Chapter 41: Let Me Protect You (IX)
All these years, Shang Ke had been paying attention to the Feng Family’s activities. After a period of unrest, they had finally settled down, but their strength took a significant hit. Both their political and economic power were greatly diminished, and they were currently in the difficult stage of pulling themselves back up. Their funds were especially tight.
The reason why Shang Ke chose to tell Feng Juan the news now was so that he could properly return to his family. If they went after the Feng Family had once again rose, it would be difficult to avoid suspicion and gossip.
The development of “Mr. Bruin” was going well. Although it couldn’t compete with those large conglomerates, they could still afford to take out tens of millions.
Feng Juan read the information that Shang Ke had gathered on his family, then remained silent for a long time. After being separate from them for ten years, he no longer felt a strong attachment to his past, because now he had Keke and the Ferrg couple, and he considered this place his home.
“Keke, are they really my family?” Feng Juan hesitantly asked. Actually, he wanted to ask something else. Since Shang Ke told him about them, it meant that he had already confirmed it.
“Won’t we know if we go and take a look?” Shang Ke gave him a faint smile.
Feng Juan looked at his smile and his mind steadily calmed itself. He also spoke with a smile, “Luckily, we’re on break right now. Shall we go to China for vacation?”
“Sure.” Shang Ke was considered half a government employee, so he had to apply for permission to go abroad. However, with his current age and his good behavior the past ten years, applying for a pass shouldn’t be difficult.
“Then let’s sleep!” Feng Juan closed his laptop and placed it on the cabinet before pulling Shang Ke into bed.
“Sleeping is sleeping, don’t you dare do anything else,” Shang Ke sternly declared.
Feng Juan held his waist and asked in a low voice, “Keke, what is our relationship right now?”
“Family, as we always were,” Shang Ke replied.
“Brothers are family, and a married couple is also family.” Whether they were brothers or a married couple, he wanted to be made clear.
Shang Ke dared to pinky swear that, so long as he said they were a married couple, this guy would immediately pounce on him. Therefore, he could not admit it no matter what.
“We haven’t married, so where did this married couple come from?”
“Then when I’m eighteen, let’s go get married?” Feng Juan felt that this was a great suggestion.
The UK had legalized same-sex marriage over ten years ago, so although Feng Juan was at a loss for a while, he still naturally accepted it in the end.
“Juan Juan, you are still too small.” Young, impulsive, and passionate about anything new.
Shang Ke was not sure how long these feelings would last. After all, he had always separated from this man rather quickly in all of their past few worlds. No matter how deep their feelings were, they were always short-lived. In addition, he had a mission to do and could die at any moment. His life with Feng Juan these past ten years had made him very happy, and it wasn’t important whether they got married or not.
“You’re only a year old than me.” Feng Juan flipped over and pressed him down, raising an eyebrow. “Besides in age, where else are you bigger than me?”
Shang Ke was rubbed a few times by him mischievously and he clenched his teeth. This guy appeared mature, but at the core he was still a little devil who liked to flaunt!
“Get off. If you don’t want to be kicked out by me, then behave yourself!” Shang Ke kicked at him grumpily.
Ah, I pushed him too far. As expected, I shouldn’t have poked at his sore point? Feng Juan self-reflected for a moment.
Seeing how he was no longer moving, Shang Ke finally felt assured enough to close his eyes.
However, he had clearly relaxed too early. One could never lower their guard against a wolf that had finally taken up a diet of meat. While he was half awake, Shang Ke was once again eaten by someone.
In the end, Feng Juan was once again mercilessly throw out of the room by Shang Ke—together with his underwear, condom, and lubricant. No matter what he did, he couldn’t obtain the right to share Shang Ke’s bed.
A few days later, Shang Ke’s application to go abroad was approved. Feng Juan and him both finished up their paperwork and they prepared to leave for China. However, on the day they were supposed to board the plane, Shang Ke received an urgent mission and could only apologize to Feng Juan, “I have something to deal with, so you go first. I will go to China later and meet up with you.”
