Non-Police – Chapter 3: Zizhong

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After treating the wounds and extracting the DNA, Xu Qinghe came out of the interrogation room absent-mindedly. Her colleagues then sent her home.

She stood naked in the bathroom, letting the hot water pouring down from her head. Her chest and neck were covered with horrible red scars when looking into the mirror, and one cheek was badly swollen. It seemed somewhat funny.

Her eyes felt sore. She thought she wouldn’t cry anymore, yet the tears kept coming and mixing with the hot water, and then flowed down her cheeks.

Just now in the interrogation room, she concealed the fact that she had been violated by K.

She wanted to talk about it, but in that room under the bright light, right in front of two of her colleagues, and with the computer to record her statement, she thought of the day she had just become a police officer.

A girl came to report to the police. She was crying and said that she was sexually assaulted. As a woman, Xu Qinghe was called over to assist her. Back then, Xu Qinghe was still a bystander and a listener. She questioned the girl to describe what happened in detail. While sitting next to her, Xu Qinghe felt a chill run down her spine.

At that time, the victim described the incident under tears. Xu Qinghe just thought how sickening and outrageous it was. Now that the roles had been reversed and she became the victim, how was she supposed to describe what happened to her? Let alone K would never leak such a matter. Even the so-called DNA should be futile.

Sitting in front of the bright light, Xu Qinghe stared at her colleagues opposite of her for a long time. In the end, she could only swallow her words.
Forget it. She was a coward.

After resting for a few days, Xu Qinghe returned to the police station.

The wounds on her body recovered quickly, and the horrible scars had faded a lot. Only a few faint red marks remained. But every time Xu Qinghe looked at them, the image of K ruthlessly pulling her legs apart and entering her would intrude into her mind. It was disgusting and sickening.

Xu Qinghe rushed to the toilet, retched over the toilet bowl for a while, wiped away her tears, and prepared to tidy herself up. As soon as she looked up, she saw a woman in a police uniform reflected in the mirror. The woman looked at her with some concern: “Are you okay?”

Xu Qinghe turned around to meet the person who came closer. Last month, a group of senior police officers was transferred to assist them in the investigation. This woman was one of them: Ji Zizhong. However, this is just one of her identities — before Ji Zizhong took office, Xu Qinghe had an appointment[1] with her. After finding out that this person was her boss, Xu Qinghe voluntarily cut off contact.

[1]

One-night stand pretty much.


Ji Zizhong stood at the door of the stall. Her slightly raised eyes were full of worry. She looked at Xu Qinghe and started to talk: “There are some things I’d like to ask you, may I?”

Xu Qinghe stared into her eyes for a long time before she nodded: “Yeah.”
She couldn’t bear it anymore.
No matter who it was, she needed someone to accompany her.

“Sit down.” Higher-ranked police officers all had their own offices. Ji Zizhong led her to sit on one side of the sofa and handed her a cup of water. Her eyes moved a bit swiftly: “Why were you avoiding me? Is it because we became colleagues?”

Xu Qinghe held her cup while bowing her head silently. Her expression was hard to read. Only after a long time did she open her mouth: “Is that all you wanted to ask?”

Since Xu Qinghe didn’t want to answer, Ji Zizhong didn’t pursue it any further. Instead, her fingertips tapped on the desktop while she glanced at the record on the computer screen and subtly asked: “Why would K kiss you?”

Looking at Xu Qinghe’s abruptly widened eyes, she nodded and continued: “Or lick you — or bite you?” Ji Zizhong restrained her eyes and took a sip of water: “Why would your earlobe have K’s DNA?”

Xu Qinghe swept at Ji Zizhong’s face without emotion while the latter just quietly looked back at her. She suddenly recalled that night when Ji Zizhong’s eyes were like now — a touch of tenderness, hidden with a touch of softness — different from her usually serious gaze.

“Because–,” Xu Qinghe’s jaw trembled and the grip around the cup tightened. She closed her eyes, and her long eyelashes flickered somewhat excessively. Even her voice was as dry as from an old answering machine: “…Because I was raped by K.”

Xu Qinghe waited for a long time. Ji Zizhong didn’t reply. Only after a long period of silence did she hear Ji Zizhong’s clear and cold voice responding to her in a low tone: “Do you want to talk?”

Ji Zizhong held back her eyebrows and looked at Xu Qinghe’s trembling appearance. Her heart almost couldn’t bear it. Last time, this woman was full of joy when approaching her. Xu Qinghe asked her out so lively, with eyes so bright and radiant, overflowing with brilliance. That’s how it was.

As soon as Xu Qinghe finished talking, she covered her eyes with her arm. A slender and white wrist, tightly pursed lips — suddenly they gave her a sense of vulnerability — like floating ice in early spring, swaying on the river, as if it’d crack the next second.

She knew it was wrong. She shouldn’t, yet–
Her body was one step faster than her mind. She half-squatted down while her hand grabbed the white wrist and pulled it away. Under Xu Qinghe’s astonished gaze, she kissed her on impulse.

It was just a very brief kiss — a light one. She left after touching. Too gentle.

