Chapter 61 Take a Wait-and-see Approach
It was nearly midnight.
Inside the No. 1 villa complex of the Huating Special Operations Bureau, the lights were still on.
The No. 1 villa complex contained nine detached villas. It was arguably the most luxurious place in the entire base and the residence of higher-ups and distinguished guests of Huating Special Operations Bureau. Moreover, it was located in the center of the entire base. Even if this place was a barren wasteland, living in the villas could also be called a kind of enjoyment.
Tan Qinghua, the Deputy Commander of the Eastern Theater of Operations, was temporarily living in the 9th building of the No. 1 villa complex.
As a military elite of the Prince Group, Tan Qinghua, who was in his early 50s, was thin and looked old. His face was spotted with senile plaques, his hair undyed and gray. He looked less like a General who possessed real power in his early 50s but more like an ordinary man in his 60s or 70s.
It was said that as a young man, Tan Qinghua was once a member of the Zhongzhou Special Warfare System. He was even an expert who had nearly reached the Thunder-shocking Realm in his prime. But when he was captured by a foreign force while he was on a mission, he had suffered all kinds of torture within half a month. As a result, his excellent martial strength had been destroyed and he also fell ill since then. What was worse, he had never gotten any better for years.
However, this General was remarkably tenacious. After he had been rescued successfully, he was transferred from the Special Warfare System to the Headquarters of the General Staff to be a civilian official. Over the past 20 years, he had made steady progress and experienced several meteoric rises. And finally, he ended up where he was now. His life was almost a living legend, full of frustrations, restraints, and wisdom. He was certainly a big name within the Zhongzhou military and the Special Warfare System.
The lights in the villa were on brightly and the dazzling light covered every corner of the villa, making all the eyes feel a little uncomfortable.
But none of those present spoke. All of them were quietly watching Tan Qinghua, who was sitting on the sofa, with great care.
Tan Qinghua was sitting quietly on the sofa with a straight face. In front of him was a stretcher that was covered with clean white cloth. Beneath the white cloth was his son Tan Xilai’s body.
Tan Qinghua had two sons. His eldest son didn’t know Martial Arts and was now serving as the military advisor in one of the main divisions in the Southern Theater of Operations. In brief, he was taking a position of deputy regimental commander and had a promising future.
Tan Qinghua’s youngest son was Tan Xilai, who had learned Martial Arts from an early age. When he was an adult, he was sent to the Asura Path, where he was trained strictly. One military and the other civil, Tan Qinghua had high hopes for his two sons, especially Tan Xilai. Tan Xilai was strong-willed, amazingly talented, and had a quick mind. He had always been trained by Tan Qinghua as a successor. The father and son were on intimate terms and in Tan Qinghua’s mind, Tan Xilai was arguably the only choice and also the best choice to keep up appearances of the Tan family in the future.
However, his biological son, whom he had high hopes for, lay silently on a stretcher and had become a lifeless corpse.
He was suffering the tragedy of losing his young loved ones.
How hurting he was right now?
No one could understand Tan Qinghua’s mood and even Tan Qinghua himself did not know how he was feeling now.
His heart seemed empty the moment he received the terrible news. He had no anger, resentment, or sorrow. Numbness seemed to have become his only feeling. He just sat on the sofa and let time pass. He didn’t want to move, talk, or do anything.
Near Tan Qinghua, a middle-aged man clad in camouflage clothing called him. He wished to speak but stopped on second thought.
He was about the same age as Tan Qinghua, however, their images were completely different. This was a tall and straight man with black hair and a majestic look. The two gold stars, representing the status of Lieutenant General on his shoulders, looked more dazzling in the lamplight. Nonetheless, at this very moment, he looked at Tan Qinghua’s face with caution and his voice was as light as thistledown.
After sitting in silence on the sofa for several hours, Tan Qinghua finally moved, but he did not raise his head. He just knelt down in front of Tan Xilai’s corpse and stretched out his hands slowly.
His hands were shaking violently. His skinny fingers clutched the white cloth tightly and pulled it down slowly.
Little by little, Tan Xilai’s livid face appeared before all of them.
Tan Xilai watched it silently. He opened his mouth, but for a moment, he could not make any sound.
A nearby Lieutenant General in camouflage clothing took one step forward and called him again.
