Chapter 65- Is this your love? Is this what you gave me?
The closer they drove to the mountain region, the colder it became. In the dimness of twilight, a thin layer of snow could be seen blanketing each mountain peak. Within the forest, the snow lay in a deep carpet, and it was extremely cold. It was impossible to see the horizon.
Ji Bai slammed on the brakes, stopping the car at the three-way fork on the road. Da Hu immediately jumped out, and hastily examined the ground for any marks or traces. He said nothing.
This was the trunk road soon after entering the mountain region. There was a chaotic mess of tyre prints in the snow, with no way of distinguishing one from another. Moreover, going forward, they would be moving into the heart of the vast forest region. The mountain trails crisscrossed/intersected every which way, and most of them were not monitored. Lin Qingyan could have taken Xu Xu in any direction.
Moreover, in comparison with the previous occasion when they had arrested Tan Liang, Ji Bai had been given 300 police officers then, and they had taken several days to comb through the entire mountain region. There was no need to mention the fact that reinforcements were only currently still on the way.
Da Hu got back in the car, and glanced at Ji Bai’s blood-shot eyes. Even though the present situation filled him with both rage and hopelessness, he could not remain silent, and asked Ji Bai the extremely difficult question: “Chief, what do we do now?”
Ji Bai gazed at the dark mountains, his hands gripping the steering wheel tightly, without a single movement.
With the passing of time, moment by excruciating moment, the deepest core of his heart seemed to sink into greater anxiety, and sharper pain, until he reached a bottomless pit. Moreover, he had a premonition that, from this day onwards, he would always be endlessly falling into the abyss/nothingness, unable to ever hold her hand and accompany her again.
However, he pushed aside this pain, he would not regard it, he would let it soundlessly torment him, until it ran its course (自生自灭 – to emerge and perish on its own, to run its own course). He had only one thought, and that was to find her.
But, there were no traces to track, no logic to follow. He, Ji Bai, could infer a killer’s characteristic from a footprint, but, in this situation, how was he to find a needle in a haystack? (大海捞针 – (literal) to retrieve a needle from the sea), to reverse the course of events (逆转乾坤 – bring about a radical change in the situation; 乾坤 – Heaven and Earth/ the Universe)
At this point, Da Hu asked tentatively: “Should we go to Lin Qingyan’s private villa in the mountain region? That’s his stopover point, he may go there to . . .”
Ji Bai kept quiet.
Because he suddenly remembered what Xu Xu had said.
It was soon after the closure of Tan Liang’s case. Xu Xu was on leave, recuperating at home. He had come home after work to see her sitting on the sofa, staring at the numerous photos of Qingyan and Yao Meng together that had been put up on the opposite wall.
On hearing movement, Xu Xu turned her head and said, somewhat distractedly: “In your opinion, what kind of love does Lin Qingyan have for Yao Meng?”
What kind of love?
Love intermingled with hate? Because Lin Qingyan’s fiance had been killed by Feng Ye, and Yao Meng had been Feng Ye’s former love? Thus, it had been slow to start.
Or, there were simply no feelings involved at all. It was just because Yao Meng and Feng Ye had once been in a relationship that he chose Yao Meng to be his final goal.
Xu Xu shook her head: “It’s not like that, Third Brother.” She took a photograph from the wall and handed it to him. The man and woman in the photograph were hugging each other in the night. They seemed very intimate, and well-matched for each other.
“You cannot use normal logic to understand the thought processes of psychopaths,” Xu Xu said seriously. “What normal people see as important in determining love and hatred, these people may not have any feeling towards their partner. Psychopathic killers like him very seldom kill out of pure ‘hatred’. His inner world seeks quiet, clarity and stability, far more than that of ordinary people. However, the rules and standards of his world are very different from ours. He commits the murders only because he needs to.”
“He needs it?”
“That’s correct. Lin Qingyan has had numerous opportunities to kill Yao Meng. Even if he wanted to make her his final kill, he still had no reason to keep this ‘former police officer’ by his side all the time. But instead, he established a sincere, intimate relationship with Yao Meng.
Thus, no matter for what reason, in his heart, Yao Meng has a special, sincere significance, and conjures up similar emotions. As I’ve said before, when we think like a psychopathic person, this is what we’ll end up with.”
Indeed, she said it was necessary to think like the psychopathic person.
Regardless on why Lin Qingyan snatched Xu Xu away, if he followed the warped logic and standards of Lin Qingyan’s abnormal psychology, where would he take Xu Xu in order to kill her?
Ji Bai looked up to meet Da Hu’s anxious stare.
“We’re not going to Lin Qingyan’s villa.” He continued quietly, “We’re going somewhere else.”
In this sea of countless possibilities, he could only choose one. If he chose wrongly, he might move further and further away from Xu Xu, to to point where they would be apart forever.