Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The fireworks, combined with the distant fog, made everyone’s faces flicker under the light. Everyone seemed to have forgotten about the danger and were looking up, enthralled by the sudden and brilliant lights.
“I’ll take people downstairs to take a look!” Captain James, who had come out of the control room, and two crewmen holding fire extinguishers ran to the stairs.
Everyone seemed to wake up at this.
Tao Yu, who was standing at the railing towards the front of the ship, pointed ahead. “There’s very thick smoke on the deck.”
Qin Xiao, who was on the other side, craned his neck to see. “That’s right.”
“I’m going to go downstairs to help,” Lu YunYang said to Guan Jin.
“I’ll also go.”
Thus, a large group of people ended up rushing downstairs.
Wen JingHan, who was on the third floor, also appeared at the staircase. He was just about to join the crowd of people rushing downstairs, but the Duke grabbed him. “We’re already in the open sea, this isn’t within your authority.”
Wen JingHan swatted away his hand. “Please, this is a ship drifting on the ocean. If it was really blown up, how could this have nothing to do with us?” After saying this, he ignored the Duke, whose expression was very dark, and ran downstairs.
The Duke remained standing where he was and struggled for a while before nodding to the men in black. “Follow him.”
Tom understood and immediately sprinted to catch up to Wen JingHan. Right now, protecting the Duke’s man was the top priority!
Thick smoke and sparks were rising from a splintered wooden crate near the front left of the deck, and from time to time, fireworks would shoot out from it.
The crewmen quickly used fire extinguishers to put out the fire, and the wind blew the powder onto everyone.
Someone coughed and hastily retreated to the back of the crowd.
“Where did these fireworks come from?” asked Lu YunYang.
“I told people to bring them onto the ship, and I was originally going to put on a fireworks show. However, I made sure everyone took safety precautions, and I stored them very carefully so they wouldn’t explode. It was even less likely for them to appear on the deck.” Fang Sen furrowed his brows deeply.
“Just then, that boom wasn’t the sound of a firework exploding. I’m afraid it was something else.” Qin Xiao walked over to look at the box, but unfortunately, it was already a charred mess.
“Gunpowder that is mixed privately isn’t very lethal, so the deck wasn’t very affected. However, there seemed to have been something wrapped outside which caused the loud sound and started the fire.” Min Yan was crouching next to the box and inspected the powder.
“Mr. Min, you’re very knowledgeable,” Wen JingHan said in admiration.
“Haha, I liked to play with fireworks in my childhood.”
No one believed that a rich kid would have the opportunity to play with fireworks in their childhood; playing with explosives was more like it. However, no one cared about this at this time.
“This isn’t another prank, is it? This is really getting more and more outrageous!” Fang Sen’s expression was furious. He had worked very hard to invite all these people, but now, he was losing face, and the people who had come weren’t in a mood to enjoy things anymore.
Besides the few crewmen who couldn’t leave the control room, everyone on the ship ran to them and looked at the wrecked sight in front of them.
“What happened? The fireworks were so pretty, but the noise was scary.” Jiang LingXuan was panting from running here.
Wang XuTong’s tone was a little reproachful. “Didn’t I tell you to stay in the kitchen? What if it was dangerous here?”
“B-but the chefs all ran out, and I was too scared to stay there alone.” Jiang LingXuan moved closer to him. “XuTong, what happened? When I think about these past few days… it’s so unsettling.”
“It’s okay, I’m here.” Wang XuTong’s expression was somber as he looked in front of him.
The people present felt the same, and fear began gnawing at their hearts.
“James, please arrange for some people to throw the rest of the fireworks into the ocean, and be careful. Also, do a complete inspection of the ship’s safety precautions and equipment, and keep in touch with the marine affairs and the backup helicopter,” Fang Sen ordered gravely.
“Yessir.” James motioned for all of the crewmen to begin working.
“We can also help,” offered Guan Jin.
“No, no, I can’t bother everyone again. You all came to have a vacation, and I’m already very ashamed of my poor hospitality.”
“But we’re all on the same ship, so if something happens, we won’t be able to stay out of it. We’ll work harder since it’s for our own safety,” Guan Jin said bluntly.
Fang Sen hesitated before nodding reluctantly. “Then please carefully check the outdoor equipment. I’ll have the crewmen take care of the rest. WanQing, I’ll leave it to you to help get the women settled.”
“No need, I’m not scared, I can also help!” called Qin Se.
Mu QianHe and Elena nodded in agreement.
“Well, then——” Before Fang Sen could finish speaking, a server interrupted in fright, “M-Mr. Fang… Be-behind you…”
Fang Sen exploded. “What’s behind me?!”
“The dummy on the shelf behind you… w-was put up again…” The server’s voice trembled.
Fang Sen was livid; an entire shipful of people were being toyed by someone.
“How could this be? It wasn’t there before…” The other servers had been bustling around the deck before, and they didn’t remember seeing it.
