At noon, the sunshine glimmered on the snow-covered ground. Although the sunshine made it seem like it should be warm, it felt still cold outside. Even after quite a long time had passed after it had fallen, the snow still did not show any signs of melting.
However, even in this cold winter weather, many people were bustling about outdoors. As he was sitting in the corner of a restaurant, Zhao Yu could see the crowds of people passing by in the streets and lanes.
Everywhere he looked, he saw people walking alongside one another, pushing small carts to sell goods, and talking amongst themselves in small groups. He even saw a few old men in military coats and cotton gloves, who were playing chess in a nearby park.
At the moment, Zhao Yu, Cui Lizhu, and Zeng Ke were having lunch, and they had just ordered several local specialties. Zhao Yu finished his meal quickly, then looked at his watch and told the other two, who had not finished yet, “I’m going to go do something by myself now!”
He then waved his hand and said, “You two just do as we planned. Zeng Ke will go back to the police station, while Cui will go to collect information. But… Remember to be careful! Call me if there’s anything that you can’t deal with! Oh… And Cui… I don’t think I need to remind you of that other thing one more time, right?”
Cui Lizhu nibbled at her meal as she replied playfully, “Okay. I hear you… We need to be serious… Oh! No… You mean that we need to be honest people! Haha! Rest assured, after what happened to my dad, I have learned my lesson about being honest!”
Zhao Yu nodded at her, then said. “Okay, as long as that is understood, then I will allow you to follow your own routine. If you can’t find any useful information from Han Kuan, then start to look for something regarding the novel murder case. After all, four people have died, so it’s impossible that people won’t have something to say about it!”
He then seemed to recall something, so he asked, “Oh yeah… Didn’t you say that you used to study here? Then… Go to your school and ask around!”
“But…” Cui Lizhu replied, “If I really find something, then Miss Miao won’t think you are the one helping her! At that time, she’ll make you suffer!”
“Screw you! Um… I mean… ” After his angry outburst, Zhao Yu saw that there were people nearby, so he stopped himself from really losing his temper, while he lowered his voice and scolded her, “Don’t talk nonsense! If you want to prove to me how capable you are, go and find some useful information for me!”
“Ha ha ha, rest assured, I will not let you down!” Cui Lizhu promised as she nodded at Zhao Yu. She had a wicked smile on her face and made not immediate moves, but just kept on eating!
Zhao Yu rolled his eyes, said a few more words to Zeng Ke, then opened the door and left. The reason why Zhao Yu had to go and handle his next piece of business alone was that the time for his side adventure was approaching.
Today’s side adventure would take place in the northern region of the Golden City, which was close to the highway. According to the electronic map, that area was called the Qiaobei District, and it was a relatively remote place.
Thus far, Zhao Yu had benefited greatly from his side adventures. In fact, at almost every critical moment of the investigation, the side adventure had provided him with some very helpful clues. Although these clues might have deviated slightly from the investigation’s main focus, they often brought him new and useful ideas.
Therefore, Zhao Yu was really looking forward to today’s side adventure. As he headed towards the location, he wondered… What clues will I find this time?
Zhao Yu hired a local taxi, and just as the car approached the destination, he suddenly realized something. He quickly turned on his phone to check the case information, which confirmed exactly what he had just guessed… The location of the side adventure and the place where the second victim in the novel-related case was killed were one and the same!
After he got out of the taxi, Zhao Yu looked around to find that he was at an unfinished construction site! According to the information that he had, this neighborhood was called the Qiaobei Home, and it was one of the high-profile residential areas that had been developed by the local government several years ago.
Due to economic constraints, there were very few high-profile residential areas in the Golden City. Therefore, this was the first trial run of the local government in building one.
However, because the original developer’s capital funding fell through, the construction project was taken on by several different developers. Then, due to mismanagement, the entire project was eventually abandoned.
For this reason, what existed here now was a mere skeleton of the original construction plan. In fact, most of the residential buildings in this district barely had roofs and windows.
Three months before the murder in Han Kuan’s personal case, the police had found a hanged victim in one of the residential buildings. It was the second victim in this serial case, at least according to the death order in Han Kuan’s 11 Kills.
As he looked at the half-constructed buildings, Zhao Yu could not help but wonder why the system had arranged for the side adventure to take place here. He thought…
If this is related to 11 Kills, why did it not take me to the first victim’s crime scene, or someone else’s? Why the second victim?
What’s more, the hexagram that he had opened today was a Gen Kan hexagram. The Kan portion represented a female.
He recalled that, in the current serial killer case, only the second victim was a woman. So, he wondered… Could the meaning of the Kan portion of the hexagram refer to this female victim?
As Zhao Yu looked at his watch, he saw that the side adventure was about to take place. As he did not want to miss it, he quickened his pace.
After the system had been upgraded, its calculation of the location, time, and altitude of the side adventures had all become much more precise. Thus, it did not take very long for Zhao Yu to find his destination.
He arrived at the first floor of an unfinished building. When he saw the security tape that had been left by the police, it only confirmed that today’s side adventure did indeed involve the young, female victim that was hanged. At the moment, he was at the exact spot where she was hanged!
This building had no doors and no windows. After Zhao Yu entered the building, leaving the strong sunlight, the lighting seemed quite dim in comparison.
The first floor was quite spacious. It had an elevator on its right side, while there was a staircase on the left side.
As he looked up, Zhao Yu could see that a cement beam was hanging from the roof in the middle of the hall. According to the crime scene report, it was from this cement beam that the young woman was hanged.
It was said that she threw the rope over the beam, then tied it tight with a few knots at the end. Next, she picked up some bricks from outside and piled them up to about half a meter in height. Finally, she stepped on the bricks, put the knotted portion of the rope around her neck, then kicked over the bricks and killed herself.
According to the autopsy report, her time of death was pronounced to be between two or three o’clock in the morning. Hence, it was not surprising that there had been no witnesses so far. In fact, if her body hadn’t been seen by a garbage man early in the morning, who knows how long it would have taken for the corpse to be found?
Zhao Yu looked through the records and found that the victim was named Hao Lili. She was a 28-year-old woman, who came from a village in the Golden County and who worked as a saleswoman in a hardware store.
As he looked at the photos, Zhao Yu could see that Hao Lili had a beautiful face and a slim figure. Moreover, when her body was found, she had been wearing the best and most expensive brands of clothing and accessories.
This was the only information that Zhao Yu had obtained so far. He had not yet obtained any detailed information about Hao Lili herself, at least regarding her personality and human relationships.
At this point, Zhao Yu was not sure why the police had immediately treated the case as a suicide. After all, based on what he had just gathered from the scene, as well as when he considered the identity of the victim, there were too many questionable points for this conclusion to hold water.
So, he had to wonder… How could they close the case so hastily?
As Zhao Yu was observing the crime scene, he suddenly heard a sound. At first, Zhao Yu was shocked. Then, he realized that the sound must have something to do with the side adventure!
With this in mind, he got really excited. In fact, he could not calm down, and he immediately took out his pistol and aimed it at the place where the sound came from.