Soon, Long Xing responded to Xia Hongshen, saying that his request was granted, but he needed to leave as soon as possible; the sooner, the better.
That night, Song Jun was working at a milk tea shop. Xia Hongshen came out of the Forensic Medicine building in the afternoon and saw that it was almost time, so he went directly to the milk tea shop in front of the school to find Song Jun.
Song Jun just made milk tea for two female customers. After they took the milk tea, they turned around and left the store. So he saw Xia Hongshen walking in from outside at a glance. His first reaction was to pretend he didn’t see him and lowered his head to look at the small cup on the counter.
Xia Hongshen didn’t seem to mind if he ignored him. He walked straight to the high stool in front of the counter and sat down. He said to Song Jun, “Would you like to go somewhere with me?”
Song Jun was stunned when he heard this. He thought Xia Hongshen was asking him to go out with him now. He was a little nervous, but at the same time, he immediately refused and said, “I’m working part-time, so I can’t leave.”
Xia Hongshen said, “Please take two days off.”
“Huh?” Song Jun didn’t understand what he meant.
Xia Hongshen put his hands on the counter, tapped his fingertips a few times, and said, “Tomorrow is Friday, the day after tomorrow, and two days after that, at most, we should be back by Monday. You don’t seem to have classes tomorrow, and if you take a day off on Monday, it should be fine.”
Only then did Song Jun understand that he was going to a place with him, which seemed to be quite far away. He became confused, “Where to?”
Xia Hongshen said, “A mountainous area over there in Yuntong.”
“Yuntong?” Song Jun was confused. Yuntong was a remote county town in the province, surrounded by mountains. Although Song Jun had heard of it, he had never been there. He didn’t understand why Xia Hongshen suddenly asked him to go there. place. Moreover, the two of them had a big fight last night, and now Xia Hongshen came to him with such an attitude as if nothing had happened, which made him feel very uncomfortable.
The more Song Jun thought about it, the more angry he became and said, “I won’t go.”
Xia Hongshen said to him, “I want to find something.”
Song Jun was stunned and looked up at him.
Xia Hongshen said, “It’s important to us all.”
Song Jun thought for a moment and asked, “Is it the Thousand Years Lamp?”
Xia Hongshen said, “Yes.”
Song Jun reached out to sort out the sugar packets on the counter and said, “That has nothing to do with me.”
“Song Jun,” Xia Hongshen called him.
Song Jun’s biggest problem in his life was probably being soft-hearted. He wanted to slap himself twice and tell himself to be tougher and drive Xia Hongshen out, but he couldn’t do it. He stared at the counter and rearranged the neatly arranged menus and sugar bowls. But thought of Xia Hongshen teaching him step by step in the lab. Finally, he turned away and said ‘En’.
He was just accompanying Xia Hongshen to go out on a trip; it didn’t mean something would happen to them. Just treat him as a return of favour, and after the repayment, there would be no involvement.
The police were in a hurry, so Song Jun went back to the dormitory that night to pack his things and set off early the next morning.
The next morning, before dawn, the alarm clock on Song Jun rang. He got up to wash up, knocked on Xia Hongshen’s door, and set off with him.
Since he was only going for three or four days and the weather was not hot yet, he only brought a small travel bag with some changes of clothes and daily necessities, while Xia Hongshen simply brought nothing with him.
Song Jun wanted to ask him at first, but then he thought it was none of his business, so he endured it and didn’t speak.
They made an appointment to wait for the car at the school gate. When they arrived, it was still dark, but Song Jun discovered that Feng Junyuan and Xi Anling were going with them.
Xi Anling wouldn’t go into detail. Song Jun simply couldn’t figure out how Xia Hongshen persuaded Feng Junyuan to go with him.
The person who drove over to pick them up was Long Xing.
Long Xing said that this was originally a commission from the Yuntong County Public Security Bureau. The city bureau here did not need to send too many people to go with them. Since Xia Hongshen asked Long Xing to go with him, he simply asked Long Xing to accompany them and drive them there. He was responsible for contacting the local public security bureau and would send everyone back when it was finished.
Feng Junyuan was fine with it, but Song Jun regretted it when he saw Xi Anling was going.
Xi Anling didn’t seem to notice at all. She became happy when she saw Song Jun. She ran over, hugged Song Jun’s arm, and said, “Song Jun, you want to go too. That’s great.”
Xia Hongshen glanced at her.
Xi Anling noticed Xia Hongshen’s gaze and immediately let go of Song Jun. She put her hands behind her back and did not dare to move casually.
Long Xing turned the car around at the school gate, parked it, opened the trunk and helped them put their luggage. Because he had to drive a long distance, he did not drive out in a police car but instead drove a civilian car that he usually used for work.
Regarding the business trip, Long Xing didn’t think it was very hard but was quite happy. He said that he should treat it as a vacation and go out to relax. He had never been to Yuntong. If he went there, there would be people there to welcome him. The mountain environment was good, and he didn’t have to handle the case himself; he thought of it as a great opportunity.
Long Xing was the driver responsible for driving. Originally, Xia Hongshen was in the passenger seat, and Song Jun, Feng Junyuan, and Xi Anling were in the back seat. However, Xia Hongshen did not agree with Xi Anling sitting next to Song Jun, and Feng Junyuan was unwilling to sit in the middle. As a result, Xi Anling was later given the passenger seat, with Song Jun and Feng Junyuan on the left and right and Xia Hongshen sitting in the middle.
