The interrogation targeted Director Zhang privately, without the involvement of the Criminal Investigation Division. Luo Wenzhou had been granted special permission to observe. The investigator asked the same questions repeatedly, setting numerous linguistic traps. The questioning lasted over three exhausting hours, leaving both the questioner and the questioned fatigued. Even Luo Wenzhou, as an observer, couldn’t help but light a cigarette at the door when they came out.

In a cloud of smoke, Luo Wenzhou stood across the street, lost in deep thought for a moment, before finally crossing the road. An SUV, towering over everything, was waiting there.

As soon as Luo Wenzhou opened the car door and before he could climb into the passenger seat, Xiaohaiyang, in the backseat, couldn’t wait any longer and leaned forward. “Captain Luo, I’m starting to have doubts about this. Director Zhang might have been framed!”

Luo Wenzhou glanced at him, pressed his frozen hands against the car’s air conditioning vent to warm them, and slowly said, “Not too long ago, you were the one who wanted nothing more than to see Director Zhang put on the chopping block. Now you’re saying he’s innocent… Xiaoglasses, luckily you’re just an ordinary citizen in this modern age. If you were born in a feudal emperor’s family, how many wronged souls would you have under your command?”

Xiaohaiyang paid no attention to Luo Wenzhou’s words. He lowered his head and pulled out a folder from his bag, pointing to two photos inside. “Look, this is the cash found in the killer’s house, and the other photo is the 500,000 yuan found at Uncle Gu’s house. I found it in the sealed old archives—the large sums of cash are usually stacked in bundles of ten thousand, with a slip of paper bound by the bank on top. However, the cash found in the killer’s house was all loosely stacked together, exactly the same as the evidence from fourteen years ago!”

Lang Qiao interjected, “Yes, I asked the hospital killer. He said the money was delivered like that, and he took his time counting it, feeling smug.”

Luo Wenzhou took the photos and furrowed his brow deeply.

Suddenly, Xiaohaiyang blurted out, “Captain Luo, I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

As soon as he finished speaking, even Feidu, who was in the driver’s seat, turned around. All six eyes in the car focused on Xiaohaiyang, as if witnessing a miraculous event.

Nervously, Xiaohaiyang pushed his glasses up and pursed his lips tightly. He seemed unsure whether he was nervous or uneasy. He seemed to be swaying slightly and blurted out a rapid-fire apology, “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have made hasty judgments, concluding based on superficial evidence, wrongly accusing a martyr. I shouldn’t have—”

Luo Wenzhou interrupted him, “When did you write this?”

“Last night,” Xiaohaiyang replied without thinking.

As soon as he spoke, he immediately realized his foolishness and shut his mouth abruptly. Lang Qiao burst into laughter, and Xiaohaiyang nervously picked at his pants, as if he were about to evaporate from the face of the earth.

“We don’t require verbal recitation of personal checks in our team. It’s over now. Just remember to treat us to dinner,” Luo Wenzhou thought for a moment and added, “You’ll have to take care of the arrangements yourself. How you handle it depends on your sincerity.”

Xiaohaiyang looked blank, as if he wanted to bring his own seasoning and jump directly into the steamer.

“I listened to Director Zhang’s statement. Although the evidence is strongly against him, his explanations are mostly plausible,” Luo Wenzhou said solemnly. “Either he is highly skilled, or he is being framed. Speaking of which, if he were truly that capable, he shouldn’t have left so many flaws during the two failed assassination attempts on Yin Ping.”

Lang Qiao asked, “So, someone is framing him, just like with Gu Zhuo? Why? Who has he offended?”

Luo Wenzhou shook his head, signaling Feidu to drive home.

The files of the Gu Zhuo case were only recently reopened for investigation. Who would know the details of the cash placement? After Director Zhang was investigated, the last person connected to the case was also called in. The handling by the investigative team would likely be confidential, and they would have limited influence… The old case became even more perplexing.

At that moment, Feidu suddenly spoke, “The first catalog project started about a year after the Gu Zhuo case. Did the members of the catalog team have access to the files—including the Gu Zhuo case?”

Luo Wenzhou asked, “Are you saying…”

“That mysterious leader,” Feidu said, “Is he really dead?”

Luo Wenzhou looked at him deeply, but constrained by the presence of Lang Qiao and Xiaohaiyang, he merely said indifferently, “It’s been too long. We’ll have to ask when Director Lu returns.”

However, a faint suspicion began to rise in his mind. The catalog project and the Gu Zhuo case seemed unrelated on the surface. Why did Feidu bring it up repeatedly, never forgetting about it? He had even abandoned his family business and joined the second catalog project.

“Lao Da,” Lang Qiao asked, “Now that the investigation team has taken everyone away, what do we do?”

