A few weeks later.
The top floor of the Central Police building is the staff canteen. During lunchtime, it’s packed with people. The smell of rice and other dishes fills the place.
Jian Yao has two sets of meals on her tray. One in a takeaway box and another on a plate. She turns around to look for a seat.
Someone is waving to her: “Jian Yao, this way.”
She looks over and sees a few officers from the team they work with most. She joins their table.
“Professor Bo is not here again?” Someone asks.
Jian Yao smiles: “Yes, when he is busy, he doesn’t feel hungry.”
Another officer smiles: “It’s so nice to have a student like Jian Yao.”
Jian Yao corrects him: “I am actually his a.s.sistant, not his student.”
People tends to make that mistake all the time. She has clarified her role numerous times already. She feels it’s important that people don’t mistaken their relations.h.i.+p. They are not a ‘teacher’ and a ‘student’ to each other. Because if the relations.h.i.+p is to progress into something else later, she doesn’t want any misunderstandings and complications…
After lunch, a young officer walks her back to the lab.
“Xiao Jian (nickname for Jian Yao), would you be interested to watch a movie with me? “Galaxy Battles.h.i.+p” releases tomorrow.”
Jian Yao smiles: “Sorry, I am busy tomorrow.”
He looks disappointed: “Maybe next time.” He says goodbye to Jian Yao.
Jian Yao pushes open the lab door. Bo Jinyan is sitting at his desk, working away. He’s in the same position as when she left earlier on for lunch. There is a small mountain of doc.u.ments in front of him.
There are no cases for them to follow at the moment. So they are working on building up a database of crime statistics.
It involves visiting serial killers, their family and any surviving victims. For the past few weeks, they spent a lot of time talking to criminals in the prison, and going all over the city to trace their backgrounds. It’s not as nerve wreaking as solving real cases but it’s still a physically and mentally tiring task.
When Bo Jinyan is working, he shuts himself off from the rest of the world. He is so focused that Jian Yao wonders when he will get out his ‘sh.e.l.l’.
He finally stops what he is doing. With his eyes still fixed on the computer screen, he says: “Hi, the Criminal Psychology Beauty.”
Since she started work in this building, there are suggestions that she should be called the ‘Central Police Station Beauty’. Back in her university days, there are a lot of girls that were more attractive than her, so she never got so much attention. But this building is filled with blokes, with hardly any other young female staffs around. But ‘the Criminal Psychology Beauty’??
Anyway, she clears the files on his desk and puts down the takeaway box: “You have to eat something.”
Jian Yao is used to this. She literally has to force Bo Jinyan to break for meals.
Bo Jinyan looks pre-occupied. He is still reading a doc.u.ment as he shovels the food into his mouth. He probably doesn’t really know what the food taste like. When he eats, he is like a little kid that just wants to finish quickly so he can get on with other more important stuff in life.
He suddenly remembers something: “Jian Yao, where’s the conversation records with the criminals with death penalty. You know, the ones from West End Prison?”
“I’ve emailed them to you.” Jian Yao answers.
“Ok.” He stops asking. Perhaps there’s the moment where work was temporarily out of his mind. He looks down at his food. Then he frowns and asks Jian Yao: “Where did you buy this? It’s awful!”
Jian Yao takes a look. He’s finished half the box of rice before he complained.
Or perhaps she should say he finally discovered.
He is such a picky eater. Surely the food from the canteen is not fine enough for him.
Jian Yao smiles and tells him: “But you’ve been having this for days. You were just too busy to realise. It cannot be compared to restaurant standard, but it’s fresh and nutritious. Come on, just finish it.”
Bo Jinyan finishes his lunch reluctantly.
Jian Yao is on the internet. She sees an advertis.e.m.e.nt for “Galaxy Battles.h.i.+p”. She asks Bo Jinyan casually: “There’s a new si-fi movie releasing tomorrow. Are you interested?”
Bo Jinyan has finished his lunch. He walks to the sink to wash his hands and rinse his face. Then he turns around to Jian Yao: “No.”
