Chapter 6: Knives



A pretty gege with gloves on.


T/N: I changed my mind about the chapter title after submitting this chapter to NU, so this chapter is listed as '6.
Cutting Tools' in the sidebar so the link over there doesn't break.
Rest assured, this is indeed chapter 6

Ji Mingrui was shaken by the three words “Criminal Investigation Unit.”


It went without saying what those three words meant.


Although Ji Mingrui was still a low-ranking officer who had just taken up his post, struggling to ascend through the path of fighting monsters and catching criminals, becoming a detective had always been his ultimate goal.
Despite this, he didn’t dare to hold the pipe dream of making it into the Criminal Investigation Unit.


The male officer was a qualified fan, and he knew his idol’s accomplishments like the back of his hand, “He was involved in Southern China’s 7/19 Family Extermination Case, 9/02 Serial Murder Case, 3/10 Poisoning Case……”


These criminal case names and dates were incredibly infamous.


Not a single once hadn’t caused a commotion in the province when it happened; they were all cases that left an extremely vile impression.


Ji Mingrui listened and listened.
He came back to himself from the sighing feeling of being “wow that’s impressive”, noticing the common thread between those cases, “Hold on, those cases all happened at least ten years ago!”


All of the ones he’d mentioned were old cases that happened ten or more years previous.


Ji Mingrui glanced at Xie Lin’s back.
The man was still rummaging around in that lump of muddled flesh Su Xiaolan wouldn’t dare touch.
His movements were actually quite gentle, as if he was afraid of disturbing the cats.
Bloodstained fingers caressed the skin and flesh, following slowly along the knife marks with his strokes.
Because the crime scene was excessively bloody, this action would make the hair of anyone who saw it stand on end.


Ji Mingrui’s expression was difficult to read, “I wouldn’t have thought someone who looks as young as he does would turn out to be that old already.”


Su Xiaolan nodded along, “Yeah, I thought he was only about 25 or so.”


The male officer, “?”


I’m afraid these two might both be idiots.


The male officer looked at them the way he’d look at a fool.


“He’s really not that old.”


The male officer seemed to suspect this sentence was not direct enough, and he added on another, “He’s the younger brother of the Criminal Investigation Unit’s Unit Chief from back then, Xie Feng.
The first time he assisted with a case, he was still in his first year of high school.”


Su Xiaolan wondered whether or not she’d heard him incorrectly.


Ji Mingrui thought back on the him from his first year of high school, who was still secretly wearing height-raising shoe inserts to run for the position of PE class representative, “……!?”


Could the degree of differences between members of the same species really be that large?


Ji Mingrui, “But I have a question.
I know that he’s really awesome, but a consultant is a consultant, why does it also have a ‘former’?”


“Xiao-Jiang, come over here—”


Just as the male officer was about to open his mouth, Wu Zhibin waved his hand and shouted for him to come over.


Jiang Yu sorted out his riled up state of mind, taking his notebook and jogging over, “Bin-ge.”


Wu Zhibin put a lot of thought into minding the newcomers, giving them the opportunity one by one to answer, “Now tell me, what did you guys see.”


Jiang Yu tried really hard to focus his gaze on the crime scene, but it was truly difficult to accomplish.


The angle of the cane in Wu Zhibin’s hand changed, suddenly landing a hit on his calf, “I told you to look at the crime scene, what’re you staring at other people for!”


Jiang Yu, “……Sorry Bin-ge.”


Finally, Jiang Yu glanced at Xie Lin.


From the man’s slightly crooked fingers, it seemed like he could see a scene from many years earlier.
The image of a mere teenaged youth sitting in the conference room at the head of the long table, his fingers lightly tapping on the surface.


The reason why Jiang Yu knew this information like the back of his hand was because his father had worked in the headquarters for many years.
When he was very young, he was accustomed to going there every Friday after school and finding an open spot to do his homework, waiting for his father to get off work.


The people who worked in the headquarters were always very busy, were always running around like the wind, bodies never touching home.


The young him would often sneakily look into the conference room through the glass door after he finished his homework, wanting to see what his own father was like when he was working.
Although, most of the time he didn’t need to look in order to know; his father would surely be staring at the crime scene photos up on the screen with a deeply furrowed brow.


