Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
“In the end, you were sent to the hospital by him?” Su Fengzi laid on the hospital bed and yawned as he asked Lin Chen. Lin Chen felt as if Su Fengzi was about to roll his eyes to express his disdain.
Looking at his friend, who was injured and had to stay overnight, Lin Chen avoided his gaze at the injured hand.
Just a moment ago, after finishing his ideological education on Jiang Chao, Xing Conglian ordered Jiang Chao’s officers to take him to the hospital in order to have his hand re-examined. It seemed that Xing Conglian didn’t believe the excuse about the orthopedic professor.
While Lin Chen went, Xing Conglian and Wang Chao stayed behind at the scene to deal with the follow-ups.
“In other words, just because the live broadcast screen lit up again, you have been making a fuss all this time and now just came to the hospital to visit me?” Su Fengzi was clearly dissatisfied, as he said this in an aggravated tone.
“Your injuries aren’t even a big deal. Do you have to be so plaintive?” Lin Chen looked up at the clock on the wall. It was only past nine. Ignoring the time he spent with Xing Conglian, there was still an hour left before visitation ended.
“How can you say it’s not a big deal. If you don’t come, who will peel apples for me?” Su Fengzi crossed his long legs and pressed the remote control in his hand. He changed the channel and then put the remote control down again, then took an apple from the bedside table and handed it to Lin Chen. “You weren’t like this before.”
Lin Chen wasn’t sure if it was because of his injuries or because he came late, but Su Fengzi was full of resentment right now. As he spoke, he sadly raised his right hand, wrapped in gauze, to show his “work injury”.
Lin Chen tugged at the corner of his mouth, glanced at the plaster on Su Fengzi’s hand, and then stuffed the apple back into the fruit basket. “Of course, you know, I have already moved on.”
Su Fengzi didn’t expect this kind of response and was silent for a moment, then said, “Mr. Lin, honestly, don’t you think that’s a bit shameless?”
“And you’re too unfeeling for me.”
“The cabbage I worked so hard to raise has been crushed by pigs*.”
*Refers to a good thing ruined. || Basically, he’s saying Lin Chen (the good thing) is ruined (because he’s fallen in love with a pig (Xing Conglian)).
“The water’s been poured out by married children*.”
*Metaphor refers to after a daughter gets married, she no longer has a relationship with her original family.
Lin Chen looked at the entertainment news being broadcast on TV as he replied casually.
It seemed to be news about a certain singer saying something inappropriate and angering some music fans. Lin Chen hadn’t seen this kind of entertainment gossip in a long time and occasionally found it very interesting. After the anchor finished talking about the key points of the debate between the fans of both sides, Lin Chen realized that the person lying in bed hadn’t spoken.
He turned his head and found that Su Fengzi was looking at him solemnly.
“You weren’t in this state after finishing a case before,” Su Fengzi said calmly.
“What state was I in before, and what state am I in now?” Lin Chen asked.
“You used to lock yourself up silently for many days and then lie to me, so I had to order food to be delivered to you. Now that you’ve moved on, when will you pay me back those meals?”
“In the past, there were too many things that couldn’t be figured out. What about now?” Lin Chen quietly changed the topic from the money owed for food.
But how could a person like Su Fengzi do what he wanted. “So, have you figured out anything about Huang Weiwei’s death?” Su Fengzi asked.
His gaze was rarely serious, as if someone had popped his balloon when he was happily playing with it in the playground or was walking down a street when he got splashed with cold water out of nowhere. Lin Chen lowered his eyes, staring at the snow-white floor tiles for about three seconds, and felt that cold water was stirring in his bones, giving him a chilling pain.
He clenched his fist with difficulty and took a deep breath. Unlike when facing Huang Ze, when he suddenly heard the mention of that name again, those fragmented images emerged one by one and replayed those remorseful moments in his head. He once again held the fleeting thought about turning back the clock and changing the past.
Of course, this was a delusion—a very, unhealthy, delusion.
Lin Chen discovered that he had to mobilize all his psychological adjustment knowledge before he could suppress those emotions again.
“Fengzi, I found that you have a very serious problem.” Lin Chen covered his eyes and tried to wrap up those pictures again.
