Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 82: Incomplete
Around 4 a.m., Yin Ren surfaced and returned to his home in Ping’an Manor.
Before Yin Ren could open his eyes, there was a crisp sound in his ears.
Zhong Chengshuo was sitting a few steps away from the sofa. He moved a chair over, sat on it, and ate an apple with the book <The Art of Communication> on his lap.
After confirming Yin Ren had come back whole, Zhong Chengshuo ate the rest of the apple at a regular pace and stood up.
The early morning sky was a jewel-like indigo. The windows were hitched a little, and the curtains swayed gently to the wind. A faint light cast on Zhong Chengshuo’s face, which made him look like an exceptionally soft, solid ghost.
The air was filled with the aroma of fresh apples.
Zhong Chengshuo: “You’re back.”
“Why did you wake up so early?” After five days of isolation, Zhong Chengshuo’s biological clock should be back to normal.
“You took away your hair.” Zhong Chengshuo pointed to the tip of Yin Ren’s hair.
In other words, this guy woke up three hours ago and was sitting there this whole time?
Yin Ren didn’t know whether to be moved or frightened.
The living room fell silent for a while.
“Sunken Society can infiltrate the Archive, so I wanted to try a similar technique.” Half a minute passed, and Yin Ren couldn’t help but explain.
He had the ability to “enter dreams in the flesh”, and since his previous dream entry technique was successful, it didn’t cost him anything to try again. After trying out some transformation techniques, Yin Ren successfully returned to Guo Wei’s campus.
However, it was painful to practice controlling his Evil Force, and he didn’t want to tell Zhong Chengshuo about it.
The truth was, he thought it was easier to hide it…
“Just be safe.” Zhong Chengshuo moved the chair back to its original position without asking any questions. “Do you want an apple?”
“…Not for now.”
“Okay.” Zhong Chengshuo poured himself a cup of cold water and drank it slowly. “I’m going back to sleep. Today is Saturday. Let’s go to my parents’ place for dinner tonight.”
The subtext was to disclose their relationship, but Yin Ren felt there seemed to be something missing from the conversation.
“Nn.” Under the residual influence of pain, Yin Ren’s reaction slowed by a half a beat.
Zhong Chengshuo stopped his movements and turned back to Yin Ren. “Are you in a bad mood?”
“No. Go to bed.” Yin Ren stroked Zhong Chengshuo’s hair smoothly.
It was still that warm, soft, reassuring touch.
Zhong Chengshuo turned his head sideways, clasped Yin Ren’s hand for a moment, and then returned to his bedroom. His bedroom was well-shaded, and the door was half hidden, making him look as if he were sinking into a sea of shadows.
Yin Ren packed up the white paper and laid back on the sofa.
He stared at the familiar yet unfamiliar ceiling, unable to close his eyes for a while. Lord Ghost King wanted to take out Dog Thing, pull up Coffin Nails, and say a few words, but gave up after thinking about it.
What can he say?
First, he would spend half an hour explaining his relationship with Zhong Chengshuo, then melancholically spend three seconds asking, “Why didn’t he ask me where I went and what I did?”
It didn’t seem to be very cost-effective. A fierce ghost’s dictionary had no definition of “sincere friendship,” and he would only become gossip to a happy Hu Tao.
Yin Ren spread out his body on the sofa, separated some hair, and drilled into the refrigerator, chewing up some cold watermelon bite by bite. The sweetness was moist and refreshing, just right for dispelling that little worry about gains and losses.
Comrade Xiao Zhong was overly rational. He should adapt as soon as possible.
Just as Yin Ren was eating watermelon to brush away his feelings, the bedroom door opened quietly. The overly rational Zhong Chengshuo moved faintly in front of Yin Ren and spread out his hand.
Yin Ren: “?”
“Give me some hair,” Zhong Chengshuo said solemnly. “Heart training.”
Yin Ren’s mood instantly improved. He seriously put the tip of his hair in Zhong Chengshuo’s palm, and the daily atmosphere gave him a sense of support.
Zhong Chengshuo held the lock of hair sincerely, as if the two of them were performing some weird ceremony.
Yin Ren lay back on the sofa and stretched vigorously so that the tips of his toes were pointed straight.
The previous entanglement had long been forgotten as he closed his eyes happily and decided to sleep for a while.
Hearing that Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo were coming for dinner, the two Zhong elders once again cooked a large table of dishes.
The small dining table was overwhelmed with dishes. Yin Ren continued to sit quietly at the table, three to five times more nervous than on his first visit—at that time, he never imagined that after nearly two months, he and Zhong Chengshuo were now in a relationship.
Poor Yin Ren had lived for so long, yet the experience of visiting his lover’s parents was a perfect 0.
