Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After his late bedtime, Yu Chu went to take a shower then went to bed. Lying on the fluffy bed, he clicked on Xie XingMu’s WeChat avatar and wanted to say something to him, but he didn’t know what to say.
The phone was about to darken, when suddenly it showed that Xie XingMu was typing. Yu Chu’s heart jolted, and he sat up from the bed.
Xie XingMu: [Are you asleep?]
Yu Chu: [Yes.]
Xie XingMu’s second message followed immediately.
Xie XingMu: [Go to bed early, it’s not good for your health if you sleep late.]
Yu Chu: [I can’t sleep.]
Xie XingMu: [Why can’t you sleep? Insomnia? If you have insomnia, go drink some milk, there’s some in the fridge.]
Xie XingMu: [Don’t drink cold milk, use a pot to heat it up and put some sugar in it.]
Xie XingMu: [The weird taste is also a little tolerable, or else mix some juice into it.]
Xie XingMu: [Remember to brush your teeth after drinking.]
Yu Chu read the constant messages, biting his lip, bursting into a rapid input and sending his message over.
Yu Chu: [I miss you.]
Xie XingMu was standing on the balcony smoking a cigarette when this message jumped into his eyes and he stared at his phone in silence. The light of the screen reflected his deep eyebrows, and the emotions in his eyes flashed, not knowing what he was thinking.
“Team Leader Xie, we’re analyzing the case right now, and are waiting for you.” Someone was shouting behind him.
Xie XingMu put out his cigarette, threw it into the trash can next to him, locked his phone and put it away, and said, “Coming.”
He took a few steps towards the room and then stopped, took out his phone again and pressed the screen. The page was still on the conversation with Yu Chu, he sent a voice message: “Wait until I come home. I’ll be back immediately after the meeting. Don’t open your phone. I have to go first, go drink milk, and sleep.”
Yu Chu sent that message and waited for Xie XingMu’s reply, but until the light on the screen disappeared, he didn’t see a new message. He still kept staring at the phone, his heart gradually began to be disappointed, but just when he was about to put the phone down, the screen lit up again, with a ding, as Xie XingMu’s new message came through.
He listened to that voice over and over again several times before the phone lit up and the corners of his mouth held a smile as he went under the covers.
A few moments later, the light snapped back on.
He put on his slippers and went out of the bedroom, went to the kitchen fridge and took a bottle of milk. He poured it into a milk pot and put it on the stove to heat it up, then found the sugar jar and added a spoonful of sugar to it.
Two minutes later, he drank the hot, sweet milk and thought to himself that the milk was still quite good.
The next day was another busy morning. Since there was no more breakfast reserved by Xie XingMu, Yu Chu got up early and made his own eggs.
Sitting at the dining table with two dark objects on his plate, Chi DuoDuo asked curiously, “Xiao Chu, what is this?”
Yu Chu picked up the plate, poured the contents into the trash and said, “Come on, let’s go out for breakfast.”
There was a bun store not far from the neighborhood gate, and Yu Chu went to stand in line, and Chi DuoDuo stood next to him. The shopkeeper handed the food bag to Yu Chu who was in line, “Four buns with soy milk, twelve yuan.”
Yu Chu lowered his head to scan the code and pay the bill, leading Chi DuoDuo to the car. He pulled open the door of the cab and carried Chi DouDuo inside, but he didn’t get in, holding the door to look behind him. In that moment just now, he felt that somewhere, someone seemed to be peering at him.
The cab driver asked impatiently, “It’s not good to stop here for too long, do you want to go or not?”
Yu Chu only had to close his eyes and get into the car, and sat down and was a little distracted. But Chi DuoDuo shook his legs, and ate the milky white bread and drank the soy milk. He also urged Yu Chu, “Xiao Chu, eat quickly.”
Forget it, don’t think about it, whether there was someone spying on him or not, he just needed to keep an eye on it.
Yu Chu sent Chi DuoDuo into the kindergarten classroom, and then hailed a cab to prepare for home, but before giving the name of the place, remembering what had just happened, the address he gave changed to the HaiYun City Public Security Bureau. There was a cafe across the street from the Public Security Bureau, and he decided to stay there all day, not believing that anyone would dare to play any tricks. He sat at a window seat, his phone on the table, wearing headphones watching a TV show, diagonally across from the Public Security Bureau gate, where he could see every car leaving and entering.
