At a city’s southern outskirts, a screech interrupted the silent night. A masked man in light armor loosened his grip on an old woman’s wrist and allowed her to return to her husband’s side, who immediately stood in front of her. The old woman trembled and wept while holding her broken right wrist with her left hand. The masked man slowly approached the old couple and reached out his hand toward the husband’s shoulder —
The husband yelled, “It was my son who killed someone. We have nothing to do with it!”
“Parents are at fault for raising a failure.” A deep voice spoke from under the mask. The masked man pulled the husband aside, dislocating his shoulder in the move and broke the wife’s every bone, toes, thighs, pelvis, and all the way to her fingers, palms, arms, ribs and sternum. At last, he broke the wife’s neck and branded her body with a special sign. The husband could only helplessly watch and had no strength to stop the man. As the masked man shifted his focus onto the husband, the old man could only blame his son for bringing such misfortune to his wife and him; misfortune that came about from their son torturing another family’s daughter to death...
Maskman was the most heatedly debated figure in town. Rumor had it that he always wore a mask and a set of light armor. In the name of justice, he would punish evil through brutal means and after each punishment, he would brand a special sign on the corpse’s forehead — a shackle in the shape of a half moon. For those who had committed evil and escaped lawful punishment, as well as the people associated, Maskman would punish them with harsh torture. Many people in town perceived him as a hero, but the police were vexed because they still had not arrested him.
“It’s...It’s all my fault...I shouldn’t have...Arghhhhhhh!” An adolescent sobbed in a stupor.
Maskman fiercely wielded an iron bat; the bones in the adolescent’s arms and legs were long shattered. Just as Maskman finished drawing his shackle sign on the adolescent’s forehead, police officers suddenly broke into the house and arrested him .
“It’s a good thing we finally arrested you before you murdered another person!” The sergeant ordered his men to keep an eye on Maskman while he examined the victim’s condition: “Hm? He’s the only one here? Where are his relatives?”
“They were the ones who came to the station and reported the case.”
“Mm...Maskman would let his relatives go...?!” The sergeant took a close look at the victim’s face: “Aren’t you the suspect who’s going to trial this week? No wonder you were chosen...Wait, how is it that you already have the special sign drawn on your forehead? Maskman only brands dead bodies —”
Just then, a police officer hurriedly arrived at the scene: “Sergeant, citizens reported finding three bodies under the southern bridge. Each of them had the sign of a shackle branded on their forehead.” The new recruit tried to stay calm during his report. “After a preliminary examination of the bodies, the forensic expert found that all the victims’ bones were shattered. And...every single bone was broken by external force, so the person standing in front of you...”
Upon hearing this, the sergeant turned and admonished the fake Maskman, “Who exactly are you?”
The window of the room suddenly broke, and a masked man wearing light armor leaped in. He knocked all of the officers unconscious and saved the fake Maskman. Although the sergeant was fast enough to react, his pursuit was to no avail when the two figures vanished into the dark night.
Maskman took the imposter to a safe place, when fake Maskman hurriedly yelled in excitement, “Maskman! You’re the real Maskman! I support your cause! The criminals should be harshly punished —”
“Do not dirty your hands for people like that!” Before the fake Maskman could finish his sentence, Maskman had already removed the imposter’s mask and threw it away: “That kind of jobs shall be mine to do.” With that said, Maskman left.
“How many times has he done that?! And you even let him leave with a suspect? How on earth are you people police officers?!” The next day, the mayor summoned the sergeant and his subordinates to severely berate them.
“...He often helps us deal with jerks who got away with legal loopholes...” One of the subordinates secretly grumbled.
“Darn it! Crimes are crimes! Who knows how many people he has murdered!” The mayor was furious.
Suddenly, woman laughter broke the serious atmosphere. All who were present raised their heads and looked toward the source of the laughter; it was the room that belonged to the mayor’s son.
The mayor walked to the room, banged on the door and yelled, “You idiot better not be wasting my money and womanizing again!”
“Sigh. Game’s over. You guys should leave first.” The mayor’s son said in the room. After a while, the door opened and two women in lascivious clothing walked out while frolicking. The mayor’s son, still lazily lying on the bed, leisurely said, “Hey dad, remember to pay them for me.” Anger surged from the mayor again and another scolding took place. The mayor’s son was infamous for being a spendthrift; even the mayor could not understand how he had raised such a misbehaving child.
When the mayor eventually left after his long speech, his son slowly climbed out of bed and casually put on his clothes. He walked to the shelves which he had never used before. After he turned a decorative doll on one of the shelves, the shelves slid to the sides and exposed the secret door behind.
On the other side of the door was a small room. The mayor’s son walked inside and picked up a handkerchief, gently polishing a set of light armor and a matching mask.
A maid suddenly appeared at the secret door, with a tray on her hand. A piece of newspaper was lying on it. The maid said, “Master, I just found a criminal. I believe you will be interested.”
Upon hearing the maid’s words, the mayor’s son smiled.