When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 30[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:54:59]
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The city was soon enveloped in a curtain of darkness as Xu Juan sat in a quiet restaurant illuminated by soft lights. After a while, he saw Xu Xu holding a shoebox with white earplugs in her ears walking towards him slowly.
It seemed like this girl was in a good mood today.
After eating for a while, Xu Juan asked, “Who’s this guy that you’ve taken a liking to?” Xu Xu only said one sentence the last time and did not talk about it any further.
Xu Xu said, “I’ll tell you after we get somewhere.” In Xu Xu’s opinion, there was no need to make such a big deal out of it if she was not even sure about the situation.
Xu Juan glanced at her and smiled. “In all honesty, I don’t agree with you dating a colleague. Let’s not talk about whether a policeman is suitable or not, the biggest problem when dating someone from your office is that you’ll need to meet them regularly. If it does not work out in the future, then it would be very awkward for the both of you.”
Xu Xu nodded understandingly. “I’ve also thought about this, so I will not let my colleagues know before I’m sure that he will accept me.” She paused for a while. “I will also not let him know of my intentions that easily.”
Xu Juan’s heart ached when he heard what she had said. After a moment of silence, he asked, “Do you have any specific plan? Do you want me to teach you?”
Xu Xu put down her spoon and nodded. “Give me some advice.” Although she did not agree to Xu Juan’s private lifestyle, when it came to relationships between men and women, he was indeed much more experienced than her.
Xu Juan did not voice out his enlightening remarks immediately. Instead, he examined his sister from head to toe before saying,
“First of all, men are all about the visuals, and no matter how noble and upright your little policeman is, it will be no exception for him unless he’s not truly a man. You’re very good-looking, but the way you dress…” He glanced at Xu Xu’s shirt and stuck out his tongue. “An office lady look will not bring out your most attractive traits.”
Xu Xu tilted her head sideways and asked, “What are my best traits?”
“Young, delicate and clean, which will easily arouse a man’s desire to protect you.” Xu Juan took his time to answer slowly. “The kind of style that is in between that of a girl and that of a woman suits you the most. If you were to dress up in a pure-looking and delicate style, you will absolutely charm a lot of people.”
Xu Xu imagined it in her mind and frowned.
Xu Juan continued, “Dressing up is the first step. Secondly, don’t chase after men, it will lower your value. Since you’re so good at analyzing, analyze what type of woman he likes and what his hobbies are. Then, you play it cool and slowly rub him the right way. Most importantly, you need to learn to show your weaknesses because no man falls for someone who’s better than them in all aspects.”
Xu Xu did not say anything and Xu Juan sighed and added on after seeing the indignant look on her face, “I’m just pointing a method where you can never go wrong. Even so, you’ll need to think for yourself about what exactly to do.”
Xu Xu looked up and answered, “What you said make sense, but I will not do as you suggested.”
Xu Juan was stunned and he heard her firmly say, “I have my own ways.”
That night when they got home, Xu Xu went to bed early. She got up early the next day and used a small fire to cook some beef porridge, after all, it was what both she and Ji Bai liked.
The way in which Ji Bai pursued people was to restrict that person’s activity, bring that person into his territory, then attract and win over that person step by step until their bond got too strong to be broken. He was like a lovestruck alpha wolf as he was a little proud, a little sly, and unknowingly very dominant.
Nonetheless, the way Xu Xu pursued a person was very, very simple, and that was to treat the person nicely.
Being sincere and doing her best was all she wanted to do.
Xu Xu did not want to copy the tactics that Xu Juan employed, like pretending to be innocent, showing her weaknesses or trying overly hard to impress him.
After they finished running that day, Ji Bai raised his brows slightly while he ate her porridge. “It tastes very good today.”
Xu Xu felt her heart jump for joy as she answered with a simple, “Okay.”
It would be great if they could be like this every day.
When the criminal police unit was not working on a case, their work schedule was fairly well-paced and relaxed. Before long, the morning passed.
By the time Xu Xu and Yao Meng went to the cafeteria, there were already many people there and it was quite noisy. After they bought their food, Xu Xu’s eyes quickly scanned their surroundings before she pointed at an empty table beside Ji Bai, Old Wu, and a few others. “Let’s sit there.”
Yao Meng nodded her head. “Sure.”
