Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Yu Chu wanted to open his eyes, but felt that his eyelids were heavy, unable to open them. Half of his body seemed to be lit by a fire, so hot that his internal organs weren’t comfortable, but the other half was immersed in ice water, cold and biting into the crevices of his bones.
In the confusion, he felt like he was back to that icy night when he was a child, a small child shrinking in a concrete pipe, roasting a pile of firewood from the older children from who knows where.
The outside was covered with snow, and behind him, the wall of the concrete pipe was very cold. Anyone who was cold came closer to the fire. They were so close that their hands were also burned with a painful blister.
Feeling like they were put in front of firewood, the back of the cement pipe wall was cold to the bone. Yu Chu tried to open his mouth, wanting to remind Po to move away from the fire, but his lips were like they were glued together, and with all his might, he could only spit out a word at a time.
“Po… fire… Stay away… hot…”
Yu Chu heard intermittent speech, as though he was in the deep water, but it wasn’t Po’s voice.
“What is he talking about?”
“…I think he’s saying he feels hot.”
“The fever shot… cool down after a while… almost drowned… There’s a little infection in his lungs.”
Yu Chu opened and closed his lips to spit out a word, and then finally fell into a senseless sleep.
When he woke up, he found that it was already dawn, and the sunlight was spilling through the cracks in the curtains, casting a dappled light on the surface. He was lying on a hospital bed, dressed in a hospital gown, with an IV attached to his arm at his side. There was only a little bit of fluid left in the bag, dripping slowly through the thin transparent tube.
The needle on the back of his hand was removed, and the moment the blood gushed out, he pressed it with the tape attached to the cotton ball and slowly turned over and sat up. There were footsteps at the door, the door of the ward was pushed open, and a nurse stood at the door and said with surprise, “You’re awake?”
Yu Chu nodded his head.
Hearing the movement, an interior door connected to the ward was suddenly pulled open, and the baby-faced policeman named Li SiMing, whom he had seen on the ship, came out from the bathroom.
The nurse went to the bedside, looked at the needle hole on the back of Yu Chu’s hand, took off the empty medicine bottle hanging on the infusion rack, and said, “I’m going to inform the doctor to check you. You just woke up from a coma, so don’t sit up. Lie down to rest, listen to me.”
The woman wasn’t very old, just three or four years older than Yu Chu, but her tone was like she was coaxing a child, and even her gaze was loving. Yu Chu was a little uncomfortable as he looked away, stiffly mumbling.
After the nurse left, Li SiMing asked, “How are you? Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, I’m better.” Yu Chu’s voice was still a little muffled when he spoke, and his chest was tugging with a dull pain.
Li SiMing poured a glass of water and handed it to him, “You almost drowned when you fell into the water, so your lungs are a bit infected. They needed to give you saline for a whole day.”
Yu Chu took the water and wanted to ask where Xie XingMu was, but his lips opened and closed and he didn’t make a sound. Li SiMing got the idea and took the initiative to speak, “Team Leader Xie is very busy these days, he has to hear the case. He took the time to drive you in the middle of the day and asked me to take good care of you.”
“Yeah.” Yu Chu added, “Thank you.”
The rest of the day was spent in the ward, watching TV in bed after the infusion, catching up on the latest episode of his favorite drama, and rushing to change the channel to watch another one, with a full schedule.
Li SiMing also loved to watch dramas. The two of them watched together, but also recognized the plot. For three days, they watched a Korean mother-in-law 1 drama.
Sometimes the first thing the police officer asked Yu Chu when he came in for an impromptu shift was, “What’s going on? Tell me, is the mother-in-law hooking up with the old man at the gym?”
Yu Chu behaved very cooperatively, never asked to go out of the ward, just stayed in bed, and didn’t inquire about Singwon Island, Yu ShiQing and that group of people, not even as side conversations. It was as if he didn’t care whether his dad was dead or alive. He would eat his meals, sleep when he needed to sleep, and his thinning cheeks began to bulge.
The only occasional side-talk was to ask about Xie XingMu, so Li SiMing explained, “Team Leader Xie is so busy that he wants to ascend2, but today also called me to ask about you.”
Yu Chu smiled good-naturedly and didn’t pursue the matter further.
