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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Bai Wu retracted into Hu Cheng’s embrace and looked shyly at Li Xiu.
“Ah, the kid’s a bit shy with strangers.” Hu Cheng happily diffused the situation. He was rather pleased when Li Xiu was shunned by the boy.
“Mm, it’s alright.” He smiled at the boy and retracted his hands as if nothing happened.
“Chief Officer, what time’s the meeting?” Xu Lan asked.
Up until then, Bai Wu had yet to look at him; the child was angry at him for not agreeing to the promise. Xu Lan helplessly shook his head, ridding his mind of any unnecessary emotions by asking about the meeting.
“Hm, there’s no rush. We’ll have lunch first. Officer Li rushed here without even having breakfast,” Hu Cheng replied after a moment of thought.
It was expected that their superiors would follow the case closely, but not with such importance. Earlier that day, Hu Cheng was prepared to head down to the provincial government department and report to them but was stopped halfway by a phone call.
The head of the provincial department was highly critical of the vile savagery shown by the killer. Following that, they sent down a commissioner to work with the station and convey any findings. A deadline was set – the case must be solved within a month.
“Lao Hu, we’re not the only ones following the case.”
Finally, the department head reminded Hu Cheng that he should be the one to capture the killer and resolve the case as neatly and as clear-cut as possible.
Just like that, Hu Cheng – who was on the highway at the time – headed back to the station in order to greet the commissioner. If not for that, the old man would not have returned so early.
“…uncle Hu, are we going to eat lunch?” Bai Wu happily smiled and asked.
“Why yes! What do you want to eat, kid?” Children were not a frequent sight in the station, and because he was childless himself, Hu Cheng was exceptionally happy about Bai Wu’s unexpected presence.
“Bai Wu, come down,” Xu Lan coldly ordered.
Biting his lips, the boy stared back at the man. He neither responded, nor went down from Hu Cheng’s lap.
“Come on, Lao Xu. Don’t tell me you’re stopping the boy from being close to me for a bit?” Hu Cheng interrupted Xu Lan’s sentence. The old man motioned for Li Xiu to head out the door, then carried Bai Wu and went out of the office.
Xu Lan was the last to leave the room. Bai Wu’s head was nestled on Hu Cheng’s shoulder, and the boy was looking intently at the forbearing Xu Lan as if warning him not to overstep the limit.
Bai Wu had clearly said he would only like Xu Lan and Xu Lan alone, so why was the man unwilling to agree to the same conditions? The boy could not wrap his head around it. Many people within the Dragon clan would dreamily yearn for Bai Wu’s commitment, but Xu Lan had simply rejected it.
Bitter and aggrieved, the boy felt hard done by. Originally, he waited for Xu Lan to come back, but after finishing big sister Xiao Jing’s lollipop, even uncle Hu came back, while Xu Lan still did not return.
He became increasingly angry and even more fidgety. A thought then surfaced in Bai Wu’s mind: he remembered the reporter who stood behind Xu Lan. Was she always following Xu Lan after they went out?
No longer able to sit still, Bai Wu jumped off the chair and went around looking for him. While doing so, the boy saw big brother Xiao Li standing in front of uncle Hu’s office. Xiao Li told him that his papa was inside.
“Papa…” he silently mouthed.
He was convinced that Xu Lan saw him since the man’s body language was obviously distracted by him. However, instead of a reply, the response was a tense look.
“Officer Li, what do you like to eat? Is there any food that you abstain from?” Hu Cheng asked, and at the same time, his hand was patting the unsettled Bai Wu.
“Nothing in particular that I can’t eat, but because of my condition, the doctor advised me not to have anything too heavy or greasy.” Li Xiu turned back to walk beside Hu Cheng.
Li Xiu cleared his throat and said, “Chief Officer Hu, you don’t need to be so formal, you can just call me Xiao Li.”
“Can’t do that. We already have our own Xiao Li. Wouldn’t it be confusing to have two? Officer Li sounds good to me,” he responded.
Li Xiu went blank, for he did not expect his initiative of friendliness to be shrugged off like that. Thinking back, he remembered that Xiao Li was the one they met on the way to the surveillance room. That Xiao Li was a lean young man, and from the looks of it, his energy appeared to know no bounds.
“You’re young, Officer Li. Calling you Lao Li will make you sound old. Haha, calling you Officer Li sounds much more energetic. You may call me Lao Hu, and the one at the back, just call him Lao Xu. No need for unnecessary formality.” Glee could be heard in Hu Cheng’s sentences with laughter in between.
“Haha, you’re right, chief,” Li Xiu also laughed, albeit without enthusiasm.
“Let’s get some Cantonese cuisine, I know a good place,” suggested Hu Cheng.
“Sure.” Li Xiu then posed a question to Xu Lan, “Chief Xu, how long have you been working here?”
“Uh, six or seven.” Xu Lan did not know whether to answer based on his own employment duration or the duration of the ‘other Xu Lan’ in that world, but his logic was that the ‘other Xu Lan’ should be around the same age as him.
“No wonder you exude a certain calmness in the face of a storm, Chief Xu.”
In terms of appearance, Xu Lan was nothing to shout about. However, the energy on him was an honest and steady one. The more one got to know him, the more one would feel attracted.
It was that energy which led Bai Wu to fixate on Xu Lan.
“Ah, that’s too kind of you. Please, just call me Lao Xu.” Xu Lan blushed. It was not often that Xu Lan got heaped with such praise.
“Papa!” the quiet Bai Wu shouted out of the blue while still in Hu Cheng’s embrace.
“I want a hug!”
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