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553 Magnetic Field

 Xiao Zhao's question had a good impact on the policemen. Officer A gulped and stammered before handing him a key. "Hold this. Let us know when you've got some leads."

The private investigation firm was determined to build a friendly relationship with the police. They didn't want to ruin the relationship if they could help it. Therefore, Xiao Zhao accepted the key happily and left Tan Guiren's dormitory with Huo Shaoheng, Zhao Liangze, and the guys. They headed towards the investigation firm Xiao Zhao was working for. There was professional equipment there Zhao Liangze could use to develop the pictures he had just taken.

Xiao Zhao brought Zhao Liangze to the area to develop pictures, while Huo Shaoheng remained in the office alone to look at the footage of the dormitory Zhao Liangze had taken just now. He would compare it with the footage the private investigation firm took of the same place a few days ago.

Even though they had just left the small space, it still felt different looking at it on video. Perhaps it was due to looking at the entire issue from another angle, or perhaps a High Definition camera could capture many more things than the human eye could. After looking through the footage twice, Huo Shaoheng had managed to discover some differences.

For example, the sunlight coming through the window seemed to be darker in shade on a certain part of the floor compared to the others. Also, the flower-patterned clock on the wall had stopped ticking. That particular type of clock did not have a second and minute hand, and its hour hand was rather hidden. Therefore, sometimes one had to record the clock at different times in order to see the differences.

The footage from the investigation firm showed that the time on the clock indicated it was eight o'clock, and the footage they had taken today revealed that the clock was showing the same time. The footage taken by the investigation firm was taken in the afternoon, while their footage was taken in the morning at about seven o'clock. No matter which day the footage was taken, the time would not be eight o'clock.

From his knowledge, these clocks mostly used button batteries to operate, though some of them could be plugged into wall outlets. It would be good to know which type Tan Guiren had in her dormitory.

After he was done with watching the footage, Huo Shaoheng took the report for the case and had a close read again. After an entire afternoon, Zhao Liangze had managed to develop all the pictures from the morning. He brought them back to the Hilton Hotel along with Huo Shaoheng.

"Mr. Huo, look at these pictures. Is there anything special?" Zhao Liangze displayed all the pictures on the floor of the living area in Huo Shaoheng's suite according to his directions, recreating Tan Guiren's dormitory.

Folding his arms, Huo Shaoheng stood at the edge of the pictures and remained silent. He was thinking about the report the officer had written. It had specifically mentioned something about a magnetic field. Everything was so coincidental. This officer was supposed to go to the scene of crime as someone from the embassy for a routine check. He wasn't supposed to go as an officer from the Special Forces. Coincidentally, among the people who went, someone had a device that could detect magnetic fields.

The moment the officer saw the figures, he became alert and returned with a professional device to detect the magnetic field properly and recorded the unusual figures of the magnetic field in Tan Guiren's room. However, the moment he finished recording, the strange magnetic field disappeared...

Huo Shaoheng did not look at the figures closely. Instead, he was thinking about why the magnetic field would appear and why it would vanish. He had felt that there was a good chance that this was the key to Tan Guiren's case, because every time this abnormality appeared, some other unusual signs would follow. Or rather, some unexplainable things would come along with the figures.

Seventeen years ago, for the first time, when Huo Shaoheng's mother, Song Jinning, and maternal grandfather, Song Haichuan, were doing a collaborative experiment with the Army, these exact magnetic fields appeared when the experiment failed.

Seven years ago, it appeared again. This time around, the magnetic field appeared in the middle of a T-junction in C City. Huo Shaoheng was supposed to be there to protect the director of High Energy Physics, Bai Jinyi, when she was there to collect the figures. At that exact place, they witnessed a car drive into the magnetic field and explode. The 12-year-old little girl Huo Shaoheng had saved from the accident was none other than Gu Nianzhi, who had been carrying a little bag.

The third time happened mid-last year. The figures appeared at the Gulf of Aden in Somalia. Upon receiving the information, the then-director of the Institute of High Energy Physics, Bai Jinyi, who hadn't been put behind bars, led a team to the waters around that area to collect data. That time, some of the bigger Blue Star countries sent research vessels to the waters near Aden and Somalia for data collection. According to Bai Jinyi, some countries even sent submarines.

The fourth time would be this time. Tan Guiren went missing in her own dormitory, and then they discovered this strange magnetic field. Was it coincidental? Huo Shaoheng wasn't a scientist; he was a soldier, and not just a normal one at that. He was a soldier from the Special Forces. People in that line needed an inborn trait of being doubtful of everything, including things that might look ordinary.

Never conclude anything unknown to be supernatural was the principle of the Special Forces. Many things that looked unusual initially were actually not unusual. You just had not managed to discover the key for that thing.

It was just like magic. The audience would usually think that they were looking at something miraculous if they didn't know the secret behind the magic tricks. However, the moment they discovered how the magic trick was performed, most would realize that it was just a matter of angles.

