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The King of Detectives

15

A Withdrawal Slip

10

Slowly walking to the coffee table, he saw a dozen pots of succulents arranged around it, with a small tea set in the middle. Han Yun crouched down, observing the succulents. Yu Miaomiao came over and said, "Senior, I found it. The fitness center is nearby, about a twenty-minute walk from here."


"Don't call me senior, it's awkward," Han Yun said while staring at the succulents. "Just call me by my name."


"Oh." Yu Miaomiao came over and crouched down too, staring at the succulents on the coffee table. "This one is called Ruby, this one is called Lipstick, this one is called Guanghan Palace, and this one is called Black Prince. I used to have a lot of these in my dorm. Succulents are easy to care for, you don't have to do much."


Han Yun didn't respond and instead reached into the soil of one of the succulent pots, fiddling a bit before pulling out a crumpled note. The note had been pressed into the soil, leaving imprints on the surface. Unfolding it revealed an ATM receipt. It showed a transaction on April 30, 2021, at 22:00, where 20,000 yuan was withdrawn from an ATM on Wangxiang Road in Beidu.


On April 30, Bai Jing, who originally had a train ticket booked for a business trip, abruptly changed his plans. He went to Wangxiang Road and withdrew 20,000 yuan from the ATM: “I remember that Li Tieyun and the others checked the surveillance footage from the neighborhood earlier. It confirmed that after Bai Jing left with his suitcase on April 30, he never returned, right?”


"Yes, the last time he left the complex, he was carrying a suitcase and was planning to go on a business trip. We checked all the surveillance footage from that day and didn't see him come back." Yu Miaomiao replied firmly.


"Then how do you explain this?" Han Yun handed the ATM receipt to Yu Miaomiao: "It shows that Bai Jing withdrew some money that night. If he never came back, how could this receipt be in this room? If it wasn't Bai Jing, then it could be the murderer, who entered this room after killing Bai Jing. The surveillance footage from the complex on April 30th is at the police station, right?"


"Yes." Yu Miaomiao glanced at the receipt and replied.


"Have Li Tieyun get someone to re-examine the surveillance footage from that day, not just April 30th, but the following days as well. The killer likely appeared in the complex's surveillance footage."


After receiving the instructions, Yu Miaomiao got up, walked to the kitchen, and called Li Tieyun.


Han Yun sat down on the sofa and re-examined the entire living room before slowly closing his eyes. Why would the murderer come to the victim's rented house after killing him and stuff the receipt into a flower pot? What was he looking for? But there was no sign of the room being ransacked. And the murder scene wasn't here, so the killer couldn't have returned to erase any clues. If there wasn't any evidence in this room that could expose the murderer, there would be no need for him to come here in person.


Could it be that after Bai Jing's death, and before the police arrived, the person who came here wasn't the murderer, but someone else?


Thinking of this, Han Yun opened his eyes and looked directly towards the kitchen. Then he got up, grabbed the chair from under the dining table, went to the kitchen, stood on the chair, and looked at the gap between the top of the cupboard and the ceiling. 


He thoughtfully reached out and touched it. Dust, a thick layer of dust. Immediately jumping off the chair, he went to the sofa, bent down to move it, and looked under it.


As expected, the area under the sofa was also very dirty with dust, along with sunflower seed shells, candy wrappers, and the like. Yu Miaomiao, having finished her call with Li Tieyun, walked over and watched Han Yun's actions with some confusion: "Have you found something?"


"The person who loves cleanliness isn't Bai Jing at all, but someone else." Han Yun frowned slightly: "Someone has been cleaning Bai Jing's room, and... before the police came here, the room had just been cleaned and tidied up."


"Could it be the woman you just mentioned, the one much older than Bai Jing?" Yu Miaomiao said, suddenly understanding.


Han Yun looked at Yu Miaomiao, then turned to look at the bookshelf and nodded: "It's very possible. Look at the bookshelf, some shelves are empty, could they have been used to display photos?"


"If she's much older than Bai Jing, she'd have to be in her forties or fifties, and definitely married." Yu Miaomiao followed Han Yun's line of thought: "So that woman came over to take away the photos of herself and Bai Jing, to avoid being exposed and getting into trouble..."


"That's one possibility." Han Yun replied.


"Do you think it could be that they had an affair, and Bai Jing used it to blackmail her? The woman didn't want to divorce her husband, so she took drastic measures and killed him to avoid further trouble." Yu Miaomiao spoke excitedly: "Or maybe the woman's husband discovered the affair and killed Bai Jing in a fit of rage."


"It seems you've watched a lot of those kinds of shows." Han Yun spread his hands helplessly: "But the money Bai Jing withdrew on Wangxiang Road on April 30th, he probably gave it to the woman who came to clean the room, along with the receipt. After Bai Jing's incident, the woman sensed something was wrong and, fearing involvement, came here to remove any clues related to herself and thoroughly cleaned the room. This woman is likely not the murderer, nor is she a wealthy woman."


"Then why would Bai Jing like a woman so much older than himself? Could it be true love?" Yu Miaomiao's tone was somewhat disdainful.


"We're here to investigate a case, not to judge the victim's romantic preferences." Han Yun looked at Yu Miaomiao and said, "If you want to investigate cases on the front line, remember, you can have speculations, but don't let your subjective emotions get in the way."


"Yes, yes, I understand." Yu Miaomiao finished speaking and took out her phone: "Should I tell Team Leader Li to pay special attention to women in their forties when reviewing the surveillance footage?"


"Li Tieyun has been here, he'll make his own judgment. He probably already guessed that the person here wasn't the murderer, but Bai Jing's lover." Han Yun stopped Yu Miaomiao from calling Li Tieyun, straightened up, and said, "We've seen enough here, let's go to that fitness center."


Han Yun walked to the door, took off his shoe covers, and stuffed them into his pocket. Yu Miaomiao followed closely behind. The two went downstairs and left the complex. Yu Miaomiao drove, and in less than three minutes, they arrived at the Sophie Fitness Center. Going upstairs to the front desk, Yu Miaomiao asked, "Excuse me, this card is a membership card for your gym, right?"


"Yes, it's from our gym." The receptionist replied.


"I'd like to inquire about a member named Bai Jing. Does he have a personal trainer?" Yu Miaomiao continued to ask.


After confirming Yu Miaomiao's identity, the receptionist looked up the member's information on the computer and said, "Bai Jing has an annual membership, and our members sign in every time they come. According to our records, he comes twice a week, and his last visit was on April 28th. He requested a personal trainer, and the trainer's name is Zhang Zhuang. He should be in the gym right now, I can call him out." After speaking, the receptionist picked up a nearby landline phone.

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