“What is it? I’ll wait for you.” Feng Juan knew that Shang Ke was hiding something from him, but he had not pushed the matter. If Keke wanted to tell him, then he would tell him eventually.
“A friend needs help.” Shang Ke pushed Feng Juan’s back, urging him to go, “You should get on the plane. I will be done quickly. It’ll take at most two or three days for me to meet up with you in China.”
Feng Juan hesitated for a moment, but still bid farewell to Shang Ke in the end. He calmly passed through the security check by himself.
After Shang Ke saw him off, he turned around and headed for the gathering spot. He had been coordinating with the police these past years and participated in dozens of crackdowns on criminal operations. He was mainly in charge of gathering information, hacking security, running through information, and so on. With the passing of time, his own skills had improved. Although his progress was not as fast as Feng Juan’s, he had obtained lots of actual experience.
He did not really have anything to complain about whenever he was mobilized, because they had promised him that they would not disturb the Ferrg couple or Feng Juan no matter what.
Shang Ke knew in advance that this mission had something to do with Tabimu, and it was also one of the reasons he had chosen to go abroad with Feng Juan. The group’s power was gradually collapsing under his calculations. The organization’s remains were rallying one last time. They had gone from a smuggling gang to a terrorist organization, and rebelled all over the place.
In the timeframe of just five or six days, they had robbed two banks, killed around ten people, and blown up a government office building.
Shang Ke’s mission was to use his network to find their position.
Among all the technicians, his age was the youngest but his strength was the highest. Back in the days when he had just started to participate in these missions, many people were shocked by how completely incompatible his excellent skills and age were.
“I caught a phone signal from one of them.” Shang Ke’s expression was calm as his fingers flew, like an outstanding conductor controlling the entire situation. “He’s currently on X street heading eastward. Ahead of that is…”
The police quickly started to act based on the trail he gave them.
While Shang Ke checked the map, he was also analyzing their destination, but his voice stopped at a crucial moment.
“What’s wrong?” Rowan looked at him in confusion.
Shang Ke replied with a grave expression, “The direction they are heading is only five miles away from my foster parent’s company.”
Rowan’s expression also changed, and he immediately made a call to the police force, telling them to head toward Mr. Bruin’s office building.
Shang Ke took a look at the time. It was currently four in the afternoon. The Ferrg couple would still be working at this time.
He called the Ferrg couple’s cell phones, but no one picked up. He then called the company’s number, and someone picked up after three rings.
“I’m Bruno…” He had just said his name when an unfamiliar voice cut through, “Hello, Bruno.”
Shang Ke’s movement turned stiff as he turned on speakerphone.
“Thank you for your ‘care’ all these years. We have always kept you in our thoughts.” That man then laughed strangely as he said, “We finally have the chance to talk properly.”
“What are you guys trying to do?” Shang Ke asked.
“Your foster parents and a dozen staff members are in our hands.” That man continued, “If you want to save them, then come meet us face-to-face. Oh, right, remember to bring along your brother Ian.”
“Ian is abroad, and I can’t contact him for now.”
“Hehe, you can’t contact him? Then forget it, you can come first.” The other hung up after those words.
Shang Ke stared at the computer screen. The cell phone signal he had was tracking was already gone. The group was clearly prepared, and their purpose was him and Feng Juan. However, he hadn’t expected to get the Ferrg couple and their employees caught up in this mess.
Rowan patted his shoulder, comforting him, “Don’t worry, we will save your family.”
Shang Ke did not have much confidence. From the other’s uncaring attitude, if they weren’t planning to take them down with them, then it meant they had made other preparations.
The group of people hurried to Mr Bruin’s office building, which had already been sealed off and watched by the police.
The two parties negotiated several times, but the criminals only had one request: to have Shang Ke go and exchange hostages with them. If he didn’t go, then they would kill someone every ten minutes.
The police asked them to first release a couple hostages, but they ignored it.
The UK’s crime rate had always been rather high, but Shang Ke didn’t expect this to happen to him. He could only rejoice that he had sent Feng Juan out of the country.
Seeing how the time the criminals’ had set was getting closer and closer, Shang Ke finally spoke, “Let me go.”
