Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 13: Chat History
The next day, Zhong Chengshuo was almost dragged by Yin Ren to the dessert shop.
He had just left and ordered a quick delivery to send the cake he had bought yesterday back home. As a result, when he went back to the store, he saw Yin Ren ordering a wedding cake.
“It was the biggest one they have,” Yin Ren said with great satisfaction.
Zheng Chengshuo’s hand slightly trembled. Careless. After all, this was a guy suffering from amnesia. All the things he did were so completely outrageous that they were hard to fathom.
He turned to the clerk with a sullen face. “Sorry, can you please refund it.”
Yin Ren huffed aggrievedly, “Why! This is my salary—”
“I said last night that you must discuss it with me before you can spend it.”
“You also said that I could buy it myself if I liked it.”
The clerk’s eyes swept across the two of them, then he gave a smile of “understanding” to Zhong Chengshuo. “Sir, do you think the style is too flashy? Our store also provides special customization…”
Zheng Chengshuo: “No, please refund it. Thank you.”
Yin Ren smiled brightly. “No refunds!”
The clerk was blinded by Yin Ren’s smile. “Good sir, may I ask what you and your partner like? Based on your situation, I recommend going with a mild chocolate flavor.”
Yin Ren didn’t understand what the word “partner*” meant. Since there was only one person around him, he guessed that the clerk was referring to Zhong Chengshuo. Even if kindness and gratitude were unconventional virtues of an Evil Spirt, he should be mindful and share the cake with his partner.
*Clarity: The term the clerk is using is (对象) which refers to “(the) object (of ones’s affection)/lover”. So he’s referring to a romantic partner. Supposedly this word started being used in the 1900s, so someone as old as Yin Ren wouldn’t know what it means. Partner in a normal sense is (搭档) which refers to teaming/pairing up.
As a sign of goodwill, he asked Zhong Chengshuo, “Do you like chocolate?”
Zhong Chengshuo stared straight at him and said, “…Do you know what a ‘wedding cake’ is?”
“I do, but we’re not married. It’s just for eating.”
“It’s too big and won’t be easy to store in the fridge if we can’t finish eating it.” Zhong Chengshuo tried to push back. “This kind of thing won’t taste good after a few days, so it’ll only be wasted.”
Hearing this, Yin Ren suddenly realized that Zhong Chengshuo had little appetite. If he were to eat too much at once, it could cause people to become suspicious.
After a while, Liang Shan drove over to the hotel to pick them up. At first glance, he saw a melancholy Zhong Chengshuo, who was holding a huge box.
“I tried my best,” Zhong Chengshuo rushed to answer.
“Mr. Liang, do you like cake?” Yin Ren nodded hard at him from behind the box.
Liang Shan: “……”
Liang Shan: “No thanks. We’re going to the scene again today. The police officers will be there as well. You two can ask them questions, but don’t hinder their work.”
Fanghua Apartments, Room 1413.
The carrion all over the floor was cleaned up. Besides that, the rest of the items in the apartment were untouched. The photo-taking for evidence was long over. There were only two plainclothes police officers left inside the apartment, trying to find any remaining clues.
The apartment was too small. Liang Shan dragged a few plastic chairs from the corridor, and the three of them temporarily sat outside the place. It was a weekday and during the day, so the surrounding tenants were shuffling about, trying to get to work. After they had left, the surrounding area became quiet.
“Pets?” After listening to Yin Ren’s theory, Liang Shan frowned. “I don’t think so. She used to have a pet, but that was before she moved to Fanghua.”
Zhong Chengshuo and Yin Ren looked at each other.
Liang Shan wasn’t being ambiguous. He turned on the tablet and pulled up the information.
“Before moving to Fanghua, Gao Mengyu rented a home near her place of work. She lived there for five years and brought a cat from home to raise—her parents said that it was their household cat that they raised from childhood and was almost eight years old.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “Where’s the cat now?”
“Dead.” Liang Shan sighed lightly. “It’s a long story…”
Most cases in modern society were inextricably linked to love, hate, or money. The police checked Gao Mengyu’s network and naturally knew about the cat.
