Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 13 13


Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

 

Chapter 13: Brother Han the thirteen


Bai Jin Xi is deep asleep when she feels someone pushing her.

She opens a slit from her eyes, and in the blurriness under the lighting, she seem to see a handsome face.

“Bai Jin Xi, you awake?” a low and deep voice asks.

Bai Jin Xi turns her body to the other side and mumbles, “No!”

Han Chen watches her turn to the other side and sleep in a curled up position while standing beside the table and tapping his fingers on it.  Old Zhou, who’s beside him, seems as if he knew this was going to happen as he tries hard not to laugh.

Han Chen reaches over to grab her arm and pulls her up from the table.

“Wuuu…….” but Bai Jin Xi is just too tired.  She has barely gotten any sleep for the past few days due to investigating the case, so she had originally planned to go home and sleep today.  He pulls her to sit up, but her eyes are still closed with her head down, and her long hair is in a mess.

“Let’s go,” Han Chen says indifferently.

“Mmm……” Bai Jin Xi slowly falls down with her head against the table.  She’s actually asleep again.

Or more precisely, she still hasn’t woken up yet.

Han Chen frowns as he stares at her sleeping body sagging like a puddle of mud.


That Xu Si Bai sure is right.  Beauty Bai really needs others to watch out for her so that she doesn’t get bullied.

Other than her looks and temper resembling a woman, she is exactly like a veteran criminal investigator in all areas; she’s frivolous and crude.

After standing for a while, he pulls out the pack of cigarettes from his pocket.  He tilts his head to light one up, takes a deep breath, and breathes out a long smoke ring.

Bai Jin Xi is still half-awake, half-asleep when she suddenly smells a familiar delicious scent of cigarettes.

The taste permeates the air and slowly drifts towards her, surrounding her closer and closer.  She sniffs her nose twice subconsciously.

She can then smell the scent of cigarette under her nose.  It’s close, very close, as if it is almost touching her lips.

She opens her mouth and takes a bite.

But nothing.

It’s as if the scent of cigarette has grown a pair of legs and dashed away in a flash.

She opens her eyes and can finally see what’s going on; Han Chen has one arm pressed on the table with the other holding a cigarette and looking down at her with his dark brown and deep set eyes.

He then puts the cigarette into this mouth.

“Get up.”

Bai Jin Xi gets up quietly.

_____

1am at night.

A dark small street runs across the archives library’s entrance.  Under the bright moon shining as clear as water, it looks just like a meandering river; every step echoes crisply in the silence.

After a few steps, Bai Jin Xi asks, “Have you found the person you’re looking for?”

It’s very dim, so Han Chen’s face is blurry and she can only see the faint breaths of air that he breathes out.

“No.”

Bai Jin Xi keeps silent for a moment, and then says in her crisp voice, “It’s okay, just keep looking.  You’ll find the person one day.”

Han Chen turns and glances at her.  His eyes are dark and hard to make out at night.

“Thanks,” a deep and gentle voice says.

Bai Jin Xi is a bit surprised.

This is the first time she hears Young Master Han thanking someone.  Obviously, it’s for bringing him here tonight.

She saunters forward and then says with a sincere tone, “What are you thanking me for?  Although this is a very troublesome matter that requires my connections and uses up a lot of my time and effort——But since I’ve agreed to it, I’ll do everything that I can to help you.”

If I hold out a mirror, are you going to keep going? (narcissistic)” he says casually and slowly in a deep and captivating voice.

Bai Jin Xi giggles.

In the quiet night, the old district is blanketed in darkness.  Only the occasional sound of a car driving by in the distance can be heard, and birds chirping in the tree branches above.  The muffled sound of a bell ringing from somewhere rips through the air, passes the city, and reaches their ears faintly.

The two of them walk forward quietly.

This must be the most peaceful and friendly moment between them since they’ve met.

Knowing that he will be leaving the day after tomorrow, Bai Jin Xi feels as if she should say something since they’ve worked together nonetheless.

But she doesn’t really have anything to say.

Just at this moment, she hears him say, “What specialty foods does Jiangcheng have?”

Bai Jin Xi answers casually, “Marinated duck, hot sauce, tofu skin……oh, peaches are also not bad during this time.”

He raises his hand to take a breath of smoke, “Help me buy some,” and then takes out his wallet.

Bai Jin Xi takes a look at his wallet under the moonlight; black leather, simple design, but very old with its corners worn out.  It’s really quite unmatched with his prestigious wardrobe.

“No need for now,” she says, “I’ll tell you how much it costs after I buy everything.”

He doesn’t insist and stuffs the wallet back into his pocket.

Bai Jin Xi’s phone suddenly rings.  She looks at the number and immediately looks serious.

It’s from an investigator who’s on night duty.

“Hello, what’s the matter?”

At the same time, Han Chen’s phone also rings.  He answers, “Hello?”

Bai Jin Xi can hear the investigator’s urgency and sternness, “There’s another sexual assault case at Mianyang Lane!  Just half an hour ago!  The victim reported it just in time, and the suspect is currently on the run, heading in the direction of Blue Star Mechanical Factory!  We are currently chasing after him!”

Bai Jin Xi’s heart skips a beat.  She raises her head subconsciously, and sees Han Chen hanging up his phone and staring at her.

They’ve been notified of the same thing.

Without a second word, the two of them run toward the police car that’s parked at the front of the street.

Bai Jin Xi calls Zhou Xiao Zhuan while running, “Where’s Chen Li Jiang?!”

Zhou Xiao Zhuan sounds a bit tired, but is still clear minded, “Chen Li Jiang?  He went inside the factory two hours ago to start his night shift.  He hasn’t come out since.  What’s the matter?”

“Hurry and go find him!  There’s a new sexual assault case!”

They’ve already gotten to the police car when she hangs up.  Bai Jin Xi opens the driver’s door, and just when she is about to get in, she is pulled to the side and the keys in her hand are snatched away.

She looks at Han Chen, who has already slipped inside, by surprise.

“I’ll drive,” he says in his deep voice.

Bai Jin Xi doesn’t question why he wants to drive and hops into the passenger seat cooperatively……

It’s not until she’s glued to the seat like a frightened cat with both her hands grasping the car handle tightly, watching the scenery fly by in twisted shapes and colours.  Every time that they almost crash into another car that’s also driving on the road at night, Han Chen would suddenly turn the steering wheel and pass them speedily, almost touching the sides.

Bai Jin Xi is not scared of sitting in a speeding car, but not as fast as this one.  It feels as if her life is in danger!

“Big Brother!” she shouts, “Drive steadily, will you?!  I still want to see the sun rise tomorrow!”

Compared to her, Han Chen is too calm.  He doesn’t look like he’s speeding at all, or more like, drag racing.  Those slender and prominent hands are placed casually on the steering wheel.  He accelerates, changes gear, and turns the car like he has done it many times before.  The soaring lights outside the window shine on his face; it’s very blurry, but also very quiet.

“Close your eyes if you’re scared,” he says.

Bai Jin Xi obviously refuses to.  She’ll worry more with her eyes closed.

She decides to talk to divert her attention.

“So tell me, are you the legendary Brother Thirteen of Second Ring (Road)?” she asks.

Brother Thirteen of Second Ring; a poetic name that stands for being able to finish a lap on the Second Ring Road in thirteen minutes, passing two-hundred cars a minute.

Han Chen responds while still having his eyes on the road, “Don’t insult me.  Race on Second Ring Road and impact traffic?  I don’t do such a thing.  I’d rather drive a motorcycle to Shichahai.”

Bai Jin Xi doesn’t know what kind of place Shichahai is, but she can’t help but start picturing him driving a motorcycle wearing a helmet, gloves, and leather jacket.  The conclusion is that he must look very handsome.

“So……how much time does it take you to get to Shichahai then?” she asks.

“Three minutes.” he answers.

Bai Jin Xi thinks for a second and says, “You see?  That still makes you Brother Thirteen.  Shichahai, three minutes.  Brother Shi ‘San’ (three), Brother ‘Shi San’ (thirteen; ‘Shi’ chahai + three).”

Han Chen says cooly, “What nonsense are you saying?  I think you’re Sister Thirteen (ref suggesting she’s a part of the mafia).”


_____

Regardless of how much Bai Jin Xi tries to divert her attention, her legs are wobbly the moment she gets out of the car.  She uses the car door for support, but almost trips over.

A strong arm reaches out just in time to hold her.

Han Chen looks at her, “You’re okay?”

She smiles, “I’m fine.”

He releases his hand immediately, turns around and walks forward.

In the middle of the night, the man’s cold yet strong fingers grasped her wrist.  It’s just that he was too quick; the instant she spoke, his fingers moved away from her skin.  This tiny movement suddenly reminds Bai Jin Xi of the crime scene from the other day.  He was just like this; avoiding contact with her.  Only when there’s no other choice——like when they fell down together or catching her when she jumped from the platform.

Bai Jin Xi suddenly feels uncomfortable about this.

Heh, this fellow, is he really this protective of himself?

The entrance to Blue Star Mechanical Factory is dark, but two civil officers have arrived already.  Once they spot them, they immediately advise of the situation, “We haven’t seen anybody suspicious yet.”

Bai Jin Xi calls the criminal investigator on duty right away and puts him on speaker phone, “I’m at Blue Star!  Have you caught the guy yet?!”

