Chapter 11: Roll Around? Act Spoiled? Go to Hell!
The experience of riding in the basket of a bicycle and traveling along a gravel road… was something that Zheng Tan did not want to recall ever again.
As soon as they arrived at the destination Wei Leng had spoken of, Zheng Tan hurriedly jumped off the bike, and nearly fell down because of how dizzy he was.
This was a two-storied building, and the surrounding area was a private residential district. However this place was within a demolition zone, so many of the buildings around here were empty. There were large warnings written over the walls, and there were many tall billboards advertising a new development that were hanging about.
The new district was expanding, so it was inevitable that this part would become demolished. Within 10 years, this place will gradually become covered with high-tech companies.
Wei Leng opened the door, pushed the bike into the building, fumbled around his refrigerator to pull out a handful of beef jerky, then sat down on the couch. He ate as he was watching television, not paying any heed to Zheng Tan at all.
Zheng Tan looked around and jumped onto a coffee table, swiped Wei Leng’s beef jerky towards himself, opened the wrapper, and started eating. Earlier on the road here, Wei Leng had said he would bike back to Chu Hua University after finishing his business and drop Zheng Tan off along the way, so Zheng Tan wasn’t in a rush to leave… but it wasn’t like he could leave this place even if he had wanted to.
After around ten minutes, the doorbell rang, and a man wearing a police uniform came in.
Seeing Zheng Tan, that man spoke to Wei Leng in surprise. “Where’d you pick up that cat? I’m not raising it! You already know, I’d rather keep a dog than a cat!”
“You don’t need to raise it. It’s someone else’s, and I’ll send it back tomorrow.” Wei Leng pulled apart a piece of a jerky and tossed it into his mouth. He then handed a glass jar to the man.
That person didn’t say much, he only took the glass jar with gloved hands and went to the bathroom. Not much later, he had came out holding a small transparent bag where the contents were visible.
Jade, diamond, gold rings…
Although it was a small bag, its monetary value was tremendous.
“Did you see anyone?” He asked.
Wei Leng shook his head and pointed at Zheng Tan. “This cat discovered it.”
“Huh, you’re talking sh*t!” That man clearly didn’t believe it, and changed the topic, “That said, what else did you discover? I couldn’t hear over the phone… you should really switch cellphones. The way it is now you won’t be able to contact anyone when you leave the central district.”
Wei Leng spoke a little about the scene at the broken tile-roofed house. “There was pesticide intentionally sprayed around to prevent animals from coming close, but it was the kind which wouldn’t kill off the weeds. The inhabitants in the area had all been busy moving away, so they definitely wouldn’t have come looking inside that dilapidated house that was so overgrown with weeds. This bag of stuff was also well hidden, and the surrounding traces had all been fairly well and very carefully cleaned… this isn’t that person’s first time doing something like this.”
“Of course it isn’t their first time, several people have lost their lives to their hand, so that person should be very experienced at doing this kind of thing. Even though you were able to find it, if it were up to the youngsters under me, even if they spent a whole day circling around that broken tile-roofed house, they wouldn’t have found a single hair.” The man in the police uniform fiddled with the bag in his hands, thought for a moment, and then gave the folder he had behind his back to Wei Leng.
“A male?” Wei Leng looked at the data on his hand and frowned. It contradicted his hypothesis. Previously, he had always suspected the only woman that was on the suspect list.
“It’s the results from the new machine at the office, so how could it be faked?” The policeman patted Wei Leng on the shoulder. “It’s fine bro, I really need to thank you for helping me find this evidence. We’ve already got people keeping watch over there, so if there’s any activity we’ll notify you. Hey, you’ve been discharged for three years now and your injuries have already healed. You should hurry up and find something to do. Don’t spend all day leisurely running back and forth and loafing about like this. It’s fine if you join the police or if you start a company. It’s not like you don’t have the connections or the capital for that.”
Wei Leng lit a cigarette, raised his arm behind his head to cushion it as he leaned back on the sofa. “I’m too lazy for that.”
“Bullsh*t!” The man in a police uniform snatched the folder back and was angry enough that he had nothing more to say. He turned to face Zheng Tan who was presently on the coffee table using his paws to squeeze the wrapping paper around the beef jerky. “That cat is pretty smart. Compared to Master’s lynx…”
The man in the police uniform stopped halfway through the sentence.
“Why’d I mention it?!”
“Why’d you mention it?!”
The two of them spoke up almost simultaneously.
As soon as they remembered how that lynx had precisely the same expressions as their Master did when glaring at people, the two of them became terribly horrified. This was why Wei Leng wasn’t particularly surprised by Zheng Tan’s various expressions when he first met him.
Rubbing the goosebumps that had risen on his arms, Wei Leng gave the man in a police uniform a kick. “Bro, you should go back and take care of your things. This case must be hectic enough for you already.”
“True,” the man in the police uniform said as he put away his things. His face looked serious, but his speech had an air of self-satisfaction. “If I can’t solve these cases, I’ll be too embarrassed to climb the ladder again.”
“Narcissism is an illness. You should go get it treated.”
“Haven’t you read the newspapers? Narcissistic people have the capacity to become leaders. Napoleon, Roosevelt, Stalin, Edison, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, and Hitler all share narcissistic personality traits.” The policeman whistled as he left, and as he walked out the door, he added, “You don’t have to return my daughter’s bike. You can just buy a new one for her later since it’s almost her birthday. Remember, it has to be the collapsible type.”
Even though Zheng Tan was poking at the bag of beef jerky for the entire time, he kept his ears perked up to listen to the conversation between the two men. It seemed like the two were rather remarkable people, and had in fact trained under the same Master.