Tan Qinghua looked up blankly. His mouth twitched slightly and he said in a hoarse voice, “Changjiang, my son was killed!”
In the entire Huating, there was only one Lieutenant General whose given name was Changjiang. That person was Gu Changjiang, the director of Huating Special Operations Bureau, an Elder of Kunlun City, and also the backbone force of the entire Special Warfare Group!
Gu Changjiang had been making friends with Tan Qinghua for many years and they were on intimate terms. Now looking at the look of vacancy and loneliness in his old friend’s eyes, he didn’t feel well either. But no matter how terrible he felt, he dared not act rashly.
Everything happened tonight looked a little weird in every way. Not only was Tan Xilai killed, but Zhong Shaofeng, the young master of the Zhong family was also utterly disabled. Because everything tonight happened within a short time, Gu Changjiang could not get any specific information. From the latest news, Zhong Shaofeng was still in the rescue. It was all a matter of luck for him to be out of danger.
Both of the matters were done by the same group of young people, a group of young people with very complicated backgrounds.
Gu Changjiang could not see through the nature of things for the time being, so how could he act rashly?
He had established a close personal friendship with Tan Xilai, but it was just a personal relationship after all. The stances they took were not exactly the same.
The Prince Group and Special Warfare Group had been in the same boat in recent years and were closest allies. However, an ally and someone on one’s own side were two entirely different things. The difference could be both small and big. Take things happened tonight, for example, if Gu Changjiang insisted on standing out now, that would amount to the Special Warfare Group stepping in the matters without a clear response from the Prince Group.
Apart from the Special Warfare Group’s internal reaction, even if the Prince Group would probably not appreciate the kindness of such an action. Before getting the instruction from his higher-ups, the only thing Gu Changjiang could do was to tell Tan Qinghua to restrain his grief and accept fate.
“Don’t be too sad.”
Gu Changjiang hesitated for a short while. He walked over to Tan Qinghua and patted him on the shoulder, saying in a deep voice, “Xilai doesn’t want to see you the way you are.”
“He’ll never see me.”
Tan Qinghua said blankly, “He’s gone. How can he see me?”
Gu Changjiang was speechless for a moment, though he wanted to talk.
Without sparing him a quick glance, Tan Qinghua just stroked his son’s cold face gently. With a gentle expression, he said, “We had lunch together. Who would have thought you would suffer this tragedy at night all of a sudden?”
“You were talented and had been smart since you were a kid, much better than your brother. I was counting on you to take my place, but I didn’t expect you to leave without warning me. You were really merciless. I told you to be responsible in daily life, but all my words appear to fall on deaf ears.”
“You were the kind of person who would bear someone a grudge easily and I’ve figured this shortcoming out before, but I never took it seriously. After all, it’s not a bad thing. We certainly will do it in return if someone causes us harm. Nevertheless, you were stupid. Why did you seek revenge without equivalent strength? As a result, I’ll have to avenge you. What the hell were you doing?”
Kneeling beside Tan Xilai’s body, Tan Qinghua leaned down and kissed his son’s cold forehead, saying in a low voice, “Rest assured, dad will avenge you very soon.”
Gu Changjiang, who was standing beside him, had a slight change in his expression.
So did a youth who was a little bit further away from Gu Changjiang and Tan Qinghua.
The youth wearing a pair of glasses was about 32 or 33 years old. Clad in the military uniform, he was giving off a gentle temperament that belonged only to civil servants from head to toe. He was not so much a soldier as a scholar.
Listening to Tan Qinghua’s promise that was made with a hoarse voice and the utmost determination, the youth touched his glasses and said gently, “Commander Tan, please restrain your grief.”
Tan Qinghua lifted his eyelashes and shot him a glance. Within a short while, he managed to calm down himself completely. The elite of the Prince Group got back on the sofa, had his eyes fixed on the young man in front of him, and asked indifferently, “Who killed Xilai?”
“Here’s the thing…”
“I’m asking you who killed Xilai.”
Tan Qinghua directly interrupted the young man’s words and repeated his words calmly.
The young man wearing a pair of glasses opened his mouth but didn’t know how to answer him.
Who killed Tan Xilai?
Everyone present knew the answer to this question, including Tan Qinghua himself. But because of his identity, the youth absolutely could not say the murderer’s name.
