Chapter 53.2

Today was no different. Lunchtime had already come, and the office had emptied out as everyone dispersed for their meals. However, Yi-soo lingered at her desk, aware that even if she were to leave for a late lunch, she wouldn’t consume a proper meal.

Resolute in her dedication to the ongoing task, she persisted in typing the indictment on her computer. Immersed in her work, the sudden vibration of her phone drew her attention. Glancing at the screen, she confirmed the caller as ‘Detective Ahn’ and promptly pressed the answer button.

“Yes, Detective Ahn. Have you obtained the call records of Choi Sung-sik on the day of the incident? It seems like he may have used multiple burner phones.”

  • Oh, I’ve assigned a detective to look into that. We should have the results by the end of today. But, the reason I called isn’t about that…

Detective Ahn’s usually clear tone wavered, a departure from her customary composed demeanor. Yi-soo, sensing an unusual hesitation, set aside her keyboard and brought the phone closer to her ear.

“Is there another reason for your call?” she inquired.

  • Um, yes. About two weeks ago, Prosecutor Seo requested an autopsy for her sister. The results are in.

The word “autopsy” hung in the air, and the weight of those two syllables pressed heavily on her heart. The interminable wait for the results seemed an eternity, pushing her to the edge of madness. Now, confronted with the truth she had braced herself for, fear gripped her more intensely than any sense of relief.

In that moment, a singular thought pierced Yi-soo’s mind like an arrow. She delicately brushed her throbbing forehead with her fingertips.

“But… why, Detective Ahn, would you convey the autopsy results? Why didn’t the National Forensic Service reach out to me?”

  • Well, that’s the thing. I’m not sure how to put this.

The discomfort of the person on the other end of the call became increasingly apparent. What started as a small unease swiftly expanded, resembling a snowball rolling down a hill. Yi-soo, without pausing to catch her breath, awaited Detective Ahn’s next words.

  • The autopsy results revealed evidence suggesting it wasn’t suicide but homicide. The victim’s residence is in our jurisdiction, coincidentally under the Seoul West District, so I thought it proper to inform Prosecutor Seo.


  • Prosecutor Seo? Are you okay?

What felt like a sudden blow to the back of her head seemed to send her vision into a disorienting spin. Overwhelmed by a wave of nausea, she teetered on the verge of vomiting.

The revelation of evidence pointing towards homicide struck like a thunderbolt. In other words, Su-jeong had not taken her own life; she had been murdered. Confronted with this shocking reality, Yi-soo felt an instinctive urge to deny it.

Who could have taken her sister’s life? The thought that someone had not only committed the act but had gone to great lengths to conceal the truth as a suicide intensified the pounding in her chest. Her heart raced uncontrollably, and each breath felt elusive, slipping through her grasp.

Detective Ahn, on the other side of the speaker, cautiously posed a question.

  • Shall I call you back later? Since you’re busy with work right now, I could wait until you’re done…

The desire to disappear overwhelmed her. The painful reality that her beloved sister, the sole remaining blood relative in her world, had met her demise at the hands of another was too much to bear.

Even if she were to call out her sister’s name now, Su-jeong was no longer part of this world. Memories of moments shared with Su-jeong flickered before Yi-soo’s eyes like a lantern dancing in the wind.

Left alone in the world after the loss of their father, the two sisters had been each other’s sole support. Growing up in less-than-ideal conditions in an orphanage, Su-jeong had sacrificed everything for Yi-soo. Because she was her sister, Su-jeong had willingly handed over snacks, clothes, and anything else Yi-soo desired. The only thing she couldn’t concede, her first and final refusal, was the possibility of a harmonious family.


〈Yes. I want to adopt you as our daughter. We will become a family.〉

〈Family…? Uh, what about Yi-soo? Yi-soo is my sister.〉

〈That’s the thing…〉

Su-jeong departed from the orphanage on her own, yet, if it were within her power, she would have gladly relinquished even the prospect of adoption to her younger sister. Such was the depth of the precious and tender bond that Su-jeong represented for Yi-soo.

“…No, Detective Ahn. Please, continue.”

Resolute in the face of this painful reality, Yi-soo recognized that bringing the truth to light and rectifying the injustice against her sister was the only path forward. She slowly lowered her eyelids, deep in contemplation. After a moment of hesitation, Detective Ahn began to convey the unsettling details.

  • The victim didn’t die from breathing difficulties after taking a large amount of sleeping pills and lying down to sleep. Traces of intravenous injection were found on the right forearm. Additionally, the autopsy revealed a lethal dose of midazolam. The suspected sleeping pills that the victim took were in oral form, a different type from midazolam.

The audible rustling of papers being shuffled or scrutinized filled her ears. Yi-soo maintained tightly sealed lips, her expression fraught with anxiety.

  • It seems that the victim was likely injected with an excessive amount of sleeping pills after being rendered unconscious… The possibility of non-asphyxial strangulation is high.

“Non-asphyxial… strangulation?”



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