Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
All issues pointed directly to AIH, but it still took a lot of time to investigate the true motivations of Xiang Ye and Meijing, which was something they couldn’t rush.
Besides, until now, all they could do was inform AIH to pay attention to financial risk and dissuade Song Shengsheng fans from attending large-scale gatherings. In addition, Lin Chen couldn’t think of what else they could do in this short time.
After the inquiry work was over, Jiang Chao forcibly drove him to the Second People’s Hospital next to Yongchuan’s Second Bureau. According to Vice Captain Jiang, his beautiful wife worked in the neurosurgery department. Naturally, a wound suture like his wouldn’t need the deputy chief physician of neurosurgery to address it, so Lin Chen went to the urgent care department by himself.
The one who stitched up his wound was a young doctor. As soon as Jiang Chao sent him to the treatment room, he slipped away under the pretext of buying water.
Lin Chen suspected he was just taking this opportunity to greet the leader of his family, but a good relationship between husband and wife was still enviable.
He sighed softly and suddenly heard the doctor ask, “How did you get hurt?”
Lin Chen was distracted and was just about to speak when the doctor poured hydrogen peroxide to wash his wound. This was probably the standard procedure for the hospital, but the disinfectant was so painful that he couldn’t even scream.
“Cut myself on porcelain pieces,” he reluctantly replied.
“Ah, it’s pretty bad,” the doctor said as she began to use a soft brush to clean up the debris that might still be stuck in his wound.
It still hurt. Compared to this doctor’s skills to Xing Conglian’s, Xing Conglian’s could be considered gentle.
Thinking of this, he subconsciously looked at the two scars on his arm. The knife wounds had healed, and new flesh had grown out. Some of the red scab hadn’t yet fallen off, and it was mixed with the white of his skin, looking a bit off putting.
Most likely, it was because he was looking at the knife wound on his arm that the doctor also looked over. The doctor then raised her voice as she asked, “What do you do?”
Lin Chen thought for a while and answered truthfully. “I do consulting work for the police.”
The doctor breathed a sigh of relief and said, “No wonder. I thought you looked too gentle, and this didn’t seem like it was due to a fight.” She paused, picked up the needle and thread with tweezers, and prepared to sew his wound. “Police work is very dangerous.”
Lin Chen nodded and said nothing more.
At this moment, there was a sudden noise outside the room. The door wasn’t closed, so the sound floated in from the corridor. A team of security guards were running through the halls, causing all the surrounding patients to stare.
Lin Chen frowned. At the same time, his phone suddenly rang.
The ominous premonition in his heart became stronger. The doctor was busy stitching up his wound, so he glanced at the other party and picked up the phone with his other hand.
Jiang Chao’s anxious voice came from the other end. “Consultant Lin, Consultant Lin!” There was an easily detectable tremor in his voice.
“I’m here. What’s wrong?”
“My wife is being held hostage with a knife on the fifth floor in the neurosurgery department. Can you be a negotiator?”
The clinic room was too quiet, so Jiang Chao’s words were easily heard by the doctor. “What… How could this happen?!” the doctor said anxiously.
“I’ll be there soon.” After Lin Chen finished speaking, he hung up the phone. “Cut the thread,” he said to the young doctor.
10,000 kilometers away in the Republic of Angodo, which was adjacent to the Dana Rainforest, Xing Conglian was looking at the Xazi Mountains to the southwest. Thick, dark clouds covered the mountain tops, and the entire Dana Valley seemed to be shrouded in a humid shadow of death.
Of course, the so-called shadow of death was just his inner thoughts. After all, since he was sitting in a small bar hundreds of kilometers outside the rainforest and witnessing mercenaries with live ammunition wandering around outside, it would bring him an inexplicable sense of displeasure. He had been away from such a life of gunfire and explosions for too long, and now he had just returned to his old job, so it was inevitable that he would need time to adapt.
