Xiao Lou’s impression of Zhang Qing was very deep. She was the first teacher to appear in the secret room’s plot.
He remembered that she was wearing a suit skirt with high heels and was dressed as a professional woman. If she wanted to change shoes to push Ying Xiaoya off the roof, a suit skirt with canvas shoes would be unseemly unless she changed first.
The school’s office building had a locker room for male and female teachers. In theory, Zhang Qing had finished the morning class and was idle all morning. She had plenty of time to change clothes and prepare for the crime.
Yu Hanjiang frowned and whispered, “The focus of our investigation should now be on the relationship between Zhang Qing and Xie Xinghe. Why do both of them have the book Count of Monte Cristo? What does this book represent? The second thing is the relationship between her and Si Han. Was the case of Si Han falling down five years ago related to her?”
Up to here, the investigation had completely eliminated the students Yiru and Yu Hui.
There were four key figures remaining.
The class monitor Xie Xinghe. The book in his bag was still unexplained and he might’ve taken the poison from the laboratory. He might’ve been playing basketball when Ying Xiaoya fell but this didn’t rule him out as the poisoner.
The English teacher, Zhang Qing. The original book had been read many times, showing that she really liked this story of revenge. Moreover, the drawer that contained the book was locked, indicating she didn’t want others to know she had this book.
There was Lin Yueran, the language teacher of the class next door. She once taught language to Ying Xiaoya in the first year of high school and still had the texts of the two students in her drawer. It was impossible to determine if the suicide note was written by her but the possibility was high.
The physics teacher Si Qi and the deceased five years ago had the same surname. The relationship between the two of them needed to be verified.
Yu Hanjiang asked, “Professor Xiao, where can I find the information on all the teachers in school?”
Maple Forest High School had more than 20 classes in each grade and there were more than 300 teachers. The school would definitely have a place to store the teachers’ information. They had to find out the family background of these three teachers as soon as possible.
Xiao Lou replied, “The Educational Administration Office. It specializes in managing the teaching tasks and teaching plans. It should have the information of all the teachers. When I was in university, I had to submit my work plan to this office every semester and my home address, contact information and other information changes were also reported here.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and eyed the door, speaking decisively. “Go and check.”
The two men headed to the fifth floor.
This floor contained the functional organizations of the school such as the Youth League Committee, the trade union, the network centre, the supervision department, etc. The Educational Administration Office was at the end of the corridor and Yu Hanjiang quickly walked over and unlocked it with a wire.
They entered the office and saw a row of folders in a filing cabinet.
The information on teachers of the third grade…
Yu Hanjiang pulled out a folder. There were more than 100 teachers in the third grade and a thick stack of information. He gave Xiao Lou half and quickly looked through them.
They soon found the information on the three key targets.
The physics teacher Si Qi was 33 years old. Her parents were university professors and she was an only child. Her primary school and middle school were in this study. Then she went to a teaching university and returned here to work as a teacher after getting her master’s degree. She was the first teacher to come when Maple Forest High School was founded five years ago.
The language teacher Lin Yueran was 31 years old. Her parents were company employees and her family members included a younger brother who was currently studying at university. She was a local but her degree was an undergraduate degree. She was a free teacher and after graduation, she was assigned to her hometown and came directly to Maple Forest High School. She also came here five years ago when the school was founded.
The English teacher Zhang Qing was 29 years old.
Yu Hanjiang’s eyes slightly narrowed as he pointed to the data sheet. “Look at Zhang Qing’s family members.”
Xiao Lou immediately came over and saw that on Teacher Zhang Qing’s information sheet, the family members column had ‘accidental death’ written beside her mother and father. Her resume was very glorious. She passed primary school, middle school and high school in a brilliant manner and her university entrance examination scores were excellent. She was admitted to a famous foreign university and received a full scholarship.
She studied for a master’s degree abroad and returned to China after graduation. Then she obtained a teacher’s qualification certificate and changed to become a teacher.
She only came to this school three years ago.
Yu Hanjiang swept over this resume from beginning to end and suddenly said, “We fell into a mistake with our thinking.” He placed the resumes of the three teachers next to each other. “The person who has a relationship with the dead Si Han didn’t necessarily enter the school five years ago. Revenge can be postponed.”
