Book 7 Chapter 22: The campus case, part 1

After a round of discussion, the two decided to have Wan Li remain and take care of Bao Da Tong while Xiao Xia went to work. First of all, no one was at the bar during the day so Wan Li didn’t feel comfortable letting Xiao Xia guard the unconscious Bao Da Tong. Furthermore, with the university on break and fewer scheduled patients, Wan Li had more free time, whereas Xiao Xia had just recovered from sick leave and took on a new case, so she was quite busy.

“Then I’m off.” Xiao Xia told Wan Li after freshening up. “I’ll order take out for you around lunch time. You should just stay here.”

“Don’t worry, I definitely won’t take a single step outside.” Wan Li glanced at Xiao Xia, noticing that she had lost some weight recently. She had cut her hair short, and along with her plain white dress, she looked clean and cute, making him suddenly feel tender emotions.

His job involves understanding people’s hearts and providing rational decisions in the right direction, but his own heart was something no one could understand, not even himself. Just like how he clearly knew the one Xiao Xia loved was Ruan Zhan. He had even “cleverly” hoped that the complicated emotions would automatically be resolved with time. However, he still couldn’t control his own feelings! Perhaps he was too confident in his own self-control, believing that he could maintain a platonic relationship with her. However, when those feelings unknowingly changed, she was no longer by his side. That’s how people often are. Never put too much faith in any power, because power is the most volatile thing in the world. The smallest accident can result in loss of control, and even turn it against you!

The person he deeply loved actually deeply loved someone else. What else could he do? Everyone has someone they owe!

He had once laughed about how bitter those words were, yet at this moment they filled his chest, twisting his heart uncomfortably.

“You be careful too.” He smiled, his eyes gently washing over her. It seemed with just a little bit of passion, she would melt. Yet his eyes fell upon a deep wound that was already scabbing over on her left wrist. Shocked, he hurriedly grabbed her hand. “When did this happen?”

Xiao Xia tried to pull her hand back without success, and thus purposefully said reproachfully, “Really, couldn’t you pretend not to have noticed? Now I’m both injured and embarrassed. Ai, I did this when casting bloodspells. Doesn’t adding the caster’s blood onto talismans increase their power? Otherwise, with my ordinary constitution, how could I have shot out fireballs?”

So she had cut herself while using the five element binding spells. No wonder their might seemed to have suddenly increased. Someone so afraid of pain being so brave at the critical moment, how could his heart not be moved?

“I hid it the entire morning, but you still ended up noticing.” Xiao Xia obliviously failed to notice Wan Li’s unusual state. “What’s with your expression, you looked so distressed.” She joked, but then saw Bao Da Tong lying unmoving like a statue and her brows furrowed. She changed the topic, “I’m really afraid he will…”

“He won’t!” Wan Li interrupted her. “Stop your wishful thinking. He’s like an unkillable cockroach that will bug people incessantly. Believe me, there’s a famous saying that’s never been wrong: the good die young, the bad live forever. Him? He’ll still be alive long after you and I are dead!”

Although Xiao Xia knew that Wan Li was trying to comfort her, she still felt somewhat relieved. She continued to fuss, giving a few more instructions, and then went to work a little less worried.

She was exceptionally busy today. Apart from redoing the work on her destroyed laptop, she also had to get a friend to recover the data on her hard drive. Since she was busy, time went by very quickly. She felt it hadn’t been overly long before she returned to Bao Da Tong’s bedside.

“How are things downstairs?” As expected, Wan Li hadn’t left Bao Da Tong’s side at all.

“Those two youngsters are quite good. With the boss gone, they opened up shop themselves and socialized with the customers.” Xiao Xia carefully felt Bao Da Tong’s forehead. Her finger accidentally touched the drawn symbol there and the heat transmitted from it startled her into immediately withdrawing her hand.

“What is it?” Wan Li asked.

Xiao Xia shook her head and reached over once again. She alternated between touching the clear skin on his forehead and the red markings. She then went to touch his chest muscles and the markings there.

“Miss Pervert, are you using this opportunity to cop a feel? Shouldn’t you pick someone better looking?” Wan Li didn’t know what she was doing, but wanted to calm her down.

“Have you noticed?” Xiao Xia looked at Wan Li. “His skin is very, very cold, but these symbols are hot to the touch. It’s like all his body heat has been sucked into them.”

“Really?” Wan Li was a little surprised. He had been watching over Bao Da Tong the whole day without blinking, afraid of something happening. But he hadn’t tested his temperature. Feeling it now, it really wasn’t too normal.

“Will he be fine?” Xiao Xia asked.

“It should be caused by magic. I think we just need to keep it up and prevent anything evil from approaching. Ah Zhan will definitely have a solution when he gets back.”

Xiao Xia thought about it and felt Wan Li was right. “You go rest for a bit. I’ll watch over him.”