As long as the retractable gate slowly closed in, he raised his head to stare, and after a glance at the car window, he continued to look at his phone screen.
Sitting in the cafe until noon, he ate a bowl of noodles from the adjacent noodle shop, then went to ask for a cup of coffee and continued to sit. In the afternoon, a police car from the street parked in front of the gate, and Yu Chu habitually glanced over. Through the open passenger window, he saw the person sitting inside was Xie XingMu.
Xie XingMu had his elbow on the car window and because the sun was shining on the department, he half squinted. The duty officer said something. Since he hadn’t been home last night, Xie XingMu had a light layer of stubble on his chin that was just emerging to form a beard.
But this stubble didn’t make him look haggard and instead added a mature charm.
Yu Chu stared at him for a moment, but his fingers moved on his phone and sent a Sky Rabbit twisting butt over.
The retractable gate slowly opened, and the moment the police car started to enter, he saw Xie XingMu look down at his phone, and a light but pleasant smile lit up his face.
Yu Chu also pursed his lips and smiled.
Then his phone beeped and he received a message from Xie XingMu.
It was a moving picture of a cat being stroked on the head, showing a very enjoyable look, with a phrase above the picture: Be good.
In the police car, Li SiMing, who was driving, asked curiously, “Team Leader Xie, what are you smiling at your phone for?”
Xie XingMu curbed his smile, “Am I smiling? Drive the car properly.”
“Also, send me a few more pictures of cats, ones that move, not the ones that don’t. The good ones, not the ugly ones.”
Li SiMing answered decisively, “No problem, I’ll find a bunch of pretty cats for you. But Team Leader Xie, why are you suddenly interested in cats? Are you going to get a cat?”
Xie XingMu put away his phone and tapped on the car door with his fingers on the window, “We already have a cat at home. It’s mine, but not mine.”
“Wow, what kind of cat is it?”
Xie XingMu gave him a look and said lightly, “I don’t know what breed, all I know is that it’s the best kind.”
Seeing that it was about time, Yu Chu got up and went to the kindergarten to pick up Chi DuoDuo. He walked out of the cafe and looked around to make sure there were no problems before stopping a cab to go to the kindergarten.
When he picked up Chi DuoDuo, he couldn’t move his feet from the ice cream store across the street and hugged Yu Chu’s leg, begging, “Xiao Chu…”
Yu Chu didn’t realize that he had become a doting parent these days and had never refused any of Chi DuoDuo’s requests, let alone an ice cream, so he took Chi DuoDuo across the street and walked. There was a long line of adults picking up and dropping off their children, and while Yu Chu stood inside, Chi DuoDuo talked to a little girl behind him.
After standing in line for a while, Chi DuoDuo let go of Yu Chu’s hand and got close to the little girl and talked to her. The little girl also let go of her mother, and the two squatted under a tree on the side of the street to watch the ants.
Yu Chu was a little uneasy and kept him in his sights, only turning his head to choose the ice cream inside when he reached the window.
That’s when it happened.
It was just a few seconds, not even a cry of alarm, and there was no movement. When Yu Chu turned his head, only the little girl was left under the big tree.
“Chi DuoDuo…” Yu Chu looked around for no sign of Chi DuoDuo and asked the little girl, “Where is the child you were playing with?”
“He… he got in the car,” the little girl said.
The little girl stammered and couldn’t say, and Yu Chu’s face became really fierce. But an old man next to her said, “A car just stopped and took the boy into the car and drove away.”
“What kind of car?” Yu Chu asked sharply.
“It was a black car.”
Yu Chu’s heart instantly sank to the bottom, he took out the phone to dial Xie XingMu, but just as he pulled out the phone, it rang. The caller was an unfamiliar number. He didn’t hesitate to press ‘answer’, “Hello.”
Inside was a disguised hoarse male voice, “Yu Chu, if you want the child to live, don’t call the police.”
“Who are you? What are you doing?” Yu Chu heard the car horn in the background of the phone and asked in a stern voice.
“Don’t care who I am, I will give you the address in 20 minutes, come alone to the address. If you don’t come or bring others, the child will be dead. Also, if you dare to call the police, you can wait to collect his body.”
Yu Chu was afraid that the other would hang up the phone and hurriedly said, “How can I believe that you have the child?”
Just as he was asking, he heard Chi DuoDuo’s frightened voice from the other side, “Xiao Chu—”
Yu Chu didn’t have time to answer, the phone was hung up.