“Are you trying to boast that I’m too understanding?”
“No, I mean, you really know which pot to close and which one to lift*.”
*(哪壶不开提哪壶) Metaphor referring to one should not talk about other people’s private shortcomings. You should know what should and shouldn’t be said.
“Didn’t your highly respected teacher teach you to forcibly suppress unpleasant memories without trying to solve them? Then it will always be there, and over time, it will cause you mental illness. At that time, it’ll be hard to return. Even the best psychiatrists won’t be able to cure you at that point,” Su Fengzi said solemnly.
“But how can I solve it?” Lin Chen asked rhetorically.
In this world or in life, there were always hurdles that couldn’t be overcome or problems that couldn’t be solved because they were too difficult, so what else could he do except bypass them?
“You never talked to your police officer about the kidnapping and murder case?”
“Because he never asked me.”
Su Fengzi sat up straight in disbelief and asked again, “Why?!”
“Why are you so gossipy?” Lin Chen asked with a frown.
“I heard that you ran into Huang Ze, right? Don’t you think Xing Conglian would find it strange the way Huang Ze treats you like a pervert? The way he torments you to get you to beg and plead? If he never asked about the case back then, there are only two possibilities. Either he’s incredibly tolerant or he doesn’t care about you at all…” Su Fengzi trailed off. His eyes flickered, as if there was something in them, and he ended with a smile. “I think you really have to work hard for this unrequited love.”
Lin Chen was speechless.
In the end, Su Fengzi was Su Fengzi; too keen and sharp. He probably wanted to say and ask those things just now when they first met again, but they encountered a difficult case, so he could only hold back for a few hours before he could gossip. It was no wonder he held such deep resentment.
“Actually, there’s a third possibility.” Lin Chen shook his head.
“Because secrets need to be exchanged with each other.” Lin Chen walked to the end of the bed, slowly adjusted Su Fengzi’s hospital bed, turned off the TV, pressed the patient, who wanted to struggle to sit up, down on the bed, and finally covered him with a thin blanket. “You don’t have to make it complicated. The reason he didn’t ask me is simple. Because he himself has too many secrets that can’t be told.”
Lin Chen sat down by the hospital bed again and dimmed the bedside lamp.
Thinking about that room keycard, those inexplicable cameras, and Wang Chao’s strange but gifted background, how could Xing Conglian be just an ordinary police officer?
But right now, he was really just an ordinary policeman, but there must be many stories behind him—many that weren’t told.
Of course, Lin Chen also wanted to know those stories, but telling them and listening to them required the right timing. Perhaps it was over a glass of wine, or maybe over a cup of tea, or maybe when they went out late at night and one person turned left while the other went right, but somehow, they still ended up meeting. Unfortunately, such an encounter had yet to come. It wasn’t the right time for them to meet yet, and it was possible that such a time would never occur in their lives.
If they couldn’t be honest with each other, then maintaining an appropriate distance from each other’s privacy was the minimum respect. At the very least, he thought this was what Xing Conglian was doing to him.
“It’s really not interesting seeing you guys like this.” It took a while before Su Fengzi replied.
“I think it’s quite interesting.”
“Where’s the fun?”
The interesting thing was that if he hadn’t reached such a moment, he could always fantasize about Xing Conglian. That was all.
“Tsk, you’ve really moved on. Are you going to pay me back for all the meals in college?” Su Fengzi rolled over and turned his back towards him.
“Why are you so philistine?” Lin Chen asked with a smile.
“I’m really sad. What’s so good about Xing Conglian?”
“Su Fengzi, how could you ask this when you write those novels for those little girls?”
“Then I’ll change the question. What’s wrong with Xing Conglian?”
Lin Chen thought for a while but said, “Well, he does have a strong desire for control.”
“Oh, a person with a strong desire for control must also possess quite strong abilities.”
Lin Chen took a bite out of the apple and found that it wasn’t surprising that this kind of thing came out of Su Fengzi’s mouth. “Well, it’s possible, but I haven’t yet experienced it.”
When Lin Chen walked out of the hospital, he couldn’t remember what he and Su Fengzi talked about in the dimly lit ward.
It was some boring conversation that could be written in any third-rate romance novel.
