Dahai was tortured before his death, so the prostitute Aunt Liao saw is the prime suspect! I want all information about this woman within 48 hours @Anti-Porn Fat Otaku.

[Anti-Porn Fat Otaku]: Yes, sir!

Yuan Fei was quick when cracking down on prostitution, but the questioning yielded no results. When the time was up, the bald detective, accompanied by two young officers, went to disturb Han Rong.

Han Rong, yawning widely, opened the door just in time to catch him scolding them.

“Could she have vanished into thin air? All you do is waste taxpayers’ money!”

Ding Ding and Yuan Fei, heads lowered, looked like reprimanded schoolchildren.

“Enough, don’t overdo it.” Han Rong mercilessly called them out and stepped aside, “Come in. Haven’t found that prostitute?”

“I took Pang Dahai’s photo and went through every brothel on the street, but no one admitted to servicing him! Should we just bring them all to the station and use a polygraph?”

“Polygraph your mother’s head!” Ling Feng cursed angrily, “Be careful, someone might sue you for abuse of power! Is your brain in your butt?”

“Butt?” Han Rong’s previously furrowed brows suddenly relaxed, “Why didn’t I think of this before!”

Yuan Fei asked, “What did you think of?”

Han Rong said, “The coroner found glass shards and a pen in Pang Dahai’s intestines, suggesting he was sexually tortured before death. This behavior aligns more with homosexual activity.”

Ding Ding spat out his drink, “Pang Dahai was gay?!”

Yuan Fei slapped his palm with a fist, “Then the suspect the neighbor saw might have been a male prostitute dressed as a woman!” He suddenly realized, “No wonder no brothel admitted to servicing him; he went to a male brothel! I remember, there is a cross-dressing male brothel in the Red Light District district! High fees, arrogant owner, never cooperates with police investigations!”

Han Rong said calmly, “Even if they don’t welcome police visits, they wouldn’t turn away business, would they?”

Ding Ding took a deep breath, “Damn! You mean…”

Han Rong, with a half-smile, looked at Ling Feng, “With subordinates working so hard, shouldn’t Boss Ling treat us to milk tea?”

Yuan Fei’s eyes widened, “The Serious Crimes Unit visiting a male brothel, what a scene!”

TN:

I need, well not need but want, to go to some anti-govt protests so I won’t be able to post for a couple of days, might inhale a couple of canisters of teargas or be blasted by a gallon of water, but we do what we need to. Hopefully I’ll be back safe and sound. Updates will resume on Thursday, God willing.

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Translator Notes
  1. CloudChip Cake: 5+2, white plus black’ refers to working five days a week + the weekend both day and night[]
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