Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Yanjia Lane was long. It took about 1.5 kilometers to walk from one end to the other. Because the alley was so long and Hongjing was an old city, this alley almost became a bridge between classical and modern Hongjing. At one end of the alley was a quiet and ancient market, while at the other end was an upscale commercial district that looked like it was paved in gold.
While it may look artistic now, a year ago, Yanjia Lane was just an ordinary, dilapidated street. Later, it was remodeled and transformed into a literary arts town.
When he got to the door of his house, Xing Conglian said that he wanted to go inside and change first. It wasn’t good for him to go to the mall in his officer’s uniform. Lin Chen took Wang Chao to the shop opposite of the house to take shelter from the rain while they waited for him.
Opposite their home was an antique shop.
Lin Chen didn’t know when he had gotten used to the concept of “their home” or “our home”. In fact, Unit 3 on Yanjia Lane wasn’t his home. He was only a tenant who was temporarily living there and didn’t pay any rent, but it was strange that since the first day he moved in, he and Xing Conglian seemed to be on the same level and the matter of rent had never been mentioned.
Perhaps it was because they both felt strange about needing to pay each other.
Lin Chen stepped into the shop and lifted up the feng shui curtain hanging at the door of the antique store. A fragrance wafted from the shop.
Wang Chao was closing the umbrella when he smelled the slight fragrance. The teenager inhaled several times and then subconsciously licked his lips.
The owners were an old couple in their seventies. Rather than saying they sold antiques, it was more appropriate to say they rented the store so they could casually have something to do. Therefore, there was nothing in the shop except for a few pieces of porcelain and an antique cabinet.
The porcelain appeared to be very valuable, but it was possible that they were modern forgeries. Either way, Lin Chen couldn’t assess the value of those things.
Everything in the store, whether it was the antiques or the people, had a very casual feel to it, which was extremely suitable for being a neighbor to Xing Conglian.
Usually, people would gather toward their likeness.
Lin Chen put down the curtain and walked into the store.
The shopkeeper was an old man who was sitting cross-legged by the bamboo table and drinking tea. When he saw them enter, the old man greeted them happily, patted the side of the bamboo table, and shouted to Wang Chao, “Yo, Mr. Wang. Come to play some chess?”
“Not today. We’re just hiding from the rain for a bit before we head out to dinner.” Wang Chao sniffled and waved his hand at the old man. He then wandered around the store familiarly; first pretending to look at the porcelain for a while, then walking straight to the corner of the shop.
Under the window decorated with flowers, there was a small coal stove that had a pot of roasted meat and bamboo shoots bubbling from it.
The heat and smell were dense in the dusky rainy season, which could especially stir the stomach’s cravings.
The shopkeeper’s wife was sitting on a rocking chair by the fireside. The old lady was holding a fan in her hand as she gently fanned herself. When she saw Wang Chao enter the store, the corners of her mouth lifted and she was already smiling, but she pretended to close her eyes and kept fanning herself without speaking.
Wang Chao circled the window twice like a headless fly and then simply squatted down by the pot.
Seeing that he was focused on the pot, the old lady opened her eyes with satisfaction and asked, “Want to eat?”
However, Wang Chao didn’t answer her and instead looked back at Lin Chen.
The teenager’s eyes were full of longing, which gave Lin Chen the feeling as if he was taking out a cub to ask for snacks. He looked at the old man helplessly, picked up the tea that the old man had just poured for him from the table, took a sip, and then nodded helplessly.
After getting permission, Wang Chao hugged the old lady’s thigh and said affectionately, “Grandma Gao, I haven’t eaten lunch. I’m so hungry.”
“Go and get a bowl from the kitchen and help yourself!” The old woman happily patted Wang Chao on the head with her fan and sat up straight.
The next second felt like lightning had struck or a whirlwind had passed through. In short, Wang Chao ran out from the kitchen with a bowl in his arms and held it up as the old lady selected the best cut of meat for him and served him a large bowl. Seeing this made the old man’s heart ache.
