Book 4 Chapter 24 - Kidnapping
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
“A cult? A blind girl? Li Yiming frowned after hearing Fu Bo’s tale.
“Yeah, you have to believe me.” Fu Bo knew just how bewildering his recount of the events was.
“No, no, you’ve got it wrong. I do believe you. I just need to think about this.” Li Yiming sipped on his latte. He knew that Fu Bo would not lie to him, only his interpretation of the events was different from Fu Bo’s.
Fu Bo’s story was concise and cogently narrated; he had been kidnapped by cult believers, who first asked him some strange questions and then imprisoned him within a rather luxurious cell. He then met a blind girl who seemingly fell in love with him and helped him escape once she heard about the life-threatening ritual that was going to be performed on him. Fu Bo did not go to the police, since it was all so strange, but now he needed help to rescue the girl, who was undoubtedly going to be harshly punished for her betrayal.
‘A cult? No, it’s guardian organization of some kind. That blind girl must be a guardian if she can move around freely. She can remember Fu Bo… there must be something special about her. What about the ritual? I guess it must have something to do with Mr. Kong’s request… But what about Ji Xiaoqin? Why would they ask questions about Ji Xiaoqin? Is she also a guardian?’ Li Yiming knew the truth behind Fu Bo’s abduction, but the part about Ji Xiaoqin surprised him greatly.
“Do you remember where you were being kept?”
“Century Garden.” Fu Bo answered without any hesitation.
‘I knew it. The Guo family is involved in this. I don’t think that they’d let normal people come into contact with him either…’ Li Yiming thought. “How many people have you seen during your stay there?”
“If I count Tian Tian, seven… no wait, eight people, including Tian Tian’s maid.”
‘Eight people? So at least eight guardians…’ The revelation came to Li Yiming’s shock.
“Yiming, you’re my only friend. I need your help.” Fu Bo’s agitation grew as he watched Li Yiming sink into a dead silence.
“Calm down. We’ll save her, but first…”
“Ah!” Li Yiming’s explanation was interrupted by a pregnant woman on the neighboring table, who fell to the ground with her hand on her stomach and a trail of blood between her legs. Her features were distorted by pain, but even so, her yelling did not cease. “My baby! My baby…!”
Li Yiming panicked. Although he possessed superhuman strength, it was of no help in such a situation. He took the woman’s hand gently and asked the people around to call for an ambulance.
‘Yiming! Fu Bo.’ Li Yiming suddenly heard Bai Ze’s call. He looked around and realized that Fu Bo was gone.
‘The backdoor!’ Bai Ze said in a flustered voice.
Li Yiming was about to make for the exit, but a hand clamped him in place; it was the pregnant woman who kept pleading about saving her child. Li Yiming frowned and extended his focus toward her stomach. ‘She’s definitely pregnant, but the child’s condition is stable. The blood is fake!’
“Let go of me!” Li Yiming stared at the pregnant woman angrily. This time, he did it with the mannerism he had learned from the bloodbaths within the recent domains. The pregnant woman shivered from head to toe, attacked by a unspeakable terror, and let go of Li Yiming’s hand immediately.
After one last cold glance at the pregnant woman, Li Yiming rushed toward the back exit. He arrived just in time to see a black car make off into the distance. ‘Letting Fu Bo get kidnapped once was my mistake. I will not repeat it.’
Li Yiming ran after the car like a madman. Although he was slowly closing in, his anxiousness grew. He knew that as the number of cars on the road diminished, the kidnappers’ car could afford to accelerate. It was only a matter of time before he was outlasted. This was not the first time Li Yiming regretted not having a driver’s license.
As Li Yiming’s frustration grew, a young man on a motorcycle approached from the other side of the road. His hair was dyed into a purple and green Mohawk, and his ride followed the same fashion trend; it was decorated with metal spikes and a bright headlight that blinded Li Yiming even in broad daylight.
‘I’ll teach you to illegally modify your motorcycle! I’ll teach you to use fog lights in the city!’ Li Yiming stared at the young man with an odd mixture of anger and gratitude at meeting him at such an opportune time. The young cyclist seemed to have noticed Li Yiming’s attention and looked back. It had been a long time since someone had dared treat him like that.
