Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Guan Jin cared more about why he had died.
[Ethan: That’s not what I’m asking about! How are you doing now?]
[Tony: Naturally, I’ve ceased operations. The Organization seems to be in big trouble, and they advised me to do so. After all, Ethan was one of their best assassins, yet he was silently killed, so they’ve been thoroughly discredited.]
[Ethan: You’ve haven’t really been staying at home doing nothing, have you?]
[Tony: Of course not. Sorry for the interruption, but you really understand me, it feels like I’m talking to Ethan right now. I’ve inquired around, and I’m afraid that his death had something to do with the troublesome commission the Organization picked up, and Ethan happened to be the unlucky one to take on the assignment.]
[Ethan: Are you talking about the commission to assassinate ‘Hermes’?]
[Tony: Sure enough, you do know quite a lot. How could that kid do this and collude with others behind my back and tell you everything?!!! Right, Hermes. I learned that they’re the world’s largest non-government intelligence organization, the “Messengers of the Gods”. They were actually able to find out that Hei Xiao was the one assigned to the mission, as well as Hei Xiao’s real identity, including that he had been currently carrying out the mission and even had the ability to kill him.]
Guan Jin finally understood just how much of a grievance his death had been.
[Ethan: So you’re saying that they killed one person to warn everyone else. They’re telling the others that whoever has the audacity to try to assassinate their boss is going to meet the same ending, and they were able to deal a big blow to another organization at the same time, effectively killing two birds with one stone.]
[Tony: Exactly! The Organization suffered a serious blow this time. Anyway, exactly what do you want to do? You’re not planning to avenge Ethan, are you?!]
[Ethan: Of course.]
[Tony: You’re mad! You don’t even know what the opponent looks like, and if you do just a little investigating, that all-knowing organization is going to sniff out the both of us very soon. Of course, if you’re a hot girl and you work hard to get into bed with Hermes, then perhaps you’ll have a chance.]
[Ethan: You don’t need to worry about this.]
[Tony: Okay, I’ve already said everything I should say, and I still want to stay alive so I can sweep Ethan’s grave. If you need my help, just ask, though whether I help or not is a different matter.]
[Ethan: I need to keep in touch with you at any time.]
[Tony: How troublesome. This is my phone number: xxxxxx. I’m warning you, don’t disturb me when I’m flirting with girls.]
[Ethan: This is mine: xxxx. I only occasionally use this phone, but I’ll text you if I need anything.]
[Tony: This number, are you in Country C?]
Guan Jin thought for a moment.
[Ethan: Yes, City S.]
[Tony: That kid really did have a vast network. Say, are you his long-lost brother or sister? Though in City S, there are resources you can take advantage of.]
[Tony: You probably know of the Min family.]
[Ethan: They’re in the entertainment industry.]
[Tony: You’ll have to listen to me on this one. Do you know how the Min family got rich? At the time, it was one of the Min family’s forefathers that established the largest arms corporation in Southeast Asia. Except for Min Yan, whose in City S, the rest of the family are overseas, continuing to be in the arms industry, it’s just that they transferred to America. Min Yan and the rest of their family depend on and safeguard each other. In case something goes wrong with the Min family’s business, they still have Min Yan’s honest business that can survive.]
Guan Jin was shocked, as he hadn’t expected that Min Yan would have this much power behind him; it was good that he hadn’t tried to feel him out at the time.
[Ethan: I’ll make good use of this information. Right…]
A person suddenly appeared in his mind. He hesitated for a moment, but he still asked: [Do you know the Lu family in City S?]
[Tony: The Lu family? The richest family in City S? I do. I reckon that that family has some background too, but it’s all honest business. I’ve never heard of their family partake in business in the underworld. However, their wealth is still a resource, so of course it’s good if you can use it. But, exactly who are you? Can you really strike up a relationship with them?]
[Ethan: That isn’t for you to worry about.]
[Tony: Tsk, you probably can’t do it. You’d do anything to save face, just like Ethan.]
