Director Tong's face darkened. "I see. Go back to your post and wait for orders."
After the man was gone, he waited a few minutes before saying, "You go report it to… nevermind, I'll go myself."
With that, he walked downstairs and left the small building hastily, then entered another building. He stopped outside an office and knocked.
The man inside looked up and greeted him with a smile. "Oh my, it's you, Old Tong. How come you're here yourself?"
"Director Mu, something has come up and I'm here to report."
Director Tong kept his face straight and there was obvious reverence in his voice. The clamor and contempt earlier were long abandoned.
At first, the person the HQ dispatched was a departmental head. Now that they had captured Long Qiu, a deputy director was sent over right away. That was an exceptionally high-ranking official. In case anyone forgot, the HQ of BIMAUP was directly under the jurisdiction of the central government.
The deputy director was called Mu Kun and had quite some connections in the capital city. Director Tong dared not be negligent in any way and briefed him immediately.
After he finished, Mu Kun was silent for a minute or two before asking, "What do you think?"
"From the information we've gathered so far, they did not seem to be prone to rash actions. The events today feel deliberate. It almost felt like they were exposing themselves to us on purpose."
"I agree with you. Now that we've got that woman, I think they are getting restless."
"What do they want, then?"
"We'll need further observations to answer that. Anyway, we're in no rush. Send some more men to investigate. Keep it low-key."
"Shall we request the assistance of the police force?" Director Tong asked.
Giving him a quick look, Mu Kun chuckled, "Old Tong, you should consider changing your way of thinking. What's the point of having BIMAUP if we are asking for help all the time? Last operation did incur some loss, but we've only just been formed recently. Wait and see, haha… well, I won't keep you any longer."
Director Tong's heart lurched at Mu Kun's half-intentional reminder. He immediately withdrew from the office.
Newly established, despite its organizational structure and numerous personnel, the BIMAUP was far from perfect in many aspects, notably its ideological construction.
Most people here had no idea what they were supposed to do. In other words, the result of a decades-long modern education was making it hard for them to accept the existence of those "things".
Judging by Mu Kun's attitude, this strange facility was not just for show… Being much higher up in the chain of command, Mu Kun was able to stir Director Tong's mind with a mere comment made in passing.
When Zhao Lei slowly regained his consciousness at last, he found himself lying on the ground with both hands and feet tightly bound.
He took in the surroundings a little, which seemed to be an abandoned old warehouse with high ceiling and a deserted interior. He had no idea how long the place had been empty for and only found it covered with dirt.
A nice voice greeted him. Turning around his head, he saw the couple in question. The woman even had a bag of roasted seaweed snacks in her hands. A crunchy chewing sound was flowing out of her eating mouth.
"What are you doing? Do you know you're committing illegal detainment?"
Panicking inside, Zhao Lei put up a composed appearance and even managed to raise his voice, berating the two.
The woman chuckled and teased him, "In that case, you've committed illegal shadowing… oh, right, there isn't such an offense."
She ridiculed herself right away, then resumed her munching.
The man appeared to be more normal as he squatted down and asked, "May I have your name?"
Biting his lips, Zhao Lei answered in a harsh tone, "Wu Xing!"
"Are you a police officer?"
"And what is your job exactly?"
"I'm just a plain-clothes officer."
"Why were you following us?"
"I was ordered to. I don't know for what."
Gu Yu kept his gaze on Zhao Lei, believing nothing the latter just said—the man had no credentials of any sorts on him and carried two cell phones, both encrypted with a coded lock Gu Yu had never seen before.
And the man claimed himself a mere plain-cloth officer—like that would fool anyone!
"We don't want to hurt you, so you'd better cooperate with…"
Gu Yu was moving on to his next question when he paused suddenly, then hurried to the window and peeked out. "Someone else is coming. I'll be back soon."
"Make it quick," replied the woman.
Before Zhao Lei knew it, the two were left alone in the warehouse.
Zhao Lei was elated—his colleagues had to be coming to his rescue. He said, "You guys had better let me go before you make a big mistake. It'll be a completely different story by the time they force their way in."
"Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!"
"I know you are not bad people and you're doing this because there's no other choice. Give yourselves in and you'll be treated with leniency."
The crisp sound of chewing seaweed went on, joined in by a series of crying of pain, which was carried vividly into Zhao Lei's ears. His face froze halfway through his persuasion, then the gate was pushed open. Our guy came back dragging a bunch of people—all passed out—like dead meat.
"Do we still have any rope left?" he asked.
"Nope. Leave it to me."
Clapping her hands to get rid of the seaweed crumbs, the woman gathered the men into a pile, then stuck out her slender finger, poking and jabbing them here and there.
Those poked screeched right away as they woke up from their stupor. They tried to struggle, but found it impossible to move at all.
"Don't squirm. It won't hurt if you keep still," explained the woman.
"You, you people…"
The newcomers acted as if they had seen a ghost. Their poor cranial nerves had yet to react to the current situation. 'I haven't even brushed my teeth this morning and the entire team is bundled up here?'
Then, they saw the man stuff a towel into Zhao Lei's mouth before turning back to them and asked, "Do you guys know him?"
The team gave him a silent reply, completely ignoring the question.
"Sigh, we really don't want to extort a confession out of you, so it's better if you guys just work with us."
The woman sighed and waved her hand slightly. A green snake slithered out of nowhere, crawled its way up to a man's body, and coiled up on his chest. The blood-red two-pronged tongue was stuck out, so close that it almost touched the man on his chin.
"Don't! Don't do anything stupid!"
The man was scared out of his wit but dared not move. His face went scarlet from holding his breath. This snake was known far and wide by now. It even had its own file and record in BIMAUP. Word had it that it was extremely venomous.
"I'll ask you again. Do you people know him?"
Seeing that the threatening "foreplay" was working, Gu Yu asked again.
"Yes! We do!" the man replied hastily.
"What's his name?"
"Zhao, Zhao Lei!"
"Are you the police?"
"No, we're from the BIMAUP."
Zhao Lei held his eyes wide open in protest. He would choke the man if he could. That's just the way things were. No matter what world one was in, only two types of people were out there—those who fear death and those who do not.
Gu Yu and Xiaozhai were genuinely surprised to hear the answer. They did not know how many forces were coming after them, which was why they exposed themselves on purpose so as to lure out anyone following them. They had thought it to be the police, but were wrong and found a mysterious organization instead.
"What is this BIMAUP?" Gu Yu asked.
"Sir! We have lost contact with several members of Team Four!"
"Give me the details."
"There was no violent struggle and no shots were fired. We have lost contact with them less than a minute after they entered. Our people have surrounded the factory and are waiting for instructions."
After the briefing, Mu Kun pondered for a moment before saying, "Get me a car. I'm going there."