Translated by zellyfish of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
As they got closer to backstage, passing through two heavy doors, the music on the dance floor slowly faded until they could barely hear anything. The adult show staff came and went in a hurry.
When the Bunny Girl took them to find Harrison in the dancers’ dressing room, Harrison was leaning on the dressing table and talking to a beautiful dancer.
Harrison R .Owen was a tall beta, half-asian but looked more Asian than White.
When he first came to the TIS, Harrison worked as a bodyguard for a few months. Later, with the help of an important person, he opened his own security company in Bangkok. After getting acquainted with celebrities and politicians, he started an adult show business.
Zhang Jue met him once at the beginning of last month to tell Harrison of his plans. The two sat down and talked for a long time.
Harrison did not approve of Zhang Jue getting involved with Chen Boqiao at this moment, but Zhang Jue insisted on going, so Harrison still helped out.
Seeing Zhang Jue coming in, Harrison lifted the corner of his mouth. As soon as he was about to speak, he saw Chen Boqiao standing behind Zhang Jue.
He was taken aback for a moment, and looked at Zhang Jue with some surprise. His lips moved, as if he wanted to say something, but he immediately held back. He signalled at the bunny girl, patted the dancer’s arm, and said, “You guys can go now. “
When the door closed and there were only three of them left in the dressing room, Harrison raised his hand and pointed at Zhang Jue with his index finger, “Not afraid of anything, eh?”
He took a step forward, observed Chen Boqiao from a polite distance for a few seconds, and suddenly said to Zhang Jue, “Zhang Jue, you are pretty talented doing make-up. You can come work in the club if you ever go broke, I’ll even give you free lodging and food.” He looked up and down Zhang jue again and said, “It’s not impossible if you want to become a dancer, either.”
Having been friends for so many years, Zhang Jue had long been accustomed to Harrison’s whimsical words, so he selectively skipped over his jokes and went straight to the point, “Has the ship been contacted?”
Harrison thought Zhang Jue was a killjoy, and shrugged, “Come with me.”
He turned around and walked outside the dressing room. Zhang Jue turned his head and looked at Chen Boqiao. Chen Boqiao asked, amused, “You can ‘dance’?”
“I can’t,” Zhang Jue immediately denied, and reluctantly gave Chen Boqiao some mental preparation, “Don’t believe a word he says.”
After that, he followed behind Harrison.
Harrison took them to the entrance of a sightseeing elevator, past the fingerprint machine, and the elevator door opened.
The three walked in, and the elevator went up, giving them a view of the whole performance.
The performance had reached its climax, with gold foil falling and being scattered all over the room, and the audience was waving their arms as if intoxicated, shouting obscene words to the Omega dancer who was dancing in the iron cage hanging in the air. But soon, the elevator went up to the hotel floor.
Harrison’s office was on the 16th floor.
Watching the numbers on the digital screen slowly go up, Harrison suddenly said to Zhang Jue, “I went hiking at the Senna Snow Mountain again last month.”
Hearing the location, Zhang Jue suddenly had a bad feeling. He felt that Harrison would say something stupid in front of Chen Boqiao in the next second, so he immediately turned his head and looked at Harrison with stern eyes.
However, Harrison didn’t pay attention to Zhang Jue at all, and he said to himself, “By the way, I helped you check, the oil lamps are still there.”
Zhang Jue felt a headache brewing, but Harrison did not let up. “Why don’t you go and see it when you are free?”
When they were in Roche, Zhang Jue and Harrison were lunch buddies who had meals together, but were not too close. They only got more familiar after Harrison dropped out.
Six months after dropping out of school, Harrison’s father went bankrupt and suffered a mental breakdown. He shot his wife to death, and wounded his son before committing suicide. Zhang Jue saw the news in the newspaper, managed to contact Harrison, and flew to North America to see him after getting a leave from the school. When they finally met, Harrison had been hospitalised for two weeks. He was so skinny that his bones were protruding from under his skin. And he could barely pay for his medical expenses.
Zhang Jue’s grandfather was a wealthy businessman in the NIR, and he left most of his property to Zhang Jue after he died. Zhang Jue didn’t have any expensive hobbies, so he always had plenty of money saved up. He paid for Harrison’s medical bills and contacted a rehab therapy centre for him. Not long after, the aftermath of Zhang Jue’s failed surgery began to appear. He had been going through his worst period and had had no time to take care of other people. He received news from Harrison again, two years later.
Harrison called Zhang Jue and said that he had settled in the TIS, his mother’s hometown. He also saved some money to pay back the medical and nursing expenses to Zhang Jue.
Coincidentally, when Harrison contacted Zhang Jue, Zhang Jue had just found a medicine that could regulate the pheromone disorder and was able to break free from the hopeless predicament. He came to Bangkok to find Harrison, and the two toured around in the TIS, And went hiking on the Senna Snow Mountain which was on the plateau on the border between the TIS and the Asian League.
On the mountainside, there was a very famous temple. There was a large chanting hall and a pond in which the floating oil lamps were placed in worship.
Zhang Jue may look like a firm atheist, but he was actually a superstitious person who liked to find faith temporarily. He stood by the pond for a long time and decided to find the supervisor in the temple to get a lamp.
