CR: Chapter 508

Chapter 508 – Summary of the Clues

The silver in Shao Qingge’s treasure chest was all the same size and each piece of silver was engraved with three to five characters. Xiao Lou took out the silver and arranged them on the table in order, connecting the characters.

Chief Shao used the method of writing a small composition to clearly detail his experience with Ye Qi in that timeline.

“We were sent back 20 years and found a few suspects who were still children.”

“There was a group of robbers in Qingfeng Town. They looted people during the famine and after obtaining a lot of gold and silver, they built a bandit village on top of the mountain. As a result, the uneven distribution of loot caused five sworn brothers and sisters to conspire to steal the treasure and kill the other robbers. A nine year old girl Zhou Xiaoyun witnessed it.”

“There was a kind grandmother in Qingfeng Town who adopted six orphans. The oldest is Ren Yuan. He is also the Uncle Ren who sells rattle-drums in Qingfeng Town 20 years later. Next is Aunt Qing who got married and moved to Yuezhou. There are also four children: the girls Zhou Xiaoyun and Han Ningshuang and the boys Qi Ran and Qin Feng. All of them are nine years old and born in the year of the tiger. The grandmother knew how to make rattle-drums and each of the four children had a rattle-drum with a tiger on it that was made by the grandmother.”

“Zhou Xiaoyun saw the faces of the five robbers so they wanted to kill her. They found Grandmother Sun and took her and Qin Feng, Han Ningshuang and Qi Ran. The three children were brought back while Zhou Xiaoyun jumped out the window to escape and asked Ren Yuan for help.”

“Those who did evil during the famine not only burned, killed and looted but they also captured the old, the weak and the sick and kept them as animals to eat every day. They were about to eat some of the children but the grandmother stepped forward and tricked them using the pretext that the children had highly contagious smallpox. The three children were buried alive in the center of the town but were rescued by Aunt Qing who came in time.”

“In order to not be discovered by the gang, Aunt Qing took Qin Feng and Han Ningshuang to Yuezhou. Later, a fire occurred in Yuezhou and Aunt Qing was killed in the fire. Qin Feng and Han Ningshuang were separated and Han Ningshuang recognized a robber as her master in order to survive.”

“Qi Ran and Zhou Xiaoyun were looked after by Uncle Ren. During the time when the children were captured, Qi Ran had a finger severed in order to help Han Ningshuang. He had a high fever and there were also many scars on his face due to improper treatment of chickenpox.”

“Qi Ran had a strange book in his hand with pictures of human marionettes drawn in it. We have found him reading the book many times in the middle of the night, mumbling words. Later, the five people in Qingfeng Town continued to search for the witness Zhou Xiaoyun. Ren Yuan was forced to take Qi Ran and Zhou Xiaoyun away from Qingfeng Town. He wanted to go to Aunt Qing in Yuezhou but he couldn’t find Aunt Qing’s group of three.”

“The five members of the group in Qingfeng Town are called Zhao Lang, Chen Yu, Xue Ming, Lin Xiaofeng and Lu Cheng. Out of these people, Zhao and Chen are the grandfathers of the Zhao and Chen families who later disappeared. The other three have no family members and couldn’t be verified. Apart from Lin Xiaofeng who is a woman, the other four are men.”

“Ye Qi and I have been eating weeds and leaves during the famine and we can’t hold on for too long. The clues we have found are limited. I believe that you will definitely be able to come up with an accurate answer by combining the clues of the later generations.”

“Finally, if you see this treasure box and our names are still in the contract book, it means we were lucky enough to guess correctly that one of the murderers is Qi Ran. If our names aren’t there, this grave will be our joint burial place. Professor Xiao, please find the time to burn some paper money for the two of us.”

Everyone, “……”

What was burning paper money? Chief Shao was still quite good at joking?

Xiao Lou finished reading it and couldn’t help pressing a hand against his temple. “Chief Shao bet so big? Did they directly guess the murderer?”

Yu Hanjiang said, “20 years ago, the murderer was still a child. The information the two of them can find is limited and they can’t keep following the murderer for 20 years. Judging from the known clues, the murderer is indeed most likely to be Qi Ran. It is only after investigating in later years that we can find there is more than one murderer. Maybe the mission is completed even if they only guessed one right 20 years ago?”