Xu Qinghe met Ji Zizhong’s eyes in a daze. She opened her red eyes wide. Her featherlike eyelashes kept trembling, and the emotions in her eyes wear clean and calm — astonishment mixed with a bit of rigidity.

“I’m sorry…”
After a few seconds of silence, Ji Zizhong opened her mouth to explain. She forced a smile, her gentle eyes on Xu Qinghe’s lips: “I just wanted to comfort you.”

Just when she wanted to move back, Xu Qinghe suddenly grabbed her arm, closed her eyes and took the initiative to come over. She kissed Ji Zizhong’s lips wildly, vengefully venting her anger. With some force on her teeth, Xu Qinghe bit on Ji Zizhong’s lower lip, making the taste of blood spreading in their mouths.

Ji Zizhong let out a low moan. Her palm rested on the back of Xu Qinghe’s head and stroked it gently. She softly accepted Xu Qinghe’s anger.

“I bit you,” only after a long time, Xu Qinghe stated this fact without expression.

“Yeah, you bit me,” Ji Zizhong replied. Her tone was as soft as before, as if tolerating her small vent: “I don’t mind.”

“I want to catch her,” Xu Qinghe muttered. She reflected deep resentment in her half-closed eyes.

Ji Zizhong hesitated for a moment but quickly assured her in a tone that surprisingly had a touch of anticipation: “Of course, you’ll catch her for sure.”

Before that, Ji Zizhong straightened herself up and used her thumb to wipe off the dark red bloodstains from her lips. A smile appeared in her eyes: “Let’s do something else.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll help you.” Ji Zizhong sat down on the sofa. She clasped Xu Qinghe’s wrist with one hand and brought it onto her neck: “Can you tell me what K did to you?”

Xu Qinghe’s hand trembled and clutched Ji Zizhong’s neck. She looked at Ji Zizhong hesitantly. Ji Zizhong still had that warm and soft appearance, revealing a reassuring smile, her tone gentle: “Just do what you want.”

Xu Qinghe closed her eyes and imagined K’s actions. Resentment emerged in her heart, as if she’d suddenly tighten her fingers in the next second. Ji Zizhong just sat there quietly, waiting for Xu Qinghe. She saw Xu Qinghe’s fingertips that hesitated to move. Her expression was a bit complicated: “Xu Qinghe…”

“No…” Xu Qinghe suddenly interrupted her. Her voice had a sobbing tone, and she just stiffly kept this posture. Her fingertips stuck on Ji Zizhong’s skin while trembling. With her whole body shaking excessively, she spoke out: “No..I won’t be like her…”

Bitterness rushed to the tip of her nose. Xu Qinghe’s tears filled her eyes again. She hung her head down, and an eye-catching blush filled her cheeks. Huge teardrops fell between her and Ji Zizhong: “I can’t… Ji Zizhong… I can’t…”

Ji Zizhong sighed and raised her hands to embrace the person in her arms. Xu Qinghe’s chin rested on her shoulder, and wet tears flowed down her neck.

For a moment, she was soft-hearted.

Beyond Xu Qinghe’s trembling shoulders, her gaze fell on the dark corner with the file cabinet. Nothing could be seen there. Ji Zizhong just stared at that corner without saying a word until Xu Qinghe stopped trembling in her arms and whispered into her ear softly: “Can you stay with me today…please?”

Ji Zizhong smiled warmly, leaned on her, and kissed the tears on Xu Qinghe’s face intimately: “Don’t worry, I will.”

The neon lights on the road lit up excitingly. Colorful artificial lights flashed like fireworks on the street past Xu Qinghe’s face into obscurity.

Ji Zizhong drove the car with a tense face, entered the garage, and finally pulled Xu Qinghe’s hand to lead her home. Xu Qinghe still had that same numb expression. Ji Zizhong unlocked the door and turned on the lights. The bright yellow and warm light flooded the room.

After that, Ji Zizhong took off her belt and threw it on the sofa. The sharp metal sound made Xu Qinghe’s eyes twitch. Ji Zizhong leaned against the wall while her long black eyelashes cast a shadow over her eyes.

“Xu Qinghe,” Ji Zizhong called lightly. Xu Qinghe looked over. Half of her face was illuminated with the light, and her pale complexion seemed to have gotten some color.

“Come here.”

Xu Qinghe’s eyes moved when she heard this. Ji Zizhong always gave her a sense of reassurance — just like a sea bird on the sea that had dragged its body and flapped its wings for a long time. When it saw driftwood floating, it couldn’t help but stop to check with its claws to see if it could rest on it. Ji Zizhong was the only driftwood she could lean on now.

She stiffly leaned on Ji Zizhong’s shoulder. A teardrop fell down her cheek, leaving a soft water stain. Then she mumbled: “Ji Zizhong, you kiss me, okay?”


The author has something to say:

You see, some of you lovely readers with open eyes and brains probably have a lot of small question marks now. Look slowly…believe in me! I can explain!

Actually, you can probably guess the calamity. I have no sense of accomplishment (´△`)

The translator has something to say:

Sadly I was busy the last days and couldn’t translate as much as I wanted to. Tomorrow work starts again, so my speed will slow down. However, I do aim for weekly releases. No promises though. It often depends on my workload/mood/word count of the chapter. I’m halfway done through ch4.


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