Chapter 43: The Hippo Hunt #3
Cho Kang-suk’s voice rang out in the darkness.
Kim Jong-wook’s eyes widened in shock, and was unable to understand what was happening right now. Kang-suk, whom he stabbed in the heart, was still alive and talking. Was this an illusion or something? Maybe this was...
"There is no magic that moves the dead.”
Kim Jong-wook looked at his right hand that was still holding the knife. It had obviously been stuck in Cho Kang-suk’s chest.
"Perhaps a bulletproof vest... No, I definitely pierced his chest!”
Jong-wook had felt it through his fingers. The knife had clearly pierced his target’s heart. The evidence was that a red liquid had emerged from Kang-suk’s chest. His hands were sticky with blood, but there was plenty of water to wash it off.
Jong-wook didn't like using knives, as it caused the other person to die too quickly. He couldn’t feel the ecstasy, the rush of watching the person die. Therefore, he avoided killing with a knife as much as possible.
It was the same feeling garnered from eating delicious food all at once. The best delicacies were those that were enjoyed very slowly. But this time, it couldn’t be helped.
Jong-wook’s opponent wasn’t an herbivore that he normally preyed on. It was a beast with sharp teeth and claws. If he didn’t kill the other person first then he would be in danger. Therefore, he had stabbed the other person when they were off guard.
Yet he didn’t die. He was alive and taunting Jong-wook. Jong-wook got goosebumps.
Kang-suk continued speaking with a knife in his heart.
"The hippo’s prey are all vibrant women in their 20s. The stronger the will to live, the better the prey. You think that Jung Yuri is the best delicacy. She took on her sister’s role and moved with her strength. She is currently in the most brilliant moment of her life.”
"Uh, how are my though-...!”
"Well, I know why you approached Jung Yuri. The first time you met her, she was the family member of one of Yoo Cheol-ho’s victims and you were a cop in the precinct. Jung Yuri was like a living corpse at the time though, so you didn’t choose her as prey.
Jong-wook’s eyes widened as he listened to Kang-suk’s reasoning. It was surprising. It seemed like Kang-suk was looking into his heart.
"Then you met her again. You were fortunate when Cho Kang-suk caught Yoo Cheol-ho. You went along with him as a representative of the jurisdiction. In the few months since you saw her, Jung Yuri had completely changed. It was like a tree sprouting. Don't you think?”
“... Y-You! What the hell is this?”
"At that moment, the monster called the Hippo, who was sleeping in Kim Jong-wook’s heart, opened his eyes. You were filled with a constant desire to kill Jung Yuri. However, it wasn’t easy. She is the daughter of the vice president of a large corporation, after all. There were even secret body guards. So you first killed other victims while aiming for her. Eventually, you got what you wanted. This is my reasoning. How is it? Isn’t it accurate?”
Jong-wook grit his teeth and said.
“You, you’re not Cho Kang-suk!”
“Ahaha. That is the right answer.”
Kang-suk replied with an expression that was still blank. No, he hadn’t made any expression from the beginning.
Jong-wook tried to withdraw the knife from Kang-suk’s chest, but couldn’t.
What he thought was blood was actually sticky glue. Jong-wook’s hand was stuck to Kang-suk. Jong-wook hit Kang-suk’s body with his free left arm.
Bam! Bam bam!
However, it was like beating a sandbag. When he hit Kang-suk’s face with all his strength, the eyeballs popped out. After a few more hits, the head spun around. However, Kang-suk was still laughing.
Jong-wook finally realized what was going on.
“What, this? A doll!”
It was a very elaborately crafted wax doll. In the aquarium, all lights were turned off except for dim lighting. Thus, he failed to realize that the other person wasn’t a human.
“... This, my... you know...”
The microphone of the phone was damaged by Jong-wook’s attack, and Kang-suk’s voice started to be cut off.
“F-fuuuuuck! What is this?”
Jong-wook roared wildly. However, his right arm was still stuck to the wax doll. After a few more hits, the annoying voice was no longer heard. The doll was completely quiet.
“... Aigoo, I lost my phone. That cost one million won, and I don’t even have a job. A new one... Maybe I should charge Yuri noona for the expenses?”
Instead, the grumbling voice of Cho Kang-suk started to approach in the darkness.
Jong-wook frantically thrashed about, but he was stuck due to the glue and couldn’t get away from the doll.
Cho Kang-suk said.
"Ah, you should be careful. If you make a mistake then you might peel off your skin.”
