But in the end, Zhen Shulan did not raise his hand.
A few minutes ago, he might have done so, but now he knew that Ling Shu was not to be underestimated.
This seemingly weak young man could hold one of his subordinates hostage with just one arm.
It was unknown what the other party could do if pushed to the limit.
People without strength have no bargaining power.
Once they have the corresponding strength, even proud people like Zhen Shulan would reconsider their position towards the other party.
"Since you've already guessed it, I won't hide it from you. Although my little sister is smart and clever, she's still a girl at the end of the day. When she left without a word, although our father was angry, we're also afraid that something might happen to her. So we still want to ask for your help." He reluctantly lowered himself to ask for help.
However, at the moment, Ling Shu still had four people from the Zhen family standing in a standoff, with swords drawn and bows bent.
This request seemed somewhat ridiculous.
Ling Shu said, "Mr. Zhen, I'm afraid you've got the wrong person. I haven't had much contact with Miss Zhen, but her unusual attention to me has made me curious. Last time I was hospitalized, Miss Zhen came to visit me in person and told me something."
Zhen Shulan asked eagerly, "What did she say?"
Ling Shu replied, "She said she had fallen in love with a married man and wanted to elope with him. However, the man's sensitive identity could harm his reputation if exposed, so she used me as a shield. She also said that she would elope soon, break off the engagement, and run away."
"Rubbish!" Zhen Shulan exclaimed in a stern voice.
"I'm not talking rubbish. You should know better than me," Ling Shu replied.
"Why did Miss Zhen ignore all the young talents at the birthday party and favor me instead? She even invited me to dance the first dance. Perhaps you didn't know? I guess you must have asked Miss Zhen afterwards. She probably told you that she likes me a lot, maybe even love at first sight. And you must have scolded her and investigated me, right?"
Zhen Shulan didn't answer, but his changing facial expression already gave away the answer.
Ling Shu chuckled. "After your investigation, you must have realized that I am just a harmless little person. Perhaps Miss Zhen was just attracted to my face on a whim. After being reprimanded by the Zhen family, she is likely to behave herself. And you all thought she had listened and let down your guard, but who knew something would still happen."
Zhen Shulan's chest heaved up and down.
He had indeed harbored murderous intentions just now.
If news of Zhen Congyun eloping with a man were to spread, the reputation of the Zhen family would be ruined.
Even if it didn't affect anything else, Zhen Congyun's marriage would definitely be called off.
They had planned to catch them before they could run too far, but the Zhen family searched for two days and two nights without finding them.
Zhen Shulan remembered Zhen Congyun's connection with Ling Shu and came to ask for information in a panic.
Unexpectedly, he didn't find out his sister's whereabouts, but instead was tricked into revealing the truth.
Zhen Shulan quickly realized that even if he killed Ling Shu, it wouldn't help.
The news of Zhen Congyun's elopement was not a secret in the Zhen family.
Even if the tabloids didn't track it, Zhen Congyun's fiancé's family would eventually find out.
Now, the most important thing was to quickly eliminate the impact and reduce the losses.
Ling Shu was a clever man. If he could deduce all of this, there might be a way to find the missing person after all.
After realizing this, Zhen Shulan finally gave up on his plan to use force and the power of the Zhen family to make the other party submit.
"I'm sorry for my rudeness earlier. My younger sister is missing, and I'm feeling anxious. I hope you can forgive me. If it's not convenient for you to receive us tonight, I will personally go to the police station tomorrow to visit Mr. Ling and Mr. Yue. Would that be okay?"
Ling Shu replied, "I will be accompanying Officer Yue on a trip tomorrow and won't be back for ten days or so. How about we meet at the train station waiting room at 7 o'clock tomorrow morning?"
After thinking for a moment, Zhen Shulan readily agreed.
Ling Shu finally released the thug from the Zhen family who had been held by him by the neck.
The man immediately lost his strength and stumbled forward, almost falling.
Zhen Shulan thought he was embarrassing and didn't even bother to look at him, turning to get into the car.
The car didn't start immediately. After the man got into the car just now, he got out again and walked towards Ling Shu, handing him an envelope with both hands.
"Mr. Ling, my Third Master of the Zhen family is very sorry for what happened just now. He ordered me to come and apologize and offer a small gift as a token of his sincerity. Please accept it."
Judging from the thickness, there should be a lot of money in the envelope, at least a few hundred dollars.
Ling Shu smiled and didn't bother to be polite with him. "Then I'll thank you, Mr. Zhen, for your generosity. If every apology was this sincere, I wouldn't mind if he made a few more mistakes in the future."
The other party awkwardly smiled and hurried back to their car.
Under Ling Shu's watchful gaze, the car quickly turned around and left, never to return.
When Ling Yao heard that he was going on a trip with Yue Dingtang, she didn't question it at all. Instead, she reminded him to listen to Yue Dingtang's instructions and not act on his own.
