There's a……person who's caught my interest.

As Xie Lin spoke his gaze was still fixed on Chi Qing’s hands, not moving for quite a while.


After Chi Qing finished drying his hands, he could still feel the man’s gaze moving inch by inch from his wrist to his fingers, not leaving out a single spot.
Finally, the type of gaze that makes one’s imagination roam stopped at the cut on his finger.


Chi Qing spoke coldly, “Are you done.”


Xie Lin thought for a moment, then fired back, “If I say no, will you let me keep looking for a while?”


Chi Qing, “……”


Chi Qing, “Has Doctor Wu ever said something to you.”


Xie Lin, “What?”


Chi Qing, “That your illness is indeed quite severe.”


The receptionist who was completely unaware of the situation in the waiting room called out a notification from not far away, “—Mr.
Chi, you can come in now.”


Chi Qing carried his wet gloves in his hand as he stood up, not wanting to say another word to that person.


Xie Lin was just as smiley as he always was.
Today, he was wearing a long, black windbreaker.
The legs of his western-style pants were fitted, and he was sitting on the sofa with a relaxed posture.
He withdrew his gaze, pinching that delicate ring between his fingers and rotating it twice.
Suspecting that what he’d just said wasn’t irritating enough, he added, “Be careful next time you pick up a knife.
With hands as beautiful as yours, you don’t want to injure them again.”




As soon as Chi Qing came in the door, Doctor Wu sensed that his client was in a bit of a mood today, “What happened today? You don’t look too happy.”


Chi Qing placed his half-soaked gloves off to the side, cutting off the discussion about his unfortunate relationship with a certain nutcase, “Nothing, a mysophobia flare-up.”


The two of them quickly entered into the usual flow of an appointment.


Doctor Wu flipped through the paperwork Chi Qing had filled out last time, speaking as if this were small-talk, “You were……an acting student?”


“I also love watching TV often.”


Doctor Wu extremely discreetly swallowed the words ‘but I’ve never seen you on the TV before,’ then spoke again, “Acting is a really interesting career choice.”


During the appointment that dragged on for an hour, the man sitting across from Doctor Wu was just as reactionless as ever, having no interest at all in this type of small-talk that was meant to bring people closer together.
His bearing very quickly made Doctor Wu feel like what he himself was saying was pure nonsense.


Looking his expression over the course of the appointment, only when he had first come in the door did Mr.
Chi have a bit of a moodiness that made him look a bit more alive—although, it seemed to have just been because his gloves were wet.


The client hadn’t even been under his care for a week, and Doctor Wu had already started to feel helpless.


At the end of the consultation, it was second nature for Doctor Wu to close his files as he stood up from his chair, unconsciously shaking hands with his client to bid them goodbye; this all happened as fast as a conditioned reflex.
Chi Qing didn’t have time to stop him.


Thus, Chi Qing heard the distorted voice using Doctor Wu’s characteristic mild and slow intonation to spit ridicule for the second time: [This is the second time in my career that I’ve met this type of bottleneck…How about I advise him to find another clinic……]




Just as he wanted to pull back his hand, he heard that slow voice speak again: [……The first one is still Xie Lin.]


Chi Qing’s hand froze.


[That kid Xie Lin, he’s been coming here for so many years that his knowledge of psychology is quickly becoming more professional than mine.
I conduct consultations day in and day out, but to this day I still don’t know what on Earth is wrong with him.]


Chi Qing thought:


He’s illness has gotten this severe.


Is it so hard to see that?


Today, the weather outside the office was humid and cold.
A gust of heavy wind would occasionally blow by, and the barometric pressure had dropped.
The south was often like this, raining one day and then continuing on for a few more without end.
This burst of bright sunny days probably wouldn’t even last for a few days before quickly returning the southern people to the vexing ‘unable to dry underlayers in the sun’ weather.


This was the second time Chi Qing had been forced to take off his gloves, and after he came out of the psychology clinic he was still felt just as indisposed.


The light chill of the wind, even rays of light that shined wantonly on the backs of his hands.
All of these sensations were unfamiliar.


