7 Another Victim!
That case of mutilation was 30 years ago and its victim was a sophomore girl.
The pieces of the victim’s body were found one week after she went missing by a middle-aged woman on Modu Road. In order to eliminate traces, the killer had cooked her body and cut it into thousands of pieces. After the crime was found, local police made massive searches with all their strength, but the killer was never caught due to lack of evidence.
"If this is really a copycat of THAT case, does this mean we could find thousands of pieces of flesh in our school?" Chu Zhao looked as if he was gonna throw up. "I’ve seen some restricted data, just out of curiosity. It’s much more disgusting than the information online. A large basket of flesh there can really subvert your values."
Su Bai patted on Chu Zhao’s shoulder, "Someone’s looking into such restricted documents while saying he hates to be a cop. Tut, that’s called duplicity."
"What? That’s just my hobby." Chu Zhao shook his head disapprovingly. Suddenly his cell phone rang again.
This time, Captain Sun didn’t scold him right away. Instead, he asked in a lower voice:
"Did you find anything? Otherwise you wouldn’t dare to hang up on me like that!"
"Hey, bro. I found something."
"Flesh? We’ve already got more than three hundred pieces in total here. Flesh is everywhere. As long as we move a desk or a chair a little or open a brush or open a toilet, there will be a flesh piece."
"It’s not flesh."
Captain Sun’s breath obviously paused for a second when he heard this. "What then?"
"A head." Chu Zhao took out a cigarette and put it into his mouth, but when he reached out for his lighter, he remembered that it had already been thrown away before. He turned to Su Bai at once, only to find that Su Bai was squatting on the ground in pain. He was surprised, "What’s up? Are you not feeling well?"
"Where are you? Bring the head to the office room, hurry!"
"Oh, okay." Chu Zhao hung up and came to Su Bai with the head. "What’s up? Are you okay?"
Su Bai’s face turned pale and his body trembled in spasms. He felt suffocated. Then, he heard the radio host’s voice in his ears:
["Dear audience, our next story is being recorded. Please stay tuned, I’ll wait for you here in our next show."]
When the voice was gone, Su Bai felt that the pressure and pain were gone, too.
And then, he could hear Chu Zhao’s shouts.
Su Bai waved his hand with dizziness, staggered up and said, "I’m fine. I’m fine. You go to hand over that head, so that the identity of the victim will be confirmed sooner."
Chu Zhao nodded. "You? Not coming along?"
"I’m going back to my room to get some rest. I’m not in the Student Union."
"Sh*t! That’s not what a good friend would do! Don’t you like killing people?"
Su Bai coughed, turned around and put his arms around Chu Zhou’s shoulder, "I like killing people; you’re right about this. But I’m not psycho enough to cook a dead body and slice it into a thousand pieces, understood?"
"So, I’m going back to my bed, and you’re gonna continue looking for flesh. I can bring you some salt and cumin if you like."
"You…" Chu Zhao.
After he said that, Su Bai walked away impolitely. His dormitory was just across the playground.
In the playground, there were also quite a few people searching, and from time to time, they could find something. Even under the basketball stands, there were pieces of flesh.
For Su Bai, killing was not fearful; he himself had already killed seven people and had long been indifferent to dead bodies. But what terrified him was to kill someone, cook her body, slice it into pieces and then hide them in such a large area. What a ruthless mind was that?
He reached his hand to roll down his sleeves and hastened his steps towards the dormitory. For the first time, the gatekeeper didn’t sleep even though it was so late. She couldn’t loaf on the job or go to bed early like she always did. Because there was such a huge event, many school leaders and policemen had come earlier, and many students were assigned to search outside.
Seeing Su Bai returning on foot, the gatekeeper immediately shouted at him: "What’s going on? I heard a lot of people died?"
Su Bai frowned, but he still answered her: "Just one person died."