When his pneumonia was almost healed, he was discharged from the hospital and followed Li SiMing back to the Criminal Investigation. Yu Chu just stepped into the office of the Criminal Investigation, his eyes quickly glanced over. There were already a lot of people in the office, all busy, and he didn’t see Xie XingMu.
But the female trainee named Jiang ShaSha saw him, got up and greeted the door and asked, “Yu Chu, are you all right?”
Yu Chu blinked, smiled, and said, “Much better.”
When he smiled, there was a shallow dimple on his cheek, and Jiang ShaSha looked at it with glowing eyes and suddenly said, “Team Leader Xie has been asking about you every day and is very concerned about you.”
“Yeah.” Yu Chu did not know why she suddenly said that, but his heart still jumped gently because of this sentence.
Li SiMing left Yu Chu after taking him to the interrogation room, leaving him alone in the empty room. Sitting on a single chair in the center of the room, he began to look around and paused for a second as his eyes fell on the one-sided glass on the left wall.
Two strange police officers soon came in and sat behind the long table across the room, looking down and flipping through the information as they began to ask questions.
“Soon I’ll be twenty.”
Yu Chu had memorized all his personal data and answered naturally.
A police officer looked up, “Who’s Yu ShiQing to you?”
“My father in the biological sense.” Yu Chu said.
The policeman heard this, his face didn’t move, and continued to ask, “How’s your relationship with your father?”
“Not very good.”
“You lived together with your mother in Haiyun City before the age of nine. During that period, you moved seven times. Once your mother, Zheng Shan died, you were taken by your father Yu ShiQing to live at the Yu Family’s Island and have been living there since. The information is correct, right?”
Yu Chu pondered for a second, “Yes.”
“Then do you know your father’s usual business dealings and the things he does in private?” The police officer asked.
Yu Chu said, “I know a little bit, occasionally some uncles and aunts come to the island to look for him. As for what he does in private, I don’t know.”
“Then was he engaged in criminal activities behind the scenes?” The police officer asked in a hushed voice.
Yu Chu replied, “I don’t know. I wouldn’t be told about these things.”
“Are there any criminal activities that you have been involved in?”
The police asked, “Who are the co-conspirators? Tell me everything you know, not a single clue can be concealed.”
Yu Chu’s pupils narrowed slightly, and in an instant he caught the information reflected in these words: although they were able to convict Yu ShiQing, they weren’t able to get behind those deeper things.
His brain spun quickly, but his mouth said, “I only know that there’s a person named A’Bang from Burma who came to the island to trade something.”
“How do you know that?” The two policemen’s expressions weren’t the least bit surprised, and Yu Chu understood that they already knew everything that happened on the cliff from Xie XingMu.
“I eavesdropped on the conversation that my father had with that person named A’Bang. I knew that he was at Yu ShiQing’s birthday party that night and would go to Broken Heart Cliff to trade. I was curious, so I sneaked behind… their backs…”
Yu Chu’s voice was getting smaller and smaller, full of sadness, hanging his head. There were suddenly two spots shining on his dark pants legs, wet water stains. The two police officers noticed his mood and didn’t continue the interrogation, only flipping the folder in front of them, talking in whispers for two sentences.
Behind the single glass, Xie XingMu and a dignified-looking middle-aged man stood there, both looking at Yu Chu in the interrogation room. The middle-aged man with a frosty face asked, “Is this all pretense?”
Xie XingMu said, “It’s hard to say.”
“What do you mean it’s hard to say? Is he faking it or not?” The middle-aged man turned his head to look at Xie XingMu this time.
Xie XingMu raised his hand to touch his angular chin, which had grown a layer of thick solid beard, as he spoke, “His demeanor is pretend, but the content isn’t necessarily false. After all, because of the key, Yu ShiQing also wasn’t close to him, you could even say he was very cold.”
In the interrogation room, Yu Chu continued to answer the interrogation. Yu Chu’s voice trembled slightly, and anyone could hear the sadness in the tone of the forced sobbing voice, “…Probably just like Yu Feng, after all, I let him down. I was timid, and I wouldn’t go to the shipyard to take care of business for him. I also wanted to be loved by my father, but… After all, it’s my fault.”
