“No one asked me,” Wei Wenchuan said boldly, “Besides, what does it have to do with me?” “But when Feng Bin was killed, the killer tracked them using the tracking device on her phone,” Tao Ran said in a deep voice. “Do you have anything to say?” Wei Wenchuan’s gaze didn’t waver at all as he looked directly back at Tao Ran. A false smile appeared at the corner of his mouth. “First, have you caught the murderer? Did the murderer himself admit that he found Feng Bin through that tracker? Second, even if that’s the case, the tracker is very rudimentary, and anyone can locate her through software. Why do you say it’s related to me? Third—so, when Feng Bin was killed, Xia Xiaonan was with him? Then why didn’t the killer kill her? Doesn’t that indicate that she’s suspicious? Or like I said, what does it have to do with me?” Unable to tolerate it any longer, Luo Wenzhou was about to personally deal with this little bastard when his phone rang. “…Beiyuan Longyun City,” he abruptly stopped in his tracks, his voice almost choked in his throat. “Are you sure? No… keep this matter confidential, don’t come over yet. Keep an eye on Xiao Haiyang as well. I’ll talk to you when I get home.” Luo Wenzhou hung up the phone and stood still, feeling his heart pounding. He paced in place in the surveillance room, lifted his hand and finished the half cup of tea next to him in one gulp. When he picked up the intercom again, he had regained control of his expression. “If he doesn’t admit it, keep him detained for another day. What kind of nonsense is this about family education?” Luo Wenzhou said with a hint of anger in his voice. “Get a few brothers to interrogate him in turns. I don’t believe that a little brat like him won’t break.” Half an hour later, Luo Wenzhou called several of his superiors in the Criminal Investigation Division to report on the work. He walked to the hallway, intentionally or unintentionally, looking up at the corner where the surveillance cameras were located. Provocatively, he lit a cigarette and walked slowly towards the exit. “Some people have changed.” This was the most shocking sentence from Old Yang’s suicide note. The last time they tried to capture Zheng Kaifeng, the leak resulted in Zheng Kaifeng receiving advance notice and escaping. Later, it gave the mastermind an opportunity to kill and cover up the evidence. This time, they couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. Luo Wenzhou went downstairs, expressionless, tapped the cigarette ash on a trash can, and looked back at the office building with the national emblem. He suddenly had a premonition that they were getting close to the truth. Xiao Haiyang sat nervously in Luo Wenzhou’s living room, locking eyes with Luo Yiguo. Luo Yiguo, who had sobered up, was furious, circling around Xiao Haiyang with dissatisfaction. His fluffy tail brushed against Xiao Haiyang’s pants leg, and Lord Mao, with a majestic demeanor, exposed his sharp teeth and gave a “huff” towards Xiao Haiyang. Xiao Haiyang silently drew back his legs, becoming even more restrained in his posture. Luo Yiguo confirmed his judgment and regarded him as an easy target. With his nose in the air, Luo Yiguo jumped onto the coffee table, sat upright in a lump, and began an airtight surveillance of Xiao Haiyang. Fei Du poured a cup of tea for Xiao Haiyang and, while Luo Wenzhou was away, he secretly made his way to the liquor cabinet he had investigated yesterday. He picked a bottle of “General” from the pile of cheap red wines and poured himself a glass. Luo Yiguo’s expression changed immediately upon catching the scent of alcohol. He pranced to Fei Du’s feet, “meowing” and rubbing against his pants leg. Seeing that Fei Du had no intention of paying attention to it, Luo Yiguo couldn’t help but extend his claws, attempting to climb onto him as he usually did to Luo Wenzhou. Fei Du took a sip of red wine, lowered his head, and glanced at it. Luo Yiguo’s paw, raised in mid-air, froze for a moment, then retracted, and obediently turned itself into a fluffy ball, no longer daring to cause trouble. Xiao Haiyang watched him and said, “This cat of yours is very well-behaved.” “Luo Wenzhou is raising him,” Fei Du casually replied, “But I’ve been taking care of him lately.” Ordinary people, upon hearing this, would surely wonder why it was him who took care of Luo Wenzhou’s cat and be shocked, asking, “Do you live at Luo’s house?” However, Comrade Xiao Haiyang was not an ordinary person. His mind was filled with Lu Guosheng, thinking only about Lu Guosheng, completely oblivious to the fact that he was currently sitting on Luo Wenzhou’s sofa. He uttered an “oh,” disregarding Fei Du’s subtle bragging, and said earnestly, “I was just thinking, if the person Wang Xiao mentioned is indeed Lu Guosheng, why does he always make sure not to leave any traces of himself, but deliberately left his fingerprints when he killed Feng Bin?” Fei Du: “…” Are all the detectives at the Municipal Bureau so dull-witted?

