Chapter 24 - What about that? Still you aren’t the one?

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"What were you doing around 1 AM on May 14th?"

"Please don't tell me that you are suspicious of me."

"We're not suspicious. We are questioning a witness."

"I went to bed at 11 PM. It feels like you are turning sensitive because of the arson cases, but my time frame is different from the arsons."

'Got you!'

"Kim Jiyeon, you spoke about the time, but the time of the arson cases hasn't been officially briefed till now. How do you know that?"

For a moment, her eyes turned cold. She fell into Hansol's trap unknowingly.

"Maybe because the news was saying that the fires were in the morning?"

"Ah, then have you not come across anyone in the neighborhood who was a bit strange? Someone who spoke about fires?"

"Maybe one or two people? Should I even care about that? Why is the witness questioning being done so unpleasantly here?"

Kim Jiyeon seems to think she was being questioned as a witness and could be treated better. However, Hansol would drive into her psychology until the end because she was irritated.

Some sociopaths enjoy being sympathetic to or from others. They act sympathetic and then commit a crime. Hansol concluded that Kim Jiyeon was of that type since the way she was speaking right now was as if she was asking Hansol to be sympathetic towards her.

"Okay. You were asleep. Then, I have questions about your younger sibling."

"Ask Jiyo all that. Why ask me about her? It is unfair to me."

She was wearing a mask to ask for others' sympathy, but she didn't know that Hansol was also hiding his true nature.

"It isn't something odd… Miss Jiyo said that she is busy with her graduation work. So, the questioning time has been delayed…."

"It must be a tough time for Jiyo. She is under so much stress."

"Miss Jiyeon, how do you relieve your stress? According to your work hours you must have gone through a lot of overtime."

"Well, I forget about such stuff when I read books or do the housework. Sometimes, I just smoke or drink beer."

"Ah, you are a smoker. Then, you might be wanting one right now."

"It is natural. I came here to speak about something which has nothing to do with me. I am indeed doing this here despite not having enough time to rest…."

"Then smoke and we can continue."

At Hansol's suggestion, Kim Jiyeon took her cigarette and lighter from her back and went out. Hansol, too, followed her. And when she lit the fire, Hansol noticed that she wasn't an occasional smoker but quite regular.

"Ah, Doctor Im!"

Detective Kang Woo-cheol approached him with a file in hand.

"You should check this out. This is the file which was handed to the CIF by Team One."

"Is this urgent?"

"With Kim Jiyeon here, I think checking it out would do better!"

"Thank you."

Since Kim Jiyeon went to the bathroom after smoking, they had 10 minutes on their hands.

Hansol opened the file.

[10-hectare fire in Jinseong… cause unknown.]

[Jinseong, fire once again after last year… farmers move.]

[JInseong's Mayor 'No fires this year,' a promise broken by fire.]

[Kim Jiyeon. Jiyo, hometown Jinseong…]

"…!"

Hansol looked at the date of the articles. It was about 10 years ago in the hometown where the sisters stayed before coming to Seoul. They weren't able to catch the culprit even then.

Since the sisters moved to Seoul, there have been no constant fire cases in Jinseong. Was this a coincidence?

'There can be one coincidence, but two are intentional. Maybe one of them is the arsonist, and the other is hiding the truth.'

Just then, Kim Jiyeon came back and sat down. A refreshing smell that said she had gargled her mouth in the bathroom.

"How are you feeling now?"

"What do you mean? I want to finish soon and head home."

"Let me ask you. Why did you choose to come to Seoul at a young age?"

At that question, Kim JIyeon's face went stiff once again. It looked like something that shouldn't be asked.

"Do I have to answer it?"

"Yes. This is an essential part of the investigation process."

As Hansol spoke in a firm voice, Kim Jiyeon took a deep breath and opened her mouth. Of course, it was all staged action for Hansol. Kim Jiyeon had already lost Hansol's trust, and Hansol never believed her from the beginning.

"My father would hit us when he got drunk. Our mother, me, and my sister always get hit. There were a lot of young people in the house, and he would hit us saying that farming wasn't going well. As a result, my mother sent us to Seoul. I never returned to my hometown after that. Our mother split up with him after we were moved here, and we lost communication."

