I almost forgot to post this chapter because I got too absorbed in binge-reading the second volume of S3 (just released yesterday) and it was so amazing! A new character joined Yu Yin’s gang and the group dynamics were perfect. The case in that volume was a bit darker than I had expected though. Of course, there were new mysteries hinted so I am eagerly awaiting for the next volume to be released~ I posted some art from the book in my Discord server, if you want to check that out.
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
The wind was blowing.
No matter how thick his clothing or jacket was, it could not block the icy pain that seemed to penetrate through the bone.
He looked down at the unending stream of chilling light below that glinted like a blade as the cars and people moved back and forth. This made it difficult to sense any trace of beauty and the allegedly gorgeous city nightscape was impossible to comprehend.
Those lights were nothing like hopes and dreams. Those were all wills that only made one feel cold.
Each one, every one.
In the end, these would corrupt even more people.
“Boss, did Ah Yin and the others go out?”
Yu Xia was halfway through checking the information in the hallway when he was suddenly called out. When he turned his head, he saw an old colleague smiling at him. “My daughter’s company is giving out group discounts. I remember your Ah Yin bought things from there before, so I figured I’d see if he wanted to order something together.”
However, he had the vague impression of hearing Yu Tong mention before that Yu Yin, Yu, and a few schoolmates were going out on a trip during the break, so he decided to ask first.
“They went out early this morning.” The three young ones had boarded a train just past seven this morning. Before the sun had even risen, they had been preparing breakfast. Yu Xia had just happened to return home at the time, so he had sent them off after.
“Is that so.”
After exchanging a few words, the other person went off to do work.
As Yu Xia headed out to report the tasks he had to do, he turned the corner and spotted Kai Lun waving at him from a distance. Kai Lun had just gotten back a few days ago. Apparently, his unit had uncovered an apartment with a private drug refinery that specialised in purifying cold medicine to make drugs. They had already sold quite a large amount, and Kai Lun had been fishing around for them for a while. As he had tracked them, he had captured a few buyers as well, so their final results hadn’t been bad.
Perhaps the convenience of the Internet was to blame, but these users seemed to be increasing more and more. Even students were deeply trapped inside.
“French fries?” Kai Lun lifted the bag in his hands and flashed a superficial smile. “My captain privately requested for me to ask what the hell you guys were doing to ask for so much information from us.”
“Even if you offered two servings of French fries instead, it would be useless. We can’t tell him yet.” Yu Xia naturally knew the other party was curious. He glanced at the paper bag but did not actually take it. “Also, you shouldn’t eat so much garbage food.”
Kai Lun shrugged and walked alongside Yu Xia. “What else can a single man do outside? It’s not like everyone has a big and small chef at home like you.”
“Buying food has nothing to do with having chefs.” It’s not like no one sells vegetables and fruits. It’s just a question of whether you want to eat them or not.
“It’s fine. We’re very active, so we can burn off the extra calories,” Kai Lun half-jokingly replied. Then he casually added, “I’m young anyways, so I’m still very capable of burning it off.”
“By the way, I really did find something regarding the matter you asked for help with. No wonder you had to do it behind-the-scenes…we’ll both have to be more careful.” They both stopped in their tracks upon reaching an empty stairwell. Kai Lun retracted his joking expression and seriously stated, “As a single person, I don’t have any family worries. Are you really alright on your end? If you want to pull another’s stakes, they have plenty of ways to make it impossible for you to stay a part of the police.”
“If that’s really the case, then I just won’t stay.” Yu Xia smirked. “I’ll retire, buy some land on a mountain and raise chickens or something.”
“It wouldn’t be bad if you could.” Kai Lun smiled as he leaned against the wall. “My brother said those kinds of words before too. If the ways of the world are no longer worthy of us throwing out lives for it, then just retire, plant a farm, and raise some chicken or ducks. Wake up at six, sleep at nine, and just live stably like that.”
However, they still had to continue.
Or else no one would do it.
“I salute your retired life.” Kai Lun stuffed the bag into the other’s hands and then waved before leaving the stairwell.
Yu Xia heard Kai Lun greet and joke with others passing by outside. Upon opening the bag of French fries, the rich smell of deep-fried food mixed with cheese wafted out. Yu Xia flipped out a box from inside the bag, something that was inedible.
With French fries in his mouth, Yu Xia withdrew a USB drive.
“The ocean! I see the ocean!”