Xiao Haiyang had a sincere and solemn expression, causing Fei Du to take a sip of wine with a blank face, swallowing it along with his frustration. He strolled slowly to the other corner of the sofa, stretched out his long legs comfortably, and sat down. “There are surveillance cameras around the scenic area. Lu Guosheng hasn’t changed his appearance much in recent years. He knew he would be captured on camera before he acted, so whether he wears gloves or not doesn’t matter much. I think a person who has been hiding for fifteen years may long for freedom. He usually wears gloves and is cautious because once exposed, he will immediately be targeted by the public security system. But on the day of the murder, it was different. He knew that someone would be there to assist him, so he could enjoy the process of killing and then escape without a trace.”

For a wanted criminal like Lu Guosheng, who had multiple lives on his hands, he didn’t mind adding one more as long as the police couldn’t catch him.

“For a notorious and well-identified fugitive standing in the way of Sky Net, he undoubtedly serves as a good shield for his employer.”

When it came to serious matters, Xiao Haiyang’s mind was not slow. He nodded immediately, “I understand that… but there is also a contradiction. He killed the boy and took the girl’s phone but let her go. Why is that? Didn’t he know that the police would definitely question Xia Xiaonan? In that case, wouldn’t his employer, whom he worked so hard to conceal, be exposed?”

Fei Du didn’t answer for a moment. In silence, Luo Yiguo came over and rubbed against him, resting his head on Fei Du’s thigh. Finding a source of warmth, he soon fell asleep on him.

There were many reasons why Lu Guosheng didn’t kill Xia Xiaonan—perhaps it was his employer’s demand, or maybe because Xia Xiaonan, who had betrayed Feng Bin, was regarded as one of the insiders by the murderer. Perhaps it was because she was beautiful, and he wanted to treat her as a precious “trophy” and couldn’t bear to kill her. Maybe the young and reckless “employer” naively believed that as long as the threat was sufficient, the girl would remain silent and the police would not find out anything.

It could also be Lu Guosheng’s own reasons. After all, among his numerous blood debts, there was not a single female victim. The mental state of some deranged serial killers is difficult to fathom using normal logic. They can be cold and ruthless while, at the same time, display a deep affection for individuals with certain traits. Until Lu Guosheng, with a living body, was caught, all these were unknown.

The only thing that could be confirmed was that if Xia Xiaonan had also died in that trash can, the bodies of the boy and the girl would have been discovered together. By then, the girl’s phone would have been taken, and no one would know that she was also involved. It would have appeared to be an unfortunate accident at most, and the police, who failed to catch the fugitive, would have faced criticism. But now, due to various coincidences, this perfectly executed murder plot had gone awry… shortly after the Zhou family case.

“If those people were so easy to make mistakes, they would have been captured long ago and couldn’t possibly continue to operate until now.”

It wasn’t until twilight that Luo Wenzhou returned with Tao Ran. They took a taxi, carrying a large bundle of hot pot ingredients, as if planning to organize a weekend gathering during their overtime.

Xiao Haiyang watched as Luo Wenzhou took out his keys, casually kicked off his shoes, and threw them beside the shoe cabinet. Finally realizing what was going on, he was completely lost and couldn’t figure it out. He thought to himself, “Whose house is this, anyway?”

Tao Ran smiled and handed a non-transparent canvas bag to Fei Du, “Xiao Xiao also came to join us for dinner?”

Xiao Haiyang: “…”

Throughout the afternoon, every time he tried to leave, Fei Du made him “wait a little longer.” Xiao Haiyang had originally anticipated being assigned a secret investigation, but instead, he was met with a hot pot!

Xiao Haiyang: “Uh… I came…”

Fei Du opened the canvas bag given to him by Tao Ran and glanced inside. It contained a small, completely black device—a counter-surveillance device!

“He came for an inspection,” Fei Du caught on and casually interrupted Xiao Haiyang, “and I also want to apologize to you for my behavior yesterday, speaking disrespectfully and contradicting my superiors in public. As compensation, I specially bought two bags of imported cat food. Right, handsome?”

Xiao Haiyang: “…”

Fei Du bought the cat food at the supermarket downstairs. Although Xiao Haiyang was completely puzzled at this point, due to the blind trust he had developed in Fei Du throughout the day, he kept his mouth shut and said nothing.

“Imported?” Luo Wenzhou glanced at Xiao Haiyang, “The cat we have at home is a Chinese domestic cat. It doesn’t eat imported food. Be careful, or he might flip the bowl…”

Before he finished speaking, he looked up and saw Luo Yiguo squatting, wagging his tail, and burying his head while munching on food. Judging from his body language, he seemed quite content and had no intention of smashing any bowls or dishes.

Luo Wenzhou: “…”

This little creature that eats and steals!

The hot pot ingredients were all ready-made and didn’t require much effort to prepare. Even a novice like Fei Du could handle it.