Just as he was preparing to call a car, a black Maybach that was parked by the road seemed like it knew what he was looking to do, and turned around and came over from the other end of the road, stopping not too close nor too far in front of him.
The car window slowly rolled down, exposing the owner’s face that was even more eye-catching than his luxury car.


Xie Lin rested one arm on the car window, leaning over to greet him, “Where’re you heading, how ‘bout I give you a ride?”


Chi Qing pointed at an old person leaning on a cane across the street, “Do you see that person.”


Xie Lin followed his finger and looked.


The street was full of people coming and going; that old person was walking especially slowly amidst the stream of people.


Chi Qing, “If you have nothing better to do, you can give him a ride.”




“Do you really think I’m that idle?” Xie Lin said, “I don’t have the time to give strangers rides home.”


Chi Qing reminded him, “You and I aren’t familiar.”


The way Xie Lin found an excuse was quite practiced, “You are different from other people.
I don’t feel bad for splashing water on other people’s hands.
Take it as my apology, let me take you home.”


“If you really care that much about this,” Chi Qing glanced at the time, “the car I called won’t be here for another three minutes.
You have three minutes to go to the convenience store over there and buy a bottle of water.”




Chi Qing, “I wouldn’t mind splashing you back.”


Xie Lin didn’t continue to insist, retracting the arm that was resting on the car window.


And it was precisely because of this movement that Chi Qing saw the plastic bag Xie Lin had put on the passenger’s seat through the wide open window.


The plastic bag held a newly-bought serrated knife.


It was exactly the same as the one he had at home.


At the moment he remembered this, he also remembered what Ji Mingrui had said yesterday as he was holding the knife and blabbering like an idiot.


—”The murderer used a knife just like this one.”


All of the sudden, Chi Qing continued the topic of discussion he’d cut short just a minute ago, “I’m probably not on your way.”


After Xie Lin heard this, his fingers tapped on the steering wheel, acting casual as he tried to feeling things out, “I live near Haimao, do you think you're on my way?”


Chi Qing didn’t reply to this question.


Xie Lin didn’t know that when his words hit Chi Qing’s ears, they carried a different meaning.


Has a knife.
And lives near Haimao.


Two keywords came together by chance.


The two of them, one standing in the clinic entrance with a cold face and the other sitting in his car with a smile, looked at each other, each harboring their own trains of thought.


The sun was blocked by the expanse of cumulus clouds, a mass of dark clouds rushed forth from the horizon.
It seemed like it was going to rain again.


“The weather report said it’s gonna rain today,” in the Yong’an-district police station, Ji Mingrui looked out the window and saw the rolling black clouds.
He said, “It looks like we won’t be escaping this rain.
I don’t think I brought an umbrella—Jiang Yu, did you have two umbrellas?”


No one answered him, “……”


“Jiang Yu?”


Still, no one answered.


Ji Mingrui turned his head around and saw his coworker’s bright red ears, as well as his unnatural and vague expression.


Ji Mingrui, “What’s up with you?”


Jiang Yu kept up with that off expression, his pair of hands tapping out an extremely fluent sequence of nonsense characters, speaking at the same time, “My idol is here, be quiet.”


Just as Ji Mingrui lifted his head, he was met with the black windbreaker Xie Lin was wearing; the way he was wearing the calf-length windbreaker was just like a famous model walking down the runway.
He stood in the doorway to Bin-ge’s office, handing over a boxed lunch from outside the cafeteria that was wrapped with care in a bag.


Wu Zhibin took the food, “What’re you doing here, kid.”


“Bringing you something warm,” Xie Lin said, “I guessed you almost certainly hadn’t eaten yet, and I picked up something as I was passing by just now.”


Wu Zhibin stepped off to the side and let him in, “……Missing a meal here and there doesn’t really matter.”


Xie Lin took away the cup of instant noodles on the table he hadn’t had time to cook yet, “‘Here and there,’ huh? Wait until your stomach issues flare up and then you’ll know whether or not it matters.”


