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Backstory

        In the city, a whole family was butchered. Everyone in the family, including the servant, was killed. Sergeant Johnny was assigned to investigate this terrible murder. He walked toward the corpses and removed the covering cloth. The bodies were all smiling with a broad grin carved by the killer’s blade. Upon seeing this disgusting scene, a young detective could not help but vomit. However, Johnny did not turn his eyes to his subordinate; he just focused on studying the lacerations on the corpses.

        After confirming the cause of death, Johnny walked toward the wall. The pale wall was splashed with blood, and the killer had written the number “20” using the victims’ blood...Johnny frowned, as he could not understand the relationship between the number on the wall and the smiles on the corpses’ faces. When he was pondering over every puzzle of the case, a shriek nearby pierced his contemplation. Without hesitation, Johnny ran toward the sound.

        In front of Johnny was a teenage boy who tumbled on the floor in fright. The boy’s clothes were dotted with bloodstains, which were believed to be the victims’. He unintentionally saw the corpses when the detectives were carrying them away, stirring up dread in his heart. Out of control, he screamed and flailed wildly...

        “The clown...the clown statue killed them! It’s...it’s the clown statue that’s killing everyone!”

        “Clown statue? What are you talking about?” Johnny went to pacify the boy, guiding him to describe what he had seen.

        “That, that terrible clown statue held a knife and chopped everyone it saw... It’s a living statue... a devil! Yes, it must be a devil!”

        “Stop talking nonsense! There isn’t a clown statue here. You psycho murderer!” The boy was arrested as he obviously became the prime suspect of the case. However, even when the boy was captured, similar cases still happened incessantly in the city — the bodies wore a grin carved by the killer’s blade; and the number on wall decreased as the number of victims increased. 16... 11... 5... The detectives were all trapped in a maze of puzzlement, and because of the lack of evidence, the boy was acquitted of murder.

        Johnny and his team continued to work hard on investigating the cases, yet they still could not stop any single tragedy from happening. The serial killings finally ceased when the number on the wall reached “0”. Everyone thought that was the end of it, but Johnny was not going to give up until the murderer is brought to justice. Only then would the case truly end.

        One day, Johnny was delving into information about the cases as usual; but he still could not put the pieces of the puzzle together. Then he heard laughter coming from outside his room. It was the teenage boy who had once been suspected of murder; he came with a thank-you gift for the detectives.

        “Thanks to your hard work, I have been proved innocent. I am really grateful! This little gift is a token of my gratitude. Hope you like it!”

        “Don’t mention it. We almost put the blame on you. We actually owe you an apology.”

        After gratefully bowing to the detectives, the boy smiled and left. Witnessing this joyful moment, Johnny smiled as well; he was glad that he did not put the innocent under sentence. After his heart rejoiced for a moment, he resumed his process of deduction.

        However, Johnny’s contemplation was once again interrupted — shrieks rang outside his room. He dashed out tensely; what his eyes came upon were fearful faces of the detectives, and the human-sized clown statue in the center of the office. On the wall, a new number appeared...

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