“Not good! Am I going to be discovered? How should I reply?”
As he had never experienced something like this, Su Lin was immediately put in a tight spot by Ji Tou’s question.
“Elder Brother Ji Tou, I just joined the gang and I am ‘following’ Elder Brother Huang Gou. I just went out to take a dump, so I arrived here late. Has Elder Brother Huang Gou not come already?”
Su Lin suddenly got an inspiration and made up an excuse based on his current circumstance.
“It seems that Huang Gou has been getting better and better nowadays! He’s even getting more and more subordinates as well. After going in, you go straight and then go down the stairs to the underground base. Don’t run around, you will find Huang Gou there.”
Ji Tou swept his gaze over Su Lin once, and without having any doubt about him, he let him directly enter the factory.
“Huu! What a narrow escape. Otherwise, even if I had used Time Stop, I would have exposed some weaknesses!”
After entering the factory, Su Lin was relaxed. There were still a few thugs playing cards while looking around, so Su Lin knew that even if he had the advantage of his ability, it wouldn’t be wise to run around, and he would only end up wasting his precious time that could otherwise be used to escape.
‘This place is really concealed well. From the outside, it looks just like an ordinary factory, nothing special; but who would know that the den of one of the biggest syndicates of the city is in the underground of this factory!’
Su Lin gently walked down the stairs. The stairway was faintly illuminated by low-quality 50-60 watt light bulbs that couldn’t clearly brighten the staircase with their pale yellow light. In addition, the place was somewhat moist, and the stairway was worn out with moss growing everywhere, making the steps wet and slippery. Su Lin had to carefully hold the wall while walking down.
‘With the amount of guards stationed up there, I am sure there would be even more below. If I go down there directly like this, then I don’t know what kind of situation I will face. If that Huang Gou and his cronies end up being at the foot of the stairway, the will certainly recognize me. Not only will I not be able to mix with the thugs around here, but I will also be besieged from all sides and pursued without a way out.’
Slowly walking downwards, Su Lin was thinking of some countermeasures in his heart, ‘Wasn’t that Huang Gou saying there’s going to be some sort of deal today? What kind of deal are they going to make? Could Liu Yuanfeng be involved as well? I must arrive at the bottom of this matter. It seems that this place is the foothold of the Dragon-Tiger Gang. With these many thugs around, I must save my ability’s time, otherwise, when the time comes and I need to use Time Stop, I might not even have enough to run away.’
Soon arriving at the end of the stairway, Su Lin closed up right against the wall. Looking inside the underground base, he saw Huang Gou and his cronies playing cards while smoking right at the exit of the stairway.
‘Fortunately, I didn’t rashly walk inside, or I would have been discovered.’
Su Lin was worried. It must be known that he was just an ordinary high school student, and he had never gotten involved with dangerous entities like gangs. If it wasn’t for his advantage provided by the Time Stop ability, Su Lin would never dare rush into the tiger’s den alone.
“Elder Brother Gou, you tell us just how much goods those people inside smuggled from South Vietnam, and how much are we going to earn this time? When will us brothers get to see the real stuff and earn some bucks?”
“Nonsense! I estimate that the amount of goods in their hands isn’t that much. Do you think it’s easy to smuggle stuff and launder money? If you get caught by the border police, then you will have to eat shit for the rest of your life. No matter how much money you have, it won’t be enough at that time.”
Huang Gou spoke while take a puff of smoke from a cigarette, “You guys just need to mix with this Elder Brother Gou. The entire Jian’an City is the world of our Dragon-Tiger Gang. And since I, your Elder Brother Gou, have been mixing with Brother Tiger and Brother Dragon for a long time, you just need to follow me and you will be able to eat the best, and bed the chicks with a big chest! Isn’t that more than enough for you?”
“Is that… Is that the truth, Elder Brother Gou?”
“Us brothers are lucky that we have Elder Brother Gou to illuminate our hearts with the truth!”
“Bah! When I call you bunch to eat a feast, or to pump young girls, you lot rush up with quick feet, yet today when I asked you to catch a brat, you failed and let him get away!”
Spitting on the flower, Huang Gou scolded his cronies while taking another puff.
“Elder Brother Gou, you can’t blame this on us! We almost caught that brat, but who knows what sorcery that brat performed, he suddenly disappeared and we couldn’t find him. We don’t know just where he hid himself!”
