Criminal Psychology Chapter 42.1
Three Tombs 05: Part I
When Xing Conglian handed over the key card, Zheng Dongdong had just happened to reach Lin Chen’s side and was accompanied by several classmates.
So when Lin Chen took the key card, he pretended to not notice.
He then tapped his old classmate on the shoulder with feigned chumminess and asked, “Lin Chen, who’s your friend”
Before Lin Chen could speak, Xing Conglian put his document down and stood up, “Xing Conglian.
I’m a policeman.”
Some people seem to give off a naturally commanding kind of vibe, and Xing Conglian might be considered one of these people.
Although he didn’t say much, Zheng Dongdong immediately extended his hand, and with a respectful tone, he replied, “Zheng Dongdong, Lin Chen’s classmate.
I’m also the manager of this hotel.”
Xing Conglian remained indifferent.
He didn’t survey his surroundings in surprised admiration when Zheng Dongdong mentioned his position at the hotel.
Zheng is quite accomplished at such a young age,” he simply said.
“I’m just an employee,” replied Zheng Dongdong.
He stole a glance at Lin Chen, then asked in a curious tone, “Are you Lin Chen’s supervisor”
“Hey!” Upon hearing this, Zheng Dongdong slapped Lin Chen on the shoulder again and said, “No wonder the cheaper rooms are all booked up.
Officer Xing took the last one.”
He intended to use this as his excuse for offering Lin Chen the executive suite earlier.
The remark itself was vague and unfalsifiable enough that most people would take it at face value and not question him any further.
But Xing Conglian is a serious person.
Not only was he serious, but nothing escapes his eye.
At first, he only found Zheng Dongdong’s feigned warmth towards his classmate Lin Chen a bit “off.” However, now that he heard about the room reservation, he knew something was up.
With this in mind, he turned his attention away from the duo and gazed smilingly at Professor Fu instead.
In response, Professor Fu met his eyes from behind a crowd of people.
Xing Conglian then understood. Oh, so this is the guy that is trying to give Lin Chen a hard time with the room booking.
So he turned to Zheng Dongdong and said in a polite tone, “Not at all.
I just made my reservation at the front desk a minute ago.
The receptionist said there are still many regular rooms available, and I could choose any one of them.”
Zheng Dongdong’s face flushed red.
All three of them fell silent.
Xing Conglian just exposed Zheng Dongdong’s petty ploy to embarrass his old classmate.
Thank god Lin Chen turned down the offer of the executive suite.
If he had agreed to take it, he would’ve been heavily ripped off.
This has crossed the line from personal vendetta into a lack of morals and ethics on Zheng Dongdong’s part.
The situation was very awkward.
Zheng Dongdong mentally kicked himself for being such a blabbermouth.
Seeing this, the classmate who had helped Zheng Dongdong earlier at the banquet stepped in to diffuse the situation, “Is Officer Xing on duty tonight If not, come join us for a drink!”
Naturally, when he said “us,” that also included Lin Chen.
“Are you going as well” Xing Conglian dropped the matter with Zheng Dongdong and turned to Lin Chen, who looked slightly surprised.
“Yes,” replied Lin Chen.
His reply shocked Xing Conglian.
The latter looked around at all the faces: a group of loosely banded old classmates, a wealthy manager, and a loner who’s hard to get along with.
This motley crew somehow piqued his interest.
Besides, Lin Chen was tagging along, wasn’t he
“Alright then,” Officer Xing agreed to the invitation enthusiastically.
Most of the attendees had already had a few drinks before this.
Since Xing Conglian was joining them, they needed designated drivers.
Zheng Dongdong asked his driver to start the car, and then arranged for a few more designated drivers.
Meanwhile, Xing Conglian tidied up the documents on the table and handed them to Lin Chen.
He then grabbed his car keys and headed off to the parking lot.
The crowd of a dozen or so waited outside the hotel entrance.
Four cars pulled over one by one.
The first in line was of course Zheng Dongdong’s own silver Mercedes-Benz S400.
The bellhop ran over to open the car door, and Zheng Dongdong intentionally stepped back to allow the other classmates to get in first.
He took a peek at the last car in the line, curious as to what model Xing Conglian was driving.
To his surprise, it was a dusty old 4×4.
He didn’t even recognize the logo of the vehicle.
It dawned on Zheng Dongdong that he had been played.
He pulled a long face as he went and sat in his car.
Inside the 4×4, Lin Chen sat down in the passenger seat next to Xing Conglian, while Fu Hao sat in the back.
The smell of cigarette smoke filled the vehicle.
Hongjing and Yongchuan are about 300 km or a 4-hour drive apart.
It was past 9 p.m.
now, which meant that Xing Conglian must have rushed over right after work, so he must’ve been smoking non-stop to keep himself awake during the trip.
