Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Working overtime on a rest day was naturally painful, and it was even more difficult for normal people’s biological clocks to overcome this pain.
When Xing Conglian got up in the morning, he could clearly hear all the electronic equipment of his little colleague next door beeping.
Rock music, electronic music, game soundtracks, and even the sound of sawing wood…
Why was there even sawing wood?
He walked out of the room in his slippers and was about to kick the door in when he saw another colleague standing in front of his room with his finger curled up and raised in the air, as if he was thinking about something.
“Are you going to knock on the door?” Xing Conglian asked.
“No, I haven’t knocked yet,” Lin Chen replied.
“I don’t think there’s any point in knocking.” Lin Chen pulled down his hand and answered back.
“Makes sense.” Xing Conglian glanced at his brand-new wooden door, looking it up and down, and felt that it wasn’t cost-effective to kick it open. The ringing inside the room was still blaring to kingdom come, but there didn’t seem to be any movement from the person inside.
“Well, it’s not my salary that’s getting deducted, right?” Xing Conglian said.
“So, breakfast?” Xing Conglian asked. He yawned and looked at Lin Chen, who was wearing neat clothes.
“Okay,” Lin Chen replied.
The so-called breakfast naturally meant going out to eat.
Even though the old streets and alleys in Yanjia Lane had been renovated, there were still many famous hole-in-the-wall places deep inside the alleyways, some of which had been passed down for several generations and were still bustling with people.
The morning was all clear blue skies.
After brushing his teeth and washing his face, Xing Conglian found that Lin Chen had already changed his shoes and was waiting for him at the door.
Lin Chen had good living habits. Perhaps this was because he used to be a dorm manager and had to routinely get up at six every day. When he had a task, he would get up early and analyze cases with Xing Conglian. If he had nothing to do, he would organize files. In short, Lin Chen didn’t like sleeping in.
Well, this was probably the natural life of a self-disciplined single dog.
“Where are we going today?”
Xing Conglian walked to the door and heard Lin Chen ask him as he stood under the eaves.
“It’s Consultant Lin that has more say in where to eat for breakfast,” he replied.
Thinking about what he thought earlier, Lin Chen’s taste had always been good. Although he usually had no requirements for lunch and dinner, he was frighteningly picky when it came to breakfast. He frowned and didn’t speak when he didn’t like the taste, so this made Xing Conglian afraid to choose a place to go for breakfast for them.
However, as a big fan of breakfast and a regular early riser, after Lin Chen had tried all the breakfast restaurants within two kilometers of Yanjia Lane, he no longer had to worry about where to go for breakfast as the person who led the way had already changed.
“Have something light?” Lin Chen asked as he walked.
“You decide. I’ll listen to you.”
“Okay. How about the bakery at the entrance on Lujia Alley?”
After walking a few steps, they passed by a gallery. Lin Chen nodded at the unruly painter who was squatting at the entrance brushing his teeth, then looked back at Xing Conglian and casually said, “Wang Chao likes their soymilk a lot.”
“Their soymilk does taste good, but why bring it to that kid?”
“Why else would we go so far?”
“I thought you wanted to take an early morning walk with me, Consultant Lin.”
“That’s indeed one of the reasons,” Lin Chen replied.
Although he was obviously teasing, upon hearing his answer, Xing Conglian suddenly felt his mood lighten.
Last night brought some spring rain, so the streets and alleys were clean and tidy. Even the river on the side was much clearer and bluer. This was a peaceful and comfortable life that didn’t make people feel bogged down by their lives.
“Are you really going to the mall to buy that toothbrush for that kid later?”
“Yes, is there a problem? After all, it’s true that I touched his belongings without his consent,” Lin Chen said.
“But why do you think he’s so obsessed over a toothbrush? Is this considered a fetish?”
“Not so much. It probably gives him a special sense of security, or it’s purely habitual.”
“No major issues?”
“Not that I can see for now.”
