Shen An did not feel ecstatic about the sudden discovery. Instead, she felt worried. She bent down and blew the dust off the bamboo bed, then sat down and looked at Wei Jinyu with gentle eyes. She said softly, “Jinyu, this place must have been set up by you! You must’ve come here often.”
Because it was his territory, he would subconsciously remember it so clearly. Because he often came here, it was the only thing he remembered.
But this was not his real home, and everything in the house was very simple.
Wei Jinyu shook his head, looking bewildered. “I don’t remember.”
“Jinyu, you don’t remember anything, and your intelligence has regressed to that of a child. Don’t you think that’s strange? Have you ever thought about finding out your identity?”
But Wei Jinyu just smiled foolishly. “Not strange, as long as Jiejie (1) is here, I’m happy.”
At this moment, Shen An was shocked and looked at Wei Jinyu with confusion for a moment. Then she relaxed and a smile gradually appeared on her face. “Yes, as long as you’re happy.”
Who cares what his identity is? As long as he’s still in this world, as long as he’s happy, what does it matter who he was?
“Let’s go! Let’s go catch our food together,” she said.
As an international criminal police officer, Shen An was almost a perfect embodiment, able to handle anything from the halls to the kitchen. She showed off her knife skills in front of Wei Jinyu, who stared in amazement, and then a delicious seafood meal was served on the table.
Shen An clapped her hands and washed her chopsticks, then handed them to him. “Try it.”
Wei Jinyu couldn’t be bothered to talk as he devoured the food on the table. He smacked his lips and praised, “Jiejie, your cooking is so amazing.”
Shen An raised an eyebrow proudly and said, “Of course. As long as you keep me happy, I’ll make sure you eat well every day.”
Wei Jinyu immediately became a loyal follower, his mouth stuffed full as he raised his hand to show his loyalty. “Don’t worry, Jiejie. I’ll do whatever you ask me to do from now on. No questions asked.”
After filling their stomachs, Shen An leaned back on the stool and ordered, “Go and wash the dishes.”
“Yes, ma’am!” Wei Jinyu happily picked up the dishes and left the room.
Shen An rubbed her round belly and began to plan how to make some money. They couldn’t go on fishing in the lake every day.
When Wei Jinyu returned, she saw Shen An looking at her with an ominous smile. This kind of gaze gave him goosebumps. He rubbed his arms and took a few steps back, asking, “Jiejie, what’s wrong?”
“Jinyu, let’s do business together and become wealthy and live comfortably!”
Wei Jinyu didn’t let his guard down and waited for her to continue.
“So, I need you to go back to the lake and catch more fish, but this time, you can’t hurt them. They have to be alive and kicking. Also, just catch the big ones, not the small ones.”
Wei Jinyu immediately agreed, thinking it would be an easy task. However, when he actually started, he realized it was not as simple as he had thought.
The fish were slippery, and if he didn’t want to hurt them, he had to catch them by hand. Wei Jinyu was sweating profusely and it took him a long time to catch a dozen or so fish.
“These are enough.”
Together with Shen An, they put the fish in a basin and transported them to the market.
However, all the stalls at the market were already occupied, and after searching for a long time, they still couldn’t find a suitable place.
Just when they were feeling hopeless, they saw an empty corner and happily looked at each other. They quickly set up a wooden board and placed the fish basin on top.
“Come and have a look, just caught fat fish, fresh and delicious.”
Wei Jinyu strained his voice and shouted the paper note that Shen An had written for him.
However, this kind of shouting was too common, and people passing by hurriedly left without stopping. Occasionally, a few people stopped and asked about the price, but they shook their heads and left.
An hour had passed, and not a single fish had been sold.
Shen An couldn’t help but feel discouraged. The fishes were all big and fat, so why couldn’t they sell them? Was it because they were selling them at too high of a high price?
The fish were only selling for five wens (2), so why weren’t people buying them?
It was strange.
“Hey, where did you guys come from? Who let you occupy my territory?”
An abrupt voice startled the two, and they turned around to see a beggar dressed in tattered clothes and with a dirty face glaring at them fiercely.
Sensing that the newcomer was hostile, Shen An immediately became wary and retorted, “Many people come and go here. Nobody reserved it for you. Why should it belong to you?”
The beggar, who might have been notorious in the area, was surprised that Shen An dared to stand up to him. He raised his neck and grumbled, “I come here every day. How dare a stinky fish seller like you dare to talk to me like that? Get lost, or when my brothers come, they’ll knock your teeth out!”
Shen An never expected to be so unlucky. Just as she was about to start her small business, someone came looking for trouble. She retorted without changing her expression, “Yes, we’re just stinky fish sellers. But what about you, a stinky beggar? You’re not disabled, yet you beg for a living?”
“Fuck you!” The beggar glared and spat on the ground. “What I do is none of your damn business. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave now, or you’ll regret it!”
“If anyone is leaving, it’s you! I’m here now, and this is my territory!”
