Chapter 250: Dark Clan
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Captain Zhang brought the warrant over to check on the security footage.
However, the results of the investigation were disappointing.
The hotel reception did not lie. That woman in black really was not a guest in Xin Xing Hotel.
After getting out of the elevator on the floor where Xiang Wan stayed, she walked one round along the corridor, and in less than two minutes, she took the elevator and left the hotel.
That woman in black had her head lowered, and from the security footage, it was impossible to see her features clearly…
In Xin Xing Hotel, one needed to scan their room card when going up, but there was no need for that if one wanted to go down.
Obviously, the woman in black knew everything about the hotel.
“We’ve been busy for nothing.”
That was Captain Zhang. His tone sounded a little unhappy.
“The hotel reception did not check her identity card?”
Tu Liang creased his brows. “The hotel reception said she was just inquiring for prices and did not take out her identity card.”
She must have not wanted to show her identity card at all?
Everyone fell silent.
Xiang Wan stood quietly and did not make a sound.
As she had seen and taken the elevator together with the woman in black, she was called to come over to look at the security footage. Hence, she had the opportunity to meet Captain Zhang.
He had a squarish face, wore very casual clothes, and was a very tall man. At this moment, due to anger, his eyebrows were wrinkled together and he seemed a little fierce…
When Xiang Wan was looking at him, Captain Zhang happened to turn around and took a glance at her. “Captain Bai, can I ask your girlfriend a few questions?”
Bai Muchuan nodded. “Sure.”
He answered swiftly and helped Xiang Wan made the decision.
The next second, he added, “But I have to be present.”
Captain Zhang glanced at him but said nothing.
It was a cooperation on this case after all and for Bai Muchuan to be present when he wanted to question a witness was reasonable.
Captain Zhang nodded his head as he knew Bai Muchuan was simply worried about his girlfriend. They gathered at the lounge where an accompanying detective took the statement as Captain Zhang asked Xiang Wan his questions.
“Why did that woman appear at the entrance so coincidentally when you are about to get your food?” Captain Zhang looked at Xiang Wan. “Could it be she already knew about this beforehand that you will definitely place a takeaway order?”
Xiang Wan had actually thought about this problem carefully.
However, the answer was… unknown.
Facing Captain Zhang’s sharp gaze, she laughed a little helplessly.
“If I knew about this, I would not need your help.”
Captain Zhang took a deep look at her but did not continue this topic.
Besides how Xiang Wan met that woman, he also inquired about online novels including “The Temptation of the Rich & Famous”, and when Xiang Wan got to know about it.
From the way Captain Zheng asked her about all these, Xiang Wan could conclude without demur that he was totally clueless about how things worked in the online literature industry. The questions he asked was that of a layman.
Xiang Wan answered each and every question. She even explained in detail.
There was hardly any expression on Captain Zhang’s face.
Before he left the hotel, he took a glance at Bai Muchuan.
“This 121 case will not stop at five deaths.”
“Of course,” concurred Bai Muchuan who raised his eyebrows, “this is just the beginning.”
Rather, the fun of the game had just begun!
Captain Zhang frowned slightly in hesitation, or maybe he was dissatisfied with Bai Muchuan’s reply.
“What we need to do right now—is to stop him.”
“Yes.” Bai Muchuan showed a faint smile. “That is our common goal.”
Captain Zhang bit his dry lower lip. “We just received news that the two fellows seemed to have headed for Nanmu—”
Finally willing to share more information?
Bai Muchuan took a glance at him. “Looks like you didn’t leave them be.”
Captain Zhang was slightly taken aback. “You knew all along?”
Bai Muchuan’s expression seemed a little grim with a meaningful smile. “Some of your men are not really reliable, but for you… you’re a detective.”
Captain Zhang looked at him but did not say a word.
The two fellows they were referring to were the ones who stalked Bai Muchuan and Xiang Wan at Xi City. Bai Muchuan had nabbed them and sent them to the police station, but they were released by Captain Zhang consequently…
Now that he had their whereabouts at his fingertips, wasn’t it a typical method of trying to catch all of them in one fell swoop?
“You know,” Captain Zhang paused for while, “sometimes, it’s not easy to want to do something.”
Bai Muchuan expressed his understanding.
“Don’t worry,” he gave a pat on Captain Zhang’s shoulder, “I’ll take responsibility if there’s anything.”
Captain Zhang looked directly at him.
Quite a while later, he lowered his head and left.
The seven of them returned to their rooms.
Bai Muchuan’s room was a suite where the living room could be used for work.
Bai Muchuan looked at everyone after getting them to take a seat. “Everyone, what’s your opinion on this matter?”
Tu Liang and Ding Yifan did not say a word, and they seemed to be thinking. Salimu stared at his mobile phone, not sure what he was looking at.
