Three days later, Chen Shi was eating wontons in a dirty and messy restaurant near the bus station. The chair next to him made squeaking sounds. Two people wearing masks and sunglasses were sitting in front of him when he looked up.
"Want a bowl?" Chen Shi asked.
"No." The voice of Lin Dongxue was heard under the mask. She deliberately dressed like a man today, wrapped in a thick down jacket. Her originally beautiful figure became bloated. "Ready?"
"Everything is ready. Actually, you don't have to come and see me off. It's not an undercover task of 'three years and three years again.' I will be back in two days."
"Hey!" Hearing the word "undercover", Lin Dongxue looked around nervously. "Don't talk about that."
The other person was Peng Sijue. He pushed a needle over and said, "This is a perspiration inducer. If another person forces you to take drugs, immediately inject this in your body and then drink plenty of water."
Chen Shi pushed it back. "Except for myself, I shouldn’t take anything else with me or it’ll be suspicious."
"Well, remember to drink plenty of water, urinate a lot, and whether you are addicted or not, go to the drug rehabilitation center immediately after you return."
"Rest assured. I have my own countermeasures."
"Is the phone ready?"
"Ready. I have the new sim card and I’ve remembered your numbers... Old Peng, you’re nagging quite a bit today."
"Get back early and be careful!"
Chen Shi nodded and turned to Lin Dongxue. "What about the little brat?"
"She doesn’t sleep in even on the weekends. She wakes up early in the morning to read. She’s so easy to take care of.”
"Don't always indulge her to learn. Try to urge her to play more and watch more TV. You have to tell her that the second grade is not important. She can just study at the second half of her third year. She’s so smart and serious that she’ll be isolated by her classmates.”
"I know!" Lin Dongxue wanted to laugh.
Peng Sijue was ignorant of the situation and only sighed. "Is this the new educational method nowadays?”
"No, this child is a special case... Time’s ticking, I should go."
"Take care!" Lin Dongxue and Peng Sijue said in unison.
Leaving the breakfast shop, Chen Shi crossed the road to a building materials market. This was the only reliable information that Xu Xiaodong had found in his short time as an undercover officer. Every weekend, there would be some people who needed money urgently waiting here. The insurance fraud gang would come and their secret code was "Friend, do you want to buy insurance?"
Because it was near the bus station, this was the place that lacked public security the most in the whole of Long’An City. On the road, Chen Shi saw several sneaky young people, one of whom had been staring at a woman with a bag for a while.
Although he knew that it was not appropriate to fight for justice at the present, Chen Shi couldn’t suppress his heart of justice. He walked past the woman and remarked, “Hey beautiful, nice handbag!”
The woman looked at him with vigilant eyes. Chen Shi whispered, "There are thieves behind you eyeing it up. Don't put the bag behind you." Then, he walked off.
In the corner of the building materials market, a large number of migrant workers were squatting down holding job-seeking cards. When people passed by, they would raise them up. Chen Shi whispered to one, "Friend, do you want to buy insurance?"
"Of course not. I don't even have money to eat breakfast. What insurance?"
Chen Shi asked another one, "Friend, do you want to buy insurance?"
"What insurance? Insurance companies don't sell policies to me. They say that I am in a high-risk job. Hey, the people in this city are really treacherous!"
When he asked the sixth time, the man widened his eyes. "Are you sent by Brother Yang?" Then, a bunch of people sitting behind him came over and started talking over each other. "Big brother, my family is waiting on the money.", "Choose me! Choose me! I can't even pay the interest to my loan-seekers and the debtor blocks the door every day.", "My daughter has been ill for a few years. I need the money for her surgery. Please!"
Chen Shi did not expect to have so many "competitors" and smiled distressed. "I also want to buy insurance, which allowed me to find this group."
"Tch!" Everyone dispersed.
Chen Shi was sitting in the middle of this group of people. A pack of cigarettes on his body was quickly finished. He learned that these people had no education and listened to relatives and friends from the countryside saying that they could sell their eyes or hands for hundreds or thousands. This meant they could get more than if they sold their kidneys. That’s why they came to this city to wait for the group of people.
When it comes to the prospect of getting money, everyone’s face was full of joy talking about it. It was as if they didn’t realize that the money was exchanged for their eyes or hands.
One fellow said, "There was an individual in our village that hurt his hand when he was using a chainsaw to cut a tree down and the handle broke. He wasn’t compensated for it at all. If we’re going to work and get hurt anyway, it’s better to sell my hand and enjoy my money’s worth!”
Chen Shi said, "That is a lifetime disability."
"I have a wife and children. One less hand isn’t much.”
"You know they’re going to take at least half of the pay-out from you, right?”
"Those people are at risk too. They have to earn some money too. If we don't count on them and cut our hands off ourselves, we won’t get any money." The mentality of these fellows was really amazing. He asked Chen Shi, "Young man, you are a young city man. Why are you coming to sell a body part when you’re so young?"
Chen Shi smiled. "I owe a large gambling debt and there is no place for me to turn to anymore."
"That’s why sex, gambling and drugs are things you absolutely can’t touch.” For the next half hour, Chen Shi patiently listened to the people talking about the dangers of gambling.
A pick-up truck drove up and the crowd straightened their necks in anticipation. There were two people who jumped out of the truck. One of them was very thin wearing a leather jacket with a pale face as if he was sick. The other was a strong, bulky man wearing a big gold chain around his neck. The two figures were a stark contrast when placed next to one another.
The thin man asked, "Friend, do you want to buy insurance?"
Just like a chemical reaction, the crowd immediately rushed over."Big brother, my family is anxious for the money!", "Choose me! Choose me! My loan sharks are at my door every day and I can’t even pay the interest off!”, "My daughter has been ill for a few years. I need the money for her operation!"
According to Xu Xiaodong, they only took ten people at a time every week.
The thin man pointed at a few. "You!", "You!", "You!"
The selected people were extremely happy as if they’d won a scholarship. They jumped onto the back of the truck. Seeing that the quota was about to be met, Chen Shi pushed through the crowd. He went up to the thin man and whispered, “I am strong and healthy. My body and legs are in good shape. I can buy a few insurance policies without a problem.”
The thin man’s eyes sparkled and patted his shoulder. “Get in the car!”
On the way back, everyone sat in the cold wind and happily predicted how to spend their money after getting it. Chen Shi wore a smile on his face but his heart was sour.
They were taken to the suburbs. In a field with no buildings around, another van was waiting for them. The thin man stopped the car and said to them, "Our location must be kept secret so excuse this treatment.”
Then, a person jumped down from the van with black bags in his hands. He put the bags over everyone’s heads, tightened the bags and pushed them into the car.
Every turn of the van, Chen Shi silently remembered it. He replaced the directions with numbers, making it easy to remember. Listening to the sounds from the outside, the van seemed to be driving back to the city. It was to make people think that it was situated in the suburbs when it was in fact in the city.
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