Chapter 20: The First Time Seeing Him
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Feng Yichen nodded her head in silence as she watched the scenery outside the car window fly by. Her heart was wrenching inside with the pain of the last few weeks, however.
If disaster hadn’t befallen her family, she wouldn’t be going to stay with someone like Brother Bin. However, she never intended to marry him, so whether or not he had a wife made no difference to Feng Yichen.
The “Brother Bin” the blonde man referred to was a notorious gang leader in the C City crime circle. He had pursued her for a long time and Feng Yichen had never considered him as a nuisance before because she had always had been good at dealing with people. She had never looked down on him or showed contempt, which was why he could be her very last life line in this moment.
The car gradually sped away, and the Feng’s became ghosts in C City.
These days, Huo Shaoheng was also very busy. After learning that Yamaguchi Youko had supposedly died in a car accident after returning to Japan, he felt that overall, the incident was very peculiar. He had initially believed that Gu Nianzhi’s current plight was a disaster brought on by the jealousy of Feng Yixi, but he had come to discover that it was not that simple.
“Sir, are we really not going to deal with the Yamaguchi-gumi?” Zhao Liangze had been focusing on collecting data from Japan these days and was especially focused on the Yamaguchi-gumi.
Huo Shaoheng toyed with the round gold coin hand in his hand and finally slammed it down on the desk. He had come to a decision. “No, we will not deal with the Yamaguchi-gumi.”
“What?” Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze both jumped up, “Sir! You don’t want revenge?!”
This was not his style at all.
Huo Shaoheng shot them a look. “How can that be? We will not look for Yamaguchi-gumi, but look for Oda Masao directly.”
Zhao Liangze was the first to react, his eyes shining as he gave Huo Shaoheng a thumbs up. “The General is truly the General! Shoot the horse before the horseman, capture the leader before the minions! Let’s go find Oda Masao!”
Now that they had selected a target to go after, the next step was to find information about him.
“‘Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril'” Huo Shaoheng recited to himself. The famous words by the legendary military strategist and philosopher, Sun Tzu, in his book, The Art of War, would need to be closely followed and applied as Huo Shaoheng and his men proceeded with this private mission.
“Sir, it looks like there is really something suspicious about this Oda Masao.” Zhao Liangze displayed the information sent by a Special Operations Forces member in Japan on the large screen display to Huo Shaoheng.
Huo Shaoheng placed one hand on the long table before him and rested the other on the armrest of the easy chair. He appeared in thought as he nodded in confirmation. “Let’s move then; we’ll go to Japan.”
“You are going personally?” Zhao Liangze was shocked. “Can’t we have our people on that side take action?”
“This is a serious matter. It’s best I go and handle it myself.” Huo Shaoheng stood up and closed the notebook beside him, then said to Zhao Liangze, “You and Yin Shixiong let your families know that you’re coming to Japan. This time it’s just us three.”
“Roger!” Zhao Liangze replied enthusiastically. Then, in a smaller voice, he asked, “What about the base? And Miss Gu?”
It had already been five days and Gu Nianzhi had not yet woken up. Furthermore, Chen Lie believed that something was changing in her blood samples and was scrambling around to try and find information on what was going on.
However, professionally and privately, Huo Shaoheng had to go to Japan himself and meet this Oda Masao.
“For the base, I’ve asked Old Three and Old Four to come over. It’s fine,” Huo Shaoheng said as he left the conference room.
“Old Three” and “Old Four” were his other two personal secretaries.
It was the weekend again, and the Saturday since Gu Nianzhi had been afflicted by H3aB7. Exactly one week ago, she had been taking a comfy afternoon nap in her apartment. This time, however, she lay unresponsive in Huo Shaoheng’s quarters in the Special Operations Forces base.
“Nianzhi is still not awake?” Huo Shaoheng had taken Zhao Liangze and Yin Shixiong to Japan, and the first thing he did was to call to ask after Gu Nianzhi’s condition.
Chen Lie was staring at his equipment nervously. Listening Huo Shaoheng’s grave voice over the phone, he almost didn’t want to answer. After a long while, he spoke in a trembling voice, “It seems like…she’s about to wake up.”
“What are you talking about? What’s do you mean it seems like she’s about to wake up?” Huo Shaoheng gripped his phone and sat beside the window of the Chiba Hotel room in Tokyo. His long legs were stretched out before him, but he sat upright and rigidly at the news Chen Lie delivered. Situated on the 28th floor, Huo Shaoheng’s bedroom window revealed the glamor of the city’s night life, and he stared back at his tense face that was reflected on the window glass.
“Her brain activity has suddenly become very active, heart rate is increasing, eyelids are moving. Compared to the data a few days ago, this is a very sudden turn of events.” Chen Lie was very excited. “Do you know what this means? Her state right now is exhibiting the signs associated with REM sleep!”
Huo Shaoheng sat in silence. After a long while of looking at his phone in disbelief, he accepted that he had indeed called the right number, and that the news wasn’t too good to be true.
“I’m telling you,” Chen Lie said again “she’s dreaming right now. This means she will wake up soon!”
Gu Nianzhi was indeed dreaming.
In her dream, it was six years ago: the day she had met Huo Shaoheng for the first time. She experienced everything lucidly: the azure sky, white clouds, and finally the golden sun blazing down on the soft earth she was standing on. The wind blew on her face; it carried a touch so familiar, of a balmy day and its lazy warmth.
Suddenly, a huge passenger aircraft emerged from the tall cloud layers, a shocking sight incongruous to the unassuming day. Everyone raised their heads to look at the sky, the alpha-numerical label ‘MH210’ painted in crimson red, looked like a brand on the snow-white exterior of the aircraft body. It left a deep impression in her mind.
In the next instance, she was in a sea of flames and alone in a car. She was terrified, crying and screaming. She pounded hard at the car window and only saw the silhouettes of people pointing at her. The flames licked closer, burning her skin. She could even smell the ends of her hair burning. She wanted to escape, but found that she was unable to undo the seatbelt on her body. The smoke snaked inside the car and her vision grew blurry. In her despair, she finally saw someone break open the car window.
The great flames crept closer and Huo Shaoheng’s strapping body appeared in the blaze.
His handsome face was illuminated by the flames, the sight scorched into her memory. He braced himself against the door, using his powerful arms to pry it open and then fiercely tearing off her seatbelt. He held her head to his heart in a firm embrace, and trapped the flames in the car. Turning around quickly, he carried her and escaped from the burning vehicle.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Several thunderous sounds met her ears and the huge flames behind them reached for the sky. The burning car was on the verge of exploding. Then, with overwhelming force, the explosion blotted the sky with a cloud of heavy smoke and covered the earth, the tremors from the blast knocking over many people nearby.
Her rescuer, Huo Shaoheng, realized that it was too late to escape the blaze zone, and so, in desperation, he dove down to the ground with her, and covered her with his large body.
She lay on the ground and peeked from around his neck. She saw only the wild hues of the fire around them. The flames alluring outline mingled with the thick smoke.
Around where the explosion had originated, a deep crater had formed. The car she had been in was reduced to mere ashes.