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    Lu Qing remarked, “Hmm?”

    Peng Deyu, who dyed his newly graying hair black every month at the barbershop, twitched at the sight of that head of silver hair. “I wanted to ask yesterday… Is this the trend among young people nowadays?”

    A group of young police officers strongly denied, “We young people don’t do that! Please don’t generalize!”

    “Sorry, I haven’t shaken off some habits from abroad.” Yu Duqiu quickly searched his mind and picked a phrase he thought was appropriate to greet the police officers. “Thank you for your hard work, comrades!”

    Lu Qing instinctively saluted, “To serve the people!”

    Ji Lin slapped her hand down, “Stop watching military parades!”

    Lu Qing pouted, blowing on her now red hand, “You have no tenderness at all. No wonder you can’t find a partner…” She quickly escaped to a corner before Ji Lin could scold her.

    Unable to reprimand Lu Qing, Ji Lin directed his anger at the intruder, “Mr. Yu, what are you doing here? Didn’t you see the ‘No Unauthorized Personnel’ sign outside? Do you know the consequences of interfering with a police investigation?”

    Yu Duqiu pretended not to hear, waving his hand to call over a tall young man from outside. “Have a seat.”

    The man responded coldly, “I don’t deserve to sit with you.”

    Yu Duqiu smiled, “Still mad? I was harsh this morning to teach you a lesson.”

    “Do you look down on me?”

    “Yes, but don’t take it to heart. There’s no one here I respect.”

    The police officers from the New Jin District, unexpectedly insulted, were speechless.

    Ji Lin’s temper flared, and he was on the verge of losing it when Peng Deyu gave him a calming look. Ji Lin reconsidered; it wasn’t worth it to argue with a spoiled rich kid.

    Yu Duqiu directed several female waitstaff who had entered in a line, “Place the fruit here. Haven’t peeled the grapes? Do that and bring them back. Everyone’s been busy all night, right? Here’s some fruit to take a break and relax. Don’t be shy.” He acted as if he owned the place.

    Ji Lin couldn’t take it anymore and slammed the table, “We’re having a meeting! What are you doing here? Do you think this is your domain?”

    Yu Duqiu looked slightly surprised, “Actually, yes. My mom owns this hotel, and I authorized the use of this conference room.”

    Ji Lin’s imposing demeanor vanished instantly. He looked to Peng Deyu for help.

    Peng Deyu focused intently on the forensic report, almost burning a hole in it with his stare.

    Ji Lin, feeling hopeless, resigned himself to the situation and reluctantly sat back down. “Ahem, Mr. Yu, what brings you here?”

    The waitstaff left, closing the conference room doors behind them. Yu Duqiu sat in the leather executive chair at the head of the table, making everyone else look like his subordinates. “On behalf of my grandfather, I’m here to greet Director Peng. Thanks for your help back then, though I don’t know what you did. Also, I’m checking if you’ve solved the case.”

    He spoke as if he were the director of the city bureau.

    A few hot-tempered officers, including one captain, wanted to retort immediately, but Peng Deyu gestured for them to calm down. “I appreciate Yu Academician remembering me, a minor figure. We have some leads, but it’s confidential. Mr. Yu, please wait in your room for updates. Don’t let it interfere with your billion-dollar deals.”

    Yu Duqiu either didn’t catch the sarcasm or ignored it, crossing his legs and spinning the chair lazily. “Making deals isn’t as interesting as solving a case. Plus, the deceased is my second uncle. Blood is thicker than water. I can’t work in peace without knowing the cause of his death. I could be next. I don’t want to die so disgracefully.”

    Tang Zhong, exhausted from an all-nighter, couldn’t keep up with this bizarre logic and rubbed his forehead. “Is the lack of dignity the main concern?”

    Ji Lin ignored whether Yu Duqiu was genuinely crazy or pretending, his serious face even sterner than Peng Deyu’s. “It’s good you’re self-aware. We were just speculating that if this wasn’t a simple suicide, and there was a perpetrator, their goal might have been to make an example. Yu Wencheng is the ‘chicken,’ and you are the ‘monkey.'”

    Yu Duqiu looked slightly surprised, “Captain Ji, you actually thought the same as me. Impressive for someone so young.”

    At first glance, it sounded like praise, but upon closer inspection, it was just a roundabout way of praising himself. Ji Lin scoffed, “Thinking alike? And where did Mr. Yu get that idea?”

    The autopsy report had only been completed at 7:30, and the entire district police force had been busy since then. All information had only been circulated internally, and the poisoning theory had just been proposed. Even Yu Wencheng’s family didn’t know about it. How could Yu Duqiu know anything? It was all just pretentious posturing.

    Ji Lin waited for him to embarrass himself by overplaying his hand.

    Yu Duqiu placed one hand on the armrest of his chair and the other on the huanghuali wood conference table. This action caused his deep V-neck to open wider, almost revealing his chest muscles, and his blade-shaped necklace swung dangerously, seemingly ready to cut into his delicate skin.

