Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 16: Perfect Packaging
“Actually, Mengyu and I are not good friends.”
Unlike the last time when she looked weak and panicked, Lin Bei’s eyes were now clear, and her brows showed the ability of a manager.
“I wanted to meet you guys because, first, of my situation and Shian’s reputation with the supernatural. Second… I know that someone has been stalking me recently, but as soon as I approached the police, he stopped showing up.”
“I really can’t help it. I used you two to lure him out. I didn’t expect him to attack you with a knife… I’m really sorry.”
She lowered her head and made a standard apology gesture.
“As compensation for you two—this is all the information on Mr. Rose. I have asked someone to sort it out. Next, I’ll use my resources to fully cooperate, and I hope to help you both.”
In the end, she was a shrewd businesswoman who was completely airtight*.
*(滴水不漏) Idiom describing doing something meticulously and impeccably without a single flaw.
As the main recipient of the apology, Zhong Chengshuo was more concerned about the information. “It’s okay.”
He stared at Lin Bei’s cellphone, as if intending to dig out the information with his gaze.
Lin Bei waited for a while, expecting something more, but found the person really didn’t intend to say much else. She gave a self-deprecating smile and straightened her posture.
“’Mr. Rose’ isn’t signed by our studio. He was registered in November of last year…”
The story this time was different from Lin Bei’s previous statement.
In actuality, Lin Bei had looked down on Gao Mengyu.
When she was a student, Gao Mengyu had a weak temperament, and years later, she still hadn’t grown out of it. She was still working as an on-call servant for Xie Chao. Lin Bei listened to her whining for three years, and it wasn’t until her cat was strangled to death that this obedient little girl finally thought about breaking up.
Gao Mengyu’s only redeeming quality was her kind heart. She liked to rescue stray cats and dogs and was even willing to pay to get them neutered so they could be put up for adoption. Seeing that she knew Haigu’s pet resources well, Lin Bei reluctantly kept in touch.
At first, the two would only talk about cats during their free time, so they could only be considered acquaintances at most. Later, she didn’t know whether Gao Mengyu had no one to talk to or if Gao Mengyu thought she was “worldly”, but she started to talk about her life troubles. However, the more she talked about it, the more annoyed Lin Bei became.
Perhaps Gao Mengyu didn’t know that the suggestion of taking the “postgraduate entrance exam” was just Lin Bei’s perfunctory rhetoric.
Lin Bei had intentionally alienated Gao Mengyu when she insulted Xie Chao. If it hadn’t been for Gao Mengyu’s disappearance four days ago, Lin Bei would’ve almost forgotten the two of them, but then she suddenly became entangled with strange things.
“If Xie Chao is Mr. Rose, everything would make sense. He knew me when he was alive, and of course he could find me when he’s dead… Looking at the time, this account was probably created so Xie Chao could try to get her back. His brain was the type that could come up with this kind of thing.”
Lin Bei had obviously studied Mr. Rose. All his most famous video clips had been edited and were displayed with great skills…
Mr. Rose wore a suit and a small top hat and always held a bouquet of bright roses. In the short video, he would always stay at an unrecognizable intersection and stare quietly at his true love.
The only images taken were the bouquet of flowers and the quiet street at night, which made for a beautiful composition. Mr. Rose occasionally interacted with fans and sometimes revealed his “sad love”, and other times he would answer the love troubles of his fans, like a late-night radio anchor.
As a senior salesperson, Xie Chao was someone who had a way with words and naturally knew how to create topics. In the video, Mr. Rose was courteous, and his voice was processed to sound extra gentle and sad.
The conversation was smooth. His voice was silky, with just the right amount of mystery. Although the connotation in “Mr. Rose’s” speech was slightly lacking and the literary flavor felt rushed, for the platform audience, this kind of image was “extremely charming”.
In Lin Bei’s file, there was a collection dedicated to Mr. Rose’s self-narrated love story.
He said that they had been dating since high school, and both their first love and youth were given to each other. He said he understood her loneliness and that he was too busy and wasn’t considerate of her before. He knew that it was his fault.
He said that now he wouldn’t disturb her life but just wanted to wait for another chance.
