Chapter 29: The Skeleton Key
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
That night at 11:30, Zhao Yu crawled into his bed, exhausted. Running around the whole day from morning to night, he had truly exhausted all of his strength. Both in his last life, and his new life, he never knew that investigating cases was this difficult!
Every piece of evidence, every witness, and every piece of information had to be carefully, and repeatedly confirmed. Sometimes, even though he knew that what he was doing was fruitless, he had to stubbornly push forward because the key to solving many cases was often found in unexpected evidences.
After leaving the police station, Zhao Yu and Li Beni’s primary investigation target was the tenth place competitor from the piano competition. According to the evidence, she was the most likely suspect.
Yet when the two found her, their jaws dropped because this contestant was currently pregnant, already in her third trimester. She had been pregnant for seven months already, and her stomach was like a huge ball! How could a pregnant woman so far along be the culprit behind the Lost Hand Case?
With nowhere else to go, the two could only ask her about the piano competition. The lady could not remember anything too clearly. She said she was only eighteen-years-old, just a child. All she knew how to do was play piano, everything else was a blur. She only remembered that the competition was very publicized. Not only did the city and province level government officials come to watch, but they also invited many professional judges from the famous art schools.
It was because the judge's expectations were so high that the contestant’s points were very different. With almost a three-hundred to four-hundred point differences, this was very rare in professional piano competitions! The competition was also very important to the contestants because those who scored at the top of the competition would most likely be recruited by famous colleges. This was considered a shortcut to highly coveted universities!
Hearing this, Zhao Yu suddenly remembered what Shan Shan’s mother had said about how she had almost been accepted by the Capital Music Academy. If she had been accepted, her life would be very different!
Zhao Yu applied the idea to himself. This was his second life, and it was truly a completely different life. He had made a lot of mistakes in his last life, so in this life, he would try his hardest to avoid them in order live the life he truly wanted!
Since the tenth place contestant could not be the culprit, Zhao Yu and Li Beini could only focus on other evidence. According to Li Beini’s friend from another city, they had already confirmed that the eighth place contestant had not returned to Qinshan City for more than a decade, and therefore could not be the culprit. Once again, the investigation came to a screeching stop, since there were not any other suspects on the list.
Unable to continue, the two could only split up and look for the rest of the piano contestants. But due the contest being so long ago, some people were very difficult to find. Some were no longer in the city, some had already retired, and there were even some who had passed away.
After spending an entire afternoon, other than getting some information from a retired officer from the Culture and Education Bureau, there were not any other advances in the investigation.
The retired officer had been a staff member at the competition, and still had some memories. He said that the competition was huge. Not only the city, but the provinces around Qinshan City were also involved. The participants were all eighteen to nineteen-year-old high school seniors that were chosen from their own districts. There was a total of one-hundred contestants that came to the city for the preliminaries. After the preliminaries, the top ten were chosen for the finals. The competition level was incredibly high.
Also, the winners matched the fierceness of the competition. The top three were usually immediately recruited by the famous art schools within the country. Fourth, fifth, and sixth place usually entered province level art schools. As for those following the top six, it was down to luck. The luckier ones entered city level art schools, while the unlucky ones were no different from regular students.
After getting that information, Zhao Yu still felt directionless! Maybe the direction of his investigation was not wrong, but perhaps this mysterious culprit had not been in the top ten, but had been eliminated prior to that.
Maybe because they did not manage to get in top ten, they held a grudge, wanting to get revenge by chopping off the other contestants’ hands! If it was really like this, then Zhao Yu would have had to go through the entire contestant list. Since Zhao Yu did not have the full list, how could he investigate?
After some discussion, Li Beini felt that maybe they should look at it from another angle, shifting their focus to the culprit’s next target. On the 26th, they would secretly investigate the principal of the school, Li Xinghua. If the culprit really targeted her, then maybe they would be able to gain some information.
Zhao Yu could only nod. There was not much they could do at this point. But he felt awful, feeling as if his 1800 yuan had simply gone to waste.
Li Beini tried to console him, noting that investigating cases were just like this, often leading to dead ends. In those cases, it was better to get a good night’s sleep. Maybe he would feel more inspired after he woke up.
Zhao Yu surprisingly accepted Li Beini’s advice, and finally decided to go back and rest. The case had been put to rest, but his adventure had apparently continued. While Zhao Yu was showering, he heard the system’s ending message, "Today’s adventure has been complete. Completion rate: 88%! Congratulations, an invisibility device has been obtained, please accept!"
"Holy sh*t!" Zhao Yu was shocked. Why was his completion rate so high! Not only was it above 80%, it was a lucky number! What kind of situation was this?
He quickly stopped showering, and examined the item within his mind.
"Skeleton key." The system introduced the item, "One time consumable. After use, can be used to open any single lock, and crack up to level fifteen electronic codes. There is no evidence remaining after use."
"Amazing!" Zhao Yu thought. An invisible, traceless skeleton key, amazing! Definitely worthy of an 88% completion rate! But he was somewhat confused. Why was his completion rate was so high? He did not even finish the case, or catch the culprit. What exactly was today’s adventure?
After his shower, it was already after midnight. But Zhao Yu felt refreshed and energized, so he decided to turn on the Miracle System again, and play the daily lottery.
As he was lighting the cigarette, he prayed in his heart, "Dear system, please give me a good roll, let me solve the case faster?!"
"Gen Kan Hexagram!" The system spoke, "Mountain and water, clear mountain and beautiful water, the dawn is beautiful and colorful. Your luck will be at max." The system became quiet again.
This time, Zhao Yu finally wrote down the prompt completely. But even after a long analysis, even using his phone to look it up, he still could not understand it at all. He decided to just sleep it off. But that night, Zhao Yu did not sleep very well. His mind was filled with strange dreams. He even dreamt that he used a kitchen knife to chop off someone’s hand.