Chapter 42: Confidante (2 of 3)
People are squirming on the ground everywhere, yet T places the gun behind his back and walks through them like there’s nobody there.
He goes back to the fallen log that he was at before and sits down.
“Han Chen, please give them your verdict,” he says.
Han Chen glances at the farmers and doesn’t say anything.
T lifts his head again and looks towards Bai Jin Xi, “You sit down as well,” he pauses before continuing, “Ke Fan has already received his punishment.”
Jin Xi takes a quick look at the body on the ground and suddenly understands why T had to cut through Ke Fan’s back and kill him by using such a cruel method.
It’s because Ke Fan swung a bat at her back and T saw it. An eye for an eye; a taste of his own medicine.
Jin Xi has mixed feelings on this. After a moment of silence, she sits down on another log.
Han Chen says, “I can make a verdict, but hand them over to me afterward. They will be trialed in the courts, instead of you carrying out justice on your own.”
T looks straight and remains quiet for a few seconds.
Han Chen walks to Jin Xi and also sits down.
The auras from their bodies are mixed together again. Jin Xi feels a lot calmer. She stares at the side of his face, and he’s also looking back at her with the corner of his eye. Their eyes meet. They see the fire in each other’s eyes, as well as each other’s dark, deep, and clear pupils.
Han Chen pauses his gaze on her for a moment before turning to look at the front.
“How many people have you guys killed altogether?”
Following his question, T lifts up his gun again, pointing it directly at the oldest looking farmer. The farmer trembles seeing the gun aimed at him and stutters, “W-We’ve……k-killed……four.”
Han Chen’s eyes become cold. But just before he speaks, a loud “bang” appears. That farmer screams in pain as he covers his right shoulder.
Han Chen and Jin Xi both turn to look at T. T is still holding up the gun with his eyes looking like they’re covered with a sheet of ice, “I’ll give you one more chance. How many?”
The farmer says sounding like he’s about to cry, “S-Seven……Seven!”
Han Chen and Jin Xi remain quiet. T finally puts the gun down.
“Who were they?” Han Chen asks.
“6 of them were young backpackers, and one……one of them……” the farmer hesitates, “was me grandpa.”
Han Chen and Jin Xi are stunned. And Xia Zi and the others are so scared that they don’t dare to make a sound. They’re afraid that T will go after them once he finishes punishing the farmers.
“6 athletic outdoor people. 4 have been found, and their deaths were concluded as accidental. The other two had too many obvious wounds. They were dumped into the valley, and you policemen haven’t found them,” T says.
The farmer’s face turns pale as if he has just seen a ghost, “H-How did you know?”
T smiles coldly but doesn’t answer.
Han Chen takes a look at T and then continues asking, “Why did you kill them?”
The farmer answers, “Backpackers who get lost usually have much good stuff. If it was a girl, we would sleep with her. If we didn’t kill them, they would have reported it to the police. Me grandpa had been against us doing this. One time, he said he would go report it to the police, so dad told us to kill him.”
The dad that he’s referring to is the old man who is now lying on the ground with only half of his head remaining.
Fang Xu, who’s been quiet all this time, speaks up, “They even made money off of the dead. After Gu Ran died, her body was thrown into a quagmire. They helped the family retrieve the body and asked for a couple ten thousand dollars for it.”
T’s expression is indifferent, and he doesn’t say anything. Jin Xi is disgusted from hearing what happened. She examines each and every one of their honest and unsophisticated looking faces. Are they even human? Once morals have been lost, the only thing that’s left is everlasting gloominess.
“Lower than a lowlife. Despicable!” Han Chen condemns, pronouncing each word slowly and with emphasis.
“Bastard!” Jin Xi curses as well.
None of the farmers say anything. Their expressions don’t seem to change either.
“How did……you killed the victims?” Han Chen asks.
“We put them in the river and let them freeze for a few hours, and they die,” a farmer answers.
Jin Xi knows a little bit about forensics, but she never thought that the farmers would use such a good cover-up method to kill people. She asks, “How did you know that you could kill people like this?”