The lights in the bar were dim. Unlike the luxurious bars in developed countries, Dana’s bars only needed to provide three things: alcohol, sex, and, of course, drugs. These three things were also the most common payment methods here, besides gold. Piles of beer were stacked behind the bar, and the wooden shelves were filled with spirits in simple packaging. A kerosene lamp was the only light source in this bar. The decorations in the bar were all ivory, and the precious ivory was crudely carved. Seeing the precious ivory being roughly carved and hung on the wall so casually, Xing Conglian only felt pain.
Across from him sat the owner of the bar named Garstini. Garstini meant python in Dana, which wasn’t a good word. Usually, bars were always equipped with beautiful and flirtatious proprietresses and tough thugs, but the rules in Dana were different. The owner of the bar was a mighty and majestic Gaomeng man with a shaved head and mustache, which didn’t match his body shape, while his bodyguard was a thin girl who wasn’t any taller than 1.6 meters. Xing Conglian’s gaze swept over the muscle lines of the female bodyguard as well as the guns fixed with black belts to her arms, waist, and thighs. It was clear that a woman who could survive in Dana must be extraordinary.
Behind him, Kang An put down his backpack, took out three gold bars from it carelessly, and patted them on the table.
Gold touched people’s hearts, and it didn’t need any verbal guidance. The bright color emitted by the gold alone made the idle mercenaries outside the window look over subconsciously. The soldiers showed a malicious, bloodthirsty gaze, but when they saw the Gaomeng man sitting across from them, they quickly narrowed their gaze, changed from a jackal to a wilting mole, and left bitterly.
The bar owner also retracted his gaze from out the window. The interesting actions of the mercenaries obviously satisfied his vanity. He glanced at the gold on the table again; his eyes revealing clear satisfaction, but he said, “Boss Xing, usually this amount is enough, but now, it’s not.”
Xing Conglian had fought many times with the most cunning people from the Gaomeng tribe in Dana for a long time, so he didn’t say a word but looked back at Kang An. In the short time he stood up, Mr. Kang had already stuffed the gold bars back into his backpack.
The next moment, the boss’ female bodyguard drew her gun and pointed the muzzle at Xing Conglian’s chest. Xing Conglian lowered his head slightly and glanced at the slender woman in front of him, avoided the muzzle indifferently, and continued to walk out.
“Stop!” he heard the female bodyguard shout in the Gaomeng language.
Before her voice fell, Kang An had already grabbed the bodyguard’s gun with lightning speed and pulled the trigger.
The bullet passed through the woman’s ear and shot out the window. The floor-to-ceiling window of the bar cracked in response, and the glass shattered. The bar owner hugged his head in despair, but his bare head was still pierced by some of the glass fragments.
Xing Conglian couldn’t help but glare at Kang An and scold, “Why are you so violent?”
“Boss, I… This is not… I… got angry when I saw her pointing the gun at you!” Mr. Kang shouted righteously.
Xing Conglian didn’t say anything else to Kang An. He pointed to the stool at the other table and motioned for Kang An to bring him another one.
He sat down opposite the bar owner again. Although the situation had reversed, the bald Gaomeng man still raised his head. “Boss Xing, I’m afraid it’s not good for you to be so violent at my place, right?”
“I can do as I want. There’s nothing wrong with it.” Xing Conglian glanced at the wound on the top of the other man’s head as he spoke casually.
“Even if you kill me, I can still guarantee that neither you nor your subordinates will be able to get out of this area safely.”
“I’m here to buy things, not kill people. Are you Gaomeng people so delusional?”
Hearing what he said, the owner seemed to have misunderstood. He slammed the table heavily and said arrogantly, “You don’t have the attitude of buying things. Double the price or there will be no discussion!”
Doing business in this kind of three-way zone was so troublesome.
Businessmen had no integrity, and they would never negotiate if they could grasp it clearly.
Xing Conglian leaned back in his chair and glanced at the young man who had been hiding in the corner.
Wang Chao swallowed and emerged from the shadows timidly. “Boss, can you not speak with such harsh words?”
