Translated by zellyfish of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Zhang Jue first confirmed tomorrow’s plans with a team of mercenaries standing by near the safe house and then began driving around the town. While looking for a veterinary clinic, he spoke briefly with an information seller and learned that the Asian League was now in chaos.
The President was furious and ordered the punishment of the officials involved in the escorting of Chen Boqiao.
The Asian Alliance Capital Police Force was using Mi Mountain as the epicenter for their mass manhunt of Chen Boqiao. The surrounding countries have also participated in the cooperative search.
The relationship between the Thai Independence State and the Asian League was not particularly close, so the search effort was not strong. However, the border defense had been strengthened and teams of people were sent to patrol the border.
Unfortunately, the President of the Asian League and his staff seemed to guess that Chen Boqiao was probably already in the Thai Independence State, and several teams of special task forces had sneaked into the TIS overnight. Chen Boqiao and Zhang Jue wouldn’t be safe here, so they needed to leave soon. Zhang Jue felt that the reaction of the President was a little too fast. He wanted to ask more, but the intelligence dealer brought up another new development.
Contrary to the chaos in the government, Chen Boqiao’s supporters held slogans around the League to celebrate.
After Chen Boqiao’s trial was over, overseas media continued to release new evidence regarding Chen Boqiao’s case. A witness who quickly left the Asian League after the trial accepted a video interview. During the interview, he remorsefully admitted to falsifying his witness account. There were also media announcements hinting that a recording of the conversation between the President and unknown persons would be streamed out at noon tomorrow. The content of the recording was related to the framing of Chen Boqiao.
The intelligence dealer sent a collection of interview videos of the witnesses to Zhang Jue. Zhang Jue hung up the phone and played the videos while driving around town.
Zhang Jue went all over, but did not find a veterinary clinic. He got out of the car and asked a local who was about to close his stall. Only then did he learn that the only pet clinic in the town was near the safe house where they lived, but it was already closed and would only open at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning.
Zhang Jue returned to the car, planning to send the cat to be treated early in the morning, and then take Chen Boqiao to Bangkok.
Back in the room, Chen Boqiao was still watching TV. He’d made a nest for the cat with a cushion on the sofa, and the cat had soundly fallen asleep in it.
Zhang Jue walked over gently and sat on the other sofa. Since the room was not big, he and Chen Boqiao were not far away from each other.
The TIS was not economically developed, living conditions were generally poor, and the TV in the safe house was a sturdy and outdated version.
In Zhang Jue’s home country, this model was replaced and forgotten about more than 10 years ago.
After the TV station’s program with the Omega dancing girls ended, an old movie with Thai dubs came on. It had no subtitles, but for some unknown reason, Zhang Jue thought the movie was good, and Chen Boqiao seemed to agree.
In the middle of the movie, the TV station inserted an advertisement. Chen Boqiao lowered the volume to chat with Zhang Jue, “I haven’t watched TV for half a year. Now I realize all of the things I didn’t like before weren’t half bad.”
Zhang Jue wasn’t good with conversations, and he didn’t know what to say. Fortunately, Chen Boqiao always had the ability to carry the conversation on his own. He asked Zhang Jue, “Have you found a vet?”
“I did,” Zhang Jue told him about his plan for tomorrow morning, and Chen Boqiao agreed. When the commercial ended and the movie started, Zhang Jue thought they would finish the second half of the movie together in peace. Suddenly, Chen Boqiao clicked off the TV, turned around, and looked at Zhang Jue seriously.
This reminded Zhang Jue of the few times when he and Chen Boqiao worked alone in canoeing training in middle school. At that time, Chen Boqiao would be so physically close to him, and he had the same expression when he turned his head to talk.
Zhang Jue spaced out for a moment. As a result it took him a few seconds to understand what Chen Boqiao meant by “I told someone about this place”. Chen Boqiao took out a small mobile phone from his pocket, handed it to Zhang Jue saying, “It’s someone I trust.”
