The heart was supposed to be on the left hand side of the human chest. There were only a handful of people who had their heart on the right side.
Only a close acquaintance of the victim would know such personal information.
Kieran turned his attention to the door lock. There was no sign of forced entry.
The athlete's house had had traces of the door being pried open.
"Did the Heart Taker start to target close acquaintances? Or had his original target been the acquaintance and the previous murders had been just to throw off the police? Or could this be just a crude imitator?"
Kieran supported his chin on his left hand, thinking deep about the case and coming up with a wild guess. No doubt he would need more evidence to support his theory.
For now though, he had an easier way to confirm it.
His used [Tracking] to carefully go over the footprints inside and outside the house.
There were all kinds of footprints on the floor, most of them from the officers or forensics experts present at the crime scene. Kieran could easily identify the owner of each set of footprints.
Who had arrived at the scene, but disappeared? The killer.
All other footprints appeared at the scene more than once.
Through his [Tracking], Kieran noted two types of saturation on the footprints.
The brighter ones had been made in the past few hours and all stopped near the victim.
The dimmest one had been made a couple of days ago.
After comparing the footprints, Kieran turned to Schmidt. "Give me a pen and paper!" he said.
"Give the man what he wants!" Schmidt ordered one of his officers.
Kieran quickly drew the footprint according to size.
After three minutes, a perfect footprint was on the paper. Even the patterns beneath the shoe were clear.
Meanwhile, the police officer who had been sent to grab the labeled map had come back to the house.
Although Kieran might be overthinking, he still took the map from the officer and looked at it carefully.
The locations were all random. Neither his common sense nor his [Mystical Knowledge] could find any connection between them.
Kieran folded the map up and handed it to Schmidt along with the drawing of the footprint.
"Ive discovered something about the case," Kieran said slowly.
"What?" Schmidt was startled.
"Lets put it this way. I think the previous four cases were just a cover-up for the fifth one. The suspect led the police to a dead end and covered his tracks very well. No one would ever suspect him. Of course, there is also a possibility that this particular case was just a crude imitation of the previous ones. The only clue I can give is that the killer is someone who knew the victim very well. This paper has his footprint on it. All you need to do is track down the guy, and you will find out what happened. Oh, before I forget. If it isnt an imitator, the killer should be quite strong and good at using daggers and short knives. Better be careful if you find him," Kieran told Schmidt.
"Find out who this print belongs to!"
Schmidt handed the paper over to his men as he walked out of the premises.
"Yes, sir!" the officers replied in union.
Kieran was left behind with the officers on duty plus a couple of forensics experts.
The landlord was also taken away to give a statement.
Kieran started to look around at the footprints.
Obviously, no one there could take him back to 1st Black Street.
Kieran just shrugged and walked out of the house.
He took a cab and was back at Nikoreis place after an hour.
He pushed opened the door after paying the driver.
Knowing that he would enter the same universe as [Prison on the Island], Kieran had fully prepared himself for [The Shamans Partner].
Not only had he bought weapons and equipment, but also some daily supplies.
Thanks to [The Failed Great Detective], Kieran had gotten his hands on a lot of attributeless gemstones.
Although they were useless for embedding, they could still be traded for currency in the dungeon.
The system might not provide a specific currency exchange, but if a player had their own trading channels, they faced no problems.
Fortunately, there were a lot of jewellery stores in the city of that dungeon.
"Welcome back!" Ferad the spirit butler had written on a piece of paper.
"Thanks!" Kieran nodded with a smile before heading to Nikoreis study.
He had not forgotten that everything in the study was available to him.
The shaman's collection of books was crucial, as he needed upgrade his [Mystical Knowledge] urgently.
He might not get a direct leveling hint from the books, or even find a Skill Book among them, but surely they had to contain related knowledge.
According to Kierans understanding of the skill, every single one of his skills in that particular field changed after a certain accumulation of knowledge.
He could not acquire a Skill Book directly, and it might take too long for him to accumulate enough knowledge to acquire a certain skill, but it was his only option.
He was not ready to throw away that option yet.
In fact, if it was not for Schmidts' sudden visit, Kieran would have already began his search for hidden books in the study.
He was also concerned about Ferad, who seemed like he could not communicate with words. Kieran guessed this might be because of his spirit form, but what had really caused it was a mystery to him. His [Mystical Knowledge] was still too low for him to know.
However, this made Kieran even more eager to read the books in the study.
When he opened the door, the first thing he saw was the alchemy carpet beneath his feet before he turned his attention to the bookshelves.
It was not that Kieran did not want to check out the carpet, but he knew what his priorities were.
Setting a goal to motivate himself had proven quite effective.
Most importantly, he was actually making progress in realizing his goal instead of having pointless thoughts.
Marching step by step towards his goal was far better than having dark thoughts.
Kieran knew this very well, so he put all his effort into reading.
The thick, bulky books were placed on a seven-shelf bookcase.
The bookcase had three sections, every section 1.5 meters wide and leaning against the wall.
Every single one of the books on the shelves seemed to be over a hundred years old.
The spines of the books had no titles on them. Only the bookshelves themselves were labeled.
"West Coast Paranormal Incident Collection (Pre-Er990)"
"Levels of Evil Demonic Spirits"
"Distribution of the Man Eater"
"The Peculiarity of a Night Walker"
Kierans eagerness faded as he read through all the labels slowly.
Being in a hurry to read the books certainly did not help.
"Ferad, could you please get me a cup of tea?" Kieran asked the spirit butler after taking a long breath.
Ferad bowed a little and disappeared into thin air.
Ten seconds later, a warm cup of freshly brewed tea appeared before Kieran.
Compared to Ferads mortal counterpart, his spirit form provided him with some unusual advantages.
After a nod of thanks to Ferad, Kieran picked the book closest to him off the bookshelf and started reading.
He had picked it at random. He had no particular need or order in which he needed to read.
Since Nikorei had made her whole collection available to him, it would be a let down to her goodwill if he did not read every single one of the books there.
After he finished reading "The Peculiarity of a Night Walker", a notification popped up.
[Research of Mystical Beings has slightly increased after reading a related book...]
The notification boosted Kierans spirits in a second.
It had just been a guess in the beginning, so when he saw the notification, he was very excited that it had worked and even more motivated to continue.
Kieran planned on staying in Nikoreis study the whole day, and even have lunch and dinner there.
He even planned on spending the night in the room.
However, as Ferad was preparing a pillow and blanket for him, Schmidt visited once again.
"Good evening, 2567! Sorry to drop in this late!"
Schmidt seemed like a different person compared to when he'd first visited during the day. He even apologized when he saw the pillow and blanket.
He was obviously apologizing because they'd caught the Heart Taker with Kierans help.
Otherwise, judging by his temper, he would have barged in with an angry face and scolded him instead.
Everything was unfolding according to Kierans theory.
"We arrested the Heart Taker! It was just like you said. The guy was only targeting the fifth victim. The first four had been just to throw us off. The killer was a butcher and an addicted gambler. He had some sort of conflict with the fifth victim because of gambling, and he was planning on selling the hearts to make more money to gamble!"
Schmidts face seemed a little odd when he mentioned selling the hearts.
"Selling a badly stabbed heart? Has technology advanced to selling damaged organs now?"
Kieran raised his eyebrow in question. His intuition told him that there was something fishy there.
"I dont know why either, but my men are interrogating him as we speak. Surely we will get something out of him. I am here for another case though."
Schmidt opened a file and handed it to Kieran.
The Murder of the Missing Link.
That was the title of the file.