Xiaotao wanted to send her father home, but Mr. Huang refused, "No, you get to work! I’ll take a cab home. The sooner you solve the case, the fewer the victims.”
"By the way, Mr. Huang, there is one little thing."
I explained Two Scar’s request, to which Mr. Huang laughed, "Let him call my company. I’ll get the HR department to find him a position. I like ambitious young people. Xiao Song, what are your ambitions?"
Without the slightest hesitation, I replied, "A peaceful world!"
Mr. Huang nodded, "That’s a great ambition. I used to think that Xiaotao’s work was too dangerous and the income was too low. But now that I’ve personally experienced crime, I realize how important peace is. If the country isn’t peaceful, how should we businessmen and ordinary citizens live? I will fully support you in the future, in my own way. Xiao Song, I heard that you’ve just started a business so you probably don’t earn much. When the two of you are engaged, I’ll transfer a listed company to you. That way, you don’t have to worry about money."
In fact, I was doing pretty well compared to the other graduates. I made enough money and had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. But for someone like Mr. Huang, perhaps my current situation could be viewed as a struggle.
"Thank you, but I’m doing alright. I can still support myself."
"Don't mention it. When you become my son-in-law, you’ll become a member of the Huang family. Who else would I leave my assets to?"
I felt moved by his words. Xiaotao interrupted, "Come on, Dad, don't try to tempt Song Yang with that. You’re only in your sixties but you’re constantly thinking about leaving an inheritance. Maybe you’ll live till a hundred!"
"Alright, get to it then!" laughed Mr. Huang.
Meanwhile, Two Scar had described the people he witnessed to the sketch artist. Only three of them left a deep impression. Since they were chasing after Mr. Huang, they were most likely bodyguards. The police started their investigation from major bodyguard companies in Nanjiang City.
Upon learning that Mr. Huang was offering him a job, Two Scar was so happy he couldn’t stop grinning. Since he had neither education nor specific skills, Mr. Huang started him off as a porter.
This young man eventually climbed up the ladder with his own abilities and became so successful he could write a book on how to go from zero to hero. Of course, that was a story for another day.
When Bingxin returned from Mr. Mu’s home, I decided to hold our very first meeting and called the other members of the special team. Upon answering my call, Lao Yao sounded as if he had just woken up.
“You better show up!” I insisted.
"Oh, Xiao Song-Song, I just got up,” he pouted. “I’ve not even washed my face. Just get a laptop and I’ll join you in a video call.”
"That was alright before you joined the special team. Look, I chose you, not anyone else. If the thirty thousand monthly salary doesn’t interest you, I can get someone else. It’s easy to find skilled hackers nowadays."
"If you can find someone better than me, then go ahead! I’d rather die than have my freedom restricted!" retorted Lao Yao.
At my wits’ end, I turned to Xiaotao for help. "Get here in half an hour, or you can forget about your bonus!"
"Can’t you give me an hour..." pleaded Lao Yao.
Before he could finish his sentence, Xiaotao hung up the call and threw my phone back to me. "Looks like your methods work better now that we’re part of the force!"
Yet another trick to add to my repertoire!
As soon as I entered the conference room, I noticed Song Xingchen was waiting for us. We were standing at the door the entire time so I was surprised to see him. "How did you get in?"
"He jumped in from the window and scared me half to death!" exclaimed Bingxin.
Xiaotao sighed, "A great display of your skills, but you’re not allowed to climb through windows in broad daylight. This is the city bureau. What if you’re seen by the public?" Then, she turned to Wang Yuanchao who was smoking in the corner. "And you, no smoking in the conference room!"
"Yes! It’s like a fire in here every time we hold a meeting. Let’s state the rules now–no smoking!" added Bingxin.
Xiaotao watched in exasperation as Wang Yuanchao silently extinguished his cigarette butt and pulled out a silver hip flask.
This was Song Xingchen’s first formal meeting. He sat wordlessly in his chair, Tang Sword in hand. When I asked if his injury had improved, he nodded, "Yes. By the way, Aunt Song heard about what happened and chided me for not contacting her in time. She’s coming to visit you."
Upon hearing the words ‘Aunt Song,’ goosebumps prickled my skin. The events that happened in the Song village remained vivid in my head. "No, tell her not to come!"
"I have no say on this," Song Xingchen shook his head.
I sighed helplessly, hoping that her visit was really just that.
While Lao Yao made his way to the station, the five of us discussed some infrastructure issues, that is, office space. Despite being an independent group outside of the city bureau’s jurisdiction, we couldn’t establish an office outside the city bureau as it would be inconvenient for us to utilize the bureau’s resources. Additionally, we might seem unprofessional, much like an ordinary detective firm. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any space available at the station.
"Is it necessary to establish an office? Can't we just borrow the conference room when we hold our meetings?" suggested Bingxin.
"It is necessary! First of all, someone as lazy as Lao Yao should punch in every day. If we do have a case, then he’ll be available immediately. Secondly, as the cases add up, we’ll have more files and require storage space. On top of that, we need our own armory, or at least a safe for our weapons!"
"Wow, can I carry a gun as well?" asked Bingxin.
"In theory, you can. But your father won’t allow it,” chuckled Xiaotao.
Bingxin appeared crestfallen.
Song Xingchen interrupted, "If you expect me to be here nine to five, I'm afraid I can't!"
"Fine, your circumstances are special. Anyway, as soon as Song Yang shows up, you’ll be there." Although Xiaotao was being sarcastic, her description was rather accurate.
The location of our office was a headache. The most practical solution was to get the other officers to vacate a room for us.
"How about this? My dad says they’ll be expanding the Jiang precinct in the near future. Shall we move there?" asked Bingxin.
"No, it’s inconvenient for me. I’ll have to take the ferry to and from work."
"Isn’t the ferry fun?” laughed Bingxin. “I’d love to take the ferry!"
Xiaotao suddenly bent over in laughter. "I just imagined Song Xingchen with a pipe in his mouth, secretly protecting you from the water. It’s hilarious!"
"You shouldn’t tease him just because he doesn’t speak much!" I retorted.
While our attention was placed elsewhere, Wang Yuanchao had once again broken the rules. With a cigarette between his lips, he said, "We can go to the Armed Police Base. There’s an empty room over there."
“Isn’t that even farther? It’s in the outskirts," complained Xiaotao. "And why are you smoking again? Where’s your sense of discipline!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter