Life is but a dream.
This was not an actor’s line, but a principle.
Over thirty years ago, when Gu Ding-Shan was still a thug, he grabbed the opportunity when it came during China’s reformation and opening up to climb up. He eventually established North Group, a business empire of his own. Unlike the Shentu clan, his clan was one with a dark history, and each step he’d taken on his path to success was one soaked in blood and sin. Standing now in an office larger than a basketball court, holding a crystal wineglass of Lafite red wine - was this feeling now not a dream?
But it was time to awaken from this dream.
“Director Gu, here is today’s paper.” A beautiful young secretary walked into the office. She carried a thick stack of newspapers in her hands and the top one was the National Daily.
“Place it there,” said Gu Ding-Shan disinterestedly.
“Director Gu, it is not good to drink in the morning,” chided the female secretary.
Gu Ding-Shan gave a short laugh. “All right. You can go now.”
The female secretary did not leave. She hesitated, then said, “Director Gu, today’s paper…”
Gu Ding-Shan wrinkled his brows. “What’s about today’s paper?”
“Director Gu, it’s best if you see it yourself,” said the secretary.
Gu Ding-Shan walked to his desk and reached to pick up the National Daily. The headlines across the front page was of him using ten million to buy a state-owned mine worth billions. This transaction also involved disputes over the displacement of local communities which claimed that he had not given appropriate compensation and that he had sent people to oppress the dissatisfied villages with violence. One of the leading protesting villagers had also been stabbed and sustained injuries so serious he died from them…
“Fuck! Who is this Huo Ying who wrote this?” Gu Ding-Shan smashed the crystal wineglass to the floor. “Doesn’t he know who I am? Or is he tired of living?” he stormed.
The secretary shuddered; she didn’t dare speak.
Gu Ding-Shan’s gaze went to another newspaper, a copy of the Financial Daily. This newspaper’s headlines were about Gu Ding-Shan too. He was suspected of being involved in the manipulation of stocks worth a total of three billion yuan…
The next few newspapers were the same. Every one of their front-page headlines were about exposing Gu Ding-Shan and North Group’s violation of laws.
“What is this?” Gu Ding-Shan was going mad. “What is this!”
The secretary didn’t dare look at Gu Ding-Shan. She was scared every time Gu Ding-Shan got mad.
Gu Ding-Shan swept all the newspapers to the floor. He sneered, “These guys must’ve taken that punk’s money, huh? Xia Lei, Xia Lei… You’re too naive, you little fucker. You think you can overturn everything that I’ve built by spending some money and getting some articles written about me in newspapers? Dream on, you little shit!”
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
The phone on the desk rang all of a sudden.
Gu Ding-Shan snatched up the phone and roared, “Who is it? Say your crap!”
A male voice came from the speaker, “It’s me, Old Gu.”
Gu Ding-Shan paused, then said, “Old Qiu, I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was you. I was frustrated by something earlier.”
“I know. I understand, it’s fine. I called to tell you that everything’s been overturned. The people there have got your son. You have to hurry up and hide somewhere.”
Gu Ding-Shan was shaken and he face drained of blood; he was as white as a sheet.
“Sorry, there’s no way for me to help you this time. Your mistake was in sending that killer to assassinate Xia Lei. He’s now acting as witness for them.”
“Impossible! Danny won’t betray me!” said Gu Ding-Shan in agitation, “Old Qiu, you have to help me. We’re in the same boat! Don’t forget how much money you’ve taken from me!”
“Huh!” A scoffing sound came from the speaker, “Gu Ding-Shan, are you threatening me?”
“I…” Gu Ding-Shan wanted to say ‘yes’ but he lacked the courage to let it past his lips. He knew the other person’s identity and his methods.
“Gu Ding-Shan, I wouldn’t have called you to let you know that you should flee if I weren’t willing to help you. You’re a smart man. You’ll still be wealthy if you go overseas right now. If you can’t bear the leave the domestic riches you have now, you may lose your life!” The person’s tone was severe and it was difficult to oppose it.
“But Ke-Wu is still in their hands. What will happen to him if I leave?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of him. He’ll have two or three years at most. You’re the legal representative of North Group so he won’t need to take responsibility for things you did.”
“Okay, I’ll leave right away.” Gu Ding-Shan made his decision.
“Remember, don’t tell anyone your itinerary. I’ll arrange for someone to pick you up.”
“Yes. I’ll ready myself.” Gu Ding-Shan hung up.
The secretary spoke tentatively, “Are you going out, Director Gu? I’ll call for the car.”
“No need. Call the Chief Financial Officer here immediately,” said Gu Ding-Shan.
“Yes, right away.” The secretary turned and left Gu Ding-Shan’s office.
