Chapter 38 – Aid #2
Tae-hyuk first needed to check the crime scene to know his opponent.
‘The cop… cop…’
Kang-suk’s address book contained almost 800 people. Despite his appearance, Kang-suk was a meticulous person. Therefore, his contacts were organized by category.
“A total of 19 people.”
It was more than he thought. First, he had to find out who was protecting the entrance to the bathroom.
‘I would be nice if he had a badge with a name on it. Do I need to check them all?’
Tae-hyuk called the cops in Kang-suk’s contacts.
-Who is it?
“Is this Hae-un’s phone?”
“Ah… I’m really sorry.”
Tae-hyuk repeated the same thing 10 times before he found the right cop. As the phone signal rang, the phone of the cop in front of him started ringing.
‘He is Kim Jong-wook!’
Tae-hyuk imitated Cho Kang-suk’s voice using Voice Modulation.
“Kim Jong-wook? It’s me, Detective Cho Kang-suk.”
–Eh! Detective Cho Kang-suk! What is going on?
Tae-hyuk inwardly cheered.
‘Indeed, a cop should know the police officers in charge of this case.’
“I think I left my phone behind while investigating the crime scene, can you take a look at the counter?”
-Yes, I understand. I will do so straight away!
Kim Jong-wook followed Cho Kang-suk’s instructions and disappeared in the direction of the bathroom.
He was holding a flashlight. It looked good from a distance.
‘Then, let’s go!’
Tae-hyuk avoided the cops’ eyes as much as possible as he stealthily crept up to the crime scene.
‘By the way, their salaries… What about their pensions?’
He moved on to thinking about happy things for Ha-ran’s future. The bathroom where the murder took place had crime scene tape all around the entrance.
He was wearing a leather jacket and skinny jeans, with an iron pipe in one hand. He had the perfect appearance of a criminal.
Once the ‘Violence’ skill was activated, his physical abilities increased according to his physical stats. He couldn’t help but wonder what would happen.
“Uh, I don’t want to be arrested as the criminal right now.”
Despite having little to no knowledge of criminal profiling, Seo Tae-hyuk knew one fact.
It was something frequently covered in crime novels and movies: a criminal always goes back to the scene of the crime! This was why the police were stationed at where the second murder took place. Therefore, he had to hide if he didn’t want any unusual misunderstandings to take place.
Tae-hyuk looked at the iron pipe that he was holding.
“Well, hopefully I won’t have to use this.”
The body was found was in the women’s bathroom. There was a strange atmosphere, due to it being a place where a person had died. The evidence collected by the police left a dust trail.
However, according to the blacklist, there was definitely one thing remaining.
The bathroom was empty of water. Instead, the shape of a person crouching down was drawn with a white spray.
Tae-hyuk felt goosebumps as he saw it. Three weeks ago, someone had died in the exact same position as the picture.
Tae-hyuk took out a notebook from his pocket and used the Forgery skill to draw the crime scene as a reference. At that moment, a strange illusion emerged in front of Tae-hyuk’s eyes.
“Ugh… W-what? Aaaaack!”
There was a naked woman with her arms tied behind her back, her body was trapped in a bathtub full of water. Her neck was tied up, and she couldn’t move her head. Still, she was able to breathe due to the long tube in her mouth. And the tube…
Tae-hyuk started breathing roughly. He couldn’t even understand what he had just seen. He had just used the Forgery skill, so why did that image appear?
Tae-hyuk pulled out the Demon Revealing Mirror.
[The Forgery skill has found an intense image.]
[The work has been completed through automatic mode.]
Tae-hyuk looked at his notebook, as if he was enchanted by something.
There was a picture of a dying woman that had been created by the Forgery skill in less than a minute. The picture was drawn with a pen, and yet it seemed so real.
At that moment, Tae-hyuk bent over as he felt some nausea. Fortunately, he hadn’t eaten dinner yet. He just felt a little sick.
Tae-hyuk knew extrasensory perceptions were similar to this.
“It was psychometry…”
The ability to see images from objects and places. The Forgery skill was similar to that.
However, he couldn’t rejoice. The image of the person dying was intensely burnt into Tae-hyuk’s brain. It seemed like the scene would emerge every time he closed his eyes, like a curse.
Tae-hyuk bit his lip.
He had come here to confirm if the killer was truly the ‘hippo.’ It wasn’t to see a woman dying.
This had happened almost one month ago, he wouldn’t be found right now.
‘… First of all, let’s finish up here.’
Tae-hyuk shook his head to forget the scene he just saw. He entered the bathroom. If the killer was truly the hippo, then it had to be here.
Tae-hyuk leaned down towards the floor. He started to carefully search it. Sometimes there was a white powder visible in the water. It was creepy, but he licked it.
It was salt.
No matter how good the police were, it wasn’t easy to find it mixed in with the water.
