When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 2[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:54:49]
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Ji Bai was at a gathering with his friends when Zhao Han called.
The dullness of dusk could be seen through the carved window frames in sharp contrast to the vast yet glimmering lights of Beijing City. Inside the room, everyone was well-dressed. They were talking cheerfully and joking around such that the scene inside the room looked like an expensive painting. When the phone rang, Ji Bai passed his cards to the person beside him then placed a cigarette in his mouth before excusing himself.
He left and sat down on a sofa in the lobby outside. Beneath his feet was a soft woolen carpet, whereas in front of him was a row of fresh indoor plants that were surrounding a white rockery with an in-built water fountain. Immediately, a clubhouse attendant approached him and politely asked if he needed any service. Upon seeing him shaking his head, the attendant quietly left.
He ashed the cigarette while Zhao Han naively reported to him. “The Station Chief has said that you must lead an intern, which will be taken into account in your year-end assessment…”
Ji Bai leaned back onto the sofa, shut his eyes and smiled. “That’s fine.”
However, before Zhao Han could celebrate, he added on, “Zhao, rearrange your workload for now. Lead the interns and record them in your year-end assessment for me.”
Zhao Han was dispirited and immediately replied, “I can’t lead them, I really can’t. They’re both experts, you’re the only one who can handle them.”
To prove his point, Zhao Han told Ji Bai about Xu Xu’s deduction process.
Number one, Zhao Han had subconsciously touched the necklace given to him by his girlfriend a few times. He not only looked gentle when he did so but he also constantly adjusted the position of the necklace with his fingers. This showed that he was not used to the necklace and was subconsciously trying to find the optimal position for it. This kind of behavior is mostly seen in couples who are still passionately in love.
Number two, Zhao Han looked at the first drawer to the right a few times. He wore a gentle expression whenever he did so. Since he had only recently gotten together with his girlfriend, it would not be their anniversary. There were also no upcoming festivals, so this present was most likely a birthday gift.
Number three, regarding his right arm, Xu Xu could immediately spot that he was a right-hander. However, he had paused for a while and used his left-hand several times when wanting to pick something up.
Number four, while he wore the latest Givenchy casual top, his jeans were from Meters Bonwe. A man who would buy Givenchy for himself would certainly not match his outfit that way, so he did not buy that top himself.
His new girlfriend gave him a silver pirate ship necklace and since they had not been together for long, it was unlikely that she would give him such an expensive Givenchy shirt. As a result, it was probably a gift from another woman.
Men who grew up with a sister would all show certain similarities in terms of character and behavior. These men tended to be more natural, casual, and more considerate as compared to normal men when interacting with women. Zhao Han happened to display all of those traits.
“Furthermore, when you looked at Yao Meng, who is a beautiful lady, you didn’t express amazement and excitement like the other officers. You were very calm.” Xu Xu continued, “So this sister of yours who bought you the Givenchy shirt is probably well poised and very pretty.”
Number five, the limited-edition Zippo lighter was more likely gifted to him by a young friend. Besides, Zhao Han did not simply throw it just anywhere on the desk or place it beside him where it was more easily accessible. Instead, he placed it further away next to the picture frame, which subconsciously reflected his respect towards that person. In the entire police unit, the most likely candidate for someone who was young but also most likely to be respected by Zhao Han was Ji Bai.
Following Zhao Han’s well-educated and sincere character, he would certainly return a gift after receiving such an expensive gift. Although Zhao Han wore Meters Bonwe jeans, he also wore a pair of valuable outdoor sports shoes; his backpack was of the same outdoor brand as well. It was obvious that he was a fan of the brand (It would not be from his sister, she would have given him a pair of handmade Italian leather shoes or something of the like). Hence, the gift that he gave Ji Bai was most likely something that he deemed to be the most valuable item from a brand he liked. This led Xu Xu to guess a pair of branded outdoor sports shoes.
After he said all of this, Zhao Han made a solemn promise. “Captain, take Xu Xu. I have no doubt that she’ll follow in your footsteps.”
Ji Bai chuckled quietly. “Shh Shh?”
Zhao Han laughed.
