DFC Vol 1: By the Creek, Under the Trees

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FINAL WARNING, THIS SERIES IS ON HIATUS FROM THE AUTHOR AS OF WRITING THIS

Chapter 1

  In the early morning, one neighborhood saw the first light of dawn and three police cars parked at the entrance of a residential building.

  Outside the police cordon, the aunts and grandmas who got up early for morning walks looked on and exchanged their respective gossips.

  ”I’ve heard a dog barking every night these past few days, it was so aggressive I didn’t dare bring my grandson out for a walk.”

  ”I’ve heard that they’ve been dead for three days, the school couldn’t contact them and sent a classmate to come look for them… “

  ”Tch, so young, when the family finds out, won’t they cry to death?”

  ”That’s just the way it is…”

  ”Excuse me, excuse me, let me through ah.” A young policeman ran over, sweaty, both hands carrying eight bags of soy milk steamed buns, trying to push through the crowd with great difficulty. He flew over the cordon, and slipped into the corridor.

  This residential building was quite old, the lighting was dim. The young policeman had just stepped into the building when a man shouted at him to freeze. He was frightened, and after standing still for a short while, the soy milk buns in his hands almost spilled.

  ”Oof!” Fortunately, Xiao Bei next to him was quick handed, and caught the bags in time. “Be careful in here.”

  Luo Wen Xu promptly caught a headache at the sight of the clumsy intern. Regardless of everyone’s presence, he immediately scolded: “Who asked you to bring breakfast in, don’t you see that everyone’s busy? You should’ve stayed outside to maintain order, why come in to add to the chaos?!”

Xiao Shu, who was scolded, felt wronged: “I saw that everyone hadn’t had breakfast yet… “

  Luo Wen Xu was going to continue scolding him when he was stopped by Xiao Bei: “Ge, let it go.”

  “Captain!” Someone shouted for Luo Wen Xu, indicating that there were new clues.

  Xiao Bei looked at Xiao Shu and said: “You should leave first, and carry those things out.”

  Xiao Shu’s eyes flushed, and he didn’t move for a long time. He looked at Luo Wen Xu’s departing back, his fingers gripping the plastic bags in his hands, his posture full of unwillingness.

  In order to facilitate the forensic and tracking investigations, several flashlights were turned on. In the parallel beam of lights, the steam in the plastic bags was obvious, of course, the food scents that were invading the air were even more obvious.

  Scent was also one of the evidences at a crime scene. Ji Bei really admired the IQ of this household, they unexpectedly managed to make the old forensic investigator’s adrenaline soar so early in the morning.

He looked back and kindly advised: “This is the second case this month, the captain is under a lot of pressure. You don’t have to worry about it, just go out, thanks for bringing breakfast for him. “

  At this, Xiao Shu seemed to have finally found the flight of stairs and reluctantly left, his heart still unwilling.

  Ji Bei stood there for a while and took a phone call, when he saw Luo Wen Xu finishing a talk with his subordinates, he hung up and walked up to him.

  ”When will we finally catch this thing?” Luo Wen Xu looked very agitated. He hadn’t slept for two days. The dark circles under his eyes were very intense, and he was very irritable, like a black leopard about to erupt.

  ”I told Yang Ju. He said that he’ll transfer some people to the back office next week.”

  Luo Wen Xu finally felt relief and asked: “What did the provincial office say?”

  This was regarding the case, Ji Bei sighed and said: “The provincial office said that the level is still not high enough, we have to handle it ourselves.”

  Seeing Luo Wen Xu start to flip out again, Ji Bei hurriedly reached out and patted down his stray hairs: “Recently, all calls to them have been put on hold, I think they just don’t have enough manpower. Yang Ju felt sorry for us and called a zoologist to come over and help, do you think you need it?”

  “A zoologist?” Luo Wen Xu smiled sarcastically, but he didn’t explode, narrowing his eyes in satisfaction with Ji Bei’s stroking, he snorted. “They should have the zoologist examine their brains first.”

  Xiao Bei: “…”

  The temperature in the basement was too low, Ji Bei felt uncomfortable after waiting for so long. He rubbed his nose and left first. When he’d tracked drug dealers in his early years, he’d once gotten trapped in icy water for half an hour. He’d almost died. After that, he always had slight bronchitis. The colder the air he breathed the more uncomfortable he felt. He usually wore a mask, but he was in too much of a hurry today. He got called out at 3:30 in the morning and was so dazed he’d forgotten the mask.