Wu Zhibin wasn’t that particular.
When he used to go out on missions, coming back alive wasn’t a sure thing.
Paying attention to a meal or two…no matter how much it hurt, he regarded it as a small affliction.


He sat on one side and ate his food, and Xie Lin sat on the other casually flipping through photos.


Just after Wu Zhibin had broken apart his chopsticks, he saw that Xie Lin was looking at the crime scene photos of the cat corpses from that day.
With an unchanged expression, he flicked some rice into his mouth, “You seem to have a special interest in this case.”


To other people it might not be obvious, but to Wu Zhibin it couldn’t be more clear.
Xie Lin had been officially invited into the Criminal Investigation Unit as a consultant when he was fifteen, but even earlier than that—the Unit Chief Xie Feng’s bookshelf was packed to the brim with specialized books and the case records from all kinds of cases from inside and outside the country.
Xie Lin had looked through all of them.


To say that this naturally extremely gifted kid had grown up on those kinds of crime records would not be an exaggeration.


There was no case he hadn’t seen before, why would he be this interested in an ordinary-level case of killed cats?


Xie Lin didn’t deny it.
He glanced at the corpses of those cats again, saying only, “There’s a……person who’s caught my interest.”


“A suspect?” Wu Zhibin asked.


“I can’t say for sure,” Xie Lin said, “Actually, there are a couple of things about him that are inconsistent with the idea, but he is indeed suspicious.”


Xie Lin finished looking through that pile of information, discovering that the situation was basically the same as when he had gone to the crime scene originally, “There’s still only this? No progress has been made at all?”


He was fine before this was brought up, but as soon Xie Lin mentioned it Wu Zhibin was about to blow a fuse.
He lay down his chopsticks on the table and picked up his cane from off to the side, walking over to the door.
He used his cane to point from afar, speaking with an imposing air to the couple of newbies who had been sneakily watching the situation inside the office, “You, you, and you.
You three, get the hell in here.”


After ten seconds, Ji Mingrui, Su Xiaolan, and Jiang Yu stood blod upright and formed a line.


Wu Zhibin finally settled the score, “What the hell have you guys been doing, it’s been five entire days, and you haven’t made any progress at all? Sometimes, I really admire just how capable you guys are.”


No one dared to speak, but then Xie Lin stood in to help alleviate their embarrassment, “What’re you being so harsh for? Can’t you be a bit nicer to the newbies.”


Wu Zhibin tapped his cane on the floor, “Every year I’m older than the last, and I can’t take being aggravated.
Actually, I hope they can also have mercy on me, and not aggravate me all the time.”


Ji Mingrui, “……”


Su Xiaolan, “……”


Jiang Yu who was blushing because his idol had looked at him, “……”


Finally it was still Ji Mingrui who bravely stood up against the danger threatening his life, “Uh, it really is because, it rained……”


Everyone tactically agreed that ‘the rain’ was an extremely unfavorable factor.


But Xie Lin looked at those pictures for another while and said, “The rain might be a valuable clue.”


Everyone simultaneously turned to look at him.


Xie Lin spoke again, “Why was it a rainy day?”


“From examining the footprints, the dump site doesn’t have the traces of someone having stayed there for a long time to commit the crime.
So, that isn’t the first crime scene.
Someone who clearly isn’t very strong, but still specially moved the bodies.
This indicates that there must be something particular about the first crime scene that made him move the bodies—For some reason, he couldn’t keep hiding the bodies there.”


“There are no more clues at the dump site, but there must be more to be found at the first crime scene.”


“House cats are more docile, it doesn’t take much strength to capture one,” Xie Lin’s gaze passed over that silver Scottish Fold, the only cat with an owner, and hovered on the bodies of the remaining six strays, “But stray cats are different, and it’s also winter right now; where could someone catch this many stray cats without expending a lot of strength?”


At that moment, muffled thunder echoed in from outside with a rumble.
Immediately after, the pitter patter of raindrops started pounding on the windows.


Sure enough, just before nightfall it started raining again.


