There was only one person who fit the criteria: the old man sharing the room with the ‘landlord’.
This is weird; according to the news articles, the owner should be an old man, but the landlord who received me is at most middle-aged. Chen Ge stood up to press his ear to the wall. The television on the other side of the wall was still blaring. Currently, it was playing some random commercial.
Normally, wouldn’t the viewer switch the channel during commercials? But they’ve been watching the commercials for several minutes already. Chen Ge tried to lean closer into the wall. Perhaps, I’ve missed something.
He cleared his mind and tried to rearrange all the clues he had so far. After I entered the room, I heard the sound of a plate shattering next door. Then, the landlord started to curse and scold the old man. It continued until the volume of the television was raised. Since the old man was incapacitated, it had to be the landlord who increased the television volume, but the question is, why?
Chen Ge narrowed his eyes as a speculation appeared in his mind. Is the landlord ill-treating the old man? The television noise is to cover up the sound of assault?
The more he thought about it, the more possible it sounded in his mind. The shattering plate occurred the moment I moved in; isn’t that too much of a coincidence? Could that have been an SOS signal from the old man? After all, it was merely a broken plate; there’s no reason for the landlord to get so angered. Perhaps, he was afraid that the sound might have attracted my unwanted attention!
But why should he be afraid? And why would the old man call for help?
Suddenly, another detail that seemed unimportant to Chen Ge earlier entered in his mind. When the landlord was scolding the old man, he let slip several foreign curses.
The family that passed away were all locals, but this landlord is not from Jiujiang; he shouldn’t be blood-related to the old man or his family.
Normally speaking, the man wouldn’t leave his assets to be taken care of by a stranger, unless… the limping man has taken over this place and is holding the old man captive! If that’s really the case, either he’s a caretaker who got too greedy or he’s the actual murderer!
Either way, it did not bode well for Chen Ge.
Chen Ge’s fists tightened. That also explains why he was eavesdropping at my door earlier; he wanted to find out how much I’ve learned!
Chen Ge’s forehead was sweaty from all the thinking. After all, he wasn’t a real detective; all he had were references to plots that he had seen on television before.
What should I do now? Rush directly into the room next door to whack the landlord until he faints? No, that’s too rash; if my speculation is wrong, that’ll land me in hot water. With the mallet in his hand and the penknife stuck in his pocket, Chen Ge paced around the room.
Give the landlord a test to confirm his identity? No, that’s too risky, what if I tip my hand too soon? After all, he might have other accomplices, and I’m here all alone. If I’m targeted, my life will be in danger. Furthermore, I don’t really have any real proof; everything is just speculation. Also, I’m pretty sure the main purpose I’m here is to find the murderer from four years ago, so maybe I should focus on that instead.
Chen Ge was caught in a conundrum. Suddenly, the television next door was switched off, and the place became eerily quiet.
What’s going on? He opened the door slightly and lowered himself to the ground. He peeked out at the door next to him. There was no light coming out from underneath the door.
Sleeping at 8 pm? Chen Ge crawled to the landlord’s room door holding the mallet. In an out of body moment, he realized how suspicious he must have looked then. He turned around to make sure no one was watching him before pocketing the mallet and crawling back to his room.
Then again, my speculation might not be a hundred percent accurate, if only I had a professional to help me with the analysis. Chen Ge lay in bed and pulled out his phone. In his contact list, other than Xu Wan, he had not spoken to many of the others before.
Jesus Christ, I sure am loyal.
Chen Ge thought about it. Among the people that he knew, the only person who was slightly related to investigation was the young man who had fainted inside his Haunted House—He San.
In any case, a medical student should be better at logic and analysis than I am. He entered the video-sharing app and realized he had about twenty private messages. He clicked open a random one and saw it was a personal message from a studio that was based on the website. The person expressed interest in having him join the team.
Is this person some kind of talent scout? Chen Ge did not have time to deal with that right then. He scrolled through the many messages to look for He San’s ID and tossed the invitation out of his mind.
However, several minutes later, the studio sent him another message.
“You there? We’ve seen your video; it has plenty of potential.
“We were wondering if you would like to cooperate with us.
“We can contact the top streamers of our platform on your behalf to help increase your popularity and exposure.
“Doing this alone is going to be very difficult; after all, most streamers on the net rely on teams and networking.
“This is a very good offer, so do consider it.
The endless pop-ups annoyed Chen Ge. He was busy trying to survive a night in the apartment that housed a murderer who had killed four individuals in cold blood four years ago, and these people were busy trying to sell him their service‽ He finally replied, “AFK.”
“Young man, you sure are funny. Give our studio serious consideration; you don’t need to do anything beyond adding our studio’s logo to your videos. In return, we will provide you with better exposure to help you gain viewership.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m currently not interested in something like that.” Chen Ge felt his reply was polite already; if this was someone else, they probably would have cursed the person out before blacklisting the studio.
“Your short video has the possibility to go viral, but you have to understand that it is just a possibility. A platform like this has an average of 1,000,000 uploads each day, and you’re just one of the more lucky ones. Nowadays, people are in for fast-food entertainment; they don’t have the patience to wait. Every moment, there are fresh and more exciting things to pull their attention away. If you don’t carefully manage your business, your video will soon be submerged by a sea of fresh attractions.”
“Talk about it later, I’m currently busy with something important.” Chen Ge finally found He San’s ID.
“What is more important than earning money? If you are still hesitating, perhaps we can have some other form of cooperation. For example, we’re more than willing to offer good money to buy your content and video-shooting technique.”
Chen Ge was irked, so he blacklisted the individual and messaged He San.
To his surprise, He San replied within a few seconds. “Boss, I’ve been waiting for you to release a new video!”
“Wait a minute, I have a more important question to ask you.” After getting He San’s phone number, he called the young man and explained the whole situation to him in a whispered tone.