Xiao Lou’s gaze swept over the names of the four children that were deliberately marked with ink on the silver.

Qin Feng, Han Ningshuang, Qi Ran and Zhou Xiaoyun.

Xiao Lou said, “Combining the clues left by Brother Jiu and the others, Han Ningshuang and Qi Ran must’ve joined forces. Han Ningshuang was responsible for flying the kite and pretending to be the female ghost to make things mysterious. Meanwhile, Qi Ran is responsible for killing at the mass burial site. Qin Feng knew about it but he didn’t stop them. As for Zhou Xiaoyun, she seems to be missing after that? Neither Brother Jiu nor Chief Shao’s clues mentioned her ending.”

Yu Hanjiang was silent for a moment before saying, “By the way, Chief Shao and Ye Qi found that among the five gangsters 20 years ago, there was a man called Xue Ming. Is he Xue Zhao’s father? Han Ningshuang married Xue Zhao when he was out of town and followed him back to Qingfeng Town to sell tofu. It didn’t take her long to become a widow. Perhaps the Xue family was involved and she handled them?”

Xiao Lou had also thought of this possibility and agreed. “The enemy’s surname is Xue and Han Ningshuang happened to marry a man named Xue. Then she became a widow shortly after the marriage. It can’t be a coincidence. Obviously after Han Ningshuang and Qin Feng were separated, she wandered around with a group of robbers for the sake of survival and her psychology gradually distorted. She happened to meet the Xue family in a foreign place, recognized her enemy and married Xue Zhao. Then she came back here to get revenge.”

Marry a descendant of the Xue family and then kill the Xue family. After that, she would pretend to be a ‘lonely widow’ and stay in Qingfeng Town to eliminate her hatred.

Perhaps Qin Feng was already suspicious of her when Xue Zhao died. Later, the Zhao and Chen families disappeared and Qin Feng was certain about what she did. However, she wasn’t so talented to be able to do everything by herself, Qin Feng guessed that she had a helper so he left a rattle-drum with a tiger at the scene where the Zhao and Chen families disappeared.

The four children were adopted by Grandma Sun and their grandmother had her limbs cut off, dying tragically. The impact of this incident on them could be imagined. Qin Feng disapproved of them getting revenge on the entire family but he was so indecisive that he didn’t dare to directly stop their plans. Han Ningshuang and Qi Ran’s mentality were distorted due to their long-term environment and slaughtering the whole family was the only way to fill the gaps left by their childhood.

Qi Ran had many scars on his face due to chickenpox so he always wore a mask. He approached Zhao Zesui, the fourth young lady of the Zhao family, and made this naive girl fall in love with him. Then he killed the entire Zhao family…

These two murderers had deeply scheming minds and vicious methods. They were indeed the best among the murderers encountered so far.

After clarifying the logic of the entire incident, Xiao Lou put away all the silver on the table. “The truth of the ghost killing case has finally come to light. Our teammates investigated it three and 20 years ago and the clues have been successfully passed on. In this timeline, we have the most comprehensive information and it is easiest for us to carry out the reasoning.”

Liu Qiao opened her mouth. “There are still two problems that haven’t been solved. One is the whereabouts of the witness Zhou Xiaoyun and the other is the case of the lake murderer.”

Qu Wanyue was the first to find the body of the girl in red in the Drunken Moon Lake. She heard this and couldn’t help saying, “Xiao Qiao is right. The bodies of the girls were only found by our team. At that time, Brother Jiu and Chief Shao could no longer be contacted. They should be unaware that this time the secret room has two cases.”

Xiao Lou looked thoughtfully at Yu Hanjiang. “So this time, the difficulty of the secret room is to let our teammates travel through different times and spaces to help us investigate the ghost killing case and think about the way to leave us clues. Meanwhile, in our timeline, we need to investigate the girls who drowned in the lake.”

Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, it should be like that or we would simply be winning by lying down.”

Their teammates were very strong, Tang Ci’s way of passing on the clues was clever and the clues spanning 20 years were delivered to them by Chief Shao burying a treasure chest in a grave. This was equivalent to entering an exam room with reference materials and it wasn’t difficult to reason out the correct answer.