After they sat down, Yao Meng smiled and greeted everyone and Xu Xu followed suit. However, as her eyes met Ji Bai’s, they both briefly looked away.
The men were talking about a criminal police officer from another district with the nickname “Bull” who had an impossibly high alcohol tolerance and a tower-like physique. Yao Meng joined in the conversation from time to time whilst also chatting with Xu Xu. Her crisp voice was clear and loud like a bell, but Xu Xu was only pretending to listen to Old Wu or Yao Meng. In reality, glancing at Ji Bai’s plate out of the corner of her eye. ‘He ate a lot of meat… He ate two steamed buns and a bowl of rice… He does not eat spicy food… he picked out the garlic and ginger from the food…’
So these were his eating habits.
While Ji Bai quietly picked up a vegetable, he occasionally observed her whilst thinking to himself, ‘Why is she so interested in the topic today? Does she actually know the criminal police officer known as “Bull”?’
Later on, the guys changed the topic, but she was still kept listening attentively, only then did Ji Bai stop looking at her.
During lunch break, some of their colleagues went for a walk, while others smoked in the hallway and more still slept on their tables. Because of this, the office was very quiet. Since Xu Xu saw that there was no one around, she switched on the computer, logged into the internal system and took a look at Ji Bai’s basic information.
180cm in height and 81 kg in weight…
He was the record holder of the Great Southwest Police District ten thousand meters steeplechase competition as well as the marksmanship competition…
He had been rewarded with a second-class merit for three times and a third-class merit five times…
As she scrolled down with her mouse, lines of text kept appearing in her eyes, and she voraciously memorized every single line. After some time, she saw a one-inch colored photo on the right and the short-haired man in the photo looking serious yet calm.
Xu Xu remembered that this was the first picture she had seen of him and also where she got the notion of him having “regular features” from. However, now that she was looking at the same boring identification picture again, why did his hair, eyes, nose or even chin look so charming and handsome?
After staring at it silently for a moment, Xu Xu selected “save picture” on her computer and created an encrypted folder. She thought about it for a while and named the file “Private folder, do not touch”.
She continued to look at it for a while, but soon, people started returning to the office. Xu Xu then switched off her computer and picked up a piece of paper in front of her to write down things that she remembered. To anyone else, these were just a bunch of random numbers and words scribbled across the page. “180, 81, 995 rings, 10000m…”
“Why are you writing down such weird numbers?” Zhao Han who was sitting beside stretched his neck over and looked at the piece of paper rather curiously.
Xu Xu replied with an indifferent look on her face, “Planck’s constant.”
Zhao Han had never heard of the astrophysics concept before, so he nodded ignorantly despite not understanding.
Just when Xu Xu was about to fold the paper, she heard a low voice behind her. “Are the two of you talking about astronomy?” She did not notice that Ji Bai had come out of his office and was now making his way towards her table.
“Yeah.” Xu Xu said as she calmly tore up the paper before throwing it into the trash can.
Over the following two weeks, Xu Xu’s personal and work life were very peaceful. Her relationship with Ji Bai also improved gradually. They exercised together and she made him breakfast every morning.
During the day, the two of them would not talk much and she was able to focus on working, but when it came to their chats during break time, she would pay close attention to him and try to know everything about him.
She also did not know why Zhao Han was always busy during the weekends and why Ji Bai was always the one to teach her marksmanship, nevertheless, it was better that way since they would get to eat lunch together and they would sometimes even go shopping in the afternoon. However, every time he taught her how to shoot and placed his hands over hers, her heartbeat would accelerate. Moreover, his hand would inevitably touch her waist or her shoulders from time to time. Initially, she did not pay it too much attention, but after a few times, she realized that she would feel a burning sensation on the parts where he touched, where it would linger for a very long time.
Not to mention, his breath and his slightest touch were the Achilles heel to her calm and composed mentality. Xu Xu was not used to feeling a little impetuous or embarrassed, but she was not repulsed by the feeling of this unusual torment. It was actually quite the opposite, to the point where every time she was tormented, she would feel a little satisfied.
Since she knew that her mood had become sensitive and abnormal, she was afraid that Ji Bai might become aware of her thoughts, so she altered herself to become even calmer and reserved on the outside. She politely called him ‘teacher’ and lowered her head to avoid his gaze whenever she blushed or when her heartbeat accelerated. When she wanted to get closer to him, she would immediately calm down and keep her distance. This was mainly because, in her opinion, she was satisfied with how things were at their current stage such that she now felt very comfortable and at home in Ji Bai’s life.
