Book 2 Chapter 9: Contractor

As Ruan Zhan said, Zhang Xue didn’t die.

When the paramedics arrived, they realized the fatal injury was Zhang Xue’s severed arm. It was torn off along with skin, flesh and bone by “someone”, but it wasn’t something that could be done with human strength. However, on the supposedly fatal injury of her stump was a strange seal that stopped the blood loss, giving her the chance of survival. Zhang Xue’s father invited a famous yin-yang master who confirmed this was a commonly used hemostatic spell used by those of the arcane society.

Due to this matter, the police could confirm there was an arcanist staying in this building. While they didn’t know how this person was related to the previous cases, it was the only proof someone else was present at the scene. Therefore, they designated this person as their primary suspect. Zhang Xue’s father was both furious and heartbroken at seeing his daughter’s tragic appearance. He decided based on the flimsy evidence that there was definitely some evil, perverted Daoist out there harming college girls. Not only did he use his wealth to pressure the police and the school, he also spent money to send all the yin-yang masters, blessed witches and sorcerers he knew after this “degenerate” of the arcane society. Due to their skittish leaping to conclusions, Ruan Zhan ended up being described as a ferocious, perverted, vulgar, weird, lecherous, sinister and vicious monster. As for his kindness in saving the girl, people wrote it off as a sudden mood swing. The girl’s survival was completely attributed to her own luck.

Furthermore, despite not having died and not being completely disfigured, she had gone insane! She didn’t know anything and was afraid of everything, especially mirrors!

A hero who saved someone ended up being marked as a public enemy. His kind actions ended up being thoroughly twisted, making Xiao Xia almost foam at the mouth in anger. She felt injustice on Ruan Zhan’s behalf. However, the person in question seemed completely unfazed. He didn’t care that he was currently hated by everyone. He still had his gentle and elegant smile as he busied himself calmly behind the bar. As for Xiao Xia, she cupped her chin as she sat at the bar staring at the handsome boss, heart filled with grievance. However, in the eyes of others, she seemed to be drooling over him. After half an hour, even the unfeeling Ruan Zhan became extremely uneasy.

“Can you stop staring at me?”

“No.” Xiao Xia refused decisively, sprawling onto the counter and looking up at Ruan Zhan. If she wasn’t worried about keeping Ruan Zhan’s secret and bringing him trouble after this matter was over, she really wanted to make a press announcement to clear his name. “I hate being wrongly accused the most!”

“Alright, it’s not a big deal.” He didn’t care at all about this. No one suspected him after all. He didn’t need to prove to others what kind of person he was, and he wasn’t afraid of being judged by anyone. However, Xiao Xia’s sympathetic attitude made him feel very gratified.

“But aren’t they being too sloppy? Shoving all the blame onto whoever they find!”

“Can’t blame them. Since they only have a single piece of evidence, they have to investigate it thoroughly. Furthermore, their conclusion is rather logical. It’s just common sense.”

“Whose side are you on? Can you please understand your situation?!” Xiao Xia was super angry. “I’m speaking up for you here!”

“Shhh, keep your voice down.” Ruan Zhan stopped Xiao Xia, not wishing to be noticed by others. However, they were currently being observed and he bluntly leaned close to her face, hoping no one else could hear their conversation. His actions made them look like lovers whispering to each other. “You wouldn’t be trying to let everyone know that the “perverted homicidal maniac” is me, right?”

Xiao Xia slumped onto the counter dejectedly.

“You should be careful not to let others realize you were my “accomplice”. Otherwise, not only will the police arrest and torture you for information, even Zhang Xue’s old dad will secretly want your life.

“Extorting a confession is illegal. Perhaps those immoral police in rural districts may do such things, but such an obvious thing wouldn’t happen in a large city like this.” Xiao Xia wasn’t concerned in the least. “I do hope something like that will happen. Then, the lawyer’s association will litigate for me and I will receive a huge sum of compensation. It’ll be so huge I can spend the rest of my life counting money. Of course, Moneybags Zhang may try to persecute me, but no one knows where I am at such a late hour.”

“That’s fine then. How’s your investigation into the contractor?”

“I’ll go look for her tomorrow and see if she’s left any traces. However, I need your servers to assist me. I’ll have them invite her out so I can give a show of strength.”

“Do you have a plan of attack?”

“Of course. I don’t fight my battles unprepared.” Xiao Xia said. “You said the summoner must have been alone when the semester started. During that period of time, there was always a curfew in place at night. Only on the night of the basketball game was it possible for groups of people to come out. Now that I have a suspect, I just have to ask her some details about the match. With the help of the two fellows on the team, I’ll know if she was present.”

Actually, they agreed with the police in calling this a serial murder case. However, the murderer wasn’t a human. The key was this contractor. Based on Xiao Xia and Ruan Zhan’s analysis, they had already narrowed down the scope of the investigation.

First of all, she must know the four victims. For the first victim Qian Li, she was the one who made a bet with her. For the second victim, there wasn’t much information. However, she had to have known her whereabouts. The only witness of the third case was Tao Xiao Chun, the girl who was initially heading back to the dorm with the victim. Zhang Xue’s case clearly signified that the contractor lived in building seven of the dorms. This was because during the power outage, Xiao Xia didn’t see anyone enter or exit the building. Only someone living inside would have the opportunity to trip the circuit breaker. No matter how Zhang Xue and Ni Yang’s missed date was set up, she had to have tricked Zhang Xue into being alone and depressed. Otherwise, the conditions of the witch’s appearance wouldn’t have been fulfilled. This meant she had to be close enough with Zhang Xue.

Every piece of evidence didn’t reveal much by itself, but connecting the pieces showed that everything pointed to the witness of the third case, Tao Xiao Chun.

On the surface, Tao Xiao Chun appeared to be one of the top school flowers at T. University. She was beautiful, came from an academic background, her grades were good and she was passionate about extracurricular activities. No one would believe she was an evil person. However, she lived on the same floor as Zhang Xue and they were pretty close. She was the witness of the murder case in the main building and the only description of the event had come from her. She and the second victim were classmates and often came and went together. Most importantly, through Liu Tie and Ni Yang’s help, they had got into contact with one of the girls in Qian Li’s room who was Qian Li’s only good friend. She confirmed that Tao Xiao Chun also had some feelings for Liu Tie. Due to the rumors spreading about Liu Tie and Qian Li last semester, Tao Xiao Chun and Qian Li’s relationship was extremely bad. The person Qian Li made the bet with also happened to be her.

Therefore, they locked onto Tao Xiao Chun as the contractor.

“Now that I think about it, why don’t you come along? Perhaps you can see some dark miasma or something on her face. Wouldn’t that spare me the trouble of having to scheme around?” Xiao Xia asked.

“She only entered a contract, she didn’t get possessed. My abilities aren’t sufficient to discern something like that.”

“I feel you’re just slacking off.” Xiao Xia slandered. “Luckily I’m free today. I hear the school president ordered all reflective surfaces to be taken down to avoid more cases. He also warned the girls not to look into a mirror at night until the problem gets resolved. Also, all the students have been gathered to stay in one location.”

“That’s also good. It can temporarily prevent further casualties. I’m just afraid there may not be any defense against this.”

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I guess it’s better Bloody Mary rather than Candyman that was said in the mirror.