Originally, many people leaving the parking area who saw Fang Zhao and his group wanted to go over to say hello. Those who knew them wanted to have a little small talk, and those who did not know who they were wanted to satisfy their curiosity. There were also a bunch of paparazzi from the media lying in wait, fighting for the chance to get the first bit of news from Dongshan Farm.
But once the police dog started barking, the people that were walking over immediately stopped, glanced at Fang Zhao's party, and then glanced at the barking police dog before turning and walking away, as if avoiding a plague. The other people that were walking behind Fang Zhao's party also backtracked toward the parking area.
The previously crowded exit cleared up in just a short while. Now, all around Fang Zhao's party were empty spaces. However, these people did not go very far but were keeping a distance and observing. People would always be curious. They were trying to see what exactly was going on. Could it be that someone was carrying a bomb? Or something else? Especially those youths who were visiting Muzhou for the first time; they were even more tense and excited.
As if the media had smelled blood, they all became alert and closely watched the situation unfold.
"Woof woof woof!"
The barking police dog was straining against the leash. If not for the police officer holding onto it tightly, the dog would have rushed over. As the police officer held his dog in line, he was saying something, probably using his miniature communications device to explain the situation over here.
And at the moment that police dog had started barking, over ten police officers had rushed over. At the back, a team of special forces were also heading over.
"What's... What's going on?" This was Zu Wen's first time encountering such a situation, and he was frightened by the sudden activity. He was just a normal citizen on his first trip to Muzhou to watch a sheep-herding competition, but now he was scared sh*tless and was at a loss.
Just now, they had still been thinking that the security checks were strict and the place was securely guarded and they could be at ease as their safety was guaranteed, but who knew that the situation would turn out like this?!
Pang Pusong gulped nervously. "I... I have no idea..." In the past, his most challenging period was going for interviews, and he had not even felt nervous doing so. Now, though, he was so afraid he could not even speak properly.
Fang Zhao did not understand either. After his few experiences at the cemeteries and being watched, he had learned how to act so as to not arouse the attention of these people and their watchful gazes. The background music in his head was still lively. His manner was different from the way he had been at the cemeteries and should not have resulted in these people being alarmed.
Although Zuo Yu who was beside Fang Zhao looked calm, he was a little skeptical deep down. Could it be that the gun I have hidden has been found? That shouldn't be the case.
Not just Fang Zhao and the rest, Wu Yi and Su Hou were dumbstruck too. Having taken part in numerous competitions, they had experienced many security checks. Even though this time around was more stringent, nothing like this should have happened.
"What... What is happening?" As the oldest here, Wu Yi trembled as he spoke.
The police officer that walked over examined all of them with a hawk-like gaze, making Wu Yi shiver once more.
"Everyone has to go through another round of security checks. Please cooperate," the police officer said coldly.
As he finished, he did not wait for anyone to reply. Waving his hand, he brought the people handling the security screening equipment. The special forces team also moved closer.
After the second round of checks, nothing was found. Their identities were also examined once more. They had gone through a first round of security checks when they had exited to ensure they were not carrying prohibited firearms and ammunition or other dangerous materials. Further checks found nothing of the sort.
The person in charge of screening looked through Zuo Yu's identity and examined him quite a bit. Zuo Yu returned a smile.
"Captain, everything is normal," one of the screeners reported to the police officer with the dog.
The police officer looked at the person in charge of screening and saw him nodding his head, meaning that no anomalies had been found.
That police officer frowned. The leash was being strained in his hands. His dog, as well as two other police dogs that had come over, were extremely fidgety, their line of sight continuously sweeping the group, as if searching for something. Struck by a thought, the police dog circled once around Fang Zhao's group.
"Woof woof woof woof!" The police dog began barking once again, this time more ferocious than the last.
The other dogs that had come later starting barking as well.
Seeing the ferocious barking of the police dogs, Zu Wen's gaze went to the leashes attached to them, he was really worried that the leashes would break.
The police officer's body suddenly shook, his penetrating glare chilling as he pointed to the car beside them and told the group, "Open it!"
"You want to inspect the car?!" Wu Yi could not help it and rushed forward to obstruct them. "Inside are just our competing shepherd dogs and the veterinary team!"
After alighting from the flying transport at the competition venue, a specially prepared car would be sent over. This car was not for everyone. It was only for the competing participants. This was to prevent the competing shepherd dogs from being harassed by the spectators that had arrived early and to prevent them from being subject to underhanded means of sabotage. Therefore, the organizers would send a special car to fetch the teams of competing shepherd dogs. Besides the dogs, the veterinary team was inside to look after them. The car was soundproof so as to protect the dogs from being affected when inside. Even if it was very noisy outside, nothing could be heard. However, the people inside could see the situation outside through the car's windows, but as Wu Yi had not approved, they did not get off.
"They were just examined a while back and there are people from the organizing committee inside taking care of things. There are absolutely no dangerous materials inside!"