Domestic violence and breaking away were possible topics that a sociopath would touch on. Hansol imagined the mother and daughters who were helpless against the drunken father. The anger rose and turned to a stimulant. Something inside must have awakened then.

A play with the lighter.

The anger towards her father soon turned into a greater pleasure. Instead of killing her father, who was violent towards them, they turned to burn things.

"I see. You must have been through a lot. However, there's one thing on my mind. Around 10 years ago in Jinseong village, where you and your sister lived, unknown fires were raging."

"You think me and Jiyo did that? We didn't!"

'… lie.'

"When one tells a lie, people subconsciously show it through some kind of action. For example, Mss Jieyon's trembling legs and hands."

At Hansol's pointing, the hands and legs stopped moving.

However, Hansol's expression didn't change. As Kim Jiyeon was pushing herself to a corner, tears started appearing, and she broke down. At the sound of sniffling, the others looked at them, but Hansol didn't care.

Kim Jiyeon was now playing for sympathy with her tears. They were tears of emotions filled with lies.

"Let's get to the serious question. Why did you start the fire?"

"I said I didn't."

'… again, lie.'

"Miss Kim Jiyeon and Miss Jiyo took turns to commit the crimes. First, let's go to how this started. Getting a lighter must have been easy. Since Miss Jiyo is a part-timer who works in a convenience store. Some goods arrive in the morning. At that moment, she must have taken advantage of the frenzy of moving goods and stole a small lighter."

"My Jiyo isn't like that!"

"Second, the both of you have been each others' salvation. Family problems, life in the countryside with no one to help, a mother who isn't in contact, and hard life. Miss Jiyeon had to give up on college, and Miss Jiyo is now majoring in arts and sports with the support of her older sister, but it has been stressful. As a result, the two of you came up with a plan."

"N-No!"

Kim Jiyeon shouted, but Hansol continued.

"Should we do it the way we did when we were younger? Then, both of you use someone else's shared bike ID and act like the bankbooks were stolen. The situation was the same as when you were younger. No cars so no black boxes and so CCTVs in alleys and the CCTV on road were broken. How is that? Perfect plan, right?"

"You are a scammer! No! We did not do it!"

"You two knew the path too well. You chose the back road even though you knew the path for the bikes would be faster. It doesn't stop there. As the case began to have a full-fledged investigation, Miss Kim Jiyeon took a drastic choice and then reported to us. A witness statement, but on the spot, Miss Kim Jiyo realized that police aren't aware of her identity yet. So, this time, the arson wasn't done right away, right?"

Kim Jiyeon got up and banged on the table while crying, but Hansol didn't blink an eye.

"Right. You must have felt pleasure in every moment of arson. You couldn't have forgotten when you ran away from your abusive father. The fire which bloomed for the two people, who had a hard life and eventually took away the life of others, that was your life. I will give you a chance to choose. If you surrender, your sentence will be reduced. Otherwise, you already know… should I maybe start with Miranda Rights?"

"Evidence! Show proof that I did that! A proof that my sister was in this! Do you have any evidence? Where is that bloody evidence?!"

Hansol smiled at her.

Hansol called Inspector Jung and then handed a small flash drive to Hansol.

A video from the flash drive was played.

A video of two people dressed in all black while smoking and walking down the street. Then one of them took off the hat and shouted. It was a simple 'Yesss!' sound, but there was a scene where the fire was. And in an instant, the fire had lighted the face of the person with the hat off. Hansol paused it, then enlarged it.

"See that? Isn't that a familiar face? I knew it was Miss Jiyeon. Ah, was it your doppelganger? If you two meet, one will die, right?"

"H-How is…"

Kim Jiyeon's voice trembled. However, Hansol didn't care.

"Wonder how we got this? Should I tell you? But what would I get for telling you? There is exactly one thing I want."

Hansol leaned and whispered. Kim Jiyeon moved after she heard Hansol's words. It was like the devil's voice who knew he had the prey in hand.

"It isn't me! Can you prove that the women in that blurry screen is me?"

"Ah. Then I just have to brighten it up. You aren't old enough to not be able to see."

Hansol then increases the brightness of the screen and the photo. Kim Jiyeon's appearance was clearly revealed.

"What about that? Still you aren't the one?"

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