Chapter 15 - I didn’t kill him!

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“If it is number 12, then the culprit might not be referring to the tarot card—”

Hansol intervened, “I am not familiar with the Tarot cards, but from the numerological point of view, Hanged Man is one of the major cards representing the number 12 in Tarot cards. The culprit must have identified the 12th card with the victim.”

“That said, the fact that Woo Jin-hyung's hands and feet were nailed in the shape of a cross can be seen as the culprit having strong religious significance in some way?”

“Inspector Jung is right. The suspect is quite engrossed in religion, but he doesn’t believe in a proper religion but was considering the possibility of a pseudonym. First, we should do more investigations to reference the remaining suspects.”

“Alright. If so, I’ll report back to Doctor Im as soon as I discover something more. Thank you for accepting my opinion.”

“… we are one team.”

Inspector Jung thought she heard him wrong for a moment. Hansol, who was always cold, spoke of ‘one team.’ It was hard to believe that he was accepting them as a team.

“That… I came here to be investigated.”

A large man in a shabby suit walked over and glanced around. Kang Woo-cheol got up and approached him.

“Are you Lee Man-soo, who came here to be investigated as a witness in the Pyeongmi-dong incident?”

“Yes. I am Lee Man-soo.”

“I will lead the way. Would you like a cup of coffee?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Hansol moved to the other side of Lee Man-soo and gave a short greeting.

“Hello. I am Doctor Im Hansol. I am in charge of questioning you.”

“… doctor? Isn’t the police supposed to investigate?”

“Ah… due to various circumstances within the police, we, a special case team, decided to proceed this way. So we will ask the questions slowly. But don’t worry, it won’t take up too much time. An hour is enough.”

“Ah, yes…”

Lee Man-soo had a shaky expression.

Hansol slowly took the seat and began the questioning by examining the expression.

“You are a Nutuber? How did you happen to leave the securities firm?”

“It is a market which competes for every minute and second. It dries a person. Even more troubling if you become an investor like me, but when you work so much and drain your blood to find such measly results… I couldn’t stand it. Besides, there were the facts I had to deal with. Sigh.”

“I see. How was it when you looked at the victim, Woo Jin-hyung, from that kind of the point of view?”

“It was amazing. Wow. How can he do such a good job in such difficult work? He was a role model for everyone. But for that one thing….”

“Hm? One thing?”

Lee Man-soo put his hand on the mouth.

“Nothing. This happened within the company, so I cannot say it.”

“Mr. Lee Man-soo, we are in the middle of a police investigation. You are currently sitting in the witness seat and being questioned. There are cases where witnesses end up being the suspect in the cases, so it would be better to get everything out of the way and tell me about the victim.”

Lee Man-soo, who seemed frightened by Hansol’s words, lowered his head and seemed to think as he spoke.

Woo Jin-hyung, who was on the rise, had suddenly sold all the customers' stocks. And one of the customers wasn’t some random person but the third suspect, Lee Yunseok.

Lee Yunseok, who had invested all for the development of the Pyeongmi-dong, one day approached Woo Jin-hyung and shouted for the money he lost during it and repeated that the man had to be kicked out.

“Phew… it happened. Yunseok hyung1 and Jin-hyung hyung both knew each other. I was the one who introduced them both. And that was when Jin-hyung hyung was doing well.”

“Were the feelings of Lee Yun-seok to Woo Jin-hyung quite evident?”

“He once came in with a knife in his hand. Seriously, the anger of Yunseok hyung was no joke.”

‘… it is true till now. But everything he spoke till now is only to show his good side. All the things he is saying are directed to Lee Yunseok.’

“It was unfortunate. Ah, there is one thing I want to ask you. I watched Mr. Lee Man-soo’s Nutube video, and a very good song came out. May I know the name of that song?”

“Um… what song are you talking about?”

“The song which was in yesterday's video.”

Hansol pretended to not know anything to get an answer. In fact, there was no change in his expression, so it did look like he was curious.

“Ah. That. Even the doctor doesn’t seem to know much about the music? It is Mozart’s La Crimosa. It feels like Requiem, right? Ah, you might not even know Requiem.”

“I know Requiem. It’s the music used for funerals. Anyway, the music sounded quite impressive… Since it is used in relation to the stock market crash, it sounds more magnificent. Is there a reason why you choose that music?”

Lee Man-soo smiled as he responded to Hansol’s words, which seemed to compliment his musical senses.

“My music sense is quite good, right? That music was actually what Jin-hyung hyung loved when he was alive. He played that to me one day. Every time he watched the stock market crash, he would get a flood of phone calls from the individual investors and say it helped release the stress which builds up. Since hyung listened to it, I too naturally started to listen to it, so I even inserted it into the video.”

It was an unexpected thing. Woo Jin-hyun himself recommended this song to Lee Man-soo and not another person?

‘Wait… this is going too favorably for Lee Man-soo. Rather, either Shin Jong-pil or Lee Yunseok will be put as suspects, and Shin Jong-pil is particularly likely to rise. Lee Man-soo is telling the truth, but why….’

“You seem to be quite interested in many fields. You seem to know the lyrics of La Crimosa. Do you like it?”

“Sure. The lyrics are to judge the sinners. Sometimes I try to judge myself when my investments don’t go well. I am a sinner as well. Throwing away the investment and holding it until it rises. And then I forgive myself.”

“Have you ever felt that way for someone else?”

“No.”

‘… finally caught him. this is a lie.’

Hansol looked at Lee Man-soo with his gleaming blue eyes that quickly changed back to auburn. It was clear that Lee Man-soo had judged the others.

