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As the elevator silently made its way down their floor for the third time, the young doctor hesitated over which one of the three pick up lines he had prepared to use. However, before he could open his mouth, he turned back at the sound of loud footsteps, only to see a dozen toned men dressed in black rush toward him.
“Ms. Ying.” The man looked menacing, and yet he addressed Ying Mei with both reverence and terror.
“I'm not blaming it on you. It’s Li Huaibei after all. Bring this to the laboratory. I want every piece of information you can possibly extract about it. The material, the place it was sold, the biometrics, everything.” Ying Mei ordered as she put the piece of paper she had taken from Tian Yan into a sealed bag one of the men gave her.
“Roasted beef noodles?” Ying Mei said with a frown as she noticed the markings which written over the piece of paper. ‘Is this some kind of restaurant order?’
“Uh…” The young doctor was completely intimidated by the scene. However, he decided to push through and use the opportunity of his lifetime to make Ying Mei fall in love with him. Just as he emitted a sound, all of the men in black turned and stared at him.
“I need to leave…” The young doctor said in a panic as he squeezed his way through the group of men in black.
“Where’s Mr. Yun?” Ying Mei said as her cold eyes trailed the doctor until she noticed the National Security agent in disguise at the end of the hallway.
“He went to the capital,” One of the men answered.
“Oh, yes, Before he left, he brought a gift for you.” The man took out a small box from his suitcase.
It was a small, intricately decorated wooden box which suggested at the great value of the item inside. As Ying Mei opened the box, she was presented with a jade bracelet which shone with a pristine emerald glint. The gift caused her confusion as she did not understand why Yun Yiyuan would bestow her ordinary jadeware, regardless of how much it was worth.
“He didn't buy this himself, did he?” Ying Mei asked as she closed the box.
“He chose it himself.”
“How do you know?”
“He… He asked me to go buy it…” The man could not find the courage to lie to her as he stared into Ying Mei’s eyes.
“Where did you buy it?”
“At the stone exhibition. He saw this on one of the promotional pamphlets.”
“The stone exhibition?” Ying Mei knew that this was not a coincidence.
“Yes, the one from a few days ago.”
“Did he ask you to buy anything else?”
“No, only this bracelet.”
“Alright. I'll make sure to thank him.” Ying Mei nodded and walked toward the stairs after growing impatient from waiting for the elevator for so long.
* * *
Chen Quan frowned as he listened to the rain battering the windshield and the creaking of the wipers, growing impatient as he tried to make out the conversation Li Yiming was having on the phone.
“Alright, thank you.” Li Yiming hung up, only to shake his head in frustration when Chen Quan looked at him.
“So the lead is broken?” Chen Quan asked in a bitter voice.
“It seems like they've gotten it from a temporary market half a year ago.” Li Yiming disclosed the result of the interrogation of the leader of the Merry Couples gang to Chen Quan.
Chen Quan frowned, well aware that those kind of markets were usually temporary gatherings which were open to all. To retrace the seller of the stone tablets in their current situation was near impossible.
“Lin Lu promised us that she would continue investigating,” Li Yiming said as he threw the cell phone onto the dashboard.
“So, should we try again with the seller?” Chen Quan looked at the stone market across the street.
After seeing the stone tablet on the pamphlet, the two had hurried back to the stone market, only to be told that the tablet had been sold away. To make matters worse, they had been told that it was offered to a customer as a gift for the purchase of a pricey jade bracelet. Beyond that, Li Yiming did not manage to get any more useful information, as the seller was adamant about protecting the privacy of his customers.
“It's no use. If they wanted to get their hands on the tablet, then they must have used a fake identity during the purchase.”
“So are we just going to let it go?” Chen Quan was unwilling to give up when the truth was so close.
“From what it sounds like, the bracelet must really have been worth a fortune, so I don't think that it was bought with cash... which means that we might just be able to trace down the buyer.”
“You think that we should look at the transaction logs?”
“Yes. I don't think there should be many expensive transactions of that scale, so it would narrow down our search quite a lot.”
“But that kind of information isn’t available to the public. Are you planning on asking the people in National Security?” Chen Quan knew that Li Yiming did not trust the people in National Security entirely.
“I have a better idea.” Li Yiming said as he picked up his phone.
In an old house thousands of kilometers away, Eyeglasses’ cell phone began ringing.
“It’s Li Yiming…” Eyeglasses said as he looked at his phone.
Eyeglasses and his friends held their breath, only for the cranking of the rusted window under the violent gusts of wind to be heard.
“Pick it up,” Qing Linglong said.
Eyeglasses took a deep breath and answered the phone.
“Hey, do you have some time?” Li Yiming’s voice was heard.
“Could you find the transaction records for a shop. I need to find one of the buyers…” Without the need for formalities between the two, Li Yiming went straight to the point.
“Transaction records for a jadeware shop?” Eyeglasses’ breathing quickened despite his best efforts to keep them down.
“Can you do it?”
“There should be no problems, as long as you have the name of the shop.” Eyeglasses took a deep breath once again to adjust his breathing.
“Is there something wrong?” Li Yiming asked, noticing Eyeglasses’ abnormal tone.
“Huh? Everything’s fine. I’m just having a massage, you know…” Eyeglasses faked a lewd laugh.
“Alright then. Tell me if you find anything.” Li Yiming sighed and hung up.
“He doesn't seem to know about it.” Eyeglasses’ laughter was cut short as soon as he hung up, and he took on a severe countenance. His left hand was covering a gaping wound on his abdomen, and his friends were no better — Qing Linglong had her left shoulder dislocated, while Big Beard sat on the damaged arm of his mecha, which was covered in bullet holes.
“He’s not involved in this…” Qing Qiaoqiao let out a sigh of relief and gave a bottle of medicine to Eyeglasses.
“It's not going to be much use to him. You should try this…” Big Beard said as he rolled up his sleeves and put his wrist in front of Eyeglasses.
While hesitating at first, Eyeglasses suddenly took on a firm expression as he plunged his teeth into Big Beard’s flesh.Previous Chapter Next Chapter