Evil As Humans Ch28

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 28: Autopsy Results

Since it was so late, the two had to take a taxi to the crime scene.

Zhong Chengshuo had cleaned up neatly, but his entire being was lingering with the breath like he was about to die. Yin Ren couldn’t bear looking at him like this, so he held a dark brown object under Zhong Chengshuo’s nose.

“What’s this?”

“Devil’s spicy duck wings. I just bought them tonight.” Yin Ren reluctantly parted ways with some of his food. “I haven’t touched it. Have some so you can refresh yourself.”

He didn’t know if it was due to drowsiness or determination, but Zhong Chengshuo actually grabbed the duck wing and took a bite, which was then followed by a shiver.

As usual, his spirit was the same, and even his eyes became completely dead.

Until they got out of the car, Zhong Chengshuo was inhaling frantically. The culprit behind this expressed regret as he ate up the remaining spicy braised vegetables.

When they approached the scene, the two of them put on unilateral headphones assigned by Shian. After a while, Lu Xiaohe’s voice came through.

“I see you two have almost arrived at the scene. Go another 900 meters and turn right. I have to check in with the police. You can head directly to the crime scene.”

“We have just been promoted to the C-level investigation team? Are we even allowed to take on criminal cases?”

“No, this case isn’t strange at the moment,” Lu Xiaohe said in a cheerful tone, then proceeded to speak in rapid fire. “If the matter was more serious, Shian would assign a more advanced investigation team to intervene. Aren’t you two experienced in this aspect, you two cat catchers.”

It seemed that the company-wide criticism still had its aftereffects. Now they were even given inexplicable titles.

“By the way, the evil qi index near you two is normal. All living beings are recognized. There’s no need for special attention for the time being.”

Yin Ren was surprised. “How do you know?”

Wasn’t Lu Xiaohe a science post? Could it be that she possessed the long-lost ability of clairvoyance?

“Haha, I’m above you.”

Yin Ren immediately raised his head, catching sight of a bat-sized drone hovering in the air. It flew smoothly and quietly, making it difficult to notice.

“Have I not introduced myself yet? Lu Xiaohe, Ph.D. in neuroscience from University A. I’ve been in Shian for two years… Hey, pay attention. You’re about to arrive at the crime scene,” the female voice said cheerfully.

Zhong Chengshuo: “Nice…”

“I’ll hang up first. We’ll talk later.” With a beep, the call was disconnected.

“…to meet you, sister,” Zhong Chengshuo finished dryly.

Yin Ren patted Zhong Chengshuo sympathetically.

Several police cars were parked at the scene of the crime. A cordon was already drawn at the scene. A man wearing an old black leather jacket that looked to be in his forties walked over. He had a solid build, a square face, and a lot of white hair sprinkled on his cropped head.

Seeing the two approaching, he took out his ID from under his arms with a flat face, but when he saw Zhong Chengshuo, the man immediately became happy.

“Hey, what a coincidence. Xiao Zhong, aren’t you working in research? Why are you here?”

Zhong Chengshuo was taken aback, then said, “Uncle Sun.”

Yin Ren took the lead, stepped forward, and stretched out his hand. “Hello, Uncle Sun, I’m Zhong Ge’s colleague.”

When Uncle Sun saw Yin Ren, his smile dimmed imperceptibly for a moment, then he stepped forward enthusiastically and shook Yin Ren’s hand. “I’m Sun Qinghui. Don’t call me uncle. Just call me Lao* Sun.”

*Generally used to address people older than you to show closeness/respect.

Sure enough, he was a policeman, and a pretty good veteran at that. Yin Ren retracted his hand and made this judgment silently.

Naturally, those who fought on the battlefield and upheld justice carried a fierce aura of righteousness. The more energetic these people were, the stronger their momentum. Thousands of years ago, the fierce soldiers on the battlefield could break evil qi and kill ghosts based on this principle.

Evil beings were usually reluctant to touch these kinds of people. On the other hand, in order to prove his “innocence”, he must step up his efforts to foster a good relationship.

So, Lord Ghost King smiled even more brightly. “My name is Yin Ren. Zhong Ge and I are here to help. Please give us your guidance.”

“Ah, so you’re the ones Xiao Lu mentioned.” Sun Qinghui guided them around the cordon. “Who would have thought it would be you guys. Xiao Zhong didn’t mention anything. Xiao Yin, is this your first time seeing such a scene? Are you scared?”

