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“Unfortunately, we can’t help you either. I don’t know what the Fox guy told you, but we are not who you think we are,” Little Boy said, “We are different from those Albanians…”
“I can help you,” added Zhang Heng. “Really?”
The chemistry teacher was surprised, and although he felt desperately hopeless after hearing Little Boy’s discouraging remarks he saw the light of hope again after Zhang Heng promised to help him.
“Don’t try to play tough here. The men who traded with him are the real criminals. They have guns in their hands. There’s no way we can go against them,” Little Boy reminded, “You are not helping but harming him.”
“The situation is not as bad as you put it,” Zhang Heng said while holding the steering wheel. “The teacher next to me has what they want. Of course, it would be better to just grab it without having to pay for it. If we can take this opportunity to grab the hen that lays eggs forever, this will be a huge victory for us.”
The chemistry teacher’s face changed drastically. “No. No way. I have an agreement with their person in charge.”
“Trust me, no one in this world understands how a robber thinks better than me,” said Zhang Heng.
“This proves what I’ve said is right. We are heading directly into a trap set up specifically for us,” Little Boy frowned.
“Theoretically speaking, you are right. But…
“But it doesn’t mean that this is an impossible task. A robber behaves according to how a robber is supposed to behave. They work hard for a reason. The point of a negotiation is to convince them that the cost of violence is higher than whatever they stand to yield.”
“Please teach me how to do it,” the chemistry teacher pleaded, “I will share half of the money with you this time.”
“It’s too late. It’s hard to change a person’s behavior in just one or two hours. If you trust me, then don’t say anything when you see the boss later. Let me do the talking,” Zhang Heng said. “No problem,” the chemistry teacher nodded. Zhang Heng turned to Little Boy. “This time, it’s a lot more dangerous than expected. I will drop you near the subway station so you can go back first.”
“No, I said I would go with you. Although the 01 has no business with the Albanians, they should have heard of our name before. If the negotiation goes south and they want to deal with you using radical measures, they’d have to think about the consequences of messing with the 01,” said Little Boy confidently.
“Okay, but we have to set some ground rules. When I negotiate with the Albanians, stay in the car.”
“Hmm.” Little Boy nodded in agreement, knowing that she wasn’t good at dealing with this sort of situation. “Then, can I stay in the car, too?” the chemistry teacher eagerly asked.
“Unfortunately, you can’t. You are the key to this transaction. You must come with me, and you must try to control your fear too. Don’t shiver, and don’t be afraid if someone looks at you. Don’t look away, and play as tough as you can. By being brave, you will help us take the lead in this.”
“Tough? How can I be tough,” the nervous teacher asked.
“Well, imagine you are standing on a podium, and treat them like they are your students,” Zhang Heng said.
The teacher wiped his sweat away. “I… I’m not sure if I can do it.”
“At least give it a try,” Zhang Heng said, “Don’t be too nervous. I’ll be there with you.”
Zhang Heng drove half a kilometer away from the rendezvous point. The area he was at now felt different from other places, where there were more women on the street, and each of them had their own fashion sense. Though it was a chilly day, many of them were dressed in skimpy clothing. A few just put on a coat to cover their bare bodies.
France had a contradictory view toward red-light districts. It was different from the Netherlands and Germany, which had wholly legalized it as an industry. It also differed from the semi-legalized UK. Although it was deemed illegal in France, the government still slapped taxes on it, calling it a freelance job.
As society continued to develop, the ancient industry had started promoting its business on the internet. Customers could now choose the girls they wanted online. That said, certain Eastern European countries still preferred to conduct business traditionally.
“What’s the matter?” Seeing that Zhang Heng had stopped the car, the chemistry teacher couldn’t help feeling nervous again.
“Give me five minutes,” replied Zhang Heng, and to the surprise of Little Boy and the teacher, he took out his newly bought Lego blocks.
Little Boy looked at Zhang Heng as if he was pulling some kind of prank.
The chemistry teacher became even more anxious. He hesitated for a moment. It’s… not the time for this,” he reminded Zhang Heng.
“Don’t worry. It’s still too early.” As he spoke, Zhang Heng assembled an Italian Beretta 92F pistol. He then threw a couple of Lego bricks to the teacher next to him. “Try it too. It helps ease the tension.”
“I think I’ll be fine,” replied the teacher and immediately returned the bricks.
“Err.. are you going to use these toys to negotiate with those Albanians?” Little Boy asked.
“Just in case,” Zhang Heng murmured, inserting the Infinite Building Block into the gun he just built. Since he had so swiftly placed the 92F on his waist, Little Boy and the teacher missed the moment when the Lego gun turned into a real weapon.
“We are not playing games here. Do you think those Albanians are stupid?” Little Boy suddenly looked dead serious. “You will get yourself killed!”
Zhang Heng had made the final preparations. “I’m sorry I kept something from you. Not only did I come from a parallel universe, but I’m also actually a magician,” he said. He then waved to the girl that had already headed toward the car, telling her that he did not need any special service.
“I, I feel a little bit out of breath!” The teacher was feeling nervous, trembling before they even met their target. This was not a good sign. Sure he had made up his mind, but the moment he thought about what he was about to face, the honest man who had never received a speeding ticket failed to control the tremors that had overcome his body.
“You should take her advice. Not everyone is suitable for the thug life. In fact, I have seen many powerful people in the criminal world, and they did not end well. Besides, CTOS is all over the city now. Think carefully. There’s no turning back after you take this step. Even if you want to stop, someone will dig up your past and coerce you into doing things you would never do. To put it simply, you’ve now reached a dead end,” Zhang Heng said.
“Thank you… I may not be ready yet, but I have figured it out,” the teacher said, “This is the only way to save my daughter. Let’s get started.”
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