I didn’t know how I found the exit from the haunted house, but before I realized, I was outside. When I burst out, I fell into members’ arms, as they were standing next to front door.
“Where have you been!?” Youjin grabbed my arms. I fell on my knees, because my legs suddenly became weak. “Jihun-ah... ?”
I opened my mouth, but then I heard police sirens. I looked at members with widened eyes.
“How did you know?” I whispered.
“It wasn’t you who called the police... ?”
“Jihun-ah –” Youjin turned pale, when he saw my hands. “Are you hurt!? What happened!?”
I looked at them too, confused. They were covered in blood. My heart almost exploded. I got dizzy.
“It isn’t my blood...” I groaned, and covered my mouth with a sleeve when I felt sick, as I recalled latest memories.
“HEY!” Grumpy and a few police officers ran to us. “What’s going on, huh!?”
Everyone was dumbfounded. Members and police. If members or staff didn’t call them, then...
“Who called you?” I asked Grumpy.
“What? What are you –”
“WHO CALLED YOU!” I burst out. My stomach was raging again. I closed my eyes and put my forehead on Seungjun’s arm, trying to calm down. I heard a gasp. Grumpy must have seen my hands and how shaken I was.
“Kiddo...” he said, calmer.
“In the mine...” I muttered. “Inside the trolley...”
Grumpy sent his men to the haunted house. After that he put me on my feet and took to our van. I got a warm tea and blanket, and after a few minutes I could talk.
“Who called you?” I repeated, looking at Grumpy. “Did HE call you?”
Members looked confused at me, then at Grumpy. Detective frowned.
“We don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know his voice. Probably you would recognize him.”
“Did he give you a hint to come here?”
“Yeah... Damn, I really don’t know what he’s playing at!” Grumpy kicked the stone, angered.
I closed my eyes again. Right. What he was playing at? Why would he murder and then call the police, so they would retrieve the corpse?
“Jihun.” I opened my eyes. Members were staring at me sharply. “What happened?”
“He killed again. I found a body of Choi Seoyun’s fiancé in one of the rooms.”
“Kiddo, you’re a real magnet to corpses, you know?” Grumpy sighed.
Members glared at him with fury, so he fell silent. Then our manager came to us with some man.
“He’s the owner of the building,” manager said.
“The room, where was the body...” Owner swallowed hardly. It looked like he was shaken too. No wonder. “was closed since last winter, because of an unfinished repairs. I don’t know why it was unlocked...”
“He wanted us to find this body,” I thought out loud, then took a sip of tea. I clenched fingers on a paper cup. They were still trembling. “And meanwhile he called the police, informing them about the corpse in this house. But why?”
“Maybe now we should worry about something else?” Heejun grabbed my hand, all of a sudden turning pale. “Isn’t it what the message was about? The one from the fiancé?”
We gasped at the same time.
“But it isn’t December 1st yet..” I grumbled.
“But it’s the end of the month and we didn’t solve it,” Inseong stated. “So that was ‘early Christmas present’...”
“He planned it for sure, so don’t freak out,” Grumpy growled. I saw under his arm that the police already took out the corpse. “Every threat he’s sending you is to break you. He has planned every murder and step, so it isn’t your fault. Any of it.”
It was the first time we heard Grumpy-psychologist and somehow I felt a little better.
“Ah, hyung!” I looked at manager, worried. “What about the broadcast? It was live after all...”
“It’s alright. It was cut when you entered the mine room. There weren’t any cameras. Everyone thought probably that it was the end, and we’ll announce it like that when there are questions.”
“Thank God...” I muttered.
Grumpy cleared his throat.
“Go back to your dorm for now,” he said.
“What about victim’s fiancé... who is also a victim?” Inseong asked. “Isn’t it some kind of warning? That we’ll be next?”
“I really don’t know. Until today I thought I’m stepping on his feet, and now I’m as confused as you are. Who knows what will be his next move.”
“I think we might have another clue,” I said, when something suddenly popped up in my mind. “We still didn’t talk to the high schooler.”
“What high schooler?” Grumpy said, coming back to his old, not confused self.
“That’s... another story, but he must have met the hooded man, or been in contact with him.”
“You think they’ve really met?” Heejun whispered.
“I’m sure they contacted each other somehow,” I stated. “This would explain almost everything! It’s impossible that ordinary high schooler like him had an access to our waiting room, especially to PD’s stuff. And he wouldn’t know so much about me, if someone didn’t observe us and didn’t relay information to him.”
“It makes sense,” Youjin muttered. “That makes him invisible, if he uses someone else.”
“The same case is with the fiancé?” Seungjun asked. “He used him?”
“This... complicates things,” I sighed. “If he did, it doesn’t explain why he killed him. And made us find him, but that is weird, not only complicated.”
“Wow, look at you,” Grumpy said and we glanced at him. “Why don’t you quit your idol life and become detectives?”
“Very funny,” I commented.
“Okay, that’s enough!” Manager got angry. “We’re going back! And please!” he said to Grumpy. “Don’t encourage them to solving it anymore!”
“I didn’t do anything!” Grumpy outraged. “They’re doing it themselves!”
“Right, right. Now, if you excuse us.”
We bowed lightly to Grumpy and left him alone at the crime scene, with funny face.