Ch57 – Orphaned
Edited by: Dust Bunny
The stench of the corpse assailed his nostrils, and Gu Xizhou subconsciously covered his nose.
This gas was poisonous.
“A head, a head…” An aunt came over to butt in and was frightened, her legs going weak.
“It’s a c-corpse!”
“Ha! Comrade police officer, I…” Wei Zhong grabbed Gu Xizhou, wanting to ask about the matter of a reduced sentence.
When he turned his head, he saw the tea shop proprietor, Zhou Yiguang staring at him with a gloomy expression.
He looked just like a viper, and Wei Zhong was scared, trembling all over.
He subconsciously hid behind Gu Xizhou and cried, “What- what are you looking at me for! You- you said it yourself!”
In order to prevent the tea shop proprietor from taking any drastic actions, Fang Zhi and two other officers rushed up and immediately subdued the man, handcuffing his wrists behind his back.
The tea shop proprietor looked pale and sinister.
He glared fiercely at Gu Xizhou and Wei Zhong, and he looked like he wanted to madly throw off the two police officers restraining him.
Wei Zhong shrunk his neck back in fright.
He pointed at him and yelled, “You, you murderer! You’ll definitely go to prison! I’m not scared!”
“Take him to the police car first.
Notify the office to dispatch people to come.” Gu Xizhou said, raising an eyebrow.
Fang Zhi immediately took out his phone, dialing the police department’s internal phone number.
The suspect’s tea shop was surrounded by yellow crime tape.
Gu Xizhou stood in front of the tea shop for a while until Xiang Yuan’s apprentice came over and said, “The head is severely rotted, but because there was cement on the surface that hindered oxygen from entering, the corpse isn’t entirely rotten.
Now I can only barely be certain that it’s a man’s head.”
Gu Xizhou nodded and teased, “That Xiang Yuan really has no shame.
He actually let you, a young lady, come examine this skull.”
Li Yan’s eyes slightly bent as she defended Xiang Yuan.
“Teacher is on holiday today.
He’s at home accompanying his wife and child.
Furthermore, I’ve already examined many corpses.
I ask Leader Gu to believe in my expertise.”
“I don’t doubt your expertise,” Gu Xizhou explained.
“Don’t they say you forensic investigators’ have the strongest mental fortitude there is?”
“It’s an occupational requirement,” Li Yan said.
Gu Xizhou turned around to look at the surrounding aunts and uncles who had gathered to watch.
No longer joking with Li Yan, he asked, “Has anyone gone missing in your neighborhood these past few years?”
“No!” After pausing briefly for recollection, one elderly lady very assuredly shook her head.
“In our neighborhood, we’re all familiar with one another.
If anyone went missing, we’d definitely know about it.” An old man in a long, red, Chinese coat waved a palm-leaf fan to dispel the foul odor while sticking out his head to look at the skull.
Gu Xizhou raised an eyebrow and asked, “Then do you also remember when this cement stool appeared?”
“This cement stool has been here for many years.
It was here when Zhou Yiguang opened the tea shop.
There was a head inside! We really didn’t know!”
“Right, ah, right, ah.
How would we know? This cement stool has been here for so many years! It’s always been here!
A few children drilled forward through the crowd to the front and were stopped by their parents.
“Aiya, what are you looking at? You children run back home.
Don’t mess around here, or just wait for the police uncles to arrest you!”
“Auntie, you can’t say things like this!” Fang Zhi hurriedly said.
“If you always say these things to children, they’ll think police officers are bad people, and when bad things happen, they won’t want to ask the police for help!”
The aunt who scolded the children nodded and explained, “Police officer comrade, I didn’t mean it like that.
I was only trying to scare them.
If these children see that skull… They’ll certainly be too frightened to sleep tonight.
Even us adults are afraid of it!”
The child who was caught by the aunt stretched out his small head from behind her plump body, held up his hand, and said in a small voice, “Uncle, I know!”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Qtja geyylrt jgf sbe rqbealcu, mtliv…” Ktf qiewq jeca ugjyyfv atf ilaaif ybs lc jc foobga ab rabq tlw.
“Ubilmf boolmfg mbwgjvf, vbc’a ilrafc ab atlr mtliv’r geyylrt.
Qtja mbeiv tf qbrrlyis xcbk? Itbe Tluejcu’r mfwfca rabbi tjr gfjiis yffc erfv obg jc jkoeiis ibcu alwf!”
Xe Wlhtbe kjnfv tlr tjcv jcv rjlv, “P kjca ab tfjg la.”
“Go ahead.” Gu Xizhou squatted down and gave him an encouraging look, patiently waiting for the child to open his mouth.
The little boy in the yellow short sleeved shirt lowered his head and whispered, “This stone stool should have been switched before the new year!”
“How do you know?”
The little boy scratched his head and said, “One night, I was playing with my friends in the yard.
When we were playing games, we messed with the parasol and made it fall, and that rock stool immediately broke in half; at that time, there was nothing inside!”