"Then why bother to search with so many people? Did that person die on campus, so they have to find the body?" Once she started gossiping, the gatekeeper seemed to fear nothing and no one.
"It’s one dead person, but sliced into pieces. They are looking for flesh pieces right now. Maybe there are some in our dorm as well."
"Impossible! That’s impossible! I’ve been watching the door everyday."
Su Bai didn’t waste his time arguing with her about the fact that every time he came back at night he could enter directly without registering. He got rid of the gatekeeper, walked into the dorm and went to the third floor. He went to the washroom first and washed his hands at the basin. This hand had held human flesh and the head of a dead person; it really needed washing, but luckily Su Bai had no morbid fear towards this stuff.
While he was washing, Su Bai saw a bottle of bath cream sitting on the rim of a basin, so he took it and dropped some onto his hand. Students often came to the washroom for a shower here, therefore it was not strange to find bath cream here. Living facilities were lousy in the school; there was no private toilet in each dormitory room and public baths were in another student zone, so students living here had to go a long way through the playground and a teaching zone just to take a shower. When in summer, walking back from the public baths after a shower would make people sweaty, and the shower might be nothing but a waste.
After washing his hands, Su Bai returned to his room. There were four beds in the room, but usually, only two people would stay here. One student had already started an internship outside the campus, and the other was living with his girlfriend.
The first bed belonged to the student with fair skin. He was a local, studied in the Faculty of Mathematics, and his name was Liu He.
"What’s going on out there?"
"Well, someone died." Su Bai didn’t want to sit here and talk about it. He changed his shoes and headed to his bed. Only in his bed and with all his curtains down could Su Bai feel as if he was in a personal space where he could feel safe.
Like his name, Liu He was polite and considerate to everyone. Realizing that Su Bai was not in the mood for talking, he stopped asking and continued his reading in his bed under the light of his table lamp.
Before Su Bai climbed up to his bed, something suddenly occurred to him. The image of that head lit under the flashlight flashed again in his mind.
He came down from the ladder and walked to the bed of the roommate who was living with his girlfriend outside the campus.
"Hey, Chen Chu hasn’t come back for two days, right?"
Liu He thought it over and then nodded: "Three days, if you count in tonight."
"And I didn’t see him in class," Su Bai said. Then he started to rummage around Chen Chu’s bed.
"What are you doing…" Liu He was surprised.
"Do you remember that Chen Chu has a photo frame? It’s a photo of him and his girlfriend. I remember he used to show off for quite a while when he brought it back to our room."
"Yes, I do. But I don’t know where he had put it."
Su Bai nodded and kept looking. The bed was turned over; there was cash, lighters, magazines, even underpants and socks. But no photo frame.
Then Su Bai turned to Chen Chu’s desk. The drawer in the desk was locked; Su Bai kicked it and broke the lock. Liu He was totally shocked by his manner, having no idea what Su Bai was mad at.
The drawer was pulled out. After moving away several books and condom boxes, Su Bai found a photo frame.
He puffed away dust, wiped it with his hand, and finally the two figures in the photo became clear.
Seeing this girl’s face, Su Bai thought of that head again, especially that black birthmark on her chin. They matched perfectly.
Su Bai immediately picked up his cellphone and called Chu Zhao.
"Hey, I don’t want cumin or salt. Bring me a cup of milky tea if you really have some conscience."
"In your dream. Have you find the identity of that female body?"
"Going through files. Almost there."
"Forget it. I know who she was. But it is possible that she’s not the only one."
After saying this, Su Bai looked at that empty bed. He knew well what kind of person his classmate plus roommate was; was he the kind of person capable of killing his girlfriend, cooking and slicing the body, and dumping the body after that?
And he had not shown up in class for days.
...was actually kind of obvious.
: In Chinese we say this to describe something really strange or awesome or terrible that can change your opinion towards the world.
: In Chinese, "He" is pronounced differently from that in English. It sounds like "her" and means harmonious or amiable.