Gu Ding-Shan’s body grew weak after the secretary’s departure and he sat himself heavily on the sofa. He had built North Group up himself and was known in Asia. He had also washed his businesses and identity clean and entered the political circles in hopes of pushing himself to a higher level… but the empire he’d painstakingly built up, bit by bit, had collapsed this morning. A high and mighty figure like himself was actually now reduced to having to go on the run!
This was all like a dream; it was not real at all.
“Xia Lei!” Gu Ding-Shan suddenly roared in anger. His hate had hit maximum.
Meanwhile, in Bailu Town.
Annina walked out of the inn with Sang Qing-Xin and Sang Yue-Yue.
It was Long Bing’s first time seeing Sang Qing-Xin and Sang Yue-Yue but she knew that these were the people she was looking for and the people who would make Danny cooperate. Her gaze then went to Annina and her brows wrinkled. “Why are her jeans like that?”
A blonde beauty in mens’ jeans too small for her - her buttocks were deformed by the material of the jeans. This looked very odd indeed.
Xia Lei said a little shamefacedly, “We were in a rush when escaping. She didn’t have time to take her clothes.”
“You two sure know how to play, huh,” said Long Bing disinterestedly. “But it’s all just playing around. You and her won’t come to anything.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Sang Qing-Xin walked quickly over with Sang Yue-Yue in her arms. “When can I see my husband, Mr Xia?”
“Soon. This is Miss Long. She will be arranging everything,” said Xia Lei.
“Get in the car. I’ll take you to see your husband,” said Long Bing.
A few minutes later, the two Buick vans arrived at the town’s police station. Long Bing did not ask Sang Qing-Xin or Sang Yue-Yue to get out of the car; she brought Xia Lei into the police station.
The two policemen, one old and one young, greeted Long Bing and Xia Lei in front of the police office building. Xia Lei smiled in response. Other than the two police officers, several black-suited agents were standing in the lobby too and it was plain to see that Long Bing and her men had split to complete different tasks. She had brought some men over to help him and the other group had brought Danny here.
It was appropriate for Sang Qing-Xin and Danny to meet here because Sang Qing-Xin trusted the police.
“Does Danny know he’s going to meet Sang Qing-Xin?” Xia Lei asked as they walked to an interrogation room.
Long Bing nodded. “I mentioned it to him on our way here but he didn’t believe me.”
“He’s sly and doubtful too. He probably thinks we’re bluffing in this situation. But Sang Qing-Xin and Sang Yue-Yue are here, so it won’t be difficult to gain his trust,” said Xia Lei.
“I’m still a little worried though. If we cannot convince him to be our witness, then we’ll be able to make Gu Ding-Shan bleed this time but he won’t die,” said Long Bing.
“Let me. I’ll persuade him,” said Xia Lei.
Long Bing pushed open the door of the interrogation room.
There was a mobile gurney in the interrogation room and Danny lay quietly on it. He watched expressionlessly as Xia Lei and Long Bing walked in. However, he was just faking calm - his eyes were full of anxiety and worry. He knew who he was going to meet and he could not maintain his calm.
“We meet again, Danny,” said Xia Lei with a smile.
“Okay, I know you hate me. I don’t mind. I’m still willing to help you,” said Xia Lei.
“Stop with the act. It disgusts me. Say whatever crap you came to say,” said Danny coldly.
“Sang Qing-Xin and Sang Yue-Yue are outside. I can let you all have a family reunion any time,” said Xia Lei.
Danny’s lips moved but no words came out.
“You can pretend that you’re not tempted. I don’t care. I’ll just say it straight, okay? Good thing I went early last night or they would have fallen into Gu Ke-Wu’s hands. Gu Ke-Wu brought dozens of men to chase after us the whole night and we finally got free of them this morning. I guess you know what will happen to them if mother and daughter ends up in Gu Ding-Shan’s hands, eh?” said Xia Lei.
“He will take care of them,” said Danny.
Xia Lei snorted. “With dozens of men carrying guns? Was it to protect them? You’ve been with Gu Ding-Shan for twenty years. You should know his character, right?”
Danny closed his mouth again.
Danny still appeared undaunted even when so much had been said and Xia Lei’s temper flared. “Tell me - what will make you be our witness?”
“Convey a message to them for me - I’ve let them down,” said Danny. “And don’t talk about me being your witness again. It won’t happen.”
“You…” Xia Lei was rooted to the spot in anger. He wanted to give Danny a slap for letting down a woman as honest and as kind as Sang Qing-Xin.
Long Bing, who had been silent all the while, spoke up. “Danny, I arrested Gu Ke-Wu earlier.”
Danny paused and his eyes flickered.
“He’s not much use if you’re not going to be witness,” said Long Bing tonelessly, “Sure you’re not going to cooperate? If you’re not, then I’ll release Gu Ke-Wu and his underlings. Of course, I guess you won’t want to see your wife and child either. I’ll release them with Gu Ke-Wu.”
Danny’s mouth opened, but he closed it again slowly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter