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The King of Detectives

7

The Decision to Join the Case Investigation

29

Han Yun, who had just stood up, saw the white card with the number '3' on it on the table. He sat back down and looked at Su Mo, asking, "You received a card too?"


"Not me, but a friend of mine," Su Mo explained, frowning slightly. "Dong Xing was murdered three days after receiving the card. While I don't know the exact time Bai Jing received his card, I suspect it was also three days before his death. That's why I crashed the press conference to bring this to your attention."


"Why didn't you give the cards to the police?" Han Yun asked.


"It's not that I don't trust the police's ability to solve the case, but I think it might be faster if you personally take over the investigation. Of course, I also decided to meet you early this morning. If you don't agree to join the case, I'll go to the police station as soon as I leave this cafe," Su Mo confessed. "She was given the card, so she's probably being targeted, and the police can't protect my friend indefinitely. If the killer is caught during this time, then it's fine, but if the killer remains at large..."


Han Yun reached out and took the white card, flipping it over a few times. The card was made of a hard material but had nothing special about it. There were no patterns, and the number was written in regular ballpoint pen. "What's the name of your friend? Where is she now? When did she receive this card?"


"My friend received the card yesterday afternoon. I was at her place when someone rang the doorbell. When she opened the door, she didn't see anyone outside. After coming back in, she found the card by the door. She's a freelancer who runs a public WeChat account, writing articles and whatnot. She's not really interested in current affairs, so she didn't know what the card meant. She thought it was a prank by some kids in the neighborhood. Luckily, I was there with her.


"Since Dong Xing's death, I've been following this case closely and have gathered some firsthand information. I plan to organize it and publish it as soon as the case is closed. The photos of the body found in the suitcase and the two cards found in the victims' bodies are things I got earlier. So, when I saw my friend received a card too, I felt a chill down my spine.


After my friend received the card, I immediately went to the security room in her neighborhood to check the surveillance footage. However, it was noon, so there were students getting out of school, delivery people, and couriers coming and going. I didn't see anyone suspicious," Su Mo said, pulling out a video clip from her phone. "I recorded the surveillance footage from that time period. Oh, by the way, my friend's last name is Wang, and her first name is Lu. After she received the card, I thought her rented apartment was no longer safe, so I took her to my place."


Han Yun took the phone and looked at the surveillance footage. It was the footage from the neighborhood entrance yesterday afternoon. There were many people coming and going during this time, most of them children.


"Wang Lu and I were classmates in college. After graduation, she also worked as a journalist for a while before quitting her job to run her own WeChat account in recent years. We've always been good friends. So, after thinking about it for a long time yesterday afternoon, I happened to see on Weibo that you were going to attend the 'King of Detectives' press conference, so I pretended to be an entertainment reporter. I had been following you when you were on the 'Ultimate Brain' show, and later when you were hired by the police as a 'Case Consultant'. I was also involved in some of the cases you worked on, but you probably don't remember.


While sipping her coffee, Su Mo said, "If we follow the pattern of Dong Xing being murdered three days after receiving the card, then today is the second day since Wang Lu received the card."


"Dong Xing's murder on the third day after receiving the card may be just a coincidence. The intention of the card might be to warn the victims that they are being targeted, and of course, to tell the police that these people were killed by ""me"". I believe that Bai Jing may not have been murdered three days after receiving the card. It is even possible that he received the card earlier than Dong Xing.


"Another function of the card is to mislead the police. Serial killers often leave clues at crime scenes that are irrelevant but can mislead the direction of the police investigation," Han Yun said, staring at the surveillance footage on Su Mo's phone. "


"I asked Wang Lu if she knew Dong Xing and Bai Jing, and she said no. As you said, they have different occupations and don't have much in common, so it's unlikely that they have mutual acquaintances. Could the killer be a random murderer?" Su Mo speculated.


"Based on the previous two cases, it doesn't seem like random killings. It's more like premeditated murder," Han Yun said. He paused the video on his phone, held it up to Su Mo, and pointed at a child in the video, saying, "This child went in and out twice in half an hour, and both times he had a backpack on."


"You mean the card was delivered to Wang Lu by this child?" Su Mo asked, surprised.


"The first time he entered the neighborhood and the time he left were only seven minutes apart. But there was a twenty-minute gap between the second time he left and the third time he entered... and he was carrying a bag of snacks," Han Yun said, stretching. "Someone must have paid him to do it."


"So, this kid has seen the killer?" Su Mo said, staring at the child on the surveillance footage.


"Think about it. The killer wouldn't let the kid see their real face. That would make them a pretty unprofessional killer," Han Yun said, shrugging his shoulders and standing up. "We won't solve the case just sitting here."


Hearing Han Yun say this, Su Mo quickly grabbed her bag and stood up. "So, are you saying you agree to personally investigate this case?"


"The case is with the Serious Crimes Unit. I heard their leader is a tough nut to crack," Han Yun said as he walked away from the table and towards the front desk.


"With your 'Case Consultant' title, what do you have to worry about?" Su Mo blocked Han Yun's way and pulled out her phone to scan the QR code. "I'll handle the bill."


"I can't take credit for what I haven't done." Han Yun took out the money for his coffee from his pocket and placed it directly on the counter before turning and walking out.


After leaving the coffee shop, Su Mo chased after him. "So, where are we going now? The police station?"


"Let's go to the first crime scene where Dong Xing was murdered," Han Yun stopped and looked back at Su Mo. "You know where it is, right?"


"Of course, I'll go with you." Su Mo took out her car keys and walked over to a red BYD.


Han Yun got into the car, and the two of them drove in silence for thirty minutes to a remote old residential area. This area was surrounded by old buildings, some of which had large red characters saying "Demolition" written on them.


Su Mo parked the car in front of one of the buildings and pointed to the front, saying, "That's the building."


They got out of the car and walked over. Han Yun stood in front of your unit door, looked around, and then walked in. On the second floor, the door to the crime scene was open. A police officer was standing by the door. When he saw the two of them, he was quite surprised. He stepped forward and said to Han Yun, "You... you are that... Han..."


"I want to see the crime scene," Han Yun interrupted the officer, taking out his 'Case Consultant' badge from his pocket, which was issued by the police station.

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