Chapter 7: God of death’s shadow
There was no bloodstain on the corpses, the two persons’ faces were also very serene, as if they died at peace, without suffering any pain.
Hai KuoTian opened their clothes, and only then he could discover two light red marks on their backs, obviously from palm hits, the two persons’ heart arteries were shattered.
Hu TieHua extended his tongue, and exclaimed: “Good formidable palm strength!”
The one mark was of the left hand; the other one of the right hand; the one who killed them was obviously just one person, moreover he attacked both of them simultaneously.
But the depth of the marks on both of them were almost identical, obviously, the person’s palm strengths of both hands were also similar.
Chu LiuXiang said: “It looks like a kind of red-sand-palm (zhu-sha-zhang).”
Hu TieHua said: “Right, the only mark left by the red-sand-palm is the light red color.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Although everybody has heard of the red-sand-palm, actually the secret to this palm strength has been lost. In the last 20-30 years, I have not heard of red-sand-palm's master in jiang-hu.”
Hu TieHua said: “I heard only `Palm pursuing soul' Lin Bin, who practiced the red-sand-palm, but that was many years ago. Lin Bin has died now for a very long time, I have not heard that he taught someone.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Right, ` Palm pursuing soul' practiced the red-sand-palm in years past, but he could use only one hand at the most, but this person can use both palms at the same time, therefore the skill has matured, this is even rarer.”
Hai KuoTian said suddenly: “It is said that the hands of a person who practiced the red-sand-palm, have special characteristics.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “When a person initially practices using it, the palm will indeed look reddish. But after a while, only when in use, will the palms become reddish, and usually they will look normal.”
Hai KuoTian said at last: “Thus, besides us, others can equally kill them.”
Zhang San said: “Someone cannot have done it.”
Hai KuoTian said: “Who?”
Zhang San said: “Jin LingZhi.”
Hai KuoTian said: “How can you see that?”
Zhang San said: “Look at the marks, this person's hands are very big, they cannot be of a woman's hand.”
Hu TieHua sneeringly said: “A rich person’s wealth can really avoid disaster. When Jin LingZhi bought you, she had spent the money wisely.”
Hai KuoTian said: “But a woman's hand can also be very big. According to the physiognomy (divination), the bigger woman, tends to be richer and more prosperous, isn’t Miss Jin coming from a rich and prosperous family?”
Zhang San coldly said: “Leader Hai can also tell fortunes by divination! It is said on the killer’s face, there are some apparent sinister look, maybe Leader Hai can possibly recognize that as well?”
Hai KuoTian had not responded, when they heard a desperate shout. This shout was coming from the deck, although very far away, but the shout was sad, shrill and incisive, that everyone could hear clearly. Hai KuoTian’s face changed, and then he left in a hurry.
Hu TieHua sighed and said: “It looks like this ship is already beset by disasters, a person who wants to live will not be able to disembark so easily.”
Chu LiuXiang took out something from Wang DeZhi’s clothes, and said in a low voice: “Do you see what this is?”
On his hand, he showed a pearl the size of a grain of longan impressively.
Zhang San’s facial color had changed immediately, and exclaimed: “This is the pearl I stole from Miss Jin.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Maybe you are wrong?”
Zhang San said: “Certainly not, I am a pearl’s expert.”
He wiped away some sweat, and continued: “But why would Miss Jin's pearl be on this person’s body?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Maybe she was not careful, and it fell here.”
Zhang San said with amazement: “So, is Jin LingZhi a murderer?”
Chu LiuXiang did not reply, his face showed that he was thinking deeply. He carefully put the pearl inside, and strode onto the staircase.
Hu TieHua patted the Zhang San’s shoulder and said: “If the master is a murderer, the lackey is also an accessory, you need to pay careful attention!”
When Hu TieHua and the friends stepped onto the deck, the stern was already crammed full with people. Jin LingZhi, Ding Feng, Gou ZiChang, Gongsun Jieyu, white candle, had all arrived.
