Chapter 40.1

The Shin Min-yeol homicide case swiftly landed on the prosecutor’s desk. The villa’s surveillance cameras revealed no sign of anyone entering or exiting the premises during the time of the incident. What’s more, there were no discernible traces of anyone else present. Even after a thorough sweep of the entire living room, only the suspect, Pyo Joo-won’s DNA was uncovered. All the circumstantial evidence solidly pointed to a lone perpetrator.

The real conundrum lay in the fact that the accused never once confessed to the crime, not even when faced with intense pressure. It’s typical for individuals to yield under such circumstances, yet Pyo Joo-won clung tenaciously to his claims of innocence. Even the polygraph test administered by seasoned experts had yielded no deception. And now, Pyo Joo-won had just arrived at the prosecutor’s office.

Clutching her documents, Yi-soo entered the interrogation room, taking a seat across from him. She wore a casual ensemble of jeans and a t-shirt, while Pyo Joo-won’s wrists remained encased in handcuffs. His face appeared notably more worn than in the photographs, a testament to the ordeal of the past few days.

After confirming the basics of his identity, she set aside her notes and locked eyes with Joo-won.

“Mr. Pyo Joo-won, I understand there was a deterioration in your relationship with the victim, Shin Min-yeol, approximately six months ago.”

“…How many times must I say it?” Joo-won grumbled. “Our relationship didn’t deteriorate; it was Min-yeol who changed. He wasn’t like this initially, but one day, he began behaving as if he’d lost his sanity or something.”

“Could you please provide a detailed account of what transpired?” Yi-soo requested, emphasizing the need for precise information. It was essential to hear the story directly from him to assess any potential falsehoods.

Joo-won, a mixture of frustration and a profound sense of injustice etched across his face, let out a sigh and rested his head on the table. It seemed more like an expression of discontent with the situation than an act of self-pity.

“Raise your head and respond to the question,” Yi-soo instructed.

With a reluctant sigh, Joo-won complied. “He… initially worked at Yoon & Kang. Good pay, a pleasant personality, and he got along with everyone. So, we decided to share an apartment, splitting the rent and deposit equally. But things took a complete turn after he lost his job,” Joo-won divulged.

“He lost his job?” Yi-soo raised an eyebrow. “Shin Min-yeol’s resignation letter indicates that he left voluntarily.”

“That’s how the company sees it, I suppose. They didn’t officially terminate him, but I heard the workplace environment was dreadful. Well… I didn’t get all the details from Min-yeol himself. Regardless, he suddenly quit a job where he was doing well, claiming he’d gone insane.”

Joo-won clenched and unclenched his fists repeatedly, muttering to himself in a state of agitation. “No, no,” he mumbled, his chapped lips quivering.

“Yes,” he continued. “It might seem unfair that he lost his job at the company. But he was still obligated to contribute the agreed-upon funds. He kept saying he couldn’t cover the rent for over three months, so… Well, initially, I covered his portion too.”

“So, what happened next?” Yi-soo inquired, pressing for more details.

“Well, then what? Honestly, he just stayed locked up in his room, like someone suffering from depression. He was always anxious, and he’d even break things. I felt sorry for him, but everyone has their limits. How can you not seek help for depression? If he had continued working at Yoon & Kang, he would have saved up a decent amount of money by now, but he didn’t even consider using that for rent.”

After venting his frustrations for a while, Joo-won suddenly raised his head. Yi-soo let out a weary sigh and handed over her notes, the motive behind the crime becoming increasingly apparent.

“Furthermore,” Yi-soo continued, “your fingerprints were discovered on the murder weapon, a kitchen knife. Can you provide an explanation for this?” she asked.

“Damn it!” Joo-won cursed in frustration. “Are the police and prosecutors all blind? This is so exasperating! It’s driving me insane.”

With a sudden surge of emotion, Joo-won rose to his feet and pounded his chest with a clenched fist. As he did, the door to the interrogation room swung open, and the detective who had been stationed outside hurriedly entered. It was standard procedure to remain vigilant and monitor suspects during interrogations, as they could potentially cause trouble.

“It’s alright, you can leave now,” Yi-soo assured the detective, gesturing for Joo-won to sit back down.

“No, Prosecutor. Seriously… logically, it’s only natural that my fingerprints would be on the kitchen knife, right? Huh? I cook at home. We only had two kitchen knives in the house, and am I supposed to have magically chosen the other one?” Joo-won explained, his frustration evident.



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