Li Yiming reached out for the handle of the motorcycle as the young man grazed past him. With a strong pull, the young man was ejected into the greenbelt before his disdainful expression turned to surprise and anger. Li Yiming hopped into vehicle and accelerated at full capacity.
‘Holy shit, it’s electric?’ Instead of the loud roar of the engine, a high-pitched screech was heard and the motorcycle zipped toward the car. ‘This guy was riding an electric scooter the whole time?’ [1. This is most likely a joke about the abundance of legal/illegal electric scooters in Chinese cities. As you can imagine, these scooters can become quite the safety/traffic regulation problem if they can reach 70-80 km/h and ride on the sidewalks and every small alley. Although in big cities, this problem has improved a huge amount in the last 5-10 years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these kind of scooters still in smaller cities.]
However, Li Yiming’s mood quickly took a turn for the better when he realized that the scooter had been modified to reach otherwise unthinkable speeds. Li Yiming lowered his body to reduce resistance and continued his chase. ‘Already eighty kilometers per hour. I think I can make it to one hundred.’
The car was still leading the way, but the traffic of Hangzhou no longer allowed it to outpace Li Yiming. Having realized this, after a few quick turns, the driver rammed past a few fences that guarded a viaduc which was still in construction. Li Yiming followed the car onto the viaduc, but his optimism slowly faded away when he realized that the car was slowly moving away from him, and that most importantly, his scooter seemed to be running out of power.
* * *
“The target has taken the bait. He’s chasing after Ye Lang, but it seems like he’s alone.” Two workers arrived at the entrance to the viaduc construction site. One was repairing the fences while the other picked up a transmitter.
“Have they noticed?” Ying Mei frowned when she received the update.
“They have seen through our schemes. Everyone, help Man Dao evacuate. They’re gathering their forces. Ye Lang, keep Li Yiming busy and find an opportunity to shake him off.” Ying Mei decided quickly. ‘This is even worse than what I had imagined.’
“What if I can’t shake him off?” The driver of the black car glanced at the rear-view mirror.
“Then end him,” Ying Mei answered coldly. She quickly switched the surveillance feed to a mobile restaurant wagon which was making its way down the street slowly.
Scaring Fu Bo into thinking his life was threatened and manipulating Tian Yan into helping him escape was all part of Bing Shuai’s plan. Fu Bo would become the bait that would lure out the people behind Li Yiming. Ying Mei had further improved the strategy by making it look like Fu Bo was taken to the black car when it fact, he had been brought to the restaurant wagon.
‘The plan was perfect, but… our foes have outmatched us for scouting. Only Li Yiming has fallen for the empty car. This is a problem. Well, I suppose that our trap is still impermeable to anyone below sage-level.’ Ying Mei tried to rid the frustration in her mind.
* * *
“He’s… running again? Are you serious?” The skinny man from the breakfast shop had barely been led to the Starbucks by the high-schooler. Before he could savor his victory, there was a sudden commotion in the shop, and Li Yiming once again bolted out of the shop’s door. A bead of cold sweat rolled down his forehead. ‘What is wrong with him?’
“Boss, I think we just bumped into a big fish.” After a brief while, the man walked to a bench and took out his phone.
“Did you find him?”
“Yes, but he ran away again.” The skinny man seemed frustrated.
“And that big fish of yours?”
“One… two… three… they have more than twenty people here. At least six of them are guardians.” The man pushed up his sunglasses and smiled with contempt.
“Oh really? Bing Shuai has taken such measures?”
“Yeah. The kid’s gone, but these people are still here. I think they’re also fishing.”
“Understood.” The man hung up his telephone and entered a shop nearby. He came out with a cup of cold plum juice and sat down on the stairs. ‘What a great place, Hangzhou. Even at this time of the year, these beauties are still in skirts.’ He thought as he observed the passer-bys.
On the other side of the line, Stargaze picked up her brush. She worked swiftly, tracing each stroke elegantly until a giant “Bei” appeared on the high-grade paper.
“You’re here as well? The place is growing livelier by the second I see.”
Spy level stuff and Li Yiming is becoming smart... I like it.
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