Miss Forensics – Chapter 58.1

Reunion

In an open space, a satellite phone has been set up.

Zheng Chengrui tinkered with it for a while and then called out to her, “Captain Song, it’s ready.”

Song Yuhang ran out of the house, picked up the walkie-talkie and extended the antenna. A direct call was made to the training room at the Jiangcheng City Bureau.

Zheng Chengrui typed on the computer, keeping a real-time communication record.

The blue dots on the big screen in the training room blinked, and Zhang Jinhai paced back and forth. The operator called out, “Captain Zhang, Captain Song has news.”

Zhang Jinhai dashed over in a single stride and said, “Captain Song, you’ve been out of contact for a whole day and night. If we don’t receive any news soon, we’ll have to send a rescue team to search the mountains.”

Song Yuhang smiled, but her expression was serious. “We had a little accident and got stuck in the mountains. It happened to coincide with heavy rain, and all our electronic equipment got waterlogged and malfunctioned. We just managed to fix it today.”

Without further ado, she got straight to the point, “How did the operation to capture the Beidou Industrial Park go?”

Zhang Jinhai furrowed his brow and replied, “We spooked the snake in the grass; the operation failed.”

Song Yuhang thought to herself, “Just as I suspected.”

“It’s alright. If it were so easy to catch him, he wouldn’t be the ‘White Whale’…,” Zhang Jinhai was momentarily surprised, but he detected an unprecedented severity in her tone.

“Captain Zhang, we’ve been played for a long time; it’s time to close the net.”

“Are you suggesting…?” His brain was struggling to keep up with her pace.

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Song Yuhang continued, “We’ve obtained some leads here. During his time in Xiaohe Village, Yu Xinye had a brief common-law marriage with a woman named Wei Fengzhen, who gave birth to a daughter for him. After the mining disaster, his wife and daughter disappeared, and I suspect she changed her name and identity and left Qing’an County.”

“Go check the Jiangbei Weaving Factory, see if anyone has recently sent blankets to the post office in Wuli Town. It’s a remote place, so it should be easy to find the right person. Once you find that person, bring them in for questioning.”

“Additionally, investigate these two individuals, Li Hai and Li Yang. If my hunch is correct, one of them must be the culprit.”

Not long after the phone call ended, several police cars sped out of the Jiangcheng City Bureau, racing to their destination.

Song Yuhang was also preparing to descend from the mountain. Lin Yan was packing things in the room, placing the mechanical baton into a bag. Her hand reached into the side pocket of her backpack, retrieving a thumb-sized card reader.

Song Yuhang came in and knocked on the door, “Lin Yan, are you ready?”

She hesitated for a moment but still handed the card reader to her, saying, “Here.”

Song Yuhang asked in surprise, “What is this?”

Lin Yan put the backpack over her shoulder and replied, “Evidence.”

Song Yuhang’s pupils contracted, “You…”

Lin Yan gave a wry smile, “The other day, I arrived earlier than you did. I installed a miniature camera in Li Bin’s room, intending to monitor and record his actions. However, it accidentally captured my interaction with Li Bin…”

She paused for a moment before saying, “I blame myself for being too blindly confident during the abusive process, for not being able to protect him.”

Song Yuhang held the thin memory card, her expression difficult to discern. “You could have destroyed it as if nothing had happened. Why didn’t you…”

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Lin Yan shook her head, “One person’s actions, one person’s responsibility. It’s not right to let you take the blame for something I did wrong. Someone should be accountable for Li Bin’s death, but that person shouldn’t be you.”

Song Yuhang clutched the card reader as if it were a hot potato, torn between holding onto it and letting it go.

Lin Yan walked up and lightly patted her shoulder, a hint of a cheerful smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

“Anyway, I’ve given you the evidence, how you handle it is your business.”

Song Yuhang turned around and asked, “Is there a possibility of capturing the face of the culprit?”

Lin Yan’s steps faltered, and the smile on her face froze. “I don’t know; I haven’t had a chance to look.”

Song Yuhang carefully stashed the card reader in her jacket pocket and buttoned it up before raising her eyes to look at Lin Yan.

“This is the evidence of the culprit, not yours, Lin Yan. I trust you.”

Lin Yan was taken aback, didn’t say a word, and pushed the door open, striding out.

Song Yuhang followed her, lifting her steps.

The elderly woman heard that they were leaving, so she dug up a big bag of sweet potatoes from the back hill and pushed it into Lin Yan’s hands, insisting, “Take it, you can have it…”

Lin Yan politely declined, saying, “No, please keep it for yourself…”

The old lady became anxious, her eyes reddened slightly, and she continued to speak earnestly.

