Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The basement of Hospital Three.
“Time to change shifts, Big Li.” Two janitors pushed their carts to him.
“Old Wang, you didn’t clean up yesterday’s waste bottles?” Big Li took the carts.
“We took care of a lot of old bedsheets today, so we didn’t have enough time. Perfect, you can push this cart of trash there and take care of it.”
Big Li went through the exit and walked towards the medical waste disposal in the underground passage. Abruptly, a person blocked the cart’s path. Big Li was startled, and he took a closer look. “It’s- it’s you, sir, do you need something?”
The person looked at the cart and pointed behind him, saying, “There’s still some alcohol cotton balls on the ground there, make you get them cleaned up.”
“Ah? Okay, sure, I’ll go right now.” Big Li nodded hastily and ran in that direction.
The person who came looked as Big Li disappeared around a corner and looked back down at the cart. Then, he reached into the pile of waste and took out an infusion tube. He stuffed it into his pocket, looked around, and quickly disappeared out the exit.
“Say, are you really okay?” said Guan Jin as he frowned, standing next to a car.
“I don’t know which deity I offended either!” Wu Meng weakly squatted on the ground.
“Then tell us what happened,” Chen QiaoYu said, a little doubtful.
“I’ve been wronged, really! Tonight, my brother had a night shift, and he said that he wasn’t going to drive back in the morning, so he told me to take the car. When I went to the parking lot, I was looking down at my phone, and I tripped over something. Look, my phone case even cracked from the fall.” Wu Meng raised her phone. “When I regained my balance, I wanted to see what had tripped me, and I thought it was just something left behind by an irresponsible litterer, but…”
Lu YunYang looked at the two feet that were sticking out between two cars. There was still a high heel on one of them, and the other shoe had fallen to the side. “Very irresponsible indeed.”
The forensic doctor said, “Time of death was no more than two hours ago, and the cause of death is still mechanical asphyxia.”
Le Fan was holding the infusion tube, and he carefully placed it into an evidence bag. “This infusion tube is a little strange, so I need to take it back for an inspection. There are other things here, so Guan Jin, don’t step on them.”
Le Fan used a pair of tweezers to pick up a piece of white gauze, and was inspecting it carefully. Guan Jin got closer and sniffed lightly. He frowned. “Chloroform.”
Lu YunYang glanced at him meaningfully.
“This time, the killer seemed to not only leave their murder weapon behind, he also killed the wrong person.” Guan Jin walked over to the victim’s body and inspected it closely.
Lu YunYang leaned over in puzzlement, and saw that the victim was the female patient that had been faking an illness anxiety disorder.
“The victim was named Tao Fang. She opened a nail salon, 32 years old, divorced, and lived alone. After the divorce, her ex-husband went to work in Indonesia and hasn’t returned since. The clerks at the victim’s salon haven’t heard of her having any fixed boyfriends, and they don’t recall her having any disputes with anyone.” Ding Ding reported the results of their preliminary investigation.
“The victim wasn’t a nurse, and they don’t even have any experience in the medical industry. Moreover, the killer left the infusion tube at the crime scene, which is very different from the past cases.” As Wen JingHan talked, Le Fan walked over to them.
“That’s not all. This time, the contents of the infusion tube haven’t dried yet. We tested it, and there is a mixture of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Chondroitin sulfate is mainly used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, et cetera. Using the hospital’s list of prescribed drugs from yesterday, we found the person who was given those drugs that day, and through comparisons, we confirmed that the fingerprints on the infusion tube match the nurse and the patient’s family member.”
Zheng Fei added, “I told people to look into it, and the two of them indeed have alibis for the time of the crime.”
Le Fan continued, “Also, this infusion tube is different from before, because the remnants of the drugs in the previous one had already dried and there were very little, so it seemed to have been cleaned beforehand. Moreover, there weren’t any fingerprints on it, and it was only a section of the tube. This time, it seems to be an infusion tube that has just been thrown away, and even the drip chamber and flow control clamp is still there. There aren’t any clear signs of a struggle at the crime scene, and the gauze left on the ground indeed has chloroform in it. There are also remnants of chloroform at the victim’s nose area, so she was probably unconscious before she was asphyxiated.”
“Why would the killer suddenly change his killing habits and target?” Wen JingHan rubbed his chin. “It’s very strange. Is there anything else?”
“Yes. The victim had artificial nails on, but the one on her right pinky fell off. We haven’t found the fallen artificial nail at the scene of the crime yet, though we’re not sure when it fell off. On the other nails of her right hand, there are a few white fibers that seem to be from a cotton fabric. That’s it.”
“Little Bai, have you taken care of the security camera recordings in the passageway between the parking lot and the basement floor?” Wen JingHan turned to face Lin Bai.
