Chapter 18: Following the Vine to Find the Melon (6)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Huo Shaoheng crossed his hands behind his back and stood in the monitoring room next to the interrogation room. Before him was a transparent, one-way wall. He was able to see inside the room he was facing, but those in the room couldn’t see him.
The personnelle monitoring the interrogation immediately stood up. Huo Shaoheng raised his arm to make a gesture at them, his gaze steady as he watched the scene ahead.
Hu Chuanxin had only lasted 15 seconds in the interrogation room of the Special Operations Forces base before confessing everything.
“That Japanese woman is called… called Yamaguchi Youko. I met her while drinking at the Fortune Palace; she was alone at the time. She overheard me boasting to my friends about wanting to find some potent aphrodisiac. We were having a good time and she came over, introduced herself and said she had the best aphrodisiac in the world, but getting it was a matter of whether or not I could afford it.” Hu Chuanxin gritted this out between deep breaths while he endured immense pain.
This Hu Chuanxin was not a total idiot. He even knew about concealing the fact that he and Feng Yixi had used this aphrodisiac to frame Gu Nianzhi.
Huo Shaoheng’s eyes were dark and unreadable. He raised a hand to his jaw as he pondered for a long while. He turned to leave, activating his Bluetooth headset, and gave an order to Zhao Liangze. “Dig up information on Yamaguchi Youko.”
Because Hu Chaunxin had dealt with Yamaguchi Youko and knew more information about her, Zhao Laingze also partook in the the interrogation to squeeze out more from him. The more details he knew, the easier it would be to find this person.
Leaving the interrogation room a little later, Zhao Liangze then returned to his office. He immediately connected to the Empire’s Customs database and looked up Japanese tourists by the name of “Yamaguchi Youko” who had entered the country that year.
Soon after, lines of data were generated. Zhao Liangze’s hand tapped at the keyboard at lightning speed and gradually narrowed down his search field.
After 15 minutes, he was down to only three women.
“Sir, I’ve found that there were 15 Japanese women by the name of Yamaguchi Youko who had entered the country this year. Eliminating 12 who did not fit the age, there are three remaining. The first one and the second one had left our country a month ago, so it doesn’t match up with Hu Chuanxin’s timeline. There is only one remaining Yamaguchi Youko. She had entered the Empire two weeks ago and happened to stay in C City during that time. I also checked her credit card history and discovered that it had been used at the Fortune Palace. Without a doubt, this Yamaguchi Youko is the one who sold the H3aB7 to Hu Chuanxin.”
“Ok. What took you so long?” Huo Shaoheng was slightly displeased. Hu Chuanxin had already confessed in detail, but it had still taken Zhao Liangze another 15 minutes.
“Sir, they had used cash for the transaction. If it was through the banking system, I wouldn’t have needed even a full second to figure it out.” Zhao Liangze’s face was grim as he tried to pacify Huo Shaoheng.
“Cut the cr*p, where is Yamaguchi Youko now?” Huo Shaoheng stood up and got ready to assemble his men to make the arrest.
Suddenly, Zhao Liangze gave a shout.
“Sh*t! Sir! She’s already on a plane departing for Japan!” Zhao Liangze’s face paled. “She got on the plane before we received Hu Chuanxin’s confession!”
Huo Shaoheng punched the desk in frustration. “Continue your search! Send me the Customs information!”
Zhao Liangze immediately used his highest permission settings to access the C City Customs system. C City was the largest city in the Empire and had countless international flights going through it per day. To find a single person within all the possible flights was not easy, but it was much easier if the flight number was known. Zhao Liangze used “Yamaguchi Youko’s” name and passport number to find her flight number returning to Japan. He then isolated the video footage of when she departed from the airport Customs and sent it to Huo Shaoheng.
Huo Shaoheng leaned over to the large monitor before him and squinted to scrutinize the throngs of people at the C City airport customs. Zhao Liangze guided him over the phone. “Sir, this person is Yamaguchi Youko.”
