Chapter 33: The Twentieth Cycle of Time (IV)

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Original Translations: Crafted with Care, No Unauthorized Reposting Allowed.

The bombing in W City was a horrific and tragic case, with the highest number of casualties and the most dramatic social impact in several years.

Even without the pressure from all sides, any police officer who has been to the scene of the bombing and surveyed the tragedy on the ground will have a deep-seated desire to find the culprit and the motive for the bombing.

Why would he/they do this?

Is there a larger criminal organisation behind him/them that is preying on the safety of the community?

To solve a major case, it is not enough to rely on conjecture, but a complete chain of evidence and human and material evidence to support the facts they have investigated, and the process of finding evidence often takes some time.

The destruction in the carriage was so severe that no one survived in the bus, and even the bones found on the bus after the bombing were in a state of disrepair, making the investigation even more of a bottleneck.

But now, the clues provided by the two young men gave the task force a clear direction and a major breakthrough, and the situation became clear at once.

With direction, the forensic process is greatly reduced.

"God has eyes, and the net of heaven is wide open."

Mr. Zhang had only one thought about finding a clue so quickly.

"It is fortunate that two young men, one alert and one clever, have been of such great help to us."

"But don't you think they're too resourceful and clever too?"

Officer Du felt a little uneasy when he thought of the way the young man had taken the distribution map and "mimeographed" the location of each person without hesitation.

"It's good to see that when ordinary people meet something like this, their minds don't go to pieces, but he can remember every bit of it. And the girl ......"

If you knew something was wrong, why didn't you call the police?

He did not voice his displeasure, but Mr. Zhang could understand it.

"I know what you're worried about, and I share your concerns. But my experience is that these two young men should be innocent. A suspect in a bombing would not have volunteered to help the police, respond to a police summons, let alone carry such a heavy psychological burden because of the heavy casualties among the passengers on the bus."

Mr. Zhang thought of the little girl being consoled and cried out in pain, his heart was hard, "ordinary people are unable to take care of themselves when they meet this kind of thing, they can still think of helping others, they are good kids. Besides, haven't we done our research? They are clean and socially simple and have no criminal record, so they have no motive to become accomplices."

"There are always some offbeat geniuses in this world, some with extremely quick reflexes and some with superb picture memories, so maybe the lad is one with that talent? Since he said he usually likes to observe the passengers in the car, it's not unusual for him to be able to recall when it matters, and since the girl had noticed that something wasn't right with the person in the front row, as a friend, it made sense to pay a little more attention."

Mr. Zhang could understand Mr. Du's anger and regret about the case, but he was more inclined, emotionally, to believe the two young men.

"As to why the girl didn't call the police, I don't think this is anything to dwell on, it's not like she had any evidence, it just seemed strange that this middle-aged woman was talking to herself, human intuition is not usually taken as evidence, and many people who meet something like this would think it was trivial to call the police."

"You're right."

Officer Du sighed, "I was the one who was too nervous."

"Take it easy, don't push yourself so hard."

Mr. Zhang understands his urgency.

"I know you are responsible, but it is our duty to protect people's safety and maintain public order, and you cannot hold two ordinary young men to the same professional code and moral restraint."

"They will actively cooperate with the police to solve the case and they will have done the best they can."

On the other hand, Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun, who were assisting, soon got the answers they wanted from the police.

"The driver and the older woman are married?"

When they found out about their relationship, Li Shiqing and Boy almost lost their expressions.

If the police hadn't said anything, who would have thought that the driver's uncle would have such a relationship with the older woman who looked like a lunatic?

"Are you suggesting that the driver of this bus could have been an accessory to the crime?"

Boy the Glasses asks nervously.

"There is a strong possibility, but the final outcome will depend on the evidence found in the search."

Mr. Zhang said.

"You look surprised, why?"

Officer Du accepted Mr. Zhang's statement, but out of professionalism, he could see at once that something was wrong with Li Shiqing, which was already an occupational hazard that they could not control.

"Because I know this driver fairly well."

Li Shiqing didn't try to hide it, saying from the bottom of her heart, "I've been riding this bus for over two years now, and most of the time I travel on school holidays, I meet the driver of this bus today, who takes quite good care of the students and doesn't seem like someone who does this kind of thing."

Officer Du was also intrigued to hear that the girl was familiar with the driver.

"Oh? He listens to care for students? What about specifically? You tell us about it."

Li Shiqing then told several officers everything he remembered and knew about the driver.

When she first arrived in this place, she was too unfamiliar and shallow to bother people, but in such an unfamiliar place, most of the people she met were kind, which made her never want to speculate on others with malice.

She believed what she saw with her eyes and felt in her heart more than the poor, vicious older woman, and she was more inclined to think that the driver's uncle must be in some kind of distress.

"The driver's uncle and the other passengers in the car didn't speak to each other when we got in, including the older woman with the pressure cooker."

Li Shiqing said nervously, "We didn't even think that Uncle Driver could have such a relationship with that older woman."

"It does sound like a nice guy, not like he has a sociopathic personality ......"

Officer Du rubbed his chin and asked the assistant beside him, " Fang Zi, were the driver and the suspect Tao Yinghong the original couple? Are there any children?"

"It was the original spouse, the two were married twenty-five years ago, their hometown was in Q, S province, and they settled in this city three years ago." Fang Zi looked at the information in his hand, his brow gradually furrowing, "They had a daughter, but she is deceased."

Li Shiqing and Boy looked at each other with even more surprised eyes.

Previously Li Shiqing and Boy had discussed the suspicion that the uncle might have had to succumb to the criminal organization because his family had been kidnapped or taken hostage, and had also envisioned that if the police could have found this out, choosing to free the hostages in the first place might have pulled in the driver's help ......

