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Netherworld Investigator Chapter 238: The Arm-Breaking Contraption

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Trapped in the contraction, the man continued crying and screaming. Although we already knew his ending, we were still covered in cold sweat, worried for him.

The sounds of a countdown timer echoed in the room and the man's expression grew terrified. "Was there a bomb planted in the room?” I mused. “Looks like the murderer set a time limit for the victim to escape."

"I fast-forwarded it earlier,” said Lao Yao. “There isn't any explosion later on so it's probably fake."

Four minutes later, the man had tears streaming down his sweaty face and snot under his nose. Just when I thought he would buckle under the pressure, the man suddenly gave a loud roar and pulled his foot out.

Xiaotao grasped my hand nervously, her hands damp with sweat.

Although the man pulled his left foot out, the blade on his arm remained in place. He seemed to think he got lucky. Not just him, but even we, the audience, were relieved.

The next second, the blades snapped shut! Because it happened too quickly, the man didn't realize it at first. A few seconds later, he noticed his severed limb and started squealing like a pig. Blood spurted out of the wound like a fountain, spraying all over the ground and onto the camera. Dali screamed in horror at the video but none of us could blame him for it. Everyone seemed to feel the man's pain, helplessness and despair.

The man turned pale, his lips blue due to excessive blood loss. He was s.h.i.+vering uncontrollably, probably because he felt cold.

He gritted his teeth and pulled out his other leg. The blades fell on his right arm at once. After losing both his arms, he staggered out of the contraption but immediately knelt to the ground weakly. Then, he struggled to prop his body up with his head and slowly disappeared from the picture.

"It's not possible for him to survive with his arms cut off, is it?" asked Xiaotao.

I nodded. "With this amount of bleeding, he wouldn't be able to survive if he doesn't receive medical a.s.sistance within five minutes! But this man looks strong enough to run some distance before his body goes into shock. The murderer must have killed him during this period."

Lao Yao turned off the video and switched on the lights. Loud gasps filled the room. Many officers lit their cigarettes with quivering hands.

"At the time, countless people watched this on the Internet, but none of them had the conscience to call the police,” lamented Xiaotao. “How ugly human nature truly is!"

"This website has strict permission settings,” I said. “People who are allowed to watch this live stream must be VIP members with the highest permission. They have long been accustomed to these dark, vile things so their hearts have grown desensitized. In their eyes, it's just entertainment."

"If you stay in a fish market long enough, you won't think it's fishy!" remarked Xiaotao.

"You're right!"


A short rest later, everyone had finally caught their breath.

"Do you want to continue watching?" asked Lao Yao.

"Wait a minute! Replay the video again!" instructed Xiaotao.

About a third into the video, Xiaotao called for a pause and asked everyone to a.n.a.lyze the location from the picture. The officers each expressed their opinions. Some suggested that it might be a building along the river because the bottom of the wall was damp and moldy, but others pointed out that it could have been altered using technology. They proposed investigating manufacturers by looking at the incandescent light models.

The room in the video was very clean with few leads to follow. Xiaotao asked me what I thought but I had nothing to offer.

Dali suddenly exclaimed, "Xiaotao-jiejie, I've discovered something! The blades on this contraption look like they are driven by a hydraulic system. I think it was removed from agricultural machinery. You might be able to investigate from this angle."

"That works, Dali,” laughed Xiaotao. “I didn't expect your idea to come in handy."

Dali scratched his head and chuckled, "Don't forget that I'm an applied electronics student!"

"Song Yang,” Xiaotao turned to me. “Have you been defeated by Dali this time?"

Dali's words reminded me of something. I asked Lao Yao to fast-forward the video to the moment when the mechanism started up.

As I thought, I noticed the light bulb dim for a moment. "The power required by this contraption is very high, causing a drop in the voltage of the entire electric circuit. Can you go to the power plant to check the peak values of electricity consumption in all parts of Nanjiang City on that day?"

Xiaotao's eyes brightened. "Your idea is good but it's too difficult to do that. Any high-powered electronic equipment will cause instantaneous voltage instability when it starts up. Almost every household in Nanjiang City has high-powered electrical appliances."

"If that's difficult, why not..."

“Why not what?" Xiaotao wondered.

I asked Lao Yao for the time interval between the activation of the two blades. After fast-forwarding and then hitting rewind, he reported that it was 43 seconds.

"The two peak power consumption periods are 43 seconds apart,” I started. “And the time is locked at around 9 pm on the 8th of March. Is that enough information to pinpoint a location?"

"You always have all sorts of ideas,” grinned Xiaotao. “Alright, I'll send someone over to look it up later."

Aside from this, everyone else came up with a more reasonable suggestion. The murderer certainly didn't have the ability to produce these parts by himself so he must have purchased them. We could ask an expert to a.n.a.lyze the parts and visit the manufacturers.

Xiaotao jotted down these two clues on a small notebook and the second video began playing. Like the last video, it was dark at first and we could only hear a man's deep breaths. Obviously, this person sounded older than the victim before.

"Do you know why you are here?" asked the digitally-altered voice.

"Please, let me out!” the man cried. “I still have parents and children to look after. I'll give you whatever you want. Any amount is fine!"

"You are a selfish, indifferent and heartless man who smokes in public and ignores other people's friendly reminders. That's why you are here to receive h.e.l.l's judgement. Since you like forcing others to breathe in your cigarette smoke, now you can bask in the smell of your own burning fles.h.!.+"

The video brightened with the ignition of a huge flame. There was a pit on the ground br.i.m.m.i.n.g with burning charcoal. This time, the room wasn't lit and the illumination came solely from the charcoal.

There was a man in copper armor standing in an empty spot on the edge of the fiery charcoal. Except for slight deviations, the armor looked almost the same as the one drawn by old man Qi. The man in the armor stood close to the wall, not daring to move for fear of stepping on the hot charcoal.

"As you can see, the exit is right in front of you,” explained the voice. “You must walk over the fire to escape. If you don't take any action, the temperature in the room will keep increasing and in five minutes, you will be roasted alive. Embrace the punishment for your crime!"

"Watching this video makes me think that the most hateful person isn't the murderer himself, but the onlookers who cheered, praised and even rewarded the murderer!” condemned Xiaotao. “It is they who have emboldened him. Perhaps you could even say that they are the ones who have created these twisted, s.a.d.i.s.tic murderers."

"I feel the same way,” I lamented.

Xiaotao called for a break and asked if this was the same room as the one in the previous video. But everyone had differing opinions.

"That's easy,” a.s.sured Lao Yao. “Let me try something!"

He opened an image processing software, placed screenshots of the two videos together and adjusted the transparency by 50%, aligning the lines bit by bit. The result showed that the second room was a little longer. Obviously, these were two separate rooms.

"Lao Yao!” I shouted. “Enlarge the second picture. There seems to be something on the wall!"
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Netherworld Investigator Chapter 238: The Arm-Breaking Contraption summary

You're reading Netherworld Investigator. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Oli. Already has 33 views.

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