Another farmer, who looks younger, responds, “M-Me fell into the mountain flash flood when me was young. Me didn’t drown, but doctor said me almost froze to death. He said people die when they stay in very cold water for a few hours. Those backpackers all knew how to swim, so they wouldn’t drown in water. Therefore, we did it this way, and the police never found out.”
The truth is almost completely exposed in front of everyone. The deaths and secrets that have been buried deep in the mountain have finally been revealed.
Jin Xi can almost picture the entire process when they were committing the crime. She can imagine the torture that the victims went through and then tossed into the cold waters. And the murderers standing by the shore, guarding them until they died. At the end, their bodies were washed away by the river current. Their bodies were scraped by the rocks in the stream, and due to being in the water for a long period of time, they became bloated, making them look like horrific giants. The cases were taken care of by the police force and forensic investigators residing in the mountain area. Based on each isolated case, they would only deem the victims’ deaths as being caused by hypothermia. The murderers escaped successfully and continued to stay and hunt in the deep parts of the mountain. They lived an ordinary and hard-working life as farmers until the next victim came, where a new cycle was unleashed with the reward of money.
“Time’s up,” T stands up.
Han Chen and Jin Xi exchange gazes and also stand up.
“T, keep your promise,” Han Chen walks up slowly, “Hand them over to me.”
T’s expression is calm and unreadable. But Jin Xi notices that the gauze around his waist has turned red from being soaked in blood.
“Okay,” he says softly.
All of a sudden, moving at the speed of lightning, he holds up the gun and fires at the group of farmers! Han Chen and Jin Xi dash towards his left and right!
“Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang——” a series of shots go off. But because Han Chen is holding the gun barrel and Jin Xi is holding his wrist, all of them end up in the air. But T has such great reflexes. He fires more shots again. Han Chen has no choice but to release the burning barrel and dodge away from the bullets. T’s body falls onto Jin Xi, causing her pain. Jin Xi feels a rush of blood in her chest and stomach, so she releases his arm. She doesn’t want to lose. She holds up her fist and attempts to punch him! But at the very same time, T raises his gun and points it directly at her!
Jin Xi stares at the mouth of the gun and feels her heart freeze.
T wasn’t planning to kill the two of them, but now that they’re trying to stop him from killing those farmers, he may really shoot her.
The second this comes to her mind, a figure dashes over and covers her completely, blocking T’s gun.
Jin Xi stares at his back, feeling a sharp pain in her chest.
Han Chen, I don’t need you to shield me from bullets. If you can’t bear to see me get hurt, do you think that I can?
T watches Han Chen’s movements. He’s actually hesitating. When two top experts fight, the winner may be decided by a minuscule difference. This time, they’re standing very close, so it’s almost like a wrestling match. Like a cheetah, Han Chen bends low and sprints forward. She can’t make out what method he used, but he successfully snatches the gun away from T with just one move!
Han Chen changes hands and turns the gun to point the other way! This series of actions happen in a blink of an eye!
But T is just as fast. He pulls another gun, loads it, and aims! He also pulls another handgun out from his waist.
The two aim their guns at each other in silence. No one makes a move.
Jin Xi is standing at the side between the two of them and also doesn’t dare to move. It’s because whoever moves right now will trigger them to take action.
Even when there are so many people here at the top of the mountain, no one makes a sound. Everyone is watching these two men confronting each other. Only the bonfire is still burning, making crackling sounds.
“T, you cannot shoot,” Jin Xi says slowly and lightly, “How many criminals has he caught, and how many people has he saved in return? He is someone who truly protects fairness and justice. If you shoot him, what justice can you still speak of? What punishment can you speak of? No matter how many criminals you kill, you cannot pay back his life.”
Han Chen and T both don’t say anything. But Jin Xi knows that if T was acting out of impulse just now, he should be much calmer now after hearing her words.
The sound of propellers.
They suddenly hear the sound of propellers coming from the valley.
Han Chen, Jin Xi, and T are stunned. The others all turn and raise their heads to look.
Chapter 42: Confidante (2 of 3)