digging around in the trash bin I couldn’t say for sure that you’d find it.
That piece of wood, couldn’t I just pay some money to make up for it?”


Ji Mingrui cursed to himself.


The clock read past eleven.


Outside, the rain was still coming down.


The man in the cargo saw that he’d gained some footing, and his eyes flitted around in thought, “Is there anything else? Since we’ve finished discussing this, can you let me go?”


For a moment, nobody knew what to say.


Just as they had reached a deadlock, a voice drifted over and broke the silence, “It’s been raining for two days straight.”


Everyone heard the voice and looked over towards it, and saw Chi Qing talking as he sat up on the sofa.
Because there were incandescent lights overheard, he lifted a hand to half-block his eyes, pausing for a moment before continuing, “You went out to buy some things, but no silt has seeped into your shoes.
If I were you, I wouldn’t have used such a flimsy excuse.”


He actually hadn't fallen asleep just then, it was too loud inside the office.
In his half-asleep half-awake state he pretty much heard the details of this neighborhood dispute.


The man in the cargo subconsciously withdrew backwards a few steps.


He hadn’t really gone out.


Like a clap of thunder, this sentence jumped simultaneously into everybody's mind.


Ji Mingrui was stupefied, “If he didn’t go out, then the item must be at his house.”


Chi Qing stood up, looking like he hadn’t fully woken up.
With his eyes half-open, he gave off the feeling that he was losing patience.


He stretched a hand out into the air and pointed at the evidence bag, “Can I see it.”


Everyone immediately noticed the black glove on his hand—the cellphone was the type with a touchscreen, and because he needed to ‘slide to unlock,’ Chi Qing had nonchalantly taken off his right glove before taking the phone.
It exposed a hand which seemed to not have seen the sun for many years, and which could be called deathly pale.
His fingers were delicate and long, the skin so white you could almost see the faint blue of the veins residing below the surface.


The time during which that hand held the phone was not more than ten seconds; he very quickly put it down.


What captured people’s attention was not only that hand.
Other than Ji Mingrui, who had seen Chi Qing’s face for many years and already registered it as a non-occurrence, it was difficult for everyone else to digest the force of that face’s gaze.


The female office who was very close to Chi Qing suddenly snapped out of her stupor and realized she had already been staring blankly at him for quite a while, and with the late realization her face burned red.


His was an extremely beautiful face, but one that also revealed a hint of dispirit.
Maybe it was because the hair over his forehead was overly long, or maybe it was because his skin was too white, but his lips looked like they were coated in blood.
Although the man’s features were beautiful, it was just that he had a fed-up expression, and that his body carried an extravagant air of dejection.


It seemed like Chi Qing was accustomed to this type of scrutiny, and he only threw out a few words, “Rather than asking him where he hid it, it’d be better to call his son over for questioning.”


Ji Mingrui was stupefied, His son?


Why are you bringing up his son?


What does this have to do with his son?


Hold on, how did Chi Qing know he had a son?


But after his son was brought up, the man started to become agitated.
It was different from the agitation due to endless pestering from earlier.
This time his eyes opened wide, he stood up with a ‘scrape,’ posturing like he was going to steal back the phone, “If you guys wanna interrogate me that’s fine, but what are you bringing up my son for!”


Ji Mingrui raised an eyebrow, realizing that things weren’t quite right, “Sit down!”


“My son has nothing to do with this!”


When the man in the cargo grabbed the phone, in a moment of desperation he bumped into the hand Chi Qing hadn’t yet fully retracted.


At the exact instant they made contact, Chi Qing’s ears were filled with another layer of sound.
This layer of sound seemed to be separated by a film, and was transmitted into his ears with a bit of distortion.
It was like two of the man in the cargo were talking in his ears at the same time, but the distorted words and what was coming out of his mouth were completely opposite to each other:


[I can’t let them know that my son stole the stuff.
If anyone finds out about this, how would they look at my xiao-Kang? His neighbors and classmates would all make comments about him……]


(t/n: 小(xiao3)/xiao – a term of endearment added before names, literally meaning ‘small’ or ‘little.’)


In the end he still wasn’t able to snatch the phone.
Ji Mingrui got control of the phone, and unlocked it again according to the sequence Chi Qing had used to open it before.


In the browser app, the web searches from within the month were displayed, and they were all the titles of some children’s donghua.
In the phone records, the past six months barely had anything in the call history.
The phone completely lacked the traces of life and work communications.
As for the photo album, there weren’t too many pictures.
For the most part, they were all old pictures from the past, with very few new pictures.
However, the most recent picture was taken just today.
It was a black and white image of something flashing by, extremely unclear, seeming like it was taken by mistake.


