Dangerous Personality - Chapter 1
There was a fierce storm outside and the rain droplets slammed against the car window. It also made the atmosphere humid. The pedestrians hurried back with their umbrellas over their heads. People also heard non-stop honking through the rain. The cars slowly moved along the road as they listened to the beeping.
The radio station was broadcasting the weather. “Since yesterday, there has been a thunderstorm. The average rain this month has surpassed the history’s record. The roads have been flooded with water. Please be careful when you’re outside.”
“Hopefully, something didn’t happen ahead.” The driver glanced at the windshield wiper that was swaying back and forth. He exclaimed impatiently after listening to the radio, “When is this rain going to stop? This road has had a traffic j—”
Saying this, he tilted his head back and said to the person sitting in the back row, “You’re…going to the police station?”
The dusky sky blocked the sun and the light inside the car was dim.
The person moved a bit. He looked down, his hands crossed and placed on his legs. He crossed one leg over the other. He wore black jeans along with leather boots. His custom military boots had some rain droplets on them.
The man had been silent since he got in the car. His destination was printed on the car-riding app.
He slept in the car for a while and he had just woken up. The hair in front of his forehead covered his eyes and he sat there as if he was swallowed by darkness. The bottom half of his body became one with the dim light. The driver could only see his pale and skinny chin through the rearview mirror.
A few seconds later, the driver heard his ruthless voice, “Drive your car.”
The traffic jam didn’t get better even as they conversed.
The driver noticed that the rider wasn’t easily approachable. Compared to chatting, he was clearly more interested in going back to sleep. As a result, he didn’t bother talking to him anymore. Instead, he thought inside: he’s going to the police station at this time? What? Did he do something wrong?
Southern China Yong’an Local Police Station sub-bureau.
The wall had the sign, “Strictly enforcing laws and enthusiastically serving people” hung up. The national emblem was in the middle of the sign. However, this couldn’t control the chaos going on inside right now. A man in his forties was being brought into the office by two police officers, each one holding one of his arms.
Police officer A exclaimed, “Stay still!”
The man refused and kept on struggling. After realizing his struggles were to no avail, he had his hands gripped on the door knob and refused to let go. Even though the top half of his body was already pulled inside the door, his legs were glued and stayed frozen. He cried and howled, “You guys can’t just arrest me without evidence! Who handles cases like this? Let me go. I’m going to file a complaint!”
The man was wearing a gray business outfit. The pockets on his outfit were like two rectangular stickers. The athletic shoes he was wearing were quite brand new and his brown turbid eyes revealed the looks of a common person.
The new police officer, Ji Mingrui came in from the back. While walking by, he also pulled the man in. “No evidence?” He dragged a chair. After the man was forced to sit still on the chair with his shoulders restrained, the police officer tossed a transparent material evidence bag on the table.
There was a silver old phone lying inside.
Ji Mingrui said, “When you were stealing from the victim’s home, you left your phone in their living room. You’re telling me we have no evidence, huh?!”
The man suddenly stopped crying and howling.
Ji Mingrui continued, “Are you trying to say the phone doesn’t belong to you? There’s someone else who has your wife’s phone number and saves the contact as ‘wife?’”
The man became completely silent.
Ji Mingrui continued to ask, “Where did you hide the things?”
Half an hour later.
A female officer came out from the other room and exclaimed, “They’re also causing non-stop ruckus. The neighbor, Granny Wang, has been crying all day long saying that the wood carving decoration was handed down from generation to generation, and was really important to her. She wants us to hurry and find the item.”
“He still refuses to tell?”
Ji Mingrui was tall and rather sturdy. He had thick eyebrows and big eyes. He just graduated from the academy this year and became an officer, thrown into all sorts of dilemmas and fights within the neighborhood. After graduating from the academy, he realized that the work he dealt with wasn’t really investigating cases but more so being a mediator.
Today, this family would be trying to get a divorce and tomorrow, another family would be beating up a mistress because the husband got into an affair…
Ji Mingrui took a deep breath. Who knew that a wooden carving decoration would take so long. “He didn’t say. He keeps stumbling and hiding, saying that he forgot. But you think he’ll forget where he placed something he stole? Apparently, he also made plans to eat dinner with some friends. With how this is going, he probably can only eat ramen. I wonder if he’ll toss the bowl of ramen with his stinky attitude.”
The female officer looked at the storm outside. She thought it was quite strange to arrange to eat out this weather.
The interrogation continued.