Ling Shu couldn't take it anymore and pretended to sleep to avoid further nagging.
The next day, before dawn, Ling Shu quickly packed his bags and left the house to avoid being lectured by his older sister.
Yue Dingtang had arranged for a first-class carriage. The first-class waiting room is different from the ordinary one. After all, the ticket price is three times higher, and the waiting room is like a Western restaurant, with tablecloths, flowers, coffee, and snacks, everything you could want.
Ling Shu had never taken a first-class train before, but this time he was lucky enough to experience it.
Yue Dingtang is not a person who likes to be late, so he arrived earlier than Ling Shu.
When Ling Shu arrived, he saw Yue Dingtang and Zhen Shulan drinking coffee at the same table.
Generally speaking, people who haven't bought a ticket can't enter the waiting room, but this doesn't pose a problem for the Zhen family's third young master.
Although Zhen Shulan was holding coffee in his hand, his expression was not very relaxed. When he saw Ling Shu, he immediately straightened his back and almost stood up.
With his luggage in hand, Ling Shu hurried over and spoke before the other person could say anything.
"I have something that Miss Zhen left behind last time, I hope it can be helpful to you."
He pulled out a jewelry box from his pocket.
Zhen Shulan frowned as she opened it and his expression changed slightly.
Inside was a diamond ring.
Without a doubt, judging from its size and the degree of sparkle, it was valuable and difficult to fake.
"Miss Zhen left this ring with me when she last visited. At the time, I didn't understand why and planned to return it to her the next time we met. But she never came back, so I guess it's a case of finders keepers. However, since she was willing to give the ring to someone like me, who she barely knows and can't even call a friend, I assume she must be resistant to her own marriage."
Zhen Shulan's face turned pale and then green.
After Zhen Congyun disappeared, her engagement ring also went missing. The Zhen family searched everywhere for it, but never imagined that she had already thrown it away to Ling Shu.
The value of this ring is not only in its own worth, but also in the alliance it represents between the Zhen family and another family.
"I heard that you two are heading to the northeast," said Zhen Shulan.
Yue Dingtang said, "That's right. I'm sorry about Miss Zhen's situation. I wish you all the best in finding her soon. We should get on the car now. I won't keep you company any longer. Goodbye."
"Wait," Zhen Shulan stepped forward.
He was even more polite to Yue Dingtang than to Ling Shu.
"I have a favor to ask of you both."
Yue Dingtang didn't say anything. He looked down at his watch, and his refusal was clear.
Zhen Shulan smiled bitterly, "Three minutes, please give me three minutes. It's just a small favor that won't delay Mr. Yue's important matters."
Yue Dingtang said, "Go ahead."
Zhen Shulan said, "My younger sister was naive and was deceived by others. Coupled with the impulsiveness of youth, she made a mistake. If you happen to see her on your way to the northeast, please tell her that our family misses her and ask her to come back as soon as possible. If she doesn't listen, please try to keep her stable and then notify us. The Zhen family has a business in Fengtian and we can immediately send people to bring her back."
Yue Dingtang pondered and said, "Your sister is already an adult and has the right to make her own decisions. It may not be appropriate for us to intervene in this matter, but we can inform you of her whereabouts."
Zhen Shulan replied, "Thank you so much. Let me write down the address of our family's shop in Fengtian for you. If you need anything, you can go there anytime. I will instruct the shopkeeper to take good care of you both!"
He saw that Yue Dingtang did not object, so he quickly took out pen and paper, wrote down the address, and handed the note to him.
Ling Shu went from being the protagonist to a supporting character, watching Zhen Shulan politely send them off to the car.
He couldn't help but tease, "This is quite different from the mighty Zhen Shulan of last night!"
Yue Dingtang said, "This matter seems to be not so simple."
Ling Shu brushed off the dust on his clothes with a casual gesture, but his words were surprising.
"The person who eloped with Zhen Congyun must have gone to the northeast."
Yue Dingtang nodded, "That's right."
Ling Shu asked, "So, do we intervene in this matter? If we see the person, should we really notify him?"
Yue Dingtang gave him a disdainful look and drawled, "That's just what I said."
"Ling Shu clicked his tongue twice and said, "Old Yue, Old Yue, I finally understand. You've been practicing your serious face all these years, but deep down you're still as mischievous as ever!"
When Zhen Shulan came to see Ling Shu last night, he should have known that Ling Shu had nothing to do with the disappearance of Miss Zhen.
Otherwise, Ling Shu wouldn't have stayed in Shanghai and gone to work as usual after Zhen Congyun disappeared.
Since that's the case, why is Zhen's family still searching for her everywhere and why did Zhen Shulan come all the way to the train station early in the morning just to get Ling Shu's irrelevant clue and request for Yue Dingtang and Ling Shu's help oto look for her too?"
From the way Zhen Shulan hesitated to speak about his sister eloping with someone, he must know something but couldn't say it.
