Chapter 997: Maitreya
“Are you done negotiating? Are we going to keep helping Mr. G protect his deliveryman?”
Feng Zi found two bottles of Cola in the refrigerator and threw one to Zhang Heng.
“No. He won’t trust me.” Zhang Heng hung up the phone and grabbed the Cola. “Well… I don’t trust him as well. He wants to keep using me as bait.”
“Huh? Why did you email him?”
“There were certain things I needed to confirm,” Zhang Heng said. “Although he was furious when I talked to him earlier, he did not sound panicky. From the surface, it appeared the emergency response team almost had him. The interesting thing is that he doesn’t seem to think so. He finally agreed to my proposal not only because he wants to keep using me as bait, but the larger reason is that he doesn’t want me suspicious of him.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Everyone says that Mr. G is the uncrowned king of the first level. More than half the forces and gangs on the first level are related to him. However, his power has always been limited to the first level. He was actually afraid of the actual ruler of New Shanghai 0297. However, I don’t think someone like him will stay obediently on the first level,” Zhang Heng said as he popped the Cola. “He never actually placed his faith in me since the beginning. I believe he has another trump card.”
“What do you plan to do next?” Feng Zi asked.
“I plan to reveal it,” Zhang Heng replied casually.
At 10:45, Zhang Heng came to a small pharmacy according to the address on the email. It was late at night, and save for the pharmacist and female cashier playing with her phone, there were only five customers in there.
A couple picking pregnancy test strips in front of the counter was closest to the cash register. An old man who looked almost eighty years old was asking a pharmacist to grab him some Chinese medicine. There was also another man who seemed to have caught a bad cold. The man, wearing a mask, was sitting on a chair, reading the medicine’s instructions.
Zhang Heng looked around, and his gaze lingered on the masked man for a moment. After a while, he stopped looking. At that moment, the pharmacist on the other side was done helping the old man prepare his Chinese medicine. He then walked over to Zhang Heng.
“Do you need any help?” he asked.
“Oh. I’m fine. I just need some vitamins. I’ll look for them myself.”
“Okay, no problem,” said the pharmacist. “Vitamins are located at the left of the second row of shelves. Help yourself.”
Zhang Heng thanked him and walked over.
About two minutes later, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet and leather jacket walked into the pharmacy. The man also looked at the people in the store, and his gaze landed upon the masked man.
The helmeted man then stepped up and sat down beside the latter. “Do you have a peach-flavored electronic cigarette?” he asked.
Snorting, the masked man cursed, “Go away, you f*cking gay!”
The man in the helmet was taken aback. However, receiving no reaction from the helmeted man, the masked man stood up, patted his pants, and walked out the drugstore.
After that, the helmeted man saw an ordinary guy in work uniform, looking to be a resident from the second level, walking toward him. Immediately, the helmeted man turned to his back and put on a defensive posture.
He then heard the other party say, “I don’t have peach, but if you are willing to pay me 100 credits, I can get you a cocoa-flavored e-cigarette.”
“That would be great, ” replied the man wearing a motorcycle helmet in joy and relief. He stood up and followed Zhang Heng out of the pharmacy until they left the surveillance camera’s range. It was only after that did the helmeted man reach out. “Hello, I am Maitreya, the courier responsible for this transaction. Are you here to protect me, Zhang Heng?”
Maitreya’s extended hand stayed in the air for two seconds. Then, after seeing that Zhang Heng did not react, he retracted his hand in embarrassment. “Mr. G told me about you. I can understand your dissatisfaction. However, the important thing now is to leave here and send the goods back to the first level.”
“Did you bring the goods?” Zhang Heng asked.
“It’s with me,” Maitreya nodded and tapped on his helmet. “But the problem is that the emergency response team has blocked the station, and there are only three couriers left. So, they only sent three members to track our whereabouts. The rest have gathered at the station to prevent us from leaving.”
“Let’s go back to the safe house and discuss how to leave this place,” Zhang Heng said.
“Okay,” Maitreya replied with no objection. “Mr. G said that you are the strongest clone he has ever seen. He asks me to do what you ask. And I believe you will bring me out of this place.”
Zhang Heng was noncommittal when he heard what he said. He then took Maitreya back to the apartment on the 11th floor.
As soon as the door was opened, Maitreya saw a young man with a baseball cap tied up. He then quickly reacted and complimented, “This is an emergency response team member that you have held hostage! So, you’re as good as I’ve heard. Even the elite armed forces of Shengtang Morgan Group can’t match up to you. By the way, didn’t you have a female companion? Is she here?”
“It’s just a woman I met in a bar. I asked her to help find me a place I could use as a safe house. Afterward, I killed her to conceal my location.”
“If I were you, I would’ve done the same.” Maitreya nodded and sat down on the sofa.
“What would you like to drink?” Zhang Heng opened the refrigerator.
“Oh, whatever. We are still on the run, and I’m not picky,” Maitreya said. “By the way, we are safe now. Can you tell me how we are going to return to the first level?”
“We will make use of this hostage,” Zhang Heng said while kicking the baseball-capped boy.
Maitreya hesitated. “That’s good thinking, but I have to remind you that these guys from the emergency response team are determined to complete their missions. Compared to the safety of their compadre, they always consider their mission is more important. I… I don’t think they’re going to let us leave just because we threaten them with their ally,” Maitreya said euphemistically.
“No. This hostage is just a bit. We are going to use the hostages to draw them away from the station. Only then can we break through their barricade.” Zhang Heng picked up the pistol on the table. “And if they send us a small number, I don’t mind helping them with a membership reduction exercise.”