“What?” asked Xiaotao. “We’re only reenacting the murder! Come on!”
She pushed me onto the bed and climbed atop of me herself. So she wanted me to act as the murderer.
“Your skin is so smooth,” she said with a smile. “It feels like a baby’s butt! I love girls with smooth skin like that! Tell me, how old are you?”
“You don’t have to get that deep into the role!” I exclaimed. “It feels weird!”
I knocked her leg with the Echolocation Rod, and Xiaotao stopped joking around immediately. Although I was a little shy about it at first, once I got into investigating mode, the surrounding environment blurred into the background and all I would think of was the murder.
We tried to reenact every detail of the crime. When I stabbed her chest with the Echolocation Rod, Xiaotao immediately covered her chest with her hands and shrank away.
“No,” I said, “you must think like a gangster. What would his first reaction be when he gets stabbed for the first time?”
“Snatch the knife!” Xiaotao replied.
“Right,” I said, “but he didn’t do anything. He was stabbed a dozen more times without even fighting back.”
I jumped off the bed to check the victim’s hand. The palm of his hand was very wide. I sniffed at it and made a surprising discovery. I sniffed at the victim’s hand again to confirm my finding, then said, “The victim and the murderer took a bath together. The victim even massaged the victim’s hair with shampoo. Judging by the scent left on his hands, he did it very thoroughly too. It looked like the victim had a very intimate relationship with the murderer. I don’t think the murderer is a prostitute.”
“Perhaps she was his mistress,” Xiaotao suggested.
“No matter what the murderer’s identity was,” I said, “it still befuddles me how she managed to escape the gang members’ notice when they found Cao Da’s body. Hamster insisted that the victim was found in a locked room. There was no reason for him to lie, and he got the information from multiple sources too.”
I checked the other hand and found that there was a slight muscle strain at the joints, which seemed to have been inflicted after death. I asked Xiaotao to get the poplar water spray from my bag, and I sprayed it on the palm of the victim’s hand. Blue marks appeared on it—this meant that there were traces of blood there.
I pointed at the blue lines that appeared on the victim’s hand and asked Xiaotao, “What do you think that looks like?”
“It looks like… a wooden pattern.”
“Yes,” I replied. “It’s the knife’s hilt! After killing the victim, the murderer forced the knife into the victim’s hand.”
In that case, the murderer’s fingerprint should be on the back of the victim’s hand! I blew some seaweed powder on the back of the victim’s hand, and a fingerprint really did appear, but it was an incomplete fragment. The victim’s body had probably been cleaned after he was found, and that wiped away most of the oil on the skin surface.
But judging by the length and width of the fingers, the murderer was undoubtedly a woman. Her height was also about 150cm as I speculated. I took a picture of the fingerprint with my phone.
“What a pity!” sighed Xiaotao. “It would’ve been key evidence! Do you think the murderer has an accomplice within the gang? I mean, is it really possible that the surveillance video caught nothing at all? Perhaps it wasn’t even really a locked room?”
“Let’s just focus on one line of possibility at a time!”
I had no idea why the murderer had to force the knife into the victim’s hand. If the murderer had the ability to disappear out of thin air, why would they even bother with such a trick?
I used a syringe to collect a blood sample from the victim. Because he’d been dead for quite some time, it was difficult to draw out the blood, and in the end I managed to get just a few drops of blood. I dripped it into the test solution that I prepared to identify which type of poison was in his body. The blood sank straight to the bottom of the vial.
“What are you doing?” asked Xiaotao, who’d never seen me use this technique before.
“The victim was poisoned by snake venom!”
“What now?” Xiaotao frowned. “So there’s snake venom too? What a messy and complicated case!”
“No!” I replied. By now all the details fell into place in my mind. “It’s not complicated or messy at all! All the clues are now connected! How do you think the snake venom entered the victim’s body?”
“I don’t know—injection? Ingestion?”
