The sound of the waves crashing on the rock fills the study. Inside, everyone is apprehensive.
Chills are running down Jian Yao’s spines. After a few seconds, she tells everyone: “Jenny, is my English name.”
Everyone is astonished. Even Anam raises his head in shock.
Bo Jinyan looks at her too. His eyes look cold as ice.
“What are you nervous about?” He says flatly.
Everyone looks at each other. Bo Jinyan looks at Jian Yao in the eyes: “He is just saying Hello. It’s the only thing he will be able to do to you.”
Ten minutes later.
Bo Jinyan is standing with his hands in the pockets of his trousers. Jian Yao is inside one of the police vehicles. The technicians are putting on a tracking device on her. They also fit a small microphone on her shirt collar. Two officers are standing guard beside the vehicle.
Bo Jinyan knew how to break ‘his’ code. He was doing the calculations in his head as the computer was analysing the data. He got the results a split second before it was shown on screen.
He just feels an anger building up inside of him.
“’He’ thinks ‘he’ is able to provoke him? It only takes him seconds to completely calm down.
Say hello to Jenny.
He already knows what “he” wants to do next.
Every time “he” says hi, it means someone will be killed.
So “his” next step is to hurt the person that matters most to Jian Yao.
But Bo Jinyan is going to keep it a secret from Jian Yao for now. If she knows about it, she will be worried sick for her family and friends.
An officer runs up to Bo Jinyan: “Professor, we have made contact with the Tung City. We’ve also talked to Jian Yao’s mother and sister. The police will be protecting them.”
Bo Jinyan nods. Then he asks: “What about the guy called Li Xunran?
The office replies: “Oh, he is an officer himself. He is currently out of town. We haven’t been able to get hold of him yet. This morning, a firework factory in the suburbs of Tung City had an explosion. There’s no casualties, so the local police didn't report the incident to Ministry of Public Securities. But the latest updates show they found a small amount of flesh residue at the scene. They are currently analysing if it belongs to animals or human….”
After all the necessary devices have been fitted and tested, Jian Yao sits in another police car with a pen and a piece of paper, deep in thought.
The sky is dark. It’s getting harder to see what’s outside the car. The two officers assigned to protect Jian Yao is still standing next to the car she is in. This is a request of Bo Jinyan. From now on, they will be protecting her around the clock.
Jian Yao looks around. She sees Bo Jinyan standing outside the front door of the villa. He looks like he is giving the officer some instructions.
Everyone was startled when they saw “his” statement. He was the only one that remained calm and collected, as if he is completly not affected by ‘his’ provocations. But his gaze looks even colder than usual.
He is angry. But he hides it well.
If Bo Jinyan is with her, she has nothing to fear.
He is walking towards her.
Jian Yao is sitting at the backseat. He opens the door and sits beside her. His short hair is a little messed up by wind.
“Are you feeling better?” He asks
Jian Yao smiles at him. Under the lights, her eyes sparkles. Her smooth skin has a nice glow too.
“Yes, I have calmed down for a while now.” She answers: “You are right. I can’t stop others from greeting me.”
Bo Jinyan gives an approving smile. He looks at the pen and paper on her lap: “How’s the profiling coming along?”
The profile Bo Jinyan refers to is “him”. He has passed the task to her. At least, to give it a go.
Jian Yao replies: “I have some ideas.”
Bo Jinyan looks at her. His hands are resting on his knees. He is extremely relaxed. To her, it feels like the master is waiting for a rookie’s first performance.
Jian Yao decides to ignore his expression. She starts:
“So far, Lin Yi Yang has the highest possibility of being ‘him’. But we can’t draw any conclusions yet.
I asked Anam to give me everything he can find on Lin Yi Yang. During the Killer Machine case, Lin Yi Yang was overseas. Then for the rest of the cases, we don’t know where he was at the time. But that is not important. As he might have an assistant.”
Bo Jinyan nods.
Jian Yao continues: “He is from a rich family, but his childhood was not necessarily a happy one. His father has several mistresses. He was sent to boarding school for his high school years. He was once in trouble with the police over some driving offences. But that’s quite typical of a lot of rich young man. So that’s not much for us to work on.”
Bo Jinyan smiles: “This Anam is fairly useful after all. It’s not easy to dig out people’s love affairs.”
Jian Yao nudges his arm: “So, occasionally you have to encourage him. It helps build relationship. If you guys work together, it will speed up the investigation.”
Bo Jinyan gives her a noncommittal look. He keeps quiet.
Jian Yao asks: “What are your thoughts on Lin Yi Yang?”
Bo Jinyan puts his hands behind his head and leans back: “I agree with you. He might be a criminal, but yet he might be a victim too. It’s hard to tell at this point.”
Right from the start, all the clues are deliberately left by ‘him’. Perhaps he led us to Lin Yin Yang. It’s part of his plan. We don’t know yet. Perhaps Lin Yi Yang is just another Jiang Hao, a scapegoat to divert our attention.”
Now she understands why the old officers that come to them for assistance always have a look of desolation on their faces. Even someone as smart as Bo Jinyan cannot predict crimes in advance. It’s not possible to protect everyone.
This man, whether he is someone that has no regards for human lives, or he is the notorious Flower Cannibal, or a wealthy young man with split personality….
“We must catch the bastard.” She turns and tells Bo Jinyan.
“Nonsense.” He replies.
Jian Yao is not angry at his response. Instead, she laughed.
Bo Jinyan asks again: “Let’s get back to the point. What conclusions have you come up with about ‘him’?”
Jian Yao thinks about all the information and impressions she has on ‘him’. Like Bo Jinyan says, all the clues are deliberately left behind by him.They really don’t have much to work on. And he knows a lot about criminal psychology. But based on the little information they have, Jian Yao has come up with the following:
“Let’s put aside the possibility of whether ‘he’ is Lin Yi Yang, and profile him as a stranger -
Firstly, the man who kissed Yin Ziqi is around your age. So… between 25 to 35 years old, tall. Not too fat or thin. Smart and strong organisational skills. I suspect he has a history of crimes, perhaps he’s never been caught out, but he definitely has a lot of experience in the area.
And of course he needs to be wealthy, to fund all his crimes.
From a personality perspective, he is puffed up with conceit. He doesn’t seem to be releasing any emotions through his crimes. As far as I can tell, he has no feelings or regards for anyone, except for you. He looks upon the crimes as a game. A game with you.
What is his motive? He does not attack you directly. His aim… is to beat you? Because he is Flower Cannibal No.1’s accomplice or follower?”
“No.” Bo Jinyan lifts his head to look out the window: “I have worked out their relationship.”
“He is a spiritual mentor to Tommy.”
Jian Yao: “….you mean … Tommy listens to him?”
Bo Jinyan nods: “The FBI and I originally thought Tommy worked alone because:
- Serial killers like him generally like to work alone. Working with others don’t fit their mental profile.
2. In those six months, there were no traces of anyone else.
3. Tommy is a cunning criminal. He is fully capable of committing all the crimes by himself. So we never suspected there is another person involved.
But everything has exceptions. ‘He’ is extremely egotistic. He won’t want to be under someone else, or even considered to an equal. I think his mind control techniques are over and above Tommy’s.
Therefore it’s more likely he is an instructor to Tommy. He influenced Tommy, not the other way around.
He is real Flower Cannibal. Tommy should be ranked No.2. As for his aim. It’s obvious. His desire ‘to conquer' is much greater than ‘to revenge’. Because I was the one who sent his protege to prison.
Jian Yao is worried: “What should we do next?”
Bo Jinyan thinks for a while. He turns to look at her.
“Now that we know his motives, we can take proactive measures. I will make a trip to the US, to talk to Tommy. That’s where all the root knots lie.” He pauses: “But first, we need to go to Tong city.”
Night. A few police cars are traveling on the road to Tong City. There is no direct flight to Tung City, taking the road option will be the fastest.
Jian Yao sits on the backseat of the car. Bo Jinyan is next to her. The two officers protecting her are sitting/driving in the front. Jian Yao is on the phone with her family, assuring them everything will be ok.
After she hangs up, she gave a sigh. She asks Bo Jinyan: “What about Li Xun Ran? Will he be part of the team working with us?”
It’s not bright in the car. The lack of light hides the gloomy look on Bo Jinyan’s face from Jian Yao. He looks at Jian Yao and says calmly: “We can’t locate him yet. He is working out of town.”
Jian Yao is a little concerned.