The fierce and earth-destroying Evil Spirit sat obediently at the table, but the aroma of the food failed to relax him. He and Zhong Chengshuo had been dating for a total of six days, five of which were when they were still in isolation, and Yin Ren was still trying to adjust his mindset.
This time, Zhong Chengshuo didn’t go to the kitchen to help. He sat down next to Yin Ren with a posture as if he was about to hold a press conference.
“Shian’s work must be tough. I haven’t heard from you two in the past week. How’s it going? Are you overworked?” Zhong Youde pretended not to notice his son’s abnormality as he wiped his face vigorously with a towel.
“Pay attention and take care of your body.” Cheng Xuehua’s sharp gaze swept across the two of them.
Finally, the last sweet and sour tenderloin was served. Zhong Youde happily opened a can of beer and sat down opposite Yin Ren.
“Xiao Yin, tell me, how has our Xiao Zhong been doing recently? Is there anything not going well at work?”
The performance was simply too good that there wasn’t a match who could seconded this.
“He has been working very seriously and performed very well.”
Yin Ren took a deep breath. For the first time, he felt that the words “uncle and auntie” were a bit hot to say.
“Our team was on a business trip, but the task wasn’t completed satisfactorily. It was mainly because of me…”
Zhong Youde took a sip of beer and let out a sigh of relief.
“Young man, it’s normal for something to go wrong. Don’t help cover for him if he’s responsible.”
Yin Ren smiled guiltily.
Technically speaking, they did have issues—a force went out of control and almost descended an Evil Spirit into the world. Another person saw the Evil Spirit’s original body and was later proven to be the culprit who drove the serial murderer mad.
In the end, they even joined hands to conceal this from Shian, pretending that nothing happened.
Who was responsible? That was really hard to count!
Seeing that Yin Ren didn’t answer, Cheng Xuehua smiled and changed the subject. “Okay, okay. The atmosphere is so gloomy right now that I thought there was some kind of accident.”
Yin Ren: “Actually…”
Zhong Chengshuo cleared his throat and cruelly interrupted Yin Ren’s paddling. “Mom, Dad, actually, Yin Ren and I are in love. Don’t arrange blind dates for me in the future.”
Zhong Youde almost spat out his mouthful of beer, and Cheng Xuehua’s smile froze on her face.
“What?” the two elders said at the same time.
“Yin Ren and I are officially dating.” With his fingers crossed, Zhong Chengshuo stated solemnly.
Cheng Xuehua narrowed her eyes. “Son, if you don’t want to continue the blind dates, just say it. Don’t pull Xiao Yin to do this.”
“Your mother is right. It’s not like we don’t know you.” Zhong Youde wiped the beer froth from his mouth.
“We are indeed dating,” Yin Ren confirmed nervously.
Cheng Xuehua and Zhong Youde: “……”
The expression on their faces was frozen. They slowly turned their heads and looked at each other for a few seconds.
“How great!” Zhong Youde coughed and patted his thigh. “Come Xiao Yin. Open a can of beer and let’s have a drink.”
“Very good, very good.” Cheng Xuehua maintained her smile. “Xiao Zhong, Xiao Yin is still sick, right? You have to treat him well, do you hear me?”
The chopsticks in Yin Ren’s hand sank for a moment.
He could see that the two elders weren’t completely happy compared to the last time they ate and chatted. There was a faint worry under the two elders’ smiles, which was well hidden by them.
But it didn’t seem to be due to dissatisfaction with him, but more like they were worried about something else.
Obviously, the last time they talked about this matter, there wasn’t any cover.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t ask about it in person—for the next two hours, he used almost all his ability to fool the two detectives to come up with a set of “normal heartbeat moments” under their sharp eyes.
By the time he left the room, Lord Ghost King’s head was numb.
After they left, the two elders didn’t immediately clean up the table.
Cheng Xuehua and Zhong Youde sat back in their seats and sighed at each other.
“It’s too fast,” Cheng Xuehua said. “It’s less than two months.”
“Yes, it’s too fast.”
Zhong Youde tried to pull the meat from the leftovers, but his wife cruelly pressed down his chopsticks.
“Watch your blood pressure. Eat less.” Cheng Xuehua scolded. “Our son has such a big incident, and you’re still thinking about eating.”
“What else can we do? You can’t beat lovebirds* with a stick.” Zhong Youde changed his posture and continued to pick at the meat. “Wife, I think you’re more worried about Xiao Yin.”
*Mandarin ducks. In traditional Chinese culture, they are believed to be lifelong couples, unlike other species of ducks. Hence they are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, and are frequently featured in Chinese art.
Cheng Xuehua tucked back her white hair behind her ears and looked at the night sky outside the window.
“Xiao Yin, I can tell that kid is fussy, and he’s mature enough to make trouble. I thought Xiao Zhong would spend more time with him and be able to learn more about life with him… but in just two months, they’re already dating?”