Yin Ren, who had been lying on a pile of bones for more than a thousand years, said, “A bit.”

Sun Qinghui smiled heartily and patted Yin Ren on the back. “It’s okay. If you need to vomit, just go ahead. You’ll eventually get used to it.”

“Uncle Sun, have you worked with Shian before?” Zhong Chengshuo asked solemnly as he followed them.

“For so long that I’ve lost count of how many years.” Sun Qinghui turned his head. “What, Boss Cheng and them didn’t tell you?”

Zhong Chengshuo: “No, I just… I thought you didn’t believe in strange forces.”

“Believe it or not, isn’t Shian just engaged in high-tech stuff? Maybe there are reasons behind it.”

Sun Qinghui waved to the forensic staff at the scene and led the two into an alley.

“Whether a person is stabbed to death by a knife, killed by a gun, or dies strangely, they are all killing methods. The important thing is that a murderer killed someone—and if there’s a murderer, we must catch them. It’s normal to find a third party to cooperate. It’s not a big deal.”

Zhong Chengshuo respectfully nodded.

Yin Ren was enlightened. In the eyes of this veteran detective, “anomalies” were just a classification of clues on the scene. Since that wasn’t something easy for the police to investigate, they outsourced the relevant work to Shian.

However, Zhong Chengshuo’s attitude was a bit strange.

This person usually wasn’t good at getting along with people. Despite his gentle look, he was quite abrasive when handling things. Seeing that Sun Qinghui was around, the atmosphere around Zhong Chengshuo seemed to have softened a bit.

“Here.”

Sun Qinghui stopped at the corner of the alley.

The crime scene was on the edge of the old city. The nearby buildings were old and dilapidated. The city hadn’t had time to tear them down and build new ones. The area was sealed off, and there were no residents living there. At most, they would have a few homeless people who would sneak in for a day or two.

There wasn’t much surveillance around, and this alley happened to be in a blind spot.

“The case was reported at 1:25 a.m.. The informant is from the Urban Planning Committee, an intern.”

Sun Qinghui sighed.

“According to regulations, you have to enter this kind of place during the day and be accompanied by Party A and a government personnel. The intern lost his phone here, so he secretly came here alone since he was too scared to trouble Party A.”

As a result, the unlucky kid found his phone but also gained some major mental trauma. The person who reported the crime wasn’t at the scene. It was said he was taken away for emergency psychological intervention.

The three of them stopped near the body and were completely speechless for a while.

At the end of the alley stood a crimson cone with a diameter of less than a meter, organized like a large barricade. Under the moonlight, the crimson cone shone with the color of raw flesh, which appeared to look like it was made of minced meat.

On top of the cone was a human skull placed upright. There was no flesh or blood on the skull; it looked extremely clean, like a specimen.

Below the cone was a round pool of blood, which the cone was centered around, and it emitted a heavy smell of blood.

The edge of the pool of blood was surrounded by more than a dozen miscellaneous items. They were spaced at an exact distance from each other, and they seemed to be tracing the edge of the round pool of blood. These miscellaneous items were so neat that they looked creepy—a t-shirt, shoes, pants, and socks were stacked neatly; a kitchen knife that looked brand new, and even wads of things like toilet paper and receipts were flattened and neatly folded.

There were also a lot of dark things there. Zhong Chengshuo took a closer look and found that it was a small pile of hair.

Zhong Chengshuo looked at the clump of minced meat in the center and said, “…This is the corpse?”

Based on the size of the meat and the amount of bleeding, the victim was probably an adult.

It is indeed a corpse,’ Yin Ren replied in his heart. The pile of meat exuded a strong human smell. The victim must’ve died just now.

Sun Qinghui: “Yes, it’s a corpse. According to the Urban Planning Committee, it wasn’t here around 9 p.m.. There are no tire tracks nearby, so there are no signs of transportation. Whether this is the first crime scene and how many people have died, we still have to analyze and study it.”

Yin Ren covered his mouth cooperatively and retched a few times.

“The residual evil qi index on the corpse is 0.01~0.02fR. This person has been exposed to an evil being, but he didn’t die from an attack from it.” Lu Xiaohe’s voice sounded in their ears again. “Shian didn’t find any similar cult rituals in their database either. Please actively follow up on this, you two.”

“The sense of ritual is strong, like the kind of thing a lunatic would do.”

Sun Qinghui stood by the pool of blood with his brows tightly locked.

