The police car is still traveling on the national highway.
Jian Yao is lost for words. She cannot believe this.
The policeman that is driving the car asks Bo Jinyan: “Professor Bo, you mean ...... those kids are dead?"
Bo Jinyan says slowly: ”I am afraid so."
The scenery outside the window changes rapidly. Jian Yao asks: "Even if there’s only one person that is committing the crime, he may still be a trafficker. Why are you so sure that it’s a serial killer?"
Bo Jinyan’s pale handsome face has no expression. Looking outside the window, his eyes seem to be staring into a different world.
Bo Jinyan: "Because I understand them."
Jian Yao calls Li.
Even though she has her doubts, she calls Li Xunran to tell him what Bo Jinyan just told her.
Li Xunran stands in the office with his speakerphone function on. The whole police station is in uproars after hearing Bo Jinyan’s words: "Why? How did he reach such a conclusion?"
Jian Yao: “Wait." she puts down the phone and looks at Bo Jinyan: "They want to know the reasons behind your conclusion."
Bo Jinyan leans his body back and closes his eyes: “I’ll do the briefing later. Ask them to find the bodies first.”
“Bodies?” The police can’t believe what they heard. Neither are they familiar with the concept of briefing. They still have their doubts about whether they should change their direction of investigation. “Jian Yao, this is too big a decision to make without understanding the facts fully. Chief is with me. He asks if Professor Bo can explain his findings to us first?”
Jian Yao ponders. She looks at Bo Jinyan again: “Can't you just give them a briefing over the phone?'"
Bo Jinyan opens his eyes: "The last time I did a briefing, it was in the central hall in the University of Maryland. Now you want me to...." He glances outside the window: "...... in front of the tolling booth of the 18th Forrest section of the National Highway?”
Jian Yao wants to laugh: “So, will you be less convincing just because you are briefing outside the tolling booth?"
Bo Jinyan pulls out his sleep mask from his coat pocket and turns his head away from Jian Yao. His response is clear. Stop bothering me.
Jian Yao looks at the time. It’s only another hour till they will arrive the police station. She can’t possibly tell them directly that he is reluctant to do it over the phone. So she says: “ Professor Bo is preparing the content for the briefing right now. We also need to return to the villa to collect some information that we will use at the briefing. We are almost back in town. We will come over to the police station as soon as possible to present to you all our findings.”
Jian Yao puts down the phone and gives a sigh. Bo Jinyan removes his googles and says in a deep voice: “Liar!”
Jian Yao : “Just shut up!”
By the time they arrive the police station, it’s almost evening.
Li Xunran and a few other officers are waiting outside the station. Jian Yao’s eyes are drawn to the 3rd floor,where the conference room is located. That is where the briefing will be held. The last time Jian Yao was there, she was six years old.
Memories starts to trickle like water drops into her mind.
A voice besides her: “Lips pressed together, the upper eyelid drooping ...... Why did I just see a typical expression of pain, hiding within your calm appearance?"
Jian Yao does not expect Bo Jinyan to be so observant. Like he said, she thought she hid her emotions well.
Staring into her beautiful eyes, he continues: “ That ‘hole’ in your heart… is something to do with your father.”
Not wanting to dwell on the subject any longer, Jian Yao answers: “ You have mistaken. The source of my pain is actually you, because you are about to brief the squad."
That took Bo Jinyan by surprise: “I beg your pardon?”
Jian Yao steps back: “As your assistant, it is my duty to remind you that even though you might be better at investigation/criminal profiling, that doesn't give you the right to mock them. They are a very diligent and responsible team of police. Also, they might not appreciate your dry humour. So, when they ask you questions, can you please answer them patiently without being sarcastic? "
“How did you come up with this strange conclusion?” Bo Jinyan looks at her arrogantly, “If I am ever sarcastic, it’s always because there is a gap in the IQ levels. The nature the work of a policeman is very different from mine, why would I mock them because they have little understanding of criminal psychology?“
Feeling a little offended, he walks on.
In the conference room.
All the policeman are sitting around the big table that takes up most of the room. Chief is there too. After a quick introduction, Li Xunran invites Bo Jinyan to address the team.
Jian Yao is sitting at the back.
Bo Jinyan stands up. He quickly sweep a place over everyone there. He is not smiling. There is not much expression on his face. He starts to speak. This is a confident, articulate and professional Bo Jinyan. Jian Yao has met the arrogant and sarcastic Bo Jinyan; the ‘I don't give a shXX about you’ Bo Jinyan; the warm and cuddly Bo Jinyan. But this is a different side of him that she has not seen before.
"We are looking for a local. Aged between 25-30 year old. Male. Medium height. Slim. Average looking. Likes to frequent video games parlours, movie theatres and internet cafes. It is also possible that he works in one of those places.
He is streetwise. He does a lot of detailed planning before each kidnapping. He chooses his victims carefully. And all of them are either young workers from out of town, dropouts (of schools), or immature boys from the rural areas. They have little life experience. They are not as strong as him physically, so they can easily seduced or abducted.
He approaches most of his victims in the downtown area. His great interpersonal skills allows him to relate to those boys and gain their trusts. Then he will lure them to a specific location, to be killed.
He does not use a car because it will draw attention from the public. And he doesn’t own a car anyway.
He lives alone. He is either renting, or staying in a house left to him by his parents, because he won’t be able to afford a house himself. He lives in a secluded area, not too far from the farmers market. His house is possibly where he kills the boys.
This is the preliminary profile. Once you find the bodies, I will give you a more detailed profile."
The whole room is quiet.
After a long pause, Bo Jinyan says: "Any questions?”
