As the holiday season approached, most other workplaces were becoming more relaxed, but Lu Ye was going against the flow, busier than ever and wishing he could hit his own head with his foot.
Routine case handling, weekend shifts, weekly patrols, and the countless reports and materials that needed to be written over and over again—Lu Ye never doubted his life choices, but occasionally, before significant holidays, when faced with a table full of duty schedules and material reports, he would introspectively question himself, wondering why he had been so committed to serving the people.
Perhaps it was youthful recklessness, he thought.
But complaints aside, jokes aside, when Li Zhiwen slapped the table and told them to quit and transfer to logistical support if they didn’t want to work, Lu Ye still had to obediently lower his head and willingly polish the case report in his hand.
The Public Security Sub-bureau Security Division only needed to respond to emergency calls during weekend shifts.
However, apart from handling cases transferred from police stations, they also had to receive reports from the public who came in person to report incidents.
At 9:30 in the morning, the office was mostly empty.
Others were working on cases or patrolling, leaving only Lu Ye and an intern who had recently joined, sitting in the office.
The group of pyramid scheme ringleaders caught the night before had just been transferred to the detention center that morning.
As Lu Ye returned, he felt that the chair hadn’t even warmed up before the door to the office was pushed open from the outside.
“Lu Ye, there’s a report downstairs.
Someone says they were scammed,” a logistics staff member passing by said casually.
“The on-duty officers are mediating a property dispute right now.
Can you send someone to help them make a statement?”
“sure,” Lu Ye replaced the cap on his pen that he had just removed, stood up, and picked up his coat hanging on the back of his chair.
He gestured to the intern and said, “You continue working on the materials.
I’ll go take a look.”
The police station lobby on the ground floor was bustling with noise.
Homeowners and property management representatives occupied the space, their conversation alternating between local dialect and standard Mandarin.
A few on-duty police officers were trying to pacify the crowd, using both persuasion and coercion to prevent a fight from breaking out at the police station.
Lu Ye came downstairs from the second floor, surveying the scene out of habit.
His gaze swept over and finally landed on a familiar face at the front desk.
“Teacher Qi?” Lu Ye wondered, “What are you doing here?”
Qi Yanbai stood alone in a corner in front of the front desk.
Compared to the group nearby, he seemed out of place.
Startled by Lu Ye’s voice, he trembled slightly before turning around and seeing Lu Ye approaching.
“Lu Ye?” Qi Yanbai blinked in slight surprise.
His expressions of delight and astonishment were perfectly timed, “What a coincidence, you’re here too?”
“I work here,” Lu Ye said, sweeping his gaze downward.
He saw the police report in Qi Yanbai’s hand and instantly understood.
“Did you report the scam?” Lu Ye asked.
“Yes,” Qi Yanbai seemed reluctant to lose face in front of him.
He subconsciously tried to hide the police report he held, but halfway through the motion, he realized something and stopped, scratching his face with embarrassment.
“It’s fine,” Lu Ye understood his embarrassment and offered a way out, “No need to feel embarrassed.
There are at least forty to fifty scam reports in the city every day.”
With that, he reached out and took the police report from Qi Yanbai’s hand, then glanced at the other noisy group of people arguing.
“Come with me,” he said, “When did this happen?”
“About an hour ago,” Qi Yanbai jogged a few steps to catch up with Lu Ye’s pace.
He seemed like a timid wife as he lowered his head and answered obediently, “I received a text message from the bank, saying that my bank account transactions were suspected of money laundering.
The account has been frozen, and I need to transfer funds to an official account to unfreeze it.
Lu Ye: “…”
Lu Ye had been promoting anti-scam efforts throughout the city for over a month, and the campaign had been quite effective.
It had been a long time since he’d heard of scams like the one Qi Yanbai just described.
He took a deep breath and asked as gently as he could, “How much money were you scammed of?”
Qi Yanbai gestured with his fingers and said, “Five thousand.”
“okay.” Lu Ye nodded in acknowledgment.
“Fortunately, you’re not telling me you received a call from the police, prosecution, or judiciary demanding money.
That’s a bit of comfort for me.”
“Thank goodness,” Qi Yanbai responded meekly.
“If they claimed I committed a crime, I’d definitely call you first.”
Lu Ye: “…”
Lu Ye understood, probably better than Qi Yanbai imagined.
He wasn’t sure whether to label Qi Yanbai as clever or single-minded.
“First, most of these scams are carried out online, and the criminals might not even be local,” Lu Ye explained as they walked towards the Cybersecurity Division.
