The words of the old butler left a deep impression on Ling Shu. In his imagination, the underground vault probably contained half a room of gold. After he broke in, what he would see might not be blindingly shiny gold, but possibly one box after another.
But Ling Shu was dumbfounded.
In front of him was a wall.
If he hadn't stopped in time just now, his head would have hit it.
Despite this, the wall was less than half a meter away from his nose.
The wall was so high that it reached the ceiling, and there was a gap of less than half a palm. Even if he climbed up, he wouldn't be able to see the other side of the wall.
There were two narrow passages on either side, leading to the same darkness.
The old butler had fainted, and they no longer had a guide. They could only explore on their own.
In just a few seconds, Yue Dingtang and Shen Renjie caught up with him. They also saw the wall.
Ling Shu didn't give them any time to be dumbfounded: "Split up and chase!"
He led the way to the left, and Yue Dingtang followed without hesitation.
Shen Renjie... He was half a step behind and could only run to the other end. If regret could be measured by the amount of green bile, then Shen Renjie would have bought ten cans of regret medicine and swallowed them all. He kept slapping himself in his mind.
"You wanted to show off! You wanted to suck up to them! If you die here tonight, where will you find someone to suck up to?" Shen Renjie thought anxiously, finally reaching the end of the passage and circling around the wall.
There was another iron door. But the door was already open. Shen Renjie shook his flashlight and it seemed to be a room.
Strangely, despite only a few walls separating them, Shen Renjie didn't hear any footsteps from Yue Dingtang and the others. With no way out now, Shen Renjie took a deep breath and bravely walked in.
But the next second, a gun was pointed at his forehead.
Ling Shu and Yue Dingtang discovered that the so-called underground secret vault was actually a series of small rooms. Narrow passages connected each room, twisting and turning like a maze. Each room was filled with various items and a few boxes.
Ling Shu entered one of the rooms and opened a box, only to find clothes inside. There were all kinds of formal wear, from qipaos to Western dresses. Lifting it up and giving it a shake, the pearls and sequins on the skirt shimmered in the dim light. One could imagine a woman wearing it, twirling under a crystal chandelier, radiating elegance and grace.
"Is this Du Yunning's?" Yue Dingtang stood at the door, keeping watch, and casually asked, turning his head for a glance.
Ling Shu measured it up and replied, "No, it's not hers. Du Yunning is taller than this, and she wouldn't fit into these skirts. If I'm not mistaken, it should belong to Ah Lan."
Yue Dingtang looked surprised.
Ling Shu continued, "It seems that Ah Lan already knows about the existence of this place. She was probably killed because she knew too much..."
Before he could finish his sentence, gunshots rang out!
And it was coming from not far away!
Almost simultaneously, Yue Dingtang and Ling Shu stopped their conversation and immediately ran towards the source of the gunfire. Several gunshots rang out, accompanied by the sounds of a fight!
When the two arrived, two figures were locked in a fierce battle.
A gun lay kicked to the side.
One man wore a suit and leather shoes, while the other wore a cloth jacket and cloth shoes. They fought barehanded, each strike aimed at a deadly spot.
Even when they saw Ling Shu and Yue Dingtang, they didn't pay attention. The man in the suit didn't notice and was kicked in the stomach, instinctively taking a few steps back. The young man in the cloth jacket didn't pursue his advantage, but instead turned to grab the gun on the ground.
He screamed in agony, clutching his hand and rolling to the side.
Ling Shu thought he had curled up and was unable to fight back, but in the next moment, he suddenly stretched out his body like a frog, gathering strength and smashing into the man in the suit.
His other hand, which had not been shot, formed a fist and aimed straight for the man's temple!
With this punch from a trained person, it was likely that the opponent would die on the spot!
He was willing to risk his own safety to bring his opponent to death!
No sooner said than done, Yue Dingtang kicked out.
He put about seventy to eighty percent of his strength into this kick, which was fast and accurate, but it still couldn't completely kick the man away. It only made his fist slightly deviate and hit the stone slab next to the man in Western clothes.
A muffled sound came, and the sound of bones breaking made people's scalp tingle.
The man in Western clothes scrambled to get up and tried to hide behind Yue Dingtang, but he was pushed away by him.
"Save me! Save me!" He cried out for help, with snot and tears all over his face.
Yue Dingtang ignored him and just shouted for help, with a sneer on his face.
"Don't kill me, I know where the gold is, I'll tell you everything!"
Hearing this, the young man in the cloth coat laughed wickedly.
Ling Shu kept a close eye on his every move and immediately pulled the trigger when he saw the situation. However, the other party was half a second faster and pulled out a short blade from somewhere, throwing it directly at the man in the suit!
The latter couldn't react in time and was still standing there motionless. Yue Dingtang fiercely pushed him away, but then groaned and fell heavily to the ground with the man in the suit.
Almost at the same time, Ling Shu's bullet pierced the back of the man's head. Blood splattered and the young man in the cloth coat fell heavily into a pool of blood.
The man in the suit wanted to run when he saw the situation, but was immediately shot in the back of the leg by Ling Shu without hesitation.
"Don't shoot, don't shoot! I won't run anymore! Don't kill me!"
Ling Shu walked over and kicked the man, who groaned and rolled to the side. "How are you?" he asked Yue Dingtang. The dagger hit Yue Dingtang's shoulder right in the middle. "I won't die." Yue Dingtang's face was pale, but his tone was steady.
He lifted his chin and pointed to the dead young man in the cloth jacket. "This person is Sancai, do you remember?"
Ling Shu nodded.
Sancai was a servant of the Yuan family.
