Slowly, people in other classes also heard about what had happened in the laboratory building, and the whole school fell into in a strange silence.
All the teachers were called for an emergency meeting, and the students sat in their own chairs in fear as they waited for the next arrangement.
This process of waiting was long and anxious.
At present, Lu Chu’s biggest worry wasn’t about the identity of the murderer, but what would happen if things continued to develop like this. After taking the afternoon to check through all the students and teachers, would they be forced to leave the school?
After all, in this game, his task wasn’t to find the murderer, or tell everybody the truth, but to stay within the school.
Lu Chu guessed that the criteria of success for this ‘game’ might be timed after this murderer killed all the all of the people they wanted to kill, or after this murderer had been caught and brought to justice. Of course, Lu Chu wasn’t sure if the ‘rules’ had a bad habit of teasing people, and simply made the criteria for success a random point of time, and all they needed to do was to move about within the school during this time. Once this point in time arrived, no matter how much progress the murder case had, he would be considered to have successfully finished the task, and could leave this ‘game’.
When it was about time for class to end around noon, homeroom Teacher Lu walked into class in a hurry.
The whole class instantly fell silent, and stared straight towards Teacher Lu.
Lu Chu asked Liu Yang to wake up Wei Lili who was still lying down on her table in front of them.
Teacher Lu had been a teacher for many years, and understood emotions, so it was easy to understand what the students were feeling.
At this moment, from looking at the expressions on the students faces, Teacher Lu knew that the way the deceased on the top floor of the laboratory building had died had already spread amongst the students. It wasn’t surprising that this had happened – such a terrifying thing had occurred, and there were several first year students who witnessed this matter along with their teacher, so it would only be a matter of time before everything would be passed around.
Teacher Lu didn’t speak any nonsense and went straight to the point, “I think that everybody already knows about what had happened today. Truthfully, the school still hasn’t found out the truth about the murder case that occurred not too long ago.”
Instantly, the class started making a commotion.
Teacher Lu made a gesture, and waited for the class to quieten down before continuing on, “however, because there weren’t any traces of a suspicious person at the scene, and from the autopsy that the forensic doctor performed on the body, there weren’t any other injuries other than the burns on the skin, respiratory tract, lungs and stomach cause by inhalation of boiling water. Even while the deceased was drowning in boiling water, there weren’t any signs of him struggling. Originally, the matter still needed to be investigated, but because the school didn’t want to affect everyone’s learning progress, this matter was temporarily judged as suicide.”
Everybody found it creepy.
Teacher Lu gave a heavy sigh, “who knew that something like this would have happened again today? The school doesn’t know if these two cases are connected, but the police suspects that perpetrator is within campus grounds. The teachers have just held a meeting, and at noon, all of the teachers will undergo the investigation and questioning. In the afternoon, it will be your turn. In order to prevent a real murderer amongst the school, I hope that everybody will not leave the school at noon, or take any unusual actions, and actively cooperate with school and police.”
Someone asked, “Teacher, students who travel from home can’t leave either?”
“No,” Teacher Lu rejected, “due to the large number of teachers and students in our school, the investigation and questioning will be carried out one by one. If the questioning hasn’t ended by ten in the evening, then I hope that those who haven’t been investigated yet can temporarily stay on campus. The police will send someone to keep watch.”
This matter seemed like a house arrest in another name, but nobody objected; no one wanted to have a ticking time bomb around them.
Then, Teacher Lu said, “about this, is everybody clear?”
Everyone nodded and said yes.
Lu Chu unconsciously tapped his table, and organised his thoughts.
“After lunch, everybody can either choose to stay in class and wait for the investigation, or go to the dormitory to rest with boarding students that you have a good relationship with. There will be teachers keeping watch in the dorms, so just remember to come back to the classroom at 2:30.” Finally, Teacher Lu said, “alright, that’s it, class is over.”
The monitor and the disciplinary committee member had forgotten to asked the students to bid goodbye to their teacher, but their homeroom teacher didn’t seem to care either, and quickly walked out of the classroom after informing them that class was over.
For some time, nobody in the class moved.
After a while, everyone looked at each other, and nobody knew what to do next.
Another moment later, someone pushed the class monitor to stand up. He stood by his seat awkwardly, looked at the people in class, coughed, and said, “that, I think it’s best for everybody to act together right now. It would be good to go to the dormitory to rest at noon, and since there’s a little more boarding students than students who travel from home in our class, I’ll assign you guys later and place the students who travel from home into different dormitories. Maybe we’ll only need this time during noon, so I hope that everybody can get along well even if it’s a little crowded. In the afternoon, it would be best for everybody to act together too.”
Saying that, the class monitor asked uncertainly, “does anyone have an opinion?”
Everyone shook their heads and expressed that they had no opinion.
Nobody knew if this murderer had a purpose, or simply picked a random target. It was clear to everyone – they should try and avoid acting alone at such a time.
