Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 847There was now a small hill on the plain ground, staring down at the two tiny posthumans beneath.
Everybody could see that there was a monstrosity emerging from the ground, but it stopped at the last moment before it totally broke free. A thick layer of soil, rocks, and a colony of flora covered its entire body and shrouded it from being seen. The still brightly-lit warehouse was hanging loosely on the side of the dirt slope. Its walls were creaking and it seemed to threaten to roll down from the slope at any time.
The corpse was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps it had been gobbled by the crack on the ground.
"What the" Ryuji tottered a few steps back, his face pale with fear. "Do you know what the hell that is?"
Lin Sanjiu did not turn her head and just gave an indifferent answer. After that, she began talking, "Rather than saying I know, it's better to assume I guessed it."
"You guessed what? That the pocket dimension you are talking about just now isis this thing over here?"
As if it heard the words, a sharp, grating noise as if rocks were rubbing against each other pierced through the night sky.
"Player, please proceed toI-I'm very much in need of...of a scalp." The voice of the pocket dimension was like a messy recording that was mixed with other contents. For a moment, it was a smooth and fluent commentary, then in the next second, it would change into a tuneless song. "Piece by piece. Scalp, scalp, scalp. NeatlyPlayer, please proceed to explain the process of unraveling the locked room mystery."
'What a messed up guy.'
Lin Sanjiu sighed. Lost in her thoughts, she stared at the hill that rose from the ground and the shaky warehouse. Mrs. Manas waited for several beats, yet Lin Sanjiu continued to remain silent. Unable to hold her patience back anymore, she shouted, blasting several questions in quick succession at Lin Sanjiu, "Could you please explain what's going on? What's down there? What is happening with the pocket dimension? Could you please quit being so quiet and just say something?"
Before the voice in her head trailed off, the ground shook again, throwing Ryuji off balance. Countless rocks and chunks of soil crashed into the warehouse and plopped to the ground. The hill was getting larger and larger, and its black silhouette even shrouded the sky.
"Player, please proceed"
"Shut up! I'm getting on it right now!" Lin Sanjiu shouted as she struggled to regain her balance. Sitting on the ground, Ryuji stared blankly at her.
"Watch closely!" she yelled without turning her head. Her eyes were fixated on the hill in front of her. "Don't you want to know how the locked room is formed? It's very simple. Right after the murderer committed his crime, he stashed the keys into the victim's trousers and then tossed the trousers somewhere in the warehouse. After that, he put on the victim's windbreaker and exited the warehouse just like what I did. Then, he locked the door from outside."
"B-but how would he lock the door if he didn't have the key?"
"He has the key. He only took the main door key out."
Suddenly, a moan came from the hill ahead. The hill quivered again, and this time, the warehouse could not hold itself anymore. Parts of the wall crumbled and rolled down the slope, which gave rise to a puff of dust that lingered in the air for a long time. Lin Sanjiu took a few steps back, moved her hand behind her, and called out a card.
"Since the clue tells us that this is a locked room, we can say that the victim is the only one who has the keys. Based on this point, it may also be the reason why the murderer turned the crime scene into a locked room. If a warehouse keeper doesn't show up at work for several days, it will bring inconvenience to the company. Maybe they felt it was strange or maybe they needed to get something from the warehouse. Whatever the reason is, among those who broke into the warehouse, one must be the murderer."
As Lin Sanjiu said that, she flicked the card in her hand and a human figure materialized in the air. The artist got into position in an instant once he was summoned. His buckets of colors were put next to him and his easel was set up. However, he did not start to draw anything immediately as Lin Sanjiu had not chosen her "target" yet.
"This is also the reason I suspect that the murderer is the victim's colleague. After he got into the warehouse, he just had to find a chance to put the warehouse key back." Lin Sanjiu threw a gaze at Ryuji as the latter opened his mouth.
"It's as simple as that? Something just doesn't sound right."
"What is it?"
"Well, you see, like you said, if he came out and said that he found a corpse in the warehouse after he put the key back, wouldn't this make him the first witness of the crime? This doesn't make any sense at all. Once the police found out something is wrong and realize that this is a locked room, he would have become the first suspect."
"Sometimes, the simpler the scheme, the harder it is to see through."
Lin Sanjiu waved her hand at Ryuji and gestured to him to come closer. "What if I told you the murderer didn't go into the warehouse alone and that he isn't the first witness?"
"Usually, there is only one occasion on which people are required to go into a warehouse, and that is to move goods. Besides, to keep himself out of suspicion, the murderer probably went into the warehouse with several other people," Lin Sanjiu said softly as she squinted at the warehouse on the slope. "He did not have to find the body. Judging from the attire, it was probably autumn or winter when the murder was committed, so the stench wasn't as strong. Plus, the body was well-hidden in the deepest part of the warehouse, so as long as he could find the trousers and slot the key back in before anyone could discover the victim's corpse, he would've been fine. As this warehouse was previously used to store unsold clothes, nobody would find it weird if he played with a piece of cloth if the distance was far enough. This is the first reason why he stripped the victim naked."
