Prologue

The woman sat at the table. Her name was Kate Stream, in her late twenties and working for ASIS. She had been posted here for the last six months because of a kidnapping case that happened earlier in this neighbourhood. Her daughter, who was seven, was coming back for a visit that night and she was looking forward to seeing her again. She leaned her head back and sighed happily. Since seven-year-olds already talk quite well, it was not safe to have her around for too long in case she blew their cover but she was glad to meet her daughter again after a long time. Fortunately, her son was only starting the second year of his life and couldn't speak properly yet so Kate was allowed to keep him with her. A jade ornament hung at her waist. It was a gift from a foreign customer that morning. From Japan, maybe. His name was… She couldn't remember, but he was quite handsome, she recalled, and very kind. She had dropped a plate and he helped her pick up the broken pieces of plastic. He then gave her the ornament and when she asked him what he wanted, he asked for a tour around the house. It was nice to meet such a kind person.

Although she thought her son had seemed a little squeamish when they met but it was probably only her imagination.

She sighed again, this time a little dreamily. Although she was technically still working, it was actually quite relaxing. After all, there was another more experienced agent in the next suburb who had been assigned a harder task.

Just as she thought that, she heard footsteps. They sounded light, like that of a child's. She glanced at her watch. It was only twenty to twelve. Ashleigh was not scheduled to arrive until ten to but it was not rare for there to be little traffic at this time of night. She rushed to the door and turned the knob.

It was not her daughter that was there, it was her son. But he had already been reduced to little more than a bloody mess pinned onto the door. One of his eyes had been gauged out and his limbs were strangely bent. His clothes were soaked with blood and his mouth was wide open as if he spent his last moments silently screaming for help.

Then, a man emerged. A black cloth covered his face and he was holding a long katana. The moment he saw Kate, his eyes lit up. You would think that he was meeting an old friend instead of preparing to kill a second person. No. She thought. He has definitely killed more. The eyes, the eyes that should be crazed and bloodshot were joyful.

He was a man who enjoyed killing.

She shuddered at the thought and retreated. She knew she should be more scared but it all seemed extremely unrealistic. Although she was an agent, she hadn't actually encountered any life or death situations. How could there possibly be a man trying to take her life? How could her son have died? She even had to suppress an urge to laugh.

As the man advanced, he seemed a little sad as he realised his prey was not going to struggle. Despite that, he did not hesitate.

He used the katana as a dagger and brought it down tip-first. The first stab acted as an alarm clock. The pain woke Kate up and she desperately clawed at the man's eyes and neck, but it was futile. The man sat on her legs and raised the blade above his head.

Stab.

Stab.

Stab.

Kate's blood splashed onto the man's face and clothes.

Stab.

Stab.

Stab.

He kept stabbing long after the woman's body went limp and her eyes glazed. Then, he plucked the jade ornament from the woman's belt and crudely rubbed the blood off with her shirt. Running his tongue along the length of the katana all the way up to the hilt and, closing his eyes as though savouring the taste, he straightened up. Licking his lips, he smiled cruelly and an insane laughter rose from his throat. In contrast from when he entered, he staggered out of the room, leaving a trail of blood behind.

Ten minutes later, the police were notified of the murder.


During the initial investigation, Ashleigh Stream sat in her mother's restaurant silently. The expression on her face was definitely not one that a seven-year old should have. Out of the many thoughts in her mind, one stood out clearly among the others.

I will find you.

Then I will kill you.