In a mansion, two men were surrounding a fatty lying on a chair with a knife stabbed in his chest. There were two half-filled wine glasses on a long table. “Looks like his death was owing to an argument with his friend,” an inspector, wearing a hat, inferred as he touched his chin.
Morse went around the table and said, “no. The “victim” faked himself to be murdered.”
“Hmm...How is it possible?”
“Judging from the wound, he was stabbed from the right side. Look closely at the angle of the two wine glasses. If the murderer really did it at the right side, it’s impossible to do it without knocking off the glasses in view of the impact taken by the victim. This can happen only if the victim did it to himself. So, it is actually a suicide disguised into a murder.”
“...Maybe the murderer picked up the glasses.”
“If I were the murderer, I would hide them instead of leaving the evidence on the table.” Morse sighed, “if you’re not convinced, go check his financial status. Probably the deceased ran up a huge debt then bought a life insurance, so that he could leave a huge compensation for his family from the homicide.”
“Oh, yes. He has borrowed money from an underground organization for his business last month.”
“Well, problem solved. Can I leave now?” Morse tapped his foot impatiently. “Sure thing. Thank you very much,” the inspector smiled.
Morse left the inspector alone and went to the street. His consciousness dived into the palace of thoughts. The talking compass was jumping with joy, making a stark contrast with Morse’s dispirited mood.
“Sigh, the puzzles were too easy recently. I can solve them all myself without bothering you.”
“Isn’t it good? I don’t want to be disturbed either.”
“Really? But you actually like me to come by.”
“I’m smarter than Morse!” word from a little girl pulled Morse back to reality. Attracted by her voice, Morse followed the source to a vast grassland. There were 7-ish-year-old girl and boy sitting on the ground. The girl was holding the 100x100 magic cube he had challenged before.
“Even Morse has to spend 30 minutes to solve this. I can do it in 10 minutes.”
“Impossible, you braggart,” the boy jeered, but the girl was confident.
“Humph, look closely!” She took out a dagger, put it into the cube and pulled slightly. Then, its parts were scattered on the ground. The girl picked them up and rebuilt the cube neatly. The whole process took less than 10 minutes indeed. “See, simple as that right,” she said akimbo with a complacent smile. Morse was totally stunned by the fact that it could actually be solved this way.
“Destroy and then re-organize. What an interesting way of thinking.” Immersed in his mind, Morse was unaware that they had already come over him. The boy wore a naughty smile and the girl shouted next to his ears, “Hey——!”
“Whoa!” Occupied with thoughts, Morse was startled and fell backwards to the ground. Luckily the softness of grass buffered the impact, but enough to make him look embarrassed.
“Hahaha, you suck!” The children kept teasing him. “I don’t! Humph, I’m Morse, the smartest man in the nation.”
“Liar, Morse doesn’t look stupid like you.”
“I’m really Morse...Alright, give me a puzzle. I’ll prove myself by solving it.” The boy took out a piece of paper; On which there was a simple maze. The start of the maze was marked by a red star; and a black star was marked at the bottom left corner. There were just a few words on the paper, saying “find the exit”. Morse smiled. He had successfully created a huge and complicated maze before, let alone this simple one drawn by the kids…
“But...this is no way out. It’s impossible to get to the black star.” Morse was at a loss, so he brought the puzzle to the palace of thoughts. The compass took a closer look; its needle kept spinning non-stopped.
“It’s unsolvable. All the ways are blocked. How can I pass through!”
“No, there must be a way out. Perhaps I’ve missed something. I need to walk in the maze myself to find the exit.”
Morse closed his eyes, building an actual maze in the palace of thoughts. He tried every possible way once, but it was in vain…
“Have you gotten the answer yet?”
“Not yet. I need more time.”
“Sorry, it’s time to go home for dinner——” As the boy wanted to leave, Morse scowled and grabbed his arm. “I can’t solve it. Tell me the answer.”
“Okay, give me the paper.” The boy used a pen to draw a line, linking the words “start” and the “exit” directly. “Puzzle solved,” he smiled.
“Huh! What do you mean? Isn’t the black start the exit...Oh!” Morse didn’t notice until now. The boy had never said the black star was the exit.
“You’re such a fool.”
“Right, we didn’t mention you have to leave the exit through the maze. Adults always complicate matters.”
After listening their words, Morse was ashamed.
“I should have thought out of the box. Maybe I’m too complacent about the puzzles I’ve solved. I even forgot the most basic thing.”
Then, Morse said goodbye to the the kids. Looking at their pure smiles, he was truly impressed by the creative thinking hidden in their mind.
“We still have much to learn.” The compass showed up in his thought again, talking cross-armed like a human.
“Kids are really interesting. They’re just like unsolvable puzzles, always giving me some enlightenment. Is there any way for me to know them better?”
“Humph, isn’t it simple? Be a teacher.”
Morse made an appointment with the king immediately, to make him a teacher in a national college. Despite his strange personality, Morse was popular among students because of his funny ways of teaching and all the intriguing puzzles...