The Plough – Chapter 54

What kind of face would Yue Dingtang make.
Paramount1Reminder:百乐门 Bai Le Men in Chinese lit Hundred Pleasures Gate was located in the district furthest away from the suburbs and was often referred to as the wealthy person’s district. However, the wealthy person’s district was not actually that safe.

During this era, there was peace in the chaos and chaos in the peace. This was a place that accumulated people from all over the country, trying their luck with their hands and feet2大展拳脚 expression: to let go and put all your effort in, it was the meeting of the wind and the clouds3风云际会 fēng yún jì huì idiom fig. An able/capable person comes across a good opportunity. Ambitious and ruthless characters came out in great numbers, so much so that the surging waves were unable to conceal the utter lack of peace and security underneath, which was even more dangerous than any rainstorm or a tsunami.

At this moment, Ling Shu was following Jiang He and had just hurriedly left Paramount, he looked up and glanced at the night sky.

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The wind was still heavy, and it was just as bone-chillingly cold as before, the light of the moon and the stars provided low visibility, all that could be seen were black clouds.

Ling Shu remembered an old saying.

The moon was dark, the night was deadly, the heavy winds set the sky on fire4月黑杀人夜,风高放火天。 Comes from a poem by Yuan Yuanhuai called “The Sketchbook” – describing a particularly dangerous environment, evoking the idea that darkness is a perfect setting to commit a crime..

This kind of night was very fitting for something to happen.

Jiang He’s movements were a little strange.

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He came with Lu Tongcang to the party, but he was leaving first alone, and didn’t wait for the driver to come pick him up, nor did he get another car. He merely wrapped his coat around him, didn’t even turn around and walked off before turning left up ahead.

Ling Shu quickened his pace and followed him up the road.

He did not expose himself rashly, instead he stuck his head round the corner first to take a look.

Not far away, Jiang He was standing there and suddenly turned around!

Ling Shu immediately retracted his head!

So dangerous!

He was nearly discovered.

His heart skipped several beats, then he stuck his head out again, Jiang He had already gone quite far ahead.

The street lamp created an extremely long shadow, that was like an unknown monster lurking in the dark, ready to devour someone at any time.

A person like Jiang He, was someone who must have licked the blood off the knife everyday5刀口舔血 dāo kǒu tiǎn xuè – fig. Something cruel and dangerous, so he was incredibly cautious and on guard. If he wasn’t on guard all the time, he would have probably already lost his life. Therefore, the first and most important rule when following someone was to not follow them too closely, especially when it was dark and there was no one around. It was not like during the day when there were many passersby that could conceal the sound of one’s footsteps.

But one could also not follow from too far away, because it would make it very easy to lose the person. Jiang He clearly wasn’t just taking a casual evening stroll, he had left Paramount for a reason, otherwise, the party had just started, why would he just leave at this moment, he must have been even more alert at this moment.

Following someone was an art, following an ordinary person was relatively easy, but being able to follow a skilled person was truly to be a master of masters.

Ling Shu was quite satisfied with his ability to follow someone.

He had kept a safe distance between himself and Jiang He, not too close and not too far.

But Ling Shu noticed that Jiang He was continuously using all the narrow passages, changing direction as if he had a complete lack of destination or as if he was trying to get rid of anyone trying to follow him.

He could be certain that Jiang He did not know that he was following him.

So why was Jiang He doing this?

*Bang!*
A sound of a gunshot being fired went off in the night, as if replying to Ling Shu’s question.

The gunshot sound came from in front, and was probably where Jiang He was.

Ling Shu didn’t hesitate and quickly hurried over.

And then he saw Jiang He in a gunfight with someone.

More precisely it was four people who were surrounding Jiang He wanting to kill him.

……

Jiang He was half crouching, with his back up against the wall.

There was a strong smell of rubbish, not much difference from the place where Jiang He had grown up.

He closed his eyes, his hand clutching his arm.

Just as he had expected, it was completely soaked in blood.

The piles of junk in the alley was enough for Jiang He to hide himself for a moment, but not for long. Given that the other four people were highly skilled and even if he used up all the bullets in his gun, he may not be able to get rid of all four of them.