At this thought, Lin Chen turned around and studied Xing Conglian’s side profile.
In the distance, the lake was silent and pitch black.
The surrounding highway was dotted with the faint yellow hum of street lights.
Xing Conglian didn’t put on any music, but the ambiance in the 4×4 felt warm and cozy nonetheless.
To Lin Chen, his exhaustion from the daytime journey and his classmates’ snide remarks all seemed to fade away the moment Xing Conglian appeared.
It was the strangest feeling.
Lin Chen knew that there’s no such thing as supernatural healing in this world.
But in that instant, it felt as if someone was gripping his heart, giving it a light squeeze and then a gentle shake.
“You didn’t have to come,” he said.
“Well, I actually came here for the Yang Dianfeng case.
Wang Chao found some clues in the system that need to be handed over to the Yongchuan PD for investigation.
So I thought I’d drop by.”
Xing Conglian’s voice sounded a bit hoarse.
As he drove, the breeze from the lake seeped in through the window.
“You’re a good chap, Xing.
You know earlier, that scumbag Zheng claimed there were no regular rooms left and asked Senpai to cough up 3600 yuan for a lake view executive suite!” Fu Hao cried agitatedly, gripping the backrest in front of him with his hands, “A hotel that size fully booked up Who would believe that”
“Is that so” Xing Conglian casually asked.
Lin Chen frowned.
“I hope you didn’t spend too much,” he said in a low voice.
“A friend of mine works there.
They gave me a special discount,” Xing Conglian reassured him.
With eyes downcast, Lin Chen fell silent.
As Zheng Dongdong had said earlier, even the hotel manager only gets a 40% discount.
So how much could this “special discount” from his “friend” be
As the local “big shot” of Yongchuan, of course, Mr.
Zheng had to choose a better place for drinks than the hotel he owned.
Tianren Clubhouse was the place.
It was located at the foot of Junshan Mountain and was surrounded by a bamboo grove.
One side faces the mountain; the other side was a large golf course.
At nearly 10 p.m., the parking lot in front of the clubhouse was almost full.
Zheng Dongdong and the gang stepped out of the car.
One classmate scanned all the cars parked there and said in a hushed whisper, “Isn’t this place a bit too expensive”
Zheng Dongdong cocked his head.
Not wanting to seem too full of himself, he casually replied, “I’ve already booked the private lounge.
It’s not that expensive.
Feel free to drink as much as you like.” He eyed Xing Conglian’s old 4×4 as he spoke.
The 4×4 pulled into the parking lot alongside the other luxury cars.
There were some dried mud and scratches on the exterior, which made the vehicle seem even more decrepit by comparison.
Zheng Dongdong couldn’t help but laugh at it.
Unlike the other nightlife venues in the city, Tianren Clubhouse is very quiet.
Its small black-and-white checkered building is located in a neat spot in the large bamboo forest.
Perhaps because of the vastness of the surrounding area, there is very little noise to be heard.
This in turn gave the clubhouse the impression of a high-end and elegant venue.
Compared to the extravagance of the Cohen May Intercontinental Hotel, the clubhouse appears even classier.
To add a slightly rustic touch to the place, a small wooden board hangs over the entrance.
The name “Tianren” is written on it, with the logo of a canary and a rose in the bottom left corner of the sign.
Leading the gang, Zheng Dongdong stood outside the entrance and took his time retrieving his membership card from his wallet.
He handed it to the staff there.
The one who greeted them was a very young woman.
She wore a tight-fitting uniform and a light yellow silk scarf around her neck.
She gracefully and politely took the membership card and slid it through the card reader.
A soft “beep” sounded.
Zheng Dongdong nodded with an air of familiarity and was about to push the door open.
Zheng, please hold on for a moment,” the girl interrupted him.
Zheng Dongdong withdrew his hand.
He was annoyed.
Seeing his reaction, the greeter merely bowed slightly and turned her attention towards the headset she was wearing.
She seemed to be confirming something with the person on the other end.
After a short while, she said, “I’m very sorry, Mr.
All our private lounges are fully booked tonight.”
Zheng Dongdong’s face instantly went dark.
He knew that, at a place of Tianren’s caliber, high-status members can often take over the reservations of lower-status members.
Under ordinary circumstances, he would’ve merely grumbled a bit and left without making a fuss.
But tonight, his old classmates were there—especially Lin Chen and Fu Hao.
It would be a royal embarrassment if he were to be turned away at the door.
So he had no choice but to argue with the greeter, “What do you mean you’re fully booked I made my reservation a week ago!”
The girl was probably used to this kind of thing.
Keeping the smile on her face, she replied, “I’m very sorry, sir.
But we really are fully booked tonight.”
She was being discreet.
What she actually meant was: sir, your reservation has been overridden by a higher-tier member.
