“Where are you?” It was Long Bing.
Xia Lei looked at the signs outside of his car window. “I’m near the Academy of Sciences. Yeah, on Pingan Street. There’s a Walmart beside me.”
“Wait for me, I’ll be there right away.” Long Bing ended the call abruptly.
Xia Lei continued to wait in the car, worried sick over Qing Caiyue and Zhu Xuanyue. The man felt the urge to call Qin Xiang but he ultimately decided against it. He had faith in Qin Xiang. If Qin Xiang had found anything new, he would surely contact Xia Lei right away. The lack of contact from the trusted employee was a good indication that there was no new discovery.
True to her words, Long Bing arrived at Xia Lei’s spot within a few minutes. The woman had taken less than ten minutes to get here.
She hastily parked her car by the shoulder of the road and immediately went over to the driver side of Xia Lei’s Chevrolet Suburban. “Move over, I’ll drive.”
Xia Lei hurriedly climbed over to the co-driver seat.
Long Bing entered the vehicle. Immediately, she started the engine and drove away.
“Were you nearby?” Xia Lei was confused. “What’s going on?”
Long Bing’s expression was stone cold. “Something weird happened at a gym. I received intel that a total of twenty-five people had died in the gym.”
Xia Lei gasped, “That’s insane. What happened?”
“I’m not sure. The preliminary suspicion was a terrorist attack. The attackers seem to have used some new form of nerve gas on the victims.”
“I’m not too sure about the overall situation, but this is the information I received.”
“Did Bureau 101 assigned you to investigate this alone?”
“Of course not, Liang Siyao and Tang Yuyan were assigned the case too.” Long Bing continued, “They’ve probably arrived at the scene, I've made a detour to come to get you.”
“What am I supposed to do?”
“Elder Shi had asked for your help on the investigation.” Long Bing spared Xia Lei a brief glance. “Tang Yuyan was supposed to get you but she wasn’t willing to do so.”
Xia Lei could only smile helplessly. After that whole ordeal, it was only natural for her to be enraged. How could one expect her to come to get him? Now that they were about to meet, Xia Lei was starting to feel his temples throbbing.
Long Bing switched the topic. “I was surprised that the authorities had matched you with Fan Fan. This is actually good. If you married Fan Fan, Tang Yuyan and Shentu Tianyin could quit their fight and your sister disciple could finally stop having false hope. You’ll be at ease soon.”
“What about you?” Xia Lei stared at her side profile. He wanted to know what was on her mind.
“Me?” Long Bing laughed. “Well, I’m genuinely happy for you to be able to marry someone like Fan Fan. I’m sure your future rivals and enemies would know their places before bringing you trouble in the near future. Thunder Horse Organization needed a powerful female co-owner and Fan Fan is the right person for the job. She could help you take care of those oddities and you could focus all your attention on your work.”
Xia Lei came closer to her ear to tell her what happened.
Long Bing was a little stunned to hear that. She replied, “If a woman is willing to go to such lengths for you, it means that she really wants to marry you. Be it fake or real, she probably doesn’t really care. The problem is that Tang Yuyan has quite the ego. With what happened earlier, she must be extremely humiliated and embarrassed. If you could, you should comfort her. She genuinely likes you, she must be very hurt.”
“Does she know how nice you are to her?”
“I’d appreciate it if she could stop picking a fight with me. She’s a spoiled rich daughter, it’s completely understandable to have such a temperament.”
“Did you know that… The secret task you received was actually…” Xia Lei hesitated. He inhaled deeply and continued, “Was actually aimed to remove you from Bureau 101 before she takes over Boss Shi’s position?”
The Chevrolet Suburban came to an abrupt stop by the road.
Long Bing’s grip around the steering wheel was insanely tight. She was silent but Xia Lei could read that she was furious and frustrated.
Xia Lei wanted to comfort her but he didn’t know what to say. Instead, he reached an arm over to place his hands over her fists on the steering wheel. No words were exchanged.
Beep… Beep… Beep…
The communicator rang.
The notification had Long Bing snapped back to reality. She inhaled and brought the device to her lips. “This is Long Bing, over.”
“This is Liang Siyao.” Liang Siyao's voice rang over the device. “Where are you both? What’s taking you so long?”
“We’re on our way, will be there soon.” Long Bing slammed the pedal hard, bringing the vehicle to an acceleration.
This was how Long Bing was. Nothing mattered more than her job and country. Not even her life.
Ten minutes later, the Chevrolet Suburban stopped before a gym. The streets that the facility was located on were already locked by the police. Despite putting up a barricade tape, it didn’t hinder curious passers-by to observe the scene. There was a large crowd around the area, eager to learn about the situation.
Long Bing led Xia Lei into the gym. Liang Siyao and Tang Yuyan were already waiting inside for long.
Tang Yuyan glared daggers at Xia Lei.
To which Xia Lei had to brace himself. He greeted, “Hello, Yuyan, Siyao.”
Liang Siyao flashed Xia Lei a smile.
Tang Yuyan continued to glare at him.
Xia Lei explained, “Yuyan, I really didn’t want this to happen but…”
“Are you sure about that?” Tang Yuyan’s eyes were moist. “You seem extremely happy about it! The authorities wanted to introduce Fan Fan to you. She’s pretty and has a higher position than I do. You must be happy that you found a much better wife, right?!”
