Chapter 97 - Advance Notice of a Storm #2
-Detective Cho Kang-suk, congratulations on your promotion. Detective-nim thought I only killed one person, but you were wrong. I killed a total of 14 people.
The letter continued but Kang-suk coughed and asked Kim Do-shik,
“T-This, is it real?”
“That’s why I called you. Continue reading.”
This time, Kang-suk read Park Sung-yul’s letter to the end.
-I know what you are thinking. Is he crazy? But I am very normal. In fact, it was an accident that I was caught. Detective Cho Kang-suk should admit it as well. It was like someone stepped on a domino that I had lined up in a row. But now I can confidently announce my puzzle to the world, and I think that Detective Cho Kang-suk should have the honor of being the first person I show it to. Detective-nim, do you think there can be a perfect crime in this world?
The letter ended there. Kang-suk felt like Park Sung-yul had sent him a challenge gauntlet.
“…There is one more page.”
Behind the letter was a picture that seemed like an elementary school student painted it. Kang-suk couldn’t understand it.
"Are Park Sung-yul’s words true?”
"I don’t know yet, but if it is true, it will be the worst hidden crime in our history.”
A Hidden crime was when a crime occurred but wasn’t included in the official statistics, due to the investigating agency not recognizing it. Kang-suk looked at the picture drawn with crayons. It looked like a landscape somewhere, but it was impossible for him to interpret it.
"This is the same as a map."
“I thought so as well. I don’t know why Park Sung-yul, who has been in prison for three years, is sending such a thing now.”
"Maybe he thought that the way he was caught was unfair.”
"Wasn’t it due to a drunk driving crackdown?”
Kang-suk nodded and thought back to when he caught Park Sung-yul three years ago.
On that day, Kang-suk went out to support some drunk driving crackdowns. There were always skirmishes with drunk drivers. As a large-sized Homicide detective, just standing there would make people control their anger.
“At the time, Park Sung-yul was driving a mid sized sedan. He submitted to the breathalyzer without saying anything. I couldn’t find any traces of drinking, but he even abstained from smoking in front of the police. I accidentally saw his eyes, and it was like looking at a frozen lake. I didn’t feel any emotions from him. I couldn’t help but feel like he was a bad guy...”
Kang-suk remembered the situation at that time. It really was an accident that he caught Park Sung-yul, now that he thought about it.
"There was obviously only Park Sung-yul in the car. However, the rear tires were similar to the front, meaning that there was something heavy in the trunk. It was something that weighed around the same as a human being.”
Kim Do-shik coughed.
"It might be an accident, but it is only a slight difference. Finding it like that... You really are a detective. At any rate, continue.”
"Then for the first time, Park Sung-yul showed some emotion. After seeing it, I was sure that he was hiding something. Originally, it was impossible to search the interior just for a DUI, so I used a little coercion to open the door of the trunk and looked inside. There...”
"I know from there. There was a body inside a black plastic bag.”
Park Sung-yul was arrested and charged with murder and abandoning a body. Park Sung-yul was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in ‘Blue Dragon Prison’ because he acknowledged his sin and had no previous convictions.
"Others might say you were lucky but I think that your observations skills and ability to carry it out is really great.”
“Other people call it my senses.”
“Haha. This brat.”
Kang-suk stared at Kim Do-shik with a serious expression.
“I would like to be in charge of this case. It felt like a gauntlet was sent to me, so I'll definitely finish it.”
“It still isn’t sure if this is a case or not. Giving you solid support will be hard.”
Kang-suk touched his lips.
“It’s okay. If this is a hidden crime, the victims’ families will be waiting forever for them to return. If I can at least tell them the truth then I will be happy.”
Tracking down a hidden crime was hard. He couldn’t save anyone, and eventually people would end up unhappy. Even so, Kang-suk wanted to be in charge of the case.
"I understand. Starting today, you will be personally in charge of Park Sung-yul’s case. Although there won’t be a headquarters for the investigation, please work on it.”
Kang-suk closed his mouth and nodded. First of all, he had to interpret this stupid password.
"There is a child who likes these type of things.
Someone’s face popped into his head.
“It sounds interesting Let me help you.”
Joo Hyun-ho accepted Kang-suk’s offer in an instant.
