101 The Rubbish Bin that Disappeared
Lin Huang thought the only clue he had now was the rubbish bin that disappeared.
"The third rubbish bin must have disappeared together with Lin Xin. If we find the rubbish bin, we should be able to find Lin Xin."
Lin Huang got the security personnel to contact their leader, Chen Wei.
"Mr. Lin, we've received the room number of the girl in ponytails. She’s staying in Room 321 on the ninth floor. I have contacted the girl’s father and got them to wait in their room. We can go over now." Chen Wei brought them this piece of news when he picked up the call.
"We can put that on hold first. I got another clue; a lady who managed a store around the area said there were three rubbish bins when it was around 5:40 p.m. but now, there are only two. The time the rubbish bin disappeared matched the time my sister went missing too. I’m suspecting the person who that rubbish bin also took my sister." Lin Huang presented his theory to Chen Wei.
"I’ll come to you now to look at the video taken around 5:40 p.m.."
"Sure, I’ll get my two colleagues to stay in the area for further clues." Chen Wei nodded.
After they hung up the call, Lin Huang rushed to the monitor room. Chen Wei had paused the video of the time which Lin Huang requested. He then played the video. The video began from the time Lin Xin threw the rubbish until the time when Lin Huang and the other two arrived at the location. There were all confused after watching the video, including Lin Huang.
"Nobody removed the rubbish bin?!" Lin Huang frowned, that was strange.
If Lin Xin disappeared with the rubbish bin, she would be taken away while she was still in the rubbish bin. Aside from the monster taming token, there’s no other storage item that could contain a living being and the monster taming token doesn't even work on humans." Lin Huang shook his head.
"Furthermore, who would want to purposely steal a rubbish bin full of rubbish?"
"What should we do now?" Chen Wei was as helpless as Lin Huang was.
"There are only two possibilities. One, the lady we met earlier could be lying to distract us. The other possibility would be there really was a third rubbish bin in the camera’s blind spot."
"Please get your two colleagues to ask the other merchants if they noticed the third rubbish bin. There were a couple of people throwing rubbish at the location during the time your sister disappeared, please contact them."
"What kind of business does the fat lady do?" Lin Huang queried.
"The fat lady has been with us for 26 years. She sells cigarette and alcohol, she was here before I joined the company, she has no reason to lie." Chen Wei knew the fat lady very well. "She may, however, be wrong about the number of rubbish bins, that’s all."
"Let’s ask the rest then." Lin Huang understood the complication.
Soon the two security personnel had finished asking all the merchants around that area. Besides the fat lady, another shop owner said she saw the third rubbish bin too. Chen Wei contacted the six guests who appeared on the video. Three of them said they saw the third rubbish bin while the other two could not recall and one of them only saw two rubbish bins. The girl in ponytails was one of the six people, she could not remember how many rubbish bins there were.
"From the information gathered, there really was a third rubbish bin in the blind spot." Lin Huang concluded. One of the guests said he saw two rubbish bins at 5:58 p.m. The guest seemed certain of his answer, he said, "Of course I remember there were only two rubbish bins. The rubbish was leaking out from both bins and it took me awhile to get my empty can in, how can I forget that?! "
"Now the only certain clue is that the rubbish bin disappeared between 5:40 p.m. and 5:58 p.m. However, your sister’s disappearance was between 5:42 p.m. to the time when you guys arrived which was 6:23 p.m. During that period, nobody got rid of the rubbish bin." Chen Wei sat at the workstation in the monitoring room.
"That means the person who took my sister must have used some technique that we don’t know of. He must have taken both the third rubbish bin and my sister." Lin Huang was triggered by all sorts of theories now.
"We are out of clues…" Chen Wei shook his head and sighed.
"Let’s talk to the girl in ponytails on the ninth floor then." Lin Huang refused to give up.
Chen Wei called the girl’s father to confirm the visit time and brought Lin Huang together with his personnel to the ninth floor of the spaceship. They rang the doorbell and the girl in ponytails opened the door.
