Chapter 88 - Genius and Genius #4
Lee Shi-hyun’s job was to appraise artwork, mainly dealing in paintings and pottery. She was regarded as one of the best in the industry due to her knowledge and sharp eye. Recently, the growing number of forgery crimes had resulted in the police preparing a special countermeasures team, and Lee Shi-hyun had been working as a consultant there for a while.
This morning, someone trying to smuggle a large number of forgeries from Russia were arrested, and many Rubens were among them. Some of his works were on display at S University’s museum. Lee Shi-hyun had been ordered to go there and see if there was anything suspicious. No matter how expensive a forgery was sold for, it was nothing compared to the value of the original. It was possible that the reason for the smuggling was to swap the real one with the fake.
It was amazing that his paintings were displayed in Korea. If the painting on display was a fake then it meant there was an accomplice among the museum officials. Either the S University museum or the Hermitage Museum that provided the paintings.
She didn’t know which one it was but the range of investigation was definitely reduced. So she rushed to investigate before the painting was taken away.
Upon arriving at S University, Lee Shi-hyun met Joo Hyun-ho, who was waiting for her.
"Hello. I am Lee Shi-hyun.”
"Inspector spoke to me. I am Investigator Joo Hyun-ho.”
Lee Shi-hyun felt like his face was strangely familiar, despite meeting him for the first time. She had definitely seen him somewhere...
"Did you participate in the Mafia Game before?”
“Eh? Shi-hyun as well? It was a cable broadcasting show that did have even 1% audience ratings so not many people would recognize me.”
“Yes! There are some surprising fanatics. Even now, people are still asking for a second season.
“I see. But it is better seeing it in person instead of on the TV.”
"I don’t like flashing lights so...”
"Do you want to see it now?”
Lee Shi-hyun laughed at Joo Hyun-ho’s words.
"You won’t be able to get anything out of this ajumma.”
"Aye, what ajumma? You are now single.”
Lee Shi-hyun’s eyes widened. She had divorced three years after her marriage and now lived alone.
"How did you know?"
Hyun-ho laughed and pointed to Shi-hyun’s left finger.
"There is a mark on the finger of your left hand, a sign that you were wearing something there for a long time. Isn’t that the finger for the wedding ring? But it has almost disappeared so you didn’t just take the ring off. It means you haven’t been wearing the ring for a month. In other words, Lee Shi-hyun has recently divorced and is now single.”
"That is right. How amazing. In addition, it has been exactly a month since I got divorced... Investigator-nim needed just one look to tell?”
“Haha. This is my hobby."
It was the basis of criminal profiling to look at a person’s appearance or attire to guess their situation or psychological state. But there was no one who did it for everyone they met on a regular basis like Joo Hyun-ho.
Joo Hyun-ho wasn’t simply a genius because his head was good. It was a result of his habit of analyzing everyone due to his aesthetic and paranoid tastes.
"Then let’s go. I’m sorry for the director but he can’t help being a suspect. Will it take a long time?”
“It won’t be that long.”
"Oh, I’ll be happy to take your bag. Are they the tools required for the appraisal?”
“…Yes, thank you.”
Joo Hyun-ho took the bag and started walking, Lee Shi-hyun smiling as she gazed after him. He wasn’t as much of a genius as she thought. He didn’t notice that she was a spy planted by the Red Mafia.
"I’m sorry to see you again for something like this.”
“No. If there are any doubts then it is better to make sure.”
"Can you turn off the security system so that Lee Shi-hyun can enter?”
"Ah, yes... Please wait a moment.”
After arriving at the museum, Joo Hyun-ho and Lee Shi-hyun explained the matter to Kim Hyun-do and asked for his understanding. If the Rubens painting in the museum was a fake, then he would be held as a key suspect.
“Director, you seem very nervous. Do you know something?”
Then Kim Hyun-do’s fingers shook for a moment.
“Anybody would be nervous in this situation.”
“Haha. Is that right? Even if Director-nim was only used by the Russian mafia, you could be framed. At any rate, just trust me and watch quietly.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Kim Hyun-do... No, Tae-hyuk who changed his face using the Disguise skill, inwardly sighed.
‘Psychology truly isn’t a joke. I think I did well. If this was Kim Hyun-do then he might have already given away that he met Phantom.’
The police had come here to investigate the artworks. After becoming aware of this face, Tae-hyuk immediately wore Kim Hyun-do’s clothes and used Disguise. Although there was some difference in height, that was solved by putting in some insoles.
‘The police moved faster than I thought.’
He didn’t know how great Lee Shi-hyun’s skills were. Even if she didn’t notice that the painting was a fake, she should see the initials. Then she would know it was a forgery, and would undo the Red Mafia’s plan. Maybe this incident would end up with the police’s victory, even if he watched from a distance.
However, then Kim Hyun-do’s position as director would be troubled. A forgery was being displayed in the museum that he managed. He would be suspected as an accomplice of the Red Mafia.
Tae-hyuk was given permission to touch [Machina] that was displayed in a special area in exchange for stopping it. If the police exposed the fact that the painting was a fake then he wouldn’t be able to see Machina.
However, he couldn’t help the Red Mafia. If the painting was a fake then the police would laugh, but it would be a little difficult for Tae-hyuk. If the result was that it was real, the Red Mafia would gain enormous profits.
Tae-hyuk had purchased some information from Big Mama a few days ago.