Huo Shaoheng looked at the pictures again. He had a hunch that the key to this case lay in angles. Someone was intentionally confusing them and hiding his or her true intentions. Therefore, discovering that person's motive would be the only way to find Tan Guiren. Upon hearing Huo Shaoheng's analysis, Zhao Liangze shook his head. "Do you think that Tan Guiren is still alive, Mr. Huo?"

"I don't and have no need to know if she's alive or dead. All I have to do is to find her, alive or dead." Huo Shaoheng analyzed calmly and pointed at a particular picture. "Look at this wall clock. It stopped at eight o'clock. Then look at the angle at which sunlight was shining into the room - notice anything interesting?"

Zhao Liangze craned his neck and looked closer. After a rather long time, he finally nodded, deep in thought. "Yeah, quite interesting..." From the picture, Tan Guiren's window was facing north. Only the rays from morning sun were able to penetrate the room. When the sun set, no sunlight would be able to shine into the room.Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

"Little Ze, can you use software to analyze the angle and precise location of the sunlight when it shines into the room at about eight o'clock in the morning?" Huo Shaoheng picked both pictures up and placed them in Zhao Liangze's hands. This request required picture and analytical software to work together. However, it wouldn't be too tough a task for Zhao Liangze.

After a couple of days, he finally managed to come up with such software. Scanning all the pictures of Tan Guiren's dormitory, the pictures were analyzed for their data and converted into 3D pictures. The next thing they knew, Tan Guiren's dormitory was in 3D on the computer screen in front of them.

Standing behind Zhao Liangze, Huo Shaoheng watched him adjust the figures and match the time and angles. On the laptop's clear screen, a lady's dormitory with curtains that had just opened to welcome the morning sun appeared. The sunlight poured in like golden rays. The software mimicked the direction that the sunlight would shine in and landed on a point on the ground.

Huo Shaoheng said, "Mm?"

"What's that on the floor?" Zhao Liangze squinted and looked closer, and even tried to magnify the floor for better definition. "It looks like a picture?" Zhao Liangze said doubtfully. "Looks weird, like vines twirling around." To put it accurately, it was an oval with vines on the border. Under the sunlight, it shone slightly green. Very soon, the picture disappeared as the sun had already moved because it wasn't eight o'clock anymore. This picture appeared only at a specific time at a specific spot. What did it mean?

Huo Shaoheng folded his arms and stood behind Zhao Liangze, curling his lips. "Interesting. Are they trying to test our intelligence?"

Zhao Liangze was speechless. Shaking his head, he said, "Who would be so lame? Why can't they just keep it a simple kidnapping? Why must they leave so many clues for us to solve?"

"Perhaps they're just confident that no one will find them." Huo Shaoheng used a narrative tone, looking cold. "However, since they've decided to leave clues, it means they have requests. Then we shall wait and see who has better patience."

"What do we do, then?" Zhao Liangze's brows furrowed deeply. "It has already been eight days. Will Miss Tan be okay?"

"Her family should roughly know." Huo Shaoheng sighed. He didn't feel good that his fellow countrywoman had gotten kidnapped overseas. "She should have been brought back to our country a long time ago or should have informed the embassy here so they could provide her with special protection."

Zhao Liangze nodded empathetically. "Let's do our best."

What did they do at the Special Forces? They provided special protection for the citizens of the Hua Xia Empire when they were in foreign lands. When a citizen of the Hua Xia Empire met with any trouble or mishaps overseas, and the embassy was in a difficult position to mediate, it would be the job of the Special Forces to act. Therefore, they decided to not move for now and to watch the opponent's moves.

...

The police station in west Manhattan had been gaining much exposure over the past few days. The press conference they had been holding once a day had been very well received, as the media was interested in being updated regarding the case.

Even though they had not managed to find new leads, they promoted themselves daily, giving a shout out to the kidnappers once a day. They also reminded residents to call the cops if there were new leads and announced their hotline. They also announced the monetary reward of 100,000 US dollars if Tan Guiren was found.

Huo Shaoheng hadn't been idle, either. He had been going to Juilliard for the past few days to see if there were any suspicious characters around.

In a blink of an eye, half a month passed. The Tan's were almost hopeless by now, but Huo Shaoheng still looked as calm as ever. He took the opportunity to go through the allocation of Special Forces personnel based in America and set up a new branch there. This place was, of course, hidden in the city. Huo Shaoheng set up the branch in the busiest part of New York City.

New York was a city of democracy. It would be best to hide their base there rather than in other parts of the country.

...

As they entered June, the weather gradually became warmer. Gu Nianzhi walked out from the dormitory. The moment she walked under the sun, the cooling sensation from her room disappeared. She dabbed the perspiration from her forehead and looked at the ruthless rays from the sun above. Suddenly, she was reminded of Huo Shaoheng, who hadn't contacted her for more than half a month.

Missing someone really happened constantly. No matter what she looked at, it was easy to be reminded of him. Was the task this time round such a difficult one that he had to be gone for so long?