Tao Ran and Xiao Haiyang set up the hot pot and started cooking the broth. They sat beside it, chatting casually while keeping an eye on Luo Yiguo. Fei Du went into the kitchen to help with the vegetables.

As soon as he entered the kitchen, Luo Wenzhou lightly sniffed and asked, “Did you drink alcohol?”

“…,” Fei Du was caught off guard by the question. He didn’t expect the man who lived with solid air fresheners to have such a keen sense of smell. He immediately denied, “No, grape juice.”

Luo Wenzhou swayed back and forth in place, observed where Tao Ran and Xiao Haiyang were sitting in the dining room, and unexpectedly raised his hand, pressing Fei Du into a blind spot. He personally tasted Fei Du’s mouth.

The kitchen door was half-open, and Tao Ran and Xiao Haiyang could see inside. Fei Du could even hear their low conversation. Luo Wenzhou’s sudden attack of a kiss came in a chaotic manner, carrying a hint of impatience. It was a stark contrast to the “relaxed and enjoyable” atmosphere of the weekend hot pot dinner.

Perhaps it was difficult for anyone to remain calm in the face of a knife stabbing from behind.

The winter weather was dry, and lips were fragile. Fei Du hissed and quickly turned his head, grabbing Luo Wenzhou’s hand, and whispered faintly in his ear, “Darling, make me bleed, and you’ll have to carry me out.”

Luo Wenzhou had already reached his verdict. He angrily slapped Fei Du, “I’ll carry you out—didn’t drink? Is there any truth in your mouth?”

Fei Du tilted his head, concealing his unrepentant smile, and lightly licked Luo Wenzhou’s earlobe. Taking advantage of his shiver, he confidently held the washed mushrooms and floated away.

The aggressive aroma of the hot pot had already filled the air. Various meats, vegetables, and seafood were neatly arranged on the spacious dining table, looking plentiful. Luo Yiguo came running in, following the scent, and impatiently spun around under the table, while the four people wore solemn expressions.

“Who said you don’t fit in? Isn’t eating hot pot with us after work a way to fit in? Xiao Xiao, don’t resist. People become acquainted by eating together a few times. We still have to work tomorrow. Let’s enjoy our meal today and replace alcohol with tea. Let’s drink a toast.” Tao Ran’s voice seemed to carry a hint of a smile, but there was no trace of a smile on his face. He securely took the counter-surveillance device, looked up, and made a “ready” gesture to Luo Wenzhou.

Xiao Haiyang expressionlessly held two porcelain cups and pretended to clink them together.

The dry pot bubbled, and the indicator light flashed faintly, emitting an invisible scanning signal.

Luo Wenzhou took the detector from the counter-surveillance device and stood up. “This matter is in the past, Xiao Haiyang. You’re not a child anymore. Be more cautious when speaking outside. Not everyone will tolerate you like I do. I’ll go check if the vermicelli has softened.”

With that, he carried the detector and inspected every corner of the house, even carefully checking the shoes in the shoe cabinet near the entrance.

“Fei Du, can you stop playing with your phone? How much money do you want to earn that you don’t even have time to enjoy a good meal?”

Tao Ran understood the implicit meaning in his words and immediately continued, “Turn them all off. Let’s follow the online practice and keep our phones off. No one is allowed to touch them. Whoever can’t resist and touches them will have their meal expenses reimbursed.”

Fei Du somehow found a dozen special material paper bags that could block signals. He collected everyone’s phones and sealed them in the bags.

Just as Luo Wenzhou approached the entrance, the red light suddenly turned on.

Luo Wenzhou’s expression changed abruptly. Tao Ran immediately turned up the volume of the TV, and the four of them stared at the indicator light on the counter-surveillance device. It was moving erratically, pointing towards Luo Wenzhou. After a moment, Luo Wenzhou took Tao Ran’s worn briefcase from the coat rack. He opened it―inside the fastener of the inner bag, there was a bug.

The four of them silently communicated through their eyes, but Luo Yiguo’s attention was still on the food. Seeing that no one paid attention to it, it let out an unhappy cry.

Luo Wenzhou’s gaze shifted, and he swiftly walked over, lifting Luo Yiguo with one hand. Luo Yiguo dangled in mid-air, not understanding what the troublemaker had done, and started screaming with its small voice.

In the midst of the cat’s scream, Luo Wenzhou scooped up a cup of boiling water and poured it over the bug in the eavesdropping device. With a sizzle, the old leather on the briefcase emitted a strange smell, and the red light on the counter-surveillance device quieted down.

No one spoke for a while. Luo Wenzhou released Luo Yiguo, breaking the silence first. “Taotao, you’ve been using this old bag for about ten years now. You’ve sewn two layers of thread on just one zipper. It’s time to replace it. I have a few new ones. Later, you can choose whichever one you like. Take your pick.”