“That’s right! Elder Brother Gou, you also saw at that time that no matter how we looked for that brat, we couldn’t find him. You can’t blame it all on us!”
The cronies started to call out over the injustice. Huang Gou held his chin while smoking, and then patted his head and said, “Since Young master Liu asked us to do it, then we must handle it. You must know that both Elder Brother Dragon and Elder Brother Tiger are on intimate terms with Young master Liu, so if we can’t handle the matter handed to us by Young master Liu, then how are we going to mix in with the gang? How are we going to have the face to claim that we are from the Dragon-Tiger Gang? I have already inquired that brat’s address, so tomorrow, we will lay siege to the entrance of his house at the earliest possible time. I don’t believe he will be able to run away from us at that time!”
“Unexpectedly, they even found out my address. It’s great that I followed them here today.”
Hiding in the stairway, Su Lin had been thinking that he made a mistake by coming here today, but now, he was rejoicing over his choice to follow them. But just at this moment, someone walked down the stairs. Seeing someone hiding in the shadows and squatting on the stairs, the person opened their mouth and called out, “Who’s that down there! Why have you still not gone down…”
‘Not good! Someone is coming down from above!’
Su Lin had actually neglected the fact that if he hid himself in the stairway, so long as someone from above walked down the stairs, they would be able to discover him, and there were indeed people in the building who could come down.
“Why aren’t you answering? Who are you?”
Seeing that there was no reply, the thug got suspicious. In the meantime, the sounds from the stairway were also heard by Huang Gou and his cronies who got up and started walking towards the stairs.
The attackers were converging, and the situation was becoming dangerous. If someone else were to be put in the same situation, they simply wouldn’t have the means to run away, let alone completely hiding their traces. However, Su Lin had the means as he commanded time to stop in his heart.
The entire surroundings froze, and only Su Lin was left able to move around freely.
“There’s some space behind that pile of wooden crates, so if I hide there, I won’t be discovered easily. I should hide there and analyze the situation first.”
Making the best use of his time, Su Lin rushed down the stairway. Seeing a pile of wooden crates in one corner of the underground base, Su Lin didn’t think twice and hid behind them while the time was suspended.
“Eh? How come that shadow disappeared?”
The thug coming down from above was stunned when he saw that Su Lin had disappeared from his place without a trace.
“A’Biao, what nonsense are you shouting? Where is there someone hiding here? Brat, it couldn’t be that you exhausted your mind while riding a woman last night, and are now hallucinating?”
Huang Gou and his cronies looked around and didn’t even find the shadow of a ghost, so he spoke with a mocking tone.
“Was I really seeing thing? Am I really hallucinating?”
The thug called A’Biao also shook his head and started to suspect what he saw.
“What a narrow escape!”
Hiding behind the crates, Su Lin patted his chest. Seeing that Huang Gou and his cronies had returned to playing cards, he started to carefully examine the situation in the underground base.
The underground base wasn’t too big, and was only about 20 square meters. In addition to some piled up junk and crates, there were only two entrances that probably led to some other rooms.
But there was no one guarding those doors, and there were only Huang Gou and his cronies playing cards in the hall without much vigilance.
“There are two entrances, and I don’t know where they lead to. Could Liu Yuanfeng be inside one of them?” [TL Note: The entrances are like two dark, shady corridors.]
Su Lin’s goal in following Huang Gou and his cronies was to find Liu Yuanfeng, and teach him a painful lesson that would warn him from finding trouble with him again. But now, following Huang Gou, Su Lin had arrived at the underground base of the Dragon-Tiger Gang, and he didn’t even know whether Liu Yuanfeng was inside or not.
“Should I go in?”
Looking at the two entrances, Su Lin started to hesitate in his heart on whether to go in and take a look, or just pause time and leave the place by taking the path he came in.
Just when Su Lin was trying to make a decision, he heard the sound of footsteps coming from the right entrance. Su Lin quickly lowered his head, held his breath, and carefully looked towards the entrance, afraid that he might get discovered.
Ta! Ta! Ta!
The sound of the footsteps was getting closer and closer, and soon, the person inside the entrance walked out. Seeing the person, Su Lin was stunned, ‘How can it be her?’
The one who arrived was the young female thug who helped Su Lin by frightening off Huang Gou yesterday, Han Xiaoxiao.