He vaguely heard soft chattering come from the seats in front and behind him, then the rapid clicks of photos being taken. The noises were mixed together with the sound of the train moving. It was not particularly grating, but to the ears of someone that wanted to get some proper rest, it was an annoying racket nonetheless.
Noticing his movement, the person sitting across apologetically asked in a low voice, “Did we wake you?”
The air was freezing. Even inside the train carriage, one could feel the chilling temperature. Upon discovering this problem earlier, the girl sitting next to him had pulled out a coat out of nowhere and forcibly wrapped him up with it before letting him sleep.
The train that had departed from Taichung would require some time to reach their destination. Every single one of them had woken up early to board the train, then nodded off on their own to make up sleep. It seemed that he was likely not the only one that hadn’t gotten proper sleep last night. The brothers sitting opposite him had just finished distributing their prepared breakfasts and then knocked out to join the line of those that had already fallen in battle. However, it seemed that they had woken up soon after for whatever reason.
He eyed the time. The ocean outside the window right now is probably the shore from entering Yilan.
As he was spacing out, a warm canned drink was directly pushed into his hands.
He lifted his head to see Yu’s blank face.
“This was just bought from the trolley. Hurry up and drink it while it’s still hot,” Yu Yin smiled from his seat.
“Yeah, or do you want to eat something else?” Li Lin Yue was playing with her phone as she quietly commented, “I have some snacks in my bag…”
“No need, thank you.” He accepted the drink and tactfully declined the girl’s good intentions.
“We have snacks in the back too. If you really want to eat them, don’t hold back.” Their other companions sitting behind them overheard their exchange and stuck their heads over.
Dong Feng politely refused all their kind offers, then nested himself back into the coat.
He should have actually been nesting in his own home right now, but for some reason, he was in this train…What exactly does this lot going on a trip have any damn thing to do with me? He was still wondering if his agreement that day had been because his brain had broken. That was the only way he could have done something so stupid.
This matter had started a month ago—
One month ago.
Dong Feng had for once come out to make the long trip over to the Yu residence after receiving Xiao Yu’s text. He flipped through the contract information in his hands with a frown. “Why are you going to the ocean in this kind of weather…You can basically just circle these clauses that have issues, then go clarify with the manufacturer. If the details aren’t properly indicated, you can easily end up suffering losses.”
“Hm? Really? Where are the issues…” Yu Yin stopped discussing the side topic and earnestly switched over to focus on the matter he had initially asked for help with.
His group had previously gotten in touch with several material manufacturers while creating their graduation exhibit. One or two of them had shown some interest in their product and their group would occasionally discuss some design ideas with the managers while using their service. As a result, they had recently gotten into more detailed discussions.
Actually, this was not rare. The teachers had asked about these manufacturers’ reputation in the industry, and had been happy to guide them towards discussing connections with these manufacturers. If it went smoothly, they could sell the rights to the products of their completed graduation exhibit. Thus, the manufacturers had provided an initial draft of the contract for their group members to review before deciding the subsequent collaboration process.
They had printed multiple copies of the contract for every person to bring home and research. Each of them would bring up their demands and opinions, then discuss the next step for the collaboration.
Because Yu Yin did not really understand these things, he could only force himself to ask Yu. Then, as Yu was also not very proficient in it, he could only expressionlessly text Dong Feng. The latter had arrived at their front door two hours later with a dark face.
“Actually, it would’ve been better if you had asked my senior, wouldn’t it?” Dong Feng, who had not even graduated, organised the papers after giving an overall explanation of the pros and cons. As he handed the papers back, he said, “This is what he’s skilled in; seeking him out would be more appropriate. Since I left school, many of the detailed clauses in legislature have changed. I’m not too certain about some; I’d have to go back and look through the differences over the past few years.” While they might be virtually the same, the slightest change could make a huge difference in this type of thing. It was ultimately safer to ask someone working in the field. After all, when he had decided to give up on all this long ago, he had stopped paying attention to these changes.
“Ah, it’s fine. The teachers said they would help us look it over again too. Thank you so much for your help.” Yu Yin had been ruthlessly treated for the entire afternoon, but he had learned quite a bit. He looked at Dong Feng with extreme gratitude and said, “Speaking of which, Li-dàgē and the others have been very busy recently. My dad and uncle are the same. I wonder what they’re busy with.”
With this mention, Dong Feng realised that Li Zi Hong really did seem to have appeared at his front door less recently. It seemed to have started not long after Jiu Shen’s incident.
After pondering for a moment, he could more or less guess what they were busy with based on their words and actions back then. However, he was a bit surprised that Yu Yin did not know of the matter. It looked to be influenced by his personal busy schedule with the graduation exhibit.