While making a call to the bank to see if they could intercept the transfer, he gave a word of advice to Qi Yanbai, “So, there’s a possibility that you won’t be able to recover this money.
Be mentally prepared for that.”
Lu Ye was dressed just like the first day they met, wearing a complete uniform.
The collar of his duty coat was fastened high, giving him a strong presence.
Qi Yanbai walked just two steps away from him, able to distinctly smell the faint scent of smoke on his coat.
“I wish I could capture this moment,” Qi Yanbai thought aimlessly.
Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t right, and he didn’t have a pen in his hand.
Lately, Qi Yanbai wanted to know more about Lu Ye and have more opportunities to interact with him.
However, Lu Ye was always busy with work and had a reserved personality.
Of course, Lu Ye had no idea that Qi Yanbai was mentally sketching him out from head to toe.
After finishing his call with the bank, he turned to Qi Yanbai to ask for his phone.
“Show me the website address,” Lu Ye casually said, “Let’s see if we can find information about the account.”
Qi Yanbai’s mind was wandering, and he was taken by surprise when Lu Ye suddenly asked for his phone.
Subconsciously, he tightened his grip on his phone, feeling a sudden tension.
He didn’t immediately hand it over.
Lu Ye didn’t receive a response for a moment, so he turned to look at him with curiosity.
However, it was perfectly normal for someone to have secrets on their phone.
Lu Ye didn’t insist, changing his request instead, “Or you could copy it over and send it to me.”
He voluntarily let go of the issue, and Qi Yanbai couldn’t help but exhale in relief.
Swiftly, he sent the scam message to Lu Ye.
When the cybersecurity team checked the website, the bank quickly responded, saying that fortunately, the twenty-four-hour transfer buffer had intercepted the funds for the owner.
“Today was fortunate, but if you encounter this kind of situation again, you might not be so lucky,” Lu Ye patted his colleague’s shoulder and returned the paper with the bank card’s password to Qi Yanbai.
He advised, “Install an anti-fraud app and read more case studies when you have spare time.”
For someone like Qi Yanbai, who had recently started working, five thousand yuan was not a small amount.
If he couldn’t recover the money, Lu Ye would genuinely be concerned.
Qi Yanbai’s manner and behavior left nothing to criticize, but unfortunately, his lack of social experience was a pity.
Lu Ye sighed inwardly, his eyes carrying a touch of affection as he looked at Qi Yanbai.
“Alright, if there’s nothing else, you should head back,” Lu Ye walked Qi Yanbai to the door, then stood by the road and said, “It’s your work hours, you shouldn’t be out for too long.”
“Okay,” Qi Yanbai smiled with his head lowered.
After hesitating for a moment, he took a step forward and quickly hugged Lu Ye.
“Thank you, Lu Ye,” he whispered softly.
Lu Ye hadn’t expected such an intimate way of thanking him.
He was briefly taken aback, but before he could feel uncomfortable, Qi Yanbai had already let go, stepping back swiftly.
While Qi Yanbai had retreated quickly, unfortunately, his hairband got caught on a corner of Lu Ye’s uniform.
As his hair band came loose, Lu Ye instinctively reached out and caught a falling strand of hair.
Lu Ye: “…”
Qi Yanbai: “…”
Qi Yanbai’s expression turned blank for a moment.
Lu Ye had initially felt a bit awkward, but seeing Qi Yanbai’s utterly surprised look, he couldn’t help but chuckle.
Qi Yanbai quickly reached out and took the hairband back from Lu Ye, then turned around to retie his loose hair.
His hair was too soft, not long enough either.
He struggled to tie it into a small bun on top of his head, looking flustered and hurried.
Lu Ye watched for a moment, unable to stand the sight, and reached out to help Qi Yanbai smooth down a stray strand.
“It’s mostly you art students who are willing to keep your hair this long,” Lu Ye commented casually, “You look like a little girl, and it’s not easy to manage.”
“Unfortunately, I’m not a little girl,” Qi Yanbai didn’t feel offended by his remark.
He went along with Lu Ye’s words and playfully retorted, “Otherwise, it would’ve been much easier to be friends with you.
I could have given you a chance to be a hero and save a damsel in distress.”
“I’m not worth much, so if you want to be friends, go ahead,” Lu Ye wasn’t a rigid or uptight person.
He was quite casual around familiar people, and without delving into the deep meaning behind Qi Yanbai’s words, he assumed Qi Yanbai was referring to his previous distant attitude.
So, he chuckled and made a playful remark, “Besides, you look good too.
Who knows, someone might come to your rescue someday.”
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