Previously, the old butler had said that he did not want anyone to approach the small building and discover the secret left by Yuan Bingdao. So he had Sancai scare people in the small building, creating the illusion of a haunted Yuan family.
Earlier, Sancai had disappeared, but now he was here killing people.
As a servant of the Yuan family, even if he was a guard, he should not have such skill.
Self-defense and killing techniques were completely different. The former was only for self-defense, while the latter was truly experienced in bloodshed.
When Sancai made his move just now, he was undoubtedly going for the kill, with a single move to take a life, no hesitation.
"Are you Hong Xiaoguang?" Ling Shu looked at the man in Western clothes. The other person was crying and nodding uncontrollably.
"Did you kill Ah Lan?"
"No no no!" Hong Xiaoguang shook his head frantically.
Ling Shu aimed the gun at his head.
"My head is a bit dizzy now, and my hands might shake later. I don't want to kill you. If I shoot your legs or arms, it won't be good, right?"
"It wasn't me! I was forced to do it! Ah Lan knew too much, and he made me kill her! I didn't want to kill anyone!"
"Who is he? What did he know about you? Were you afraid that Ah Lan would demand a share of the profits? And what about Du Yunning, did you kill her too?"
The sound of the gun rang out again.
The deep-rooted fear in Hong Xiaoguang's heart made his whole body jump.
Then he realized that the bullet had hit the ground next to him.
But Hong Xiaoguang had already gone weak in the knees.
"I'll talk! I'll talk! Don't kill me!"
The beginning of the story is a bit like a sparrow turning into a phoenix. Except this sparrow is a man.
Hong Xiaoguang came from a humble background and lived in the poorest shantytown in Shanghai. Children there could almost see their own fate from birth, and Hong Xiaoguang was no exception. He sold newspapers, ran errands, did odd jobs, and even dabbled in the underworld, but he never made it to the top. He couldn't even become a small gang leader and had to work odd jobs just to survive.
One day, he was driving a rickshaw when he met Du Yunning, who had just come out of a silver building.
Du Yunning was a beauty beyond compare, elegant and graceful, with a fragrant breath like orchids. She was like a fairy who had stepped off a calendar, instantly lighting up Hong Xiaoguang's eyes. He had never seen such a beautiful and elegant woman before. Even the most prestigious dancers couldn't compare to Du Yunning, who was nurtured in luxury and refinement.
Hong Xiaoguang wanted to say something to Du Yunning, even if it was just a simple greeting.
But from beginning to end, she didn't even glance his way.
As they got out of the car, Hong Xiaoguang overheard Du Yunning talking to the servants of the Yuan family and learned of her identity.
He also found out that if it weren't for the breakdown of the Yuan family's car that day, someone like Du Yunning wouldn't have needed to ride in a humble carriage.
"Excuse me, madam!" Hong Xiaoguang summoned the courage to call out to Du Yunning.
But she didn't even turn her head, and floated away as if on a cloud. Hong Xiaoguang didn't even know if he had shouted out that cry, or if it had been stuck in his throat like a mosquito's buzz, or if Du Yunning had never even thought of turning back. He only felt a bottomless sense of loss.
He inquired about Du Yunning's husband and learned that the man was a philanderer. With Du Yunning's empty title of Mrs. Yuan, he couldn't help but wonder, if he had money and power, would Du Yunning still not look back that day?
"Speak faster!" Ling Shu kicked him in the wound.
Hong Xiaoguang howled again, unable to speak his anger, and was forced to wake up from his daydream and quicken his pace.
A few days later, someone approached Hong Xiaoguang.
He claimed to be able to transform Hong Xiaoguang and help him win Du Yunning without any payment. All he needed was to share the spoils of the Yuan family with him after the deed was done. "He told Hong Xiaoguang that he could take all of the Yuan family's belongings, and all he wanted was the Yuan family's house, the Yuan Manor.
Ling Shu asked, "Who is he?"
Hong Xiaoguang replied, "I don't know. He asked me to call him boss and wouldn't tell me anything else."
Ling Shu asked, "What does he look like? Does he wear a mask every day?"
Hong Xiaoguang said, "No, but he has an ordinary appearance. He usually wears a long robe, and I don't know how to describe him... He's around 40 or 50 years old, and he's very polite and kind when he talks to me, but if I don't do as he says, he will punish me."
Suddenly, Ling Shu interrupted, "Does he run a coffee shop named Li?"
Hong Xiaoguang asked, "How did you know? But he doesn't actually have the surname Li. I don't know what his surname is."
He is the owner of the Xinyue Cafe, Mr. Li. Returning overseas Chinese, with a home in Nanhai, two children, and a wealthy background. The cafe was not for making money, but just to have something to do. The neighbors all praised it.
But all of this could be fabricated.
A person who wants to disguise their identity can sometimes change their accent, appearance, way of speaking, and even their gestures. And he had only created a good image in the eyes of others.
Ling Shu still remembered when he and Yue Dingtang went to the coffee shop to inquire about Du Yunning's life. The boss, Li, warmly welcomed them and spoke freely. Even when they asked the staff, they didn't interrupt, allowing them to discover Hong Xiaoguang's address and uncover his true character.
This person had dug a pit and led them step by step into it.
The author has something to say: Today, something unexpected came up and I couldn't fulfill my promise to update. I'll try my best to make up for it tomorrow and not let you down!
A little side drama that has nothing to do with the main story:
Shen Renjie: I am a tool.
Hong Xiaoguang: No, you are a light bulb.
Shen Renjie: Then what about you?
Hong Xiaoguang: I am a cannon fodder...