Three brothers were on their way to the airport where Bixi’s flight was scheduled for tonight.
The very reluctant Suan Ni sat on Brother Four’s lap, held and caressed by his big brother against his will. The thought of his fourth brother’s upcoming flight cheered him a little.
Sensing Suan Ni’s mood, Bixi grabbed his little ear.” You are my ungrateful little brother.”
Suan Ni shook his ears with a grumpy look.
He will be gone soon! I think I can tolerate him a little longer.
Before the boarding gate, the thought of his brother working in the Monster Bureau together with Ying Dragon prompted Bixi to remind Jiang Lan that he should stay away from Ying Dragon as much as possible, to escape his evil influence.
Jiang Lan nodded this agreement.
After seeing off Bixi, Jiang Lan hailed a taxi to get back home. Before bedtime, he began to consider how to make Ying Qiao realize that Ying Dragon was an unworthy idol.
A thought occurred to him that he might be able to find something unsavory about Ying Dragon on the website of the Monster Bureau.
There was a page on the Monster Bureau website filled with the announcements of penalties meted out to monsters found guilty of various offenses.
As an upright member of the Monster community, Jiang Lan had never paid much attention to this page. It just occurred to him that Ying Dragon transforming into his original form in full view of the public was actually a big violation of Monster Code, and Monster Bureau was bound to announce they had punished Ying Dragon accordingly.
As expected, he found the announcement of Ying Dragon’s punishment without trouble.
[Exposure of his original form in public places, destruction of private properties and causing a strong reaction among humans. For these offenses, twenty demerit points were awarded.]
Jiang Lan took a screenshot of this page. But he didn’t leave this website. Instead, he continued to read this penalty announcement section. A few pages later, he found Ying Dragon’s name mentioned again.
This time, he was awarded five demerit points for the destruction of a public facility.
Jiang Lan read on and Ying Dragon’s name appeared with high frequency.
Jiang Lan added all the demerit points awarded to Ying Dragon and found that all those points had long exceeded the 100 points limit.
But Ying Dragon still remained here, in Jiang City. He hadn’t attended a reeducation session or was banished from Jiang City as rules stipulated.
Recalling Jiu Feng, who had only ten points remaining and lived on edge, Jiang Lan suspected that Ying Dragon must have pulled a few strings to escape the punishments.
He sent the screenshots to Ying Qiao.
[I just found out Ying Dragon had frequently run afoul of the rules.]
[He violated the rule by exposing his original form in Three Water Village and was awarded 20 demerit points.]
[The accumulated points had long exceeded 100 points, but he still remained in Jiang City. How could he stay above the law?]
[This Ying Dragon was utterly different from what you believed him to be. Do you think you have been fooled by him?]
Ying Qiao’s face grew grim while reading these messages.
Before, every time the hundred point limit was reached, Ying Qiao would usually pay a hefty sum to the Monster Bureau as a fine. He was not aware of the existence of a punishments announcement section on the Monster Bureau official website.
Now the Little Monster had seen it.
Ying Qiao felt frustrated. It’s almost like he had just been publicly shamed.
His efforts to turn around Jiang Lan’s opinion of Ying Dragon had come to naught.
At a loss on how to explain these announcements, Ying Qiao only managed to say.” Perhaps he was a little careless.”
Jiang Lan retorted.” I have just gone through the whole punishment announcement section and none of those announcements mentioned Tao Tie’s name.”
“Appearance could be deceiving.”
Ying Qiao was speechless.
He pretended he had fallen asleep and ignored Jiang Lan’s messages while hoping that when he woke up tomorrow morning, the Little Monster would forget this unfortunate discovery.
Meanwhile, he sent a message to Cheng Hua, asking him if it’s possible to withdraw those announcements concerning him.
Cheng Hua declared it was totally out of his hands.
“Once an announcement was made, it was impossible to withdraw.”
Ying Qiao was disappointed.” Transfer another sum to the Bureau, I don’t want to see my name mentioned again in those announcements.”
Cheng Hua agreed and mumbled to himself.
Those announcements about you had been made over the years. Now you suddenly realized you would lose face over these.
Jiang Lan had been waiting for Ying Qiao’s replies to his messages, but received none.
He guessed Ying Qiao must have had a hard time digesting this news.
It was always agonizing to discover your idol’s dark side.
Being always considerate, Jiang Lan stopped sending messages to Ying Qiao.
On Monday, Jiang Lan and Xue Meng went to the Qing Yang Lake Park where the dragon boat festival was going to be held and the dragon boat race’s starting point was somewhere in the park.
Now the preparation for the Dragon Boat festival had entered the final phase and the festival ceremony site was under construction.
When Jiang Lan and Xue Meng went there, groups of construction workers were all over the site, focusing on their works and a few dragon boats and their crews were in the lake. By the lake shore, a few tourists were admiring this spectacle.
A staff member receiving them was named Jiang Feiyang. He was the same age as Jiang Lan and Xue Meng and very lively. Noticing their office ID under their neck, he brought two bottles of purified water to them. With a wink, he whispered to them.” Are you two the brave fellows who solve the mysterious case in Three Water Village.”
In the news reporting, their last names were omitted to protect their privacy. But in the government internal bulletin, their full names were mentioned.
Jiang Feiyang was obviously a very observant person.
Xue Meng responded to him warmly.” Pure luck. We almost couldn’t make it out alive.”
Then he started a lively chat with Jiang Feiyang and described his adventure in the Three Water Village. At the end of it, the two chatted like long lost brothers.
Xue Meng turned to their works here.” What are we supposed to do here?”
Jiang Feiyang said.” Our main task of constructing a ceremony site is almost completed. But a senior government official was invited to make a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. Because of this, police were needed to maintain order and security here.” He paused for a second and continued.” I don’t know this senior government official and any people from the police force ….”
Xue Meng took the hint.” Good, we will help you contact them.”
Chief Cheng or Uncle Zhou will help them to invite this senior government official. It was an easy task for well-connected persons like them. As to the police…Xue Meng said to Jiang Lan.” I think you know some people in the police force.”
He remembered that the Caiyang District Police station had sent Jiang Lan a letter of gratitude before.
Jiang Lan accepted this task.” I will contact them.”
Since these tasks were not urgent, they didn’t leave right away. Instead, they followed Jiang Feiyang to get a sense of the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival.
Jiang Feiyang said.” This is the first Dragon Boat Race held in our district. My boss wants a grand ceremony to attract a large crowd. We have recruited eight teams to participate in this race. But the dragon boats we acquired are second-hand and cheap-looking. We wanted to raise the standard of our dragon boats to match our grand ceremony. But we are short on funds.”
A Dragon Boat race is supposed to attract sponsorship. But their district’s first Dragon Festival hadn’t managed to establish its reputation and had trouble attracting sponsorships from well-known brands. Most of their fund was spent on the construction of the site and the awards for the winning teams. Not much money left to spend on other parts of the festival.
Standing by the lake, Xue Meng could see the boats had gone through some heavy use. But the participating teams were paddling vigorously. Despite this being a training session, you could already sense the competitive spirits among those teams.
“The team in the red boat is from Jiang City University. Green team is formed from the peasants from nearby villages. Blue teams were recruited from the army.” Jiang Feiyang began to introduce those teams to them. Pointing to a yellow boat, he said.” You could never guess the occupation of these people. We invite them to lend an air of mystery to our festival.”
Xue Meng couldn’t see anything special about this team.” What’s so special about them?”
Jiang Feiyang said mysteriously.” They are from the Jiang City Corpse recovery team.”
Xue Meng opened his mouth.” Oh, I have heard about them!”
Jiang City is located by the Yangtze River’s downstream. The whole city is dotted by numerous rivers and lakes. Each year, countless people lost their lives in these rivers and lakes either by committing suicide or accident. The Jiang City Corpse recovery team was a legend in Jiang City folklore. There were a dozen members in this team.
They either worked for private clients or government and police. It was rumored that they had a secret method for locating corpses. With the right amount of money, they could find anyone drowned in the water.
In one famous episode, the leader of this team managed to bring to surface a drowned young girl without any equipment.
Their main work is to find corpses, which demand them to frequently travel to another world and back. Because of this, they observed various taboos.
The top three taboos were known to all people of the Jiang City: They don’t work in stormy weather, They don’t bring to surface corpses standing upright in the water, and they would only attempt three times to find a corpse, after that, they simply give up.
Except for these taboos, they were extremely reluctant to look for a young girl’s corpse.
In the famous episode that brought much public attention to this team, the corpse they were trying to find belonged to a girl. After the girl had been missing for a few days, her parents called the police. But the police couldn’t find her either. Later they shifted their focus to the lake near the girl’s home and found her after the girl came to her mother’s dream, telling her she was very cold in the water. The police’s efforts to surface her ended in all kinds of accidents. A wise old man told the police the girl didn’t die a natural death and her spirit was full of anger, so any normal method to surface her wouldn’t work. As suggested, the police hired the corpse recovery team to help bring the girl to the surface.
But none of the people in the corpse recovery team dared to take the job after they learned that the corpse belonged to a girl and the corpse was standing upright in the water. Finally, the leader of the team agreed to try. With a rooster tied to his boat, he knelt and kowtowed to the four directions of the lake. After that, he dived into the water without a diving suit or any tool. Twenty minutes later, he succeeded in bringing the girl to the surface.
After autopsy was performed, the police confirmed the girl was murdered.
The fame of the Jiang City corpse recovery team began to spread after that. People regarded them with curiosity and fear.
No wonder Jiang Feiyang thought that their presence in the race would attract much public attention.