Dog and/or cat lovers will definitely enjoy this volume! :)
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
There are some things in this world that can never go completely according to one’s will.
One might have the answers to everything, but a perfect conclusion is impossible to achieve in the end.
Sometimes, we can only struggle in the murky swamps, struggling with all our strength to cleanly lay down our most important possession in a place where it cannot be contaminated.
Even if those things were no longer related to oneself.
Those had been extremely ordinary days.
The scene of the old-fashioned school building and the athletic track that he had come to hate seeing were fading like a yellowing, black-and-white photograph.
They were in a place where they would not be discovered.
In actuality, he was already somewhat fed up.
If he could break away from these kinds of things, he would definitely do it.
As long as he could keep away from this type of life.
He heard a faint noise…
Tiny claws were scratching the wood, the sounds continuing to float through the crack underneath the door.
“Fish Jerky…be quiet…”
He was still out of it as he flipped over and murmured these words.
As if having not heard him, the scratching on the door turned more urgent.
With much difficulty, he opened one eye and patted a searching hand around, grabbing onto the clock next to the nightstand by the head of the bed. It was 3 AM exactly.
The noise outside intensified as one sound became two, including the rattling of the doorknob.
He had no idea why his only two housemates were making such a ruckus past midnight. He took a deep breath and left his warm blankets. After blindly groping around for the switch, he turned on the bedside lamp. Seemingly sensing the movement inside the room, the noises outside became even louder.
He yawned and crawled off the bed, straightening up to trudge towards the door. When he opened it, he was welcomed with low barks.
“What’s wrong?” His dog never barked randomly like this, so it instantly woke him up.
The golden retriever nearly half his size bit his sleeve and, strangely enough, started pulling him outside.
“What’s the matter, what’s the matter?” Before he could figure out what was going on, a sudden meow came from next to him. The eyes glowing in the darkness were particularly distinct as the cat collided into his face straight-on.
He did not know why his two family members were acting so abnormal tonight. He rubbed the cat by his face as he stumbled out into the hallway the dog dragged him to. Only then did the cat leap down from his face, even scratching him, forcing his mind to clear up completely.
“Is there a thief?” He rubbed his face as he looked at the large and small creatures sitting down. However, he could not hear any suspicious sounds.
There was still nothing when he switched on the hallway lights.
The house was thirty-years old, around 83 square meters, and had a simple layout of two floors with three rooms and a living room. He did not have many decorations. About five minutes later, he had already walked around downstairs and confirmed there was nothing inside the house.
Just as he was about to return to his bedroom to continue resting, the cat and dog by his side turned fretful again.
“Are there rats in the house?” He crouched down to pet the cat and the dog. The large dog whimpered anxiously while the cat stared at him like it was looking at an idiot.
He stood up with the support of the wall and slowly released a breath. Before he could walk up the stairs to check the situation, he suddenly raised his head to see a person standing on the second floor.
At some point, the second floor corridor lights had gone out. He only see the black shadow quietly standing in place with a lowered head, the red eyes looking down at them.
The dog and cat next to him almost simultaneously let out threatening snarls.
“Please leave here immediately. If I report this, it will be more trouble for you.”
Despite these words, the figure standing there did not move at all.
He raised his brows. Seeing as the other person was so unafraid of death, he decided to directly walk up the staircase.
The second he stepped onto the stairs, there was a whoosh as the silhouette above abruptly vanished without a trace.
He suspiciously climbed up the steps and spotted a large amount of dark brown, slightly moist soil on the top level. It had just suddenly appeared on the formerly clean staircase.
“What was that…”
The first time they had met each other had been simple.
Just like how one would always see new friends going out every day. The world was even more vast that he had imagined it to be.
There were also more people that he thought.
Whenever he turned a new corner, he would bump into a different person, always encountering something different with each moment.
As a result, he had never realised that the usual same things would become different.
He heard a faint noise.
It was quiet and difficult to identify.
