Chapter 48 The Hardboiled Detective
“You could say that.” Xiao Ping quietly said as he looked at Li Jiangbei. “Actually, that day when the Black Hawk squadron was activated, I went to the scene.”
If anyone from Meng Si Ni Company were to see Xiao Ping at this moment, perhaps they wouldn’t be convinced by what they saw. The Xiao Ping who usually wasn’t the least different from the majority of vulgar middle aged men had such an imposing manner, to be so steady, like a mountain.
“What?! You went to the crime scene? Then why did you…” Hearing him, Li Jiangbei almost jumped out of his chair again.
But before Li Jiangbei could finish, Xiao Ping interjected. “I know you want to ask me why I didn’t intervene and stop them. The reasons are simple, first off, I’m no longer a policeman. Second, I wasn’t armed. And, last but not least, the four men had already thrown the tear gas grenades and were fleeing the scene.”
When Xiao Ping finished speaking, Li Jiangbei became silent. Only after a long time, Li Jiangbei squeezed out a ghastly smile and said, “In that case, you didn’t see their abilities?”
“Although I didn’t see how their marksman opened fire, I heard his gunshots from a distance. Furthermore, I saw the end result after the tear gas had dissipated.” Xiao Ping calmly said. “In a flash, three shots were fired and none of them missed their mark. This guy is an expert of experts. It seems like he may be a person which I had wanted to catch in the past.”
“You’re saying that this guy is…” Li Jiangbei’s expression changed greatly.
“Perhaps it is him.” Xiao Ping sighed, clearly realizing that he was incapable of forgetting that face.
A painful glint flitted behind his eyes, which didn’t go unnoticed by Li Jiangbei. Li Jiangbei started reminiscing of Xiao Ping’s past as well, and his breathing subconsciously became heavy.
“Are you visiting me this time with the intention of catching him with your own hands?” Li Jiangbei stared at the eyes of Xiao Ping which had regained their calm, as if he wanted to peer into Xiao Ping’s thoughts.
“Nope, not at all.” Beyond his expectations, Xiao Ping shook his head. “I just came to inform you that if you send normal policemen, you will just be sending them to their deaths. Therefore, other than those Black Hawk members, the others under you should not act blindly when they run into those criminals.”
“You came to tell me these things?” Li Jiangbei looked at him in disbelief. “Didn’t you see the fight earlier? In the clash earlier, two of the Black Hawk died.”
“Even when I was the leader, the Black Hawk had casualties.” Xiao Ping calmly looked at his agitated comrade, “When up against a powerful foe, casualties are unavoidable; you must believe in your men! Oh, and also, let me remind you that the job of the police is first to save people, not to kill criminals. At the site earlier, I coincidentally heard that in their hands there were still two hostages, I also heard that you guys haven’t even checked the hostages’ identities.”
“We…” Li Jiangbei wanted to explain to him that every single witness at the scene of the crime had already become mentally unstable thanks to the criminals. Furthermore, in the chaos when the criminals broke out of the marketplace, they didn’t get a clear glimpse of the features of the hostages. At that moment, Secretary Xiao Chen hurriedly walked into the conference room.
“Bureau Chief Li.” Xiao Chen interrupted his words, and nervously said, “The Mayor has arrived, and is in your office.”
“Let him wait for awhile.” Li Jiangbei without pausing for thought, waved Xiao Chen away. “Just tell him that I’m in a meeting with a very important person.”
For a moment, Xiao Chen was startled but when he saw his superior continuously and resolutely wave him away. Xiao Chen could only hurriedly walk out, exactly in the same manner he entered.
“It’s not early anymore, anyway since he has already arrived,” Xiao Ping watched Xiao Chen’s back slowly fade away and was suddenly a little melancholic, “I shall not hinder your meeting anymore.”
“You…” As Li Jiangbei looked distractedly, Xiao Ping had already stood up and walked out of the room.
“Don’t you wish to personally enact revenge for her?” Li Jiangbei screamed out the words he was suppressing in his heart. “At that time didn’t you fly into a rage? Didn’t you want to subject them to the law?”
As his scream reached the ears of Xiao Ping outside the room, the footsteps paused.
Li Jiangbei’s heart was stirred as he thought that Xiao Ping would turn around, but after the footsteps paused for a moment, he still could hear them walking away slowly.
He slumped powerlessly onto his chair.
At this exact moment, he heard footsteps coming closer to the room.
“Could he have turned around?” Li Jiangbei stood from his chair and thought. But when the room’s door was pushed open, Li Jiangbei disappointedly sat back down.
“Meeting with an important person?! Who’s more important than me!?”
“Xiao Ping just made a return visit.” Li Jiangbei replied, disregarding the question as he looked at the Mayor who was barely keeping from bursting out in fury.
Following the Mayor, Xiao Chen couldn’t help but tense up, thinking that this time, surely the Mayor would fly into a terrible rage.
But instead he was met with the Mayor’s stunned look.
“Who’s Xiao Ping?” Xiao Chen couldn’t resist asking out of curiosity.
“He had a nickname in the past, ‘Hardboiled Detective’.” Xiao Chen heard the Mayor say after he sighed.
“What?!” Xiao Chen almost tumbled to the ground.
Anyone who knew that they had just met such a legendary figure would respond in such a manner.
* * *
“All right, with this, they shouldn’t be able to catch up to us anymore.” Zhao Lingjun said as he let Meng Xue down from his back. “Why did you ask me to run, and not let me handle the other two forcefully?”
At this time, Zhao Lingjun had already ran along the meandering river for who knows how many miles. Furthermore within Zhao Lingjun and Meng Xue’s sights were a straight road and a bustling district.
But a long time after Zhao Lingjun had spoke, he realized that Meng Xue behind him didn’t utter any sound.
Curious, he turned his head to take a look, and saw Meng Xue with teary eyes.
“What’s wrong with you?” Zhao Lingjun, seeing her in this state, panicked.
“Nothing’s wrong? You just ran too fast and small particles irritated my eyes.” said Meng Xue as she forced a smile. But behind that forced smile was still a profound sorrow.
How much does a bag filled full of gold ornaments and jewelry weigh? Previously, only with the combined strength of Meng Xue and Zhao Lingjun, could they drag that bag on the ground. Only a man with a build like that tall man could carry such a heavy bag.
“But now, Zhao Lingjun was holding that bag in one hand, and was even carrying me, and he still could run for such a distance at breakneck speeds. How much stamina did this consume? Is his body able to bear such a burden?”
Meng Xue thought that the Zhao Lingjun right now was having his life burnt away as they spoke.
The profound sorrow in Meng Xue’s eyes didn’t go unnoticed by Zhao Lingjun. His heart had a short moment of sorrow as well, but he pretended on the surface that he didn’t notice anything. With a feigned relaxed tone and expression, he said, “What do you think about reporting it to the police?”
Actually while running wildly earlier, Zhao Lingjun had already thought of this point. It was only that the tall man had searched for their phones during their walk from the bridge to the house and had smashed them into smithereens.
Now that they could see a bustling street not far away, if they wanted to report it to the police, it wasn’t such a difficult matter anymore.
Zhao Lingjun thought that Meng Xue would agree without the slightest bit of hesitation, because based on their plight and bitter experience, reporting it to the police would be the best option.
But out of his expectations, the teary eyed Meng Xue shook her head.
“Do you know why I didn’t let you to finish the other two men off?” Meng Xue instead asked a question of her own.
“You don’t wish for me to take risks?” Zhao Lingjun looked at her, “Because the thin man’s marksmanship was frighteningly accurate and quick, and furthermore, the short man had a lot of grenades?”
“Yup.” Meng Xue looked at his eyes, and used a voice choked with emotions and emphasized each word, “I don’t wish for you to undertake any more dangerous risks. I only wish to spend time with you.”
Seeing her eyes, Zhao Lingjun immediately understood her intentions.
* * *
If you like a person, and also knew that they may not live for much longer, then would you still allow that person to do something risky? Wouldn’t you want to spend every single hour, minute, second with that person during the time they had remaining?
Zhao Lingjun knew that at the start, she was afraid that a mishap may occur during the life and death battle with the other two criminals. Therefore, although Meng Xue really wanted to end their lives, in the end had asked him to flee with her.
But now, he knew that she was afraid that once a report was made, the two would face an unending amount of questions. Perhaps, solely because he ate that pill, many organizations in the field would flock over, turning him into a lab rat and frantically experiment on him. If the research didn’t obtain any results, he didn’t have to think about obtaining his freedom again.
How much time he had left, even he didn’t know. If he were to die in two days, and his corpse dissected in the name of research, then that really would be incomparably miserable. Thinking up to here, Zhao Lingjun trembled all over from fear, the notion of reporting to the police that was spiraling in his head immediately disappeared.
“Then we should go to my dorm room first.” Zhao Lingjun suddenly had a bulb light up in his head, and remembered that Xiao Bai had taken the pill a day earlier. If it was still fine, perhaps the situation wasn’t that terrible.
“Alright.” Meng Xue looked at Zhao Lingjun, with her mind wandering, suddenly her face with tears sliding down couldn’t help but turn red.
* * *