Release that Man

Chapter 394: The Guard

To delay someone, when put simply, was to find something to distract said person. To find trouble, it was far more convenient for the official to step in than for an isolated individual to do so. Be it to investigate Madam Grace herself, the company under her name, or her people, any of that was enough to cause Madam Grace to treat it seriously. After all, she had skeletons in her closet. Before she could confirm that people had leverage on her, why would Madam Grace allow those potential threats to grow just for the sake of a pile of military arms?

After all, as important as the military arms were, it was not as important as her assets inside the organization.

“Since Albert has arrived in China on duty, it naturally will cause attention from the superiors. The FBI has shown themselves here, so our own system will have done something as well.” Han Chu sat in the passenger seat and opened the computer to connect to the internet. “Of course, due to the severity of the issue, not everyone knew what was happening, so only higher officials who had access to this information are cooperating with us. Actually, you can say that we are cooperating with them; it is the officials who dictate the general direction of the plan. We are mostly responsible for the information collection.”

“Sounds like a low paying work,” Ye Shuang said with some heartache. “The people who will gain the attention are the field agents. We probably won’t have our presence known, which makes it difficult to ask for a good price.”

Han Chu tutted. “Sometimes, we have to fulfil our civic duty.”

“What kind of country requires its civilians to conduct such a dangerous mission?” Ye Shuang thought back to the encounters that she had experienced due to this mission, and she was feeling aa certain way. She thought of what had happened at the small fruit farm and the small bungalow…

“By the way, Brother Han, do you think it’s Edward who masqueraded as the contact to liaise with Jennifer?” Ye Shuang suddenly thought of this question. Han Chu thought about it and said, “I’m ninety percent sure it’s him. Other than him, who would do something that boring?”

Edward was indeed a headache-inducing presence. He would come out to remind everyone that he was there at the most inopportune moments. Sometimes, he would help, and other times, he would hinder. Initially, Han Chu wanted the police to purposely give the contact an opening for him to contact Madam Grace. The plan was to lure Madam Grace out, and when she made her move, he would cut in front of her to steal the goal with the homefield advantage. However, when the news was released, two copies went out simultaneously. Obviously, someone was trying to muddy the water. Considering the people that they surrounded themselves with, the identity of the interfering party could not have been clearer.

Han Chu did not care what Edward was up to, but because of what he had done, they had to risk the danger of exposure to stall Madam Grace.

They departed in their disguises after breakfast. They were stuck in the city traffic for a while, so they only left the city around 10 am. Then, it was another two hours of driving to the nearest state. Finally, at around noon, the two arrived at the Nature Village mentioned in the report.

“The nearest petrol station is at least ten kilometers away. After lunch, you should find some time to fill up the gas tank.” Han Chu glanced at the gas meter and gave the order with a sigh.

“That is not a problem, but where are we supposed to have lunch?” Ye Shuang looked around her. The village was small enough that she captured the whole village in a glance. There was a large road that allowed four cars to pass through at the same time. Both sides were lined with small convenient stores adopted from wooden houses. There were several alleys that parted from the main roads, but they looked deserted. They probably led to more huts or to the working fields… There was no restaurant.

Han Chu noticed that as well. He looked around with a frown. “This is not normal. Theoretically speaking, even the most deserted village should have one or two restaurants…”

“That’s right.” Ye Shuang sighed helplessly. “We should have brought something with us.”

“That’s not the problem.” Han Chu looked at the villagers who walked past on the street. He signaled for Ye Shuang to park the car and then led the girl quietly away to a corner without attracting much attention. “The need decides a market. When you come to a new place, you can have a basic assessment of the local situation based on the architectural and building layout. This works for most places… For example, places with a lot of cheap stores are close to fields or construction sites, milk tea shops are usually near schools or tourist spots, and there would be offices around cafes…

“But take a look around. This Nature Village that we’re currently in does not even have a place for people to eat.” Han Chu used his eyes to signal beside him. “Not many outsiders pass by here, so naturally, there aren’t any medium or large restaurant chains. However, Nature Village most likely has a self-reliant economy that mixes with outside import and export. When people work, there are occasions when they are too lazy to cook, or it is more convenient to buy food outside. Therefore, the village should at least have one or two family-owned eateries or stalls selling cheap and easy to make food like fried noodles, biscuits, and so on. Yet, there is none of that here.”

“There is no market, so it means there is no need?” Ye Shuang hypothesized following the logic, and she also frowned. “But that means there is no one here that needs to eat outside. Even though this place looks like it is no different from other small villages, actually…”

Han Chu was silent for a while before suddenly sighing. He called over a villager who was passing by and asked, “Brother, I’m sorry, but is this Liu Village?”

The villager looked the two up and down before smiling to reveal a row of yellowed teeth. He replied in a tone heavy with local dialect. “You’ll need to go another ten kilometers before you reach Liu Village. You got the wrong place.”

Han Chu nodded his thanks and led Ye Shuang back to the car. Only after the car door was shut did he say severely, “Looks like we’re mistaken. The guard is not only one person… this whole entire village is their people.”

Because of that, the people there did not need to really do any kind of agricultural work. Their real work was patrolling and looking after this Nature Village. Going out to work was merely a front that they assumed. When there were outsiders or strange occurrences, the people there could react immediately. Some investigators had probably been there in the past, but they did not realize that the guard did not point toward a certain someone with the code but the entire village.

Therefore, whenever the investigation felt like it was going somewhere, they would hit a dead end—because the entire village was in it from the start.

Han Chu reacted quickly and pretended like they had taken the wrong turn. He led Ye Shuang out of the village. Until Nature Village was already several kilometers behind them, they could still see a villager who was pretending to harvest some forest mushrooms when in reality he was keeping a close watch on the road and passing vehicles.

Before this, the two did not think much of it, but now that they knew the truth, they understood that they were being heavily watched.

Ye Shuang felt apprehensive. It felt like she was some undercover agent. Even though they were already far away from the village, she was still recovering from the shock. “Since when did San Lin City have such an unbelievable place?”

“It has probably been here for a long time.” Han Chu pressed his lips. “Looks like this mission requires more than the two of us.”