“No.” Rowan immediately vetoed it. Anyone knew that if he went, then perhaps he would never come back.
“If I don’t go, then someone innocent will die.”
“Even if you went, they may not necessarily live,” Rowan bluntly told him. He had witnessed these people’s methods first hand, and they were vicious and merciless without a doubt.
“There is still a hint of hope, is there not?” Shang Ke touched the cell phone in his pocket, the light in his eyes somewhat dark.
Rowan did not expect him to be calm even under such conditions.
“Detective Rowan, I believe in you guys.” Shang Ke gave them a gentle smile. The light danced in his eyes, making him appear somewhat wise and farsighted.
When Rowan saw his smile, he felt both flabbergasted and sad. This boy had contributed so much to them, but now they could only watch him send himself to die. The reason why those people came looking for trouble with Shang Ke was likely because he had helped the police to collapse their power.
“Have you guys decided?” the other once again called.
“I’m coming,” Shang Ke calmly replied.
Under the group of police’s gaze, Shang Ke went alone into the building. He walked calmly and steadily, without fear.
Rowan silently cursed before ordering all his subordinates to get into position in preparation for a snipe and rescue.
Shang Ke entered the elevator and clicked the tenth floor button. Right after the doors closed, his phone rang. He took it out and saw it was Feng Juan.
“Keke, it’s already been five days, why haven’t you come yet?” Feng Juan’s voice carried a bit of displeasure.
As Shang Ke watched the number gradually rise, he replied, “Sorry, I’m a bit busy over here. It will probably take a few more days.”
“Then finish up quickly, I really miss you.” He paused a bit, then added, “By the way, I already met up with my parents.”
“Are they good to you?”
“It’s pretty nice.” Feng Juan hesitated a bit then spoke, “Keke, the Feng Family is in a bit of a tight situation right now, and I want to help them. Regardless of our blood relation, with their development prospects, I also think this is a pretty good investment.”
“So long as you decide.” Shang Ke smiled and said, “I transferred thirty million to your bank ahead of time. If it’s not enough, just tell me.”
“Keke, I love you!” Keke always unconditionally supported his choices.
With a “ding,” the elevator arrived.
Shang Ke hung up the call and watched as the elevator door gradually opened, softly saying, “I love you too.”
“Yo, you see what we got here?” A bald man looked at Shang Ke who entered the building and laughed evilly.
A couple of other people surrounded him, preparing to search his body. However, Shang Ke took a step back and lifted open his jacket, showing the explosives he had tied at his waist.
Their faces abruptly changed once they saw them.
After seeing their reactions, Shang Ke knew that they did not intend to die together with him.
“Do you not want to live anymore?” the bald man raised his gun and aimed at him, angrily questioning him. He had never met someone who tied a bomb onto themselves before coming over to exchange with the hostages! Can’t this guy do things like normal?
“Will you guys let me go back alive?” Shang Ke very casually replied, before taking a company chair and slowly sitting down. His gaze swept past where the Ferrg couple were, not too far away, and was somewhat relieved when he saw they were not too injured.
Back when he had suggested tying a bomb onto himself, everyone used an “are you insane” gaze to look at him. Did they not know there was a move called “if you place someone on a field of death, then they will fight to live” in the Art of War?
If the group of people planned to die with him, then so long as he stepped into the building, then his death was destined while the other hostages could only be buried with him. If they had another plan drawn up to flee this place, then he could threaten them with the bomb tied on him. Before they left the building, they would not act rashly.
“I don’t have any other meaning.” Shang Ke lazily leaned against the chair, calmly saying, “I just want to ensure everyone’s safety. As long as they are killed, then you guys can see me being turned into fireworks.”
“I don’t believe that the bomb tied on you is real.” The bald man closely observed his expression, so that not even a single change could get past him.
“You can test it.” Shang Ke spread out his hands, as if he was willing to light it any moment.
The dozen criminals looked at each other, unsure of what to do.
A moment later, the bald man viciously said to him, “You sure got guts. Hand over your cell phone and any other communication equipment!”