Ryuji did not comment. However, the expression on his face suggested that he was skeptical.
"I don't know, but the entire thing you said, especially the stripping part, seems like an odd thing to do. If somebody found the trousers and realized that there were keys inside, they might have thought that somebody put them in afterward."
"There's a way to make sure that people won't think so."
"And what is that?"
"This will bring us to the second reason why the murderer took the victim's clothes off. The murderer intentionally put the trousers in a corner. After a few days, a layer of dust would have accumulated on the trousers and the area around it. Then, all he had to do was make the preparations beforehand such as prising the keyring open. Then, he could slip the key back into the keyring without actually touching the trousers. This would also create a false impression that the trousers had been left untouched for several days."
Ryuji opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but no words came out.
It took him several minutes to find his voice and began voicing out his doubts again, "But, if it really was like you said, he pried the keyring openWouldn't it be strange as well? I mean what are the odds of something like that happening?"
"Well, you might not believe it, but this kind of thing happens all the time. Besides, the murderer used a little trick to mislead people into thinking that the keyring was already like that before the victim died."
"What is it?"
"The window key," replied Lin Sanjiu as she pointed at the windbreaker on the ground. "The murderer took the window key off the keyring and put it together in the victim's pocket along with the employee card. Anyone who saw it would have thought that the victim stashed the key in his pocket because it had fallen off the keyring."
"Ah, this might make sense," Ryuji said understandingly, "There is one more thing that I don't understand. When you were coming out from the pocket dimension, you took the windbreaker along with you, and you said your reason was that the murderer had done that as well. Can you elaborate more on this?"
"When I opened the door, I didn't step out of the pocket dimension immediately because, at that moment, I had a clear hunch that I was missing something, so I stopped to think," she said.
Ryuji looked dazed when Lin Sanjiu was talking. It was apparent that he did not realize it when she stopped to think.
She continued, "Then, I found out that aside from suggesting that the keyring had already broken prior to the victim's death, the window key has another function as well."
"What's that other function?"
"Connection. It connects the windbreaker and the trousers together."
"IYou lost me."
"The general assumption is that the victim found out that the window key had fallen off from the keyring, so he put it into the pocket of his windbreaker. After he was killed and his clothes were taken away by the murderer, the bunch of keys was left in his trousers and the window key remained in his windbreaker pocket. Do you see the connection here? The key is like a string. It sews together the two points of time in which the windbreaker and trousers were put in the warehouse. With the key, nobody would have suspected that the murderer put the windbreaker into the warehouse on the same day as the corpse was discovered."
"Huh?" Ryuji was stunned. He seemed to have forgotten about the hill in front of him as he continued to ask, "Why would the murderer do that? And most importantly, how did he do that?"
"He just needs to put the windbreaker on under his own coat. It's as easy as that," Lin Sanjiu shrugged. "As for the reasonI think the murderer must have had a motive to take the windbreaker away. Perhaps he wanted to get rid of all the evidence that might lead the police to him."
However, this was just her baseless speculation.
"But the windbreaker looks so clean. There isn't any dust"
"Have you forgotten that this is a clothing warehouse?" Lin Sanjiu said as she shifted back to stare at the hill. "He just needs to keep the windbreaker in one of the packing bags. With the rack serving as his cover, if he were fast enough, he could've settled everything in one or two minutes. Then, he could've packed his bags, made up some excuse to his colleagues, and left the warehouse. After that, he would have then waited until somebody found the corpse and rush to the scene with the other people. In this way, he could clear himself of suspicion and nobody would ever suspect that he is the murderer."
"You are right. The simpler something is, the harder it is to see through." Ryuji sighed. There was an obvious satisfaction on his face as if he had just finished reading a novel. However, his satisfaction was short-lived. It soon dissolved away and his usually gloomy expression took over. "By the way, you still haven't told me what is under the mound."
"Hey," Mrs. Manas suddenly said, "You should deactivate the [Consciousness Mimicry] now. Your Higher Consciousness is depleting."
"Alright," Lin Sanjiu replied. After all, there was nothing else left that required Ji Shanqing's brain.
After she deactivated the [Consciousness Mimicry], Lin Sanjiu let out a sigh. Then, she looked at the mound in front of her and shouted, "As a pocket dimension, you just recently moved here, haven't you? I suppose you must have undergone some changes. Have you mutated or evolved? Come out now. Show us what you really are."
With those words, the hill cracked and the ground began to tremble again. Soon enough, a silhouette shot up from the ground and stood under the night sky.