Jian Yao puts down the phone. She looks at Bo Jinyan.
He is still sitting on the bed, He leans forward and rests his arm on his lap, interlocking his fingers. His face flashes a relaxed smile.
He looks extremely pleased with himself…
Jian Yao has to admit: “Wow, you are good.”
- Actually, he is more than just ‘good’, he’s awesome.
But he doesn't seem to be touched by her compliments. He lies down on the bed, put his eye mask back on, and goes back to rest. To him, this is a simple and easy to solve case. There is nothing to rave about. This is a case of logical deduction. It’s not even in his area of specialty - criminal psychology, serial killers etc.
Jian Yao says: “Don't sleep. Officer Wang has invited us to oversee the interrogation process."
“I am not going." He simply answers, "My work is done. The rest is up to them.”
Jian Yao heads over to the conference centre by herself.
She follows Officer Wang into a room that they are using as their control room. Inside the room, two officers are observing several computer monitors, which are transmitting video images from the rooms where the Customer 3 division staffs are being questioned.
Jian Yao sits down in front of the monitors. She sees a number of familiar faces.
Lin Yu Xuan, Zhou Qin, Shen Dan Wei, Qian Yu Wen and Pei Ze.
They are arranged in separate rooms. The police are recording their testimonies. Everyone looks weary, except for Pei Ze. He looks disinterested, as if he doesn’t give a damn to what has happened.
Jian Yao remembers the times they spent together. She is repulsed by his actions and attitude.
When the policeman throws the testimonies of others in front of him, he momentarily loses his composure. He looks flustered. But soon, he recollects himself.
“Whether you confess or not, we have enough evidence to charge you.” says the policeman.
Pei Ze is silent for a moment. He asks: “What is the penalty for murder?"
Police replies: “That’s a matter for the courts to decide. But they will show more leniency to those who confess.”
When did it all start?
Long before Wang Wan Wei joined, Customer 3 division was already a drug house. Wang Wan Wei was like a small fresh flower planted amongst the decaying vegetation. She was totally unaware of what’s going on.
But their private lives were quite separate from their work lives. And there should have been no intersection between the two. They were not short of money. They kept to themselves and were very careful around others. The good kids like Mai Chen and Wang Wan Wei lived in a different world from them.
Until that night.
Pei Ze and Lin Yu Xuan were wantonly indulging themselves in the conference room.
“It doesn’t matter. No one will come." He said, "Xuan, I want you here, in this very room that you use for telling me off during work hours.”
Lin Yu Xuan is a capable and shrewd woman. But she is only a woman after all. Her husband was a professor in a music college. He fell in love with his female student that’s twenty years younger than him. He walked out from their marriage while she was still pregnant. Lin Yu Xuan was devastated. She aborted the child to start a new life. But life had stagnated since then. She was not able to move on.
Then Pei Ze appeared in her life. They worked together, dined and wined together. She knew this attractive young man had ulterior motives. But she was too lonely, and too fragile to resist.
- He must have some feelings for me too, right? Otherwise… There are many other women in managerial positions. But he came for me.
When exactly did she fall in love with Pei Ze? She was not sure. Initially, she looked at it as a deal. He provided the love and comfort she desired. In return, she used her position and power to help him advance in his career. A fair trade.
But when Pei Ze was ready to move on from this relationship, she didn’t want to let him go. She couldn't bear to live without him. Her successful career did not fill the emptiness in her life. The loneliness was too much for her to bear.
But it was not hard to keep him, as long as he was still working in the company.
So their relationship continued. She turned a blind eye to his debauchery - nightclubbing, casual sex with other girls… And he lured her into drugs. Cannabis. Sweet but painful. In the end, it’s hard to say who is the dominant one in the relationship? Is it Pei Ze? Controlling her with a steady supply of drugs? Or is it Lin Yu Xuan? Using her power and influence in the company to keep him close to her. The line was blurred. No one knew the answer.
That night, as they were busy enjoying themselves, someone opened the door to the conference room. They even heard a gasp.
But the person retreated very quickly.
Pei Ze quickly put on his pants, opened the door slightly and looked through the gap: “Yes, it’s Wang Wan Wei. The lock is broken. We didn’t notice that just now."
From then on, Lin Yu Xuan was worried Wang Wan Wei would one day expose her shameful deeds in front of others. Though Pei Ze insists that Wang Wan Wei didn’t see their faces, she would be happy to see her go. It was too risky to have her around. She started to pick on the innocent girl all the time. And surprisingly, she started to enjoy seeing her suffer. After all, a young girl just starting out in life should also learn that life is not an easy and smooth journey.
"This is the reason you and Lin Yu Xuan lured her to the path of drugs?”
Pei Ze smiles: "In the beginning, it was Yu Xuan’s idea for me to sound her out."
To find out how much she actually knew about their affair. It was during the time when Wang Wan Wei felt down and discouraged because of her situation at work. To Pei Ze, she was like a little rabbit. Meek and weak, evoking a man’s innate urge to conquer.
One night. Pei Ze and Wang Wan Wei had a lot of wine. They were drunk. She was lured into a sexual relationship with him.
The first time Pei Ze asked Qian Yu Wen to join them, Wang Wan Wei refused. But eventually, she gave in to Pei Ze’s request. She was too timid to resist him.
Their threesome relationship went on for a while. She knew Pei Ze and Qian Yu Wen were drug addicts. But she had no idea her other colleagues were taking drugs too. She never would have guessed that her life was lost because these people would disregard her plea for help.
Lin Yu Xuan vaguely knew about Pei Ze and Wang Wan Wei’s relationship, but surprisingly, she didn’t seem to care.
