Memory Lost (美人为馅): Chapter 37 8


Chapter 37: Admiring Heart + mini side story

Han Chen’s voice is very attractive.

Deep, mellow, and pure.  But it’s not strong and rough at all.  The end of his sentences always carries a carefree tone, making you take in his words easily.

He lowers his head to Bai Jin Xi’s cheek level and says slowly, breathing into her ear.  Jin Xi can’t help but to feel her ears go numb and subconsciously move sideways to avoid him as she nods, “Mm.”

When she looks over, she sees that he has one of his hands on his knee and is not looking at her, but is looking straight.  His side profile is blurry under the darkening sky.

No matter where or when, this man’s every move seems to captivate everyone’s gaze.

Or more precisely, her gaze.

From the first time they met as foes to later when they became distant friends, and now close comrades.

Jin Xi keeps quiet, raises her head and looks to where he’s looking off to.

Among the group, Xiao You is currently sitting beside Ke Fan.  Ever since the start of the competition, he has been like Ke Fan’s loyal companion and subordinate.  He doesn’t talk much, but he works well with Ke Fan.  He carries out all of his orders without any complaints.  He’s just like Ke Fan’s shadow.

Now that she examines him closely, Xiao You is not a bad looking guy.  He’s about 175cm tall, fair skin and has refined facial features.  His refinedness also carries the stubbornness and toughness of a young lad.  Whenever he looks at you, his eyes always look calm.

Not far away, Fang Xu is sitting by himself.  His character is completely different from Xiao You.  He has average looks and seems like an ordinary guy at first glance.  Now that they’ve interacted for some time, there seems to be a sense of gloominess around him and a bit mysterious.

As for why they’re suspects, it’s already very obvious.

Firstly, after ruling out Zhang Mu Han yesterday, they were left with five suspects: You Chuan, Fang Xu, Ke Fan, Professor Sun, and Yan Er.  After ruling out Yan Er, they were left with four.

During today’s combat, she and Han Chen were with the red team, who were led into this isolated mountain by the blue team.  And then T cut off the suspension bridge.  Not only Professor Sun was with the Red Team, from start to finish, he never influenced anyone to come to this isolated mountain.  Furthermore, when Yan Er was killed, he was with the Red Team all along.  Therefore, the possibility of Professor Sun being T was ruled out.

Therefore, they are left with You Chuan, Fang Xu, and Ke Fan.

Ke Fan has a strong sense of leadership and also a well-rounded personality.  Based on this, he doesn’t match T’s profile.  More importantly, when Li Ming Yue talked about “what happened last year,” it’s clear through their conversation that Ke Fan and she were part of “what happened” at the time.

This means that he is a target of T’s punishment.  On the other hand, You Chuan and Fang Xu both remained silent the whole time.

Therefore, T is either You Chuan or Fang Xu.

……

“Clap!  Clap!” Ke Fan stands up and claps his hands a few times.  You Chuan also stands after him.

He looks around and says in a serious manner, “We’re in a bit of a bad situation right now.  None of our backpacks are waterproof, everything is wet, and we’re almost out of food.  We must find a place to stay before it’s completely dark.  Even if it’s a cave.”

“Yeah,” Zhang Mu Han and Xia Zi support while no one else says anything.

“Since there are no objections, let’s move.”

Han Chen and Jin Xi is walking at the very end of the group as usual.

The guns are no longer of any use, and they’ve left their backpacks behind, bringing only water, food, knives, and flashlights with them.  Maybe because they’re mentally and physically tired, so they’re not walking any faster than before despite they’ve offloaded the extra weight.

The sky is almost completely dark when it decides to start raining again.  It soon starts pouring, pounding on their bodies, carrying the coldness of the mountain.  Somebody also starts sneezing.