Ji Bai, on the other hand, was feeling the same way. Since Xu Xu was so good at acting calm, he was not sure about her feelings. This was mainly because she always looked at him the same way that she looked at Old Wu or any other passers-by. Even so, he could tell that this little girl was getting used to being around him because everytime time he “accidentally” approached and touched her, she would blush and look away. Normally he would assume that she be harboring some feeling for him but because she was so dense and innocent, she might not have noticed it herself.
Nevertheless, having a little hunch was naturally not sufficient for this situation. If he were to confess right now, she might feel like she was put on the spot and refuse without hesitating. After all, she had once said that he was not suitable for her. He did not want to frighten her, so he wanted to wait until she would naturally accept him after they grew closer.
Thus, he would need to work harder.
However, over the following days, he learned of many of her strong points. Like how she was a picky eater so she would prepare breakfast for the two of them every day. Since she was a good cook, he got to eat a lot of tasty food. Furthermore, whilst she might seem a little slow, she was actually very considerate. She even said that she wanted to help him quit smoking, and now, whenever he wanted to smoke a cigarette, she would immediately hand him a piece of gum… wifey material.
That night, Xu Xu had dinner with Xu Juan and he inquired about her progress. “How did it go with ‘him’?”
Xu Xu answered, “Everything is under control.”
Xu Juan was unwilling to accept the fact that she did not want to tell him who that person was no matter what after seeing her seemingly smiling eyes. Therefore, he changed the topic and said, “Oh yeah, I can get tickets for LeBron James’s game next week, do you want them?”
Xu Xu raised her head and shot a look at her brother.
Since it was now off-season in the NBA, many big shots had come to China. Even Xu Xu had heard that a basketball superstar named LeBron James would be coming to Lin City. Nevertheless, her brother knew that she was never interested in basketball games, so it was obvious that he wanted to lure Ji Bai out of hiding by giving her the tickets.
He was really childish.
Even so, Xu Xu still agreed to it since, in the past, she had heard Zhao Han mention that Ji Bai was a big fan of LeBron James. “Okay. Thank you, brother.”.
During lunch break on the next following day, Zhao Han and Xu Xu were the only ones left in the office, even Ji Bai was not there. Xu Xu handed him the two tickets. “Do you want it? I remember you saying that you wanted to watch him live.”
Zhao Han’s eyes widened in excitement. “It’s really difficult to get these ticket, how did you get it? Wow, it’s even in the seventh row”
Xu Xu smiled. “My brother gave it to me.”
“The captain absolutely loves LeBron,” then, Zhao Han hesitated, “but there are only two tickets… you should go with the captain.”
Xu Xu shook her head. “No, I am not interested.”
Zhao Han smirked at her. “Xu Xu, you are such a good friend.”
After giving away the tickets, Xu Xu was in a good mood. She did not intend to go in the first place since she was not interested, but she completely forgot that this was an opportunity to go on a date with Ji Bai alone. Not that it mattered, they had been spending a lot of time together lately so it was not like it was a do-or-die situation. Furthermore, Xu Juan would definitely be hiding in a corner to try to spy on them with some high-powered binoculars.
She also gave the tickets to Zhao Han because she was afraid that Ji Bai might find out that she had a crush on him.
When the bell rang, Ji Bai walked in with his car key in hand – it seemed like he had gone out to eat with someone earlier. Right after he entered his office, he called for Zhao Han.
Xu Xu knew that she will not need to worry about the tickets anymore, but at this moment, she instinctively raised her head and looked towards his office. Only then did she realize that she really wanted to see the joyful look on Ji Bai’s face when he received the ticket.
The subtle smile on Ji Bai’s face remained unchanged. He said something to Zhao Han and then… he handed a stack of tickets to Zhao Han.
When Zhao Han walked out of the room, he was very excited and announced loudly, “The captain got tickets for the LeBron James game tonight. Everyone will get a ticket for front row VIP seats!”
Everyone cheered and swarmed forward. Yao Meng shouted excitedly and Zhao Han did his best to calm them down happily. “Be patient guys, the captain said that the middle seat will be reserved for our female colleagues. Yao Meng, take this.”
