YBCB: V7C5

Translated by: TaffyGirl13

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Chapter Five

Yu Yin glanced at his hand, then quickly clenched it shut.

“Done shopping?” Yu Yin turned to look at the person walking out of the convenience store. After eating and napping in the afternoon, he had recovered enough energy and confirmed that his condition was okay. Then, he had come back to the area near that apartment. Xiao Yu had insisted on following after him, and he was currently pulling out a drink from the bag to pass over to Yu Yin.

Xiao Yu nodded [in reply] and glanced at his watch before turning to look at the apartment.

“Seems harder to see in the daytime.” Yu Yin was not sure why he could see it though, and only now did he realise that it wasn’t that the ghosts did not appear in the daytime, but rather that their forms were so faint that they practically blended into the surroundings. They were also fewer in number, but there were still a few shifting shadows appearing in his line of vision. This included that thing still twisting around in a bizarre position on the ground.

Just as he was about to walk in, he caught sight of someone parking their car nearby and stepping out, almost instantly noticing them. “Huh? Aren’t you the one from yesterday…” Jiang Zheng Hong was surprised at seeing them. He had just returned home from work, and was carrying a takeout box in his hand.

“Ah, thank you for last night. This is my younger brother,” Yu Yin interrupted. He scanned the person standing before him with the nagging feeling that something was off. Although the other person did not have anything next to him, there was just something strange about his appearance. Since Yu Yin had not felt well last night, he had only noticed this just now.

Jiang Zheng Hong narrowed his eyes at Yu Yin for a moment. “Yu…Yin? Right? Your complexion doesn’t look very good, do you still have a fever?” He tilted his head in thought while holding his chin up with his hand. “Why don’t you go come over and rest for a bit? You can eat something as well, and then leave once you’ve recovered a bit. Or do you want me to help you call a car?”

“I hadn’t expected you to be so good at taking care of others.” Yu Yin studied the night club manager in front of him. He had not forgotten the fact that everything this person had done, everything from tending to Yu Yin’s fever today and helping Jiu Shen bandage up last night had seemed easy to him.

Jiang Zheng Hong smiled bitterly. While leading them towards his own residence, he answered, “That’s because I need to be for my job. In addition, I used to have a friend that frequently got injured and sick, so I got used to it over time.”

“Is that so…”

As they chatted, the elevator had already reached their floor. When the door opened, what welcomed them was the sight of not only the door, but also a slightly stooped over grandmother. She appeared to be in her sixties or so, and her clothes were somewhat tattered.

“Āyí?” Jiang Zheng Hong was stunned for a second. He quickly rushed over to help hold the door open while pulling the grandmother inside. His expression was somewhat anxious as he asked, “Didn’t I say there was no need to come here and find me? What if someone else sees you?”

Yu Yin and Xiao Yu exchanged a look from where they stood outside the elevator, with absolutely no idea what kind of situation this was.

“You sent too much money this time…that won’t do…” The grandmother pulled out a bulging leather wallet from her wide pockets and shoved it towards the young adult bringing her into the home. “Ah Wei’s father told me to return it to you…”

“It’s fine, I already promised Zheng Wei that I would properly take care of you guys…” Jiang Zheng Hong jerked his head up and glanced around. He then waved Yu Yin and Xiao Yu over. “You two, hurry up and come in. Close the door behind you.”

Since it seemed like he was worried about something, Yu Yin also surveyed the surroundings to make sure there was nobody else around. Then, he pulled Xiao Yu inside and shut the door behind them, while also securing both the larger and smaller locks on the door.

The white-haired grandmother was still pushing the bag away. “That won’t do. We’re already very thankful for you having taken care of us two old people, and the money just keeps increasing every month…”

“The extra money is for you and Ābó to go rent a small place so that you two don’t need to stay holed up over here. It’s not good for your health…and the salary from taking night shift is more now. I don’t need to use much money when I live all alone.” Jiang Zheng Hong stuffed the bag back into the grandmother’s pocket, then walked into the kitchen to bring out some boxes of fruits. “You can bring this back to give to Ābó 1 as well…You don’t have to run over here anymore. I’ll go find you two myself. It won’t be good if those people see you.”

“Sigh, it’s not okay…” The grandmother quickly pushed the item back.

