Chapter 105: Secrets of the Storage Spaces
Zhang Qian opened the door to the storage spaces as Jiang Zhengkai, Lu Xiaoqiang, and Mr. Song turned on their flashlights and followed in behind her. Although Mr Song was the resort’s general manager, he’d never bothered to come down here himself. Even Zhang Qian had only ventured inside once or twice herself.
The four of them very quickly inspected all of the storage spaces that had not been rented out. Other than finding some rubbish and leftover construction items, they didn’t happen upon anything else of note. Before long, they reached the occupied half.
“Inspector Jiang, you can enter the rented spaces through that small door over there,” said Zhang Qian, as she used her flashlight to point at a door in the corner.
“Got it. If we run into any of their people, just tell them the two of us are HVAC contractors,” Jiang Zhengkai quietly instructed Zhang Qian as he walked over to the small door.
“Understood, Inspector Jiang,” Zhang Qian nodded. “I’ll just say the AC went out on one of the floors above us, and we’re here to check which unit is malfunctioning.”
“Perfect.” Jiang Zhengkai glance over at Zhang Qian with a look of approval. What a clever woman!
As Jiang Zhengkai opened the door to the other side of the storage spaces, the pungent smell of rotten foodstuffs assaulted all their nostrils. The smell was too much for Zhang Qian; she immediately covered her mouth and nose and began coughing rapidly. When he heard Zhang Qian coughing, Jiang Zhengkai immediately tensed up for a moment. Having lived with A-Jiao for some time now, he was of course accustomed to her various habits and mannerisms. A-Jiao would start coughing whenever he smoked, so there was no question that she would be coughing uncontrollably were she here right now.
Jiang Zhengkai stood at the doorway’s entrance and listened intently for any noises inside. Other than Zhang Qian, he didn’t hear anyone else coughing, woman or not. Satisfied there was no one inside, he raised his flashlight and walked in. Jiang Zhengkai went over the situation in his mind. He knew A-Jiao couldn’t be here, because he would definitely have heard her coughing if she were. But if she weren’t here, then why were A-Wang and A-Peng secretly coming here all the time?
At that thought, Jiang Zhengkai began to inspect everything around him with even more attention than before. Seeing that his boss was conducting an intensive search of the premises, Lu Xiaoqiang began shining his flashlight around as he joined in on the inspection. All young people have their strengths, and Lu Xiaoqiang’s biggest strength was that he was an extremely observant person. Even though he hadn’t been serving under Jiang Zhengkai for very long, he had nevertheless developed the ability to tell what his boss was thinking based on his actions.
“Look here, Inspector Jiang!” cried Lu Xiaoqiang as he pointed at a small standalone room in the distance. “It looks like living quarters, or a guard shack.”
“Yes, it does,” said Jiang Zhengkai as he walked over to where Lu Xiaoqiang was pointing and looked at the small standalone room. “Come, let’s check it out!”
As he spoke, the four of them approached the outside of the small standalone room. Jiang Zhengkai tried to open the door, but it was locked. Installed on the outside wall of the room was a window AC unit and ventilation pipe. Also visible were electrical wires and television cables that entered the room through a small hole in the wall. They could hear the sounds of a television playing emanating from inside the room. It appeared that this room was indeed a guard shack.
Lu Xiaoqiang walked all around the room, but could not find any windows or vents. “Inspector Jiang, there’s no other way in!” he whispered to Jiang Zhengkai upon returning.
Jiang Zhengkai listened attentively before looking all around for something. He discovered sacks of grain piled high underneath some pipes. He pointed his flashlight at the pipes before asking Mr. Song and Zhang Qian, “Those should be the HVAC pipes, right?”
“Yes!” Zhang Qian confidently nodded her head when she saw where he was pointing his flashlight. “That’s right, those are the HVAC pipes.”
“Good!” Jiang Zhengkai responded. He then turned around and walked over to the small room’s door, which he forcefully knocked. “Is there anybody in there? We’re HVAC contractors, and we were hoping you could help us with something.”
“Hold on!” announced a male voice from inside the room, before the door opened. “What do you guys want?” the man cautiously asked while blocking the doorway.
“Oh, we need to inspect those HVAC pipes over there, the ones right above the sacks of grain. Do those sacks belong to your company? If they do, could you help us move them so we can get to the pipes?” Jiang Zhengkai politely asked the man while offering him a cigarette. Actually, he had already recognized the man in front of him: Sui Zhongyi’s henchman, A-Peng.