Yu, who had been silently sitting next to them the entire time, stood once they were done. As it was pretty late already, he walked into the kitchen to start preparing dinner for the three of them.
“Oh right, so do you want to go together with us?” Yu Yin opened his cellphone and pulled up the information as he sincerely invited, “Although it’s mostly schoolmates, there isn’t a particular restriction. Li Lin Yue and Ah Guan will bring some other friends, and they’ve already arranged the guesthouse. The reviews online are pretty good too.”
Actually, he had invited Yi Tai, Ah Fang, plus Xiao Hai as well. However, they had turned him down for some reason. According to Ah Fang’s words. Yi Tai had other business that he could not leave for the time being. Since Yi Tai had to stay, Ah Fang naturally would not go either. As for Xiao Hai, she stubbornly insisted on staying to visit her Mr. Cop.
Hence, the ones joining the trip were mostly the people that Li Lin Yue called “fair-weather friends”.
“…I heard that the last time those people arranged a guesthouse, a disaster occurred.” Dong Feng narrowed his eyes; he had recently started chatting with Jiu Shen via text once in a while.
While Jiu Shen was not super gossipy, they would still chat about trivial things. Excluding professional work-related discussions, their other common topics were related to Yu Yin’s group. As a result, Dong Feng had started to be more convinced that these people were so disaster-stricken that it could practically be described as visiting a harbinger of misfortune every weekend.
“Cough, cough, cough.” Yu Yin felt a bit embarrassed; he hadn’t imagined Dong Feng to have heard about that incident too. “It shouldn’t be that terrible!”
“In any case, I’m not going.”
Actually, Yu Yin had only wanted to try asking; he was not surprised by the rejection. Or rather, if the other had immediately agreed, he would have really been shocked…although as expected, he found it a bit regretful.
Originally, he had been thinking about how everyone could go out together during this rare vacation rather than staying in a stuffy home all day.
Feeling a bit let down, Yu Yin lifted his head and was abruptly met with Dong Feng’s eyes. The latter stared fixedly at him for some reason, then looked away with a click of the tongue.
Right as Yu Yin was about to say something, his cellphone suddenly rang next to him. After two or three rings, it immediately cut off.
“Again.” Yu Yin shrugged and grabbed his phone. As expected, there was no number displayed for the incoming call.
“What?” Dong Feng furrowed his brows when he saw that the other seemed very used to it.
“I’ve been getting these types of calls all the time recently. They always hang up after two or three rings. Sometimes when I answer, there’s no sound from the other end.”
“How long has it been going on for?”
“Nearly a month…Don’t worry, I’ve told Dad and Uncle and they’ve asked someone to help look into it. It’s just that the calls seem to come from public phones.” Yu Yin had naturally known from the start that this was not normal, and he had “reported it to the police” ages ago.
The officer acquaintance had told him that it could simply be a prank. They had previously dealt with a similar case and had ultimately found that that number’s owner had previously been harassed by an ex-girlfriend. The ex-girlfriend hadn’t known that the opposite party had changed numbers, which is why they had kept calling an unrelated person. Despite saying this, the police had said they would try their best to find who was behind the random calls.
“Mn.” Dong Feng nodded. Since it was already being handled, he couldn’t be bothered to say anything more.
Yu prepared a very simple dinner. He and Yu Yin each had two dishes and a soup, while Dong Feng was directly given mung bean porridge.
Perhaps it was because Yang De Cheng’s hard work had truly borne fruit – Dong Feng, who had originally eaten basically nothing, had recently started to eat some food. Sometimes, he would try to finish eating the small amounts of side dishes he was given, which touched and comforted the others. It felt similar to seeing the results of domesticating something after a long time.
As they continued discussing some clauses to take note of in the evening, Dong Feng simply stayed at the Yu household for the night.
What happened afterwards had likely started from that point.
At a bit past two in the night, Dong Feng was half-lying down on the bed and flipping through the materials that Jiu Shen had sent him. Just then, he had heard a faint noise downstairs. He immediately stood and quietly opened the door. Going off his memory, he avoided the furniture in the hallway and descended down the stairs in the dark.
It was the sound of something moving. He wasn’t sure why Yu Yin and Yu had not heard it…Probably already asleep. The noise was not loud. After reaching the first floor, he discovered that it was actually coming from outside, probably in the courtyard in front of the door. It sounds like the pots or junk…?