When Yu Yin abruptly returned to his senses, he discovered that he had been spacing out in class for a while now. The professor for this class was very lax, likely because he placed heavy importance on creating works, so Ah Guan sitting next to him had already fallen asleep snoring without being beaten awake.
“Hey, hey, want to go grab a meal and karaoke together tonight?” Li Lin Yue sitting on his other side was likely also bored. She began to chat with him in a low voice as she continued bending the metal wires in her hands. “New boyfriend’s treat. And there will be lots of pretty girls. I only invite you when it’s a good thing.”
“I’ll pass, I have something after class.” Yu Yin rejected his friend’s free invitation without hesitation and eyed the time. Almost simultaneously, the class bell rang.
“Hmph, I have to help introduce a girlfriend to you for you to stop running around and doing stupid things all the time.” Li Lin Yue watched the professor leave before tossing her handiwork to the side. With a grin, she leaned on her friend’s shoulders. “Ah Yin-dàgēgē, the mèimei this time is very good at home, her three measurements are beautiful, she likes cooking and reading, and is an older sister in a large family. She loves children.”
“You didn’t tell them anything like I liked kids and lived with a larger family, did you?” Yu Yin swatted away the arm from his shoulders as he deadpanned his friend.
“That…didn’t happen, of course. I didn’t even mention about you being a lolicon…”
“Who’s a lolicon?!” Yu Yin felt his veins burst as he suddenly had the strong urge to strangle his evil friend.
“Aha, I didn’t say it. Don’t worry, I’m very protective of my friends.” Li Lin Yue righteously patted her friend on the shoulder, completely ignoring his eye roll as she patted her chest with a loyal expression. “Anyways, she’s a really great girl. Actually, she doesn’t party with friends either. My good sister is going to forcefully drag her to this opportunity.”
Yu Yin stared at his best friend in front of him, uncertain if he should violate a precept and punch the woman. “If she’s a good girl, please don’t drag her into these kinds of predicaments. Are you trying to be a matchmake or a heartthrob these days? Stop fooling around.” Even if he wanted a girlfriend, he didn’t want someone that had been forced to be matched!
Li Lin Yue smiled and shrugged. “Forget it, if you have something to do today then let’s find another day. I just felt like that girl was really compatible with you the first time I laid my eyes on her. You should try meeting her later when you get the chance.” She had personally appraised and confirmed the other party before recommending her to a certain fellow that had recently been shutting himself in communicating alongside his friends.
“…And here I thought that a certain someone was going to use me as a backup dad.”
“Eh, while I want to keep the option open for possible futures, it’s not a bad idea to experience the lifestyle of a young adult by having a few girlfriends before you become a dad. Otherwise, your time as a youth will be over in a blink of an eye. Once you turn old, you won’t have the energy to play around even if you wanted to.”
“Cut the bullshit and stop messing around.” Won’t have the energy to play around even if you want to, huh? In exasperation, Yu Yin warned the girl not to act recklessly. He had already lost count how many times he had regretted the mistake of making such a bad friend.
“Talk about it later then.”
Yu Yin lifted his backpack and left the classroom. He glanced at his watch; he didn’t have a class lined up next period, so he could go to the library in the spare time to type up some reports for homework.
Yu was going to help Yan Si pack and move houses today, so he would have to rush over to assist them after his last class. He could then bring Yu out to grab dinner as well.
Recently, his dad and uncle had been busy with work as usual. Before Yu Tong had left in the morning, he had specifically told them to rush back home as soon as they finished helping Yan Si, and to not loiter around outside for too long. Apparently the bike-racing gang problem was somewhat severe, so his dad and a few other individuals had gone out to support the transportation unit.
Anyhow, Yu Yin had seen the new house before. Not long ago, a certain bastard forensic investigator had forcibly dragged him over to appraise whether any yang homes would turn into yin homes 1, so he was probably the first person to have ever seen Yan Si’s new residence.
Yu Yin had to admit that the bastard really was being coddled by the heavens. That house was amazing enough to make anyone jealous.