It was because he was the secretary of Ning Zhiyuan, the Commander of the Eastern Theater of Operations, while Ning Zhiyuan was Ning Qiancheng’s father.
If the murderer’s name really came out of his mouth, he was afraid that Ning Zhiyuan would be quite passive then.
Tan Qinghua’s question was truly devastating to him.
“Commander Tan, we are all sorry that such a thing has happened. Commander Ning hopes that you can calm down. He will give you a satisfactory account. He also hopes that you can take the big picture as the most important thing and do not affect your work. If it is convenient for Commander Tan, Commander Ning has something relating to the work that he would like to discuss with you…”
The young man said calmly, and while speaking, he carefully observed Tan Qinghua’s reaction.
That was the main reason he was here today. It was more of an opportunity to try and see if he could ease the relationship between the two parties than condolence.
Ning Qiancheng killed Tan Xilai.
To view this matter as something less important, it was merely the enmity between two young men. But if it was viewed as something big, it would be the feud between two powerful men in the Eastern Theater of Operations. The bereavement of a child seemed to be something that could not be overcome. But given their positions, there was basically nothing they could not negotiate. The key was to see how important Tan Xilai was in Tan Qinghua’s heart.
Tan Qinghua looked up at the young man in front of him and narrowed his eyes little by little.
The already oppressive atmosphere in the hall suddenly became heavy.
More than 10 seconds later, the young man’s forehead exuded cold sweat, and his calm expression gradually became awkward.
He was merely an ordinary Lieutenant Colonel, so it was not hard to imagine how much pressure he withstood under the gaze of a General.
“Please pass on my words to Commander Ning.”
Tan Qinghua finally opened his mouth and said calmly, “I’ll keep the big picture in mind, but that’s something I’ll do after I avenge my son.”
The young Lieutenant Colonel’s expression changed. Looking at Tan Qinghua’s eyes that gradually became crazy, he finally chose to keep silent.
“Changjiang, where’s the murderer?”
Tan Qinghua suddenly stood up. He looked at Gu Changjiang, who was standing near him, and asked.
After hesitating for a while, Gu Changjiang answered instinctively.
Just as Gu Changjiang’s voice trailed off, Tan Qinghua raised his voice and shouted.
Outside the villa, a sonorous voice sounded. The door was pushed open, and a burly man with a scar on his face appeared at the door and saluted Tan Qinghua.
Tan Qinghua said with a cold face, “Gather our men in the Yonghua Villa and take the murderer back!”
He clenched his fists and added, “At any cost!”
The man whose code name was Raging Fire saluted Tan Qinghua and turned to go out without hesitation.
The expression of the young Lieutenant Colonel who had been silent changed drastically. He asked in a deep voice, “Do you know what you’re doing?!”
“I am avenging my son.”
Tan Qinghua replied coldly, “Tell Ning Zhiyuan, if he has any objection, just stop my men. I’ll see if he has the guts to do so!”
The young Lieutenant Colonel’s face changed. After a long while, he let out a cold snort, and then turned and walked away quickly.
He was just Ning Zhiyuan’s secretary and thus could not make any decisions for him. Now that things had come to this point, he must report Tan Qinghua’s every move to Ning Zhiyuan as soon as possible.
“Old Tan, calm down. I guess things happened tonight are not simple.”
Gu Changjiang’s deep voice rang behind Tan Qinghua as he walked toward him. The maneuver between the Eastern Theater of Operations and Huating Special Operations Bureau this time was small-scale. There were about 2,000 elites coming from the Eastern Theater of Operations. Although the number was small, in terms of the overall quality, these people were the top in the Eastern Theater of Operations. Tan Qinghua was able to fully command 300 of them. Once the 300 people rushed into Yonghua Villa, there was a good chance that things would get out of hand.
Everything happened tonight looked a little chaotic. Tan Qinghua’s rash action would not necessarily bring him an optimistic outcome.
“I can’t calm down.”
Tan Qinghua shot a glance at Gu Changjiang and added flatly, “Changjiang, I know that you face difficulties dealing with this matter, so I won’t put you on the spot, but don’t stop me. I’ll kill whoever killed my son and whoever dares to stop me!”
Tan Qinghua was crazy!
Gu Changjiang could feel his head buzz. He knitted his eyebrows tightly and felt powerless.
