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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Immediately after Xu Lan stepped out of the building, Bai Wu ran over to him excitedly.
“Papa, big brother brought me to eat some really nice food earlier,” the boy pointed to Xiao Li and said. “I saved some for you, Papa. Do you wanna eat?”
The little boy took a bag of steamed buns and presented it to Xu Lan like it was a precious treasure. His eyes were shining bright, which clearly meant that he was waiting to be praised.
“Of course I’ll eat! You even remembered to save some for me. Not bad, little guy!” replied Xu Lan as he took the buns and patted Bai Wu’s head.
“Sergeant Xu, did you find anything?” Xiao Li walked over to Xu Lan and asked impatiently.
“None at the moment. We’ll head back first.” Xu Lan bit into the steamed bun and patted the young man’s shoulder, hinting for Xiao Li to cease his worries. When it comes to matters such as this, the more one worried, the more difficult it would be to make head or tail out of the situation.
Xu Lan had no intention of discussing this matter at length, and Xiao Li did not press on. The young man started the car and drove back to the police station. They did not expect the victim’s family to bring along a few news reporters, gathered with a crowd, to make a fuss in front of the police station.
This time, the size of the crowd doubled that of the previous day, and all of them were there to provide their opinion. Xu Lan could not help but laugh.
Were the people of this world really so irascible? Why would they not go back home and think about the funeral arrangements instead of causing a scene at the police station?
“Hello, may I ask if you are the Director General of this station?”
The crowd surrounded Xu Lan and Xiao Li as soon as the both of them got out of the car. A pretty reporter lady in ponytails shoved the microphone in front of Xu Lan and asked if he was the head of the station.
“No.” Xu Lan passed Bai Wu over to Xiao Li and stood in the front. He wanted to know how exactly such a tragedy would be dealt with in this ‘other world’.
“In that case, may I ask if you are aware that the murder that happened today was the same as that which happened yesterday?” When the crowd heard the reporter drop that bombshell, they all kept quiet and waited to hear what Xu Lan had to say.
“Sure I do, but my question is, how did you know about it?” His tone turned cold rapidly as he squinted at the reporter.
“We received a tip-off saying that another murder occurred in Lanshan, and one of our colleagues from that area sent us a report.” So it seemed that the absence of consent from the police regarding reportable matters was within the legal framework.
Xu Lan felt his pocket and realized there were no cigarettes on him. His mouth twitched, then he grabbed the microphone from the reporter.
“This is an ongoing case and the police will do their best to arrest the killer. When the time comes, we will request the cooperation of every single one of you, as the energetic city folk that you are, to help us catch this person. Of course, if you were to ask about the particulars of the case, forgive me for not being at liberty to say. After all, such leads and details must be kept confidential. Making them public will be tantamount to informing the murderer of our progress in capturing him. The criminal will then get further ahead of us, which is a disadvantage to the investigation. Wouldn’t you agree, beautiful?”
All those words that were kept in Xu Lan’s heart were spat out in one breath. He had been holding those thoughts in since his last meal and the chance to express them did not come quick enough.
“Er…yes…yes, you’re right,” she stammered, momentarily dumbfounded. It was the first time that the police openly answered a question regarding the case.
“As for you, sir, please realize that we are all deeply saddened by what has happened, but aside from bringing the criminal to justice, we have no way of bringing your daughter back to life. So please, restrain your grief and embrace fate 1 .”
It was the same parent who was present the previous day, with the same construction clothes on him, as if he went there straight after work. He had messy hair, a soiled face, and was extremely thin.
At first, Xu Lan had a bit of sympathy for him, but when the parent brought a crowd to kick up a fuss at the police station, and for two days in a row, what little sympathy that Xu Lan had quickly turned into distrust.
“Er, but officer, they said that another girl was killed today. Are you going to catch this morning’s killer first? Officer, my daughter died in the most horrible way. She was still young, you must bring the killer to justice for me,” the man shouted as he wept and kowtowed on the ground.
Back when they called him in for questioning, his articulation was not quite as nimble.
“Sir, let it be known that there is no such policy. We have a large team, and the cases will more or less be ongoing at the same time. If it’s possible, would you mind helping us out with the investigation? We would like to know a few things about the deceased when she was still alive.”
Xu Lan glanced at Xiao Li, who then invited the parent in respectfully.
“If anyone has any information, you are welcome to provide the station with it.” Xu Lan took the mike and announced to the crowd with a fake smile.
After seeing that the victim’s family member was ushered into the station, everyone dispersed as if avoiding a plague. Only the reporter lady remained standing in front of Xu Lan.
The attitude of those people toward police and the police station were downright odd. Xu Lan could not help but feel around in his own pocket. Seeing Hu Cheng smoke induced his desire to take a puff as well.
“Why are you still here?” he asked. Noticing that the reporter bore some resemblance to Song Xi, he placed his hands in his pocket and prepared to leave.
“You, you can’t leave.” She grabbed a hold of his arm as he turned.
“Why can’t I? Do I owe you anything?”
When he thought about how his last meeting with Song Xi ended up in a misunderstanding and that she had found herself a man, Xu Lan felt unease and spoke in a direct manner.
“I wanted to ask if it’s possible for me to use this incident to conduct an interview on you and the station regarding a special topic. You saw it yourself just now, the general perception toward police stations isn’t all that good.”
She let out everything that she wanted to say and waited for a response.
“Like I told you, every bit of information about the case must be kept confidential.”
“I’m not talking about reporting on the case, I want to write about the station’s attitude and work ethic in dealing with the case,” the reporter lady explained hurriedly, seemingly regretful of her previous misdeeds toward the police force.
“Hmm?” Xu Lan raised an eyebrow. The attitude shown by the people here towards their policemen was far different from what he had previously experienced.
“So report about it then, you didn’t have to grab my arm like that. People might think that I’m being confronted by some young lady that I dumped.”
Those words were accompanied by his gaze directed at the female reporter’s arm. She was still holding onto him, but his stare startled her into releasing her grip. Her face turned red as she glared at him.
Xu Lan thought, ‘Stare, stare, stare! Stare all you want! You’re not Song Xi, I’m not scared of you.’
Unconcerned with the embarrassed and fuming reporter, he started walking to the station.
“Why are you zoning out? Didn’t you say that you want to interview us?”
“Huh? N-now?” she asked, surprised.
“When else, then?”
“Okay, now it is!”
She quickly caught up to Xu Lan and entered the station. As soon as she stepped in, a pair of red pupils stared at her, and as she stared back she realized it was a small kid.
‘I must be imagining things,’ she thought, ‘how could such a cute boy be waiting for me? It’s just my imagination.’
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