The one who operated the helms was Xiang TianFei, but now he had disappeared. There were many bloodstains on the deck. The bloodstain was dark red, and not thoroughly dry.
Hu TieHua changed his countenance: “It’s Xiang TianFei! Is it possible that he has been killed? But his corpse?”
Hai KuoTian’s eyes blushed and said fiercely suddenly: “Qian Feng, Lu Changji, today is your turn to operate the rudder?”
Two people from the crowd went forward, and bowed: “Yes.”
Hai KuoTian became angry: “Where were you?”
Qian Feng responded: “The second master made us leave. We did not want to leave, but the second master seemed to have a fit of temper, and ready to hit out. Then, we did not dare to stay here.”
Lu Changji said: “But we did not dare to leave, we tidied up the ropes with Sun LaoSan.”
Hai KuoTian said: “What did you hear?”
Qian Feng said: “We heard that desperate shout, so we caught up here immediately. Before we got here, we heard a “plunge” sound, and we never saw the second master again.”
People looked at each other, inside their hearts, they understood that the “plunge” sound was surely the noise when Xiang TianFei’s corpse fell into the water.
Everybody realized that Xiang TianFei’s fate was more likely to be unfortunate than fortunate.
Hai KuoTian had interacted with Xiang TianFei for many years, he cried sadly: “My brother, my second brother, I have harmed you, I should have never ask you to come here ......”
Ding Feng said: “Leader Hai should not be too sad. Before the corpse is found, nobody can conclude that he has died. Moreover, the second master’s wugong is extremely high, how can he be killed so easily?”
Zhang San said: “The corpse cannot have fallen into the water for long, let me take a look to see whether I can get him.”
By now, the ship was nearing the mouth of the river, the mighty sea waves had become more turbulent. Without hesitation, Zhang San leapt into the water just like a big fish.
Hai KuoTian shouted out loudly immediately: “Reduce speed, stop the ship, do a head count!”
Hearing the command, the sailors had all dispersed. The purple whale gang’s subordinates were all really well-trained, although this was a big change suddenly, they were not hurried or chaotic.
The ship immediately slowed down, only some seamen’s calls could be heard once or twice faintly.
After a brief moment, that Qian Feng had moved forward a little and bowed, “Everyone is counted except Wang DeZhi and LiDeBiao, others are accounted for.”
If the others were accounted for, the one who died naturally was Xiang TianFei!
Hai KuoTian had knelt down suddenly before the scattered bloodstains.
Ding Feng’s vision flashed, lowered his voice: “The second master’s wugong is so high that only a few in jiang-hu can really kill him.”
When he spoke of this, his vision turned from Gou ZiChang, to Chu LiuXiang, Hu TieHua and the white candle. He didn’t stop at Gongsun Jieyu and Jin LingZhi. He clearly meant that the person who could kill Xiang TianFei was only one of these four people.
Hu TieHua sneeringly said: “How high is Master Ding’s wugong is also known by everybody, when this accident happened, where was Master Ding?”
What he said was obvious, he was simply pointing his finger at Ding Feng as the murderer.
Ding Feng calmly answered: “I was asleep, I was always on the bed.”
Hu TieHua said: “Brother Gou slept in the same room, can you attest to that?”
Gou ZiChang did not look comfortable and said slowly: “At that time ......I was going to the toilet at that time, not in the room.”
Chu LiuXiang said suddenly: “The one who killed the second master, actually did not have to have higher wugong skill than the second master actually.”
Hu TieHua said: “If the wugong is not higher than him, how could he kill him?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Perhaps the second master did not expect the person to kill him, so he was not prepared, therefore he could easily get killed then.”
Hai KuoTian moved forward and said bitterly: “Right, when two people fight, they must make some noises. Qian Feng must have heard them fighting then. But because this person killed him secretly, therefore no one had heard any sound of something astir.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Precisely so, therefore anyone on this ship can kill the second master.”
Ding Feng eyed Gou ZiChang, he coldly said: “But others do not have any enmity towards the second master, why would he kill him?”
