Pristine Darkness - novelonlinefull.com
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A new character is introduced. What part will he play in the next story arc; will he be friend or foe? What do you think? Read on to find out more . . .
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Jian Yao exited the car. From afar, she could see Li Xunran standing at the doorway of the restaurant, and beside him stood a man she didn't know.
"Xunran!" Jian Yao walked over, and the two men smiled.
"Yaoyao*, let me introduce you." Li Xunran patted the shoulder of the man beside him. "He is also from our city of Tong, the famous lawyer Luo Lang. When we were young, he even took us fishing, do you remember that?"
*T/N 瑶瑶 (yaoyao) – Li Xunran's nickname for Jian Yao. It's common to take a person's name and 'double' it as a nickname.
Jian Yao saw that the man was tall and well-built his facial features were well-proportioned Looking to be in his thirties, he wore a full suit that was well-crafted, and his entire body radiated elegance. Luo Lang looked at her and also gave her a gentle smile. "Jian Yao, h.e.l.lo."
They had fished together as children? Jian Yao really could not remember this. She also smiled and shook his hand. "Hi, Lawyer Luo."
"You're too polite," Luo Lang said smilingly, "we are all from the same home town, and Xunran calls me Big Brother Luo."
Xunran also smiled.
Jian Yao heartily replied, "Very well, Big Brother Luo."
The three entered the restaurant.ther people from Tong city were already there. During the dinner, everyone discussed Tong city's local conditions and customs andtheir work in Beijing, all talking to their heart's content.
Xunran had also been transferred to Beijing for work, but he was in another sub-bureau. He often met up with Jian Yao. Jian Yao felt that this distance between them was pretty good. Their relationship would not change.
As Luo Lang was a lawyer, he attracted many inquiries and much attention. Someone laughingly asked, "Brother Luo, you are a lawyer. After today, if we encounter legal issues, we can seek advice from you, right?"
Luo Lang smiled and replied, "Of course, I will provide our home town people with consulting services."
Everyone laughed, all jostling to propose a toast to him. Luo Lang did not pretend to be coy, and generously received the toast. Jian Yao observed all this and immediately felt that this man was amiable and candid. It was thus very easy to like him.
Almost as if he felt her gaze, Luo Lang turned to look at her, asking in a low tone, "What's wrong? If you can't drink, don't force yourself, I'll drink for you."
Jian Yao's heart warmed. She smiled and answered, "No need," picked up the gla.s.s of wine and drank it all in one gulp. Xunran laughed, "Brother Luo, you're underestimating her, her alcohol tolerance is better than mine."
Jian Yao put down the gla.s.s, and was met with Luo Lang's surprised yet amused gaze. She smiled and said, "Brother Luo, I also have a question. I'll just take the opportunity today to consult you."
"Please go ahead." Luo Lang filled her gla.s.s again.
"We've encountered a case where a man married five women. Of course, of these five, he only has a marriage certificate with one of them, but the other four all live with him, like a rich landowner of the olden days. In this case, is the law powerless to do anything?"
When everyone heard this, they all curiously looked over.
Luo Lang thought about it and said, "No. He is registered as married with his original wife, and, while he is not registered with the others, he is living with them and has marital relations with them. This is considered polygamy. This kind of behaviour, where one 'covertly takes a concubine', is a betrayal of the obligation of faithfulness between husband and wife. However, currently in our country, polygamy falls into the category of crimes which are broadly described as 'don't tell, don't acknowledge'. This means that unless someone involved advances a lawsuit, the courts usually will not take the initiative to accept and hear the case.
"Ohh," murmured Jian Yao, and everyone else.
Luo Lang lifted his full gla.s.s and said, "Everyone is in Beijing, so we should naturally look out for each other. I've always very much admired the police, I never thought that the little girl who followed Xunran and I when we were young would be an impressive criminal investigator now. I will first toast to Jian Yao. In many senses, lawyers actually share the same pursuits as the police; we all pursue justice and truth. Since you call me 'Big Brother Luo', in future, if you have any questions about the law, you can consult me at any time. I will definitely do everything I can to help and support you."
