The Great Worm Lich Chapter 18
Since the case involved a foreigner, they would have to change the nature of their investigation. Unpredictably serious consequences would happen if a line was wrongly crossed.
If something really happened, Yang Zhengqi might be able to escape unscathed, considering his rich background. However, his underlings would be destined to become scapegoats. As the thought crossed his mind, Long Guangsheng said immediately, "No, Chief Yang. How can we keep something like this a secret?"
"If we're really listing Zhang Lisheng as a suspect, we'll have to include his birthplace in the case file"
"Hello? Hello? Chief Yang, Chief Yang" Unfortunately, his response was met only with a beeping sound that went, "Beep, beep, beep'
Yang Zhengqi frowned as he hung up the phone. Gloomily, he took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
He took out a cigarette and sniffed on it before he bit on it with the side of his mouth. He walked on the village mountain stone path while thinking and arrived at the Guawo Village entrance.
His driver spotted Yang Zhengqi walking over slowly from afar as he stood waiting at the village entrance. He asked, "Chief, are we going back to the city?"
"Xiao Liu, lend me your lighter first," Yang Zhengqi said as he walked over to his driver.
The driver said while smiling, "Sir, didn't you say you've quit? Why are you smoking again?" He took out a lighter and lit Yang Zhengqi's cigarette for him.
"I'm feeling a little blue."
"Oh yeah, Xiao Liu, what do you think of this Guawo Village case?"
"What do I think? Stop kidding, chief. I'm just an auxiliary police driver, what do I know?" The driver smiled and said, "If you really want to know my opinion, it's nothing more than what people usually say, 'take facts as the basis and law as the criterion'."
Yang Zhengqi was stunned and he put out the cigarette in his hand hard. "You're right, let's go back to the force." He opened the car door in a hurried manner and entered his private car.
The police car began moving toward the Qu County Town. Along the way, Yang Zhengqi would occasionally urge his driver to drive faster, which allowed him to return to the Qu County Criminal Police Force in less than an hour."
"Thank you so much, Xiao Liu," Yang Zhengqi spoke customarily to Xiao Liu as he got off the police car and ran straight toward the duty room.
There was a tanned and skinny police officer sitting in the duty room standing-by next to the phone with a registration record book. Seeing the chief enter the room, he immediately stood up from the chair and said, "Chief Yang, you're back. Is there anything that I can do for you?"
"He Liecha, which interrogation room is vacant?"
"There's nobody in the first and third interrogation room," the officer-on-duty replied immediately.
"Great, inform Lihao to bring the witness of the Guawo Village case into the first interrogation room. Also, ask him to move faster. Tell him that I'm already waiting there," Yang Zhengqi instructed.
In a criminal case, interrogation and questioning were two completely legal concepts.
An interrogation was the interviewing of the criminal suspect and had to be done professionally in an interrogation room.
Meanwhile, questioning focused on witnesses and persons who might have knowledge about the case. It might not necessarily be carried out in an interrogation room, and it could be done anywhere.
However, the police officer on-duty clearly did not have the audacity to question his own superior about why he wanted to bring a case witness to the interrogation room. He only replied affirmatively as he picked up the internal phone on the desk.
Three minutes later, Zhang Lisheng, who had just finished a scrumptious lunch, was brought into a dimmed room by Lihao.
At the entrance of the room was a long, customized office desk and three wooden chairs. Meanwhile, in the center of the room was a steel chair that was fixed on the floor with a board in between the two handles.
Although Zhang Lisheng had never been in an interrogation room, he instinctively knew where he should be sitting.
He did not trouble Lihao, and he walked to the steel chair on his own and sat on it, closing the board down on himself.
What was funny was that because he was too skinny and small, the board did not manage to stop Zhang Lisheng from moving around at all.
Looking at the skinny suspect, Yang Zhengqi did not have the urge to laugh at all. He turned on a bright light lamp in front of himself and shone it onto Zhang Lisheng's face as he asked fiercely, "Your name?"
"Full name's Zhang Lisheng, nickname"
"I'm from Guawo Village, Damu Town in Qu County, Hengze City of Western Sichuan Province."
"On October 27th, 2013 between 23:00 at night to 02:00 in the middle of the night, where were you? What were you doing?"
"I was at home"
Yang Zhenqi was using the exhaustion technique to weaken the suspect's will. The shining of the bright light on the suspect's face, along with the action of repeatedly asking the same questions was an extremely old but very effective technique.
Unfortunately, Zhang Lisheng was a Rank 1 Wizard and was about to break through to Rank 2. Such simple torture techniques were not enough to break his will.
Twenty hours later, the interrogation combined with the intoxication from four packs of cigarettes got the better of Yang Zhengqi. He was sleepy and his voice had become hoarse. Meanwhile, his opponent looked as calm as he did when he just arrived.
Accompanying Yang Zhangqi was an officer that had only graduated from the police academy not long ago. He seemed to be taking down notes about the interrogation, but in actual fact, he was only filling up a questioning record. Seizing the opportunity as Yang Zhengqi lit up another cigarette after yet another round of questioning, he reminded Yang Zhengqi softly in exhaustion, "Chief Yang, I definitely believe that there's something wrong with this fella. Even those old-time criminals couldn't take this as long as him."