“How did Shen Dan Wei become a drug addict?" The police asks. Who knows? Is Shen Dan Wei going through the same ordeal as Wang Wan Wei?
"Her?" Pei Ze laughs: “She is the first to take drugs in the division. She was led astray by her boyfriend when they were attending university. Later, the man left her to return overseas. Only then did she realise he was married.”
Shen Dan Wei. Her dreams of marrying a rich foreigner were shattered. She couldn’t shake off her addiction, so she frequented bars and nightclubs. Pei Ze and her met in a drug party once. They nodded and smiled to one another.
"She helped me clean up the traces of my crime." Pei Ze says, "Everyone helped. They are all accomplices, right?”
Just like Bo Jinyan predicted, Pei Ze went to see Wang Wan Wei after Mai Chen left.
She refused, threatened to call the police.
Pei Ze was heavily intoxicated. Out of anger, he decided to kill her.
“Qian Yu Wen’s drugs… Are you the supplier?” The police asks.
Pei Ze gives a faint smile: “He asked me for it. But I did not introduce him to the habit.”
Qian Yu Wen’s reason for taking drugs was boredom. He’s simply looking for physical stimulant to spice up his life. As for his taste for men, he discovered it after he became a drug addict. Life is short. He decided to let himself loose and enjoy life the way he wanted to.
But all these were hidden from their outwardly normal lives. They were not stupid. No one wanted to lose their job because of drug abuse. Perhaps, this is a road of destruction, but the end is still a long way off. There’s no hurry to take a U turn at this time. Later, perhaps. Later.
Between each other, not everything was disclosed. Pei Ze was the only one who knows who were into drugs too. Qian Yu Wen was with him all the time, so he had an idea of what’s going on. But the others, they did their own thing.
Shen Dan Wei is a loner. The others might have guessed that she took drugs. But it’s none of their business.
As for Pei Ze and Wang Wan Wei’s relationship, no one was aware of it until the night of the murder.
And Mai Chen. He’s the law abiding and honest young man that didn’t pose a threat to his seniors at work.
“Why then, is Zhou Qin taking drugs?" The police asks, “Same reasons as Qian Yu Wen?"
"Oh ......" Pei Ze laughs, “His drug habit has nothing to do with me either.”
Zhou Qin and his wife met in university. They fell in love with each other. But their romance was short lived. They broke up because of some misunderstanding. However, they still had each other in their hearts. They reunited after a few years and Zhou Qin was the happiest man in the world. But his happiness didn’t last long again. She died in a car accident.
Leaving behind a son. Every time he saw the child’s face, he agonised over the death of his dear wife. He couldn't concentrate on his work. Once he almost lost his job because of his carelessness. It was drugs that held him together. It gave him a new lease of life.
He knew it’s the wrong path. He thought he could get away with taking small dosages for a short period of time and not get hooked. By the time he realised, he had gone too far. He deeply regretted his actions and had started rehab. However, it’s not easy to cut off the addictive habit. So he’s had a few relapse every now and then.
Pei Ze knew everyone's secrets, so he made them cover for him. Everyone knew that if the murder was discovered, they will be brought back to the police station for a detailed interrogation. All their dirty laundry would be exposed. They might get fired. Nobody wanted to lose their jobs. Besides, Wang Wan Wei intended to commit suicide in the first place.
But today, the truth that they tried so hard to cover up, is finally revealed.
“How could you do this to a young lady? Where is your conscious? ” The police asks each one of them.
But silence is the only answer he gets.
When Jian Yao leaves the conference centre, it’s three o’clock in the morning. It is still dark, as if the sky is covered by a thick layer of black ink. Jian Yao walks down a long and brightly lit corridor. She stops beside a window and looks out.
A lot of people come to her mind. Her father, Li, Bo Jinyan, and many others.
Everyone will encounter confusion and temptation at some point in their life. It may be hard and painful. But that is not the reason to forsake morals and principles. Life is more than indulging in selfish desires and feeling good, it’s about doing the right thing.
She opens the door and walks in the room. She expects to find Bo Jinyan sleeping, but to her surprise, he was standing in front of a mirror. He is doing up the buttons of his jacket, as if he’s about to attend a formal meeting.
Jian Yao walks up to him and asks suspiciously : “Are you going somewhere?"
Bo Jinyan turns to look at her: “Let’s get on with the real reason we are here today.”
Jian Yao is confused.
Before she could ask any questions, he walks out of the room with a solemn face.
Jian Yao sits in the backseat of the car, beside Bo Jinyan. He is looking out of the window with an infrared telescope. The rain has stopped. The car drives into a narrow and windy road. It brings them back to the residences they visited earlier. The crime scene is pitch dark. All the lights in the area have been turned off.
There are two other police officers in the car. They are keeping their eyes on a monitor inside the car. It is linked to the video cameras placed around the complex that shows all the paths that leads to the residences.
Bo Jinyan puts down the binoculars. He is sitting there, deep in thought.
Jian Yao cannot contain herself any longer :”You did so much… to lure him here?”
Bo Jinyan replies lightly: "Why do you think I agreed to take on something as dumb as a secret investigation? Not to mention coming back to this boring place? "
Is that the reason he agreed to help Yin Ziqi? He planted his move - secret investigation means there would be no police involvement, giving the person an opportunity to leave more signs for him.
“But you said you enjoy seeing the murderer shamed?" Jian Yao asks.
“Yes, I did enjoy that, but it’s not a good enough reason for me to make all that effort.”
The numbers written in blood comes to her mind. Suddenly, she is all tensed up.
“How do you know that he will be here?” She asks.
“He will. He will come… for me.”