However, Ji Bai quickly stopped laughing and continued seriously, “An unexpected win requires luck too. If we solve cases like how Shh Shh does, then the risk will similarly be much bigger as well. Although Yao Meng’s analysis was plain and easy to understand, each of them was safe and reliable deduction. Furthermore, based on how your description, she’s more comprehensive than Shh Shh.”
Zhao Han was at a loss for words and asked, “Then… which one will we take?”
“I’ll think about it.”
After they hung up, Ji Bai did not return to the room. Instead, he sat in the same spot and went through their resumes on his phone as the cigarette in his hand slowly burnt away.
When he was almost done, somebody came out from the room and sat down beside him. It was his childhood friend, Shu Hang. He immediately slapped his shoulder and asked, “We weren’t done talking just now so why did you come here to smoke alone? I’m planning to start up a company this year. If you think that the concept of new energy resources is workable, then how about we do it together? I’ll split the company with you 50-50.”
Ji Bai put away his cellphone and laughed. “Did my mother ask you to persuade me?”
Shu Hang did not answer, which was a tacit acknowledgment. He sighed and asked quietly, “Are you really content staying at such a low level in the Criminal Police Unit?”
Ji Bai squinted his eyes slightly and took a drag of his cigarette before puffing out a smoke ring.
Shu Hang watched him and thought to himself, ‘You’d better not come up with a bunch of politically sound and professional theories. That sh*t makes me so nauseous.’
After some time, Ji Bai turned to him and smiled. “You’re not a fish, so how can you understand the joy of being one?”
Shu Hang scoffed. “Damn you and that gender imbalanced place. You are constantly dealing with vicious and evil people, is it really a fulfilling life?”
“It’s more fulfilling than all of you who do nothing but eat and drink.” Ji Bai said jokingly.
Shu Hang was stunned. However, after remaining silent awhile, he was not angry, instead, he nodded his head.
“It’s quite meaningless isn’t it?” His expression became indifferent. “Nothing in the world is too difficult for us, which makes it meaningless. When people hear that you’re the grandson or son of this person or that person, they’ll immediately take thorough care of you. You only need to snap your fingers for people to regard you as a business genius who has surpassed your predecessor. Even when you really do something based on your own abilities, heh, people will still talk behind your back and say that your achievements are all just due to the Shu family name.”
Ji Bai only smiled faintly, then he patted his friend’s shoulder. Shu Hang knew that he sounded ridiculous, but it was probably because he had drank too much. In any case, it was a good laugh.
The two of them smoked for some time again before Shu Hang spoke again. “You’re being dishonest, why did you lie to your mother back then and say that you wanted to join the police force to get into politics? The two of you argued again, didn’t you? You’re being unfilial.”
In truth, it wasn’t just Mother Ji, all of his friends who grew up with him thought that Ji Bai had joined the police academy because he was not willing to go into business like his father. They thought that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, General Ji, to join the civil service. Now, seven years had passed and although he was quickly promoted due to his outstanding performance, he remained in a dangerous line of work.
Ji Bai stubbed his cigarette and smiled. “My mother’s side has quite a few connections within the police force hierarchy. If I didn’t talk her into it, then she could’ve very well stopped me from getting into the police academy. In any case, you shouldn’t burden yourself thinking about this anymore.”
Shu Hang sighed. ‘Alright, if you say so.’
He no longer brought it up and instead switched the conversation subject. “You look like you’re still single.”
Ji Bai nodded.
Shu Hang sneered. “I heard that you’ve been launching frontal attacks on bad guys day and night. Brother, staying up late is bad for your kidney, don’t regret if they don’t function anymore when you need them to.”
Ji Bai glared at him. “Even at my worst, I’m still healthier than you.”
Shu Hang was instantly in tears with laughter.
The two of them fell silent for a while, then Ji Bai recalled something, causing him to smile with his eyes. “Actually, I went on a blind date once last year.”
Shu Hang was shocked. “You actually went on a blind date?”
Ji Bai nodded. “The niece of the Station Chief’s wife. We saw each other for a few weeks but it was called off.”
Shu Hang was excited and probed further. “And why is that?”
Ji Bai lit another cigarette and replied leisurely, “She’s quite pretty, they say that she’s the belle of Xiang Chuan County. At the time, I was particularly busy; I think I only saw her a few times. In the end, she left me for an heir to a wealthy family.”