Guan Jin exited the chat interface and went offline. If they kept talking, Tony probably would’ve gotten even more off topic. The Min family… Guan returned to his apartment and dove into his blankets, his mind in a disarray as he fell asleep.
“Min Yan, I have a business transaction I want to talk with you about, and I guarantee you’ll be interested in it.”
“Oh? I’d appreciate further details.”
“Let’s meet at…”
In the dim coffee shop, Guan Jin cautiously looked around before walking towards the table in the corner. There was already a person sitting there with his back towards him.
“You’re here, Little Jin?” The person turned around.
“You-you——” Guan Jin was shocked.
Lu YunYang was smiling his signature smile. “Little Jin, didn’t you want to see me to talk about a business transaction?” His face came closer and closer…
Ah! Guan Jin sat bolt upright, covered in sweat. How could he dream something like that? He had clearly made an appointment with Min Yan, but why had he turned into that sham of a psychic?!
Guan Jin rushed into the bathroom; he needed to take a cold shower to wake himself up.
In the morning, the members of the Special Cases Unit watched with wide eyes as Guan Jin walked into the office like a wandering soul. Then, he sat down and sneezed.
“Did you catch a cold? Did you not rest well? Your face is a little pale,” Gu Xiang said in concern.
“I’m fine.” Guan Jin sniffled.
“Here’s some warm ginger water, drink it to ward off the cold.” Someone pulled his hand and placed a steamy cup of water in his hand. “Your hand is so cold, you have to get warm first.”
Guan Jin looked up and saw that Lu YunYang was looking at him gently.
Isn’t it your fault that this happened?! Guan Jin slammed the cup onto the table and looked away, refusing to look at him.
Um… Lu YunYang was very confused. How did I offend him this time, weren’t we getting along quite well yesterday?
“Professor, did you rub him the wrong way?” Ding Ding walked over to them. “It’s okay, you’ll get used to it soon enough. Our Little Jinjin is quite susceptible to mood swings, and he’s very hard to please.”
In the morning, Le Fan came over. “I checked the injured parts of the victims with the forensic doctor’s help, and we both believe that the murder weapon that was used is the same. It’s less than one centimeter wide, and the edges are relatively firm.
“Since the killer is quite strong, there are even marks on the victims’ necks. In addition, those footprints are all very different, so there’s not much point in comparing them. The three victims didn’t struggle too much, since their clothes aren’t messy. The forensic doctor thinks that the murderer is very strong, which is why he was able to asphyxiate the victims so quickly so that they couldn’t fight back. However, I also discovered something strange.”
Le Fan pointed at three pictures of the crime scenes, “They found a silk bandana at the crime scene of the first murder, and according to the witnesses at the time, this silk bandana was a decoration on the victim’s purse. It’s usually fastened at the bottom of the purse’s strap, so it shouldn’t fall easily. However, at the time, this bandana was hanging on a low-hanging branch of a nearby tree. I examined it, and this silk bandana didn’t have any bloodstains nor saliva on it, so it’s very confusing as to how this bandana could’ve fallen off and landed in the tree.
“Also, the first and third victims’ bodies were relatively clean, and their clothes weren’t dirty. However, the second victim’s clothes, hair, and neck had a lot of leaves and dirt on them. Yet, they had died on cement pavement, so none of these things are present there. And according to the state of her shoes, before the victim died, she had been resisting by digging her heels into the ground. Thus, it doesn’t make sense as to where those traces could’ve come from.”
“Could it be that the victim had been running away and then fell there?” hypothesized Chen QiaoYu.
“That’s not very possible, since there’s residential areas very close by. If she had the time to run, then why wouldn’t she shout for help? The security guards that were on duty nearby didn’t hear anything.” Gu Xiang shook his head.
Le Fan spread his hands. “I’m just telling you guys the parts that don’t make sense. As for explaining them, it’s your job. I’ll get going now.”
Wen JingHan asked Guan Jin, “Did you make any progress?”
Guan Jin shook his head. “Originally, we thought that we should start with medical malpractice or a conflict between a patient and the nurse, but no one seems to have any grudges against the two nurses from Hospital Three, so this starting point was later thrown out by the person who suggested it.” He glanced at Lu YunYang.
