When Xia Lei received Long Bing’s call to get to Bureau 101, he hadn’t expected the visitors to be Yu Shanhe and Ling Han.
Their meeting room had its walls and seats were wrapped in a layer of soft foam plastic. Those were measures to prevent any suicidal attempts and self-harm. If Yu Shanhe and Ling Han were about to meet Xia Lei in such a room, it wasn’t difficult to guess what the topic of their discussion was going to be.
Yu Shanhe sat leisurely on a couch as he read a set of newspapers. Ling Han, on the other hand, stood behind the older man. It was as if Ling Han was Yu Shanhe’s servant. There was still some air of command on Yu Shanhe but Ling Han seemed like an entirely different person. There wasn’t a single hint of his prior sharpness and confidence.
When Shi Boren led Xia Lei into the room, the two immediately looked over. They stared at Xia Lei intently, gazes channelling their resentment.
Xia Lei flashed them a smile. “Hello, Officer Yu. Hello, Brother Ling. Have you been well?”
They both remained silent.
This meeting was arranged by Bureau 101. There was no way the two would want to meet Xia Lei by their own will. Xia Lei’s friendly greeting was especially painful for both Yu Shanhe and Ling Han.
Just short of a month ago, Yu Shanhe and Ling Han were at the top of the food chain. Regular civilians wouldn’t have gotten the chance to get to their level even with generations of effort. Back then, they were glorious and influential. Now, they were criminals. The only thing that they had left waiting for them was their punishment from the law.
Life is full of surprises. It was bound to be filled with ups and downs. They had it their way long enough and now the privilege they enjoyed was robbed away.
The room atmosphere turned awkward and silent in a split second.
Shi Boren chided, “Old Yu, put down the newspaper. Xia Lei is a busy man, let’s not waste his time. The purpose of this meeting is to understand the situation better. I understand that everyone present here is reluctant to be in the same room but let’s try to get this over with fast.”
In the past, Shi Boren would need to refer to him as Officer Yu. Now, even he had switched to calling him Old Yu.
Yu Shanhe folded the newspapers away. Nonchalantly, he spoke, “What is there left to talk about? Why are we dwelling on the same topic? Just go sue me already if you have evidence.”
Shi Boren scowled.
Ling Han looked like he had something to say but decided against it.
Xia Lei inched slower to whisper into Shi Boren’s ear. “When did you arrest them? Where were they arrested?”
Shi Boren reciprocated the action. He whispered, “We got them at a small mountain village at the borders of Heilongjiang and Russia last night. They both were planning to escape to Russia. If they had run off to some European countries or America, I’m sure trying to get them back would be much more of a hassle.”
Would Yu Shanhe and Ling Han be so clueless?
Obviously not. Only Xia Lei knew the reason behind their plans. It was an instruction Zhu Xuanyue had hypnotized them into executing. If Bureau 101 hadn’t gotten to them, the duo would’ve probably made it to Moscow. There was no way Xia Lei was going to tell Shi Boren that though.
“I see,” answered Xia Lei. He observed Yu Shanhe and Ling Han carefully. He pondered, “They both look rather normal. It seems like Zhu Xuanyue’s control had completely worn off by now. Did they return to normal because Zhu Xuanyue is now in America? Or is there a time limit for her hypnosis?”
He began to ponder the possibilities of her powers again.
“What the hell are you two whispering about?” Yu Shanhe stood up. “I’m an honest man, I have literally nothing to fear about your accusations. I’m going to make this clear. This whole thing is not over yet. If you fail to produce any evidence, I’ll make sure you suffer.”
Shi Boren sighed audibly. “Old Yu, I wouldn’t have invited you over if I had no evidence. I’m sure that you’re clear about what you’ve done over the years. There’s no need to beat around the bush. Let’s just settle things to make it easier for everyone involved, okay?”
“Well, show me the evidence you’re talking about,” urged Yu Shanhe.
“You’ll find out soon,” replied Shi Boren.
“Hmph!” Yu Shanhe scoffed. “If you can’t show me anything, what is the point of me talking to you?”
Shi Boren immediately frowned.
“And you.” Yu Shanhe turned to point at Xia Lei. “Get out. I don’t want to see your face!”
“Fine, I’ll excuse myself. I’ll have Long Bing handle you.” Shi Boren turned around and left. However, he hadn’t motioned for Xia Lei to come along.
Xia Lei came to realize why Shi Boren needed him here.
Anyone who interrogates a wild beast like Yu Shanhe would be faced with immense stress and even unknown risks. Shi Boren was about to retire, hence the older man wasn’t willing to shoulder the danger. If he was the one who ratted out everyone else associated with Yu Shanhe’s deeds, what would those people do to him?
Shi Boren didn’t want that and he wasn’t willing to have his successor, Tang Yuyan, be exposed to such risk. Therefore, everything fell onto Long Bing’s plate.
Realizing that, Xia Lei’s heart was filled with sadness and rage. Despite that, he was aware of the nature of workplace politics. He knew of Long Bing’s predicament but there was nothing he could help with.
“I and Zhu Xuanyue had helped her get this far on the essentially impossible task. But am I really doing her a favour? The more merit she is awarded, the more threatened Tang Yuyan’s position would be. They have a pretty stable relationship but anymore input from my end is just going to strain it. Plus, what would Yu Shanhe’s associates do to her?” The list of increasing worries bothered Xia Lei.
Before Long Bing had arrived, Yu Shanhe broke the silence. “Xia Lei, I’m sure you’re overjoyed now.”
Xia Lei kept his composure and uttered, “Thunder Horse Organization’s tank is close to completion. Progress on AI technology and new material research has been well too. These are all things that made me happy but…” He paused and grinned. “Seeing you two here overwhelms me with delight.”
“I think it’s a little too early for that. You better watch out.” Yu Shanhe’s hatred was unmasked.
Xia Lei laughed. “Are you threatening me? You couldn’t even scare me when you still had your position. What makes you think that I would cower in fear after a few unfriendly statements? Do you think I’d change my standing just like that? Here’s an advice, it’s better for you to come clean. You need to man up and take responsibilities for all the things you’ve done.”
“Ha! Enough. I’ve taught many about politics throughout my life. There’s no need for you to teach me. You’ve got no credibility to say those things,” retaliated Yu Shanhe.
There was no way the exchange could go on.
Xia Lei landed his gaze on Ling Han.
It was then that Ling Han finally spoke. “Xia Lei, if you’re here to humiliate me, you’ve already seen your share. You may leave now. If you’re here to help out with the investigation, my honest advice would be for you to stay out of this. Even Shi Boren isn’t willing to be associated with this. Are you sure you want to do this?”
Xia Lei listened to him but said nothing. There was no way he would buy that Ling Han was showing him genuine kindness. Ling Han’s ‘advice’ for him to stay out of the investigation was uttered out of fear. If the two could make a choice between Shi Boren, him and Long Bing, the two of them would settle on her in a heartbeat. Not him and not Shi Boren.
“What’s the matter? You don’t want to talk to me?” Ling Han continued, “I’m saying this out of goodwill.”
Xia Lei chuckled. “Goodwill? If I believed that you had any goodwill towards me, I’m pretty sure I’d be long dead by now.”
Ling Han let out a cold laugh and then fell silent.
Less than two minutes later, Long Bing entered the room. In her hands were a set of interrogation transcripts and an ink pad for signatures and thumbprints. It was obvious that Shi Boren had left the sticky battle to her.
Xia Lei had learned of the truth but Long Bing was still blind to it. She seemed excited, happy even. From that, the woman was very willing to accept the task.
“Sigh.” Xia Lei’s heart clenched. “She’s so gullible and so simple.”
Long Bing settled down the transcript on the table. “Officer Yu, Mister Ling, I hope you’ll cooperate with me. I’ll make sure to finish off the protocols as fast as I can so you can rest well.”
Yu Shanhe and Ling Han refused to even meet her eyes.
“Did you hear me?” Long Bing furrowed her brows.
Yu Shanhe and Ling Han remained unfazed, still not looking her in the eyes.
Long Bing lost her patience, slamming a fist down onto the table. She yelled, “Are you clear about your current status? What’s with that attitude?!”
“What a feisty female comrade. Are you here to torture us?” Yu Shanhe was finally willing to land his gaze on her. His words were drawled and disdainful.
Torture? With Yu Shanhe’s social status, no one would dare to torture him even if he was a criminal.
If the person before her were just a normal criminal or terrorist, Long Bing would’ve already beat them into submission. However, she was faced with Yu Shanhe, and there was no way she could do that!
Law was such a weird construct. When utilized seriously, a single poke of the finger could be deemed bodily assault. But when let loose, the death row would become reprieve then further delayed to another date. Long Bing’s current situation was that. No one would have batted an eye if it were anyone else. But if she came close to a poke on Yu Shanhe, her troubles would soon pile in like a terrifying mountain. Long Bing could be charged as an abuser of authority or an assaulter.
That was also the strategy Yu Shanhe and Ling Han were counting on. They’d waste her time and drive her mad with their attitude. What could she do about it? There was literally no way for her to get them to cooperate!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
have a nice day!