When Li Xunran wakes up, he sees a glaring white light. He is lying on a shabby little bed. He body is covered with cuts and wounds. His hands and feet bounded by long heavy chains.
He coughs. His congested chest seems to clear a little. Slowly, he sits up and gets out of bed. He walks over to the sink at the corner of the room. He turns the tap on and drinks some water.
He hears the sound of a plate being pushed through a little opening on the bottom of the metal door. It’s a plate of hot roast duck and rice.
Li Xunran has lost weight. He hasn’t shaved for days. But his eyes still looks sharp. He looks at the food, then walks back to bed.
“Well…” Comes a man’s voice from behind the metal door: “You are foolish to starve yourself. If you have no energy, where will you get the strength to fight me?”
The voice has been processed. It sounds sharp and creepy.
Li Xunran ignores him. He closes his eyes. After a while, he opens his eyes and asks: “Where are the four people that were locked up in the other cells?”
He voice is very coa.r.s.e.
The man laughs: “Oh, I have sent them home.”
Li Xunran remains quiet.
The man says: “There’s no hurry. You will get four new neighbours in a few days. Now, have some food, or else you won’t have the energy to counsel them like you did for the other four people. Huh.. you are a good policeman.”
Li Xunran refuses to engage with him.
After a while, the man seems to have lost his patience.
“Why are you so stubborn?” He yells at him: “Can you just relax and have some fun? … Thanks to you. I am stuck in Hong Kong. If you didn’t tip the police off, I wouldn’t be here. I hate Hong Kong.”
Then the plate of roast duck and rice is pulled out of the cell. Li Xunran hears noise of shattering gla.s.s. He threw the plate of rice on the plate. Then he walks away.
“Click.” The light is turned off. The room is pitched dark.
The suns.h.i.+ne is like a gold dust that is sprinkled onto this cosmopolitan city. It’s hard to connect the gruesome murders with this beautiful and sophisticated city,
Jian Yao stands in front of her window in the hotel room. Not far behind her, Bo Jinyan is taking a shower in the bathroom.
They have been very busy since they arrived Hong Kong. After watching the video, the special team made up of elite officers from Chinese Public Security and the Hong Kong Police Force continues with their investigation and gathers evidence about the victims. Bo Jinyan and Jian Yao are taking a short break in their hotel.
The sound of the water stops. Bo Jinyan walks out from the bathroom. He sits down on bed. He is drying his hair with a towel. Jian Yao walks over and stands in front of him.
Bo Jinyan looks at her: “Do you want me?” He touches her cheeks with his hand: “Baby, I am sorry. I am not in the mood right now. I promise I will make it up to you once we solve this case.”
Jian Yao quickly clarifies: “Of course not!”
When they left the police station, nearly everyone was looking at Bo Jinyan . The team leader quietly said to her: “This is not his fault. Please make sure he understands. And that he doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on himself.”
She takes his towel from him and dries his hair for him: “I wanted to tell you… don’t put too much pressure on yourself.”
He reaches out and wraps his hand around her waist: “Why would I put pressure on myself?”
Jian Yao replies: “No.1 declared war on you in front of everyone.” Actually, everyone feels the pressure. They know they face a strong enemy. Everyone is a little tense.
“Of course he would say that to me, who else in this world would be able to catch him?”
Jian Yao realises…. once again, she has underestimated Bo Jinyan .
His self-confidence and arrogance, is as concrete as a rock. ‘Pressure’ is what normal people would have, not Bo Jinyan .
He never even consider that he might loose.
Bo Jinyan leans over and pecks her lips: “I am taking a nap.” He lies down and covers himself with the duvet.
Jian Yao is a little surprised: “We are not going back to the station?”
Bo Jinyan smiles: “What’s the hurry? We can’t do much at the moment. Besides, I have to make sure I am in my top form.”
He grabs the sleep mask on the bedside table. Jian Yao looks at him. Actually, he hadn’t had a good sleep for days.
“Ok then. I’ll take a shower now.” She says. Then she hears him say: “Call the restaurant and reserve a table. Order some seafood and fish. I’ll need a good meal when I wake up.”
She can feel it. He is going all out for it.
Jian Yao wakes up.