Gou ZiChang became angry: “What do you stare at me? Do I and he have a grudge?”
Ding Feng said lightly: “In the Three harmonies building, brother Gou was in conflict with the second master, luckily it was not just me who heard it.”
Hai KuoTian's also stared at Gou ZiChang, his vision was filled with hatred, like regarding Gou ZiChang as the killer!
Gou ZiChang blushed and said loudly: “I said I only wanted to test his skill, not to kill him.”
Ding Feng coldly said: “Brother Gou, whether you want his life or not, only brother Gou would know. But as to the time the second master got killed, we still don’t know where brother Gou went to.”
Gou ZiChang became angry: “I have already said that I was going to the toilet at that time ......”
Ding Feng said: “Went to the toilet where?”
Gou ZiChang said: “Naturally the latrine, I cannot really urinate in front of you?” -
Ding Feng said: “Did someone else see you?”
Gou ZiChang said: “Nobody, there was no one else in the restroom at that time.”
Ding Feng sneeringly said: “Brother Gou was not too late nor too early, you just happen to be going to the toilet when the second master was killed. Then, no one else was in the toilet ......Heh heh, this is really very skillful, very skillful.”
Gou ZiChang called out: “How will I know when I will need to go to the restroom? How will I know that there is no one in the restroom......”
Chu LiuXiang said suddenly: “Brother Gou do not need to worry, the fact is, brother Gou is not the murderer!”
Ding Feng said: “The fact? Why?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “The murderer did not only kill in secret, moreover he was very close to the second master. Since brother Gou had a big feud with the second master, how would he allow brother Gou to come even near him?”
Gou ZiChang said: “Right. If he saw me near him, I’m afraid he would have already jumped at me.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “It seems that the scattered bloodstains on the deck are everywhere. Surely, the murderer, who stood close to the second master, must have a lot of blood splashes on his clothes.”
He looked at Gou ZiChang and said: “But brother Gou’s clothes are actually very clean and neat. Even if he changed his clothes after the murder, he could not have done it that quickly.”
Gou ZiChang said: “Good, as soon as I heard that desperate shout, I immediately rushed here, how could I have the time to change clothes?”
Jin LingZhi said suddenly: “This I may testify, when I came here, he was already here.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Regardless of who is the murderer, he absolutely did not have enough time to change clothes, so the only thing for him was probably to toss it into the water, or lay it aside secretly.”
Hu TieHua sneeringly said: “So, that murderer must be very was sloppily dressed at this moment.”
When he said this, he kept his eyes on Ding Feng, who just wore some short pants, without a long robe.
Ding Feng calmly said: “I don’t usually wear long robes when I go to sleep.”
Jin LingZhi said: “Right, nobody goes to sleep in formal clothes. As soon as I hear the desperate shout, I rushed here immediately, I did not put on any dress. Could I be the murderer?”
She also wore only short pants, and without socks, and had revealed a pair of snow-white feet.
Hu TieHua was staring at her feet and said easily: “Since this is a messy affair, everybody is under suspicion, even a rich person is not an exception. A rich person can still kill people, wouldn’t you say so Miss Jin?”
Jin LingZhi jumped around quickly, but finding where Hu TieHua's eyes were staring at, her face suddenly became red and she seemed to try to hide away her feet, not daring to talk back unexpectedly.
By now Zhang San had raised his head above the water and said loudly: “I cannot find him, there is really nothing to see, not even dead fish, more so any person.”
Hai KuoTian dropped out a long rope and said: “In any event, brother Zhang had made a nice gesture. The sea has claimed the second brother’s life, I am deeply grateful. The river water is too dangerous, brother Zhang please come up quickly!”
The sun shone brightly.
Immediately, after returning to the cabin and closing the door, Hu TieHua immediately grabbed on Chu LiuXiang's clothes and said: “Little fellow, you did not say the truth in front of us, did you? Do you think you can really deceive Mr. Hu?”