At first, there were only a few bystanders. However, as the days passed, his fans gradually increased.
Last Christmas, the account was discovered by the local media and became a complete hit. At the beginning of the year, “Mr. Rose” officially became one of the leading anchors in Haigu, earning a ton of money.
Zhong Chengshuo counted the days, and it was around the time when Gao Mengyu moved to the apartment.
“But Xie Chao had a car accident two weeks ago. Didn’t Mr. Rose just die of illness a few days ago?” Yin Ren silently muted the video. All those strange and weird noises were giving him a headache.
“Do you know how much that account is worth?” Lin Bei didn’t answer directly but asked a question instead.
Yin Ren was at a loss. He subconsciously turned to Zhong Chengshuo but didn’t expect him to have the same blank expression.
Lin Bei sighed. “After he became viral, Mr. Rose signed with a marketing company. The account is estimated to be owned by that company. Two weeks ago, Mr. Rose’s live broadcast stopped for a while, and they said it was because of health issues… At that time, their company suddenly began to recruit a senior emotional anchor, so we guessed that Mr. Rose had quit.”
Having said that, she suddenly fell silent and looked out the window.
“If you can’t find a suitable replacement, instead of waiting for them to fade out in the public’s eye, it’s better to arrange a tragic ‘death’ for the account and take the opportunity to milk it.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “Are these your conjectures, or…?”
“I have worked with them and planned three of the four live topic selections for Mr. Rose. This time our studio also took over and is responsible for getting ‘Withering of the Rose’ hot.”
Lin Bei smiled dryly, and her expression became a little ugly.
“Mr. Rose died of illness, had been infatuated all his life, and was waiting for his first and last love. Pfft, there are so many gimmicks nowadays, but it just so happens Mr. Rose’s account is mysterious, so no one can figure out who he is.”
Naturally, no one knew the truth.
The expensive dishes were served one by one, but Lin Bei didn’t reach for her utensils. “It’s no wonder Gao Mengyu was under so much pressure. She used to like to watch short videos. She did complain a few times recently, but I thought it was just…”
When she was halfway through speaking, Lin Bei stopped.
This time, Yin Ren was still confused, and Zhong Chengshuo frowned.
It was inevitable to cut the speeches of the participants into collections. Mr. Rose became popular, and naturally, the discussion of the “mysterious woman” never stopped. A milder person would regret that she missed such a rare, good man in the world, but those who were more radical would inevitably yell and curse.
This account allowed him to make money with his left hand and put pressure on his ex-girlfriend with his right hand, which was truly like killing two birds with one stone.
This would explain the ambiguous conversation they had on WeChat three weeks ago…
If Gao Mengyu were to explode from Mr. Rose and reveal herself, it could indeed cause the value of the account to plummet, but if she did this in front of his supporters, what awaited her would be harassment and abuse that directly involved her private life.
After all, Haigu was just that big.
She seemed to have no choice but to bear the pressure silently.
“We will entrust our superiors with checking the identity of Mr. Rose.” Zhong Chengshuo nodded solemnly. “The clues you have provided are very valuable. Thank you very much. Yin Ren, we…”
The words “should go” were stuck in his throat.
In the shadow of the dining table, there seemed to be several hands that grabbed at his ankles.
Zhong Chengshuo looked down suspiciously but found nothing strange. When he looked up again, Yin Ren was sitting next to him, eating his steak without looking away.
This person claimed to have amnesia, but his skill with a knife was very good. He saw the blade of the knife glint, and then the meat was cut cleanly. The meat was tender and red, with juices flowing out. Yin Ren was casually eating it and chewing quietly with a look of satisfaction on his face.
Unfortunately, Zhong Chengshuo didn’t care to watch. He paused and then tried to get up. “Yin Ren, let’s go back first…”
It was there again. Something was pulling at his feet, trying to fix him in place. Zhong Chengshuo lowered his head again at the speed of light but still didn’t see anything.
Zhong Chengshuo: “…?”
He looked deeply at Yin Ren, who had just finished eating his steak and was now dealing with the plate of creamy risotto. His partner was eating attentively, with a serene atmosphere surrounding him.