The middle-aged man standing behind the one-sided glass was touched somewhere, lowering his head and pressing his hand to his brow. Xie XingMu slightly leaned toward and whispered, “Lin Ju, it’s pretend. Don’t compare his dad with your dad. Your family isn’t the same.”
Lin Ju coughed twice and dropped his hand as if nothing had happened.
Yu Chu raised his head to look at the two policemen behind the long table, opened and closed his lips and said, “So I don’t know…”
Perhaps because his pneumonia had just recovered, or felt pain for Yu ShiQing being arrested, Yu Chu’s face was an unhealthy pale shade and his lips were also dry and cracked, making him look a little pitiful.
The police officer who asked the question had a warm voice, “Just tell us what you know.”
Lin Ju was concentrating on Yu Chu in the interrogation room when Xie XingMu beside him suddenly turned around and walked towards the door. Lin Ju asked, “Where are you going?”
“To get some water, I’m a little thirsty. Would you like a cup?”
Lin Ju picked up the teapot on the small table, “No, I have some with me.”
Xie XingMu went outside the door and grabbed a junior police officer who was passing through the passage, “Go and bring me two cups of water, one to be sent into the interrogation room for the man who’s being interrogated.”
The young police officer just recently started working, although he had long heard the prestige of this criminal investigation captain, he still froze, “Send it into the interrogation room? I don’t think I should…”
Xie XingMu casually slapped on the head, “I told you to go. So go. Why are you still being noisy?”
“…Okay.” The little policeman covered his head and ran towards the water.
“Put some tea leaves in that cup, make it good tea.”
The policeman in charge of recording next to the questioning policeman looked at each other, “Memory loss?”
Yu Chu nodded, “I know it sounds weird, like an excuse I made, but I have memory loss.”
The policeman couldn’t hold back a chuckle, “You mean, you have no idea where the key is?”
“I don’t even remember that I have a key,” Yu Chu said a little aggressively, “You can ask Xie XingMu about that, he’s very clear. And I’m the victim! Yu ShiQing wanted to kill me, but fortunately I was saved by Xie XingMu, you can ask him.”
Xie XingMu just pushed open the door, Lin Ju, behind the single glass, turned his head and said, “In the beginning he was pretending, but he looks like quite an honest child. So how can he make up such a thing?”
“He said he has memory loss.” Lin Ju put the teapot back on the small table and shook his head, “Nowadays, there’s still this amnesia thing, like when my wife is watching her TV shows. If he says so, we can send him to the hospital for a checkup.”
“I’ve already had the hospital do a full body check and found nothing wrong.”
Lin Ju asked, “Is there a tumor in the brain that’s pressing on the nerves or something?”
“No.” Xie XingMu walked beside him, hands around his chest, and said, “But the memory loss thing, maybe that’s not faked.”
Lin Ju looked sideways and said after a long time, “Are you also watching the TV show that my wife is following?”
After Yu Chu said he had lost his memory, the two policemen each went through the information in their hands.
Knock, knock, knock.
The door of the interrogation room was knocked and pushed open, and a policeman stood trembling at the door with a cup of hot tea.
“Sorry to interrupt, I brought a cup of water.” The small police officer gave a disposable water cup to Yu Chu and set it down on the small table.
Yu Chu took the water and nodded politely, “Thank you.”
“No, you’re welcome,” the policeman darted out of the door.
Yu Chu raised the cup to his mouth, steam with the fragrance of tea overflowed into his nose, the water was very hot. He gently blew twice, carefully sipped a mouthful, and the tea slowly went down his throat. He felt his stomach warming up.
Putting down the cup of tea, eyes cast to the left wall of the single glass, Xie XingMu was also holding a cup of water to drink a mouthful, crossing his line of sight through the cup above the rim.
Yu Chu suddenly curved the corners of his mouth as he smiled, cheeks showing a shallow dimple. If not for the single-sided glass, Xie XingMu thought he was looking at him.
- They refer to cliched Korean dramas where the MIL often doesn’t like the daughter in law thinking she was only after the son for the family money and all that. Cues in throwing an envelope full of cash or water on the son’s gf.
- Another slang that means he’s so busy he’s gonna die. Ascend = going to heaven = die