Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After dawn, Duan FeiZhou and Z moved out of the hotel. There were a number of cheap warehouses or rental houses in the docklands, rented out exclusively to traders and sailors who came and went. They soon found a rental house across the street from the Stone Clinic, which they could use to keep an eye on the clinic.
Duan FeiZhou had only seen the police spying on suspects on TV before, but he never thought he would encounter it himself. He used to think that police encounters should be extremely tense and exciting (because for the audience it was very exciting to watch), but after he actually engaged in surveillance work he realized – this job was really very boring.
All he had to do every day was to stand in front of the window and watch the movements around the clinic. Z couldn’t see, so the job had to be given to him. He originally suggested that a few officers from Aberdeen police station could help, but Z rejected that.
“This is the work of our Nightmen. We don’t involve ordinary people.” Z was righteous.
The good thing was that they were sure that the killer would only come out at night, so Duan FeiZhou could rest during the day. After two days of waiting around in the rental house, Duan FeiZhou finally noticed some unusual movements.
It was late at night and there was no light on the street except for streetlights. Duan FeiZhou stood in front of the window and watched from afar. The door of the clinic opened. A slim figure stumbled out. He staggered, a bit like a wounded man, a bit like a toddler.
The two pit bulls chained to the door woke up at the sound. They wagged their tails and greeted the man with glee, and showed their friendship by pulling on his pants with their front paws. The man was on his knees, on all fours actually, as he rubbed the bulldogs affectionately and let the two dogs lick him on the face. Then he crawled toward the sewer in an uncanny position, lifted the manhole cover, and dove in.
“Z! It’s him!” Duan FeiZhou shouted.
As soon as the words left his mouth, Z jumped off the bed, pushed open the window and leaped out, rushing to the sewer at great speed. Duan FeiZhou turned around, grabbed Sword in the Stone and a candle went to catch up with him, but as he looked at the height from the window to the ground, he decided to take the stairs.
By the time he reached the sewer shaft, Z and the strange man had both disappeared.
Duan FeiZhou puffed and panted as he plunged down the ladder. Sword in the Stone let out a sneer, “Oh, if you’re not good at physical work, don’t do it the hard way!“
He went down to the bottom of the well and lit the candle. The faint candlelight could only illuminate the area within a few steps. At the end of the passage came a hissing sound, as if a mad beast had met a seasoned hunter and was trying to fight to the death.
The hissing sound shook the sewers, and made Duan FeiZhou’s scalp tingle. Was that a sound a human could make? Were they chasing a human killer, or a monster in human skin? Soon, the hissing sound turned into a wail. The monster seemed to be wounded.
The sound of rushing water treading moved towards Duan FeiZhou, who gripped Sword in the Stone tightly and met the approaching sound.
A figure with a hunched back came into view.
It was a young man, from his appearance he was probably about the same age as Duan FeiZhou. He was dressed extremely lightly, as if he had gotten out of bed directly in his pajamas. His clothes were stained bright red, with tears that revealed bone-deep scars. His eyes were red as he grimaced and breathed heavily. Saliva spilled out of the corners of his lips, and a low growl kept coming out of his throat.
Duan FeiZhou recognized his face. The last time I saw him, he was a smiling, flamboyant young man in the graduation photo. Now he was a complete beast in human form. He was Alexander Stone, the son of Dr. Stone.
Alexander Stone fell from a steam boat and should have been bedridden because of paraplegia, but at this moment he was more agile than most humans Duan FeiZhou knew. Alexander Stone pounced on Duan FeiZhou as if he were a trained hound, his fangs aimed at the throat of his prey.
Duan FeiZhou immediately relinquished control of his body to Sword in the Stone, who had never let him down when it came to short-handed encounters with his enemies. He deftly dodged Alexander Stone’s attack, backhanded him with the sword, and pierced his opponent’s palm with one blow.
Alexander Stone screamed. It rattled Duan FeiZhou’s eardrums.
Another rush of footsteps approached quickly.
Z trod on the water and came flying in like a silver tern, the sharp blades of his mechanical prosthetic limbs reflecting a golden glow. His face was splattered with blood, but none of the drops were his own. His blind eyes burned with a blazing light that made his scarlet irises even redder than the blood on his face. His hand rose, and he stabbed through Alexander Stone’s other palm.
Duan FeiZhou matched him, reversed his blade and pounded Alexander Stone’s knee with the stone on the tip of the sword. The beast-like youth fell with a wail. Z stepped heavily on his spine, so that he couldn’t stand up again. Then the white-haired Nightman removed handcuffs from his waist and tossed them to Duan FeiZhou.
“Cuff him up!”
Duan FeiZhou immediately obeyed the order. He clipped Alexander Stone’s hands backwards and placed the silver bracelet on his wrists. Alexander Stone yelled incoherently as he struggled and squirmed. But Z held him in place.
Alexander Stone seemed to realize that he had no way out, as he stopped yelling and screaming, and instead let out a low whimper; like an aggrieved puppy with its tail between its legs, begging for forgiveness from its powerful enemy.
“Do you know him?” Z asked.