“Hmm, pretty sassy,” the beggar sneered. “Are you from out of town? You’d better ask around before you mess with me!”
Shen An had once heard of the saying “a dragon cannot suppress a snake in its own territory,”, especially in a big city like Beijing where these beggars had some sort of influence. However, now that they were bullying her, she couldn’t show any weakness, especially since she was an international criminal police officer. If she couldn’t handle a stinking beggar, how could she survive in the future?
With this in mind, Shen An steadied her resolve and said coldly, “I don’t care if others mess with you or not, but now you’ve messed with me.”
“You’ve got a big mouth! Stinky woman, don’t think that just because you’re a woman, I won’t hit you.”
As they argued, a group of people came and gathered around them. Some elderly women quietly pulled on Shen An’s clothes and whispered, “You should leave now. We, ordinary people, can’t afford to provoke these people.”
“Why not? Aren’t they ordinary people too?” Shen An couldn’t stand this person’s attitude. Nowadays, even beggars were acting so arrogantly.
The old lady coughed lightly and sighed, “You don’t know, these people are not real beggars. They just use begging as a cover to bully the ordinary people.”
Shen An snorted, “The moment they stretch out their hands to ask for your money, they are already beggars.”
Several old ladies couldn’t persuade Shen An, so they shook their heads and stepped aside, no longer getting involved.
As they argued, a few rough voices were heard, “What’s going on? What’s going on?”
Hearing this voice, the onlookers knew who was coming and automatically made their way.
Shen An turned to look and saw five men dressed as beggars holding clubs and walking towards them.
The beggar who had just argued with her eyes lit up and hurried over to the leader, pointing at Shen An and saying, “This stinky woman not only took our territory but also dared to disrespect us. Big brother, should we teach them a lesson?”
The leader’s gaze swept over Shen An and Wei Jinyu one by one, then stopped on Shen An, with a wandering and lewd look.
“Teach them a lesson? Of course, we should, but this little girl looks quite attractive. If I could enjoy her a bit…”
He didn’t finish his words and let out two disgusting and lascivious sneers.
“So, you guys take care of that stinky kid, and as for this chick, I’ll take her back and fix her myself.”
His gaze was so naked that it made Shen An feel murderous.
“Jinyu, give him a hard slap in the face for me!”
Wei Jinyu responded with a sound and jumped up, kicked him down, and pressed him firmly under his legs, giving him a few big slaps left and right on his face. Blood immediately overflowed from the corners of his mouth, and his cheeks swelled up.
The people behind him were all frightened, but when they reacted, they rushed towards Wei Jinyu.
These few gangsters were no match for Wei Jinyu. After a few rounds, they all fell to the ground in a mess. The beggar who had just argued with Shen An didn’t fare well either. Wei Jinyu broke his ribs with a fierce kick, and he lay on the ground moaning.
They didn’t expect to provoke someone who was skilled in martial arts. After they realized their mistake, they regretted it.
“You wait! You’ve provoked our brothers. General Liu won’t let you off! You guys can just wait to go to jail!”
But the common people who had been oppressed by them all cheered and were overjoyed.
Soon, their cheers attracted the attention of the official soldiers. The patrols in the capital were more rigorous than those in small towns. Whenever there was any disturbance, the patrols would come to intervene.
“What’s going on here?”
The officials and soldiers in the capital were well-trained and stood straight in formation.
The people who had been watching the show scattered.
The vice general in charge grew impatient and scolded a few words before scanning the scene and furrowing his brow. He looked at Wei Jinyu and asked, “What’s going on here?”
“Brother Liu, you’ve come just in time! Quick, help me catch these two guys! Look at what they’ve done to us!”
Wei Jinyu was about to speak to explain but was pulled over by Shen An from behind. Shen An said, “My sibling and I traveled a long way to the capital, only to be bullied and insulted by these people who outnumbered us. They even claimed to have you, Liu Daren (3), as their backer. At first, we thought you might be a cunning and scheming person, but now that we see your true face, we know that you’re a man of integrity and righteousness. These ruffians are not worthy of being compared to someone like you.”
At first, the vice general’s face was very dark, but it gradually cleared up and his tone became more relaxed when he heard Shen An’s words. “Oh? Explain how you think I am a man of integrity and righteousness”
Shen An was secretly happy, but her expression was very sincere as she said, “Liu Daren, you have a broad mind and a tall and robust figure. You are a man of integrity and righteousness, and these scoundrels are not fit to be compared with someone like you.” The vice general looked pleased, obviously enjoying the flattery.
1. Jiejie is a Chinese term of address used to refer to an older sister or a young woman who is like an older sister figure.
2. Wen is a unit of currency used in ancient China. During the Han Dynasty, it was the basic unit of currency and was made of bronze or iron.
3. Daren is a Chinese term that can be translated to “mighty person” or “great man/woman”. It is often used as a title of respect or honor towards someone who is considered powerful, successful, or influential. In modern times, it is sometimes used as a playful or sarcastic term towards someone who is acting arrogantly or overconfident.