When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 32[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:54:59]
Chapter 32: Chapter 32
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Dusk was slowly approaching as the street lights were slowly lit up street by street.
Residents in small towns loved to take strolls after their dinners, hence soon enough, small waves of crowds started to pass by the entrance of the hotel. As if by tradition, the lady boss of the hotel took a chair out to chat with people at the entrance, eating sunflower seeds whilst laughing and joking. Everything about the scene seemed peaceful and comfortable.
On the other hand, Ji Bai, Su Mu, and Yao Meng sat in the car staring at the road attentively. Meanwhile, several plainclothes police officers were waiting inconspicuously at a newsstand not far away, as well as at the entrance of a lively supermarket.
They had already been keeping watch for over ten hours, because according to reliable sources, Chen Yong would return to the hotel that day. As night slowly fell, the criminal police officers slowly started to tense up.
Amidst the bustling crowd, a burly, medium-sized man in black was making his way towards the hotel from the supermarket. His intense expression gave off a threatening aura that cut through the lively atmosphere like a hot knife through butter.
Suddenly, he halted and looked around him as if he noticed that something was amiss.
“Go.” Ji Bai yelled in a low tone. A number of large officers charged out from every corner and headed towards Chen Yong. However, Chen Yong had extremely quick reflexes, and the second he heard the rapid, heavy footsteps in the distance, he immediately began running away without confirming the source. The police force was ready for this though, and a young criminal police officer ran head first into Chen Yong and soon slammed right into him. Moments later, the rest of the officers had swarmed around him and kept his body pressed firmly against the ground.
The whole process, which happened like a flash of lightning, shocked the lady boss so much that she spilled her seeds all over the ground. The passersby were dumbfounded too.
“Probably capturing a criminal.”
“Arresting a thief.”
“He’s a wanted criminal, definitely a wanted criminal, look at that stance.”
Everyone backed away slowly for their own safety, but also surrounded the hotel entrance such that it became packed and obstructed in hopes of getting a closer look.
“Behave.” Su Mu shouted with a pale face as some criminal police officers clustered around Chen Yong before shoving him into one of the nearby cars. After this, Ji Bai went up and conversed with Su Mu softly.
Yao Meng had also come out from the car as she looked at Chen Yong coldly.
“She’s a police officer too, how pretty.” One of the civilians said loud and clear, causing many people to look towards her. Yao Meng felt her face burn red, so she subconsciously took a look at the crowd around. When she did this, she was stunned.
On the leftmost side of the crowd, a tall, skinny man was staring straight at Chen Yong who was being detained in the car. He looked quite terrible and on his shoulder was a black bag. Yao Meng turned back and saw that, on the other hand, Chen Yong had no bag on him.
After standing still for a few seconds, he quickly turned around and paced quickly into a nearby alley.
“Stop right there.” Yao Meng screamed out loud. The man froze and bolted away at once.
The moment Ji Bai and Su Mu heard Yao Meng’s voice, they turned together to look. A second later, Ji Bai was chasing after the man as well, with Su Mu following closely behind.
The small alley was completely different from the noisy street outside. The street light was dim the ground was uneven and narrow, with only a few passersby walking about nearby. Upon seeing a man and Yao Meng running at full speed one after the other, they were so shocked that they pressed themselves against the wall to avoid them.
When Yao Meng heard the sturdy footsteps behind her, a new wave of energy seemed to pump into her heart, such that it started beating even faster. With Ji Bai watching, she now had an even stronger urge to capture the villain. She was the champion in short distance sprinting back in the police academy, so she grit her teeth and accelerated again to the point where she pushed herself beyond her limit. Slowly but surely, the distance between her and the man got shorter.
The man panicked when he heard the sound of rushing wind behind him, so he turned his head and quickly locked eyes with the very beautiful lady. He felt anger, fear, and disbelief as he flicked out a dagger from his pocket and suddenly lunged towards Yao Meng.
“Ah!” Two middle-school students beside them shrieked so hard that they lost their voice. Since the students were blocking Yao Meng’s path, she could not avoid the blade in time. She kept her eyes fixed on the shiny dagger in the man’s hand, as she knew that she could not dodge it, but at the same time, she dared not reach her hand out to block it too.
Was Ji Bai right behind her?
In the fleeting moment she was distracted, she felt a sharp pain in her left shoulder. The dagger had already pierced her.
