46 – A Great Detective’s Reputation Has Been Ruined
Editors: CYLO, Yin
Introducing my editor CYLO! 🙂
Seeing that his deeds were exposed, Fang Mo was struggling on his deathbed.
“We happened to be passing by, so we came in to sit! We didn’t expect to see you, so we didn’t come to say hello because we didn’t want to disturb you!”
Zou Shun looked at him like he was an idiot: “When you asked me where I was meeting him, was that also a coincidence?”
“…” Fang Mo realized how stupid the excuses he made in a moment of desperation were and immediately shut his mouth.
Xu Xiran hurried to help speak for him: “Fang Mo was just concerned about you.”
Zou Shun looked at the two of them exasperatedly: “I’m not mad, just what are you two doing here?”
Fang Mo breathed a sigh of relief and quickly went to care about his situation: “Where’s Professor Xu? Did you say goodbye that quickly?”
“Yi?” Zou Shun looked surprised, “He’s a professor?”
“He didn’t tell you?” Fang Mo was also slightly surprised, “What did you guys talk about? Isn’t this a bit too… short of a meeting?”
Even counting the twenty minutes before their arrival, the entire meeting between them was still far less than an hour. For an important first meeting, this was too brief.
Xu Xiran frowned slightly and felt that his hypothesis seemed to be coming true.
Sure enough, Zou Shun didn’t give any explanation on the date he just had, and directly walked up to them and set his sights on Xu Xiran.
“Can I borrow Momo for a bit?” He asked Xu Xiran.
It has begun. Using the excuse of a bad date to talk to a “good friend” alone. It’s really a low-end trick.
Zou Shun’s actions today were all-around suspicious. If he truly had a good impression of Professor Xu before their first meeting and was looking forward to this date with all his heart, why would they immediately part ways after chatting? Judging from the way Professor Xu was talking to him a moment ago, he clearly had a good impression of him. Even if he was busy later, he should have at least offered to send him back to school.
This was undoubtedly just a formality, and Zou Shun might have even guessed that Fang Mo would come and find him.
There was only one truth. He was playing a trick to hurt himself to gain sympathy.
Fang Mo was a fool. He was blind to Xu Xiran’s previous teachings to him and even got deceived on the spot.
With worry written on his brows, he turned to look at Xu Xiran: “Then… I’ll leave first? I’ll come find you later, okay?”
Xu Xiran looked at him and did not speak or move.
For a while, the atmosphere was tense.
“What you had said before, did you forget?” Fang Mo said in a low voice and reached out to pat him.
Xu Xiran knew what he was referring to. Less than five minutes ago, he had told Fang Mo that there was no need to interfere too much with Zou Shun’s emotional life, and that as a good friend, it was enough just to accompany, listen, and comfort him in times of need.
Right now, Fang Mo had decided to “accompany”, “listen”, and “comfort”.
Xu Xiran took a glance at Zou Shun. This cunning guy with ulterior motives had a fake smile on his face and seemed like he was harboring malicious intentions.
He decided to play dumb.
“Where are you two going? I don’t have anything later anyway, so can you take me with you?”
As soon as he said this, Fang Mo and Zou Shun looked at each other.
The two made eyes at each other, and he had no idea what the two had exchanged with each other. Soon, Zou Shun lightly sighed and waved at Fang Mo: “Nevermind, next time then. I’ll head back to school first.”
It was an excellent move to retreat!
Sure enough, this silly Fang Mo had fallen for this trick, and just as Zou Shun turned around and took a half step, Fang Mo immediately rushed forward and grabbed Zou Shun’s wrist.
When Zou Shun turned around, Fang Mo, who was holding Zou Shun with one hand and Xu Xiran with the other, looked back and forth between them with a tangled face. Finally, he broke the silence and said, “How about let’s go together? Let us treat you to dinner, okay? I beg you all to come, okay?”
Zou Shun soon stopped pretending to smile. He quietly walked beside the two of them, deliberately leaving a little distance, causing Fang Mo to turn his head and occasionally pay attention to him.
