Miss Forensics – Chapter 37.1

Encounter

Lin Yan used her teeth to bite onto the gauze and wrapped it around her shoulder one more time, tying a tight knot before putting on her clothes. She tilted her head up in front of the mirror, the wound on her neck still visible. She dabbed a bit of ointment on her fingertip and applied it to the wound to help it heal. Then, she took a sterile bandage and carefully placed it over the wound, securing it in place with medical tape. She frowned as she looked at her reflection in the mirror; it was quite unsightly, like a cake riddled with a thousand holes.

Oh well, she thought, it would heal over time.

As Lin Yan contemplated this, she unconsciously reached for the mechanical rod at her lower back, only to realize that she had already discarded it.

She paused, then casually grabbed a fruit knife from the table, giving it a swing. It felt decent in her hand, so she decided to go with it.

With everything in order, Lin Yan put on her mask, lowered her hat’s brim, slung her backpack over her shoulder, and pushed open the door with confident strides.

The car had already stopped at the entrance of the recuperation center. The driver, looking at her, lowered his voice and said, “Miss, we’ve investigated thoroughly. The funeral home is heavily guarded, with security guards changing shifts every half hour. Surveillance cameras cover the entire factory area, and there are no blind spots.”

Lin Yan leaned lazily against the back of her seat, staring at the flat panel in her palm. She tapped her fingertip on it, familiarizing herself with the layout of the entire factory area from the map.

“Five minutes should be enough. Can you cut the power for five minutes?”

The driver pondered for a moment. “Alright, we can do that. But if the boss finds out…”

He glanced at her through the rearview mirror. Lin Yan was nestled in her seat, her complexion pale from her recent illness, and she still bore some wounds. This plan was incredibly risky.

Lin Yan curled her lips into a slight smile and sat up a bit straighter. “How long have you been with me?”

“Miss… seven… seven years.”

The driver replied, hesitatingly.

“Since you’ve been around for so long, you should know that what I detest the most is having someone in my camp who’s not fully committed. I am me, and Lin Youyuan is Lin Youyuan, that old man. If you want to return to Jingtai, I won’t stop you.”

Lin Yan said casually, then closed her eyes and rested.

However, the driver was suddenly filled with alarm. He swallowed hard and, not to mention how Lin Yan held his family’s secrets and lives in her hands, just from this recent incident where she used suicide as a threat against Lin Youyuan, it might seem like a mutual defeat on the surface, but in reality, Lin Yan had narrowly won.

As long as she didn’t die, she would remain Lin Youyuan’s sole heir. This was an irrefutable fact, hammered in by the upper echelons, and it was a destiny she could never escape.

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When Lin Youyuan reached a hundred years of age, let alone him, the entire Jingtai…

There was absolutely no benefit in offending her now.

“I dare not, Miss. You are my only mistress.”

The scenery outside the car window swiftly passed by, and the sky had completely darkened. The Binhai Province Funeral Home was located on a hillside in the outskirts of the city, nestled amidst the mountains and beside a body of water, desolate and devoid of human presence.

As the car traveled halfway, Lin Yan asked the driver to stop, and she continued on foot. Glancing at her wristwatch, it was now half-past eleven at night.

“Listen for my signal to cut the power.”

The driver quickly stood up, almost saluting. “Yes, Miss. After you’ve completed your mission, I’ll pick you up on the hillside.”

Lin Yan nodded in acknowledgment, slung her backpack over her shoulder, and disappeared into the pitch-black jungle.

She avoided the main road to steer clear of passing vehicles and surveillance cameras; being spotted at this juncture would be hard to explain.

Crouching low, she swiftly moved along the mountain path for some time. Lin Yan panted heavily, her breath coming in ragged gasps, and the pain from her wound began to throb.

Gritting her teeth, she gazed ahead at the well-lit funeral home, slung her backpack over her shoulder once more, and continued climbing.

Pushing through dense thickets, her face stung from branches scraping against it. Lin Yan hunkered down, crawled forward, and when the spotlight swept over her, she relaxed and lay flat on the ground. Her all-black windbreaker seamlessly blended with the night.

She counted to three, and the spotlight shifted in another direction. Lin Yan leaped off the ground like a leopard, landing soundlessly against the base of the wall, her body pressed tightly against it, forming a straight line.

She activated the visible phone-watch on her wrist and whispered, “Cut!”

The entire brightly lit building plunged into darkness in an instant, and the computer screens in the control room went black.

The spotlights ceased to function.

The staff on duty rushed out, asking, “What’s happening? What’s going on? Did the power suddenly go out?”

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“Security guards, security guards, quickly go check!”

Amidst the chaos, a nimble figure scaled the wall, and Lin Yan leaped with grace. However, her stamina was dwindling, and when she landed, her posture was perfect, but her energy waned. She stumbled, twisting her ankle slightly. Beads of sweat the size of beans formed on her forehead as she struggled to get back on her feet.

“Who? Who’s there?!” A flashlight beam was directed towards the area, and several security guards wielding electric batons rushed over, but there was no one left by the wall’s base.

“Damn, I clearly heard something just now, what the hell is going on?”

The leader of the group immediately smacked the person who had spoken on the head. “Quit your nonsense! Can’t you see where we are? Are you losing your mind?”

On the west side of the wall, Song Yuhang pulled her hood over her head, thinking that the power outage couldn’t have been more conveniently timed.

She took advantage of the guard’s inattention and quietly slipped through an open window, then gently closed it behind her.

