Chapter 159 - God of Crime #1
Three days had passed by since Seo Ha-ran first went missing.
Cho Kang-suk, who wanted to find her more than anyone else, was nervously pacing around the room. His motto as a detective was that he should jump in directly to solve the case. However, he was forced to be a bystander in this case. The investigation was slow and frustrating.
"Damn! It is too much to exclude me from the investigation!”
However, he didn’t have the authority to overturn the decision. He was glad that a large-scale investigation was being held in regards to the disappearance.
“Huu... Although many people go missing in this country...”
He never thought his family would fall victim to it. Fortunately, Kang-suk had a network of people whom he could trust with the investigation.
Kang-suk took out his smartphone and called someone. Then a voice was heard.
“...You worked hard. Did you find anything?”
-I’m sorry. We searched around the place where she was last seen but...
It was the place where Ha-ran was last seen. She left the house saying she had to go to the university. Then she didn’t come back.
-That... We searched so thoroughly that not even an ant could hide. But there was nothing.
Joo Hyun-how was a seemingly unreliable man. However, he was the most proficient investigator in this country. He was one of the few colleagues who Kang-suk could trust. But the missing person was his bride just a few days before their marriage. It was torture not being able to do anything.
Kang-suk sat down and sighed. Hyun-ho told Kang-suk in a concerned tone.
-I have mobilized all of my connections to look for her. So don’t worry too much...
"Just focus on Phantom?”
-...Well, that’s right.
Phantom no longer contacted them. However, that made the higher-ups more jumpy. In the end, they didn’t want Kang-suk away for too long in case Phantom contacted him. For a while, he could only support the other teams.
“At any rate, let me know if there are any additional clues.”
-Understood. Don’t worry. The country’s top agents are looking for her so we will find her soon.
“I hope so. Really."
Kang-suk hung up and leaned back on his seat. He wanted to ask Phantom for help.
"Phantom... wouldn’t you be able to easily solve this case?”
The number of cases solved by Phantom appeared in Kang-suk’s mind.
He hated to admit it, but everything was great. The mysterious masked man, Phantom. What if he was in a situation like this? He would probably solve everything with a strange idea.
Kang-suk fell deep into thought.
"Yes, if it was Phantom...”
He had an order from his superiors to stay where he was.
“…I have to do this.”
Kang-suk stood up, opened the door and left. A detective writing a report outside asked with surprise,
“Eh! Detective Cho! Aren’t you supposed to wait here?”
"Hey! I have to eat to survive! I’m going to talk a walk and eat a bowl of short rib soup. If I stay stuck in the corner any longer, then spider webs will cover my nose.”
"Yes, I understand. I will tell Inspector-nim that you went to eat.”
Kang-suk left the police station and put on sunglasses. Of course, it wasn’t a lie. He was going out to eat something. It was just a coincidence that the direction he was heading in was the place where Seo Ha-ran was last seen.
Yes, a coincidence.
"Well, if something goes wrong then I can write an apology.”
Kang-suk smiled playfully and started his car. Before he knew it, he had a similar atmosphere to Phantom.
Tae-hyuk glared at the Demon Revealing Mirror.
He had started investigating as soon as he realized that he was possessed by it. First of all, his stats, such as intelligence and stamina, remained the same. In other words, his physical abilities had actually been increased.
It was through his own efforts, rather than the Demon Revealing Mirror. Tae-hyuk confirmed the notification and rose from his spot.
"I wished I didn’t have to use the crime skills... Hu, dammit. Right now, I should be refraining from trying to use it as much as possible...”
Kang-suk’s current location was on the screen of his smartphone. The fact that he was moving meant the police hadn’t found any clues to Seo Ha-ran’s disappearance.
"I was hoping that the police would find her.”
Tae-hyuk pulled out the opera mask and put it on his face. He could figure out Kang-suk’s movements without the crime skills.
First of all, he activated Spying to check on his sister’s condition. It reduced a lot of his stamina, so he was exhausted. However, she was alive.
A moan emerged from his Tae-hyuk’s mouth. He had only used the crime skill for one second, yet his desperate need to murder someone increased. If this continued, then he would become the psychopathic murderer once again.
After slapping his cheeks, he felt his sanity returning.
“...Yes, I should be able to endure this much.”
His theory was that the skills he learned in the early days, such as Spying and Robbery, were slow to pollute his mind.
"The place where my sister was last seen...”
He turned on the map application and headed to the location he loaded in advance. There was a bus stop not far from the Wolsang Institute. It was late in the afternoon so no one was passing by.
Tae-hyuk sighed slowly.
He wanted to stop using his crime skills but he needed to find his sister as quickly as possible. He took out a small notebook and pen, then he triggered a crime skill.
[The Forgery skill has found an intense image.]
Blurry images appeared in front of Tae-hyuk like a broken projector.
‘There are definitely traces of a crime here... There was something here.’
He gulped and looked at the video of the kidnapping. It was noon judging by the sun floating directly overhead. He couldn’t see the exact date because he was just watching a video. The bus arrived at the stop, a woman stepping down from the vehicle.
It was Ha-ran wearing a white dress. A man sitting at the bus stop got up. Did they make a promise in advance to meet?