Zhang Jue felt a little dazed. If it were anyone else that had pulled such a stunt on him without warning him, he would have turned around and left in all likelihood, or even fought with the guy. But he just could not be angry with Chen Boqiao, nor would he fight with Chen Boqiao. He took the phone into his hands, glanced at it briefly, and returned it to Chen Boqiao. “When did you buy it?”
“When I was picking up the kitten, I saw these at the magazine stand,” Chen Boqiao confessed. “There was some cash next to the sunglasses, so I bought one. This kind of burner phone is commonly used. It’s disposable and only has one function. They’re not easy to track.”
Zhang Jue looked at Chen Boqiao for a long time and said, “Actually, you don’t have to tell me about you contacting other people.”
“I can’t do that! I don’t want to lie to you.” Chen Boqiao smiled. He took the phone apart, walked to the small window in the living room, opened it and threw the phone remnants out, doing things that were definitely dishonest with such confidence.
Chen Boqiao walked back, sat down in his previous spot, and asked Zhang Jue with a calm expression, “You’re being really quiet, you angry?” He rolled up the sleeves of the clothes Zhang Jue had bought for him, revealing two or three lines on his right arm. They were very shallow scars.
Probably injuries from his missions. He didn’t have those in school. Zhang Jue thought to himself and resisted his desire to take a closer look at Chen Boqiao’s scars. Reluctantly he replied, “How did you do all that with the time I spent buying a sandwich?”
Then he asked softly, “Well, who was it?”
“Someone you know,” Chen Boqiao supplied, “Pei Shu.”
Zhang Jue frowned when he heard the name. His feelings of discomfort which he had previously suppressed rose again. Pei Shu and Zhang Jue were always at odds. But then again, none of Chen Boqiao’s friends liked him. Zhang never liked those people either, and he could not understand how Chen Boqiao would want to be friends with them.
At the time, Zhang Jue was unpopular and antisocial. He ate by himself in the cafeteria. From a distance, he had watched Chen Boqiao being surrounded by a group of friends, and he’d have a long list of each with their shortcomings in his head.
Zhang Jue’s closest friend and former fiance, Ai Jiaxi, once pointed out that none of them were serious faults, and Zhang Jue just disliked them because he was jealous that they got to stay near Chen Boqiao all the time while he could not.
Of course, Zhang Jue himself never acknowledged Ai Jiaxi’s opinion.
Seeing that Zhang Jue had fallen silent, Chen Boqiao followed up, “You don’t remember Pei Shu? He…he remembers you pretty clearly.”
Zhang Jue shook his head, “I do remember that guy.” Without waiting for Chen Boqiao to speak, Zhang Jue made up his mind to speak again, “Forget it, as long as you trust him. Try not to do dangerous things like this again. The Asian League has already sent troops into the TIS. We have to be more careful. Everything else can wait until we get on the ship.”
“Okay,” Chen Boqiao promised quickly, “I get it.”
They decided to turn in for the night after finishing the movie, Zhang Jue left the larger bedroom to Chen Boqiao and chose to sleep in the small one by himself.
Before entering his room, Chen Boqiao bid goodnight to Zhang Jue.
Zhang Jue took a quick shower and lay down on the narrow single bed. He pulled his stiff and rough bedding over himself and found he was unable to fall asleep.
He’s staying near Chen Boqiao now.
This thought made Zhang Jue unwilling to close his eyes.
It was like something was churning in his stomach, and there was a vice grip on his gut, forcing his heart to beat uncontrollably, unable to slow down. When he was bored and missed Chen Boqiao, Zhang Jue painstakingly calculated that for their eight years at school together, he and Chen Boqiao spent about nine hours and forty minutes alone together.
Now, the count has finally started again.
“How’s the operation going?”
“Yeah, it’s me… I bought two burner phones.”
“I threw that one away when I told him about us calling. If I didn’t tell him in advance, he might straight-up fight you when he sees you. What time are you reaching Bangkok tomorrow?”
“Are you sure you want to see me? Zhang Jue might not necessarily welcome you.”
“Pei Shu, don’t spout nonsense.”