“How is this possible?” Upon hearing the news from Director Ba, Deputy Bureau Director Zhang collapsed on the table.
As he was the Golden City Deputy Bureau Director, who was in charge of all criminal investigations, he couldn’t possibly keep calm in the face of such a big case! Moreover, if Han Kuan’s statement was indeed true, it meant that the police had made numerous mistakes in dealing with the previous three cases. For this, he would surely bear the brunt of the blame!
Miao Ying felt that the smartest person in the Golden Police Station was the logistical director, so she asked him directly, “Director Ba, you heard what I said just now, so tell me, besides this newly discovered body, where were the other victims’ corpses found?”
Director Ba regretfully answered her, “I just checked, and all of them were cremated!”
Miao Ying shook her head, clearly dissatisfied with the work of the Golden City police force. However, Zhao Yu appeared to be calm.
He knew that it was not the time to play the blame game, as finding more clues was the most pressing matter. So, he waved to Director Ba, signaling for him to leave the interrogation room.
Han Kuan looked sad as he said, “It seems that I’m right. I can still vaguely recall that, in the novel, the murderer killed about a person a month! Every one of the murders was meticulously planned, and the killer always made the murder scene look like a suicide.”
Han Kuan then hesitated before he said, “Because the man who was frozen to death was found not too long ago, we can assume that the murderer will not strike again for about a month. That’s why I wanted to ask Officer Zhao to help me clear my name during this time!”
He then continued, clearly distraught, “I know it’s my fault that I didn’t report all of this earlier, but believe me, I was not completely sure that I was right until the frozen body showed up!”
Han Kuan then pleaded, “Officer Zhao, you can rest assured that, although my novel’s original handwritten manuscripts were lost, I can still recall a majority of the plot. That means that I can help you find the murderer!”
Zhao Yu remained silent as carefully analyzed the case. It seemed to him that Han Kuan really was not lying. It appeared that a serial killer, who was killing people according to the plot of his novel, really existed!
That was to say, they needed to investigate two cases at the same time in the Golden City. The first one was Han Kuan’s wife’s case, and the other was the fictional murder cases related to the plot in 11 Kills.
Zhao Yu wondered… In addition to the novel’s plot, did the two cases have any other connection?
After thinking of this, Zhao Yu asked, “Han Kuan, did you ever think that your wife’s death could also be related to your novel? Are there any similar plots in your book?”
“No…” Han Kuan said firmly. “Ever since I was thrown in jail, I have constantly been analyzing my wife’s case. I’ve never written a story like this before! Moreover, I am not really a social person, and since I don’t often interact with others, I can’t imagine that I have offended anyone! I really can’t figure it out who would frame me! It just makes no sense. Why would this person kill my wife?”
“So, you’re saying that you think that your wife’s death has nothing to do with the serial killer?” Zhao Yu asked for clarification.
“Well… It’s hard to say…” Han Kuan frowned. “God knows who the serial killer is! He must be a madman! So… Maybe he also killed my wife!”
“Oh… So… You think that the two cases are one killer’s work?” Miao Ying asked. “So… If we catch the serial killer, then you think that we can prove your innocence?”
“Yes… At least… It is possible.” Han Kuan seemed unsure.
“Then, why didn’t you tell the police about this earlier?” Wu Xiumin crossed her arms and scoffed at him. “That was not smart!”
“Alright, tell me how you lost that book’s manuscripts again,” Zhao Yu said. “After all, if we can just find out who took the book, the case will be solved!”
“Yes!” Han Kuan agreed. “My parents kept all of my manuscripts at their flat in a small box. The box has been in their basement for many years, and nobody ever really paid any attention to them!”
Han Kuan continued, “So… I really don’t know when exactly 11 Kills went missing. Not long ago, when I first discovered that the box missing, I asked my parents about it. However, they had no idea that it had even been taken!!”
“Well… Sometimes, especially when people get old, they start to forget things. Would it be possible that they confused the box with garbage?” Zhao Yu asked.
“No!” Han Kuan said with certainty, “My mother is a very careful person. Moreover, she is especially careful with my stuff. Also, she never makes mistakes! Although my father is a little careless, he never deals with anything related to domestic household things. So, it wouldn’t be them!’
“Um… So… Could it have been stolen by someone?” Zhao Yu asked again.
Han Kuan seemed to still find this hard to believe. “I still just don’t understand… Why would someone steal my manuscripts of all things? They aren’t worth any money, as if they were, I certainly wouldn’t leave them in my parents’ basement!”
“This is all very strange!” Zhao Yu said. “Can you at least give me a rough estimate of the time that your manuscripts were lost?”
“Well… That may prove difficult, as my parents have lived in that building for decades!” Han Kuan said. “The manuscripts have been there in their basement ever since my wife and I got married!”
“In that case…” Zhao Yu shook his head and said, “We might have to set aside that lead for now and take a look at solving this case from a different angle.”
After that, Zhao Yu turned to Wu Xiumin and said, “Xiumin, have him write down everything that he remembers about the plotline of his novel… The more detailed the better!”
Wu Xiumin nodded and agreed.
Zhao Yu then snapped his fingers and looked at Miao Ying before the two of them immediately turned and walked out of the interrogation room together. Deputy Bureau Chief Zhang soon hurried out to follow them.
As they walked, Zhao Yu said to Miao Ying with a laugh, “Meow, you’ve just become our deputy group leader, and already you’ve been faced with such a difficult case! So, what do you think of it all?”
“I really haven’t been so excited about a case for a long time!” Miao Ying was smiling. “Right now, my instincts tell me that I should go to the Golden City Police Station to look at the latest victim’s corpse!”
Zhao Yu laughed at her eagerness, then said, “You really need to think twice about that strategy! After all, don’t you think that Han Kuan’s case is more pressing to solve at the moment?”
“Oh… You think so?” Miao Ying laughed. “To tell you the truth, I actually do kind of miss the old days, when we competed with each other in the Rongyang Branch!”
Zhao Yu laughed and said, “Yes, but it’s a pity… You haven’t beaten me once!”
“Humph! You sure are a big talker! In that case…” Miao Ying reached out her forefinger and pointed it at Zhao Yu as she said, “Let’s compete again! After all, opportunities to do so don’t come around often!”
“Good…” Zhao Yu pointed back at her as he said, “I’ll take Wu Xiumin… You can have Ran Tao and Cui Lizhu. Zeng Ke will have to find a place to store his equipment, so that we can share access to him and his findings. That way, we can share our resources, but we still need to have a clear division of labor. How about that?”
“Deal!” Miao Ying’s eyes shone with excitement as she reached out a crooked pinky to makes a pinky promise with Zhao Yu.