THE FLESH OF A SWAN

Chapter 1

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A man was escorted into the interrogation room and made to sit.

He wore a look of contempt and kept his mouth tightly shut, as though everything and everyone around him was beneath him and worthy only of his disdain.

But the prosecutor who sat before him also looked rather indifferent to their surroundings. The prosecutor didn't even seem to notice the man's entrance. He simply minded his own business and lit a cigarette.

The golden rays of the afternoon sun spilled in through the slits of the interrogation room's half-drawn shutters. That light spilled across the light brown eyes of the young prosecutor. His pale skin was almost translucent beneath that light; there was hardly any color in his cheeks. White cigarette smoke drifted through the air like a sheer veil.

The young prosecutor lifted his head. His expression was so cold that it almost appeared as though his lashes were laden with never-melting droplets of icy dew.

The detained suspect detected the scent of tobacco in the air, along with a colder, sweeter aroma.

The beautiful young prosecutor said, "Go ahead. Start talking."

The suspect felt as though he'd fallen under a spell.

When that exquisite ice sculpture of a man questioned him, he spilled all the secrets he'd withheld from the police for the past two days.

By the time the suspect came back to his senses…

He had already confessed to everything.

At that moment, the suspect felt the symptoms of a fever coming over him. He looked around, then swore, "Fuck. There's an omega in heat in this room? Who is it?"

He looked at the petite, female clerk who was currently recording their session from the seat beside the prosecutor.

The young prosecutor breezily admitted, "It isn't her, it's me. I'm an omega, and I'm currently in heat."

He spoke in a perfectly matter-of-fact tone.

Then he asked, "Do you have a problem with that?"

After the suspect was escorted back out of the interrogation room, the prosecutor crisply ordered, "Bring in the next one."

He cut through these cases like a wickedly sharp vegetable chopper.

While recording each session, the clerk thought to herself, Shen-xiansheng is truly an alpha killer. Alphas really do lose all their willfulness in front of omegas. These interrogations are going even more smoothly than usual.

This young prosecutor was named Shen Wenjun; he was twenty-nine years old. He was the second-in-command at the prosecutor's office where he worked, and his track record was outstanding.

Rumor had it, he'd graduated at the top of his class from H Law School. But due to the fact that he had been born an omega, he'd only managed to secure employment at a small law office after graduation. Over the years, because he handled cases expertly and produced excellent results, he experienced a meteoric rise in his field.

Shen Wenjun was the one and only omega prosecutor at his workplace, and back in the day he had also been the one and only omega in his year at law school. But he had never tried to hide his status as an omega.

And all his colleagues were alphas.

Although the A/B/O Equality Act was in place, discrimination against omegas was still prevalent in modern society. Many people believed omegas were stupid, frail, and sickly—an under-evolved, inferior species of human.

During his heat, Shen Wenjun would take suppressants but otherwise go to work as usual. Even with suppressants, a small amount of his pheromones would emanate from him.

After work, the clerk Little He worriedly asked, "Shen-laoshi, are you really okay? I feel your complexion doesn't look so good today."

He really wasn't feeling so good that day.

Although his heats were relatively mild, Shen Wenjun still felt the typical symptoms—discomfort, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, and so on. All those born as omegas had to endure these pains.

Shen Wenjun pressed a hand to the side of his forehead. "It's not too bad. I'll manage."

He didn't actually enjoy interrogating suspects during his heat. Once, there had almost been an incident. But it was undeniable that he was at least twice as efficient at interrogating suspects during this time, especially suspects who were alphas.

Everything had its pros and cons. Being an omega wasn't the worst fate in the world.

After a full day of work, Shen Wenjun put on a black overcoat with a half-length capelet. Then he donned a pair of rice-colored gloves and made sure he was meticulously presentable—not a hair or stitch out of place—before leaving for home.

It was likely that no one judging solely by his appearance would have guessed he was an omega. He was 182 centimeters tall. His features were exceptionally handsome. His figure was decidedly masculine, with broad shoulders and long legs.

A few of his alpha colleagues stepped into the elevator with him, descending to the parking lot.

They could all smell Shen Wenjun's pheromones. His scent was reminiscent of his personality—cold and clean, and not sweet, but still sensual in its own way.

For any alpha, standing in an enclosed space with an omega in heat was a bit of a challenge.

Shen Wenjun stood in front of the doors, with his back to the alphas in the elevator. He'd recently cut his hair, and his long, pale neck was exposed. Due to the effects of his suppressants, his pheromone secretion glands weren't noticeably swollen. But there were still faint traces of reddening at the nape of his neck.

It was like pale, pink petals were stuck to his skin. Or like a swath of scarlet ink had been spilled across an exquisite piece of paper.

All these alphas had tried to court Shen Wenjun in the past, but Shen Wenjun had rejected them all with the excuse that he didn't wish to date at the workplace.

One brave soul had, supposedly, pursued him with unwavering determination. Ultimately, Shen Wenjun had flatly told him the truth.

"Your work performance is terrible. I have no interest in falling for an alpha who's inferior to me."

That sort of rejection was far too terrifying.

 

After getting home, Shen Wenjun took a shower and laid down since the discomfort from his heat was getting too awful to bear.

Just as he started to fall asleep, he received a call from his good friend Xie Han.

Shen Wenjun had been in an irritable mood for a few days already. His voice was somewhat unpleasant when he answered, "Yes? What is it?"

"Little Jun," Xie Han greeted. "Remember to leave Friday night free."

"Why do I need to be free?" Shen Wenjun asked curiously.

"Because your thirtieth birthday is on Friday."

Shen Wenjun turned and checked a calendar, only then remembering Xie Han was correct. "Oh."

"I'll come out and spend your birthday with you."

Shen Wenjun snidely retorted, "There's no need to make a fuss about it, is there? It's just a birthday, and I'm not a child. I'm not going to cry and scream for a party where all my friends sing me a song. That's so juvenile."

"It's your thirtieth, the big 3-0," Xie Han said. "Even if you don't want a party or a fancy banquet dinner, you at least have to have a birthday cake, right?"

Shen Wenjun nodded at that. "Well, alright. See you then…"

He was tired enough that he fell asleep while listening to the sound of his friend's voice.

Xie Han was still saying, "I've already applied to transfer over to your area… I think it'll probably be approved. Later this year, I should be able to start working where you are…"

He trailed off and waited for a long while, but didn't receive any response from Shen Wenjun.

There was only the sound of slow, even breathing.

Xie Han sighed and murmured, "Good night, Little Jun."

 

The next day.

Shen Wenjun didn't go to the prosecutor's office.

He was an honorary professor at H Law. Every week, he had to head out there to give a lecture.

When he woke that morning, the symptoms of his heat were still quite severe. He dry-heaved several times while brushing his teeth and didn't start to feel better until he injected himself with a stronger suppressant.

He dressed in a back three-piece suit and his black overcoat that day. When he looked in the mirror, he felt he was as pale as a vampire.

Shen Wenjun thought to himself, Hopefully those law school brats won't be too idiotic today.

He didn't need anything to make his mood worse.

 

H Law.

Freshman dorms.

Teng Rui was sprawled out in bed, snoring as he slept soundly.

One of his roommates woke him up. "Rui-zi, get up. Time for class. There's a special professor coming in today."

Teng Rui lifted one arm and weakly flapped a hand as he blearily mumbled, "You guys go… I'll come along in a bit. Save me a seat."

After ten minutes, his roommates all left. Teng Rui realized he really was running short on time. He staggered out of bed, haphazardly brushed his teeth, and used a towel to give his face a fierce scrub. Then he put on a pair of socks that hadn't been washed in two days, a hoodie that hadn't been washed in four or five days, and a pair of jeans that hadn't been washed in god only knows how long.

He headed out just like that, in that sloppy state of dress.

Halfway to the lecture hall, he realized he'd forgotten to change his shoes. He was still wearing slippers.

Ah, whatever. He would just go in slippers.

Teng Rui was nineteen years old. A college freshman. Primary sex male, secondary sex alpha.

But he did still know a little something about shame. He couldn't help but think that his social life would be over if a girl saw him in this state.

Naturally, what he feared was exactly what came to pass.

He ran into some girls from the music department. A while back, Teng Rui and his friends had played a murder mystery game with them.

The girls saw him and disdainfully crossed the street to walk on the other side of the road.

Teng Rui's heart sank.

He had been fat in middle school, and had successfully lost weight in high school. For the sake of getting a girlfriend in the future, he'd buried himself in his studies for three years and managed to get into H Law.

He was an excellent student. He was tall. He was pretty good-looking. And he was an alpha.

Shouldn't it have been easy for him to find a girlfriend?

However, no girls approached him, so he'd had to take the initiative to approach them. But he had yet to succeed in hooking a single one.

Why?

He just wanted a girlfriend. Why was it so hard?

As he walked, Teng Rui heard a few girls from other departments chatting about something.

"I've always wanted to go and meet him."

"I heard Shen-laoshi is super good-looking."

"Shen-laoshi is my idol. He's so amazing, even as an omega. He's better than a lot of alphas."

"I brought Shen-laoshi's book with me. I want to get his autograph."

Teng Rui thought with a sour heart, Aren't all male omegas total sissies? Better than alphas? As if. These women have no taste.

Finally, Teng Rui reached the lecture hall.

The lecture hall was situated in a European-style building. Two flights of stairs curled around the left and right of the main lobby. Huge swaths of sunlight spilled in through the towering floor-to-ceiling windows.

As soon as Teng Rui set foot on one flight of stairs…

He suddenly felt something out of the ordinary.

Something smelled.

Something smelled good.

A rich, aromatic scent filled the air. It was like someone had spilled a whole bottle of perfume, but the scent wasn't overly sweet or cloying. It was a refreshing and only faintly sweet scent, and it seemed to be calling him.

He liked it right away.

His heart beat faster. His breathing grew uneven. He lifted his head and gazed at another person standing on the stairs.

That person was a man, dressed in all black.

Like a vampire wrapped up in a pair of bat wings.

The man also seemed to have realized something was out of the ordinary. He turned back and looked askance at Teng Rui.

Shen Wenjun had detected an incredibly strong scent of alpha pheromones.

This sort of situation wasn't common at all. He immediately realized that he may have run into his fated mate.

In his thirty years of life, he had often imagined what it might be like to meet his fated mate. But he'd never imagined it would be at a time or place like this.

He could hardly believe that he was seeing a boy who looked to be around twenty, one who looked childish, unkempt, and witless. That boy was staring blankly, intently back at him.

And the source of the pheromones Shen Wenjun smelled was none other than this slovenly brat.

How could his fated mate be a simple-minded brat like that?!

Shen Wenjun was so irate that he bit clean through the cigarette between his teeth.

"Fuck," he muttered under his breath.

 

Author's Notes:

I never studied law. Setting is generic.

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