Chu LiuXiang laughed inadvertently and said: “Who has deceived you? What problem do you have?”
Hu TieHua stared at him while saying: “You didn’t deceive me? Before Yun CongLong died, he wanted you to drink that cup of liquor for him. There must be something in the cup at that point, why did you say there was nothing?”
Zhang San had changed into the dry clothes provided by Hai KuoTian. He lay down comfortably on the bed, lifting his feet and smiled easily while saying, “Some people said that Hu TieHua is really like a bag of stray. I did not want to believe it, but now I know that it is not false.”
Hu TieHua said: “Just release your dog’s smelly fart, what do you understand?”
Zhang San said: “You? What do you understand? Understand the fart? The other party was not willing to tell the truth. But Hai KuoTian was there, what kind of gas were you smelling?”
Hu TieHua said: “So what if Hai KuoTian was there? I don’t think he is a bad person. Moreover, he is on our side, why must we hide the truth from him?”
Zhang San sighed and said: “I thought originally you understood something at least, originally you do not understand a single thing. Hai KuoTian just led you to look at some very nice liquor, and now you are willing to lay down your life for him.”
Hu TieHua sneeringly said: “I am not like you, everyone seems to be terribly suspicious and fearful, according to you. Then, who in this world can you really trust?”
Zhang San said: “No one. I don’t even consider myself as being trustworthy, so how can anybody be that?”
Hu TieHua coldly said: “You are at least very honest, not like this old stinking insect.”
Zhang San said: “You really trust Hai KuoTian very much?”
Hu TieHua said: “He mentioned everything, not omitting anything.”
Zhang San sneeringly said: “When one goes fishing, he must use a bait, how do you know that Hai KuoTian was saying those things to fish something?”
Hu TieHua said: “Fishing? What was he trying to fish?”
Zhang San said: “He wants to extract our words, first he said his conclusions. Actually, his analysis all can be deduced easily, others can also guess correctly, there was nothing extraordinarily new in what he said.”
He did not wait for Hu TieHua to open his mouth, and continued: “As for that six coffins, nobody knew who actually sends them? Perhaps he himself.”
Hu TieHua’s hand on Chu LiuXiang’s lapels slowly loosened.
Chu LiuXiang then smiled and said: “Right, nobody on this ship is deaf or blind. If some people could deliver six coffins like they were ghosts, that was just simply impossible, only he…”
Hu TieHua said loudly: “But he couldn’t be the person who killed Xiang TianFei. When Xiang TianFei was killed, he was obviously with us?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Mmm.”
Hu TieHua said: “According to you, Gou ZiChang cannot be the killer, then the biggest suspicion falls on Jin LingZhi, Ding Feng and Gongsun Jieyu.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Right.”
Hu TieHua said: “To conceal the six coffins delivery, although it was not easy, but these three people are rich beyond dreams. As the saying goes: “Rich people can even raise up spirits”, when one is rich, there is nothing one cannot do?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “But besides these three people, there are also two very suspicious suspects.”
Hu TieHua said: “Who?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “The helmsmen Qian Feng and Lu Changji!”
Hu TieHua said: “They could kill Xiang TianFei?”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Since today is their duty to be at the helms, Xiang TianFei would not suspect them. Moreover, Xiang TianFei is a haughty person, naturally he would not suspect them. Therefore nobody else had greater opportunity to kill Xiang TianFei secretly.”
Zhang San said: “Also, because they were very inconsequential, nobody really paid attention to them. Therefore after committing the murder, they would have enough time to change their clothes.”
Chu LiuXiang said: “Perhaps Hai KuoTian stayed with us just to gain the alibi from us that he was not Xiang Tian Fei’s killer, to show that he couldn’t be the killer.”
Zhang San said: “But this actually cannot prove that he cannot arrange to have someone kill Xiang TianFei.”
Hu TieHua said: “So, do you think that he is the murderer?”
Zhang San said: “I have not claimed that he is the murderer, but he is also not beyond suspicion.”
<to be continued>