Kimchi's Diaries 2: Shady Culprit

And here’s the continuation of “Kimchi’s Diaries: Dangerous Fa(n)scination”! For those who didn’t sleep since my last diary, here’s good news – continuation! But is it really for your good? Part II of the diary: We finally got a long vacation from our company and we were going to not very known village Hwang-ya. However, was it really a good idea? Besides fun we were caught up in the mystery of the village, which later had unpleasant consequences... But soon I understood that this was more complicated than I ever imagined.


20. The most expensive tea in my life

As Grumpy announced, we went with him to victim’s fiancé, whose house was like a castle, by the way...

“I feel so small here... AH!” Heejun shrieked, when we entered the garden and got startled by a big dog. Heejun hugged me so violently, that his head hit my chin. “Ah, sorry, hyung...”

Victim’s fiancé didn’t want to let us in, as Grumpy predicted. So he broke the door. Very thoughtful for a detective.

“Hello there!” Grumpy called, when we entered the house.

Fiancé showed up on stairs, but with a gun. We panicked and escaped, hiding behind the front door. A few minutes passed. We didn’t hear any shots. Then Grumpy came out and ordered us to come in. Fiancé was sitting on a sofa with an ice pack near his cheek, and with grim face. We sat in front of him. I nearly ‘drowned’ in his sofa. Was that a water sofa? Wow...

“Let’s get to the point,” Grumpy said, putting foot on a table and leaning toward fiancé. “Did you kill Seoyun?”

“How’s that a point?” I muttered. “Shouldn’t you ask first: where were you then and then?”

“It’s not a movie, kiddo. And he’s illegally armed, so he’ll have to come to the police station anyway.”

“If you say so...”

“Answer,” Grumpy growled, coming closer to the fiancé.

“No!” he said angrily. “I didn’t do a thing!”

“Do you have an alibi?”

“I was in the U.S. the whole time! I returned to the country once I received information about her death!”

“Is that so...” Grumpy sat on the table in front of him. “Why?”

“Why WHAT?”

“Why did you hear about it just now? She died in the spring.”

He stammered. I saw that he clenched his hand on his trouser pocket. I frowned.

“I have another question for you,” Grumpy whispered. I grabbed Seungjun’s arm. Will he punch him? “Where is the tea? You won’t serve your guests tea?”

I drowned again in the sofa, surprised. Fiancé was dumbfounded too, but he ran to the kitchen immediately.

“Do we have time for a TEA?” I hissed through my teeth.

“Easy, kiddo. Did you see something?”

I blinked confused.

“Is that the reason you brought us here?” Youjin asked.

“I need to focus on his face, so he would focus on mine and do things, which he would think that I couldn’t see.” Grumpy raised his eyebrows. “So?”

“His pocket,” I said. “He must have something important in his trouser pocket.”

“Good job. Now, enjoy your tea.”

Fiancé brought us tea and sat before Grumpy in silence. We tasted the tea. Strange, I’ve never drank such a tea... Then Heejun elbowed me in the ribs. I looked at him. He was staring, nearly horrified, at tea’s package.

Da Hong Pao,” I read, whispering. I looked again at Heejun, puzzled. “Why?”

“Below the name, hyung...”

I looked there and almost died by choking. Seungjun rubbed my back and Grumpy glanced at us irritated. Members smiled wryly, as I was silently fighting with coughing. Million thoughts appeared in my head and the most important one was: I hope we won’t have to pay for it...

I haven’t heard about that tea, but the price told us that it was one of the most expensive tea in the world. It was good indeed, but after a sip, we put the cups on the table and politely waited as Grumpy and fiancé will pay attention to us.

“Nice trousers, by the way,” Grumpy said, when he finished scanning fiancé’s face.

“Thanks... ?”

“But I was wondering...” Grumpy didn’t move, as if he was a statue. “What’s in your pocket?”

“W-What?” fiancé stammered. I saw that he tighten the grip on the pocket. Grumpy didn’t see it, but I was sure he heard it, because he smiled. “What are you talking about?”

“Your pocket, moron. Empty it.”

“Why would I do that!?” fiancé outraged. He immediately stopped squeezing the pocket.

“I’m a detective with a psychology degree,” Grumpy sighed. Wow, seriously? He didn’t look like one... “I thought about a lot of possibilities of your behavior in this couple of minutes, and I’m sure squeezing the pocket isn’t simply your habit, when you’re nervous. Your eyes show that you’re stressed out. Your hand shows that you want to hide something.” Grumpy waved his hand. “Kiddo.”

Thank God I realized in a moment what he meant. I threw myself at the fiancé, before he could escape. Meanwhile I thought why Grumpy didn’t do it, but maybe he hoped that fiancé wouldn’t fight non-police youngster. Well, he was wrong. When I grabbed his pocket, he punched me in the face and grabbed my hair. I screamed and tried to bite him, without releasing his pocket. Members tried to help me out, but we were jerking on the sofa so aggressively, that Inseong and Seungjun got hit too. Surprisingly, Grumpy wanted to help too, but got bit by fiancé. He moved back, shocked and disgusted.

Finally my idol stamina came in handy, because soon fiancé was worn out and I took out this something from his pocket with great satisfaction.

“Hyung... are you okay?” Heejun touched my swollen lip.

I smiled in response, breathing fast, as if I just finished the marathon with a gold. I unrolled the paper. For a moment I thought that I’ll see another threat, but it wasn’t that. It was...

“A telephone number?” I muttered.

Grumpy snatched it from me. He was standing on fiancé, holding him down. Detective waved the paper before fiancé’s eyes.

“And what’s that, huh? Your partner in crime?”

“I didn’t do it!” he insisted, nearly with panic. “This is... I got this after I landed, at the airport.”

“Got it?” Grumpy frowned. Seungjun was smoothing my hair, while I was drinking the expensive tea as a reward for the effort. “From who?”

“I don’t know... I didn’t see his face, he was hooded.”

Hooded. I hated this word. We all exchanged looks.

“Did he say whose number this is?” Grumpy continued.

“Detective?” Youjin pointed to the other side of a paper. “There’s more...”

Grumpy turned the paper.

Date? / Need to find it. / Seoul,” he read. “What the hell?”

Fiancé raised his hands helplessly. Grumpy glanced at us, but nothing came to my mind. The date reminded me of the one from the mystery, but if the culprit gave fiancé this paper, he would know the meaning of our numbers. And he didn’t know, so...

“One more thing,” fiancé said suddenly. He looked at us, but I had this weird feeling he was addressing specifically to me. “He wanted me to relay the message. Because you didn’t make your choice last time, I’ll give you one more chance. Solve it till the end of the month, or you’ll get early Christmas present.”

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