Chapter 21: Out of the World
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
Xiang Wan tilted her head and looked at her with a confused face full of questions.
Frankly, it was the first time she had met someone so ostentatiously flaunting wealth in front of her.
Xiang Wan was not born in a rich family, but her mom had always thought that “the daughter should be raised by giving her the best one could”—and so she lived by this basic principle. Even if she had to tighten her belt, she would not let her daughter be looked down upon.
Ever since young, Xiang Wan was given the best that her mom could afford—education, food, clothes, and everything that she needed. She had never been looked upon as poor. Therefore, when she went to Bai Muchuan’s house for the first time and witnessed the lifestyle of a rich family, besides exclaiming to herself that being rich was really good, she did not feel any inferiority to them psychologically.
When facing Bai Muchuan, she was already like that, let alone Bai Lu?
“Little sister, you seem to be very rich?” remarked Xiang Wan with disdain.
Bai Lu eyeballed her from top to bottom. She made a disdainful snort when she failed to find any logo that she recognizes on Xiang Wan.
“Perhaps a little more than you. Tell me, how much is that? I’ll just compensate you accordingly!”
A 17 to 18 years old girl actually dared to say she had a little more money than her?
If you didn’t earn the money yourself, how can you claim that’s your own money?
When Xiang Wan looked at Bai Lu’s haughty eyes, the corners of her mouth curved upward. She restored her usual sweet and harmless smile which was full of affability.
“Fine, I like what you’ve said. If you’d told me you’ve no money, I would have been embarrassed to ask you for compensation.”
Bai Lu was taken aback.
She was, after all, still young, so how many tricks would she know?
She had thought that by damaging Xiang Wan’s belongings and insulting her verbally, the inferiority complex of this pauper woman would not be able to withstand the humiliation. She expected Xiang Wan to scold her like a crazy woman and perhaps even hit her, then she would throw money in her face and let her be disgraced…
However, Xiang Wan only shouted a sentence before sitting down calmly on the living room sofa. She even wanted to talk seriously about the compensation.
“My pajamas was a birthday gift from my grandfather. It’s the last birthday gift he gave me when he was alive—do you know how much it’s worth?”
Worth? Bai Lu was puzzled.
“Isn’t that just a plain cotton pajamas? How much can it worth?”
“Gold is valuable, friendship is priceless! Didn’t your teacher teach you that? Emotions can’t be measured in terms of money.” Xiang Wan looked at her solemnly with eyes red from sadness. “After sending me the pajamas, my grandpa passed away. I’ll never see him again—now that you’ve cut off my last connection to my grandpa, how much do you think you should pay?”
Xiang Wan stared at Bai Lu without blinking.
The young girl got intimidated; she glanced at Xiang Wan with a confused and lost look.
Xiang Wan squinted her eyes and warned, “If my grandpa knew that you’ve damaged his birthday present for me, his ghost will not let you off!”
She skillfully portrayed the eerie feeling vividly to Bai Lu, who got frightened with her eyes wide-opened. “How much money do you want?”
Xiang Wan raised a finger.
Bai Lu asked, “One hundred?”
Xiang Wan shook her head.
Bai Lu asked again, “One thousand?”
“No,” said Xiang Wan with a smile, “I won’t accept anything less than 10,000 yuan!”
A seemingly soft and weak Bai Lu was so confounded by the figure that she burst out in anger. “Xiang Wan, are you extorting me?”
“There’s still my laptop.” Xiang Wan did not answer her doubt but continued instead. “It’s not an ordinary laptop, but a laptop that contained my ideas, thoughts, and my painstaking work. Do you know how many manuscripts I’ve saved in there? Do you know how much is my net worth now?”
Bai Lu was completely dominated by Xiang Wan in the conversation. “How much?”
“My digital manuscripts have a word count of five million words!” Xiang Wan said solemnly. “I’ll charge you a cheaper price, 100 yuan for every thousand words. Do you want to count?”
“What?” Bai Lu stood from the sofa. Her earlier air of haughtiness had completely disappeared. What was left were exasperation and anger. Her cheeks were red from rage, and her tone of voice rose to a higher pitch. “You’re an extortionist! You’re bullying me!”
Xiang Wan folded her arms and gazed lazily at her. “Alright then, do you want to get the police to arrest me? So what if I’m bullying you? You still have to pay up!”
Bai Lu rarely encountered such things. She was so angry that her eyes were now red. She was unable to out-talk Xiang Wan. She stomped her feet and took her mobile phone on the table.
“I want to sue you!”
Pffft! Xiang Wan could not hold back her laughter anymore.
Wasn’t this the act of an elementary school kid ready to find her parents after creating a scene?
Xiang Wan’s things were broken, and she was still fuming inside. She also wanted to see how her “parents” would deal with this matter.
Therefore, Xiang Wan sat there steadily.
“Go ahead! I’m waiting.”
Criminal Investigation Unit.
Bai Muchuan’s mobile phone rang.
He took a glance at the phone, frowned, and hang up the incoming call. He continued to talk to Quan Shaoteng, “I’ve asked you to get Mrs. Quan to come over. This is for the sake of everyone in the 720 task force to have a feel of what how the mind of a criminal is like…”
“Your Majesty,” said Quan Shaoteng in a teasing tone, “there’s an unruly commoner seeking an audience with you, are you picking up the phone or hanging up the call?”