Jin Xi has a healthy immune system, great reflexes, and with Han Chen lending a hand here and there, it doesn’t take her much effort to traverse the muddy and slippery ground.  Professor Sun, on the other hand, is clearly having trouble keeping up.  Han Chen has to help him out every now and then.  Although Xia Zi doesn’t have a strong physique, she manages to keep up with her boyfriend’s help.  Li Ming Yue is in a much worse situation.  She’s not wearing many layers of clothes to begin with and has only a tank top underneath the camouflage jacket, so she’s constantly sneezing and has already finished her canteen of water.  And probably because of what happened just now, Ke Fan and the others don’t bother to turn around and help her.  Eventually, she falls to the end of the group, walking along with Han Chen and Jin Xi.  But she is clearly wary of them, so she starts to keep a distant and doesn’t chat with them.

When they arrive at the edge of a sloping area, there’s no path for them to take.  The sky is already completely dark.  The forest is like a blotch of black paint, and they are engulfed in it.  Everyone turns on their flashlights, making it seem as if they are the only source of light in the whole world.

Jin Xi has been following behind Han Chen, while Li Ming Yue has been walking a little bit in front of him on the right.  Jin Xi feels her hand being grasped by his palm again.

There’s no need for words.  She twitches her hand and he notices; he releases his hold a little and interlocks his fingers with hers.

Jin Xi feels a bit depressed suddenly.

It’s such a friendly hand holding position as comrades!

“Ah——” Li Ming Yue screams suddenly as she slides down on the slope.

Han Chen is the closest to her, so he reacts the quickest.  He lets go of Jin Xi’s hand and grabs onto Li Ming Yue’s arm.  But the moment Han Chen rushes over, the ground collapses.  The two of them slide down together with the sound of a crash.

“Han Chen!”

Bai Jin Xi stands on the edge with her eyes wide open.  She turns her flashlight to the brightest level and holds it up as she searches for them below.  The others have also come after hearing the noise, “What happened?  Who fell down?”  Everyone holds up their flashlights and points downward.

Thankfully, with a number of flashlights present, they soon find them.  The slope isn’t very steep.  They’ve slid to a grass area.  Li Ming Yue is struggling to get up as she pulls Han Chen with her.

Jin Xi asks anxiously, “What happened?”

They watch Han Chen support his left leg with his hands as he stands up slowly and raises his head to look up at them.  Li Ming Yue says quickly, “He seems to have stepped onto an animal foot trap when he was trying to pull me.  His leg is bleeding a lot!”

“It’s okay.  Let’s get back up,” they hear Han Chen say in a calm voice through the sound of rain.  He gestures for Li Ming Yue to let go and start to climb up the slope.  His fit and strong body doesn’t show any slowness as he makes his way up.

Jin Xi stuffs the flashlight into her pocket and starts sliding down to him.

Zhang Mu Han exclaims suddenly, “Ah!  Since there’s an animal foot trap, that means there are people living here!  We’re too lucky!  We’ve sure looked hard and yet it’s just right in front of our eyes!”

There are many bushes and tree branches along the way scraping against Jin Xi’s arms and face and stinging her.

She reaches them very soon.

Han Chen glances at her, “Why did you come down?”

“Stand still,” Jin Xi squats beside him.  Just when she’s about to roll up his pants, he grabs her arm.

“It’s a small cut,” his says unconcernedly, “Let’s go back up.”

Jin Xi smiles instead, “Oh?  You’re quite a tough one, aren’t you?”  Han Chen probably didn’t think she would tease him like this, so he’s speechless.  Jin Xi shakes off his hand and rolls up his pants carefully.  She can feel his eyes fixed on her.

She takes out her flashlight and gasps.  Li Ming Yue, who’s standing beside them, also gasps.

Someone at the top of the hill shouts, “Are you guys alright?  Hurry back up!”

Jin Xi shouts back, “Hold on!”  She asks Li Ming Yue to hold the flashlight for her while she fetches her canteen and uses the remaining bit of water to wash his wound.

“You sure don’t mind wasting it,” Han Chen’s voice says above her head.

Jin Xi responds without looking up at him, “Of course.”

Han Chen doesn’t comment.

They don’t have any medication with them and they don’t know how dirty the foot trap is.  The wound is deep and it’ll be a big problem if he gets an inflammation or tetanus.

She cleans the wound a bit, but now the question is how is she going to help him wrap it?  Everybody’s clothes are wet with muddy water, so where is she going to find some clean cloth?

