There was a common saying that went, “Accident or tomorrow, you will never know which will come first.”
Accidents were indeed what people feared. However, what was even more fearsome was a man’s heart and his evil plottings. Perhaps you tried hard to defend against them, but the result might not be what you had wished for.
Qin Sheng, however, wanted to give a go with his own strength. Just as he believed that no one was God and nobody was invincible. Even if he were defeated in the end, he had to guard his pride.
Zhao Quan had managed to make the necessary arrangements with Tian Shui’s leaders and the police force, who were stunned by what had happened the night before. Immediately, a special unit was set up for investigation. In a while, some policemen were sent over to the hotel to make a record of the account from Qin Sheng and Han Bing. From the information provided by Qin Sheng and Han Bing, the area under search was extended.
The people in Han Village were made aware of what happened, especially the fact that Han Bing’s two cousins had gone missing.
By the time they finished recording the statements, it was already three in the morning. Han Bing was completely exhausted after sending some of her relatives off. Qin Sheng knew Han Bing was counting on him so he said to her tenderly, “Take a rest now, I will be in the living room. Just call me if you need anything.”
Han Bing suddenly walked over to him and gave the puzzled Qin Sheng a tight embrace. Qin Sheng could feel Han Bing’s warm and soft bosom and smell the fragrance from her body, but this was not the time to think about this.
“Do not leave me, ever. Please?” Han Bing said with a trembling voice. She was like a little girl who had woken from a nightmare. All that had happened in the past hours had been too much for her to bear mentally and she felt as if she would break down any moment.
While Qin Sheng put his arms her and caressed her back, he said to her assuringly, “Don’t worry, I will not do that.”
Qin Sheng only left the room after Han Bing had fallen asleep. He sat in the living room and smoke a cigarette. Chen Beiming and Old Wu were nowhere to be found. Even if they were to leave for Shanghai, there would still be unknown dangers. He had to get at least two trusted men to help him.
Suddenly, Zhongnan Mountains came to Qin Sheng’s mind.
Early the next morning, after making the necessary arrangements for Qin Sheng and Han Bing, Zhao Quan made his way back to the province of Lan. He was after all a busy man and could not stay on in Tian Shui for too long. Qin Sheng and Han Bing worked with the police to return to the location of the accident the night before. The car which they were driving at the time of the event had been driven away, but there was still no news of Chen Beiming, Old Wu and the two cousins. When the police led them to where the fights and struggles happened, everything looked to be consistent with Qin Sheng and Han Bin’s statements. When Qin Sheng and Han Bing saw the blood stains, they were prepared for the worst news.
The Hans were reasonably capable in Tian Shui. After instructing them to think of some solutions and to contact Han Bing when necessary, Qin Sheng and Han Bing finished off what they needed with the police, they set out for Shanghai in the afternoon in the G450 private jet.
In Shanghai, Zheng Ping and Zhao Dongsheng had made multiples calls to Han Bing to urge her to return to Shanghai quickly so she could handle the company matters in the absence of her father. It had been chaotic at the office and it seemed as if the company could collapse anytime.
With Chen Beiming and Old Wu gone, Qin Sheng had to be by Han Bing’s side all the time. Before leaving Tian Shui, Qin Sheng had contacted his best buddy, Hao Lei. Hao Lei had joined the army right after he graduated from high school and was recently discharged this year. Qin Sheng had heard from Old Meng that Hao Lei was a reconnaissance officer in the army and even received awards for what he did. It came as a surprise to everyone when he requested to be discharged from the army.
He had been staying at home after being discharged from the army and had yet to find a job. Qin Sheng had casually asked if he would be willing to come to Shanghai if he did not wish to stay in Xi An.
Qin Sheng was suprised that Hao Lei agreed immediately. His reason being that he was not engaged in anything at the moment, it would be a good idea to come to Shanghai and see if there were job opportunies. He could always go back home if nothing came up.
Qin Sheng’s relationship with Hao Lei was beyond doubt, so he would definitely be very comfortable with him around. The first thing he tasked Hao Lei to do was to look for the help of an old man in Zhongnan Mountains.
Qin Sheng had fed Hao Lei all the necessary information as well as where to find this old man in Zhongnan Mountains. The only worry was if the old man had left Zhongnan Mountains.
Immediately after Hao Lei hang up the phone, he set off for Zhongnan Mountains in his car.
When G450 landed in Shanghai, it was exactly 6pm. The sun had gone down and darkness set in. Qin Sheng did not entrust in any of the Hans but approached Jiang Xianbang to send cars to transport them to Huarun Nine Mile Bund instead of Tomson Golf Villa.
From the time the jet landed in Pudong airport, Qin Sheng knew he had to be cautious in everything he did. Any careless mistake could cost their lives.
Knowing that Old Wu and Chen Beiming had both sacrificed their lives to protect Han Bing, he knew he had to keep Han Bing safe regardless of what happened.
There was a big contrast in Shanghai and Han Village, so upon returning to Shanghai, Qin Sheng was a little dazed in this big, busy city. Han Bing on the other hand had fallen asleep at this moment, leaning on his shoulder.