Dong Feng switched on the veranda light which instantly blinded him slightly. Dong Feng squinted and opened the inside lock once he got used to the brightness. Apparently, since a lot of things had happened at their residence in the past, they had changed out several locks, with one of them being an electronic lock. In order for Dong Feng to conveniently leave at night, Yu Yin had told him the code and the location of the spare key.
He pushed open the door. The motion-sensing light illuminated most of the courtyard in the darkness, but he did not see anything suspicious after scanning the area. To be more precise, the noise had stopped the moment the light had turned on. There was nothing where the pots were placed. The cold wind blew into his face, making him shiver and unconsciously hug his jacket tighter.
However, he was certain there had been movement just now.
Dong Feng studied the objects in the courtyard and compared it to his memories from seeing them earlier. A few inconspicuous, small pots in the corner had definitely shifted slightly.
…He obviously knew that incomprehensible things would sometimes occur here.
However, as this was not within his scope of understanding, he had no interest in caring about it.
Just as he was about to turn around and return into the house, Dong Feng was somewhat dumbfounded to discover that the door had at some point silently shut itself without him hearing anything despite standing right in front of it. He stared at the door with an indescribable feeling on annoyance. If that kind of thing was this rude whenever it visited, he seriously admired Yu Yin for dealing with them for so long.
Dong Feng hugged his arms and directly plopped down on the ice-cold step. The night air carried the faint scent of osmanthus flowers, with the same sweetness of the osmanthus jello that Yu had brought out that evening. While he did not particularly like sweets, he had to admit that the child’s handiwork was really amazing.
Just like how very long ago, every time he’d go visit, that person would also…
“…” It’s really easy to think of all kinds of things this late at night.
If those things existed after death and lingered in the world instead of leaving, why had he never sensed them once?
Some could apparently sense the lingering spirits staying by their side just as when they had been alive, and some could even see them. Yet he had not encountered them a single time. Even in his dreams, he would only relive past memories. There had been no farewells, nothing left behind for him. They had taken away everything when they had left so that there was no trace left to feel.
Sometimes, he just couldn’t understand; had everything really been because of him?
Once he started thinking like this, it was very difficult to stop. Despite his rational mind telling him that this was just his mind playing tricks on him, it was a struggle to break free from the cycle of negativity. Even if he knew everything, comprehended everything, he was unable to truly make himself forget these emotions completely.
As a result, living was extremely painful.
Dong Feng buried his head in his arms, hating himself for unearthing these memories again while blurrily nodding off with the cold wind as his pillow.
Amidst his daze, he seemed to hear a faint voice speaking.
He did not know how much time had passed when someone suddenly patted his shoulder and gently shook him awake.
“Why are you sleeping here?”
Yu Tong’s smile was illuminated by the motion-sensing light in the darkness. He then bent down to take off his warm jacket and cover Dong Feng with it. “Did you forget to bring a key?”
“…Why do you have surveillance on your own house?”
Yu Tong stared blankly for a moment, having not expected to hear this question. However, he helped the child up first and took out a key to open the door. “Let’s talk inside.”
Upon entering the house, Yu Tong carefully locked the door and switched on the living room light. Then he prepared hot cocoa for the both of them and they took a seat on the sofa one after another.
The sofa was meticulously maintained, clean without a trace of dirt. Even when Yu Tong was not home, Yu, who was similarly good at housework, would earnestly take on the job. That way, the house gave off a sense of relaxing comfort at any given moment.
At this point, Dong Feng was pretty much awake. He checked the time and saw that it was past three.
“I cannot tell you the actual situation. All I can say is that it’s a necessary action to ensure safety.” Yu Tong preserved his unchanging smile, knowing that the other party could surmise the reason. As a result, there was no need to come up with lies and he honestly stated, “You guys just have to continue on as usual. There isn’t any need to pay them much mind.”
“You mean my residence also has them?” Dong Feng frowned, reflexively feeling unhappy.
“It won’t be for too long.” Seeing that Dong Feng was upset, Yu Tong lightly coughed without denying it.
“But it won’t be too short either, right.” If he had known earlier, he wouldn’t have asked. While he could guess what the necessity was, it still felt unpleasant. Dong Feng clicked his tongue. “Forget it, just quickly deal with the situation, then quickly send those people away.”
“Of course.” Yu Tong looked down to confirm the time, then stood and patted the child’s shoulder. “Once you’re done drinking, go to bed and sleep. Don’t run back outside. It’s been very cold at night these days; it’s not good for the body. If you do want to go out, you should put on a proper jacket. Make sure to cherish yourself well.”