Yu Chu shook his head with a serious face and said, “He was picked up by my family.” He said he didn’t care about their surprised eyes, and walked down the street to the front.
The sun was shining warmly on his body, but he couldn’t feel a trace of temperature, his heart had frozen into ice. He walked forward in a daze, carrying the bag of ice cream in his hand, and was hit by someone head-on, and the bag fell to the ground, but he didn’t look at it, and continued to walk forward.
It was his fault, it was his fault, he didn’t do well, and it was because of him that the child was snatched away.
The time he lived in Xie XingMu’s house was the safest time in his life. Surrounded by Xie XingMu’s scent, security wrapped his entire being, which made him lazy, paralyzed him, made him let down his guard and put away his keen tentacles.
And now, how was he going to explain all this to Xie XingMu?
Yu Chu shivered uncontrollably at the thought that Xie XingMu would freeze him, blame him, and drive him away from that warm home.
Knowing what it was like to be warm, even a hint of icy cold could make a person freeze to the point of suffering. He felt that he could no longer bear to live alone, without Xie XingMu, without Chi DuoDuo in his life, made him feel like he was falling into an ice bank. His heart was like he had fallen down into a bottomless abyss.
No, I must bring Chi DuoDuo back intact. Yu Chu stood still, trembled, and his nails dug deep into his palm, his eyes becoming recklessly ruthless. Even if my life is at stake, I must bring Chi DuoDuo back whole.
Twenty minutes later, the phone in his pocket rang again. Yu Chu took out the phone, saw the same number. He closed his eyes and took two deep breaths to calm himself before pressing the answer button, “Hello.”
“You have one hour to get to the quarry outside the West Side. If you dare to call the police or bring other people, the child will be dead.”
This time, the caller hung up without waiting for Yu Chu to answer.
Ten minutes later, Yu Chu stopped a cab and went to the quarry in the west city.
West city was still under development, and the houses and vehicles were getting more and more scarce along the way, and gradually it had reached the outskirts. The cab driver pulled up in front of a dirt road and said, “The quarry is up ahead, but this section of the road is too bad for my car to pass, so just get off here and walk for ten minutes or so.”
Yu Chu paid the bill and waited until the cab turned around before walking down the dirt road. There were no more households in this area, and the road was lined with piles of rocks, so the road wasn’t wide enough to be potholed by heavy trucks, making it even worse to walk on. When the dirt road came to an end, a dilapidated factory appeared in front of him, which should be the quarry that person on the phone mentioned.
There was no one in the quarry, Yu Chu approached the factory and reached out to push the closed iron door. The door wasn’t locked, it creaked open,and a warehouse-like room was behind it, with only a scrap of quarry machine in the middle.
He looked around, saw no one, and heard no movement, and asked in a loud voice, “Is anyone there?”
His voice echoed in the factory, which seemed more and more empty, but he didn’t get any response. He was about to take out his cell phone and dial the number when a small door next to him was suddenly pulled open and someone came out.
Yu Chu narrowed his eyes, put the phone back, and coldly called out, “Yu Feng.”
Yu Feng looked thinner and his face was more sinister. He walked towards Yu Chu step by step, stopped half a meter away from him, and squeezed out a word from his teeth, “Bastard.”
Yu Chu didn’t get angry, his face didn’t show any expression, nor did he ask Yu Feng why he wanted him to come here, but only asked, “Where’s the child? What did you bring him here for?”
Yu Feng looked him up and down, his pair of narrow eyes full of resentment, “Looks like you’ve had a good time. Father went to jail, my mother and I have been displaced, and only you’re getting more and more spirited. I never thought you would be in cahoots with that undercover cop. The Yu Family is in this situation because of you, you heartless bastard.”
With a loud slap, Yu Chu’s face was slapped to the side and a bright red spilled out of the corner of his mouth. He didn’t wipe the blood from the corner of his mouth, but turned his head and continued to ask loudly, “Where did you put the child?”
“You’re still thinking about that son of a bitch at the end of your life, you’d better worry about yourself.” Yu Feng finished, raised his hand and clapped, two more hired thugs came out of the small door next to him and stood behind Yu Feng.
One had a gun on Yu Chu, the other had a gun on the head of the little boy in his arms.
The little boy was none other than Chi DuoDuo.