—This is an exchanged old cell phone, the man obviously wasn’t using it anymore.


Then who was using it?


“In a general situation, how would someone handle exchanging an old phone?” Ji Mingrui seemed like he was asking a question, but actually he gave himself the answer, “They might give it to someone else in their family to use.
If this family has a kid—most people would give it to their kid to play with.
Do you want to return the item to Wang-a’po yourself, or do you want us to personally go find your son and ask?”


The man lowered his head, knowing the matter could no longer be concealed.


As Ji Mingrui was continuing to inquire after the details and particulars, the female officer at his side pointed to the glass door, “Your friend left.”


Ji Mingrui only took a brief glance, “He went to wash his hands.”


The female officer, “Huh?”


Ji Mingrui was extremely familiar with Chi Qing’s “eccentric” terrible ailment.
As he lowered his head and notated the case details on paper, he spoke, “He’s…very mysophobic.
Being touched by someone will make him have to wash his hands three times.
Did you not see how he was always wearing gloves since coming in here a minute ago?”


“How severe is the mysophobia?”


“It’s more than severe,” Ji Mingrui stopped writing, using the tip of his pen to point at the trashcan, “Around the time I met him in high school, I wanted to help him take out the trash, and I carelessly bumped his hand.
He immediately took the trash can and poured it over my head.
I almost failed at becoming his friend, the mysophobia is that terrible.”


“If you two are so close, then it can’t still be that way right?” the female officer thought the eccentricity was very interesting, and spoke with a smile.


Ji Mingrui, “I’ve asked him that too, he said that in order to give respect to a friend, he’d tolerate it for three seconds, and when he couldn’t tolerate it anymore, I’d get the can again.”


“Did he also go to the police academy? Where’s he working now?”


The female officer asked the question everyone had wanted to ask earlier.


“Nah, he studied film, completely unrelated,” Ji Mingrui knew where her surprise was coming from, “It’s a pity, but that friend of mine really didn’t throw himself into police work—don’t you think he’s amazing? It’s practically like he has mind reading powers.”


The female officer nodded her head.


“……Before when we were still in school he was like that too.
It’s like he always knows what other people are thinking,” Ji Mingrui gestured with his hands again after he finished speaking, “That’s a joke.
How could there really be something in this world like mind reading powers—”


At the end of the hallway, in the bathroom.


Chi Qing stood in front of the mirror, his hands dripping with water, drenching his fingers just as if they had no warmth.


He silently looked face to face with the him in the mirror.


By means of the surface, the same scene re-appeared across from him in the mirror, reflecting into an image, the world seeming as if it was being split into two.


Only he himself knew, in the instant just earlier what he heard really wasn’t a hallucination.
The distorted sound really did crawl slowly upwards from the depths of that mind, slyly muttering: [I can’t let them know that my son stole the stuff……]


Chi Qing lowered his eyes, finally wiping his hands dry as if nothing had happened.




木瓜黄’s author’s note:

I said something wasn’t right! Before I fell asleep I suddenly realized I forgot the author’s note!

Brothers, you’ve waited for a long time.

This book is a new challenge, will I put in a great effort??(??ω??)??

Translator notes:

This is my first time translating a full novel, so please be nice about any mistakes ^^;

I just finished this book a few weeks ago, and it’s one of my favorites! I thought it was a shame the English speaking fandom couldn’t read it, since it hadn’t been fully translated yet! I saw that Sleepy Translations had done the first 3 chapters, but since they hadn’t updated in ~4 months I thought it would be okay to pick it up.
I decided to start from the beginning because I think it’s easier, and also because I don’t want to poach anybody’s work.
Like I said, I haven’t done a translation before, so do let me know if I’ve made a misstep with etiquette!


I think I’ll make a character guide eventually, but for now here are the main characters who have been introduced so far, because it seems like lots of people like to see name meanings in other books 🙂


Chi Qing (池青, chi2 qing1):

池 – a surname meaning ‘a pool (of water)’ or ‘a pond’

青 – most commonly used to mean ‘green’ or ‘blue,’ it can also mean ‘youth/young’ and sometimes ‘dark/black’


Ji Mingrui (季鸣锐, ji4 ming2rui4):

季 – a surname meaning ‘season (of the year)’

鸣 – used to describe various sounds (such as the chirping of birds and other animal calls, the sound of thunder), or to voice/express one’s feelings

锐 – meaning ‘sharp,’ ‘keen,’ ‘quick,’ ‘acute’…

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