Then, the teenager quickly ate the entire bowl of roasted meat and bamboo shoots with outstanding speed until there was nothing left in the bowl. At the end, he ran to the kitchen again and washed the bowl before Xing Conglian came.
Recalling that last time they managed to get a free meal from the shop, it probably succeeded because of Wang Chao’s ability to sell meng and being so thick-skinned to the point of being shameless. In short, although it was a bit embarrassing, Lin Chen was still thankful.
Lin Chen sighed, stood up from the bamboo mat, and bid goodbye to the shopkeeper.
“Thank you, Grandma Gao, Grandpa Gao. Your dishes are 10,000 times better than Auntie Zhou’s!”
As they left, the teenager blew a kiss to the old lady as he spoke.
“Then come back again and eat more next time! Grandma will save some for you!” The old lady was thoroughly coaxed as she looked at their backs with a grin from ear to ear.
When Xing Conglian came out, the rain was a bit lighter.
He changed into a long black windbreaker and wore a simple, smoky gray t-shirt. This was a common outfit, but it may be because Xing Conglian had gotten plenty of good sleep recently that he was in high spirits, or perhaps it was because he didn’t usually wear casual clothes that the sight was a bit amazing, since it was so rare.
Of course, Lin Chen thought to himself that it was also possible that it may just be himself who was in a good mood because he felt the man standing in front of the door holding an umbrella was particularly pleasing to the eyes.
With black trousers and low-cut leather boots, Lin Chen looked at him from head to toe and felt it was rare for him to have an inexplicable sense of vanity.
Wang Chao said in an impatient tone, “Captain, you’re just going to swipe your card. Do you need to dress like this?”
“What’s wrong with laozi dressing like this? Isn’t it just casual clothes?” Xing Conglian asked snidely as he brushed his hair.
“No, this outfit must be very expressive, right?!” Wang Chao leaned over and touched Xing Conglian’s windbreaker as he smacked his lips.
“Last year’s style. It was discounted, and I got it for only 500 yuan.”
“I don’t believe you!”
“Probably because of my good temperament?” Xing Conglian patted Wang Chao on the shoulder and said, “You can’t deny that there are people in this world who can wear ordinary clothes with high-end quality just because all you wear are ready-made children’s clothes, kid.”
“I’m 179! Children’s clothes, my ass!” Wang Chao retorted angrily.
Like a man whose pride had been bruised, Wang Chao handed Lin Chen the umbrella, then jumped on Xing Conglian’s back and forcibly looked through the collar of the windbreaker to find the label.
Xing Conglian arched his back. Despite his dissatisfaction, he continued to support the boy’s ass, fearful that the teenager would fall.
The next moment, the teenager screamed.
“Shit, it’s Golden Deer. Captain, how can this be? You’re too miserable.”
Wang Chao jumped down from Xing Conglian’s back and took two steps back, holding a look of disbelief as he pointed to Xing Conglian’s windbreaker. “Captain, why are you living in such misery? Is it because of the sharp drop in international crude oil recently? Precious metals had plummeted, so that’s why you’ve fallen to this point?!”
Xing Conglian didn’t bother to pay attention to him. He dusted off his windbreaker calmly and said cherishingly, “What’s wrong with Golden Deer? It’s a famous domestic brand. They have thousands of stores. You better be careful when touching it!”
Lin Chen couldn’t help but narrow his eyes as he looked at the two oily paw prints that had been left on Xing Conglian’s clothes.
Seeing that Wang Chao was still acting aggrieved, Lin Chen turned around and hid under the umbrella while shaking his head sadly, trying to stay as far away from Xing Conglian as possible.
“It’s too miserable. Too miserable. Later, I’ll pick up a new outfit for you. You can think of it as condolences for a single old man.”
