Poison? The Case Unfolding
“Does it feel better now?”
“Much better, thank you.”
“A good doctor saves people, while unworthy ones selfishly harm.”
Dee’s back started to hurt a bit after a hard fall to the ground. He’s had some past back issues from all those years spent working for Dali. Yuchi, who knows Dee has a history of back pain, kindly asked the restaurant owner for some basic medicines and applied it on Dee’s back.
“This should ease the pain a little bit,” Yuchi said. “But, you should really rest a bit. You always run around to different places to solve cases, and these long trips could damage your body.”
“I’ll take your suggestion for granted,” Dee thanked Yuchi. “I’ll definitely rest soon, but after we finish this tricky business.”
“Of course, Master Dee.”
Dee looked outside, not knowing when it started to rain. The raindrop evenly fell on the ground, adding some noise to the silent city. Washing away the dirt on the city street. The gloomy sky made the city have an even more depressing feel. Dee just sat there staring at the rain, without thinking anything.
After a few minutes Dee felt much better, he noticed they’d spent probably too much time eating. “We should go back,” Dee said. Not wanting to waste more precious time.
The seven people, with the absence of Rui, return back to the mansion. Just as Dee entered the mansion he saw Rui waiting for him. Rui seemed to have forgotten the conflict between him and Shun, as he has the usual happiness all written on his face.
“Master Dee, I finally found something.” Rui couldn’t wait to tell Dee his findings. He pulled Dee to just outside of the room where General Sha had died. Near the window, there is some white powder lying on the ground. They had been searching for clues inside the room all along, but it was actually on the outside where useful clues appeared.
“There are also some on the window.” Rui pointed out.
“Are you sure this is not just dust? Or pollen powders?” One of the people questioned Rui’s findings.
“The thickness of the powder,” Dee said, inspecting the texture and characteristics of the suspicious powder. “This is way thicker than dust or pollen.”
“The amount of powder on the ground makes me think that it’s got to be dropped by someone. Most likely to be the murderer,” Yuchi added on.
“Maybe, on the way out of the window, the murderer accidentally dropped some of this white powder.” Dee guessed.
“Or maybe even when he tried to enter the room through the window,” Rui said.
“What could be the use of it?” Someone asked.
“That’s what we are going to investigate,” Dee answered.
Other members gathered around where the powder was dropped. One person took some powder and proceeded to smell it.
“Don’t!” Yuchi tried to stop him but his words did not get through the guy’s ear fast enough. “It might be poisonous.”
“I’m just wuffling it.”
“Some poisons harm people just by the sniff. So everyone does not get too close to the powder,” Yuchi scolded, escorting people away.
“If you feel any discomfort let me know.” Dee used a more kindly approach.
“Sorry, sir,” He apologized.
“Rui, wander around to see if there are any other traces like this,” Dee then ordered. “Others head back to the room.”
Dee, followed by others, went back to the death scene. The body now has been put away in the morgue. Everything else remained the same as in the morning.
“Don’t forget to also look for General Sha’s secrets,” Dee reminded the rest. Rui’s finding reignited Dee’s confidence in finding the truth. However, things won’t go that smoothly. For the next hour, the crew still could not find anything, until….
“Wait,” It is Yuchi who spoke. His word broke the long-lasting silence the crew had, attracting everyone’s attention. Dee saw Yuchi just staring at his fingers.
After a few moments, Yuchi finally continued. “Look at my fingers.” He showed everyone his fingers. On it, there are some white stains. “I just touched this letter, and now I have that white powder thing on my finger.”
Yuchi grabbed the letter and handed it over to Dee across the room. When Dee touched it, he also got the same stains on his finger. Dee made sure that only those fingers contacted the powder, carefully handling it. He started reading the words written in the letter. Doctor Li’s death report. Early this morning, about four hours ago found dead in his workroom; the actual death time is unknown. The death was reported by his maid and one of the guards. The deceased, when dead, had white foam coming out of his mouth. His lips are purple, and he had multiple lacerations on his body. The room had no signs of broken, the windows and doors completely locked. These words sounded really familiar to Dee. He looked at the bottom of the letter, and it said, Yuchi.
Dee remembered Yuchi said the exact same thing yesterday. “It’s written by you?” Dee interrogated Yuchi.
“I know,” Yuchi replied. “I sent this letter yesterday to General Sha.”
Dee gave Yuchi a suspicious glare.
“I forgot to mention that General Sha entrusted Dali to help him solve a case. And we have been friends for a long time. I have been contacting him via letters, because of the whole disease thing,” Yuchi explained. “Yesterday he wrote me a letter asking me about Doctor Li, so I gave him the information.”
“I know you guys are probably suspecting me, but I am not involved with this,” Yuchi said helplessly, gazing around the room. “Yesterday, after going home I wrote the letter and gave it to General Sha’s mailman. I know nothing about it after. In addition, yesterday night I was with Master Xun and a few others, they are my alibi.”
