The long street is noisy with a never ending flow of cars, and the hustle and bustle of city walkers. The sun shines brightly in the lane that Bo Jinyan disappeared through just a few minutes ago.
Jian Yao decides to follow. She gets out of the car.
It’s dangerous. But she will be careful. Bo Jinyan is an academic. Now he is chasing after a mentally unstable killer. She can’t let him go alone.
A thought comes to her mind as she passes through the crowd -
Even though he keeps saying the physical work should be left to the police, every time when he is face to face with the suspects, or sees someone in danger, he would rush to help. He knocked Sun Yong unconscious with a stick, ran over to rescue the boy held captive by Huo Xiao Lu. And this.
Arrogant, but firm in his beliefs.
Jinyan, please stay safe.
She is about go into the lane, when a few officers appear. Jian Yao is relieved. One of the taller officers blocks Jian Yao: “Stay here.” Then he and three other officers hurried into the narrow lane.
Jian Yao anxiously looks in. Behind her, a lot of pedestrians are gathering. It’s too far away for Jian Yao to see exactly what is happening. The police officers are blocking her view. She can vaguely work out there’s lot of movements, and then she hears a ‘dong’ sound, like something has fallen on to the ground.
“Don’t move. Don’t move. Put down your knife.” She hears the police shout out.
Jian Yao’s heart tightens. She sees Bo Jinyan’s face for a split second. Then more police officers rush past her. Her views are completely blocked.
“We got him. We got him.” Someone yelled out.
“Someone is injured. Please send an ambulance.” Someone else says.
Jian Yao runs towards the officers and tries to squeeze past them to get to Bo Jinyan: “Excuse me. Excuse me… I am Professor Bo’s assistant.”
“The Professor is hurt too.” Someone said.
This is not good news. She pushes through even harder. People start to make way. She sees four or five officers holding on a man with blood shot eyes. He is still struggling to break free as the officers walk him towards the street to the police car. Jian Yao quickly stands to the side to let them pass. She recognises him from the photos emailed to them by the police. That’s Zheng Chang.
She hurries forward to find an officer lying on the ground. He has been stabbed in the stomach. There is a pool of blood beside him. He looks very pale. He is still conscious, breathing heavily and obviously in pain. Bo Jinyan stands next to him. There’s blood smeared on his face and suit. A few officers are standing around him.
Jian Yao’s heart aches as she sees blood dripping down to the ground from Bo Jinyan’s sleeves.
“What happened to you? Are you ok?” She asks anxiously. She wants to hold his hand, but she is afraid she might accidentally touch the wound. She looks closer. There is a knife wound from his left shoulder that extends to his chest.
She looks at the officer lying on the floor. His wounds are much more serious.
“I am ok. It’s just a flesh wound.” Bo Jinyan says to her.
When Bo Jinyan entered the lane, there was another policeman who was going towards Zheng Chang from the opposite direction. The police officer thought he looked suspicious too. The two of them tried to stop Zheng Chang. The policeman was stabbed in the stomach, and Bo Jinyan has a deep cut on his arm. Fortunately, more officers appeared at the right moment.
The medics arrives with stretcher. They attend to the officer on the ground first. Then one of them asks Bo Jinyan: “Do you need a stretcher too?” Bo Jinyan looks at her arrogantly: “Of course not.”
Jian Yao didn't see what actually happened, but she can imagine how dangerous it must have been. She looks at his arm again. She asks gently: “Is it very painful?”
Bo Jinyan looks at her pale face. He starts walking towards the main street: “Not really. Let’s go.”
Jian Yao follows suspiciously. There is still blood coming from his wound. Even though he can still walk freely but the wound is probably quite a deep one.
She walks up to him and says: “You are so brave.”
Bo Jinyan smiles back at her: “Of course.”
Jian Yao laughs. She whispers in his ears: “So… does it hurt?”
Bo Jinyan pauses. He decides not to reply this time.
