The Great Worm Lich Chapter 17
Yang Zhengqi, who was initially re-telling what was happening at the crime scene in all seriousness, yelled a foul word out of nowhere, causing the crowd on site to be stunned.
However, as they looked upon the corpse that Yang Zhengqi was investigating, the same urge to curse fell upon them. In addition to the broken neck on the victim's corpse, tied to the victim's arm was half of a gigantic venomous worm, with its many legs filled with blood. As they looked at the creature, a chill went down their spine.
Song Xinghe turned the urge into reality. "F*cking hell, what the hell is that?!"
Whether those who were born and bred in Western Sichuan believed in witchcraft, the mysterious culture was imprinted on them as they grew up. What was left of the venomous worm was so big that it did not seem like a venomous worm at all. Without a doubt, this was the last thing that a Western Sichuan police officer would have wanted to see in a crime scene.
The silence at the crime scene was unbearable. "Could that be a toy?" Wumin asked. Just as the words slipped her tongue, her face turned pale.
Naturally, nobody would respond to such an immature question. Moreover, Wumin's face was flushing after asking that question.
Eventually, Yang Zhengqi, who held the highest position at the scene, was the first to calm down and say, "Let's ignore the worm carcass now. Let's proceed to finish the work. Xiao Wu, please record properly."
"After person A chopped his arm off, he ran into the kitchen. Person C and person D also started moving and dashed toward the kitchen as well.
"These three people eventually broke the kitchen's door, but the target that they were chasing after escaped from the window. Looking at the size of the kitchen window, the target must be skinny and small. The footprints under the courtyard window prove this point as well.
"After the target escaped, person A began chasing after him. There's a pause here, perhaps he had a short confrontation with the target. After this, person A died on the spot.
"After person A was person C's turn to die. Looking at the marks, person C suddenly lost his ability to move for some reason as he dashed toward the target. Combined with his ripped abdomen and his kneeling pose, I dare presume that the reason is fear.
"After person C died, the murderer then targeted person D. Person D died near the entrance, and there was little movement from the corpse. However, from my preliminary speculation, he must have attempted to escape at that time and was killed after that. As for the remainder of the big worm in person D's abdomen, do be careful and exercise caution when performing forensics later. Do not be poisoned.
"Don't record what I'm going to say now. Combining everything that I've said just now, I speculate that the murderer must have killed person A and person B to protect himself, person C's death happened during and in between his process of defending himself, while person D's death was completely intentional.
"I would like to proceed to ask the witness of this case. Are my description of the case progress and the last speculation right or wrong?"
After saying that, Yang Zhengqi walked next to Zhang Lisheng and looked straight at him with a piercing gleam.
It was dead silent around. After a short moment of hesitation, Zhang Lisheng said without any expression on his face, "I passed out after escaping from the kitchen, I don't know anything else that happened after that.
"Then how about before you passed out?"
"Before I passed out, I saw a venomous worm biting the person who has a hole on his neck from the kitchen window. I don't know anything about the rest."
After hearing Zhang Lisheng's answer, Yang Zhengqi looked closely at him for a while and asked all of the sudden, "How old is he?"
Nobody there answered that.
A while later, Song Xinghe then helped to ask, "Chief Yang is asking you that, Chief Tao. This kid, no, how old is this lad?"
"I think 14, shouldn't be 14 yet." Noticing that he could not get away with that, Tao Lielin mumbled with his head held low.
"This deputy village chief, who used to be in the military, claimed that he heard from somebody before that an underage adult below 14 doesn't have to bear any criminal liabilities."
Yang Zhengqi took a moment of silence and did not ask anything anymore. He then said with his deep voice, "Xuqiang, you'll bring Squadron 1 to do an on-site forensic investigation.
"Lihao, Wangyang, you guys will bring the suspect back to the force, remember to manage him well.
"Guangsheng, you don't have to bother about anything. Go to the County Registration Bureau to verify the suspect's age. Make sure you obtain the most detailed record.
"I'll meet Squadron 2 and Squadron 3 now to see what they've got from investigating the situation in the village."
Hearing Yang Zhengqi's instruction, all of the police officers from the Qu County Criminal Police Force showed an uneasy expression and none of them began to move.
Lihao, who was instructed to escort Zhang Lisheng, said while biting the bullet, "Chief Yang, I think this is simply an accident where a venomous worm attacked the victims. The victims are all active robbers, we should not make a scene out of this"
"Comrade Lihao, the nature of the case must be determined by the evidence and the conclusion from interrogation." Yang Zhengqi, who was oddly serious, said, "Moreover, no matter what the nature of the case is, we can't just close such a major criminal case hastily.
"I've received a call from Director Xiangguo when I was on the way to Guawo Village. He said that according to the City Bureau Information Office Network Supervision Section, he was notified that the images of the Guawo Village murder are on the top 1,000 coolest images on America's version of WeChat called Twitter.
"What is this? This is an international influence. Our county has done years of tourism promotion and none of them are as 'colorful' as those pictures combined.
"The county government committee held an emergency meeting last minute and decided to report the case gradually as soon as it was decided. The provincial office's working group might be on their way now"
"Top 1,000 on America's 'Coolest Images on Twitter'! It's just a case from this lousy village, i-it's just been a short while. I-It can't be."