They did not dare to get close to him because they knew that Shang Ke was very skilled, and if he accidentally lit the bomb then their end would be tragic.
Shang Ke very obediently threw his cell phone to them before shaking his clothes, his pockets, and pant legs. He even took off his shoes and gave it to them to check, showing that he did not have any other equipment on himself.
They did not know that after entering the office, Shang Ke had activated the Jumping Virus on his phone and connected to their phones. Although the building’s monitoring system had been destroyed, the police outside could still monitor their actions using the cell phone without obstruction.
Outside the building, a technician was using the laptop Shang Ke left behind.
They heard Shang Ke and the criminal chat and admired him while wiping their cold sweat. A seventeen to eighteen boy was actually so calm while confronting such evil and vicious criminals. Just where did his courage come from?
“So tell me, what are you guys planning to do next?” Shang Ke asked.
“You don’t need to worry about that.” The bald man did not put down his gun, and instead he seemed to be looking for an angle to shoot from.
“I’m not worried, but it looks like everyone is rather free, so I have to find something to do to pass the time.” Shang Ke smiled and spoke, “Since you guys have nothing to talk about, why not listen to what I have to say?”
What “everyone is rather free”?! The people inside and outside had faces full of black lines.
“What do you want to say?” The criminals did not realize that their initiative was completely grasped by this seventeen to eighteen year old boy.
“I fought with you guys for so many years. The information I gathered is beyond anything you guys can imagine.”
“So what?” the bald man coldly said, “Tabimu has already collapsed. The information you gathered is of no importance to us.”
“Really?” Shang Ke said regretfully, “I had thought you guys would be rather interested in where the old boss hid the money?”
“What?” The eyes of all the criminals lit up at the same time.
Tabimu’s ringleader had already been imprisoned and it was impossible for him to be released from prison for the rest of his life, but no one could find the money he had hidden.
“You know where the money is hidden?”
“Of course.” Shang Ke used his finger to poke at his head, “I am very clear about it.”
The bald man coldly smiled. “You think I would believe this lie? If you knew, you would have told the police already. Why would you still be waiting around for us to collect it?”
“I am a hacker, so I will leave myself a way out in anything I do,” Shang Ke spoke with ease and calm, “I want to use my life in exchange for my family’s. Then, I want to use that money to exchange for my life. What do you think of this transaction?”
The bald man stared at Shang Ke without blinking. The other was very calm, with no sign of guilt visible on his face.
He asked again, “How much money is there?”
“I’m not too sure either, but there’s at least this much.” Shang Ke fanned out his fingers, and the unit was “one hundred million.”
If he had said a specific number, then the criminals might not believe it, but right now, they were tempted.
The people outside was really confused on whether Shang Ke really knew where the money was. His tone was just too calm and convincing.
After a series of arguments, Shang Ke and the criminals reached an agreement. At the same time, their support had arrived.
The criminals all took a hostage and moved from the cargo elevator down to the underground parking lot
They had originally planned to kill Shang Ke and all the hostages, but now their plan had changed. They decided to wait until they got the money before dealing with Shang Ke. As for the others, whether they killed them or not made no difference.
The police kept watch outside, but since they had hostages, they couldn’t move rashly.
The criminals separated into two cars, with most of them crowded into the first one, leaving behind only two people to watch over Shang Ke and the Ferrg couple. There was nothing to be done about it. Whose fault was it that he had bombs tied onto him?
The car drove midway and as per their agreement, the criminals released all the hostages besides the Ferrg couple.
Shang Ke also knew that they would not let go of his foster parents easily, and needed to think of a plan.
Rowan watched the criminals drive away before immediately giving out commands.
Not only had Shang Ke saved a large portion of the hostages in a mission everyone believed would fail, but he had even grabbed himself a lifeline.
From the time he suggested tying a bomb to himself, to him negotiating with the criminals, and then the plan he made in those short dozens of minutes, he showed a powerful grasp of psychology and wisdom that far surpassed others. It caused everyone to gasp in admiration.
Rowan had been a detective for so many years, and had never met such a special boy before. A thought suddenly rose in his mind, Shang Ke will certainly come back safely.