Xing Conglian knocked on the armrest impatiently, causing Wang Chao to bow his head to the bar owner and look like a meat mountain. He spoke in fluent Gaomengnese. “Hello, Mr. Moda Nar. I am the chief secretary, attendant, and sidekick of Boss Xing. I’m ordered by my boss to inform you that your eldest son, who’s studying finance in Italy, and your younger son, who’s in his sophomore year of high school, are under our control. We know that you have lost your fertility due to an infectious disease, so the two of them are your only offspring. If my great boss and his two subordinates can’t reach your tribal settlement smoothly, you can say goodbye to your family.” As he said this, he took out his phone and brought up two candid photos. Two equally majestic and might Gaomeng teenagers appeared on the phone screen.
The face of the bar owner turned blue at a speed visible to the naked eye.
Xing Conglian let out a low cough. Wang Chao hurriedly put away his phone, bowed, and said, “I sincerely wish your family all the best.”
The laws of the jungle were as such. Unreasonable people could live longer than reasonable ones.
After Wang Chao retreated, the bar owner, who was the second son of a distant cousin of the leader of the Gaomeng tribe, quickly changed tune. His eyes were full of anger, but his mouth was as sweet as honey. “Handsome Boss Xing, the son of Qi Naer of the Gaomeng tribe, is willing to help.” While speaking, he clapped his hands and said to his bodyguard, “Kanachal, go get my most expensive wine. I want to have a drink with our most distinguished guest.”
The moment the bar owner bowed his head and softened his attitude, his bodyguard instantly turned into a tender little woman.
Hearing that she was going to get the wine, the woman with muscles as hard as iron gave him a meaningful look, then swayed her figure and walked towards the bar.
The owner of the bar spoke again. “Honorable Boss Xing, it’s not that I don’t want to lead the way for you, it’s just that today’s rainforest isn’t like yesterday’s. The god of the rainforest has sent down a punishment from heaven. Anyone who trespasses will not be spared.”
Hearing this, before Xing Conglian could speak, Wang Chao said “so stupid” behind him.
Fortunately, Wang Chao spoke Chinese. Otherwise, if the Gaomeng man heard this, they would most likely have another fight.
Xing Conglian narrowed his eyes slightly, leaned back in his chair, and asked, “Can you tell me specifically what this ‘divine punishment’ is?”
The bar owner trembled. He leaned over quietly and said gloomily, “It’s death.”
“There has to be a way to die or some form of death?”
“No one knows. No one knows… The world falls into madness, and dead bodies pile up like mountains. Ashes will be everywhere, and even the Xazi Mountains will turn snow-white.” The bar owner clutched his chest devoutly, closed his eyes, and recited, “This is a prophecy—a prophecy of the end of the rainforest.”
When the Gaomeng people talked about things like death, they revered it as mysterious and mystical. Xing Conglian curled his lips, but Kang An and Wang Chao were visibly nervous.
“Boss!” Kang An grabbed the shoulders of his shirt tightly.
Xing Conglian thought for a moment and frowned. “What does madness mean? Does it mean that many people in the forest have gone crazy and disappeared? And what does it mean that corpses are burned to ashes? Did the Gaomeng people give up on burial?”
The bar owner closed his eyes tightly and kept his mouth shut, refusing to say another word.
When Xing Conglian wanted to press the issue, a sweet female voice came from his side.
“Distinguished sir, your drink.”
The bodyguard put down the wine tray, and there were two glasses of pure black spirits in the goblet. Before he could react, the woman took one of the glasses and turned around to sit on his lap.
The other party hooked his neck, pressed on his shoulders with her plumb breasts, and gently rubbed her ass between his legs.
The owner of the bar laughed loudly. “Mr. Xing, my Kanachal rarely likes someone. You might as well stay a little longer. I’ll let her accompany you. I guarantee that her skills in bed are some of the best in Dana.”