Bai Muchuan’s mobile phone rang again!
His face fell while a tinge of playful tease flashed past Quan Shaoteng’s eyes upon witnessing the sight. “Little Bai, answer the phone first!” he smirked, “don’t let the caller wait for too long!”
Quan Shaoteng was Bai Muchuan’s comrade, where everyone called him Quan Laowu as he was the fifth child in his family.
In the past, Bai Muchuan was serving in the Red Thorn Special Combat Squad with him. When the two of them were just trainees in the squad, they were bunkmates that occupied the top and bottom of the same bunk bed.
Later on, Bai Muchuan transferred out of the team, but Quan Laowu continued to stay in Red Thorn Special Combat Squad until now.
Quan Laowu’s eldest sister-in-law was Zhan Se, a criminal psychologist. His eldest brother, Quan Shaohuang, was the head of the ZMI unit.
Both of them had come here because of Bai Muchuan’s invitation—to act as the consultant for Zhao Jiahang’s murder case.
Come to think of it, the two men had not seen each other for years.
They had just met with each other and Bai Muchuan was already being teased by his old friend. He glared at him, “Call me Old Bai!”
Then he picked up the seemingly never-ending screams of his phone. “What’s the matter?”
Bai Lu’s sorrowful, teary voice was heard through the phone. She seemed to be sniffling her nose. “Little Uncle, Xiang Wan is extorting me! She’s bullying me!”
Bai Muchuan: “…”
He paused for a while as he did not know how to answer that. “I’m still at work! We’ll talk when I get back!”
“Little Uncle!” Bai Lu shouted, “Chase this hateful woman away, okay? Don’t let her stay at your house. She’s not related to you. Why is she staying at your house as if you’re supporting her? Do you know that grandma and mom are starting to misunderstand your relationship with her?”
Bai Lu was so anxious as though she was going to cry at any moment. She was so loud that even Quan Shaoteng, who was sitting opposite to Bai Muchuan, could hear each and every word clearly.
He was grinning from ear to ear and exchanged a glance with his sister-in-law, Zhan Se, who sat beside him. He looked as if he was enjoying a show as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Stop your act!” Bai Muchuan deliberately spoke in a low tone with obvious impatience. “Continue that and you’ll go back to the capital!”
Bai Lu sobbed on the other end of the phone as she could hear that he had flared up. She dared not shout anymore, but she started to speak coquettishly.
“Little Uncle, I really can’t stand her…”
Bai Muchuan’s eyebrows were all wrinkled up. He hung up the phone directly and got up from his seat.
“Let’s go, I’ll take you two to the detention center. Let Mrs. Quan meet Wang Tongsheng first. We’ll talk more on the road.”
Quan Shaoteng sat still, his slender fingers were turning the hot teacup. He had a sly smile on his face. “Are you sure you don’t need to deal with your domestic affairs first?”
Bai Muchuan wore a cold face. “No need, kids are ignorant, just let her be!”
“Kids!” Quan Shaoteng stood up lazily. “Kids nowadays are different, especially young girls. Many of them are crazy over uncles like you—mature and responsible men. Sigh, because of men like you snatching my market away, you’ve made a dashing, unconventional, and righteous man like me, unable to get a girlfriend.”
Bai Muchuan stopped in his tracks. “Shut up! That’s my niece! My sister’s daughter! Don’t be ridiculous!”
Quan Shaoteng shrugged disapprovingly, his army boots continuing to make sounds of footsteps as he walked. “So what if it’s your niece? Do you know the current head of the Red Thorn Squad, Leng Xiao? He married his niece—his brother’s daughter… I think that year, she was only 18 years old? Tch, tch, in my opinion, your niece is about the same…”
“Quan, Lao, Wu!” Bai Muchuan’s face was dark and grim. “Speak nonsense again and you can scram to where you came from!”
Quan Shaoteng looked at Zhan Se and curled his lips in displeasure. “Sister-in-law, he told me to scram, do you want to scram with me?”
Zhan Se was solemn. “No, you can go ahead to scram first! Go by this way…”
“Nah!” Quan Shaoteng laughed radiantly, his bewitching good looks completely out of the world. “That can’t do, I’m being entrusted by my brother to specially protect you for this trip…”
“Didn’t you say you came here because of our brotherhood ties?” Bai Muchuan chimed in a dreadfully cold manner.
Cough! Cough! Cough! Quan Laowu rubbed his nose embarrassingly. “It’s the same, no difference. Come on, let’s go meet the suspect now, that’s more important.”
Hmph! Bai Muchuan gave a contemptuous snort and walked in front.
However, when the three of them just stepped out of the entrance of the Criminal Investigation Unit, Bai Muchuan’s phone rang sharply once more.
It was still Bai Lu.
She sounded all teary through the phone.
“Little uncle, Xiang Wan wanted me to compensate her with money immediately. She’s not letting me off, and she wanted to strip me off of my clothes… Sob, sob… She said if I don’t compensate her, she’s going to throw me to the street naked…”
“Little uncle, come and save me quickly…”