“Dr. Stone’s son.” Duan FeiZhou said as he shook the blood off his hands.
“He’s really pretending to be sick?” Z raised his eyebrows.
“No, I think he was really hurt, but Dr. Stone used some kind of method to bring him ‘back from the dead’.” Duan FeiZhou scowled somberly at Alexander Stone’s distorted face. “And the price for coming back from the dead is this…”
Z picked up the huffing and puffing Alexander Stone, and tossed him over to the bottom of the well.
“You go get a rope and hoist him up.” Z instructed.
Duan FeiZhou nodded. This was Wharf Street, and what could be more common than a rope? There were several bundles of rope sitting in the surveillance room they had rented. He quickly returned to the surveillance room, got a bundle of rope and threw it down the well. Z tied Alexander Stone’s ankles, then climbed back up to the ground and hoisted him up with Duan FeiZhou’s help.
They had hardly managed to get the struggling Alexander Stone out of the narrow shaft, when a frightened voice rang out behind them.
“What are you doing?!” Dr. Stone crashed through the clinic door and rushed toward them. He was waving his fists and only wearing a coat over his pajamas, as if he had just been awakened by the commotion outside. “What have you done to my son?
He rushed toward his son to free him, but Z got in his way and blocked his path.
“I should ask you that question.” Z said coldly, “What did your son do to the citizens of Aberdeen? And what have you done to him?”
Dr. Stone was horrified. He looked at his bruised son, then at Z and Duan FeiZhou, and his always arrogant expression instantly fell.
“I…I don’t understand what you’re talking about…” He still tried to deny it. As long as he didn’t admit it, no one would know what he had done.
However, Duan FeiZhou wasn’t going to give him that chance.
“You’re the one who turned your son into this. In every sense of the word.” Duan FeiZhou said. “He can’t be considered a human being anymore, don’t you see?”
The veins stood out on Dr. Stone’s neck as he said, “Nonsense, he’s my son…”
“He’s not anymore.” Duan FeiZhou looked sternly at Dr. Stone. The latter couldn’t help but take a step backward under his aggressive glare.
“Your son did fall and become crippled. I believe that,” Duan FeiZhou said. “Maybe worse than crippled, maybe he was dying; on the verge of death. He was the only family you had, so to save his life, you had a bad idea.”
Dr. Stone shook his head desperately. “I didn’t…”
“When I visited your office, I noticed that you had a collection of Hindu idols. You claimed that they were souvenirs purchased from India when you were an army doctor. Let’s say that’s true. A friend of mine who is well versed in Hindu mythology told me that among the idols, the elephant-headed one is named Ganesha. He is one of the most revered and beloved gods in India. But do you know why his head is an elephant’s and not a human’s?”
“Because of pagan religious beliefs!” Dr. Stone smiled bravely. “You know how those barbaric pagans always like to worship animals…”
“No. Because Ganesha was beheaded by his father Shiva.”
With every word Duan FeiZhou said, Dr. Stone’s face paled. Z cocked his head and listened with interest. Alexander Stone huddled at his feet, his ruthless gaze fixed on his father with a deadly stare.
“Shiva, regretful for having accidentally killed his own son, turned to Brahma, the creator god, for help. Brahma promised that he could place the head of the first animal he saw on Ganesha. The first one Shiva saw was an elephant, so Ganesha was resurrected by obtaining the elephant’s head.”
Dr. Stone’s legs shook. “What an interesting legend, I don’t understand what it has to do with my son…”
Duan FeiZhou approached Dr. Stone step by step. “Having spent time in India, you must know that the locals revere Ganesha. So when your son was in a bad accident and you, as a doctor, could do nothing, you prayed to Ganesha with the mentality of beating a dead horse – you prayed to bring your son back to health. Then the idol answered you.”
Dr. Stone laughed dryly. “There are no gods in the world! That’s all a story people made up!”
“There may be no gods in the world, but there are strange things. The wish you made happened to be the same as the wish of Lord Shiva, so the idol fulfilled it for you – the first creature you saw since you went out, united with your dying son.”
Duan FeiZhou looked out over the clinic doors. His gaze lingered for a moment on the two bulldogs. “What you saw were those vicious dogs. Your son regained his health, but his mind has become indistinguishable from that of a vicious dog. He was spoiled by you since he was a child, and after that he spoiled those dogs. They were ferocious and often attacked passersby, so your son became that way too. He would wake up at night, wander around in the sewers, and if he happened to meet someone at a sewer shaft, he would eat that person alive and tear him to pieces.”
Duan FeiZhou pointed at Dr. Stone. “Your son is the real killer in the Aberdeen serial murders.”
There was a thud. Dr. Stone could no longer stand and sat down on his buttocks.
“My son didn’t…” Dr. Stone mumbled. “He’s just a little bit mentally disturbed. I’ll…I’ll take good care of him and make him well…”
“You don’t have a chance, Dr. Stone.” Z snapped. “It’s a crime to harbor a murderer. I don’t believe that when your son comes back to the clinic covered in blood and the next day there’s a murder in the paper, that you don’t know about it and won’t notice.”
