She had noticed Li Hao frequently reading the case files over the past year. The case files got thicker and thicker the more he put his time on it.
However, whenever she glanced over to have a look, Li Hao would quickly shut the files. She had gotten a glimpse of it once. It had the personal information about a few people.
Li Hao now raised his head to flash a bright smile at Chen Na. “I am only having a look at it.”
“Tsk! I know you have read it repeatedly over the past year, Li Hao.” Chen Na realized that as polite and innocent as he appeared, Li Hao was not entirely honest at times.
“You are always looking at those files, Li Hao. What do you want to find out so desperately? There are so many other old files around here, but I have never seen you putting so much energy into those. What is it that a newbie like you is looking for? Why don’t you ask me for help? Maybe I can give you some advice on it. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you do. Can you let me see it?” Chen Na was too curious now.
Li Hao never wanted anyone to know that he was investigating these confidential cases on his own. He didn’t want any unwanted attention. But he was at a dead end. He had reported the case to Wang Jie, so he thought it wouldn’t hurt to include Chen Na, too.
Li Hao considered it. “Okay then, take a look.” He pushed the files over to Chen Na. “But please don’t involve anyone else. I don’t want to bother anyone.” He did not want too many people knowing about this.
If others saw the case files, they would put two and two together and come to the conclusion that he was investigating the self-immolation cases.
He decided to share it with Chen Na because no matter how much he looked at it, he couldn’t find anything new. He was in need of fresh eyes to look at these cases. Maybe Chen Na would see something he couldn’t.
Li Hao didn’t really have much expectation about that either. But he was willing to give it a try.
“Don’t worry!” Chen Na smiled reassuringly. She was glad that she was finally able to see what engrossed Li Hao so much.
Afraid that Li Hao would change his mind, Chen Na hurriedly took the documents from Li Hao’s hands and flipped through them.
“Li Hao, what do you want to find from these files exactly?” asked Chen Na after a while. “I see here that you have recorded even the smallest things about these people. This looks more of a memoir than a case file. What exactly do you want to find here?”
Li Hao thought for a while. “I want to find a common connection between the six people.”
Chan Na looked through the files again. The six people belonged to different age group. They had different professions. They had completely different lives. Even their gender and social classes were different.
The earliest death was from ten years ago! The latest was a year ago. Chen Na looked at the file of the last person who had died: Zhang Yuan, a student at the Silver City Ancient Academy. Chen Na wondered whether Li Hao was interested in the case because of this particular death.
‘Zhang Yuan died on July 22nd, 1729. Li Hao dropped out of the academy around that time. Was this the reason he dropped out?’ wondered Chen Na.
She looked through the file carefully. A bright student who dropped out of the academy so suddenly… Chen Na felt that she might have some idea why Li Hao dropped out.
Chen Na’s face turned grave. Did Li Hao suspect Zhang Yuan’s death was his fault? Did he feel that all six deaths were somehow connected to him?
A series of similar cases…
Chen Na read the files carefully. Li Hao waited for her to respond but didn’t care about it too much. Instead, he focused on the next step he was going to take.
The case would be handed over to the law enforcement by the Inspection Office. Li Hao couldn’t do anything about it. Unless the Night Patroller intervened!
‘If I am right, then the red shadow will target me soon. Was it the same red shadow that I saw a few days ago? Is it looking for me now? Has it already found me but is waiting for the right time to strike?’ Endless questions filled Li Hao’s mind.
His self-immolation would not have caused significant concern if he was still an ordinary student at the academy. However, he was Level 3 Patrol Officer here at the Inspection Office. If one of their own died, it would be a cause for significant concern among the law enforcement agency.
‘According to the case files, the red shadow appears after a certain period of time. It cannot be said it will follow a strict time gap but…,’ thought Li Hao. ‘Nothing is certain!’ lamented Li Hao inwardly.
Li Hao had noticed something in the files. Whenever the people were attacked, the weather was always bad. Including the day Zhang Yuan died.
Thunderstorms, ball of lightning, rain…
It was not really a very remarkable find but Li Hao had focused on the weather when he couldn’t find anything else in the files. The night his friend burned to death; Li Hao remembered that it was drizzling lightly.
‘It only appear when it rains, or when the weather is bad,’ thought Li Hao and noted it down on a paper. He looked at it and then tore it up. He put down his pen and fell into a deep thought.
As he was engrossed in his thoughts, Chen Na exclaimed, “I found it!”
Li Hao raised his head, startled by her shout.
What had she discovered?
Continue reading on Read Novel Daily