Her hands are sweating. She tries to call Li Xun Ran, but again, it goes straight to voicemail.
She leaves a message for him: “Emergency situation. Please call immediately.”
After that, she looks out of the window into the dark scenery outside for a while. Bo Jinyan stretches out his hand to leans her to his chest.
Jian Yao wraps her hands around his waist: “It should be ok. He always switches off his phone when he is working on a big case.”
“Umm..” Bo Jinyan says.
Nobody talks. There is only the monotonous and repetitive sound of the engine.
Suddenly, Jian Yao hears Bo Jinyan says: “I was threatened during the investigation of Flower Cannibal No.1.”
Jian Yao lifts her head to look at him.
He continues: “I received some wrong information from an FBI agent. I went after Tommy by myself. The others were not there yet. It’s an opportunity that will past quickly if I didn’t take it then. It’s a street near a primary school. Tommy blew up a school bus in front of me. More than ten children died on the spot. He asked me to put down my gun and get into his car, or else he will blow up the second bus.”
It’s the first time he is sharing his experience with the Flower Cannibal with Jian Yao.
“All the FBI staff, especially the analysts are told never to compromise with criminals. But I compromised at the time.”
Jian Yao tightens her hug: “Why are you telling me this now?”
He looks down at her gently: “Because you need me now.”
It’s 5a.m. when they arrives Tung City.
Bo Jinyan and the team went straight to the site of the explosion. Jian Yao went home under the protection of the two police officers.
She is relieved to see her mother and sister safe. But of course they are very concerned. Jian Xuan is asking a lot of questions. As for Jian Yao’s mom, there are tears in her eyes, but otherwise, she looks calm. She didn’t say much, just told Jian Yao to take care of herself. Jian Yao feels bad for them. She gives them a big long hug, and leaves.
Her mother watches her leave the house. After a long time staring at the door, she turns to Jian Xuan: “Your sister is just like your father. Whatever they think it’s right, they will do…. I hope nothing happens to her. Or else, what would your father think…”
Jian Yao arrives the firework factory. There are a lot of staffs there. The area is cordoned off. The place looks like a war zone after fire. There is ash and charred pieces of scraps everywhere.
She walks up to the front gate and sees an older officer. She recognises him: “Uncle Zhou, what’s the situation?”
The officer looks at her: “Jian Yao. You are back.”
Jian Yao don’t have a good sense about this. The officer is a tough man, an ex-colleague of her father. But he has tears on his face right now.
Jian Yao’s heart starts to sink. Li Xun Ran!
She rushes in. She sees a few more officers. All of them are crying. Bo Jinyan is standing amongst them, expressionless.
“Jian Yao.” He says to her: “I am sorry to have to tell you this.”
Jian Yao’s mind has gone blank. An sickening feeling swells up inside of her as she hears Bo Jinyan says: “We have results from the DNA testing. The flesh residue we found, belongs to Li Xun Ran.”
Jian Yao feels as if someone is stabbing her continuously. Her body starts to shake. Bo Jinyan steps forward and holds her in his arms.
Tears stream down her face uncontrollably.
Li Xun Ran…. Li Xun Ran?
The cool and handsome Li Xun Ran? Her big brother from young? Her best friend who helped match make her with Bo Jinyan? The passionate and devoted police officer?
She is speechless. Everything around her seems to be spinning.
Only Bo Jinyan’s familiar voice is coming through the vacuum she is in right now: “We didn’t find a suicide note. Perhaps he couldn’t be controlled. He is considered missing at this stage. There is still hope.”
Then Bo Jinyan’s phone has an incoming text. He takes a look at it, then he calls out : “Anam!”
Anam runs over with his laptop. He takes out more equipment from his backpack.
On Bo Jinyan’s phone screen, there’s just a phrase - “Now it begins.”
Anam grabs the phone and connects it to his equipment. He is trying to trace the origins of the message. He asks whilst his hands are busy: “His message. What does it mean?”
Bo Jinyan pauses for a while, then answers: “Up until now, he is not committed any crime with his own hands. Even the arsonists case, we can connect him to it, but we have no direct evidence that he started the fires.”
He pauses again, then he continues: “But now, he is ready do it himself.”
He pauses again, then he continues: “But now, he is ready do it himself.”