But if he had to go all out to save his life, Jiang He was willing to take a gamble.

Anyway, he was someone who had experienced so many dangerous situations already, to be able to have survived this far was all down to his own ability and luck.

He just hoped that luck was in his favour tonight as well.

This area was already outside of Zhabei6Former neighbourhood in Shanghai , there was not one patrolling policeman to be seen, and the sound of the gunshots would not attract anyone to come over.
The nearby neighbours knew that curiosity would definitely kill the cat at this moment.

Footsteps were approaching closer and closer.

Jiang He was using the junk in front of him to hide, whilst the others were using the junk to advance forward.

Jiang He focused on listening to any approaching noises, and then suddenly he successively opened fire twice!

*Bang bang!*

The other took a bullet to the shoulder and fell onto the ground!

Jiang He didn’t dare to delay and immediately retreated.

But he was half a second too late.

The person who was lying in wait behind him opened fire!

Jiang He’s muffled groan clearly resonated out from the alley.

The gunmen looked at each other, they had all heard the pain in his voice.

The gunmen came out from their hiding places and slowly advanced to surround Jiang He.

Getting closer and closer.

Advancing forward ten metres and then another and another.

Jiang He’s heart was beating like a drum, he slowly grasped his gun more tightly.

He didn’t have two guns, if he did, he could have taken them off guard by shooting left and right. If he had been able to catch them off guard perhaps it would have given him the opportunity to escape.

But he only had one gun, so he could only choose one direction to shoot.

If he shot in front, he neglected behind him. If he shot behind him, he neglected the front.

His back was fated to be exposed, left to his opponents’ devices.

His pocket watch was pressed up against his chest, helping him slowly count down with the clock hand.

Five.

Four.

Three.

Two.

Jiang He waited for their attack, readying himself to give everything he had, to fight for a lifeline.

But at the last second ——

There was the sound of gunfire!

It wasn’t from him, nor did it come from the gunmen trying to kill him, it was coming from further away!

Jiang He’s heart skipped a bit and he understood immediately that this was his chance.

He didn’t care whether the other was a friend or a foe, this was his great opportunity to escape!

He jumped up and launched himself at one of the gunmen and shot twice, and then quickly rolled behind the other pile of trash.

The gunmen had been distracted by the sound of the gunshots and when he came back to his senses, one of them had already been shot.

There was another person who jumped on Jiang He!

Jiang He picked up the rubbish and threw it at him, whilst he rushed backwards in the opposite direction.

Because there were still two others behind that person.

A few more gunshots, Jiang He had been hit on his waist, but he had already got in front of the other two and shot them both down, and then quickly got out of the alleyway without even turning around!

There was no one chasing after him for the moment.

Those people were definitely tasked with killing him, since they’d accept the blood money, they would have to bring his corpse back, they would not let him off so easily.

He could only keep running, staggering and stumbling as he walked away rapidly, turning as he saw another road, evading anyone he met.

He couldn’t tell whether the streetlights were getting dimmer or if his vision was getting fuzzier. The gunshot wound to his waist was extremely painful, his nerves unhinged, and his muscles twitching along with them, it was harder to bear than the wound on his arm.

Jiang He took a deep breath, but felt that he was breathing in his own blood, a fresh metallic taste and smell was blocking up his throat.

He could feel someone getting closer behind him.

Someone was following him quite closely, not letting him go, Jiang He finally dodged into a corner, and leaned against the wall, violently gasping for breath, his arm twitched, his fingers pressed on the trigger, ready to use his last bullet on the enemy who was coming up close.

If he was to die, that person would have to come with him.

He’s here!
His entire body was signalling danger, Jiang He suddenly leapt out and at the same time, pulled the trigger!

*Bang!*

There was no one.

There was no one?!

Jiang He didn’t have time to come back to his senses, his wrist had been caught and then firmly twisted, the pain made him let go of his gun which fell onto the floor.

The other was not in a hurry to open fire on him and instead pushed him backwards and then propped him against the wall.

“Shhh!”