Jong-wook looked in the direction that the voice was heard. He saw a high school student wearing a wet t-shirt and an iron pipe in his right hand. He was holding something like a walkie-talkie in his other hand. It seemed to have transmitted his voice through the smartphone that he placed inside the doll.
“W-What the hell is this?”
Kang-suk... No, Seo Tae-hyuk, who acted as Kang-suk using the Voice Modulation skill, replied.
“Hello Hippo. Is this our first face to face meeting? There’s no need to know who I am. Just think of me as someone who doesn’t like you.
"I-I won’t let his go! I will kill you!”
"You remind me of a young brat from my past.”
Tae-hyuk ran to Jong-wook and wielded his iron pipe.
Tae-hyuk was lucky.
His first plan was to draw a picture to lure the Hippo. However, he still felt anxious. His opponent wasn’t simple. He was a serial killer who murdered several people. That’s why it was necessary to prepare a better trap. If he missed even a 0.0001% chance, then someone might be victimized.
Then he received a message that he got one affinity point, due to the birth of a new relationship after saving Jung Yuri.
Tae-hyuk pondered on how it could be used as effectively as possible. He could strengthen his crime skills using the affinity points, but he still didn’t have enough points to do that right now.
In the end, he decided to try the Instant Enhancement on the second tab of the skills page. It consumed one affinity point to give a temporary effect.
Tae-hyuk found a large amount of wax candles prepared for a later performance in the warehouse. He made a crude doll of Cho Kang-suk using it. The result was beyond what he expected from the Forgery skill.
A special feature was produced, due to the added affinity point. It wasn’t possible to make big movements, but the doll could move like a person. He put the smartphone inside and could talk through it.
It was unreasonable to give an expression to the doll with just one affinity point. It was stated that 10 points were required to create a doll with personality. Of course, that there was just like reaching for a pie in the sky.
Still, it was good enough for hooking the Hippo. He put a large amount of glue inside the doll. A device was installed so that if the throat or heart were ever pierced, the glue would spurt out.
There were a few risky moments. But as he thought, he could completely limit the behaviour of the Hippo. Now the Hippo was literally a punching bag.
Jong-wook moaned as he was hit by Tae-hyuk’s iron pipe. He bent over at the waist. He used his left arm to guard his weak points, but there was a limit.
In the end, Jong-wook's left arm was broken.
“Eh? You are still fine. Well, I should do successive hits...”
Tae-hyuk swung the iron pipe at Jong-wook again. It made a cheerful sound in the air.
“Kuak! Ugh! Eek! W-wait a minute!"
The Hippo bent over again due to the pipe.
"I-I lost. Hand me over to the police if you want! But do you want to know why a police officer became a murderer?”
Jong-wook started to talk about how the hippo was born.
"When I was in high school...”
"Did I ask? Let’s keep going.”
Tae-hyuk wasn’t curious about what he would say and just kept on quietly doing his work. In the end, he lost consciousness after a few more minutes of being beaten by the iron pipe.
Tae-hyuk threw the iron pipe on the ground.
After a while, the iron pipe disappeared. It was a complete crime. This was the end.
"Once a serial killer is caught, they always tell the same story. He was abused as a child. The lack of affection... I’ve seen a lot of people like that. So I came to one conclusion. A madman is just crazy. Is that a story? Absolutely ridiculous.”
Tae-hyuk stripped off the clothes on the doll of Kang-suk. Then he tied up the hippo.
"So let’s give an anonymous tip to Kang-suk hyung. Good night, Hippo.”
Tae-hyuk pulled out a bag containing the SD card with the video of the hippo’s crime and put it in the hippo’s mouth.
“... Should this be sufficient for a promotion? If Hyung wants to marry Noona then you should at least be an investigator.”
Tae-hyuk disappeared into the darkness.
"A-are you alright?"
After exiting to find Kang-suk, Joo Hyun-ho discovered a half-naked woman in a concession stand. She was Jung Yuri, the victim.
Hyun-ho took off his trench coat and covered Yuri with it.
“... Yes. Although it is freezing cold, my body is warm due to the heater. I can bear with it.”
Jung Yuri explained how she was grabbed in a calm voice.
"As expected, the hippo is here... Still, I’m glad that you are okay. I will call an ambulance once away.”
"Detective Cho Kang-suk is here. I will immediately contact him to arrest the hippo..."
"The hippo is probably already caught.”
Jung Yuri raised a finger to her lips and said.
"I'm sorry. I’ve decided to keep the details a secret.”
Jung Yuri smiled as she recalled the man who saved her.
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