In the footage of the C City airport customs, Yamaguchi Youko smiled at the camera. She had thick, black, medium-length hair and wide bangs across her forehead. She wore large, black sunglasses that blocked half her face, but her skin, as pale as a statue’s, was visible. She applied red lipstick to her thin lips and had thin brows, making her looking like an ancient Empire beauty, but also with the obvious features of a Japanese woman.
Huo Shaoheng frowned, rose to shut off the large monitor and directly ordered Zhao Liangze. “Are you able to connect to the Japanese database? Look up her background.”
Someone who could obtain H3aB7 was not merely an ordinary person, Huo Shaoheng surmised.
Zhao Liangze loved hacking, but was unfortunately restricted by military discipline and was not able to do as he wished online. However, Huo Shaoheng had given him authorization this time and he was incredibly excited. He rubbed his hands together and said “No problem! Where am I hacking? Is it the Japanese security network, or their financial network? Will this affect the level of safety for the Japanese internet?”
Huo Shaoheng said coldly, “Why does the safety of the Japanese internet have anything to do with me? I just need you to to dig up this woman’s background.”
Zhao Liangze nodded to himself. “Understood!”
He cherished each time he was able to hack another country’s internet legitimately. These were rare opportunities, and one of the reasons why he joined the Special Operations Forces. As a former world class hacker who had been offered amnesty, he was very satisfied with his current job. It not only fulfilled his interests, but allowed him to contribute to the country.
Strings of data flew between his fingers as he tapped away, relentlessly attacking the security flaws in the Japanese internet. He only needed to find one and rip it open so that he could ‘view the scenery from the other side’ so to say. Before dawn broke, Zhao Liangze had successfully found the password of the Japanese internet and strolled through the country’s computer networks. However, the results he found were not favorable.
Zhao Liangze’s face grew grim and after 10 minutes, he relayed the information to Huo Shaoheng. “Sir, Yamaguchi Youko has a close relationship with Yamaguch-gumi1 , the largest yakuza group in Japan. Also, according to this information, she has died in a car accident just after landing in Japan”.
Huo Shaoheng sat in his study and faced a wall covered with large monitors. He sat in the high-backed chair behind the desk, intently reading the information on the large monitors. It was the intelligence Zhao Liangze had gathered on the Japanese internet, all with translated subtitles.
“Sir, could this incident be tied to Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest yakuza group in Japan? Should we be dealing with yakuza, then?” Zhao Liangze discussed this question with Huo Shaoheng over the phone.
Deal with Yamaguchi-gumi? Huo Shaoheng remained silent, his eyes as dark as night. One hand lightly rubbed at his jaw and felt the growing stubble. His other hand produced the gold coin from his trouser pockets, and he began weaving it through his fingers.
His instincts told him the clues ended here. It is not as though I am scared of facing the Japanese Yamaguchi-gumi, but why do I have to face them? Huo Shaoheng wondered irritably. His thoughts continued to spiral: Yamaguchi Youko is now a dead person who can tell no tales. Could she truly have proven that this was connected to Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest yakuza group in Japan? The entire event is linked and led us to ‘follow the vine to find the melon’. After getting to the bottom of it, were we finally able to find Yamaguchi Youko step by step. But Huo Shaoheng’s instinct told him that this kind of ‘following the vine to find the melon’ was too simple. The clues that appeared were obvious, but there is more than what meets the eye. If this was truly an act by the Japanese Yamaguchi-gumi, what were their intentions, and why did they target Gu Nianzhi?
Huo Shaoheng firmly believed that Gu Nianzhi’s existence was probably not something in the Japanese Yamaguchi-gumi’s knowledge. The Empire had concealed her well, otherwise Gu Nianzhi’s foolish university classmate wouldn’t have used such a wicked and stupid way to set her up.
If this wasn’t an act by Yamaguchi-gumi, why did this mastermind cast their sights to Yamaguchi-gumi? What was their intention for covering up the truth? Huo Shaoheng closes his eyes, a mounting sense of worry and dread looming in his mind.