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The location that had been agreed upon was outside a slaughterhouse.
An unpleasant stench wafted around the surrounding air.
Zhang Heng stopped the car. Not far from them, four men were playing a knife game around a small table.
The rules of the game were simple. The player was basically required to place a hand on the table, and with a knife in the other hand, poke the gaps between the fingers quickly. Whoever moved the fastest would be the final winner.
The whole process was fascinating, often regarded as a symbol of courage for those with the nerve to participate. Hence, the four men were having so much fun that they failed to notice somebody coming.
“There are still twenty minutes left. What should we do? Wait in the car, or should I go down and talk to them?”
“No need for so much trouble,” Zhang Heng said while turning on the high beam of the car.
The headlights hit the men so brightly that they could no longer continue playing. Irritated and annoyed, they got up from their chairs, grabbing their weapons and cursing loudly.
The chemistry teacher was shocked. “Wow! Now is that impolite or what?”
“Have you ever seen robbers and villains speak politely?” Zhang Heng asked, “These four were there to make sure that they could give you a good scare. They know you are just an ordinary person, and I can bet that they would never come to you if you don’t get out of the car. If you go to them, they will not listen to you either. This is how they do things. Tactics like these will make you feel more nervous and fearful. The more you fear, the more they will benefit in the negotiation.”
“Is this the location that they requested? The nearest security camera is a kilometer away, and with the current visibility, there’s no way it can capture clear footage. In other words, they hold the power to strike first.”
The chemistry teacher was embarrassed, “I initially thought we were supposed to meet at the bridge where you picked me up, but their person in charge told me on the phone that their boss wanted to trade on their turf instead. They said they would call off the deal if I didn’t comply. I know it’s a bad idea, but the person in charge of the transaction assured me that it would be safe…”
“They are just playing good cop-bad cop with you,” Zhang Heng said, “Not having a surveillance camera is actually not a bad thing. Wait for my signal to get out of the car.”
Before the teacher could figure out what was going on, Zhang Heng was already heading to the four men.
“Kid, are you the driver? Do you have a death wish? Why the hell did you shine your lights on us?!” the man with tattoos on his body and face growled viciously, “Don’t you know whose turf is this?”
“Two hundred years have passed, and you guys still haven’t made much progress. You can only pretend to be tough by relying on a gang behind you and shitty makeup. How disappointing,” Zhang Heng said calmly, “Since that’s the case, I will let you witness what real evil is.”
“Yo, asshole! What kind of crazy are you?! You must be longing for death,” the tattooed man smirked as he stretched out his hand to grab Zhang Heng’s collar.
“What should I do?!” cried the panicked teacher in the car with a tone as anxious as an ant on a hot pot. “Why did they suddenly start fighting? There must be some misunderstanding. They might not know why we are here. I’ll go down and talk to them.”
Little Boy reached out and held the teacher’s shoulder.
“You heard what he said before getting off the car. Let him handle this matter. Just wait for the signal here.”
Despite her confident words, there was a hint of worry in Little Boy’s eyes.
The next moment, she saw the tattooed man suddenly falling to his knees while clutching his neck with his hand. His face was beet red, and like a fish on land, he opened his mouth wide and gasped for breath, but no air would reach his lungs.
The remaining three men looked at each other, shocked by what they saw.
Zhang Heng shook his fists.
“Are the three of you going to attack me at the same time?”
This time, things were different from the quick fight against the casino thugs. Not only did Zhang Heng have to defeat the four men in front of him, but he had to also injure them as much as possible to instill fear in them.
Earlier, Zhang Heng’s fist landed on the tattooed man’s trachea, allowing him to experience the not-so-subtle pleasure of suffocation. Although the man’s tragic situation had affected his three companions, the bunch of Albanians was taught to live fearlessly. Cowards would never survive in this cruel and dark environment.
The three men froze for a while. Looking at each other, they then charged at Zhang Heng. One swung an iron meat hook in his hands, attempting to hit Zhang Heng with it. Before he could do so, though, a knife that came out of nowhere penetrated the flesh of his arm.
Zhang Heng drew out his newly acquired knife, and blood started splattering all over the floor. “Find a hospital within 20 minutes and deal with your wound. You can choose to be not disabled for the rest of your life,” he told the unlucky man.
However, the young man with a deep cut on his wrist did not take a step back. The wounds he suffered only angered him further. He let go of his bleeding wrist, roared in a fury, and charged at Zhang Heng again. “Your courage is commendable, but unfortunately, you are an idiot. After becoming a cripple, do you really think you can continue staying here?” Zhang Heng said, elbowing the young man who attacked him from behind. “There is no such thing as respecting the old, loving the young, and helping the disabled in this line of job.”
For the last opponent, Zhang Heng elected to break his leg and leave him on the ground wailing. At the same time, the valiant youth had also started attacking. However, Zhang Heng simply stood there and didn’t move until his opponent got very close. Moving aside, he managed to dodge the attack easily. To reply in kind, Zhang Heng’s knee landed hard on the guy’s abdomen.
This time, peace had finally returned.
Zhang Heng put away the folding knife in his hand, walked to the tattooed man, grabbed his hair, and dragged him on the ground for three meters to the table that they played the knife game on. He slammed the man’s head onto the table and grabbed the knife lying nearby. “Which eye do you prefer, the left or the right?”
The tattooed man could no longer play the tough guy like before. Tears and snot flowed out uncontrollably, and all that was left in the formidable gangster was man’s most primitive and instinctive fear.
Suddenly, a voice was heard saying,
An older man with a leather apron came out of the slaughterhouse. He was dressed like a butcher, his beard and hair trimmed carefully. He then took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped away the blood on his hands.
“I’m sorry. Forgive me. My memory has not served me well. Have we met before, my friend?”
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