Luo Wenzhou was actually at a loss, but he couldn’t show it in front of his subordinates. After a moment of contemplation, he said, “We still have that mentally disabled person who infiltrated the hospital and committed murder. We need to continue interrogating him. He mentioned that two men brought him money at the time. Now, neither of those two men can be found. Who knows if he was just making things up?”

Lang Qiao quickly took out a small notebook to record—an unfortunate habit ingrained by the standardized education system. He felt lost and scribbled notes feverishly, creating the illusion that he was still doing something productive, as if waiting for the truth to descend from the heavens.

“In addition, get a few brothers to follow Director Zhang’s driver and use some monitoring techniques on him,” Luo Wenzhou said as he organized his thoughts. “Xiaohaiyang should continue waiting for the results of the physical evidence. If it was Kong Weichen who leaked the information to Tao Ran while they were tracking Yin Ping, then Kong Weichen wouldn’t have made an overt phone call to Director Zhang before. They are both on the same side and would naturally know how we would investigate if something happened. They wouldn’t leave such obvious evidence behind. Therefore, there must be something fishy about Yin Ping’s car accident.”

This time, Xiaohaiyang finally had no objections and nodded in agreement.

“In addition, find an opportunity to visit the drug rehabilitation center. If possible, have a chat with Ma Xiaowei,” Luo Wenzhou added.

Lang Qiao and Xiaohaiyang were very confused by this request and stared at him with wide eyes.

Luo Wenzhou continued, “The timing of Ma Xiaowei’s appearance and the ‘accidental’ secrets he revealed to us… It’s unlikely that all of these are mere coincidences. Several major cases have occurred after Director Zhang was reassigned. If all these events were planned, then they likely began from that point. Ma Xiaowei must have been involved as well.”

Xiaohaiyang, impatient as ever, said quickly, “I’ll go now.”

“Where do you think you’re going? Visiting hours are over. Go tomorrow. Have you thought about how to approach the conversation? You’re in such a rush. Don’t you know what it means to sharpen your knife without cutting wood?”

The detectives who had planned to work overtime until the Spring Festival were now idle and left work on time. Feidu accompanied Xiaohaiyang and Lang Qiao, dropping them off at their respective homes. He then went to the hospital to bring Tao Ran some food, giving him tips on how to win over girls. Along the way, he was forcibly dragged back home by Luo Wenzhou, who couldn’t stand listening to him.

Afterwards, Feidu nonchalantly took on the roles of a supermarket cart pusher, porter, and wallet carrier, accompanying Luo Wenzhou to buy groceries and cat food at the supermarket, maintaining a calm and natural attitude as if everything was normal.

Especially when it was time to sleep, Feidu, for once, didn’t require three or four reminders from Luo Wenzhou. After the second reminder, he turned off his computer.

Feidu had a bad habit—he didn’t sleep at night and woke up early in the morning, following the sleep schedules of people like “Buffett,” “Jobs,” and “Kobe” as mentioned in self-help books.

When he was still weak after being discharged from the hospital, it was okay because he could easily lie down after a brief rub. But after being carefully nurtured by Luo Wenzhou for a while, it was as if another energetic Luo had been added to the household. Unless he woke up in the middle of the night, reaching out in Luo Wenzhou’s awakened state would mostly result in grabbing air… Fortunately, Feidu had more self-restraint than Luo, getting up on his own without disturbing others.

Luo Wenzhou looked at him with a strange expression and asked, “What’s wrong with you today? Are you feeling unwell? Cold? Allergic to something you ate last night?”

“If I don’t listen to you, you resort to violence,” Feidu helplessly touched his face. “If I do listen to you, you suspect that I’m sick… Beloved, you’re so fickle.”

A hint of a smile appeared in Luo Wenzhou’s eyes. He then firmly grasped Feidu’s wrist and said with a double meaning, “Am I fickle, or is your heart hard to read?”

Feidu was taken aback, and Luo Wenzhou gazed at him with a slightly serious look. “You haven’t been in high spirits these past few days. What’s wrong?”

Feidu smiled ambiguously and evaded the question, “Who said I’m not in high spirits? As long as I see you, my ‘spirits’ are always high.”

Luo Wenzhou: “…”

Did this person just quote what Tao Ran said without changing a single punctuation mark and use it on himself? Was he pretending not to hear it?

Seeing that Feidu wasn’t speaking coherently, Luo Wenzhou suddenly lifted him by the waist, lifting his feet off the ground.

Feidu exclaimed, “Wait, my shoes! Wait!”

Luoyiguo heard the commotion and rushed over, seizing the opportunity to grab Feidu’s discarded slipper and treating it as a precious plaything, happily tearing and biting at it.

Without saying a word, Luo Wenzhou slammed the bedroom door shut, pressing Feidu against it. “Your senior brother hasn’t reached the point where you need to have your feet on the ground. Why do you need shoes?”