“Yup, I’ve already gotten them to the clearest possible resolution. I have the recording starting from six hours before the murder, all the way until the police evacuated the scene, and I skimmed through it. Because the security camera at the back exit of the parking lot is broken, a large part of the parking lot can’t be seen, and I could only see the victim enter the parking lot. As for the passageway, the only people who came and went were doctors, nurses, and janitors, and there aren’t any suspicious people.”
“Can I take a look at the recording?” asked Guan Jin. “I want to see the part where Tao Fang entered the parking lot.”
Guan Jin concentrated and looked at it two times, before suddenly pressing Little Bai’s hand. “Stop here. Zoom in on her hand, a little more. Can you make it clearer?”
He pointed at the final image. “Look, although it’s a little fuzzy, you can still see that the artificial nail is still there.”
“So that means that it only fell off after she entered the parking lot. But then why weren’t we able to find it? If it fell off during the murder, then it’s not like the killer would pick it up and bring it with him, right?” Chen QiaoYu was puzzled.
Guan Jin continued to look at the recording, and he suddenly pointed at a person on the screen. “This person’s a doctor, right? Check him.”
“Look, when he entered the passageway, his pocket was flat, but when he came out, it was bulging.”
“Guan Jin, you’re so keen-eyed!” Zheng Fei patted him in admiration.
“YunYang, what are you thinking about?” Wen JingHan looked at Lu YunYang, who seemed to be in deep thought.
“Serial killers usually stick to their own method, since that’s a part of their paranoia and psychological process. This ‘angel killer’ isn’t in his trial stage, so he shouldn’t be changing easily, though their crimes might escalate. However, yesterday’s murder wasn’t an escalation, which doesn’t match up with criminal psychology.”
“So you’re saying that yesterday’s murder wasn’t committed by the same killer?”
“It’s probably an imitator. Since the public isn’t very clear about this case’s details, it’s impossible for them to imitate it perfectly. As for their motives of imitating it, that’s a different story.”
Lin Bai exclaimed excitedly, “I checked the hospital’s archives and did a comparison against the employee photos. Sure enough, I found that person. He’s a doctor, deputy chief physician of otorhinolaryngology, 1 Zhao MengQi.”
“Otorhinolaryngology?” Guan Jin recalled, “At the time, the consultation room that Tao Fang came out of was otorhinolaryngology.”
“You still remember it this clearly?” Lu YunYang was even more surprised.
“Sad mortals won’t understand.” Guan Jin glanced at him.
The present ‘mortals’ were speechless.
“QiaoYu and Zheng Fei, go have a chat with Zhao MengQi. Ding Ding and Gu Xiang, continue digging deeper into Tao Fang’s social relations and see if she has any other connections with Zhao MengQi, or if she was really pursuing him. Everyone else, continue your investigations,” ordered Wen JingHan.
Guan Jin added, “You guys can also have a chat with these janitors. They went in, and soon after, Zhao MengQi went in, so perhaps they bumped into each other.”
“Relax, although we’re mortals, we’re still quite proficient~” Chen QiaoYu winked at Guan Jin.
“Just now, I saw the chief of police pulling his hair out in his office. The number of victims keeps increasing, and if we can’t solve this soon, I reckon that he’ll barge in and pull out my hair.” Wen JingHan touched the tips of his own hair in self-pity, and blinked at everyone. “In order for your cute leader to not go bald, please work harder.”
Everyone muttered among themselves, “Tch, even if the chief of police pulled out all of his own hair, he wouldn’t dare to trouble you.”
Guan Jin didn’t understand. “Why wouldn’t the chief of police dare to offend our leader?”
Everyone whispered in unison, “Because of the higher-ups!”
Higher-ups? Guan Jin subconsciously looked up at the ceiling…
After work, Guan Jin walked out of the police station and looked up at the sky. Gloomy, dark clouds were quickly advancing in the sky. Gusts of gales ruffled his hair, and the branches of a nearby Chinese scholar tree had been blown off, leaving leaves scattered all over the ground.
“You even work overtime?” Lu YunYang was behind him.
“It’s not like I want to.” Guan Jin was a little scared of how immersed he had been that he had even forgotten the time; even when he was killing people before, he had never forgotten himself…
There was another gust of wind, and Guan Jin swayed, falling towards Lu YunYang.
Lu YunYang quietly held him. “I’ll take you home, there’s typhoon warnings today.”
Guan Jin couldn’t believe he had sunk to this point, where he could nearly fall over from a gust of wind and needed a man to escort him home…
The two of them stopped at a Western fast food restaurant to take care of dinner, and when they finished, it was already raining cats and dogs. As Lu YunYang drove the car, tree branches, leaves, and litter continuously flew into the windshield.
“My house is quite far, and we’re almost at your place,” Lu YunYang suddenly said.
Guan Jin looked at him in confusion.
“For safety’s sake, I think that it would be better if I stayed the night at your place.”
…That’s not better at all!