Chapter 100 - Accomplice #1
“Sunbae, can you give me the newspaper clippings?”
Hyun-ho, who was organizing the materials at the investigation headquarters, called out to Kang-suk sitting on the other side. They were investigating all of the tracks of one man. The workload was much greater than he had thought. He hadn’t been able to go home for a few days since he returned from the Blue Dragon Prison.
It was the same with Kang-suk. He was writing a report that had to be handed in to his superiors in a few hours.
Hyun-ho received the report from Kang-suk and checked the necessary items before yawning and getting up.
"This is never ending... A genius investigator is doing paperwork. I should ask for more people from the chief.”
"The taste is gone. Let's go out and get a cup of coffee.”
Hyun-ho’s face brightened at the thought of taking a break. Kang-suk exited the investigation headquarters and walked to a vending machine in the hallway. Hyun-ho followed behind him. It was late so there was no one else in the hallway.
Kang-suk pulled out a 1,000 won bill from his pocket and asked.
"Today I am a sugar-type person. Sugar is required for my head to work.”
"Is that so? I am originally a coffee shop person.”
Kang-suk bought coffee with lots of sugar and cream. The two people talked to each other while drinking coffee with their backs against the wall.
"Isn’t it about time to receive the DNA results?”
“It should be coming by this evening or tomorrow. If that is a match then we should be able to get some support.”
Hyun-ho was waiting for the identity of the body found a few days ago. It was the only clue they got from solving Park Sung-yul’s puzzle. They needed to know who it was so that they could specify that Park Sung-yul was the culprit in this case.
At that moment, Kang-suk’s phone started ringing.
"It comes just as we are speaking about it.”
The phone screen showed brief results along with the autopsy from the coroner. Hyun-ho’s eyes shone.
“Are the results out?”
“Yes. There is a 98% probability that it is a family member of the boarding house landlord.”
“...Then now we can start a full-fledged investigation.”
It was clear that Park Sung-yul was involved in another murder.
Kang-suk gulped down the bit of coffee that was remaining. Then he squeezed the paper cup with his fist and threw it into the trash.
“Don’t we have something to do before that?”
Something to do before the investigation?
Hyun-ho looked at Kang-suk with confusion.
Park Sung-yul’s boarded house owner and Kim Ji-young’s mother burst out crying.
The National Institute of Scientific Investigation had finished their investigation into the corpse and had it cremated. The owner of the boarding house collapsed as her daughter returned after four years.
Hyun-ho said in a small voice to Kang-suk sitting next to him,
"I was too involved in the investigation and I forgot about the most important thing for a moment.”
Kang-suk stroked his head without saying anything. Hyun-ho was surprised and moved two meters away from Kang-suk.
"Hyah! S-Sunbae! Is this your taste?”
"...What are you saying? Do you want me to turn your head into a rock?”
Hyun-ho desperately waved his hands,
"I’m sorry to keep you waiting like this.”
Kang-suk pulled out a handkerchief and handed it to the boarding house owner.
She accepted it and spoke while wiping her tears.
"No, Detective-nim. I’m really grateful that Ji-young is home.”
"I don't know how long I’ve been searching. Travelling around the country and putting up missing flyers... Every day I go to a place that Ji-young would frequent... If you hadn’t found her...”
Kang-suk’s eyes turned red. It was the first time his heart was sore from hearing thank you.
"Now that you found her, I can have the funeral... I can send off my daughter.”
Kang-suk opened his mouth and said to the owner of the boarding house.
"Thank you for your cooperation. Please contact me about the funeral.”
The owner of the boarding house bowed before getting up. Then she whispered as she embraced the precious urn.
"Ji-young, Mother is here. I baked your favourite ribs... You must’ve been hungry for a while huh?”
Kang-suk and Hyun-ho looked at each other and said nothing as the boarding house owner left.
Kang-suk leaned back on the couch and sighed. He put his wrist to his forehead like he was tired. A hoarse voice emerged from his mouth.
"That aunty... Until the end, she didn’t say any words of resentment towards Park Sung-yul. Rather, she might feel regret that he became a killer. What is that bastard? People... Damn...”
Hyun-ho gazed at Kang-suk and said in a low voice,
“Sunbae. The average of missing people is over 30,000 a year. Not all of them are the victims of a hidden crime but...”
Kang-suk stood up and shouted,
"Are you glad you found the body now?”
“...I’m sorry. I know you don’t think that, I think I’m a little tired.”
“No, it’s okay. If you're tired, do you want to go to the sauna? I’ll pay.”
"No thanks. Anyway, did you investigate what I asked you to?”
It had been 10 days since finding Ji-young’s body. In addition, Park Sung-yul had remained silent since then. So how long would it take to find the remaining 12 people that he said he killed?
The best way was to plant a spy in the Blue Dragon Prison where Park Sung-yul was staying. He tried to find someone using all his connections, but it was in vain.
"There is a lot of acting to be done. It is too much for the criminals I know.”
However, he couldn’t hear a positive answer from Hyun-ho.
"So I told you to check with the other detectives.”
Detectives who caught criminals were well aware of their ecology. Therefore, they might know people inside criminal organizations.
"I know. Most of them are busy with what they are doing right now. In addition, criminals who are free changed after hearing the words Blue Dragon. They said that monsters are imprisoned there.”
Kang-suk sighed. He would do it himself if he could. However, there were two criminals who knew Kang-suk’s face in Blue Dragon. One was Park Sung-yul, the target, and the other one was Yoo Cheol-ho.
“…I have no choice but to ask him.”
Joo Hyun-ho recalled how Kang-suk said a few days ago that only Phantom could do this.
"Still, collaborating with Phantom...”
