Chapter 8: Another Scene

The sun was shining in the afternoon, and the shadows of the mottled trees were cast on the front door and the back garden of the abandoned mansion.
The noise of people broke the silence for several years, gradually waking up the mansion that was sleeping in the lush forest.

During this time period, in addition to the nearby villagers, there were also tourists who came to Fulong Mountain to climb the mountain.
This mansion had been abandoned for a long time, and it was regarded as a haunted house by the nearby villagers.
Few dare to approach it.
Today, two foreign tourists stopped by to rest.
They found that there was such a big mansion in the mountains, so they were curious to check it out.
Through the window, they happened to see a pair of feet that remained motionless by the sofa, and they were so frightened that they immediately called the police.

Three police cars had already been parked at the entrance of the mansion.
The police were handling the case, and all the onlookers were rushed outside the cordon.
Suddenly, a black off-road vehicle screeched to a stop behind the police car, and a tall, long-legged man came down.
He was at least 1.8 meters tall and wore a navy blue magnificent windbreaker, with dark hair and eyes.
His impeccable facial features form a handsome and flawless face, bringing a strong visual impact, as if a gem was shining unscrupulously.

The onlookers whispered: “Is this a TV show? The stars are coming.”

“I didn’t see the camera, and the Lao Wang next door really saw a dead person! Are the TV dramas so wild now? Dare to use real corpses?”

“But look, the young man doesn’t look like he’s here to investigate the case at all!”

“Yeah, it’s just a formality, right? Can the cases be solved by being so good-looking?”

Cheng Zesheng turned a deaf ear to these discussions and entered the scene, holding his ID.
Xiang Yang, a young rookie on the team, immediately ran over: “Vice-Captain Cheng! You came here so fast!”

“Nonsense, I ran through three red lights.
When you get back, go to the traffic control office to explain the situation and clear the violation.” Cheng Zesheng took off his windbreaker, handed it to Xiang Yang, and put on gloves and shoe covers, “How many died? Have they been identified?”

“One, he didn’t have any documents with him.
Ke-Jie took his fingerprints and went for comparison in the database.” 

Cheng Zesheng walked into the mansion.
There were two teams that came to the scene to investigate.
The young man lying sideways beside the sofa was the deceased.
He looked to be in his twenties, and his identity was unknown.
There was no external injury on his body, only a dark purple strangle mark around his neck, and he still held a brand new hemp rope in his hand.

“Hey handsome, how did you get the time to come? Haven’t you gone to accompany a beautiful woman to coffee and shopping?” Jiang Tan said strangely, “Have you succeeded? Congratulations! You have broken away from our single-dog group.
Be careful of attacks by the dead in the bureau.”

“Succeeded, what succeeded? I was dragged by that girl, Xie Wenxi, to work as a coolie.
Don’t I also want to rest at home on rare weekends?” Cheng Zesheng squatted down and asked, “What’s the situation?”

“The face is bruised and swollen, the conjunctiva of the eyelids has dense needle-like bleeding points, transverse grooves can be seen on the neck, the border around the neck is clear, and the depth is basically the same.
The finger nails are cyanotic, and the corpse spots are dark purple, which is temporarily consistent with the sign of mechanical asphyxiation.” Jiang Tan continued, “I haven’t done the dissection yet, so we can’t rule out serious illnesses, death from poisoning, or mechanical injuries caused by damage to vital organs.”

Holding the windbreaker in his arms, Xiang Yang squatted down as well and asked cautiously, “Then according to your intuition, how did he die?”

“Intuition is useless in the face of the truth!” Jiang Tan took off his mask, revealing a fair and delicate baby face, “Even if it is suffocation, it is not self-stranglement; there is a 90% chance that this is murder.
What the hell is the weather today, why is it so hot? “

His apprentice Liu Renyu handed over a pack of tissues and smiled: “Teacher, it’s 30 degrees today, and it’s almost summer.”

“Death time?” Cheng Zesheng asked.

Jiang Tan took out a long piece of tissue paper and wiped the shiny beads of sweat on the tip of his nose: “According to the appearance of the corpse, the time of death is more than a day, probably between 2 and 5 o’clock in the morning yesterday.
The detailed time will not be confirmed until after the autopsy.