"But the 24-hour period is going to be over soon. If we continue to detain him, we'll have to go through the formalities. We're living in the county where minorities gather. He's of the Miaowei people, the case is so big... If we are in violation of procedure"
"How long more to 24 hours?"
Yang Zhengqi thought about it and said, "Hold on to him for a little while longer. Inform Donglin and get him to continue questioning the suspect, I'm heading out to handle something."
As he stood up, he staggered and almost fell from his sore legs. He paced back and forth along the corridor as he attempted to figure out what he should do with Zhang Lisheng.
His rationale was telling him that unless he managed to get a detailed confession and look for some related evidence to form an evidence chain following the confession, it was going to be very difficult to declare Zhang Lisheng as guilty.
Moreover, due to Zhang Lisheng's skinny image, the timing of the robbery which happened only a few days after the passing away of his father, as well as his identity as an American Chinese, this case was elevated from being 'very difficult' to 'completely impossible'.
However, he had always held on to the concept of 'law is justice', and it was hard for him to just let go of a murder suspect just like that.
Especially since the longer he spent with him, the more Yang Zhengqi felt that the suspect was hiding a ruthless and apathetic heart under the weak and introverted face that he put on.
Furthermore, it was scary because the suspect was young and the crime was not accidentally committed. If he regained freedom without going through any interrogation or punishment, he would be a grenade wandering among society. The longer he suppressed himself, the scarier the consequences of the detonation would be as soon he found a reason to do something.
Yang Zhengqi was in a pickle, and as he frowned, he took out another cigarette by instinct.
"Why are you smoking again?" a casual voice interrupted Yang Zhengqi's thought. At the same time, the cigarette that was at the side of his mouth was taken away by the person.
Yang Zhengqi snapped out of his thoughts and noticed a high-spirited old man with silver hair standing in front of him crushing his cigarette. He then asked in a hoarse voice, "Director He, why are you here?"
"What? I'm in charge of criminal investigations. Just because I'm retiring next year in March doesn't mean that I can't come to the criminal police force anymore?" The old man smiled as he spoke.
"I didn't mean that. You're always welcome to guide us here," Yang Zhengqi forced a smile as he spoke.
The Miaowei old man standing before him became a criminal police at the age of 16 with only junior high as his educational qualification. With the ability to solve cases, he managed to work his way up to the rank of Qu County Public Security's deputy director. He was one of the people that Yang Zhengqi genuinely admired and could count on in the Western Sichuan public service sector.
If not for his admiration, with his background, there was no need for him to entertain the retiring Qu County Public Security's deputy director.
"You're a knowledgeable person, I don't have the right to guide you."
"I'm just here to ask if the Guawo Village case is easy."
"It's not easy," Yang Zhengqi answered honestly.
"Then how confident are you that the person that you have with you is the criminal?"
"Guangsheng reported to you?" Yang Zhengqi asked him back while frowning.
"Don't talk about others, the person you have with you, how confident are you that he's the criminal?"
"More than 90%."
The old man thought deeply to himself and said with low voice, "Isn't he that the American Chinese? Back in those days, my father chased those Americans away. How confident are you that you can put him in jail if I handle the pressure for you?"
Yang Zhengqi became silent and did not say anything.
"At least 10% or 20%?"
"To be honest, Director He, I don't even have 1% of confidence."
"Also, with the pressure, I'm afraid you might not be able to handle it," Yang Zhengqi said while forcing a smile.
The old man was stunned for a while. He sighed and said without thinking twice, "Then let the person go. Let him go immediately, let him go now. I order you to let him go."
"Director He what are you going to do? I don't need" Yang Zhengqi frowned as he spoke. He was stunned for a while but soon figured out that the old man was going to bear the responsibility for him. He wanted to bear the responsibility of making the decision to release Zhang Lisheng.
"You do. You're still young, I won't be able to move around soon. What's the point of having a good reputation?
"You're a highly educated student who studied overseas, but I'll teach you something today. Working in this line, you must be serious when you work, but your brain can't be inflexible. If you really can't catch the criminal's weakness, you should never insist on doing it.
"For instance, you release this person that you captured this time. You must keep an eye on him, and you'll catch him the next time when he really commits a crime and put him in jail.
"By then, you'll be considered to have restored this old man's reputation."
Looking at the old man pointing at his face that was as wrinkled as an old tree's bark which suffered the wind and sun, Yang Zhengqi was silent as he suppressed his emotions.
Suddenly, the arrogant criminal police chief with a rich background stood straight and bowed. He then turned around and walked into the interrogation room in big steps. He shouted at the top of his lungs, "Release him."
Just like that, Zhang Lisheng was released.
Walking out of the criminal police force, Zhang Lisheng realized that he did not have any money with him after searching his pockets. He forced a smile to himself and walked into the Qu County Town on the busiest Fuqian Road while not knowing what to do.
It might take one day and one night to reach Guawo Village by foot. Of course, Zhang Lisheng would not do that, and it might not be realistic to beg the criminal police to send him back to Guawo Village.