Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 55: The Search
“I’ve checked. Those chat records are true. The other party is indeed Lu Guangzu. Bai Yongji transferred about 50,000 yuan to him, and all the money went to his bank account.”
Lu Xiaohe’s speech was muffled since she was chewing on a pen.
“But that Mr. Bai’s behavior is a bit subtle… Although it can be understood as ‘I want to make a good impression on the friend of the person I’m chasing’, this news came at just the right time. Xiao Yin, Xiao Zhong, what do you think?”
“It could be bait.” “Wait a few days.” The two spoke in unions.
“Don’t worry, Xiaohe Jie. Just leave it to us,” Yin Ren added briskly.
Zhong Chengshuo was even more brisk. “I’ll check the background of this person as soon as possible.”
“Good. You two are getting better at your job,” Lu Xiaohe said with relief. “Alright, time for Teacher Lu to review your homework.”
She pulled up Yin Ren’s “interrogation report”.
“Xiao Yin, you have a lot of typos, so pay a little more attention next time. Let’s start with the contents first…”
Lu Xiaohe pulled up several other reports.
“Indeed, we did a polygraph test and also have the police’s interrogation report. Lu Guangzu may not really be the real culprit. Xiao Yin, you should check the reports from other departments before writing yours. There could be important clues in them.”
“For example, the Inspection Department also issued a report yesterday. The ‘Evil Force’ corruption on Fang Yong is identical to Feng Qi’s case. This case does have the handwriting of Sunken Society.”
Having said that, Lu Xiaohe paused for a moment.
“…But I have another question. If Sunken Society is behind Lu Guangzu, he didn’t have to ‘surrender’ thanklessly. There are numerous ways to demonstrate and spread the news.”
She flipped the pen around in her hand and fell into contemplation.
Zhong Chengshuo’s gaze swept across Yin Ren as he spoke in a normal tone. “If he pretends to ‘surrender’, does this mean he’s providing clues?”
“Exposing the case? Like some kind of part of justice?” The pen in Lu Xiaohe’s hand turned faster. “If he has clues on the murderer, why didn’t he just hand them over to Shian?”
“Perhaps he couldn’t get the evidence, but he was anxious for us to investigate the case, so he took a risk. In theory, this could be a possibility.” Zhong Chengshuo seemed to be implying something. “But looking at Yin Ren’s report, this is unlikely.”
Lu Xiaohe shook her head. “You’re right. I just mentioned it casually. If Lu Guangzu really reported the crime in a self-exposed manner, why would he help Sunken Society recruit Xiao Yin—Xiao Yin, this information is important. You’re not wrong about Lu Guangzu’s intention, right?”
“Definitely true. I swear on Zhong Ge’s innocence.” Yin Ren gave Zhong Chengshuo a meaningful glance.
“Stop talking nonsense.” Lu Xiaohe was indifferent. “Anyway, for our group, the direction from above has been set. The search for the other missing people and the investigation into Sunken Society will be followed up by other groups. You guys will continue to cooperate with the police and be in charge of Lu Guangzu, and also keep an eye out on Bai Yongji to see if you can dig anything up.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “Regarding the ‘human chair’, is this all the report has?”
At present, they had only seen the analysis of the Evil Force but the report didn’t say much about the status or cause of the “human chair” itself.
“In fact, the final report hasn’t come out yet. I’m also very concerned.” Lu Xiaohe clacked on the keyboard. She repeatedly inquired unsuccessfully and clicked her tongue.
“Strange, how come the Foreign Object Identification Department is so slow this time… Well, I’ll ask later. Let’s continue working first.”
She closed the inquiry window bitterly, causing the big screen to beep while Zhong Chengshuo spread out the 10 missing people documents.
“Officer Sun investigated all missing reports in the last three months and narrowed the scope to ten people. These ten people completely ‘disappeared from the world’ without any traces or clues left behind.”
Ten files lay in front of them. They included men, women, and children. Through the small photos, they looked at the world outside the photos. Their expressions were either stiff or gentle, but they all had the same vivid look.
“Except for the information of Lu Yuanyuan and Fan Yong, the remaining 8 missing people now have special police forces investigating. Which one did Xiao Zhong think was special yesterday… Oh, this one.”
Lu Xiaohe zoomed in on the last file. A sweet, smiling face occupied a quarter of the big screen. The girl’s features weren’t outstanding, but her smile was very sunny, which gave a radiance to her face. The girl’s eyes were a bit foggy, giving her an elf-like beauty rather than being strange.
“Ding Lizi, female, 21 years old, disappeared two weeks ago. At that time, the Haigu police made a record but didn’t focus on investigating it.”
The police kept a detailed record of the girl’s disappearance—in a sense, the police weren’t negligent.
Ding Lizi was heavily sight impaired, which made her almost indistinguishable from a blind person. Her hometown was in the distant X Province, and she recently came to Haigu with her fellow villagers for work. Ding Lizi worked as a customer representative during the day and would sing at a nearby bar at night, which meant the scope of her activities was relatively small.
Two weeks ago, a young man came to the Municipal Public Security Bureau to report a case, claiming the Ding Lizi was missing.
However, at that point in time, Ding Lizi had just lost contact with her boss—she had sent a voice message to the customer service company and the bar, saying that something was wrong at home and she wanted to return to her hometown with her fellow villagers. The man who reported her missing wasn’t related to her in any way, so the police only made a record but didn’t disclose Ding Lizi’s relevant information to him.
After all, the reporter couldn’t get any tangible evidence, so he could only repeatedly state that “she and I have an appointment” and “she wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye”.
This time, the police thoroughly investigated the disappearance case, and after several turnarounds, they contacted Ding Lizi’s family in her hometown. The family said they had never seen her and couldn’t reach her because her phone was turned off and all communications and payment accounts hadn’t been touched. Officer Sun immediately made the decision to include her in the category of “possible victims”.
Incidentally, the police searched for the man named “Huang Jin” who reported the case and found that he was also suspected of disappearing in place.
“If you’re sure you want to investigate her, I’ll let Officer Sun know and include you on the investigation team.” Lu Xiaohe stopped rotating her pen and put it back on the table. “Don’t put too much emphasis on the investigation of the missing people. The police are the main force for that. Just follow your own ideas…”
“Lu Jie, I personally don’t want to search for Ding Lizi first.” Zhong Chengshuo interrupted Lu Xiaohe and shook his head firmly.
“Assuming that Lu Guangzu isn’t the real culprit, then the true perpetrator is still hiding in the shadows. If my guess is correct, Ms. Ding is ‘more special’. If the true perpetrator finds out that Shian is investigating her specifically, they may destroy the body in advance.”
Zhong Chengshuo took the remote control and clicked back a page.
The page stopped on the information of the person who reported the case, “Huang Jin”.
The young man in the photo had a handsome face and slightly long black hair. He was expressionless, with a gloom between his brows. His eyes flickered slightly through the screen as if he were looking at the edge of the photo.
“Since he’s related to Ding Lizi, we can start with this ‘Huang Jin’,” Zhong Chengshuo said. “The probability of spooking the snake* is slightly smaller like this.”
*(打草惊蛇) Idiom referring to acting rashly and alerting the enemy.
When lunch break arrived, Yin Ren grabbed Zhong Chengshuo and zoomed out, heading straight to the cafeteria. Lu Xiaohe stretched while in her chair and did some casual eye exercises.
After a short break, she frantically refreshed the internal website again, trying to get the final test report from the Foreign Object Identification Department. The loading icon jumped around in her eyes, then suddenly, a new report appeared at the top.
Lu Xiaohe instantly perked up. She glanced at the words “Fan Yong” on the report and tried to connect.
Lu Xiaohe paused. She had never encountered this situation before.
Could this be a system bug?
She clicked several times, unconvinced, but the cold pop-up window kept hanging in the middle of the screen and the prompt remained unchanged. Lu Xiaohe took a deep breath. She logged out and logged in repeatedly but was still unable to view the report.
She stared at the pop-up window for a while, and finally opened the internal software and clicked on “Hao Wenzhe”.
[Lu Xiaohe: Wenzhe, what’s the situation? I keep getting “insufficient authority” on the report page. Report number SA8729948719】
[Lu Xiaohe: This is a case where we are cooperating with the police. We need to check the progress of the report.]
[Hao Wenzhe: Oh that.]
[Hao Wenzhe: That report is the work of the Emergency Management Department, so you don’t need to follow up. The Identification Department will give you a separate report later. Please read that one.]
