When A Snail Falls in Love - Chapter 41[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:55:02]
Chapter 41: Chapter 42
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Due to the emergency, Ti Sa drove a military truck and rushed Xu Xu and twenty other soldiers towards the location of the explosion.
The morning light shone down on the whole street such that every single bit of it was lit up. Even from a distance, they see the fire and smoke, as well as many panicked human figures racing about. Many windows along the street were wide open as curious people stuck their heads out of their houses to investigate the source of the loud noise.
The fire was almost completely extinguished by the time they arrived at the supermarket. The shop that used to be clean and spacious was now and covered in rubble and ashes; there was also a thick layer of dust and smoke around them whilst the floor of the building was covered with damaged merchandise and shattered glasses.
There was no signal on their phones either, this was because of an incident in the past where the perpetrators had used telephone-controlled explosions to set off their bomb. Henceforth, the military would cut off all communication networks whenever there was an explosion as a precautionary step to prevent further detonations. As it stood, no one knew when the signal would be back on again.
The other criminal police officers did not head to the scene of the crime since they were tasked with their own duties, so it was not like they could neglect their own job. In addition to this, the communication network was not working, so it would still be some time before they could reach them.
In the meantime, Xu Xu and Ti Sa could only rely on themselves.
Ti Sa gathered a group of soldiers and spoke to them softly, then slapped each of their shoulders, after which the soldiers nodded and charged into the supermarket. When the crowd around saw this scene, their internal discussion became more heated.
Xu Xu stood alone in the center of the road. Ten meters in front of her was the destroyed supermarket and behind her stood the chattering crowd, whilst cars honked their horns and raced about not far away from her. All the chaotic noise seemed to surge into her head all at once as her head started to throb vigorously.
What she first noticed was Ji Bai’s car parked by the road opposite the supermarket. This made her heart skip a beat and she immediately took a deep breath to collect herself, then she continued searching.
There were no traces of blood around the supermarket, nor were there signs of anything suspicious. Then, she headed to the alley and was slightly shocked to find the supermarket’s backdoor half closed. She peered outside and quickly saw that the floor and walls were covered with splashes of blood – a fight had occurred here.
When Xu Xu returned to the main road, she saw that the soldiers had completed a thorough search in the whole supermarket only to find no personnel or bodies in the area. This made both Xu Xu and Ti Sa both breathe a sigh of relief, but their heart remained tense.
The soldiers soon spread out to question the passersby in hopes that they could find a witness.
Since the supermarket was located downtown, the area was densely populated, and in no time they found a clue.
When the explosion occurred, a cleaner happened to be cleaning near the back alley of the supermarket. He told them, “I saw people fighting in the alley. There were seven to eight people and they used iron rods to beat up two men.”
This verified Xu Xu’s earlier deduction. She took her cell phone out and looked for Ji Bai’s photo, then she took Zhou Chengbo’s photo out from the information kit and showed them both to the cleaner.
“Yes, they were the ones being hit and their bodies were wounded in the process. I was scared to bring trouble upon myself, so I quickly left to clean on the opposite side of the street. A while later I heard an explosion, and when I looked over, I saw the people with iron rods dragging two blood-soaked men into a van.”
Luckily, the cleaner had also remembered the license plate number of the van. Soon enough, the soldiers located the same van in the back alley of a casino that was just two streets away from the crime scene.
Ti Sa and Xu Xu sat in a small car at the end of the street and looked through binoculars. They saw two burly, strong men guarding the back door of the casino whilst blood stains could vaguely be seen on the outside of the van.
This particular casino also happened to be one of Brother Lu’s main strongholds.
Ti Sa looked at Xu Xu. “My men can’t go in, we can only wait here for your men to arrive.”
The gambling industry was legal in Maija City. Back then, in order to attract large-scale business and investment and to eliminate investors’ concerns, the commander in chief promised the Chamber of Commerce that unless there was a warrant, the Kachin military would never enter the casinos. Right now, no official arrest warrant had been issued, so Ti Sa could not go in.
The sun looked enormous as it scorched the Earth from directly over their heads. Xu Xu looked at the entrance of the casino, and the people walking in and out of it; the loud, noisy music and flashing neon lights only enhanced the image of it being extremely lively and busy.
“We can’t wait. I’ll go in and look for him.”
She really could not wait.
As the cleaner did not actually see the faces of the men who were dragged away, Ji Bai may or may not have actually been taken away.
Xu Xu was certain that Ji Bai had escaped the blast, and that, normally, seven to eight thugs were not his match.
However, this time he needed to protect Zhou Chengbo, and had no gun with him since they were not on the mainland. On the other hand, almost all the core members of gangs here carried guns on them.
If a gang leader like Brother Lu had shown up today, then Xu Xu would not choose to enter, due to the fact that an experienced criminal like Brother Lu would think twice about touching a police officer.
She was more worried about the subordinates, who were arrogant, presumptuous, and immature, so it was more likely that they would commit foolish crimes.