Chi DuoDuo’s face was streaked with tears, and when he saw Yu Chu, he started to struggle, crying louder, “Xiao Chu, Xiao Chu…”
Yu Feng turned his head and said viciously, “No crying! If you cry again, I’ll have you killed.”
When Yu Chu saw Chi DuoDuo his heart first felt relief, and then seized into a ball, after hearing his cries, so he said soothingly, “Don’t cry. Don’t be afraid, it will be okay. “
Chi DuoDuo choked on his words, but was obedient, “I-I won’t cry. Won’t cry.”
“You like the bastard cop’s kid a lot, a phone call and you’re here.” Yu Feng sneered viciously, “You want that son of a bitch to live? I’ll strangle him to death in front of you later.”
Seeing Yu Chu’s face turn pale, Yu Feng narrowed his eyes cruelly, “That will be a good scene.”
“If you have any grudge, just come at me and let the child go.” Yu Chu pinched his palm, his tone still very calm.
Yu Feng scrutinized his face, before saying, “I used to tell my father that your obedient appearance was just a facade, but he didn’t believe it. Yu Chu, you know what? I used to feel sick when I saw you. How come you don’t pretend now? Why don’t you cry and shake and curl up on the floor and pretend to be miserable? Is your fox tail finally caught?”
Yu Feng became more and more agitated and slapped Yu Chu again.
After the slap, Yu Chu stumbled two steps to the side, shook off his dizzy head, fought the buzzing in his ears, and whispered to Yu Feng, “If you have any grudge, just come at me, let the child go… Please…”
“Are you begging me? Begging me? Do you think this word ‘please’ is very valuable? Ugh.” Yu Feng took a step back and asked in a cold tone, “Yu Chu, you broke my leg before, right? Huh?”
Yu Chu gasped and didn’t answer, Yu Feng stepped forward again and grabbed his hair, forcing him over, “I asked you, did you break my leg?”
Yu Chu looked behind him and said, “Yes, I broke it.”
Yu Feng let out a low roar of rage, and at Chi DuoDuo’s screaming and howling, his fist struck Yu Chu hard in his abdomen, and knocked him to the ground with another elbow as he bent over in pain.
“You dared to break my foot, you fucking son of a bitch!” Yu Feng put his foot, which was wearing leather shoes, on the side of Yu Chu’s face and gritted his teeth.
Yu Chu choked out fresh blood, gasping in pain, but still clenched his teeth and spoke out with difficulty, “Please, please let the child go…”
“Huh? Let the child go? That depends on my mood, you won’t get in the way of the satisfaction in my revenge.” Yu Feng gave a short laugh and extended his hand to the side, “Ah Shui, bring me that iron bar by the wall. I want to break both of his hands and feet.”
The hired hand that held the gun to Yu Chu turned away to get the iron bar by the wall. Yu Feng proudly let go of his foot and towered over Yu Chu, his two eyes letting out an exuberant light, “Don’t you want to let this son of a bitch live? Then you’ll have to give me a good howl later…”
Yu Chu lay on his back, glancing at Ah Shui, who was walking towards the wall, and then at Chi, who was behind him.
Chi DuoDuo was in the other hired thug’s arms, he was also full of tears, a pair of big eyes full of panic. Yu Chu showed him a reassuring smile, the fingers on the ground at the side of his waist moved and made an unnoticed clenching motion, and then he gently opened his mouth.
He was sure that Chi DuoDuo had seen and understood what he meant, because the child slowly stopped crying and looked less frightened. The hired hand leaned down to get the iron bar, but with a slip of his hand, the iron bar rolled to the ground with a jangle. Yu Feng subconsciously went over.
This opportunity couldn’t be lost!
Yu Chu, who was still motionless, suddenly leaped up from the ground and rushed towards Chi DuoDuo like a bolt of lightning. At the moment when the hand that held him wasn’t yet released, Yu Chu shoved the hand holding the gun upward.
The hand subconsciously pulled the trigger. Bang! Bang! Bang! A series of gunshots rang out, and the roof had a deep row of bullet holes.
Chi DuoDuo lowered his head, as Yu Chu taught him to do, viciously bit into the hand that grabbed his neck.
“Aaah!” The hired hand screamed at the sound of the gunshot, and as the arm let go, Chi DuoDuo slid down and fell to the ground.
“Run!” Yu Chu bellowed, “Run for the door!”