Bai Duocai got to his feet, looking dishevelled and worn out.
Clapping his hands in disgruntlement, he conceded defeat, “I’ve lost, I’ll accept the forfeit.”
He then turned around and said to his men, “Let’s go.”
“Goodbye, Mr. Bai,” An Xiaoning added.
The crowd then gave her another round of applause. “It’s been hard on everyone, let’s get back to work,” said An Xiaoning.
“Sis, Sis… are you busy?” asked Mei Yangyang, scurrying towards her.
“I’m in the midst of investigating and solving cases. I’ll get going.”
“Alright, drive safe.”
An Xiaoning nodded and proceeded to drive away from the film set quickly.
She sped along the roads towards the police station.
She arrived to find that her colleagues had yet to return.
She decided to wait for them in the office.
When she passed by the main investigations office, she chanced upon the sight of a youth being forced inside a dark room by a bunch of officers. The youth appeared to be rather unusual.
She decided to inquire about the situation. “What’s the matter with the boy?”
“We’re not sure, but we heard that he attacked a police officer.”
An Xiaoning did not probe further and instead headed back to her office to wait for Ma Jianguo and the rest to return.
She began scrolling through Weibo on her mobile phone and realized that the latest hot search was news about the police.
She read the content of the news, only to receive a great shock.
It was a complaint lodged by an acclaimed relative of the victim, claiming that her brother had been accused of stealing and was taken away forcefully by the police, despite refusing to admit to stealing.
An Xiaoning took a look at the attached photo and recognized the victim to be the youth she had seen earlier in the interrogations room.
She then registered a new anonymous account on Weibo and contacted the owner of the thread privately.
After obtaining the owner’s mobile number, An Xiaoning proceeded to give her a call to ask if they could arrange to meet.
The owner agreed.
Arriving at the cafe opposite the police station, An Xiaoning caught sight of a woman looking to be in her twenties, who appeared rather anxious and teary-eyed.
“You’re Police Officer An?”
“Yes,” An Xiaoning acknowledged with a nod.
“I know who you are, I’ve seen you on the news. Police Officer An, please help my brother, please. We may not be affluent, but we’re not poor either. There’s no way my brother would steal, he must’ve been framed,” the woman pleaded agitatedly as she grabbed An Xiaoning’s hand anxiously.
“Don’t worry, if he was really framed, I’ll stand up for you. However, if the investigations prove otherwise, please clarify it on Weibo, alright?”
“Do you know when your brother was born?”
Shaking her head, the woman answered, “I only know his birth date though. I’m not sure of the exact timing he was born.”
“Go ask your parents. I have to know the exact timing he was born,” An Xiaoning urged. Although she did feel like she was being a little too nosy, she simply could not sit back and not lend a helping hand. If it was within her means to help, why not?
“Alright.” The woman had heard about An Xiaoning’s fortune-telling skills on the news; thus, she trusted her completely. The woman then quickly gave her parents a call to ask about the exact time and location of her younger brother’s birth.
“What is his official name stated on his household register? Please also tell me his registered home address.”
After a few moments of silent thinking, the woman revealed all the details An Xiaoming wanted to know.
An Xiaoning closed her eyes while the woman stared at her intently, afraid to make a single sound.
A minute later, a look of dismay formed on An Xiaoning’s face as she stood up and walked towards the woman. Reaching a hand out to grab her, An Xiaoning said, “I’ll help you settle the matter about your brother. You don’t have to clarify anything online, but promise me you will delete the thread on Weibo, okay?”
Nodding her head fervently, the woman agreed right away, “Yes, got it. I’ll do just that.”
“There’s no ultimate justice in this world. I know it’s unfair and upsetting for you and your family, but there are loopholes in the judiciary system of the country. Ever since the dawn of history, the people who could overcome the system had always been few and far in between. I hope you’ll understand what I mean.”
“As long my brother can make it out safe, our family will not pursue this matter further,” said the woman, her eyes brimming with gratitude.
An Xiaoning turned around to give her a hug and comforted her, “Rest assured, your brother will be released soon. I’ll do my best to help him.”
An Xiaoning then brought the woman back to her office; Ma Jianguo and the rest happened to return at the same time.
“Team Leader, after checking with the property agencies, we’ve discovered from a surveillance camera footage that she had indeed patronized a certain agency. Just as she was about to take a tour around a house she was interested in, she was taken away by an anonymous man. According to the owner of the property agency, the man seemed to share a close relationship with Wu Changqing, thus the owner thought that he was her boyfriend. After watching the surveillance camera footage, we’ve taken a screenshot of his appearance and we’re currently trying to identify the details of his household register.”
An Xiaoning’s eyes lit up in joy upon hearing the news. “That’s great, you guys go ahead with checking the details. I’ll have to make a trip to the interrogations room now.”
Noticing the woman sitting on the chair, Ma Jianguo asked out of curiosity, “What’s the matter?”
An Xiaoning then showed him the content on Weibo.
“Team Leader, you’re meddling with such a trivial matter?” Ma Jianguo whispered in astonishment.
“It may be trivial to you, but to her family, it’s a grave and serious matter.”
“No, what I meant was, our duty is to handle serious murder cases…”
Staring at him calmly, An Xiaoning said, “Ma Jianguo, don’t you realize that many murder cases are sparked by trivial matters? So, don’t neglect minor cases.”
“You have a point. Let the two of them continue with the investigations, I’ll go with you,” Ma Jianguo agreed with a nod.
An Xiaoning asked the woman to wait in the office while she proceeded to the interrogations room with Ma Jianguo. It would be better to bring him along since she did not know the officers there.
She heard a grunt coming from inside the room just as she arrived at the door.
An Xiaoning was instantly overwhelmed with an ominous feeling. She was greeted with an astonishing sight as soon as she pushed the door open.
The youth was being pinned onto a bed with several thick books stacked on top of his body. A police officer was also smashing a brick onto his body.
An Xiaoning used to read about police officers allegedly resorting to violent and underhanded means during interrogation sessions on discussion forums online. However, it had never occurred to her that she would ever witness such a frightening scene before her very own eyes.
She knew that such a torturous punishment would cause the victim to experience immense pain and internal bleeding of the organs. However, there would be no traces of the attack at all on the victim’s body apart from some redness.
“What are you guys doing!?!” An Xiaoning barked.
An Xiaoning’s sudden outburst threw the police officers in the interrogations room off guard.
“Ms. An, we’re currently carrying out interrogations. Not only did he commit theft, he also assaulted a police officer. Furthermore, he’s been refusing to admit to the crimes he committed.”
“Why did he assault a police officer? I’d like to know the reason,” An Xiaoning questioned.
“Because someone reported him for theft, and he began to assault us when we questioned him for his actions. Of course we’d have to teach him a lesson.”
With a stern expression, An Xiaoning walked towards the police officer who gave her the explanation. “Tell me, are you trying to teach him a lesson or take his life?”