Two Scar led us to a garage where Mr. Huang lay on top of a metal bed. Rushing over excitedly, Xiaotao shouted, "Dad!"
Mr. Huang awoke, slowly sat up, and smiled, "I knew you would find me!"
Perhaps due to his eventful night, Mr. Huang had fatigue engraved on his worn face. Sadness welled up inside of Xiaotao as she rubbed her red-rimmed eyes. "I couldn’t have located you this quickly if it weren’t for Song Yang."
Lips curled up in a grateful smile, Mr. Huang nodded and patted Xiaotao on the back. "Don't cry. I’m alright thanks to this young man."
"Him?" Xiaotao cast a look of doubt upon Two Scar.
From the moment Two Scar heard Xiaotao address Mr. Huang as her father, he was so frightened he was trembling.
"Dad, this guy robbed and threatened you,” Xiaotao pointed at Two Scar. “Would you like to file charges against him?"
Mr. Huang magnanimously spread his hands, "For us businessmen, any voluntary exchange isn’t considered a threat! Last night, that bottle of mineral water and bowl of hot rice were more important to me than my suit and watch."
He kindly looked at Two Scar and said, "Young man, you can keep the suit and watch. Thank you for your care. I think you’ve got a good head for business. Stop wasting your life here. Go to the city and try your luck! Perhaps you’ll pave a career for yourself."
Two Scar’s eyes were wide open in an expression of stunned surprise, perhaps touched by Mr. Huang’s kind words. Being a bottom-feeder used to crawling on his knees in a place like this, he had never received such affirmation or validation.
"Sir, I can't do that! That would be taking advantage of you. I promise to return your things!"
"No, keep them. I have more than I need!" Mr. Huang waved his hand.
Xiaotao threw me the key to the handcuffs so I could free Two Scar. "Get us a cab!" I ordered. Two Scar left the garage while Xiaotao helped her father up.
By the time we got to the side of the road, Two Scar managed to hail a cab. When father and daughter got into the car, Two Scar whispered to me, "Who is this old man? I could tell he was some big shot."
I smiled, "If you have time, turn to Nanjiang City’s financial channel. You’ll probably see his name there."
"So, he is a rich man! Can you introduce me?"
This young man was fortunate we didn’t arrest him, yet he seemed to be pushing his luck. Ignoring him, I was about to leave when he interjected, “There’s something else I haven’t told you. If you introduce me to him, I’ll tell you."
“Stop playing games,” I sneered. “What important information could you have to offer?"
"After I hid the old man last night, a bunch of people came looking for him and they looked like trouble," he said.
"What did those people look like?" I asked.
Two Scar zipped his lips, grinning slyly like a fox. As Xiaotao urged me to climb onboard, I waved my hand and said, "Wait, he might have some valuable information." Turning to Two Scar, I motioned, "Come back with us and I’ll recommend you to him."
"Back where? The police station? " He looked nervous.
"Don't you have the guts? We already said we won’t detain you. This is your chance to change your life!"
Teeth gritted in firm resolve, he entered the cab with us.
Xiaotao and I were curious about the events that transpired last night. However, in view of our current location, we waited till we reached the station where we could have more privacy. Two Scar went with an officer to the sketch artist while we headed to the conference room with Mr. Huang.
After drinking a mouthful of tea, Mr. Huang sighed, "I have been friends with Lao Mu for thirty years. Who would have thought that he’d drag me down with him in his immoral ways. Fortunately, I still have a conscience."
"Dad, tell us what happened," urged Xiaotao.
A few days ago, Mr. Mu mysteriously revealed to an interesting club outside the city to him. Under his friend’s persuasion, Mr. Huang decided to give it a go.
What’s the big deal? That’s what Mr. Huang thought. After all, he had seen almost everything throughout his life. Out of trust in his friend’s character, he believed it wouldn’t be anything too immoral.
Last night, Mr. Mu drove him out of the city. Along the way, he repeated how this club could make him realize the meaning of life once more and boasted of the new world that awaited him. Mr. Huang was confused by all this incomprehensible talk.
When they arrived at the chicken farm, there were dozens of luxury cars already parked here. Mr. Huang met a bunch of rich people he knew and several unfamiliar faces. They didn't sound like locals, probably visitors specifically for this club.
Like him, there were other people new to this club, also introduced by their friends. Everyone seemed excited and curious, looking forward to the surprise that awaited them, but these seasoned members of the club evaded the subject!
Some time later, several off-road vehicles came to pick them up. They were escorted by men in suits and handed black blindfolds upon entering the vehicle. These men insisted he wear the blindfold and hand over his cell phone for safekeeping. At first, Mr. Huang was livid. It wasn’t as if he was begging to go to this club. Since they didn't trust him, he would happily walk away.
However, these men refused to budge. With Mr. Mu’s desperate persuasion, he eventually gave in.
Yet he couldn’t help but worry if this involved something illegal. Hence, he endeavored to memorize the turns they took, hoping to gain a sense of direction. Unfortunately, he was soon confused by the many twists and turns they made.
About an hour or so later, they finally alighted and were taken into a building where their blindfolds were removed. The windows around were welded shut and the room was brightly lit. Men and women dressed formally carried glasses of champagne, like a scene from a private party.
"Lao Mu, all that trouble for a party?” scoffed Mr. Huang. “What a joke!"
Mr. Mu assured him the best had yet to come. After that, he sat through several spontaneous performances by the guests which weren’t arranged by the host. Mr. Huang noticed a curtain behind the stage where people snuck in and out. His friend immediately offered to broaden his horizons.
Thus, the two headed into a dark room with a huge glass column in the middle and lights underneath. In the glass column was a naked girl soaked in some sort of liquid. A bubble would appear from her nose from time to time, suggesting she would remain alive despite being submerged in liquid. The expression on her face indicated she was in a dreamlike trance.
The well-informed Mr. Huang knew of a liquid called carbon tetrafluoride, in which oxygen was highly soluble. It made breathing in liquid possible. In fact, the astronauts' gravity control cabin was filled with this liquid.
A bunch of people surrounded the glass column as if they were watching some rare fish.
“What the hell are they doing?” Mr. Huang shouted. “If you don't start talking, I’m leaving!"
Mr. Mu calmed him down, vowing to wow him when the "main course" was served later.
They returned to the hall and drank some wine. A while later, the host finally showed up. After a short, profound speech, he announced the official start of the dinner.
Everyone took their seats excitedly, eagerly watching as the waiters served plate after plate.
The guests had different entrees–Mr. Mu received a piece of marbled meat, a red, blood curd-like chunk, and some fried ribs.
Meanwhile, Mr. Huang was served a plate of charred meat, covered in sauce. Mr. Mu explained that each guest received different service according to their membership grade. Since it was his first time here, he would only be given a taste.
Despite his insistence on avoiding the meat, Mr. Mu tried to convince Mr. Huang to take a bite. Right then, Mr. Huang noticed the woman sitting next to him digging her fork into an eyeball, savoring it with a look of intoxication...Previous Chapter Next Chapter