It’s been awhile since A Dream of Red Mansions reared its ugly head, but according to “Jia Baoyu! You are the real murderer!”, a Japanese author, Ashibe Taku turned the story into Murder in the Red Mansions. That was published in 2004 and a translation was published on the Mainland in January. As you might expect (try to look surprised – you might even win an Oscar for your performance), the hysterical reactionaries are up in arms and down in brain cells about this particular parody. I’ll leave you to read the article on Danwei, but this is a red rag, and I’m a bull.
My name’s Jia; Jia Baoyu. I walk the mean streets of Beijing where every alleyway is populated by lowlifes, not all of them Party members. I’d been working late on a case the night before when I finally cracked it and was now heading into my office at mid morning. My assistant, Lin Daiyu, was sitting staring out of the window.“Morning, Baoyu,” she said and, as she turned back to her desk, disappeared for a moment. She was the only person I’d ever met who was nearly two-dimensional. I encouraged her to eat, but it never seemed to help. “Did you get him?”“Yeah,” I replied hanging up my hat and coat. “It was Chen Chencheng in Chaoyang with a chausuble.”I picked up the post off the corner of Daiyu’s desk. Bill, bill, death threat; it was the usual stuff.“So you were right again. How did you do it? Was it the fibres?”“That’s what I thought until I realised I’d overlooked the dumplings. Only one person eats that type of dumpling, and they’re specifically made for only one person.”“The archbishop!” Daiyu squealed, perhaps deserving a second exclamation mark.“And if the archbishop had been there, as he must’ve, then it could only have been Chen Chencheng.”“What happened to him?”“I have no doubt his human rights are being violated in the pursuit of justice.”“You’ve got a client, Baoyu,” Daiyu added as I turned towards the door of my office.If Daiyu was going to say anything else, it was too late. I opened the door and there she was in a blue qipao so tight that I didn’t have to mentally undress her; in a blue qipao so tight that Buddha would have reincarnated himself as one of the dragons or phoenixes that decorated it just to cavort across that body. I closed the door of my office behind me.“Sorry I’m late. Got a break on a case last night. Please, take a seat.”As she turned to sit down, I could see the outline of her thong against the cloth of her dress.“Now, how can I do you? I mean, what can I do for you?”“My name’s Wang Xifeng.” Her accent said old money; not that I cared. If I could spend it, any money was good. But where her accent said old money, her eyes said, “Danger”; only I wasn’t listening. “This is Miaoyu.” Xifeng showed me a picture. Where’s this woman from? Babe City? “She’s an unshaved nun who’s been living in our garden for a few years now, but she disappeared a few days ago. We can’t afford to bribe the police, but I’ve been told you’re more easily corruptible.”“You can corrupt me for ¥70 a day. Plus expenses. Now, tell me more. Do you think she left of her own accord or was abducted?”“Some of the servants said she often talked about joining the Japanese AV industry…”I was outraged, but made a mental note of Miaoyu’s name so that I’d know what to look for in the DVD shops – for research purposes, of course. I had tuned out for a moment and then tuned in again.“…yellow industry is desperate for talent. They say you’re the best at what you do, Mr Jia.”I’d successfully solved one case, and was now enjoying a morning of hot babes, bribery and flattery. If I’d known how things were going to turn out, I would never have taken the job.