But now, the evidence from the police investigation tells them that the so-called "family" of the driver's uncle is the crazy old lady, and his daughter is long gone ......

The path was broken at once.

"Find out what happened to their daughter."

Mr. Zhang interjected, "What makes a middle-aged woman do something like this is most likely related to her children."

"What else can you recall? Please tell us all as much as you can, including whether there are any other suspicious people in the car and whether there is any possibility of a gang operation ......"

Mr. Zhang was worried.

Given the circumstances under which Uncle and Auntie were investigated, Li Shiqing and Boy thought carefully about whether there was anything they might have missed, but eventually shook their heads.

"The car was full of old grandparents who didn't have to work and we didn't think anything was wrong, or at least we didn't notice."

Boy replied in a discreet manner.

Just then, Officer Du's phone suddenly rang.

" Little Jiang over there."

Officer Du looks at the caller alert and picks up in a hurry.

"Excellent, well done, keep searching and see what else you find!"

It seemed that some good news had been said over there, and a vague smile actually appeared on his usual serious face, "I will also cooperate with you on my side to continue the search."

"What, Little Jiang, what's going on over there?"

Mr. Zhang asked impatiently.

Li Shiqing and Xiao Heyun also looked up at him with anticipation in their eyes.

Officer Du's eyes swept over the two young men, hesitated for a moment but did not hold back and spoke in front of them.

" Little Jiang found the bomb-making tools and leftover raw materials in the detached garage of the suspect couple's name property. It is now virtually certain that the bombs were made by the couple."

"In a residential area?"

Mr. Zhang's face showed anger when he heard where the raw materials had been found.

"They bought a second-hand house in Gang Wu New Village, only three years ago. According to the recollections of the neighbours across the street, usually the male owner of the house lived outside and came back two or three times a week, and the female owner came home about as often as the male owner came back, and usually rarely socialised with the neighbours and seemed to have a bad rapport."

With this important discovery, Officer Du is in no hurry.

Shortly afterwards, the officer who had investigated the driver, Wang Xingde, and his wife, Tao Yinghong, also brought in information and entered the task force office.

"The driver, Wang Xingde, used to be a big-rig driver, running haulage in his home province of S. His wife, Tao Yinghong, has been a high school chemistry teacher at Q City First Middle School ......"

Three years ago, Wang Xingde was hired by the city's bus company through a labour dispatch company and officially became a bus driver after a period of pre-employment training, before officially transferring to the line two years ago."

"In the same year, Tao Yinghong quit his job to follow Wang Xingde to the city, and because of his qualifications in chemistry, he worked as a quality inspector in a chemical factory, which he quit six months ago."

Now, not only can the suspicion of the crime be established, but even the conditions for making the bomb are there.

"Why would they give up their stable jobs back home to settle in W City?" Mr. Zhang wondered, "Bus drivers can't be paid more than big cargo drivers, can they?"

No matter how you look at it, the suspect couple is full of suspicions.

" Mr. Zhang, you continue to talk to the two of them and see if there's anything else you've missed, you stay with the group and take the lead. We'll go and meet up with Little Jiang and call if anything comes up."

With a clue, Officer Du was unwilling to waste any time and was eager to investigate more evidence.

When Officer Du had left, Li Shiqing and Boy sat on the bench, looking at a room full of busy officers, but they were the only ones sitting at ease.

Mr. Zhang noticed the discomfort of the two young men, thought for a moment, smiled and said to them, "It's a bit chaotic here, so how about you come with me to my office, it's a bit quieter."

As Boy and Li Shiqing were the only people who could tell us exactly what the last passengers in the car looked like, neither Mr. Zhang nor Mr. Du had any intention of letting them go back so soon.

But it really wasn't appropriate for them to leave the two young men hanging like that while they were investigating the case.

"I have a marching bed in my office, so you guys can lie down if you're tired. There are also charging cables and hot water, so take a little break and play with your phones or something ......"

Mr. Zhang led them into his office, found two chairs for them to sit on, and rummaged around for something to entertain them, only to find a few bags of compressed biscuits to keep the hunger at bay.

"Sorry, I'm not in the habit of snacking, so I don't have anything to eat. If you're hungry, just eat this and I'll treat you to dinner tonight!"

Mr. Zhang looks at the biscuit awkwardly.

"It's okay, this is quite tasty, I haven't had it in ages."

Boy took the biscuit and didn't mind it at all.

Xiao Heyun's thoughtfulness endeared Mr. Zhang to the two young men, and while waiting for information about Wang Xingde's daughter, Mr. Zhang spent time with them, mostly asking about the car and trying to see if there was anything more he might have missed.

As we chatted, something flashed through Li Shiqing's mind and her expression was slightly stunned.

"What, did you remember something else?"

Mr. Zhang asks with a smile.

" Officer Zhang, I have a question and I asked it, don't laugh at me ......"

She scratched her head like she was embarrassed.

"Well, you ask."

"Hypothetically, I mean hypothetically ......"

Li Shiqing's expression is very serious, even though he says it is only a 'hypothesis'.

Thinking that she had something important to ask, Mr. Zhang followed suit.

"Suppose, my eyes open tomorrow and I find myself back on this bus in an accident ......"

At Boy's astonished expression, Li Shiqing earnestly begged the question.

"It was only thirty minutes before the explosion, Xiao Heyun and I knew there was a bomb in the car and we knew the culprits were the older woman and the driver, what could we do with the limited conditions to stop the bombing?"

Published at: 02/12/2022 20:00