The Golden City was located at the northernmost end of the Zhaoyun Province, at the junction of the Northeast Plain and mountain area. Although the name, the Golden City, made it sound like a wealthy place, it was actually just a small city with a relatively unimpressive economy.
There were two versions of rumors that were told regarding the origin of the Golden City. The most common one was told of the Yellow Towel Army in the late Eastern Han Dynasty.
It was said that, after the Yellow Towel Army’s uprising failed, Zhang Jiao’s descendants led the rest of the army to flee to this place, where they then established the Golden City. Therefore, the “golden” in its name originally referred to color of the Yellow Towel Army’s war attire.
However, in the opinions of experts and scholars, this tale was totally absurd, as according to their research, the founding of the Golden City couldn’t be earlier than the Ming Dynasty. Hence, it was impossible that the “golden” in the city’s namesake had anything to do with the Yellow Towel Army whatsoever.
Therefore, in their expert opinions at least, the second version about the origin of the city sounded much more feasible. This version claimed that some people had planted chrysanthemums on the northern slope of the city, which, at the end of the summer, had blossomed all over the mountains and fields.
As these blooms looked like a golden blanket that covered all of the land, it was name “Golden City.” Today, those same chrysanthemums still blossomed each year, attracting a large number of tourists every season.
However, no matter what the true origin of the name was, it was clear that the namesake of the Golden City had nothing to do with real gold. On the contrary, because of the relatively poor quality of land and inconvenient transportation here, the local economy had always been among the worst in the entire province.
It was for this reason that, two years ago, the Golden City was designated to be a county directly under the leadership of provincial units for improving its local development. Because of its northern location, the winter in the Golden City often came much earlier and was usually snowy and quite cold.
However, since the local people had grown accustomed to this kind of climate, cold weather didn’t slow them down at all. Instead, every day, immediately after the sun rose, regardless of the weather, people started their daily routine as usual.
At the moment, it was 10:15 a.m. in a residential district in the Southern part of the Golden City. A salesman was selling a flat to a middle-aged couple.
“Come with me! The flat is located on the third floor, and that’s a good number!” the salesman took a couple upstairs and gave his selling pitch to them vigorously, “There’s no better value than this! Come on… Here we are…”
After they arrived on the third floor, the salesman quickly took out the key to the flat and inserted it into the keyhole. However, even after he tried it a few times, the key would not fit into the lock.
He looked up at the door number, frowned, and murmured, “This is the right flat, so why won’t it unlock?”
As he murmured to himself, he stretched out his hand to touch the door. Unexpectedly, the door swung open!
“What the heck?” The salesman was shocked.
The man of the couple pointed to the door and said, “The door has clearly been damaged!”
The salesman frowned. “Why would someone…”
“Eww…” The woman of the couple then pinched her nose and asked, “What’s that smell?”
The salesman seemed to think of something, and he cursed immediately, “Son of a bitc*! A tramp must have broken in and was squatting here.”
After saying that, he pushed the damaged door open and rushed into the flat, his face filled with anger. The couple looked at each other with doubt, obviously having lost interest in the flat.
The man didn’t even look inside as he yelled to the salesman, “Mr. Liu, forget it! We’re not interested in this flat, so don’t waste our time…”
Before the man could even finish his sentence, the salesman suddenly ran out of the flat. His face looked pale and his chest rose and fell violently as he gasped for breath. He the made a mad dash into the corridor and vomited!
Realizing that something was very wrong, the man rushed into the flat from the direction where the salesman had just come from. He only just a single look, then couldn’t help but fall on the ground in terror.
There… On the floor of the inner room… Was a dead body!
Zhao Yu suddenly sneezed, frightening his team members and some of the passengers nearby. At the moment, Zhao Yu’s team had already taken their high speed rail trip and was now sitting in a green train that was heading toward the Golden City from the capital of Zhaoyun Province.
This was the only way that one could get to the Golden City at the moment, as the highway was covered with ice and snow. However, there was only one train that traversed this route every day, which meant that the train was quite overcrowded.
It was good that they had booked tickets in advance, as there was not a single vacant seats left. As such, they could all barely squeeze in the carriage!
“Team leader, we are the Central Criminal Division…” Ran Tao said helplessly, “I’ll go and talk to the conductor. Let’s go to their staff lounge. I’m out of breath!”
Zeng Ke said, “We will stay arrive in less than two hours! So, all of you, don’t cause any trouble in the meantime!”
“Well… I’m going to the dining carriage to see…” Cui Lizhu had not even finished her sentence, when she stopped speaking abruptly.
She had been startled to see Zhao Yu lift up a man by his collar. Next, he wiped the man’s seat with his sleeve as he said to Miao Ying, “Here, babe. You take this seat for now. I’ll find you a better seat later!”
Miao Ying looked at the seat that Zhao Yu had just stolen from the poor stranger and gave him an angry look.
“Oh, sorry!” Zhao Yu hastily apologized to Miao Ying, “I forget sometimes that I’m now an honest man!”
Then, he quickly turned around and ushered the young man back to his seat. The young man was naturally confused, as he still didn’t have the slightest idea of what was happening.
Zhao Yu then turned and said to Ran Tao and Cui Lizhu, “Ran Tao, Lizhu, we must resist adopting the mindset that we are superior to others. Although we are senior officers, we can’t enjoy any special benefits above the civilians, especially when it comes to things like train travel. We have to be honest people, understood?”
He then added, “We should walk into the masses, make friends with them, love them and care for them.”
While they were listening to Zhao Yu’s posturing, Ran Tao and the others all gripped their hair with their fingers, feeling hopelessly awkward. At this time, on the other side, an old lady was arguing with a man…
“You’re taking my seat! Look, this is my ticket!” she cried out, while waving her ticket in the man’s face angrily.
“What nonsense!” The man was tall and had a tattoo that meant endurance etched on the back of his neck. The man took the old lady’s ticket and had a look at it.
He then asked impatiently, “What are you talking about? Yours is obviously a fake!”
The old lady replied, clearly embarrassed, “I’m old, so I had my son help me buy a seat in advance online! How can you be so cruel as to take my seat?”
“You’ve been deceived, do you know that?” The man firmly in his seat, refusing to budge.
The old lady trembled all over as she said, “You… Take out your ticket! Let’s go find the conductor, and he can decide this matter.”
The man pointed at the lady and yelled angrily, “I’m telling you… Your ticket is a fake! What’s wrong with you? Ah… Hey… Who…”
Before the man could finish talking, Zhao Yu had already pinched his neck and lifted him from his seat. He then asked, “How can you be so rude to an old lady?”
The man wanted to curse Zhao Yu, but before he could, Zhao Yu head-butted him with his forehead. Then, amid the crowd’s exclamations, Zhao Yu raised the man over his head with both arms, then stuffed him directly into the luggage rack!
Zhao Yu then clapped his hands, shook his head, then asked, “Is it so difficult to just be a gentleman?”
Zhao Yu then turned around and intended to comfort the old lady, but he saw Zeng Ke holding her ticket and saying, “Madam, that man is right. Your ticket really is a fake! You’ve been fooled by a liar!”
Hearing this, Zhao Yu suddenly turned back and anxiously pulled Ran Tao aside. He then whispered, “What did you say just now, Ran Tao? Which carriage is the staff lounge? Let’s go there now…”