Xing Conglian looked at the woman snuggled in his arms. He looked into her amber eyes and said lightly, “Get off.”
His words were straightforward. The woman in his arms leaned back, spilling half of the spirits in the goblet and splashing it on his snow-white shirt. Xing Conglian looked at the stain on his chest and said coldly, “Don’t make me say it again.”
The woman who had been softened into a puddle of spring water instantly turned back into a tough female bodyguard. She slammed the goblet down so hard that Xing Conglian suspected she would pull a gun from somewhere on her body and shoot him in the head.
But he didn’t care about it. He bypassed the spilled glass of wine, picked up the glass belonging to the bar owner, and took a big sip.
The strong wine was extremely spicy. Mixed with the long, wet breeze from the window, Xing Conglian let the wine pass through his mouth. Such a strong taste made him think of Lin Chen when he kissed him hard. He could clearly feel Lin Chen’s hot body under his shirt, as if it were about to burn.
He looked at the liquid in the cup as deep as night. The dark color was like Lin Chen’s beautiful eyes.
He suddenly wanted to recklessly take Lin Chen to his side, in spite of everything. He didn’t know how Lin Chen was doing; whether he would encounter new dangers in dealing with the follow-up issues, and he didn’t even know if that idiot Huang Ze would harass Lin Chen again while he was away. Simply put, the reason he wanted Lin Chen to be here was only because he needed him to, not because Lin Chen needed his protection or for some other reason. This kind of thing that was beyond his reach and seemed to be out of his control hadn’t happened to him for many years.
In the distance, sporadic crossfire sounded, and further away, was the sound of mortars.
Xing Conglian sighed. He certainly couldn’t bring Lin Chen.
In a field of glass ballast, amidst the sound of gunfire, he took another sip of wine. He subconsciously looked to the southwest, but his vision was obscured by the Xazi Mountains.
‘I hope you are well in my absence,’ he thought as he gently set down the goblet of pure black liquid.
While Xing Conglian was wishing him well, Lin Chen’s situation wasn’t good.
This wasn’t because he was forced to cut the suture short and rush up to the fifth floor after he just got stitches, nor was it because of the hostage situation he had to deal with that involved Jiang Chao’s wife, but because the hostage-taking situation itself was far worse than he imagined.
Although Vice Captain Jiang Chao was already as anxious as an ant on a hot pot, urging him to enter the neurosurgery doctor’s office to start the negotiations, Lin Chen stubbornly stood outside, listening in detail to the interns who had just escaped from the office.
There was no Xing Conglian and no Wang Chao, so he didn’t have the invisible wireless headset or surveillance that could be retrieved at any moment. He could only use the most primitive method of inquiry to get a better grasp of the situation.
In front of him, a male intern looked so nervous as if he was about to be overwhelmed.
“Let me sort out my thoughts. Just now, a man with a knife entered the office and just started slashing for no reason. Then he took a hostage at the entrance. Director Li took the initiative to replace herself with the other hostage. The other party followed her suggestion, so now the current hostage is Director Li, right?”
The intern covered his face in shame, and his eyes flushed. “I’m sorry. I’m useless… I… I’m not a man at all. I actually let Director Li take my place… my…”
Lin Chen patted the man on the back and said with relief, “It’s Director Li’s will as your teacher to replace you. We all hope to rescue her smoothly, but only if you can answer my question calmly. First, has the hostage-taker made any demands? What I mean is, has he made it clear what he wants?”
“He… He said someone put a bug in his head and asked us to dig that thing out!” the intern said seriously.
Lin Chen frowned slightly and asked, “So is the hostage-taker a patient you have treated before?”
Several interns looked at each other and couldn’t answer this question for a while.
“I don’t seem to have seen him.”
“Me neither, but I’ve only been here for half a year.”
“Where are the nurses?”
Lin Chen turned his head and asked.
The nurses who were huddled together also shook their heads one after another. “We haven’t seen him before. He’s not a patient in our department!”
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