Seeing that Yu Tong was about to leave, likely having been called out midway, Dong Feng nodded. While undoing the jacket, he was stopped. Since he had witnessed how annoying these people were when they insisted on things, he simply continued wearing it and stood to see Yu Tong off at the front door. While Yu Tong was putting on shoes, he suddenly recalled another matter. “Oh right, have the surveillance people come inside before?”
“When Ah Yin and Xiao Yu weren’t home two days ago, we invited them inside to eat something. They haven’t since though. Why?” Yu Tong stood up and narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
“I’m likely just overthinking things…But since you have surveillance over the homes, what are you going to do when Yu Yin and the others go out on their trip?” If he added it all up, there were quite a few students going. Shouldn’t it be better not to run around at this kind of time? While Dong Feng did not know why Yu Tong had not told Yu Yin and Yu about this matter, he should have stopped them from wandering outside on the premise of safety.
“Leaving to another county might actually be a bit better. But there will be personnel following you guys, and I will have to trouble you to help keep an eye out.”
“…Did I say I was going?” Why ask me to keep an eye out?
“Although it is a bit discourteous of me, I feel that you will go.” Yu Tong’s smile was extremely gentle and friendly.
But for some reason, Dong Feng felt that this person’s acclaimed amiable smile looked very unpleasant. Moreover, it made him feel the strong urge to punch that face.
One month later, he boarded the pirate ship.
“Shh, Dong Feng seems to have fallen back asleep.”
Seeing that the person wrapped inside the coat had begun nodding off again, he looked at his female friend in front of him and placed a finger in front of his lips. That woman then used her cellphone to snap photos of Dong Feng’s sleeping face…How evil. Yu Yin had no idea why Dong Feng had come out like this for the first time, but he was quite happy about it.
Yu tugged at Yu Yin’s arm from the seat next to him.
Yu Yin lifted his head to spot a girl that Li Lin Yue had invited. She stood somewhat bashfully in the walkway, seemingly wanting to say something…He hadn’t imagined that Li Lin Yue would have invited the “excellent girl” that she had previously mentioned. Naturally, she had invited quite a few female friends, while the guys had brought along other companions too. In total, there were over twenty of them, and they did not necessarily know each other…Rather than calling it a trip with schoolmates, it was more like he had been set up to be dragged into a large-scale fellowship.
He knew that any activity organised by Li Lin Yue would have issues. No wonder she had said it would be fine to bring his younger brother and friends.
Yu Yin rolled his eyes at the evil woman sniggering at him, then politely turned towards the excellent girl. “Excuse me, is something the matter?”
“This is for your friend.” The girl bent over and smiled in embarrassment, then passed over a thermos to Yu Yin. “I poured some out to drink earlier, but I used a cup so he can feel free to drink. He seems like he doesn’t feel very well, so having some after he wakes up will probably help. This is pumpkin soup, so there shouldn’t be a problem drinking it on an empty stomach either.”
“Ah, thank you.” Yu Yin accepted the other’s goodwill and hurriedly thanked her. Having achieved her objective, the girl smiled and walked back to her seat in the back before continuing to flip through the book she had yet to finish. When Yu Yin turned his head back around, he spotted Li Lin Yue winking at home, and he nearly smashed the thermos down onto her head.
Yu, who was sitting next to the window, pushed him and took the thermos for temporary keeping.
Yu Yin was about to do something else to ignore his friend sitting opposite from him. However, they then heard a faint dispute come from the rear half of the carriage. Originally, they had been pretty quiet, but after a few sentences, their voices grew louder. It was not just to them either; the noise gradually began to disturb the other passengers, who all turned to watch what was going on.
“…How do you not have it? What if my kid wants it!”
“I deeply apologise, but the item you are requesting is not sold on this train…”
“Who’s your manager? If my child wants it now, what are you going to do! Your own advertisement said it was sold on the train, so you should be selling it to me right this instant!”
The intermittent shouts grew louder and louder, causing the passengers to start whispering amongst each other.
“What’s going on?”
Yu shifted his eyes away to see that Dong Feng had been woken by the noise too. Yu simply used sign language to explain to the other that a passenger was discontent that a staff could not materialise something to sell her.
“I’m going to sue you guys! How could the service be so terrible? And such rotten attitude too!” The woman noticed the growing number of gazes and the originally unhappy woman shouted more angrily. She fiercely pointed at the female staff that was repeatedly apologising and said, “Did you not get any training?! You don’t even know if the item a customer asks for is available. How do you plan on compensating for my psychological suffering—”
“Can we gang up on her?”
