“The results of the trial are announced below. The defendant is convicted of murder and sentenced to death!"
The result announced by the judge caused the whole court to explode in commotion. He stared in disbelief, raising his handcuffed hands as he shouted, "Your Honor, I’m wronged!"
"What are you watching?" Chen Shi asked Tao Yueyue, who was sitting in front of the TV.
Tao Yueyue pointed to the male protagonist on the TV. "Look, it’s you in a parallel world."
"Haha, was I so unsuccessful?" Chen Shi touched Tao Yueyue's head. "Prepare to eat."
On September 11th, the third day after the trial, the three of them finally had time to gather together in celebration. The moment when Chen Shi was declared innocent in court, Lin Dongxue and Tao Yueyue were so excited that they shed tears. Their worries finally turned into joy.
"It smells good!"
Lin Dongxue, wearing an apron and heat-insulating gloves, brought a large iron plate out from the kitchen. She tried to bake fish at home by herself. After several failed trials, the results this time looked not to be too bad.
Chen Shi smelled the charred and crispy sea bass. Although there was still a gap between the appearance and what could be bought from the store, it was still worthy of praise. "Your cooking skills have improved!"
"Of course!" Lin Dongxue said proudly with a red glow on her face. "Yueyue's too picky. She doesn't like anything I make and she said to me confidently, 'Criticism is for your progress'."
"Sister Lin, you remembered wrong. The sentence I said was 'If criticism is not freely expressed, then praise is meaningless'." Tao Yueyue corrected solemnly.
"Uh, the meaning is the same anyway. Come and taste it!" Lin Dongxue handed the chopsticks over.
Tao Yueyue took the chopsticks, picked up a piece of fish, and tasted it. Lin Dongxue anxiously looked forward to her evaluation. After a long time, Tao Yueyue said, "If a full score is 100 points, this fish scores 90 points."
"Awesome!" Lin Dongxue was excited.
"Don't get me wrong. I mean that this fish can score 90 points, but you can only score 73 points for this dish."
"You mean to say that I humiliated the ingredients?"
"No, it’s fine!" Tao Yueyue changed her tune, feeling that she was too harsh.
Lin Dongxue hadn't recovered from the shock yet. "Cooking really isn’t my specialty. If you want to order takeout, you can order takeout."
Chen Shi mediated, "One fish is indeed not enough for three people. I will order some random dishes!"
"Today was to celebrate your acquittal, but we’re eating takeaway and this grilled fish?" Lin Dongxue felt like it wasn’t celebratory enough. "Should we go out to eat Haidilao?"
"There’s no need. It already brings me happiness to be able to eat together."
Today, Lin Dongxue had taken a leave of absence and didn’t have to go to work in the afternoon. She opened beer and drinks and filled the three cups. Lin Dongxue raised her cup. "To celebrate... Although you have two names, I’ll still call you Old Chen. To celebrate Old Chen getting acquitted!"
The three people raised their glasses together. Tao Yueyue felt very happy in this instant. The three people without blood ties could sit together and enjoy themselves, just like a family.
While eating and chatting, Chen Shi looked at his phone. "The delivery man is lost. I'll go pick it up."
"Their business capability is really bad. Just make a call." Lin Dongxue said.
"I'll be back soon!"
Chen Shi went outside. In fact, the text he just received wasn’t from the food delivery person. He went straight outside the housing district. There was a car parked there. He sat in the passenger seat, and an old man with a white beard and hair handed a small box to him. He said, "I bought it myself. It’s a gift to congratulate you on your acquittal."
Chen Shi opened it and glanced inside. It was a simple and durable mechanical watch. He smiled. "Your old taste really hasn’t changed in the last century."
"Damn boy. If you don't like it, just take it to the store and refund it."
"Why wouldn’t I like it?" Chen Shi put it on to try. "Since you’re already here, why don’t you sit down for a bit at my house?"
The old man waved his hand. "You young people get together yourselves. I won't join in the fun. I’ll leave after a few words with you."
Chen Shi had already guessed what he was going to say, but still listened patiently.
"Little Lin has just been discharged from the hospital. Although he still wants to stay on the front line, his body hasn’t fully recovered. I’m going to transfer him to the Political Department for a while."
"It's okay to go internal. He’s a person who is very meticulous and just. I was afraid that it’d hit him too hard, so I never told him, but his talent isn’t really suitable for the front line."
"Yes." The old man smiled. "He’s a stupid bird that flew first. I just don't know if the smart and fast bird is willing to come back."
"Chief, after experiencing so many things, I’m already not Song Lang anymore. I’m now the sophisticated and conservative Chen Shi. I’m living a comfortable life right now. I don't want to be a policeman anymore. I have some trauma."
"You’re wasting your talent."
"There’s no waste!" Chen Shi spread his hands. "I still have the identity of a consultant. When you need it, I will come help."
The old man also laughed. "Being a captain isn’t just about solving crimes. There are many things you need to shoulder."
"I don't think I’m worthy anymore."
"That's just what you think. In my opinion, there is no one more suitable than you."
After a moment of silence, Chen Shi said, "Four years have passed, and there are so many people in the police. Is no one else suitable? Does it have to be me?"
"Aiya, let me tell you a story!" The old man illustrated slowly. "Once upon a time, there was a farmer who dug out a tattered bronze sword in the ground. He casually placed it under the eaves of his house. Later, a western region merchant came and asked, ‘My fellow, can this sword be sold to me? I will pay a hundred taels of silver.’ The farmer agreed, so the two agreed to hold the money and goods transaction the next day. The farmer lay down at night, wondering what kind of sword could be so valuable. Could it be a treasure? Thus, he picked it up and studied it. He gently swung it, and the wind from the sword caused a large stone in front of the door to be split open. The farmer was so scared that he couldn't close his mouth. The next day, the merchant came. After seeing the sword, he slammed at his own chest and stomped around. He asked if the farmer had used it. ‘This is a mountain-opening sword. One swing could split the mountain. I bought it to move the mountain and fill the sea, but after it’s used once, it’s scrap iron and completely worthless.’"
The old man looked at Chen Shi meaningfully. "Of course, the mountain sword is used to split the mountain. It’s a waste to use it to cut stones, understand?"
Chen Shi asked helplessly, "How can I refuse you?"
"The choice is still yours."
Chen Shi looked silently outside the window. When the judge read the verdict, it meant to him that the heaviest page of his life had already been turned over, but this page would affect his life. He still hadn’t thought about what to do in the future.
"Chief, I want to go through the back door."
"Stinking boy, do you still want to negotiate conditions?"
"You have many acquaintances in the police academy. I want to arrange an exam for a child who unfortunately missed the junior high school examination. Of course, she will pass the exam on her own merits."
"That little girl wants to be a police officer?"
"We talked for a long time last night. This time, I understand that with her gift, she can either become the best police officer or the most dangerous criminal. I hope it’s the former. I also convinced her and she’s willing to try it out."
"The exam is no problem. She caught Zhou Xiao single-handedly. This incident caused a sensation across the country. If the media hadn’t been stopped by you, she would be a little celebrity now. Even if she missed the junior high exam, the police academy would definitely want this beautiful piece of uncut jade. But after I do this for you..."
"After it's done, I will seriously consider what you’ve said today, and then give you a clear answer."
"I hope it won't be too long. I'm about to retire soon. I don't have much time to wait for you."
"Don't worry!" Chen Shi reassured.
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