Seeing the two stuck in an endless dispute, Yu Yin directly interjected. “Āpó 2, you should just bring these back with you. Look, there’s still so much [fruit] in the manager’s refrigerator, this small amount won’t make a dent.”

“Ah, but the money…”

“The manager’s salary increased recently. The boss said that if he continues to do well, he can even get a semi-annual rise. So it’s not much.” Yu Yin sincerely smiled at the grandmother and patted her hand. “Āpó, you should just take it. Otherwise, his girlfriend will spend it all, which won’t be good either.”

The grandmother hesitantly looked at the youth she did not recognise, then back at Jiang Zheng Hong, who nodded at her. “Āyí, don’t bother pushing it. Otherwise, I won’t be doing what I told Zheng Wei I would do, and I’ll lose face. Just wait here for a moment, I’ll help you call a taxi.”

After another brief moment of hesitation, the grandmother lifted the box of fruits and nodded. “Letting you take care of us so much…”

After sending the grandmother off, the home was absolutely silent for around ten minutes.

Jiang Zheng Hong had them wait in the living room as he walked back to the kitchen to prepare drinks at the mini bar. He then returned with the medicine in aluminum packets. “Your complexion is exceptionally poor. If you really do not feel well, you can eat this. It’s something a friend brought back for me from Japan last time. It can be used for dizziness and some other minor symptoms.” He placed the medicine and drinks on the table. “Sorry, that was my friend’s mother earlier. Thank you for your help.”

“It’s nothing.” Yu Yin waved his hand in dismissal and placed the cup of freshly squeezed orange juice into Xiao Yu’s hands. “But why are you taking care of your friend’s mother? Did he go missing?”

Jiang Zheng Hong smiled in slight embarrassment as he lightly affirmed with a nod. It seemed he did not want to talk too much about it. “He seems to have been chased by people from the underground and has been missing for a very long time. I was afraid his parents would become involved as well, so I originally wanted to bring them here to live. However, the two elderly refused. Their house is both old and run-down, plus it holds no investment value. They’ve just been barely getting by with the money from recycling every day.”

“Was it reported to the police?” Yu Yin furrowed his brows at the short explanation. “If they haven’t been in contact for a long time, they may not be safe. Wouldn’t it be better to report the incident?”

“…It’s already fine. I heard that the people from the underground are still chasing him, so it should be alright.” Jiang Zheng Hong stood up and shrugged. “Nothing can be done about that. As for you two, why did you run over here again? If I recall correctly, you shouldn’t be part of the police. You are just a university student, and the other one is probably just a high school student, right?” As he spoke, he walked over to the adjacent room to open the closet and retrieve some clothing. Seeing that the owner seemed about to shower, Yu Yin raised his voice slightly so that the other person could hear. “I wanted to see if there was anything here. The…the person who fell was my father…”

Jiang Zheng Hong suddenly froze.

“Did you really not see anything?”

The owner standing before the closet let out a soft sigh. “I’m very sorry, but I did not see anything. You two can sit here by yourselves for a while. I still have to go to work later, so I’ll be washing up first.”

“I apologise for any inconvenience, but I ask for you to please think back some more.” Yu Yin watched the bathroom door close without any response from the other person. He weakly reclined back on the other person’s sofa, sighing into the now slightly cold cup in his hands.

Xiao Yu sat down next to him and did not speak either.

“I’ll go up to the roof later and see if I can find any more clues.” Yu Yin rubbed his face and looked up at the ornamental ceiling boards. They were split into sections, in a style where one could install lamps.

He honestly did not know what to do.

He really hated that criminal, but he did not know if he could do anything.

The bathroom door creaked as it was pushed open. There were no sounds of running water coming from the inside. After a few seconds of silence, a soft whisper spoke, “I did not see what happened that day. However, I was actually reading through my account book on the balcony that morning, so I think I heard three voices. If you guys find the criminal suspects, I can help confirm their voices.”

Then, the bathroom door shut once more, followed by the rush of water.

Yu Yin stood there in stunned silence for a few seconds, before he suddenly smiled. He then raised his head to look up at the ceiling again.

For a brief second, he saw one of the ornamental board sections slowly get pushed open from the inside. From the darkness, a grey-green face appeared, expressionlessly meeting his eyes.

His entire body seemed to freeze into an ice cube, so cold that he was unable to move at all.

