Yang Chen couldn’t care about anything else. Without hesitation, he dashed forward and enshrouded Cai Yan in his embrace. Patting her lower back lovingly, he cooed, “Stop crying, we’re still at the hospital. You’re the police chief! How can you be bawling your eyes out? Quick, tell me what’s wrong.”
Cai Yan sniffled, doing her best to hold back her tears. Wiping a finger across the corners of her reddened eyes, she looked up piteously. “The station just received a call from Xiao Ye’s father, reporting that Xiao Ye was… was hung and has died.”
“Hanged?” Though Yang Chen was barely acquainted with Xiao Ye, he was still a man with dignity at the very least. To think that he was humiliated with murder by hanging, he couldn’t help but shudder as he asked, “Did that Lei Zhengfu’s underlings do it?”
Cai Yan shook her head. “We’re not sure of it yet, but it’s highly probable. Previously, Xiao Ye had once mentioned to his father that he could ring the station and ask for me if any emergencies arise, but I didn’t… expect it to be such an emergency.”
As she spoke, Cai Yan rubbed her hands over her cheeks and plastered on a grim expression. “This can’t do. I must drop by Xiao Ye’s place right now.”
Sensing that Cai Yan might not be in her right mind, Yang Chen furrowed his brows and turned to Lin Ruoxi. “Ruoxi, you return to the office first. I’ll accompany Yanyan there.”
Although Lin Ruoxi did not know what exactly happened, a person’s death was still a big issue. She did not question further and patted Cai Yan’s back to comfort her, then left.
Cai Yan looked at Yang Chen gratefully. She felt more at ease when there was a man by her side during her downtimes.
The two left the hospital, and Cai Yan drove her police car to Dawang Village in Lushan Town.
Dawang Village was only less than an hour away from Zhonghai. Since many road sections were provincial roads, they could not drive too fast.
There was a river flowing through the village and many ponds where river mussels and catfishes were farmed from.
In the last two years, many paper mills were built, as well as stone and iron mines developed by Lei Zhengfu. Due to this, severe pollution had emerged in the village. Consequently, many fishing ponds were abandoned, and lands had gotten polluted to the point where farming was no longer a possibility.
The villagers worked at Lei Zhengfu’s paper mill while most of the young people went to Zhonghai City for work. The elderly and women mostly stayed in the village.
Xiao Ye’s house was near the asphalt road at the entrance of the village. There were dozens of villagers standing at their door, discussing, murmuring, with some women and children crying.
When Yang Chen and Cai Yan arrived, two cars from the Lushan Town Police Station were already there.
Several police officers saw a police car from Zhonghai City arriving, and it looked familiar. They took another glance and saw the face of the beautiful policewoman. She got out of the car and suddenly felt a little puzzled.
Only their head, Zhang Guoping, the director of the Lushan Town Police Station, recognized Cai Yan, who he often met during meetings in the city.
“Chief Cai, what calls for your presence?” Zhang Guoping was a large man with a prominent beer belly. As he walked up, he hollered warmly with a wide grin.
“Director Zhang, you all have worked hard,” Cai Yan smiled forcefully but did not respond to the fat man’s hand.
Zhang Guoping immediately introduced her to his men. “This is the police chief of the Western District Police Station in Zhonghai, Cai Yan. She’s our superior, everyone. Pay your respects!”
The few police officers were shocked that such a beautiful and young woman could be the leader from the city, but they still greeted each other and dared not neglect her.
For that matter, most of these police officers were just working for a living. The police station in the city was where there were national civil servants who really counted.
Cai Yan couldn’t be bothered to start small talk with them. Instead, she walked up to Xiao Ye’s father.
Father Xiao looked quite alike with his son Xiao Ye and was easily recognizable. Nonetheless, Father Xiao had gray hair, and his son was suddenly killed, so he was mentally exhausted and looked haggard.
Cai Yan knew Father Xiao in the past and seeing the old man like this, she felt heartbroken and went up to grab his hand. “Uncle Xiao, you must stay strong, I will definitely serve justice for Xiao Ye!”
Father Xiao smiled dejectedly and spoke in a loud voice, “Thank you, Chief Cai. We are already grateful that you came here.”
Logically, Xiao Ye’s death was not significant enough for Cai Yan to make a special trip to the town. Thus, Father Xiao was just hanging onto a final sliver of hope as he placed the call.
