Yu Hanjiang was a criminal police officer and it was common for him to see the dead who had been tortured and killed. He quickly closed the toilet door, blocking the view of the passengers. Then he whispered in Xiao Lou’s ear, “Zhao Quan’s death is too cruel and the impact of this case can’t be expanded. If the people in the carriage are in a panic then it will be detrimental to our investigation. First, you should tell the passengers that the toilet is broken and have them go to the toilet in the other carriages to stabilize their mood.”
Xiao Lou nodded and returned to the carriage. He smiled and declared, “Passengers, I’m very sorry but the two toilets in our 4th carriage are broken and temporarily can’t be used. The water in the toilet has also been stopped. If you need to wash your face and go to the toilet, you can go to the 3rd carriage or 6th carriage.”
There were complaints from everywhere.
“What is going on? How can the toilet be broken?”
“Eh? I just used the toilet on the right. It was fine…”
“There was water when I washed my face.”
Xu Junkai’s expression changed. “Sh*t! I woke up early in the morning and lined up for ages, only for the toilet to be broken? How long will it take to be fixed?”
Xiao Lou told him, “It is recommended that you go to the 6th carriage. It is a sleeper carriage and there are fewer people.”
Upon hearing this, the people lining up to go to the toilet immediately rushed to the 6th carriage out of fear that they would piss their pants if they were too slow.
Xiao Lou’s eyes swept over the carriage. The female friends in the15th row were still sleeping. The strong professional woman and the two university students who boarded last night hadn’t got up yet. In the 8th row, Jing Weiguang was sleeping awkwardly by the window. At 7:30 in the morning, most of the passengers weren’t awake and this incident didn’t attract many people’s attention. Xiao Lou was relieved.
At this time, Zhao Quan’s brother, Zhao Zheng returned from the direction of the 3rd carriage. He was holding a thermal cup in his hand and frowned with a puzzled expression when he passed the toilet. “How come there is a strange smell? Who brought bad food?”
It was the left side toilet that Yu Hanjiang had locked after entering. Zhao Zheng looked up and saw the red light on the door so he returned to his seat. He met Xiao Lou near his seat and asked, “Attendant, there seems to be a strange smell coming from the toilet. Is it not cleaned well?”
Xiao Lou smiled and explained, “The toilet is broken and there is some smell. We will deal with it as soon as possible.”
“It is broken?” Zhao Zheng whispered. “I was wondering why the toilet on the left didn’t open.”
Seeing him return to his seat in 8A and calmly took out bread and milk from his backpack to eat breakfast, Xiao Lou went to his side and whispered. “Where is your brother? Why can’t I see him?”
Zhao Zheng shook his head. “I don’t know. When I woke up in the morning, my brother was gone. He probably went to the 6th carriage to find his girlfriend.”
Xiao Lou then questioned, “I remember you were sitting in the aisle seat last night. Why are you now sitting by the window?”
“I like to sleep by the window. Once the lights went out last night, I changed with my brother. I sat on the inside and he sat outside.”
Xiao Lou nodded and asked, “Did you sleep well last night? Did you wake up in the middle of the night?”
Zhao Zheng thought the attendant was feeling concern for the pass and smiled. “I fell asleep at 11 o’clock last night, lying on the table. My sleep wasn’t very comfortable and my neck is stiff.” He reached out and rubbed his neck. “However, my sleep quality was okay. Haha, I slept until dawn.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “What about your brother? Did he wake up in the middle of the night?”
“I don’t know. I got up at 7 in the morning and he wasn’t in his seat. I thought he went to the 6th carriage to find Yue Xiaoquan. I took advantage of the lack of people to wash my face. Then I went to the 3rd carriage to grab a cup of hot water.”
Xiao Lou pretended to casually ask, “What are your brother’s feelings for Yue Xiaoquan?”
“It is very good. They have known each other for two years and will travel every holiday. My brother is very good at coaxing girls, unlike me. My mouth is stupid and I can never coax my girlfriend. I am always making trouble with her.” He had a headache and raised a hand to his temple. Then he suddenly raised his head doubtfully. “What do you want with my brother?”
“Nothing.” Xiao Lou smiled calmly. “You eat first. I might find you later to get an understanding of the situation. Please cooperate at that time.”
Zhao Zheng made a strange expression but just chewed on his bread once Xiao Lou left.
Xiao Lou thought, ‘Hurry to eat. Otherwise, once you see your brother’s tragic death, you probably won’t be able to eat for several days.’
The 6th carriage.
There were relatively few people in the sleeper carriage. Yue Xiaoquan and Mo Jiaran had just washed their faces when they saw a group of people heading to the toilet. Mo Jiaran couldn’t help wondering, “How come people from other carriages are coming here to use the toilet?”
Yue Xiaoquan spoke with an expression that showed it had nothing to do with her. “It is probably because there are more people in the queue.”
Xu Junkai helplessly explained, “The toilet in the 4th carriage is broken and the water has also stopped. We can’t help it!”
Mo Jiaran frowned and headed through the dining carriage to the 4th car. She stopped at the 8th row and looked at Zhao Zheng, “Have you washed your face? I heard that the water in your carriage has stopped?”
Zhao Zheng smiled at the concern. “I have washed. I got up early in the morning to wash and there was still water.” He took bread and milk from his bag and handed it to his girlfriend. “Have breakfast. I bought you a sandwich.”
Mo Jiaran nodded and sat beside him. She took the bread from his hand and ate unceremoniously.
Zhao Zheng casually wondered, “Is my brother with Yue Xiaoquan?”
Mo Jiaran ate the bread and raised her eyebrows in a confused manner. “No? I just washed my face with Xiaoquan.”
“He isn’t in the 6th carriage?”
Mo Jiaran shook her head with certainty. “No.”
Zhao Zheng realized that something wasn’t right and turned to find the attendant, only to find that the attendant had gone to the bathroom. Mo Jiaran said, “Maybe he went to other carriages to use the toilet.”
Zhao Zheng thought it was reasonable and didn’t worry over it.
Xiao Lou headed to the toilet and gently knocked on the door. “Group Leader Yu.”
Yu Hanjiang opened the door and let him in.
This train toilet was very spacious. It was around two square metres and in addition to the toilet, there was a small washbasin. Greenery was hung on the wall and the toilet usually had air fresheners along with some perfume. The environment was almost comparable to a high-end five-star hotel’s toilet.
However, the current toilet was a mess. Zhao Quan half lay on the toilet while the floor was covered with dried blood. This narrow space was full of blood and the strange smell of the corpse.
Yu Hanjiang pointed to Zhao Quan’s chest. “Professor Xiao, look. Do you think the fatal injury is this knife wound on the chest?”
Xiao Lou calmly put on a mask and gloves and carefully examined Zhao Quan’s body.
Zhao Quan’s death was miserable. Xiao Lou counted the knife wounds and said, “The deceased has a total of 30 knife wounds. Only the knife wound over the heart is very deep and this should be the fatal injury. From a location point of view, it should’ve pierced the left atrium.” He reached out to touch the dried wound, saying, “The other wounds have only cut into the muscle layer and didn’t cut the important blood vessels. Therefore, the amount of bleeding isn’t large. The deceased should’ve been tortured with the knife before he died and the stab to the heart was the last one.”
Yu Hanjiang touched his chin and looked at the wounds on Zhao Quan’s body, analyzing, “In other words, the murderer first tied up him and patiently cut his body with the knife, making him suffer painful torture. Once he suffered enough abuse, he was stabbed in the heart and handled?”
“Yes.” Xiao Lou pointed to several wounds on the abdomen and continued, “These cuts are to the fascia layer and didn’t piece the abdominal cavity. If he was killed with the knife first, there would be no need to continue with such light stabs. Moreover, the 29 stab wounds didn’t touch any internal organs and large blood vessels. The murderer was very patient and had a certain understanding of the anatomy of the human body. There were 29 knife wounds and then the final killing blow.”
“…” Yu Hanjiang frowned. He found that the distribution of these wounds might be messy but they were similar in depth. It was as Xiao Lou said. They were all on the surface and didn’t touch the internal organs and blood vessels. These injuries were very painful but wouldn’t kill people.
Only the knife to the heart quickly and accurately killed Zhao Quan.
Xiao Lou used his right hand to turn Zhao Quan’s head. “Group Leader Yu, you can see that his cheeks are obviously swollen. His face also had traces of fingerprints. The other person apparently slapped him.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “It seems that an acquaintance committed the crime, which was how he could be surprised. Moreover, men usually beat people with their feet or punch them in the face. The act of slapping is more like a female.”
Xiao Lou agreed. “That body part was cut off… it should be killed for love?”
“It should be a woman who he let down or discovered he cheated and she killed him to vent her anger.”
Xiao Lou looked closely at the body. “Group Leader Yu, help me turn him over.”