Two medics walk up to him. The ambulance is just behind them. Bo Jinyan follows them to the vehicle. Then he turns round to say to Jian Yao: “Don’t come with me.”
Jian Yao is stunned: “Why?”
Bo Jinyan says calmly: “That goes without saying. Zheng Chang is the first unorganised psychopath we encountered in China. And he is alive. I need you to follow up with his psychological assessment.”
Jian Yao stands by the pavement. A police car stops in front of her. An officer opens the passenger door for her: “We’ll give you a ride to the station.”
She nods and gets into the car. Then she takes out her phone to call FZY. “Ziyu, Jinyan is injured….yes… on the way to the hospital. Ok. I will come over to find you once I finish what I need to do.”
FZY will look after him. She feels better now.
On the ambulance -
Bo Jinyan is lying down on a stretcher. His eyes are closed.
Just seeing the scars on his body made her cry. How could he let her follow him to the hospital? She will bury him with her tears.
As he is thinking of Jian Yao, the medical staff is taking off his jacket to examine the wound.
“It’s quite serious.” says one of the medics. “You should have used a stretcher.”
Bo Jinyan sweeps them a look.
“You must lie down flat from now on. Don’t move anymore.” He says to Bo Jinyan. He cuts away his shirt. Some of the dry blood is stuck to the fabric. When the medic was peeling it off, Bo Jinyan can’t help but frown.
Jian Yao, it’s actually very painful.
In the interrogation room. Zheng Chang is cuffed onto a chair. He has a gloomy look on his face, and his eyes are dull.
Two officers are facing him. Jian Yao and a few others, including some doctors from the mental health institutes are listening in the next room separated by dark non see through glass.
“Why are you killing people?” Asks the officer.
Zheng Chang looks confused: “Why did I kill people? I need to take revenge.”
The two officers look at each other: “Why?”
Zheng Chang says quietly: “My brother. He has been assassinated.”
“Who assassinated him?”
“Agents. They are American agents, disguised as Chinese. They were trying to send codes back to US. It was very loud. I discovered them.”
The two officers don’t know what to say. They move on to the next question: “Why did you stab the women in their private parts?”
Zheng Chang pauses. He is not speaking.
Then gradually, his face becomes red. He starts to scream and yell. The two officers are startled by his behaviour. They asked him to stop. But Zheng Chang is getting more and more agitated. He tries to struggle and break free…
When Jian Yao leaves the room, she sees a forty year old man sitting quietly with his head down. He looks worried. His hands are grabbing the hair on his head.
Besides him sit a woman in her thirties. She is scolding him in a low voice: “Look what has happened. He is killing people. I knew your brother is nothing but trouble. I told you to leave him alone. To leave him alone. Let the state deal with it. But you insisted you should take care of him.”
The man looks out and retaliates: “Shut up! If it’s not because I left him for you for the last few months, his condition would not have worsen.”
“You are blaming me?” The woman slaps him on the face.
Jian Yao’s heart is saddened by the family’s story.
It is actually a simple one.
A normal family that has a child with mental illness. It gradually put stress on their financial situation. When his parents were still around, there were three people took turns to look after Zheng Chang - dad, mom, elder brother. They could still cope.
After the parents passed away, Zheng Chang became the sole responsibility of the elder brother. A thirty year old man, spending almost all his earnings on his brother. No girl would come near him.
Finally, he found a girlfriend. The bride’s only condition was not to live with the younger brother in the same house. He thought about it, and decided, after all the years of sacrificing, he will do something for himself.
But what about his brother? Private hospitals are too expensive, and he doesn’t qualify for longterm public hospital care. Also, he is afraid the brother might be mistreated in the hospital. His wife was not keen to send him to the hospital either. But for a different reason. She is afraid the hospital would charge extra fees which they would have to be responsible for. That’s a lifelong burden!