Dr. Stone threw a pleading look at Z, in the hopes the detective would be lenient. However, he was trying in vain, for Z was simply unmovable.
“What about Ruth?” Duan FeiZhou asked viciously. “Did she find out about your crime, and therefore you silenced her?”
Dr. Stone shook his head convulsively. “She had been taking care of Alexander, but one day Alexander snuck out at night and was discovered by her. She didn’t know Alexander was the serial killer, and thought he was faking his illness. So I gave her a sum of money to shut her up…But then Alexander slipped out again and again, and each time there was a murder. The girl soon sensed that something was wrong. I tried to stuff more money at her to keep her quiet, but she got scared…” He laughed twice, bitterly. “She actually tried to go to the police! Frailty, thy name is woman!’ 1 So I let Alexander make the first move…”
“You-!” Duan FeiZhou rushed towards Dr. Stone, and punched him in the face. Dr. Stone fell down with a scream, two incisors flew out and blood dripped from his nose with a splat. “I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you, you beast!”
Duan FeiZhou wanted to punch Stone again, but Z held him from behind. He tried to break free of Z. “Let go of me!”
However, Z just increased the force, and made it impossible for him to move.
“He’s the culprit! I’ll kill him!”
Z wrapped Duan FeiZhou into his arms, and whispered in his ear, “Stop. Are you going to bring yourself down to his level?”
Duan FeiZhou had never been so angry. It was because of this murderous father and son that such a wonderful girl had left this world, and Z still stopped him from killing those two animals. Why was it that the world was always free for the wicked while the good suffered? Why did justice always come late when lives were irrevocably lost?
Dr. Stone gazed at Z and seemed to think he was a better speaker than Duan FeiZhou. He was the elite detective of Scotland Yard, and therefore more calm and sensible. If one begged him for mercy, it was possible that he would open his net.
“Mr. Detective, please be merciful!” He hobbled to Z on his knees, hugged Z’s leg and shook it hard. “Alexander is my only family! My only child! Please understand my feelings as a father! If you want to arrest me, please arrest me! Take me back to London and put me on trial as the real killer of the serial murders! Since someone has to take the blame, let me do it!”
Z was full of disgust, and kicked Dr. Stone away. “And then let your son continue to kill people?”
Duan FeiZhou said angrily, “You’re asking us to be considerate of you? Then why don’t you be considerate of Ruth’s parents? You’re hurting from losing your son, but aren’t they hurting from losing their daughter?”
Dr. Stone wailed, “I’ll compensate them! I’ll also contact a mental health facility that has a way of quieting the most violent lunatics. They say that by removing a part of his brain, he can become calm and docile, like a good little lamb! I’ve saved enough for Alexander to be cared for there for the rest of his life. Please, spare him. I’ll do it…I’ll take the blame for him…”
Dr. Stone was in tears. Duan FeiZhou remembered him as a man who always looked down on the poor, on the toiling people, and on the black doctors who gave aid to the poor without a license to practice medicine. Had he ever pleaded with anyone in such a lowly manner? For the sake of his son, he put aside his dignity.
He really loved his son. However, it was this love that turned Alexander Stone into what he was now.
If he hadn’t coddled his son so much, Alexander Stone wouldn’t have become a playboy who raised a pack of vicious dogs. If he didn’t love his son so much, he wouldn’t have thought of using such an evil method to ‘cure’ his son’s injuries, so that his son fused with vicious dogs, and turned into an uncompromising monster.
–Love, how many sins are in your name!
“I’m a police officer. I can’t know the law and break it.” Z’s tone was cold. “I’m taking both of you back to London to be tried.”
Dr. Stone realized that no matter how much he pleaded, the two men would be as unmoved as cold marble. He simply gave up and recklessly jumped on Alexander, ripping the handcuffs off.
“Run, boy! I’ll stop them, you run! Run as fast as you can, as far as you can! Don’t ever come back…”
Alexander Stone let out a hiss that no one understood, and then bit Dr. Stone’s throat. Z and Duan FeiZhou had no time to stop it. His mutated canine teeth pierced skin, arteries, and the trachea, while blood spurted out like a gushing fountain.
Alexander Stone burst into laughter, as he gulped down his father’s blood like a thirsty traveler who had seen fresh water. Dr. Stone covered the wound on his throat, as he tried helplessly to stop the bleeding, but there was no way back. He stared at his son in disbelief, as if he were looking at a stranger.
It was not until the last moment of his life that it dawned on him that he had never understood what kind of man his son was.
“We can’t let him die!” Z shouted.
Duan FeiZhou immediately jumped on Dr. Stone, and tried to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, it was too late. Dr. Stone opened his mouth to say something, but the blood blocked his airway and he couldn’t speak.
Suddenly, Alexander Stone jumped up. He bit off his thumb, and struggled with both hands to get the handcuffs off. He laughed wildly and jumped into the sewer.
Z chased after him without a second thought.
How tragic, yet it’s hard to sympathise with such unpleasant characters.
Take care, Z!
Thanks for translating, fir the T/N and editing.
I was not expecting the end! The chase is on!
Thank you for the chapter!