Xia Lei didn’t wish to argue with Tang Yuyan. There was slight guilt in his heart but the man didn’t feel too strongly about the situation. Perhaps if he hadn’t found out that Shi Boren and her had plotted to remove Long Bing from Bureau 101, his regret would’ve been stronger.
“Come on, say something!” Tang Yuyan was furious.
Long Bing halted them. “That’s enough. This is not a time for arguments. If you wish to yell at each other, get out.”
Tang Yuyan glared at Xia Lei again but took the cue to stop the argument.
Coming to the front of the gym, Xia Lei could already see the heaps of bodies through the tightly shut glass windows. Some of the victims were slumped against the ground and some of them were still seated on the gym equipment. From what he could see, most of the victims were men while only two of them were women.
Liang Siyao explained, “This is a professional gym. All the victims here were training to join a body-building competition.
Xia Lei scanned around the facility. “There are no signs of struggle. Are you sure this is a terrorist attack? Also, what nerve gas did they use?”
Long Bing answered, “Bureau 101 has a team specially designed for pre-estimation and analysis of emergencies. A terrorist attack and nerve gases are just our hypotheses. Experts have already come to take air samples of the gym, I’m sure we’ll get the results soon.”
Tang Yuyan extended an arm in an attempt to open the main door.
Xia Lei grasped her arm. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“How are we supposed to investigate by just standing here?” Tang Yuyan shot him a dirty look. “I’m going in.”
“The lab results aren’t out yet. What if it’s really toxic nerve gases?! You’ll end up like them if you go in!” Xia Lei exclaimed.
“You’re worried about me? Well, guess what. I don’t need your concern!” Tang Yuyan roared at Xia Lei. “I’m better off dead!”
Xia Lei was troubled.
Liang Siyao sneaked a sly look to Long Bing with a faint smirk. However, Long Bing opted to ignore her.
At this moment, an expert approached them. “The analysis results for the air sample are out but…”
“What’s wrong?” Long Bing was anxious.
“The air inside is perfectly normal. There’s no trace of nerve gases at all,” answered the expert.
Upon hearing that, Xia Lei released his grip on Tang Yuyan. Since there wasn’t anything toxic in the air, there was no need for him to stop her anymore.
Long Bing pushed the glass doors away and entered the facility. Xia Lei followed suit.
Liang Siyao went past the entrance and turned around to face a blank-faced Tang Yuyan who was still rooted at her spot. “Are you not coming in?”
Tang Yuyan finally entered the gym.
It was true, the air in the gym was completely normal. Upon closer inspection, there really wasn’t any sign of struggle. All the victims didn’t seem in pain too, their expressions were peaceful. The overall situation made it seem as though their deaths were sudden and instant.
If it had only claimed one victim, it could still be considered a sudden emergency. However, with the number of victims dead, this whole incident felt eerie.
“No gunshots, no struggling and not a single trace of nerve gases.” Long Bing frowned. “How did they die?”
Liang Siyao shook her head. “I have no idea. I’ll have the Trace Experts enter the scene to look for clues.” She then picked up her communication device to call them over.
“Lei Zi, what do you think of the situation?” Long Bing asked Xia Lei.
Xia Lei answered, “I have no idea either. I’ll go take a careful look around the scene.” Following that, he approached the body.
The body was laid on a sit-up bench, still maintaining its posture.
Xia Lei carefully activated his X-ray vision and his Zoom-in vision. First, he scanned the body’s surroundings. Finding nothing, he then moved to stare at the body’s head. Sudden deaths were typically caused by two conditions, it was either a problem with their hearts or their brain.
The X-ray vision penetrated the body’s brain.
What Xia Lei saw had him tense up.
The brain had shrunken and left behind a large amount of space in his skull. The powerful organ was dehydrated and black!
This victim had died the same way as the expert team members!
Xia Lei then moved to another body to look into his brain. His observations were the same.
“Have you found anything?” Long Bing approached him.
Xia Lei was about to reveal his observations but was quick enough to stop himself. He shook his head. “No, I didn’t find anything useful.”
Once the body went through autopsy, Long Bing would surely find out the reasons for their deaths. It made no sense for regular people to find out what was going on within the bodies.
Soon, the Trace Experts from Bureau 101 entered the scene to extract samples.
Tang Yuyan came over to Xia Lei. “There’s nothing left for us to do now. Let’s go out, I need to talk to you.”
Before Xia Lei could agree, his phone rang.
“Give me a moment, let me answer this.” Xia Lei retrieved his phone. The caller displayed on-screen had him shocked.
Qing Caiyue was calling him.
“Hello? Where were you? Where are you now?” Xia Lei blurted out a string of questions as soon as he picked up the call.
“I’m at your place looking after that brat for you.” Qing Caiyue’s tone was begrudging. “You have no idea how naughty she was. She actually escaped home into the mountains. I even tore my skirt while trying to search for her…”
Xia Lei sighed in relief. He interrupted her ramble. “Alright, we’ll talk about this more when I’m back.”
“Wait, hear me out.”
“I found her wet all over, I think she’s down with a cold but she refuses to go to the hospital. I felt her forehead and it seemed like she’s developing a fever. I can’t handle her, please come back soon,” pleaded Qing Caiyue.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back fast.” Xia Lei ended the call.
Tang Yuyan’s glance was full of resentment. “What? Now you don’t even have time to talk to me?”
“That’s not it, there really is an emergency. I need to get back now. Tomorrow, we’ll talk.” Xia Lei said as he began to run.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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