Was he seeing things?
Zhong Chengshuo bent down and carefully checked if there were any protruding items nearby. Unfortunately, when he reached down and grabbed around, he touched nothing—he even hit his head on the corner of the table when he got up due to his inattention.
Zhong Chengshuo grunted in pain and held his head as he curled up slightly in his seat.
Yin Ren hurriedly leaned over. “Sit still, Zhong Ge. If you don’t finish this meal, Miss Lin will feel bad—come on, try it. The fruit dessert is very delicious.”
He even shared what was on his own plate with Zhong Chengshuo, but his movements were mixed with a strange kind of reluctance.
“It tastes really refreshing. It’s not very sweet either,” Lord Ghost King especially emphasized.
Yin Ren temporarily put a few hands on Zhong Chengshuo’s ankles to “retain” his partner, but he quickly shrank them back, and thankfully with the dim lighting, Zhong Chengshuo probably didn’t notice them.
Lin Bei knew nothing of what was happening under the table. “Mr. Zhong, don’t worry, and please eat with peace of mind. I still have a second batch of materials to sort out, and I can explain them to you later.”
Zhong Chengshuo was finally willing to stay in his seat obediently.
He scooped up the fruit dessert with a small spoon and carefully put it in his mouth, then his entire temperament softened.
…Well, it’s really delicious.
If he ignored the complex emotions in Lin Bei’s eyes, the current atmosphere was relaxed and peaceful. It was just that this calm didn’t last for even ten minutes. Zhong Chengshuo’s phone kept vibrating, and notifications kept prompting on his cellphone.
When he turned on his phone, he saw Liang Shan’s message pop up at a glance.
[The River Flows Eastward: Have you finished eating?]
[The River Flows Eastward: Is it convenient for you to answer the phone?]
[Final Fruit: Inconvenient.]
[The River Flows Eastward: I have something urgent to tell you. Hurry up and find a place to answer the phone.]
[Final Fruit: Then why would you ask us if it’s inconvenient?]
[The River Flows Eastward: ……]
[The River Flows Eastward: @Fruit Knife]
[The River Flows Eastward: @Fruit Knife Yin Ren look.]
Five minutes later.
[The River Flows Eastward: @Fruit Knife ??? You there?]
[Fruit Knife: Liang Ge, it’s already time to get off work 🥺]
Comrade Liang Shan couldn’t stand it any longer and called Yin Ren’s phone directly. The two had to leave the dining table and run to the nearest bathroom.
“Are you still checking on Xie Chao?”
“Yes,” Yin Ren replied with a wilted voice.
“No need to investigate. You’re not responsible for this matter.” Liang Shan sighed. “There are incomplete traces of ‘gaps’ in Gao Mengyu’s apartment. Starting tomorrow, Minister Fu will lead an investigation team to follow up on this matter.”
Yin Ren was stunned. “But we found out clues about Xie Chao…”
“You found out that he’s Mr. Rose, right? The ghost has already been captured, and someone recognized his image. It is indeed rare for a newly deceased person to be transformed into a ghost of this level, but this is not without precedent. Now the focus is on the ‘gap’—the danger level of the ghost is completely incomparable to it.”
Zhong Chengshuo took out his phone. “But Miss Lin can testify that Gao Mengyu has also been affected by this ‘abnormal phenomenon’.”
Liang Shan: “Think about it, if it wants to kill Lin Bei, it can only use evil qi to influence her spirit and bewitch her enemies to murder her. Even if it really attacked Mengyu, it doesn’t have the ability to make her disappear from the world.”
The two didn’t answer.
“…Don’t be discouraged. That’s what our investigation is like. It’s normal that you sometimes head in the wrong direction. At least the idea of the ‘gap’ was given by you two, so you did a good job.”
Liang Shan quickly comforted them.
“Rest early, your work is over.”
The author has something to say:
[almost crying] is an emoji in WeChat √
Xiao Yin: Oh, but it’s almost time to get off work!
Xiao Zhong: (Eat fruit dessert silently)
Xiao Zhong, it’s hard to be promoted if you hate seniors like this. Let me tell you…
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Thank you so much for your hard work!