“It’s not that you don’t know our son’s situation. If you miss it, it’ll be doomed.”
“You can see it.”
Cheng Xuehua shook her head.
When Zhong Chengshuo wanted to apply to the police academy, she personally stopped him. Her adopted son may be suitable for many occupations, but in no way did that include being a police officer—a fact she knew early on.
After elementary school, Zhong Chengshuo was undoubtedly a standard “child from another family”.
Zhong Chengshuo’s exams were always neat and beautiful that he could be a model with perfect marks. He never got into fights or caused any trouble in class, preferring to read and study quietly. Coupled with his delicate appearance, he was quite popular with the teachers.
But his classmates didn’t like him—they wouldn’t bully Zhong Chengshuo, but deliberately avoided him, and Zhong Chengshuo didn’t care much about it. The teacher persuaded the children in private, but they themselves couldn’t explain why.
“He’s too strange.” They could only summarize.
“To be nitpicky, Zhong Chengshuo doesn’t really fit in.” The class teacher conveyed it like so. “He’s helpful to his classmates and isn’t the naturally withdrawn type… I don’t understand. Children like him are usually popular.”
As a criminal police officer who knew Zhong Chengshuo’s origin, Cheng Xuehua decided to take a good look at her son’s “friendship” approach.
She bought a goldfish for Zhong Chengshuo when he was still in elementary school.
It was bright red—a very beautiful goldfish that Cheng Xuehua still clearly remembered.
Zhong Chengshuo’s performance was flawless. He would change the water, feed the goldfish, and clean the fish tank on time. From time to time, he would lie next to the fish tank and look through the glass with his dark eyes that stretched into strange shapes.
The fish didn’t live long, and no one knew the specific cause of death, but there was surveillance installed in the living room. Cheng Xuehua was sure that Zhong Chengshuo hadn’t done anything he shouldn’t have done.
How great. “Friendship” wasn’t taught, but “death” had to be.
“I know it’s dead,” Zhong Chengshuo said. “Mom, what should I do with the corpse?”
“Aren’t you sad?”
Zhong Chengshuo raised his eyes and answered the question wrong. His eyes were clear, without any redness or tears. The body of the goldfish lay motionless in the palm of his hand.
“Can I throw it in the trash can?” He asked very seriously.
Since then, Cheng Xuehua had been paying attention to her son.
Whether facing classmates, teachers, kittens, or puppies, she had never seen anger, worry, or sadness in Zhong Chengshuo. Her son was smart and excellent, unlike his crazy parents, who despised life… but that was it.
There always seemed to be a little incompleteness in Zhong Chengshuo’s world.
“You’re not suitable for being a police officer.”
A few years later, facing Zhong Chengshuo, who had come to discuss the future, Cheng Xuehua told him categorically.
“In this line of work, if you can’t figure out human nature, you won’t do it well.”
She couldn’t imagine how a person who didn’t understand anger and sadness could understand murderous intent derived from love and hate. As she expected, Zhong Chengshuo simply threw away his intention, just like discarding that goldfish’s corpse.
At a teenage age, that was the most sensitive time, yet after receiving such an evaluation, Zhong Chengshuo was still calm.
Cheng Xuehua shook her head and stuffed the memory back into her heart. She gathered her chopsticks and stood up tremblingly.
“That child, Xiao Zhong, if he says he likes him, then that’s really true in his heart.” She didn’t hide the worry on her face. “Unfortunately…”
Unfortunately, Zhong Chengshuo hadn’t had time to change. Could he express his love as naturally as ordinary people?
“I hope our son will understand sooner and not miss out.” She sighed. “It’s rare for children to see eye to eye. Haa…”
At the same time, Shian Campus, the conference room of the Emergency Management Department.
“What do you think?”
Fu Xingchuan leaned on the back of his chair, balancing it on the hind legs of the chair, swaying his whole body around. Behind him, the information about Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo was displayed.
“I don’t have any special opinions.” Xiang Jiang lowered his eyes. “According to regulation, they really should go through the process.”
Li Nian nodded. “The degree of suspicion on these two people is too high to continue to be left alone.”
Hao Wenzhe wasn’t present, and instead a computer was in his place. The other members of the Emergency Management Department sat at the table, exchanging views in low voices from time to time.
There were so many coincidences and doubts about these two people that Shian couldn’t ignore them, and they could no longer be observed peacefully.
The Archive was the first test. Although their emotional readings weren’t maliciously related, the other suspicions couldn’t be ignored.
“That means no one has an opinion.”
Fu Xingchuan let out a long sigh.
“Very well, then the discussion now officially begins—next, we need to arrange a special assignment for Unit 9, ‘Enemy Premises Exploration Task’.”
“Hereinafter referred to as the ‘Execution Mission’.”
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