The sound of wind and the person’s urgent voice comes on from the other side, “No!  That brat sure is smart.  He runs fast, and he’s gone in the blink of an eye.  He took an alternative route instead of Blue Star’s entrance.  We’re heading in the direction that he might be going!”

Bai Jin Xi scrunches her eyebrows.  This is big trouble; the old city district has many twisting and turning streets, making it easy to lose sight of their target.  If they can’t catch him, how will they know that the offender is really Chen Li Jiang?  How will they be able to lay charges on him?

Just when she is about to call Zhou Xiao Zhuan, who’s responsible for monitoring Chen Li Jiang, she suddenly sees Han Chen turn around and start running in another direction.

“Bai Jin Xi!” he calls out her name.

Bai Jin Xi is dumbstruck for a second before she comes to her senses and follows him immediately.

The backdoor of the factory.

_____

There’s a narrow passageway in front of the backdoor of the factory where cars cannot drive on it and it’s covered with big trees.  The two of them run for over a kilometer, make their way around the factory area, and see a small passageway from a distance.

Bai Jin Xi runs while keeping her eyes on the backdoor from afar.

She was just about to ask if they should find a place to hide themselves and wait when a black and tall silhouette appears.  The figure suddenly comes out from a street corner that’s about 100 meters away, and is heading towards the backdoor!

Bai Jin Xi’s heart pounds heavily as she shouts, “Stop right there!”

Han Chen has already dashed forward to chase after the person like an arrow that has been released from a bow.

It’s him!  It has to be him!

Who else would coincidentally appear at this location and at this time!

Besides a rapist on the run!

The suspect turns his head to look subconsciously after hearing someone shout, but it’s too dark outside, so they can’t make out his face.

He then runs even faster.

But with Han Chen in the front and Bai Jin Xi following behind, the gap between them is closing.

They’re just about seventy to eighty meters apart when the person has reached the backdoor.  The two meter high fence is locked, but the person athletically flips over effortlessly, and runs into the factory area.

Han Chen follows close behind and also flips over the fence.  He turns around and glances at her when he lands.  Bai Jin Xi can’t make clear of his face, so she doesn’t understand why he turned to look at her.

But he doesn’t stop for a second.  He quickly turns back and continues running forward.

After a while, when Bai Jin Xi is at the backdoor, she raises her head and stares at the tall metal fence.

She climbs up.

Her legs are already numb from all the running, and now that she’s squatting on the top of the fence, her legs feel even more numb.  She grits her teeth, closes her eyes, releases her hands, and falls directly onto the ground.  Luckily, she reacts fast enough to put her hands forward to the ground; it’s just that her face still got scraped, which hurts a lot.

Her whole body is covered with cold sweat, but she gets up right away.

Because of her fear of heights, her legs will become numb, making her unable to jump down whenever she comes across these situations.  Therefore, she forces herself to fall down directly.  Although it hurts quite a bit, at least it doesn’t hinder other things.

The back side of the factory is where the dormitory is.  There are no street lamps visible, so everywhere is dark and quiet.  Bai Jin Xi uses all her might to sprint on the passageway; she sees two clear figures ahead of her, running towards a well-lit road.  And footsteps can be heard coming from that lit road.

Half a minute later.

Bai Jin Xi finally reaches the end of the passageway and the well-lit road.

But she is completely stunned when she sees what’s in front of her.

The first thing she sees is Han Chen.

He is standing a few meters away from her; the back of his black shadow is already damp from sweat.  He pants as he stares forward.  In those dark brown and beautiful eyes, coldness and hatred can be seen.

In the front, about ten or so meters from where they are, a large crowd of seventy to eighty workers in blue coveralls are coming out from the factory area; they must have just finished their night shifts.  The area is noisy and filled with people.  Many of the workers show surprised expressions when they see the two of them.

As for the suspect that they’re after……has long hidden himself among the crowd.

Bai Jin Xi’s phone rings.

It’s Zhou Xiao Zhuan.

He talks fast while full of doubt, “Leader, this doesn’t seem right!  I snuck inside the factory just now, and Chen Li Jiang was working all along and didn’t leave.  I’m still following him right now.  He just left the factory and is walking outside.”

Bai Jin Xi is a bit shocked.  She lifts her eye subconsciously to look at the crowd of workers.

Han Chen watches her, and also looks towards the crowd.

Among the blue clothed workers, they spot a familiar face.  It’s none other than Chen Li Jiang, who’s with his two colleagues, walking quickly over.  As if he notices something, he suddenly turns his head and looks at them.

His dark brown eyes are peaceful and solemn.

And then, he turns to his colleagues; he says something, and smiles.


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