Three Tombs 05
Having been suddenly upgraded from a regular to a deluxe private lounge, Zheng Dongdong couldn’t stop grinning.
The Tian(“sky”)-series lounge was in the innermost part of the entire building.
The group walked through the bamboo grove to reach the lounge.
When they arrived, it was already past 11 p.m.
Many of them were tired by that point but when the waiter brought in the menu, Zheng Dongdong regained some of his vitality.
He spread the menu out on the table and told everyone, “Order whatever you like, don’t hold back.”
For many of his old classmates, it was the first time they’ve set foot in such a high-end venue.
They glanced at the prices on the menu in shocked silence.
Even the cheapest item here—a bottle of mineral water—costs three figures.
Zheng Dongdong was very pleased with their reaction.
With an affected sense of familiarity, he glanced at the menu and then crossed his legs.
Looking directly at the only lady present in their midst, he urged, “Haozhen, how about a low-alcohol cocktail”
Typically, when there’s only one woman present, she would politely decline such an offer.
But Xu Haozhen smiled and candidly said, “Sounds good.
Thanks for the treat, Senpai.”
Following her lead, the other guests also started putting in their orders.
Zheng Dongdong noted what they ordered and mentally calculated the total.
Luckily, it was still within his range.
Somewhat relaxing after knowing that, he turned to the group of three sitting in the corner, “Officer Xing, Lin Chen, Prof.
Fu, what would you guys be having”
Lin Chen doesn’t drink.
He didn’t even order a bottle of mineral water, which made the situation a bit awkward for everyone.
So Professor Fu stepped in and requested a glass of juice.
“How about you, Officer Xing” Zheng Dongdong asked, hoping to get even with Xing Conglian for the earlier incident.
“Me” The police officer blurted out without thinking, “I’ll have two bottles of Yongchuan Pure Draft.”
His request made Zheng Dongdong chortle.
It was obvious that the small-town officer had never been to such an upscale venue before.
“I’m sorry, Officer Xing.
The worst beer we carry here is Hoegaarden,” He quipped, placing deliberate emphasis on the foreign brand name.
In other words: Your choice of beer is so low-caliber that we don’t even sell it here.
But Xing Conglian appeared not to notice his mocking tone.
The officer merely shook his head and replied, “A European beer Nevermind then.”
Zheng Dongdong smirked.
Just then, there were three knocks on the door.
A waiter had arrived carrying an ice-filled metal bucket in one hand and a place of freshly deep-fried peanuts in the other.
He put them down on the table, took a bow, and left.
The whole event took place within a span of 10 seconds or so, leaving everyone agape in surprise.
In the metal bucket were two bottles of Yongchuan Pure Draft which retail for only 8.80 yuan.
The plate of peanuts, fresh from the frying pan, was still sizzling.
The lounge became silent.
Nobody said a word.
Zheng Dongdong’s face was blue and the other guests were looking at him with a hint of disdain in their eyes.
First, he had said that the hotel was fully booked when it wasn’t.
Now he falsely claimed that there was no Yongchuan beer.
It was clear that he was just using his wealth and status to one-up his old classmate and it reflected poorly on him.
Xing Conglian sat in the corner gazing at the items on the table with a complex look on his face.
But the beer and the peanuts were just a small interlude.
Once the karaoke began, the atmosphere in the lounge instantly thawed.
After all, karaoke and mindless chatter are the go-to activities at any classmate reunion.
Out of everyone there, Xu Haozhen was the one who enjoyed herself the most.
Whether it was a duet or a solo, her voice could be heard continuously from the first note to the last.
Lin Chen gazed at her, deep in thought.
Xing Conglian leaned against the French window, drinking silently, while Fu Hao was swaying and clapping to the music.
Lin Chen looked at the two of them then leaned towards Xing Conglian and asked, “How’s the Yang Dianfeng case going”
“It’s alright.” Xing Conglian took a swig of his beer, “But the scope of the case might be wider than we imagined.”
It was very noisy, so the two had to lean very close to each other in order to hear what the other was saying.
Lin Chen could feel Xing Conglian’s breath on his face.
It tickled slightly.
“Wang Chao just finished wading through all the system records over the past six months.
There are about a dozen questionable ones that might pertain to more murders.
Also, two armed-robbery cases haven’t been solved.”
Hearing this, Lin Chen furrowed his brows slightly, “The other party probably has strong motives if they’re willing to take such a great risk in killing Yang Dianfeng.”
Despite the deafening ruckus in the lounge, the little corner that they were in was so peaceful that it seemed like time had stopped.
Zheng Dongdong also happened to hear their conversation.
All evening long, he seemed to be under a spell of bad luck.
He felt extremely upset.
As it was nearing dawn, the party would soon be over and he might never get a chance to take his revenge after this.
So he poured himself a glassful of strong liquor and walked over to Lin Chen’s corner.
As he approached, he heard that Lin Chen and Officer Xing were discussing a case.
He pushed the glass towards Lin Chen and said, “Lin Chen, please accept this friendly toast from me.
We’re old classmates after all.
Come on, be a sport.”
Zheng Dongdong smiled disingenuously and jiggled the bottle of Cognac in his other hand.
As if on cue, the music in the private lounge suddenly stopped and it amplified his voice.
At reunions, it’s usually difficult to get out of a toast between two men.
After all, this is a gesture of goodwill from an old friend.
It would seem hostile and unmanly for the toastee to refuse the drink.
Everyone gazed at Lin Chen, anticipating what he would do next.
But he’d been through gossip and slander much worse than this.
What’s an insignificant glass of Cognac to him
He glanced at the glass and replied, calmly and evenly, “I’m not doing this with you.”
All of a sudden, Zheng Dongdong exploded in a fit of rage, “Who the ** do you think you are! I’m just trying to be nice to you!”
He continued to hurl insults at Lin Chen, who looked at him with nothing but a placid look of pity in his eyes.
Fu Hao stood up to intervene while Xing Conglian just sat quietly in the corner.
Then Lin Chen got up and bowed slightly to everyone, “Sorry, I have something to attend to later.
I’ll be off.”
He left without turning around and Fu Hao hurriedly followed him.
Without saying a word, Xing Conglian picked up his police uniform and casually sauntered after the two of them.
The sound of a glass bottle being smashed could be heard behind them and the crash could be heard in the lounge.
There was a light breeze in the bamboo grove.
“Did you say that on purpose” asked Xing Conglian, catching up to Lin Chen.
Based on Lin Chen’s intelligence, he could’ve gotten himself out of the toast situation in a hundred ways but he chose the most provocative one.
“Didn’t you say you have to get back to the Yongchuan PD tomorrow Better go and get some rest,” Lin Chen replied calmly.
It seems like he provoked Zheng Dongdong on purpose just so they could get out early!
Thinking back to the sound of that smashed bottle earlier, Xing Conglian felt that it’s better to not mess with Lin Chen in the future.
As he had had a couple of beers, he couldn’t drive anymore but when they got to the entrance, a man was already there waiting for them.
He introduced himself as the designated driver.
Xing Conglian glanced at his name tag that had a canary and rose logo then got in the car.