HC Chapter 37: Nightmarish Scene
Peng Songlai stared at Mu Yi. Even though Su Chongshan had told him many good things about Mu Yi, Mu Yi looked extremely young, and young people weren’t very stable most of the time.
Of course, Peng Songlai wasn’t going to say that because that would’ve been stupid. Also, Mu Yi had solved the Su Clan’s problem, and because Peng Songlai’s issue wasn’t easy to solve either, it wouldn’t do any harm to let Mu Yi try. Even if he failed, they had nothing to lose.
“Hello Counselor Peng. If it’s convenient, I’d like to see the corpse to assess the situation,” Mu Yi said. He knew perfectly what Peng Songlai thought of him, but he didn’t mind. He had come to give Su Chongshan face. Also, if someone wasn’t nice to Mu Yi, Su Chongshan would be even nicer to him.
“Alright, please follow me,” Peng Songlai said. Even though he didn’t want to see his son-in-law again, he had no choice. He had to go with Mu Yi since he was the head of the family.
Very quickly, they arrived in a courtyard in front of a door, and a guard was standing next to the door. There were three men in the courtyard who were getting tanned. Two of them were dressed like magistracy officers, and they had probably been sent by Peng Songlai’s older son-in-law. The other man looked older, feminine, and tender. He was the coroner.
When they saw Mu Yi, they all stood up at the same time. Amongst ordinary people, they were considered to be imposing and awe-inspiring, but in a clan such as the Peng Clan, they had to be respectful. Peng Songlai’s older son-in-law was their boss since he was at the head of the county.
They couldn’t offend someone like Counselor Peng.
Even though investigators were members of the government, they had a low social-status. This was because people began to think highly of scholars at the end of the twentieth century in China. Studying books excelled the worth of other pursuits. Back then, it had been the era of scholars, and high social positions within the government were reserved by scholars.
“Thank you for your help. The one over there is Master Mu, and I’m the one who called him. He’ll probably have questions for you,” Peng Songlai said after nodding at the three people. The coroner followed them into the room.
The smell in the room was atrocious. Apart from the smell of the dead body, there was also a musty smell. Luckily, it was winter; otherwise, in the summer, the corpse would have completely rotten already, especially since his skin had been flayed.
The coroner removed the white cloth over the body. Peng Songlai and Su Chongshan had already turned around, and only Mu Yi, Su Jinlun, and the coroner were facing the body.
The coroner was used to seeing corpses, but because Su Jinlun wanted to stay with Mu Yi, he forced himself to not close his eyes.
When Mu Yi saw the corpse, he frowned. The man’s blood was already dry, and one could clearly see his muscles. There were no extra injuries. His eyes were outside of their orbits, and his face was dripping with blood. It was really scary.
Mu Yi understood why Peng Songlai’s younger daughter had almost gone insane. Waking up next to a corpse was already horrible, but waking up next to this corpse would’ve been even more terrifying.
“Doctor, did you find anything particular on the corpse?” Mu Yi asked the coroner. After all, that was the coroner’s job. Mu Yi didn’t see anything but flesh.
“Don’t call me doctor, Master. Please call me Song Qi or Mister Song,” Song Qi said, almost shocked. He spent most of his time with corpses, and even though his family members were very respectful to him, they weren’t very close either.
Even though he didn’t know what Mu Yi’s social status was, since Peng Songlai had made him come, the coroner respected him.
“There’s no harm. After all, we have different occupations. I have no knowledge of forensic medicine, so I am asking you for guidance. Since I consider you an expert, I must call you doctor,” Mu Yi said while smiling. He had never thought that being a coroner was a bad occupation. He even respected and admired them.
When Song Qi heard Mu Yi, he blushed because people were rarely nice to him. He had a strange feeling but didn’t say it. He felt that he had made a new friend, but he didn’t talk about it; otherwise, people would make fun of him.
When Peng Songlai heard Mu Yi, he was stupefied and had a different impression of Mu Yi now. Even though he didn’t approve of Mu Yi’s opinion, he guessed that Mu Yi was an erudite person. History had proven that such people were smart.
Su Chongshan smiled. He had always thought highly of Mu Yi and didn’t regret having him as a guest of honor in the Su Clan. He was also happy that Su Jinlun became friends with Mu Yi.
He understood Mu Yi and knew that he was a good person.
“I really don’t deserve so much praise, Master. Please, if you have any question, feel free to ask me anything,” Song Qi said. He was in his forties, so he was already getting old. At the end of the 20th century, that was already a bit old. Song Qi took a deep breath, and he tried to remain calm and detached like a man of his age was supposed to.
“Alright, are you sure he was killed after his skin was flayed?” Mu Yi asked after nodding.
“Indeed. Please have a look, Master. His facial muscles are taut, and his eyes are full of blood. Those are signs of incredible pain. He died in atrocious conditions. Also, look at his hands, arms, and legs; his muscles are twisted in those areas. Whether muscles are taut or not depends on the temperature too. Muscles are usually lax after death when the body quickly becomes cold.”
“And here, his fingers are wounded. He was a highly skilled craftsman, and such people care about their work more than anything else. Their fingers are their tools, so they take care of them. Therefore, he could have only been injured after he died.”
“However, what I don’t understand is that there is absolutely no trace of a blade anywhere on his body, but how could the murderer have peeled off his skin without first making a notch?” Song Qi said. He was very detail-oriented and humble.
Without a blade, it was impossible to peel off someone’s skin, unless…
Mu Yi understood everything and tried to imagine how horrible the murder had been. In the room, there was a table and a lamp on it. Suddenly, Mu Yi started hallucinating.
There was a black silhouette next to the bed and blood flowing everywhere across the room.
Someone was in incredible pain on the bed but remained completely silent. There was also a sleeping woman who didn’t wake up.
After flaying the skin of the man, what had the murderer done? Looked at his artwork, put a finger in the man’s heart, and licked the blood off his finger?
And then, he raised his face. His eyes were colorless.