Translator: Dess Editor: - -
The wagon was traveling very fast.
The wheels kept crashing on the ground while Kieran and Hunter were shaking helplessly inside the cabin. Neither of them talked much.
Hunter was worried about his daughter, and Kieran was thinking about the dungeon.
"Dungeons are created randomly!"
Kieran had asked Lawless how the underground game dungeons were created, and Lawless had given him a verified answer.
Then another question had come up.
What if the players entered this dungeon without a skill akin to [Tracking]?
The answer was obvious.
It was all arranged accordingly at the beginning of the dungeon.
When Kieran had realized this, he had already been on his way to Hunter’s manor on the horse wagon.
It was not a free condition. Instead, it was ingrained into the game’s story.
No matter what kind of player entered the game, and what strengths or skill sets they had, they would automatically be in that state at the beginning of the story.
If the player did not do anything that clashed with their identity, they would eventually proceed to the current state of the game and went to investigate the body.
Kieran guessed that even if he had done something out of character, as long as it had not disturbed the surroundings or harmed the NPC’s lives, Hunter would have just ignored his odd behaviour.
The only difference between the two was the stack of money inside Kieran’s pocket.
An outstanding performance always got rewarded. In this case, with a deposit.
A normal performance, however, would have left him empty-handed.
As for a wild and crazy behaviour?
Well, it might have gotten him killed for real.
The amount of security in the manor was not just for appearances.
Kieran squinted his eyes a little, trying to predict what would happen next.
No doubt, the dead body that had been discovered was not the missing Altilly, because his main mission was to find her or her dead body.
Even though it was his first dungeon, the game would never arrange such an easy mission for him compared to the newbie dungeon.
Therefore, the point was not the body, but the police.
Chief Officer John.
According to his character’s memory, the Chief Officer was an acquaintance of his, someone he might even consider a friend.
If he had a policeman for a friend, the difficulty of finding Altilly would drastically decrease.
Asking the Chief Officer for help was definitely an option for the players.
What was the point of the dead body, though?
"The Sub Mission!"
As Kieran squinted his eyes, a flash of light passed by.
The Chief Officer was a friend of the character, therefore he could offer help.
Similarly, players could also choose to help the Chief Officer.
Kieran already had his favour in the bag.
He still remembered the goals that he had set for himself during the dungeon run. He didn’t just want to complete the Main Mission. If possible, he would like to complete both the Sub Mission and the Title Mission.
The horse wagon kept dashing towards its destination.
It did not slow down, even after entering the bazaar.
The wagoner kept calling out to the pedestrians to watch for the incoming wagon.
Next to the wagoner sat the police messenger who had reported the incident to the manor. The uniformed policeman also helped by asking people to make way.
The wagon successfully reached the police station after half an hour.
Without waiting for the wagoner to open the cabin door, Hunter pushed himself out of the wagon.
Kieran followed right behind him.
He looked at the police station. It was not a big building, it was only three stories high.
If it were not for the policemen on duty at the entrance, and the coming and going police officers, the place would have looked more like a market than a police station.
It was very noisy inside. You could hear screaming and scolding everywhere.
The accompanying officer guided them through the station, making sure that no one stopped them along the way.
The ever-anxious Hunter followed behind him.
Kieran, on the other hand, had the luxury to look around the station.
He spotted a lot of normal clothing plus some dirty criminals. They were kept in a crude cell room, most of them very young in age. They looked arrogant and unyielding, and would provoke the officers from behind the bars by yelling out profanities. The provocation was retaliated by the officers on duty. The criminals would laugh out loud while they got beaten, looking like they were enjoying it all.
One or two men were particularly eye-catching. They were the ones that started the fight every time.
Even those though kept some distance from Kieran and were quite low profile. Having an E+ [Intuition] granted Kieran exceptional vision. He could easily see the whole thing without any obstacles.
Were they gang members?
That was the theory he had come up with after watching that scene.
Before he could confirm his hypothesis though, the guiding officer had already gone through the lobby.
Kieran had to keep up.
They were going to the morgue.
The morgue was located in the basement, but it did not take up the entire floor. Only a fourth of the place was used as a morgue. The remaining space functioned as a storage area for evidence.
As they went down the stairs, the bright flame of an oil lamp lit up the dark corridor.
Although there were electrical bulbs, they were still surrounded by kerosene lamps and candles.
Kieran looked at the weird-looking bulb inside the sealed glass. There was a thin fibre-like filament inside that was black in color.
Unlike the light tubes that Kieran was familiar with, this was the first prototype of a lightbulb.
The first prototype was a simple, improved version that cost a lot, which explained why the station still resorted to the old lighting methods.
The guiding officer stopped.
