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Chapter 10: Are You Kidding, My Friend?

Translator: Atlas Studios  Editor: Atlas Studios

After reaching the outskirts, there was only a small house beside the warehouse and a large strawberry farm nearby. As they were not in the strawberry season, the whole place was deserted, with empty plots and grey hills, the surroundings cold and empty. Shen Qianshu alighted the taxi and shivered.

She felt a strange sense of déjà vu.

It was as if she had she had seen it somewhere before. Yet, she couldn’t remember it at all.

Shen Qianshu took out her phone and dialed 110.

“I want to call the police.” Shen Qianshu looked at the small house suspiciously and checked the address once again. She had watched many dramas with this similar kind of cliché storyline too many times to count: a deserted area without a soul to be seen and the more frightening aspect was that no one would be around to hear you, let alone save you if anything were to happen. She would not take any chances. Her voice on the phone was as innocent as a child. “Mr Policeman, I’m lost and can’t find my way anymore, please save me…”

“Little one, don’t panic. Tell me slowly, where are you now? Do you remember where you lost your way?”

“There is a huge strawberry farm and a small house beside Mei Lin Valley in Long Qiao District. I don’t know the way anymore.” Shen Qianshu had a voice that was innately young and tender, when she was distraught, her childlike voice wavered and she immediately gained the trust of the policeman on the other side of the phone.

After calling the police, Shen Qianshu crept towards the small house. Although she tried to be as quiet as possible, the moment her fingers clasped the rusty handle of the door, it suddenly opened and two dangerous-looking men came out and hauled her inside.

At that moment, Shen Qianshu only had one thought running through her mind.

Damn, why are my instincts so strong! It’s just like I predicted. Thank goodness I called the police!

The tiny house was even narrower inside than it looked from the outside, its interior shabbily furnished. It seemed to be a warehouse for a type of chemical fertilizer. Shen Qianshu wrinkled her nose in disgust as a strong smell attacked her nostrils, the pungent, almost acidic smell permeated throughout the entire building and through the entire room. It seemed to seep through the walls, floors and scant furnishings. Her eyes finally settled on the figures in the room. Yuan Hui and Gu Xiaoli were forced to kneel on the floor, bound by ropes and looking extremely pathetic. Yuan Hui was dressed in an expensive suit but the usual confidence he exuded that was always present on his face, from being in the elite circles, was missing. Gu Xiaoli was wearing a long shimmery gown, her face was drawn and miserable and she looked as though the world had collapsed around her.

A man with a thick gold chain on his neck was seated on the only clean chair in the room, arms and legs spread open as though he owned the place. Many strong-looking thugs stood around him in an imposing manner, arms folded and emotionless. The innocent and pure Shen Qianshu was like a rabbit that had stumbled upon the wolves’ den, caught unaware and in a complete daze.

Her boyfriend and her close friend.

“Yuan Hui, Xiaoli?” Shen Qianshu was quite shocked and her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “What is going on?”

Gu Xiaoli averted her gaze, but shook herself and shuffled her knees towards Shen Qianshu. She didn’t care about anything else at that moment. “Qianshu, save me, save me…”

“You are their friend?” Gold-chain man gave her a sideward glance as he lit up a cigarette, revealing a muscular arm smothered with scars and tattoos.

Shen Qianshu nodded, her thoughts running in her mind ly, her clear eyes contemplating her surroundings suspiciously. Firstly, why were they held captive? Secondly, why were Xiaoli and Yuan Hui even together? Xiaoli was her high school classmate, her personality showy and provocative and she dressed in revealing clothes that matched her flirtatious nature. Yuan Hui had never been able to get along with her as he could not stand her reckless behaviour.

Gold-chain man stared at Shen Qianshu. This woman is really beautiful. He had never studied before and did not know any fanciful terms, only two words surfaced and ran repetitively through his mind — Really beautiful! Gu Xiaoli was already a stunning woman, with her head of chestnut brown curls that cascaded like flowing water down her back, she had womanly curves and a pretty face, but she was incomparable to the plainly dressed woman who now stood in front of him. This woman was like a rose, strikingly beautiful with creamy white skin and an unspeakable charm. She was like a breath of fresh air and he found it hard to look away.

“Since you’re their friend, help them settle their debts.” Gold-chain man said gruffly, gesturing at the two bound figures.

Shen Qianshu looked at Yuan Hui. His shoulders were slumped, his whole countenance downtrodden and embarrassing, but he was beyond caring about his appearance. “Qianshu, save me and give them the money!”

She frowned, lips pressed together and looked questioningly at the imposing man. “What debt does he owe?”

“Your friend gambled on soccer and owes us five million. Including interest that’s eight million. Pay up and we’ll consider his debt settled.”

Shen Qianshu was shocked. Yuan Hui had an annual salary of one million dollars, he was a high-ranking white collar worker and had a promotion coming up in the yeardue. He normally did not have any bad habits, why would he suddenly owe these loan sharks money? Let alone such a ridiculous amount. How would she even get the money? As she stood silent and contemplated, Yuan Hui started to get exasperated. “Qianshu, what are you hesitating about, give them the money!”

Her eyes flickered to him again.

You owe money and I have to pay?

Wha t kind of logic was that!kind of logic is that?

Do you think I am a cash-printing machine?!

Gold-chain man struck him hard across the face and stood up, grabbing Yuan Hui by the collar and hauling him up with his fist, “CEO Yuan, why are you are so irresponsible? Are you even a man? I’ve given you more than two months to cough up the money you owe us. All you do is make your pathetic excuses. Do you think I am stupid? If we weren’t smart enough to catch the two of you in bed, where, how would I get back the money if you two escaped? You better p—”

Shen Qianshu interrupted, “Wait, wait, what… catch the two of us in bed?”