“And I thought it was something complicated!” remarked A-Peng as he accepted Jiang Zhengkai’s cigarette. “Cig’s not bad, bro,” he said as he took a puff, before pointing at the grain stack. “Just go ahead and step on those sacks. We’re not looking to sell them anyway.”
“Wow, brother, your company must be making money hand over fist,” Jiang Zhengkai exclaimed. “You’re not going to sell any of that grain? What happens if it’s here for too long and spoils?”
“Why do you care?” retorted A-Peng. The question had made him somewhat more cautious again. “I already gave you permission to do whatever you’d like with those grain sacks. What else do you guys want?”
“Hehe!” Jiang Zhengkai foolishly laughed. He then took out the rest of his unfinished pack of cigarettes and slapped it into A-Peng’s hand. “Bro, since you said we could do whatever we wanted with that grain…”
“Well well, I didn’t take you for the greedy type,” remarked A-Peng as he glanced at Jiang Zhengkai. He pointed at the sacks of grain in the warehouse. “Take as much as you’d like! Just don’t complain to me if you get food poisoning.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got an iron stomach,” said Jiang Zhengkai with an idiotic expression on his face.
“Okay, you can go ahead and move those sacks now,” said A-Peng as he turned around and headed back into his guard shack. However, he paused once he reached the door and pointed at the pile of grain stacked directly opposite the guard shack’s door. “Don’t move any of the grain in that pile! Don’t think I can’t see what’s going on out here. I’ve got security cameras all over the place.”
“Alright, alright, I got it!” acknowledged Jiang Zhengkai as he secretly gestured to Lu Xiaoqiang. Seeing his boss’s hand signals, Lu Xiaoqiang immediately left his side. “Oh right, Bro, do you have any pliers? We responded to an emergency call from the resort’s management company, and we forgot to bring our tools in the rush to get here.”
“Ugh, hold on a second!” said A-Peng as he walked into the room to find a pair of pliers. Jiang Zhengkai took full advantage of the opportunity to peer into the guard shack, while Lu Xiaoqiang rummaged through the off-limits grain stack.
“Here, pliers!” A-Peng took a pair out from his tool box and casually tossed them to Jiang Zhengkai.
“One more thing, Bro. This is Mr. Song and Ms. Zhang from the resort’s management. I don’t really want them to stand around out here in the dark as we work, so do you mind if they rest for a while in your room?” Jiang Zhengkai looked at A-Peng as he came up with this new request.
“Them?” asked A-Peng as he took a look at Mr. Song and Zhang Qian.
Right at that moment, Zhang Qian let out a very timely bout of coughing before walking over to Jiang Zhengkai. “Big brother, this warehouse of yours smells really bad! Aren’t you worried that staying here all day will be bad for your health?” She shot A-Peng a pitifully sad look.
“Oh, well, I guess that shouldn’t be a problem.” Although he had been intent on denying Jiang Zhengkai’s request, A-Peng nevertheless relented upon seeing Zhang Qian’s expression. “Here, come take a seat!” he said as he pulled out two chairs inside his room. “Sit here, Ms. Zhang. The smell isn’t as bad in here.” As he spoke, he pulled his own chair closer to Zhang Qian’s. Men always like being courteous to beautiful young women.
“Thank you, big brother!” replied Zhang Qian as she sat down on the chair that A-Peng had set out for her. “Where are you from? I can tell from your accent that you aren’t a local.”
“I’m from…” A-Peng immediately started telling Zhang Qian about his hometown. Having seemingly fallen under her spell, A-Peng focused all of his attention on making small talk with her. Meanwhile, Jiang Zhengkai climbed onto the pile of grain sacks to pretend to examine the pipes, while Lu Xiaoqiang continued rummaging through the off-limits grain stack to find out just what exactly the criminals were hiding down here.
Jiang Zhengkai’s fake inspection lasted for about a half hour before Lu Xiaoqiang shined his light at him to get his attention. Apparently, Lu Xiaoqiang had found something noteworthy. Jiang Zhengkai immediately climbed off of the pile of grain and walked over to the guard shack’s door.
“What’s up, Bro? You all done?” A-Peng looked disappointed when he saw Jiang Zhengkai returning from his tasks. He was clearly having a good time chatting with Zhang Qian.
“Yup!” Jiang Zhengkai nodded. Right then, Lu Xiaoqiang returned to his side as well. In his was a small Ziploc bag filled with a white powdery substance.
“Thanks for the pliers, Bro,” said Jiang Zhengkai as he handed the pliers back to A-Peng.