Chapter 19: Guns & Roses (7)
There was an undeniably low atmospheric pressure throughout the whole place! Recently, the Earth staff could all sense Miao Yuan’s sad mood. Twice a day, Momo would tell Miao Yuan, “Girl, it’s already cold enough. Let’s not add frost to snow1, okay?”
Everyday, even the cafe regulars would constantly ask, “Why is the cake a bit bitter recently?”
Miao Yuan heaved a long sigh, causing Milu and Momo to simultaneously shivered. They thought, It really can’t continue down like this.
Milu cautiously slipped over to talk with Miao Yuan and offhandedly mentioned that he vaguely remembered having a high school classmate who was currently serving as a soldier. The classmate was nearby and in the armed police. So how about let Milu pull some strings, play matchmaker, and sound it out?
Miao Yuan glanced at him lifelessly with a complicated expression. He froze, not knowing if her expression was good or bad. He glanced back at Momo, as though crying for help. But Momo helplessly shrugged in response.
Business was good and the cafe’s turnover of ingredients was quick. Milu’s pizza cheese quickly disappeared. Even Miao Yuan’s tiramisu ingredients had dwindled down drastically. Normally, one male employee was enough to do the stocking. But given Miao Yuan’s mood problems, Momo heavily hinted that she alone could look after the shop, forcing Miao Yuan to follow Milu and enjoy a diversion. After all, kindhearted Ms. Momo was full of guilt from having eagerly supported Miao Yuan in going forth with that silly silent treatment.
The two coworkers squeezed onto the bus and headed towards the big supermarket. The whole trip, Miao Yuan was shoved by people and bumped into Milu’s embrace countless times. She became absent-minded, inwardly grieving that she hadn’t been squished together on the bus with Chen Mo.
With great difficulty and a whole lot of squishing, they arrived at Walmart. Miao Yuan was surprised to find that they were doing a deal for mascarpone that day. At 59.9 RMB a tub, it was the lowest price she had ever seen. Her mood suddenly lifted. She became abnormally unrestrained and bought an extra 10 tubs. She planned to run a “Tiramisu Taste of Heaven” promotional sale for Christmas.
Of course, she also took advantage of the price and bought herself a tub. But wanting to make tiramisu solely because of discounted mascarpone… That was such an unromantic reason… She suddenly felt sad again.
Milu’s mouth twitched as he saw Miao Yuan holding a large box of cheese in a daze. She seemed happy yet sad. Her face was tilted slightly upward, and her image seemed to be the very definition of beautiful sorrow.
Luckily, daydreaming and falling in love are similar. If you don’t pay attention, it will always end with time. Miao Yuan’s arms became sore, forcing her to return to reality. While the two heaved their items out the store, Miao Yuan saw a few policemen walk eastward and subconsciously followed along with her eyes. Though the uniforms weren’t all the same color, at the very least they were still uniforms. Miao Yuan sadly realized that she had already become infatuated with the police garb through and through.
From this angle, there were but a few officers in deep-green uniforms standing in the depths of the alley. Miao Yuan hesitated but was unable to resist her curiosity and walked over.
In that moment, Milu was looking elsewhere and thus, lost her. Lugging a large box of cheese, he searched the whole supermarket for her. After finally catching sight of her, he ran over in exasperation.
As he walked through the narrow alley behind the supermarket and got closer, he saw a few armed police officers cordoning off the area with yellow caution tape. Miao Yuan wanted to go and ask what was going on, but was given a cold glare, causing her to sulk back.
Milu finally caught up, but upon seeing the situation, he didn’t have the heart to chide Miao Yuan. Then with a closer look, he got excited. The high school classmate he was just talking about this morning was standing right there. It really was a small world! Young guys all love to show off in front of girls. So immediately, Milu went up to chat up his classmate.
The meeting of old classmates is always a happy one. After some small talk, Milu started fishing for gossip. His classmate mysteriously lowered his voice and said, “Inside, there’s a guy strapped with explosives and holding people hostage.”
“Ah…” Milu and Miao Yuan’s mouths simultaneously dropped open.
“You never would have guessed, right? I’ll let you in on something,” the classmate said with a puffed chest. “This place is a bit far, but if you can circle around to the front, you’ll be able to see it. There are so many people there, packed in like sardines and watching the spectacle. A few streets are blocked off and the police are only letting people enter, not leave. We can’t have news of this getting out, or else the whole city would be panicking.”
“What’s going on…” the gossip mongers, Milu and Miao Yuan, asked.
“We came here in a hurry and don’t know the details,” the classmate said in a lowered voice. “It seems to be some crime of passion. I heard it’s something about money and love or something. Not too sure on the specifics…”
Suddenly a loud voice from behind interrupted. “Sui Bo, what are you doing!”
The classmate, Sui Bo, was momentarily scared into a stiff upright position and replied in stammers, “N-n-nothing.”
Miao Yuan and Milu gloomily watched this “Twelve Cents” 2slowly walk towards them. They shot dirty looks towards this man, who was disturbing revolutionaries’ gossip!
But they couldn’t imagine that Twelve Cents’ expression would change upon seeing Miao Yuan. He became kind and courteous, and enthusiastically called out, “Sister-in-law!”
Miao Yuan’s head was full of fog as she looked at him. She didn’t know when she had acquired such an impressive brother-in-law.
