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Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

Editor: GaeaTiamat


Duan FeiZhou pointed to the graduation photo of Dr. Stone’s son on his desk. Stone immediately realized his oversight and pressed the picture frame down, but it was too late.

“Even if I know that teacher, so what?” Dr. Stone said, the strain showing in his neck. “There are so many students in that grammar school, and he has taught almost every one of them. Wouldn’t that make the parents of every student a suspect in the murder?”

“Since you brought up the matter of suspicion of murder yourself,” Z lowered his head and absentmindedly poked the badge on his waist. “I would like to ask you again. Where were you when the fourth victim was killed between ten and twelve o’clock on the night of May 2nd?”

Dr. Stone’s face turned red. He had been completely identified as a suspect, which made him angry. But he also understood that if he refused to answer, the suspicion would only get worse. He could only suppress his anger, and say through gritted teeth, “I don’t remember. I need to see the itinerary for that day.”

He took a booklet from the drawer, and turned to one of the pages. “It was Tuesday and a friend of mine was getting married, so I was at the club to celebrate for him. Many of my friends were there, and they can attest that I was in attendance!”

“And you never left during that time?” Z asked.

“Of course! I was the host, so what was the point of me leaving? We celebrated until the early hours of the morning before we parted. If you don’t believe me, go to the club and ask around!” Dr. Stone held his head up proudly. “I’m not afraid of suspicion, so feel free to investigate!”

Z asked where Dr. Stone was when the other three victims were killed. He answered one by one. He had an alibi for all four days except for the night of Ruth’s death.

While Z interrogated Stone, Duan FeiZhou stared at the statue of a Hindu god on the decorative shelf. Like the last time he visited, the idol emanated a glow unique to occult objects. He stared hard at the idols for a while. He expected to see Stone’s remaining memories in them – if only he could see the scene of his crimes.

However, after looking at them for half a day, he only saw a few disconnected scenes of Dr. Stone wandering in his office; Dr. Stone writing his medical records; Dr. Stone kneeling in front of the idols, hands clenched, praying and crying…

Duan FeiZhou blinked away those strange sights.

Dr. Stone praying to a pagan idol? Could it be that his experience serving in India had converted him to Hinduism?

“Now I can be eliminated from suspicion, right?” Dr. Stone snorted triumphantly from his nose.

“Thank you for your cooperation.” Z expressionlessly pulled his coat to cover his shiny badge. “We’ll go and confirm with the witnesses.”

“That’s splendid. I was just about to ask you not to take my word for it,” Dr. Stone taunted.

“Let’s go.” Z winked at Duan FeiZhou.

“I won’t see you off. You gentlemen take care.” Dr. Stone said coldly.

Z dragged Duan FeiZhou out of the office and down the clinic corridor. The clinic was still cold and silent, and he was afraid that patients wouldn’t dare to come to the clinic anytime soon.

“That old fox!” Duan FeiZhou said with hatred. “Even if he has an alibi, he can’t be completely ruled out as a suspect. If he has an accomplice, then they can work separately!”

Z looked grave, and didn’t say anything.

Duan FeiZhou’s heart suddenly cooled by half. He had rushed confidently to the Stone clinic, with the intention of revealing Stone’s true nature like the famous detective in a novel, but they made a trip in vain. Could his reasoning be wrong?

Then again, crime maps were supposed to be an aid to criminal investigation and weren’t 100 percent correct. Even if they could roughly determine the killer’s range of activity, that range was inhabited by many people, not just Dr. Stone. There were others who might also be the killer. Then the scope of the investigation would be much larger. He watched Z’s face carefully. “You don’t believe me, do you?”

Z blinked, and tilted his head slightly. “I believe you.”

Duan FeiZhou froze in surprise. “Really?”

“Dr. Stone has a very suspicious attitude. You may not realize it, but I could hear it – his heart was beating very fast when we asked about his relationship with the fourth victim.”

“Maybe he was just surprised or nervous.” Duan FeiZhou was a little unsure. Anyone suspected by the police would have reacted that way, he was afraid.

“I think he’s hiding something from me. It’s not necessarily related to the serial murders, but at least it’s something unseen and appropriate for the police to know.”

With old man Stone’s money-minded nature, it wouldn’t be surprising if he was to do something illegal or disorderly. However the most important thing now wasn’t to find out Stone’s indiscretions, but to find the real serial killer.

After they left Stone’s clinic, the two men went straight to the club that Dr. Stone had mentioned, to check his alibi.

According to the club’s maitre’d, a member was indeed holding a bachelor party there on the night of May 2nd, and Dr. Stone was the host. They made a scene all night. Dr. Stone went to the bathroom on the way, but was only gone for five minutes, which was definitely not enough time for him to dash to the other side of town to kill someone and get back in a hurry, even if he was on horseback or on a bicycle.

Of course, that assumed that Stone was an ordinary person. If he was an occult practitioner, with some kind of speeding skills, it was a different story. Duan FeiZhou became more and more discouraged while he watched as the clues he had managed to find were cut off one by one.