The policemen look at each other. Li Xunran asks the first question: ”Why do you think the criminal is between 25 to 30 years old? "
“He can’t be too young. If he’s too young, he’s not financially independent. Nor will he be living alone, or have the ability to lure the victims and physically kill them. He can’t be too old either. Two people walking together with a huge age gap is more conspicuous. Also, he is a psychopath. Psychopaths generally starts budding during adolescence. To reach the state of perversion he is in now will require a gestation period of more than a decade.” Answers Bo Jinyan.
Li Xunran nods. He continues with his second question: “Why do you think he lives near the farmer’s market. It’s only one of the many possible locations the boys went missing."
"He's more bold than the average person. But he is not very intelligent. You can tell from his choice of vulnerable victims, and the monotonous way of how he operates. When psychopaths commit their first crime, they never dare to venture too far from their place of murder. Our criminal is not sure if he can convince a teenager to go somewhere that’s too far away. He needs to keep the travel distance short.
Everyone nods. It’s hard to believe, but all the pieces seem to fit well together. After his briefing, everything seems to be so simple and logical.
More questions followed. Bo Jinyan patiently answered them. He is often very brief in his explanation. Nevertheless, it’s always very clear and to the point.
"Professor, why did you say you can give us a complete profile once we find the bodies?” Li Xunran is asking one last question.
Bo Jinyan flashes a haughty smile. "Because the desires of his heart will be ‘written’ on the bodies.”
When Jian Yao and Bo Jinyan returns to the villa, it’s past nine o’clock.
Once they go inside the house, Bo Jinyan hurries upstairs. Jian Yao asks him: " What should we do now?"
Bo Jinyan: "Shower."
So Jian Yao waits downstairs.
Today is the first time Jian Yao saw him in his professional capacity. Her impression of him has greatly improved. In his work, he is more than just a respectable scholar. He’s a good detective. Very observant. Quick on his feet, and knowledgable in what he does. Though he is still cold and unapproachable, there’s something about him that makes people feel that he can be trusted. That they can depend on him.
It is getting very late. But Jian Yao understands that criminal cases are time sensitive. She expects to work 24/7 if need be.
After a while, Bo Jinyan walks downstairs in his bathrobe. His hair is still damp from the shower. He sits down on the sofa and picks up the book and reads.
Jian Yao asks: “Are we working tonight?"
He does not look up: "No."
“What about assisting the police to find the bodies and the criminal?”
He glances briefly at her: "That is something the police are responsible for. I am responsible for analysing and profiling."
The police are excavating the area where bodies might be dumped. There is nothing they can do to help at this time. So she stands up: "Then I’ll go home first, and come back tomorrow."
Bo Jinyan turns over a page, and spit out a word: ‘No.”
Jian Yao waits for a further explanation. Slowly, he says:. “Your time belongs to me now.”
If these words are from the mouth of another male, it might seems ambiguous. But when it’s from Bo Jinyan, it is literally what it means. No more. No less.
- But there’s nothing to do at the moment.
Jian Yao: "...... I’ll head home first. You can call me if you need me."
Bo Jinyan: "No, if we need to examine the bodies at midnight, do I have to spend extra time to pick you up from your house?"
Every second counts. The faster they are able to catch the criminal, the less likely there will be another victim.
Jian Yao asks: "Where should I sleep?"
Bo Jinyan “Fu Ziyu’s room."
Jian Yao lies on the wide bed in Fu Ziyu’s room. It’s around 11pm. Bo Jinyan is still awake. He seems to be busy working in that first room. She can hear his footsteps, sounds of books being taken from the shelve, sounds of turning pages, sounds of words being scribbled on the white board…
She is awakened by the ring tone of her phone.
"Jian Yao, we found the bodies." In the background, she can hear the whistling sound of the wind, voices of other police working, “A lot of bodies.” says Li.
Jian Yao immediately gets out of the room.
Down the dark hallway, she knocks on Bo Jinyan’s door.
She takes out her phone and calls him. It rings for a long time, but there is no answer
- Is he fast asleep or is he somewhere else?
Jian Yao runs downstairs to retrieves his room key from the kitchen cupboard.
She slowly opens the door. Warm air rushes over her face - his room is warm and toasty.
She finds the switch on the wall and turns the lights on. In the middle of the king size bed, a man is sleeping soundly.
Bo Jinyan is still wearing his bathrobe over his PJs. He has an interesting sleeping posture. Facing upwards, his body is straight like a tree trunk. Hands on either side of his body.
Jian Yao pushes his arm gently: "Bo Jinyan?"
No movement at all.
Jian Yao taps his face: "Wake up!"
He responds, his eye brow raised slightly.
- He is going to wake up. Jian Yao thinks to herself.
With his eyes still closed, he raises his hand to grab hers He then puts it to his lips and gently kisses it.
Jian Yao's whole body stiffens. She is about to pull her hands out from his when she heard his subconscious murmurs: “Chen Mo… go to sleep….”
- Chen Mo?
(Note from TB: the phrase Chen Mo also means silence in Mandarin)
- Is the name of his girlfriend?
Remembering why she is there, she pulls her hand back and shakes his body again.
Bo Jinyan’s eyelashes tremble. Finally, he slowly opens his eyes.
“Why are you in my room?”
Her hand is still warm from his kiss. She quickly says: “They found the bodies."
Jian Yao went back to her room to get changed. When she returns to the hallway, Bo Jinyan is ready to go, dressed in his suit and tie. Before he starts to walk, he looks to the ground: “Chen Mo, stop blocking the hall.”
Jian Yao follows his gaze to the ground. There is a tortoise in front of him.
That tortoise seems to understand what Bo Jinyan says, and slowly crawls to the side.