Shu Hang was overjoyed but remained doubtful as he stared at Ji Bai’s side profile amidst the smoke. “You’re a stunner compared to the other guys out there. Are you sure that the lady was willing to let you go? ”
Ji Bai laughed and replied, “She did come and look for me again, saying that the decision was very painful for her. However, she went on to say that she would dump that shorty for me if I could buy her a suite in Lin City within three years.”
Shu Hang thought about it seriously then looked at him perplexed. “You’re only worth a suite? What a low requirement. What did you tell her?”
“I said that my monthly salary was 6000 and based on the housing rates in Lin City, 1 square meter costs 10,000.” smiled Ji Bai.
Shu Hang laughed out loud. “Bullshit, I don’t believe you, how could there be a lady out there with such bad taste? This cloak that you’re wearing… hmm, it would cost at least tens of thousands, right? Can’t she tell?”
Ji Bai shrugged and grinned at him. “She once said that she suspected that my shirt was a fake from Beijing’s Silk Street. Naturally, I told her that she was right.”
Shu Hang laughed out loud again, then he slapped Ji Bai’s back. “That lady wasn’t bad – she was quite the realist.”
Ji Bai nodded. “She was. Which was why I was surprised that her feelings could be bought with something as simple as a suite.”
At that moment, the door to their room was pushed open and a group of people poured out. Somebody pointed at them and called out, “Let’s go, we’re going to go drink at his house, his father’s collection.”
Shu Hang looked at Ji Bai. “Are you going?”
Ji Bai took one last drag of his cigarette before stubbing it out and lazily replying, “Why not?”
It was the same dim light of night which filled the damp Lin City. The river ran through the city whilst the streetlights on both sides of the riverbank looked like mandarin oranges floating in the darkness.
Even when the off-duty bell rang, Yao Meng seemed to have no intention of leaving at all. She said that she wanted to take a look at the data and even took care of her colleagues who were working overtime by ordering meals for them. A couple of people stopped by her desk and talked to her after she did so.
Xu Xu, on the other hand, took her backpack and stood up with the intention to say goodbye to everyone politely. However, after standing for a while, nobody noticed her. Moreover, since she was not used to speaking out loud, she finally left without making a sound.
When she compared herself to Yao Meng, it made her feel ashamed of herself.
Nevertheless, she had grown used to it. She would not take it to heart.
Xu Xu’s brother, Xu Juan, was already waiting by the roadside in his Mercedes Benz. It was rush hour and the hazy streetlights were reflected on his fair, elegant face through the tinted windows. His charcoal suit was complemented by an elitist haircut that was very fitting of the big city.
After opening the door, Xu Xu got into the car. A few minutes later, Xu Juan looked at her quietly out of the corner of his eyes. He saw that she had placed her hands on her knees and had an indifferent look. Her legs were gently kicking at the newly replaced woolen carpet on the car floor.
Xu Juan instantly smiled at his sister’s habit. How could he not know? When she was in a good mood, she always liked to kick things; when she was thinking, she always tapped on her knees like a man, so as to look more experienced and mature.
“Did you have a good day?” He smiled and asked.
‘That means it went very well.’ Xu Juan smiled as he loosened his tie with one hand. He threw it into the backseat then opened the car window, allowing the night breeze to caress their faces. They were both quiet people, so they sat there in silence as they watched the car lights flashing by outside the window.
Suddenly, Xu Xu’s cell phone rang.
After taking a glance at the number, Xu Xu’s expression changed.
Xu Juan noticed this and immediately asked, “Who’s that?”
“Ji Bai. The Vice-Captain of the Criminal Police Unit.” She had taken a look at the contacts that day, so she naturally remembered everyone’s numbers. It seemed like he had decided to be her internship mentor, so Xu Xu’s mood instantly cheered up.
She was still quite nervous to face the youngest legend in the police force thought, so after adjusting her breathing, she picked up the phone. “Hello.”
“Hello, this is Ji Bai.” A man’s voice was heard through the phone, it was both clear and deep.
“Hello, Captain Ji.”
“I’m coming back in a week. Over the next few days, go through all the information we have on unresolved cases over the last ten years, then produce a report.”
