Chapter 509 – Change
At this time, it was already dusk. In order to seize the time to investigate, the six people didn’t eat dinner and explored the town separately.
Long Sen and Qu Wanyue were in charge of the northwest area, Old Mo and Liu Qiao were in charge of the southeast area and Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang simply went to the Lin house.
Previously, they had acted by the lake and the female corpse that Long Sen fished out was a missing girl from the Lin family called Lin Wanru. Judging from the general state of the corpse, she should’ve died within the last three days. Everyone in the town knew that Miss Lin disappeared inexplicably on the day of the Ghost Festival. Now her body was found in the lake and Xiao Lou wanted to see her family’s reaction.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou secretly infiltrated the Lin house.
The surprising thing was that after Miss Lin’s body was sent back to the Lin family, the elders of the family had no intention of burying her. Normally if a daughter’s body was recovered, the parents should prepare a coffin for her, right?
However, there was no coffin in the Lin house’s large courtyard. There was only a sack in the corner and judging from the appearance, it was likely to contain the body of Miss Lin. Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou lay on the roof and looked at each other. Xiao Lou spoke through the Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings connection, “They placed the body of Miss Lin in a sack. Are they planning to throw her body into the wild?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “Even if they don’t usually have a good relationship with their daughter, their daughter has died. They don’t dare to investigate who the murderer is and they aren’t even going to bury the body properly. How can there be such parents?”
Xiao Lou looked into the yard and saw that the middle-aged man’s face was pale while the woman’s eyes were red like she had just cried. She went under the tree, looked at the sack next to her and couldn’t help choking out, “Do you really want to throw Wanru into the mass burial site?”
The man hurriedly made a ‘shh’ gesture and said in a low voice, “She died so bizarrely and it is too unlucky for her to be buried in the tomb of the Lin family’s ancestors. The people who died in tragic circumstances in the town are buried in the mass burial site so that the people won’t be ruined.”
The woman looked at the sack with red eyes before finally gritting her teeth. “It is better to burn her with a fire than to throw her into the mass burial site where she will be eaten by wild dogs and crows. I only hope my poor daughter can have a good birth in the next life…”
Then she took a pot of wine from the house, poured it on the sack and set it on fire.
The raging fire quickly swallowed Lin Wanru’s corpse and there was an unpleasant odor in the air. The middle-aged man and woman stood beside the fire with complicated expressions. A few moments later, the fire burned out and only black ash remained. The man sighed lightly and returned to the house. The woman bowed to the black ash before following him with red eyes.
A conversation occurred between the two of them in the house. “Pack up. We have to leave Qingfeng Town as soon as possible.”
The woman’s voice was sharp. “Run? Can we run away? Over the years, the people who have escaped from Qingfeng Town have all died tragically. Qingfeng Town must be cursed. What sins have you done?”
The man shouted angrily, “Don’t talk nonsense!”
The couple started to argue fiercely.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang lay on the roof of the building and listened to their argument.
Yu Hanjiang frowned slightly and quickly sorted out the key information from the quarrel of the couple. He said to Xiao Lou in his mind, “Strange things have happened frequently in Qingfeng Town. I’ve always wondered why the residents simply didn’t move. Now it seems that everyone who left the town died tragically like they were cursed. Therefore, the residents don’t dare to move casually.”
“In other words, Qingfeng Town has become a semi-enclosed space. People who did bad things and stay here can be retaliated against by the ‘powerful ghost’ at any time while those who want to move out of the town can’t escape the murderer’s pursuit?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “This family is surnamed Lin. Do they have anything to do with the robber called Lin Xiaofeng back then?”
In the year of the famine, one of the five members of the organization was a woman surnamed Lin. Xiao Lou heard this and immediately took out the drone card left by Tang Ci. He opened it to the picture of the roster in Qin Feng’s cabinet which contained the information of everyone in the town.
Xiao Lou quickly found the information about Lin Wanru’s family. “Lin Xiaofeng, who participated in the murder of the grandmother during the famine, is the sister of the middle-aged man Lin Feng just now. In other words, she is the aunt of the deceased Lin Wanru. However, Lin Wanru’s death isn’t like the style of the ghost killer case. Did another murderer preemptively kill Lin Wanru before the murderer in the ghost killing case could retaliate against the Lin family?”
The murderer in the ghost killer case was Qi Ran, who was adopted by Grandmother Sun, and Han Ningshuang, the Mrs Xue who falsely claimed to have moved after getting remarried.
Their means of revenge was to lead the enemy’s entire family to the mass burial site and torture them to death. The moment these two people acted, they would directly destroy the whole family and leave no survivors. Their methods were extremely cruel.
The murderer who changed the girls into red clothing and dragged them to the bottom of the lake obviously weren’t Qi Ran and Han Ningshuang.
However, the Lin family did do many evil deeds ad happened to offend two murderer. Qi Ran and Han Ningshuang should’ve been preparing to wipe out the Lin family but they hadn’t acted yet. The other murderer couldn’t wait and killed the Lin family’s daughter, Lin Wanru first.
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “On Qin Feng’s roster, I remember that Lin Xiaofeng’s name was marked with a red cross?”