Yu Yin chewed on some candy as he turned into the other school building. Off in the distance, he spotted someone he knew walking from the opposite end of the hallway, but the person’s situation made it difficult for him to go forth and give a greeting.
Yi Tai, who stood at the very end, had a few female classmates latched onto him as they spoke.
Because there was a decent distance between them, Yu Yin could not hear what they were talking about. However, he could sense that the three girls seemed somewhat emotional.
“Yo, what are you standing around here for?”
There was a sudden slap on his back. When he looked back, he saw that it was Ah Fang, who was covered in sweat, having likely just finished a basketball game. “No class?”
“Oh, I was just about to go to the library.” Yu Yin pointed at Yi Tai and shrugged. “I was wondering if I should go say hi or not.”
Ah Fang glanced over. “They should be from the Information Management department…but there are normally four of them, I think. Why are they missing one today?”
“Are they really famous?” Yu Yin scratched his face. He had never heard of them before even though that damned Ah Guan would often come sit next to him with nothing better to do, blabbering about having friendships with the chicks from all the departments.
“You probably don’t really notice other pretty female students because you’ve looked at Lin Yue, that school flower, for too long.” Ah Fang smiled dryly as he placed his hands on Yu Yin’s shoulders, turning them towards the library and leaving the hallway. “There are four beauties among the Information Management department’s first years that a ton of male students chase after. But they all have boyfriends already. The fourth person that’s missing today is the most beautiful. Her boyfriend is one of the bros in Xiao Hai’s shop.”
“You probably only know about these four girls because of Xiao Hai’s bro, am I right?” Yu Yin jokingly responded. With Ah Fang’s personality, he was probably more interested in basketball than he was in girls. In the entire time they had known each other, Yu Yin had never seen Ah Fang with a girlfriend. There would occasionally be suitors circling him, but they would all disappear after a period of time.
“I guess.” Once Ah Fang had led them in front of the library, he let go. “Oh yeah, have your dad and uncle been really busy recently?”
“They haven’t rested once. Why?” Yu Yin was caught slightly off guard by Ah Fang’s sudden mention of the adults in his family, and automatically raised a brow. “Don’t tell me there was another fight with deaths involved or something?”
“Nothing like that.” Ah Fang paused for a moment to contemplate something, then eventually continued, “Forget it, it’s not a problem anyways. Anyways, just watch yourself a bit. You’ve been getting injured too frequently recently, which isn’t good at all. If you need any support, just say it; don’t try to bear the burden by yourself. There are certain matters that we can also help with.”
Is it really frequent enough for every single person to remind me like this…
Yu Yin scratched his head in slight embarrassment. “Thanks.”
“That’s it for now then. Let’s play ball together sometime when there’s time. Bye.” Ah Fang patted Yu Yin with a bright smile, then turned and left.
Yu Yin took a deep breath and rubbed his face. He really had been getting too involved in things recently, even if it had been against his will – but he needed to continue trying his best to keep attending school first. If his graduation got delayed, it would be a disaster…Putting aside the schoolwork, having to deal with his uncle would be an incomparable disaster. He did not even dare try to imagine it.
Before he could enter the library, he suddenly heard a series of meows.
When he spun around, he saw a few stray cats next to the library; the cats were likely fighting. However, even from far away, he could see a single cat that sported eye-catching white fur and dark stripes that was different from the strays next to it. This cat appeared to be a pet; it wore a collar, and its fur was very clean. The strangest part was that the lone cat was against the other several strays around it for some unknown reason.
Seeing that the cat horde didn’t look very friendly, Yu Yin instantly shouted and chased the strays away. The lone cat also ran off in confusion.
Probably belongs to one of the students around here.
He shrugged and stepped into the library.
News Flash: Bike-Racing Gang Appearing Again, Police Strengthening Night—
“That’s pretty much it. Is it okay if I just place these books on the shelf for you?”
