Faster, Faster, Much Faster!
“Who are you calling? Xia Xue? Or Ma Xiao-An?” Jiang Ru-Yi was very interested to know who Xia Lei could be calling at this time.
“A friend you don’t know. Don’t ask,” said Xia Lei as he waited for the call to connect.
There was no ringing – the person on the other end picked up after five seconds.
“Hello? Who’s this?” A female voice came over the line. It was cold as ice, probing and full of suspicion.
“It’s me, Xia Lei,” said Xia Lei, “remember me?”
“Of course. I called you last night but you didn’t pick up.”
Xia Lei then remembered the caller with the unknown number from last night when he was at the hospital. He’d thought that was from some insurance person but it was actually Long Bing. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was you so I didn’t pick up,” he said.
“So why are you using someone else’s phone to call me now?”, asked Long Bing.
“Well, you see…” Xia Lei hesitated, then said, “I’m in a spot of trouble, and I’m wondering if you could help me.”
“Where are you?”
“Hai-Zhu City North Police Station.”
“Wait for me. Fifteen minutes.” With that, Long Bing hung up.
Xia Lei stood, waiting. He still had the phone to his ear and did not react for a while. Wasn’t Long Bing going to ask him what trouble he was in? She didn’t ask anything except for where he was and said she would be coming. Did this mean that whatever trouble he was in was nothing to her?
Xia Lei’s decision to call Long Bing was a spontaneous one. Jiang Ru-Yi’s appearance made him think of her. Long Bing’s reaction during the shooting, her calm and collected manner all pointed to traits of an extraordinary woman. More importantly, she was not afraid of the police. When the police had arrived, she let him leave quickly too, so she was not a bad person. Based on these two facts, he could say that she was not one of the common folk and could possibly help him in his situation so he had made the call.
It looked like he had made the right choice. And she must be in Hai-Zhu City too, if not she wouldn’t have said that she’d be here in fifteen minutes.
“Who is that? You’re being so secretive,” probed Jiang Ru-Yi.
Xia Lei handed the phone to Jiang Ru-Yi and smiled as he said, “I said it was a friend. A friend you don’t know.”
Jiang Ru-Yi rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “Oh, so you’re trying to be mysterious now? I was going to help you think of a way to get out of there with that video but it looks like I was being a busybody, huh? I’ll not bother to help you and just leave you locked up in here, then.”
“Stay out of this for now. You work here, so Li Qing-Hua could come after you.”
“You dummy. You’re too kind. You’re already in this state and you’re still thinking of my welfare? Society will chew you up and spit you on the streets.” Jiang Ru-Yi’s words were harsh but she was secretly glad that Xia Lei cared.
At that moment, Hu Bin walked over and spoke gruffly, “Jiang Ru-Yi, what are you doing here?”
Jiang Ru-Yi looked over her shoulder at Hu Bin, then spoke quietly to Xia Lei, “Lei, don’t worry. I’ll get you out.”
“Jiang Ru-Yi, I asked you a question. Didn’t you hear me?” Hu Bin sounded a little angry.
Jiang Ru-Yi turned around and smiled as she greeted him. “Oh, it’s Team Leader Hu! Good morning, Team Leader Hu.”
“I asked, what are you doing here?” Hu Bin looked at Jiang Ru-Yi and Xia Lei suspiciously.
“Oh, nothing. I know this guy so I was just asking what he got locked up for,” said Jiang Ru-Yi.
“You know each other?” Hu Bin was surprised.
“That was over ten years ago. I thought he looked familiar just now, so I asked and he turned out to be a schoolmate from my old school,” said Jiang Ru-YI.
Hu Bin suddenly spotted the mobile phone in Jiang Ru-Yi’s hand and his face darkened, “You gave him a phone to make calls?”
Jiang Ru-Yi was flustered, “No, no. Why would I? I didn’t.”
Hu Bin glared at Jiang Ru-Yi. “You’d better not be so foolish. What are you still doing here? Go back to work!”
Jiang Ru-Yi gave Xia Lei a look before she left, her head low.
Hu Bin opened the cell door and growled, “Move it!”
“Where are we going?”
“Are you allowed to ask questions? Be quiet! Move!” Hu Bin shoved Xia Lei roughly.
Xia Lei was brought to the same interrogation room from last night.
In the interrogation room, Hu Bin slammed his notebook heavily onto the table. “Chief Li was being kind last night and didn’t ask for you to be taken care of. Know your place and confess to your offence, then sign and nothing will happen to you. If you give me attitude again like last night… Humph!”
“So you’re saying if I don’t confess and don’t sign, you’ll torture me for a confession?”
“Looks like you won’t obey unless you get roughed up!” Hu Bin turned and gestured to the glass wall.
The indicator light of the camera on the wall quickly went out.
Xia Lei used his ability on the glass wall and it disappeared under his gaze. He saw Li Qing-Hua and another police officer who looked to be in charge of recording behind the wall.
Li Qing-Hua was watching the proceedings in the interrogation room with a smirk on his face.