Xiao Lou’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Yes, the protagonist of the Count of Monte Carlo returned many years later with a disguised identity. He returned to the people who framed him and cleared the old accounts one by one.”
It was never too late to get revenge.
As long as the seeds of hatred were buried in the bottom of the heart, even if they couldn’t be seen, one day they would grow into an amazing tree.
Yu Hanjiang opened his mouth. “Si Qi has the same surname as Si Han but based on her resume, her growth environment was very good. Her life was smooth from small to large. Her parents are also professors and such people generally don’t have serious psychological distortions. Her suspicion is the smallest.”
In order to judge whether a person could kill or not, they had to consider the family background, growth environment and education from childhood. It was hard for a child who grew up in a warm family environment to suddenly become a killer.
Si Qi’s parents were both university professors and she was an only child. The chances of her suddenly killing someone were extremely low.
Xiao Lou nodded. “This teacher just has the same surname and there is no other evidence pointing to her. It should be something the secret room deliberately set as interference.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Lin and Zhang are both very suspicious. In particular, Zhang Qing studied abroad and her major wasn’t teaching. She could find many better jobs after returning home. Why would a highly educated person like her suddenly get a teacher’s qualification certificate and run to a high school to teach English?”
Xiao Lou touched his chin. “Combined with the book in her drawer, I think she is most likely to be the avenger.”
She received advanced education abroad, got a master’s degree in economics from a famous university and returned to China with a glorious image. There were many job opportunities but she applied for a teaching certificate and applied to a high school as an English teacher. Why?
The death of her family members was even more puzzling. What happened to her parents?
The two people were thinking when there was a flash of light downstairs. The patrolling security guards had returned. Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou immediately turned off their flashlight, restored the drawers and office door locks before leaving the office in the opposite direction.
The campus’ streetlights were on and in order to avoid being discovered by the security guards, they deliberately walked in dark areas.
They whispered as they walked.
Yu Hanjiang said, “The clues are all coming together. If Zhang Qing is related to Si Han who fell from the building five years ago then it can all be explained. Her dearest relative or friend fell from the building and died. Since she was studying abroad, she wasn’t clear about why Si Han fell. Thus, after graduation, she returned to the school as a teacher and investigated the murderers related to Si Han’s story in order to get revenge.”
Xiao Lou became keenly aware of a key fact. “Then the murderer in Si Han’s case… was probably already killed by Zhang Qing?”
Yu Hanjiang stopped and thoughtfully looked at the maple forest in the distance. “Do you still remember the rumours among the students? The curse was said to start five years ago with Si Han’s fall. It is obvious that the murderer deliberately concealed the truth… after several years, the school had some inexplicable disappearances and the students attributed this to the curse.”
Xiao Lou was stunned and a chill went down his back.
Yes, the disappearances!
He immediately took out the note circulated by the students that day, which said: People have gone missing over the past few years.
Xiao Lou followed Yu Hanjiang’s gaze to the maple forest. “Group Leader Yu, do you think that the missing people are buried in the maple forest?”
Yu Hanjiang’s eyes were deep.”The reason why the maple leaves are so red is because it absorbs too much blood.”
Xiao Lou, “……”
This was the last prompt that appeared in the floating box when the two people entered the 3 of Hearts secret room.
A cold wind blow and the area of the maple forest where the streetlights had completely broken down was shrouded in darkness. There were a few maple leaves blown away by the wind from a dark place to a place where there was light. Under the streetlights, they looked like they were stained with blood.
Xiao Lou had goosebumps!
It was the middle of the night and this was too scary. He couldn’t imagine that bodies would be buried in the students’ favourite maple forest.
However, Group Leader Yu’s analysis was very reasonable.
The prompt when entering the secret room ‘the maple leaves absorb too much blood’ wasn’t to create a horror atmosphere. It was directly pointing to the ‘maple forest’ as an important clue.
Why did Zhang Qing return to China three years ago and why come to this school? It was likely to investigate Si Han’s case.
Where did the missing people over the last three years go? They were most likely buried in the maple forest after being killed by Zhang Qing.
If this was the case then the key incident wasn’t Ying Xiaoya’s fall but Si Han’s fall.
The theme of this secret room—revenge!