Chapter 6: Late Night Visit
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
Any sound heard in the quiet night would become scary noises under Xiang Wan’s highly terrified state of mind.
Her first reaction was to grab her blanket. “Who’s that?”
How did he get here in less than ten minutes? she thought.
The door knocked again. Xiang Wan took a deep breath and went to the door.
The peephole was broken a long time ago, so she couldn’t see anything outside. She raised her voice slightly, “Is it Detective Bai?”
A low-pitched voice was heard from outside. “It’s me.”
It really was him. Xiang Wan heaved a sigh of relief and opened the door.
A stuffy warm wind blew toward her, but there was nobody outside the door.
Xiang Wan’s eyes went wide-opened at that instant. The dim corridor was run-down and damp. There were some old furniture stacked in a corner abandoned by the residents which emitted a rotten musty smell. As the furniture had been left there for a long time, it brought about some kind of eerie feeling that gave Xiang Wan a strong psychological hint of terror.
Nobody was outside!
Xiang Wan’s heart almost stopped beating.
She was about to close the door when she saw a man coming out of the dark staircase leading to the rooftop.
He was donned in black shirt and black pants, and he had a pair of long legs. He looked relaxed and capable with a leisure and unrestrained disposition. His cold-looking face was hidden in the night. When the pair of deep eyes came into light, it seemed to have a calming effect on the soul.
It was none other than Bai Muchuan!
Xiang Wan’s fear turned into surprise. “Detective Bai, what are you doing?”
Is he trying to scare me? thought Xiang Wan.
Bai Muchuan walked to the door, the light illuminating his calm and indifferent eyes. Apparently, he was not someone who had the patience to play a cat and mouse game. “Have you packed up?”
Pack up what?
Xiang Wan took three seconds to realize what he was talking about.
“You’re letting me stay at your place tonight?”
“You’ve requested for police protection,” replied Bai Muchuan.
Fine! It’s the same anyway , she thought.
Xiang Wan took a glance at his calm and steady face; she did not probe why he stood on the stairs leading to the rooftop. Instead, she turned back inside to pick up her laptop and her pajamas before stuffing them into her laptop bag. She then ran out faster than a bunny, as if there were spirits chasing her out of the house.
“Let’s go now, I’ve nothing much to bring besides my laptop.”
Bai Muchuan stood at the door and looked inside the house.
Xiang Wan followed his line of sight and got slightly embarrassed.
The legendary authors were all bright, tidy, and elegant. However, Xiang Wan’s place looked the exact opposite. Especially after experiencing a rough day, it was a mess everywhere and too late to tidy up now. At one glance, the place looked like a crime scene as if a brawl had taken place.
With a light cough, she closed the door in a hurry.
As the light from the door disappeared, the corridor darkened.
Xiang Wan stomped with one foot, however, the sound control lights did not come on and she seemed to have stepped on something else instead.
“Ah!” She screamed and her arm was instantly grabbed by someone.
Bai Muchuan snorted in response to her frightened scream as her body pulled back. “If your conscience is clear, why are you so scared?”
After Xiang Wan calmed down, she noticed that she had stepped on Bai Muchuan’s foot.
She had “attacked” his hand in the morning, and during the night, she stepped on his foot. She sounded helpless when she apologized.
“Sorry, actually I, I’m not that afraid…”
“If you’re not afraid, why do you need protection?”
Why is it such a chore to talk to a detective? Xiang Wan thought.
Most romance fiction authors were perceptive and sensitive, while detectives clearly belonged to the rational thinking. For them, a math problem like one plus one must be equal to two; everything must be clear to them. Hence, in Xiang Wan’s case, she was unable to give an explanation as perception and sensibility were not something that could be presented with hard facts.
“I finally realized that although authors of mystery fiction and detectives may seem similar in nature,” she puffed a sigh, “but, they’re simply similar to two parallel lines, totally unable to communicate.”
Bai Muchuan said coldly, “A good detective can write a mystery novel, but an excellent mystery fiction author is unable to solve cases.”
Xiang Wan: “…”
It made sense and was the truth.
Seeing that she did not respond, Bai Muchuan suddenly pointed at a spot with his mobile phone where the flashlight function was turned on. He aimed the flashlight on the staircase where it was especially dark. “Stand at that position and you can see your living room.”
Xiang Wan’s rented apartment was the old-fashioned type of house, where there was a piece of glass on the top part of the metal door.
The door was made with iron bars and glass. Overtime, there was some damage to the glass. As Xiang Wan was a tenant and stayed on the top floor, she was not too bothered that the landlord did not come to repair the door as she stayed at home most of the time. She had not thought about the possibility that she could be spied at.
After all, she spent lesser time in the living room as she was mostly inside her bedroom.
Now that Bai Muchuan mentioned this, she was alarmed. “Are you saying that someone might have been standing at that spot to spy at me?”
He turned around. “Didn’t you say that someone wants to murder you?”
Xiang Wan: “…”
Bai Muchuan strode downstairs. “You’re very safe!”
Xiang Wan: “?”
What does that mean? thought Xiang Wan.
Did he mean that she had nothing valuable in her house and thieves would not bother to break in? Or she didn’t look beautiful enough to be remembered by thugs?
Soon enough, Xiang Wan knew the reason why Bai Muchuan could arrive in such a short time.
He actually lived a street away from her.
Of course, this was not just a normal street.
It was a street that acted as a boundary between the poor and the rich.
From Xiang Wan’s Green Garden Estate, after getting out of the alley, she would see a bus stop, walk past it, and she would arrive at a junction where the street across would be Jin City’s golden area where only the rich could afford to live in. In just a difference of a street, even property developers could not even afford to demolish the old buildings situated there.
Xiang Wan was not surprised that Bai Muchuan had a good family background.