She is a little disappointed. He walks over to her and leans on her desk: “I have arranged for something more interesting than watching a movie.”
Jian Yao sips the cup of tea in front of her: “What is that?”
Bo Jinyan: “A trip to Cheng Provence Prison. We will be interviewing a few interesting criminals there.”
Jian Yao puts down her cup. She looks at the computer screen: “I won’t go. Tomorrow is Sat.u.r.day. I need to rest.” This type of investigation is not urgent. It would not make any difference if they go next week.
Bo Jinyan didn’t expect her to say no: “You are…. not happy?”
What can Jian Yao tell him? That she just wants to spend the weekend with him alone, watching a movie, having a date with him…?
She just ignores him and gets back to her work.
Bo Jinyan stands by her desk for a while. Then he walks back to his seat.
n.o.body says a word for the next few hours.
At first, Jian Yao is still a little crossed. But after awhile she too, is so focused on her work that she soon forgets about the incident. Occasionally, she will glance at Bo Jinyan, only to find him working quietly and attentively.
Around 5pm, a staff from the mailing room comes over to give Jian Yao an envelope: “Jian Yao, it’s addressed to you.”
Jian Yao thanks him and opens the envelope.
It’s two tickets to “Galaxy Battles.h.i.+p” for tomorrow afternoon, in the couples box. (Room with an extra large leather sofas designed for couples)
Jian Yao puts the ticket back into the envelope. She walks towards the door.
Bo Jinyan asks softly: “Where are you going?”
Jian Yao turns round to look at him: “I think these tickets belong to Xiao Chen.” Xiao Chen asked if she would watch the movie with him earlier. He might have filled in her details when he made the booking.
Bo Jinyan stops what he is doing. He folds his arms together, and looks at her: “Who is Xiao Chen?” He asks: “I booked those tickets.”
Jian Yao: “…you booked the tickets?”
Bo Jinyan picks up the doc.u.ment he was reading: “Well, does this cheer you up? My unhappy a.s.sistant?”
Jian Yao sits down and looks at the tickets: “Yes. I am happy now.” She smiles. She is reading the label on the tickets “Couples Box”. She asks: “Why did you buy the couple box tickets?”
Bo Jinyan looks at her: “You don’t expect me to squash inside the big theatre with other people, do you?”
Of course. What else can it be?
Nevertheless, she is pleased.
Bo Jinyan’s phone rings. While he is on the phone, Jian Yao is still thinking about the movie. She has never been in a couples box before. She heard the sofas in that cinema are very comfortable.
Bo Jinyan finishes his call. He takes a look at her and walks to her desk.
Jian Yao gives him a big smile: “I’ll cook breakfast for you tomorrow, as a token of appreciation.”
“That’s not necessary.” He answers. Then he takes the tickets from Jian Yao’s hand.
“Let’s get rid of this.” He throws it on her desk. “We have a case to work on. The 79th High School. Homicide.”
Well, now they are definitely not going to watch the movie anymore. But Jian Yao quietly picks up the tickets and puts them in her wallet.
The sun has set. There is a pale glow of the moon in the horizon.
The 79th High School is the outskirts of town, next Fragment Hill district. It’s a prestigious high school.
When Bo Jinyan, Jian Yao and several officers arrive, the school is in a locked down. A lot of the students are looking out of the window trying to find out what’s going on. Overall, the atmosphere is calm, but tense.
The police from a nearby station reports their findings so far: “The deceased’s name is Ruan Ming Huai. Eighteen years old. Third Grade. She is discovered by some students on the peak of “Qi” Hill.
Jian Yao looks pa.s.s the deserted playground to a small hill that is next to the school.
“That’s a great lookout point for the surrounding landscape. The school is currently building a viewing platform for the staff and student. It is off limits to the students due to construction. But kids sneaking up there for fun.
Qi Hill. Peak.
Bo Jinyan has a pair of latex gloves on. He swats down next to the body. He takes a good look around.
Jian Yao is standing behind him. She feels very sorry for the girl who died.