It was related to the reputation of the Zhen family, so he couldn't confide in Ling Shu and the others.
There was only one explanation - Zhen Shulan had known early on that Yue Dingtang went to Fengtian to mourn for his uncle, and Zhen Congyun was likely heading towards the northeast, perhaps even in Fengtian now.
The Zhen family may have had some influence in Shanghai or Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, but once they left this area and went to the northeast, they were beyond their reach.
Even if they had business in that area, they had to be cautious and low-key because the complexity of that place far exceeded that of Shanghai. The various factions in the latter are mixed, but they can maintain a delicate balance. In the northeast, the tentacles of Manchuria have already penetrated in all directions.
Even if there are ups and downs under the ice, they can only proceed quietly.
Since Zhen Shulan had something to hide, Yue Dingtang must have also held back.
To help or not to help, that's the question.
Even if they really meet Zhen Congyun, with the sky high and the Zhen family far away, the other party may not necessarily want to go back with them.
In Ling Shu's view, Miss Zhen's idea is very ambitious. She has been planning this elopement for a long time.
At least at her birthday party, she had already made up her mind. With her pride and boldness, whoever catches her eye and is willing to leave the family behind and go with her must not be an ordinary person.
The Zhen family was not to be underestimated, especially not Miss Zhen.
Ling Shu couldn't help but wonder how she would fare outside of her sheltered life.
He hoped she wouldn't turn out to be a spoiled and calculating rich girl, only to end up like a fallen phoenix.
Putting that aside, the train journey was unforgettable.
Currently, there was no direct train from Shanghai to Fengtian, so they had to take the Shanghai-Nanjing railway first, then cross the treacherous Yangtze River by ferry, and finally take the Jinpu train from Pukou to Tianjin before heading to Fengtian.
The journey was not only long, but also winding. For ordinary people who study and work in Beijing but come from the south, going home requires a three or four day journey. Some areas in the Jiangnan region have no train access, so one can only travel by boat or on foot.
However, if one is wealthy and not in a hurry, and only travels between big cities, they can enjoy the luxury of traveling in a first-class carriage like Yue Dingtang and Ling Shu. It is truly a unique experience and can even be considered a form of indulgence.
Inside the first-class carriage, there were not only private bathrooms and dressing rooms, but also seats covered in soft red and purple velvet. Three or four chairs were arranged in a circle with ample space, making it convenient for fellow passengers to chat and converse. Freshly picked flowers were placed at both ends of the carriage, and once the metal door was closed, all the noise from outside was shut out, leaving only a faint fragrance of flowers.
As for dining, both Chinese and Western cuisine were available, along with a wide selection of fine wines. It was an experience that could not be compared to an ordinary carriage, and if traveling in a third-class carriage was torture, then traveling in a first-class carriage was pure enjoyment.
Moreover, Ling Shu was not even paying for it himself. The entire trip, including food and drink, was all paid for by Yue Dingtang.
They traveled all the way from Shanghai to Nanjing, then crossed the river by boat and continued on to Tianjin. Along the way, Ling Shu couldn't stop exploring in the train carriage.
He would either go to the restroom to take a look or wander around the dressing room. There was even a train attendant who noticed his curiosity and thought he was riding a train for the first time, so he offered to take him to other carriages to explore.
If it were someone else who was looking around with such a curious and rustic attitude, they might be looked down upon by some people. But when it came to Ling Shu, it made people unable to resist the urge to help him.
People are just so different from one another.
"Sir, there's a vacant seat over there with a good view. Would you like to sit there? I can bring you a cup of coffee," the train attendant said. The train attendant whispered to Ling Shu with a smile on his face, afraid to startle the handsome young man with a loud voice.
Yue Dingtang lowered his head to read his book, too engrossed in the exciting plot to bother with Ling Shu's antics. As long as he didn't disturb himself, he could go around and do whatever he wanted.
Ling Shu got up and sat in the position the train attendant suggested, which wasn't much different from his original seat. The scenery outside the window was also just a different direction, with no shortage of fields and forests.
They had seen many different landscapes on their journey from Shanghai to Nanjing, but they were all so similar.
Ling Shu longed for a change, perhaps after crossing the Yellow River, they could see the snowy peaks of some mountains in the distance.
However, Ling Shu did not refuse the kind offer of the train attendant. He chose to sit down here, holding a cup of freshly brewed coffee, ready to rest his eyes.
Suddenly, a sharp scream rang out! It was as loud as a train whistle, almost piercing the sky.
The fear in the scream made people shudder and tremble without feeling cold!
Inside the carriage, everyone turned their heads sharply towards the sound.
The scream came from the dressing room in the first-class carriage!
The train attendant was on his way back from the bar with sugar cubes for Ling Shu when he was just a stone's throw away from the dressing room.
The scream scared him so much that his legs went weak, and the sugar cubes fell out of his hand and scattered all over the floor.