Lan Yiyang stopped moving, looking at the smile on Lan Binglin’s face. A voice rang inside his head, gentle as she said, “A person’s life is so long. You might encounter more people that make you uncomfortable.
“If you don’t want to be looked down upon or be hurt, you need a weapon. Only then will others be wary and avoid you.”
His fist strained by his side, veins popping, but in the end he didn’t use it. He threw Lan Binglin forcefully back into the seat and strode out of the study. Translated by The Novelst
Lan Binglin sat where he was thrown, staring at Lan Yiyang. He seemed abnormally calm today, and was that doubt he had seen flashing through his eyes? How strange…
Lan Yiyang returned to his room, slamming his door behind him with a bang! He took a deep breath.
Looking at the law books that he hadn’t touched since that day, he spaced out.
Once again Mu Rulan had made him aware… that nothing would be possible without a weapon in this world.
Without a weapon, he couldn’t fight back against Lan Binglin and wouldn’t even be able to prove the Lan Family’s innocence. He… wouldn’t even be able to help Mu Rulan when she needed it the most. He had always been very self-righteous.
He suddenly understood that Mu Rulan was right back then. It was he who had not been worthy enough, so Mu Rulan had chosen Lan Binglin and Li Yan over him. If human relations could be defined by the greater than, equal, and lesser than symbols, in terms of worth, his would definitely be the least when compared with Lan Binglin and there would be no way to use the equal symbol with Mu Rulan.
Thinking that through, several things seemed clearer to him now.
He wanted to apologize to Mu Rulan tomorrow and request that they work together again. And this time he would learn to fight and become better.
Mo Qianren stood outside the iron gates of the factory, tissue on his fist as he knocked on the door. After some time the entrance opened up with a creak, a middle-aged woman looking out of the crack alertly.
Confirming that he was the policeman from last time, she opened the door wider to give him a suspicious look. “What’s the matter?”
“I’m looking for your boss,” he said.
The woman couldn’t help but scan Mo Qianren up and down, but let him in in the end.
Once again he walked through the ground floor, eyeing the mattresses on the floor. He found it incredible still, having so many old people living in such a place. If the owner wasn’t a liar, then he could be considered kind to allow all these old people to work where their abilities were likely not up tos standards.
The owner was Liu Beifang, who was 41 years old this year. According to his profile, he had declared bankruptcy four years ago, and had been enormously in debt ever since.
He had been a hawker and beggar before. Luckily he had managed to win a small profit while gambling, and had built this factory in the end.
From the profile, there was nothing suspicious at all.
Mo Qianren followed the woman up to the second floor. There was no one working and the workers seemed happy with their jobs. There was no need for them to overwork and they had no problems filling their bellies.
Yet the profits at this factory were quite good. Their income mostly came from high-quality musical instrument manufacturers from outside the country.
The woman entered the office alone and after a short while came out together with Liu Beifang.
Liu Beifang glanced at Mo Qianren, immediately recognizing him as the man with the police. He furrowed his brows and said impatiently, “What’s the matter now?”
Mo Qianren didn’t want to drag it out and so took out his wallet to show him, “Do you know this girl?”
The photo inside the wallet pictured a young girl standing in the sunshine, looking like she had been showered in a layer of gold.
Mo Qianren observed his expression carefully as his eyes went downwards before he answered, “I don’t know her.”
Mo Qianren shut his wallet, and said, tone cold: “I understand now. You know this girl and the first time you met was four years ago, likely when you were selling or begging in the streets. She gave you some money or assistance that let you start all this from scratch. That’s why you’ve helped her make things with your factory, like the piano wires that double as puppet doll threads, and even nails that you don’t sell commercially.”
Liu Beifang’s eyes widened as he stared in surprise at Mo Qianren, before his eyes shuttered. This all happened in under a second, yet Mo Qianren caught it all: his specialty was catching these microexpressions.
So it looked like what he hypothesized was correct.
“I don’t know her. If there’s nothing else, please leave. I’m a busy man,” Liu Beifang said in annoyance, shaking his hand quickly. He was unwilling to continue the conversation.
“Do you know what that girl did with those threads and nails you provided?” Mo Qianren said, unbothered.
“Are you done yet! I told you I don’t know her!” Liu Beifang’s impressive temper began to show.
Mo Qianren narrowed his eyes and stopped. He wanted to turn around and leave, but heard a voice behind him: “Are you with the police?”
Mo Qianren’s steps paused. He responded lightly, “No.” Translated by The Novelst
Liu Beifang didn’t say anything and Mo Qianren walked down the stairs, his hand on his wallet in his pocket.
Mu Rulan… Why was she so mysterious? Just as he thought he had solved the mystery, he realized that what he had truly done was unlock even more puzzles to solve, like opening Pandora’s Box.
Proofread by: Hannah
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