But Zheng Dongdong pretended not to understand this subtext, “Go and check the reservation records.
I definitely have a booking for tonight!” he raised his voice at the girl.
She continued to smile at him, “Sir, please don’t block the customers behind you.”
“What’s with your attitude I know your manager!” yelled Zheng Dongdong, pulling out his phone to make a call.
The girl didn’t say anything.
Instead, she looked to her left and right, and the two security guards stationed at either side of the entrance stepped in.
“Instant karma,” said Fu Hao.
He was standing beside Lin Chen with arms folded, watching the whole thing with detachment.
I see that your hotel also has a bar.
Let’s go there instead,” one classmate tried to persuade the angry Zheng Dongdong.
It’s a rare reunion for all of us.
Let’s not get upset over small matters,” another one chimed in.
Zheng Dongdong was well aware that they were giving him an “out.” He glanced at the girl’s name tag and said arrogantly, “You better believe that next time I have dinner with your manager, I will mention your name to him.”
“By all means, please do,” smiled the girl.
Zheng Dongdong turned around dramatically and stormed off.
At that very moment, a black Bentley happened to stop right in front of him.
The gang was standing outside the entrance.
In a place like Tianren, nobody is allowed to drive into the clubhouse directly, not even the VIPs.
But this Bentley seemed to be doing exactly that.
One could only assume that the passenger in the vehicle must be the general manager of the clubhouse himself.
Zheng Dongdong looked in the car.
Indeed, it was the general manager.
He took a step back, hoping that the manager wouldn’t find out what he said earlier.
As he was saying a mental prayer, the rear window slowly came down.
In the back seat was an old man, while the general manager was in the driver’s seat.
Upon seeing the old man, Zheng Dongdong thought this must not be his lucky day.
Zheng, who were you referring to” asked the old man.
The old man was wearing a very plain Chinese-style jacket.
The collar was closed with a cloth button.
Despite his simple outfit, he had a distinguished air about him.
His question caused Zheng Dongdong to break into a cold sweat.
The latter quickly bowed profusely and greeted him, “What brings you here today, Mr.
This old man is named Xing Fu.
He is a long-time servant of the Xing family.
All the managers at Tianren Clubhouse have to serve him and be his chauffeur.
Servants like Mr.
Xing, who are allowed to take on the Xing family name, are also qualified to be the financial executives in the family business.
Zheng Dongdong had only met him once, at the Cohen May annual executive meeting.
Xing Fu was also surprised to see Zheng Dongdong here.
Originally, he came to Yongchuan just to perform a regular inspection.
But when the car pulled into the entryway, he heard Zheng Dongdong being difficult with the staff.
So he lowered his car window as a slight warning.
He had no intention of wasting his time doling out punishments for anyone.
Therefore, he rolled up his car window again after the short exchange.
But at that moment, he caught sight of a tall young man standing near the back of the group of people outside the entrance.
The young man was standing casually, his police uniform draped across his left shoulder.
He had a crew cut and some stubble on his chin that hadn’t been shaved.
His eyes were deep-set, and he seemed to be of mixed heritage.
Xing Fu thought he must be seeing things.
He gently rubbed his eyes with the heels of his palms and then opened them again.
The young man was still standing there with the same posture and the same face.
This time, Xing Fu was certain he hadn’t been mistaken.
The black iron gate of Tianren Clubhouse slowly opened.
The old man sat in the back seat, turning his head to look out the rear window behind him.
Xing, did you see someone you know” The general manager politely asked, noticing the old man’s posture through the rear-view mirror.
Xing Fu didn’t reply.
Meanwhile, Zheng Dongdong just wanted to leave as quickly as possible after that awkward run-in with his boss.
However, the greeter seemed to be receiving another order through her headset.
Zheng, please wait a moment,” she politely requested.
Zheng Dongdong felt stuck.
He wasn’t sure if he should stay or go.
Then the girl bent down and opened the side door.
She very politely waved him and the gang in, “I’m very sorry, we made a mistake earlier.
Now we’ve upgraded you to a deluxe private lounge.”
She was bowing very deeply, and Zheng Dongdong felt triumphant at the sudden 180-degree change in her attitude.
Needless to say, this was probably on the orders of the elderly man in the Bentley.
The clubhouse manager on duty put down the phone receiver.
He didn’t know why the old man had made such a request.
But for someone like himself who had climbed the corporate ladder to get to his current position, he knew that some things are not for him to know or to question.
It was dark and quiet all around.
The old man sat motionless in the back seat.
After a few moments, he suddenly said to his driver, “Get a case of Yongchuan Pure Draft beer, chill it to 8 degrees and bring it to those guests.”
The general manager nodded.
“Also, get some deep-fried peanuts….” the old man paused, “Nevermind, I’ll make them myself.”