It was getting late, so they stopped at the club for dinner. At this hour, there were already people who were very drunk. Drunks were making noise in groups in the club, but if they got too rowdy, they were thrown out the door by the waiters.

“Don’t throw up at my door!” A waiter shouted at one of the drunks. “Go over there and throw up! There’s a sewer outlet over there, don’t you have eyes?”

Duan FeiZhou turned back to look at the waiter and the drunk.

“What’s wrong?” Z noticed something unusual about him.

“The sewer.” Duan FeiZhou whispered.

The word touched a point in his memory.

When they had explored the scene of Ruth’s murder, there had been a sewer opening nearby that had been backing up water. There was also a sewer opening in the police file at the scene of the first victim’s murder – the driver of a hired carriage. The victim was there to relieve himself.

Aberdeen was one of the few major cities in Scotland, so naturally the sewers were well connected. The more crowded a place was, the more it needed a well-developed sewage system. Especially after the cause of the London plague was identified as contaminated drinking water, cities began to build sewers to prevent drinking water from being contaminated by sewage.

Aberdeen’s sewers allow a person to walk through them. The crime map did show the killer’s area of activity, but maybe the killer didn’t move above ground, but underground!

“It’s possible that the killer moved around through the sewers.” Duan FeiZhou explained his sudden inspiration to Z quickly. “That’s why there are no witnesses in all cases. The murderer hid in the sewers before the killing, and then went back immediately after the killing, so of course no one would see!”

Z’s eyebrows tightened. “Are you sure?”

“Not sure,” Duan FeiZhou admitted honestly. “But I think it’s worth investigating.”

Z immediately took out his wallet, paid for dinner, asked the club waiter for a candle, and strode out of the club.

“Where is the closest crime scene?”

“It’s the crime scene of the fourth victim, the grammar school teacher…”

“Take me there.”

Duan FeiZhou led Z towards the crime scene from memory. This street was in Aberdeen’s middle-class neighborhood, with its exquisite townhouses, and a far cry from the damaged buildings of Mire Street.

It had been more than a week since the crime, and the cordon had long since been removed, but there were several bouquets of mourning flowers on the ground. Perhaps the teacher was extraordinarily respected and well-known.

Next to the bouquets was a sewer manhole cover. This reinforced Duan FeiZhou’s suspicions.

“Did you bring your weapon?” Z asked.

“Yes.” Since coming to Aberdeen, Duan FeiZhou had always taken Sword in the Stone with him whenever he went out. Passersby might have found it strange, but safety came first, so he stopped caring about his image.

Z lifted the manhole cover, and jumped into the dark sewer.

Duan FeiZhou bent down to the well, which was so dark he couldn’t see anything.

“Are you okay?” He shouted into the darkness.

“Safe!” Z’s voice came from far down the well. “Come on down!”

Duan FeiZhou looked to his right and left to make sure no one was on the street (he didn’t want to be seen by passersby drilling into the sewer), and then imitating Z, he leapt into the well as well.

As soon as he was airborne, Sword in the Stone screamed, “Why are you jumping straight in? I thought there was a ladder!

Only then did Duan FeiZhou realize that there was an iron ladder nailed to the wall of the well for climbing. However, it was already too late. His body followed the call of gravity and just plunged downward.

“Aaaaah-!” He screamed along with the Sword in the Stone.

Then, he fell hard into Z’s arms.

Z caught him with unerring precision. The impact nearly knocked the white-haired Nightman off his feet. He dropped to one knee, but eventually managed to bear the weight of Duan FeiZhou.

“When I told you to come down, I meant for you to climb down the ladder.” Z gritted his teeth.

“…I saw you jump straight down, and thought it wasn’t deep at all,” Duan FeiZhou muttered. He was secretly glad that Z couldn’t see his expression. Otherwise he would have had to dig a hole in the ground, and never come out for the rest of his life.

He jumped out of Z’s arms, and landed in the shallow running water with both feet. Probably sewage from the sewer.

Well that pair of shoes was ruined, Duan FeiZhou thought sadly.

Z took the candle and a box of matches out of his pocket, and slipped them to Duan FeiZhou.

“Light it,” he said.

The candle was apparently prepared for Duan FeiZhou, who couldn’t walk freely in the dark without illumination. Rather, even with illumination, there was no light or darkness in Z’s world.

Duan FeiZhou lit the candle. The flame flickered, it was far less bright than carrying a lamp, and only illuminated a short distance ahead.

“Are you okay with this?” He asked Z.

“There’s a wind here,” Z said. “I can hear it if there’s wind.”

Duan FeiZhou couldn’t hear the wind even with his ears, but the candle flame waved, which indicated that there was indeed air moving in the sewers. The two men walked along the narrow passage. They didn’t know how far they had gone, and with no above-ground reference, Duan FeiZhou lost all sense of distance.

The passage kept going down, the water flowed deeper and deeper, and the foul smell got stronger and stronger.

Duan FeiZhou covered his nose, as he tried not to throw up. Z’s sense of smell was more acute than his, and he thought it must be even harder on him.

“Do you need a handkerchief?” Duan FeiZhou asked in a muffled voice.

Z shook his head. “I smell something strange.”