“After that, we were afraid that Uncle Zhou would tell our parents, so we put the stone stool into the iron bucket and stuck the parasol in it.
It was winter, so no one used the parasol anyway.
No one discovered that the concrete stool was broken at all!”
Gu Xizhou made an “en” and said, “What happened after that?”
“After a long time, we came back again to see, and we found that the cement stool was fixed again!” The little boy explained with a shrinking voice.
After Gu Xizhou looked at him with encouragement, he seemed to relax slightly.
“About when in winter was this?” Gu Xizhou asked.
“I only remember it was winter vacation, because all my friends in the neighborhood had a holiday, so we could all play together!”
This information is quite useful.”
The approximate time of death had been determined.
As a result, the scope of searching for the deceased’s identity had been greatly reduced.
Gu Xizhou thanked the little boy and returned to the police department in advance.
Inside the interrogation room in the police station, Lai Li received the news that someone’s head was found in the concrete block and was grinning ear to ear, just like Wei Zhong.
The officers in the office saw these two fools and were simply speechless.
On the other side, Gu Xizhou sat in the interrogation room to interrogate the tea shop proprietor, Zhou Yiguang, who was sitting opposite him in handcuffs.
“Why did you kill someone?”
Zhou Yiguang looked at Gu Xizhou and said, “Police officer comrade, I didn’t kill anyone.
I don’t know anything about that skull at all!”
“You don’t know? If you say you don’t know, then you don’t know?”
After a moment, Zhou Yiguang opened his mouth again.
“I really don’t know.
The things I said to them after drinking weren’t true; I was just joking.
I’m also confused.
How could there be a head inside?”
“I know! After we drank that day, they heard what I said, so they killed someone and put the head inside! Right, like this, everything is possible.
They want to frame me!”
Zhou Yiguang slapped the table in excitement and said, “Right, it’s definitely like this! I was wrongly accused!”
“Police officer comrade, you should arrest them both! It’s definitely them!”
Gu Xizhou glanced at him, laughing softly.
“You won’t confess?”
“It really wasn’t me.
What do you want me to confess? You can’t torture a confession out of me, right? I didn’t kill anyone! I don’t know whose head this is!” Zhou Yiguang rolled his eyes and leaned back in his chair, lowering his head to play with his fingers.
“If you think I killed someone, you have to find evidence, right?”
“In any case, I won’t confess!”
“Evidence? Well, don’t think you’re free if you don’t confess now.
Your nervous expression already betrayed you,” said Gu Xizhou, raising his eyebrows.
After that, he left the interrogation room with Fang Zhi.
By this time, Xiang Yuan had already rushed over from home.
When he saw Gu Xizhou, he fished a cigarette out from his pockets and handed it to him.
Gu Xizhou waved a hand and said, “Quit.”
“For real? You’re not sneakily whipping them out at home, ba?” Xiang Yuan didn’t lift his head, taking out a lighter to ignite his cigarette before taking a very slow draw.
“You say you drink jujube juice and soak in wolfberry every day to maintain your health, then you turn around and smoke.
Aren’t you interesting?”
Xiang Yuan glared at him.
“Every day, I dissect dead bodies.
Aren’t I under a lot of pressure?”
After smoking half the cigarette, Xiang Yuan said, “The good news is the DNA has been extracted.
The bad news is that there’s no body and the cause of death hasn’t been confirmed.”
“En.” Gu Xizhou nodded.
“I didn’t expect that arresting a few robbers would also unearth a homicide.”
Xiang Yuan patted his shoulder and said, “Isn’t that good? Otherwise, no one would have found the deceased, and the two robbers can be considered to have gathered merit for good deeds.”
“You’re a forensic investigator, and you still believe in accumulating merit for good deeds?” Gu Xizhou laughed.
“Then, are you not worried that after dissecting corpses every day, the dead will come back to find you?”
“That’s different! Naturally, I dissect corpses in order to provide you with a complete chain of evidence.
Without a forensic investigator, what kind of cases do you think you could solve?”
“Yes yes yes.
Without you, we’re useless.” Gu Xizhou brushed him off with a single sentence of praise and turned to Fang Zhi beside him and said, “Oh, that’s right.
Fang Zhi, please check whether there were any headless corpses found, especially in winter before the new year.
The deceased should have died then.”
Fang Zhi: “Yes!”
Gu Xizhou went back and returned just in time to hear a voice coming from the monitor——
“I really didn’t kill anyone! No matter what you say, I didn’t kill anyone! I don’t care.
I answered all of your questions; I don’t know anything.
I hope the police return my innocence!”
Zhou Yiguang said shamelessly.
Gu Xizhou watched for a while and said, “This man is a little hard to deal with.
Let’s detain him for now and talk again later.”
“Fang Zhi, you have someone investigate his interpersonal relationships.
Tomorrow, we’ll gather at Zhou Yiguang’s neighborhood district and visit again.”
“Okay, Gu Ge!”
