After A-Jiao and Cui Jing were done with lunch, they spent the rest of the afternoon crazily shopping at various department stores, clothing stores, supermarkets, and street stalls. At around four or five o’clock in the afternoon, both of them were finally exhausted from all the shopping. They found a nearby KFC restaurant, went inside, and each ordered a glass of juice, before sitting down at a table near the window.
“Ziyuan, when are you going to get married?” Cui Jing asked A-Jiao as though it was a casual question. She then glanced at the scenery outside and lowered her head to take a sip of her juice.
A-Jiao sat across from Cui Jing, blinking flippantly at Cui Jing. “What’s up? Are you worried that no one’ll want me? This policeman of mine doesn’t have any plans to propose yet!”
“Aii! The world has really changed.” Cui Jing leaned against the chair. Then she sighed with emotion as she lamented, “Even a refined girl like you is living together with a man before marriage. Not to mention, the man you’re living with is actually an old police officer.”
“So what? Do police officers not eat human food?” A-Jiao continued to pester Cui Jing unsparingly. “Right, did your dummy invite you to move in with him?”
Cui Jing glanced at A-Jiao, then replied with a red face, “Oh my gosh… Stop! If he understood that, then he wouldn’t be a numbskull.”
“Heh, you can just teach him.” A-Jiao giggled and continued teasing, saying, “You are talented at teaching young children in kindergarten. Unless his IQ is less than that of a child?”
“Humph. I think he has actually has zero IQ.” Cui Jing didn’t retort against A-Jiao and instead agreed. “He is so mysterious, acting as if he is a part of the triad. I probably would’ve thought that he was a Taiwanese spy if we hadn’t met when we did.”
A-Jian moved her face closer to Cui Jing’s. “You can’t say that for sure! If you have time, then help me look into something. When will Jiang Jieshi1 make a comeback against Mainland China?”
“Psh! Isn’t Jiang the surname of that police boyfriend of yours? Go home and ask him yourself,” Cui Jing glanced at A-Jiao in disdain as she made her comeback. She then turned her face towards the window and exclaimed, “Look! Ziyuan, they are already setting up the night market.”
“Oh!” A-Jiao also turned to look outside. “Since when did night markets start selling wigs?” Outside of the window, there was a vendor arranging wigs by the side of the road.
“Do you live under a rock?” Cui Jing shifted her gaze back to look at A-Jiao, “Ziyuan, besides eating noodles at night, do you just stay cooped up at home with your policeman?”
“Not exactly!” A-Jiao pretended to act proper as she explained, “We are together even when eating noodles.” Cui Jing spat out the juice she had just drank. “Pffff! Cough! Cough! You win. Continue to glue yourself to him all you want! Sooner or later, he’ll get tired of you!”
“No! I’m still young!” A-Jiao blinked her eyes at Cui Jing, “My policeman treats me like a child.”
“Okay! Okay! Keep being sour. I’m going to the bathroom.” Cui Jing stood up, juice sprayed all over her. “I’m going to freshen up. Wait for me, ok?”
A-Jiao deliberately yelled behind Cui Jing, “Okay! Hurry up! Come out after you’re done!” After Cui Jing left, A-Jiao turned back to the wig stall outside. If I bought a wig to wear, would he still recognize me? Young women tended to think in strange ways. For some, the thoughts would simply flash by. And for others, they would manifest into reality.
Cui Jing came out of the bathroom and noticed A-Jiao facing the window, lost in her own thoughts. So, she casually asked, “What are you looking at? Is there a cute guy outside?”
A-Jiao turned her head around and playfully gazed at Cui Jing with sparkling eyes. “Hey Jing, how about we buy two wigs to play with?”
“Buy wigs? You didn’t even eat and you’re already full2?” Cui Jing briefly got up and placed her hand on A-Jiao’s forehead. “It doesn’t seem like you have a fever, though?”
“Psh! You’re the one with a fever,” A-Jiao complained as she swatted Cui Jing’s hand to the side. “How about we buy a wig to shock those stupid men?”
“Oh? More like trying to find a new way to seduce your policeman?” Cui Jing blinked and looked at A-Jiao in disdain before asking insipidly, “Do you think he’s stupid?”
“I’m just bored!” A-Jiao turned her head to look out the window again. “If you aren’t interested, then I’ll buy it myself! I’m going to go to the hair salon to get my hair done later too. I want to make sure that he can’t recognize me!”
“Aiii! Go ahead and torment yourself then.” Cui Jing sighed then forcefully gulped down a mouthful of juice before saying, “Okay! Beautiful, I’m going all out. Let’s go! We’re going to buy a wig.”
Back in the alley, after Jiang Zhengkai finished arranging duties for his subordinates, he spent the rest of his afternoon sitting in front of the surveillance monitors and observing them. As expected, A-Hui appeared on the screen slightly past two. She stood in the alley for awhile before a man appeared and walked into the rented room with her. After the man went inside, A-Hui exchanged a few words with the woman inside before returning to the alley again. Lu Xiaoqiang pointed at the monitor screen. “Inspector Jiang, she came out again!”
