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The King of Detectives

14

The Tireless Soul

2

"We're here." Just as Han Yun was lost in thought, Yu Miaomiao stopped the car and said, "Bai Jing lives here."


Han Yun snapped back to reality and looked at the residential complex not far away. He got out of the car, went to the security office at the entrance of the complex, showed his ID, and filled out the registration form. Yu Miaomiao parked the car and hurried over. 


After completing the registration, they entered the complex. Yu Miaomiao seemed to think she had said something inappropriate in the car that had upset Han Yun, so she said, "Um... Please don't mind what I said in the car just now. It might be because it's my first time having the opportunity to participate in a case investigation, I got a little excited and spoke without thinking."


"You're too sensitive." Han Yun gave Yu Miaomiao a slight smile. "I was just thinking about some things from the past."


Hearing this, Yu Miaomiao was visibly relieved. They arrived at the floor where Bai Jing's rented apartment was located. After going upstairs, Yu Miaomiao took out the key from her pocket, opened the door, and said, "Team Leader Li already had people come and search this place before, but they didn't find any useful clues."


Han Yun entered first, immediately noticing a faint fragrance. The living room was exceptionally clean and tidy, the sofa cushions were arranged with sharp edges, and two asparagus ferns with slightly yellowed leaves were placed on the dining table. There were also several pots of succulents on the coffee table, with a tea set in the center. A TV hung opposite the sofa, and the background wall was designed as a bookshelf.


Bai Jing didn't smoke, there wasn't a trace of smoke smell in the room, and no ashtrays could be found on the coffee table or dining table.


It's rare for a single young man's rented room to be this clean and organized. Yu Miaomiao took out a pair of shoe covers and handed them to Han Yun. 


As Han Yun squatted down to put them on, he glanced at the shoe cabinet next to him. The shoes on the cabinet were also neatly arranged, leather shoes, casual shoes, hiking shoes, all categorized in detail. Although there weren't many, they were all international brands.


After putting on the shoe covers, Han Yun walked into the living room and passed by the bathroom. He glanced inside. There was an automatic air freshener device hanging on the bathroom wall, which probably sprayed at regular intervals to purify the air, hence the lingering fragrance.


The bedroom and kitchen are the places that best reveal whether a person is truly clean or just maintaining appearances. Han Yun first opened the kitchen door. The floor, induction cooker, and walls were all wiped clean, and even the range hood was spotless. He opened the refrigerator, and the fresh food compartment contained no instant food products, only fruits and vegetables.


There were no dishes piled up in the sink, and the bowls, chopsticks, and plates in the cabinets were all neatly separated.


"Oh my god, this is too much. I cook regularly, and I can't even get my range hood that clean. I have the same type of range hood in my apartment, and it's really hard to clean." Yu Miaomiao, who followed Han Yun in, said, "This is practically obsessive-compulsive disorder. Bai Jing must have OCD, right?"


Han Yun didn't respond. He left the kitchen and went to the bedroom. The bed was made, and even the wrinkles on the sheets were smoothed out. Compared to the shoe cabinet, the clothes in the closet weren't separated by brand or style, but rather intermingled. The same went for the clothes folded in the closet compartments. There were no photos hanging on the wall, and on the nightstand was a copy of "The Greatest Salesman in the World." The edges of the pages were yellowed, suggesting it had been read many times.


Opening the drawer of the nightstand, Han Yun found watches, all kinds of watches, all authentic international brands. In the lower cabinet, there was a vintage tape recorder, and next to it were a dozen cassettes. Han Yun squatted down thoughtfully, opened the cassette compartment, and took out the cassette inside. It was a collection of Andy Lau's songs, the surface worn out, indicating it had been listened to for many years.


The dozen or so cassettes next to it were similar. Han Yun put the cassette back into the recorder and pressed play. Andy Lau's "Practice" started playing through the speakers. Perhaps due to years of listening, the sound quality was poor, even affecting the listening experience. The hissing and crackling sounds mixed with the lyrics were somewhat harsh.


Upon hearing the music, Yu Miaomiao, who was originally in the living room, came in and squatted down, looking at the recorder. "This kind of recorder was something my brother listened to when he was a kid. I saw it when I was very little."


Han Yun turned off the recorder, stood up, and asked Yu Miaomiao, "After seeing Bai Jing's rented house, what are your thoughts?"


"Just two words: clean. It's cleaner than any guy's room I know, even cleaner than the apartment I rent. I feel a little ashamed after seeing it." Yu Miaomiao also stood up and said, "But this level of cleanliness is a bit abnormal, right? I feel like Bai Jing might have OCD."


"It doesn't reach the level of OCD. The bowls and chopsticks in the kitchen cabinet aren't uniform in design, they're just categorized in detail. The chopsticks in the holder are facing both directions, and vegetables and fruits of all colors are placed together in the refrigerator's crisper. The clothes in the closet aren't separated by color or type, the two pillowcases are different colors, and the duvet and bed sheet don't match." Han Yun took a deep breath and said, "So Bai Jing is just used to a long-term self-disciplined lifestyle. A self-disciplined and hardworking person shouldn't accept being kept, so the rumor is probably false. But there's no smoke without fire, I suspect Bai Jing dated a woman much older than him and was seen by colleagues."


"If he's not being kept, how can he afford so many luxury brands?" Yu Miaomiao wondered.


"A property manager's salary isn't low either. Bai Jing doesn't smoke or drink, and lives a healthy lifestyle, so he can afford a few luxury items." Han Yun walked out of the bedroom and into the living room, saying, "Although they're all brands, the prices vary greatly. Only the leather shoes are a bit expensive, and the clothes are only suits, as well as the watch. These are all for his work, to look presentable and tasteful when he goes out. As for the rest, although they're also brands, they're all affordable brands for the general public."


"A clean, refined, and presentable young man is indeed easy to attract the favor of older women." Yu Miaomiao also walked out of the bedroom.


Han Yun first went to the TV wall opposite the sofa. The books on it were not just for show, most of them had been read many times and were all related to sales.


On the bottom shelf, there was a gym card that said "Sophie Fitness Center". Han Yun picked up the gym card and handed it to Yu Miaomiao behind him, saying, "Search for this gym on the city map, it should be nearby."


On the top left shelf of the TV stand, there was an honorary certificate awarded to Bai Jing in 2011 for his volunteer work. Back then, Bai Jing probably hadn't come to Beidu yet, as the certificate was issued by the Jiangzhou City Volunteer Service Center. "Which university did Bai Jing attend?"


"Jiangzhou University of Finance and Economics," Yu Miaomiao replied casually while searching for the gym's location on her phone. "It's a third-tier university."


In 2011, Bai Jing might have just graduated and participated in volunteer work for a while, but the certificate didn't specify what type of volunteer service it was. His gaze shifted from the bookshelf (TV wall) to the coffee table.

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