As they talked, they saw an old man in front of them leading a big yellow dog out for a walk. Most likely, it was a golden retriever mix, and it was old. It was lazily lying under a tree by the river, and they weren’t sure how the old man was going to drag it away from its spot.
Xing Conglian yawned and saw Lin Chen quicken his pace. After greeting the old man, he stretched out his hand and scratched the big yellow dog’s chin.
“Have you ever thought about what you’ll do after retirement?” Seeing Lin Chen squatting under the tree and happily petting the big yellow dog, Xing Conglian suddenly felt he wanted to ask him this question.
“Isn’t it more important for a person like me, whose life isn’t very good, to work hard to live until retirement?”
When Lin Chen answered him, his expression was calm, as if he wasn’t joking.
“Consultant Lin, I find you’re very pessimistic.”
It probably had something to do with the surrounding environment.
At that moment, under the willow tree, Xing Conglian listened to the sound of flowing water and the panting of the big yellow dog and looked at the calm and indifferent face of his friend and colleague underneath the rising sun. He suddenly wanted to ask him, ‘What happened that made you lose your sense of being alive and make you so pessimistic?’
Why do you still insist on living now?
However, that thought was fleeting, as Lin Chen had stood up and answered his question about “retirement”.
Lin Chen said, “In fact, I think that my current life is my ideal retirement life.”
“Even if you have to go through cases and cases every day?” Xing Conglian found it interesting, so he inquired further.
“Well, even if my heart desires world peace, there won’t be such a thing in the world.” While they were talking, they had already turned the corner, and the faint aroma of fritters filled the air. There were already many people lined up in the alley in front of them. Lin Chen squinted, as if he were smelling the fragrance, then said, “So the cases that should happen will always happen. The things that should be handled by me will be dealt with. Things that are bound by fate will happen whether you retire or not.”
Xing Conglian laughed. “Why are you still blaming fate?!”
“Because life is too hard. If you don’t blame fate, you can only blame yourself, but blaming yourself will make you more prone to developing psychological issues, so it’s better to blame fate.”
Psychologists always had strange and reasonable theories of self-adjustment. Xing Conglian nodded and moved two steps forward to accompany Lin Chen as the line shifted.
The line to the bakery looked long, but it moved quite fast. When it was their turn, Lin Chen paid twelve yuan familiarly. The owner of the bakery glanced at Lin Chen and asked, “The usual?”
Their conversation was familiar, and even the owner’s movements were even more familiar.
Xing Conglian suddenly remembered that sometimes when he didn’t get up in the morning, occasionally he would see the same configuration on the dining table after he washed up. Although sometimes Lin Chen would buy some other breakfasts, the proportion of these four items was the highest. It seemed that he was just using what Wang Chao wanted to eat as an excuse.
As he was thinking this, he saw Lin Chen sit down in the bakery with his meal.
With the bakery full of the smell of oil and fried dough, which was quite strong, not many people would sit inside the shop to eat. After all, how many people would find the leisure to sit in the shop and have a relaxing breakfast?
Except, of course, for those who had a special pursuit for breakfast.
Xing Conglian carried the bag with his breakfast and sat down opposite Lin Chen. He reluctantly inserted a straw into the soymilk container and lamented, “Consultant Lin, you really have a pursuit for breakfast.”
“Because having a good breakfast will make you feel good throughout the day.”
“This is an old saying. We young people generally don’t eat breakfast.”
Hearing what he said, Lin Chen paused, then looked at him with dark, bright eyes and asked, “Since Captain Xing thinks he’s young, why did he ask about retirement just now?”
When Xing Conglian heard this, he glanced at Lin Chen unexpectedly.
Lin Chen was quietly tearing open his fritter while remaining expressionless, as if he were just asking a casual question at random.
But his level of insight into the human heart was too high. If Xing Conglian wasn’t careful about his answer, he could be seen right through.