The Criminal Investigation Unit Unit Chief from back then, Xie Feng, was an open-hearted and honest top-notch character; his treatment of others was warm and courteous, and he rose to the position of Unit Chief when he was still quite young.
He was an outstanding representative of a young person, with a resume and reputation that were both as brilliant as a textbook.


But compared to his halo, Jiang Yu’s deepest impression of him was of his younger brother.


That year when the “Southern China 7/19 Family Extermination Case” stirred up the entire city, the murder leaving behind no clues of any kind, the media was everywhere and the pressure to break the case rose steadily by the day.
The male officer looked in through the glass window to look, and saw his father’s brow that had been tightly furrowed without release for days on end.


Up until ten days after the crime happened—when someone had a breakthrough.


His father hadn't returned home for ten days already.
He sneakily peeped into the conference room from outside, watching his father pull open the door and run hurriedly out of the conference room with a few other detectives.


When they got back, someone else was with them.


A young man wearing a school uniform walked at the very end of the procession.
He must’ve just gotten out of school; the blue uniform was still hanging loosely on his body.
He had the face of a kid who often received love letters in school.


After he entered, the arrangement of seats in the conference room changed.


The young man was invited to sit at the head of the table.


The long table in the conference room had ten or so seats in total.
He was sitting at the furthest spot, but at that moment he happened to be facing the projector screen they hadn’t yet had time to turn off.


Crime scene photos of the Family Extermination case—displayed on the screen, the fluorescent light of the slides was flickering endlessly in the room.


Jiang Yu looked in through the cracks between the blinds.
He saw the young man’s laced-together hands resting on the table.
The rows of detectives on either side of him were all in uniform, a quietly fierce style, bearing a silver insignia on the shoulders.
In that conference room, his high school uniform stuck out like a sore thumb.


Only later did he find out that the young man was called Xie Lin.


That he was the Unit Chief’s younger brother.


—”a consultant is a consultant, why does it also have a ‘former’?


The situation surrounding the last time he saw that young man flashed through Jiang Yu’s mind.


His father showed a rare agitation, “I disagree—he’s too dangerous! Did you guys see his psych report—you’re right, I don’t know what happened during the kidnapping case.
I just know that before we still had Xie Feng, and now Xie Feng isn’t here and there’s no one who can keep him in check.
If we invite him in, could you control him? Who’s capable of controlling him!?”



Xie Lin was completely unaware there was also an “old friend” at the scene; at that moment, his attention was captured by the thin paper caught in that silver Scottish Fold’s claws.


He pulled off that half-piece of thin paper, bringing it closer to take a look, discovering that it was a price tag from a kiosk shop with a white background and red border.
It was already crinkled beyond recognition, and after it had been soaked in blood you could only vaguely see a “person” radical.


(t/n: the “person” radical is the one that looks like this 人 or this 亻.
It’s super common, so basically, on its own the writing on this tag is not very helpful)



“Are there really people who can break cases at fifteen?”


“Does that type of person really exist? Apart from the Detective Conan anime—I still find it hard to believe.”


When Ji Mingrui got off work, he drove directly to Chi Qing’s apartment.
His main reason for going to Lord Chi’s home was because it was on the way; Chi Qing’s apartment was not even two kilometers away from the Haimao xiaoqu.
As soon as he got in the door he collapsed onto the sofa, lying there and questioning his life.


Ji Mingrui flipped himself over on the sofa, lying sprawled out on his back.


Ji Mingrui continued to lament, “It's so over the top, what was I doing when I was fifteen!”


Chi Qing, “Buying height-raising shoe inserts.
Begging me to let you copy my homework.”


Ji Mingrui, “……”


Chi Qing continued, “Chasing after the girl in the class next to ours, and when you failed you cried for an entire hour, and then you wanted to wipe your tears on my shirt, so after you finally managed to stop crying, getting beat up by me made you start up again.”


Ji Mingrui, “…………”


Chi QIng, “Do you still want me to help you remember.”


Ji Mingrui instantly sobered up, “There’s no need, thank you.”


Right as Chi Qing was speaking, he was slicing some bread.
The open-style kitchen was icy cold without any smoke from cooking.
There wasn't that much kitchenware in his home, although there was an abundance of knives.


Ji Mingrui realized the light inside the room was poor, standing up to turn on the lights, “What kind of nocturnal animals are you, not even afraid of cutting your hand in the pitch darkness.”


The room that was dimly lit before was filled with brightness in an instant.