“Next month, we’ll also have to work with the Public Security Bureau, so gather all related information.”
He was direct and efficient as he assigned five to six miscellaneous tasks to her at once, to which she answered him without hesitance. At last, he paused. Xu Xu did not make a sound either as she waited for him to continue.
Music and laughter could be heard from Ji Bai’s side during the pause as he laughed and spoke to someone else. After a while, he turned his attention back to her and asked quietly, “Shh Shh, do you have any questions?”
There was still traces of his laughter in his voice as Xu Xu thought for a moment before she answered, “Not for the time being.”
After they hung up, Xu Xu screened through all the task he had assigned and knew what to expect. Once she raised her head up, she saw Xu Juan staring at her.
“If he’s your superior, why aren’t you trying to make friends with him?” Xu Juan was hoping that Xu Xu would undergo some kind some metamorphosis during this internship period.
Xu Xu was in a good mood for the first time ever as she explained patiently, “Do you know why I want to intern under this man?”
“You told me before, it’s because he has the highest crime solving rate.”
“Yes. A person with such a high crime solving rate won’t easily let other factors interfere with his judgment of people or matters. In other words, if I work under him, I don’t have to boast or flatter him, I don’t have to try to figure out his psyche. I can focus all my energy on important matters without worrying about office politics.”
As Xu Juan watched his sister’s shining eyes, he became cheerful as well. He felt happy for her as he smiled to himself before switching to another topic that he was more concerned about, “You’ll officially graduate next year and you’ll have a stable job too. Are there any single men in the police station? When will you get a boyfriend?”
Xu Xu looked at Xu Juan oddly. “Does this have anything to do with you?”
Xu Juan felt dispirited. He knew that his sister was not arguing with him, but that she genuinely felt that it had nothing to do with him.
Which was why he felt even more dispirited. He reached out his hand out to mess up her initially neat short hair. Xu Xu knew that she could not avoid it, so she simply shriveled up and let him ruin her hair as he wished. Only when he finally stopped did she turn to glare at him.
She looked calm despite her head looking like a chicken coop. There was a faint twinkle in her pitch-black eyes.
As Xu Juan looked at her, his heart softened. “24 years old isn’t old, but with no experience in relationships at all and seemingly no interest in the opposite sex, how can the two men in our house not worry about you?”
Xu Xu fell silent, then she abruptly sat up straight and answered. “Sorry, it’s not that I’m not interested. I’ll make better use of my time in the future.”
Their mother had passed away from illness when Xu Juan was five and Xu Xu was two.
Their mother used to be a businesswoman. She had left a middle-sized accounting firm for their uncle to manage. Xu Juan took over the firm after he graduated from university and, by now, had already made a name for himself as an outstanding talent in the industry within Lin City. On the other hand, their father was a university professor. He had raised them alone when their mother had passed away and had not remarried since.
Xu Juan was a calm and knowledgeable character, which was pretty much a mixture of their parents’ personalities. In just a few years, he had already established himself in Lin City. However, he changed girlfriends as quickly as he changed clothes; it was unknown where he got his playboy persona from.
Xu Xu was more like their mother who was strict and decisive. Nonetheless, everyone around her thought of her as someone that, while excellent academically and with great work ethic, had no clue of how to get on in the world. A typical person with high IQ but low EQ.
Xu Juan would argue that this was not because his sister was clueless and that she did not have low EQ – it was simply that she just was not concerned.
“I don’t want my boyfriend to be a police officer,” said Xu Xu.
“It won’t be right. My job has certain risks and my daily routine is not stable. By comparison, if my partner has a more stable lifestyle, then our family structure will be balanced.”
Xu Juan did not want her sister to get a police boyfriend either. In all honesty, he was still very concerned about her sister getting a boyfriend, even though she was an expert in psychology.
“How about this, I’ll introduce you to somebody.” He said.
Xu Xu pondered for a while. She agreed that her brother would be a more reliable source of suitors and so, she nodded. “Alright. I want somebody who deals with technology, natural sciences, IT, architecture, chemical engineering… any of those will do.”
Xu Juan was elated and asked, “Why?”
Xu Xu shrugged. “Simple minded men are comparably easier to control.”
Xu Juan laughed out loud.