Ah Guan’s head lazily stuck up from behind them and sprawled on the back of their seat while gnawing on a dried cod strip. “She gives out a bad mood.”
“In that case, your trip destination will directly change to a police station.” Dong Feng clicked his tongue and said, “Just go and say this…”
Yu Yin nodded after hearing Dong Feng’s words and simply stood to approach the still hollering woman pulling on the staff’s arm. While she yelled at him saying it was none of his business, he quietly said something.
Then the woman glanced at the students that were standing and watching her. She angrily waved away the staff and plopped back down into her seat before muttering out curses to herself in extreme discontent.
After Yu Yin picked up the item the staff had dropped and returned it, he returned to his seat.
“What did you say that was so effective?” Li Lin Yue had watched the woman instantly put out her flames so she curiously leaned in towards Yu Yin—Before heading out, they had known not to disturb Dong Feng too much, and everyone had been very cooperative.
“Oh, just ‘my schoolmates were filming you just now and have already uploaded it onto YouTube’.” Yu Yin helplessly shook his head; the thought was quite hilarious.
“Hah!” Li Lin Yue did not hold herself back from laughing out loud. Then she lowered her voice and commented, “Actually, I really did upload it.” She had used her beautiful cellphone that was glued to her hand to film quite a bit. She had even posted it on her own social networks, and people had quickly started to respond.
“Aren’t you a bit too fast?” If you have that time, why not just directly stop it first. Yu Yin rolled his eyes at her.
“This is an era that stresses efficiency~” Li Lin Yue shrugged and closed her phone. “Loves to argue yet afraid of being filmed, huh.”
“Just drop it.” Yu Yin noticed that the woman was still staring in their direction, and he had no intention of creating a second dispute—their side was filled with irritable university students, especially with Ah Guan and his bros. Stirring up a fight would not be a good thing; after all, Ah Guan was particularly antagonistic against people of that age, likely due to his own family. Thus, it was better to just avoid it if possible.
“Give me a kiss then. You have to pay up to seal my lips~” Li Lin Yue placed her finger against her pink lips as she openly harassed Yu Yin.
Yu Yin shoved a magazine into her face and huffed, “Kiss your models instead!”
“Ehhh, so unfriendly. Xiao Yu is better after all, he’s adorable and able to cook well.” Li Line Yu took the magazine and feigned a sigh. But seeing that her friend really did ignore her, she could only rub her nose and do her own things.
Although the brief disturbance came to an end, Yu Yin felt like there was something else strange, though he did not know why. Then he unconsciously glanced back at the seat of the noisy woman.
And he spotted a hand.
A bloodless palm was pressed against the back of the woman’s chair.
In the blink of the eye, the palm suddenly vanished into thin air.
The woman seemed not to have noticed any kind of abnormality as she quietly coaxed the little boy sitting next to the aisle. He was around five or six years old, his lips pouted as though throwing a tantrum. The more the woman spoke in a low voice, the more the boy turned his head away, just short of covering his ears with his hands.
That palm then appeared right above the boy.
Yu Yin hurriedly shot onto his feet to stop it, but he was one step late. When the palm vanished from his vision, the boy suddenly let out a shrill shriek and proceeded to bawl so loudly that it startled awake all the passengers on the carriage. A few of the people deep in sleep had even jumped up in alarm.
“What’s wrong now?”
Dong Feng, who was feeling slightly murderous, stuck his head out from the coat to fiercely glare at the standing Yu Yin.
“…Don’t know what it is.” Yu Yin carefully scanned the carriage but did not see that hand again. He did not sense anything either; it was like everything had returned to normal. The only trouble was that the little boy was crying nonstop, and it was growing more intense as piercing screams accompanied it.
“Can you not toss out whatever it is that you don’t know?” Dong Feng was starting to lose it and he once again regretted the fact that he had not had anything better to do.
Yu Yin bitterly smiled and spotted Yu cover his ears before curling up with a poor complexion.
“Sigh, the next episode.” Li Lin Yue reluctantly whipped out her phone and wiped her camera to aim at the boy now rolling around on the floor, as well as the mother that was kneeling to pacify him.
A few passengers that could not take it any longer finally asked the staff to relocate the mother and son to another seat. Naturally, the mother had loudly protested extremely unhappily to such an arrangement, furiously rebuking the staff for how they treated their customers…until a large number of riders complained in annoyance to show her how she had angered everyone. Only then did she indignantly pick up her luggage to let the staff lead her and her child away.