“The main composition of snake venom is protein,” I explained. “So if you ingest it, it would cause you no harm at all since your stomach acid would digest it. It’s only harmful when it directly enters the bloodstream!”
I turned the victim’s body over and checked it again and again, but I found no traces of needle puncture wounds or signs of snake bites. When I turned the victim’s body back to its original posture, I suddenly realized the truth—it was the knife! The poison was smeared on the blade of the knife, and that was why the victim did not resist or fight back—he was already paralyzed after the first stab!
I asked Xiaotao to take the remaining blood back to the lab for testing so we could identify which snake species the venom was taken from. At that moment, the victim’s penis suddenly jerked upright, and just as Xiaotao and I looked at it, it ejaculated!
It did so twice in a row, depositing a considerable amount of semen on the victim’s belly. The penis eventually settled down, but it stayed erect.
“Uh…” I muttered. “Well, that’s not so surprising, considering the ‘bullet’ has always been in the ‘gun barrel’…”
“Thank god Dali wasn’t here!” she exclaimed. “He would’ve died if he saw that!”
We turned to each other simultaneously. Speaking of Dali, why was he still not back from the toilet yet?
Xiaotao immediately called Dali. I quickly put the victim’s clothes back on and covered his body with the white sheet. I had gotten all the information that I could possibly get from the dead body. If I wanted more, I would have to resort to more intrusive methods which would leave signs on the victim’s body, and that was out of the question.
Xiaotao had been calling Dali several times, but he didn’t answer the phone. I could hear the faint sound of Dali’s ringtone down the hallway, and that gave me a bad feeling.
“Let’s go find him!” I cried.
When we came to the toilet, Dali was nowhere to be found. I asked Xiaotao to call him again, and the sound of his ringtone was heard from inside the toilet. Something definitely happened and it shocked Dali so much that he dropped his phone!
I looked down onto the floor, and noticed sets of bloody footprints. Judging from the stride and length of the foot, it was left by a woman!
I pointed this out to Xiaotao and told her it must’ve been the woman in white that we saw earlier.
“So-So it really was a ghost?” she asked, frightened. “Could it be that Dali was captured by her?”
“Look,” I pointed to a spot on the floor. “There’s a puddle of yellow liquid here.”
“What is it?”
“That idiot must’ve been scared!” I laughed. “Judging by the position, I think Dali pissed himself when he saw the ghost, and that made him run away.”
We followed the bloody footprints until we went outside of the funeral home. Occasionally, we would find small puddles of Dali’s urine along the way. These bloody footprints were very faint. We had to look very carefully to find them. In the end, Xiaotao couldn’t find it anymore, and after a few more steps, even I couldn’t see the footprints either. Yet the stench of blood and urine was still in the air.
We came to a building nearby that had a sign that said ‘Cremation Ground, No Entry’ above the door. I pushed the door open and discovered that the stench of blood was even more pronounced here.
There was a screen in front of the door, and from behind it we heard Dali scream, “Go away! Go away! Don’t come near me!”
“It’s us!” I assured him.
“Dude!” he cried upon hearing my voice. “Thank god you found me! I was chased by a ghost just now!”
We went behind the screen and saw Dali squatting under a metal table, shaking like a leaf. His pants were all wet with urine.
“Where did that ghost go?” I asked.
“Do you think it really is a ghost, Song Yang?” asked Xiaotao.
“Well, it’s not like we’ve never seen a ghost before,” I laughed. “But the problem is… do you think ghosts would leave footprints like what we just saw? I suspect that it’s a human being.”
There was a heavy stench of blood that seemed to come from another room nearby. I asked Dali, “Didn’t you smell the blood? Are there any dead bodies in there?”
“I don’t know, dude,” replied Dali. “I’ve been crying so hard that my nose got stuffy. I can’t smell anything.”
“Let’s take a look inside, then!” I suggested.
It turned out that the other room was the mortuary. The place where Dali was cowering in was the temporary morgue. The moment I opened the door to the mortuary, a man wrapped in a white shroud came straight at us…Previous Chapter Next Chapter