“It’s better if you go sleep for a bit. Guarding him is basically resting for me.” Wan Li smiled. “I’ve been lying on the sofa the whole day while he lies in bed. I read quietly, think about things, and he still lies there. This is the least noisy he’s been since I’ve met him.”

His tone contained some relief, but also some friendliness. Xiao Xia couldn’t help but wonder why a good person like Wan Li never got along with Bao Da Tong. They always bickered. There had to be a reason.

“How about this. I was efficient today and didn’t have to bring any work back home. I’ll go shower and change, and then rustle up something tasty for us.”

“And then? What are you planning? It sounds you have an itch you wish to scratch.”

Xiao Xia laughed. “Psychiatrists are really good at reading people.” She praised without much sincerity. “I want to know why you have Bao Da Tong so much.”

“Who says I hate him?”

“I’ve got eyes.”

“I don’t hate him.”

“Don’t give me that! You can’t deny you’ve never seen eye to eye with him, and want him to leave sooner rather than later.”

“That’s right. However…I really don’t hate him.”

“I don’t believe you! Tell me, I want to know. I also have the right to know. As someone working with you guys, I can’t allow your inexplicable tension to affect the mood or your judgment…”

“Great Lawyer Yue, no need to bring up rights and obligations with everything, right?” Wan Li helplessly interrupted her. “Isn’t it enough to say you like gossip?”

“Fine, I like gossip. So tell me!”

“You really want to know?”

“Really, really!”

“Fine then.” Wan Li let out an inaudible sigh. “Since it’s boring watching him sleep anyway, I’ll tell you. But you can’t tell anyone else. Otherwise, I’ll have to silence you.”

“I swear.”

“Very well.” Wan Li nodded seriously. “I really, really don’t hate him. I’m merely…merely taking my anger out on him.”

Seeing him dragging his words, Xiao Xia was going to push him. But his expression had changed. There was some distress and bewilderment, as if he was lost in memories. Therefore, she hurriedly held her tongue.

“Scapegoating is a basic principle of psychology. I wasn’t able to protect the person I loved. Therefore, my subconscious mind needed someone to blame.” Wan Li smiled bitterly. “Bao Da Tong is really unlucky now that I think about it. To have appeared at the wrong time in the wrong place. I recall telling you that Ah Zhan and I have encountered two and a half cases, right? This is that half a case. Bao Da Tong was just also involved. Hey, wasn’t there going to be something tasty? Let’s eat first, and then I’ll tell you! All of this was because of Nana.

Thinking back, although my feelings for Nana were immature, I still loved her. She was my first love.

After the trip to the mountains, Nana left Ah Zhan and became my girlfriend. I felt a little guilty about that. Although Ah Zhan didn’t love Nana, his pride as a man was a little hurt. You know he’s usually a cold person. Therefore, there were many people saying all sorts of nasty things behind his back in Schadenfreude.

Afterwords, we exchanged a few blows and talked it through. Our relationship wasn’t affected. Yet since Nana was between us, it made things very awkward for Ah Zhan. Therefore, there was a period of time where we didn’t hang out much. Ah Zhan also became more antisocial.

Nana and I got along very well. We even talked about getting married after graduating. My ex-wife was also one of our classmates. The reason she left me was because I couldn’t forget Nana. She actually didn’t understand. It wasn’t Nana I couldn’t forget. What I couldn’t forget was that period of time in my youth where I failed to save her!

In the last semester before graduation, everyone was busy job hunting and going through the last days of university. As part of the drama club, we naturally had to put on a play to entertain ourselves.

Nana was the star of the club and was thus extremely busy. She had to go for rehearsals almost every night at the small auditorium. She wanted to put on a performance prior to graduation that wouldn’t lose out to theater majors.

I was also very busy those days, but still escorted her to the auditorium each day. That place was in the most remote location on campus. You had to walk around a small forest, a small lake and then over a small bridge to get there.

The worst part was that many incidents had occurred at the lake over the past months. Many people had drowned.

The first was the child of a professor. There were no railings or anything around the lake. Whenever it rained, it gets slippery near the edge. The school repeatedly forbade students from getting too close, but that child was very naughty. He ran off to play by the lake while his mom was distracted, and ended up falling in. Three days later, his corpse floated to the surface. His clothes were still neat and proper, but his body was bloated, seeming about to split. Since no one saw how he had fallen in, the cause of death was based on forensics evidence. It was said he slipped into the water while playing by the lake and his head got stuck in the mud, resulting in suffocation.

Yet if that was the case, he should have been at the edge of the lake. But when he was discovered, some students had seen him float up from the middle of the lake. The two female students had first seen two legs extending rigidly from the surface. They were both nearsighted, and initially thought there were some wooden stakes stuck into the lake. Only after getting closer did they see they were legs. When they got to the edge, the legs suddenly shot up further, revealing the hem of red athletic wear. As if something had pushed it, it floated swiftly over to the shore.

One of the girls fainted on the spot while the other called desperately for help. Only then did people realize it was the child that had gone missing three days earlier. No one expected that the girl who fainted would become the second victim.

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