Wu Yi did not want to let the police inspect them. The few dogs had adjusted to their peak condition. If they were scared by the police officers and their dogs, it could potentially affect their competition. Police dogs and shepherd dogs were like well-trained soldiers and normal athletes, respectively; how would they be the same?! He had waited so long, as his luck overflowed and they reached the finals, how could he be willing to let a situation like this happen at such a crucial moment?
Staring right back at the police officers pressurizing gaze, Wu Yi refused to back down.
Seeing the police officers about to take action, Fang Zhao said, "There is no need to examine." Then he told Wu Yi, "Go and bring Curly Hair out. Remember to leash him."
"Ah? Fang Zhao, Curly Hair is the core of our team!" Wu Yi was unwilling. What happened if he got scared after coming out? He might not be able to run during the competition.
"Don't worry, it'll be all right. Go and bring him out, make sure to leash him," Fang Zhao stressed.
"Oh." Wu Yi grudgingly walked to the car and prepared to open the door. But under of the watchful gaze of more than ten pairs of security personnel eyes and the grave atmosphere and pressure, Wu Yi's legs turned soft and he stumbled. If not for Su Hou, who saw what was happening and supported him, Wu Yi would have fallen.
"It's okay, Wu Yi, just stand and wait with the rest. I will go," Fang Zhao said as he opened the car door and went in, quickly closing it.
The car door was at the tail end and there were two doors, one inner and the other outer. There was a little space between the two doors. When only the outer door was open, those in the interior of the car could still hear nothing.
After a while, the outer door opened, and this time, when a tiny crack appeared, the three police dogs went into a frenzied barking, straining against their leashes and trying to rush over. One officer could not hold them down and they needed an additional two to three men to keep the dogs in check.
Wu Yi saw a few of the special forces touching their guns, probably making sure they were standing by and ready to fire at any time. Farm owners had gun permits as well but rarely used them, and the guns these people were using were different. Of course, what was important was still their imposing manner. Seeing them this way, Wu Yi was very worried that the special forces would fire in their direction should the police officers give the signal.
The atmosphere now was particularly tense. Zu Wen felt that if this was a scene in a movie, the next moment was when a shoot-out would happen. But what did they have over here that was making the police so guarded?
Zu Wen and the others racked their brains trying to guess and were so nervous they forgot to breathe.
The outer door opened wider and wider. Over ten guns were pointed there as they watched Fang Zhao heading out with a leash in one hand. At Fang Zhao's feet was the curly-haired dog, decked out in Dongshan Farm's competition attire.
However, the tense atmosphere did not cease. As Fang Zhao lead the dog down from the car, the special forces team were all ready to fire. They did not care if you were a competing person or a dog, as long as the lives of people were threatened or the safety of the competition venue was compromised, you would be shot dead. That had always been the rule.
Fang Zhao lead the dog forward a few steps. One hand held the leash and his other hand was held up, showing that he did not have any weapons. Fang Zhao left the dog's car and walked about ten meters. The three police dogs followed as well, their incessant barking still continuing. Their throats produced some deep snarls as well.
Everyone there could see now that what the three police dogs found threatening was not in the car but rather in Fang Zhao's direction. Where he stood, there was only one person and a competition dog that could not be considered big. That curly-haired dog seemed to be rather gutsy, as it bared its teeth and started barking as it faced off with the three police dogs.
"Woof woof! Woof woof!"
"Woof woof woof! Woof!"
"Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!"
In a low voice, Zu Wen asked Wu Yi, who had the most experience, "Are they communicating in dog language? How come there is even punctuation between their barks?"
Wu Yi looked at Zu Wen as if he were an idiot. "Every dog has their own way of barking." He then fell silent and contemplated for a bit. "From my experience, I believe they are having a quarrel."
"Even a blind man can see that! If they were not leashed, they would be fighting already. Curly Hair wants to take on three at once? Not bad, eh, totally not weak at all!" Zu Wen had already forgotten about being scared. He found the sight before him too comical. On one side, Fang Zhao was holding on to Curly Hair, while on the other side, there were seven to eight policemen struggling to hold their three police dogs down.
Just observing a little and it was easy to see that the three police dogs were not focused on any other people or the car. What they saw as a threat was the dog Fang Zhao had on a leash, Curly Hair.
The people in charge of security checks brought their equipment over and scanned Curly Hair from head to toe.
After that, other than the barks of the four dogs, everyone else fell into a weird silence, including the special forces team that was standing by.
In the distance, other dogs heard the commotion and starting barking too. Some were police dogs, but others were competition dogs that had arrived earlier.
This odd situation continued for close to two minutes. The special forces team could not take it any longer. It turned out to be that sort of thing between dogs. That was quite awkward!
Fang Zhao pointed at the three police dogs barking at Curly Hair and asked the police officers standing behind those dogs, "So does this count as being in possession of dangerous materials?"
"Cough... Probably not... I guess?" The police officer glanced at the rigid looking captain, awaiting further instructions.
"Doesn't count." The captain forced out a smile and apologized to Fang Zhao's group. "Sorry for the misunderstanding."
As he finished, he signaled the team with his hand, indicating for them to stand down.