Fei Zong had no experience practicing this position in his womanizing history, and felt a little nervous. Although he knew that a fall wouldn’t kill him, he still lacked a sense of security and reached out to grab the doorknob to support himself. He forced a smile and said, “Can we try something less exciting? I’m afraid of getting tired…”

Luo Wenzhou squinted at him, and Fei Du sensed the change in his words. Wisely, he swallowed the last word “you” and lightly cleared his throat. He abandoned his male ego and changed his words, saying, “…I’ll do it myself.”

Luo Wenzhou lifted his head and met his gaze for a moment. Slowly, he leaned closer and lightly brushed against Fei Du’s nose.

Fei Du lowered his head to kiss him, but Luo Wenzhou dodged backward, coldly saying, “Let go of your hand. Except on me, you’re not allowed to touch anywhere else. Who let you perform pull-ups?”

Fei Du: “…”

Luo Wenzhou: “Or do you want to be handcuffed?”

Normally, Fei Du indulged him a lot and didn’t want to spoil the mood. Caught between two bad choices, he reluctantly held onto Luo Wenzhou’s shoulders in a posture that was as stable as possible, with his legs wrapped around his waist.

Luo Wenzhou slowly used his teeth to loosen Fei Du’s loosely tied bathrobe. “What am I to you?”

Fei Du pretended to be surprised. “Are you complaining that I didn’t buy you a proper diamond ring? Should I go order a pigeon egg now?”

Luo Wenzhou said, “Pigeon eggs won’t fill me up. I want chicken eggs, two of them.”

Fei Du: “…”

What a man who can eat his fill and sleep well.

“Since I’m worth two chicken eggs—” Luo Wenzhou’s gaze roamed over Fei Du’s chest. After all, he was a young man, and after some time, the traces left by the electric shock were barely noticeable. Without those messy temporary tattoos covering him, his chest was slender and fair, still exuding a hint of youthful allure.

Such a shallow chest, such a deep heart.

After Luo Wenzhou had his fill, he finally finished his long-drawn-out sentence. “Can you trust me?”

This was an easy question, and Fei Du answered without hesitation, “How could I not… Ahem.”

Luo Wenzhou had a premonition that the conversation might not go smoothly, so he ground his teeth against Fei Du first.

“Think about it and then answer, Fei Du. I’m giving you another chance.”

Fei Du’s lower half didn’t venture above the neck. His mind was still clear, and he immediately realized that Luo Wenzhou had something more to say. With a sudden change of thought, he took the high ground, raised Luo Wenzhou’s chin with one hand, and said, “What’s wrong? Is it because I’ve been talking less lately, not forcefully rambling about my opinions in your ears, making you feel uneasy?”

A flicker appeared in Luo Wenzhou’s eyebrows. “I feel like you’re hiding something from me.”

This kind of statement was usually a prelude to a family crisis. After seriously pondering for a moment, Fei Du recalled, “I’ve been having Lu Jia and the others run errands for me lately, and I’ve done it openly in front of you. I haven’t been secretly planning to kill someone or planning to extubate Fei Chengyu’s ventilator. I abide by the law, don’t drink, um, and I’m also responsive. I shouldn’t be hiding anything from you, right?”

Luo Wenzhou held him with one hand, and the other hand was very naughty, sneaking under his bathrobe without any decorum. Fei Du froze in place, hanging in the air. He felt as if he was suspended, both nervous and impatient. “Master, are you… planning to use torture to extract a confession?”

“Yeah,” Luo Wenzhou said slowly, “When Zhou Huaijin mentioned ’thirteen years ago,’ you mentioned the ‘Album Plan.’ Today, while discussing whether Zhang Ju was framed or not, you mentioned the Album Plan again. Moreover, you approached me with a hidden agenda, using the pretext of restarting the Album Plan…”

Fei Du laughed, “I approached you with a hidden agenda, using my beauty.”

“…,” Luo Wenzhou choked, “Who allowed you to steal my lines? You’re getting corrupted so quickly when you’re near me.”

“The Album Plan was intended to establish a criminal archive. Although it was led by the school, if you pay attention to the list of participants, you’ll find that they were all frontline detectives who had experienced the Gu Zhao case—the suspects,” Fei Du took a breath, grabbed Luo Wenzhou’s wandering hand, and said with no patience left, “…Baby, I won’t be able to continue if you keep doing this.”

“But you didn’t come for the Gu Zhao case.”

“I remember telling you…”

“I remember,” Luo Wenzhou interrupted him, “The first time you told me, you said that you had an intuition that your mother’s death was related to Fei Chengyu and you wanted to know why you had this intuition. So you wanted to recall and trace your childhood memories. The second time you told me, you actually knew that your mother committed suicide and why she did it. You even vaguely inferred what Fei Chengyu was secretly doing. The third time, when we were chasing Lu Guosheng, you recited Fei Chengyu’s words that you had heard in your family’s basement. You remember clearly what happened thirteen years ago, without the need for tracing.”