Yan Si switched off the news broadcast and forced himself to take a deep breath as he surveyed the new house that was mostly sorted out already.
After the matter with Su Zhang, he had not originally planned on moving. However, with Yu Xia’s reminder, his close friends by his side, including his juniors and seniors at work, had all bore imposing auras of, “You might die instantly if you don’t move”, pressuring him to change places quickly. Even the old cleaning lady passing by would ask him if he had moved places yet. After several weeks of psychological attacks, Yan Si could only rub his nose and comply to everyone’s wish…Well, “comply” was wrong. It was more like if he felt that not doing so might result in an accident, so for once, he decided to just listen to everyone’s words.
He did not know if it counted as fortunate timing or not, but he had spotted the pleasant-looking little house when he had been driving around in boredom. After confirming it was actually rather close to work and finding out that the conditions and rent weren’t bad, he had called Yu Yin over to check that the house did not have any issues. After that, he straightforwardly began the great task of moving.
“But this house really isn’t bad at all. I’m surprised you could get the rent for this place.” Yang De Cheng took out the books from the box and placed them on the shelves as he scanned the surroundings, honestly convinced that it was a great place. “It would be great taste to use for opening a restaurant.”
This place was a small, Japanese-style house.
When Yang De Cheng first saw it, he had been somewhat surprised, having not imagined Yan Si to have found this kind of building that would usually only appear from the remains of a restaurant or some kind of tourist attraction. It was only one level, had three rooms and a living room, as well as a gorgeous, scenic yard.
Although it was called Japanese style, it was not a traditional Japanese style, but a house that had transformed and refurbished afterwards.
The landlord was an uncle in his fifties that appeared to be quite wealthy. He lived in a luxurious villa next to the small house.
Allegedly, this small house had been where the landlord’s parents had previously lived. The older grandmother and grandfather from the previous generation had received Japanese education. The house had originally been a traditional Japanese building where the grandfather working as a teacher lived. Later, as the era changed, the house was renovated with it several times. The similar homes nearby had already been torn down. This place was the only one remaining. When it had been passed down to the parents, they had cherished it closely, loving the scenic yard the most.
After the landlord had grown older and earned a large sum of money, he had built the villa next door and invited the parents over to live there. However, unable to let go of this small house, it had been left unused for several years as a hotel for mosquitoes. The elders usually would come clean the yard or house daily, and the landlord would continue spending money periodically for maintenance and renovation, so it appeared to be extremely beautiful and clean.
Yan Si had also spent half a day researching this when he had first seen it. After confirming that the house had nobody residing it in yet was still being cleaned, he had inquired about it in curiosity and found out about the empty house.
Possibly due to hitting it off with the landlord’s entire family, they had happily rented out the small house to him after they had all chatted together for two days, claiming that having someone walking around inside the place would give it more character and improve the house. Moreover, since the landlord was not lacking in money, the rent was unusually cheap. The two conditions were that the elders would still tend to the yard every day and for Yan Si not to damage any part of the house.
To someone like Yan Si, who only used the house to sleep, this was quite easy, so he took the offer.
As this was likely the first time they had ever rented out the house to someone else, the landlord had excitedly helped switch out some of the aged bathroom facilities. Having heard of Yan Si’s previous experience of being attacked as well, the landlord had kindly installed two surveillance cameras too, claiming that he had over a dozen security systems dedicated to the outside his own home so giving two of them wasn’t a big deal.
“There are sometimes people who have such infuriatingly divine luck.” As everything was finished, Yang De Cheng walked out with desserts to sit down in the hallway as he sighed in admiration. How come I never encounter such amazing things…
Yu sat next to him and nodded in response, then reached out to take the sweets being offered.
“Oi, oi, oi, the luck was won over my efforts at least, I’ll have you know.” Yan Si directly plopped down on the side and scoffed, “If you guys saw this place, you definitely would have just passed straight by without even going out to inquire about it.” That was just how life was; it was impossible to gain anything interesting without initiating first.