“Although it’s dark at night and there was a lot of fog, that dummy’s cloak is very big and it would flutter in the wind, so it would be very easy to spot it. When I went to the kitchen, something as obvious as that definitely wasn’t there,” said Wang XuTong.
Jiang LingXuan nodded. “When I went, I also didn’t see that thing on the shelf.”
“What’s the use of saying all this, we’ll know once we go take a look.” Guan Jin walked to the back of the ship.
Sure enough, against the dark background of clouds and fog, a figure was hanging on the tall shelf, and the black cloak was fluttering in the wind.
“Wasn’t this locked in a room?” asked Wen JingHan.
A crewman waved the keys in his hand. “I locked it! There’s only one key that unlocks that room, and it’s with me. There’s no windows, I had this key with me the entire time, and no one borrowed it!”
Everyone turned around to look at him in suspicion.
“It wasn’t me! I was in the main control room the entire time today, and the captain can testify to that!” The crewman was frightened.
“Stop arguing, something is off…” Wen JingHan motioned for everyone to quiet down, and he slowly walked to the metal shelf.
Guan Jin and Lu YunYang exchanged looks; sure enough, something was off.
Wen JingHan’s expression was grave, and he reached out to hold the cloak’s hood. “This isn’t a dummy…”
“What are you saying?” Fang Sen was stunned.
“I’m saying that this is a dead person. An actual dead person.” Wen JingHan looked at everyone, and the black cloak behind him was still flapping in the wind.
Mrs. Fang covered her mouth, but a faint scream still escaped through her fingers.
“Who is it?” Guan Jin had already sensed the hint of an aura of death; this was an instinct that he had developed over the years.
Wen JingHan was silent as he pulled off the cloaks’ hood.
“Ahh!!!” This time, the women couldn’t suppress their screams.
With his head drooping down, a pale face, and hair that seemed to be wet, Dong Chong was hanging from the shelf.
Fang Sen felt his legs go weak. Dong Chong had been the dear son of the Fang family’s ally, and he had been quite close to him. Whether it was their friendship or profit, he felt that it was hard to accept this. Moreover, he had died on his ship, so he would have to give an explanation to the Dong family…
“Husband!” Zhao WanQing clutched Fang Sen, her face drained of color.
Tian QingLin’s mouth trembled. “Isn’t h-he just drunk and sleeping… How… Help! Quick, help!”
“There’s no use, he’s been dead for at least two hours already. His body is starting to stiffen.” Wen JingHan pitilessly obliterated his last ray of hope.
“How could this be…” Tian QingLin sat down heavily.
“Ahh!!!” Fang Lin suddenly screamed, squeezed past everyone, and ran away.
Fang Sen shouted for her to stop, but she didn’t listen, and he was too exhausted to manage this.
“Don’t worry, I’ll go accompany her,” Elena unexpectedly offered before leaving to find Fang Lin.
“How did he die?” Guan Jin walked closer to inspect the body.
“There doesn’t seem to be any external injuries, so we’ll have to take a closer look.” Wen JingHan began to miss Le Fan.
Guan Jin and Lu YunYang stepped forward and untied Dong Chong’s body, placing it on the deck.
“Let me see.” Qin Se walked over, and she didn’t seem to be scared.
“You?” Guan Jin looked at her.
“I’ve studied forensics before, trust me!” boasted Qin Se.
Lu YunYang pulled Guan Jin away. “Let her take a look.”
“She really studied forensics before?” Guan Jin asked in a low voice.
“She has an uncle that does forensic research, so she’s attended many of his lectures and gone into the dissection room countless times. Anyway, she’s better at this than the average person,” replied Lu YunYang.
Guan Jin nodded. No wonder she had been able to win over someone as trendy in the fashion world as Lu YunChi; sure enough, she wasn’t the average woman.
“Pale face, cyanosis in tongue, bleeding from the mucous membrane of the eyes, and water in the ears. He seems to have drowned,” analyzed Qin Se after looking for a while.
“Drowned? Could he have gotten drunk and fallen into the sea?” asked Min Yan.
“If he fell into the sea, would you be able to fish him up? Moreover, there clearly wasn’t anyone here before, so how did someone tie him here in such a short amount of time? He’s not a dummy that can be easily moved around.” Guan Jin glanced at him.
“No, no…” muttered Tian QingLin. Then, he got up and stumbled away in shock and fear.
It sure was strange. Guan Jin thought back to the analysis, and he couldn’t help but look at Jiang LingXuan. She was like the majority of people: her face was pale, her expression afraid, and she was gripping Wang XuTong’s clothes, yet she couldn’t help but look at the body. Wang XuTong was holding her tightly and seemed to be consoling her softly.
“Exactly how was he hung here?” Min Yan was confused. “Just now, we were all on the fourth floor. Wang XuTong and LingXuan were in the kitchen with the chefs.”
“What I’d like to know is who killed him, and why?” Guan Jin said heavily.