"Daddy, we have guests." The girl said loudly to the man sitting on the couch.
The man stood up and smiled at them, "Please come in."
Lin Huang realized that the man was the one who glanced at Lin Xin at the floating elevator entrance, the man in the white shirt. Knowing that the man had a daughter who was the same age as Lin Xin, he let his guard down because as a parent himself, it was normal to look at other kids who were the same age as his daughter.
"Lily, please get us some tea." The man said to the girl.
"Okay, daddy." The girl skipped to the kitchen.
"Please have a seat. I’ll try my best to help." The man smiled.
"There’s no need for tea, Mr. Wei. We’re here to talk to your daughter, it won’t take too long."
As Chen Wei was chatting with the man, Lin Huang observed him. This Mr. Wei seemed to be in his 40s. He was about 1.85 meters, had fair skin and a good fashion sense. He was still wearing the white shirt with black slacks. He wore a gold frame glasses, he was a man with style.
"No offense but may I know what do you do for a living, Mr. Wei?" Lin Huang asked.
"I was a teacher, now I have my own business." Mr. Wei replied Lin Huang.
"Why the career change?" Chen Wei was curious.
"Unfortunately, the salary was low." Mr. Wei laughed.
"That’s true, it’s especially hard when you have a wife and a kid." Chen Wei understood him as he was almost the same age as Mr. Wei.
"Mr. Wei, you’re here with your daughter? Didn’t your wife come along?" Lin Huang asked.
"My wife passed away many years ago, I only have a daughter now." Mr. Wei shook his head and said.
"I’m sorry to hear that." Lin Huang did not expect that answer.
"Don’t worry about it, it has been so long." Mr. Wei waved his hand.
Lin Huang noticed a green gem on the ring on his left ring finger but he did not ask further.
Soon, the girl in ponytails came to them with tea.
"Daddy, I brought tea."
"Please serve the guests." Mr. Wei nodded.
The girl placed the tray on the coffee table and served the tea to everyone. Later on, she went to the man.
"Sit down, Lily." Mr. Wei got her to sit on his lap. Lily was obedient; she did not say a word but sat quietly.
"That’s a good girl. My daughter is almost the same age as yours." Chen Wei admitted.
"I used to be a teacher and so I trained her too. You are most welcome to send your daughter here too; I could train her as well." Mr. Wei seemed passionate.
"That’s too much trouble." Chen Wei was embarrassed.
"No trouble at all, I have too much time on my hands right now. I study with her and teach her manners." Mr. Wei said and sensed that he was getting off topic, "I almost forgot why you guys came here for. Please, do talk to Lily."
"Daddy…" Lily seemed shy. Now that she knew they were here for her, she hid in Mr. Wei’s embrace.
"Don’t worry, we only need to ask you a couple of questions." Mr. Wei patted Lily’s shoulder.
"Little girl, don’t be afraid. We are the security team on this spaceship and we're here to make sure that everybody is safe." Chen Wei said.
" She’s just a little shy." Mr. Wei nodded to Chen Wei.
Chen Wei then showed him Lin Xin’s photo, "Have you seen this little girl before?"
Lily shook her head without an expression.
Mr. Wei who was sitting behind her hesitated and asked, "I saw this girl at the floating elevator entrance. That was more than an hour ago, what happened?"
"She’s missing. We hoped that your daughter might have seen something." Chen Wei explained.
"Missing? Shouldn’t there be surveillance camera on the spaceship?" Mr. Wei raised his eyebrow.
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"There are a couple of blind spots, the girl disappeared at one of the blind spots." Chen Wei was embarrassed when he said that.
"Is that so, hopefully you could find her as soon as possible." Mr. Wei did not ask further.
"Little girl, do you remember drinking on a bench at 5:40 p.m.?" Chen Wei asked Lily. Lily nodded.
"Do you remember how many rubbish bins there were?"
Lily shook her head, "I don’t remember. Two, or maybe three…"
After a couple of questions later, it was obvious that Lily did not seem to know anything about the incident. Lin Huang and the rest left Mr. Wei’s room in desperation…