Harrison was a Chrisian and was not interested in Buddhism, so he waited for Zhang Jue.
Zhang Jue first placed four lamps, one for his father, one for his mother, one for his fiancé Ai Jiaxi, and one for himself. When the oil lanterns entered the pool, Harrison seemed to be distracted in the distance, so Zhang Jue pulled the supervisor aside to buy another one. Zhang Jue knew very well that they were strangers and were not close enough to justify getting a lamp for him, but in the matters of gods and Buddhas, whether or not it exists is all in the mind, depending on whether or not one has faith.
When he wrote down Chen Boqiao’s name on the piece of red paper, Zhang Jue felt hollow and empty. He did not pray or feel touched by his actions.
He found it boring to entertain himself like this, but also thought that if Chen Boqiao ever came to this temple someday and wanted to get himself a praying lantern, but found that someone had beat him to it, would he want to know who was the one who wrote this?
Would the name Zhang Jue be in Chen Boqiao’s mind for even a second? It was probably impossible.
The oxygen at the high altitude was so thin that Zhang Jue had difficulty breathing. ‘Chen Boqiao’ had a total of twenty-five strokes in the form of three characters, and every time Zhang Jue made a stroke, he felt sore from finger to wrist.
At one stroke he thought, forget it, but at another stroke he thought, I’ll finish this.
He finished writing, and just as he was about to hand it over to the supervisor, Harrison’s voice rang in his ear.
Zhang Jue felt that Harrison was really lacking in creativity sometimes, tirelessly talking about the same thing for eight years.
Fortunately, they arrived on the 16th floor. As soon as the elevator door opened, Zhang Jue naturally fell silent.
Harrison walked ahead. Zhang Jue and Chen Boqiao walked out of the elevator one after another. After taking a few steps, Chen Boqiao pulled Zhang Jue by the elbow.
Zhang Jue turned his face and looked at Chen Boqiao inspecting him. “Have you climbed the Senna Snow Mountain together?”
Maybe because he had fantasized about Chen Boqiao for too long, and his feeling too bitter, for a short moment Zhang Jue felt that the Chen Boqiao who was talking to him was strangely like a hallucination.
Because how could Chen Boqiao be calling Zhang Jue’s name? Chen Boqiao probably would never speak to Zhang Jue like that.
In the next second, another question from Chen Boqiao brought Zhang Jue back to reality “What lamp is he talking about?”
Zhang Jue was a little embarrassed. “Don’t listen to his nonsense.”
“I’m talking nonsense?” Harrison looked back, and asked pointedly, and opened the door to his office.
Harrison’s office was very large, with a sofa, a large desk, and a whole wall of surveillance feed monitors. The real-time monitoring of more than one hundred cameras installed throughout the club could be seen on the wall.
“I asked round for you,” Harrison said. “The next ship that I can bribe through for you will leave in eight days. It’s a passenger cruise ship bound for the NIR. It will be docked at Bangkok Port for two days.”
Zhang Jue frowned.
“Freighters rarely carry passengers, so there’s a greater risk of getting caught,” Harrison looked at Zhang Jue’s expression, and added, “Now the port inspects the ships too closely. If you want to be inconspicuous, you have to wait longer.”
“Isn’t there anything else?” Zhang Jue was not satisfied, “Eight days are too much, I’m a little worried.”
“What’s there to worry about?” Harrison said, “Just ask Colonel Chen if eight days is long. He and his team were on the edge of the war zone and waited tirelessly for half a year before they had a chance to attack.”
“Five months.” Chen Boqiao corrected gently.
“The news said six,” Harrison pulled out a smile at Chen Boqiao,”Colonel Chen, do you think eight days is too long?”
Zhang Jue vaguely felt that Harrison’s attitude towards Chen Boqiao was not very good. Just when he was about to lighten the mood, Chen Boqiao spoke again. His tone was a little nonchalant. “Eight days will not be long, but if eight days pass and we still can’t go…”
“If I say it’s possible, it will happen.” Harrison said flatly.
Zhang had nothing else he could do, and finally agreed to board the cruise ship eight days later.
After he and Harrison set a time and place to meet with his people, Zhang Jue took Chen Boqiao and bid Harrison goodbye.
Harrison sent them to the door of the office and suddenly called Chen Boqiao, “Colonel Chen.”
“I have a question,” he held onto the door, looking at Chen Boqiao squarely, “Zhang Jue is too embarrassed to ask, so I will ask for him.”
Chen Boqiao looked at Harrison carelessly, waiting for him to ask the question.
Harrison narrowed his eyes and asked Chen Boqiao.
“The day you were broken out, when you got out of the car and saw Zhang Jue, did you remember who he was?”
Zhang Jue looked at Harrison, felt the silence of Chen Boqiao beside him, and a lot of bitterness slowly rose in his heart. He didn’t understand why Harrison asked this, not only putting Chen Boqiao in a difficult situation, but also embarrassing himself.
Chen Boqiao paused for a while, then suddenly said, “Of course I remembered.”
He lowered his head slightly, looked at Zhang Jue, smiled comfortingly at Zhang Jue. He raised his hand and put his arm on Zhang Jue’s shoulder, and pulled Zhang Jue lightly so that Zhang Jue was in his arms, and asked Harrison back “How could I forget Zhang Jue?”