After the policeman left, Wei Leng made a bowl of instant noodles, grabbed a fistful of beef jerky and placed it on the coffee table. He said to Zheng Tan, “I’m going to catch some sleep. If you’re hungry, you can eat beef jerky. I don’t have anything else for you to eat anyway. Also, it’s best if you don’t go outside. This area isn’t like the place you stayed at earlier. Do you know why there aren’t any cats and dogs around here? It’s because the construction workers caught them all and cooked them up. There’s a lot of people here who love to eat “Boiled Alive Cat.”. Even if you’ve got talent, the best you can do is bully a small dog.
Zheng Tan: “…….”
After staying in this danger-filled district for a night, on the second day, Wei Leng gathered his belongings and rode his bike towards Chu Hua University. Zheng Tan once again squatted in the basket of some girl’s pink bicycle. The nice part was that as they got closer to the urban district, the road started to flatten out, and apart from the slight discomfort from the wind, it wasn’t all that bad. That was, if you didn’t count a certain noisy person’s constant blabbering.
From as soon as they set out, all the way until they reached the street by Chu Hua University, Wei Leng criticized Zheng Tan for all sorts of different things. “Poor jumping ability, sluggish reflexes, hearing which has regressed to that of a pig’s. You didn’t even notice when someone walked up to your side…”
Zheng Tan really wanted to retort, but it was a pity he didn’t have the ability. All he could do was make weird cat noises, so while on this road, bystanders were confronted with the scene of a man riding a girl’s bike while jabbering nonstop. Every time he uttered a few sentences, the cat in the basket would meow once, as if the man and the cat were having an argument.
The bike ride from the New Technology Development District to Chu Hua University took at least two hours. However, to Zheng Tan, it didn’t look like Wei Leng was particularly tired.
Wei Leng had rented an apartment near Chu Hua University. He had already bought a house that wasn’t too far away from Chu Hua University, but it was still being renovated and would take at least half a year before he could move in. That was why he first found a place and already paid rent there for half a year.
The mother and daughter pair that Zheng Tan met last time at the large lawn were Wei Leng’s war comrade’s wife and daughter. That war comrade unfortunately lost his life on a mission, so Wei Leng had always been helping to look after the family. After he was discharged, he frequently came over to check up on those two.
The apartment Wei Leng had rented wasn’t very far from the Eastern Residence, and after exiting the East University Gate, it was only a five minute walk away. Many students rented apartments in this area.
When Wei Leng arrived at his rental apartment, he let Zheng Tan get off. “You can go home by yourself. When you have free time, you should train your ability. As a cat that loves to wander around everywhere, if you don’t have any skills, you’ll be turned into ‘Boiled Alive Cat’ sooner or later. In the mornings I go to the university for a jog around six or seven o’clock. If you want to join me for a jog, that will be fine.”
After saying that, Wei Leng locked his bike and went upstairs, not caring whether the cat he had ditched would be snatched away by strangers. Wei Leng felt that if this cat could be kidnapped so easily, then it deserved it. At least it would prevent him from wasting his time on training it.
Zheng Tan was rather familiar with the surroundings, and he didn’t pay any mind to the calls from the students walking by. He avoided them as he walked towards the East University Gate.
“That cat is awfully cold.”
“Totally. It’s nothing like that tabby cat that was rolling around two days ago.”
“Maybe all black cats are like that?”
“No way, my aunt also has a black cat, and it likes to act spoiled, unlike this one…”
Zheng Tan listened to the conversation that two female students were having behind him, and his ears twitched. He wasn’t in a good mood right now, and they wanted him to roll around? Act spoiled? Go to hell!
What he could not refute was that, when Zheng Tan climbed over the wall around the Eastern Residential Quad, he suddenly felt much calmer and at peace. Could this be called a sense of belonging?
Before Zheng Tan could finish with his sigh, the sound of a dog’s bark overturned Zheng Tan’s sense of mind in agitation.
Zheng Tan could recognize this dog’s bark. He hadn’t heard it for a whole month, so the residences here had been rather peaceful for an entire month.
Zheng Tan tilted his head and looked, and a dog was presently biting a plastic water bottle and running in his direction. His owners chasing from behind.
This dog was called Sahara, which has nothing do with the famous desert. The name came from the fact it was a mixed breed. The rumor was that the little brat was a mix between three breeds: samoyed (sa), husky (ha), and labrador (ra).
The appearance of Sahara’s face was as solemn as that of a husky’s, but the corners of its mouth were to the contrary, curved up like a samoyed. When these two qualities were combined, no matter how you looked at it, it appeared wretched. He had inherited the smarts of a Labrador, but how was it that it was only intelligent at the worst of moments?
For instance, right now, Sahara was biting on a water bottle his owners had just bought and was thrashing it about all over the place. Maybe it just liked being chased by its owners.
The plastic water bottle had a hole from being chewed on by Sahara’s fangs. The water inside shot out from the water pressure, and Sahara was coincidently running past Zheng Tan just as it burst. Zheng Tan didn’t have time to duck, and he was caught right in the bullseye.
Could it be, that his reflexes were really that bad?
The culprit already ran far away with the leaking water bottle in its mouth, and Zheng Tan shook the water off his body. Before he had the time to catch his breath, he then heard the sound of flapping wings.
On the wall of the residential quad behind him, a blue figure descended.
“Yesterday when I passed in front of your house~ You dumped a bucket of water~ Splashed on my leather shoes~ The pedestrians on the streets~ Laughed and laughed hehehe~~”
Zheng Tan: “……”
He suddenly really wanted ear wax.