Professor Shen handed Zhao Yunlan a bottle of medicine. “You forgot your medicine.”
Frowning, he glanced at the wound on Zhao Yunlan’s elbow. “Take care of it. Keep the wound dry and don’t eat irritating foods…”
Zhao Yunlan silently gazed back at him.
“What?” Shen Wei asked, slightly uncomfortable.
“Are you married, Professor Shen?” Zhao Yunlan suddenly asked.
Startled, Shen Wei slowly replied, “No…”
“Oh.” Zhao Yunlan continued, “Do you have a girlfriend?”
Zhao Yunlan’s masculine gaze covered the other’s body, making Shen Wei shiver. Shen Wei felt that regardless of his answer, he was in trouble.
Zhao Yunlan took the medicine bottle from Shen Wei and half-jokingly said, “Professor Shen is so young and handsome, and so caring; you must be a catch.”
“Nonsense…” Shen Wei was rather tense.
Zhao Yunlan smiled, dimples appearing. “Right, can I borrow your phone for a second?”
Shen Wei took out his phone but Zhao Yunlan didn’t take it. Instead, he took Shen Wei’s hand, entered his phone number and name into the contacts list, called himself, and hung up.
“You can call me,” Zhao Yunlan smoothly stated, putting on a professional face. “If there’s anything about the case, that is.”
He tossed the bottle into the air, caught it, then waved at Shen Wei. “Thank you very much. I have something to take care of now but after I finish this case, I will treat you to a meal.”
With one hand in his pocket, he lazily sauntered away, movements slightly sloppy and laid-back, yet still giving off a charismatic vibe. He was like a peacock performing a mating dance with its beautiful plumage, releasing hormones with his seductive movements.
As the man walked away, Shen Wei relaxed a little, looking at Zhao Yunlan with a deep, yet restrained gaze. After a final look, he turned around. However, just a few steps later, Shen Wei couldn’t help but look back again, only to see an empty hallway, the other long gone.
In his contacts list glowed a new entry: an amorous ‘Ah Lan’. He muttered the name and felt as though a knife had pierced through the softest part of his heart, slowly tearing it apart.
Shen Wei raised his fingers and smelled the hint of cologne still clinging to them. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and tried to calm the beating of his heart.
He didn’t know what kind of cologne Zhao Yunlan used but the smell lingered in his mind. Familiar, as though he’d dreamed of it for years.
A few leaves fell to the ground, the soft rustling the only source of sound in the surroundings. Shen Wei stood silently, going over the recent events in his mind. After a long while, he smiled self-mockingly and hurriedly left.
He looked down, his sorrow wearing away, his face turning stern, a touch of malice entering his eyes.
After Guo Changcheng was given a background investigation mission, he struggled to figure out what kind of background he had to investigate. All he managed to do was speak with some people inarticulately.
Zhao Yunlan finally called him at noon. Guo Changcheng dispiritedly returned with the strange, talking cat, and waited for the Chief to pick him up at the entrance.
Guo Changcheng curled up in a ball on the ground, a black lump of fur sitting beside him, attracting the attention of several passers-by.
Half an hour later, Zhao Yunlan hurriedly arrived.
After kneeling on the floor for so long, Guo Changcheng’s legs trembled as he stumbled along behind Chief Zhao.
While waiting, Guo Changcheng had thoroughly reconsidered the series of events he’d gone through during his first twelve hours of working for the SIU…
How could he have passed out more than once?
Guo Changcheng had never thought he would qualify for the high-salaried SIU, but now that he had gotten in there because of his connections, he ought to at least work hard to stay in there. Otherwise, what would his uncle think?
Troubled, Guo Changcheng glanced at Chief Zhao who was carrying Da Qing on his shoulder. Although the cat was incredibly fat and made the Chief rather uncomfortable, he still appeared handsome and cool.
Chief Zhao wasn’t much older than Guo Changcheng; how was there such a huge difference?
Zhao Yunlan turned around and Guo Changcheng quickly averted his gaze.
“What? You have something to say?”
Guo Changcheng dropped his head in response, trying to hide his face under his black fringe.
“Don’t be shy,” Zhao Yunlan kindly coaxed. “If you want to say something, just say it. I’m not bad-tempered and I never get mad for longer than a day.”
Da Qing quietly listened. Even after a few thousand years of cat life, it still couldn’t understand human hypocrisy.
“I… I… I…” Guo Changcheng stuttered for a long while, before on the verge of tears, saying, “I think I’m so useless!”
Haha, did anyone say you aren’t? Zhao Yunlan thought.
Zhao Yunlan patted him gently on the head. “It’s alright, little kid, it’s your first time after all. Nobody is perfect, am I right? You’ll get there slowly… So tell me, what did you hear from the teachers?”
“Ah… Oh!” Guo Changcheng hurriedly took out a notebook. “The victim is called… she is called Lu Ruomei. She’s a mathematics postgraduate student, a local, and her family is quite well off. The Faculty of Mathematics doesn’t have a lot of girls so she was rather popular. I didn’t hear anything about her getting into trouble or having enemies. She was applying for a research opportunity but she spent a lot of time on extra-curricular activities so her grades were dropping…”
“What else? What do you think?” Zhao Yunlan was surprisingly patient.
“I think some of the other students competing for a research opportunity might have a motive. We could investigate her relationships with other students…” Guo Changcheng unconfidently glanced at Zhao Yunlan. “That’s… that’s all I can think of.”
“Oh.” Zhao Yunlan slowly nodded and continued, “So how do you think she died?”
“She was… murdered?” Gao Changcheng replied, feeling stupid for not being able to come up with another reason.
Zhao Yunlan laughed helplessly.
Guo Changcheng, oblivious to subtle emotions and expressions, laughed along.
Controlling his anger, Chief Zhao put on a professional face. “You’ve done well. You have good potential.”
Guo Changcheng looked up at the Chief who wore a gentle and friendly smile. He’s so good-looking, Guo Changcheng thought, the man’s words helping his fear abate.
Guo Changcheng’s face turned red in gratitude, the Chief really was too good to him. He suddenly felt like Chief Zhao was someone worth dying for.
Guo Changcheng gathered up his courage and volunteered to take up the most difficult job, one involving talking to strangers. “Then… then I will go investigate her relationships at school!”
“What’s the hurry? Zhu Hong is still at the office, I will give her a call and she can take care of that,” Zhao Yunlan carelessly said. “How about this? I will give you another important mission instead. Do you remember the girl who almost jumped off the building? She is a key witness in this case. I want you to follow her. I think she lied to me so go and figure out what she’s up to.”
Guo Changcheng straightened his posture, eyes sparkling. “Yes, sir!”
Zhao Yunlan nodded. “Right. Go.”
Guo Changcheng rushed away, more eager and enthusiastic than he’d ever been.
After a while, the benevolent Chief returned to his true self.
“Fuck me,” he said to the cat on his shoulder. “I have never seen a such a pure idiot like this one. So motherfucking impressive!”
Da Qing sighed. “You’re really mean and hypocritical, Chief.”
“You’re a cat, don’t give me that crap. You’re the hypocritical one… Go follow him. Don’t let him die, otherwise what will I say to his uncle.” He patted the cat on the butt. Da Qing lazily meowed, bounced off of Zhao Yunlan, and rolled out like a ball, chased after the boy.