The face stared at him from the darkness, its cloudy, ashen eyes unblinking. Then, after some amount of time passed, it slowly retreated back into the darkness, and moved the ceiling board back into place.

Yu Yin abruptly snapped out of it, his mind completely shocked awake.

Xiao Yu was staring at him with a strange look. He had not had many sips of the drink in his hand, so Yu Yin deducted that he had only been out of it for a very short time, possibly only a few seconds.

When he looked up again, there was nothing in the ceiling boards, let alone any sign of someone having opened it.

He had an ominous premonition.

That green face had seemed much too familiar. The person possessing that face should still have been showering in the bathroom…

Am I overthinking it?

***

“Achoo!”

Jiu Shen violently sneezed. He tugged at his face mask with an expression of revulsion and glared at the saliva inside it before pulling out a new face mask from his pocket and changing it. Then, he continued back to his work.

“If you keep sneezing like that, you won’t have enough to change them out each sneeze.” Yu Xia huffed in exasperation at the investigation officer who had changed masks countless times since entering the home. “Do you have a cold?”

“Should be allergies.” Jiu Shen pinched the bridge of his nose and glanced around the washroom that had been used for making the drugs. The other investigation officers had come earlier to tidy up the place, and a few of the items related to the drugs had already been sent back to the station. There were only some junk and a faint, odd scent remaining. “It’s been like this occasionally the past two days. Probably the change of seasons…Weird…it wasn’t that bad before…” Damn, don’t tell me that I’ve grown weak after long periods of abnormal work and rest?

Yu Xia couldn’t be bothered to continue chatting with his constantly sneezing friend. He turned to walk out of the bathroom and circled around to the master bedroom instead. The seventh floor had mostly been used to store items and make drugs, so a good majority of the objects there were illegal. The group of people had been using the sixth floor as their actual living space.

He surveyed the room, noticing that most of the things had been moved out already. There was some dust accumulated on the ground, with a mess of footprints and some remaining trash lying around. These were all left overs from after the area had been processed over.

He shuffled through the remaining items, but did not find anything strange, and walked back out. “I’ll go down to the sixth floor to take a look first. You can come down and assist after you’re done here. If anything happens, notify the officers outside the door. Make sure to watch out for yourself.”

Jiu Shen replied with an “OK” gesture from where he sprawled out on the bathroom floor.

After communicating with the officers at the door, Yu Xia walked down to the sixth level.

The entire floor was quiet; not a sound could be heard. They had already asked around earlier and learned that most of the people living in this apartment were working class who were usually not home during the day. There were also a few empty homes. Because there weren’t many people usually, the house itself was very average, which was why those guys had chosen it as their stronghold.

When he arrived at the sixth level, he first greeted the officers guarding at the door there before stepping inside. The sofa he had flipped last time with Jiu Shen had been placed back exactly in its original position. Aside from the fact that the items inside had been moved away, the house still maintained its appearance the owners had left it in; there was a bed with a bunch of clothing and some thin blankets that had a faint scent of alcohol on them. Next to the bed was a simple metal rack to hang clean changes of clothing. There were also newspapers, a TV, video games, and similar everyday objects around. There were takeout boxes filled with cigarette butts and beer cans in replacement of the eaten food; the entire area was a massive mass.

He stood in the living room and studied the door where the poster had originally been nailed up.

According to the testimonies, they had been packaging the drugs on the seventh floor that day and had not actually gone outside. At the time, the only person at the sixth floor was the one that had fallen to death. Logically speaking, since the poster only had a date and door number on it, a single person in an urgent situation would likely have first destroyed any more important items, not just stuff the poster under the sofa…Unless there is something they were afraid of the police seeing on there?

Even if it had the transaction location and time, they had already caught the actual people, and the information would get out and likely stop [the transaction]. There was no need to hide the piece of paper.

“Is there any special reason…?”

Does the poster still have other important information?

“Boss, what are you doing?” After completely searching the seventh floor for evidence, Jiu Shen had gone down to the sixth floor, coincidentally walking into Yu Xia standing at the door and spacing out.

“Thinking about that poster.”

“I also think it’s weird. I looked at the poster yesterday, and there didn’t seem to be anything special about it. It’s just a typical electoral poster handed out on the streets or posted somewhere. There weren’t any other secret messages or unique prints; they probably just casually grabbed it to use it. It will be sent to the lab for analysis tonight, so we’ll see if it has any hidden clues or not.”