In four years, Tae-hyuk would be framed for killing Park Jung-hwan. But Park Jung-hwan actually died two years ago, which didn’t make sense. In order to reveal the truth of the incident, he created the virtual criminal called Phantom.
By the way, foreign criminal organizations might be involved in Park Jung-hwan’s death.
'Russia’s Red Mafia, China’s Triad and Japan’s Yakuza... The real culprit of the upcoming war is hiding among them.'
Tae-hyuk had smashed one of the businesses of the Triad. Maybe everything that he thought was a coincidence was actually a unified event. Therefore, he didn’t want to do anything that would benefit the Red Mafia.
‘Still, do I have no choice but to cooperate with the Red Mafia here?’
Tae-hyuk’s worry was solved in a strange manner. Lee Shi-hyun, who was looking at Rubens’ work with tools from her bag, had taken out a strange object. It was a pair of red sunglasses, a fashion item with a primitive design. The lens were covered with scratches from where it had been carelessly placed in the bag.
Tae-hyuk approached Lee Shi-hyun and asked her,
"What is the result?”
"I think it will take a little longer to find out. However, the parchment paper is actually 500 years old and the ink is exactly the same as the original. I think Director-nim can rest assured.”
"It is the real painting?”
"Then are those your red sunglasses? They look colorful.”
“Ahaha. They are mine. I’m a bit careless with them right?”
'It is her job to manage things like that... It smells fishy.’
Tae-hyuk knew that the hidden initials on the fake could be identified with red lenses. But why would she carry something and not use it? In addition, he had been watching her work and she seemed to have concluded that it was an original from the beginning.
‘There is a high possibility that she is a spy planted by the Red Mafia.’
Tae-hyuk finally figured out the Red Mafia’s plan. Perhaps they allowed a smuggler of forgeries to be arrested in order to make the police move. After the police found the fakes, they would start an investigation. The police would act to appraise the paintings. Then the spy they planted would judge it as genuine and attach a certificate. After that, it could be traded for a vastly higher price. But it would only work if the appraiser was a spy planted by the Red Mafia.
'They intended for there to be an investigation so that an authenticity label would be placed on their fakes.’
Tae-hyuk got goosebumps. The boss of the Red Mafia was very smart. At that moment, Joo Hyun-ho interrupted Tae-hyuk and Lee Shi-hyun.
"So this painting is the real thing?”
“Yes. It isn’t 100% but the possibility is high that it is real.”
Tae-hyuk worried about whether he should inform the investigator wearing a trench coat that this woman was a spy, but there was no need to do so.
"I am convinced after your answer. You are a spy planted by the Red Mafia.”
“Huh? W-What are you talking about?”
Lee Shi-hyun exclaimed with a flustered face.
"In 1991, a large number of forgeries were manufactured in Russia and spread throughout the world. The way they did that was to put spies in other countries to make the fakes seem real. The level of perfection was high, but as the operation became more complicated, they were caught.
“Ah, no. I don’t know who the Red Mafia is.”
Joo Hyun-ho explained with a confident look.
"I was suspicious from the moment I met you. No, to be precise, I live with the suspicion that everyone I meet is a criminal. First of all, Lee Shi-hyun made two mistakes.”
In a short amount of time, Joo Hyun-ho had asked the investigations department to secure a copy of her resident registration. She had submitted it to the department after becoming an adviser. On it, Lee Shi-hyun had written that she had never been married.
"You have never married, but you said you went through a divorce? That means you weren’t married in South Korea. Then from where? Moscow?”
“And the second mistake. You worried about the bag for 0.2 seconds before handing it to me. I’m sure it was to give me your tools in order to avoid doubts... However, isn’t it the same as asking a soldier for the gun?”
The tools for an artisan were like children to them. Who would leave it to someone else to carry due to being a little tired?
Lee Shi-hyun sat down on the spot.
“Aha... Ahaha! Did you say that you are Joo Hyun-ho? It seems you really are a genius. This was a perfect reasoning. By the way... Did you mention 1991? That’s why you found me so easily. Remembering that far back... Really amazing.”
Joo Hyun-ho spoke while handcuffing Lee Shi-hyun.
"Oh, I'm sorry but what I said about 1991 was a lie.”
“I needed to create doubt to make the suspect easily confess.”
"T-This demon, you tricked me!”
Joo Hyun-ho smiled and brought Lee Shi-hyun’s fingers to his lips.
"I am a bad guy whose specialty is lying to women.
Thus, the Red Mafia’s spy was caught in Joo Hyun-ho’s trap.
“Ah, Director. Sorry for the disturbance. I will report to the inspector and come back with another appraiser.”
"You will come again?”
“Yes. I have to make sure.”
Tae-hyuk looked at Joo Hyun-ho. He was a man wearing Detective Columbo’s trademark trench coat. The technique of reading the opponent’s psychology was his best aspect. Either way, the Red Mafia spy was arrested. In a few days, another appraiser would come and this would be discovered as a fake. Then could he use this?
‘Wait... Can’t I do that?’
Tae-hyuk inwardly smiled.
The Red Mafia’s plan had been destroyed, and he thought of a brilliant way to save Kim Hyun-do, a decent person. If it was successful then he would be able to get his hands on Machina.
Tae-hyuk slowly opened his mouth.
"Can you please listen to what I have to say?”
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