Xiao Lou walked quickly and looked at the scene of the crime through the gap. Uncle Zhong’s death was obviously due to poisoning. Judging from the time it took for him to collapse and the almost immediate death, coupled with the condition of the corpse, the poison that killed Uncle Zhong should be the most effective and highly toxic substance, potassium cyanide.
Potassium cyanide was a controlled substance that was difficult for the average person to buy and could kill with a few grams.
Uncle Zhong sat at table 1 and there were seven people at the same table with him, including his nephew He Rong, Song Dongping, Song Xiaoqing and four famous local bosses. During the meal just now, Xiao Lou had always been paying attention to the situation at this table. The tableware that everyone used was uniformly provided by the hotel and the food they ate was the same. If the food was poisoned then everyone else would be affected.
But only Uncle Zhong died. Since this was the case, the poison was most probably consumed through the tea or his wine glass.
Uncle Zhong’s tea was poured by a waitress. She poured it for the whole table using the same kettle and couldn’t poison Uncle Zhong alone. The most likely cause was the red wine. Just now, many people took turns toasting Uncle Zhong, and some people brought the wine for toasting themselves. If there was poison in it, Uncle Zhong could easily be killed.
Xiao Lou whispered to Yu Hanjiang. “The murderer poisoned him using the red wine. Only Uncle Zhong was killed. It is very likely that the poison was in the red wine brought by the last few toasters. The murderer shouldn’t have had time to leave the scene yet.”
Uncle Zhong had just fallen. The murderer used poison to kill and would confirm that Uncle Zhong was dead before leaving.
The police officer’s card was in his shirt pocket. Yu Hanjiang can now go straight up to investigate as a police officer. According to Xiao Lou’s inference, the beer-bellied President Zhang who toasted Uncle Zhong was the most suspicious. But after thinking about it, President Zhang shouldn’t have known about the poison.
Yu Hanjiang frowned and his sharp eyes quickly swept around. Suddenly, he saw a waiter around 1.7 meters tall carrying a plate while leaving through the side door. The figure from the back looked familiar. It reminded Yu Hanjiang of the figure who jumped out the window on the night when he first entered the secret room and was shot in the abdomen.
Yu Hanjiang narrowed his eyes and whispered in Xiao Lou’s ear. “Find Xiao Ye and Old Mo. Wait for me at the coffee shop opposite the hotel.”
Then he turned and chased after the waiter.
Xiao Lou was stunned. He turned and found that Yu Hanjiang had already disappeared through the side entrance of the hall. He quickly reacted. Group Leader Yu had probably locked onto a suspect.
Xiao Lou’s physical strength wasn’t as good as Yu Hanjiang and he definitely wouldn’t be able to keep up. Once the police arrived, he might be suspected due to being a ‘fake’ waiter. Xiao Lou thought for a moment. Then he left the banquet hall through the back door and went to the bathroom to change his clothes. He left the drone in a corner of the banquet hall so he could observe the police investigation later.
The police car and the ambulance came together. The doctors and nurses got out of the car and checked Zhong Yongqiang’s body on the spot. Uncle Zhong had missed the best rescue time and his pupils were dilated.
Many guests sucked in a deep breath after the death of Uncle Zhong was confirmed.
The local police quickly sealed off the scene and investigated the guests attending the birthday banquet one by one. The forensic doctor who accompanied the team quickly came to a conclusion. The cause of death was poison and the most likely thing poisoned was a glass of wine used by Uncle Zhong. The red wine was taken back as evidence for verification.
President Zhang, who was the last person to toast Uncle Zhong, trembled with fright. He shook his head like a rattle and stammered while explaining, “N-No, it isn’t my fault. I have no grievances against Mr Zhong. How can I possibly poison the wine?”
The policeman asked calmly, “Where did you get the red wine?”
President Zhang answered, “There is a row of red wine bottles over there. I took one casually…”
The police walked over and saw a row of red wine bottles. All of them looked the same and President Zhang couldn’t tell which bottle had just chosen. The policeman asked, “Was the cap open when you picked up the bottle?”
“It seemed to be open.”
The policeman asked, “What about the glass?”
President Zhang thought about it. “I asked the waiter for an empty wine glass.”
The police officer found the hotel manager. “Who was responsible for the drinks at this birthday party?”
The manager spoke innocently. “Mr He bought all the drinks in advance, they weren’t purchased by our hotel.”
The policeman asked, “What about the cups and tableware?”
The manager hurriedly explained, “They were prepared by our hotel in advance and were sterilized in the morning. I swear that there was no problem when our tableware was put on the table! Officer, our hotel and Mr Zhong have no grudges. Don’t suspect us!”
Xiao Lou watched the scene through the drone monitoring and frowned even more.