Jiu Shen walked in a circle around the rooms, gathering a few more small items and placing them into his work case. Then, as he flipped through it, he abruptly froze.

“What?” Yu Xia turned to ask when he saw the other person suddenly fall into deep through.

“Nothing, I just thought of something…” Jiu Shen stared at his wrist and narrowed his eyes. That thing can’t be ‘that’, right?

“…?”

Just as the two of them were staring at different things, a small disturbance came from outside.

When Yu Xia listened carefully, he heard the officer outside say, “Hurry up and go, shoo”. Yu Xia directly slammed open the half-closed door to see two people that were not supposed to be here standing outside. “Ah Yin, didn’t I tell you not to wander around these kinds of places however you pleased?!”

Before the fist could slam down on him, Yu Yin quickly jumped far away. “Wait! Listen to me first! Zheng-dàgē from the eighth floor is willing to help us do a voice verification, he said that he heard them talk when the incident occurred! Hurry up and confirm his cooperation before he changes his mind!” For some reason, he kept feeling like there was something wrong with the home belonging to the person named Zheng. The earlier Yu Xia got involved, the better.

“Really?” Jiu Shen, who was contemplating something deep inside the house, tossed aside his work and raced out. “That’s great then! Boss, let’s go find him immediately. We might be able to catch that guy!” Yu Xia nodded, and shot a warning glare at Yu Yin. “Don’t do anything weird again.”

“Alright…” Yu Yin shrunk back and looked upwards. “Hurry up and go ask him. I have a feeling that Zheng-dàgē doesn’t like the police much, so I’m afraid he’ll back out.”

Yu Xia patted Yu Yin on the shoulder and gave Jiu Shen a look, the two of them preparing to head up to the eight level. Before leaving, he did not forget to tell his colleague not to let his children enter the site.

After watching Yu Xia and Jiu Shen leave, Yu Yin turned around to face the door with his hands spread open at the officer he was acquainted with. It looked like they would not let him take advantage of the situation and enter the site this time.

Yu Yin got a run-down of the current situation and surveyed the house, just barely spotting a small shadow run and jump around inside.

The figure quickly vanished into thin air, leaving no trace behind as if it had just been his own imagination.

Xiao Yu tugged at his clothes. “Where are we going?” It appeared as though Xiao Yu did not want to continue staying in this apartment, which puzzled Yu Yin a bit.

“To where we should be going.”

As Yu Yin looked down from the staircase, he caught a glimpse of that black shadow pacing back and forth.

Then, it broke out into a scarlet smile.

***

When Liao Yi Ma returned to the station, there was actually a minor commotion inside.

He stood there and contemplated to himself for a bit before straightforwardly walking inside. “Ah Xia, did something happen?” He looked at Yu Xia, who was currently giving some instructions. Then, Yi Ma passed over a small bag in his hands and said, “I brought back your watch that I helped you deliver before.”

“Thanks.” Yu Xia tore the bag off and put on the watch that he had originally meant to personally drop off for repairs. He glanced left and right, then tightly fastened the watch around his wrist so that it would not fall off. “It accidentally fell out from the building last time while I was chasing the criminals; luckily there were only minor damages to the face and the strap. Oh yeah, you should get ready too; you’ll have to do some voice recordings later.”

“Recordings?” Liao Yi Ma was taken aback for a brief second, and he noticed his other colleagues that were currently getting ready too.

“The person on the eighth floor heard the voices on the rooftop that day and is now willing to help us. So we’re going to record the voices of everyone we arrested and provide it to him to do a preliminary identification,” Jian Jin Quan said from next to Liao Yi Ma. Back then, he and Liao Yi Ma had been working as part of the same group camping out in the complex. Because he had circled around to look somewhere else, he had not followed them up immediately, and had later been reprimanded by the higher-ups pretty severely.

“Huh? Didn’t you guys say he did not know anything?” Liao Yi Ma froze for a second, but then quickly went over to help organise some materials.

“Ah Yin somehow managed to talk him into it. Anyways, he’s willing to cooperate now. But he seems to dislike the police quite a bit and explained that he would not come to the station. Moreover, only Boss, Jiu Shen, and a prosecutor are allowed to enter his home; such a pain in the ass.” Jian Jin Quan shrugged in discontent with the request.

