Prev Next

Chapter 4 Too Spicy

Chapter 4 Too Spicy   We all worked late that evening. Two young women’s suicides in such a short time had a big impact, and with Zhao Qi’s father being a government official in the city, both public opinion and pressure from our superiors didn’t allow us to take a break. Teng gave Haoran and I the organized files, and I started reading earnestly. First victim was Lin Xiao, she was 20 years old, an only child, outgoing, and good to friends. Her father was a real estate developer and her family was comfortable. She had many male friends but no boyfriend, and no other complicated relationships. The relationships she had at school were pretty straightforward. Her family didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary before her death, only her classmate mentioned she felt nauseous the night before, but it wasn’t serious. There wasn’t anything else weird going on. She had a crush on a male student by the name of Sun Tao, who was also in her class, and whom she asked about during the pen oracle game. Second victim was Zhao Qi, she was 20 years old, an only child, pretty, and a little aloof. Her father was a government official and her family was also comfortable. She had few male friends, and no complicated relationships at school; there were no signs of anything extraordinary before her death. Zhou Nan was also an only child. Both her parents worked at a clothing factory. Her home was in a more rural part of the city and her family wasn’t financially comfortable. She was easy-going and kind. After our earlier conversation, I found her not to be a risk-taker, and her statement didn’t seem to have any lies. After reading Li Ling’s file, however, I frowned. She was the third child in a family of four kids, with two older sisters and a younger brother. Both sisters were married, and she and her brother had only a two-year age gap. Her brother was a junior in high school, and she was working as well as going to college. Her good grades meant she had a scholarship, so she sent back any money she made to her younger brother. Which meant Ling had no money; she was never seen shopping or doing other fun things. She spent all time studying and working, and she had no friends other than her three roommates. It could be said that she had low self-esteem. After all, this college was an elite school, she wouldn’t have afforded to come here without her good grades. So the first three girls had more straight-forward backgrounds, and only Ling’s background was more complex. I started to think. Ling was from the countryside, and she needed to work to support her younger brother in high school. In today’s brutal world, she’d probably get a lot of discrimination, even on a college campus. It’d be normal for her to have low self-esteem, and the other three girls were kind and easy-going, who may have felt sympathy for her, and they got along well. Sympathy? I seemed to remember something with this word, but the idea disappeared so quickly before I could write it down.  “Tomorrow, let’s talk to Sun Tao, the guy Lin Xiao liked, and see what he says. And we need to talk to Xiao’s classmate, what was that nausea about? Li Ling and Zhou Nan need to be treated like suspects for now.” Haoran stretched, his face showing fatigue. Teng and I both nodded. Today is done. It’s almost midnight, so we packed up and got ready to leave. After we went downstairs, Haoran gave me a ride as usual. He didn’t live too far from me, so I rode with him instead of taking the subway or a taxi, since I didn’t know how to drive. My dad was a police officer as well. When I was 16-years-old, he and my mom were both killed in a car accident. I was in 10th grade at the time, and that was the end of my charmed life. I had heard some people say that it wasn’t an accident and had to do with a case my dad was investigating at the time. But I was younger then, and didn’t know many things. As I got older, I started to investigate, and realized how little I could do, which was why I wanted to be a police officer. When I become stronger, I’d find the people who killed my parents.  “Still thinking of the case?” Haoran looked at me. His voice helped me come back to the present. I took a deep breath. “What’s your theory?”  “I had contacted the ME earlier to see if there was anything overlooked. I’ll do more investigation at school tomorrow. Maybe there’ll be some progress. I think we should work more on the two girls who’re still alive.” As Haoran spoke, his eyes looked unfathomable. I nodded. That’s all we could do at this point, there wasn’t anything else critical. I felt that Li Ling was hiding something, but there’s nothing I could pinpoint. Every doubt could be explained, but it didn’t help my uneasiness. I looked outside the car and saw a street vendor selling spicy shabu-shabu. I almost drooled, remembering how I didn’t have dinner.  “Hungry?” Haoran’s voice sounded next to my ear. I sometimes admire him for noticing my every move even while driving. I didn’t want to make him wait, but as I tried to shake my head, my stomach grumbled. I lowered my head in embarrassment, the body didn’t lie. Haoran chuckled as he backed up the car and parked next to the vendor. “C’mon, you can’t say I mistreat you.” Since it was so late, the vendor was about to finish up for the day, right, who really ate spicy food this late? “One bowl of spicy shabu-shabu.” I greeted the vendor with a smile, my mood improving with the possibility of being fed. “Two bowls, one less spicy.” Haoran waved and reminded the vendor. I was surprised. “You eat this too? I thought you didn’t like spicy shabu-shabu.” He has seen me eat this before, although I still remember his gaze; it was as if he was shocked I could find something like this delicious. “You think no one else is hungry?” Haoran commented and sat down. None of us had dinner. Maybe he’s eating this since he has no choice. I smiled, “you’re in luck then, this food is amazing.” When I sat down, Haoran stared at me, making me feel uneasy. “What are you looking at? If you’ve got something to say, say it.” I couldn’t stand feeling exposed under his gaze. “You think too much. There’s nothing to see.” His eyes swept past my chest, his expression flippant. If I didn’t keep telling myself to be calm and take deep breaths, I would have charged at him. So what if my chest was as flat as an airport runway? After a while I was finally full of food. I looked up to see Haoran looking pained. I was busy eating and had ignored him, channeling my anger toward him into eating. I just noticed he had hardly touched his food. “What?” Haoran looked a little awkward, a first for him. He muttered, “How on earth do you eat this spicy stuff?”

Report error

If you found broken links, wrong episode or any other problems in a anime/cartoon, please tell us. We will try to solve them the first time.