Chapter 14 – Godly Window to Academics
“Did you discover something?” Xia Lei’s actions made Jiang Ru-Yi look at him curiously.
Xia Lei smiled but said, “Nothing much. I’m sure it’s this key.”
“Do you still remember what that man and woman looked like?”
“Of course I do. I’ll describe them to you. Can you sketch them?”
“Of course I can! I learnt how to do it in the Police Academy and even got a prize.” Jiang Ru-Yi found some paper and pencil and seated herself in front of Xia Lei. “I’m ready. Let’s begin with the male.”
Xia Lei slowly described the suited man and Jiang Ru-Yi sketched stroke by stroke.
If there were a machine that could print the image directly from Xia Lei’s mind, they would have a photograph of the suited man and sexy lady in one second. Unfortunately, an invention like that had yet to exist.
While he described the people to Jiang Ru-Yi, Xia Lei was also mentally analysing his ‘eidetic memory’ ability. This ability had actually surpassed eidetic memory, since even those with eidetic memory could not remember everything they had seen and all the seen features and details of a person. His left eye could ‘save’ everything he had seen as photographs and he only had to recall them to see it all again.
“With an ability like this, memorising vocabulary would be no problem at all if I tried to learn English or other foreign languages. Why don’t I try?” Xia Lei’s greed for knowledge grew at the thought.
Jiang Ru-Yi finished two sketches – one of the man and one of the woman.
Xia Lei put the sketches next to each other for a look. The likeness was above 95%. A sketch was not a photograph but this degree of accuracy was impressive enough.
“Is it them? Can you confirm it?” Jiang Ru-Yi watched Xia Lei’s reaction.
Xia Lei nodded. “It’s them.”
“Have a seat and wait. I’ll get someone to enter these sketches into the database to look for matches.” Jiang Ru-Yi picked up the sketches and walked towards the door.
Xia Lei spoke, “Can I take a look at the information on the key?”
“Sure, look all you want.” Jiang Ru-Yi left the office.
Xia Lei held Professor Zhang’s research paper in his hand and read half the page before he had an idea. “Why don’t I try out my new ability?”
Based on what he had figured out so far, he could rule out the possibility that the ability stemmed from his own memory. It was all thanks to his left eye’s ‘image-saving’ ability.
Thinking about it that way, he no longer needed to read like normal people did – he could just flip through pages and pages of information. Things which ordinarily would have taken about ten minutes to read were done in under a minute. When he was done, he closed his eyes and started to recall the details.
Line after line of text and pictures suddenly appeared in his head and not one word was left out, not even punctuation such as commas and periods! The pictures, too, were clear and a 100% match!
The key in Professor Zhang’s research paper was an antique from the Ming Dynasty and it was over 600 years old. According to his research, it was most likely used to open the doors of an ancient library or warehouse. The patterns on the key were not only for opening the door but were also part of a map…
This was very mysterious.
Xia Lei could not contain his excitement at having recalled everything and laughed out loud. “Unbelievable… What am I waiting for? I should go to the bookshop to buy learning materials for English, German, French, Japanese, Russian… Any language I want! There would be no foreign language I can’t learn in this world!”
He had no idea what other hidden abilities his eye had but from those he’d already discovered, the ‘image-saving’ ability and X-ray vision were most practical.
A person would have to spend a long time, effort and energy to learn something proficiently but with this ability, all the difficulties of learning were drastically reduced. His left eye had opened a godly window into the field of academic greatness and he did not just get to peek at a ray of sunshine – he could see the entire sun!
“What are you laughing at? Are you falling ill?” Jiang Ru-Yi walked into the office and stared at Xia Lei weirdly.
Xia Lei stopped his train of thought and grinned. “Yep, I’m ill and it’s bad.”
Jiang Ru-Yi stepped in front of Xia Lei and reached out to touch his forehead. “It’s not hot. You don’t have a fever. Are you mentally ill?”
She was close and pleasant wafts of perfume came from her body. A pale, deep ravine could be seen inside her collar, white, soft… Xia Lei was that close to looking at her with his X-ray vision. He looked away and stood up. “Okay, I helped you get sketches of the two suspects. You don’t need me anymore, right? If there isn’t anything else, I’ll just be on my way. I need to go to the machine shop and sort out matters to open for business.”
“I’d love to take a look at your little shop.” Jiang Ru-Yi smiled and said, “This is good. Operating your own business is better than going to construction sites for manual labour work. Tell me, where did you get the money to open a shop?”
“It’s funds I’ve saved up for when I get a wife, okay? I’m not hanging around to chat anymore. I’m off. Good-bye.” Xia Lei walked off.
“Lei, if I crack the case I’ll treat you to a meal,” said Jiang Ru-Yi.
Xia Lei turned to look at her. “That Sichuan restaurant again?”
Jiang Ru-Yi shook her head, “No, we’ll go to another Sichuan restaurant.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
At that moment, a middle-aged police officer appeared in the doorway of the office, blocking Xia Lei’s way.
Xia Lei moved aside courteously and looked at his badge while doing so. The middle-aged police officer was named Huang Chang-Hai, and the bars on his uniform showed that he was of the same rank as Jiang Ru-Yi.
Huang Chang-Hai was the Deputy Chief of the station and was expecting to be promoted to Chief when Li Qing-Hua was removed but the higher-ups had done something radical and promoted a little girl over him. Of all the people in the station, he was the one most against her becoming Chief.
Huang Chang-Hai glanced at Xia Lei, then strode into Jiang Ru-Yi’s office and slammed two photocopies of the sketches onto her desk. “Chief Jiang, you have no evidence to support issuing arrest warrants. This is against procedure!”
Jiang Ru-Yi’s slim shoulders shook ever so slightly at his aggressiveness and her voice seemed to tremble as she said, “Officer Huang… What further evidence do we need? My friend saw them himself. It can’t be wrong.”
“Your friend?” Huang Chang-Hai turned to look at Xia Lei and suddenly remembered – wasn’t this youngster the one who caused Li Qing-Hua to lose his position?
Jiang Ru-Yi waved Xia Lei over, “Lei, tell Officer Huang what you know of the situation.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly and thought to himself, ‘You good-for-nothing Chief! Acting like a tigress in front of me but a rabbit before others. I’ve got to hand it to you…’ He grumbled to himself but did not let anything show on the surface. “These two suspects came to me yesterday and I welded a key for them which turned out to be the key that was missing from Professor Zhang’s home.”
“What do you know? Who are you? Did I ask you?” Huang Chang-Hai spoke down to Xia Lei, pelting him with ire.
Xia Lei froze for a moment before he flared up too. “Was I talking to you? Who the hell are you? I am talking to Chief Jiang, so what does it have to do with you? I will only speak to the Chief. I can’t be bothered with a Deputy or whatever.”
“You -” Huang Chang-Hai was so angry his fat face looked like a shade of pig liver for a moment. He hated being called Deputy but being called Deputy by this twerp was like rubbing salt on his wound!
“Lei, don’t…” said Jiang Ru-Yi awkwardly.
“And you!” said Xia Lei, “I’m not pointing fingers but as Chief you outrank him, yet he comes and throws a fit in front of you. What right does he have to do that?”
Huang Chang-Hai pointed right at Xia Lei’s nose. “You’d better show proper respect, boy!”
“I only give respect to people who deserve respect. You? Forget it. You think I don’t know what you’re thinking? You’re afraid Jiang Ru-Yi will crack the case in a week after finding a lead and secure her position. If that happens you will have no hope of getting the position of Chief, am I right?” sneered Xia Lei.
The corners of Huang Chang-Hai’s mouth twisted twice but he could not say anything. Xia Lei had guessed right. He had panicked after Jiang Ru-Yi suddenly obtained sketches of the suspects so he came to her office to create trouble and hinder her progress in the case.
“You draw a salary from citizens but you focus more on furthering your own goals than on solving the case. I feel shame for people like you. Why are you a police officer if you don’t want to solve crimes? Do you know why the higher-ups chose Ru-Yi and not you? With your mindset you’ll never in your life make it to the position of Chief,” said Xia Lei.
“Fine! We’ll see! Solve the case yourself, Jiang Ru-Yi!” Huang Chang-Hai snatched up the copies of the sketches he had slammed on the table, crushed them into a ball and threw it into the paper bin. He left the office in a huff, shooting a glare at Xia Lei on the way out.
Jiang Ri-Yi and Xia Lei were the only ones left in the office and atmosphere was a little depressing.
“Lei,” said Jiang Ru-Yi after a while, “I didn’t know you were so good with words. How come you always lost when we argued?”
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “You’re in a very disadvantageous situation now and you’re still in the mood to joke?”
“How is it disadvantageous?” Jiang Ru-Yi looked puzzled.
“Didn’t you hear what Huang Chang-Hai said? Solve the case yourself. Don’t you understand the meaning of that sentence? It’s difficult for you to order the people in this station to do as you say. Even if you bring them to assist you in the case they will only do a perfunctory job, not their best.”
Jiang Ru-Yi was stunned.
Xia Lei sighed. “You’re too naive. It’s like helping to count the money after you’ve been sold. Think about it – how many people in this station would listen to you after being promoted suddenly from a desk clerk to Chief of Police? After Li Qing-Hua’s fall, the next person whose words actually carry weight is that Huang Chang-Hai, not you. He has the prestige he’d built up over the years and people he’s nurtured but you have nothing. Furthermore, everyone in this police station thinks you’ll be axed in a week and Huang Chang-Hai will be the one to take over. So do you think they’ll listen to you, or to Huang Chang-Hai?”
Jiang Ru-Yi, however, shook her head. “I don’t believe you. Work is work and there are people who will adhere to their principles. Even if I get axed in a week, I am still the Chief now. I don’t believe that I cannot command them. Come with me, I’ll prove you wrong.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “I’ve worked in the real society these past years and I’ve long seen through the workings of this world so there’s no need to prove anything to me. I’ve done what I could. I can’t help you with this, so I’ll be on my way.”
“Oh! This won’t take long.” Jiang Ru-Yi grabbed Xia Lei’s hand and pulled him towards the cubicles of the other police officers.