Xiao Lou found the page in the roster and nodded. “Out of the five people that Chief Shao investigated, the Zhao and Chen families disappeared three years ago. The Xue family died earlier. It should’ve been done by Han Ningshuang after she married Xue Zhao. The remaining two are Lin Xiaofeng and Lu Cheng. These two people happened to be married but didn’t have children. Their names are marked with red crosses so they should’ve died.”
“It seems that the murderer of the ghost killing case has already eliminated all five people who killed their grandmother. The ones who aren’t dead on the roster are collateral relatives. Are Qi Ran and Han Ningshuang already crazy enough to kill all the people with the same surname?”
The names of Lin Feng and Lin Wanru were also on Qin Feng’s roster but not marked with a red cross yet. This showed that Qin Feng guessed the crazy revenge of Qi Ran and Han Ningshuang was to kill all the relatives and descendants of these people.
Meanwhile, the other murderer specifically chose Lin Wanru and let go of Lin Wanru’s parents. He definitely had nothing to do with the famine 20 years ago but the murderer’s motive for the crime hadn’t been determined at present. Xiao Lou saw that it was late and pressed on the voice headset. “Time is pressing. Everyone, return to the inn as soon as possible to meet. We will be sent to the ghost town after dark.”
Liu Qiao and Qu Wanyue replied in unison, “Received.”
The six people soon met at Fulai inn and Xiao Lou pressed on the earpiece for a meeting.
Qu Wanyue told her teammates the information she had heard. “Two years ago, there was a strange incident in town. A bride hung herself in the new house on her wedding night.”
Liu Qiao added, “I heard the same thing. We visited several people in town and they all said this was the only case of a wedding accident. The groom’s name is Long Yan and he was the son of a wealthy merchant in Qingfeng Town. Everyone called him Third Young Master and he often went to other places to do business. The bride’s surname was Lin and she was a local.”
Surnamed Lin? Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang immediately became alert.
Xiao Lou asked, “What was the relationship between the bride and the dead Lin Wanru?”
Qu Wanyue said, “Her name was Lin Wanqing and she was Lin Wanru’s cousin.”
Yu Hanjiang asked, “This Lin Wanqing directly hung herself on her wedding night?”
Qu Wanyue answered, “That is what the people in town say. The third young master of the Long family was very rich and generous. He invited many people in the town to drink happy wine on the day of his marriage. At that time, there were more than 20 tables at the banquet in the backyard of the Long family and it was very lively. According to the rules of Qingfeng Town, the bride and groom aren’t sent into the bridal chamber immediately after paying their respects. Rather, the bride is sent in first and the groom will continue to serve the guests outside.”
Liu Qiao opened her mouth. “It is said that for nearly an hour, the groom and guests were drinking in the courtyard. No one paid attention to whether anyone entered the new house or not. Once the guests dispersed at around midnight, the half drunk groom was helped to the new room. The moment he pushed open the door, he saw the bride hanging from the beam via her hair. She had long lost her breath.”
Xiao Lou looked at Yu Hanjiang. “The bride definitely didn’t commit suicide. It must have been done by the murderer’s hand.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded in agreement. “The bride surnamed Lin was the first person killed by the murderer in the lake drowning case. Perhaps it is closely related to the murderer’s motive.”
Xiao Lou sighed lightly. “Unfortunately, the bride’s body can no longer be found. I can’t confirm the murderer’s modus operandi through an autopsy. However, I can speculate that the killer strangled the bride first before hanging the body from a beam under the guise of suicide. The killer could smoothly enter and exit the wedding banquet of the Long family. They should be an acquaintance of the Long family, right?”
Yu Hanjiang asked, “Xiao Liu, was it only possible to enter the wedding banquet with an invitation?”
Liu Qiao answered, “Yes, the Long family was a big family in the local area. Ordinary people who wanted to attend the wedding banquet of the third young master of the Long family weren’t qualified. It is said that the Long family had many guards at the door. It was impossible to enter at all without an invitation.”
Yu Hanjiang said, “Even if the murderer went over the wall and sneaked in, there were so many people at the lively wedding banquet. It should have been easy to be discovered. Therefore, it is more likely that the murderer walked in with an invitation.”
Xiao Lou suddenly asked, “By the way, what about this third young master of the Long family?”
“He is also dead. Three months after the bride committed suicide, he went out, accidentally fell into the river and drowned…” Liu Qiao’s expression became serious. “It seems that the third young master was also killed by the murderer? I don’t believe there is such a coincidence.”
The bride committed suicide by hanging herself from the beam during the wedding feast and the groom fell into the river three months later and drowned.
In addition, the female corpses in the lake drowning case were all dragged into the lake, indicating that the murderer was good at swimming. It was easy to think that the third young master of the Long family didn’t fall into the water but was dragged into the river by the murderer.
Xiao Lou wondered, “Can we still find the guest list for the Long family’s wedding banquet? The murderer is probably among them.”
Yu Hanjiang thought about it. “The Long family’s wedding banquet was held two years ago. Brother Jiu went three years in the past but he doesn’t know about the lake drowning case at all. They probably won’t wait in that timeline for a whole year. It seems we have to figure it out ourselves.”
Partially proofread: Paranoid Kitten