Chapter 2 - She is Gold
Shen Yu’s mind went blank. It was hard for her to believe that someone that important would insist on having her be his interviewer.
The young officer led her down the left side of the corridor. Just as they were about to go past a room, the door slammed open and three people suddenly rushed out. One of them would have ran straight into her had her escort not yanked her towards the wall.
Shen Yu noticed that they were all wearing military uniforms. The officer next to her yelled down the hallway, “Dr. Lin! What’s going on?”
“The senior official is not feeling well,” replied Dr. Lin as he continued to race down the hallway.
Alarmed, her escort immediately started running after the other soldiers without bringing her along. Shen Yu hesitated, not sure if she should go after them or not. They had already disappeared around the corner and she was afraid she would get lost if she tried to follow.
When he realized that Shen Yu was no longer with him, the young soldier quickly came back and grabbed her hand. “Come with me quickly!”
After arriving at another room, the officer started to walk in with her but they were stopped by one of the soldiers guarding the entrance.
“Oi, Lin Jiwen!” hollered an elderly man from inside the room. “That girl should have already arrived! Why the f*ck won’t you let me see her? If you don’t get the hell out of my way now, you son of a bitch, I’m going to f*cking kill you!”
Shen Yu’s face immediately turned paper white. Why does it sound like that old man had just met his sworn enemy and is ready to start slaughtering people?
“I’m sorry, senior official, but your heart too weak and can’t take any more strain,” came another voice from inside the room, likely the same person the old man had cursed out. “Even if you decided to execute me, I still can’t let you see that girl! You can see her after your condition stabilizes again. What are you in a hurry about? You finally found her, it’s not like she will be going anywhere soon.”
The fiery tempered old man swore another profanity. “How many years did it take for me to find her?! She’s finally in my grasp!” Shen Yu started to tremble, her face as pale as cotton. “Do you realize what she represents? Gold! She is gold! A mine filled with gold! And if you don’t let me see her now, you son of a bitch, I will f*cking kill you right now!”
Shen Yu involuntarily took two steps back. There was something fishy about this whole situation. That old man had to be a human trafficker masquerading as military and his next target was her! He wanted to sell her for gold! I’m not going to serve myself on a golden platter to him. She bolted before the officer next to her could react. She could hear him yelling her name as she ran for her life. Skipping the elevator, Shen Yu flew down the stairs to the first floor.
But when she reached the entrance, the young officer was already there with an amused grin on his face. “I’m impressed. You have good speed. If you want to change careers to become a soldier, I’ll put in a good word for you.” He flashed another smile at her.
Shen Yu wanted to vomit blood. Become a soldier? Fat chance. The only thing she wanted right now was to be as far away as possible from that explosive old man. He had to be some kind of crime lord. If she went back up there that would be akin to her putting a gun to her head, and she wasn’t that stupid.
After having no luck in trying to convince her to go back up, the young officer called over a female soldier to forcefully carry Shen Yu back into the elevator. Her cries for help were ignored. Despite struggling the entire way, she was unable to break free from her captors.
This time she was unceremoniously dumped into a chair in front of the old man. When she tried to get up, the female soldier immediately pressed her back down into the chair.
The old man was dressed in the military’s summer uniform. He had a heroic air about him which was emphasized by his stick straight posture. His face, however, had settled into harsh, unforgiving lines. His smiling visage looked more ferocious than friendly. One look at him was more than enough for her. Shen Yu did her best to keep her gaze away from him, her nerves stretched to their limits. The old codger stared at her like a fool for half an hour, and she could hear him occasionally muttering “Gold! Gold! I finally found the gold!”
“Are you cold, girl? Why are you trembling so much?” He turned to the orderly standing right next him. “Chen, go grab a blanket for her.”
Without any question, an army issued blanket was wrapped around Shen Yu even though it was the hot June day. The temperature was scorching yet she was too scared to take the blanket off. When it became apparent that she was overheating, the orderly couldn’t stand it anymore and took the blanket off of her and turned on the air conditioner.
“Grandpa!” exclaimed the young officer. “What are you doing? She doesn’t have malaria fever. She’s shivering because you’ve scared her half to death.”
The hot-tempered old man’s eyes lit up in realization. “Now that makes sense! I was wondering why she looked so abnormal, sitting there with her head bobbing like she’s having an epileptic fit! Alright, I’m going to take my medicine now because if it waits for too long you’ll have to find funeral clothes to wear! I can’t die before the gold is found! I’m counting on you, grandson, to make things clear for her.” He quickly left the room with his personal orderly at his side.
Shen Yu let out a sigh of relief when she saw the old man leave. She cursed at him in her heart. Epilepsy? He and his whole family should get checked out!
“Alright, everybody leave.” The young officer emptied the room before turning back to Shen Yu, a smile on his face.
When she first saw him smile, Shen Yu had thought that he was a very attractive man. Now every time she saw that grin she felt like it was the leer of a gangster. The brighter the smile, the warier she felt.
“What...what do you guys...want to do?” she stuttered.
He revealed a grin that showcased his perfectly even teeth. “Forgive my manners, I haven’t even introduced myself. It’s nice to meet you, Miss Reporter, I am Tang Can!” He took out his military identification card and showed it to Shen Yu. The card listed a string of words that denoted his military rank but, in the end, the only thing she could remember was his name.
Reporter. She remembered she had been brought here for a reason. Both the editor-in-chief and senior editor had stated that she was needed to interview someone. Apparently that had only been an excuse to make her come in!
“What do you guys actually want to do? You guys lured me here with the prospect of an interview, but what are your actual intentions?” Shen Yu exclaimed. I knew it! I knew things were too good to be true when they called me in for this “interview”!
“What interview? Didn’t your office explain things to you?” Tang Can looked confused, as if he was the one who had been tricked instead of her.
Shen Yu inspected his expression quickly and started to sneer. Who was the one telling stories now?
Tang Can ignored her obvious contempt and smiled slightly. He pivoted around to grab a set of photographs and gave them to her. Yellow with age, the photos depicted people Shen Yu didn’t recognize. After looking through them a couple of times, she quickly lost interest. “Is there anything wrong with saying things clearly and out in the open?” She asked directly. “For people who are supposedly from the military, why was there talk of exchanging me for gold?”
Tang Can laughed. “I’ll explain everything to you. Please take a closer look at these photos first, they should contain two people who are linked to you. You may not recognize the woman, but do you recognize the man?”
Shen Yu took a closer look at the pictures after being prompted by him. Suddenly, her face drained of color and she couldn’t help but exclaim, “Uncle Li?”
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