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A Lunatic Says He Loves Me

A Lunatic Says He Loves Me: Chapter 30

Chapter 30: Mother-Daughter 1

The deceased undergoing an autopsy by Bai Xinhui was named Lai Fengxia, 40 years old, a top matchmaker at a certain marriage agency. Matchmakers were called “mei po” in ancient times, a profession belonging to the lower echelons of society. In modern society, this profession often has a somewhat hereditary nature.

The Lai family is a prominent family in Hucheng District, engaged in the matchmaker business for generations. When such an incident occurred, their first thought was not to report it to the police but to cover up the “scandal,” fully demonstrating the dedication of their corporate PR department.

This added a lot of trouble for the police investigation. First, they prohibited the forensic doctor from performing an autopsy. The outdated belief was that dissecting the body was disrespectful to the deceased, and the elders in the family found it especially unacceptable. Second, to prevent public opinion from spreading and affecting their matchmaking business, they destroyed the crime scene immediately—the manager found Lai Fengxia dead in a small alley next to the matchmaking agency. After reporting to their superiors, they were instructed to clean up the scene, remove the body, and continue business as usual.

Twenty-four hours after the incident, the Public Security Command Unit received the report and sent officers to investigate. They initially ruled out suicide. When they found that Lai Fengxia’s clothes were intact, her belongings were in order, but all ten fingers had been chopped off, they reported to their superiors, transferring the case to the Serious Crimes Unit. By the time Ling Feng took over, it had already been 72 hours since the incident, and most of the evidence had been “destroyed.”

The victim’s family had a special reverence for the body and were filled with contradictions themselves. On one hand, they wanted the police to solve the case quickly; on the other hand, they obstructed the autopsy. Ling Feng was at his wit’s end and ordered the body to be frozen in the morgue to prevent the family from doing anything like washing the body. Fortunately, after the Pang Dahai case was announced solved, the family saw some hope and finally agreed to let the forensic doctor perform the autopsy.

At this point, it had been a month since the incident. When Han Rong saw the complete file, he jokingly commented, “It’s not the god-like opponents you should fear, but the pig-like teammates. Ah, this is truly a profound truth.”

Ding Ding read the report aloud, “Due to the multiple relocations of the victim’s body, the forensic doctor found multiple DNAs on her clothes. These fingerprints belong to clients and colleagues. According to your initial psychological profile of the suspect, ‘the victim’s fingers were chopped off as a punishment for matchmaking a widow,’ we have narrowed down the suspects to two people. One is Li Qi, 25 years old, a new employee who had an argument with the deceased over a client before the incident; the other is Lu Yan, 38 years old, a client of the deceased.”

Han Rong asked, “A client?”

“Exactly.” Ding Ding nodded and said, “According to the records provided by the matchmaking agency, among the successful matchmaking deals Lai Fengxia arranged in the past three months, Lu Yan was the only widow. Her husband died in a car accident twenty years ago, and she raised her daughter, Lu Qi, alone. In June this year, Lu Qi received a foreign green card.”

Yuan Fei interjected, “But according to your general profile of the suspect in these five cases, ‘18-25 years old, obsessive personality, extreme religious beliefs.’ Doesn’t the age of Li Qi fit the profile more closely, making him a bigger suspect?”

“Criminal profiling only serves as an auxiliary tool. The traits I mentioned are ones the killer is likely to possess, but there will inevitably be some discrepancies. What was the reason for the conflict between Li Qi and the deceased?”

Yuan Fei said, “The base salary for employees at the matchmaking agency isn’t high, only one thousand yuan per month. But the commission is substantial—five hundred yuan for securing a client and two thousand for a successful match. New employees need to work hard to survive. Li Qi graduated only a year ago and is very driven. Lai Fengxia, being a veteran with connections to the manager, took over a potential client Li Qi was about to secure. That afternoon, Li Qi barged into Lai Fengxia’s office to argue with her. Everyone at the matchmaking agency can attest to this.”

Ding Ding asked, “Could it have been a crime of passion, committed in a moment of impulsive rage?”

Ling Feng said, “If it were a moment of rage, would the killer be so meticulous as to chop off her fingers? If it were about venting anger, why not dismember her body? This clearly indicates a desire to punish her, and the main reason is hatred for her matchmaking a widow!”

Yuan Fei added, “The client Lai Fengxia took from Li Qi was an older, unmarried man who had failed many previous matchmakings—a hot potato. Li Qi had put in a lot of effort.”

Ding Ding said, “Anyone would be furious if their hard work was snatched away. It’s like how we solved the Pang Dahai case, which also uncovered an old case, but didn’t receive a word of praise from our superiors. Yet, because we helped our colleagues in the Economic Crimes Unit catch a tax evader, Liu Qing, they got all the accolades.”

Yuan Fei fumed, gritting his teeth, “I feel like grabbing a gun and shooting those Economic Crimes guys who are flaunting their bonuses on social media!”

“Let’s get back on track.” Ling Feng coughed, “So for now, it looks like we can rule out Li Qi as a suspect?”

Han Rong said, “It was just an occasional friction at work, nothing to hold a grudge over. There was no need to go to such extremes.”

“Are you suggesting that Lu Yan has a stronger motive for murder?”

Han Rong remained noncommittal and asked instead, “A widow who raised her daughter through hardship surely deserves some credit for her labor, even if there were no visible merits. Why would her daughter be so eager to leave her mother behind and fly away?”

Yuan Fei stroked his chin thoughtfully and remarked, “Moreover, as soon as the daughter decides to leave, the mother is ready to remarry. It’s a bit strange.”

