Xia Lei was an extremely quick learner and new things became easier very quickly. He grasped the basics of the dance after one song and did not step on Shentu Tian-Yin’s feet again.
After the second song, Shentu Tian-Yin’s arm was still around Xia Lei. “You learn so fast. Let’s dance for one more song.”
Xia Lei couldn’t refuse. He smiled and said, “Okay, let’s dance one more song.”
At that moment, a group of police officers came charging into the hall and chaos erupted.
Leading them was Xu Lang.
“Wasn’t that guy put on suspension and being investigated?” said Xia Lei in surprise.
Shentu Tian-Yin frowned. “Don’t forget that his uncle is Director Xu Zheng-Yi. A suspension does not mean that he’s fired and he’d just resume his duties after a period of time. Your guess is pretty spot on - the Gu clan did make a police report. Looks like the Gu clan had something to do with how quickly Xu Lang is back on duty again too.”
“Has the money been taken away?”
“I put Ming-Mei in charge of that. There should be no problems,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Xia Lei relaxed and said with a smile, “Then let us continue dancing.”
“Nn.” Shentu Tian-Yin held Xia Lei tight around his waist and moved with him on the dance floor.
Just Xia Lei and Shentu Tian-Yin were left on the dance floor. One tall, handsome and dashing, the other pretty as a picture, young and beautiful. They were the envy of everyone watching.
“Get the musicians down!” Xu Lang strode towards the dancefloor.
The musicians stopped playing under order of the police but Shentu Tian-Yin and Xia Lei were unaffected. She looked at Xia Lei silently, holding his hand and pressing herself close to him, swaying along in a dance with him on the dance floor. There was just Xia Lei and herself left in the world in her eyes, and nothing else.
Xia Lei was not as engrossed as Shentu Tian-Yin but she did not want to stop, so he accompanied her. Besides, it felt nice to hold her around her waist and dance with her.
“Stop,” said Xu Lang with a dark face.
The ones who should stop did not stop and their onlookers watched the handsome and beautiful pair on the dancefloor, admiring their dance.
“I told you to stop!” Xu Lang shouted.
Shentu Tian-Yin stopped then. She stared coldly at Xu Lang. “What do you want?”
“Miss Shentu.” Xu Lang had to be polite in front of Shentu Tian-Yin. “It’s like this - we received a report that someone here is involved in gambling and the amount used in gambling is significant. We have come to investigate.”
“Who’s involved in gambling?” Shentu Tian-Yin scoffed. “Me? Inspector Xu, you should think before you speak.”
“It’s not you, of course, Miss Shentu. It’s him.” Xu Lang pointed at Xia Lei. “Xia Lei, you are under arrest. Hand over your winnings.”
Xia Lei smiled and said, “You’ve resumed your duties so quickly, Inspector Xu. Congratulations.”
“Don’t act like we’re on close terms!” Xu Lang said fiercely, “Where are the winnings?”
Xia Lei still behaved casually. “Inspector Xu, you have to catch the person in the act even if you want to make an arrest. The winnings have to be confiscated from the gambling table too. You’ve been a police officer for so long and you don’t know this? You’ve come personally to catch a gambler so I guess I shouldn’t let you come for nothing. How about I give you all the cash I have on me? You can take those as my winnings.” So saying, he actually did take out his wallet and removed the cash in it to hand it to Xu Lang with both hands.
“Impudence!” Xu Lang’s shame was so great he grew incensed and he swatted at the money in Xia Lei’s hands. The money fell to the floor.
Xia Lei shrugged and stepped back to Shentu Tian-Yin’s side.
Shentu Tian-Yin grew angry too. She pointed towards the exit and raised her voice, “Get out, Xu Lang!”
Xu Lang did not move. He spoke coldly, “Please calm down, Miss Shentu. I am just doing my job. I have a search warrant and I have the right to search this hotel.” He flashed the warrant in front of them, then waved his hand. “Search the area!”
The police officers Xu Lang brought started their search. Every room was opened and searched, and the card room which had been used for the earlier gamble was paid special attention. Two police officers brought a sniffer-dog in.
Xia Lei raised his eyebrows. He had not expected Xu Lang to bring a sniffer-dog. Specially-trained sniffer-dogs were particularly sensitive to the smell of currency. The money would have been found quickly if Fu Ming-Mei had not moved it away in time.
Xu Lang seemed to have sensed the change in Xia Lei’s expression and he sneered, “You can’t hide that much money, Xia Lei. Let me tell you - I sealed all road exits around this hotel before I came through the door. You have no chance of taking all that money away.”
Gu Ding-Shan and He Jia-Ying walked over, followed by the Gu siblings.
“I confess, Inspector Xu.” Gu Ding-Shan said with a smile, “There were indeed people gambling earlier and I was one of them. I lost 60 million Euros to Xia Lei.”
He Jia-Ying added, “I confess too. I lost 80 million Euros to Xia Lei.”
Xu Lang looked speculatively at Xia Lei. “There are witnesses. We’re just lacking the evidence now, but I believe we shall have that soon.”
Xia Lei remained silent.
Gu Ke-Wen spoke pointedly, “Some people think they can get rich overnight and win a billion out of thin air, but, oh dear, there wasn’t even enough time to spend a cent of it before it gets confiscated. Haha! Is this what they call tragedy in midst of happiness?”
“Don’t say things like that, Ke-Wen. Mr Xia will be displeased,” said Gu Ke-Wu.
“Okay, okay, I won’t say more. Big Brother, you’re too soft-hearted. You’re so kind.” Gu Ke-Wen looked at Shentu Tian-Yin as she spoke.