Tan Qinghua ignored Gu Changjiang and slightly bent down. He carried his son’s body in his arms and moved upstairs.
Gu Changjiang stood where he was in a daze. After a long while, he fished out a cigarette and lit it. He then took long drags on the cigarette but his brain grew more confused.
It was Gu Youlan who sent Tan Xilai’s body back. He just simply learned what had happened because he was pressed for time. Not to mention how things were going, just hearing the names of the people who were involved in tonight’s incident was enough to make people feel how complicated the inside story of it was.
Zhuang Huayang, Qin Weibai, Wang Yuetong, Ning Qiancheng, Li Baitian, and Li Tianlan.
Gu Changjiang didn’t know Li Tianlan, but he had a thorough understanding of what the others represented.
The Academics, Wang family of Beihai, Giant Group, Mount Shu, and the mysterious Samsara Palace!
Undoubtedly, more attention should be paid to a foreign force called Samsara Palace. Although the development of this force in Zhongzhou State had been resisted by Kunlun City and Wang family of Beihai, the cooperation between Zhongzhou State and the Samsara Palace in recent years had been extremely pleasant. Qin Weibai, who possessed a special status in the Samsara Palace, now appeared as Li Tianlan’s woman. It was said that she even forced He Qingting, the mad dog of the Zhong family, to kneel down on the spot. Why did she suddenly behave so aggressively? Was there any special meaning concealed in her action?
All these things gave Gu Changjiang a headache. He only felt that a storm was about to come to Huating and there seemed to be a dark cloud over the city overnight.
A telephone suddenly rang.
Gu Changjiang took out his cell phone to have a look at the caller identification, suddenly, he kept up his spirit. After getting through, he respectfully called the caller Governor.
There were two eminent Governors in Zhongzhou State, but there was only one who was able to make Gu Changjiang behave so respectfully. Without doubt, the person was Gu Xingyun, the God of War in Zhongzhou State and the Governor of Kunlun City!
“Is Huating very lively tonight?”
On the phone, Gu Xingyun’s voice sounded. Since it was said in a light tone, no one could figure out his mood.
“More than that.”
Gu Changjiang let out a bitter laugh and added, “It’s totally a mess. Ning Zhiyuan’s son killed Tan Xilai, and Zhong Shaofeng, the youngest son of the Zhong family, was disabled by a young man called Li Tianlan. Within a short period, all sorts of people have made their appearances one by one. Old Tan went mad to boot. He was ready to assemble his men to avenge his son a few minutes ago.”
“Yes, it’s indeed chaotic.”
Gu Xingyun laughed gently and said insipidly, “But that’s good.”
Gu Changjiang remained silent for a while to ponder what on earth Gu Xingyun meant.
The chaos in Huating was really not a bad thing for Kunlun City, but Kunlun City did not cause this mess. In this way, they could not test the water of Huating. If they got themselves involved rashly, could they really gain any interests?
“Follow them and have a look.”
Gu Xingyun continued slowly after considering for a while, “Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. Take a wait-and-see approach.”
Gu Changjiang answered with a deep voice. Then he asked in an undertone, “Governor, should we prepare early?”
Gu Xingyun was seized by silence. It was half a minute before he laughed and said, “We have already made preparations, but don’t act rashly. Except for Tan Qinghua, the trend in Huating will also depend on the Zhong family’s attitude. Tan Qinghua alone cannot do anything big. Just wait and see.”
“H’m.” Gu Changjiang replied and hung up. After smoking a cigarette at where he was, he directly walked out of the villa.
Inside the brightly lit base of Huating Special Operations Bureau, seven or eight military trucks roared out of the gate and rushed into the darkness outside the base.
Tan Qinghua, who had planned to ask a bodyguard code-named Raging Fire to catch the murderer, temporarily changed his mind. He put his son’s body in his bedroom and led his men to Yonghua Villa!
The 9th building of the No. 1 villa complex was extremely quiet.
So did the 7th building of the No. 1 villa complex, where Ning Zhiyuan, the Commander of the Eastern Theater of Operations, was at.
Ning Zhiyuan, the leader of the Eastern Theater of Operations, just remained silent at Tan Qinghua’s mobilizing his troops from beginning to end. He had the least intention of stopping him.