The other put his hand over his mouth, signalling to him to keep quiet, and then he was pulled into the alley.

The other pushed open a dilapidated door, and the two of them went inside before closing the door behind them.

Jiang He heard footsteps outside getting further and further away and couldn’t resist fighting back and pushed the other person away.

“Who are you?”

“I’m your saviour, Mr Jiang, shouldn’t you be a bit more polite to someone who just saved your life?”

Although the other did not speak very loudly, his tone was not serious at all.

The light from the outside was very slight, Jiang He could only discern vaguely this person’s silhouette.

He should be very handsome.

He had met a lot of handsome people, but very handsome people were rarer.

Plus the way he was dressed…..

Jiang He remembered something.

“Ling Shu?”

“You know me?” Ling Shu was a little surprised.

“I was nearby when you were dancing with Miss Zhen.” Jiang He said, “I noticed that you were watching me in Paramount, and now you’ve even followed me here, why?”

Ling Shu: “If I wasn’t watching you, how could I know that you left early. If I hadn’t followed you, why would I have lost such a great opportunity with Miss Zhen to save you. Shouldn’t your focus be on that instead?”

Jiang He pursed his lips, as if he was trying to resist the pain, he could only repeat what he had said before.

“I don’t know you at all, so why?”

Ling Shu: “Because of He Youan’s case.”

Jiang He frowned, he had not lost his sharpness just because he was injured.

Like a carving knife that was cutting into Ling Shu, it was like he was able to see through him.

“I don’t know He Youan.”

“Then why did you meet with her driver, Chen Wendong?”

As Ling Shu asked this question, Jiang He’s expression turned deadly.

But Ling Shu was not in the slightest bit frightened and didn’t retreat, the two of them crossed swords silently in the darkness.

Until a noise from the outside broke the silence.

Those gunmen unable to find Jiang He had probably double-backed.

They were currently kicking down the door, the originally dilapidated door would very quickly be broken.

Ling Shu didn’t bother continuing with his questioning and pulled Jiang He to hide.

This was an abandoned house, since the owner had left, there had been no one else living here, it was extremely dusty inside.

Ling Shu had only found this place when he happened to pass by one time and was messing around and picking wild flowers on people’s walls.

But Jiang He held on to his hand, not letting him go further into the house, and instead pointed to the surrounding wall in the other direction, signaling for them to climb out from there.

Ling Shu glanced over the other’s injuries.

“Can you walk?”

“Let’s go!” Jiang He was fierce with his words, he was fierce to others, and even worse to himself, and went up first to climb over the wall.

Ling Shu had been shot before and knew how much it hurt, and he gave him up a thumbs behind his back.

What a man.

The two of them climbed over the wall one after the other, Ling Shu grabbed him in case he ran off.

Originally he wanted to take this hard to deal with man, Jiang He back home or to Yue Manor, but he could only follow Jiang He as the latter twisted and turned hurrying back to the International Settlement.

“In front there….. That red western building, the key is in my pocket, you take it.”

Jiang He was sounding more and more hurried, whilst the sound of voice was getting weaker and weaker. If Ling Shu wasn’t helping him to stay up, he’d probably be on the ground by now.

Ling Shu reached out and put his hand into his pocket and fumbled around for a while, and then finally found a key.

“You’ve been shot, shouldn’t we go to the hospital first? Hey, don’t faint, I haven’t finished asking you about He Youan!”

He hadn’t finished speaking when he felt his shoulder had got heavier, the other had indeed fainted.

Ling Shu: ….

There were people chasing them from behind, he currently had a massive burden on him, the easiest thing would be just throw off this person and leave him there.

Ling Shu frowned, he’d landed himself in big trouble.

If Yue Dingtang came home from Nanjing and found that he’d spent the night fleeing from danger with Lu Tongcang’s right hand man, what kind of face would he make.
Author Note:

Yue Dingtang will be back from his business trip next chapter and will discover that Ling Shu has been upto no good again.

Yue Dingtang: Why must you always look for trouble, can’t you just be a normal assistant?
Ling Shu: If that was the case then how would the plot develop?
Yue Dingtang: …….. Good point, no comment.

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