Chapter 357: Midnight Tracking

Xu Xiaodong called and said, "Brother Chen, the situation is urgent. My identity was exposed. I caught Teacher Gao but... a few associates have escaped, and I’m afraid they’ll inform the others."

"Who would they inform?"

"They divided the thirty or so candidates into three batches and took them to three different places."

"Tell me your location."

"Their colleagues drove south, and now we’re safe in an abandoned warehouse. I'll send you the GPS location using WeChat."

After getting the address, everyone immediately started to check the surveillance in that direction. kk suddenly jumped from the sofa and said, "I found it! I found it! There’s a van next to Xikang Road, which just took away a group of children and is now travelling south."

"Damn, they’re moving the candidates. Try to stop them." Chen Shi said.

Lin Dongxue said, "Should I contact the local police?"

kk laughed, "The police are as slow as snails. I’ll chase after them on a motorcycle. Leave this batch to me."

Sun Zhen said, "I found something interesting. There seems to be a traitor within the parent group."

"Let’s talk about that later!" Chen Shi looked at the time. It was already ten o’clock and searching the vast suburbs would be too slow. Besides, if the candidates didn’t get to sleep tonight, how would they take the entrance examination tomorrow? "Dongxue, let's pick up Xiaodong and take Teacher Gao back with us. Let’s see if we can pry open his mouth."

The three went downstairs and kk rode off on a motorcycle with great speed. Chen Shi made two calls while he drove off. One was to Gu You and the other was to call up his driver friends. Otherwise, there was no way he could pick up so many students with his small car.

On Xu Xiaodong's side, Teacher Gao and the bearded man were tied up by him and the candidates. The two sat on the ground and had completely lost their arrogance. The candidates crowded around Xu Xiaodong and exclaimed, "Police Elder Brother, you’re amazing!", "When did you find out that they were scammers?", "My mother wouldn’t be arrested too, right?"

Xu Xiaodong said, "Everyone, quiet down. Both you and your parents are victims and won’t be held accountable. Please be rest assured on this. Someone will pick you up later on. Please go home and rest so that you can take the exam tomorrow in good condition."

When the exams were mentioned, many candidates became depressed again. Their gleam of hope had been annihilated, but this experience had taught them that one couldn’t take shortcuts in this world.

Li Mengran pulled Xu Xiaodong's arm and shook it, saying, "I did say that you didn't look like a high school student! How old are you?"

"Born after the year 2000." Xu Xiaodong smiled.

"Tch, I don't believe it. At most, you were born after 1990... May I ask you for your QQ number[1]?"

"Uh... Okay!"

Later, Chen Shi and the others arrived. Chen Shi asked his driver friends to take the candidates back home. Chen Shi took Xu Xiaodong and the two suspects back in his car and Xu Xiaodong apologized. "Sorry Brother Chen, I messed up again."

"It's okay, you did very well."

Teacher Gao sat in the back seat and said coldly, "How did the police notice us?"

Chen Shi said, "In fact, we’re not the police, but private detectives!"

"Private detectives?" Teacher Gao had a startled expression, then looked as if he’d suddenly understood. "I understand. Parents wouldn’t call the police for this kind of stuff... Brother, we’re just trying to make money just like you. The water in the well doesn’t impact the water in the river[2], why should we put each other in a difficult position? Why don’t you stop now? How about I split the money with you?"

"Not a chance!" Chen Shi refused.

The van moving the exam candidates had stopped at the gas station to refuel. The exam candidates in the van were like a group of birds panicked by a mere twang of a bow string. They were still doing the "exam papers" one second earlier, and in the next, they were taken away. Their exam papers were snatched away as well.

A girl had protested but was slapped by the scammers. The candidates all seemed to have realized that they were not good people!

This group of exam candidates were forcibly taken into a van and driven south and was now stuck at the gas station. Everyone trembled and hated their parents for believing the group of scammers.

A total of three people were responsible for escorting them. Two went across the road to smoke and pee, and the other was refueling. They didn't notice that a motorcycle had quietly driven into the gas station. A blond man jumped off and strode towards the person refueling.

The blond took out a handkerchief as well as a small bottle with the other hand. He covered the mouth of the bottle with the handkerchief for a moment then snuck up behind the man like a cat and covered his nose and mouth with the handkerchief that he had prepared. The man fell to the ground softly.

kk jumped up into the van and said with a smile, "Don't be afraid, Uncle is here to save you."

The candidates whispered to each other in surprise, "Who is this?!", "Do you know him?"

kk started the van, rushed out of the gas station, and the other two scammers came out to see that their van was being driven off and that their companion had collapsed onto the ground. They immediately threw away their cigarettes and chased after the van, but they were soon left in the dust.

kk dialed Chen Shi's phone, "I’ve rescued them. So easy!"

"What about the scammers?"

"How could I manage all that? I left them at the gas station. By the way, my motorcycle is there too. If it’s gone, you have to compensate me with a new one.”

"How could you have left the suspects behind without doing anything about them?"

"Fuck off! I'm not like you. I can’t confront them head on. It's already not bad if I’m able to bring the children back."

"Okay, okay, just go back to the city first. I’ve asked my driver friends to wait at the toll booth. When you get there, they will take the candidates home."

After kk hung up the phone, he turned towards the noisy exam candidates behind him and handed out his mobile phone. "Take turns to call your families. Uncle will send you home now. Don't flip through Uncle's photo albums!"

At eleven o'clock, the two batches of candidates had been sent safely home. Teacher Gao was tied up like a rice dumpling[3] and sat in the office. The bearded man was left in the toilet.

The third group of candidates could not be found in the surveillance footage, and now their only hope lay in prying open Teacher Gao's mouth.

But the guy was really tight-lipped and no matter how Chen Shi asked, he would just sneer. Chen Shi said, "I didn't expect you to be so loyal. Do you think that everything will be alright if you make it through the night?"

Teacher Gao sneered, "Do you think that you guys can kill me? I’m only going to say this much. I’m a pretty ruthless character in the underworld. Let me go now, and this matter will end here. If you don’t do so in five minutes, not only will I set fire to this shitty detective agency, I’ll also kill the client who hired you. This is what happens if you mess with me!”

"What’s with the attitude? What’s with the attitude!" kk slapped his face and scolded angrily.

"Don't do that." Lin Dongxue stopped him.

Teacher Gao's cheek became red and swollen, and he glared at kk sinisterly.

Lin Dongxue pulled Chen Shi outside and said, "My brother is the best at interrogating suspects. Let him come over!"

"First, I don't want to occupy police resources. Second, this guy is committed to stalling until dawn, so even if your brother came, it may be useless."

"What do you mean by not wanting to use police resources? Weren’t Xiaodong and I called over by you?"

"We have personal relationships with each other. After this is over, I’ll give you a reward or invite you to dinner."

"Who cares about that? As long as the exam candidates are rescued, it’s fine. A year’s worth of suffering in their senior year would have been wasted otherwise.”

Chen Shi's phone rang. He glanced at it and said, "Miss Gu is here. Let's go down and pick her up."

1. QQ is like the Chinese version of what MSN used to be. It has slowly adapted to the present by adding more features like forums and ads. 

2. It’s an expression that people use to say that each party should mind their own business. 

3. Zongzi. They generally look like this and can be made with different ingredients depending on which region of China that you’re from. They can be sweet or savory. 


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