Yu Xia suddenly slapped Jian Jin Quan in the back of the head. “Do you have that much time? Just to chat?!”

The two partners exchanged a glance with each other and immediately shut their mouths as they continued to make preparations.

“Oh yeah, Boss, how is Tong’s situation?” Jian Jin Quan earnestly asked Yu Xia, who was currently signing documents next to him. “I heard he switched rooms today…”

“He’s stable for now, and was transferred to a ward for observation.” Yu Xia only gave a simple reply, with no intention of explaining in detail. He narrowed his eyes and added, “He’ll naturally wake up when he needs to.”

“Oh…” After being shut down, Jian Jin Quan did not dare to continue asking any further. He rubbed his nose and fell silent, afraid of accidentally stepping on his captain’s sore point.

Yu Xia glanced at the darkening sky outside, inwardly thinking to himself that they would be able to finish with the recording matter overnight with the help of the night shift members later.

Jiang Zheng Hong had given them from noon to late afternoon, since he refused any visitors at night all the way to the early morning while he was at work.

Yu Xia had this lingering feeling that Jiang Zheng Hong seemed a bit familiar, as if he had seen the other person somewhere else before. Moreover, his resistant attitude against the police was fairly obvious. However, the fact that he had volunteered to help Jiu Shen and Yu Yin made it appear that he harboured no ill intent; he simply did not like interacting with the police.

Jiang Zheng Hong’s data, which had just been transferred over, did not show any criminal record or other issues. Or rather, Jiang Zheng Hong was a ridiculously “clean” manager that worked night shift. His academic records were extremely outstanding, and he had even won various awards. Basically, if he wanted to get a white collared job with the same pay, it would not be difficult for him.

Working the night shift wasn’t exactly anything special either. In fact, it suited him very well, and his performance far surpassed others. He did not have many people cause trouble for him, and the few that did were smoothly handled. It could be said that he was an expert among the night shift workers.

However, there was just something very strange about him that Yu Xia could not really place.

As he was still spacing out, Jiu Shen, who should have been buried in his own work, walked over with a lab coat still on. He was tightly grasping a few pieces of paper as he frantically ran over. “Boss, Boss, look at this!” Without even taking a breath, he shoved the papers in front of Yu Xia’s face in excitement. “No wonder I felt like that Jiang Zheng Hong guy looked so familiar. Doesn’t he look very similar to this person?!”

Yu Xia pushed away Jiu Shen’s face that was much too close and grabbed the papers on his face. Printed on them was something that could not be more familiar. To be exact, it was the habitual criminal that they had not caught up until now that had been stuck up on the bulletin board.

Yu Xia had briefly looked at it before, but now that the investigation officer was pointing it out, he realised that Jiang Zheng Hong undoubtedly shared a close resemblance to the person on the papers. However, since the face was very blurry on that case’s pictures, there was no way they could confirm if the two were really the same person.

Can it really be that coincidental?

“Oh, that? He’s not that nightshift manager.” The meddlesome Jian Jin Quan approached them and casually stated the portions he knew. “I have a friend that’s responsible for handling that case, and I heard him mention it before, so I asked him about it yesterday. A year ago, they had also highly suspected Jiang Zheng Hong. Back then, they had already asked him to prove his case. However, during the times the robberies had occurred, Jiang Zheng Hong was almost always at work, and several people had provided testimonies. In other words, he just has a very similar appearance.”

“Oh, no wonder he’s so uncooperative with us.” Realisation dawned on Liao Yi Ma’s face. “Having been interrogated out of nowhere, it would be stranger if he did cooperate with us.”

“Do you two really have nothing to do?! Go back to work this instant!” Yu Xia angrily shouted at the two who had come to gossip and pushed them away. He then glanced at Jiu Shen, who had come searching for him so urgently. “Looks like it’s not him. Also, I’ve already looked into Jiang Zheng Hong; he’s an only child and doesn’t have any brothers.”

“Huh? Was I mistaken…and here I’d thought that I had finally figured out who that crazy mysterious thief was.” Jiu Shen shrugged and sighed in disappointment.

“But we can consult him and see.” Yu Xia had a sense that Jiang Zheng Hong’s dislike towards the police was not only due to being interrogated. He gathered up the papers, planning to figure it out more later.

Jiu Shen’s chin dropped in slight defeat as he gave a puzzled glance to the person that seemed to be in deep thought. “Your watch is fixed now, Boss?”