The Gu siblings were in sync - it disgusted Xia Lei.
Xu Lang spoke again, “Don’t waste our time, Xia Lei. Own up. Where have you hidden the money?”
“What money?” Xia Lei finally spoke.
“Illegal winnings!” Xu Lang wanted to dash forward to kick Xia Lei.
“It’s illegal because you said it’s illegal? Which eyes did you use to see me win a billion?” Xia Lei sneered, “I did play, and I did win but these two guys used hell currency to trick me. Fine. You want the money? I’ll give it all to you later. I’ll give you ten billion instead of one.”
“You…” Xu Lang was rooted to the spot in anger.
“Don’t get too arrogant, punk. What we lost were Euro bills. You handled them personally too when you received your winnings. What, you trying to play dumb now?” said He Jia-Ying.
“Sure, sure, whatever you say. I didn’t see any real money. I’ve been scammed,” said Xia Lei.
At that moment, Fu Ming-Mei walked over and went to Shentu Tian-Yin and said something in a low voice. Shentu Tian-Yin nodded and Fu Ming-Mei left.
Xia Lei looked at Shentu Tian-Yin and she gave him a smile. This faint smile assured Xia Lei.
“What did she say?” Xu Lang probed. His tone was not polite anymore.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s gaze swept indifferently past Xu Lang. “Who do you think you are? Do I have to answer when you ask questions?”
Did the queen of Vientaine Group need to be polite to a lowly police inspector? No!
A police officer suddenly ran over. “We found the money!”
“Hahaha!” Xu Lang laughed loudly.
The Gu clan and He Jia-Ying laughed too. They had the connections to get their money back once Xu Lang confiscated it, but Xia Lei’s money in Euros were forfeit. They were not going to be losers whether Xia Lei won or lost the bet!
“Where is it?” asked Xu Lang eagerly, “Take me there, quick!” He then pointed at Xia Lei. “You come with me too.”
Xia Lei looked fairly compliant. “Of course. Congratulations on solving the case, Inspector Xu.”
“Enough with your nonsense! Move it!” Xu Lang pushed Xia Lei.
Xia Lei did not resist. He followed Xu Lang and the police officer to a room next to the card room he had played in. He saw a huge pile of Euros as soon as he walked in, all arranged neatly.
The police officer holding a sniffer-dog on a leash had an odd expression on his face, however, and he stuttered as Xu Lang barged through the door, “Inspector Xu… This money…”
“What about this money?” Xu Lang had already walked to the pile of Euros. He picked up a bundle and thumbed through it.
The thumbing explained everything. Only the first two bills of the bundle were real - the rest was hell currency!
Gu Ding-Shan and He Jia-Ying’s faces turned green.
Xu Lang threw the bundle of hell currency at the officer who had reported to him, roaring, “Didn’t you say you found the money? What is this? Tell me!”
The police officer stammered nervously, “I, I ran to tell you f, first thing. I didn’t lo, look closely.”
“Idiot!” Xu Lang was about to pop a blood vessel.
It appeared that the two officers with the sniffer-dog had found the money in this room and one of them had rushed off to report it right away before even checking the money carefully. The remaining officer had discovered that the money was fake and Xu Lang had brought Xia Lei over to ‘admit his crime’ before the officer could think of what to do.
Xia Lei immediately pointed at He Jia-Ying and roared in anger, “You bastard! You’ve cheated me of 150 million! Give it back!”
“Rubbish! The money I gave you were all freshly-minted Euro bills!” said He Jia-Ying angrily.
Xia Lei shouted again, “Motherfucker, is this what you call minted Euro bills?”
“You, you…” He Jia-Ying did not know how to explain it.
Many people had seen Xia Lei enter the amount of 150 million yuan in He Jia-Ying’s accounts and he had used He Jia-Ying’s special bank to convert his money to Euros, this was true. Xia Lei was the only one who had exchanged currencies, and it was done very quickly too; the transaction had been completed in a few blinks. Who could say if He Jia-Ying had given him real or fake money in that situation?
He Jia-Ying and Gu Ding-Shan claimed that they had lost 60 million Euros and 80 million Euros but this was just them saying it. Xia Lei insisted that the money He Jia-Ying had changed for him was fake and that what he’d won was hell currency - what could Xu Lang confiscate and who could he arrest in this scenario?
The problem was the money. Everything would be solved if they found the money but it seemed as though the money had grown wings and flown away - even the sniffer-dog was unable to find it.
The money had indeed actually flown away. While Xu Lang was getting his team to come to the venue, Fu Ming-Mei had received Shentu Tian-Yin’s call and flown over via helicopter. The money had gone up and away. Fu Ming-Mei then gave one of her relatives a call and that relative happened to be in the funeral business, plus that said relative lived close by…
“Take him back for questioning!” Xu Lang suddenly issued an order after some silence.
Two police officers walked forward, prepared to do an arrest.
Shentu Tian-Yin suddenly blocked their way and stood in front of Xia Lei. She spoke angrily, “Don’t overstep your boundaries, Xu Lang! You have no reason or proof to arrest Xia Lei. If you do this, I guarantee that I will do whatever it takes to get you fired from your post!”
Xu Lang froze.
“Who are you trying to scare, Tian-Yin?” Gu Ding-Shan spoke up, “Xu Lang is a civil servant. What you’re doing is a mistake, and you can be put under suspicion of illegal activity.”
This was a hint to Xu Lang: You can do the arrest!
“Bring him back for questioning!” Xu Lang gave the order.
“Cease!” A woman’s voice suddenly rang out. “This person is for me to take.”
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