Chapter 28: A Policewoman Kidnapped
None of the officers on scene had noticed that Wei Xin had gone missing. Jiang Zhengkai had also been called to the scene. The crime scene was the same as all the others: no blood splatters, no signs of a struggle, just a male and female skeleton on a bed locked in sex.
“Was the victim a prostitute or a local resident?” an expressionless Jiang Zhengkai asked Zhang Nan after he had inspected the crime scene.
“Prostitute,” replied Zhang Nan. “We’re still confirming her identity. I estimate we should know by tomorrow morning.”
“Oh, thank God it was just a prostitute.” Jiang Zhengkai let out a sigh of relief. By now, he had seriously lowered his standards. He no longer cared that these murders continued to mount, as long as the victims weren’t local residents. He continued to inspect the temperatures of the apartment units above and beneath the scene of the crime, but he was still unable to find the sensation he had experienced on that one night. Whatever, there was no point in looking further.
He went to find Zhang Nan again and told him, “Zhang, call me once you’ve confirmed the identity of the victim tomorrow morning, okay? Oh, and tell everyone to get some rest. There shouldn’t be another murder in the next couple days or so.” He then left the building and drove away.
Wei Xin was still trapped inside the burlap sack as the cycle rickshaw carrying her turned left and right, taking her to an unknown location. In the middle of the ride, Wei Xin gradually regained consciousness, but she could not get herself out of the tightly-closed sack. She strenuously twisted her bound hands; her gagged mouth only had the ability to make incoherent groaning sounds.
The rickshaw finally stopped. “Bitch, you woke up pretty fast,” a man’s voice came from beside her. “Behave yourself, or I’ll give you another beating!”
“Mmph… mmph!” Wei Xin paid no attention to the man’s warning and continued to struggle inside the sack.
Bam! Bam! Using the bat in his hand, the man viciously struck Wei Xin’s body twice. “Mmph…” Wei Xin let out a wretched scream but stopped struggling.
“Fuck! You had to learn the hard way, huh?” The man threw the bat to one side, picked up Wei Xin, and carried her towards a dilapidated shack. This place was obviously an unfinished construction zone. Because demolition of the old buildings had already started, there weren’t any residents nearby, and because the construction work hadn’t begun, there weren’t any construction workers nearby either. The only things here were old buildings that had been halfway torn down.
The man untied the burlap sack and poured Wei Xin directly onto the ground. When Wei Xin hit the floor, she immediately started moving. It was obvious that she was struggling to stand up, but the man wasn’t about to give her the opportunity to do so. With a loud bang, he struck her leg with the bat. Wei Xin lost her balance, and the man pushed her over. Immediately,he rushed over and pinned Wei Xin down with his body as he tied her up, like he’d done to A-Jiao last time. The difference was that this time, he used a thin wax string instead of silk stockings.
“Fucking bitch, why aren’t you moving anymore, huh?” the man taunted Wei Xin as he mercilessly slapped her twice in the face. Wei Xin could only offer a low groan and fiery eyes as a means of resistance.
“Haha, you little bitch, got quite a temper, huh?” the man said as he unsheathed a dagger he had been carrying. He used the dagger to cut up Wei Xin’s clothes, and then proceeded to tear them off with his bare hands. “Look, isn’t it so much cooler now?” the man said as he placed his hand on her still-struggling body. He ran his fingers across her for a while, before he suddenly stopped and looked at her in astonishment. He then pulled back Wei Xin’s head and said, “Haha, you’re still a virgin?”
“Unh… mmph… unh-unh…” Having heard what the man just said, Wei Xin struggled more vigorously than ever before. She knew what he had in mind.
“Alright then, let Big Brother love you a long time!” The man eagerly took off his own clothes and proceeded to mount Wei Xin.
The next day, Wei Xin did not report to work at the sub-bureau, but nobody felt surprised by her absence. They all assumed she had slept in because she had been on the night shift. Plus, Jiang Zhengkai had ordered everyone last night to catch up on their sleep, so even he didn’t think Wei Xin’s absence was unusual, despite the fact that he should’ve been the one most aware of it. Besides, there was another reason why he didn’t realize Wei Xin was missing: he was currently in the commissioner’s office again, getting the asschewing of a lifetime from Old Man Yao.
