Ch125.1 – Undercover Investigation
After Situ Ye turned off the video call, Zhou Sheng immediately took a bag and stuffed clothes into it. Once he was finished packing, he sat on the sofa for awhile in a daze, counting as the second hand on the clock ticked by, then looked at his phone. 5:40. He went downstairs to hail a cab but returned just a moment later, rummaged through to find the Golden Crow Wheel and stuffed it into his bag, then went straight to the airport and left.
At six o’clock in the morning, Yu Hao turned off his alarm and climbed up with great difficulty. His illness had miraculously cleared up again.
His vitality was like a stubborn weed — it would always be able to withstand any violent storm it experiences. He couldn’t remember clearly what had happened last night. Yu Hao charged his phone and vaguely recall puking and saw some traces beside his bed, but it had been cleaned up.
Yu Hao, “???”
Yu Hao looked around him, then staggered away to take a bath. After he was done, he finished writing his review and sent it to Lin Ze. He turned on his phone to find that Zhou Sheng had started a video call with him last night, and there was a transfer of 20,000 to his WeChat account below.
Yu Hao, “……”
There’s money! There’s money! Yu Hao was instantly overjoyed, and his morale maxed out. What self-esteem? What stubbornness? None of it was important anymore! But where did Zhou Sheng get all this money from? His salary? Oh well, this should be enough to last him until the end of December.
Yu Hao texted Zhou Sheng, no reply. Called him, his phone was off. He was probably tired last night, so let him rest for a few days ba. There was a thick down jacket in the box for winter. Before setting off to Beijing, Yu Hao had even thought that Zhou Sheng had stuffed in too many, but it was just perfect for his trip now.
Yu Hao saw a convenience store lunch and a bottle of Vitamin C drink on the table. His roommate said, “Your friend came to visit you last night, he brought those for you.”
Yu Hao thought that Situ Ye was really too great. It wasn’t easy being a Lady Boss, he even had to help his subordinates clean up. After eating this breakfast, he came back to life.
At 8:15am, Yu Hao met up with Jin Weicheng outside the railway station.
“That jacket must be very expensive ba.” Jin Weicheng said.
“This is the only one I have.” Yu Hao answered.
Jin Weicheng casually tugged on Yu Hao’s jacket to check, “If you wear such a fashionable jacket for interviews, it’ll attract too much attention.”
Yu Hao said, “I can turn this jacket inside out to wear, it’s double-sided. The reverse side is black.”
Yu Hao thought that shouldn’t be a problem anymore ba, and Jin Weicheng had to stop commenting. They got on the train-car. Yu Hao bought a hard bunk and his Laoshi had to sleep on the lower bunk. Of course, he climbed onto the middle bunk to lie down.
“Come down for a chat.” Jin Weicheng knocked on the middle bunk, “Don’t sleep. You’re such a young chap, but you can’t even match up to the vigour of a middle-aged man like me.”
Yu Hao was texting Zhou Sheng. It seemed he actually still hadn’t woken up yet, looks like he really was very tired last night. Yu Hao wasn’t any better himself. He wanted to rest, but Jin Weicheng called him, so he had to go down and chat with the opposite bunk. Jin Weicheng’s words had hidden implications, where he used gossip in order to dig information out of the other party. He asked where the other person was getting off and how the environment was like recently. Yu Hao listened for a while and thought that Jin Weicheng was teaching him at first, but he realised that something was off because the opposite bunk was an aunt who didn’t want to talk to Jin Weicheng at all. When she saw Yu Hao, she began asking him this and that enthusiastically, asked if he was married or not, and told Yu Hao to visit her house, and she would introduce her daughter to him.
“What are you doing?” Zhou Sheng was at Beijing’s airport. As soon as his flight landed, and he got signal, he immediately called Yu Hao.
Zhou Laichun called Zhou Sheng, “Why didn’t you come to work today?”
Zhou Sheng answered, “I worked like a dog for you for three months, but you still arranged a blind date for me in the end? Fuck your mother, I’m blacklisting you. We’ll walk our separate ways from now on, don’t look for me anymore. Laozi will just treat it as if I never gave birth to a bastard son like you.”
Afterwards, he blacklisted Zhou Laichun and hailed a cab. After he got in the car, he called administration.
Zhou Sheng, “Umm, Director Bai, it’s like this. I’m handing in my naked resignation today. It’s not like I signed a labour contract with the company anyway. As for the stuff on my desk, I’ll have to trouble you to find someone to collect it. I’d like to thank everyone for their care during the past few months. We’ll still be good brothers in our next life!”
On the other end of the phone, “……”
Zhou Sheng rolled down the car window and took a deep breath.
“It’s a hazy day.” Zhou Sheng said.
“It’s a hazy day.” The driver said.
Zhou Sheng, “The air in Beijing is great, I’ve never liked Beijing as much as I do now.”
Zhou Sheng extended his head out of the window and shouted, “I love you! Beijing!”
Two hours later, Zhou Sheng looked furiously at the traffic jam outside Third Ring road.
“Do you still love Beijing?” The driver asked.
“It’s okay.” Zhou Sheng said, “I want to run over.”
Driver, “There’s still 21km to go, it’ll be just nice for a half marathon.”
Zhou Sheng, “Forget it if I run anymore I might just collapse and die. Hurry and move aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!”
Three hours later, Zhou Sheng kicked open the door to the big office. The entire editorial department fell silent at once and looked at Zhou Sheng together.
“Ai! What are you doing!” The aunt at the front desk came chasing after him and shouted, “I’ll call security!”
“I’m sorry I came to the wrong place.” Zhou Sheng closed the door, “Please continue with your work.”