Cheng Zesheng lowered his head.
The man’s face was slightly swollen, but it couldn’t hide his handsome appearance.
Cheng Aiyue from the technical team took a bag to collect the hair she found on the ground and muttered in a low voice: “Not only the beauty had a bad fate, but also a blue face.
It’s a pity to be so handsome.”

It’s a pity to die young.
Cheng Zesheng stood up: “Xiao Tanzi after you’re done, take the body back.
It won’t be good for it to be here in this hot weather.”

Jiang Tan was furious: “Didn’t I tell you not to call me that?! Call me Forensic Doctor Jiang or Chief Jiang!” He put his hands in the pockets of his white coat and ordered angrily, “Xiao Liu, drag me away! Let’s go back to the bureau and turn on the air conditioner.”

After finishing speaking, he walked vigorously forward, and the small man of 1.6 meters still showed awe-spiring authority.

Cheng Zesheng was puzzled and asked Liu Renyu: “What’s wrong with him? It looks like he has eaten gunpowder today.”

Liu Renyu smiled: “It’s nothing.
Just before coming to the scene, he received the bomb that he was the only one left in their single group who was really single.”


The upper and lower floors of this mansion add up to nearly 400 square meters.
The doors and windows were intact, and the back door had not been touched.
Le Zhengkai took two people to check upstairs.
After a while, he stood at the stairs and shook his head at Cheng Zesheng: “Boss, nothing; the murderer never went upstairs at all.”

Ke Dongrui walked over with a small laptop in her hand: “Vice-Captain Cheng, the deceased’s fingerprints are recorded in the fingerprint database, and this is the result of the comparison.”

Cheng Zesheng looked at the screen: He Wei, male, 32 years old, Chinese nationality.
His birthplace and ID registration address are both in Shengzhou City; he is a local.

“Look for his family members to identify the body in the police station.
After confirming his identity, go to investigate his social relations.
Find out who he has been in contact with recently and why he came to this wilderness.”

Ke Dongrui nodded and followed the instructions of the Unit Vice-Captain.
Cheng Zesheng continued to investigate the scene, and Xiang Yang followed him around all the time.
He was just assigned to the criminal investigation unit, and all he did was do odd jobs and run errands.
The old captain of the Unit was now less active on the field, so he simply asked him to follow Cheng Zesheng more and learn the skills of solving cases.

“How many people do you think there were?” Cheng Zesheng asked suddenly.

Xiang Yang looked down at the shoe prints: “Two, there are two sets of shoe prints.”

There were obviously two different kinds of shoe prints left on the floor of the living room downstairs.
Cheng Aiyue had already collected some of them.
Cheng Zesheng asked her to go to other things first, and he himself squatted on the ground to look at these complex footprints mixed together. 

“Are you sure it’s two? Take a closer look.”

Xiang Yang squatted on the other side, carefully observing the shoe prints.
He looked up at the footprints coming from the door.
It was obvious that the two walked in together.
They first turned to the balcony on the right.
After reaching the center of the living room, one of the footprints was discontinued.
At a distance of about one meter, the shoe prints became messy and complicated, but the overlapping parts were all the same shoe prints.

“According to your thinking, if these were only one person’s and there was no fighting, in this case, how should such a complicated stampede be created?”

Xiang Yang answered cautiously: “…Dancing?”

“……” Cheng Zesheng stroked the top of his head and said, “Come on, you dance for me to see.
There is only half of the shoe print here.
Was the victim dancing a swan dance?”

Xiang Yang was very embarrassed and smiled at Cheng Zesheng: “Deputy Captain Cheng, what do you think?”

“The length of this group of shoe prints is 28 cm, so the barefoot length should be about 25 cm.
The ratio of normal people’s feet to height is 1:7.
It is estimated that the height of the owner of the shoe prints is about 175~179, and the shoe prints are also consistent with the sneakers on the victim’s feet.” Cheng Zesheng pointed to the area with his hand and said, “This area has all the same footprints, but if you look closely, among them on the right side, there is a small front-half footprint and an entire shoe print just behind it.
The small half of the shoe print has a deep toe, and the letter A becomes shallower backward.
Guess, under what circumstances, such a footprint will be formed?”