"I feel relieved now that you have accepted, although it will be hard to get any proper support.”
"Originally, I wanted to catch Phantom together. But before that, we have to solve this.”
“You... Aren’t you lacking sincerity?”
"Sunbae is too serious. Wouldn’t it be better to clean this place up first?”
Kang-suk coughed and looked around.
He built a temporary investigation headquarters by borrowing a place that was originally a warehouse. It was inevitable that it would be filled with dusty boxes.
“Have you read Park Sung-yul’s letter?”
“Yes. I think he is overly self-conscious. Then let’s work on deciphering this.”
Kang-suk placed the Park Sung-yul’s letter and picture on the table.
"It is drawn with crayons that are commonly available in prisons, and the paper is cut out from a sketchbook.”
Joo Hyun-ho pulled out his laptop that contained his profiling materials. He started to compare the picture to information he had about Park Sung-yul.
"Do you know something?”
“It is a simple trick. I think I’m probably right.”
Joo Hyun-ho pointed to the 5-1 that was written in the corner of Park Sung-yul’s picture.
"First of all, I can tell what this means just by looking.”
“5 - 1? Then it is 4. But why did he write his name after that?”
“It indicates the grade. In a picture contest at school, this information is often written down in the corner.
“Grade 5-1. Looking at Park Sung-yul, I can see the schools and classes that he graduated from. Perhaps he is talking about A Elementary School.”
"It could be middle school or high school.”
“There is no 5th grade.”
Kang-suk nodded with a convinced expression.
"First of all, we should go to this school.”
The two people headed to Park Sung-yul’s elementary school. Due to the fuel cost not being supported, he had to ride in Joo Hyun-ho’s car.
"There should at least be funding for fuel.”
“It’s okay. Thank you for doing this for me, even if it is interesting.”
The elementary school that Park Sung-yul was a branch school in the mountains. Surprisingly, Park Sung-yul’s teacher was still at the small school that didn’t even have 20 students. Of course, 20 years had passed so he was now the principal.
As he drank the tea that the principal made, Joo Hyun-ho started the questioning.
“Park Sung-yul? I still remember. He was a truly smart student."
The principal looked into the air like he was reminiscing.
"I didn’t need to teach him much, and despite behind an elementary school student, he had already learned up to the high school standard. He was a brilliant mind in this rural school. Four years ago... He came to visit me once. I thought he was a successful businessman because he was wearing a suit. By the way, what did he do? Why are detectives...”
Kang-suk felt sorry to shatter the principal’s memories, but he didn’t want to hide the truth.
"He is currently in prison for killing a person.”
“…That kid? I’m sorry Detective-nim. Anything you need...”
The principal bowed to Kang-suk.
"It isn’t Teacher’s fault. Get up. By the way, did Park Sung-yul ever join a painting contest in fifth grade?”
“Could you please wait a moment? Obviously the student journal .... "
The principal brought out the old papers where events were written down. After looking it over, he said,
"Ah, yes. There was a drawing contest for landscape paintings when he was in the 5th grade. Sung-yol participated.”
"Then do you remember seeing this?”
Kang-suk extended Park Sung-yul’s drawing to the principal.
"I'm sorry but this was a long time ago... However, if he was the winner, then it might still be here. The branch school has a magic box that holds memories. It is hard to throw things away.”
The principal went back to the warehouse before bringing out a number of drawings.
"Here it is.”
Surprisingly, the same picture from Park Sung-yul’s letter was drawn on the faded paper. Kang-suk compared the two images and mnuttered.
“…It is exactly the same. Did he remember the painting from 20 years ago and drew it perfectly again?”
“I guess so Sunbae. It seems like he is bigger than I thought. How the hell did you catch him?”
The principal looked closely at the picture and said,
"Ah, I think I know where this place is.”
“I’m not sure but... It might fit. I’ll show you.”
Under the guidance of the principal, Kang-suk and Hyun-ho climbed a hill behind the school. Although it wasn’t very high, the landscape of the countryside appeared once they reached the top.
“Wait a minute...”
Kang-suk pulled out the painting and compared it to the surrounding landscape. It was an exact match. This landscape was the one in the picture.
“I guess it was the correct answer.”