Afterwards, the carriage returned its tranquil state.
Yu Yin figured that the incident had more or less drawn to a close and couldn’t be bothered to go looking for more trouble. He accepted the jacket that Yu passed over and, like the others, used the time to take a short nap.
Like this, the train flew straight towards their destination.
A brief moment later, they arrived at the final stop.
“My butt really hurts.” Ah Guan rubbed his butt as he got off the train to help carry the luggage of the girls behind him.
“A few hours counts as pretty quick. Who asked for your butt to be so weak?” A few boys sniggered while helping to grab the belongings, then called everyone to gather on the platform. “We’re going to get the rental car in a bit, then head over to the guesthouse to put down our luggage. After that, we can each go off on our own.”
Ah Guan specifically winked at Yu Yin and chuckled, “Do the little ones want to go out and play with us? There’s a bonito fish museum near the guesthouse.”
“Screw you,” Yu Yin kicked his troublemaking friend’s butt.
“You can come with us girls too. No need to always follow Ah Yin~” Li Lin Yue rubbed Yu’s head as she suggested this with a bright grin.
Yu Yin knew that there was a move that involved smashing two people’s heads together, and he really wanted to pull it on his terrible friends right now.
“Cough, in any case, let’s leave the station and head to the guesthouse first.” Li Lin Yue sensed the murderous aura in her friend’s eyes. As the organiser, she quickly turned to shout at the boys and girls fooling around together, “Guy, now is the time to show off your sturdy bodies; girls, now is the time to show off your delicate statures. We’re heading to the guesthouse!”
A few girls directly whacked Li Lin Yue.
“I’ll help you carry that,” Yu Yin reached out to grab Dong Feng’s luggage. Dong Feng’s face looked like he would explode at any second.
“No need…ah!” Right as Dong Feng was about to reject, the backpack that he had placed on the ground was swiftly whisked away by Yu. The latter put it on his shoulders and headed straight towards the exit without a backwards glance.
“Just keep up.” Yu Yin found the situation slightly amusing. He quickly caught up with Yu, who had already gotten far ahead.
Dong Feng saw the brothers discuss something together when they met up. Then Yu Yin grabbed the luggage and the two soon stepped out of the exit. Dong Feng could only wordlessly hold on to his jacket and stride swiftly after.
Before exiting, he clearly sensed someone looking in their direction. When he turned his head, he saw some passengers that had similarly just alighted the train, as well as some people having their tickets stamped. However, he did not spot anyone watching them and after some thought, figured it was probably the people that Yu Tong’s side had sent over…What a tough job, they’ll have to follow for quite a few days.
He shifted his gaze back and followed after the crowd of university students.
“Did Ah Yin’s group arrive without a hitch?”
When Yu Xia pushed open the door to enter the office, he was just in time to see his brother lowering his phone.
“They just arrived and are heading to the guesthouse now.” His son’s end of the line had sounded quite lively, which made Yu Tong feel more at ease. “Since Dong Feng is with them, he should be able to help look after them the whole time. I gave him some emergency contact numbers that he hopefully won’t need to use.” While they believed that going further was relatively safer, they had set up various measures of protection nonetheless.
“Mn. The other residences have all been arranged as well.” He handed the materials in his hand to the second person that had already been in the office. “Yours too. Anything else in particular you need help with?”
Ye Huan En accepted the printed papers and skimmed through them. Then he half-jokingly commented, “Just the cat and dog, I guess. But I’m sure they have the ability to protect themselves.” His cat had recently been bringing back strange prey from hunting. The neighbours had praised the cat for being able to catch mice—though it would have been better if the mice had not been placed in front of his door and the dog cage.
Sometimes, he really felt that the cat looked at him and the dog as though it was looking at trash…
“The person that wants to kill you might end up have a layer of skin clawed off by the cat before they can even reach you.” Yu Xia knew Chicken Jerky’s ferocity well. That cat now treated their place as its own home, like it had become the cat’s second villa. Every time it came over, it would shoot supercilious looks at them from high places.
“…Speaking of which, does that mean the wound on Officer Yu’s arm wasn’t my imagination after all?” When Ye Huan En had made a trip to his own bureau not long ago, he had spotted a few familiar-looking scratches under Yu Xia’s rolled-up sleeves while retrieving the cat and dog a few days later. He had wanted to ask, but had not dared to bring it up; he had the feeling that speaking up would cause something terrifying to happen.