[Lu Xiaohe: Wenzhe, it’s not easy to do our job if you guys are like this.]
[Hao Wenzhe: I understand. We will try our best to carry our weight.]
[Lu Xiaohe: Can I ask about the direction of your investigation? I’m onto something.]
[Hao Wenzhe: Looking for the victims.]
[Hao Wenzhe: I have something to do. I’ll contact you if I get any updates.]
Looking for the victims? Lu Xiaohe’s fingers froze on the keyboard. She had never been exposed to this kind of case of “arresting a murderer” and “finding people”.
The task of finding the culprit was handed over to the police and several low-level investigation teams. Instead, the Emergency Management Department was now going to find the victims? The corruption of the Evil Force must be…
She lowered her head, hesitated for a while, and finally selected “Shian—Small Work Group”.
[Milky Way: Regarding the matter of the human chair, the Emergency Management Department is following up on it. Our department must wait for the report.]
[Milky Way: Pay attention you two when you’re out on the field @Fruit Knife @Final Fruit]
[Milky Way: This case may not be so simple. The opponent is Sunken Society, and we don’t know what those bastards have up their sleeves.]
At the same time.
Fu Xingchuan and Li Nian were standing in the elevator. It was rare for Fu Xingchuan to wear a dark-colored outfit. His body was crimson, like a pool of blood that had dried. Li Nian was also dressed neatly, without a single wrinkle on his collar.
Unlike usual, this time there were eight buttons on the elevator and an extremely weird pictographic symbol shown on the digital display.
“You should have transferred those two people out.” Professor Li spoke as the elevator door closed. “This matter has a risk of leaking.”
Fu Xingchuan wasn’t smoking; he even sprayed some cologne on himself. “How should I put this, maybe I’m more sensitive to fate. They checked everything. If you’re worried about Lu Xiaohe… Hao Wenzhe is still reliable. There will be no mistakes.”
“Have you checked everything?” Professor Li snorted.
“Leave the public affairs to the police. They are more professional at investigating cases than we are, and it just so happens they are training new recruits.” Fu Xingchuan didn’t look at his partner. “Us old guys have other ways. Think of it as a double-pronged attack.”
As soon as his voice fell, the elevator suddenly flickered, bumping frantically. It was then filled with a burnt smell, and a few seconds later, the elevator made a scratchy “ding” sound and stopped on an unknown floor.
The elevator door slowly opened.
The scene outside the door was unexpectedly normal. If this were changed to somebody else, they might think that this was a corridor of a high-end hotel.
The corridor was decorated with dim and warm lighting, patterned camel-colored carpets, soft music, and a fluttering fragrance. On either side of the corridor, the doors were closed tightly, with only a single number plate on them.
The two stepped on the soft carpet and walked towards the end of the corridor. Near the end, Fu Xingchuan finally stopped in front of a door.
Unknown whether they sensed visitors, there was a dull sound of bones rubbing together behind the door. Something huge approached the door, which was followed by an old man’s chuckle that trickled out of the crack of the door. The room facing the two of them was silent, and there was only pure darkness in the crack.
Fu Xingchuan ignored the abnormality behind him. He held his breath and knocked on the door respectfully three times.
“Minister Jiao, excuse me,” he whispered.
With a click, the door lock popped open by itself.
The room was spacious, and the layout was like a hotel—that was, if the room weren’t covered by terrible-looking wires, it would be no different from a presidential suite of other hotels.
However, at this moment, those weird wires crawled all over the walls and were drilled into the wallpaper. At first glance, it looked like a mutated blood vessel or some kind of neural network. In the center of the pile of sticky “wires” stood… something indescribable.
At a glance, it was a woman sitting at the head of the bed holding another petite woman across her arms.
But that was just a vague shape.
They hugged each other tightly, with flesh sticking together, and the texture of their bodies was like metal and plastic. Display screens of different sizes were embedded in their bodies, covering all the features of the creature, and abstract patterns that no one could understand flickered frantically on the screen. Just looking at the outline, they—it—looked like a piece of pyrite that had just taken shape.
Only those “wires” with a fleshy texture still showed any semblance of a “living thing”.
The moment the two walked to the bed, Fu Xingchuan’s phone started crazily vibrating. Minister Fu placed it gently at the foot of the bed and turned it on speakerphone.