Lin Chen was dragged by Wang Chao, who quickly hurried his steps. A short moment later, Xing Conglian’s angry shouts soon came from behind. “Wang Chao, did you put your handprint on laozi’s clothes?”
“It’s not me. Which eye did you see me doing it?”
Before he finished speaking, Xing Conglian had grabbed the back of Wang Chao’s neck violently.
He dragged the teenager out from under the umbrella without hesitation and pointed to the surveillance camera at the entrance of the small road that they had just passed. “Mr. Wang, please look carefully. What’s there? Please don’t quibble, alright?”
“Are you sure you can pull up the video?” Wang Chao glanced at the camera as he replied in disdain.
Thinking of the teenager’s uninhibited abilities, Xing Conglian glared at him. “Why are your hands and mouth so greasy?” He looked at the boy’s face as he suddenly pointed it out.
“I ate a bowl of roasted meat and dried bamboo shoots.”
“Grandma Gao gave it to me!”
“Grandma Gao from across our house?”
“Why didn’t you say so earlier?!” Xing Conglian felt heartbroken, wishing he could go back and eat a bowl.
“I deliberately didn’t tell you!”
Another burst of argument commenced. Lin Chen held the umbrella as he watched them continue fighting.
Although there was no one else on the old street in the evening but them, perhaps it was the sound of footsteps around him, or it might be that Wang Chao and Xing Conglian were being so noisy, but Lin Chen didn’t feel the slightest sense of loneliness or desolation.
How could he put it? It seemed that the cold, rainy season had become moist and gentle.
The only problem was that their original 10-minute trip would be much longer, but there was nothing wrong with that.
By the time they got to the other end of Yanjia Lane, it was completely dark.
Because of the darkness, the high-rise buildings and neon lights in the distance complemented each other, making people feel as if they had entered another world.
Wang Chao adjusted his cellphone navigation and showed Xing Conglian the location of the new shopping mall. Not long after, a shopping mall that had just opened appeared within their sights.
Although it had just opened, there were already many customers coming in and out of the new mall.
Inadvertently, Lin Chen looked up the name of the mall and was a little surprised.
If he had known previously that the new shopping mall Wang Chao wanted to go to was called “Ansheng International”, he would have probably tried to trick them into getting takeout rather than come here.
However, when he looked at the people beside him, it seemed that they didn’t know or care about it, and he was suddenly relieved.
Besides, it was just a meal, so why care who owned the mall?
Xing Conglian and Wang Chao, adhering to the good tradition of police officers who were not picky about their food, had no opinion on the selection of a restaurant based on review websites, so in the end, they settled for a Yunnan restaurant called Caiyunjian.
“Wow, wow! This phoenix looks awesome!”
Comrade Wang Chao flipped through the menu and occasionally would burst into a gush of excitement.
Lin Chen took the tea that Xing Conglian poured for him, took half a sip, and leaned over to look at the menu.
This restaurant seemed to be taking the route of specialty dishes. The pictures of each dish on the menu looked exotic and gorgeous. The plates were huge and decorated with exaggerated peacock heads, making them look more expensive than delicious.
Despite that, the price of each item was actually moderate, so it was no wonder the evaluation was fair.
Lin Chen took another sip of tea and suddenly heard the soft voice of the waitress at his side. “Since there are three people, I recommend you go with our special three-person set meal. Discounted, that would be 488 yen. If you add on dessert, it’ll only be 500 yen, and we’ll also add in two meet-and-greet tickets.”
“What kind of meet and greet tickets?” Wang Chao’s eyes suddenly lighted up.
“It’s front row seats for Mr. Li Jingtian’s fan meeting held tomorrow in the lobby of the first floor of our Ansheng International Mall…”
“Eh, Li Jingtian. Isn’t that the singer who had been badly scolded recently?”
When Wang Chao heard it wasn’t a beautiful girl group, he raised his head and replied with disappointment.
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One thought on “Criminal Psychology Ch90”
Thank you so much for translating this!!!!