It was already dark out, and even though it was raining it was coming down quietly.
At the same time, Chi Qing was at home holding a glass of water and looking at his coffee table, seeing the stack of case photos Ji Mingrui had left behind at his house when he left.
Because the lights in his apartment weren’t on, those pictures at first glance looked indistinct, as if they were from a black and white silent film.


Chi Qing drank his hot water exasperatingly slowly, and at the same time picked up that pile of photographs, using the weak light from the television next to him to inspect them.


Only after the light from the television changed colors was that photograph illuminated a bit.


Chi Qing looked for a long time before finally putting that picture down.
He continued to hold his cup and look at the television screen.
Even when the program finished and the television started playing ads, he still didn’t react at all.


After a long while, and the ads finished, he finally started to move.
He felt for his phone, then tapped open his contacts and found the contact labeled “Ji Mingrui.”


However, the person on the other side, Ji Mingrui, was still in a state of questioning his life and himself, “……”


Xie Lin had left already, but Ji Mingrui kept thinking: I am an idiot.


How the hell did he deduce that much stuff?




Finally, he attacked his own soul:


Don’t tell me that I really am a retard!?


(t/n: word kept for adherence to the original text)


Ji Mingrui hadn’t recovered an ounce of his strength, and missed the message Chi Qing sent.


– Aside from the dump site, did you guys survey the first scene.


Chi Qing continued to type.


– The place where the murderer committed the crime is likely somewhere where stray cats gather in the winter.
The defining characteristics of that place are that the entrance is narrow, or you could say that it’s disadvantageous for fleeing.


After sending that message, Chi Qing didn’t wait for the other side’s reply.


He glanced at the rain out the window.


In general, his mood was quite good on rainy days, and today was no exception.


With a rarely seen good mood, he thought of Ji Mingrui who had been wailing in anguish for many days because of those seven cat corpses.
Chi Qing thought that if that person continued wailing like that, he wouldn’t be aware of the case being broken or not; he’d only be aware that the speed at which he could be annoyed to death was definitely faster than the speed at which Ji Mingrui could break cases.


Thus, Chi Qing put on his gloves, picked up an umbrella, and left the house.


The Haimao xiaoqu was not even three intersections away from the xiaoqu he lived in.
Few people were walking down the street in the depth of the night, and the whole time Chi Qing was walking he didn’t run into anyone.


The lawn that had been stained with blood by the entrance to the Haimao xiaoqu had already been cleaned up by someone.
Chi Qing tried hard to remember the composition of this street, and simultaneously realized that the places that satisfied all of the necessary requirements were quite few.
He walked past a few places where it would be easy for stray cats to gather, but didn’t find any kind of traces at any of them.


Chi Qing carried his umbrella and couched there to look.
The ground was completely clean, only having a few shabby cat bowls packed with leftover food.


Then there was only one final place remaining—Not too far from Haimao, there was a small abandoned factory.
That factory had already been left unused for a long time.
Only, recently there had been vague rumors going around that it was going to be refurbished soon.




The rain came down harder and harder.


Chi Qing carried his umbrella, his fingers resting on the handle, and walked towards the factory.


This factory really didn’t take up much space, and most of it was used to pile up abandoned machinery.
The pipes and doors had long rusted over, and the weeds by the door had already grown quite high.
However, the space around the entrance was still flat.


Somebody had been entering through here often.


And what’s more important; somebody was inside the factory.


Chi Qing saw a person’s figure in the darkness.
That person was crouching down at that moment, holding a bloody serrated knife in their hand.
The color of ground below his feet was much deeper than the surrounding darkness; it was most likely a bloodstain that had been there for a long time already.


That person heard a sound and inclined his head slightly.
And thus, Chi Qing stood across from a face he had just seen during the day, one that could immediately shatter his good mood.




木瓜黄’s author’s note:


Xie Lin: You’re very dangerous

Chi Qing: You’re not so bad yourself

Sorry, the word count got away from me, I’m arriving late, you don’t need to meticulously wait

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