From that day onwards, the rain continued to fall for several days in a row.
Apart from a few familiar customers who came to buy cigarettes every day, Chen Yuncheng’s kiosk did not do much business. The rain made him restless, and he couldn’t even watch the TV very much. He spent much of his time leaning on the counter, looking out at the cold, damp street.
The rain stopped by the end of the day, but the streets outside were still very deserted. No one was seen passing by for a long time, and because of the gloomy weather. The sky darkened earlier than usual, and no light was visible before eight o’clock.
Chen Yuncheng came out of the kiosk, stood for a while under the dim street lights, closed the store door, and walked outside against the dry ground under the eaves.
After walking for more than 20 minutes, Chen Yuncheng turned into a gleaming street with many bars, each with its own dazzlingly lit sign. At night, the business was lively, and this was the gathering area for the X-ethnic people.
Chen Yuncheng entered a familiar bar. Even though it was said to be familiar, he hadn’t been here for quite a long time. When he entered the bar, he found that most of the waiters had changed into unfamiliar faces, except for the owner, who was still the same.
The bar owner’s wife was also a part of the X-ethnic people, but she was dressed no different from the local Han people. She sat at the bar and noticed someone approaching as she looked up and saw it was Chen Yuncheng.
She flashed a smile at Chen Yuncheng, “Long time no see.” There was a subtle accent to the Chinese language she used that could not be detected unless one listened closely.
Chen Yuncheng walked over and sat down in front of the bar, and said, “Yeah, long time no see.”
The owner’s name was Namu. She looked like she was in her late twenties and early thirties. Her bar had been here for some years and Chen Yuncheng guessed she must be in her thirties, but never asked her.
Namu said to Chen Yuncheng, “Why are you alone?”
Chen Yuncheng smiled and said, “Are single customers not welcome now?”
Namu smiled and said, “You haven’t been here for a long time. I thought you got married.”
Chen Yuncheng said, “I’m not married. I just opened a shop, and I’ve been watching the shop at night, so I don’t have time to come out.”
Namu didn’t continue to ask, but just asked him, “What would you like to drink?”
Chen Yuncheng said casually, “A beer.”
Namu turned around to pour a beer.
Chen Yuncheng also turned around and glanced around the bar. It wasn’t too late and there weren’t too many customers in the bar at this time of night, so he could almost see all of them at once.
He didn’t expect to find the two people that Long Zhanyu said easily. In fact, he wasn’t too keen on helping Long Zhan Yu find them. He knew that Long Zhanyu used him as an informant, but he didn’t like Long Zhanyu’s almost sort of coercive attitude. It was his duty as a citizen to report crimes, but it was not his responsibility as an ordinary citizen to find the suspects. So he could help if he wanted to, but if not, there was nothing Long Zhan Yu could do about it.
Chen Yuncheng picked up the beer mug in front of him and took a sip. When he put down the beer mug, he suddenly felt a little warm, so he reached out and unzipped the down jacket and took it off.
He placed the jacket on the back of the chair, and Chen Yuncheng took the phone out of his pocket. He saw a WeChat message from Ning Junyan with only a word that asked him, “Where?”
Ning Junyan hadn’t contacted him for several days, and Chen Yuncheng didn’t know why Ning Junyan suddenly remembered him today. Chen Yuncheng stared at the message for a while and replied, “Where are you?”
Unexpectedly, Ning Junyan sent him a photo, and Chen Yuncheng was a little surprised to find that it was the closed shutter door of his kiosk.
“Why did you come all of a sudden?” Chen Yuncheng typed one after another, “I’m drinking at a bar, come over and I’ll buy you a drink.”
After sending these two lines, Chen Yuncheng then sent his location over.
Ning Junyan replied quickly, “Okay.”
Until he put the phone on the bar, Chen Yuncheng still felt surprised. He didn’t understand why Ning Junyan came to look for him without greeting him in advance. It was also so late, and he didn’t know why Ning Junyan was looking for him. Did he want to have a chat?
Namu had already returned to the inside of the bar counter. She was standing in front of Chen Yuncheng, with one hand resting on her face as she chatted with Chen Yuncheng, her perfume emitting a light scent.
She asked Chen Yuncheng, “Why are you still single?”
Chen Yuncheng smiled, “You want to introduce me to a girlfriend?”
Namu actually responded seriously, “I know a few good girls, all of them are from the X ethnicity. Would you like to meet them?”
Chen Yuncheng put his fingers on the cold glass outer wall of the wine glass and smiled, “Girls look down on me a lot. I have no money.”
Namu said, “We X-ethnic people are different, our girls are not so snobbish, and they are all about feelings. You are so handsome, so there will definitely be girls who like you.”
Chen Yuncheng said with a smile, “The men of your X-ethnic people are all tall and have deep facial features. I’m not really that handsome in comparison, I guess.”
Namu smiled back as she said, “I think you are handsome.”
Perhaps because it was not his mother tongue, Chen Yuncheng often felt that Namu was very direct in her words when she communicated, and there were not so many euphemisms and pedantry.
He thought about it seriously, if he really wanted to get married, he didn’t mind whether the other party was from Han or X people, but he didn’t want Namu to introduce him to girls. He sometimes felt a bit lonely on his own but was not desperate to start a family, and what exactly he wanted in the future was something Chen Yuncheng himself had not yet considered.
Namu chatted with him for a while and then left.
Chen Yuncheng glanced at the time. It had been ten minutes since Ning Junyan sent him a message. If Ning Junyan drove from his store, he should have arrived long ago.
He put down his phone and glanced around the bar subconsciously.
This time, Chen Yuncheng saw a tall man come out from the direction of the bathroom. He was walking alone to a seat against the wall of the bar and sat down and hold his mobile phone to talk to someone on the phone.
Even if the bar was dimly lit, Chen Yuncheng could still see the person’s appearance clearly. It was one of the X-ethnic people who Long Zhanyu had shown him the photo.
Chen Yuncheng picked up his mobile phone, secretly took a photo of the man, and sent it directly to Long Zhanyu.
Long Zhanyu immediately dialled his number and asked him, “Where?”
Chen Yuncheng said the name and address of the bar.
Long Zhanyu asked again, “Is he alone?”
Chen Yuncheng gave a soft “En.”
Long Zhanyu said, “Don’t alarm him, see if he has any contact with any local people later.”
Then Chen Yuncheng made another “En” and hung up the phone.
After a few minutes, Ning Junyan pushed open the door of the bar and walked in.
Chen Yuncheng had his back to the door, but when he felt the cold wind blowing in from the door, he saw Namu in the bar suddenly looking up, so he turned his head to follow suit and saw Ning Junyan wearing a black cashmere coat.
Ning Junyan’s appearance was too conspicuous. When he came in, many guests in the bar glanced at him, including the X-ethnic person who was leaning against the wall.
The man had just finished the phone call, and when he looked up and saw Ning Junyan, no one knew what he was thinking. The man suddenly got up and walked towards the door.
Chen Yuncheng saw him pass by Ning Junyan. Ning Junyan also saw Chen Yuncheng and was walking toward him.
“I’ll transfer the drink money to you by WeChat,” Chen Yuncheng said to Namu. He took the beer mug and drank the last sip of beer in it, grabbed his down jacket and got up, and walked over to meet Ning Junyan.
At this time, the X-ethnic person had already left the bar.
Chen Yuncheng walked up to Ning Junyan, and before Ning Junyan spoke, he grabbed Ning Junyan’s wrist and pulled him out, and whispered in his ear, “Follow me.”
Ning Junyan glanced down at his wrist and walked out of the bar behind Chen Yuncheng.
I started to translate something else in meantime~
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