After a while, he finished distributing the tickets. Everyone calmed down and happily went back to their seats. Then, Zhao Han walked over to Xu Xu’s desk and handed her three tickets. “There, you have the best seat. As for the other two tickets, perhaps you can give them to your other friends?”
Xu Xu looked at him but did not take it. “I don’t need it.”
Zhao Han was a little surprised, but he understood. “Are you sure? Have you thought about it clearly? If so, I will just give them to our colleagues in a different department.”
Xu Xu nodded and went back to work. ‘That’s right, how could Ji Bai not get a ticket?’ She didn’t even think about that. It seems like she had lost all logic from being overly concerned. After pondering it, she smiled lightly.
In truth, the reason why Ji Bai had asked his friends to get him so many tickets was because he wanted to reward everyone from the criminal police unit for their hard work. However, before giving the ticket to Zhao Han, he reserved the center seat for himself and told Zhao Han to give the best seat to the female colleagues. Yao Meng and Xu Xu were the only female colleagues here, so Xu Xu would naturally sit next to him.
Nevertheless, he did not expect Xu Xu to not go.
On Friday night, the city was brightly illuminated and the night was breezy. The city’s stadium was completely filled with cars and the lights inside the basketball court strobed outward powerfully. There was a great commotion in the stadium with noisemakers and screams everywhere. Ji Bai found his seat and looked up with a subtle smile, but he was stunned.
Yao Meng was sitting on his left and Old Wu was sitting on his right. He scanned through the area but all he saw were the several colleagues from the Economic Investigation Division sitting down to row. Xu Xu’s figure was nowhere to be found.
Ji Bai sat in the crowd and he turned around to Zhao Han who was sitting behind him. “Is everyone here?”
Zhao Han nodded. “Xu Xu did not come because she said that she was not interested. When I left the office, she was still working since she said that she still had some work left.”
At this moment, Yao Meng eagerly turned around. “Captain, who’s better between James and Kobe?”
Ji Bai answered, “Both of them have their own strengths.”
A girl from the Economic Investigation Division who was sitting beside Old Wu suddenly joined the conversation and smiled. “I heard that Captain Ji Bai likes James, but I prefer Kobe.”
Ji Bai smiled and did not answer.
At this time, exciting music was played to warm everyone up and the lights started flashing. The cheerleaders who were all wearing short skirts jumped and hopped onto the court. Everyone was quiet initially, but they soon burst into thunderous applause. The atmosphere had gotten even more thrilling after the opening ceremony. After watching the show for a while, Ji Bai turned his head to ask Old Wu for a cigarette and a lighter.
Old Wu shook his head. “Are you smoking whenever you’re given the opportunity?”
Ji Bai laughed and got up from his seat. Zhao Han saw him and asked curiously, “Captain, it’s starting soon, where are you going?” Yao Meng and the rest started staring at him. Ji Bai smiled and raised the cigarette in his hand. “I’m going out for a smoke.”
The night outside the stadium was dark and trees swayed around as the cheers from the stadium shook the whole street and grabbed the attention of those passing by. Ji Bai stood outside for a while, then he threw away the cigarette butt and went to get his car.
He used to like LeBron James, but only when he was younger. His interest had faded over the years and now watching the game live was not that important to him. Moreover, it was not like he treated the game today as a date with Xu Xu – no, there were too many colleagues around and it would be far too obvious.
With all that said, why did he lose all interest in the game in such a lively place without her presence?
He drove his car into the police station compound and saw the lights shining out through the familiar window. Suddenly, Ji Bai caught his breath before making his way upstairs.
The office was dead silent and Xu Xu was dozing off while sitting in front of the computer.
She was a little upset because she was now regretting her decision.
At that time, she felt that there was no need to do something that she was not interested in. However, right now as she was sat alone in the empty office and watched the report on today’s game online, she suddenly thought of Ji Bai’s smiling face in the audience.
She realized that it did not matter if the game was a little boring since she would be watching it with him.
She could not help but sigh when she thought about it, and even so, she was only feeling down for a short while so she did not dwell on it any further. She stood up, packed her stuff and got ready to go home.
Right as she was about to turn off the computer, she heard the sound of familiar footsteps walking down the corridor. She was stunned to see Ji Bai walking in with both of his hands tucked deep into his pockets and a cool look on his face.
