On September 1st, it was a rare day of rest. Chen Shi took Lin Dongxue out early in the morning and walked all the way through the streets. They walked among the rows of old houses in the city.
Lin Dongxue complained, "Where are we going so early in the morning? You’re acting so mysterious and not telling me.”
"We'll be there soon. We'll be there soon." Chen Shi continued to act secretive.
"I don't know how many times you’ve said that."
Things took a new turn and there was light at the end of the tunnel. There was actually a soup noodle restaurant in an alleyway. Although it was 7:00 in the morning, the store had no empty seats. Most of them were retired, elderly people. On the bench out front, the pot gurgled with steam and hot red peppers floated inside.
"After all that, it was to eat breakfast here?" Lin Dongxue didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
"This noodle store has tasty food. There is no other place in Long'an City who can make this kind of soup base. I guarantee you’ll remember it for a lifetime after trying it once.”
"It seems very spicy." Lin Dongxue glanced at the big pot.
After entering the store, they waited for a while before they got a seat. Chen Shi asked for two bowls of beef meatball noodles. Although they ordered it to be mild, when they looked at it, it was full of red hot chili oil. Chen Shi said, “Please go ahead.”
Lin Dongxue picked it up suspiciously and took a bite. She choked a little from the chili oil and coughed while covering her mouth for a very long time. She said, "This soup..."
"It’s a bit bitter and it’s too spicy."
"The addictive stuff is a bit uncomfortable at the first bite. After you eat this whole bowl, sweat it out, and then have a bowl of iced mung bean soup, it’ll be like bliss." Chen Shi picked up a beef ball, closed his eyes, and chewed it. "Ah, it's delicious! This store was closed for a few years. It only reopened in these last couple of days. There are a lot of customers who come here. I heard about it from the passengers I drove around and came here to admire it. I was instantly captivated."
"I don't think it's that delicious."
"This is a matter of taste..."
After eating a bowl, Lin Dongxue was sweating. Chen Shi ordered two iced mung bean soups. After drinking the mung bean soup, their hot and spicy mouths cooled down at once. It did really feel refreshing.
Chen Shi took out a small bottle and filled it with a little soup when no one was watching.
Lin Dongxue asked, "What are you doing? Are you taking it back to study?"
"I made a bet with Old Peng. He said there might be opiates inside which made it so addictive to eat. I’m taking it back for him to test.”
"Captain Peng has also been here?"
"He came here a couple of days ago with me."
"What?!" Lin Dongxue was surprised. "You came with him first before bringing me?"
"Is this jealousy?"
"What do you think?
"Weren't you busy that day?" Chen Shi defended.
Recently, they were less busy and could finally have a normal Sunday. After the two hottest months had passed, the crime rate in Long'an has also dropped. This was not pseudoscience. The data was the same every year.
A new term called "996" appeared on the Internet nowadays. It referred to the work system implemented by some IT industries. It meant to go to work at 9:00 till 9:00 every day, 6 days a week.
However, as a police officer, most of the time they were in a "996" working state, and they didn’t earn much. She didn’t know who she could vent to about the hard work.
Lin Dongxue noticed that there were two people at a table next to them. One was a young man with his hair dyed gray and the other was a middle-aged uncle with gray hair. The young man looked deflated and sat on the bench as if he had no spine. The uncle completely ignored the sign prohibiting smoking on the wall and lit a cigarette as soon as he sat down to start poisoning everyone around them.
After a while, the waiter brought two bowls of noodles over. Gray Hair pulled out a paper bag from his pocket, opened it, took out a dead cockroach and threw it into the soup bowl.
Lin Dongxue kicked Chen Shi under the table and used her lips to gesture over to that side.
Gray Hair mixed the bowl with chopsticks, stirred the dead cockroach into it, and then slammed on the table, shouting, "Who is the boss?! Who is the boss?!" When everyone's eyes looked over, he used chopsticks to pick out the dead cockroach from the soup. "Look at what this is? You’re giving this soup for customers to eat? What’s the situation with hygiene here?”
