When everyone put down their guns, the lights in the mall went out and silence shrouded their surroundings. This building was like a cardboard box with two venomous snakes hidden, making everyone feel nervous and uncomfortable.
After waiting for a full minute, the light at the front door turned on. Lin Qiupu couldn't bear it anymore and shouted into the loudspeaker, "We’ve already put down our guns. Let us see the hostage."
"Come in!" Ling Shuang's voice came from inside the building instead of the radio this time.
Lin Qiupu opened the door and everyone followed behind. The inside was empty and big, the ground was covered with dust, and some construction waste was scattered around the place. A glass display booth was placed between two columns. There was something on it that the officers couldn’t make out. Only Chen Shi recognized what it was.
A cigar cutter!
Just as he expected, Ling Shuang planned to take revenge for her broken finger from last time, and he drew a deep breath.
A light suddenly turned on above his head, and he saw Ling Shuang standing at the edge of the corridor on the second floor. Xu Xiaodong was tied to a chair with a rope around his neck, and the other end of the rope was tied to a section of the ceiling.
Xu Xiaodong was gagged and blindfolded. The front two legs of the chair under him were suspended in the air, and the back two legs were on the edge of the second floor. Ling Shuang held the back of the chair with her hand to keep the terrifying balance.
As long as she pushed slightly, Xu Xiaodong would be hanged, and the gravity of his fall might instantly break his neck.
"What are you doing?!" Lin Qiupu reprimanded. "I warn you, the SWAT team has surrounded the outside..."
"Of course I know that." Ling Shuang grinned. "Before we negotiate, we have to deal with a historical issue..." She raised her left hand and they could only see that she was wearing a rubber finger cot on her thumb.
"What do you mean?" Lin Qiupu asked.
"I understand what she means." Chen Shi stood up. "Miss Ling, you really are someone that must take revenge."
"Mr. Chen, you’re also a sensible person. Do you know what to do to make me satisfied?"
Chen Shi glanced at the cigar cutter placed on the counter. It was very sharp. You would only need to press lightly for your fingers to be cut off. Chen Shi suggested, "I have a suggestion. You and I have old grudges anyway. Why don’t you exchange me for Officer Xu?"
"Hahahaha!" Ling Shuang sneered. "The hostage exchange trick? Excuse me, you have to follow my script!"
"Where is Zhou Xiao?" Chen Shi looked around. "He turned the lights on and off here, right?"
"Do you arrogantly think that I haven't learned negotiation psychology? Delaying time is a trick that negotiation experts use. If you ask one more question, I will push Officer Xu from here!"
"After pushing him down, the SWAT will rush in and beat you like a sieve!"
"Are you cutting it or not?"
"Can I cut this one?" Chen Shi put his pinky up. "It's really inconvenient without a thumb. I usually have to cook food and drive."
A smile appeared on Ling Shuang's mask-like face. After three seconds, her smile subsided. Suddenly, some liquid was spilled from the top behind them. It was poured onto everyone's heads. The strong, pungent smell of gasoline immediately filled the entire space.
Everyone immediately turned their heads and saw a person standing on the high platform with a lighter in his hand. The fire illuminated his face. That person was "Song Lang".
"Song Lang" roared in a gloomy voice. "I will only ask this once! Who killed Zhou Tiannan?!"
Could this be the purpose of the kidnapping?
Seeing this face, Lin Qiupu could only feel his heart tighten. He had imagined the scene of the two reuniting countless times, but he had never imagined such a dangerous and tit-for-tat scene. He said, "You’re really Song Lang!"
"Do you miss me, Lin Qiupu?!" The lighter could only illuminate his nose and eyes. The movement of his mouth couldn’t be seen.
"You... you..." Lin Qiupu panted angrily. All kinds of emotions collided in his heart, and for a moment he didn't know what to say.
"Don't be fooled!" Chen Shi said, "Pay attention to his eyes. It’s a human skin mask. It's good to deceive security cameras, but it's exposed in person. You’re Zhou Xiao!"
Zhou Xiao no longer maintained that gloomy voice and replaced it with his usual arrogant voice, "Someone has seen through me. I’m not Song Lang, so where is Song Lang?"
Ling Shuang also laughed happily, like a cat playing with its prey.
Chen Shi gritted his teeth. The voice in his heart advised him. Say it here, say it here!
But he still couldn't take this step. These weren’t just words. It was a hard shell that has been draped on his body for four years. It was already too heavy to be pushed away from the inside.
Chen Shi's breathing became disordered. Thinking back to the night that he confronted Zhou Xiao, the bloody smell of his lover and mentor floated in the air. From that moment on, his world fell apart and he could never go back to the past.
Chen Shi was furious. He walked over to grab the cigar cutter and clicked hard. His screams echoed in the building. Lin Dongxue covered her mouth and saw a finger drop in a pool of blood. She rushed over.
"No, I'm okay!" Chen Shi panted and blocked her with his body, not wanting her to see his wound. He raised his head up. "Use me to exchange Officer Xu. It doesn’t matter what you do to me. I don't care anymore!"
"Old Chen..." Lin Dongxue called out heartbroken.
"Hahahaha!" Zhou Xiao laughed. Ling Shuang also laughed. The crazed laughter from the two shook the air above everyone's heads.
"This guy thinks he holds a lot of weight. He thinks he’s the protagonist, hahahaha... oh no!" Zhou Xiao laughed too much and the lighter in his hand fell down. Everyone was shocked.
But this was just a prank by him. After the lighter fell for a short distance, he steadily caught it with his other hand, spinning it around with his fingers, then threw it up high again. Everyone’s hearts followed the movements of the lighter that was thrown up and down. It was finally caught by Zhou Xiao and placed on the railing, burning like a candle.
He continued the previous topic. "You must have investigated it. Tell me what you found. Who went there that day, and whose fingerprints and DNA were on Zhou Tiannan's body? You motherfuckers need to tell me everything!"
"We didn’t find a clear clue." Lin Qiupu said.
"You’re lying!" Zhou Xiao roared. "The police must have found something, but you think he’s guilty of so much sin, so you’re concealing it!"
"That's your assumption. No matter how evil Zhou Tiannan was, he was also an ordinary victim in our eyes. We have checked everything that should be investigated, but we haven’t found the murderer! Many of his things are still shrouded in mystery. If you can provide information, it might help."
Chen Shi bent over and clutched his bleeding hand. "I’m the last person to see him!"
Lin Dongxue said, "Me too!"
"Mr. Chen, you’re eager to sacrifice yourself!" Ling Shuang said, "It seems that in your mind, death isn’t terrifying. Having someone reveal your secret is the most terrifying. What is this called? Learned helplessness!"
Pairs of doubtful eyes looked at Chen Shi.
Zhou Xiao said, "We’ve known this for a long time. What we want is things we don't know yet. Things you’re concealing!"
"You’re so stubborn. We didn't hide any clues at all!" Lin Dongxue shouted angrily.
Zhou Xiao's eyes went cold. "Ling Shuang, do it!"
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