Even though backup could arrive any moment now, waiting for them might come at the cost of Ji Bai being tortured, or possibly, even his life. How could she allow this to happen?
While Ti Sa and the soldiers watched her with shocked expressions, Xu Xu put on a cap and shades from she had kept in her backpack. Then, she swallowed a mouthful of water and swung open the car door before walking straight through the casino’s guarded entrance without looking back.
Xu Xu had guessed right. Sure enough, Ji Bai had avoided the bomb.
At the time, Zhou Chengbo was about to open the package but Ji Bai stopped him. “Don’t touch it.”
When Zhou Chengbo saw his serious expression, he immediately understood. Nevertheless, he had thought that bombs only appeared in television dramas, so he instantly broke into a cold sweat. “It can’t be… What do we do then? Throw it out?”
Ji Bai shook his head. “Don’t touch it.” He looked at the postman who was walking out of the supermarket’s entrance then said softly, “We’ll go through the back door.”
He made Zhou Chengbo stand behind him as he slowly pushed the metal door open without actually walking through. As expected, when the door opened, a black iron rod immediately came crashing down from high above. Ji Bai had reflexes, which allowed him to quickly catch the person’s arm; a cracking sound was heard as he swiftly twisted the arm backward, dislocating it from its socket. The man cried out in pain, but a split second later, Ji Bai grabbed his head up and slammed it against the wall, instantly causing him to pass out as the blood started flowing out.
As this was a life or death situation, Ji Bai was ruthless. Another person behind him wielded a knife and dashed at him but was taken down in the blink of an eye.
Zhou Chengbo shouted, “Get to my car!”
“No, we can’t.” For all they knew, the package was just a bait to lead them to the real bomb waiting for them in the car. Ji Bai scanned his surroundings then said quietly, “Run with me.”
A few seconds later, they encountered seven or eight intimidating-looking men standing in the alley and armed with iron rods and butcher knives. They probably had not expected them to run out so quickly as they were all dumbfounded. The man standing in the front immediately reached for his gun on his waist, but Ji Bai spotted this and yelled ferociously, “Police!” His voice was so loud and powerful that it shocked every single one of them.
That man paused for a split-second, but this was all that Ji Bai needed to rush forward and seize his wrist, after this, he snatched his gun and kicked him in the groin.
When the others saw this, they pounced onto Ji Bai, causing Ji Bai to get wounded everywhere. Upon looking at the scene, Zhou Chengbo too felt a fire in his veins as he grabbed a man and started fighting as well.
What Xu Xu did not know was that the cleaner did not see Ji Bai and Zhou Chengbo finally defeating the gangsters and escaping from the alley. The ones who were injured in the explosion and dragged away by their companions were the two gangsters who were beaten up by Ji Bai near the back door.
Ji Bai ran with Zhou Chengbo for two blocks before they got into a taxi and headed to the hotel where the task force was residing in. On then did Ji Bai learn that Xu Xu and Ti Sa had gone out to look for him.
When he arrived at the street where the casino was, he saw that the other two criminal police officers had also just arrived. However, Ti Sa’s face was grim as he looked at them with seriously. “Ji, Xu insisted on going in and looking for you, it has been ten minutes…”
After Xu Xu entered the casino, she exchanged some chips at the counter. As the counter manager saw that she was just a young lady, he could not help but stare at her for a few more seconds. Xu Xu smiled and waved her cell phone. “There’s no signal, but my mother will be here later. Can you bring her in to look for me? She’s wearing a white top, red skirt, and carries an LV bag, it’ll be easy to recognize her.”
The manager smiled back. “No problem.”
Xu Xu went to play two rounds of dices, then she set her eyes on a young security guard standing near the platform. The other security guards looked rather fierce, and they wore either indifferent and lazy looks, or they were expressionless. He was the only one who smiled from time to time and was quite energetic, besides this, his uniform was brand new.
“Brother, can you buy me a bottle of black tea?” Xu Xu passed him a chip. It was a hundred-dollar chip, so the security guard took her as a generous, rich girl, and was happy to do so.
In no time, he bought back her drink. After this, Xu Xu no longer gambled, instead, she rested beside then asked him again, “You’re from Shandong, aren’t you? We’re from the same hometown.”
When the person heard her accent, he was surprised.
A while later, Xu Xu got up. “Brother Ah Zhi, where is the washroom?”
Ah Zhi replied, “I’ll bring you there.”
Xu Xu thought for a moment then said, “No. My mother will be here in a minute, ask her to wait for me here. Your manager knows who she is.” After she said this, she waved at the manager behind the counter, and when the manager saw her, he waved back at the young lady with a wide smile.
Ah Zhi instantly thought, ‘Oh, you know the manager,’ and he nodded then told her the location. Sometime later, he even told the security guard beside him, “We’re from the same hometown, she’s the manager’s friend.”
Xu Xu stayed in the washroom for a short while before leaving. However, she did not return to the main hall, instead, she headed into the office space behind.