"We're living in the society of internet, the characteristic of the information society. Just like what the commercial says, we're in the era where 'internet is boundless while earth is a village'.
"Alright, I explained so much because I understand the difficulty you're feeling. Never again will I do this, do your job now."
"Yes, Chief," Lihao bowed and replied blandly after understanding how serious the matter was. He then escorted Zhang Lisheng out of the house together with Wangyang, whose face was as stiff as his.
On the village mountain path, just after the three of them took a couple of steps, Lihao forced a smile and suddenly said, "Hey buddy, I was also born into a Miaowei Chinese Family. It's my superior's instruction to escort you, I hope you won't blame me if there are any mistakes or things that you might find offensive."
"Don't worry, brother police. I know you're just doing your job for a living and you don't have a choice." Zhang Lisheng held his head down while looking at the stone road beneath his feet. His reply was soft, and he still had an indifferent expression on his face.
It would definitely be very odd for a police officer and a criminal suspect to have a conversation despite the generation gap in a big city such as the current Shanghai. However, they were currently in the Western Sichuan Miaowei Land that was covered in dense jungle. It seemed that the harmony in the little mountain village would never change.
The police officers escorting him were relieved after hearing Zhang Lisheng's understanding response. Lihao and Wangyang did not bother him throughout their journey from Guawo Village to county town due to his quietness.
The Qu County Public Security Criminal Police Force's office was not in the Qu County Public Security Bureau but was a stand-alone house that was less than 500 meters away from the bureau.
Due to the criminal police's unique nature of work, the courtyard was filled with police cars. After entering the criminal police force, Wangyang failed to fit in any of the tiny spaces after turning his car and steering back and forth for a long time.
"God damn it, I'll definitely scratch their cars if the people from Squadron 4 simply park their cars like that again." Irritated, Wangyang cursed while clenching his teeth. As a police officer who had worked for grassroots criminal investigations, foul language had become a habit.
"Alright, Yangzi. Even if you smashed their cars, the state will be the ones who pour in money to fix the cars."
"Nevermind, reverse the car and I'll bring Brother Zhang Lisheng to wait for Chief Yang at the office."
"Alright then, I'll go get food for the three of us. I'll get something good for the both of us." Wangyang nodded.
"Don't forget to get a couple of drinks too," Lihao added on to what Wangyang said earlier. He opened the vehicle door and got off the police car with Zhang Lisheng.
At the same time, Yang Zhengqi, who was questioning Guawo Villagers and tourists in Guawo Village together with his underlings, received a call from criminal police officer Long Guangsheng, who had gone to the County Registration Bureau to verify Zhang Lisheng's real age.
"Old man, please, you must notify the police station if you recall what exactly you heard last night. This is a vicious criminal case, it's for all of your own safety" Yang Zhengqi did not forget to advise a skinny and old villager when he was picking up his phone.
"What criminal case are you talking about, it'd be strange if they didn't die after breaking into Guawo Village's Zhang family's house.
"They've always said the old Zhang family's current generation's 'father' is flimsy. Flimsy? They never thought about it, how can he be flimsy if he's the Zhang family's kid
"You're a nice policeman, let me advise you again, don't meddle with this matter"
Yang Zhengqi had no idea how many times he had heard the same thing over and over again the entire morning, and he already felt like his head was ringing. He then said to the police officer next to him, "Dawa, come and write down what this old man is saying, I'll go pick up a phone call." He then ran out of the bamboo house.
Yang Zhengqi only picked up his phone after taking a couple of breaths of fresh air. "How's it, Guangsheng? How old is the suspect really?"
"Chief Yang, the suspect turned 16 on June 6th this year."
"It fits our figurative situation perfectly. A third-year junior high student, what a natural badass."
"I'll request to arrest and prepare for trial" Yang Zhengqi said excitedly after finally hearing a piece of good news throughout the entire morning.
"There's another matter, Chief Yang." Long Guangsheng, who was on the other side of the call, said hesitantly, "The proof that confirmed the suspect's exact date of birth is his birth certificate copy."
"The birth certificate is in full English format."
"I and the graduate, Xiao Liu, who had just transferred to the registration management section finally understood completely after looking at it for a long time. The suspect was born in St. George Hospital, Brooklyn, New York City in New York State. He's an American citizen, and his mother is an American."
"What?" Yang Zhengqi was stunned and spoke in surprise.
"The suspect's birthplace is America, he holds American citizenship. According to his registration record, he was brought back to the country by his father when he was one month old and registered his residency here," Long Guangsheng said softly.
"How is a kid who lives in a mountain area far away from Western Sichuan an American? What kind of international joke are you making?
"Moreover, if he's really an American, how can he register his residency in China? How did he get into school and study from young until now?"
"Chief Yang, Xiao Liu studied the Nationality Law before when he was in university. He said that as long as either the father or mother of a minor is a Chinese, they would be allowed to register for Chinese residency.
"This area is where the minorities gather, the registration management is lenient, as compared to the Central China provinces. It's much easier to enter a school like a mountain village school, after all, isn't he a local kid"
"Alright, stop talking. Keep this a secret for now," Yang Zhengqi frowned as he spoke on the phone.