Based on the evidence obtained by the police, the poison was in the last glass of wine that Uncle Zhong drank. President Zhang said he casually took a bottle of red wine and asked the waiter for an empty glass. Then he poured the wine into the cup for a toast. The guests at the scene took the red wine randomly. If the murderer poisoned the wine in advance, they were likely to murder the wrong person. The best way to accurately poison Uncle Zhong was to poison his glass.
Table 1 contained Uncle Zhong and the most distinguished people in the audience. It was too easy to attack Uncle Zhong’s attention when changing the glass. Therefore, the murderer picked President Zhang who was going to propose a toast to Uncle Zhong. They smeared the poison on the wine glass President Zhang took.
The easiest one with access to the glass was naturally the waiter.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou pretended to be waiters and entered the banquet hall to investigate. Obviously, the killer also pretended to be a waiter and brought the poisonous cyanide to the scene. He only needed to apply potassium cyanide in advance by wiping the wine glass with a white cloth containing the poison just before President Zhang took it.
The local police quickly figured out this result and asked President Zhang to identify the waiter who handed him the wine glass.
President Zhang looked at them and scratched his head blankly. “The waiters are dressed the same and I can’t really remember… I only remember that it was a young man with short hair and about the same height as me, around 1.7 meters.”
The waiters in the hotel were all dressed in the same uniform and it was difficult for a boss to remember the appearance of waiters. The police had no choice but to take all the waiters back to continue the investigation. At the same time, they asked the hotel for the surveillance of the corridor outside the banquet hall.
He Rong followed the police with a sullen expression while his uncle’s body was sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Xiao Lou put away his drone and turned to the coffee shop opposite the hotel.
The organization must have sent a killer to poison Uncle Zhong. The waiter had already left the hotel. The police finding him was like looking for a needle in a haystack. He could only hope that Yu Hanjiang caught the killer when chasing him.
There weren’t many guests in the coffee store in the afternoon. Thus, Xiao Lou found a spot with an open view. He sat down by the window and ordered a cup of coffee. The coffee was served quickly. Xiao Lou was in a state of confusion and he was worried that something would happen to Yu Hanjiang who was pursuing the suspect alone. However, his physical strength and speed were much worse than Yu Hanjiang. Yu Hanjiang would have to take care of him if he followed and he might drag him down instead.
Group Leader Yu often tracked prisoners in reality and had rich experience. Even if he was in danger, he should be able to escape, right?
Xiao Lou comforted himself with this reasoning. He calmed down a lot after drinking the hot coffee and simply contacted Mo Xuemin first. “Old Mo, where are you and Ye Qi?”
In the early morning when they were exploring the ‘Tianya Club’, Xiao Lou and Old Mo temporarily connected using the heart channel. Qin Guan’s Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings refreshed every day at midnight and the target could be changed after refreshing. Once connected, it couldn’t be changed again for 24 hours.
He and Old Mo were connected this time and the easiest way to find Old Mo was to ask directly through the heart channel. To Xiao Lou’s surprise, there was no response from Old Mo in his mind. Xiao Lou continued to call out to Mo Xuemin. “Old Mo? Can you hear me?”
There were no mental fluctuations in his mind. It was just like a calm and windless lake without the slightest of ripples. Xiao Lou sensed something wrong and immediately sat upright nervously. He took out his mobile phone to call Old Mo and a kind female voice said in his ears, “Sorry, the number you dialed is temporarily unavailable.”
Next, he called Ye Qi and also received, “Sorry, the number you dialed is temporarily unavailable.”
An intense feeling of unease filled his heart and made Xiao Lou feel like he was sitting on pins and needles. He got up and looked out the window. The sky outside the French windows was clear and cloudless. There were people coming and going on the street but Ye Qi and Old Mo couldn’t be seen at all.
Xiao Lou really wanted to contact Yu Hanjiang but he knew that Yu Hanjiang was busy tracking the suspect. His call might affect Yu Hanjiang’s actions. Old Mo and Ye Qi had so many cards in hand and it wasn’t easy for them to get into trouble. Besides, the signatures of Old Mo and Xiao Ye were still on the contract book. The signature was still there, proving that the person was alive.
Xiao Lou took a deep breath, quickly calmed down and called Shao Qingge’s number. Shao Qingge wasn’t in good health these days which was probably due to the operation. It was very easy for him to get tired. He had just woken up and was waiting for lunch when his phone rang. The woman across the table from him asked in concern, “Who is calling you?”
Shao Qingge glanced at the caller ID and smiled. “Mom, you eat first. I will answer my friend’s call.” He picked up his phone, headed to the balcony and closed the door. Then he pressed the answer button and whispered, “What’s wrong, Professor Xiao?”
On the phone, Xiao Lou’s always calm and gentle voice showed a rare trace of anxiety. The ending tone even trembled slightly. “Chief Shao, can you contact Xiao Ye?”
Shao Qingge was stunned and tried to contact Ye Qi through Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings. There was no response. His heart sank. “I can’t get in touch. How can this be?”