“I just want to exchange life views with Consultant Lin and promote friendship,” he said.
“What’s the result of the exchange?”
“Heh, I think it’s quite coincidental in how we think.”
“What do you think?”
“I also think that, presently, this is my ideal retirement life.”
Too bland of a retirement life could make people feel that there were no expectations. He certainly couldn’t get through the days with just reading, drinking tea, playing chess, and walking the dog every day.
Then it was a good choice to go to work and occasionally deal with social evils to realize the value of life.
At least that’s what Xing Conglian felt.
That day, he didn’t take Wang Chao with him to work. After all, he couldn’t always spoil his children. Everyone had to pay a price for their actions and take responsibility for them.
He felt that he really resonated with Lin Chen in this regard.
When Wang Chao arrived at the police station, it was almost 10 a.m.
Xing Conglian had just come out of drinking tea in the director’s office when he saw the kid rushing into the office, groping at the fingerprint scanning machine, and finally almost passing out with a desperate groan.
It seemed that after he left, Lin Chen really didn’t wake Wang Chao up.
Tsk, how cruel.
“Captain, you’re too much!”
Seeing him walk into the office with a teacup in hand, Wang Chao threw down his backpack and flew over, pulling on Xing Conglian’s collar as he scolded him. “Do you know how crowded 227 Road is in the morning? How clogged up Zhongshan Avenue gets? Why didn’t you call me!”
“Comrade Xiao Wang, you can’t blame me for this. After all, your boss has to support a family, so I have to punch in on time.”
“Is there any connection between having to punch in on time and not waking me up? Why didn’t you wake me up?!”
“Your logic is good.” Looking at the flushed face of Wang Chao, Xing Conglian felt his mood got better. He took a sip of his hot tea and said, “Your brother A’Chen and I agree that a growing boy like you needs more sleep.”
“My brother A’Chen wouldn’t join forces with you!” Wang Chao said and took out the already cold fritters and sesame balls from his backpack. “My brother A’Chen still left me breakfast on the table.”
“That’s because you just don’t know him too well…” Xing Conglian said as he patted the teenager’s head.
As Wang Chao cursed, he knocked away Xing Conglian’s hand. Two patrolling officers had just walked into the room, saw Wang Chao fuming over the punch-in machine, and instantly guessed what had happened.
“Comrade Xiao Wang is late again. You young people are so energetic.” One officer patted Wang Chao on the shoulder.
“Lao Geng, what you said is wrong. It should be said that young people just need more sleep. When you get older, you can’t sleep even if you want to!” The other officer echoed.
This made Wang Chao even angrier.
Xing Conglian greeted his two helpful colleagues with satisfaction and asked, “How is it today?”
“Nothing big. What can happen in our area? However, I think the CBD is having difficulties.”
Thinking about Ansheng International Mall made Xing Conglian uneasy. He frowned and asked, “How difficult?”
“Isn’t there some kind of celebrity fan meeting at their opening ceremony? It’s said that the flow of people far exceeds expectations…”
“How could it exceed expectations? Isn’t the number of people in each gathering estimated in advance and then approved?”
“I don’t know about that. I was just listening to part of it in the car, as if they were asking for support, but for the time being they haven’t requested anything from us.”
Xing Conglian suddenly had a bad premonition. He turned around and was standing in front of Wang Chao, who had just punched in, and saw that his face had turned from red to blue.
Seeing Wang Chao’s reaction, he roughly knew, but he still held on to some sense of hope and asked, “When you went out, did you go with Lin Chen?”
“I, A’Chen…” Wang Chao started stammering.
“Speak slowly. Think clearly, then say it.”
“A’Chen and I went out together. He said he was going to buy me a toothbrush. I went out at a quarter past nine. Now it’s 9:50. It takes 20 minutes to walk from our house to Ansheng International Mall. A’Chen might be at the mall by now.” Wang Chao asked nervously, “Nothing bad will happen, right Captain?!”
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>