“Haigu has never had this kind of modus operandi before. We’re already investigating unsolved cases in the nearby area. Feel free to look around and update us if there’s any news.”

The temperature on summer nights was high. Many insects followed the smell of flesh and blood and crawled around the minced meat. Zhong Chengshuo and Yin Ren put on gloves, with the former checking the surrounding environment while the latter squatted down to observe the corpse pile.

Zhong Chengshuo almost rubbed his face on the nearby wall. As they investigated, the sound of pictures being taken intermittently sounded. Two hours later, he and Yin Ren were squatting together. Seeing his partner’s face, which looked like he was hesitant to speak, Yin Ren opened his backpack knowingly and handed him a bottle.

“Oolong tea, sugar-free.”

“Thank you. I’ll pay you back for it,” Zhong Chengshuo said sincerely.

“No, it’s fine. It’s rare for you to have such an oversight.” Yin Ren pulled out a can of peach-flavored soda and downed half of it gleefully.

“I can’t fit it in my backpack.” Zhong Chengshuo drank a few sips of tea and let out a small sigh. “Science posts have to carry medical kits and simple tools when going to work, so it’s inconvenient to carry other things.”

…How miserable.

After briefly sympathizing with his partner, Yin Ren cleared his throat. “Did you find anything?”

“There doesn’t seem to be any trace of a fight. Whether this thing was fresh or not, the police should be analyzing it. What about you? Can you… talk to the dead or something?”

As an atheist, Zhong Chengshuo asked this question with extreme uncertainty.

Yin Ren patiently explained, “There’s no way to talk, let alone the fact that it’s difficult for people to turn into ghosts. Even if it becomes an evil spirit, most of the time they can’t communicate well, which makes their testimony even less credible. People can’t know everything while alive, and they won’t suddenly open their eyes after death.”  

“That’s what the Shian textbook says,” Yin Ren thoughtfully added.

“I see.” Zhong Chengshuo drank two more sips of his tea. “If I was suddenly hit by a car while walking down the street, I might not even be able to react to how I died.”

“Exactly.” Yin Ren shook the can at him. “That’s a good example, but you shouldn’t use yourself as an example next time.”

Zhong Chengshuo’s gaze stopped on the shaking can for a moment. He thought for half a second, then picked up his oolong tea bottle and clinked it with Yin Ren’s can.

Yin Ren: “……”

Yin Ren: “Have you started reading that book, <The Art of Communication>?”

Zhong Chengshuo blinked, and the bottle was frozen in the air, seemingly at a loss.

“Haha, a toast is quite good.” Yin Ren couldn’t help laughing. “Cheers!”

Suddenly, a pair of hands pressed down on their heads.

“What are you doing at a crime scene? Be serious.”

“Uncle Sun.” Zhong Chengshuo hurriedly greeted.

“Did you find anything?”

Zhong Chengshuo: “There are no traces of fighting. No obvious bloodstains or damage. The conclusion of the crime scene investigator should be more comprehensive than mine.”

Sun Qinghui nodded. “Xiao Yin, how about you?”

Yin Ren: “I found four dead bugs.”

Seeing the confused faces of Sun Qinghui and Zhong Chengshuo, Yin Ren explained, “There are small black insects buzzing around the meat pile. The person who is that meat pile had just died not long ago, but the bugs in the meat have been dead for four or five days.”

Sun Qinghui was shocked. “Hah? Can you talk to the soul of a bug?”

Yin Blade was helpless.

He suddenly understood the feelings of programmers online who often ranted about “not wanting to fix code anymore”.

“I particularly like natural science,” Yin Ren said solemnly. “Look, it can be seen with the naked eye.”

He couldn’t advertise that he was familiar with all kinds of corpses in front of a criminal detective.

“I see. I’ll make sure forensics pays more attention to it later.” Sun Qinghui yawned. “The forensic pathologist is about to enter. If you two are finished, I’ll take you for a meal.”

Zhong Chengshuo hesitated. “We—”

“Go if you want to. Shian’s regulations aren’t so tight. Officer Sun Qinghui is an acquaintance of yours, right?” Lu Xiaohe also yawned through the earphone. “Just record the scene and continue investigating tomorrow… Uh… I mean, continue during the day.”

She was about to fall asleep.

As for Yin Ren, he would readily agree.

……

A street away, Sister Xu’s Spicy Hotpot was brightly lit.

The storefront wasn’t very large, and it was fairly clean. The plastic tables and chairs were polished, and the tiles on the floor weren’t messy with dirty footprints. The proprietress specialized in night business, and the ingredients in her plastic basket looked fresh.

She saw Sun Qinghui come in and boldly waved her hand. “Night shift again? Still with… Ah, this crop of newcomers is so handsome.”

“They’re not our newcomers. Xu Fang, don’t you recognize the one wearing glasses? That’s the son of Lao Zhong.”

“How would I be able to recognize him? The last time I saw him was when he was seven or eight, but I do have a bit of an impression. That kid kept saying he wanted to be a police officer when he grows up.” Xu Fang’s eyes widened with a smile, revealing a homely look. “I’ll take care of drinks tonight, so eat as much as you want.”

Yin Ren piled up a mountain of ingredients in his basket and muttered in a low voice, “You originally wanted to be a policeman?”

“Yes, but my parents disagree.”

Unlike Yin Ren, he wasn’t a fan of synthetic meat products. Zhong Chengshuo picked out some quail eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables. The proprietress neatly weighed the baskets and attached the price to them.

“They’re getting older, and I wasn’t insistent on doing it, so I changed my employment direction.” Zhong Chengshuo spoke calmly despite his failure to become a police officer.

“Xiao Zhong’s temperament is too strait-laced, which really isn’t suitable for a criminal police officer,” Sun Qinghui interjected with a smile. “If you want to do well in this profession, you have to be refined. Criminals are cunning, so watching people order food* is a required basic skill.”

*(看人下菜) Metaphor referring to treating people unequally and/or different. || Basically, he’s saying you have to treat criminals differently, but Zhong Chengshuo is too upright for such a profession (which I find kind of ironic).

“Maybe it’s because Xiao Zhong is afraid he will follow Fengfeng’s old path.” The boss sighed. “I say, Fengfeng was such a nice little girl…”

“Hey, Boss Cheng and Lao Zhong aren’t that kind of people. Speaking of which, Xu Fang, Xiao Zhong is now a top student at University A. Isn’t that amazing?” Sun Qinghui interrupted her with a smile.

The boss’ eyes lit up, and the topic turned to her child, who had entered high school.

The spicy hotpot was rich and fresh. Yin Ren dipped it in a ton of sesame sauce and ate it with relish. Zhong Chengshuo was caught up with the boss trying to tell him her “secret recipe” and was making a painful look as if he were constipated, while Sun Qinghui looked on happily.

The small shop didn’t really have a quiet ambience. Zhong Chengshuo and Yin Ren noticed that within a few minutes, night shift workers, drivers, medical staff, and the like joined in on the conversation, creating a bustling myriad of dialogues accompanied by heat steaming everywhere, which was quite lively in the early hours of the morning.

When Yin Ren emptied his third bowl of spicy hotpot, it was already close to 5 a.m.. The sky had gradually lit up, signifying the start of a brand new day.

Beside him, two workers toasted and started singing a song out of tune. A nurse had added a filter as she photographed her hotpot, while another kept peeking back at Yin Ren. Sun Qinghui was busy chatting with the boss about her children’s further studies while a driver was talking to Zhong Chengshuo about the fees at University A.

However, in the midst of this lively atmosphere, Yin Ren suddenly felt a prickly itch as if he were being watched.

He stopped abruptly and looked outside the door.

In the gradually thinning night, a vague figure flashed by, leaving behind an afterglow. Yin Ren looked intently at the door again but found there was nothing outside.

The streets in front of the store were empty, and he didn’t sense the feeling of evil beings or remnants of evil qi—there was nothing.

Yin Ren watched for a while.

How interesting,’ he thought. ‘This case may not be so simple after all.’

The next day.

After a night out in the field, the two of them went back to Shian’s office in the afternoon. Considering the rich lunch served at Shian’s cafeteria, Yin Ren dragged Zhong Chengshuo straight back to Shian.

“We just joined the company, so we have to behave positively.” Lord Ghost King spoke generously.

<The Art of Communication> failed to stop Zhong Chengshuo from saying, “You just want to eat in the cafeteria.”

Yin Ren didn’t even blush. “Yes, but this doesn’t conflict with our good performance. Besides, we haven’t met our new colleague in our group yet. Wouldn’t it be good to greet each other?”

Zhong Chengshuo was speechless as he clung to <The Art of Communication> in confusion.

Was it because his communication level was too low or was Yin Ren’s amnesia too strong? For the first time in the 28 years of his life, Zhong Chengshuo’s self-esteem was hurt by his EQ factors.

