Hiding the whole way, the two arrived at the pawn shop. Although it was late at night, there was still a dim light on in the pawnshop.
He Jingjing had actually met this old friend of He Taiyang. This guy was actually an old, perverted scumbag. If creditors couldn’t pay their debts, he’d ask to adopt their young and beautiful daughters as his goddaughters. In fact, they were really mistresses in disguise. When he got tired of toying with them, he’d drive them back and say shamelessly that this could only count as part of the interest, and couldn’t fully repay the debts.
He Taiyang had most likely learned it from him back then. If they weren’t jackals from the same lair, how could they have been friends?
The pawn shop business was an unbelievable industry in He Jingjing's eyes. There were old traditions of apprenticeship, paying respects to those who’ve been in the industry longer, collecting mistresses and using Jianghu slang. These were all preserved in every dimly-lit shop, as if they had been frozen in time a hundred years ago.
Pawn shop operators were all peculiar, money-grubbing old men with backwards ways of thinking. They always smelled of mothballs and tobacco leaves.
Entering the shop, He Jingjing frowned when she saw the security camera on the ceiling. He Jun said, "It's okay, he installed it himself. I’ll ask him to delete the surveillance video later."
"Uncle X, are you there?" He Jun shouted into the shop.
The two went into an office which had camphor wood boxes piled up to the ceiling. An old man with a rosy and greasy face was sitting on a carved padauk chair, and a young woman kneeling next to him was washing his feet submissively.
He Jingjing had done this kind of thing for He Taiyang before, and she frowned in disgust. If she hadn't dared to gamble back then, she might have ended up suffering such a dreary fate today.
It was fine if she was wanted by the police, jailed, or executed by firing squad, even if she had to pay these prices in the future, she was unwilling to kneel beside a wooden basin and wash a pair of wrinkled, stinky old feet.
He Jun was looking at the woman's cleavage instead, thinking that her chest was really large!
He said, "Uncle X."
"Little Jun, it's been a long time since you've been here. What do you want from me?" The old man smiled maliciously, showing his cigarette-yellowed teeth.
"I’ll get straight to the point then. You should know that we’re wanted by the police. Look at our miserable situation. It is not an exaggeration to say that we’re desperate. We’re looking for you to conduct a business transaction."
"I heard that you have hundreds of thousands on your heads as rewards for your arrest!"
"Hmph, it’s just hundreds of thousands. The profit you’d get from this business transaction is over ten times that..." He Jun tipped out a painting from a tube and unrolled it.
The old man exclaimed, "Oh" and told his goddaughter to get his reading glasses. When his reading glasses were handed to him, he took the opportunity to fondle the woman's breasts. He Jingjing furrowed her brows.
The old man wiped his feet dry and went over to look at the painting, "This brushstroke, this artistic conception is really worthy of being Wang Shimin's work. It’s truly extraordinary!"
"How much can I exchange it for?" He Jun asked.
"Well, this..." The old man rolled his eyes.
The woman offered He Jingjing a cup of tea, and said timidly, "Have a drink."
"No, I'm not thirsty..." He Jingjing suddenly noticed that there were words on the woman's chest, which had been pressed out with fingernails. It said, "Hurry and run, there’s an ambush!"
She looked at the old man in shock, who was also winking. She grabbed He Jun immediately and was about to run out. Only then did she discover that a person had secretly appeared behind her and blocked the door with his body. He held a knife in his hand.
He Jingjing was shocked when she saw the other party's face clearly. "You are..."
"Yes, it's me!"
"No, that's not his voice. Who are you?!"
The man played with the knife in his hand, "Master Lie sent me to fetch something."
These words revealed that he was a person from the underworld. He Jun and He Jingjing looked at each other, then suddenly picked up a chair and swung it over at him, but their opponent's speed was as fast as the wind. In the blink of an eye, he had already rushed forward, and He Jun felt his throat go cold. Suddenly, there was no longer any strength in his entire body. The knife was too sharp. It took a second before the skin on his throat split open and blood gurgled out.
He dropped the chair in vain and covered his neck with his hands. As his body lost a lot of blood, his legs collapsed under him and he fell onto the floor.
He Jingjing hurriedly rushed over, and wailed as she hugged him. Suddenly, someone dragged her up by her hair from behind. He Jingjing was forced to straighten her upper body. Tears were streaming down her face. She begged, "Spare us. Take the paintings away."
"Master Lie told me to take your lives." The man breathed into her ear. The knife was slowly placed at her throat.