“I’m the operation team,” Quan Shaoteng sat lazily and sighed, “I only have well-developed limbs. I’ll just wait for you to give orders, and I’ll do the arresting.”
Still bearing a grudge!
Bai Muchuan swept a glance at him and said nothing.
“Boss,” said Tang Yuanchu in hesitation, “Captain Zhang’s an experienced detective. He would not give us an address for any reason! That place—Nanmu—he mentioned and the two fellows who went to Nanmu… There’s definitely something to it…”
That goes without saying!
Bai Muchuan was expressionless. “There’s nothing else?”
Tang Yuanchu cleared his throat and sat down beside him. “Investigating a case in Xi City is tough for us. We’re unable to obtain firsthand information. We still need the cooperation of the Xi City police.”
Bai Muchuan chuckled. “It’s their obligation.”
The curtain of the room was drawn, and the lights were dim. Tang Yuanchu felt Bai Muchuan’s face was somewhat gloomy when he said that.
“It’s obvious they do not want us to handle this case,” said Tang Yuanchu after some careful deliberation. “Hence, what Captain Zhang wanted was to point to a direction.”
Tang Yuanchu had some thoughts, but he did not dare say it outright. He could only put it across mildly.
“In my opinion, we still need the Xi City police to provide more information.”
Bai Muchuan was silent for a moment and looked at Sailimu, who was playing with his mobile phone. “Get their information.”
There was a gleam of excitement on Salimu’s thin face when Bai Muchuan called him to work. “Yes, Sir!”
As if he had received amnesty, he cheerfully brought his laptop over…
Only then did Xiang Wan get to know this seemingly innocent Salimu was a computer genius as well as a highly skilled hacker.
It was no wonder Bai Muchuan brought him along to Xi City.
Generally, it was illegal to intrude into other people’s systems. Therefore, most of the time, Salimu would have nothing to do. While they were discussing the case, he was busy playing games on his mobile phone.
Now that he got a task, he immediately worked on it.
“Boss, I found it!”
Bai Muchuan turned to him. “Say it!”
“The information the Xi City Police got ahold of is that the Dark Clan has been very active in the Nanmu region. The two fellows whom you previously caught are called Hou Sanliang and Zeng Shibao respectively. They are members of the Dark Clan, but they are only the runners…”
Bai Muchuan asked, “How big is this Dark Clan?”
“The number of people in it is unknown…” said Salimu hesitantly, “however, according to what is here, the activities of this organization are mainly for the purpose of making money. There is no record of any homicide cases before…”
“How about the hierarchy structure of the Dark Clan?”
“How ’bout the leader?”
Bai Muchuan looked at him without batting an eyelid.
Salimu blinked and pointed to his laptop innocently.
“That’s all they have.”
Pffft! Xiang Wan tried to control her laughter.
Salimu had such a harmless face that it gave off a comedic feel.
This was not a good time to laugh. Xiang Wan was feeling excited to have met a skilled hacker.
After talking to Bai Muchuan about her thoughts, Xiang Wan took her laptop over and told Salimu about that mysterious ID, hoping he might be able to shed some light.
Nevertheless, it was a pity the mysterious ID had not made any new comment.
That comment about “The Temptation of the Rich & Famous” was being removed as well.
Salimu tried to search for footprints from the backend of Wen Quan Book Treasury but was unsuccessful.
Therefore, the result was consistent with what Bai Muchuan had told Xiang Wan before.
The mysterious ID could have belonged to a civilian who traveled around much and used public networks frequently. Alternatively, that mysterious ID could have been a really powerful hacker who knew how to remove or mask his footprints perfectly.
“I feel that it should be the latter,” said Xiang Wan.
Till now, if she was still so naive to think everything was a coincidence, that would be too dense.
“All this while, I’ve been puzzled if I’m the target, why didn’t that manipulator come after me directly but kill so many innocent people?”
Bai Muchuan remarked, “They’re not innocent.”
Xiang Wan was startled by his remark. “What do you mean? How are they related to this case?”
Bai Muchuan gazed at her directly. “Think it over carefully.”
If they were not innocent, that meant they were guilty of something?
Xiang Wan thought about those who were dead, as well as “The Temptation of the Rich & Famous”. Those words they used to lure people in—”participate in the making of this book”, “annual income of tens of millions”, and “no longer be a dream”.
“Yes, they died of greed. Nobody forced them to join that.” Xiang Wan laughed ironically after giving a snort. “Even till now, there are still people believing in those scams that say ‘drive a BMW or Ferrari in three months’!”
A short silence took over.
“There are no problems with the takeaway, the food app, and the delivery man. Basically, we can ascertain the strange note was put inside the carrier by that woman in black. If we assume she’s a member of the Dark Clan, is it really possible she made this trip to this hotel just to drop a note to tell Miss Xiang that she has been selected to join ‘The Temptation of the Rich & Famous’?”
Xiang Wan was bewildered.
“I don’t even know how to participate in that program? I’m not told why I’m being chosen, nor am I told how to join the making of that book?”
“No! Maybe you’ve already started long ago.” Bai Muchuan suddenly turned to her. In his eyes, there seemed to be dark, brooding waves. “It’s your book—Murder The Dream Guy.”
Xiang Wan’s heart had rejected such a deduction.
If Bai Muchuan’s deduction was true, would that mean all those major cases of Jin City and this 121 case in Xi City were somewhat linked?
Then any author who participated in “The Temptation of the Rich & Famous” meant whatever cases they wrote inside their novel would be replicated to become real-life cases?
That thought made Xiang Wan’s spine numb and her body cold.
“However, they have not even started to write anything and got killed?”
Bai Muchuan looked at her casually. “Not everyone is as talented as you.”
Was this considered a compliment?
Xiang Wan took a look at the strange note on the table again.
“The main person I want to groom.”
Her heart shrank for a moment as she chewed over the words. “Do you mean the five girls died because they were unable to bring out the joy of this game? Thus, these girls were being murdered?”
“Maybe, they have now become your ‘plot’.”
“…” Xiang Wan felt suffocated for an instant, all of her pores were as though blocked.
“Bai Muchuan, you’re saying I’m being forced to write about this 121 case?”
Bai Muchuan nodded his head, his gaze felt chilly.
“Whoever’s behind it wanted to groom you into a revered author—he wanted to use your hands to kill.”
… That’s too horrifying!
She thought back about her first case—Zhao Jiahang. If that was purely accidental that she used him as reference and wrote a murder case, the subsequent cases she wrote could have been planned out.
Whenever she wrote about death, there would be someone who would die in real life.
If she didn’t write and update her story, there would be a death for each day she failed to do so.
Someone was forcing her and was enjoying the thrill of it.
Xiang Wan’s brain was buzzing, her eardrums ringing. She was enraged.
“Why did that person target me? What if I die?”
Bai Muchuan’s gaze turned chilly again after hearing that from Xiang Wan. “He’ll search for another target.”
The moment when people who had such abnormal criminal behavior found pleasure from certain criminal activity, they would have a hard time stopping that activity.
“That means,” sneered Xiang Wan, “whether if I went into hiding or if I’m dead would not affect that person’s intentions and plan?”
Bai Muchuan squinted his eyes as he looked at her face which was now flushed red due to anger. “You can say that!”
Xiang Wan took a deep breath and sat weakly on the sofa. Her eyes were red and she stayed motionless for a long time.
“I still don’t understand. Since they’ve already planned ahead, why didn’t they continue to leave comments on the reviews and comments page but got a woman to drop me that note?”
Everyone fell silent.
“Maybe he knew about my presence and decided to adopt a more direct approach in case I might be able to find something that could expose his identity? That was why that woman in black dropped you a note to officially start this crazy program that felt like a game?”
Bai Muchuan gave a chuckle and looked at Xiang Wan. “What do you think?”
Xiang Wan shook her head. “I feel that he’s a lunatic. He’s scared of nothing.”
If he was afraid, how would he dare do something ordinary people did not even dare to think about?
Bai Muchuan gave her a look of approval. “Maybe he thought this was more formal.” His tone became lower. “Or maybe he wanted to show his capability… that he could do whatever he wants, even in our territory.”
Xiang Wan nodded.
This was probably the most plausible explanation.
“Let’s not talk about all this that could not help in the situation. Just talk about what we should do.” Quan Shaoteng did not have much patience. “Little Bai, why did I feel that investigation is so troublesome? If it’s me, I’ll directly bring a group of people over and drag each and every one of the triad members out of their lair. Then we’ll just question them whatever we wanted to know, won’t it be better?”
If only it was so simple.
Bai Muchuan swept a glare over. “No wonder you’re always making mistakes.”
Quan Shaoteng scoffed. “Don’t ruin my image. When have I ever made a mistake?”
Bai Muchuan laughed. “If you didn’t make a mistake, why do you think you’re here at Serious Crime Division One to mend your ways…”
“Hey, hey, hey!” Quan Shaoteng knocked on the table. “You gotta be reasonable. You’re the one who wanted me to come.”
Bai Muchuan said lazily, “I’m not someone who would go around saying things that ain’t true.”
“… Fine. That means you don’t need me around?”
“We need you.” Bai Muchuan turned around slowly to look at everyone in the room and his gaze suddenly became serious. “Our trip to Nanmu maybe fraught with danger. We do need someone who could protect us.”
Quan Shaoteng gasped in anger. “…”