Everyone listening was inspired by this rousing speech and cheered him on to give a toast to Jian Yao. Jian Yao was also very moved, yet also felt slightly awkward as they were not very familiar with each other, and she didn't want to needlessly accept someone's favour. She nodded, stood up, and said, "Big Brother Luo, you are very straightforward. I will thank you in advance. After today, if there is anything I can help you with, my husband and I will definitely be very happy to help."
Luo Lang smiled, and downed his gla.s.s in one gulp.
When the gathering ended, a black Cherokee had already stopped outside the restaurant.
Jian Yao said goodbye to the others and got into the car. From afar, one could see a man winding down the window, revealing a pale, handsome face. He nodded towards Li Xunran in greeting, looked at the others briefly, then wound up the window and drove off.
Luo Lang and Li Xunran stood side by side.
"That's her husband?" Luo Lang asked.
"Yup." Li Xunran smilingly answered, "The famous criminal investigation specialist and professor. An amazing man."
After a moment's silence, Luo Lang asked, "Why didn't you catch her yourself?"
Li Xunran didn't move a muscle. After a while, he laughed and asked, "What are you talking about?"
Luo Lang laughed and patted his shoulder, then turned to get into his car.
The evening breeze blew softly. The city lights shone brightly in the distance. Luo Lang drove his black Cayenne for a short distance, then stopped the car on a deserted road under a viaduct. He opened the window and lit a cigarette.
Someone walked past and looked at the calm face of the man in the car. Luo Lang also looked at him, but it was as if he was staring right through the scene in front of him and was looking instead at some unknown place in the distance.
After a while, he extinguished his cigarette, lowered his head, and scrolled through the pictures on his cellphone until he found the group photograph they had just taken. Jian Yao was standing in the middle, as exquisite and vivid as a painting. He stood next to her, smiling.
He pulled out his wallet again and retrieved a yellowed photo from a compartment. It was a picture of Jian Yao as a young girl. Her silhouette was as pleasingly delicate and pretty as the older version. Her hair was in a ponytail, her eyes were big, and she was smiling sweetly.
Luo Lang looked at the picture for a moment, then smiled. He replaced the wallet in his pocket and drove off.
That same quiet night, Jian Yao sat in the pa.s.senger seat, looking through her cellphone. As Bo Jinyan drove, he hummed along to the soothing symphonic music that was softly playing. However, he was humming very softly – he did not allow anyone to listen to him singing. Although he was already married, he resolutely refused to sing for her.
Jian Yao was engrossed in what she was looking at.
It was the pictures a university friend had posted of her wedding photoshoot and wedding ceremony in their chat group. Jian Yao texted 'Congratulations', but, immediately, another university friend texted: Jian Yao ah, I heard you're already married, why didn't you have a wedding ceremony?
Jian Yao sent a smiley emoji and replied: I'll hold one when there's time.
Wow, people's wedding ceremonies can be really beautiful. A dreamy blue stage, a venue decorated throughout with fresh flowers and lush greenery. There were even quite a few elegant little flower girls. When the groom embraced his bride, the happiness on their faces seemed to overflow. The friends and relatives around them were all smiling, and everyone was so happy.
Suddenly, Bo Jinyan asked, "What are you looking at?"
However, they had reached a red light junction, and the light was red. Bo Jinyan had stopped the car, so he leaned over and had a perfectly clear view of what Jian Yao had been looking at on her cellphone.
"Ah, so it's . . . a wedding." Bo Jinyan shot her a meaningful glance, then resumed driving.
Jian Yao was startled for a moment.
"What do you mean by that?" She gently pulled on his arm, but no matter how she wheedled, he would only smile faintly without saying anything.
. . . Meaningful look my foot! The whole world can see that you're inwardly satisfied at having concealed the secret of our wedding ceremony!
Translator: Clue, shl
Editor/ Proofreader: shl