    “It’s not hard to guess. My second uncle was poisoned, ingesting a hallucinogen that caused a mental breakdown. While LSD can induce suicidal tendencies, the likelihood and timing are unpredictable. If the murderer intended to silence him and had the opportunity, why not use a lethal poison directly? This suggests the murderer didn’t aim to kill. The subsequent events were accidents. As for why the murderer did this… I believe it’s related to my new project in the country. They probably wanted to use my second uncle to send me a warning, to scare me off. After all, if addiction can be cured, the profits from drug trafficking could plummet.”

    After this speech, the entire conference room fell silent. Peng Deyu’s previously polite gaze turned sharp, filled with a determination to root out treachery. His face darkened as he asked, “How do you know it was LSD?”

    The police couldn’t have disclosed such detailed information to outsiders unless someone within the force leaked it, or Yu Duqiu himself was…

    “So it really is LSD.” Yu Duqiu had successfully tricked them into revealing the truth. He raised a cunning finger, “Don’t misunderstand. My new bodyguard told me.”

    Ji Lin stared intently at the waitstaff standing silently beside Yu Duqiu. They had noticed this tall, straight-standing man with a tight jaw and defiant expression when he first came in.

    Ji Lin recalled that this man’s features matched Wu Wei’s description.

    “Are you Bai Zhao?”


    Peng Deyu was surprised, “You know him?”

    “Mr. Yu asked me to keep an eye on him last night. However, he hadn’t been to the guest rooms or had contact with food and drinks there, so I considered him less suspicious and didn’t question him. Besides, the hotel is sealed off; no one can leave.” Ji Lin turned, a mocking smile on his face, “Oh, Mr. Yu, didn’t you suspect him last night? How come he’s under your wing today?”

    Officer Niu Feng, who took statements last night, chimed in, “Yeah, because you suspected him, I even re-interviewed him. Now you two are inseparable.”

    Yu Duqiu stroked his chin thoughtfully, “Suspecting is one thing. But when a handsome guy offers himself, how could I refuse?”

    This statement made Ji Lin shudder with goosebumps. “Don’t you have a fiancée?”

    Yu Duqiu raised an eyebrow. His flamboyant arrogance made him no different from the stereotypical rich second generation. But societal biases favor good looks. An unattractive wealthy person is envied, while a good-looking one is adored.

    With his striking handsomeness, Yu Duqiu could be forgiven for almost anything as long as it wasn’t a crime. Even if he committed a crime, some misguided fans would probably call him the “most handsome criminal in history,” making him infamous.

    “Captain Ji, you have a wide range of duties, including managing others’ personal affairs?”

    Ji Lin retorted, “I couldn’t care less. Have your bodyguard explain how he got insider information, or we have reason to suspect you two are colluding, a thief crying ‘stop thief.’”

    The young officer lacked tact, and Peng Deyu lightly coughed to soften Ji Lin’s harsh words, “Mr. Yu, with all due respect, your second uncle stayed in your room for a long time after arriving at the hotel, argued with you, and you were the last person to see him alive. Both facts and reasoning suggest you’re the prime suspect. Now you know confidential details not disclosed to outsiders. We must investigate thoroughly. If you’re innocent, please cooperate with our investigation, and we won’t falsely accuse you.”

    Yu Duqiu smiled warmly, “Director Peng, if I wanted to kill someone, I wouldn’t use such a tasteless method as poisoning.”

    “……?” Peng Deyu touched his bald head and looked at Ji Lin with a confused expression: Did he just openly say he wanted to kill someone in front of me, the chief?

    Ji Lin nodded gravely: Yes, you heard correctly, people like that can’t be given any face.

    “And smashing his head to pieces is too gruesome. We should leave a line, so we can meet again in the afterlife. I’ll make sure he has a decent corpse.”

    The room full of police officers listened to his brazen words, then looked at their chief’s increasingly dark expression, and all fell silent like cicadas in winter.

    “Just kidding, don’t take it to heart. I’m a law-abiding citizen, never involved in violence.” Yu Duqiu tapped his long fingers on the conference table, with a rhythm that sounded like a song. In this situation, it was highly inappropriate.

    Without turning his head, he ordered the person beside him: “Bai Zhao, repeat what you said last night to our police friends.”

    As soon as he finished speaking, someone leaned over and pressed down on the hand he was using to tap the table.

    Yu Duqiu looked down and saw a man’s hand covering his, slightly larger and with thicker knuckles, completely enveloping his hand.

    “Young master, do you know how to write the word ‘respect’?”

    All the police officers immediately felt a liking for this waiter, and the anger they had been holding in burst forth: they wished they could applaud and cheer for this brave soul who stood up!

    Yu Duqiu’s eyelids lifted slightly—his eyelashes were very long, and his chin was delicate. From above, he looked surprisingly harmless. Especially with his bleached silver hair, he could be described as angelic.

    But when he grinned and his eyes curved, his demeanor was identical to the charismatic villains in movies.

    Knowing full well that his smile was fake and that he was full of malice, it was still hard to truly hate him.

    “First day as a bodyguard and you’re already pointing fingers at your master?” Yu Duqiu flipped his hand over, curled his fingers, and lightly scratched Bai Zhao’s palm. “Sweetheart, do you not want your hand anymore?”

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