Qin Sheng thought about how he had to face with what was coming next and whether the old man in Zhongnan Mountains would agree to come to his rescue. He had no idea how this was going to work out. All he could do was to take a step at time and keep going.
Upon arrival at Huarun Nine Mile Bund, Qin Sheng ascorted Han Bing back to her house and instructed her to wash up and take a good rest.
“Are you leaving?” Han Bing said anxiously.
Qin Sheng shook his head and said, “Not leaving. I will not leave you even if you try to shoo me away. However, are you not worried being alone with me?”
“You are not a bad person,” Han Bing said, doe-eyed.
Qin Sheng did not have the energy to joke around with Han Bing. Moreover the state they were in made it unsuitable to do so. He gave Han Bing a light pat on her shoulder and sent her to bed.
Nodding, Han Bing took a quick shower and went to sleep. She was truly exhausted and in need of a good night’s sleep.
After Han Bing fell asleep, Qin Sheng sat in the living room to wait for Jiang Xianbang to arrive.
After half an hour, Qin Sheng went downstairs to meet Jiang Xianbang. They lit a cigarette each and started talking by the stairwell but did not enter the house, while Jiang Xianbang’s bodyguards stood guard by the door.
“You have been lucky. I was so worried that you would not return alive,” Jiang Xianbang said, puffing away.
“If it’s not meant to be, so be it,” Qin Sheng was downcast.
Not only was Han Guoping dead, their greatest security, Chen Beiming and Old Wu were nowhere to be found. The downfall of the Hans came so suddenly and rapidly, how would Han Bing be able to withstand being left alone?
“I told you not to get into this mess but you won’t listen,” Jiang Xianbang said.
Sighing, Qin Sheng continued, “Now, I can’t just up and go as I wish.”
“So what are your plans now?” With so much trouble within and without, Jiang Xianbang was clueless as to what Qin Sheng could do.
“I have rope in two other friends from Xi’an to help me as I can’t handle this alone. I will have a good talk with Han Bing when she wakes and see what she have in mind. We will make a decision by then,” Qin Sheng spoke his mind.
Jiang Xianbang pointed at Qin Sheng and rebuked him, saying, “What do I do with you? I have already contacted Zhao Quan to settle everything in Tian Shui, so you need not worry. If you need any more help in Shanghai, just let me know. With my strength in Shanghai, I guess I could still protect you from dying in the streets.”
“Thank you, Uncle Jiang. I am waiting for you to offer your help,” Qin Sheng said shamelessly.
“Alright, I better get going. You be careful,” Jiang Xianbang got up to leave.
Qin Sheng returned to the living room after Jiang Xianbang left. He was awaiting news from Hao Lei. Regardless of whether Hao Lei succeeded in his mission, he had to be in Shanghai by noon the next day. Another day’s delay would mean another day of risk.
After Hao Lei and Qin Sheng spoke on the phone Hao Lei had set out towards Zhongnan Mountains straight away. It was a tedious task of looking for the old man. At the last leg, he had to park him car and get on his foot to walk to the old man’s hut.
Walking along the route Qin Sheng had suggested, Hao Lei had been searching for nearly two hours and his shoes almost gave way. Finally, he came to place halfway up the mountain where there was a small rocky path that led to three most basic huts in the middle of a fenced up area. There were a few trees and some vegetable patches.
Hao Lei had merely heard rumors about how there were many wise men who resided in Zhongnan Mountains. This was, however, the first time he came across one such place. He felt as if he had entered an agricultural society from the past.
“Is anybody there?” Hao Lei called out. He could see some yellowish light in the huts through the windows. The lights were definitely not from electrical light bulbs, but rather, they were from some kind of kerosene lamps.
After calling out for a while, there was still no reply.
Deep in the mountains where one could even hear the sounds made by wild beasts, the atmosphere was almost creepy. Luckily Hao Lei was a man of steel. If it were any other regular man, he would have run off in fear.
He moved closer to the huts as he muscles tensed. He was in flight mode just in case anything dangerous came up. Eventually, he pushed open the wooden door, making a creaking sound.
Suddenly someone said, “Welcome, my friend from afar.”
The voice sounded hoarse as if it were coming from an old man on his death bed, saying his last words. Even Hao Lei was taken aback and his legs turned to jelly.
Cautiously, he walked in further and took a closer look. An old man clad in a long grey robe was sitting cross-legged by a fire. Above the fire was a boiling pot of fragrant tea. The way the interior of the hut was decorated with a few pieces of wooden furniture seemed to take Hao Lei into another world.
“Do you know Qin Sheng, Mister? He had asked me to come to you,” Hao Lei said cautiously.
No one would question if this old man with long grey hair and wrinkled face was a wise man. He certainly looked like a wise old saint.
Hao Lei could vividly feel a strong aura about this man which made him uncomfortable.
“Fate controls everything. I have been waiting for you,” the old man said, still keeping his eyes shut.
Hao Lei was completely confused. He had no idea what fate this old man was talking about.