“Aren’t you watching the game?” She was surprised.
Ji Bai shook the mobile phone in his hand. “The station chief urgently needs some information.” He glanced at her briefly, “Are you leaving?”
Xu Xu quickly shook her head. “Oh, I still have something to do.” Then, she sat down again and opened a document on the computer.
Ji Bai saw the focused look on her face and did not want to bother her. Thus, he went back into his office and casually browsed the internet.
After staying that way for a little past half an hour, Ji Bai’s mobile phone suddenly rang. It was Zhao Han. “Captain, why aren’t you back? They have finished playing two quarters.”
Ji Bai replied in a serious tone. “I have something urgent to handle, so I won’t be going.” He raised his head and noticed that Xu Xu was now looking at him.
“Are you hungry? Do you want to have supper?” Ji Bai asked.
There were some relatively modern and clean shops across the street from the police station. Ji Bai spotted a noodle restaurant and walked in with Xu Xu.
Two bowls of noodle were served, after which Ji Bai promptly devoured his share. When he looked up, he saw Xu Xu using her chopsticks to pick up a single strand of noodle and chew on carefully with her head down. He could not help but laugh. “Why are you eating like a cat?”
Why would Xu Xu be hungry? She did not usually have supper, but because she wanted to be with him, she pushed herself to eat the noodles strand by strand.
“It’s a little spicy.” She answered with a straight face.
Ji Bai looked at her bowl and saw that it was indeed a bowl of red soup.
Xu Xu continued to eat with her head down while Ji Bai quietly waited. The lights in the restaurant were soft and they were actually the only occupied table in the restaurant. The owner stood at the counter calculating today’s profit with a calculator while his young son frowned as he rested his head on the counter to do his homework. The road outside the restaurant was quiet and the street lights were hazy.
Ji Bai looked at her messy hair and her sleek fair cheeks and thought to himself, ‘I could have watched LeBron James, but instead, I’m here watching her eat noodles.’ Even so, he was content and more than willing to do so.
After they walked out of the restaurant, the two returned to the police station parking lot and got into their respective cars.
Xu Xu’s mood had gradually improved over the duration of the night so before she got into her car, she could not help but turn her head and say to him, “Teacher… See you tomorrow.”
Ji Bai was also in a very good mood, so he smiled and nodded. “Okay. I’ll wait for you at the shooting range at eight o’clock in the morning.”
It was a normal statement but Xu Xu’s face became warmer. She assumed that it was because of her guilty conscience, so she immediately closed her eyes and nodded lightly, then, she got into the car and left.
Ji Bai only got into his car after he watched her car leave. He could not help but laugh as he thought about the night and the choices he had made. However, just as he was about to start the car, his phone rang.
This time it really was the station chief.
“Little Ji, Xiang Chuan County just reported a murder case which might be related to the province’s human trafficking criminal gang. The provincial government ordered us to go supervise this case, so you need to rush to Xiang Chuan County tonight.”
“Yes.” Ji Bai answered seriously.
The station chief added, “This might involve some liaising with the local police station, the government, as well as the appeasement of the abducted victims, so bring a member from your team along.”
The external liaison of their team was Yao Meng, so Ji Bai immediately called her and told her to meet him in the police station in half an hour since they would be driving to Xiang Chuan County together.
Early the next morning, Xu Xu arrived at the shooting range at 7.30 am and focused on practicing her shooting for a while. However, by 8 o’clock, Ji Bai had not arrived yet.
Pretty soon it was half past eight, but still no sign of him.
After this, she took out her phone and called him.
“There’s a case in Yang Chuan County, so Yao Meng and I had to rush over here last night.” He spoke very quickly. “I will be away for a week, so practice properly by yourself.”
Xu Xu hung up the phone but did not feel anything. If she knew one thing, it was that her romantic relationships came second to her job. She immediately made a mental note to look up the relevant information when she got to the office later so she too might provide as much help as she possibly can to the case.
After a while, Ji Bai’s words suddenly popped up in her mind. “Yao Meng and I rushed over here last night.”
She recalled the bright smile on Yao Meng’s face when she was previously running alongside Ji Bai and the complicated look in her eyes whenever she looked at Ji Bai. She started to fall deep into thought to piece together different bits of information together to form a clear picture in her mind.
Suddenly, she froze. She now realized that Yao Meng liked Ji Bai too.