First, we told everything our manager. Then we went to the police station.
“I can’t tell you that,” policeman said unpleasantly. “The case was closed some time ago and it doesn’t have anything to do with you.”
“And I’m a witness for a fun?” I asked enraged.
Seungjun grabbed me around the waist and pulled aside. Manager began a conversation instead of me.
On the other side of the room was a small bench, so we had to sit on each other’s laps to fit it.
“This is unbelievable!” Inseong exploded with anger. Second time this day. “He was in the prison! How –” Inseong’s eyes widened. “Wait, when this began?”
“The stage accident was not long after we came back from Hwang-ya,” I said. “Now I’m sure it’s his doing.”
“But he was at that time in the prison... right?”
“What if he didn’t make it there at all?”
After my words there was long silence. Any of us wanted to admit it that the real stalker was the murderer from Hwang-ya. I still wasn’t sure myself if that was true, but that metaphor with rose and thorns... Till now I tremble, when I recall his horrifying voice.
Heejun tangled his arms around my waist. “You really think it’s him?” he whispered.
“It wasn’t E.T. and that high schooler. It was surely a male, so it couldn’t be any of sasaengs. Who else could it be? I don’t remember making other enemies.”
The last sentence wasn’t supposed to be a joke, but it came out like one, so we smirked at each other.
Finally manager came to us.
“I showed them evidences, so they promised to restart the investigation,” he stated and we breathed a sigh of relief. Yet, manager didn’t look relaxed. “I’m worried about that last threat,” he continued. “If it was send to Heejun, it means you’re all targeted. Although only Jihun was a witness, all of you know about it from him.”
We exchanged looks with anxiety.
“We’ll secure the dorm for now, but we have to think about moving out again. Sasaengs were one problem, but this one is dangerous.”
“But it’s strange...” I said, a little confused. “Why he wrote that soon he’ll come and see us? He had a lot of opportunities when he delivered the packages.”
“He’s most likely a psychopath, Jihun,” manager sighed. “He doesn’t just want to hurt you physically, but mostly mentally. He’ll be pleased, if you’re trembling before him with fear.”
That scared me even more. If we were dealing with the psychopath, it’ll be hard to catch him.
“Let’s summarize,” I said, stretching fingers to count. “He threw the lamp at me, send a threat package to me and Heejun.” I thought for a moment. “He probably threw that stone at me in the dorm... Did I miss something?”
“What about that letter?” Youjin asked.
“The one you supposedly gave that sasaeng girl.”
“What about it?”
“If you didn’t send it, then he could be responsible for it.”
Now it made sense!
“Right! But... wait, I don’t like the idea that popped up in my mind just now.” I nearly fell down with excitation. Heejun squeezed my stomach, so I would stay still. “He might have used that high schooler! Used his hate against me. We have to interrogate him again, the culprit may have met him, or something!”
“Okay, that’s enough!” manager interrupted us. “Stop getting excited. Maybe you’re on the right track, but leave the rest to the police. And please, don’t investigate on your own.”
“Why would we?” Inseong said. “He wants to kill us, right?”
“We aren’t sure yet. But he’s extremely dangerous, so focus on your activities and don’t wander anywhere alone. Am I clear?”
After an hour we were getting ready to return to the dorm, when one of the police officers stopped us. He had a worried face. He asked us to follow him to a single table with a table plate saying ‘Kang Hyun – private detective’.
“You’re the witness?” detective asked rudely, looking at me.
“I have good and bad news for you. Which one do you want to hear first?”
Was he mocking me, or what?
“Bad,” I said hesitantly.
“You were right. The one, who murdered a woman in Hwang-ya, is on the loose. He escaped before he reached the prison in the spring.”
“So...” I swallowed hard, when my throat got tightened with fear. “He had been following us since our depart from the village... ?”
That didn’t make me feel better at all.
“W... What about the good news?” I whispered with hope.
“We’re currently tracking him.”
“How is that supposed to be the good n... !” Seungjun covered Inseong’s mouth with hand.
I was too shocked to react. Seriously? He had been following... no, stalking us since then!? God, we were in danger all along and we didn’t even suspect anything... It was like we were pawns in some dreadful game.