A strong, buff middle-aged man stood there waiting for them.
Under the bright light of the candlelight, Kieran could clearly see the rough look of the man and the way his body stretched his XL-sized uniform tight.
The man was holding a lit cigarette in his hand, and there were three more cigarette buds on the ground.
He must have been there for hours.
According to Kieran’s memory, the man was the aforementioned acquaintance of his, Chief Officer John.
"Kieran!" John greeted Kieran before turning his attention to Hunter. "I cannot confirm that it is Miss Altilly Hunter, but I still hope that you are prepared for what you’re about to see. Despite my long experience in the force, this is the first time I see such a gruesome body."
"Relax, I am fully prepared for this," Hunter answered.
The conversation between them was both cold and awkward.
No doubt, the two of them had a beef with each other, and it was more serious than what Hunter had let on.
The Chief Officer opened the door behind him and entered the room first.
Kieran and Hunter followed while the officer shut the door and stood guard outside the room.
The smell of alcohol and blood mixed together in the medium-sized room.
On top of a wooden bed, lied a covered dead body.
It was not covered with a white cloth, but a sewed cowhide.
Hunter extended his hand and grabbed the corner of the cowhide. His hands were shaking non-stop and his face reflected his internal struggle.
He was worried that he was about to witness the one thing that he least wanted to in the world.
In the end, he removed the cowhide.
Just as the Chief Officer had said, it was a truly gruesome corpse.
The face was beyond recognition and the chest area had been ripped open, but the organs were nowhere to be found. All that was left was an empty carcass, as if it were an animal slaughtered by a butcher and hung on a rail.
The woman’s red hair had been dipped in a pool of blood, causing it to look even brighter.
It was the only thing that related that body to Altilly Hunter.
Kieran remembered seeing paintings of her in the manor. Hunter’s missing daughter had a head of bright red hair.
Kieran inspected the body without the slightest discomfort.
His time in the newbie dungeon had made him immune to gruesome scenes and all kinds of corpses. The bodies that had been blasted to pieces by the rocket launchers had been much harder on the eye than the one before him.
Hunter did not look uncomfortable either.
Quite the opposite, the renowned businessman had focused all his attention on inspecting the body.
After about two minutes, Hunter let out a long breath.
"This isn’t Tilly! Although she does share the same red hair, she has no earlobe and the skin on her arms is much rougher than Tilly’s!" Hunter said in an affirmative tone.
His face could not disguise the relief in his heart.
Suddenly, Hunter seemed to realize that his expression was not appropriate under the circumstances. "Pardon me, it was not intentional. Chief Officer John, I’m willing to reward 100 dollars to help find the killer of this poor woman!" he added.
"Very well, then!" the Chief Officer nodded. He did not seem excited by the reward. He escorted both Kieran and Hunter out of the room and headed towards the upstairs lobby.
When they reached the lobby corridor, Hunter prepared to leave.
"Sir Kieran, please excuse me. I’m quite worried about my wife. I’d hope that you could swiftly locate my Tilly!" Hunter told Kieran.
"Most certainly!" Kieran guaranteed.
On that note, Hunter hastened his steps and left the station.
Kieran saw Hunter enter the wagon before he turned back to John.
"This is not the place to talk, come to my office!" John said before Kieran could utter a word.
"Yes, of course!" Kieran was not going to disagree.
The Chief Officer’s office was located on the second floor. It was a medium-sized well-lit room, containing a desk, a few chairs and a cupboard filled with documents.
"What’s going on downstairs?" Kieran spoke slowly.
While Kieran had been in the wagon, he had thought about whether he should accept the Sub Mission. He had used the scene he had seen when he had entered the station as a way to appeal to John. No doubt, it had been a good choice.
"A week ago, this block’s gang boss, Blackhand Jimmy was murdered. Although we could not find his body, the whole block was thrown into a hot mess. Those who wanted revenge, the ones who wanted his position, and of course the other gangs. Everyone was making their move at the same time. Ever since that day, there’s been at least ten cases of group fights every single day. You saw those men in the lockup, right? A few more days and we’d have a full house! The worst was this murder case that popped out of nowhere. We are really understaffed and we cannot spare any men for the case."
Chief Officer John’s angry voice filled Kieran ears.
"That’s what friends are for! I’ll help you solve the murder case," Kieran said in a straightforward manner.
When Kieran offered his help, a notification popped up in front of him.
[Sub Mission Discovered: The dead woman in the police station]
[Sub Mission: Your friend, Chief Officer John is exhausted by dealing with the gang fights on the streets. You have agreed to help him with the murder case. You will need to find the murderer quickly and help avenge the poor woman. This mission can also affect your friendship with Chief Officer John!]