Ruan Ming Huai is lying next to a piece of large rock. There are blood stains on the rock. There is also a pool of blood on the concrete ground. It looks as if all her blood has been drained out of her body.
The fatal injury seems to be the slit in the throat. It caused the neck artery to burst. She died of excessive blood loss.
But she also had multiple injuries on her body.
There are two cuts on her face. One on each side of her cheeks. The wounds are deep, with a mixture of blood and soil on the surface. You can tell she is an attractive girl before the wounds were there. There are more cuts on her shoulders and legs. Her white dress soaked in her own blood.
They get more information about her.
Ruan Ming Huai is one of the top students at school. She is from a rich family. She is a member of the school committee. Yesterday, she collected 40,000 Yuan (Chinese currency) worth of fees from the students. She was on her way to the school administration office with the cash.
Her good friend, Huo Xiao Lu was with her. It was around 8pm. The staff in the administration office was not there, so they waited outside. After a while, Huo Xiao Lu left because she needed to go to the toilet. After that, she returned to the dormitory.
They have just finished their exams, and there were no cla.s.ses the next day. Huo Xiao Lu thought Ruan Ming Huai would go home after dropping off the money. Her family lives nearby. It was not until this morning that her body was discovered by a few students who sneaked up to the peak.
The staff from the administration office returned to the office just before 9pm. He did not see Ruan Ming Huai. In other words, n.o.body knew when she left the administration office. Her time of death was between 9pm to 11pm, which suggests it’s shortly after she left the administration office. And there’s no sign of the money. It looks like it’s been stolen.
Bo Jinyan swats in front of the body for less than ten minutes. Then he looks at the other officers and then at Jian Yao.
“A hasty and immature murder.” He says; “What are your thoughts so far?”
Jian Yao looks at the body again: “I want to solve the case quickly and catch the killer. Does the killer have no feelings? How can he or she be so cruel to a young girl?”
“Yes, the person has developed an urge to kill.” He nods. He stands up and looks at the school from the peak, “If he/she is not stopped, there will be more deaths.”
Bo Jinyan takes a look at the officers: “The killer is not an experienced killer. He/she left behind a lot of evidence - hair, finger prints, footprints… If you do a good job with the forensic evidences, we should be able to solve the case within 24 hours.”
She is amazed. “24 hours? That’s great.”
Bo Jinyan looks at her: “Actually, 4 hours is all I need.”
Jian Yao knows by now that he is not just boasting. If he said 4 hours, that’s really all that he will need. She asks with admiration: “Wow. You are truly a genius. Can you tell me what you have found out so far?”
Bo Jinyan smiles and asks her: “You should try and work it out for yourself. First question. Is the killer from within the school, or an outsider?”
Ah… another teaching session.
Jian Yao smiles. it’s not often that he would ask questions so patiently. The compliment she gave him earlier on must have put him in a good mood.
She thinks for a while: “Within the school. Because there is quite a good security system in this school. All the teachers, staffs and students need to register their arrival and departure.”
“Second question.” He puts his hands in his pants pocket and stands next to her. “ Did she come here willingly, or was she dragged here?”
Jian Yao takes a look at the surroundings: “I think she came here on her own free will. Even though it was late at night, there should still be a lot of people within the school complex. It would have been difficult to get her up here if she didn’t walk up herself. Besides, we didn’t notice any signs of struggle on our way up.”
Bo Jinyan has a smile on his face. He looks at Jian Yao: “Then what brings a girl to a remote place like this?”
Jian Yao answers immediately: “Boyfriend!”
This is the perfect place for couples looking for a secluded spot.
“OK.’ says Bo Jinyan: “Time to talk to some of her cla.s.smates. Let’s see who has a romantic relations.h.i.+p with this top student.”
Jian Yao follows behind. Bo Jinyan stops momentarily and turns to look at her: “This is behavioural evidence. It’s not that complicated. Right?”
Jian Yao smiles. She must remember to praise him more often.
“That’s because you are able to explain complicated issues in a simple way.” she says.
Bo Jinyan is extremely pleased with himself. Under his guidance, Jian Yao is getting better at filtering through the facts to get to the truth.