At around noon, Jiang Zhengkai finally left Yao Tianyu’s office. He eardrums were still ringing from all the yelling he had just received from his boss. He knew Yao Tianyu was worried about the case. So many people had died in this city, but there’d been no progress whatsoever in cracking the case. This was a first not just for Jiang Zhengkai, but for Yao Tianyu as well. These were two men with an immense sense of pride and honor, so it went without saying that this level of professional failure was completely unacceptable to them.
Jiang Zhengkai left the municipal bureau headquarters and returned to his car. Once inside, he lit a cigarette and quietly smoked it. He needed to calm his emotions. Even though he wasn’t mad at Yao Tianyu for yelling at him, he nevertheless needed some quiet time to cool down. In the end, he decided not to return to his office; he’d visit the crime scene instead. He wanted to see if he could find something new, though he knew the chances were slim.
At the airport, a girl clad in traditional Tibetan garb stepped off the plane. A-Jiao had concluded her traveling adventures and returned to this familiar city. A taxi dropped her off at the main entrance of the hospital, since she was due for a check-up today.
“Dr. Wang!” A-Jiao exclaimed as she appeared in Dr. Wang’s office. “This is for you. Thank you for taking care of me while I was in the hospital.” As she spoke, A-Jiao took out a stick of Chinese caterpillar fungus and handed it to Dr. Wang.
“You are…” Dr. Wang was speechless as she looked at the girl in front of her. She felt there was something familiar about this girl, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
“What? You’ve already forgotten about me?” A-Jiao tilted her head and asked as she looked at Dr. Wang with a mischievous gaze. It was as if she were saying, “Are you old? Is your memory failing?”
“Ahem…” Dr. Wang coughed once. She definitely did not recognize A-Jiao, but medical reports don’t lie. She glanced at the name written on the report, and then raised her head towards the young woman. “Are you really A-Jiao?”
“Of course! If I’m not A-Jiao, then who is?” A-Jiao said as she sat down next to Dr. Wang. “You definitely instructed me to come back for my regular checkups, and to not eat spicy food, or salty food either! I’ve followed your instructions to a T, and now you don’t even recognize me… pretty disappointing, I gotta say.” She lowered her head and pretended to be all dejected.
“Hehe, you silly girl! Look at you, dressed like a Tibetan. You gave me quite the scare, you know? I thought you were some kind of a Tibetan medicine vendor!” Since Dr. Wang now knew it was A-Jiao, she proceeded to engage in playful banter. “How are you these days? Does it still hurt down there?” If Dr. Wang had felt any ill will towards A-Jiao when she’d been discharged, it was all gone by now. Perhaps the change of heart began when she saw A-Jiao paying her own medical bills.
“It doesn’t hurt anymore!” A-Jiao said playfully while sitting on the chair. “If you don’t believe me, I can do the worm dance for you.”
“Oh stop it, you crazy girl! Now go lie down on the exam bed! You’re just like that Jiang boy.” Dr. Wang didn’t know why her thoughts drifted to Jiang Zhengkai. Perhaps it was because he’d been similarly crazy when he’d been a young man?
Dr. Wang completed her examinations and told A-Jiao, “I’m happy to tell you that you’ve recovered quite well, but you still need to take care of yourself. If you’re ever thinking about having children one day, you need to change your profession right now.”
“Is it really that serious?” A-Jiao looked at Dr. Wang with disappointment in her eyes, as she stroked her hair with her hands.
“Yes! It’s in your hands now!” Dr. Wang was angered by A-Jiao’s response. Once a prostitute, always a prostitute!
“Alright, Grandma Wang! Don’t be mad anymore, okay? I promise to find a real job, no matter how little money I make,” A-Jiao said, as she placed her face close to Dr. Wang’s in order to cheer her up.
“Whatever. It’s your health we’re talking about, not mine,” Dr. Wang replied disdainfully. However, she had a warm and fuzzy feeling deep down in her heart. If A-Jiao could really change for the better, then perhaps I could ask Jiang Zhengkai how he felt about her.
“Dr. Wang… I… I want to ask…” Seeing Dr. Wang taking notes in her medical record, A-Jiao suddenly became tongue-tied. “Officer… Officer Jiang… how is he?”
“Him? Pretty good.” Dr. Wang looked up from her reading glasses. “Why? You miss him?”
“No way!” said A-Jiao as she quickly broke eye contact with Dr. Wang. “I’m just curious, that’s all.”
“Oh, I see. Here, hold on to your medical record. Make sure to come back again a month from now for your next check-up,” Dr. Wang said, before adding, “Don’t worry! No one else wants that bum Jiang Zhengkai!” She let out a chuckle as A-Jiao walked out of her office.