Chi Qing was startled by the flash of light, and the hand that was holding a knife to slice bread suddenly paused.


The shimmering silver blade deviated from its course, piercing directly into his finger.


Chi Qing, “……Do you have a death wish today.”


As Ji Mingrui apologized, he went to look for the first-aid kit, “It was my mistake.”


But before he had found the first-aid kit, he saw Chi Qing looking at the blood seeping out of his finger without any kind of a reaction, only dully bringing his finger up to his mouth, the blood instantly melting at his lips.


Ji Mingrui wanted to say you really are the reincarnation of a vampire, but his gaze unintentionally drifted over to the knife in Chi Qing’s hand.


It was a serrated knife.
The tip of the knife was long and thin, the blade arced in a curve.
The teeth were like a row of sharp canines, sparking with piercing cold rays of light.


—”The cross-section of the wounds aren't level; they have the traces of a sawing motion.”


—”They’re most likely from a serrated knife.”


Chi Qing, “What’re you looking at?”


Ji Mingrui locked his gaze on the knife in Chi Qing’s hand, “When did you buy that knife, where did you buy it, can you let me see it?”


Chi Qing didn’t ask why.
He flipped the knife around so that the tip was pointing at himself, and offered the handle to him.


And it was precisely the motion that caused Chi QIng to realize there was still a price tag he hadn’t had the chance to tear off stuck to the handle.
He tore off the tag in passing and said, “Roughly last week, by the street.”


The xiaoqu Chi Qing lived in wasn’t far from Haimao; a lot of the large-scale supports were shared within the district.
Ji Mingrui received the knife, looking and looking again, “You still remember which store?”


Chi Qing, “Bianmin Grocery.”


A rainbow fart came out when Ji Mingrui opened his mouth, “Sometimes I really admire that outstanding memory of yours……”


(t/n: 彩虹屁/ ‘rainbow fart’ – simply too great of a phrase to not translate directly lmao.
Refers to a fan offering fancy flatteries/praises to their idol)


Chi Qing took the tag he’d just torn off and stuck it to the back of his hand.
Ji Mingrui lowered his head to glance at it, and saw the grocery’s name “Bianmin” printed on it with a white background and red border, “……”


(t/n: the name of the store is written 便民.
The first character 便 has the ‘person’ radical on the left 亻)





The doorbell of an ordinary grocery five hundred or so meters away from Haimao rang.


Xie Lin glanced around the shop.
It was narrow and small, and from inside to out the decorations were all out-dated; all the furnishings were in the style from ten or so ago.
Even the price tags stuck to the products persisted with that old-fashioned type of habit from then until now.


Within a radius of two kilometers, the only shop that stuck such labels to their products was this grocery.


The door of the grocery entered into the snack area; the price stuck to the bags of potato chips was¥6.


This convenience store’s name was printed on a rectangular tag using characters with a blue background.


The section for kitchen supplies was further inside; Xie Lin grabbed a few bags of snacks as he walked in that direction.
On the inside, a dazzling line-up of kitchenware was arranged.


A few types of paring knives were arranged on the second layer of the shelf.


Because there were fewer uses for serrated knives, they couldn’t compare to the flat and smooth edge of the best-selling paring knife.
Thus, they were put in the innermost position, and there were still four left.


The owner of the grocery wasn’t present; the front counter only had a young boy resting his upper body on the counter doing homework.
He seemed to be accustomed to helping his family watch the store; when he saw that somebody wanted to check out, he put down his pen and started calculating the bill with a practiced motion.


A hand tapped on his homework book, “Kiddo, you picked the wrong answer for question three.”


The young boy glanced at the visitor.


Xie Lin picked up a pencil from off to the side and wrote down a simple formula on the draft.
After he finished writing, he spoke again, “Can you answer this question for gege—has anyone come to buy this type of knife recently?”


The boy took the snacks, looking at the serrated knife that was being bought and thinking for a moment, then saying, “Yeah.”


“A pretty gege with gloves on.”




木瓜黄’s author’s note:

Chi Qing: ?

Thrilled to receive a suspect


Translator notes:

Jiang Yu (姜宇, jiang1 yu3):

姜: a surname.
Shares the same character as ‘ginger’ in simplified Chinese, but I believe is just a surname in traditional

宇: ‘the universe’


Xie Feng (解风, xie4 feng1):

解: the same Xie as Xie Lin (unsurprisingly haha)

风: ‘wind’

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