The two of them flipped over the body and found visible marks on the wrists and ankles of the body.
“The deceased’s hands and feet have been tied up with a thin and flexible rope. He should’ve been tied up for more than an hour based on the bruises on his body. Apparently his hands and feet were tied very tightly, affecting the blood circulation.”
Yu Hanjiang spoke thoughtfully, “His hands and feet were tied and his mouth stuffed with a towel, meaning he couldn’t struggle or cry out for help. The toilet is some distance from the carriage and the sound inside can’t be heard by the sleeping passengers. His time of death is late at night.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “However, if the murderer is a woman, Zhao Quan is a young man over 1.8 metres tall. How can he be easily subdued by a woman in the bathroom? Even if Zhao Quan was unprepared and tied up, wouldn’t he be able to escape if he struggled?”
Yu Hanjiang half crouched down and looked at the unknown liquid on the ground in a thoughtful manner.
Xiao Lou followed Group Leader Yu’s gaze and found a white liquid mixed with the blood. His expression slightly changed. “Is this?”
They were men and knew what this was at first sight.
Yu Hanjiang guessed, “What if a woman asked him to come to the bathroom and play a bondage game?”
Xiao Lou turned to look at the traces of being tied up on the body and was suddenly surprised. “Group Leader Yu, you mean he was voluntarily tied up? The other side made a proposal to do it in the toilet…”
Yu Hanjiang’s face became extremely serious. “Yes, some people have this particular hobby.”
Xiao Lou looked complicated as he nodded. “Based on what I heard, psychologically he should be a masochist.”
Yu Hanjiang whispered, “Zhao Quan was voluntarily tied up, the other person taking advantage of when he was the weakest to put the towel in his mouth so he couldn’t call for help. Then he was slapped on the face and cut with a knife… this would explain the scene.”
Xiao Lou thought of the scene described by Group Leader Yu and felt all the hairs on his body rise.
Group Leader Yu’s speculation was very reasonable. Otherwise, Zhao Quan was a young man who was 1.8 metres tall. How could a woman overpower him and also kill him? Even if he was stunned ahead of time, it was very difficult to drag the young man to the bathroom without attracting the attention of the people around him.
There was only one possibility. Zhao Quan had actively walked into the bathroom.
In the bathroom, if he struggled then two women wouldn’t necessarily be able to subdue him at the same time, unless… he volunteered to be tied up. He lost his opportunity and was like a prey who jumped into the trap, unable to break free.
Xiao Lou looked at Zhao Quan’s body and his brow slightly wrinkled.
He really regretted it and couldn’t live.
This Zhao Quan looked well-dressed, polite and educated. He was also gentle and considerate to his girlfriend. It couldn’t be seen that he had such tastes!
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou glanced at each other, their faces ugly.
Xiao Lou thought carefully and said, “At present, we can determine that an acquaintance committed the crime. The person who killed him should have an emotional dispute with him and the murderer has some understanding of human anatomy. His girlfriend is studying to be a doctor and Mo Jiaran is a nurse.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “The two girls who changed to the 6th carriage are very suspicious.”
Xiao Lou thought carefully before recalling a certain detail. “I remember that at the time, Mo Jiaran and Zhao Zheng argued because tickets to the sleeper carriage weren’t bought. The entire carriage was shocked and Zhao Quan tried to persuade Mo Jiaran by calling her ‘Ranran’. Isn’t this name too intimate when talking to his brother’s girlfriend?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “Did Zhao Quan and Mo Jiaran have a relationship? His girlfriend Yue Xiaoquan found out that she cheated and killed him to vent her anger?”
There was a brief silence in the toilet.
On the surface, it might seem like it. However, this reasoning was too simple and was unlike the style of the Hearts room.
Xiao Lou added, “I just asked Zhao Zheng and he slept until dawn last night. He didn’t wake up in the middle of the night and didn’t find his brother in the morning. He thought his brother went to find his girlfriend. He looked natural and calm, not seeming guilty at all. He might not know. Of course, this could be acting.”
“Yes, the Hearts secret room is full of pits and we can’t make subjective conclusions.” Yu Hanjiang said. “We will first lock the body in the toilet and use air fresheners to cover the smell of blood. Then we will carefully question the passengers in the 4th and 6th carriages.”
“Okay.” Xiao Lou nodded and turned to look at Zhao Quan’s wide open eyes. His heart slightly tensed.
What kind of deep hatred would cause the murderer to inflict such cruel abuse on him?