Release that Witch Chapter 489
"No. No, thanks." Seeing Nightingale squatting by the body examining the wounds, Summer declined the offer. If Nightingale was still able to keep her composure at such a horrible crime scene... she must also stay here. Summer continued, "I, uh, feel much better now."
"When was he found?" Nightingale turned questioning.
"Early this morning. The residents nearby found his body when they went to draw water. It was before sunrise. The door was left wide open as it is now, as if the killer wanted to announce the death to the whole community." Rene answered. "In the past, it would take two or three days for us to hear about something like this. The City Hall has been offering rewards for information, so it was reported sooner."
"Do you know the victim's identity?"
"Shovel, freeman." Rene glanced about the room. "Nothing valuable has been found. Um... it looks like he used to be a Rat, too."
"Did anyone see him last night?"
"I checked. Nobody."
"Any noises heard?"
"It doesn't sound right; a strong man like him?" Nightingale frowned. "Even if his throat was slit, he wouldn't die immediately. Someone should have heard him struggling for life or banging on the floor. Are you sure they weren’t lying?"
"I don't think so," Rene replied hesitantly. "The murder has sparked panic among the community. Plus, the residents get rewards for assisting the police. They shouldn't have any reason to lie."
"Well, bring them here. I'll interview them myself. And, Summer?" Nightingale looked toward her assistant.
"Yes?" Summer responded with a shiver.
"Go to the castle and bring Soraya here."
Summer staggered out and ran toward the castle.
Somehow, she found the way in which Nightingale gave commands utterly beautiful. Everything about her character demonstrated great confidence. No wonder His Highness trusted her with the Security Bureau.
When Summer came back, there were another two people following her.
"Why didn't His Highness ask me to deal with such matters?" Lightning flew into the room, exclaiming. "He's unfair!"
"Coo, coo!" Maggie rejoined.
"I couldn’t stop them," Summer said timidly.
"Shouldn't you protect Prince Roland while I'm away?" Nightingale's brows went up a fraction of an inch. "This isn't an adventure game!"
"Relax. Sylvie’s there, nobody can easily approach His Highness," Lightning winked. "Besides, His Highness is going to call a meeting with the nobles and there’ll be no danger in the castle hall."
"Who are these?" Rene and the other policemen stared at the girl and the bird, eyes wide open.
"They're witches." Nightingale grumbled. "Anyway, you ought to get back to the castle before the end of the meeting. Got it?"
"Aw..." Lightning pouted.
"Um, you wanted me to draw the body?" Soraya was the last to enter the room. Summer felt slightly relieved when she noticed Soraya looking as ghastly pale as herself.
"Not the body, the murderer." Nightingale closed the door and disclosed the plan. "Once we've got a picture of the killer, we'll post it on the bulletin boards at the square and offer cash rewards to people who provide tips. This should be the fastest way to find him."
The Earl of the Elk Family gasped. "You mean the witch here, Miss Summer, can reconstruct the crime scene?"
"It depends. She can maintain the illusion for only a limited period of time, so we also need a bit of luck. You'll see." Nightingale gave Summer a nod of approval. "Go ahead."
"Okay." Summer shut her eyes and traced time back to somewhere between midnight and dawn as Nightingale instructed. In the darkness, her magic power streamed from the tips of her fingers and intertwined, gradually forming a clear image. Slowly, some wooden planks, a bed, a table and a room took shape. A house was constructed in her mind. The victim was lying on the floor, his blood running onto the bumpy ground. The previously locked door was pushed open.
"Is this the witch's power?"
"Gracious! The illusion is so lifelike. It's almost like the demons' power."
"Hush! Shut up!"
The surrounding police hushed to a whisper.
"It seems he's already dead." Nightingale patted Summer on her shoulder. "Don't waste your magic power. Switch to another time point."
The second time, Summer traced the event back to somewhere close to midnight. The figure on the floor disappeared abruptly, and the victim was lying in bed, appearing to be in deep slumber.
"Does this mean he was killed between the two periods of time?" Rene asked in bewilderment.
"I got it! Miss Summer's power doesn't last long, and we're likely to miss the exact moment the murderer was committing the crime. That's why you said we needed a bit of luck!"
"Precisely," said Nightingale. "It likely took a long time for the murderer to leave these marks after he finished the business. Summer, you just start from somewhere close to three o'clock."
Summer nodded and heaved a heavy breath. She summoned her power again and set the time between two and three. The magic power swarmed toward the wall and revealed a stranger standing at the bedside. He was drawing something on the wall with the bloodstained sheet.
"It looks like we've found him." Nightingale smiled. "Lucky indeed."
"So this man is the killer, coo?"
"He looks like nothing special... I thought it would at least be someone stout and strong." Lightning remarked in disappointment.
"I can only draw a side face from this angle." Soraya looked at the murderer from the wall. "Is there any way to turn him around?"
"Summer, I'll leave it to you." Nightingale instructed.
"Alright." Without further explanation from Nightingale, Summer knew what to do. She pushed the time of the last illusion a quarter backward. This time, everyone saw clearly what the murderer looked like. He first strangled Shovel to death with a rope, dragged him to the floor and then slit his throat with a dagger. During the whole process, Shovel was sleeping like a log without any signs of struggling.
It suddenly struck Rene when he turned and noticed a water tank in the corner of the room. "Did he drink Dreamland Water?"
"It looks like it." Nightingale nodded. "That's why there was no noise. The killer slit his throat just to obtain some blood. The victim had already been dead."
"My, my lord! I've seen this man before!" said a police officer suddenly.
"What?" Both Nightingale and Rene rested their eyes on him.
The police officer paused a moment before continuing. "His name is Maans, and he used to be a patroller. I've dealt with him before."
"Do you know where he lives?" Rene pursued.
"I remember he lives in the inner city... West Street, near the Sheep Tavern."
"Very well. We don't even need to search him out. It appears God is on our side." Nightingale scoffed. "He can't get away with it. Let's go!"
"Yes, my lord!" The police shouted in unison.