Shen Wei handed him the medicine he got from the school hospital. “I saw that you didn’t have time to pick up the medicine earlier, so I brought it to you.”

Looking at the layer of skin that had been rubbed off Zhao Yunlan’s arm, Shen Wei frowned. “When you go back, be careful and avoid getting the wound wet for a few days. Try not to eat spicy food and…”

Zhao Yunlan stared at him without saying a word.

Shen Wei finally felt uncomfortable under his gaze and stopped talking. “What’s wrong?”

Inappropriately, Zhao Yunlan asked, “Professor Shen, are you married?”

Shen Wei was taken aback and blurted out, “How could…”

Zhao Yunlan responded with an “Oh” and continued, “Does Professor Shen have a girlfriend?”

His gaze carried a hint of aggression, making Shen Wei feel unsure whether nodding or shaking his head was the appropriate response in this situation.

Seizing the opportunity, Zhao Yunlan took the medicine bottle from Shen Wei’s hand and twirled it in his own hand, smiling ambiguously. “It’s nothing. I just think that someone like Professor Shen, a talented young man, being so attentive and considerate, must be in high demand. I’m just being nosy.”

“Don’t say such things…” Shen Wei felt uneasy.

Zhao Yunlan chuckled, revealing two dimples. “Oh, right, can I borrow your phone for a moment?”

Shen Wei took out his phone, but Zhao Yunlan didn’t answer the call. Instead, he gently held the back of Shen Wei’s hand, then casually left his name and number in the contacts list, saved it, dialed the number, and hung up after one ring.

“Leave a contact. If there are any clues related to the case, feel free to bother me,” Zhao Yunlan said, pretending to be serious. “Thank you so much. I have something to take care of, so I’ll go ahead. After finishing this case, I’ll definitely treat Professor Shen to a meal.”

This time, he didn’t hurry as he walked away. With one hand in his pocket, he strolled leisurely. His back seemed carefree, but he maintained proper posture, not slouching or stiff. He was lazy yet elegant, like a peacock with an open tail, showcasing his hormone-filled presence at every opportunity.

Even after he had walked far away, the slight tension on Shen Wei’s face gradually faded. His gaze became profound and restrained. Finally, he glanced at Zhao Yunlan’s almost indistinguishable figure and turned to walk in the opposite direction.

However, after only a dozen steps, he couldn’t help but turn his head once, but the person he wanted to see had completely disappeared from his sight.

The phone’s contact list displayed the seductive name “A Lan.” It lay quietly on the screen. As he silently repeated those two words, it felt as if a knife lightly passed through the softest part of his heart, leaving it bloodied. Finally, he sealed it away behind his thin lips, where no one could hear.

Shen Wei raised his hand, still faintly carrying the fading scent of the cologne from another person. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

He didn’t know which cologne it was or what fragrance it carried, but the first time he smelled it, it felt as if it had haunted him for many years.

In the quiet campus, the only sound was the gentle rustling of leaves falling from the lush green branches. There was no hint of emotion on Shen Wei’s face. After a while, he reluctantly curled his lips, lowered his head, and hurriedly walked away.

Only when he lowered his head, the fleeting trace of desolation quickly disappeared. His face was as sharp as if it had been sculpted by a knife, revealing a silent killing intent.

Now, about Guo Changcheng. This clumsy fool was given the task of “gathering information,” but he had no idea what he should gather. He could only stammer and speak awkwardly, fully aware that even the parrots in the bird and flower market spoke more smoothly than he did.

As it neared noon, he finally received a call from Zhao Yunlan. With a speaking cat by his side, Guo Changcheng sat on the school gate, hunched over, waiting for the leader to come and claim it.

Even when squatting, Guo Changcheng didn’t squat like others. He curled up into a ball, his hair covering half of his face. In addition, he sat upright with a big, chubby cat by his side, attracting the attention of passersby with its sharp and imposing appearance.

Half an hour later, Zhao Yunlan hurriedly arrived and put an end to this embarrassing exhibition.

With his legs numb from squatting, Guo Changcheng limped behind Zhao Yunlan, walking along the serene and beautiful path on campus. From time to time, he stole glances at Zhao Yunlan’s slender figure, his expression and demeanor resembling that of a worried and aggrieved young wife who accidentally burned the kitchen.

During the half-hour he spent crouching in the corner, Guo Changcheng deeply reflected on the series of events that had occurred within twelve hours of his entry into the Special Investigation Department. He felt extremely frustrated—wasn’t it just a slightly gloomy corridor? Wasn’t it just slightly dim and eerie? Wasn’t it just the leader casually saying something cryptic?

Why did he pass out?

Guo Changcheng had always felt unworthy of being in the Special Investigation Department, where the salary was higher and the bonuses were more generous than anywhere else. But now, due to a twist of fate, he had entered through unsavory means. If he couldn’t even stay here, it wouldn’t just be embarrassing. How would he explain it to his uncle?

He looked at Zhao Yunlan, who was carrying Daqing on his shoulder. Despite the cat’s excessive weight, Zhao Yunlan had to tilt his neck slightly, giving him the appearance of a stroke patient. He still looked as handsome and dashing as ever.

Although Zhao Yunlan wasn’t much older than him, he always seemed so confident no matter the situation, as if he feared nothing.

Just then, Zhao Yunlan suddenly turned around, and Guo Changcheng quickly averted his gaze.

“What’s wrong? Do you want to say something?” Zhao Yunlan, who was secretly cursing his background behind his back, asked with a gentle and inquiring tone.

Guo Changcheng lowered his head like an autistic child. The hair falling in front of his eyes was a bit greasy, forming a neat row of black lines.

“It’s alright,” Zhao Yunlan said kindly, “just speak up. In our future work, we’ll need to communicate with each other. Once you spend more time together, you’ll see that I’m easy-going and carefree. Even if there are any unpleasant moments, I’ll forget about them after a good night’s sleep.”

Daqing, who was eavesdropping, silently buried its head. Having lived for thousands of years, it still couldn’t comprehend the hypocritical nature of these humans.

“I… I… I…” Guo Changcheng struggled for a while but couldn’t come up with a coherent sentence. His eye sockets turned red, and he finally forced out a sentence, “I feel like I’m just useless!”

Oh well, Zhao Yunlan thought with delight, who could argue with that?

However, he fully utilized his ability to be two-faced and reached out to place his hand on Guo Changcheng’s head, gently ruffling his hair. “Alright, young man, it’s your first field assignment. What’s there to be afraid of? Who hasn’t made mistakes before? Take your time, don’t rush. I believe in you. Don’t overthink it. Now, tell me, what did you find out from the teachers at the school?”

“Oh… Oh!” Guo Changcheng quickly took out a notebook from his bag and said in a rambling manner, “I found out… the deceased’s name is Lu Ruomei. She was a graduate student in the mathematics department, a local resident from a decent family. There are few female students in the mathematics department, so everyone took care of her. She had good interpersonal relationships, and I haven’t heard of any conflicts she had with anyone. Currently, she’s trying to secure a position in the administration, so she spends a lot of time on extracurricular activities, which might have affected her academic performance…”

He rambled on with a bunch of nonsense, and to Zhao Yunlan’s surprise, he patiently listened to it all. Finally, he asked, “Anything else? What’s your opinion?”

“I think because of the matter of securing a position in the administration, some of her competitors might have had motives to commit the crime. It’s also possible that she encountered someone during her extracurricular activities. We can start by investigating her social connections. The suspect might be among them,” Guo Changcheng said, looking anxious and lacking confidence, stealing a glance at Zhao Yunlan.

“I see,” Zhao Yunlan neither confirmed nor denied it, just nodded slowly, stood still, and placed his hands behind his back, slightly leaning forward. “So, how do you think she died?”

Guo Changcheng couldn’t gauge his meaning, so he naively replied, “Was she murdered?”

This made Zhao Yunlan burst into laughter.

Unfortunately, Comrade Guo Changcheng probably had no idea how to write the words “observe and interpret.” Seeing him laugh, Guo Changcheng immediately breathed a sigh of relief and also revealed a silly smile, eager to show off.

Zhao Yunlan had never dealt with such an oddball before, so he suppressed his inner pain and squeezed out a leader-like demeanor. He said, “You did well, very attentive, and with great potential.”

Guo Changcheng suddenly lifted his head. The man in front of him was looking down at him with a warm smile on his face, his features so pleasing that he couldn’t find the words to describe them. In that moment, his heart was filled with warmth and strength.

Guo Changcheng’s face turned red, and for that moment, he felt that the leader was being exceptionally kind to him. It was then that Guo Changcheng finally understood the meaning behind the ancient saying, “A scholar dies for his confidant.” He felt that it was worth dying for Zhao Yunlan, who cared for and appreciated him so much.

Therefore, Guo Changcheng willingly took on a task even more challenging than death—to interact with strangers and make phone calls to them. “Th-then I’ll go investigate her social connections!”

“Why the rush? Zhu Hong is still on duty in the office. I’ll give her a call later and have her investigate,” Zhao Yunlan deceived him. “Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll give you another task that will greatly test your abilities. You saw the girl who was about to jump off the building earlier, right? She’s an important eyewitness, but I feel like she’s hiding something. Now, I want you to follow her and find out why she didn’t tell me the truth.”

Guo Changcheng’s eyes sparkled, and he straightened his back. “Yes!”

Zhao Yunlan nodded. “Good, go ahead.”

Guo Changcheng dashed off with a heart full of enthusiasm. His upright posture and heroic movements made it seem like he wasn’t tailing someone but rather storming a gunpoint.

Once he was out of sight, the benevolent leader immediately pulled a disgusted face at lightning speed.

“Fucking hell,” he stared at the intern’s figure and said to the black cat on his shoulder, “I’ve never seen such a purebred idiot before. It’s truly astonishing!”

Daqing, with its round face, praised, “You’re truly both mean-spirited and eccentric, boss.”

“You’re a cat, stop talking nonsense. You’re the one who’s eccentric. Follow him. I need to go back to the office and check something. Keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t get himself killed. Otherwise, I won’t be able to explain to the higher-ups,” Zhao Yunlan patted the cat’s buttocks, and Daqing lazily meowed. It leaped off his shoulder like a released arrow and rolled away as if it were a bouncing ball.