27 Chapter 27 Monitoring

Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios

Chapter 27 Surveillance

After returning to the precinct with the police, the yellow-haired suspect was taken away, scheduled for immediate interrogation after completing the procedural formalities. The police had already gathered sufficient evidence to substantiate that he was the perpetrator of the July 31 robbery and murder case, and his denial would be in vain.

Xiang Kun was taken by Officer Chen to an empty meeting room. As soon as the door was shut, Officer Chen couldn't help but start scolding:

"What on earth were you doing? Didn't I tell you not to act rashly? The suspect might have been carrying a restrictive knife; it's highly dangerous. Why did you confront him? Just because you know how to fight, does it mean you should blindly risk your life?"

Xiang Kun couldn't retaliate; he had not wanted to fight either, but the blonde-haired suspect, having lost all reason, charged at him with a knife. Was he expected to dodge, especially when Tang Baona and her friends were beside him?

However, he also knew that Officer Chen was speaking for his benefit, and cared about his safety. He remembered the phrase, "no matter how highly skilled you are, you still fear kitchen knives." There were numerous instances of professional fighters losing their lives or becoming disabled due to surprise knife attacks from local thugs on the street.

"The guy was hiding in a narrow alley. I was standing guard at the entrance, waiting for your people to arrive. But suddenly he seemed to go crazy and charged out with a knife. I had no choice but to retaliate," Xiang Kun explained.

After hearing Xiang Kun's explanation, Officer Chen thought for a moment, pointed at a chair suggesting he sit down, and tried to hand him a cigarette. He declined, so Officer Chen lit one himself and sat down.

Sitting across from Officer Chen, Xiang Kun was feeling a bit perplexed. What was happening here?

"Mr. Xiang, when we last recorded your information, you mentioned that your previous company had gone bankrupt and that you were unemployed. How are things now? Any progress with the job search?"

Xiang Kun was puzzled. Why was Officer Chen suddenly interested in his personal affairs? He carefully replied, "I've decided to take a break for a while, reassess things, and plan out my career."

"Didn't you practice martial arts from a young age?" Officer Chen asked.

"Well, I can't really say I practiced martial arts… It's just that I was keen on kung fu, and though it was off and on, I basically trained by myself, hit the gym now and then to build strength, but never really systematically trained under anyone," Xiang Kun replied. In fact, he had never been interested in martial arts or combat before, and had never practiced martial arts. He had only watched some action movies. But he knew Officer Chen was questioning his fighting skills, so he had to cook up a reason and give some sort of explanation.

Then Officer Chen, veering the conversation hither and thither, talking about Marvel superheroes and then martial arts novels, left Xiang Kun increasingly bewildered. Finally, he asked, "Officer Chen, shouldn't you be busy now? That suspect just got arrested, don't you need to go interrogate him?"

Officer Chen extinguished his cigarette in the ashtray and said, "That's not starting anytime soon. Did you know, this guy is actually quite resistant to investigation. After the crime, we checked the tapes from the nearby ATM and found that whether it was inside or outside of the ATM, from nearby security cameras, or from cameras outside of shops, none had recorded the criminal. The place he chose to commit the crime was precisely outside of any surveillance. His escape route, too, had managed to avoid all surveillance, such that only in a few shots did we suspect we might have captured a glimpse of him. But that wasn't enough to confirm his identity or his whereabouts..."

"Didn't you figure out his identity the next day itself?" Xiang Kun asked, surprised. He didn't think the suspect was particularly clever.

In the beginning, he assumed it was a vendetta of some sort, but then heard from the police that it was a robbery? In this day and age, who would resort to street robberies and even murder? How many people carry large amounts of cash on them nowadays? Reportedly, the victim, who died from the stab wounds, had withdrawn only one thousand from the ATM, and that too for a gift envelope for a wedding next day. Given the suspect's record, it seemed he was still stuck with criminal instincts from decades ago – his so-called counter-investigation skills were useless against modern investigative techniques.

Officer Chen nodded, "That's because from other surveillance footage we had a clear shot of him, confirming his identity, and found his residence in the city where we found a lot of evidence. But it seems like he got wind of it and fled before we could reach his residence; it's only then that you happened to run into him on the street."

Xiang Kun listened attentively but didn't speak. He knew that Officer Chen's sudden disclosure of these investigative details meant he had something to say to him.

As expected, Officer Chen's tone changed, "At the time, we thought the suspect might have carefully evaded the surveillance by preparing in advance, so we brought up the surveillance videos from the ATM and nearby intersections a few days prior to the case."

Xiang Kun's heart skipped a beat, he had an idea of where this might be heading.

Officer Chen asked, "Mr. Xiang, it wasn't a coincidence that you were there on that day, was it? Have you been voluntarily 'patrolling' around in the evenings recently?"

Xiang Kun finally understood why Officer Chen had been chatting with him about superheroes and martial arts novels. It turned out that his nighttime "patrolling" had been caught on surveillance cameras, and the police had noticed it during their investigation.

Not sleeping and spending the whole night "patrolling" the streets for several days straight was certainly abnormal.

Officer Chen surmised that Xiang Kun, having thwarted a violent crime in his apartment building, may have fancied the idea of becoming a volunteer policeman and patrolled the streets every night, wishing to serve justice.

Xiang Kun felt wronged internally. His discovery of the stabbed victim that night was purely accidental - an incident he certainly didn't wish for!

However, he couldn't explain as such. Officer Chen's understanding, while incorrect, offered the most plausible explanation for his late-night "patrolling." He could only mumble in response.

Hence, Officer Chen lectured him for another ten minutes, repeatedly admonishing him to report incidents to the police rather than playing the hero before letting him leave the station.

Xiang Kun had caught the suspect today and would receive a reward of 20,000 from the police station. He wouldn't get the money for a while, but it was a pleasant surprise.

While some reporters wanted to interview him, Xiang Kun declined them all and hoped that Officer Chen wouldn't disclose his name and identity to the media. If possible, he'd prefer if the video of him catching the suspect was restricted online.

Officer Chen appreciated his decision, seeing Xiang Kun as someone genuinely interested in "fighting crime," not fame seeking.


Standing at the station's entrance, Xiang Kun felt a chill of apprehension.

If he hadn't met Officer Chen previously when stopping a crime in his building, if he hadn't been first on the crime scene, the police, when reviewing surveillance footage, would surely have viewed a "Bald Man" staying up all night patrolling as a suspect!

If they investigated and found that not only was Xiang Kun staying up all night patrolling but also spending his entire day at the gym, they would definitely find that suspicious.

If they searched his room and found certain documents on his computer or the carefully wrapped-up rabbit carcass in the trash, there would be even more questions.

He had no idea what would happen then. Even though they wouldn't be able to pin any charges on him, the exposure of his physical mutation was inevitable.

"Seems like I wasn't careful enough," Xiang Kun muttered to himself.

Fortunately, the tenants of the house he bought had assured him they would vacate by the 6th. He planned to move there. Although it has complete neighborhood amenities, it was less densely populated and had less surveillance.

When he got home, Xiang Kun replied to a previous text from Tang Baona, briefly describing today's events.

Tang Baona explained the misunderstanding when Yang Zhen Er thought he insulted her and came around to argue. At the end of their chat after midnight, she confirmed that he was the identified "bald man" featured in the viral video titled "Secluded Martial Monk's Authentic Kung Fu." They bid each other goodnight, and she reminded him of their hiking appointment on Sunday at seven in the morning.

They had chatted for nearly two hours, unknowingly.

Their relationship, initially somewhat distant and could even be said as "awkward," had surprisingly grown more harmonious and normalized due to this incident.

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