It was strangled to death by her ex-fiancé.
Gao Mengyu once had a fiancé named Xie Chao. The two had started dating in high school. After that, Gao Mengyu went to a community college in the local area, while Xie Chao didn’t pursue higher education. After graduating high school, he went to work as a real estate agent. They had a pretty good relationship, and occasionally they would have some fights.
Xie Chao had successfully proposed last summer. In October of last year, Gao Mengyu had the idea of resigning from her job to pursue a postgraduate degree, and this triggered a big fight with Xie Chao.
During the conflict, Xie Chao took advantage of Gao Mengyu’s absence while she was at work and threw away all her test materials that she bought and also strangled her cat.
Yin Ren, who heard this: “?”
He knew that in this era, women could work and become scholars*. In his impression, being able to pursue it was a great thing to celebrate.
*He calls it an examination of merit and use (功名) which is the title/official position that was used in feudal China. It’s generally referring to China’s imperial examination where men in ancient China would take the imperial exam in hopes of joining the imperial palace and hold a political seat, and was of course not open for women.
Yin Ren tugged on Zhong Chengshuo and asked, “What’s wrong with that? Don’t they say that all people go to high places and water flows low*?”
*(人往高处走，水往低处流) Proverb referring to humans always want to climb and rush to higher places because they yearn for a better life, while the habit of water is to flow in low places. || This is a bit ironic, considering what he wants to do right now.
Zhong Chengshuo was a scholar, so he had to know the inside story.
“Mr. Xie has some mental problems.” Zhong Chengshuo replied straightforwardly. He pursed his lips tightly, and his brows wrinkled tightly.
This answer was so direct that Yin Ren didn’t know how to respond. “…Uh, don’t be too angry?”
Zhong Chengshuo frowned. “I’m not angry. I just think it’s despicable to use indiscriminate killing to coerce people.”
When Zhong Chengshuo raised his voice, Liang Shan vigorously cleared his throat, breaking up the conversation. The two of them hurriedly quieted down and continued to listen to Liang Shan’s explanation.
Contrary to Xie Chao’s expectation, Gao Mengyu, who had a soft-natured temperament, wasn’t deterred. Her emotions broke out, and she ended their ten-year relationship. The two officials broke up in November.
After the breakup, Xie Chao pestered Gao Mengyu to get back together, but she didn’t agree. At the beginning of this year, Gao Mengyu officially resigned and stayed in Fanghua to prepare for her exam, which had spanned a little less than half a year now.
“I want to know the results of Xie Chao’s investigation,” Zhong Chengshuo said seriously.
“He’s not a suspect. The police already checked.”
Liang Shan’s expression became complicated. “He died just two weeks ago. It was an ordinary car accident. The truck driver was tired, wasn’t paying attention, and crashed into his car. Xie Chao died on the spot.”
“What about his family?”
“Xie Chao is an only child. His parents are so old they have trouble getting up and down the stairs.”
Given that Xie Chao had been dead for two weeks and there was no trace of a fight at the scene where Gao Mengyu disappeared, the police didn’t dig deeper into this line. After Liang Shan confirmed that there was no aura of evil spirits, Shian had no choice but to give up.
Liang Shan even checked the corpse of the old cat.
Liang Shan was sitting upright, waiting for Yin Ren, a rookie metaphysician, to ask questions. Who would have thought that Yin Ren calmly finished eating his chocolate muffin, then took out his phone and started browsing on it without any intention of opening his mouth.
This work attitude was quite unorthodox.
Liang Shan: “…Xiao Yin, don’t you want to ask about the cat?”
Gao Mengyu’s disappearance was full of doubt. According to the usual film and television tropes, it probably became some kind of demon or something.
Previously, he had to explain basic knowledge about evil things to the rookie cultivators he had led. He wasn’t used to someone like Yin Ren who didn’t ask any questions.