“The front is deep and the back is shallow…the back half is blocked by something.” Xiang Yang opened his eyes wide, “The victim’s back heel stepped on another person’s foot?!”

“It’s a good thing you didn’t say you stepped on your own feet or ask me why I couldn’t create this effect myself, lest I really want Chief Huang to send you back to the police academy for rebuilding.” Cheng Zesheng sighed, “It’s not as simple as stepping on something.
Take a closer look ahead, less than half a meter away; what’s unusual?”

Xiang Yang looked in the direction he was pointing and saw that there was a nearly circular piece of the floor there that was unusually bright, which looked very abrupt on the dusty floor; it was obvious that something had been placed on it.
The position of the spot was in a straight line with the shoe print.
Xiang Yang was thinking about what would have been placed there at that time; the shape was irregular, and the straight line distance was no more than half a meter…

Suddenly, his leg was swept by Cheng Zesheng, and he was caught off guard and knelt on the ground.
Xiang Yang let out a soft cry, turned back to look at the Vice-Captain in grievance, and was about to say, “I didn’t expect that there would be physical punishment”, but suddenly a flash of inspiration flashed in his mind.
He looked down at his knees and said in surprise: “Vice-Captain Cheng! I got it! The victim knelt down, and the irregular circle is the knee print!”

“According to the information you already know, how dare you say that there were only two people at the scene?” Cheng Zesheng pulled him up, “Come and rebuild the scene.”

“There were three people at the scene… at least three! The victim was where we were standing, fighting with one of the murdered, and was strangled by a hemp rope by the other one from behind.” Xiang Yang walked around behind Cheng Zesheng, pretending to have a hemp rope around his neck.
“Then, in order to speed up the death of the victim, the murderer forced him to kneel down, forming a height difference, and strangled the victim to death…”

“Don’t jump to conclusions so quickly.
He definitely wasn’t strangled here; otherwise, he wouldn’t have moved to the sofa.” Cheng Zesheng patted him on the back, “The most important thing is to watch the scene carefully.
If you see the same shoe print, don’t judge so quickly that it was of one person.
Now tell me, what are the general signs of the murderer obtained from the footprints?”

Xiang Yang speculated: “The height and weight of the victim were similar to the murderer, and the shoes they wore were also the same, AJ11 North Carolina blue.
They should be the same age, and maybe they have the same hobbies… It is very likely that they are close friends or siblings.”

Cheng Zesheng stroked his hair again: “Catch the clues and investigate.
We must not let go of any possibility when investigating the case.
Sometimes some clues that are not marginal are the key to solving the case.
You can’t become a god of reasoning just by watching a few episodes of Conan, okay?”


Xiang Yang gave a military salute and ran away diligently.
Le Zhengkai had been leaning on the stairs admiring it for a long time, and his stomach ached from laughing: “Xiang Yang is so unlucky to have a tyrant master like you.
I laugh for a long time every time I see you training apprentices.”

Cheng Zesheng took off his gloves.
He was responsible, but who told Bureau Huang to stuff this kid, who had just graduated from the police academy, into his hands?

“But this scene is really strange.” Le Zhengkai rested his chin, pointing to the shoe print that was discontinued from the middle of the living room, and the complicated shoe print that Cheng Zesheng taught Xiang Yang to analyze just now, “Zesheng, tell me thoughtfully, how many people do you suspect there were at the scene?”

Cheng Zesheng compared a number, Le Zhengkai nodded, and the two agreed with each other.

“This case is not simple.
I have a hunch that something different may be found, which may be beyond our understanding.” Cheng Zesheng threw the gloves into a plastic bag that was uniformly destroyed.
“I’ll go back to the bureau first.
You can check the surrounding area yourself.
If not, use a police dog.”

Le Zhengkai told him to leave at ease and handed the scene over to him; he should just hurry back and dissect the corpse with Forensic Doctor Jiang.

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