The waiter went over to apologize. "Sorry, I'll exchange another bowl for you immediately."
"Exchange!?" The two stood up. Gray Hair smashed the bowl to the ground. "I already drank a few sips. I want you to compensate me for my mental loss!"
The uncle with the cigarette stood up and sneered.
Lin Dongxue said, "Is there still such a low blackmail method in this day and age?"
Chen Shi said, "I think they most likely came to find trouble."
Many people also noticed it, but the other party was arrogant and the customers were mostly elderly people. Everyone pretended to be deaf and dumb. When some of them noticed that things weren’t going well, they quickly paid their bills and left.
"Get the boss out here! I want to get justice today!" Gray Hair got more aggressive.
This matter couldn’t be ignored. Lin Dongxue stood up and said, "Stop acting here. I personally saw that you threw the cockroach into the bowl yourself. If you want to blackmail people, you’ll need a new trick!"
Gray Hair widened his eyes. He looked Lin Dongxue up and down. "What are you trying to do? Fighting for justice?”
The uncle showed a traitorous and ambiguous smile. "You don’t even have all your hairs grown out, so why are you interfering? You should just step aside."
Lin Dongxue was frustrated. "I’m a policeman!"
Gray Hair was suddenly frightened. He used his eyes to ask the uncle what to do. The uncle hurriedly threw the cigarette down, stamped it out, and smiled. "I can see that your aura is special at first glance. So you were a police officer. It was a misunderstanding. Misunderstanding.”
At this time, a man in his forties came out. "Why are you here again? Did you come early in the morning to cause trouble? Is there a point, second uncle?"
Lin Dongxue was also taken aback. They turned out to be family, but the second uncle didn’t look like a good guy.
He smiled and pointed at Lin Dongxue. "Coincidentally, the police are here. We can make things clear."
Lin Dongxue said to the boss, "I saw everything just now. Later, when the officers of the police station come over, I can testify for you."
"Thank you!" The boss said, "He is my second uncle and this is my cousin, so I won't bother the police."
"Aiya, what's wrong, do you feel guilty?" The second uncle said with an arrogant tone. "Officers, you don't know the reason. I wouldn't do this if I had another choice. This kid invaded my real estate. This store is half mine. He didn’t even so much as inform me before he opened business."
"Second Uncle, do you still want face?" The boss glared. "I've given you the money for the store. Is there a point in causing trouble every day when there isn’t any?"
"What do you mean you’ve already given it to me? It’s still missing over a few hundred thousands! Your cousin doesn't have a job and the whole family lives on my pension. You open a shop and make a lot of money while I eat the northwest wind every day at home. Where would people find a nephew like you?”
"Hurry up and get lost. Don't stop me from doing business!"
The second uncle raged and grabbed his collar. "You’re telling me to get lost? You damn bastard. Everyone needs to help me get justice. As a family member doing this usurping the property kind of thing, aren’t you afraid of giving birth to a son without an asshole?"
Lin Dongxue was getting a headache from listening to them. The second uncle didn’t seem like a good person. He looked like he was a greedy person. "Don't argue. Come with me to the Public Security Bureau!"
5. So I know the author writes “second uncle” going forward, but after translating the whole volume, I believe there were only two brothers in that generation. I think “second” was only written to show that he’s the younger sibling and then the author just rolled with it. Generally, calling him the second uncle would mean there’s an additional sibling who’s older than that uncle, but yeah.
8. It’s just a phrase for people to curse others. There’s multiple meanings to this. E.g. In Hong Kong, they’re cursing others to have a girl instead of a boy (which was considered bad back in the day). In mainland China, it was to curse the child to be deformed. In modern times, with more medical knowledge, there’s actual conditions where a child is born without an asshole. Surgeries can be done to fix this, but if not, the baby would die.