Yin Ren was a little surprise. “Liang Ge, it’s not easy to become an evil being. Not to mention cats and dogs, even if it were a human, it would be difficult for them to become something evil when they die. The matter mainly lies with fate. If a strangled cat could become something evil, then the slaughterhouse would be quite crowded.”
Liang Shan was choked speechless. Of course he knew this, but he should be the one to explain it! Did this kid understand the status quo?
“So as far as we know for now,” Zhong Chengshuo began to summarize the key points, “this incident has no signs of paranormal activity, and there are no suspects either… Is there any clues related to the ‘gap’?”
“I reported to the higher-ups last night. To check for a gap, we need to use special tools. I reckon they will approve of it this afternoon.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “Since there’s no clear task right now, can I look at Gao Mengyu’s phone?”
This was an example of how a good employee should behave. Liang Shan sighed. “Here. It’s a copy. Her phone is important physical evidence, so you can only look at a backup.”
As a result, the scene turned into three people sitting in a row in the corridor, playing on their phones. The two policemen who were busy inside investigating for clues looked at the three with a subtle disgust in their eyes.
The phone was developed by Shian. The technology of this era was unfathomable. Yin Ren didn’t dare search for something too outrageous on his phone. He wrote “Donghe District News” and clicked on the results one by one.
He hadn’t been on the phone for more than ten minutes, and he had already launched five apps.
The modern man was such a schemer. Yin Ren could only shake his head and click on the short video app that kept appearing. He became speechless as he saw the login interface and hurriedly searched for “how to log in”.
Zhong Chengshuo clicked on Gao Mengyu’s WeChat and browsed her recent chat history.
Gao Mengyu didn’t have pets, but her cat died last year, so this didn’t explain why she bought so much meat and brains.
Zhong Chengshuo didn’t search for any keywords. He read her chat records quietly and didn’t even miss the five special offers and discount groups that she joined.
After poking around for a long time, he finally found a clue.
He wasn’t sure if it was because she wasn’t annoyed by the harassment or for another reason, but she didn’t block Xie Chao. Her WeChat name was “Feather Cat”, and she labeled Xie Chao as “.”. The chat history had stopped two weeks ago, which happened to be the time when Xie Chao unexpectedly died.
Xie Chao’s messages were very divided. Either it was gentle, like “I want to see you again” or “Baby, I bought you a kitten. It’s very cute”, or it was dirty and unbearable insulting words.
His remarks basically revolved around one theme—he was the best in the world, and she was being pretentious for breaking up with him. She hurt him, so this thing wasn’t over.
The two had known each other for too long, so many of the things they were saying were like code words that were difficult for outsiders to understand. In addition, the two probably had other contact besides DMing, as the text was fragmented and incoherent. There were a lot of voice messages mixed in, which made it really difficult to read.
However, his efforts paid off. Zhong Chengshuo did pick up something unnatural.
It was a conversation about three weeks ago…
[Feather Cat: Please, just let me go, okay?]
[.: You’re the one that didn’t let me go first…]
[.: You’re a bitch to threatened me. If you say it, I’ll say it too. Let’s see who’s the one to get sprayed*.]
*Slang referring to scolding someone online..
[Feather Cat: It’s been a few months. We can’t.]
[Feather Cat: How many times do I have to say it? Can you not understand human speech?]
[“.” Withdrew a message]
[“.” Withdrew a message]
[“.” Withdrew a message]
[Feather Cat: Xie Chao, can’t you just fucking die!!!!]
Zhong Chengshuo was just about to ask if they had anything on the withdrew messages when a strand of black hair fell on him.
Yin Ren was leaning to one side, looking intently at the screen.
The smell of Yin Ren’s shampoo was the same as his, and the scent of the two suddenly merged together. It was as if the strand of black hair possessed consciousness. It slid down Zheng Chengshuo’s chest like flowing water, causing him to tense up, but he didn’t avoid it.
“This Gao Mengyu and her, um, fiance?” Yin Ren said it with some hesitancy. “What you said is quite interesting.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “Do you have an idea?”
“Yes, how do I log in to this?” Yin Ren presented his phone with both hands.