"He is the best. Didn’t you hear about the Killer case? Phantom can imitate other people’s faces. He also knows a lot about criminals. Furthermore, don’t you remember the Bomber incident? He penetrated the psychology of the culprit. If it is the Phantom, he will be able to get everything from Park Sung-yul.”
Hyun-ho fought with Phantom. He didn’t want to acknowledge it, but Phantom had a terrifying ability.
“…But will he want to be a source of police information?”
"I will fall to my knees and beg him if he contacts me. He isn’t a sociopath who doesn’t understand a person’s feelings. If I ask...”
In order to find out the truth of the murders, a detective was willing to fall to his knees before a murderer.
But Hyun-ho didn’t want to see that. In the end, he said something with a determined expression.
"How about hiring him with money? He did ask for money in return for capturing criminals.”
“Well, this isn’t like the Bomber case. I don’t think 100 million won will come out of the budget for this case... However, it does seem like the best method. I’ll ask the commissioner.”
"If you don’t have enough budget then I’ll add a little bit. I’ll cooperate as much as possible with Phantom.”
Kang-suk nodded quietly. He decided to try everything he could, with kneeling as a last resort.
“…Anyway, first Phantom needs to contact me.”
"Keep talking, he might call just because your voice will tickle his ears.”
“Aish, it can’t be.”
There was suddenly a call. Kang-suk stared at the phone. The called ID said God of Crime.
“Eh! Sunbae! Did Phantom actually come? You did tickle his ears.”
"Shush. I need some quiet to receive the call.”
He pressed the call button and brought the phone to his ear.
-Have you been well? Detective Cho Kang-suk.
Kang-suk gulped and quietly opened his mouth.
Tae-hyuk was talking to An Eun-young while lying in bed.
"I have to stay in the hospital for two, maybe three more weeks. Please tell Teacher Jung Nam-ho.”
-Y-Yes. But if you are hospitalized, come to our hospital... No. If you can move, will you come to our hospital tomorrow? There is a double room empty.
“No. I have to stay here.”
-T-Then let me know the address! I will back you a delicious lunch and go visit!
Tae-hyuk swallowed his saliva.
An Eun-young had been strangely active starting from a week ago.
Tae-hyuk discovered that her mother had passed away before An Eun-young arrived at the hospital. He then used his crime skills to deceive her. He acted like her mother who was happy about hearing her daughter’s admission into university.
He definitely did it for An Eun-young, but he still couldn’t help wondering if it was okay. Class President would think it was the truth for the rest of her life. Perhaps he had committed an unreasonable crime. Therefore, he felt guilt every time he heard An Eun-young’s voice.
“...I think tomorrow will be okay. Can you come then?”
“I understand. The place...”
Tae-hyuk gave her the address of the hospital. He was going to shatter this place in a few days, so it wouldn’t be too bad to have a break before that.
-Then I will see you tomorrow. I’ll make a lot of delicious things!
Tae-hyuk ended the conversation with An Eun-young and called Kang-suk this time. Of course, he used the Phantom dedicated phone.
[Voice Modulation has been used.]
-You can directly imitate the voice of Kim Bum-soo.
He didn’t know if it was due to his crime skills or his stamina that was over 50 points, but Tae-hyuk showed great resilience. Looking at his outward appearance right now, it didn’t seem like he had been shot in the head.
‘Then it is time to move.’
In fact, he wanted to be more stable for a week or so. However, there was something that shouldn’t be missed today.
‘Wasn’t Park Sung-yul’s second puzzle released three days later?’
Park Sung-yul, the serial killer who murdered 14 people.
He said that he treated the victims he liked like a puzzle. Tae-hyuk only had rough information about him. His memories were faint and blurry. He was already dead when Tae-hyuk entered the prison.
‘The cause of death was suicide.’
Park Sung-yul had revealed his puzzle pieces to the police. He felt great joy when he saw the embarrassed police being unable to solve it. However, there was a police investigator who was called a genius. Although it took a long time, he ended up solving all of the puzzles.
Park Sung-yul was found dead in the bathroom.
Tae-hyuk knew the ending of the Park Sung-yul case. Unfortunately, only a few knew about the contents of the puzzle. Originally, he would’ve ignored this case since all of the victims had already died and were hidden somewhere. He wouldn’t get any affinity points from them and they also didn’t have weapons that could be used like the Triads killer.
However, Tae-hyuk had a reason to grab Park Sung-yul. In the Blue Dragon Prison, the gold bars hidden by the Japanese were hidden. It would be hard to enter there, even with Phantom’s abilities. He intended to use the pretext of cooperating with the police in order to infiltrate Blue Dragon.
‘Hopefully, I can eat all the gold alone.’
Either way, it would solve the case that would cause the police’s mind to rot over the next two years. It absolutely wouldn’t be a loss for the police. Tae-hyuk opened his mouth after confirming that Kang-suk had received the call.
“Have you been well? Detective Cho Kang-suk.”
"You seem to be working on a hard puzzle while I rested.”
-...How did you know?
“That is a trade secret. I contacted you today because I wanted to give the police a nice present.
-More than that, what about the bombs and weapons from the killer? If you hand them over then I will talk to the commissioner about reducing your other sins...
"I definitely gave you the opportunity. It was the police who betrayed me. At any rate, the bombs are in a very safe place. So the only thing left is to talk to you in person.”
-You want to meet?
“Yes. The time is two days later in the evening. I will contact you again with further details.”
-W-Wait a minute...!
Tae-hyuk ignored Kang-suk’s cries and hung up. Once the news came, the police would be upset.
He closed his eyes and thought about how he could get the most out of this.
First, he should take a break.
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