Thus, the monitor took a few minutes to temporarily divide the students who travelled from home into various dormitories to rest.
Several male students were assigned to Lu Chu’s dorm, and everybody went for lunch together, then returned to the dorm to rest.
Although it was for them to rest, nobody could sleep, and even Zhang Cheng, who never stopped talking during regular days, didn’t have the energy to chat. Everybody didn’t lie down, and sat side by side on the lower bunk bed, leaning against a wall or railing as they thought.
Lu Chu noticed that Zheng Wei was like everyone else, sitting by the bed, thinking about something.
The time quickly passed by whilst they were in a daze. Everyone looked at the time and couldn’t sit still, so they arrived at the classroom ahead of time.
Each floor only had a couple of teachers who had undergone questioning walking around outside the classroom, and everybody in 2-1 became more and more anxious the longer a teacher didn’t come to their class. When it was almost three o’clock, their homeroom Teacher Lu rushed over.
Teacher Lu took out the roster, “all of the teachers in the school have undergone the questioning. Now, it’s the students’ turn, and everybody will come in order by student number.”
“The questioning will take place in the office, now, I’ll go by order. First, number one, Cheng Ming……”
This process lasted a long time, because there were too many classes in school, and fifty to sixty students in each one. With more than a dozen classes in a grade, and even twenty one for the first years, everything progressed really slowly under such circumstances, and it took a long time for a person to return. By the time it was nearly ten in the evening, there was still a portion of people in class who hadn’t undergone the questioning.
Homeroom Teacher Lu was also extremely tired, and kept rubbing his eyebrows.
After a while, Teacher Lu was called out, and said when he returned, “that’s all for today, those who have been questioned and have no other questions can go home. Next, there’ll be some time off, and a message will be sent to you when school reopens. For those who hadn’t had their turn yet, please stay in the school dormitory tonight.”
When they heard this news, some secretly cheered, while others were sad and anxious, and even cursed softly.
Lu Chu, 7, and Zhang Cheng hadn’t been questioned, only Qian Wenhao and Zheng Wei from their dorm had been.
Everybody could only accept this result.
The dormitory manager and the teacher on duty announced that the school would not turn the lights off this night, but after the specified time, unless it was urgent, they weren’t allowed to leave their dormitory room.
The members of 318 who finished washing up within the time limit once again sat in a row on the lower bunk.
Xu Yuan hadn’t been questioned either, and other than the four of them, 318 also temporarily admitted two students who travelled from home.
Zhang Cheng sighed, “I heard that they asked what you were doing in the morning, and whether you knew the deceased or not. To be honest, I feel, that since the school’s so big, and there’s so many students, such a method of screening wouldn’t work at all.”
Lu Chu nodded in agreement.
Xu Yuan said, “what else can we do? We can only follow along with their arrangement.”
“The people who can go home are confirmed to have no issues?” Lu Chu frowned.
He thought of Zheng Wei who could successfully return home. Although, from his point of view, he also couldn’t how where Zheng Wei would have the time to commit the crime, but he still placed importance on this matter.
“Should be,” Zhang Cheng casually nodded, “I still feel like I’ve wasted a day, and nothing was achieved at all.”
“What do you think……” Xu Yuan asked, “what’s the motive behind committing this crime?”
Zhang Cheng said, “there definitely must be a grudge, but, don’t you guys suspect……”
The others asked him, “suspect what?”
Zhang Cheng lowered his voice, “that this isn’t done by a human?”
Everybody drew in a deep breath.
Lu Chu thought for a bit, and said, “actually, I suspect this too.”
Although Xu Yuan was scared, he still asked and urged him to speak, “say it, say it, why do you think so?”
“The first point is the first death. If it was really as Teacher Lu said, that there weren’t any other suspicious traces at the scene, it would be a little strange, with the way that the victim had died, without any signs of struggle at all.” Lu Chu explained and analysed, “moreover, looking at the second death, no matter how scary and weird the way the victim had died, let’s just talk about the dusty stairs on the fourth floor, the corridors and laboratories on the fifth floor. The only traces left were a trail of left footprints, with no other footprints found at the scene. For a ‘human’, there’s no doubt that this crime would be impossible for them to commit.”
Zhang Cheng rubbed his arm that was covered in goose bumps, and just as he wanted to add something, his gaze swept across the dormitory door, and instantly, he froze, as if somebody had pressed his stop button1Original: pressed his acupuncture point. Like in cultivation stories, pressing a certain acupuncture point on the human body will stop them from moving..
Although they wouldn’t be forced to turn off the lights in the dormitory tonight, and it was brightly lit, but the lights in the hallway were sound-activated. When nobody was walking around, it would be dark, and the whole corridor would feel long and gloomy.
“What’s wrong?” Noticing that Zhang Cheng was acting strangely, Lu Chu asked.
“In the window of our dormitory door,” Zhang Cheng was in somewhat of a trance, “there’s a head.”