“That’s because it just doesn’t seem very possible if it was the same patient or patient’s family that held so much hatred for nurses from different departments and even involved a nurse from a private clinic. How’s your investigations into the victims’ social relations going?”
Ding Ding bitterly said, “They’re very clean, and they don’t have any love triangles or anything like that. And, they all went to different schools, and they don’t seem to have any shared interests or attended any clubs together. That Fang XiuQin didn’t even really know how to use the internet. The second victim, Du XiaoYue, had just graduated from a nursing school in the faraway City A and came to City S for a year.
“She had been working at the clinic the entire time, and had never had anything to do with Hospital Three. Among the nurses and doctors at Hospital Three, none of them have even come from the same place as Du XiaoYue. All in all, they don’t seem to be related to one another in any way.”
Lu YunYang rubbed his chin. “But two of them are nurses from Hospital Three, and one of them died near Hospital Three, which means that there still has to have something to do with Hospital Three. Assuming that this killer is a serial killer, they’re a killer that sticks to their own territory. Killers like these will only commit crimes within a certain area, and this area is usually somewhere they’re familiar with, such as their residence area, workplace, or a public place they visit frequently.”
“So you’re saying that this killer must be very familiar with Hospital Three and its surroundings, and could even be a staff member or patient there?” asked Guan Jin.
Lu YunYang nodded. “Exactly. It’s not very likely for a foreign killer to wait near the hospital everyday, because they’re very familiar with the nurse’s working schedules as well as the nearby clinic’s nurse’s working schedules. I’m more inclined to believe that the killer is a patient or doctor, because those are the only people who have the opportunity to be in contact with nurses. Thus, no matter what, we need to focus our attention on Hospital Three.”
Wen JingHan said to everyone, “First, the killer has a fixed method and target. Second, the killer uses a very difficult way to kill their victims, with obvious, unique characteristics. Third, the victims aren’t related to one another at all. From these points, I advise that we should set off from the line of reasoning that these are a serial murder. What do you guys think?”
Everyone looked at one another and nodded.
“But in the process of investigating, if we find any evidence that might go against this presumption, we will have to change paths. YunYang, can you make a psychological profile of the killer?”
Lu YunYang thought for a moment. “I haven’t received formal training to be a criminal profiler, so I won’t be able to make a professional psychological profile. However, I can still give everyone a basic outline, though I’m still missing a few things right now, so is it okay if I do it tomorrow?”
“No problem, you have your methods, and we have ours, so let’s just take a two-pronged approach.”
On their way to the hospital, Guan Jin kept shifting uneasily in the car seat.
“What is it? Does my car seat have nails in it, or are you feeling uncomfortable somewhere?” Lu YunYang chuckled lightly.
Guan Jin immediately stopped moving. He was silent for a while before saying, “Psychic sham, let me ask you, can you interpret dreams?”
The ‘psychic sham’ was surprised. “You really regard me as a fortune-teller?”
“Didn’t one of your psychological ancestors write The Interpretation of Dreams? You don’t know how to do it?”
“Then let’s hear it, and I’ll see if I can be of any help.”
“…In the dream, I went to meet up with someone. Originally, I made the appointment with Person A, but when I arrived, that person turned around, and it turned out to be Person B.” Guan Jin said ‘person B’ viciously.
“May I ask why you wanted to go meet Person A?”
“I needed their help on something very important.”
Lu YunYang drummed the steering wheel with his fingers. “There’s two possibilities. One, you’re scared of Person B, and you’re worried about them ruining something about you, so it was reflected in your dream.”
Scared of him? Ridiculous! Guan Jin scoffed.
“The other possibility is that although you asked Person A for help, you don’t trust them that much. Deep down in your heart, you actually hope Person B can replace them. You trust and depend on Person B more.”
Depend on him? Bullshit!
“How are these answers?”
“…that you really are just a swindling sham of a psychic.”
“…I’m very hurt.”