Meanwhile, the lake drowning case was discovered when they sneaked into the Drunken Moon Lake at night. At that time, they acted separately and had already lost contact with the other groups. Chief Shao and Brother Jiu didn’t know about it at all so they naturally couldn’t investigate this murderer.

It seemed that this case could only be left to them.

Xiao Lou carefully recalled the known clues about the lake drowning case. “At that time, there were many corpses of girls in red in the lake. Normally, the bodies would turn white within two years of being in the water. Some of the corpses we saw were already turned into bones, others had started to rot and some had just been dragged into the water during the last few days. They appeared to be fresh female corpses.”

Yu Hanjiang continued. “This proves that the murderer of the lake drowning case has committed the crime for a long time. It must have been at least more than two years if some of the girls he has killed have turned into bones?”

Xiao Lou nodded. “Moreover, he borrowed the legend of the ghost when committing the crime. He specifically dragged the girls into the lake to drown them around the Ghost Festival. This way, people in the town would think these girls were taken away by a ghost.”

Liu Qiao remembered the scene where everyone was acting together and frowned. “I pretended to fall into the water and Group Leader Yu and Brother Long went into the lake to save me. They brought up a female corpse as well. If I remember correctly, that girl’s surname was Lin. She only disappeared a few days ago?”

Xiao Lou nodded. “Qin Feng arrived and I thought he would continue to investigate. However, he said that outsiders to Qingfeng Town shouldn’t interfere and sent the body back to the Lin family. It is strange. The members of the Lin family had no reaction to the fact that their daughter fell in the water?”

Long Sen scratched his head doubtfully. “This family is really wrong! At the beginning, it was rumored that there was a ghost seeking lives and their daughter disappeared. It can be understood that they thought a ghost took her to be a ghost bride. Then later, their daughter’s body was found in the lake. Shouldn’t they suspect that their daughter was killed? The Lin family didn’t respond at all. It is as if they don’t care about her life or death.”

Yu Hanjiang said in a low voice, “There are two possibilities. One, they have a very bad relationship with this daughter and her life or death isn’t a problem. Secondly, they might think their daughter was murdered but they don’t dare to speak up because they have ghosts in their hearts and have a guilty conscience.”

He paused before continuing, “I prefer the second possibility. There isn’t only one missing girl in the town and it is impossible for every girl to have a bad relationship with their family. Perhaps these people have done bad things before and the disappearance of their daughter makes them think it is karmic retribution. They don’t dare to investigate out of fear of exposing their past crimes.”

Xiao Lou also agreed with Yu Hanjiang’s opinion and followed this line of thought. “We have been in Qingfeng Town for several days and we’ve never seen a girl in red in the town. Yet all the corpses we found at the bottom of the lake wore red dresses and even had the same hairstyle. Obviously, the murderer has an obsession with a woman in red.”

Liu Qiao clarified it. “In other words, the murderer changed them into the red dress which is why it is so uniform?”

Old Mo sighed. “The murderer is quite perverted. He should be strong enough to easily control a woman, change her into red clothes and drag her into the lake to be drowned.”

Yu Hanjiang concluded, “The murderer is a young man with great strength and good swimming skills. Two years ago, he started to use the rumors of the ghost to commit crimes. He should be stimulated by a woman in red. Either a woman in red abandoned him or the woman in red died tragically, which made him feel revengeful. Red clothes… the occasion where ancient women wear red clothes the most is when they are getting married, right?”

Xiao Lou’s eyes lit up. “Perhaps the meaning of the red dress is the wedding dress?”

The whereabouts of Zhou Xiaoyun and the murderer of the lake drowning case were the last two puzzles left. The names of their teammates were still on the contract book but it was difficult for Xiao Lou’s group to not make any mistakes in reasoning in this timeline, causing their teammates to be thrown into the Nightmare Room together.

Yu Hanjiang saw that it was getting dark and simply stood up. “After dark, we will be teleported to the ghost town again and there are many hunters waiting for us there. Everyone, hurry and check if anything has happened with a wedding in the town in the past two years.”

Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality

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