“Over there. Indeed, there are, newcomers.”
A voice speaking in a strange tone, as if it were synthetic, came from the speakers.
“However, people, incomplete, uncertain, location.”
Professor Li restrained his sharpness and spoke in a gentle tone. “How many people are there?”
“About, seven, they, too far away, incomplete, can’t be found.”
These words seemed to be intercepted from different people’s mouths, and then roughly put together, which made it extremely uncomfortable to listen to.
“They are, still alive, shouldn’t be, there, but, don’t have, anchor point.”
Fu Xingchuan frowned. “Is it not enough to have Fan Yong…”
“Collapsed, crazy, can’t, use,” The voice in the speaker immediately replied. “Thoughts, too broken, too broken. You guy, read the report.”
“Give me, complete, mind. I can, give you, the, coordinates.”
“What?” Fu Xingchuan showed a look of confusion.
“We have to sync the victim’s ‘exact thoughts’ to her. That way, she can find where the victim is on the ‘other side’ and then reverse the position to the ‘real world’.”
Professor Li stepped on Fu Xingchuan’s foot and gritted his teeth as he translated for his partner.
“The analogy is similar to keyword indexing position.”
“Correct.” There was praise in the strange voice.
As long as they could determine the actual location of the victims, not only could they save them as quickly as possible, but they could also find the real culprit as well. But to parse the victim’s thoughts in real time…
“To find a victim, we must first understand the victim’s thinking, but if we can’t get in touch with the victim, we can’t determine their thoughts. This is a paradox.” Professor Li frowned, but his tone remained gentle.
“Hehe, it’s, useless.” The voice mocked.
Fu Xingchuan: “Uh, Minister Jiao…”
“Try the key idea of ‘Grandpa’?” Professor Li pushed Fu Xingchuan away and didn’t show his annoyance.
If Lu Yuanyuan was still alive somewhere, this was the most likely thing for him to think about.
The flicker of countless displays suddenly accelerated, and meaningless weird images gave birth to some kind of deadly temptation. The two men watched with fascination until they were interrupted by a bursting headache.
They quickly looked away, but unfortunately, they were one beat slower. When they turned their heads, both of them had bright red nosebleeds on their faces.
Some fragments of information rushed directly into their brains, causing endless dizziness and nausea. Li Nian covered his mouth and almost vomited. If they had watched longer, their brains might have boiled through their skulls.
But they did feel that strange feeling—the presence of a certain “person” wavering, like a candle in boundless darkness.
“Not enough, the target, too fragile,” “Minister Jiao” replied. “Lu Yuanyuan, hurry, will collapse, can’t be located.”
“Okay, then let’s go to the corruption point of the Evil Force.” Fu Xingchuan wiped the blood on his face and sighed fiercely. “Minister Jiao, please continue your search. If you need anything, just let us know.”
“Chocolate, ice cream. I want to eat, chocolate, ice cream.”
Fu Xingchuan smiled weakly. “Okay.”
Jiao Lian, the current minister of the Foreign Body Identification Department, no longer had a mouth to eat with, but every time they asked this question, she would always give them the same answer.
“The culprit’s, ability, is similar to mine, but not strong, enough.”
Just as Fu Xingchuan was about to hang up, Minister Jiao spoke again.
“He actually, sent innocent people, there, but fortunately, only half, were sent.”
“I will, definitely, let them, go home.”
“I will, definitely, let them, go home.”
“I will, definitely, let them, go home.”
“You two should come back early too.” Fu Xingchuan patted the “wire” at the foot of the bed. “We’ll go first. See you later.”
Yin Ren didn’t go to the police immediately.
Similar to yesterday, Yin Ren insisted on dragging Zhong Chengshuo to a nearby restaurant to have a sumptuous dinner, but unlike yesterday, Bai Yongji didn’t appear this time, and everything was normal.
Yin Ren stuffed himself with honey yogurt and narrowed his eyes—he wandered around the street a few times yesterday and then ran to the tallest indoor restaurant for dinner, but the weird peeping feeling he felt during Feng Qi’s case didn’t reappear.
Could it be that despite the fact that he and Zhong Chengshuo had been in charge of the case for a while, Sunken Society wasn’t keeping an eye on them this time?
It was a pity that he was fishing happily but only caught Bai Yongji, whose motives were unknown.
Speaking of which, Bai Yongji was also a bit troublesome. Yin Ren didn’t feel the aura of a cultivator on him, and he also didn’t notice any hostility, which made things really unpredictable.
“Zhong Ge, have you read Bai Yongji’s file?”
Yin Ren didn’t bother to turn on his phone to check. He instead chose to bribe Zhong Chengshuo with a small piece of raisin dessert. The latter stared at him with complicated eyes.
“Don’t stare at me. I can’t see the tricks between those changes in the workplace. This kind of thing still depends on a science post.”
“There’s nothing wrong with his file.”
To be precise, Bai Yongji’s experience was like a replica of Zhong Chengshuo. He achieved excellent results since childhood and had a harmonious family. After graduating high school, he went to study abroad. When he returned, he became extremely successful. Unlike Comrade Xiao Zhong, Mr. Bai was sociable and popular with people. Even his relationships with two people in the past ended amicably, and his ex-girlfriends didn’t have a bad thing to say about him.
A standard young talent.
“He came to Haigu last year and had psychological counseling at the end of the year. Due to the privacy involved, the counseling agency only gave us general information… I can roughly see that he’s worried about some work-related matters, which is very common.”
Zhong Chengshuo scooped up a spoonful of vegetarian pilaf.
“At that time, he had just joined the company and taken over a failing project, so there was a lot of pressure on his performance. However, Bai Yongji survived and brought the entire project back to life. Because of this, his reputation among his colleagues is also quite good.”
This person went on a blind date with Officer Sun’s precious daughter. Officer Sun most likely had more means to investigate his background than Shian. Given that Bai Yongji was invited to the Sun’s home for dinner, it could be seen that there’s really no stain in his past.
Mr. Bai had never even gotten a car ticket.
“Since his problem is so common, why did he get caught up with Lu Guangzu?” Yin Ren asked as if he didn’t understand.
“Lu Guangzu said that he could transfer his luck, after which he probably used ‘some means’ to prove it.” Zhong Chengshuo dug a spoonful into his dessert. He didn’t seem very interested in topics around Lu Guangzu. “Since he’s doing intermediary work, he has means through his own channels.”
“You don’t seem very interested in Lu Guangzu.”
“He’s been caught, and it’s imperative to determine the real culprit,” Zhong Chengshuo replied rigidly.
“Oh—yes, determine the real culprit.”
Yin Ren was now full of food and drink, so he stretched his waist. He looked at Zhong Chengshuo with burning eyes, like a beast stalking its prey in the bushes.
“Lu Guangzu” was a fake. Zhong Chengshuo was unlikely to find more “clues related to the real culprit” from him. After putting pressure on him, Yin Ren didn’t think that “Lu Guangzu” still had the mental strength to deceive King Yama.
Then the so-called “special Ding Lizi”, which Zhong Chengshuo reviewed, and Huang Jin, who was related to her, were worth thinking about.
Zhong Chengshuo probably knew something, but he chose to keep it from Shian.
‘…What a perfect partner,’ Yin Ren thought. The time was just right for him to take his next step.
They would definitely become the perfect accomplices.
The author has something to say:
Xiao Zhong’s innocence is gone! (x
By the way~
The plot of this novel is just halfway through, and there are many actors (including the protagonist). Many performances also foreshadow some of the setting later. Under this premise, I won’t clarify everyone’s behavior or thoughts.
As for the analysis related to this novel:
①Sometimes I don’t point out the reason for foreshadowing.
② Everyone has a variety of questions. Some ask directly, some misread the original text/forget the previous text/understand it differently. If everyone is guaranteed to understand, this novel will become more like a thesis.
③Due to the plot arrangement, many analyses will be placed in a more appropriate plot elaboration.
Just a little explanation ↑
Regarding the author’s note, if you’ve read other works by Nian Zhong, you know she likes to give foreshadows (sometimes hundreds of chapters) in advance. Some things may be confusing or unexplained now, but you need to finish reading the entire novel to get them. This is why I provide summaries of each arc so that you won’t forget the main points.
After all, the best satisfaction comes when you realize all the plot pieces come together, so be patient. Keep in mind, this is a novel that spans 246 chapters.
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2 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch55”
Thanks for the chapter >w<
Thank you so much for your hard work!