After he finished his instructions, Gu Xizhou stayed in the police department for a while before he took the information Fang Zhi had organized and took a taxi directly home.
Gu Xizhou went inside and threw the information on the table.
He lay down on the sofa and slouched, grumbling, “God, why do you policemen work so hard, ah? I’m dying.”
Gu Ji Ji: ……
Gu Ji Ji grabbed the materials on top of the table and looked at them for a while.
The pencil wrote down a few neat and sharp characters on a piece of paper: There was no headless corpse in Ningqing last year.
Gu Xizhou: “You remember all this?”
Gu Ji Ji ignored his question and wrote: How was the head discovered?
Gu Xizhou heard him from his reclined position on the sofa and started to speak.
“This morning, I met two burglars who fearlessly robbed someone in front of the police station.
They snatched the bag of a middle aged woman that had 50,000 in it- a huge sum for a robbery.
Then, the two men cried and made a fuss about a reduced sentence.
While they were drinking, they heard this tea shop proprietor Zhou Yiguang brag about his own murder.
Then they reported Zhou Yiguang as a murderer.”
“They claimed there was a head inside a cement block.
What could I do? I was forced to run over and see for myself if there really was a head.”
After Gu Xizhou finished speaking, another line appeared in the book: Were you the one who gave the order?
Gu Xizhou let out an “en” unwillingly.
Gu Ji Ji: The weak chicken demonic cultivator has improved.
“……” Gu Xizhou looked at Gu Ji Ji’s words and rolled his eyes.
He said, “I think you treat me like a primary school student, don’t you? Do you think if you praise me, I’ll be just as happy as a schoolchild?”
Gu Ji Ji ignored his grumbling and picked up the case materials to annotate them—— The body? Murder weapon?
Several huge unsolved factors were missing in the information.
Early in the morning, Gu Xizhou took the well annotated materials from home and sat in a taxi to look over Gu Ji Ji’s notes.
The most vital part of this case was confirming the identity of the deceased.
The second most vital part was to find the body and the murder weapon.
The last two were evidence, and confirming the identity was crucial.
When Gu Xizhou arrived at the neighborhood gate, Fang Zhi was already there.
He waved to Gu Xizhou.
“First, let’s have breakfast.” Gu Xizhou led Fang Zhi to eat at a baozi store near the district’s gate.
Both of them wore casual clothes.
Because it was rush hour for the baozi store, the tables were all filled with people.
“Did you hear? Someone’s head was found in the neighborhood next door!”
“There shouldn’t be anyone who doesn’t know, ba.
It’s long been spread everywhere! Did Zhou Yiguang really dare to kill someone, ah?”
Gu Xizhou pretended to look curious about the two men’s gossip and joined the conversation.
“Someone’s head? What about the body?”
One of the men was tall and thin, dressed in a black-sleeved shirt with a bizarre potbelly.
He sized up Gu Xizhou and gossiped, “Isn’t that right? In the neighborhood next door, they found a head inside the parasol’s cement block at that tea shop proprietor’s place.
It’s said that the body is still inside the walls of his house!”
This kind of rumor spread… Gu Xizhou and Fang Zhi looked at each other.
Gu Xizhou turned back and said, “In the end, what kind of man is Zhou Yiguang? How could he be so ruthless?”
The tall and thin man glanced around and lowered his voice to a whisper.
“Although I live next door, sometimes I go to his shop to drink tea and play mahjong.
In fact, that proprietor is very good.
He’s especially filial to his parents.”
“They say his father’s been paralyzed for more than ten years! Zhou Yiguang always stayed home to look after him.
Originally, he was a supervisor at a construction site.
In order to take care of his dad, he resigned and opened a tea shop in the neighborhood.
“Everyone in the neighborhood thinks he’s pitiful for having to take care of his father, so no one reported him to the police.
Otherwise, see who else dares to open a tea shop in our neighborhood, ah! Before, my jealous neighbor snitched on me to the district committee!”
Gu Xizhou continued to ask, “What about his mother?”
“His mother, ah… I seem to remember it was last year, ba.
Last year, she died.
Those days, I originally wanted to go play mahjong, but he wasn’t open.
“Was it winter vacation last year?”
“It should be, ba.
I don’t remember too clearly.
Anyway, his mom died of illness last year.
Apparently, there wasn’t enough money for treatment.” The man sighed.
“You could say he’s had bad luck this life.
His father was paralyzed when he was at the age of marriage, and no one wanted to marry him.
In order to take care of his father, he stayed home every day to wait upon him.
He’s wasted his whole life.”
Gu Xizhou raised his eyebrows.
Yesterday, when they cordoned off the tea shop, they didn’t see Zhou Yiguang’s father inside.
He couldn’t help but feel apprehensive, and he asked, “Then where is his father now?”
“He died last year, too.
Not long after his mother died of illness, his father followed.
I heard… it was a hunger strike.” The tall, thin man lowered his voice until it was almost inaudible as he spoke to Gu Xizhou.
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