At the same time, she felt the heavy sound of a man’s breathing closing in from behind her. “Let go!” Ji Bai yelled fiercely in a hoarse voice. In the blink of an eye, he had twisted the man’s wrist and was already restraining him fiercely against the wall.
Ji Bai turned and took a quick glance at her, then he frowned grimly and said, “Su Mu, call for a doctor.”
Yao Meng pressed against the wound on her shoulder with one hand. “I’m… I’m alright.”
Later on, the blaring lights from police cars cut through the dim streets as almost half of the street was congested with a crowd who watched the proceedings curiously. They watched on, captivated, as the criminal police officers got into their own cars and left one by one.
Yao Meng sat on the open doorstep of a police van, as a doctor carefully treated her wound for her.
Half of her shoulder was exposed to the elements, such that the pain in her shoulder was amplified by the biting cold. However, the pain was sometimes numbed out by a steady throbbing.
Su Mu was the first to walk over to the van as he took a glimpse at her shoulder. “Are you alright? Fortunately, Captain Ji managed to subdue him in time, or else that dagger would’ve gone straight through your shoulder blade.”
The doctor mentioned that it was a close call too.
A few young criminal police went over to look at her injury, and they cared for her softly. Some even had reddened faces from their personal frustration at failing to subdue the crook in time. The fact that their eyes kept wandering to her exposed shoulder from time to time made Yao Meng feel a little embarrassed, but because her wound was being treated, she could not hide it.
“How’s your injury?” A deep voice asked as Ji Bai’s tall figure appeared beside the van. As soon as his gaze fell on her shoulder, he immediately looked away and angled his body slightly such that his face was blocked by the door.
“I’m alright.” Yao Meng answered softly.
“Yao Meng is very strong.” The doctor praised.
“That’s good.” Ji Bai smiled. “You performed very well today.”
As his footsteps got further away, Yao Meng thought to herself, ‘He’s so different, so different.”
Ji Bai and the others interrogated the two criminals that very night, and Chen Yong gave a full confession. Concurrently, they obtained a much more valuable clue, which was that their head “Brother Lu” was going to transport a batch of “goods” to this province soon.
Ji Bai informed the Provincial Department and the City Bureau right away before getting straight to work plotting a larger scale capture operation with Su Mu and the others.
The local police brought Chen Yong over to the crime scene for identification purposes, and the villagers acted in a similar fashion, surrounding the police barricade to look on from a distance.
However, when they saw the indifferent and spiteful look on Chen Yong’s face, paired with Ma Rongrong’s deaf-mute parents tugging and crying out at Chen Yong with husky, slurred voices, they fell silent. A young fellow who had seen the corpse that day was the first to dash out and kick at Chen Yong ruthlessly. Later on, strong young men also surrounded him and bashed Chen Yong, to the point of half death. Even Zhang Zhuangzhi went up to kick him, as the police could do little to hold the enraged crowd back. After that, Chen Yong was sentenced to death.
In the meantime, as Ji Bai battled day and night on the front-lines, Xu Xu’s work and life were comparatively very peaceful.
She did not feel worried, nor did she call or send him messages, in case she affected his work. That being said, she noticed that the number of times a day that she missed Ji Bai was gradually increasing.
The first day it was 2 times, the second day 5 times, the third day 8 times. Of course, as a day had 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds, she only temporarily lost focus for a few seconds every time it happened, so it did not affect her much. Even so, this was the first time that Xu Xu had thought about a person so frequently in her whole life. (Suspects excluded, she could think about suspects 24/7)
That afternoon, Old Wu took over Ji Bai’s regular duties and called for the weekly meeting. When they sat down, Old Wu happily announced, “Captain Ji’s side has already cracked the case…”
As a result, Xu Xu mind went to Ji Bai again. She thought about his strict expression and chilly look each time he inspected criminals.
Then her name was called.
“Da Hu, Xu Xu, the Provincial Department has requested for more manpower for this case, so the station chief stated that the two of you will go over to assist Captain Ji.”
At midnight later that day, Da Hu and Xu Xu arrived at Xiang Chuan County Town. Da Hu was one of the best at handling arrests in the team, whereas Xu Xu was a psychological expert. It was very important to examine and tend to the mental state of human trafficking victims, which was why the two of them were called.
A young fellow was there to welcome them. “Captain Ji is still having a meeting with Captain Su. Yao Meng is injured so she’s resting at the hostel.”
As Xu Xu made her way to the County Public Security Bureau, Ji Bai wrapped up his meeting.
Everyone sighed in relief as they could finally get a good rest at home. They all knew that with the new developments, tomorrow would be no easier.
Su Mu patted Ji Bai’s shoulder and commented as they were leaving the room, “Captain Ji, you haven’t been sleeping well these past few days, go upstairs and rest up as soon as possible.”
The office building of the Public Security Bureau was built during the 1990s, and back then it was popular to leave a few guest rooms on the top floor, so as to welcome superiors and leaders. Ji Bai and Yao Meng both stayed in a standard twin room located upstairs.
Ji Bai smiled and nodded. “I’ll leave in a while.”
The others dispersed very quickly, but Ji Bai merely sat in the empty office as he shut his eyes and waited.
He thought to himself, ‘The little fellow will arrive tonight.
‘Does she know that I’m waiting for her?’
Little did he know that the young officer who was sent to greet them did not bring Xu Xu and Da Hu to the office. Instead, he sent them straight to the guest rooms and said, “They’ve already dispersed, so everyone has returned home. You should get some rest first.”
Da Hu stuck his head into the room to take a look before saying, “Eh, Captain Ji is not back yet. Xu Xu, when you see Yao Meng, please express everyone’s concern for her. It’s quite late tonight, so I’ll see her tomorrow.”
Xu Xu nodded.
She soon crept into the guest room that had been prepared for them. The room was dimly lit, so only after turning on the lights of the corridor did she find that Yao Meng’s bed was empty.
Yao Meng did not show up even after Xu Xu had finished unloading her luggage and set her bed. There was no movement on the corridors outside, and it sounded like Ji Bai had not returned yet either.
Xu Xu wanted to sleep, but her mind was strangely wide awake. She felt that she was missing him too, and she could not suppress this feeling. For that reason, she dressed neatly and took a stack of documents out of her bag before randomly circling a few pieces of information that might be useful towards the case as a disguise, then she got up and went downstairs.
It was already very late into the night and the sky of the small county town was illuminated by the gleaming stars in the night sky in a way that you could see in the city. On the entire floor, only one room had lights on, which stood out brightly like a beacon on an airport runway in the dark passageway. The area was pin-drop silent and Xu Xu’s heart started beating faster as she subconsciously softened her footsteps. As she reached the side of the windows and looked inside, she stopped.
In the spacious office, the lights softly lit up the messy desks inside, Ji Bai was sitting in front of a desk that placed against the wall. He had his eyes shut as he leaned sideways, his chest heaved steadily with each deep breath. No doubt about it, he was asleep. Yao Meng was kneeling a few feet away on one knee. Her gaze locked onto him unblinkingly.
She wore a white blouse and black trousers as her long silky, hair was let down to rest casually on her pale shoulders. Her eyes sparkled passionately as she seemed to observe her superiors beautiful resting face.
Just as Xu Xu was about to greet her, she lowered her head slowly towards Ji Bai’s slender hands that were resting limply on the armrest. She seemed to be pressing her face on his hand, but then again, Xu Xu was so far away that she could not tell – maybe there was still a little bit of distance between the two.
Her posture was humble and sincere, it was filled with admiration.
Yao Meng stood up after staying in that position for a few seconds, then she quietly walked out of the office. She appeared to be so troubled that she did not notice Xu Xu who was standing beside the window, then she went upstairs through the staircase on the other end of the hallway.
Xu Xu remained silent for a brief moment, then she pushed open the door open and entered. When she turned around, she did not know why she did so, but she locked the door behind her.
Ji Bai’s eye bags were dark and heavy and a dark stubble had started growing on his chin. She thought to herself, ‘He must be extremely tired to be so fast asleep, right?’
Xu Xu pulled a chair over and sat opposite of him. She placed both her hands on the armrest and stared at him with a stern look on her face.
After staring at him for a while, the finger on her right hand started tapping on the armrest out of habit.
Once she reached a hundred and forty-two counts, she stopped.
She returned to the windows and sneaked a look, just to make sure that there was no one else around before she walked back to Ji Bai. Her heart was beating like a drum, and her face was burning so hot that she felt like it was on fire. She knew very well that what she was about to do next was not right – it could even be considered sexual harassment, nevertheless…
With the gentlest movement, she lifted Ji Bai’s hand up to her face and lightly brushed the back of his hand with her lips.
‘This feels so much better.’