Then Xiao Lou asked, “After refreshing at midnight, did you establish a connection with Ye Qi?”
“It was established. He told me last night that the four of you visited the ‘Tianya Club’ and found a secret passage behind the mirror on the third floor of the club. Inside was a warehouse with many weapons hidden.” Shao Qingge was silent for a few seconds before his face gradually became hard to look at. “Ye Qi slept around 2 o’clock last night and I went to bed around the same time. I didn’t wake up until noon and then I received your call.”
“So you haven’t contacted him today?” Xiao Lou held his breath nervously.
“Yes, I just woke up and didn’t have time to contact him.” Shao Qingge squeezed the phone firmly. “Xiao Ye… did something happen to him? Why can’t I get in touch?”
“I can’t get in touch with Old Mo and Xiao Ye either. My calls aren’t getting through.” Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “Once a communication channel has been established, the two people can communicate directly. There is only one case where it will lose its effect.”
“Which case?” Shao Qingge guessed the situation in his heart but he couldn’t believe it.
“The other person is no longer conscious.” Xiao Lou’s fingers grasped the edge of the table hard, his veins clearly visible on the back of his hand. “We can’t get in touch with them through the mind channel which shows that Old Mo and Ye Qi are unconscious at the same time. Before they fell unconscious, they couldn’t resist or give us a warning. The two of them have been investigating Qingshui Town for the past two days which probably attracted the attention of those people. They were knocked out and taken away.”
“……” Shao Qingge felt pain in his heart as he thought about the 60 year old Old Mo and 7 year old Ye Qi being knocked out and taken away. His heart had just been operated on and hearing this result, he almost had another heart attack. Shao Qingge pressed a hand against his chest and frowned. “I’ll come to Qingshui Town right away.”
“No.” Xiao Lou noticed that Shao Qingge’s voice had changed and hurriedly told him, “You have just finished having an operation and shouldn’t be too emotional. You should rest at home and continue trying to contact Xiao Ye through the mind connection. Once there is a reaction, tell me and we will find a way to rescue them after Group Leader Yu comes back. I think we have probably touched on the organization’s core. Xiao Ye and Old Mo shouldn’t have gone far.”
“Okay.” Shao Qingge rubbed his forehead helplessly. In his current body, his heart would ache faintly when he was emotionally agitated. Wouldn’t it just cause a mess for his teammates if he had another heart attack halfway? It was better to stay at home.
“In addition, Uncle Zhong just died,” Xiao Lou spoke softly.
“What?” Shao Qingge’s eyes narrowed. “They killed again?”
“Yes, I suspect that our movements have been watched by the organization for a while now. This is why they are always one step faster than us and can kill our important witnesses. First was Cheng Shaofeng and then Uncle Zhong. He Rong might be next…”
Xiao Lou felt a chill go down his spine as he thought about this.
A pair of eyes had been staring at them in secret. Every time they found an important clue, it was cut off. Liu Qiao went to follow Cheng Shaofeng but Cheng Shaofeng had a car accident. He and Yu Hanjiang went to Uncle Zhong’s birthday party and it turned into a funeral.
When and how were Xiao Ye and Old Mo discovered and how did the organization manage to take them away at the same time without anyone noticing?
The more Xiao Lou thought about it, the more he had a headache. However, he couldn’t mess around. Group Leader Yu was still tracking the suspect. He had to stabilize his teammates and discuss countermeasures once Yu Hanjiang came back. After all, Yu Hanjiang would be more experienced in handling the situation of the ‘missing teammates’.
Xiao Lou quickly calmed down and told Shao Qingge, “Chief Shao, please contact Long Sen and Qu Wanyue so they don’t go out today. Group Leader Yu and I will go find Xiao Ye and Old Mo. We will keep in touch using our phones.”
Shao Qingge nodded. “Yes, I’ll find Qu Wanyue and the others and tell them to be careful.”
After putting down his phone, Xiao Lou sat back and drank another cup of coffee to keep himself calm.
Time passed minute by minute but Yu Hanjiang didn’t appear. After 30 minutes, Xiao Lou was worried and sent a message to Yu Hanjiang. “How is your situation there?”
Yu Hanjiang didn’t reply. Xiao Lou waited a few more minutes and still didn’t get a reply. He had to bite the bullet and call Yu Hanjiang. A gentle female voice entered his ears. “Sorry, the number you have dialed has been turned off.”
It was turned off? Was something wrong with Group Leader Yu too? He couldn’t wait any longer. Just one more minute would increase the danger to his teammates!
Xiao Lou’s face was pale as he got up and left the coffee shop. He walked quickly toward the hotel where they stayed last night.
However, the moment he walked around the corner of the street, his neck became numb as he felt like he was bitten by a mosquito. Then there was a strong feeling of dizziness. When he fell down, Xiao Lou saw a pair of shiny black men’s leather shoes that stopped in front of him.
He immediately lost consciousness.
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten