Chapter 1 – A Present At the Door
Before we start, this is a novel revolving around a police force and one specific officer (is a cadet for the first 25 chapters). The first 25 chapters will be an academy arc with Chinese humor so… if you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you hate it, sucks for you, because I wish I was good enough to open it to a broader audience.
Genre: Comedy, Police, School life, Anti-hero MC, Government
As if the night brought about the spring breeze, the next morning was met with the colors of blooming spring flowers.
After the snow cleared, the smog-enveloped city finally welcomed a warm and sunny day. After several days on continuous snow, the sidewalks were covered in a thick layer of white. The passing pedestrians finally took off the thick face warmers that had never left their sides for the last few days, and finally let of a breath of the pent up turbid air in their chest.
According to the street sign, to the right was Ocean Avenue East; to the left was the province Police Academy.
A modern SUV police cruiser stopped for a moment at the traffic stop, then turned left towards the academy’s direction.
This place were known to many as the province’s cradle of police officers. A few hundreds of police personnel are sent out from this school every year. Before each year’s last semester begins, branches of the Ministry of Public Security from various cities would pick out internship personnel from the graduating class of that year. However, a police cruiser with a Provincial Hall license plate was a first. After driving another few kilometers, the school building of the police academy was already in sight. Its olive colored walls were especially eye catching compared to the rest of the buildings.
The car drove onto campus, and when it parked at the school building, the school’s Instructional Director Jiang Xiao Yuan and Principal Wang Lan were already present to greet the guest. The few men’s exchange of greetings fell into the view of someone behind the 3rd floor first room of the dorm building. This was a male student with nothing special about his face. He poked at the classmate who was playing on his phone and softly said, “They’re here.”
Putting away his phone was a chubby male student with swell cheeks. His round face led to his classmates giving him the nickname of Doubao (Bean Bun). The one who alerted him was his desk neighbor Yu Zui (Further Guilt). Doubao lightly said, “Yu, this time the Provincial Hall is here to grab people so the instructor told us to regard this pretty highly. Do you think this kind of good thing can fall on our heads?”
TL NOTE: The () are the literal readings of the names.
Yu Zui’s look was quite limpid. As he glanced around this lecture hall, the whole place was in an uproar. The new of the Provincial Hall’s recruitment was announced quite early, and had excited many of the fresh officer cadets, many of which began to fantasize about their future. However, the disparity of level between the cadets was also quite apparent. A hundred or so cadets were internally recommended, and many were registered residents of this city. Compared to the back rows with the group of cadets originating from remote towns and counties, the two groups were visibly leagues apart. As such, it was quite difficult for the two groups to sit together.
Once Yu Zui thought to this point, he shook his head, “Won’t happen. It will be our turn to enjoy good things. The results are probably already set internally.”
“But the instructor said that this time is voluntary application and open selection, so it shouldn’t have any of under-the-table manipulations by the guys above, right?” Doubao asked with doubt.
“You can’t call it manipulations if you don’t do it under the table. Leaving the provincial spot for you? Do you think it’s like TV? Happiness is just that easy?” Yu Zui replied in whisper.
“But this is a recruitment after all, so it shouldn’t be all shady, right?” Doubao looked for a glimmer of hope.
“Even if it’s just saving a place, it would never be your turn.” Yu Zui laughed. Seeing that Doubao was not too believing, he moved closer and added, “I’m guess not a chance. Do you believe me, or the organization?”
“You’re right, neither one is too trustworthy.” Doubao shook his head and immediately rejected both options. But after taking a look around at the fellow small town cadets, he really had no choice but to believe Yu Zui’s words. If you want good looks, none of them had it. If you wanted good family background, none of them had that either.
At that moment, footsteps could be heard coming from outside. The room of cadets immediately sat upright and still. Knowing that the Provincial Hall’s people are here, the cadets’ faces all held excited expressions. They immediately concluded their whispering, instead they all maintained the look and discipline of trained police officers.
Director Jiang Xiao Ruan glanced through the window and was quite satisfied with the cadets’ manners and appearance. He had then explained the whole details of the department. The almost graduating seniors were a total of 108 cadets. The male to female ratio was severely out of balance. There were only 10 female cadets compared to the 98 male cadets. The graduating class comes from this year’s criminal psychology, criminal investigation, computer science, and forensics departments. The selection personnel from Provincial Hall was the Section Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, Xu Ping Qiu, and Criminal Research Department’s director, Shi Qing Huai. This kind of thing normally would not require the Principal to personally show up, but given the fact that Xu Ping Qiu was both the Provincial Hall’s agent and an alum of the Provincial Police Academy, even Wang Lan was startled by the personnel choice.
The two recruiters also looked through the window at the lecture hall. The cadets all sat with their backs straight and heads up, looking so uniform that they were looked a phalanx formation. This sight subconsciously caused a hint of a smile to show up on Xu’s face. It was like a call back to when he had first graduated from the Academy. Although he was an idiot back then, he was still proud, young, and vigorous like these cadets.
The lecture hall’s doors sprang open as the old principal personally opened the door. A row of people walked in in a line. The classroom instructor introduced them enthusiastically, “Students, let me introduce to you all, the Provincial Hall Criminal Investigation Department’s Section Chief – Mr. Xu Ping Qiu. Please welcome Chief Xu.”
Once the introduction ended, applause immediately sounded throughout the hall. Many of the cadets’ eyes were brimming with light. The clapping became more intense while everyone began to whisper amongst themselves.
“So he is Xu Ping Qiu, the one who solved the serial murder case? I’ve studied that case record before.”
“Probably, how many Xu Ping Qiu could there be?”
“That’s right. I’ve seen his pictures before. Internal information from my dad’s computer.”
“Wow, could it be that if we were to become criminal police, he will be our leader no matter where we are working from?”
“Of course. He is the elite of elites, so even if he isn’t busy, you might not get to see him.”
“Seeing him is quite different from what I heard about him. He looks too…concerned about the country and the people…”
The cadets secretly whispered among themselves while a middle-aged man walked onto the podium. Average height, slightly dark-skinned, deep wrinkles on his forehead… Certainly the look of one who worries too much. It was a female student who said the phrase, so it evoked a short burst of laughter from the crowd. Although the instructor gave out a warning, Xu Ping Qiu had unexpectedly laughed with a friendly expression. Getting the attention of the students, he immediately started by saying, “I’m sorry everyone, my looks had disappointed you all.”
The audience broke into laughter once more, but this time it was accompanied by well-meaning applause. It seemed like the mental distance had been pulled closer by Xu Ping Qiu’s amiable tone.
Chief Xu laughed again before continuing, “Strictly speaking, we are colleagues. I was also an alumnus of this department, so you guys are all my underclassmen. I know that everyone is most interested in certain large cases that I’ve solve in the past, but sadly we can’t be discussing such cases here. But don’t lose heart. I believe that one day, there will be many of you that will sit next to me in a case analysis assembly. Perhaps many more will attain my position, and when you are in my place, perhaps many of your green faces would also become as concerning and worrying as mine.”
Laughter roared in the room while the goodwill applause became even more enthusiastic. People always looked up to others of the same trade who are out of the common run, especially a forerunner who lacked any sort of arrogance.
The loudest applause came from a female student sitting in the third row. With Xu Ping Qiu’s eyesight, he immediately noticed this female student of exceptional countenance. He did not have a hint of doubt that she could become the flower of whatever department she would work at. But he immediately filtered her out, as what he needed to find was not this type of person.
In a harmonious situation, there would always be some disagreeing voices. In the back rows, the one with baby fat, Doubao, was whispering with his neighbor Yu Zui, “This person looks pretty friendly.”
“You don’t know shit. Every cop is two-faced, so you can’t just judge by their outward appearance.” Yu Zui determined.
“You’re a two-face. I think the little old guy isn’t too bad.” Doubao laughed.
“Forget about it. How could someone whose job is to catch murderers, be friendly and peaceful? Stupid.” Yu Zui scolded. This actually alerted Doubao for a second. Thinking a little deeper, this could actually be quite true. This person is an idol-like existence to the students, so he definitely can’t have peacefully got to that place. At this point, Doubao couldn’t help but take a second look at that friendly-looking old fellow.
He definitely appeared quite friendly, so much so that he made the whole room livelier with one go. Xu Ping Qiu then immediately began talking to the crowd of excited and jolly students around him, “When I was coming here, I had plans for a speech. But now, using the script of old movies: I am here because of the organization’s mission and had been shouldering the great trust of our leaders. My goal here is very simple. I will pick out a team of elites from all of you to put into our first line investigation force. To come to the hardest and most dangerous job, tell me, do you all have confidence in your abilities?” Xu Ping Qiu switched to his habitual motivational speech as he waved his hand.
Someone answered, but it was not the loudest reply. The one who replied most clearly was a female student. The one who was the prettiest and the most eye catching. She only realized that she had yelled out too loudly after the fact, meanwhile everyone else rolled their eyes.
What the heck. Aside from supporting oneself after eating one’s fill, who would race towards an arduous and dangerous place? Someone grumbled in a whisper. That female student let out a “humph”, as if resenting the shallow minds of the surrounding classmates.
Xu Ping Qiu didn’t think that his absolute motivation was about to be met with an awkward silence. He pondered for a moment, then immediate changed his tone of voice, “I know that your values today are quite different from that of my time. I’ll further explain the recruitment conditions again: You’ll will be staying in the province for work without having to go through any kind of internship period. We will deal with the residence registration and housing problems. You guys are elites after all, so your pay and benefits will only be high and not low. Tell me again, are you all confident?”
A large part of the cadets were especially excited and responded extra clearly. It was as if they found the light at the end of the tunnel, and found the Party outside of their perplexity.
Life’s tough. Now that even police academies were recruiting more students, the distribution of officers became a huge problem. Even if you are a Police Academy graduate, you would have to go through hoops for a job. Just changing that cadet’s single mark into an officer’s double mark was especially difficult, so it was no wonder that the students were cheerful.
“Wow, the terms are not bad.” Doubao was excited. Even someone who never looked to improve himself was eager to give it a try.
“Are you an idiot?” Yu Zui looked with disdain, “The residence registration is controlled by the police anyway, so why would they need to deal with anything? Housing is even worse. Have you heard of collective dorms? That sounds like a great ‘solution’ right?”
After having cold water poured on him twice, Doubao angrily glared at Yu Zui, but said bitterly, “Brother, it’s better than nothing. If we graduate like we are now, you won’t even be able to deal with both of those things. You’re not hoping for the organization to issue you a girlfriend, right?”
This made Yu Zui grimace with a wry smile, but then he caught Instructor Wang’s strict gaze, so he quickly exercised restraint. That little interaction was seen by Xu Ping Qiu. He looked curiously, but Yu Zui withdrew himself and immediate hid himself among his peers.
“Good. I like seeing a team that is so full of youthful energy.”
Xu Ping Qiu strolled forward two steps and looked at the eyes staring back at him. Some of these had a thirst, some had excited, joy. Of course, there was also perplexity and puzzlement. He had talked with Principal Wang Lan a while ago about the fact that they were slightly concerned with the graduates’ quality and character. After all, the academy was broadening their acceptance process like other colleges. Because of this, the recruiters from prospective departments also face greater difficulty. The broader the acceptance qualifications become, the lower the purity of the student body. Xu Ping Qiu pondered about his next topic. Perhaps it might be good to strike down some of their over-excitement towards working in the province. When all’s said and done, most of them would be passed over in the selection. At this point, he spoke in a deep voice, “What we are doing will be very simple. Fill out an application today, after that will be physical examinations on tomorrow and the day after. Whoever we select through this will be sent to various cities in the nation during a half-year field-work period to study under various teams.”
The eyes of many young students lit up brightly at the sound of that. Traveling around the world before even graduating from school, wow. Wearing the polished police uniform and receiving the admiring gaze of pedestrians. That must feel great.
“Before you guys fill out your applications, why don’t we play a little game. Let’s just pretend it’s to liven up the atmosphere, and should help me understand your capacity a little bit.” Xu Ping Qiu added timely as he smiled with a hard to describe friendliness. Facing the wondering eyes of the cadets, he explained, “How about reasoning? The fundamental of a criminal police.”
At this point, many sat straight with their chest up and showed off their preparations. There would be this kind of content in normal classes so these odd cases of every description had already became a game that these students would enjoy and never get tired of.
Without any objections, as it turned out, the class had seemingly become a case of Lu Ban testing young carpenters. Xu Ping Qiu’s face wrinkled as he smiled at the eager crowd. “Please listen to the reasoning [actually maybe someone can give me a better name for this]: Some days ago I had caught several theft suspects. At the summons, A said it was B; B said it was D; C said it wasn’t him; D said B lied. A few days later, we were able to prove that the suspect had worked alone and was not a team. That being said, only one person had spoke the truth….”
It was almost if a pin drop could be heard through the silence that followed. Pairs of spirited eyes looked like they had already figured out the answer. This question was of medium difficulty, but each of the happy faces had been filtered out by Xu Ping Qiu. Glancing across the room, he again saw the back-row student who had been whispering the whole time. He remembered that average brows, average nose, and average mouth student. It was a face with nothing special about it, but somehow it felt like there was some kind of uniqueness about him. Looking at his expression, it was like he didn’t even listen to the question.
This is a clear-headed person, Xu Ping Qiu inwardly noted. But then he also noticed that he was one of the troublemaker types. Deciding to do two things at once, he decided to give out the question while reflecting on what he’s seen so far. Getting off of the podium, he asked, “Who will answer? Please stand.”
Immediately twelve or so students sprung up, each eager to show off before this senior of theirs. Xu Ping Qiu noticed that the largest group that stood up was around the female student from before. Those 5 young and vigorous lads was not without intentions to show off, as now and then they would glance back at that female student.
The whole room’s mood looks pretty good. It’s at the anticipated goal now. A hint of a crafty smile flitted across Xu Ping Qiu’s face….