Chapter 14: Following the Vine to Find the Melon(2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Prepare two million—in cash—and I’ll see if I can find someone to get you a bit of it.” The drunk young man grinned, his eyes rolled back. He did not appear drunk, but that he was actually under the influence of drugs.
The overweight man who called himself “Master Zeng,” smiled as he bowed hastily. “Then I’ll go prepare it. When will you have it?”
“Be patient, I’ll give you an update in two days.” The young man belched and took out his phone. He called his cousin as he waved goodbye to Master Zeng and said in a drunken slur, “Sister, today it’s my treat. I’m gonna celebrate you passing the interview. Come to room 518 on the top floor of Fortune Palace. See you here!”
Feng Yixi was on the other end of the line. Her interview had been very successful that day. The 28-years old, overseas educated, Faculty of Law professor at B University, He Zhichu, was extremely accomplished and handsome. The thought sent her heart fluttering. She wanted to jump for joy and share her exuberance and pride.
“Cousin, are you really holding a celebration for me?”
“Of course! You are my cousin, what kind of relationship do we have here? Hurry up! Once you get here you’ll know, there’s a huge surprise!”
“Ok, I’ll come over now.” Feng Yixi smiled and changed into a black and white dress so short that it ended on tops of her thighs. It made her legs appear even more fair and slender.
Feng Yixi arrived to the private room 518 on the top floor of Fortune Palace alone. Just as she opened the door, the dark room suddenly lit up and a waterfall of petals and confetti fell from the ceiling. Complimenting this were the pops of champagne bottles opening and sounds of party horns, which completed the atmosphere of boisterous cheer.
A group of finely dressed men and women appeared from different corners of the private room to applaud and welcome Feng Yixi, who was still at the door.
Feng Yixi’s cousin walked up from behind the crowd with a giant bouquet of roses. He smiled as he handed it to her, then took her into an embrace and kissed her on the cheek as per the Western customs. “Sister, I’m throwing this party as an early celebration for your successful admission as He Zhichu’s post-grad student in B University’s Faculty of Law!”
Feng Yixi couldn’t stop grinning.
While the party was underway, someone took out “the good stuff”, which everyone started snorting. Feng Yixi normally was not the sort of person to fool around with drugs, but she was especially euphoric that night and couldn’t help giving into her curiosity when she saw the others in utter ecstasy from it.
She had no grasp of what was happening around her after she took it, feeling feverish as she continued to drink and enjoy herself to maddening levels. The last thing Feng Yixi recalled doing was removing her clothing and embracing someone while the party carried on.
Before the monitors in the Fortune Palace security room, a man appearing as a security guard covertly recorded the crazed revelry of room 518, then sent it to a mysterious account.
Soon after, Zhao Liangze received the video on the other end.
“Sir, we have the video. Feng Xiyi’s cousin, Hu Chuanxin, was the one who sold the H3aB7.”
Huo Shaoheng acknowledged the information with a firm nod, his jaw clenched.
“Keep an eye on him.”
Late into the night, Huo Shaoheng returned to his quarters and saw Chen Lie sitting on the living room floor. A pile of his medical instruments was laid out before him and he was concentrating on extracting and purifying blood samples.
“Why haven’t you left yet?” Huo Shaoheng asked. He paused mid-step. “Where’s Nianzhi? Did she eat yet?”
Chen Lie sighed and shook his head. “She’s not awake yet.” He glanced at Huo Shaoheng. “Do you realize what you’ve done? You were only supposed to let her get to release, but you nearly killed her!”
Huo Shaoheng stood in silence. He then crossed the small hallway to the bedroom and saw that the door was, indeed, still closed.
Huo Shaoheng felt a twinge of worry and asked,”She really hasn’t woken up?”
He opened the bedroom door to enter.
A full day had come to an end, and the curtains in the bedroom were drawn closed;it was silent and dark inside the room. Upon stepping in, however, he could still sense a lingering scent of the peculiar seductive aroma that had filled the air just the night before .
Huo Shaoheng left the room without a sound and closed the door gently behind him. He returned to the living room and made his way to the sofa.