Two people were killed in the blink of an eye, and the old man and his goddaughter were so frightened that they hugged each other. This person was a real hitman. He wasn’t just a thug who only knew how to fight. He was like an emotionless murdering machine.
"I... We have done what you’ve asked of us... please let us go..." the old man begged.
"Did I say that I would let you go?" The man grinned and pointed his knife at him. "I need to kill another person. Choose."
As if grasping a life-saving straw in the midst of despair, the old man hurriedly pushed away the goddaughter in his arms. "Her. Her. Her life is worthless."
"Damn old man, you actually betrayed me!" At the juncture of life and death, the woman lost her usual docility. "Kill him. Kill him. He wouldn’t have that many years left anyway. He wouldn’t lose much even if he was killed!"
"You guys chose this." The man touched the knife’s edge. His smile suddenly vanished.
Three hours later, Lin Qiupu stood in the room where four corpses lay. He felt dizzy. The two people in an embrace on the floor were the fugitives He Jun and He Jingjing. He didn’t expect that they would end up like this.
The three ancient paintings that had been taken away weren’t on them or at the scene. It seems that they were taken away by the murderer.
The corpse who had been stabbed five times in the back while his hands grasped the window was an old man. Lin Qiupu knew him. He was the pawnshop owner who tried to bribe him in his first case.
The female corpse who had fallen onto the floor with a knife in her chest and curled up into a ball was the adopted daughter of the boss. They probably had some dubious relationship with each other as well.
"Of course, this pawn shop has been investigated before for selling stolen goods, and was once forced to shut down. The suspects must have come here to pawn the paintings. The murderer had already hidden here in ambush, and killed them, along with the people from the pawn shop!" Lin Qiupu had come up with this deduction. "It must have been someone sent by Lie Guoxiao. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have thought of lying in ambush here!"
"Captain, there is a security camera here!" Xu Xiaodong rushed in and said.
The police obtained the surveillance footage, and it showed that at about 10:00, a man with blood on his body had walked out of the shop. He actually looked at the security camera recklessly and even smiled.
The police were all very excited. They didn't expect the surveillance footage to have captured the suspect's face, which was really helpful.
However, Lin Qiupu's eyes suddenly widened and his brain went blank.
It’s impossible. How could it be?! How could it be?!
The person who walked out with the knife turned out to be...
The next day, Lie Guoxiao was smiling at a photo in his room. The photo showed a pair of children. One was male and one was female. They were both very lovable and cute. The photo was already quite old.
The phone rang.
"Master Lie, the matter has been settled. I will place the items in Mingri Buzai gym tomorrow, in locker No. 35. The password is XXXX."
"Mr. Zhou, working with you is really easy and enjoyable. As long as I tell you a name, that person will definitely disappear."
"It’s also my honor to be cooperating with Master Lie. By the way, the original Mr. Zhou isn’t the one talking to you right now. He died in an accident. Of course, my surname is also Zhou."
"Okay, so Mr. Zhou has someone to succeed him. I think he will find comfort in that."
After hanging up the phone, there was a loud racket outside the house. "You can't come in!" "Go away!"
Lie Guoxiao was surprised to find that the person who had rushed in was Lin Qiupu. He was not only dressed in plain clothes but also alone. However, Lin Qiupu wasn’t polite this time. He gripped Lie Guoxiao directly by the collar. This may have been the most impulsive thing he had done in his life.
"Who was the hitman you hired?! Who was it?!?!" Lin Qiupu roared.
"I don't understand what you are talking about."
Lin Qiupu wanted to fly into a rage, but he gave up in the end. His expression was fierce and sorrowful. "Tell me who he is! Where is he now?!"
"I... don't understand what you’re talking about."
"Where is he?! Where is he?! Where is he?!" Lin Qiupu was going crazy.
Lie Guoxiao gestured to stop the subordinates who were about to move forward, "Lin Qiupu, whether as the captain of the criminal police team or as an adult, you’re too impolite! I’m old enough to be your father. Don’t you at least have the minimum amount of respect for your elders?"
Lin Qiupu looked at Lie Guoxiao's eyes and slowly lowered his hands. He knew that this old thing wouldn't say anything. He was going to leave immediately so as not to burst into tears in front of this kind of person.
"Hey, I’m asking you something!"
The only answer he got was a figure leaving in distress. After he left, his subordinates reported, "That police officer is crying outside."
"Baffling." Lie Guoxiao muttered, lowering his head to continue looking at the photo in his hand.
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