“Ah Yi helped me get it fixed. I thought that giving a limited edition watch to its original manufacturer for repairs would take one or two weeks; didn’t expect it to finish so quickly.” Yu Xia’s gaze dropped down onto his wrist and casually shook it a few times.

“Oh…the lens seemed to reflect light a little oddly…but it’s probably just me seeing things.” Jiu Shen stared at the watch for a few more seconds before turning his head slightly and shifting his line of sight away. “Oh right, as for the matter of gathering the items, it’s done now. I’ve also asked them not to disclose anything. They’re currently being tested, and the results should all come out in the next two days.”

Yu Xia nodded to indicate he understood.

“I’ll go back to work first then.”

***

Xiao Yu flipped through the book in his hands.

These past two days, Yu Yin had been so idle that it was slightly odd. After meeting up with Jiang Zheng Hong, he had returned home without doing much else. The next day, he even properly went to school, saying that he only had two classes in the afternoon. As a result, he had told Xiao Yu to stay in the library to wait until he finished classes.

As he read the English text in the book, he felt a strange feeling of uneasiness.

Soon, his premonition came true.

“Ah Yu—” For some reason, Fang Yi Xun suddenly appeared out of nowhere as she slapped him on the shoulder. “Your brother said you would stay at our place today~ Did you bring a clean change of clothes?”

Xiao Yu widened his eyes at his friend, unable to comprehend why Yu Yin had suddenly abandoned him in someone else’s hands. He threw his book aside and opened his cellphone, only to discover that the other person had shut off their phone and was out of contact. It seemed like he had definitely not gone to class; claiming to come to school was just to trick Yu over. Moreover, Yu had actually fallen for it.

“What’s wrong? My cousin is waiting for us in his car downstairs.” Fang Yi Xun blinked her beautiful, dark eyes as she stared at him in confusion. “Oh yeah, you should watch out a bit for that Yu Yin. His face seems a bit deathly for some reason recently, so dark and lifeless. Try asking him if he has an amulet or something. It’s best if you tell him to carry it around so that he doesn’t get into any trouble.”

Xiao Yu thought this over for a moment before typing some words on his phone. “He carries one.”

Because of the chain of events that had happened previously, Yu Yin had been constantly giving the amulet to Xiao Yu, and Yu Tong had later gotten an identical one for Yu Yin.

“That’s good then. Now that I think back, that ghost that blocked the car last time was pretty scary. You should tell him to be more careful these next few days.” Fang Yi Xun crossed her arms and stated in a serious manner, “Plus, his luck has always been pretty bad, right? He’s way too nosy, and doesn’t properly handle matters, which just causes those things to foster hatred towards him more easily. Although he’s done quite a few good deeds, those things from the other world aren’t always reasonable. He might be fine now, but it can’t be guaranteed that nothing will happen to him in the future. Just look at how bad his complexion has been recently, and how often he gets injured at the slightest things. If it gets severe…” She shrugged without continuing further.

Xiao Yu stared down at his phone and did not respond. His grip tightened around the small, ice-cold device as over a dozen places that Yu Yin could have possibly gone to instantly appeared in his mind. But only now did Xiao Yu realise that he had no idea where to start searching from.

Although Yu Yin was a very easy person to understand, he did not seem so when Xiao Yu really wanted to know.

Had he been the one to lose the other’s trust in him first?

After glancing at Fang Yi Xun, who had come to pick him up, Xiao Yu began to reflect on his past actions.

However, that did not mean he would just agree to this kind of arrangement.

“Are you thinking of doing something interesting again?” Fang Yi Xun sat down next to him with a gorgeously bewitching smile on her face. “If you tell me, I can help you keep it a secret from everyone else, including my cousin.”

She was also someone who desired the whole world to fall into chaos as a means to achieve her own goals. Obviously, having a few more matters [to deal with] was what made one feel like they were truly alive.

Xiao Yu was momentarily suspicious of the pretty girl that seemed harmless on the outside. However, he still nodded. Perhaps their objective was the same; Fang Yi Xun had always known what he wanted to do, as well as what he was repressing, just like how he also knew what Fang Yi Xun could do.

“That drug seller is back, right? We should be able to find him.” Fang Yi Xun voiced their shared target, having never given up on it. She twirled her short hair around her finger as she said, “We don’t need to drag anyone else under. The two of us are enough; that person still owes us lives. The only way we can get them back is if we demand for his.”