The more Xu Xiran looked at this, the more awkward he felt. He whispered to Fang Mo: “What are you nervous about?”
Fang Mo had worry written all over his face: “Something looks off with him.”
Xu Xiran sighed at him, shook his head, and said nothing.
It was not time for dinner yet, and since they just had drinks, they were not very hungry. After wandering for a while, they had little appetite for anything they saw.
“Why don’t we go to Changlun Street,” Xu Xiran suggested, “Didn’t you want to eat brown sugar cake?”
Fang Mo was still hesitating when Zou Shun nodded: “Okay, I’m good with anything.”
Changlun Street was a food street that took a little while to walk to, which was just the right amount of time for them to digest.
The business of the brown sugar cake shop was thriving.
The three of them quietly queued up in the line, and the atmosphere was still stiff. Seeing that Zou Shun kept his eyes down without a sound, Fang Mo moved closer to him and softly asked, “What’s wrong?”
Zou Shun didn’t say anything and looked up at Xu Xiran.
“That… it’s okay,” Fang Mo forced a smile at him, “Just pretend he’s not there.”
“It’s actually nothing much,” Zou Shun said, “I casually chatted with him, and it felt…”
“No,” Zou Shun said with a blank face and a flat tone, “It didn’t feel bad or good. It’s just… the feeling wasn’t there.”
“Weren’t you looking forward to this date before going?” Xu Xiran interrupted.
When Zou Shun heard this, he first looked at Xu Xiran, and then his eyes fell on Fang Mo’s face.
Fang Mo felt ashamed: “…I’m sorry, I told him.”
“I just knew you’d be like this,” Zou Shun was speechless, “Your elbow has turned too far1Turning your elbow out means doing something selfish that hurts your friends.”
Fang Mo didn’t say a word and quietly accepted the criticism.
Xu Xiran had accidentally exposed him, but at this moment, for some reason, he felt no remorse and instead felt a little happy.
“Yeah, I was really looking forward to it,” Zou Shun said, shaking his head slowly, “It’s really strange.”
Just as Xu Xiran was about to speak, he heard Fang Mo whisper a “yi?”. Before he could ask, Fang Mo grabbed his arm.
“Look there! Over there!”
Both Xu Xiran and Zou Shun looked in the direction he pointed. Across the street was a dessert shop. In the seats where the three of them had sat before, there were indeed two people that they knew who were sitting face-to-face with each other.
It was Liu Xiaochang and Yang Lin.
“Why are the two of them together?” Xu Xiran was extremely surprised.
In a daze, Fang Mo said, “So, the person Liu Xiaochang is dating is your xuedi?”
This was truly a wonderful coincidence. Xu Xiran was inevitably curious and couldn’t help but look over a few more times.
The atmosphere between the two was also a little weird. Liu Xiaochang seemed to be very positive and was talking about something with a smile on his face. But Yang Lin, who was sitting across from him, looked very much like Zou Shun before, with a forced smile and mindlessly stirring the ice cream in front of him without opening his mouth.
“It doesn’t seem to be going well,” Fang Mo said.
Xu Xiran nodded.
Zou Shun quietly said: “How can it be that easy to see eye-to-eye with someone? The person you like doesn’t like you, or the person who likes you, you don’t like, it’s all too normal.”
After half an hour, Xu Xiran finally realized that Zou Shun’s depression was not faked.
Once they bought their sweets, they randomly found an open barbecue roadside stall. As soon as they sat down, Zou Shun shouted for the boss to serve beer.
By the time Fang Mo finished ordering, he had already drunk most of his beer.
“Are you okay?” Xu Xiran couldn’t help but feel concerned.
“I’m fine,” Zou Shun wiped his mouth, “I’m just thirsty.”
Fang Mo reached out to snatch his beer: “Don’t drink so much, just say what’s on your mind.”
“No,” Zou Shun confidently shook his head, then opened another can and took a big sip, “I have nothing on my mind, and I have nothing to say.”
Twenty minutes later, Zou Shun, who had drunk several cans, started talking nonstop.
“I just can’t figure it out. What am I dissatisfied with, huh? Why am I dissatisfied? That… that who was it, what’s his name… how did I even forget his name… Anyway, you know who. He should be a good choice, right?”
Xu Xiran didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and held back Fang Mo, who was about to grab his beer: “Just let him drink.”
Although Zou Shun’s sentences were messy, Xu Xiran roughly understood what was going on. Zou Shun was honestly looking forward to this date before today, but after meeting him, he was very disappointed for some reason.
He couldn’t say what exactly was wrong but just felt that something was wrong.
Professor Xu most likely introduced himself in detail to him, but he was inattentive and was not listening. After realizing he was not himself, Professor Xu didn’t drag it on, politely ended this date, and obviously did not ask for a follow-up date.
“Maybe your expectations were too high, so the disparity was too big?” Xu Xiran said.
Zou Shun shook his head, and then the rims of his eyes suddenly turned red.
“Momo,” he stretched out his hand to pull Fang Mo, “Momo, come here, let me hug you.”
As he spoke, he sniffed and reached out to hug Fang Mo’s shoulder. Before he could talk, Xu Xiran picked up an unopened can of beer and stuffed it into his hand.
“What kind of scene are you making, hugging in a big open street?” Xu Xiran said, “You’re a man, drink more beer.”
Fang Mo looked at him with embarrassment.
Unmoved, Xu Xiran pushed the grilled skewers in front of Zou Shun and continued, “Eat some more meat.”
It was a pity that Zou Shun didn’t listen to what he said.
He gripped the can of beer tightly, made a few marks on the can, and then slowly buried his face in Fang Mo’s shoulder.
Xu Xiran felt upset and wanted to cheer him up, but just as he raised his hand, he stopped.
Zou Shun’s body shook, and he started to cry.
“He’s actually a bit like him, just a little bit,” he said, “but why is he nothing like him when I meet him in person…”
Fang Mo frowned, reached out his hand, and patted him on the back: “…When you say him, I didn’t get this wrong, right? Do you still miss him?”
“When I sat there today, I suddenly realized that what I secretly wanted was for the person I was chatting with today to be him,” Zou Shun’s voice was nasally and unclear, “In my wildest thoughts, I thought that if I never look for him again, would he miss me a little? Would he use some other way to get close to me? I know it’s impossible, but I just can’t help but think this way…”
Fang Mo didn’t wait for him to finish and suddenly reached out and grabbed his collar, shouting: “He came to look for you!”
“…Ah?” Zou Shun’s face was all wet, and his expression and tone seemed dull, “Who?”
“The one surnamed He?” Xu Xiran asked, “Around this tall, in his thirties, quite handsome and well-mannered. Are you talking about him?”
Zou Shun was stunned for a while, then sniffed very hard and opened his teary eyes: “What did you say?”
“He came to look for you and said he was worried about you because he couldn’t get in touch,” Fang Mo said.
Zou Shun was stunned and did not respond.
“It happened a few days ago,” Fang Mo pulled him, and repeated, “He came to our school and happened to bump into us. He said he was worried that he couldn’t get in touch with you, so he came over to take a look.”
Zou Shun sat stupidly for a while, then jumped up suddenly: “Why didn’t you tell me this sooner!”
As he spoke, he quickly took out the phone from his pocket, and rapidly tapped at his screen for a while before he suddenly stopped, and then his tears rolled down again.
“I deleted all his contact information…” he murmured.
Xu Xiran watched from beginning to end, and finally realized that something didn’t add up.
He carefully pressed Fang Mo’s ear, and asked, “So turns out he really likes that man?”
Fang Mo turned his head, forced a smile at him, and said, “You finally figured it out, great detective.”
It should be obvious by now!
ps, from the perspective of Mr. He, this is actually a completely different story.
- 1Turning your elbow out means doing something selfish that hurts your friends