Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There was an island that was located just offshore of Quliang City in the Tongjiang Province. This island could be found at the junction of the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
In the early War of Liberation period, the naval forces were stationed here. The army officers and soldiers named the island Yongjin Island, which was a name that meant that the soldiers would never retreat.
With the passage of time, the local residents gradually confused the original meaning of the island’s name. So, today, this unmanned island far away from land has been gradually forgotten by most people, and no one was investigating it anymore.
Above the vast sea, the wind rushed and the waves rolled. It was just before dawn, and the sun shone faintly from the distant sea level. It had not yet illuminated the whole sea surface.
At that moment, a white arc appeared in the distance. This was what the local people often called the “daybreak white.”
On the south side of the island, near the seashore, there was a flat stretch of ground. Suddenly, a woman’s faint moan came from there, “Oh…”
The woman’s name was Li Qian. She was an actress who had come to Yongjin Island with a film crew more than a dozen days ago. She was the lead actress in their production.
“Oh…” Li Qian felt dizzy, and she looked like she was drunk.
Although Li Qian was the lead actress, she was not famous. The film crew was just a group of unknown actors like her.
Sometimes, she had to be drinking partners with some directors and investors just to get a role! Every time she did that, she would become completely drunk, so she was very familiar with this drunk feeling.
However, she could vaguely remember that she had been filming on the island these past few days, and during that time, she did not drink at all. Last night, she just went to bed a little later than usual. So, she had to wonder…
What’s wrong with me? This headache…
“Oh…” In her confusion, Li Qian wanted to stretch out and feel her forehead. However, when she stretched out her arms, she found that her arms were bound by something and could not move at all!
“Huh?” Suddenly, an instinctive fear arose in her heart, and she struggled again, but still could not move.
Then, she suddenly felt shaken and weightless, as if she was not lying in bed, but was suspended in the air!
Gripped by fear, she finally opened her eyes! The first thing she saw was a faint fire that was not far from her feet. The fire was used by the camera crew for heating their quarters. The fire almost went out, and there was nobody around.
But… Why is the fire under my feet?
“Oh… Ah! Ah!” Suddenly, Li Qian was horrified to find that she was standing on a tall thing, and not only were her arms tied behind her back, but there was also a frighteningly thick hemp rope around her neck!
“Ah!” In horror, she did not stand firm, but suddenly tilted her body and almost kicked over the thing that was under her feet! Suddenly, she felt her throat tighten so fiercely that she could hardly breathe.
Li Qian shuddered with fear and quickly stood on tiptoes, trying to regain her balance. Although she couldn’t see clearly what was under her feet, she could guess that it was the folding ladder that was used by the camera crew!
“Ah…” At that moment, Li Qian suddenly sobered up and realized that someone had not only tied her hands and neck, but that they had also suspended her up in the air.
Someone wanted to hang her! If the ladder that was under her feet turned over, she would be strangled by the rope!
“Ah… Ah… ” Li Qian dared not to move even half a step. She tried to call for help, “Hello… Help… Help… Is anyone here?”
However, after she shouted several times, the entire island remained silent and unresponsive.
“No, no, no…” As Li Qian trembled with fear, tears streamed down her face.
After a few minutes, she began to raise her voice once more, “Hello! Is anyone here? I beg you, don’t play with me!”
Just as Li Qian shouted, a cold breeze suddenly blew in from the sea. Li Qian found that, on her right side, a black shadow was swaying with the wind.
She turned her head, and to her surprise, there was a dead human body not two meters away from her right hand! The body appeared to have been hanging there for a long time!
“Ah…” Her cry resounded across the island, but got no response at all. Not even an echo was heard.
10 a.m. Shun Feng Street, Qinshan City.
“Ah…” Zhao Yu yawned as he lazily put his luggage in the trunk of his Land Rover. The trunk was quite big, so even after the luggage was all placed within it, there was still a lot of space left.
His dog Daheng, which he also called Tycoon, barked a few times. As it wagged its tail playfully at Zhao Yu’s feet, its eyes begged Zhao Yu not to leave.
“Stop that!” Zhao Yu patted the dog’s head and said, “Since you annoyed my mom, I now have to take you with me.”
“Master!” Ran Tao suddenly popped his head out of the rear seat. “Is that okay? We’re going to investigate the case, so should you be bringing such a big dog along? Can the dog help us solve the case?”
Hearing Ran Tao’s concerns, Zeng Ke and Wu Xiumin could not help but laugh.
“Oh, don’t underestimate the pup!” Zhao Yu pointed to the dog and said, “This fellow has helped me solve many cases. Do you remember the bank corpse case that I told you about? If it hadn’t helped me find fresh… Um… ”
Zhao Yu hesitated, trying to find a better way to say the word “sh*t,” but before he could, Ran Tao asked, “Fresh what?”
“Fresh footprints!” Zhao Yu found better words quickly.
“Your dog is so good!” Wu Xiumin laughed from inside of the car. “Other dogs smell things, but your dog can even recognize footprints!”
“It’s wasn’t quite footprints… Anyway… I can’t leave it at home!” Zhao Yu said reluctantly.
Tycoon barked as if it could understand his words.
Wu Xiumin pouted. “Team leader, aren’t you afraid that this dog will harm us?”
“Hey! Dogs are like their owners! The dog is fierce, and so is our team leader! Um…” Ran Tao was frightened by Zhao Yu’s ferocious eyes, so he quickly shut up and got into the car.
Tycoon was afraid of Zhao Yu, too. When Zhao Yu raised his eyebrows, it jumped into the trunk obediently.
The Beiqian area where the Devil Case took place was adjacent to the Longxi Province, and was only 400 kilometers away from Qinshan. As such, Zhao Yu thought it would be more convenient to drive. Besides, he had to take Tycoon with him, so he couldn’t take any other means of transportation.
After the car started, Ran Tao kept talking from the back seat. Once the car got on the expressway, he couldn’t help but ask, “Team leader, when I was a child, I read about the Devil Case in the newspaper! I remember that witnesses claimed to have seen ghosts from the scene of the deceased’s suicides. Do you think that this is how the name ‘Devil Case’ came to be?”
“Not again!” Wu Xiumin seized the opportunity to make fun of Ran Tao and asked, “Did you read the newspaper in your dreams? Ghosts? Haha!”
“Um… You…” As Ran Tao was looking for some clever words to respond, Zhao Yu’s mobile phone suddenly rang.
After he had returned from New Zealand, for the sake of safety, the Criminal Division had specially ordered him a cell phone with a better confidentiality function. The new cell phone number was unknown to anyone except the Criminal Division.
“Hello…” Zhao Yu answered. The call was from Chen Zhuo, the liaison officer.
As he was driving, Zhao Yu had answered with his Bluetooth device. After listening to Chen Zhuo’s hurried and nonstop words for a long time, Zhao Yu asked him with some confusion, “Chen Zhuo, what does ‘And Then There Were None’ mean? Can you say something that I can actually understand?”
Suddenly, Zhao Yu was stunned as he repeated what Chen Zhuo had just relayed to him over the phone, “You mean… On a small island… A large group of people suddenly died? And… They make movies?”