Xiao Yu quietly agreed and stared out the window in a trance.

He had always known what he needed to do.

Everything had first started from his family.

The sounds of a man and woman angrily arguing, the loud bangs that made it impossible for one to be at peace, the noise that couldn’t be drowned out even when he immersed himself completely under water.

A faint aroma that had come through the crack in the door, the only thing that had seemingly still remembered his existence, soothing the clamour that could make anyone crazy.

The numbness that had gradually overcome everyone. The drug seller that had not been part of their family, handing that thing over to the man’s possession more and more frequently. The scent of the incense that had grown stronger every day, until everyone had become parasitic on that disgusting smell. They had lived avariciously in that scent, as if losing it would lead to death.

It was as though he had been excluded from that family.

He had always known why he had not died, why they had not killed him. He had actually understood all along.

The stench of blood and the aroma of the incense had blended together. He did not know how long he had stayed in the darkness.

Then, when he could see light again, there had been the person from the Yu family. He had tightly clutched Yu Xia, who had broken the door down. He had not been unwilling to let them go, unwilling to let any of the placement groups approach him. Until they reached a compromise and let him enter that extremely ordinary house that he did not even dare to make any extravagant requests in.

However, his work was not yet finished.

Until that moment of completion…

***

Yu Yin lifted his head back to glance at the piercing sunlight.

Fang Yi Xun’s side should have already brought Xiao Yu back by now, right? Since everyone else is busy…

Moreover, he honestly wanted to vent on them. Besides, their relationship was so close that asking them to take care of Xiao Yu for one or two days should not have been troublesome at all.

He watched the tides of people walking back and forth along the street and exhaled. He then walking into a nearby shop to buy a bouquet for visiting hospital patients, and a basket of fruit.

Rewinding just a bit—

After leaving school, he had arrived near the location of the incident. Upon exiting the elevator, he knocked on the door of the apartment resident.

This was a similar type of apartment that was next to the building where the accident had occurred. Most of the residents were working class, but there was fortunately a housewife and some elderly living here. After leaving Xiao Yu at school, he had circled back to here to ask around the residents in this place.

He was sure that the police must have done the same thing. However, with Jiang Zheng Hong as a precedent, he was certain he could find something else that might have been overlooked at first, or something that others did not dare to speak about. He was not the police or the perpetrator, but the victim. Sometimes, people would sympathize with those in such roles much more.

“That morning? I just happened to be out buying groceries, so I didn’t see anything.” The housewife whose surname was Wang was already over the age of fourty. After hearing Yu Yin’s explanation, she patiently leaned against the door to give her explanation. Finally, she lowered her voice and said, “But let me tell you, I’ve suspected there was something wrong with those rooms for a long time. They often drink and make noise, and I once even heard a woman’s scream. I knew that something would happen sooner or later…sigh, I hope the one that fled gets captured quickly. If the residence isn’t safe, how is anyone supposed to feel reassured [about living here]?”

After preparing breakfast and tidying up the housework a bit, the housewife and the elderly would often go out and buy groceries in turn, starting from nine in the morning. Hence, Yu Yin got the same answer after asking many residents.

“Oh right, you can go and ask the granny living on the top floor. She goes up to the rooftop every morning to water the plants. But she accidentally fell while carrying something two days ago. I’m not sure if she broke a bone or what, but her son brought her to the hospital, and I heard she’s been staying there.” Before he left, the wife hurriedly added, “I only know this because I’m on close terms with their family. I don’t think the police have asked them yet; maybe Āpó saw something.”

As she said this, she kindheartedly wrote down the address and the ward number to give him.

“I’ll reach out to them first. That granny usually chats with me. She’s a very good person, so I don’t think she would refuse to help.”

That was why he was currently standing here.

Yu Yin thought back to the warm-hearted apartment resident he had met just earlier. With the flowers held in both hands, he bitterly smiled at the sight of the hospital before him.

Likely due to its location, this hospital was coincidentally the one his father had been sent to after falling from the building, as well as the place he had already passed through many times these last two days.

Sometimes, he felt as if fate was laughing at him – in mockery.