Hu Bin suddenly kicked Xia Lei.
Xia Lei had no time to defend himself and he fell to the ground.
Hu Bin had no intention of stopping there. He followed up with another kick aimed at Xia Lei’s lower abdomen.
Xia Lei rolled on the floor and barely dodged. He got to his feet trying to back away but found himself pressed to the wall.
“Still dodging, motherfucker?” Hu Bin’s fist flew at Xia Lei’s face.
At that critical moment, Xia Lei’s left eye jumped and a strange thing happened. Hu Bin’s swinging fist suddenly slowed. The speed and trajectory of the punch and position of where it would land on his face were instantly clear to him!
Xia Lei adjusted himself accordingly and easily dodged Hu Bin’s fist.
“You dodged, motherfucker?” Hu Bin was flushed with humiliation and rage. He aimed another punch at Xia Lei’s head but missed again. His left fist went swiftly towards Xia Lei’s chin.
Xia Lei dodged again.
Hu Bin was going mad with rage. He chased Xia Lei with both his fists, pummelling hard. However, no matter how quick his punches were and how varied his punching angles, not one punch landed on Xia Lei. Xia Lei looked like a drunkard swaying and staggering all over the place but every movement he made seemed to coincidentally and easily bring him out of harm’s way.
Hu Bin had undergone training in grappling and wrestling but Xia Lei looked like a professional boxer.
Xia Lei was not a boxer, of course. He had never gone through any sort of combat training. He was able to dodge everything due to the power of his left eye. If he hadn’t had the ability to slow and predict the punches, he would have been beaten to a pulp long ago!
“Faster! Faster! Much faster!” The handcuffed Xia Lei mocked Hu Bin as he dodged, “Did you get any energy from breakfast?”
That line almost pushed Hu Bin over the edge. He was the best fighter in Hai-Zhu North Police Station and even placed third in grappling within the Hai-Zhu City Police. However, up against Xia Lei, Hu Bin found himself looking like an inexperienced child!
Beyond the glass wall, Li Qing-Hua was shaking with rage. He shouted, “Call more men! This bastard… If we don’t destroy him today he’ll see this place as an amusement park!”
A few policemen immediately rushed into the interrogation room and they drove Xia Lei into a corner.
Li Qing-Hua entered the interrogation room too and gave Xia Lei a frosty stare. “Twerp, I don’t know how you’re so brave but I can tell you that you’ll not be leaving here on your feet. Get him!”
The policemen moved to attack.
“Stop!” A clear voice suddenly came from the doorway of the interrogation room, and Jiang Ru-Yi appeared.
Li Qing-Hua turned to see Jiang Ru-Yi, his face dark.
Hu Bin and the few officers who had jumped in to help all looked at Jiang Ru-Yi with astonishment. In their eyes, Jiang Ru-Yi was just a pencil-pushing, deskbound female officer with no real power or position. A person such as her actually dared to tell Chief Li to stop! Did she get the courage of a leopard or something?
Jiang Ru-Yi became a little nervous almost instantly but she steeled herself and spoke bravely, “What are you doing? As officers of the law, how can you torture a suspect? This is illegal!”
“Jiang Ru-Yi, what are you doing here? Stay in the Archives Room!” Hu Bin responded first, “Scram! You have no say here!”
“I, I…” Jiang Ru-Yi’s face turned red. “I cannot let you do this!”
“Jiang Ru-Yi!” Li Qing-Hua finally spoke. “You’re suspended! Go home and reflect on yourself. Come back to work after you’ve thought it through clearly!”
“What are you basing the suspension on? I haven’t done anything that would warrant this, and I haven’t done anything illegal either!” Jiang Ru-Yi’s voice grew louder with each word, “Unlike some people who use their position for personal gain!”
“What rubbish are you spouting?” Her words had stabbed Li Qing-Hua in his weak spot and he turned his shame into anger as he shouted, “Get out!”
“I’m not leaving! I’m staying here!”
“Take her away!” Li Qing-Hua commanded.
Hu Bin and another officer moved towards Jiang Ru-Yi, and they were prepared to use violence.
Jiang Ru-Yi took a step back subconsciously but gathered her courage and moved back to her original spot.
Hu Bin reached out and grabbed Jiang Ru-Yi by the collar.
A hand suddenly appeared in the doorway and grabbed Hu Bin’s wrist, followed by a leg in high-heels, which buried itself in Hu Bin’s lower abdomen.
Bang! There was a dull thud as Hu Bin’s body lifted off the ground before it was slammed heavily into the floor.
All eyes went to the doorway of the interrogation room. Beside Jiang Ru-Yi stood a woman who was a head taller than her. She had black hair, wore a black traditional dress, black high heels and had a black clutch – She was mysterious and profoundly black. She was elegant and aloof, and her appearance was like the Siberian frost, freezing everything in an instant.
Fifteen minutes, she’d said. And she was here, exactly fifteen minutes later – not one minute more, not one minute less.