Twelve Cents laughed. “Sister-in-law, you probably don’t recognize me. Last time when you came to deliver the cake, I was there helping you cut it. You even left an especially large slice for me!”
“Oh oh…” Miao Yuan pretended to suddenly remember him. “You, oh so it’s you…”
“Precisely!” “Twelve Cents smiled delightedly.
Miao Yuan sighed in relief but thought, I actually still can’t recognize him.
However, she still leaned in close and put on a caring demeanor, asking, “So then, what are you guys up to?”
“Sister-in-law, it’s like this; I’ll give you the rundown. Actually, even I’m not too clear on the details. Anyway, in that building over there, there’s a woman dating a guy who already has a wife. When the wife discovered that there was side woman, she was so hysterical that she committed suicide. Then, because the guy’s business probably wasn’t doing well, that side woman also didn’t want him anymore. Anyway, his family and finances are ruined now.”
“And then?” Miao Yuan suddenly began to feel a deep sympathy for the criminal.
“We suspect that he just wants to get rid of the side woman. But his luck isn’t with him today, and the side woman isn’t there. Public security discovered explosives on his body, and he’s taken several people hostage. It’s like he’s gone insane. He insisted that we send the side woman over to him.” Twelve Cents tightly knitted his brows. “I heard the criminal investigation squad say that someone’s already on the verge of death.”
A coldness seeped into Miao Yuan’s heart. The sympathy she had felt towards the guy vanished like smoke into thin air.
“But this is a criminal case, why are you here?” Milu didn’t understand.
“He has explosives, so we directly enacted the anti-terrorism plan. Team Five is the Quick Reaction Force3, so here we are.” Twelve Cents couldn’t conceal the pride in his eyes. “Captain’s still inside in a meeting with the criminal investigation squad. These days, cruel people fear hot-headed people, and hot-headed people fear people who don’t care whether they live or die.”
Miao Yuan listened in a daze. She suddenly realized that her Chen Mo was beyond that yellow tape. For some reason, she tensed up.
Two plainclothes officers emerged from the depths of the alley, patting Twelve Cents on the shoulder as they passed. The three people hastily exchanged a few words with helpless yet grave expressions. Miao Yuan felt nervous. The wind was cold and she shivered. But she didn’t want to leave. Milu and Miao Yuan each hugged their arms to their sides and stamped their feet to keep warm.
Twelve Cents suddenly cried, “Captain?”
Miao Yuan looked up. Chen Mo and a few uniformed policemen emerged from the alley, heading towards the high-rise across the street. Miao Yuan urgently waved and shouted, “Chen Mo?!”
Chen Mo cocked his head, glancing over. He continued walking two steps, said a few words to the police officer by his side, then turned and ran over.
“Why are you here?” Chen Mo stood on the other side of the yellow tape.
“I came to buy stuff.” Miao Yuan reached a hand over to him.
“Mm, stay here, don’t run around.” Her hand felt ice-cold. Chen Mo sighed. He held her fingers in the hollow of his palms and rubbed them.
Miao Yuan’s eyes instantly burned. She choked with sobs. “You’ll be fine, right?”
“It’s nothing. Don’t worry, just stay here. Don’t run around,” Chen Mo repeated. He hooked his finger and beckoned to a soldier. “Look after her. Don’t let her randomly run around.” He looked back at Twelve Cents. “Perfect. You follow me upstairs.”
Miao Yuan anxiously stared at Chen Mo’s figure as it disappeared into the stairwell.
“I really can’t go in?” Miao Yuan begged the sentinel but was answered with a small chuckle.
Miao Yuan dejectedly squatted in the corner and waited. Suddenly, Twelve Cents ran out, looking as though he was running from a fire. Sui Bo shouted from behind, “Third Platoon Leader, why’d you leave?”
“Go grab the gun. Help Captain get the gun.”
Sui Bo and the several young soldiers beside him momentarily froze. Miao Yuan was frightened, jumping straight up from the ground.
Gun? Why would Chen Mo need a gun?
When Twelve Cents came back, he was carrying a long box. Miao Yuan’s gaze was fixed on it until it left her sight. She became anxious, pacing in circles.
Seeing this, Milu supported her shoulders and patted her on the back.
Miao Yuan sighed. She stopped pacing.
Not a moment later, an indistinct gunshot sounded from in front of her. It lingered, seemingly carrying a sorrowful echo. It was the sound of a sniper’s bullet carving the wind.
Miao Yuan was so shocked her whole person jumped.
Sui Bo noticed and couldn’t bear to continue seeing her like this. He leaned over to comfort her. “Don’t worry. Captain’s marksmanship is god-tier. Once he opens fire, there is no bullet that doesn’t reach its target. This matter will be solved soon.”
Ah… Miao Yuan shook her head in a daze. So, so what you’re saying, Chen Mo just now, just now killed a person?
She suddenly felt as though she wasn’t living in reality.
- Meaning: let’s not make the situation worse.
- Twelve Cents is slang for a soldier of the lieutenant military rank
- Quick reaction force (from wiki): In military science nomenclature, a quick reaction force (QRF), also known as a quick reactionary force, is an armed military unit capable of rapidly responding to developing situations, typically to assist allied units in need of such assistance.