Halfway through, Granny Wang didn’t have the patience to wait anymore so she barged into the battlefield and caused the situation to be even more chaotic.
Her insults didn’t lose to the insults of a youngster. Although she fumbled on her steps, she was able to speak in a steady tone.
The mediator, Ji Mingrui, felt a headache coming. He was comforting Granny Wang when someone knocked on the glass window. “Mingrui, someone is looking for you. They claim to be your friend.” The messenger added, “His name is Chi Qing.”
Ji Mingrui was too busy. He responded without even looking back, “He’s my friend. Let him come in.”
Because the situation was too messy, no one noticed a person walking through the corridor after placing their umbrella down. The transparent long umbrella tip faced down. The man’s originally wet leather boots were cleaned by someone who seemingly had mysophobia. Then, a hand wearing black gloves pushed the door open.
The black gloves made his fingers look extremely slender and long.
If the situation was any quieter, someone was bound to notice this pair of hands. It would attract a lot of attention because rarely anyone would wear gloves outside.
Chi Qing had been stuck on the road for half an hour due to a traffic jam. When he pushed the door open, Granny Wang was cursing to her heart’s content, talking in her local language.
The man wearing formal attire responded, “Don’t think that I don’t understand just because I’m not a local person. You’re cursing me!”
Ji Mingrui said, “You have no right to talk. You’re not embarrassed to talk huh? Do you know how malicious the situation is? How can you steal your neighbor’s wooden carving decoration that’s been passed down from generation to generation? Do you know that wood—” The mediator, Ji Mingrui, wanted to comfort the victim’s feelings so he decided to reprimand the man. He turned to the granny and asked, “What’s the material the wood is made of?”
Ji Mingrui thought that the wood carving held some value so the granny could scare the man with its valuableness.
The neighbor, Granny Wang, hurriedly exclaimed, “It’s wood that we chopped from the mountains. Sigh. We’ve been passing it down for three generations.”
Ji Mingrui was speechless.
“Cough…did you hear that? It’s wood that has been passed down for three generations.” Ji Mingrui knocked on the table. “It’s not something that can be weighed with money. Where exactly did you hide this?”
They were still fighting over the wood carving. Only the female officer that went to grab some water for Granny Wang had noticed the ‘friend’ that had just come in. He was sleeping on the sofa by himself. He laid there, his legs curled up.
Because of the limited angle, she didn’t see his appearance. She only noticed his wrist which was lying down.
…She was surprised he could fall asleep in such a noisy setting.
It was just a simple fight that involved a wooden carving. However, Ji Mingrui used all the interrogation methods he learned from the police academy only but the man in formal attire refused anything. It was unclear why he kept holding onto the wooden carving. “When I went outside, I left the item there and tossed it. I’m not sure where exactly I tossed it. If you guys dig through the garbage cans, you guys might be able to find it. I already threw it away so how am I supposed to give it back? If anything, I’ll pay some money. How much will I even need to pay for this damned wood?”
Ji Mingrui cursed inside his heart.
It was 11pm and it was still raining outside.
The man in formal attire saw that he got the upperhand so he looked around and said, “Do you guys need anything else? Since our conversation is done, can you guys let me go?”
Everyone was at a loss for words right now.
While the situation was tense, a voice broke the silence. “It has been raining for the past two days.”
Everyone looked over to see Chi Qing sitting up from the sofa. Because the incandescent light was above him, he lifted his hands to cover half his vision. After a while, he continued, “You went out to buy things but there is no mud on your shoes. If I was you, I wouldn’t find an excuse with so many loopholes.”
He wasn’t really asleep earlier. The office was too noisy. While he was half asleep, he heard the fight pretty much.
The man in formal attire subconsciously took a step back.
He didn’t leave the house at all.
This thought popped in everyone’s minds.
Ji Mingrui froze before saying, “If he never left his house, then the item should be there.”
Chi Qing stood up, still feeling sleepy. His eyes were half open and it made it seem like he was quite impatient of waiting.
He lifted his hand, indicating the material evidence bag.”Can I have a look?”
Everyone immediately noticed the black gloves he was wearing. The phone was a touchscreen and because he had to slide down the screen, Chi Qing took off his right glove before picking up his phone. Because his hands hadn’t seen the sunlight for a long time, it looked incredibly pale. His fingers were slender and long and one could see the faint veins underneath the skin.
He barely held the phone for ten seconds before he placed it down quickly.