Joo Hyun-ho talked to the principal. The principal told Joo Hyun-ho things like Park Sung-yul’s usual appearance and personality.
Kang-suk interrupted the two people and said,
"Park Sung-yul visited here a few years ago?”
“Yes. It was on Teacher’s Day.”
“Did he do anything questionable?”
"Not at all. Ah, the weather wasn’t that hot but he was sweating a lot."
“...It can’t be.”
Kang-suk hurried down to the school. He had an idea. After gaining another teacher’s consent, he borrowed a shovel and returned.
"It seems like I should dig around. I don't know how much time it will take alone, but I have to try it.”
The principal touched his mouth and said,
“Could you please wait a moment?” I'll be happy to help.”
"I’m confident when it comes to shovelling.”
Kang-suk, Hyun-ho, and the principal recalled their memories of the army as they started digging. After two hours, the mountain top was so messed up that there was no more places to dig.
"Is it not this mountain?”
Kang-suk asked while wiping his sweating head with a towel. Park Sung-yul might have lied to get them out here in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it was revenge for being trapped in prison?
At that moment, Joo Hyun-ho called out to Kang-suk in a heavy voice.
“Sunbae. Take a look at this. The land here is exceptionally good and...”
There was a body in a black plastic bag. The flesh was rotting, but he could tell it was a petite woman.
“…Well, I guess we found it. This is definitely a hidden crime. Park Sung-yul was right. He is a serial killer.”
Kang-suk used the radio to call for support.
After Tae-hyuk recovered to a certain extent, he started to search the hospital.
When he entered the hallway, an alarm flashed on the Demon Revealing Mirror.
[The Forgery skill has found an intense image.]
[The work can be completed through automatic clerk mode.]
He looked up to see what room was in front of him.
Tae-hyuk clicked his tongue and got rid of the screen of the Demon Revealing Mirror.
He knew what intense image would be drawn. There were more than 10 cases of abortion performed here every day. It felt like the entire hospital was shrouded by death. It was harder than expected to find a hidden passage.
"I guess I should use that.”
He was going to draw the entire hospital, just like how he drew all of Atlantis in order to escape. In order to do that, he needed a large drawing paper and a pencil.
“Excuse me! You shouldn’t be here!”
A nurse came running over after finding Tae-hyuk snooping in front of the operating room. Tae-hyuk put on as innocent an expression as possible and said.
"Noonim. I’m sorry. Do you have any pencil and paper?”
“N-Noonim... Are you the patient from Room 207? I understand. I’ll try.”
"Can it be as big as possible?”
The nurse blushed and nodded. He went back to his room and waited. The nurse came back with drawing paper and a pencil after 10 minutes.
"I-Is this okay?”
“Thank you Noonim.”
Tae-hyuk bowed his head.
The nurse smiled and sat on a chair in the corner of the room. Even if it was a back alley hospital, he was someone wealthy enough to be admitted to a single room. In addition, he had a fairly handsome face.
“It seems like drawing is your hobby.”
"I was in the art department at school. I was bored lying in bed.”
The two people chatted for a while. The nurse looked back just as she was about to leave the room.
"Can I come again next time to talk?”
It seemed like he had become more popular.
"Then shall I begin?"
Tae-hyuk used Spying to scan the whole hospital. He used the range expanding attribute that could only be used once a day and started to draw the place using the automatic function of Forgery. Now that he was fully accustomed to the skill, he could complete it easily.
The hospital consisted of three levels. While looking around, he had felt the unique atmosphere of an old building. It really seemed like there would be secret rooms hidden somewhere.
Tae-hyuk’s eyes shone as he looked at the blueprint. It was something that only Tae-hyuk could obtain with his crime skills.
“There really are hidden rooms.”
There weren’t just only one or two rooms, but three.
“Wasn’t this built by the Japanese? I guess they like things like this.”
Japan had constantly been at war since ancient times. Therefore, the shoguns directed soldiers to make pathways to escape and places to hide when building. It was the same here when this building was built 90 years ago.
"The problem is that the treasure map can be hidden in any of these three areas...”
“Well, I have a lot of time. I can look at all of it.”
One of the places was on the ground floor, and two were in the basement.
Among them, the clue to the gold left behind by the Japanese army was hiding.
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