Tae-hyuk moved his gaze to try and see the man’s face. However, the visibility was fixed, so Tae-hyuk could only see his back.
‘I can’t see his face because his cap is covering his face too deeply!’
Ha-ran bowed politely to the man. She seemed to know him quite well.
Shortly after this, Seo Ha-ran went missing. It was very likely that this man was the culprit.
'Now, just turn a little and show me your face. Yes? Just a little... Ah, why is it suddenly on the other side?’
He could only see the intense image engraved on this spot. He couldn’t affect it. Even though he knew this, he couldn’t stop watching.
It was at that moment. The atmosphere of Seo Ha-ran and the man changed. The man suddenly took off his hat and Seo Ha-ran looked astonished. Then the man rushed towards Seo Ha-ran.
Tae-hyuk's face filled with anger. The man pulled something out from his pocket and slammed it over Seo Ha-ran’s mouth. Seo Ha-ran’s body twisted desperately as she tried to escape.
This was just a recorded video. He calmed his trembling hands and focused on seeing the opponent’s face.
"He is the criminal. Yes, who are you? Look this way.”
Tae-hyuk bit his lip and waited for the man to move. The man put Ha-ran in a suitcase and turned around with light footsteps.
Tae-hyuk couldn’t say anything.
The face was deformed, like a monster. It was painted over with white paint. Only the lips were a bright red that looked like blood..
Tae-hyuk knew who that person was.
"Clown... Why is he coming out already...?”
The most dangerous criminal on the blacklist. The kidnapping of Ha-ran was due to the mad scientist, the Clown. According to Tae-hyuk’s memories of the future, the Clown didn’t appear for three more years.
Then why? Why?
Tae-hyuk’s body trembled.
It was simple. It was because he changed history, no, destiny, with his own hands.
Go Ah-tae felt like his face was being baked on a hot plate. He was going to die if this continued! He forced himself to live.
His arms felt like they were frying.
Every time he breathed, it felt like he was on fire. Go Ah-tae slowly looked around.
He was burning all over. He wondered why he was in such a place.
The Wolsang Institute, which he directed, was in a chronic deficit. He had no choice but to cooperate with another institute to complete the ‘Core Drive’ that he named himself. It was the Taesung Institute of Physics and Chemistry that had the greatest wealth in the country.
Director Jang Ik-sam welcomed Go Ah-tae and said he would help with his research. Both of them were rivals from the same university. One specialized in chemistry while the other specialized in physics. Their area of specialty was different, but their enthusiasm for research was unmatched by anyone else.
Thus, the two institutes joined together to proceed with the research project. Today, he came to support the project at the Taesung institute, but the atmosphere was strange. Jang Ik-sam took Go Ah-tae down to the basement where there was a strange scent. Once he recovered his spirit, he was here.
"There is a computer...”
Go Ah-tae took the computer hard disk from the half burned Jang Ik-sam and left the institute. He was able to survive because he had fainted in a secret space in a corner of the room.
“K-Kiik! W-What? E-Everybody is dead. Kikikik...”
Why did laughter keep on bursting out? Was something broken due to the impact of the accident? Or maybe it was because Jang Ik-sam accidentally had him swallow the Psychotropic Incense.
Go Ah-tae was clearly broken. He walked back to his research laboratory.
“Hihihit! First of all, I need to check what is on the hard disk!”
There were a few locks but he could easily solve it. The hard disk contained information about the Psychotropic Incense and Mister Park’s plot to use it to turn humans into puppets. He couldn’t resist laughing.
“Kikikiki! These people were doing something very interesting! It would’ve been more fun if they told me sooner!”
Go Ah-tae realized that his body’s status was unusual and that he was close to dying. He entered the cell regenerator that was being studied in the next building. He didn’t know the side effects, but he needed to survive first.
If this failed, then he would die. However, the laughter didn’t stop.
He entered the cell regenerator that looked like a big aquarium tank. Then he pressed the button.
One day passed by. His burnt and charred skin regenerated to some extent.
“Kikikiki! I fortunately lived.”
However, he couldn’t do anything about the burns that distorted his face. It was too ugly to leave like this. He recalled that he still had the tools used to dress as a clown for a Halloween party last year in the warehouse. He used makeup to cover his face to a certain extent.
"Maybe somebody blew up the Taesung institute to get rid of the Psychotropic Incense, but I’m sorry.”
Go Ah-tae laughed with his distorted face.
"I know how to make it. Yihihihihihit!”
When he went to the institute, he saw his people working hard.
Go Ah-tae sprinkled a few bottles of the Psychotropic Incense that he took from the Taesung Institute in here.
This would make the researchers his faithful slaves who would cut their own necks if he asked.
"D-Director G-Go Ah-tae... W-What are you...?”
What was with this person? The Psychotropic Incense didn’t work on him? Maybe he had an unusual constitution. There was one researcher who didn’t fall slave to the Psychotropic Incense.
"I have to dispose of defective products. Yihihihit!”
Go Ah-tae walked over to the researcher with an axe he found from somewhere. Then he smiled brightly.
“Go Ah-tae. I am the Clown.”
He slammed the axe down on the other person’s head.
Blood splattered the white coat that he was wearing.
Go Ah-tae... No, the Clown laughed.
Then he muttered in a low voice,
"So what should I do now?”
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