Han Chen pulls her up from the ground, “It’s okay.  We’ll worry about it after we find a farmhouse.”

“No!” Jin Xi and Li Ming Yue both say.

Li Ming Yue glances at Han Chen before pulling Jin Xi to the side, “Cover me.  I’ll take off my tank top and you can use it to wrap your boyfriend’s leg.”  She takes her camouflage jacket off and hands it to Jin Xi.

Jin Xi says in surprise, “I should take mine off instead then!”

I should be the one contributing an underlying garment!

This thought springs into her mind, making her feel a bit embarrassed as she takes a quick glance at Han Chen.  In the night sky, his features are hard to make out; only his pair of eyes seems dark and unreadable.

Jin Xi pretends that she didn’t look, turns around and takes off her camouflage jacket.  Li Min Yue takes her jacket and holds it out to cover her.  Jin Xi has been wearing a white t-shirt underneath the jacket, which hasn’t gotten too wet.  She takes it off promptly and puts the jacket back on.

She turns back around but sees Han Chen looking elsewhere, avoiding to look where she is.

He’s usually such a cold and unruly person, yet he’s more conservative than any normal man.

Li Ming Yue giggles suddenly.  Jin Xi also wants to laugh seeing him like this.

“Why does it seem like you guys have only just started dating?  You guys are so shy,” Li Ming Yue says holding her laughter.

Jin Xi is a bit stunned.  She smiles and doesn’t answer.  Han Chen also doesn’t respond.  She squats and helps him wrap his leg.  At least it stops the blood from rushing out.

She then hears him say calmly, “She has always been this shy.  It’s got nothing to do with whether or not we’re in a relationship.”

Li Ming Yue chuckles.  Jin Xi reaches up and punches him in the waist, “Get lost!”  But he grabs her wrist and stops her from punching him twice.  He lets go after a few seconds.  Jin Xi lowers her arm naturally and continues wrapping his leg.

“Can you guys hurry up?” someone says at the top of the hill.  It’s Zhang Mu Han’s voice.

Before Jin Xi can reply, Ke Fan’s voice comes on, “We’re leaving first then.  You guys hurry and catch up to us.”

The three of them down the hill all raise their heads to look up.  They watch the group leave them behind and continue walking.  They’re walking quite fast too.  Jin Xi stands back up and curses under her breath.

Han Chen says without any emotion, “We must not let them leave us behind.  Let’s catch up to them.”

_____

They climb back up the hill and see that the group is already over a hundred meters ahead of them.  Li Ming Yue seems to feel anxious and starts walking quicker, but also feels bad leaving her life saver behind.

Jin Xi can tell what she’s thinking, so she smiles, “You chase after them first.  We’ll be right after you.  Since he doesn’t want others giving him a hand, there’s no use for you to stay behind.”

Li Ming Yue hesitates a bit before nodding, “Okay.  Call me if anything.”  She looks towards Han Chen, “Thank you for helping me back there.”

“It’s nothing,” Han Chen says.

Li Ming Yue picks up her pace to chase after the group.  Soon, only Han Chen and Jin Xi are left in the area.  Jin Xi stuffs the flashlight into his hand, grabs his other arm, puts it around her shoulder and holds onto his waist.  After everything is in position, she raises her head and looks straight, “Let’s go, my injured soldier.”

Han Chen doesn’t move.  He looks at her with the corner of his eye, “Bai Jin Xi, you think that my leg is broken?”

Jin Xi lets out a laugh, but says, “Alright.  I know you’re hurting but you want to remain chaste and don’t want a woman to give you a hand.  Just pretend that I’m a clutch.  This way, it’ll hurt less and bleed less.  Okay?”

Her words are playful, but she can hear her heart sighing.

Han Chen keeps quiet for a moment.  He leans over suddenly, resting almost his entire body weight on her.

“Thanks.”

Jin Xi is speechless.  She pushes his chest, “Don’t lean over!”

_____

Although they’re walking at night, the path isn’t too difficult.  They soon catch up to the rest of the group.  But Jin Xi doesn’t feel any more at ease in her heart.