“…Boss, they didn’t have a For Rent sign up outside this place, and it looked like someone was already living here. Who would have suddenly been enlightened by the great universe to suddenly go out and ask if the house is empty?” Yang De Cheng glared at person next to him in exasperation, feeling both jealousy and admiration. He was convinced that the Heavens were unfair by showing so much care for this bastard that made anyone want to hit him upon first sight.
This kind of Japanese-style house had a different ambience that made one feel calm and lazy to the bones.
“Actually, there was another reason they rented it to me.” Yan Si glanced at the envious fellow next to him and chuckled before pensively continuing, “…Forget it, I don’t think it has any major effect.”
“But in the end, although there were surveillance cameras installed, the house itself does not have special installations like windows with iron gratings, nor is the fence very tall. Won’t it be really dangerous?” Yang De Cheng returned to the proper topic. When he had arrived to help, he had already scanned the entire house and was slightly worried about its safety. “If that apartment was broken through even with security guards, this place definitely isn’t safe.” If Yan Si had not insisted on moving here, they would have tried to persuade him to change to another place.
In the end, this bastard had instead replied that fate could not be overturned. If the Heavens had given him this house, then he would have to stay here, or else there might end up being various unexpected disasters that could also drag others down under the waters, under the sea, under the blade, etc…Thus, nobody had tried to convince him otherwise.
More accurately speaking, everyone had likely only been left with the choice of “who cares if he dies”.
“Don’t worry about that. The place next door apparently has private security guards and protection; they’ll circle around this area while on patrol as well.” Yan Si scratched his face. He just knew that these excessively worried people would definitely emphasise the question of whether the place was safe or not, so after renting it, he had even made sure to grab Yu Yin and bring him here to take a look for confirming safety from another respect. “Plus, it seems like big gangs were often going around smashing glass two years ago, so the clearly upset landlord changed all the glass to reinforced versions that are actually quite strong.”
“Your landlord really is quite wealthy.” Yang De Cheng turned his head to scan the luxurious villa next door that was at least several times larger than this small house. It had five levels, as well an enormous garden.
“Oh, yeah. Apparently he invested a lot in electronics and medical products, as well as speculation constructing buildings. The very illegal kind.”
Yan Si believed that if it were not for this small house’s unique value, the landlord would likely have been buried off ages ago.
Yang De Cheng was speechless for a moment. When he finally retracted his gaze, he asked, “Oh, right, how long are you on break for?” The reason they had chosen to move in today was because the fellow next door had apparently exchanged for quite a long vacation to perfectly do everything that needed to be done all at once.
He still had time to have fun.
Work was the same as usual.
On Tuesday afternoon, a dead body was reported to the regional administration department [of the police], so several people were sent out to conduct a search. It was a pretty common task.
Ah Liu eyed the time; it was about time for them to return.
This incident had occurred this morning. A running jogger had discovered the body first. If the jogger had not spontaneously decided to try going a new route today, the body might not have been known about for even longer.
The location was a small, sloped path next to the mountain that was overgrown with trees and weeds. The connecting roads from both directions were not often used, the area relatively remote.
At the beginning, the jogger had assumed some uncivilised citizen had wrongly discarded a large amount of trash. After all, such situations happened everywhere. It was not rare to see someone toss their waste as they pleased into a deserted area in the middle of night rather than properly handling the garbage.
However, the jogger had quickly realised that something was wrong. When he had approached to take a closer look, he had not been able to keep himself from shouting no matter how courageous he was.
It had been a dead body, a female wearing a grey suit. There had been no object of identification on the body. The corpse was already half rotted; one could tell from a single glance that it had already been dead for some time.
As a result, Yu Xia had received a summons early in the morning, having him head out straight from home. Jiu Shen, who had just been about to return home, had also been selected. With an expression of anguish, he had followed a few of his coworkers out.
There had been a reason they had been designated to go out there.
“Back. So exhausted.”
