"How many proprietors does that board game bar have?" Chen Shi had found the building’s landlord after making several inquiries, and asked him.
"I remember that there is just one person. He’s a young guy who just graduated from university. Running a board game bar doesn't require much manpower. When customers come, they can play by themselves." The landlord replied.
"Do you have a picture of him?"
"Haha, why would I store a picture of a man in my phone... Oh, yes, I have his WeChat."
The landlord opened WeChat and showed Chen Shi the photo of the bar owner. Chen Shi nodded and said, "Can you try contacting him?"
The landlord called, then shrugged and said, "His phone has been turned off."
Chen Shi was silent for a moment, then continued to ask, "There is another question. Are there any other exits besides the front door?"
"Uh, there are no more exits."
After the landlord left, Chen Shi said, "The operator is about the same age as Little Four, and his build is about the same. I’m guessing he’s also being held hostage right now."
"Why would he kidnap an irrelevant person?" Lin Dongxue suddenly realized. "Is this the plan to cross the sea by a trick that you mentioned?"
"For example, starting a fire. When we rush in, there will be six corpses inside. Since we don’t have Little Four’s DNA data, we’re likely to believe that Little Four has been burned to death inside as well, while the real Little Four has escaped by other means."
Chen Shi observed the building again. An office building was opposite, while the other side was a parking lot and a road. The front door and windows of the board game bar were all closed. The police couldn’t observe the situation inside at all, let alone snipe at him. It was simply the best possible terrain for hostage-taking.
"That's not necessarily true. Even if we see six corpses, we will think that the owner was inside." Lin Dongxue objected.
"In that case, there are seven corpses. I'm pretty sure he hasn’t given up on himself, but is actively trying to survive." Chen Shi said, "Just in case, call a fire truck to stand by nearby!"
As night fell, the fire truck and the people from the branch office arrived. Lin Qiupu informed Lin Dongxue of the situation and also applied for a small SWAT team to be dispatched.
The expert negotiator from the SWAT team negotiated with Little Four through the door and asked for the hostage-taker’s request. However, Little Four behaved very negatively and kept trying to get rid of the expert negotiator. He said, "I want to talk to Officer Lin."
So Lin Dongxue went to the door and said, "Little Four, I'm here."
"I feel more at ease when I hear your voice." Little Four smiled from behind the door. "Officer Lin, I have a question for you. Do you have any particularly important people in your life? People that are so important that you can't bear to lose them."
Lin Dongxue didn't want to answer, but in order to stall for time, she still said, "Yes."
"Then you should be able to understand my feelings. My elder sister was used as a worthless trophy for showing off. My heart felt as though it had been crushed. These people must pay for her death with their lives."
"I understand your feelings, but I don’t agree with your approach. You only see their hateful sides, but you forgot that they also have families and bear social responsibilities. Their deaths will only bring more pain and hatred. Killing people won’t solve any problems at all."
"Haha, do you think people will change? Be honest."
"I think so too. Even if these scumbags go through this ordeal, they won’t turn over a new leaf. I don't know how many women will cry because of them again. Won’t killing them be saving more people?"
"You don't need to persuade me. Have you thought about where you will go after you die?" Lin Dongxue remembered that Guo Yang had religious beliefs. Perhaps she could utilize this point.
"I’ll go to hell, hahaha."
"The more people you kill, the farther away from your sister you will be in hell, and you may never see each other again."
Little Four was silent for a moment before saying, "I have a request."
"Today is my sister's birthday. I want to see twenty-three volleys of fireworks launched from this window."
"What happens after we meet your request?"
"I can release a few people."
"I will negotiate for this, but I hope you can fulfil your promise."
"You have my word."
Lin Dongxue went down and talked to the police about the matter. In terms of cost, it was nothing, but the SWAT team didn’t really agree. "We should not encourage the arrogance of criminals. When the fireworks are launched, city residents will ask why they were launched. If it’s known that the police had launched them in order to reach a compromise with criminals, wouldn't it discredit the police?"
"Captain X, you have too many concerns. Even if one hundred fireworks are exchanged for one life, it will be worthwhile. The most important thing is that he will open the door so that we can observe the situation inside and discuss countermeasures." This was the expert negotiator’s opinion.
In the end, everyone reached an agreement and went to discuss it with a nearby hotel building. At around 8:00PM, the fireworks gradually rose into the heavens, and bloomed brilliantly in the night sky. Many pedestrians stopped and looked up.
Little Four sat on the windowsill holding a knife. Tears slowly fell down his face and were illuminated by the fireworks. He got up and told himself that it was time to make a move.
The twenty-three fireworks hadn't finished launching, when someone suddenly screamed, "There's a fire!"
Everyone looked up and saw thick smoke billowing from the windows of the board game bar. Seeing this, the SWAT team immediately put on gas masks and rushed up. They forced the lock open, and rushed in.
Through the thick smoke, they could only see a few tied-up men on the floor with blood gurgling out from their necks. The SWAT team was shocked and hurriedly grabbed their walkie-talkies to call for reinforcements.
At this time, Chen Shi was standing downstairs, observing the floor without blinking. The fire made the other residents run outside, crowding all the balconies and corridors. He suddenly noticed a person wearing a red vest with his head lowered walking out of the crowd.
He’s coming! He was startled and grabbed the policeman next to him. "The suspect is escaping! Come with me quickly."
The policeman was on the phone and didn't hear Chen Shi's voice at all. He was taken aback and continued to say to the phone, "Send as many ambulances as you can, please hurry!"
The surroundings had fallen into chaos dealing with the sudden fire, and Chen Shi could only chase after Little Four by himself.
The man came down the stairs and looked at Chen Shi. Although he had come out of the fire, there were no ashes on his face at all. Chen Shi found that his clothes were dripping water. That man was Little Four!
Little Four was alert and ran away while Chen Shi tried his best to catch up.
The two ran into an alley. Little Four suddenly turned around and swung his arm. Chen Shi stepped back instinctively, and a cold blade’s edge swept dangerously past his neck, making the ends of his hairs stand up.
"Haha!" Little Four shifted the knife from his right hand into his left. "Mr. Chen, you really are smarter than the police."
"You’re clever enough to escape from under the nose of the police!" Chen Shi clenched his fists and assumed a fighting stance.
"You’re just a consultant. Why are you so trying so hard? Did the police buy you insurance?"
"Stop spouting nonsense!"
Chen Shi threw a punch, Little Four evaded it and thrust the knife insidiously from below. Chen Shi kept his eyes on the knife, and he immediately slapped his hand down. He pressed down Little Four's wrist, and head-butted Little Four’s face.
Little Four staggered from the blow, blood from his nose filling his mouth. The pain enraged him and he said, "I'm going to ruin you! As long as you dare to grab your phone, I will cut your throat immediately."
Chen Shi put his hand into his pocket. Little Four really rushed forward, but what Chen Shi took out was not a phone, but a handful of white powder, which he threw into Little Four’s face.
He was instantly blinded, and then he was kicked hard in the abdomen, sending him flying.
Chen Shi ran over quickly and kicked the knife out of his hand. He turned him around, held his hands behind his back and shouted, "You’re under arrest!"
"Fuck!" Little Four cursed. This guy is too despicable.Previous Chapter Next Chapter