“I think we all smell something strange,” Duan FeiZhou commented.

“Not the smell of sewage and decay, but…” Z wanted to say something but stopped.

Duan FeiZhou felt a jolt of fear. It was sometimes scarier to say only half of what was said than to tell the whole story.

“What is it?” He asked warily.

Z pondered for a moment, and said carefully, “The smell of death.”

“The stench of a corpse?”

“No. It’s something worse.”

Z took off his gloves, and a shiny blade popped out of his right hand.

Duan FeiZhou followed suit, and pulled out Sword in the Stone. A pale shadow swept over the edge of the candlelight range. It was so fast that in a blink of an eye it disappeared into the darkness.

Duan FeiZhou drew a cold breath, “There’s something up ahead! There’s something!”

“I know!” Z roared. He rushed forward with a single arrow step, as his knife fell into his hand.

A strange hissing sound echoed through the sewers. It wasn’t like the human scream before dying, but more like the hiss of a monster.

“Z!” Duan FeiZhou raised his candle high, and waded through the sewage to catch up.

Kid! Watch your head!” Sword in the Stone shouted.

Duan FeiZhou subconsciously looked up. Then he screamed in spite of himself.

Right above him hung a pale creature that looked a bit like a skinned monkey or a powdered Gollum. The creature’s mouth grinned all the way out to its ears, and revealed two rows of interlocking sharp teeth. A sticky stream of saliva dangled from its forked tongue, and dripped onto Duan FeiZhou’s shoulder.

Sword in the Stone immediately took control of his body. He leapt backward, while the monster dropped down and landed in the sewage. It landed on all fours and flew towards Duan FeiZhou.

Duan FeiZhou raised his sword and swept the sharp blade across the monster’s thin arm, which cut a bone-deep wound as if it were a hot knife cutting butter. The monster screamed, and with its wounded arm backed up on all fours.

Z came back, and as soon as the monster turned around, it was stabbed in the face with Z’s sword.

“Are you all right?” Z asked with concern.

“Yes! What the hell was that?!” Duan FeiZhou was about to cry in disgust.

“Ghouls!” Z yelled. “There’s more up ahead! You run!”

After that, he turned to face the dark passage and raised his sword blade, as if to use his own body to protect Duan FeiZhou’s back.

A large group of pale monsters poured out of the darkness. They climbed on the walls, and on the ceiling; a tide made of corpses.

Duan FeiZhou looked at Z’s lonely back, his heart in his throat.

“Let me help you!” Duan FeiZhou shouted.

“Get out of here!” Z was furious.

Duan FeiZhou didn’t care what he said. No matter what, he couldn’t let Z fight alone. He swung Sword in the Stone and cut off the arm of the nearest ghoul. The ghoul’s slippery skin instantly turned black, as if it had been burned by fire.

Z saw that he couldn’t be persuaded, so he could only grit his teeth and join the fight. The two men turned back to back, so as to cut off the incoming ghouls while keeping their backs to each other for protection.

One ghoul after another was knocked aside, but new ones soon followed. Duan FeiZhou never knew there were so many monsters living underground in Aberdeen. If he had heard about this earlier, he would have packed his belongings and fled overnight. He preferred living in a ravine.

As they were about to be overwhelmed by the tide of monsters, a star suddenly lit up at the end of the dark passage. The monsters stopped attacking, and made way.

“Who?!” Z’s eyebrows knitted together, and his blind gaze was directed motionlessly at the little glow in the darkness.

A man came wading through the water carrying a lantern. The man stumbled over, his voice full of heartache. “Stop! Don’t hurt them!” 

The monsters bowed their heads respectfully, as if they were saluting the man.

Duan FeiZhou finally got a good look at the face of the lantern-bearer. He was young, with red hair, blue eyes and a thin physique. It was none other than Duncan McKellen, the highly skilled body restorer from the coffin shop.

Duan FeiZhou pointed at Duncan and stammered, “You…You…It’s you!”

Why was he here? Why did the ghouls treat him with respect? Could he be the real culprit of the Aberdeen serial murders?

Z  moved slightly. “Who is he?”

“He’s the restorer,” Duan FeiZhou replied hoarsely. “He’s the one who restored Ruth’s body.”

Z raised his blade, the tip of which was pointed squarely at Duncan’s face.

The ghouls around him unanimously hissed, as if to threaten Z.

Duncan glared, and the ghouls instantly went quiet. He opened his arms, and stepped between Z and the army of ghouls. With tears in his eyes and a slightly pleading tone he said, “Please don’t hurt them!” 


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3 Tell us your thoughts on the chapter.
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December 21, 2022 1:14 am

Is this what it seems?…
Ugly, scary looking things aren’t always how they appear; but where have they come from?
Can’t wait to read more 😊
Thanks for translating and editing.

February 2, 2023 12:19 pm

Don’t even know how to interpret what’s going on. No idea how the restorer fits into this picture.

March 5, 2023 2:16 pm

Duncan and the ghouls??? Completely unexpected!! Why does he seem to be their leader? What’s his story?

The part where DFZ jumps down the sewer was hilarious! 🤣

Thank you for the exciting chapter!

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