Now, it was time for the serious questions. After the witness came, he asked simple questions to release the man's tension, so now he’ll see how the answers would change.

“Then I will ask you one thing. What were you doing on April 23rd around 22:00?”

“Uh… I can’t seem to remember? I mainly spend a lot of time analyzing the stocks. I must have needed to do the same at home that day. That is what I like doing every day. Like watching the economy channels and analyzing how the market went.”

“And when do you shoot your videos?”

“Somewhere around 3pm after the market closes. How was today’s market? It takes a couple hours to analyze it, and then it is shot. After that, it turns evening, so I have dinner, turn on the TV, and watch the economy channels… it is the same thing each day.”

Hansol chose which question to ask next. Lee Man-soo was being careful with what he spoke no matter what question was being asked. He did lie one. A lie that he didn’t have the desire to judge others.

Then, the question which would help the truth come from Lee Man-soo is…

“Mr. Lee Man-soo, personally, I am interested in investing, so there is one thing I want to ask you.”

Confront lies with lies.

Hansol knew this well. Lies hide lies.

“I am quite interested in investing… I’ve been seeing a fortune teller with tarot cards to get help these days. Have you done anything like that?”

“Phew, don’t get me started. Of course, I did. There isn’t a single thing I haven’t tried, be it tarot or astrology. But it’s always a card telling me to be patient… just how long do the cards expect me to wait?”

That was the answer he wanted.

Hansol smiled as he said, “Can you recommend a tarot shop you frequently visit? For some reason, since Mr. Lee Man-soo visits often, I can trust you. I think I might hear good results too.”

“What I know is… it isn’t far from Pyrongmi-dong….”

Lee Man-soo seemed to be busy explaining about the store. Hansol typed everything which was said without missing a single word. It could definitely be an essential resource.

On the other hand, the meaning of the Hanged Man card came to his mind.

[One card telling me to be patient came out…]

[The man hanging upside down means being patient and enduring pain…]

“Let me go back to the beginning and ask a question. Is anyone living with you right now?”

“Well… there was a woman I dated for a while, but she left the house. Said she couldn’t live with a man who invests in stocks instead of working. I live alone now. Well, who likes a jerk who loses everything he gets?”

“I see. Then, is there no one who can prove that you were home on April 23rd at 22:00?”

“… look, Doctor. Are you trying to make me the culprit now? I get what happened to hyung was bad!”

“… the mark on the right hand. I am familiar with it. Shin Jong-pil had the same marks. How did it happen? Judging from the wound and the healing, they appear to have been around for a week or two.”

Lee Man-soo’s face turned red at the unexpected question, and Hansol looked at him at ease.

“T-this! Actually, at that time, Jong-pil hyung told me that the dog next door was being noisy!”

“Oh? Are you two that close? By any chance, are you living together right now? It feels like Mr. Shin Jong-pil told me clearly what he was doing at that time. If not, were you two living together?”

“I-it isn’t that!”

“It is a clear lie that you are living alone. So I will ask again. Who are you living with now?”

Lee Man-soo got up from the seat and leaned over as he said.

“With Jong-pil hyung and Yunseok hyung.”

“The three of you are living together? Mr. Lee Yunseok must have a wife and children… still, you are living together?”

“Yunseok hyung and his family separated. Jong-pil hyung is… had nowhere to go. Since I was in the same situation, I didn’t know what to say….”

“Then one this is established. There is nothing to prove what Shin Jong-pil, Lee Man-soo, and Lee Yunseok did on April 23rd at 22:00.”

“D-Detective! No, Doctor! I didn’t kill him! I mean it!”

Lee Man-soo began to kneel down and started to clasp his hands. Hansol just looked down at him with cold eyes.

His left eye shone brightly blue.

‘… Lie.’

“… the three of them seem to have a rather weirdly perfect alibi. So, let’s end today’s investigation here.”

“I-I really did not! I was having the North Korean Soup2!”

Kang Woo-cheol grabbed Lee Man-soo’s arms as he was about to rush towards Hansol and held him while leaving. Lee Man-soo shouted that, and the two were innocent.

Hansol made one assumption.

The culprit knew all three of them or is one of the three. He also knew what the three of them were feeling towards Woo Jin-hyung. And also knew what song the victim liked to listen and he was trying to put the blame on one of the three of them and most likely on Lee Man-soo.

The Prosecutors will definitely name Lee Man-soo as their suspect, but Hansol’s eyes spoke the truth. What was this man hiding then?

The culprit could be one of the three. If not, only one person could know the relationship between the three and Woo Jin-hyung. The only person who benefited from this and someone Jin-hyuk was open to. It was probably someone who also knew that the victim had inherited an enormous fortune.

‘… Woo Jin-hyung’s family.’

“Inspector Jung, how about the family of the victim?”

“It turns out that his only family member is his younger brother.”

“Then summon his younger brother for questioning.”

“His younger brother?”

“The only person who will benefit the most from this incident is the younger brother. We need to investigate him right away before he leaves abroad.”

Hearing that, Woo-jin, the team leader, hurriedly got dressed and urged Kang Woo-cheol.

“Detective Kang. Did you hear me? We need to leave.”

“Thank you. I will do more research here. Inspector Jung, please help me.”

And she nodded her head in shock.

Her expression was asking, ‘Is it really the younger brother?’


  1. Hyung — a term used by men to refer to a man slightly older than them. It is mainly used by a younger brother calling his older brother but could also be used to refer to a non-family member, as long as the one being called is older than them. ↩️

  2. North Korean Soup - a dog-meat soup ↩️

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