“The murder tool is salt water…”
Tae-hyuk was reminded of that person.
“… The hippo.”
Originally, he was a serial killer who would start his activities in three months. He was one of the worst five criminals in Tae-hyuk’s blacklist. He had awakened earlier than scheduled.
Tae-hyuk then had a sudden realization: he was currently the only one in the country who knew the Hippo’s identity.
Cho Kang-suk looked at his watch with an anxious expression. 15 minutes had passed since the promised meeting time.
“This is why punctuality is a problem in Korea!”
He pulled out his phone and checked the message that had arrived 30 minutes ago.
–Sunbae. I am leaving now. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.
“That was more than 10 minutes ago.”
Kang-suk finished his lukewarm coffee and went to the counter to get a refill.Thanks to his younger brother, he realized that this cafe was a very good place for meeting people. He had been using it often since then.
Kang-suk took out the envelop that Tae-hyuk gave him as a gift. It was a planetarium admission ticket that was available for one month. On the back was the phone number of a French restaurant with a good atmosphere. It meant to eat here after seeing the stars.
Kang-suk couldn’t help laughing after seeing it.
“Who wouldn’t want to go? If only I didn’t have to catch this criminal.”
Kang-suk said and put the tickets back in his pocket.
Who knows? Maybe the serial killer would suddenly be arrested and he could go out with Ha-ran.
“There is time left. If I send a message to Ha-ran… But what if I am an annoyance? Ohh…
Kang-suk grabbed his head as his body trembled.
The other guests at the cafe started looking at him.
–Ah, doesn’t he look like a gangster?
–Looking at his phone and then trembling… Don’t tell me?’
-Shhh! Be quiet! He will hear!
Kang-suk laughed. Today, he had come to meet a guest. Therefore, he was wearing a suit that didn’t fit him well. He had a large muscular body and was over 180cm tall. He had dark sunglasses. At first glance, it was natural for others to misinterpret his strength.
Then the man sitting near Kang-suk spoke.
“Excuse me, excuse me… Cho Kang-suk hyung-nim?”
Cho Kang-suk looked at the person.
The man was wearing casual attire and had glasses.
“Oh, sorry for introducing myself so late. I am Shin Se-ho, a PD at ABS Station.”
Shin Se-ho pulled out a business card from his wallet.
“You are a new PD.”
“Haha. You don’t need to emphasize it. I’m familiar with you. Detective Cho is very famous among my colleagues. The detective who caught Yoo Cheol-ho. This meeting was due to chance. Then can I hear the story about that time?”
Cho Kang-suk clicked his tongue. What chance? He knew the PD had been following him for a few days. Shin Se-ho seated himself in front of Cho Kang-suk.
Kang-suk knew why the PD was following him.
He smelt the hippo case.
“I’m sorry, but today I came to meet a junior, not to work. If you want an interview then please fill out the official forms.”
“Aish, don’t be like that. Anyway, I’m here as a customer. So I will just drink hot chocolate from the sidelines.”
Kang-suk noticed the microphone in Shin Se-ho’s pocket.
He suddenly felt fatigued. It was hard to fight crime. Now he had to pay attention to the media as well.
Kang-suk whipped his hand like he was killing a mosquito.
He would receive media persecution if he tried to kick the reporter out of here. He needed to be careful.
“Well, do whatever you want.”
“Haha. Yes. I understand.”
Then the door opened and someone entered the cafe. The person was a little taller than Kang-suk, with an intellectual air about him. He was wearing a Rolex watch and an Armani suit. A BMW key was hanging from his fingers.
Cho Kang-suk clicked his tongue. He was wearing at least 20 million won, and had their air of a rich person.
“Joo Hyun-ho! Over here!”
“Uh, Sunbae. Aren’t I a little bit late? I’m sorry.”
“What is a little bit? I refilled my coffee five times while waiting.”
“Aish. I was only a few minutes late. There was nowhere to park.”
Joo Hyun-ho smiled and sat down in front of Kang-suk.
Joo Hyun-ho had the appearance of a celebrity in a high class suit so the eyes of the females sitting nearby started to light up.
They wanted to talk to him but stopped themselves when they saw Kang-suk sitting opposite him.
Joo Hyun-ho was a junior from Kang-suk’s university days. He majored in criminal psychology and worked in the criminal behaviour analysis team.
The so-called profiler. In this field, he was one of the three most influential profilers in the country.
Kang-suk muttered in a small voice.
“There is a reporter next to me, so speak softly. I know that you are busy with a lot of cases right now. There is a crime scene that I want you to look at.”
“You know that I don’t handle straight murders.”
He would only take the cases that attracted his interest.
Kang-suk hit him on the head.
“Hey. This is a mystery that we have no clue about. Be serious. Just listen to me. I didn’t want to call you. But he is a completely crazy guy.”
Hyun-ho’s eyes shone.
He was a man who became a profiler because he liked things like this.