“Huang Gou, the bunch of you better be vigilant. Inside, Elder Brother Tiger is greeting the people from the South Vietnamese Gang.”
Coming out of the entrance, Han Xiaoxiao looked at Huang Gao and his cronies. Seeing them playing cards, she couldn’t help but frown.
“No cop can find us when we are in such a rotten place like this. Moreover, what use is it going to be for us to be vigilant? With Ji Tou guarding the place above, there won’t be any issue.”
Huang Gou held his cigarette in one hand, and spoke while expressing his dissatisfaction towards Han Xiaoxiao.
“Anyway, you better show me the spirit of good guards; don’t just play cards whenever you have time.”
Once she was done with them, Han Xiaoxiao looked all around, even sweeping her vision over the place where Su Lin was hiding behind the wooden crates, but Su Lin further shrank his neck back. So long as Han Xiaoxiao didn’t approach, she would not discover Su Lin. So not seeing anything out of the ordinary, Han Xiaoxiao returned to the entrance.
‘This little gangster chick is also here, and just what sort of deal is going on with the South Vietnamese Gang? And what is this God-feeling Pill and the Happiness Powder?’
Now that he saw the little female thug, Han Xiaoxiao, in this place, Su Lin felt even more disdainful towards her in his heart.
This was the point that Su Lin and Huang Gou were quite similar in; they both didn’t like Han Xiaoxiao.
“Bah! Elder Brother Gou, you tell us… this chick has just joined the Dragon-Tiger Gang for less than two months, so why does she get to step over our heads?”
“What’s more is that she also has so much spare time to meddle in other people’s business. If it weren’t for this girl’s intervention, Elder Brother Gou, we would have already caught that brat!”
When the cronies saw Han Xiaoxiao walk away, they started to complain to Huang Gou with uncomfortable expressions.
“Who made this stinky slut unexpectedly latch onto Elder Brother Tiger’s thigh. With Elder Brother Tiger looking after her and supporting her, just who would dare not give her some face?”
Huang Gou was also indignant, but he had no way to deal with Han Xiaoxiao.
“So that female thug turned out to be the woman of Dragon-Tiger Gang’s chief.”
Secretly listening to Huang Gou and his cronies from the side, Su Lin obtained a lot of information. Looking at the entrance Han Xiaoxiao went inside, Su Lin thought in his heart, “Since I came here, I can’t go back in vain. Just what kind of shady deal is the Dragon-Tiger Gang carrying on? I, Su Lin, must have a look and broaden my horizons!”
Looking at the time that he could pause, there were still about 300 seconds left. Commanding time to stop in his heart, Su Lin rushed from behind the crates and rapidly ran into the entrance.
The channel was not very long, only about 7-8 meters. At the end was a well-decorated guest hall with several pricey leather sofas. At this time, a shady transaction was going on in the hall. The two heads of the Dragon-Tiger Gang were negotiating with the smugglers from South Vietnam, and Han Xiaoxiao stood next to Brother Tiger.
Su Lin saw the entire place clearly, looked for a covert place, hid himself, and then restored time.
“Elder Brother Tiger, our goods are absolutely the best. You can first inspect the goods; it’s not our first time cooperating with your Dragon-Tiger Gang. We have always set this price. If you don’t want this batch of God-feeling Pills and Happiness Powder, then there are several other gangs in various counties and cities right next to you who can afford this. At the worst, we will just take a ride to the nearby county. This year, we risked eating eating shit for the rest of our lives just to smuggle these drugs, so you should let us earn some money as well!”
A middle-aged man wearing sunglasses sat opposite to Brother Tiger and spoke with a smile. It was obvious that Brother Tiger didn’t like the high price of the goods, so he wanted to pressure the opposite party into lowering the prices.
‘Drugs? Unexpectedly, they are carrying out a drug trafficking deal down here!’
Su Lin was startled. He finally knew that the God-feeling Pills and Happiness Powder Huang Gou talked about before were drugs. His gaze landed on the two big black boxes placed on the table between the two groups.
‘In the movies, when the criminal syndicates made an exchange during a drug trafficking deal, they would give money with one hand while taking the drugs with the other. If it works like that, then one of the boxes must have the drugs, while the other must be filled with cash, right?’
Su Lin’s heart was moved. He wasn’t interested in the drugs, but thinking about the box of money made Su Lin immediately feel jealous inside his heart, and his heartbeat accelerated.