As the night wind blew, Lin Chen suddenly realized that Su Fengzi was probably using him as material, which was why he asked so many weird questions.
Xing Conglian’s Jeep was parked on the opposite side of the road. Across the long and empty road, Lin Chen saw him standing by his car, but he wasn’t smoking.
The night breeze brushed through his hair and clothes, blurring his face, but his figure stood out clearly.
Lin Chen walked towards him and suddenly wanted to know how his story would end if it were written in Su Fengzi’s book.
“How’s Su Fengzi?” After getting in the car, Xing Conglian’s first question was actually about Su Fengzi.
Lin Chen fastened his seatbelt and saw Wang Chao sleeping crookedly in the back seat while holding onto his laptop. He thought Xing Conglian was afraid that the atmosphere in the car would be too depressing, so he deliberately found a topic to chat about.
“Seems happy. A nurse bought him some apples, but he complained that no one peeled them for him.”
“Your friend is very interesting.” Xing Conglian lowered the car window a little. The night breeze made him a bit more awake. “How’s your hand?”
“I went to retake the x-rays. The doctor who showed me the x-rays looked at me blankly, as if there was nothing for him to do.” Lin Chen leaned back in his seat. It was close to midnight, and there was no one on the street. The entire city was calm, as if it was in a dream. He turned to look at Xing Conglian and said, “Fortunately, I didn’t take the medical report written by Professor Zhang. Otherwise, the physician would probably scold me to death.”
Xing Conglian laughed dumbfoundedly. “Consultant Lin, the organization is thinking about your health here. The bureau will reimburse you.”
Lin Chen chuckled and shook his head. “How’s Jiang Chao?”
“Probably fine, except for having to write a report for three days and nights.”
“Then the follow-up matters?”
“That’ll be handled by the Yongchuan police. We have to go home tomorrow.”
When he said the words “go home”, Xing Conglian happened to stop the car outside the hotel. They were facing a wide lake, and the cool lake breeze blew across the car.
Xing Conglian looked back at the teenager in the backseat, who was smacking his mouth, and asked with a smile, “What do you think about us leaving him here?”
He certainly meant it in an innocent way, but when those words reached Lin Chen’s ears, his heart couldn’t help but skip a beat.
Sure enough, he should talk less with Su Fengzi…
As Lin Chen was thinking this, he saw Xing Conglian suddenly open the door and get out of the car. He then walked around to his side and knocked on the window, smiled, then asked, “Consultant Lin, do you have time to get a drink together?”
Before Lin Chen could react, he saw Xing Conglian take out two cans of Yongchuan draft beer from his pockets, open them, and hand one over. “But it seems that only the two of us can drink it.”
The lake breeze was cool. Lin Chen held his beer can and gently touched it but didn’t respond.
In the distance, the lake was dark and quiet, with only scattered lights that dotted the shore.
It was late at night.
There weren’t many words exchanged.
“A good drink to accompany a nice view.”
“Yes, I think so too.”
“Can we still get breakfast near your school tomorrow and bring Wang Chao with us?”
“Yes, it would be nice if I could take you to another place tomorrow.”
Their small talk didn’t have any deep meaning. He didn’t know what was said or how much was said, but rather where it was said.
“Three Graves, is it really a non-existent organization?”
Suddenly, Lin Chen heard Xing Conglian ask this.
Lin Chen leaned on the bumper and shook the empty beer can. He looked to his side and met Xing Conglian’s eyes, which looked deep, as if they were profound.
There was a light, sweet smell of alcohol leaving his breath. Lin Chen couldn’t help but think what a clever man this person was. He raised his head and stared at Xing Conglian.
Under the dazzling starlight, he wanted to kiss him.
Well, the key word is yet. Lin Chen will learn soon what a man with strong abilities can really do.
This is it for arc 3. I’ve been told that the next arc is supposedly the best, so look forward to that. This marks the end of the anniversary release. I will be taking a break for the rest of this month, so releases will be extremely sporadic until at least January. Thank you everyone for your support, comments, Ko-fi donations, and help throughout the past year. Here’s hoping for more danmei in 2023. Wishing everyone an (early) happy holidays.
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