Cai Yan could not find the words to comfort him. After all, Xiao Ye was gone, not to mention before his father. Whatever she said would still ring hollow.
Find the murderer! Punish the murderer!
Cai Yan firmed her eyes and suddenly turned back to Zhang Guoping and asked, “Director Zhang, what’s the situation here, and how is the investigation going?”
Zhang Guoping smiled and said, “Chief Cai, Director Xiao was found hanged at his balcony by passing villagers this morning. There were no traces of fighting found at the scene. From various signs, it’s not like homicide, but suicide.”
“Lies! My son would never commit suicide!”
Father Xiao suddenly shouted angrily at this time, “It must have been that Lei Zhengfu who sent his men to come and kill my son last night! Didn’t he just ask my family to vote for him as the village chief!? He killed my son for a vote! Why didn’t you police go and catch him immediately!”
The surrounding villagers all showed grief and anger. Everyone actually thought that way, but they didn't dare speak out.
Xiao Ye was a child who grew up in Dawang Village. Most of those present were his uncles and aunties. Such a cruel death extremely saddened the villagers.
Zhang Guoping frowned and said, “Xiao Jingen, we need evidence for investigations. So what if there were no traces of fighting found on the scene? Does Director Xiao, a man who graduated from a police academy, have no means of self-defense?”
Yang Chen, who had been watching all these interrupted and asked, “You say that he committed suicide. Do you know what his motivation was to commit suicide?”
“Who are you?” Zhang Guoping did not bother with Yang Chen just now, thinking he was Cai Yan’s subordinates, but it did not look like it now.
“Don’t bother finding out who he is; just answer his questions.” Cai Yan tossed a cold glare at Zhang Guoping.
Zhang Guopin saw Cai Yan saying this, and obediently replied, “We haven’t found it yet, but we will try our best to solve the case within a month.”
“Are you kidding me!? A month!?” Cai Yan reprimanded. “Immediately inspect the fingerprints on the spot and examine the body today. I don’t believe that you can’t find any trace of the murderer! I am taking over this case from you directly! All of you get out!”
Cai Yan was able to see through it. Zhang Guoping worked in the Lushan Town Police Station. Still, he should have received many benefits from Lei Zhengfu, and wanted to suppress it.
Zhang Guoping suddenly displayed a slight playfulness and smiled. “Director Cai, I respect you as a superior, but you shouldn't go overboard. We all followed the procedures and made no fundamental mistakes. You don't know, but our Lushan Town is small, and there are many things to be settled. Our police station is also increasing its efficiency as much as possible. If you are so determined to chase us away, how am I supposed to continue working for Lushan Town? I may be an unimportant person, but... my uncle may feel that I am causing him to lose face.”
“Your uncle?” Cai Yan sneered, “You mean Director Zhou of the Public Security Department? Did you think I will be lenient with you just because your uncle is my superior?”
Zhang Guoping hummed lightly, “Chief Cai, let’s not interfere with each other’s businesses. I should be the one deciding the case at my grounds right.”
“Zhang Guoping, you have an uncle working as the Director of the Public Security Department, but you are just the head of the police station in a small town. Do you know why?”
Zhang Guoping frowned and was a bit unhappy. “Chief Cai is laughing at me?”
“Forget it, let me just tell you upfront,” Cai Yan enunciated clearly as she flipped her sleeves over and rolled them a couple of times. She then scoffed, “You’re unbelievably pig-headed!”
As she finished, Cai Yan landed a brisk punch on Zhang Guoping’s beer belly!
It was as though the onlookers could hear the sound of the punch colliding with his flesh!
Zhang Guoping’s eyes widened as he let out a grunt of agony and stumbled backward!
Cai Yan did not bother much and punched Zhang Guoping’s left cheek. His fat face spun back as blood flew out of his nose and mouth!
The villagers and the other police officers were stunned. A heroic and beautiful policewoman randomly hit someone without saying a word.
Yang Chen was happily watching from the side. Her direct and slightly violent character was what made him remember this girl previously.
“Nice! What a good hit!!” Yang Chen immediately clapped and cheered.
One of the villagers took the lead, and the rest joined in, laughing and clapping. They had been enduring Zhang Guoping and his team for such a long time.
Zhang Guoping was beaten hard, and he panted as he leaned on the two police officers. He pointed at Cai Yan and yelled vaguely, “You b*tch...you...how dare you, huh! I...I am going to report to my superior! You...you are finished!”