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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
” Boss 1 , these buns are the best, I tell you.”
Xu Lan stuffed the buns in his mouth as well as Bai Wu’s. Mouthfuls of steamed buns and swelled-up cheeks did not deter him from lavishing praise on the shop owner.
“Come on Sergeant Xu, you say that every single time you come here. You’re too kind,” replied the boss, whose eyes gazed at the plethora of age groups that made up a beautifully warm scene in his shop.
“Eh? You –”
Xu Lan had wanted to ask how the shop owner knew his name, and why he was called ‘Sergeant Xu’, but before he could do so, the news on TV had distracted him.
“And now, the news. At eight this morning police received a report regarding a set of murders that happened in the small district of Jingxinyuan 2 . This is the second time in our city whereby the modus operandi of a crime is identical. We urge all young women to refrain from going out at night or alone.”
Why did Xu Lan feel as though it was déjà vu? Not to mention that Jingxinyuan place. Did he not pass by there every single time he took public transport?
Most importantly though, there was another psychopathic murderer on the loose.
“Little buddy, are you full?”
Xu Lan had so many questions for which he was anxious to know the answers to.
“I’m full.” The boy wiped his mouth.
“Alright, boss, how much for all this?”
After that, Xu Lan managed to find a clothing store, where he bought some clothes. Walking around half-naked on the streets would certainly have drawn quite a bit of flak from onlookers.
“Papa, carry me.”
When Xu Lan walked out of the store with an air of confidence, Bai Wu acted bashfully and coquettishly toward him.
Xu Lan was exactly 180 cm in height. Clothes that were supposed to be loose and baggy fitted him tightly instead. A slight torpidity was present in his vigor, and at a glance, he gave off the impression of being a presentable man.
His mind went blank for a moment, after which an indescribable emotion overcame him. The more he looked at Bai Wu, the cuter the boy seemed.
So be it then if he built a bank 3 ! If worse came to worse, he would just have to endure whatever hardship that may come in the future. As he thought of that, his heart felt warm.
“Come here,” said Xu Lan as he squatted down and opened his arms.
Bai Wu’s long eyelashes covered the redness in his eyes, and like a little bird returning to its nest, he threw himself into Xu Lan’s arms.
“Papa,” came the boy’s soft purr-like voice. It was welcoming and warm.
“Papa, looks good.”
“Wow little buddy, can’t believe you know what’s handsome and what’s not. Come on, let’s go to the police station.”
An unexpected scene greeted Xu Lan there. Someone was crying at the entrance of the police station. City folk, who were prepared to give their statements, gathered all around the area and watched the scene unfold.
“Officer! You have to catch that sicko murderer! My daughter was only eighteen. She was still young. This…however you put it, she’s gone now!” cried out a forty-five-year-old worker as he held on to a slender young man.
His hair was grey, his skin was coarse, and he was wearing a shirt that had been discolored from repeated washing. Undoubtedly, the death of his daughter was a testament to the hardships of his life.
What a pity for all the parents out there, for they were the ones who gave birth to their children. Surely it was unbearable to have such a tragedy befall them.
“Sir, sir. Please get up. We will use all our resources to bring this criminal to justice. Please give us some time. We kindly ask everyone to leave. Everyone, you may leave.”
The young man slowly lifted the crying man up as the former motioned for the crowd to leave.
“Let’s go, everyone break up the crowd,” said Xu Lan as he stood in the middle of a sea of bodies.
As he spoke, an unexpected situation unfolded. The crowd immediately opened up a path. The slender young man then promptly let go of the forty-five-year-old man and rushed up to Xu Lan. The young man then pulled him into the building.
“Sergeant Xu! Why are you only here now? I tried calling you but couldn’t get through. Lao Hu 4 ‘s going crazy! Break it up everyone, break it up!”
In between complaints and grumbles, the young man pushed people into the police station. As he did that, he beckoned the victim’s father to go in as well.
When Xu Lan entered, everyone in the police station had more or less the same reactions as the young man. They were all complaining as to why Xu Lan had come so late.
“What in the world is going on?” Xu Lan looked down and asked Bai Wu.
What Xu Lan had meant to ask was why the people in that world recognized him.
“I…I don’t know. They never appeared with me in other worlds last time.”
Having finished that sentence, his ruby pupils appeared to dye his eyes red.
“Alright, don’t cry. A big boy like you shouldn’t cry so much. Aren’t you ashamed?”
Xu Lan could never stand Bai Wu’s tears. Every tear that dropped on his heart felt like a stone that was pounding against his chest. It was unbearable.
“Sergeant Xu, please come in and see Lao Hu. He hasn’t had a sip of water since morning.”
The young man’s eyes directed Xu Lan to where this so-called ‘Lao Hu’ was. Those eyes hinted that something foreboding was in store for Xu Lan.
Xu Lan took a deep breath, knocked on Lao Hu’s door, and entered.
As soon as he opened the door, an electronic cigarette came flying in his direction. He immediately shielded the child from it.
“Oh, so you do know to come back? Tell me! Where the hell have you been for the past few days?”
This Lao Hu was about fifty. His skin was a shiny yellow and his teeth were more or less the same color as a result of the nicotine in tobacco. He looked sickly, and yet the eyes which looked at Xu Lan were sharp, like a shiny steel knife.
The room reeked of freshly smoked tobacco while his desk was littered with files. To his side, there was a plaque that said: Director General of the Police Bureau Hu Cheng.
“Lao Hu, I’ll hold you responsible if you scare my son. Didn’t I tell you I went home to fetch him?”
Xu Lan picked up the electronic cigarette and gave it to the Lao Hu. Xu Lan then went to an empty part of the room and placed Bai Wu down, then led the boy to Hu Cheng.
“Come and say hi to uncle.”
“Hello, uncle,” Bai Wu crisply said. Hu Cheng was so happy that his smile grew wider, displaying even more of his stained teeth.
“Aren’t you still single –” Hu Cheng’s mind then went blank. “Hey there kid, you’re a good boy, aren’t you? So smart. Let me hug you.” Hu Cheng was completely mesmerized by the boy that he forgot what he wanted to say. He simply stretched out his arms to carry the child.
Noticing that the boy kept hiding beside him, Xu Lan saw Hu Cheng’s thin yellow hands. Xu Lan carried the boy up and said,”Hey, Lao Hu, my son just came here from the village. He’s still a bit shy with strangers, so don’t frighten him.”
“…ah well, as long as you’re back. How much do you know about the murder that happened in Jingxinyuan? There’s some information here, bring Xiao Li 5 to the crime scene and have a brief look later on.”
Looking at the trembling child, Hu Cheng embarrassedly retracted his hands before fishing out a file from his disorderly desk and handing it over to Xu Lan.
“Right. I’ll bring Xiao Li over there in a bit.” Xu Lan took the file, carried Bai Wu, and left the office.
Xu Lan felt a peace of mind after the short exchange with Hu Cheng. Though the Lao Hu was a heavy smoker, every one of his movements fully showcased him as a man who took responsibility and cared little about trifling matters.
Especially those eyes. They were as sharp as an eagle’s. Even Xu Lan did not dare to look at directly at them.
Hu Cheng was a total upgrade from the big fat baldy at his previous workplace!
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