What caught people’s attention wasn’t just the hand. Besides Ji Mingrui who had seen Chi Qing so often and wasn’t surprised anymore, the others were unable to process the shock of seeing his face.
The female officer snapped out of her trance and noticed that she had been staring at them for a really long time. Her face flushed subconsciously afterwards.
Chi Qing had a really beautiful yet clearly depressed face. It might be because there was a lot of hair on his forehead or because he was too pale, his lips felt like it had been dyed by blood. Although his features were beautiful, he looked quite dejected, revealing a dispirited temperament.
Chi Qing seemed to be used to these kinds of gazes. “Instead of asking where he hid the item, you guys should bring his son over and ask him.”
Ji Mingrui was confused. Son?
What did this have to do with his son?
How was he involved?
Wait, how did he know he had a son?
The man became stirred when his son was mentioned. Instead of causing a ruckus like before, he widened his eyes and stood up, wanting to grab the phone. “Interrogate me if you want but why mention my son?”
Ji Mingrui lifted his brows and noticed that something was off. “Sit down and behave.”
“My son has nothing to do with this.”
When the man was grabbing the item, he touched Chi Qing’s hand by accident out of a rush.
When their hands touched one another, Chi Qing heard another voice. This voice seemed to be separated by another layer. The voice was distorted as he listened as if there were two men talking in his ears at the same time. But the distorted voice was the opposite of what he said in reality.
[I can’t let them know that my son was the one that stole it. What would people think of Xiao Kang if they found out? The neighbors and his friends will gossip…]
He was unable to grab the phone in the end. Ji Mingrui snatched and looked through the phone according to the procedure Chi Qing had gone through to unlock it.
On the browser, the tabs revealed certain cartoon names. On the phone record, there were barely any calls for the past half year. It didn’t show any traces of his lifestyle or work. As for his photo albums, there weren’t many pictures. The majority were pictures in the past and there were rarely any new pictures. The newest one was actually taken today. There was a blurry silhouette that made it seem like it was taken by accident.
Clearly, the man hadn’t used this old phone he had exchanged for.
Then who was using it?
“Normally, how do people deal with the old phones they received? Ji Mingrui seemed to be asking a question but in reality, he gave everyone the answer.
“Normally, they would let someone else in the family use the phone. If there’s a child at home, they normally would leave it for the child to play with. Do you want to return the item to the elderly or do you want us to ask your son?”
The man lowered his head, knowing it was over.
Ji Mingrui continued to press the details when the female officer pointed at the glass window, saying, “Your friend went out.”
Ji Mingrui took a look and said, “He went to wash his hands.”
The female officer was confused by the response.
JI Mingrui knew all about Chi Qing’s bad habits. While recording the investigation, he said, “He has mysophobia. If someone touches him for a second, he’d go as far as to wash his hands three times. Haven’t you seen him wearing his gloves since he came in?”
“Not just that.” Ji Mingrui placed his pen down and pointed at the garbage can with the tip of the pen. “When I just got to know him in high school, I wanted to help him dump the garbage out but I accidentally touched his hands. He ended up dunking the can on me. We almost became enemies. Mysophobia is just that scary.”
“You’ve known him for so long now. He doesn’t do this anymore, does he?” The female officer thought this strange habit was quite interesting.
Ji Mingrui said, “I’ve asked him this question before too but he said he’ll try to endure for three seconds out of respect since I was his friend. Once he can’t endure it anymore, he’ll dunk the garbage can on me.”
“Did he also go to the police academy? Where is he working right now?”
The female officer asked the question everyone wanted to know.
“No, he went to a film academy. He has nothing to do with the police.” Ji Mingrui knew why they were shocked. “It’s unfortunate that my brother didn’t go to become a police officer. Don’t you guys think he’s amazing? It’s as if he knew mind reading.”
The female officer nodded.
“…It’s the same as when we were in school. It seemed like he always knew what others were thinking.” Ji Mingrui said this then waved his hands. “Just kidding. How could there be mind reading in this world?”
Bathroom at the end of the hallway.
Chi Qing stood in front of the mirror. His hands were wet and his fingers could feel no warmness.
He silently stared at his reflection.
Through the mirror, the same scene reflected and through that, it seemed like the world had been partitioned into two.
Only he knew that he wasn’t being hallusional. The distorted voice did slowly climb from his brain, strangely muttering:
[I can’t let them know my son stole the item…]
Chi Qing looked down and then wiped his hands as if nothing happened.