She had not blindly entered the casino alone without thinking.
Firstly, she looked very young, so she would not draw too much attention to herself; Secondly, since she was in charge of logistics, she had already memorized the layout of all the casinos and she knew that behind each casino was a “reception room”, which was used for customers who could not pay their gambling debts. If Ji Bai was captured, he would most likely be detained there.
If she could find him, then she could rescue him.
Along the corridor towards the “reception room”, she ran into a thug guarding the area. He frowned and stopped her. “You can’t go past here.”
Xu Xu paused a little, then she lowered her head and said with a trembling voice, “I’m here to pay off a debt, I’ve talked to Mister Ah Zhi who was at the entrance just now and he asked me to look for the boss.”
The thug was startled. “Whose debt?”
Xu Xu replied, “My brother’s, he’s called Chen Yang. A few days ago I received a phone call stating that he owes ‘Da Fu Hua’ two hundred thousand. I’m here to deliver the money…” Right after this, she took a credit card out of her pocket.
The thug was speechless. ‘Da Fu Hua’ was the name of another casino a few streets away, whereas this was ‘Da Fu Hao’. Usually, the casinos were named to give them good luck; in Maija City, there was Fu Hua, Fu Hao, and Fu Le. He knew that the little girl must have misheard the casino, but this was two hundred thousand…
The thug led her to a small office and poured tea for her. “Wait here, I’ll go look for the boss.”
Once he disappeared up the stairs at the end of the corridor, Xu Xu quietly pushed open the door then followed him. The corridor was very quiet, but due to her sharp eyes, she spotted two drops of blood on the wall, which made her heart shiver.
At last, she arrived at the entrance to the “reception room”. There was a crack in the door and the sound of men cursing and moaning could be faintly heard inside.
Xu Xu took a deep breath and pushed the door open.
The door was wide open as Xu Xu and the men in the room looked at each other.
She quickly took a glance at the two men laying on the bed with their bodies completely covered in blood.
“Uh… Uncle, where is the washroom? Ah Zhi said that it was here.”
The men stared at her silently, then one of them lifted his finger up and pointed at the other end of the corridor.
“Thank you.” Embarrassed, Xu Xu closed the door behind her, then she turned around and walked away swiftly.
Great news, it was not Ji Bai. It was not Ji Bai.
It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders as a stream of warmth flowed all over her body.
She was almost at the end of the corridor and only needed to make a turn before she arrived back at the main hall, but she suddenly heard hurried footsteps behind her followed by a shout. “Eh, don’t go.”
Xu Xu froze then turned her head.
It was the thug who had left to get his boss. He looked at her suspiciously and said, “Where are you going? My boss asked you to go upstairs.”
Xu Xu glanced at him and said sheepishly, “Sorry, I made a mistake. When I was in your office, I saw that you’re actually ‘Da Fu Hao’. As there was no signal on my phone, I used your landline and made a call to Da Fu Hua and they said that they would send a car here immediately to pick me up. Sorry to have disturbed you, thank you.”
Once again, the thug was struck dumb. His boss had wanted to collect the money first and to deny having to have met her before later on. That being said, this young lady had actually called Da Fu Hua, and now that they were going to pick her up, it would be impossible to take her money…
While he struggled for words, Xu Xu thanked him and bowed, but as she turned around, she saw a few men walking out of the reception room.
She heard the men conversing with the thug softly and nervously quickened her pace.
“Wait up, what’s the matter with you?” Somebody shouted.
Xu Xu’s back was drenched in a cold sweat and her legs felt numb.
She had already arrived at the corner, but the lights there were not turned on which made it very dim. The door to the main hall was tightly shut and the sound of people clamoring and moving about could be heard from the other side. It was just so close, yet so far, as if separated by mountains and seas.
Should she run or continue to lie?
It was at this moment that a hand suddenly appeared and grabbed onto her wrist tightly. A tall figure emerged from the shadows as Ji Bai’s handsome face which look ghastly pale and tense stepped out into the light. His dark eyes were piercing and solid as he took a deep look at her before leading her away.
Xu Xu was in a complete blur as she let him guide her as they walked forward. Her hands that were initially stone cold became hot when encased inside his warm, strong hand. The evil men behind her instantly became insignificant as though they were no longer a threat whilst her body actually relaxed.
The dim lights accentuated his side profile, making his body seem as tall as a mountain, and it seemed as though each step he took further increased his stature. She felt an indescribable pounding in her heart which slowly stretched to her limbs and soon occupied every vein in her body.
The men from the corridor had fought Ji Bai earlier in the day, so they were shocked when they saw him. One of them suddenly cussed, “Shit,” and was about to run toward him when Ji Bai turned and stared at him in absolute disdain.
Maybe it was his imposing manner or maybe they got flashbacks of being horribly beaten in the morning, but the men froze, none of them dared to come forward.
Ji Bai guided Xu Xu and kept walking without talking. By the time they got through the corridor and left the casino, their hands that were wrapped around each other were dripping with sweat.