Avoiding the patrolling officers outside, he entered through the small entrance next to the emergency room. After stepping into the hospital, pain seared through his eyes as silhouettes appeared all around him. Some were constantly moving, while others remained in one place. Some were practically invisible, while others were even clearer to see than the people.

Although Yu Yin had never felt that seeing them was a good thing, this was the first time he loathed his ability so much. He could even faintly hear the anguished wails of a few before their deaths. This made him extremely uncomfortable, as it felt like those things were getting closer and closer to him, waiting for him to turn in their direction.

Chills ran down his body.

Yu Yin shook his head, deciding not to ponder it any longer. He directly ignored those things, making sure to hold his gaze away as he walked straight into the elevator. Then, he found the ordinary ward that has his target.

Before he even opened the door, he could hear a quiet voice chanting sutras, the slightly musical sutras coming from a music player. He had seen such things before many times. When he had gone to the intensive care ward a few years ago, he had seen a pale-faced family member carefully place that kind of device next to a patient, and the quiet reciting of the prayers would be played over and over again.

Yu Yin did not know what happened to that person afterwards. All he remembered was that the black sutra player next to the white pillow left an extremely deep impression.

“Excuse me for the interruption.” He knocked on the door of the ward, and gently pushed it open after hearing the person inside say to come in. It was a single person’s ward, with a small and skinny grandmother lying on the wide bed. The sutras were coming from the machine placed on the cabinet next to her. There was also a man in his fourties sitting on the bed meant for family members. His face was slightly wan, and he did not seem to be in a very good psychological state.

“I’m Yu Yin. Mrs. Wang introduced me to this place.” Yu Yin handed the flowers and the fruit to the man as he stood next to the bed to survey the grandmother.

From the looks of it, she appeared to be quite old, maybe in her seventies or eighties. Her hair was entirely white, and her body was petite. It seemed like she only had a thin layer of skin over her skeleton. Her skin was dark and covered with speckles. There was an IV drip hooked up to her fragile wrist, and both her feet and her head were wrapped in bandages.

However, she was awake. The half-closed eyes in her hollow, sunken eye sockets never left Yu Yin.

“Please sit.” The man rubbed his face. After having Yu Yin sit down to one side, the man entered the bathroom to wash his face or something else, walking back out a while later. “She called us already. We know you want to ask about what happened that morning, but my mother has never mentioned anything…”

The man seemed exceptionally exhausted. Yu Yin looked at the mother-and-son pair with slight nervousness. “I know that Āpó goes to the rooftop every morning. Was there anything strange about the place that day?”

“There’s no point in asking. The doctor said my mother is already dying. It’s possible that she can no longer speak or hear anything.” The man shook his head, avoiding Yu Yin’s stunned expression. “After returning home two days ago, she was feeling ill-at-ease the entire time for some reason. In the end, when she was standing up on a chair to grab something, she fell down and hit her head. Surgery was useless too; she’s been like this the whole time now. The doctor said she might ‘go back’ in the next day or so, and told us to mentally prepare ourselves.”

Yu Yin stared at the man in shock, before turning around to look at the grandmother again. Her half-open eyes were still locked onto him, but since entering the room up until now, she had not responded to anything. There was only the sound of the sutra player constantly playing.

In that moment, all he felt was his mind go entirely blank.

Just as the man’s eyes were beginning to redden, the elderly lying on the bed abruptly whimpered, and her eyes swiveled around.

“Ah He—”

The low voice broke out through the sound of the sutras. The man quickly went up to her and cried out, “Mother, I’m here.”

Yu Yin, who was sitting on the side, suddenly felt as if this scene was somewhat surreal. It was like a melodramatic scene typically played on those 8PM drama series. He was the spectator, watching that same stereotypical and repetitive repertoire.

From the duplicated plot, the grandmother slowly turned her head around. Then, a strange grin appeared on her withered face.

“Mr. Police…bang bang…”


1. Ābó (阿伯) = grandfather, not necessarily biological.
2. Āpó (阿婆) = grandmother, not necessarily biological.


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5 thoughts on “YBCB: V7C5

  1. Love reading this. A Sherlock Holmes in supernatural genre.
    It’s not boring and a little frightening especially reading @ nihgt. I feel like I’m watching a movie instead of reading some words/novel..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At the beginning I had suspected that the prologue was about the Yu twins. Now after what Yu Yin saw in the night manager’s apartment, I’m suspecting that “twinning” is in fact a major clue in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

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