Ling Feng immediately caught on, “Ding Ding and Yuan Fei, investigate the social relationships of the Lu mother and daughter!”

“Yes, sir!”

The two young officers tasked with the assignment hurried off. Han Rong continued to study the documents intently, while Ling Feng curiously asked, “Why isn’t your henchman, Ji Xiaodi 1, here today?”

“He went to the hospital this morning, seems like he had departmental duties. Why is Detective Ling so free lately, even inquiring about us?” Han Rong replied with a smirk, lifting his head.

“Can’t you stop defending him like that? I have no intention of doing anything to him.” Ling Feng retorted, then bent over to browse through the files. After a while, as if casually, he asked, “I heard during your ‘peak’ period, you were exceptionally skilled in criminal profiling and microexpression reading, assisting Professor Mo at X Criminal University in solving numerous cases. Are you back to your prime now?”

“Since it’s ‘heard’, it’s just hearsay. How can you take such talk seriously? It’s true I attended X Criminal University for further studies during my college years, focusing on microexpression behavioral analysis. Unfortunately, under normal circumstances, I’m not capable of criminal profiling. Why is Detective Ling so eager for me to be at my best?” Han Rong looked at him with a puzzled expression.

Ling Feng glanced at him, “You’ve graduated for many years now. Could it be your memory playing tricks on you?”

“It’s not a matter of memory. I simply don’t recall it that way.” Han Rong received a text from Ji Yan, stood up, waved casually, and said, “It’s time for lunch. I’m heading back. Contact me on WeChat if anything comes up.”

Outside the police station, many osmanthus trees lined the road. Ji Yan stood under one of the trees, holding a mille-feuille cake. Han Rong walked straight over, took the delicate pastry, and sat on a bench. He opened the box and scooped a large spoonful into his mouth. The light cream sweetness of the fruit cake mixed with the rich fragrance of the osmanthus filled his mouth instantly, making it feel like even the emptiness in his chest was filled. He couldn’t help but smile, thinking sentimentally that this was probably what love tasted like.

After a while, Ji Yan, as if reading his mind, asked, “You’re not happy?”

Han Rong blinked, intending to brush it off, but then he heard Ji Yan’s slightly cool voice say, “Don’t try to fool me.”

“Alright, nothing gets past you,” Han Rong put down the cake and shrugged. “Ling Feng seems to have not given up on the idea that ‘I’m a normal person.’ I think he, like the older officers in the Serious Crimes Unit, believes that in all the cases I’ve helped solve, the real culprit is actually me.”

Ji Yan held his hand, kissed it gently, and said warmly, “No matter what, I’m by your side.”

****

After reporting the case progress to his superiors and organizing his work, Ling Feng had some free time. He asked casually, “Xinhuai, I remember you have a high level of education. How far did you study?”

“Which subject are you asking about?”

“……”

Ling Feng decided to pull up Bai Xinhuai’s personal file from the system. [Bai Xinhuai, female, 33 years old. Ph.D. in Psychology, Ph.D. in Forensic Science, certified national level three mortician…]

“Snap—”, feeling a bit inferior, Ling Feng turned off the computer, swiveled his chair to face Bai Xinhuai, and said, “Professor Bai, may I ask you an academic question? What’s the difference between schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder?”

Bai Xinhuai calmly explained, “Schizophrenic patients cannot control themselves and are unaware of what they are doing. They construct a new world for themselves, and their experiences and perceptions are different from those of ordinary people. On the other hand, patients with dissociative identity disorder see the same world as we do, but they have multiple sets of values and different personalities. Typically, multiple personality disorder patients’ personalities are aware of each other and can sense each other. However, those with dual personalities cannot.”

Ling Feng asked, “So, is it possible for the primary personality to have a correct understanding of law, morality, and the world, fully aware of what the secondary personalities are doing; while the secondary multiple personalities are completely independent, unable to sense the primary personality, and can split at any time, sometimes being a good citizen, sometimes a homicidal maniac?”

Bai Xinhuai replied, “I reasonably suspect that what you’re describing is someone using certain methods, such as extreme treatments like hypnosis or electroshock therapy, to split a normal person into multiple personalities and hypnotically modify one of those personalities to be the most harmful to society.”

Ling Feng’s expression grew increasingly serious. He stood up unconsciously, walked closer to her, and asked, “Does this mean that ‘someone’ could completely control this unfortunate ‘normal person’?”

“In general, if someone can split a normal person into multiple personalities, they can also heal them. Similarly, they can destroy them. So this ‘complete control’ you mentioned is not impossible.” Bai Xinhuai turned to look at him, her eyes filled with curiosity, “Sir, who are you referring to?”

“I hope I’m wrong. The world isn’t that crazy, right?” Ling Feng stared at the ceiling for a moment before throwing himself back into his intense work.

After delivering the test tubes to the lab, Bai Xinhuai handed Ling Feng a leave request form. “Sir, I need to visit a grave tomorrow.”

Ling Feng, deep in thought and speaking without thinking, asked absentmindedly, “Whose grave?” He immediately realized his blunder and wished he could slap himself.

Bai Xinhuai didn’t mind and answered calmly, “My brother’s.”

“Granted, granted!” Ling Feng took the leave request and tore it up, saying, “The budget is tight these days, and we don’t get overtime pay for extra hours. Consider this leave as compensation for your salary, I’ll give you three days off.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Author’s note:

This is not academic or rigorous; I made it up. Don’t take it seriously.

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Translator Notes
  1. Little brother[]
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