Chen Lie turned to look at Huo Shaoheng and saw his sombre expression. The man’s eyes were lowered and did not reveal what he was thinking about.
“Boss, if Nianzhi doesn’t wake up by tomorrow, I’m afraid something might be wrong.” Chen Lie picked up a vial and swirled its contents, his voice low.
Even without Chen Lie pointing it out to him, Huo Shaoheng had sensed something was amiss far earlier.
He gave out a long sigh, and wordlessly got up to return to his study.
That night, neither Chen Lie nor Huo Shaoheng slept.
Early the next morning, Chen Lie went to the room to check on Gu Nianzhi again to see if she had awaken. Not only was she not awake, but she was also running a high fever.
Chen Lie hurried to get a fever injection and gave a shot to her arm. He then proceeded to withdraw more blood. Gu Nianzhi’s fair arm was already beginning to display dark patches, all of them bruises caused by withdrawing blood.
Huo Shaoheng came out from the study, saw Chen Lie exit the bedroom with yet another vial of blood, and stopped him with an outraised hand. “What are you doing exactly? How much blood did you take?”
Chen Lie pushed him away with one hand to protect the vial in his other and said, unwaveringly, “This is for her own good. She’s running a fever today. I think this H3aB7 is really something else. Oda Masao, the man behind the discovery of H3aB7, is an acclaimed biomedical specialist at the Tokyo Imperial University Hospital in Japan. How could he stoop to create something as low class as an aphrodisiac.”
Huo Shaoheng’s brow furrowed; his voice was dangerously low. “What are you saying?”
“I’m not saying anything that isn’t true. It’s just that I’m certain H3aB7 is not as simple as we thought. It’s not only an aphrodisiac; I suspect it has other effects.” Chen Lie carefully streamed Gu Nianzhi’s blood into the hematology instrument for another analysis.
“Fever? You’re saying Nianzhi has a fever?” Huo Shaoheng had obviously not foreseen this as an outcome. “Why does she have a fever?”
“I don’t know why, can’t you see I’m doing the analysis? I have to develop the blood sample, so stop loitering here and go do whatever you’re supposed to be doing.” Chen Lie waved his hand and shooed Huo Shaoheng away.
Huo Shaoheng glanced at him and took out a cigarette to light it. He inhaled once viciously and said dryly, “If that’s the case, I’m not going to wait.” He turned to look at the closed bedroom door before leaving his quarters. As he descended, he made some calls and assembled his men.
Twenty minutes later, a grey sedan parked across the street from the building where Fortune Palace, the luxury club in C City where Feng Yixi had been celebrating, was situated.
The vehicle was inconspicuous and plain, but all the glass had been specially tinted so as to allow clear views of the outside from within. Additionally, the body of the car and the windows were bullet-proof, and the interior was upholstered with genuine leather seats. A state of the art sound system, built-in computer and internet services, and an enhanced GPS console were installed in the car as well. It had the capacity to act as a mobile military command center at any time.
Huo Shaoheng sat in the back seat, his eyes hidden by his dark sunglasses as they focused on the building across the street like a hawk’s. The orderly, Fan Jian, was the driver and sat with the personal secretary, Zhao Liangze, in the front. His other personal secretary, Yin Shixiong, sat on the other side of Huo Shaoheng.
The 4 men sat and waited in silence.
It was still early, so there were only a few people on the streets. The stalls selling breakfast had just opened for the day, and the aroma of food and the refreshing cleanliness of the morning wafted in the air.
Not long after, the blare of sirens pierced the serene morning scene. Police cars pulled up and stopped before the building. Teams of officers in riot gear jumped out of the vehicles in a rush. They all wore black helmets, their faces obscured and only their eyes showing. In steady formation, the officers pointed their semi-automatic rifles and quickly blocked off the exits from the stairs and elevators. At the same time, more officers ascended the stairs and elevators to the club on the top floor.
After a night of glamour and uproar, Fortune Palace was about to close for the day.
Most of the guests had left already, but the few who had stayed to party over night were still slumped in the private rooms. The men and women who had partied all night in room 518 on the top floor were still sleeping off the celebrations of the night before.
“Open up, open up! The police are here for an unannounced check!”