The signal guns are no longer usable and Han Chen is injured, so their ability to attack and defend others has gone down greatly.  T has weapons and can probably fight well.  If he really initiates a fight, Jin Xi doesn’t have any confidence in being able to stop him.

Therefore, their best option is to watch this group and live safely until tomorrow 8am.

They walk for another half an hour and the rain stops.  They finally see four to five adobe homes beside the forest not far away from them.  Probably because it’s late at night, only one of the buildings is still lit.  A big black dog is also chained in front of the home’s entrance, barking at them.

As they walk up to the building, a fifty to sixty-year-old man with a stooped body comes out of the door with a flashlight.  He’s surprised to see them as he takes a few steps back.  In contrast, the group lets out a breath of relief and reveal their smiles.

__________


Mini Side Story: Xiao Zhuan’s Secrets

As Xiao Bai’s bosom friend and loyal follower, as well as Black Shield Team’s top academic achiever and administrator, Xiao Zhuan knows a lot of secrets.

For example, although Xiao Bai usually seems like a bold and wild flower (woman), when she cries, her tears don’t stop.  Another example is Cold Face.  Although he seems like a cold person, he’s actually pickier than Chatterbox——the cutting board for raw meat must not be used for cooked food, he must get off work 5pm sharp to go to the supermarket downstairs and buy discounted cherry tomatoes.  

And……

Holy!  Which criminal investigator would wash his underwear separately from their socks!?

And for example, others always say that Xiao Bai and Xu Si Bai are a couple, but Xiao Zhuan knows very well that Xu Si Bai will never be the one.

Because the way she looks at him does not contain that kind of carefulness and gentleness; Xiao Zhuan feels that Xiao Bai is quite pitiful too.

She seems to have changed ever since meeting Han Chen.  She’s such a careless woman, yet she keeps provoking this man.  Xiao Zhuan knows that she wants to get closer to him, but at the same time she’s afraid and is hesitant just like her scaredy-cat personality.

But Xiao Zhuan believes that they will definitely end up together, right?  This is also a secret inside his heart.  This has been his secret since he and Xiao Bai visited the provincial station.

No one noticed except for him.  When the bus stopped in front of the building, Han Chen, who had walked far away already, walked back slowly.

And then he kept following.  From the first floor to over ten floors and every place they went.  When he and Xiao Bai stopped in front of the history and heroic events section, Han Chen was at the staircase in the corner smoking.  When they passed the cafeteria looking left and right and got scolded by the supervisor, Han Chen was standing not far away with his hands in his pockets and a hint of a smile in his eyes.

Xiao Zhuan never told Jin Xi about this secret.

It was the first time in his life that he didn’t dare to give things a push.  It’s because he also doesn’t know if this Han Chen, who’s aloof and unpredictable in everyone’s eyes and whom Xiao Bai has a secret crush on, would really be able to give her happiness.  After all, there’s already an ax swinging betraying fiance in Xiao Bai’s dreams who causes her to cry and has already hurt her once!

Hmph!  If he meets this man one day, he’ll definitely punch him a hundred times!  Therefore, even though Han Chen is his leader right now, he still wants to observe him for a while before deciding whether to accept him or not!

Of course, Xiao Zhuan also has a sweet secret inside his heart, which is he seems to have fallen in love with a woman.

A very perfect woman.

This woman is the beauty of the archives office just across from the Black Shield Team’s office!

Different from Xiao Bai’s crudeness, Miss Archives Beauty is kind and gentle, and doesn’t ever raise her voice towards others.  Xiao Zhuan has decided that once his job becomes stable at the Black Shield Team and he has solved a few big cases, he will pursue her immediately!

But when he tells this secret to Bai Jin Xi, she makes fun, “You have to wait until you’ve solved a few big cases before pursuing her?  You sure are a soft cookie.”

Xiao Zhuan: “…”

Hmph!  He’s not a soft cookie!  He’s just…just…okay, he is just a bit soft.  He’s just like Xiao Bai; when it comes to love, he’s a soft cookie that lacks a bit of confidence.


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