Not long after, Comrade Zhong Chengshuo’s self-esteem suffered a second blow.

As a C-level investigation team, they had an office in Shian. The office wasn’t large; one side had two desks adjacent to each other, each equipped with a computer and a bookshelf. The wall directly opposite of the door was full of multi-screen monitors, and the equipment underneath looked as complicated as an airplane cockpit.

In front of the “cockpit” was a girl sitting on an engineering chair, smiling at the two of them.

The girl was about 30 years old. She had a round face and eyes and wore light makeup. Her hair, which was slightly coarse and stiff, was tied up in a high ponytail. She wore a loose cow-print t-shirt and casual pants, accompanied by a pair of sneakers.

She didn’t look pretty, but her facial features gave off a warm feeling. Just from a first glance, they could tell she belonged to the “good character-type”.

“Wow, nice to meet you. You two are really handsome,” Lu Xiaohe said with a smile; the pace at which she spoke was still as fast as ever.

“I’m Lu Xiaohe from last night. You can call me Lu Jie or Xiaohe. If you have any questions about Shian, I’ll be happy to answer them at any time—oh, yes, I got your contact information and sent out a friend’s request. Remember to accept it.”

Yin Ren turned on his phone and found a friend application from “Milky Way”. Their “Shian—Farmer Orchard (3)” had now become “Shian—Small Work Group (4)”.

“Remember to use the Shian’s app for check-in and communication. Reserve the WeChat group for gossip and external communication,” Lu Xiaohe said. “I’ll provide you with tech support, information, and strategic rear support. You can rest assured. I’m very reliable.”

Yin Ren was full of expectations. “Really?”

Lu Xiaohe: “Really. I’ve been on this job for two years, and all the field teams I’ve supported are alive, and none have any serious disabilities.”

Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo: “……”

“Just kidding,” Lu Xiaohe chuckled. “Let’s get down to business.”

She grabbed the remote control casually, without looking at it, and pressed the power button. The screens all over the wall suddenly lit up, forming a large image. On the screen were all kinds of gory details that had to be mosaiced, as well as pictures of bugs that were a bit too detailed.

“The preliminary autopsy results from the police have come out. Shian will continue to follow up on this matter.”

“There was only one victim. Wu Tao, 36 years old. A famous gangster in Shangguang District. In other words, this guy is 100% pure scum. He’s been eating, drinking, gambling, and causing trouble with the local vagrants. When he was young, he was caught for petty theft. The police have this on file.”

Lu Xiaohe leaned back in her chair and turned half a circle, then switched the screen to Wu Tao’s profile.

“The clothes, skull, pile of meat, and hair you saw last night belonged to him. Wu Tao’s time of death was around 1 in the morning last night. The cause of death… could not be determined.”

Zhong Chengshuo: “Why?”

“Well, the problem lies in the bugs Xiao Yin found last night.”

Lu Xiaohe switched the screen.

“Forensics isolated 547 fruit flies from that pile of meat. The insect corpses probably gathered in Wu Tao’s mouth, nasal cavity, and trachea. A large number of bugs poured into his trachea in a short period of time, which indeed can kill.”

“But those fruit flies have been dead for more than a day, so it’s theoretically impossible to attack Wu Tao like that.”

“And when Wu Tao was pulverized into minced meat, his vital signs hadn’t completely disappeared. In addition, leaving aside the cause of death, the pile of minced meat is also very strange.”

Lu Xiaohe zoomed in on the pile of the shapeless corpse and continued without changing her expression.

“He wasn’t shredded up artificially, or this was done by some kind of machine.”

“Except for the skull, Wu Tao’s muscles, bones, and internal organs were precisely divided into cubes with a side length of 1 mm.”


The author has something to say:

Me to my gay friend: I need materials, buddy. I’m looking for a corpse finder who also works in urban planning. The body is in the closed area of the old city. The idea now is that the discoverer is trying to find his phone that he lost there at night, so I want to consult for some industry details.

Gay friend: Oh, that’s easy. You can create a scene where the planning group of a design institute is sent to investigate the old city. When work ended at midnight, a helpless person forgot his cellphone at the research site. The research records were all on his phone, and he had to submit the report tomorrow. After receiving feedback, the leader said he shouldn’t trouble Party A, but the report must still be submitted on time, so he needs to find a way himself.

Me: .

Gay friend: .

Me: That’s too heavy.


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