This appeared to be an office. She activated the fluorescent display on her wristwatch, surveyed her surroundings, and found no immediate danger. From her pocket, she retrieved a map of the facility. After identifying her target, she lightly tapped the map twice before stowing it away. Silently, she pushed open the room door and slipped into the corridor.

Lin Yan held her shoulder wound, breathing heavily as she tried to steady her breath. She pressed herself against the windowsill, listening to the sounds outside while the flashlight beam inside the room flickered and shone through the window.

She remained perfectly still until the footsteps outside gradually faded into the distance, quiet as a mouse.

From her backpack, she retrieved the fruit knife for self-defense, and with utmost caution, she pushed open the room door.

She had only five minutes to navigate the corridor and find the morgue. After five minutes, the hallway’s surveillance cameras would instantly capture her location.

Fortunately, she had already roughly studied the floor plan before coming. Lin Yan moved with confidence, and just as she reached the hallway junction, a group of guards with flashlights approached.

“Why did the power conveniently go out like this? Come on, let’s go check the central control room.”

Lin Yan swiftly darted into the adjacent partition of the women’s restroom, and as the guards moved further away, she discreetly slipped out along the wall.

On the third floor, adjacent to the cold storage, was the morgue. Lin Yan ascended the stairs, keeping a vigilant eye on her surroundings. The funeral home was deserted at night, with every room plunged into darkness.

She swallowed hard, rubbed her bare arms, and when she raised her gaze once more, she finally spotted the floor sign: three.

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Lin Yan endured the throbbing pain in her ankle and briskly made her way there, her flat shoes making no sound against the floor.

The wristwatch on her wrist emitted a slight vibration, reminding her that time was running out.

Lin Yan attached an object to the airtight door, then activated her wristwatch. She manipulated it quickly, causing the numbers on the stopwatch to rapidly count down.

Five.

Four.

Three.

……

Lin Yan’s forehead glistened with tiny beads of sweat, and finally, she heard a faint dripping sound in her ear. The airtight door opened.

She quickly removed an object and entered through the door. Simultaneously, a shadow lunged toward her, almost shoving her into the morgue.

The surveillance camera in the corridor lit up with a red dot once again as the airtight door closed.

In the darkness, a glint of cold steel flashed. The fruit knife in Lin Yan’s hand was already out of its sheath, and she angled it toward her assailant’s throat with a cunning and vicious intent.

Song Yuhang tilted her head to dodge, grabbed her wrist, and pressed it downward, pulling her closer. “It’s…”

Lin Yan didn’t hesitate for a moment; she aimed a swift side kick, but due to her weakening strength, Song Yuhang effortlessly caught the opening. As Lin Yan bent to evade, Song Yuhang capitalized on her fatigue and wrapped her arms around Lin Yan’s waist, pushing her against the wall.

Lin Yan attempted to elbow her head.

“It’s me!”

Her elbow came to a halt just a centimeter away from Song Yuhang’s temple.

Lin Yan widened her eyes, staring in disbelief at her.

Song Yuhang pulled down her masked face, and as their eyes met, a faint smile tugged at her lips. “It’s me, Song Yuhang. We meet again, Forensic Doctor Lin.”

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After over two months without seeing each other, their reunion in such a place was unexpected. Lin Yan gazed at her smile and the sparkling eyes in the darkness.

Perhaps it was the proximity to death, but she didn’t feel awkward at all, especially in their current position, which felt intimate and close.

Her hand holding the knife was raised and pinned to the wall, rendering it immobile. The other hand was trapped by Song Yuhang’s arm, unable to move an inch. The two of them stood toe to toe, their bodies pressed together, and when Lin Yan spoke, it felt like she was tickling her face.

Gritting her teeth, Lin Yan asked, “You’re not dead?”

Song Yuhang didn’t seem upset. “Wasn’t it you who prevented me from dying?”

“I…” Lin Yan almost choked on her words.

Song Yuhang smiled again and tightened her grip on Lin Yan’s wrist abruptly. “I’m very obedient.”

Lin Yan winced as the knife was taken from her and put into Song Yuhang’s pocket. “As long as you don’t point a knife at me, it’s not dangerous anymore.”

“I…” Lin Yan was infuriated, trying to struggle free, but Song Yuhang covered her mouth, lifted her, and pressed her against the wall.

Song Yuhang extended one leg into the gap between the two of them, and her entire back seamlessly adhered to the wall. Song Yuhang herself was perfectly aligned with Lin Yan.

“Um…” Lin Yan shook her head vigorously, desperately trying to break free from the restraint. Song Yuhang cradled her head and whispered in her ear, “Don’t speak, someone’s coming.”

Under the airtight door, several chaotic flashlight beams darted about.

Lin Yan’s hair stood on end.

“Could it be? Are we really seeing things tonight? Finally, the power’s back, and we heard some noise over here. We rushed over, and there’s nothing at all?”

From behind an iron door, a voice spoke.

Another person sneered three times in succession. “Pah, pah, pah! Superstitious nonsense! What kind of place is this? If there were really any activity in there, we’d know!”

“Yeah, in the pitch dark like this, it’s probably just your nerves acting up. Go back and get some sleep.”

Several of them remained skeptical, circling around the airtight door, examining it closely. The door lock was intact.

The person who initially spoke straightened up and rubbed his head. “Could it be that I misheard? But I distinctly heard voices coming from inside.”



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Anazu Salted Fish

two peas in a pod

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