“I told Xia not to fight with the cat.” In short, Yu Tong had seen his younger brother fight with the cat because of a trivial reason. He had honestly been unsure whether or not to call it out as a shameful action for someone their age to hold grudges against a small animal.
The cat had merely eaten Yu Xia’s lunch.
“Pets must be disciplined!” It had opened his backpack to steal the lunchbox and then removed the lid as well. Yu Xia did not at all think this was a trivial matter; it was clearly the act of a thief. How can the cat be let off from training just because of its young age! Any older and it will become a demon!
As the owner, Ye Huan En instantly felt apologetic. The cat had been raised by him, and he really had not taught it much. The only comfort was that the cat was potty-trained and liked cleanliness, to the point where it would make sure the dog went to the bathroom properly too.
“Let’s talk about work first.” Yu Tong lightly coughed and brought them back to the original topic. “Did you thoroughly look into the planned matter when you went back this time?” On the outside, Ye Huan En had gone back north to assign some issues related to previous missions. In reality, he had returned to investigate some suspicious points and work with his unit there to eliminate the points.
“There are some that I’m waiting responses for.” Ye Huan En had reached out to his own junior during this trip…That junior was like them, a member responsible for this case. Their unit and the prosecutor related to the case had been warned. Not long ago, they had received identical letters containing photos of their individual family members and residences. As a result, some had withdrawn, and the remaining had gotten bodyguards dispatched temporarily similar to the situation here.
Yu Tong and the others had received the same letter. When they had gone to find Yan Si, they had found the latter folding the photos of his house into paper airplanes to randomly throw around.
That night he had talked to Dong Feng, he had asked if the other had received it as well. However, the boy had replied no, though there was no knowing if this true or if those in the dark were only targeting the police. In any case, it was a good thing if it was true. On the other hand…
Because of various pressures, Li Zi Hong’s end was trying their best to figure out a way to deal with these matters. They needed to come up with multiple different methods and divide up their time to attack each small base from their intel so as to not leave any traces. At most, the people would just think they were being seized due to reports of disputes, drugs trafficking, communal gambling, etc. As planned, some branches had included people that lobbied for their release, allowing them to continue following the line and catching the fish.
Everything they had observed up until now had been within their plans.
Hopefully they could last until the major breakthrough.
Ye Huan En placed the papers into the shredder next to him and pressed the activation button. “That’s it for now then. I’ll notify you two when I receive news.”
When Yu Xia left the office and turned into the corridor to deal with other matters, he spotted Xiao Wu float out from a corner with a gloomy face.
“Go do your work, don’t slack off.” Yu Xia quickly strode forwards. He had requested to kick Xiao Wu over to another unit a month ago.
“I don’t have any more work…a colleague that joined at the same time as me said I finished too quickly and that I cannot surpass his progress.” Xiao Wu increased his pace to follow behind the other. He still could not comprehend why he had suddenly been tossed out to transfer elsewhere. The cases he had been on originally had been handed over, and he was even forbidden from seeking others out to discuss them.
“Then go report that colleague for slacking off.” Accusing someone of finishing too quickly?! Yu Xia mentally noted this matter; when he was free, he would go and see which colleague was that bold.
“Eh, please forget what I just said.” Xiao Wu wiped away his cold sweat with the feeling that he had just doomed his colleague. “Boss, if it’s related to those photos from before…”
“Shut up! Go do work!”
Yu Xia spat out these words and turned to enter the elevator, kicking the other out when he tried to follow inside. Then Yu Xia sternly warned, “Just do your current work properly. Don’t meddle too much.”
Xiao Wu was not given any chance to speak as he watched the elevator doors close. He contemplated whether to run down the stairs and continue protesting, but based on Yu Xia’s personality, he would just be pounded into the wall. For now, Xiao Wu could only drop the subject as he had before.
Actually, he knew – if it really was the recent matters, Yu Xia had definitely kicked him out with good intentions. It was obvious just based on their current group members, which comprised of only fixed members…It’s not like adding a new member would do anything. I would be very hard-working too…Sob…That’s bullying the newbies…
Moreover, doing other things would not be any safer.
If Ye Huan En – who had newly joined around the same time as he had – could join in, why had he been kicked out alone? So unfair!
But, hmph, I’ve been running behind them for long enough, so I already know how Yu Xia does things and what channels he uses. If he won’t let me join, I have my own methods.
In any case, he had previously read quite a few related materials. It was not like these people were the only ones that knew about these things.
“I refuse to be abandoned!”