“Seems like you’re asking to be dealt with the hard way.” An Xiaoning whipped out a dagger and continued, “If you still choose to remain tight-lipped, I’m going to have to skin you alive and stab you to death. Do you know what it feels like to be in a living hell?”
The leader began shivering from head to toe, clearly frightened and traumatized.
“Could you please spare my life? My three brothers are already dead. My wife, children, and parents are all waiting for me to come home. I don’t want to die,” he pleaded with a trembling voice.
“Then hurry and come clean.”
“I really don’t know the identity of the person behind it. It was a man, though. He first gave me a deposit sum and an address along with some photos. He said I would be given another five million dollars once the task is completed.”
“I guess you won’t shed a tear until you see your coffin. Do you really think I’d believe what you just said?”
“I was speaking nothing but the truth. How would I dare to lie to you at this point?” The leader was terrorized beyond limits.
An Xiaoning turned to the captain of the boat and asked, “Are you in cahoots with them?”
“No, no. They hired me to maneuver the ferry at an agreed-upon price of 50 thousand dollars. Yet, they died after I received only 20 thousand dollars.”
An Xiaoning looked away and warned them, “You’d better hush. Otherwise, I’m going to kill you.”
She then gave Gu Dongcheng a call, which went through very quickly. She turned on the voice recording function and said casually, “Hello, is this Elder Brother?”
“We still have to stay here for a little while longer. Are Father and Mother alright at home?”
“That’s good. I was just casually asking, everything’s fine. I’m hanging up then.”
She then played the voice recording and squatted down beside the leader. “Listen to the recording. Is this the voice of the person who hired you?”
The leader shook his head and answered, “No.”
Maybe it was Gu Dongcheng’s subordinate then. An Xiaoning thought to herself, extremely convinced that Gu Dongcheng was the culprit.
She paused the recording and stood up straight before instructing her bodyguards, “Throw him down from the helicopter.”
“Young Madam, please spare my life, please!”
An Xiaoning ignored him and took a seat.
Soon, a sudden shriek could be heard coming from afar.
He must have died from such a high fall. Not to mention, he was already heavily injured after being shot by a gun repeatedly.
At this juncture, as long as it was within her means, An Xiaoning would never spare the life of anyone who tries to harm or kill her.
The captain froze in terror and remained as still as a statue.
An Xiaoning felt a huge sense of relief. She looked out of the window and said to the pilot, “You did a good job this time. You’ll be handsomely rewarded when we’re back.”
“Young Madam, it’s only my duty.”
“You ought to be rewarded nonetheless. Keep flying properly.”
“Xiaoning,” said Lin Mingxi.
An Xiaoning turned around and responded, “Yes?”
“Thank you. I was too petty in the past. I’m really sorry for my mistakes,” Lin Mingxi apologized, looking at her earnestly.
“It’s nothing, I didn’t take it to heart. I’ll be glad as long as you and Beicheng are alive and well. Actually, he really is a good man. Mingxi, you’ve found a great catch,” said An Xiaoning, pointing her index finger at Gu Beicheng.
Ling Mingxi looked at her husband beside her and said with a smile, “Yes.”
An Xiaoning noticed that they were both heavily injured. Worried that they would have a hard time enduring the pain throughout the rest of the journey, which would take a few more hours, An Xiaoning said, “I was in a hurry to look for you guys. Thus, I didn’t bring any medical supplies or first-aid kits with me onto the helicopter. I’ll get the doctor to treat you guys as soon as we return. There’ll still be another few hours to go though. Let’s chat if you can’t fall asleep. ”
Lin Mingxi nodded and said, “How could we possibly fall asleep? It’s as if we just went through a nightmare. Last night, we switched the lights off and were planning to go to bed. Yet, we felt really sleepy all of a sudden and the next thing we knew, we passed out. We were really confused when we woke up on the boat and only realized that we were drugged by a toxic incense after thinking through what happened.”
“I heard some strange noises coming from the balcony too when I was about to go to bed last night. I sensed that something was amiss, but I didn’t expect anyone to actually risk their life climbing across the balcony on such a high floor for the sake of money. They climbed into my balcony from yours using a ladder. How brazen of them. Weren’t they afraid of falling to their deaths at all? Seems like they valued money over their lives. Actually, I didn’t sleep at all last night and was watching movies throughout.”
“How did you know we went missing then?” Lin Mingxi asked curiously.
“I went out of my room to knock on your door and called your names but I didn’t get any response. Thus, I had a feeling that something was wrong and I quickly got my assistant to ask for the key card to your room from the administration desk. The moment I entered your room, I realized that all of your mobile phones and luggage were still around. So was Beicheng’s watch, but you two were no longer in the room. I also noticed that the balcony door was closed shut. So I decided to view the footage from the surveillance cameras around your room and balcony.”
“How did you manage to find out their exact route and track us down?”
An Xiaoning chuckled and answered, “Would you believe me if I told you that it was merely a wild guess? I didn’t have a clue or a backup plan at all. But I figured that they probably wouldn’t have boarded a commercial plane or ferry, lest they get caught by the customs officers. Thus, I went to the private terminal and bribed the staff in charge to find out that a private ferry had set off from that terminal at night. After some consideration, I also thought that they definitely weren’t after your lives since they’ve gone through such a hassle to take you onto the boat. Otherwise, they could’ve just killed you two there and then at the hotel. I reckoned that they must have been planning to take you guys somewhere really far away, such that you will never be able to make it back home. Thus, I told my pilot to fly along this route to the farthest country possible.”
“Xiaoning, you’re really so intelligent. I’m no match for you at all,” Lin Mingxi exclaimed in awe.
“Don’t say that, I just got lucky and happened to make the right guess. I’ve already informed the hotel not to spread the word about this matter. After all, it would be disadvantageous to the Gu Corporation as well as the business deal we just clinched. Let’s stay here for a while until you recover from your injuries before heading back home,” said An Xiaoning.
Lin Mingxi nodded and said, “That works too. I’ve already sold my shares in my parents’ company anyway. The cash is in my hands now.”
“Why did you sell them?”
“I couldn’t get along with my sister.”
“Do you have any plans for the future then?” An Xiaoning asked.
“I’m thinking of setting up a large-scale fitness gym.”
“That’s a good idea since you’re not in dire need of money anyway. It’s great to be able to do something you’re passionate about. Actually, I was thinking of handing the management duties of the company back to Qingyan once he regains his memory. After that, I’ll become a film producer and invest in a television drama series since I’ve already tried investing in a movie before,” said An Xiaoning, leaning back against the chair.
“I watched that movie that you invested in a few years ago. It was a blockbuster hit. Xiaoning, what do you say we both invest in another one?”
“If you’re interested, why not?” An Xiaoning agreed right away.
“I don’t know much about investments. You shall make the decisions and we’ll discuss any major matters together.”
“I’m really surprised at how willing you are to cooperate with me, Sis-in-law. Do you remember our boot camp days? We used to get into so much conflict with each other. I managed to survive ’til the end. I really didn’t expect for you to also make it.”
“Don’t call me Sister-in-law, that makes me sound so old. You may just address me by my name. Let’s not mention the boot camp anymore. In hindsight, I was seriously too childish and immature.”