  It was reasonable to say that with Ji Bei’s physical condition, he shouldn’t be allowed on the front lines, but there was no choice. Luo Wen Xu, that unreasonable black leopard, didn’t obey or listen to anyone, only Ji Bei could hold his leash. If Ji Bei wasn’t there, he went wild, if Ji Bei was there, he was domesticated. In the office, no one wanted to be unjustly bitten, so they respectfully invited Ji Bei the Beastmaster to come help out.

  Luo Wen Xu’s investigative skills were outstanding, his results were obvious to all. Although the superiors didn’t say it out loud, they knew who to thank for their idle days. Therefore, those who were bullied everyday just had to grin and bear it.

  In other words, Luo Wen Xu was Xi City’s ace.

  Unfortunately, this ace’s character was really too difficult to get along with. He only knew how to investigate; he didn’t know how to flatter superiors. After working on the front lines for more than ten years, there still wasn’t any sign of a promotion. Ji Bei sighed internally; this captain really made others feel worried.

  ”Vice-Captain.” A young police woman came over and asked, “Should we still call the expert?”

  Ji Bei calculated internally, if he called and they couldn’t break the case, he still had other leads, but if he didn’t call, he’d be directly disrespecting his superior, there really was no benefit.

  ”Call them.” He said, massaging a headache.

  *

     The weather was terrible, black clouds formed a dense mass, prophesying a heavy snowfall.

  Meanwhile, in the noisy downtown area, another type of atmosphere was brewing in an underground bar.

  ”Jie–!” Lin Ke bawled, a glass on the bar counter shattering, “Please, I’m begging you, help me!”

  It was the early morning, the guests had already scattered, only the bartenders were left cleaning up before getting off work.

  He Ling was dressed in black Lolita wear, she ignored the noise at her feet, sitting on a bar stool, expressionlessly watching the news. She looked to be about thirteen years old, quite pretty, a pair of black eyes staring at the tablet in her hand.

  ”Two weeks ago, a foreign worker was killed in his home. According to the police, the deceased was 20 years old, male, and worked as a technician at a nearby massage center. He’d lived in the city for two years. After careful investigation by the police, the initial judgement is that the deceased was killed by a large animal. The specific cause of death is still under investigation. The police have suggested that the general public should stay in at night as much as possible, and pay attention to personal safety…”

  ”The one who reported the death stated that since last year, the basement was being rented by a nearby university student, and was being used for band practice. Three days ago, the tenants smelled an unpleasant odor, and the property staff that went to investigate it later called the police. At present, the case is still under investigation.”

  A bartender wiped the table and sighed with feeling: “Two deaths in half a month, just what kind of animal breaks into people’s homes and tears them apart. The police haven’t said anything, so everyone’s feeling anxious. Business has been slow the past two days.”

  ”Jie…” Lin Ke was on the ground, hugging He Ling’s slender calf, casually blowing his runny nose.

  He Ling’s mouth twitched: “…”

  ”Ding”, with an annoying screeching sound, the bar’s glass door was pushed open.

  Accompanied by the cold wind, a young man in a dark coffee colored coat walked in, holding a big bag in one hand, the other hand in his coat pocket. He was slender, his head slightly lowered as he walked, he looked a little careless. His face was mostly covered up by bangs and a thick scarf. Only a straight nose and a pair of fine-rimmed glasses were visible. What should be an elegant outfit, on this person, somehow gave off the feeling of dressing up an animal,too odd.

  The bartender still hadn’t looked away from the news before habitually asking: “Whisky Sour?”

  The young man tossed the bag onto the floor, and pulled down his thick scarf with an index finger, revealing a smile: “No alcohol, just some warm milk would be good, I’m a little cold.”

  The bartender turned his head and stared at him, immediately getting a blank look on his face. He was probably using all his will power to suppress the impulse to snap a pic on his smartphone and send it to his friends.

  The face in front of him was ethereal, not a splash of color, eyelids lazily half-closed, the chin pointed and pale. On the entire face, only the inside of the lips had some color, a dark red, like a bit of blood stained the lips after accidently biting the tip of the tongue. He was extremely eye-catching – not ugly, he made people feel like they were looking at a thrilling beauty.

  ”There’s none?” The young man asked again with a smile, his amber eyes were deep and radiant.