The problem dragged on. In the first few months after the wedding, the elder brother would sneak out to see Zheng Chang. Lately, his pregnant wife demanded more attention, so he had not seen Zheng Chang for two months. His wife had a hidden agenda for keeping him to close to her. She secretly hoped that he would leave the brother alone and not have any contact with him anymore.
So Zheng Chang was alone in the house for a few months. The brother he was waiting for never turned up. His mental state worsens and his world collapsed.
My brother is dead. He thought to himself. I have to take revenge.
When Jian Yao leaves the station to go to the hospital, it’s past 6:00pm.
The last rays of the afternoon sun casts a golden glow on the tall buildings. The windows are bright and reflexive in the light. Jian Yao is feeling a little lethargic. Perhaps it’s because she hasn’t slept all night? Or perhaps she is still thinking about the case?
She received a call from Fu Ziyu earlier.
“The doctors asked him to stay in the hospital for a week.” Fu Ziyu said. “But he insisted he wanted to go home.”
She takes out the front door keys. Just before she unlocks the door, she thinks of something. She takes her phone out and calls the Police Team Leader: “Officer, is there anything unusual in either of the crime scenes or Zheng Chang’s house?”
The officer replies: “No, no codes written in blood, no English words… we didn’t find anything unusual.”
Jian Yao hangs up and feels much better. Two cases. No more messages. “He must be dead.
She walks into the apartment. There is light in the lounge, but it is empty. Bo Jinyan is not there. Then she hears some sound coming from his bedroom.
She removes her shoes and walk into the master bedroom. Two men turn to look at her.
Bo Jinyan has changed into his black pyjamas, lying straight in bed. There are a few more pillows than usual under his head and upper back. His face is pale. He stares at her with his bright black eyes.
Fu Ziyu stands to the corner of the bed. He smiles at Jian Yao and asks: “How’s work?”
Jian Yao smiles back: “Good.” She walks to the bed and looks at Bo Jinyan. But she is asking Fu Ziyu: “How is he?”
“Minor injury.” Fu Ziyu says “About twenty stitches.”
Jian Yao frowns. Bo Jinyan frowns too.
“Thanks, big mouth. You can go now.” He says faintly, “Close the door and don’t disturb us. Thank you.”
Jian Yao glances at him, then turns to say to Fu Ziyu: “You know what he is like. Let’s have dinner together.”
Fu Ziyu is not one bit bothered by his best friend’s abandonment: “No, I will get going. I have no intention of hanging around watching you guys smooch. But…”
He looks at Bo Jinyan: “Your wounds became more serious because you kept moving around after the injury. Now please listen to your doctor and rest. Jian Yao, please watch him so he won’t do anything stupid anymore.”
Bo Jinyan looks at him coldly. Jian Yao replies quickly: “Of course.”
After Fu Ziyu leaves, Jian Yao asks Bo Jinyan: “So, what are the doctor’s orders?”
Bo Jinyan slowly answers her: “Less fish. What else can it be.”
Jian Yao laughs: “Oh… that would be hard for you.”
There are two opposing views to eating fish when recovering from stab wounds. One school of thought is that it might cause infection. But others think that it’s full of vitamins and proteins so it will help muscle recovery. Perhaps Fu Ziyu is trying to hassle him by saying he can’t have fish.
Bo Jinyan doesn’t want to talk about this anymore. He says to her: “Come and sit by me.”
Jian Yao shakes her head: “Let me take a shower first.” How can she sit on his bed with the same clothes that she wore to Zheng Chang’s house?
Bo Jinyan: “Then give me a kiss first?”
Jian Yao: “No. You stay there. Don’t move.”
Jian Yao: “No. You stay there. Don’t move.”
He watches her as she walks into the bathroom.
Bo Jinyan gives a sigh.
His mobility is affected, so he can’t walk up to kiss her whenever he wants. But what’s worse is…
Not strenuous exercise for a week….Shit!