Because he got up too early in the morning, Song Jun began to feel sleepy soon after getting in the car. He dozed off with his head leaning on the car window. When he fell asleep, Xia Hongshen put his hand around his head and let him lean on his own shoulders.
Song Jun found the position comfortable and fell asleep.
When he woke up, the car had already left the city and was driving on the highway.
Xi Anling turned around from the front, took two pieces of bread and handed them to Xia Hongshen. Xia Hongshen gave one to Song Jun and another to Feng Junyuan.
Song Jun hadn’t woken up yet. He rubbed his eyes and took the bread, asking Xia Hongshen, “You don’t want to eat it?”
Xia Hongshen said, “You can eat it.”
Later, Xi Anling gave another one to Long Xing.
Song Jun tore into the bread and ate it while looking out the window. The scenery on the highway was monotonous, and there was nothing to see, but it was better than facing the dull inside of the car.
None of these people spoke much except Long Xing, who had a more lively personality. He would say a few words from time to time and turn on the radio to play music.
A female star’s song was playing on the radio. The female star’s voice was very clear and clean. While listening, Xi Anling started humming along. Song Jun listened quietly, pressed down the car window a little, closed his eyes and took a deep breath of the outside air.
After completing the journey to Yuntong, three-quarters of the way ahead was the highway. As they got farther and farther away from the plains, the surrounding area slowly changed from rolling hills to towering mountains, and the air became colder and colder.
Song Jun opened the window of the car, and his face turned a little red from the wind.
They had lunch at a rest stop next to the highway. The food was not delicious, but it was almost two o’clock in the afternoon, and they only ate one piece of bread in the morning. Everyone felt hungry, and it tasted particularly delicious.
Only Xia Hongshen took a couple of symbolic bites. Song Jun thought he probably wasn’t hungry, or maybe he didn’t need to eat at all to stay alive.
After eating, they continued on the road. This time, they drove for nearly an hour before getting off the highway and then onto the rugged winding mountain road. The speed of the car was greatly slowed down. By the time they arrived at Yuntong County, it was already six o’clock in the afternoon.
Long Xing called the police officer responsible for contacting the county public security bureau, who came and took them to the county public security bureau.
The person in charge of contact was also a young policeman named Lü Hai. He said it was getting late and asked everyone to go to dinner first and hold a small meeting after dinner to explain the specific case to Long Xing and Xia Hongshen.
Dinner tasted better than lunch. After a tiring day, everyone naturally ate more. After dinner, Lü Hai took them to a hotel near the Public Security Bureau to settle down.
The five of them arranged a total of three standard rooms.
Xi Anling definitely wanted to live in a room by herself. Feng Junyuan didn’t want to stay with Xia Hongshen, and he wanted to stay with Song Jun; Song Jun actually didn’t want to stay with Xia Hongshen. In comparison, he would rather live with Feng Junyuan.
But Xia Hongshen obviously didn’t care about their ideas. In the end, Xia Hongshen and Song Jun stayed in one room, and Long Xing and Feng Junyuan stayed in one room.
After putting their things in the hotel room, Xia Hongshen and Long Xing went to the Public Security Bureau to attend the case meeting. Several other people stayed in the hotel to rest because they had nothing to do with the case.
Xia Hongshen and Long Xing were sitting in the small conference room of the county public security bureau.
Xia Hongshen held in his hand an appraisal power of attorney submitted by the Public Security Bureau, which contained simple facts of the case. As a neutral appraiser, all he needed to know was the most basic facts of the case. As for the detailed relationships, he did not need to know yet so as not to form a subjective opinion that would affect the fairness of the appraisal results.
Long Xing was different. Long Xing learned the details of the entire case during his conversation with Lü Hai.
It turned out that the crime occurred in a small mountain village called Wanjia Village, which was nearly 100 kilometres away from Yuntong County. Due to its remote location and treacherous roads, the small mountain village was very secluded, with only a few dozen permanent residents and a population of over two hundred. A teenager’s body had recently been unearthed on the mountain, and it was confirmed to be a child from one of the households, around the age of thirteen.
When Long Xing heard this, he said strangely, “Why not bring the body down for examination? Can’t cars go up the mountain?”
Lü Hai shook his head, “It’s not that simple. The people in the village suspect that their former village chief is the murderer, and the chief’s nephew happens to be the deputy director of our Public Security Bureau. Our colleagues went up the mountain to investigate, but there was no cooperation whatsoever. The villagers are refusing to allow the body to be brought down, and that’s why we’re thinking of getting an external forensic institution to go up the mountain and examine the body. We hope that the results of the examination will persuade the villagers to believe in the findings.”
Long Xing was a little surprised, “That’s quite troublesome.”
Lü Hai nodded, took out a cigarette and handed it to Long Xing. Long Xing waved his hand and refused, saying he didn’t smoke.
Xia Hongshen was still sitting in the conference room, looking through the case information.
Lü Hai peeked his head out from the door and whispered to Long Xing, “So, this is the Forensic Medicine team from C University?”
Long Xing nodded, “He had a doctorate.”
“Doctorate?” Lü Hai said, “Even though he looks like a pretty boy? He is too handsome.”
Long Xing said quickly, “Teacher Xia is very powerful, don’t underestimate him.”
Lü Hai laughed out loud, obviously not listening to Long Xing’s words. He said, “Okay, we will set off tomorrow morning. The mountain road is not easy to walk. Let’s have a good rest tonight.”
Long Xing nodded.
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