  ”Yes, of course we have.” Unexpectedly, Lin Ke, who spoke up from the floor, quickly climbed up and laid a stack of red banknotes on the counter, saying to the bartender, “Excuse me, could you please go next door and buy a cup of warm milk, the most expensive one.”

  The bartender took the money and cheerfully left.

  He Ling turned a blind eye to their conversation and looked at the bag on the floor, asking briefly: “This is?”

  ”A human.” Bai Huo removed his gloves and sat down. “I grabbed him on my way here, apparently he’s some zoologist. Keep him here for two days, you can let him go after I’m all done.”

  Lin Ke climbed over and opened the bag, his face pale, after a long while he finally summoned up the courage to check for breathing.

  Fortunately, still alive.

  The person in the bag looked to be about forty years old, he was already unconscious and emaciated. His cheeks were sunken, and his chin had a sparse beard. There was a business card in the pocket of his suit jacket, Lin Ke took it out and read “Professor of XX Animal Research Institute”.

  Lin Ke hesitated, then turned towards Bai Huo and weakly asked: “Director Bai, is it really us killing those people?”

        Bai Huo smiled faintly: “The teeth marks resembled a dragon’s.”

  Lin Ke looked at him, his eyes red, who knew what he was thinking, then he suddenly cried out, getting up to hug Bai Huo’s thigh: “Director Bai, help me…”

  Bai Huo was puzzled, he shifted his leg, but Lin Ke gripped it tightly, refusing to let go.

  ”What are you doing?” Bai Huo asked helplessly.

  ”Help me, I’m desperate here.”

  He Ling sensed incoming hysterics and jumped off the stool, walking into the lounge with her tablet. In passing, she grabbed the “zoologist” bag and dragged it in with her. The girl dressed up in a black Lolita dress standing next to the body-sized bag looked both cute and horrifying. For a moment, it was impossible to tell if she was a Lolita dressed in black or a black widow.

  The bar was very quiet after closing time, except for their table, everyone else had gotten off work.

  Lin Ke opened the most expensive foreign wine bottle and handed it to Bai Huo, but Bai Huo only held his cup of warm milk.

  ”It’s like this. I have a girlfriend. We’ve been together for two years. I love her so much. I really want to be with her, but her parents don’t agree…”

  Bai Huo added a stupid amount of sugar to his warm milk, absent-mindedly listening.

  ”You know how it is, humans are different from us dragons. The way they think is particularly special. My girlfriend’s mother, my future mother-in-law, suddenly knocked on my door and gave me ten million dollars.”

  ”She asked you to take the money and leave her daughter?” An old routine, Bai Huo didn’t even look up.

  But Lin Ke shook his head: “No, she ordered me to spend the 10 million in one day. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be allowed to see her daughter again.”

  Bai Huo: “?”

  Lin Ke looked very ashamed: “She said, ‘If you can’t even spend this money, what qualifications do you have to join our family?'”

  “This line of thought is awfully special.”

  Lin Ke looked even more ashamed: “On the first day, I was barely able to complete the task. I went to the west suburbs and bought a villa. But the next day, there was another 10 million in my account.”

  “Did your mother-in-law strike again?”

  Lin Ke nodded, looking depressed: “She said she was going to test me until she was satisfied. She even added conditions, I’m not allowed to spend money on the same thing twice, and I’m not allowed to break the law. I did what she said. On the first day, I bought a house. Then I bought a car the next day, and bought stock on the third day. On the fourth day, I made a donation to charity, and on the fifth   day, I bought luxury goods for my girlfriend. But on the sixth day, trouble started popping up…”

  “Yeah?”

        “On the sixth day, the property value of the house I bought sky rocketed, the car manufacturer announced that my car would be going out of print, and the stock went way up. Not only did I not spend any money, I also made millions.”

  Bai Huo: “…”

  Lin Ke sighed deeply, almost crying: “What should I do, Director Bai! I really don’t know what to do! Every day, from the moment I open my eyes, all I can think about is how I’m going to spend all this money. It’s really distressing ah, I’m so anxious my hair is falling out.”

  Bai Huo: I also want to have such worries.

  ”Right, Director Bai, do you smoke cigars?” Lin Ke picked up a case of cigars from beside the sofa.

  Bai Huo glanced at the blinding words “COHIBA Behike” and his hands suddenly felt a bit itchy: “I don’t smoke cigars, but I feel like smoking you right now.”

  Lin Ke grabbed the cigars, which had fallen to the ground, and returned them: “Don’t be mad, I know my request is unreasonable, but I really have no choice. I can’t hold on anymore, but I really love my girlfriend, I don’t want to be separated from her…”

  Bai Huo was just about to speak when the compass in his pocket suddenly vibrated.

  Lin Ke also felt the movement and stopped his endless babbling, the bar was strangely quiet.

  Bai Huo took out the compass and placed it on the table. The compass was made of bat bone, it was only half a palm big and had a black needle on it. The compass’ vibration represented the occurrence of an anomaly. The direction the black needle pointed to was the location it was taking place in.

  At this moment, the black needle was spinning like a mainspring, incessantly twisting left and right, as if two forces were constantly pulling at it.

  Bai Huo stared at the compass with a solemn expression. After a quarter of an hour, the black needle stopped spinning and pointed to the southwest, and he quietly put away the compass.

  Lin Ke didn’t dare speak during the event. When he snapped out of it, he noticed a few shocking scars on Bai Huo’s extended wrist. It looked like an iron chain had tightly bound him. His heart jumped: “Bai Huo… Director Bai?”

  “Hmm?” Bai Huo didn’t look up, unaware.

  ”Your wrist…” Lin Ke asked cautiously.

  Bai Huo followed his gaze and paused slightly, then he tilted his head and gave a meaningful “Oh”, smiling shamelessly: “It’s nothing, I accidentally overdid it last night.”

  After a few beats, Lin Ke figured out Bai Huo’s meaning and blushed furiously.

  Bai Huo changed the topic: “Solve the money problem yourself. If you really can’t spend it, you can just donate it to the Dragon Association. I think they’re going mad from the insufficient budget.”

  ”Cough… This is fine, but only if it’s anonymous.  I’m too scared to reveal my identity.”

  Bai Huo glanced at him and smiled: “Then let He Ling launder the money for you, she owns many businesses.”

  After that sentence, Bai Huo finished up his sweet milk, and said to Lin Ke while fixing his scarf: “Go play and fall in love, but don’t expose your identity. Many things are happening right now, hide your tail.”

  Only when conducting proper business could a bit of Bai Huo’s senior posture be seen. Lin Ke wanted to walk him out and discuss, but Bai Huo was finished with him. He was just a little slower, but when he opened the door, Bai Huo’s shadow had already disappeared, so he had no choice but to give up.

  ”Hide the tail” was a code word between dragons, meaning that his fake human identity should not be exposed.

  Time had passed and things had changed, now, humans ruled the earth, and the dragon race was gradually declining. After the ancient gods waged wars, the mysterious and ancient divine race, the dragons, was devastated, thoroughly heading to a dead end. More than 5,000 years ago, the water dragon clan’s priest led many clan members into the depths of an extremely cold glacier. Among the few remaining races, some elders chose to hide in valleys, while other proactive groups chose to disguise as human beings and integrate into civilized society, becoming a part of promoting history.

  Human beings naturally reject any perceived strangeness, so although the civil war between the dragon races continues on, they’ve maintained a high degree of unity when dealing with this matter. That matter being, hiding their identities.

  Therefore, this was the Dragons’ First Convention: Those who expose their identity to the human world, will have their dragon veins ripped out, and their divine bone destroyed, becoming a mortal, forever.

  ——————————————————————————————————-

T/N:

when the family…: 家里人知道了还不得哭死 – EDIT, whatever I’ll go with my instincts

Ge: Older Brother, not necessarily blood related

Jie: Older Sister, not necessarily blood related

This story was a lot harder to translate than QWFD. The author has a unique writing style, and some sentences seem to just appear and end randomly. I got the hang of it by the later chapters, but the first few had some really confusing parts. I hope I was able to make it coherent.

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Zryuu
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Zryuu

家里人知道了还不得哭死

“If his family found out wouldn’t they cry to death?”

Thanks for translating!!

Queue
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Queue

Hello.
Glad to see you again. Missed your come back announcement.
This story looks weird and wonderful. Thank you
I’m hoping things make more sense later.

Crystle940
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Crystle940

“家里人知道了还不得哭死”
Maybe it’s a writing error? Like it’s supposed to be “家里人知道了害不得哭死” (meaning: When her family knew, they really wanted to cry to death)?

Thanks for introducing this interesting story, looking forward to find out more!!

Zo Arai
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Zo Arai

Interesting.
That Lin Ke tho’…
I seriously want to punch his face when I read what happened.
This story is entertaining.
I’m looking forward to the next update.
Thank you for the translation <3