The watch worth of seven digits had already indicated his social status.
But when Xiang Wan entered the prestigious neighborhood, she realized that she was really a bold person.
She actually had the guts to call Bai Muchuan to let her stay at his place for the night.
The wealthy neighborhood was very big. There was an artificial lake and landscape within it. In addition to the high-rise apartments, there were also western-style mansions and villas.
Bai Muchuan’s villa was situated in the central zone of the neighborhood.
There was a small courtyard at the entrance as well as an exquisite flower bed. The place was surrounded by lush greenery which constituted a quiet environment yet there was excellent security. It was totally unlike those houses in an international metropolis.
She rubbed her hands and seemed a little restrained. “So, this is your home?”
Obviously, she was just finding something to talk about!
And naturally, she did not get a reply.
At this moment, an amiable, middle-aged woman appeared at the entrance. Xiang Wan paused slightly and immediately greeted the woman.
“Hello Auntie, sorry for imposing…”
“Erm?!” The middle-aged woman was amused by her. She took a look at Bai Muchuan who remained silent beside Xiang Wan. “I’m Young Master Bai’s housekeeper,” she smiled, “just call me Nanny Li.”
I’m such an idiot today! thought Xiang Wan.
She looked at Bai Muchuan with an apologetic gaze, but he walked on ahead, unconcerned.
“Nanny Li, get her something to eat. She’s staying here tonight.”
“Yes, Young Master Bai.” Nanny Li smiled cheerfully. She led Xiang Wan inside the house and kept sizing her up.
That intense line of sight revealed too much information. Even Xiang Wan, who was rather obtuse at times, had felt that Nanny Li could have misunderstood something. She came to realize that she had been too abrupt to impose on them… She stood at the door awkwardly as she looked at the sparkling clean floor with hesitation.
Bai Muchuan went straight inside, ignoring her.
Xiang Wan felt even more embarrassed!
He was actually not the type of person that would make others dislike him. He was neither too enthusiastic nor too indifferent. He was just nice to create the right “go ahead” atmosphere for his guest.
For a moment, Xiang Wan felt an impulse to run away.
But just when she developed that thought, Nanny Li had placed a pair of slippers in front of her. No matter how embarrassed she felt, she could not just leave now.
“Miss, how should I address you?” Nanny Li was a tactful person. She was not an ordinary housekeeper, but someone who had a lot of experience. Her attire was appropriate and graceful, which was why Xiang Wan would subconsciously think that she was Bai Muchuan’s mother.
“My name is Xiang Wan. You can just call me by my name.”
“Miss Xiang, please sit on the sofa for a while.”
Nanny Li politely poured her a cup of some unknown drink. The warm, beautiful colored drink rippled in the ornamental looking cup, as if it came with some noble attributes that attracted Xiang Wan’s attention, yet she was unable to bring herself to drink it.
She had used the term “witness” to convince Detective Bai to let her stay in his house. The creepy hallucinations she had in her rented apartment had dissipated into thin air.
However, she was now on pins and needles.
Bai Muchuan left before Nanny Li finished cooking some food for Xiang Wan.
He did not return home that night.
It was morning.
Xiang Wan opened her eyes and found herself in an unfamiliar room. When she thought of last night’s “embarrassing anecdotes”, she felt like she must have suffered a personality disorder.
Who’s this crazy woman? she thought.
She smoothed out her long hair as she watched the radiant rays of sunlight shine through the curtains into the room.
Horror and fear had passed, but awkwardness and embarrassment had stayed.
She was particularly embarrassed when she came downstairs and saw Nanny Li, who had prepared breakfast and was waiting for her.
“Nanny Li, I won’t be having breakfast. I’ll leave now. Thank you for your hospitality.”
“Ah? You’re leaving now?” Nanny Li took a look at Xiang Wan’s laptop bag which she was holding. “Young Master Bai has instructed me that you’re not to leave the house until he comes back.”
Xiang Wan: “…”
She’s not a prisoner. Why is her personal freedom restricted?
To appreciate the kindness of Nanny Li, Xiang Wan reluctantly had her breakfast. After that, she spent five minutes weighing her words before dialing Bai Muchuan’s number.
“Hello Detective Bai, thank you for helping me last night. I don’t think I should continue to impose on you. If the police need me for anything, I’ll definitely be there…”
To ease the embarrassment, she tried to sound relaxed and calm, but Bai Muchuan’s voice sounded tense.
The atmosphere was suddenly tense.
He ordered in an icy tone, “Stay in my house, you’re not allowed to go anywhere!”
“Huh?” Xiang Wan smiled awkwardly, “why? You’re helping the poor?”
“Firstly, your reader, Er Niu. She’s dead as a doornail.”
“?” Then who’s the woman she met at the alley?
“Secondly, there’s a micro spy camera installed on the glass panel of your door. You’re not safe.”
Xiang Wan was stunned—her mind went blank for a second. But after considering the inconvenience of staying in Detective Bai’s house, she summoned up enough courage to fight for her freedom. “I have something on today…”
“What is it?”
The police really ask about anything!
Xiang Wan pursed her lips. “An important event in my life.”
“If a blind date is considered an important event in life,” said Bai Muchuan, “what about personal safety?”
Xiang Wan’s lips trembled. “How did you know?”
The tone of her question sounded sharp in retaliation. She felt like she was being abandoned by the whole world and got trampled on. It was already embarrassing enough for a woman to go on a blind date. As if that was not enough, this detective learnt about it and derided her. That hurt her self-esteem.
However, her strong feelings dissolved under Bai Muchuan’s business-like tone.
“We can investigate you lawfully.”
In other words, she was now completely transparent to him?
Xiang Wan squeezed her mobile phone tightly. With a heavy heart, she asked, “Detective Bai, who wants to harm me?”