Zhong Chengshuo reluctantly took the phone and helped Yin Ren register for the video app. From the corner of his eyes, he glanced at Liang Shan and whispered, “This is not something you should be watching while at work. Remember to turn the volume down—”
Unfortunately, he wasn’t quick enough than the hand speed of the Ghost King. An earthy pop song sounded and instantly blared through the corridor.
Zhong Chengshuo slowly straightened his posture and continued to look through the chat history blankly as his eyes wandered a little.
Liang Shan’s face was slightly green. “Xiao Yin, you…”
“I’m trying to find clues!” Yin Ren pressed on the volume button furiously. “Recently, strange things are happening in the Donghe District. Many people are talking about it. Maybe this has something to do with the meat.”
As he was talking, a man’s cry came from his cellphone. “Iron buddy*, Rose Ge is really affectionate!”
*(铁子) Internet slang. Depending on how it’s used, it originally referred to as good brothers (two people having a good relationship), but now generally refers to two people having improper close relationships.
Yin Ren: “……”
This era was so weird.
He resolutely turned off the phone. “Liang Ge, Zhong Ge just found something interesting. Do you want to take a look together?”
“Isn’t this just an ordinary quarrel?” After reading the chat history, Liang Shan was a little confused.
Zhong Chengshuo: “I went through all their chat records. Gao Mengyu had never been as agitated as before when being pestered by Xie Chie. The frequency of contact between the two was much higher in the last month, and their interesting relationship had turned quite threatening.”
“There’s no problem with Xie Chao’s case. It was a complete accident. I can guarantee that. Neither Xie Chao nor the driver had anything to do with Gao Mengyu.” Liang Shan touched the back of his head. “But Xiao Zhong is right. We really don’t know what they were arguing about.”
Facing the abnormality of Gao Mengyu’s apartment, neither the police nor Shian had a clue. Solving a case never went as smoothly as it was written in stories. They couldn’t let go of any doubts and had to investigate all possible leads.
Liang Shan glanced at Yin Ren, who was trying to decrease his sense of existence. “Anyway, things will arrive in the afternoon. If you two are interested, you can try to investigate.”
He stood up and went to say a few words to the two policemen. One of them took out their phone and gestured to Liang Shan for a while.
“Gao Mengyu’s parents aren’t in a good mental state and don’t want contact with anyone other than the police. They just finished interviewing a friend of Gao Mengyu who seems willing to help—her residence is nearby, and she just happens to be free now.”
Yin Ren: “That’s great. Zhong Ge, you can go.”
“Xiao Yin, you go with him.”
“But it’s daytime now, and the subject of investigation is a living person…”
“Please go with him.” Liang Shan raised his tone.
Cannibals had soft mouths but short hands*. Yin Ren had a little idea of just how much Shian’s salary really was—if he ate all he wanted every month at that high-end dessert store this morning, he still wouldn’t even spend half of his salary. He certainly shouldn’t offend the one offering him a rice bowl, so Yin Ren could only tearfully bid goodbye to the cake he just bought.
*(拿人手短吃人嘴软) Colloquialism that refers to when taking advantage of others, you should say good things to them when necessary; if you take their things, you should stop messing with them. The extended meaning is that if you accept the benefits of others, you need to help them.
They made an appointment with Gao Mengyu’s friend at a coffee shop close by.
Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo were the first to arrive, while Gao Mengyu’s friend arrived late…
She was the same age as Gao Mengyu, looking to be in her thirties. She was dressed fashionably, wearing sunglasses. Her hair was curled up stylishly, and she was wearing bright red lipstick. As soon as she entered the door, she looked around. When she saw Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo, she was stunned.
At almost the same time that she entered, Yin Ren also put down his menu and looked over.
There was a fresh ghost smell on this woman.
The author has something to say:
Things like the wedding cake, even if you don’t buy it now, you’ll certainly buy it in the future.
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2 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch13”
sooner or later 🤭
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The wedding cake killed me lmao
Thank you so much for your hard work!