Jiang Zhengkai nodded, “Mm! Have someone follow the man when he comes out later. There’s another one! Looks like her business is doing pretty well today.”
Yawning, Zhang Nan walked in and interrupted their conversation. “Jiang, you’re early today? Heh, it’s finally your turn on stakeout duty?”
“Yes.” Jiang Zhengkai looked at Zhang Nan and laughed, “What? You got locked out last night by your sister-in-law?” Zhang Nan slapped himself on the head and smiled, “Haha! Of course. She hasn’t let me sleep with her for over a week now.”
“See this?!” Jiang Zhengkai pointed at A-Hui on the screen and joked, “You can get some downstairs!"
“You… Haha! That’s a good idea.” Zhang Nan pointed at Jiang Zhengkai after taking a glance at the screen and smiled. “But aiii! I’m too old. I’m not able to handle the young and beautiful women anymore.”
Jiang Zhengkai clasped Zhang Nan’s shoulder and continued to poke fun at Zhang Nan. “Brother, I don’t think that you’re old. It’s just a lack of money in your pockets, right?” Then, he completely changed the atmosphere as he sternly stared at the screen. “Zhang, are all of our people in position?”
Zhang Nan nodded his head resolutely. “Don’t worry! They’re all set. But from what we’ve seen so far, the woman soliciting clients isn’t responsible for receiving them. I don’t think that A-Hui will be in danger tonight.”
Jiang Zhengkai nodded and agreed with Zhang Nan. However, he added, “This killer has very mysterious methods. It’s better to be careful. A-Hui is very important to us, and we definitely can’t let anything happen to her again.”
Seconds and minutes passed by and the sky quickly darkened. Zhang Nan sat by Jiang Zhengkai’s side, looking at his watch. “Jiang, let’s go! It’s time.”
“Time?” Jiang Zhengkai stared at Zhang Nan, astonished. “What’s wrong?”
“Let’s go, Inspector Jiang!” On the side, Lu Xiaoqiang clarified, “It’s time to pick up Sister-in-law.”
“Oh, haha! You guys…” Jiang Zhengkai glanced at them, “Okay! I’ll leave this to the two of you then.”
“Don’t worry! Hurry up and go.” Zhang Nan kept his eyes glued onto the screen and waved his hand. “Be careful! I might deliver a washboard3 to your wife tomorrow! Haha.”
“No worries. My wife is still young. She doesn’t know how to use it!” Jiang Zhengkai bluffed his way out of the surveillance room. Outside of the alley, Jiang Zhengkai gave A-Jiao a call. “Honey, what are you doing? I got kicked out.”
“Me? I’m outside having fun!” A-Jiao replied joyfully. “Oh, is that so?” Jiang Zhengkai responded. “Then where should I pick you up?”
A-Jiao continued to act like a spoiled child, “Honey, I’ll be on break starting tomorrow. Why don’t you treat me to a banquet?”
“Treat you to a banquet?” Jiang Zhengkai spaced out for a bit. Then he answered, “Okay! But, how about another day? I have a mission tonight.”
“Really? Ok! But bring me along then, okay?” A-Jiao giggled through the phone, “If you don’t bring me then tonight I will go out and seduce other men!”
“You dare!” Jiang Zhengkai yelled loudly, pretended to be angry. “Okay, where are you? I’m coming to pick you up right now!”
“Of course I dare!” A-Jiao retorted, not showing any signs of weakness. “I’ll tell you where I am if you agree to let me accompany you.”
“Fine. If you don’t tell me, I’ll just return back to the alley to work.” Jiang Zhengkai helplessly shot back.
“Humph, if you want to go back, then go back. I’m not afraid of you!” A-Jiao defiantly hung up on him.
“This silly girl,” Jiang Zhengkai mumbled to himself. He stood by the entrance of the alley for a while, thinking. I don’t feel like eating without A-Jiao. Since it’s still early, why not make a trip around the alley first? Maybe A-Jiao will call me back. He turned around and started walking towards the alley.
Sadly, A-Jiao disappointed Jiang Zhengkai this time around. Even after finishing a round, A-Jiao didn’t call back. He sighed and walked in the direction of Uncle Cai’s noodle shop. When he approached the entrance, a woman’s coy voice echoed by his side, “Mister, do you want some service?”
- Jiang Jieshi is the Mandarin pronunciation of Chiang Kai Shek (which is how he is usually referred to in English). He was the leader of the Kuomingtang which was embroiled in a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party. After losing the war in from mainland China, the Kuomingtang moved their base to Taiwan. The joke here is that Jiang Zhengkai and Jiang Jieshi have the same last name so they're pretending that the two are synonymous.
- This is a Chinese idiom. In Chinese, saying that you've eaten until you're full means that you're bored or that you have nothing better to do. The context is that they haven't eaten yet but A-Jiao is already full and has nothing better to do.
- Kneeling on a washboard is a type of punishment that the wife sentences her husband to and is a Chinese joke. The serrated edges look painful right >:D https://www.google.com/search?q=washboard&safe=active&prmd=isvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjl_YaT1dTiAhXLdCsKHWj0DqgQ_AUoAXoECA4QAQ&biw=360&bih=680#imgrc=DyIPDFDMG8xKLM