Apart from the pictures of these four people, there were pictures of other people as well. Officer Sun assumed that these were the murderer’s next targets!
But they had been waiting for a long time, but the two officers and the landlord had not yet returned. They didn’t even answer calls. Officer Sun knew then that something bad must’ve happened, and he immediately sent a big team of police officers to follow them.
But at the parking lot, they found the dead bodies of the two police officers, and in the landlord’s house they found the landlord, dead as well. Even the house had been left in a state of chaos as if a storm had hit it. This time the murderer did not use his mysterious legendary killing method, but instead opted to sneak up on the two police officers and slit their throats from behind. The landlord, on the other hand, was stabbed to death with a knife.
This proved that Jiangbei Daggers had panicked, and had rushed to cover up his tracks. This meant that Grandpa had been on the right track!
Even so, there was no denying that the police had taken a misstep which cost them the lives of two officers and the landlord. Officer Sun was hit hard by this and he shouldered all the guilt himself. When Grandpa arrived at the landlord’s house, he chased everyone out of the house and was in there all alone for about an hour. After that, when the door was finally opened again, clouds of smoke spilled out, carrying a scent like that of Chinese medicine. In places where there were no traces of anything at all previously, suddenly bloody footprints appear, there was even a bloody handprint on the wall!
Now with footprints and handprints, there were more leads to follow – the murderer’s weight and height, the murderer’s fingerprints, the murderer’s habitual movements, even the kind of shoes that the murderer wore.
Officer Sun mobilized all of his officers, and they worked all round the clock without rest, until in the end, they found an image of the murderer from a surveillance video of a supermarket. Although the face of the murderer was obscured by his hat, he was with a woman who seemed to be in an intimate relationship with him.
The police were able to identify the woman through the image. She was a worker in a textile factory and was most likely the murderer’s wife or girlfriend.
Officer Sun led his team to find the woman immediately, but before they got to her, she was already dead. Her death’s circumstances were exactly the same as Jiangbei Daggers’ previous victims. Needless to say, the murderer had panicked again and in order to cover his tracks, he even went to the lengths of killing his lover!
So Grandpa had now cornered the murderer twice. Although the police were not able to capture him, it could be said that in this race between Grandpa and Jiangbei Daggers, each side had both victory and defeat.
This also proved one thing to the police: Jiangbei Daggers was not invincible. He had weaknesses and it was possible to defeat him!
After that the members of the task force had their motivations fired up and they began to hunt down the murderer with new fervor.
But just then, one by one the members of the task force were killed off mysteriously and brutally. In the end, a total of five police officers lost their lives, and they all died just like the victims did, with their hearts extracted from their chest in a clean, bloodless way while they were still alive. Not long after, Grandpa announced his withdrawal from the investigation. This incurred the wrath of Officer Sun, who not only was still determined to hunt down the murderer, but who had also lost too many of his officers. He tried all his might to make Grandpa continue on with the investigation, but Grandpa was unmoved in his decision to leave.
Without Grandpa’s help, the investigation basically ground to a halt, and the case became an unsolved cold case even to this day.
When he reached the end of the story, there was already a small pile of ash accumulated in the ashtray in front of Officer Sun. I was suddenly reminded of a memory from ten years ago that sent shivers down my spine.
One night, ten years ago, Jiangbei Daggers had visited Grandpa!
At the time, I was only seven years old. I remember that someone visited Grandpa when it was late at night. I was curious, as it had never happened, so I went over to his room’s door and asked him who it was. Grandpa had always been kind and gentle-mannered around me, but in that instance, he yelled at me to go back to my room and not to interfere with adult matters. I was so surprised by this treatment that the event stuck in my mind ever since.
The mysterious person stayed at our house for about two hours before leaving. What were they talking about? Now that Grandpa was dead, this question would remain a mystery for the rest of my life.
But the question remained: why did Jiangbei Daggers return after ten years? Why did he kill Grandpa? Was Grandpa killed by the same murderer from ten years ago? Or was it a successor of some sort?
This case was wrapped in a thick fog of mystery and questions, a fog so thick it was almost impenetrable. At the time, I could simply make no sense out of all the information I had.
“Was that fat man who was killed last night the same Zhang Bao who escaped ten years ago?” I asked.
“The very same man, yes,” answered Officer Sun, nodding.
“I think I get it now,” I said, “Jiangbei Daggers had returned to put the question in front of Grandpa again…”
“Oh, you think so?” asked Officer Sun. “Do you think your grandfather might have solved the mystery of Jiangbei Daggers’ killing method?”
“I don’t know,” I said, shaking my head.
Officer Sun sighed and got up to his feet. He put a big hand of his on my shoulder and said, “Kiddo, I am partly responsible for your grandfather’s death. If I didn’t persuade him to help us with the case ten years ago, none of this would ever happen. Now that he’s gone, I hope you could concentrate on your studies and live a good life. Forget about all this and just move on. Let me be the one to catch the bastard. I promise you that I’ll never stop hunting him down until the day that we got him!”
“Officer Sun,” I said, “I want to ask you a favor.”
“What is it?”
“When the day comes when Jiangbei Daggers is at work again, please let me know. I want to be the one to catch him with my own hands!”
“But…” Officer Sun hesitated.
“My grandfather was able to force him into a corner ten years ago, this meant that the knowledge and skills that the Song family possesses made us the nemesis of Jiangbei Daggers. My grandfather had passed on everything he knew to me, so now it is my duty to drag him to justice myself!”
“You little brat,” he said, “are you saying you don’t trust the police?”
I made no reply to that. After a few seconds of pregnant silence, Officer Sun suddenly burst into laughter.
“Like grandfather like grandson,” he said. “Very well. When the day comes, I will let you know.”
I turned solemn, bit my lip and swore to myself—the next time I meet Jiangbei Daggers, I would show him what I, Song Yang, was capable of!