As Ah Liu was briefly mulling over today’s case, he looked up to see Jiu Shen drag his feet in through the door, slowly walking in like a living corpse. “How was the site?”
“There was so, so much garbage…” Jiu Shen answered with a pained expression. “Nearly all discarded waste. There was a crazy amount of it. We searched for half the day without finding anything. That place isn’t the first scene of the crime, but we still managed to retrieve some things back. There are still a few people that stayed behind to expand the search perimeters. I’ll have to go to Wu Tong’s side in a bit to grab the deceased’s clothing and analyse it…Why do so many people like to haphazardly toss their trash? Is properly discarding your garbage really that hard?”
By the time they had arrived, the site had already been sealed off with yellow tape. Of course, the media were already waiting there too.
Naturally, there was no need to go greet them or form friendships with them, so Jiu Shen resignedly put on his hat and gloves to start handling things. They had quickly discovered that, while the location had a large amount of trash, it was not the initial scene of the crime. Rather, it was very typical spot to dispose of a corpse.
Judging from the initial appearance of the maggots on the body and the state of rotting, it had likely been dead for around ten days. In addition, it had been chewed on by animals, plus the area had apparently had a bout of rain. As a result, the corpse’s condition was quite bad. The entire area was filled with the stench of garbage and rotting flesh.
“So it really is…?” Ah Liu took his friend’s camera and turned on the power to view the photos taken at the scene.
“It isn’t certain yet. But Boss and the others had pretty ugly expressions.” Jiu Shen sighed and pointed at his nape. “The same, two cuts.”
Ah Liu surfed to the close-ups of the body to see the familiar knife wounds, one on the nape and one straight across the front [of the neck]. While the rotting was quite severe, it was still very clear why the region had urgently reported this case to them.
“Prosecutor Li said Ah Si is still on vacation, moving homes, so he transferred it to Wu Tong, telling Wu Tong not to let Ah Si get involved.” Jiu Shen forcefully stretched out his limbs and said with a pained look, “He’s afraid they will go looking for Ah Si or Ah Yin again…Though I think it’s more like he’s afraid of Ah Si trying to provoke them again.”
Ah Liu kept his eyes locked onto the marking next to the wounds and frowned. “Do you think it’s really them?”
“Don’t know. I feel like there’s something weird about it. But we’ll know soon enough.” Jiu Shen took the camera that his friend passed back and bitterly contemplated whether he should go try to cram two hours of sleep in first or go work first…But he had already driven at night yesterday, and the next thing he had noticed was that he had been crouching alone in the analytical labs for the entire night. He had then gone back to work with the feeling of being about to die.
“Oh yeah, is Boss doing okay?”
“Oh…He seemed fine today.” Jiu Shen scratched his face and sighed, “There wasn’t anything wrong, but there’s probably quite a lot of pressure.”
Recently, Yu Xia was being targeted by the inspector’s office.
Previously, everyone had a tacit agreement to ignore Yu Xia’s fierce conduct over the many years. Even the bureau chief, after suffering countless stomach ulcers, had just rubbed his nose and taken it on. The inspector’s office had been the same. However, a new member had been transferred over recently, apparently because there had been an issue with his former units and had therefore used his connections to transfer over here to keep a low profile. Since arriving, he had acted unfavourably to Yu Xia.
Regarding this, the older brother Yu Tong, had simply stated that if this could allow his brother to curb himself a bit, that would be best. However, he was more afraid that his brother would go and fight the elders, and had asked everyone to help keep a watch.
The only thing worth rejoicing about was the fact that the other party was responsible for the administrative tasks of the inspector’s office, so there was a low chance of coming into contact with him.
“Boss wouldn’t go as far as to just quickly beat him up and then retire, right?” Ah Liu snorted in a dejected manner. He was really glad they were in the investigation department, although he also thought it was a pity that he wouldn’t be able to see someone hit the inspector.
Jiu Shen started praying for that inspector.
1. Yin and yang: yin is dark energy, yang is light energy. ↑