“The investigative reporter team is over there!” The aunt said angrily.
Zhou Sheng kicked open the door to the other office again. Lin Ze was taking an afternoon nap with one arm over Situ Ye and was immediately startled awake. Situ Ye held up his camera and calmly took a photo of Zhou Sheng.
“Stop taking photos!” Zhou Sheng said angrily, “I didn’t sleep all night, just got off the plane.”
“Yo! Young lad! You came real quick.” Situ Ye said, “Would you like some cake? It’s the real deal, I don’t cheat the young or the old! I guarantee I won’t use the knife to stab you!”
Lin Ze shrugged. Situ Ye counted three notes of hundred yuan bills and placed it in Situ Ye’s hand.
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Lin Ze, “Your wife went for interviews with Jin Laoshi. Dear guest, will you be staying in our hotel? Or are you just here for a short stopover?”
Zhou Sheng stepped on the desk with one foot, “Are you guys still hiring? I’ll be a pretty good investigative reporter, consider me a little ba.”
“We’re not.” Situ Ye said, “We forbid office romances.”
Zhou Sheng, “You think I believe you?! The two of you are having an office romance yourselves!”
“We are both very serious,” Lin Ze said, “We’ve never cuddled or gotten intimate in the office!”
Zhou Sheng, “Then what did I just see? Do you think I’m blind?!”
Situ Ye, “We were in the midst of a serious discussion. We can’t do this job anymore, and it would probably be better to change professions and become pimps. Didn’t you see? We were practicing.”
Lin Ze explained patiently, “Yu Hao works in the newspaper office, and if there are any problems with interviews he can’t resolve, he would find you, and you’d definitely follow along. In that case, it’s equivalent to us hiring two people with the wages of one. With the remaining salary we save on, we can hire another editor instead. Don’t you think that’s how it works?”
“That does make sense.” Zhou Sheng nodded.
Situ Ye nodded at Zhou Sheng too, “Learn a little.”
Zhou Sheng, ““……”
Yu Hao’s head was buzzing again. As soon as the dining cart came, they bought food to eat, but he didn’t have a very good appetite. Jin Weicheng was chatting endlessly and told the opposite bunk’s aunt that Yu Hao was his nephew who was going to Guangxian and wanted to sell water purifiers along the way. As he spoke, he actually took out a water purifier with a faucet installed from his bag, and started showing everyone how to purify water on the spot. The people around them were all startled into a daze.
Yu Hao was dumbstruck, when did he prepare that? It looked like he had casually bought it from a hardware store, yet he even had various models. There were four water purifiers of varying specifications in a wooden box, making it seem much more high-end.
Jin Weicheng maxed out his firepower and talked with a glib tongue, so the aunt said, “Ai that’s good stuff, how much does one cost?”
Everyone began passing the water purifier around to take a look. Jin Weicheng asked the other party to pay for the water purifier first and leave an address behind, then he would send one to them later on. He even patted his chest to ask the rest to believe in his character and reputation, but everyone just treated him as a swindler. He couldn’t continue bluffing them, so it ended.
Yu Hao, “……”
“Where did you get these from?” Yu Hao asked Jin Weicheng.
“Picked up the box from a garbage dump at the railway station.” Jin Weicheng explained, “The two faucets were twisted off from the back of the lounge, while the other two were bought from a hardware store. It’s not like I really wanted to sell it to them, just needed to get some information out of them.”
Yu Hao had learnt a trick. At night, he picked up his bag and got off the train with Jin Weicheng. They arrived at their destination, a prefecture-level city, and now they had to take a bus to the county-level city.
“Do you remember the place they talked about?” Jin Weicheng said.
“I do.” Yu Hao said, “The area around Fuyao River suffers from the worst pollution.”
They went to the bus station, Yu Hao bought tickets. It was really too cold here; the temperature dropped to near zero degrees after night fell, and it was so cold that he started shivering uncontrollably. Jin Weicheng also shuddered as he stood. Yu Hao bought a bottle of Erguotou for him to drink and warm his body. He freed some time to look at his phone while they waited at the bus station. His portable charger and phone were almost out of battery.
Jin Weicheng’s phone with a cracked screen was practically a monster that ate up energy. As long as he went out for interviews with Jin Weicheng, his phone would be able to devour the power of at least a dozen portable chargers. Yu Hao was always on edge as he hoped that his phone would be able to hold on for just a little longer. His chargers really couldn’t stand Jin Weicheng anymore, so Situ Ye bought a portable charger for Jin Weicheng out of his own pockets.
But in the end, Yu Hao realised that Jin Weicheng was using Yu Hao’s portable charger to charge his own portable charger and finally went nuts. He decided to bring along another one for him.
This Jin Laoshi was the perfect example of the proverbs “no one is perfect” and “everyone has a defect” to Yu Hao. His professional competence was stronger than that of Lin Ze, but he could be very irritating sometimes, yet at other times, people wouldn’t even be able to get annoyed at him.
“The weather’s really too cold.” Yu Hao held a heating pad. When they arrived at the county town, it was already the afternoon of the next day, “Let’s find a place to stay at first ba.”
Jin Weicheng was slightly surprised. When they conducted interviews in Beijing, Yu Hao arranged everything pretty well, but that was in the big city. He didn’t expect that after coming to an unfamiliar place, Yu Hao seemed to still understand how to deal with people very well. When he was looking for lodgings, he surveyed the surroundings first and even took a look behind the three-storey hotel.
“Who taught you?” Jin Weicheng asked.
“Ah Ze.” Yu Hao said, “When coming out for interviews, he said to pay attention to a hotel where it would be convenient for escaping.”