Although Yue Dingtang was titled as a consultant, he didn't really have any specific duties. As long as the police station didn't summon him, no one would question his absence for ten days or even half a month.
In the end, this position was just a way for the higher-ups to keep him around, and Yue Dingtang was well aware of that. So, his main work was still focused on the school’s side. As long as Ling Shu was overseeing things at the police station, help run errands and pass on messages, it would be enough.
After handing over the documents to Ling Shu to deliver, Yue Dingtang went back to teaching at the school.
At noon, the driver arrived on time and took him to the pre-arranged tea house for a banquet.
Yue Dingtang didn't like going to banquets. Although he appeared to be smooth and flawless in front of others, even a bit hot and cold on the inside, given the choice, he would rather quietly stay at home to read and write.
Silence is golden, and it's better to remain silent than to say something that could lead to mistakes. No matter how eloquent someone may be, speaking too much will inevitably lead to mistakes, which will require endless trouble to fix. Only by not speaking at all can one avoid trouble.
However, sometimes these kinds of dinner parties are necessary. Especially for intellectuals, there are always social interactions within literary circles.
For example, tonight's guests came from the capital in the north to participate in an event. They are well-known avant-garde poets and writers in the country, and they specifically requested to experience southern opera.
The host arranged the dinner party in this tea house with Huangmei opera on the second floor, where they could listen to the opera, eat, and discuss matters comfortably.
During the day, the tea house was not crowded. The real excitement happened at night.
From the second floor, they looked down at the stage performers and the sparse audience on the first floor. Everything was in full view.
"Minghong and Shaoyu have come from afar. Please forgive our inadequate hospitality. Although this tea house may seem simple, it has some history and reputation in this area. Even Mr. Mei performed here in his early years."
"Oh, no need to be so polite, Brother Zhao. We came here to exchange ideas and stay for a few days. You could have just let us wander around on our own. Who is this?"
Polite greetings were inevitable as the opening remarks.
Among the group were those dressed in Western suits like Yue Dingtang, as well as those in traditional Chinese attire. The combination of East and West was the most common feature nowadays.
"Come, let me introduce you. This is Mr. Han Zhouhan, the editor-in-chief of the Times. I'm sure you've heard of him before."
"More than just heard of him! Mr. Han's name is well-known, and I've admired your social commentary under the pen name 'Xiao Baiyang' in every issue. I haven't missed a single one!"
"Hahaha, Brother Minghong, you flatter me. Your poetry collections are also a must-buy for me every time I'm in Shanghai!"
"And this is Mr. Yue Dingtang, not only a law professor but also an advisor to the Shanghai Police Department and the Concessionary Police Department."
Compared to the well-known names in the literary world, the name Yue Dingtang is relatively unfamiliar.
As expected, the two guests didn't have much of a reaction.
The vice principal in charge of introductions spoke up, “The recent famous Shanghai socialite murder case was solved by Mr. Yue here."
The two men suddenly realized and looked at Mr. Yue with more admiration.
"So it was Mr. Yue who solved the case. We have also heard about it in Beijing!"
"This case was reported in newspapers all over the country, and we followed it from beginning to end. It was indeed full of twists and turns. However, even though the newspapers may exaggerate, we are fortunate to meet you today. Would Mr. Yue have the leisure to share some of the details with us?"
Mr. Yue was lost in thought.
It was the first time he had ever zoned out at a dinner party and didn't hear what others were saying to him.
Because he saw someone.
On the first floor, in front of the stage, at the first table.
That table had only one person, him. On the table sat a plate of peanuts, a stack of osmanthus cakes, and a bowl of hot tea freshly brewed. With one leg crossed over the other, he tapped his fingers to the beat on the table, and a faint bandage could be seen on the back of his hand.
Yue Dingtang thought he was seeing things.
"Mr. Yue? Mr. Yue?"
Yue Dingtang snapped out of his daze.
"Sorry, I just saw a friend and got distracted."
"No worries, no worries. If you have a friend here, why not invite him up for tea and a chat?"
"He likes to listen to opera, so I'll let him stay downstairs. No need to disturb each other."
Despite his reluctance, at the insistence of the others, he briefly recounted the details of the case. Though his words were few, they were enough to leave everyone in awe. After all, not everyone can experience the thrill of walking on the edge of life and death. For many scholars who spend their days writing at their desks, it seems like a story from another world.
Yue Dingtang finished telling the story and glanced at his watch. It was one o'clock in the afternoon, during work hours, and he should have been out delivering files instead of listening to a play here.
Even though he had taken half a day off, it was only to go back and pack things, not to enjoy himself.
A tiger does not show its might, should he be treated like a sick cat?
Yue Dingtang sneered inwardly, naturally lifting his head and looking down at the stage.
A cold smile formed on his lips.
The person who was just sitting there munching on peanuts had disappeared without a trace.
Yue Dingtang furrowed his brows slightly. As the meal was halfway through, he found an excuse to leave and returned to the city bureau.
The corridor was quiet and empty, with no one in sight.
It was probably still lunchtime now.
Yue Dingtang walked slowly to the front of the office and stopped for a moment.
There was no movement inside, and it was quiet both inside and outside.
Yue Dingtang was confident that Ling Shu must not have returned yet, so he reached out and pushed open the door.
The main table was naturally empty.
At the desk on the side of the office, a person sat upright, writing with a pen, working hard and diligently.
Upon hearing the sound of the door opening, the person looked up with a surprised expression.
"Chief, you're back so soon. Wasn't there a lunch appointment?"
Yue Dingtang: ...
He walked over.
On the blank paper under Ling Shu's pen, there was only one title written.
"The necessity of improving the security around Shanghai teahouses."
"I asked you to deliver the documents, and you've already delivered them so quickly?" Yue Dingtang asked.
Ling Shu said, "I've delivered the goods. The place you sent me to wasn't far, and I happened to run into Secretary Song on his way to handle some business. He let me hitch a ride with his driver, so I got back quickly."
Secretary Song was the secretary of the deputy mayor, and logically speaking, he had nothing to do with Ling Shu. Moreover, Yue Dingtang had heard of Secretary Song before and knew that he wasn't someone easy to get close to.
But on his first day of work, Ling Shu had already made a connection with him and even got him to give him a ride. Even if it was just a ride, it still depended on the person.
Yue Dingtang raised an eyebrow and said, "Ling, you're quite sociable!"
Ling Shu humbly replied, "Not at all, I learned it all from my superiors!"
Yue Dingtang thought to himself, something doesn't seem quite right here.
"I gave you half a day off, and you've already finished moving your things?"
"I haven't gone back to move yet. When I passed by the teahouse, I saw someone being robbed at the entrance. That's when I thought of this topic. After I finish writing it, could I trouble you to give it a look?"
Yue Dingtang raised an eyebrow, implying doubt. "You just passed by and didn't go in to sit down, rest your feet, and listen to the opera?"
Ling Shu looked innocent and pure. "How could I? This is about work. How could I do such a thing during work hours?"
Yue Dingtang smiled slightly. "I knew I didn't misjudge you. When we were in school, you were always diligent and proactive. Now, it's no different. Can I see the report you write tomorrow?"
Ling Shu hesitated. "I'm afraid tomorrow will be too rushed. Can you give me some more time?"
Yue Dingtang refused to let him off the hook: "So when will you have it done? But it's just a report, it shouldn't take ten days or half a month, right?"
Ling Shu replied, "It won't take that long. I can finish it within a month."
Yue Dingtang nodded, "Alright, I'll give you a month."
And that was that.
That night, when Yue Dingtang returned home, his sister Yue Chunxiao heard that Ling Shu was working under him and asked him to take care of his old classmate and not let him work too hard.
Yue Dingtang smirked at her words, "As a consultant assistant, he sits in the office all day and doesn't have to run around like before. How could it be hard?"
Yue Chunxiao said, "So you're still making him write some reports? I heard he has to travel all over Shanghai and even go to the surrounding counties for investigation. He also needs to apply for funding. It sounds like a lot of work. Little Ling's injury hasn't fully healed yet. I've seen the wound in the hospital. If you want him to help, you need to be considerate."
Yue Dingtang felt that something was off as he asked, "What funding? How did he explain it to you?"
Yue Chunxiao scolded him, "He didn't say anything. I just feel sorry for him. He took on everything to repay your kindness. You have to help him."
Yue Dingtang remained silent, letting his sister ramble on.
Since it was already late, he didn't have time to go find Ling Shu to ask about it.
The next morning, Yue Dingtang went straight to Ling's house. Ling Yao told him that Ling Shu had gotten up early and gone to the city bureau.
Yue Dingtang had to hurry to the city bureau again.
As soon as he got out of the car and before he could go to the office, he met Secretary Song face to face.
Upon seeing him, Secretary Song said, "Brother Yue, you came just in time. The funds you applied for have come down. Come with me to sign the papers."
After speaking, he leaned in closer and said with a mysterious tone, "You have a big reputation. The road was smooth all the way. When Mayor Chen heard that it was your proposal, he immediately approved it from the finance department. But it's also because your proposal is really good. Brother Yue, you have the potential to climb the ranks. Why not quit your job at the school and focus on this side?"
Yue Dingtang: ...
Although he didn't know what had happened yet, he had a feeling that all of this was definitely related to Ling Shu!
Ling Shu, who was preparing to enter the cinema, sneezed.
Of course, it must be Yue Dingtang cursing at him.
Yue Dingtang was new to the city bureau, with no work to do.
He took the initiative to establish relationships with various parties, applied for funding projects for his superiors, and even spent half a night working on it.
However, the surname Yue could not appreciate his good intentions and even plotted against him behind his back.
Sigh, it's really hard to be a good person these days.