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Song Yuhang walked over and lifted the bag of sweet potatoes, carrying it on her shoulder while comforting the elderly woman.

Lin Yan glanced at her and said coolly, “The Three Disciplines and Eight Points of Attention1, don’t forget the principle of serving the people, Officer Song.”

Song Yuhang handed the last 200 yuan in her pocket to the old lady, saying, “I’m not taking it, I’m buying it.”

Lin Yan rolled her eyes and walked away.

Song Yuhang, with a snakeskin bag on her back, waved to the elderly woman and turned to leave.

When they walked out of the bamboo grove and turned to look back, the elderly woman was still standing in front of the house, waving at them on tiptoe.

Lin Yan felt a sharp pang from this scene, turned her head, and walked away. Song Yuhang followed her, and the two of them trailed behind.

“Next time, we don’t know when we’ll meet again. Why not say goodbye?”

Lin Yan brushed aside the overhanging branches, jumped down the slope, and said, “No need. It’s just a chance encounter, after all.”

Song Yuhang struggled to descend the slope with the large bag of sweet potatoes, feeling slightly out of breath as she moved step by step, clutching the tree for support.

“It’s precisely because of chance encounters that they appear even more precious.”

Lin Yan walked ahead, and her steps faltered for a moment, but she didn’t look back. “What’s truly precious isn’t the encounter.”

“What is it then?”

“Reuniting after a long separation.”

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There are many people who can only meet once in their lifetime.

As the stars revolve and the seasons change, day and night alternate on this planet with 510 million square kilometers, and China alone has a population of 1.3 billion.

Some statisticians have calculated the probability of two people meeting. If you can live to the age of 80, you’ll have roughly 29,200 days in your lifetime, and you’ll encounter around 1,000 people on average each day. So, the probability of a chance encounter is 0.00487.

But as for reuniting with a specific person, it’s akin to the probability of a comet colliding with Earth.

Since she turned eighteen, every birthday wish Lin Yan made has been related to a reunion. Even though she knows it’s impossible, she has more than once hoped for the end of the world, the turning of time, to return to the day she first met her and say,

“Hey, Chu Nan, long time no see.”

Perhaps as the investigation phase progressed, she encountered unprecedented danger and resistance, and it became easier for her to think of Chu Nan and reminisce about the past.

Lin Yan was lost in thought when she heard a startled cry from Song Yuhang, “Be careful!”

She stood on the next slope, while Song Yuhang, struggling to keep her balance with the snakeskin bag, quickly slid down.

Song Yuhang told her to hide, but without thinking, she rushed up, using her body as a buffer between her and the rocks and trees.

Lin Yan was bumped against a pine tree, but the expected pain didn’t follow. Song Yuhang had cushioned her with her hands.

“You…” Lin Yan was at a loss for words.

However, she smiled as she usually did. She didn’t smile often, and her smile was faint, like the sun on a mild autumn afternoon—neither intense nor dazzling but always warm.

“You’re right,” she said, “but I think just being able to meet someone is already remarkable. It’s precisely because we don’t know if we’ll ever meet again that every time, we should embrace life and each other with the same enthusiasm as the first time, making an effort not to have regrets.”

As they spoke, one of the team members down below called out, and Song Yuhang released her, leaving the meaning of her words for Lin Yan to savor.



  1. The Three Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention (Chinese: 三大纪律八项注意; pinyin: Sān dà jìlǜ bā xiàng zhùyì) is a military doctrine that was issued in 1928 by Mao Zedong and his associates for the Chinese Red Army, who were then fighting against the Kuomintang. The contents vary slightly in different versions. One of the major distinctions of the doctrine was its respect for the civilians during wartime.

    The Three Main Rules of Discipline:

    • Obey orders in all your actions.(一切行动听指挥)
    • Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses.(不拿群众一针一线)
    • Turn in everything captured.(一切缴获要归公)

    The Eight Points for Attention:

    • Speak politely.(说话和气)
    • Pay fairly for what you buy.(买卖公平)
    • Return everything you borrow.(借东西要还)
    • Pay for anything you damage.(损坏东西要赔)
    • Do not hit or swear at people.(不打人骂人)
    • Do not damage crops.(不损坏庄稼)
    • Do not take liberties with women.(不调戏妇女)
    • Do not ill-treat captives.(不虐待俘虏)

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