“You don’t need to be here to kill him right?” Someone pointed out.
“Then how do you explain his wound? Or the sounds the gardener heard?”
“It could be a group murder,” Said Dee, thinking about the masked performer and masked group. From the evidence standpoint, the two deaths have no relation to these masked people. But it’s hard to not relate these three strange events together.
“True,” Yuchi agreed. “However, it could actually just be anyone. If I am not mistaken General Sha’s newest received mails are all stored in the mailbox at the entrance of this particular building. We already know that the murderer can enter by climbing over the walls, so anyone that can do this should be able to access the mail.”
Dee did remember seeing the mailbox when they entered this building. Yuchi is not lying with his observations. “Who handles the mail here? ” Dee wondered.
“I think the mailman gives the letters to the guards, then they give them to the chamberlain who transfers it to the mailbox,” Yuchi answered. “The last time I came here, it worked like this.”
“Shun,” Dee called. “Go ask the chamberlain if yesterday there is anything suspicious about the mails they received.”
Shun nodded and proceeded to complete his mission.
“What’s going on here?” Rui came back, sweating hard.
Dee and Yuchi explained what they established. Rui as well, told them that he could not find any other traces of the white powder outside.
“Yuchi, you are so involved in this,” Rui jokes. “Probably the murderer.”
Yuchi rolled his eyes, it’s not the time to joke around.
“Right now we don’t even know what the white powder does yet,” Rui pointed out.
“It could be used in this murder. Or it could just be a thing the murderer carried. Worst case scenario the powder is nothing of significance,” Dee said.
“It wouldn’t hurt to know what it does, since this is basically our only option left,” Yuchi said.
While the crew was waiting for Shun to get back the message, they continued trying to find the secret, as well as any relation to the white powder.
It wouldn’t be long until Shun came back. It’s hard to tell if he obtained anything useful, as he never shows any emotions at all. Dee is still a bit worried about the relationship between Shun and Rui. The two haven’t spoken a word to each other after the conflict they had. But, he has faith that the two will figure it out, as Rui usually doesn’t hold a grudge against others.
“The chamberlain said,” Shun spoke. “He indeed received multiple mails yesterday alone. But none of them are suspicious in any way. They are just ordinary papers to him.”
Dee didn’t expect to get anything from this, however, he is still a little disappointed.
“Also,” Shun had more to tell. “The chamberlain mentioned to me that there is one person that saw General Sha right before his death. It was one of his maids.”
This message was definitely a surprising one, a great finding just at the right time. “Where is she?” Dee instantly asked, he is so excited to know.
Dee, Rui, and Yuchi followed Shun to the front door of the main building, where General Sha would sleep at nighttime. Standing just beside the staircase is an old lady, she looks a bit worried.
Dee approached the old lady, politely asking her about what she had to tell.
“It was yesterday night.” The lady’s voice trembled. “I was cleaning the fallen leaves outside. I saw General Sha walking towards the direction of that room.”
“He wasn’t his normal self,” The lady then started crying all of a sudden. “He was wobbling while on the way, I asked him if he was good. He replied he was a bit sick. And now he’s dead.”
“How was he acting when he was apparently sick?” Dee asked.
“He was wobbling. His voice, weak, lacking energy. He just looks awful that night, like all his energy has been consumed.”
Dee thanked the lady for her information and contribution to the investigation. This information is certainly very helpful, as it has a connection with the suspicious white powders.
“This might be just what the powder does,” Dee said, on the way back to the death scene. At this point, the finding of the white powder made Dee believe the two deaths are definitely related. Both cases involved poisons, and are murder cases of well-known officials. Consecutive murders using similar techniques.
“Make people sick?” Rui questioned.
“No,” Dee denied. “It’s to make people weak. General Sha got poisoned by the powder somehow, then was too weak to fight back against the murderer.”
“That seems about right,” Yuchi agreed. “But what caused him to be poisoned? The letter?”
“Judging by that we did not get affected by the powder smelling it, thus the only other way to affect poison is by taste,” Dee answered. “I’m not sure if General Sha would taste the powder while there are clearly stains on his hand.”
“Then, there should still be more we could inquire about,” Yuchi said.
“Shouldn’t we find out what poison this is?” Rui brought up a point. “Since we already have its symptoms, we should be able to find out what it is.”
“From there on we could track the origin of the poison, and then speculate who could have access to it,” Dee added on Rui’s point. “I think it’s a very good plan.”
“Agree,” Yuchi agreed as well.
“What about you, Shun?”
“I will follow whatever order.”
“We are going to a place,” Dee announced to everyone, as they headed into the room. “Everyone be fully prepared, it’s not going to be a short trip”