Chapter 1: Untimely Death
The station was busy as always. Several officers chatting in low voices, talking about the serial killing case that shook the entire department recently. A killer on the loose, murdering young women which brought fears on the citizen of the Central City. While Ying Yue, the resident forensic pathologist of the CCPD can easily find the cause of deaths of the victims, the pattern and the motive for the killings still left them clueless at the real motive of the killer.
“Director Ying, I can’t still find a link between these four women. Do you think they met the suspect before their untimely death?” Yi Meng, her assistant asked and received the report Yi Meng took from the laboratory.
Ying Yue took a sip from her coffee before reading the report. Her fingers flipping the pages with urgency.
“There should be a common link with them. Ask Officer Chen for the medical records of each victim.” Ying Yue replied without breaking her attention on the autopsy report of the latest victim.
“I already did but he said they need at least twelve hours to complete the details.” Yi Meng frowned as she saw several stacks of papers that were left untouched on her boss’s desk.
The woman was on her early twenties. A young woman who attended the local university at day while working as a part-time waitress at night. She was found dead in front of her apartment building before the sun rises. According to the autopsy report, she was killed by asphyxia due to manual strangulation.
Ying Yue tapped her fingers on her table while her assistant waited patiently for her opinion. Yi Meng bit her lower lip in anticipation as she fiddled the hem of her lab coat. She had been Ying Yue’s assistant for almost a month and she still couldn’t understand her superior’s temper.
While she worked well with their other co-workers, Yi Meng still felt that Ying Yue doesn’t trust her enough to handle some works. She took a quick glance at her superior. She wondered if her cold and distant boss will ever open up to her one day.
A knock on her office door took Ying Yue’s attention to her newest visitor. She only gave the man a nod to acknowledge his presence before returning to the papers on her hands. Yi Ming grinned as she saw a familiar man leaning at the door frame.
“Prosecutor He,” Yi Ming greeted and straightened her posture. The man was pretty popular with the ladies at their station but as always they knew that he only pays attention to Ying Yue. There were rumors circulating about their ambiguous relationship but the two neither deny or admit what’s the real score between them.
Still, Yi Ming couldn’t help but admire Prosecutor He. She could only look at the man walked towards her boss with both of his hands on his back. Something about him made her wonder if the man got other interest aside from finding leads about the current case on his hands and arguing with Director Ying about her preference on her teas.
The way he looks can make one conscious as if he could see through your soul. His high straight nose, thin lips, waist length hair that was kept on a low ponytail and luminous skin could put any woman in shame. If beautiful isn’t the right word to describe him, Yi Ming wouldn’t think twice to call him a celestial god that descended on earth.
He Yijun eyed the papers on the desk and shook his head. Ying Yue was still as lazy as he could remember. He didn’t want to argue with her about her organizing skills again but looking at her impassive face, he could tell that she wasn’t happy with the progress of the case.
“Are you ready? I thought you said you will accompany me to check the crime scene where the third victim was found?” He took the other profile folder on her desk.
“Put it back to where you take it. We’ll leave as soon as I receive the medical records from the other team.” Ying Yue said while taking some notes on her personal notepad that she keeps on her desk.
She could still feel the coldness biting her flesh even if she was dressed with a thick sweater and covered with a coat. Her breath made a thick fog on her face whenever she exhales. Ying Yue silently cursed herself for not visiting the crime scene earlier. If she agreed with He Yijun when he came to her office, she wouldn’t have to endure the coldness of the night.
Her eyes followed the man walking in front of her. She’d known this man for years yet she still couldn’t understand why he kept looking after her. At the age of twenty-three, she met this man eight years ago when he’d save her from a robbery since then the two was almost inseparable.
Still, with the years of knowing He Yijun, Ying Yue doesn’t really know anything about him at all. Of course, she had tried tracing and checking his background using the database at the CCPD but there was this unnerving feeling within her that couldn’t make peace with her mind. Aside from very rare instances when he talked about his past, she wasn’t foolish to notice that he was hiding something from her.
What was it? She had no idea.
“We’re here.” He Yijun’s voice brought her back to reality. Truth to be told, she doesn’t need to accompany him to check the crime scene. It was more like a silent rule between them to help each other to solve a case that was assigned to He Yujin.
He brought her to where the body of the third victim was found. The victim was stabbed on her abdomen and was left to bleed to death. Her body was found by a regular runner at the park which was too late to save her life.
Ying Yue stared at the figure of the body drawn with a chalk. Several meters from the body, the murder weapon was found at one of the trash bin within the park.
“Did you find a lead?” she asked He Yijun who crouched down to estimate the time one would need from his location to the trash bin at the other side of the road.
“Not that much but someone claimed she saw the victim arguing with a woman.”
Ying Yue nodded and looked around them. It seemed that the incident didn’t leave much affect the number of visitors within the area. She could still see some group of teenagers giggling at the other side of the park, sitting under a tree with a couple of beers on their side.
“I’ll look around maybe I can find something.”
“Don’t stray too far from me.” He Yijun reminded her.
She took the trail towards the lake while burying her hands on the side pockets of her coat. The snow started to fall from the darkened sky. The coldness of the night was too cold for her liking. When she reached the bank of the lake, something glimmering on the grass took her attention. She slowly picked it up from the ground and inspected the round stone in her hand.
“A black pearl?”
She was sure that it was authentic although she couldn’t find any logical reason in her mind as why would a precious gem like this was thrown carelessly on a public place. It was small and shiny but it felt warm on her hand which was kinda confused her.
“I found you.” A cold and sinister voice of a woman startled her. Ying Yue turned around and saw a woman wearing a red hoodie and dark denim pants staring at her with a wicked smile on her lips. There was something about her presence that sent shivers down her spine. She didn’t even hear this woman walked towards her.
Her instincts were telling her to run away from this woman. She could feel her body tremble not from cold but from the mysterious woman who was slowly moving towards her. She thought that the woman will whisper something on her ear when she felt a breath touching her right cheek.
It was too late for her to escape as she felt a blade stabbed on her right side. Her eyes widened at the realization. For other people, the scene looked like the woman was embracing her and not like she was attacked by the killer they were trying to track. Who would’ve known she will also fell at the hands of that killer.
“He’s mine for eternity.” The woman whispered to her ear before pushing the blade deeper within her body and pushing her off the lake. Ying Yue felt her body hit the ice cold water of the lake which was followed by a laugh of a woman and He Yijun’s voice as he yelled her name from afar. Her eyes staring above her with an unfocused gaze.