Bo Jinyan is not beside her. He is changed into his suit. He’s combed his hair back. He stands in front of the mirror. He is ready.
Jian Yao gets out of bed and hugs him from behind. She rests her head on his back: “What do you want me to do?”
He pauses, then he says: “Wear something pretty.”
Jian Yao is stunned: “Why?”
He turns sideways to look at her: “I need to be in top form. And according to past experiences, every time you dress nicely, I feel pleased, and it helps me to perform better.”
He is serious. Jian Yao can’t help but laugh: “Sure.”
In the evening. Inside the conference room of the police station.
Everyone in the team is there. They start with a quick update:
First, they have found the bodies. It’s dumped in four different rural locations. From each body, he took away something as a souvenir.
A piece of skin from the back is missing from the woman. He cut off some hair from the old man. The heart of the man is missing. As for the young boy, he took his pair of hands.
Jian Yao writes down the items on a whiteboard: Skin. Hair. Heart. Hands
Anam managed to make a discovery too. Even though the roads to where the bodies were dumped are in remote areas, he managed to find some surveillance camera images and eye witness that proves that the same Black Honda 7 seaters has pa.s.sed by.
However, the registration plate is, as they have expected, a fake number. None of the images managed to capture the driver’s face. This model of car is popular in Hong Kong. It will be very hard to find the vehicle with the information they have.
One of the officers from Hong Kong says: “We’ve asked the family members and friends of the four victims. They don’t know one another. No.1’s seems to choose his victims randomly. Besides that, we also found out the female victim attends night school cla.s.ses, and that the architect is an amateur writer who has won a few awards. But we are not sure if they are relevant to the case.”
Another senior investigator shares his views: ‘I think his choice of victims is not completely random. We found surveillance camera images and eye witness accounts that shows that the same black vehicle were spotted multiple times in the areas where the victims went missing for a few days before the disappearance. The female victim and the child travel on the same route every day. As for the male victim and the old man, it’s just by chance that they were in the area where they went missing.”
Jian Yao summaries: “So, two abductions are pre-planned, and the other two are spontaneous.”
The meeting is finished. The officers have been running around all day. Some of them are going for a bite. Others are going home to sleep.
But for Bo Jinyan and Jian Yao, their work has just begun.
They list the facts In front of them:
Woman, old man, man, child
Torture method: Whipping, mental stress, flesh cutting and animal bites
Cause of death: Poison, slit the throat, removing the heart, poison
Souvenir: skin, hair, heart, hands
Abduction: both preplan and spontaneous
Anam and a few other young officers from Hong Kong are still in the conference room. One of them comments: “I think he is deliberately using different methods to confuse us, so that we cannot establish any patterns.”
Another officer suggests: “Is it a hint that he has multiple personality disorder?”
Multiple personality disorder is something that occurs frequently in movies. But in real life situation, it’s actually very rare.
Then Anam speaks: “Four people. Three possible groupings:
From the torture angle: the man and the woman suffered the most physical abuse.
From the angle of how they died: He chose a cruel way to kill the two men. The woman and child were poisoned before their bodies were mutilated.
From the angel of abduction: it’s pre-planned for the woman and child only.”
Bo Jinyan asks him: “So, what’s your conclusion?”
Anam shakes his head: “I don’t have one. I am just summarising the facts.”
Jian Yao asks Bo Jinyan : “So what are your thoughts?”
There’s hardly any trend or pattern in the four deaths. She doesn’t even know where to start.
Bo Jinyan seems to be able to read her mind: “You think it’s too complicated?”
Jian Yao nods.
“Then remember this. No matter how complicated a case seems, it still follows the same principle.”
Everyone in the room looks at each other. They wait for Bo Jinyan to explain.
Bo Jinyan continues: “He is a psychopath. No matter how much he tries to complicate things, he will reveal his desires and real feeling through his killings. It’s not something he can hide. He is very egotistic. He naively thinks he can tame me to be his partner. What do you think he is trying to show me?”
Jian Yao has some thoughts, but they are random thoughts that needs time to be organised and sorted out. But before she is able to work it out, Bo Jinyan reveals the answer.
“He is trying to show me his life.”