What a person values, who or what a person cares about can be seen in the choices he makes.
Chapter 5.2 — The Wrath of Gods and Buddhas (2)
His words were spoken very lightly.
From the day she met this man, he had overturned her views of the world. His appearance in her life had revealed a whole other world to her… But within her, there was another soul, one that was holding her back, binding her, trying to dissuade her. Wen Han, what you see now is only the surface, the tip of the iceberg.
All those things still hidden in the back are not things that you would be able to accept.
Keep far away from him.
Wen Han.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
The weight was all of a sudden removed from her eyes. He had pulled down the black cloth that had been covering them.
Her eyes had been closed for too long, and now that they suddenly saw light, she actually could not see anything clearly. Her voice scratchy, she softly asked him, “Is it because of you that they kidnapped us here?”
“Not exactly.”<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“You are a…” She wanted to put “drug dealer,” “arms trafficker,” “member of a terrorist organization,” into the question…
Yet she also felt these words were too extreme and did not know whether he would answer her.
“I am nothing.” The wounds on Cheng Muyun’s body were not faked. His half-crouching posture in front of Wen Han looked a little strange due to his leg injury, and there were two obvious bloody streaks by the corner of his eye. “Here in this place is a most vicious group of traffickers. I have been searching for them for a long time. The terrain here where they live is very unusual, and even with my friend here with me, I still may not come out alive. I will have Meng Liangchuan escort you out from here first. Regardless of whether I am dead or alive, if you stay with him, you will have a great chance of survival.”
“What about you? You’re not going to leave with us?”
Nimbly untying the ropes that bound her, Cheng Muyun moved his hands down her legs, feeling her bones, until he reached her ankles. After confirming that there were no major issues, he pulled her up from the floor with one hand. “I am here because I have been searching for where they reside.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Wen Han’s presence here was outside of his expectations.
Last night in that alley, he had heard everything.
He had not thought that she would come forward and put herself into the danger. Though he had surmised that she had done so to protect her so-called friend, “Wang Wenhao,” he had very soon disregarded this particular piece. Her appearance in this place forced him to lose one person, to have Meng Liangchuan, who originally was supposed to lead the way for him, protect her and escort her safely away from here.
He could sacrifice even his own life for his comrades, his brothers.
Let alone this was his woman.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
When Cheng Muyun made this sort of decision, there basically would be no hesitation. This was as it should be. In his blood, he carried the macho, protective spirit of Chinese men that believed women should be protected. Even if this were only a passing romance, even if this all-out battle that would be fought at a close distance were too fierce and in the end, she could not leave here alive, at the very least, she would die after him, behind him.
All along the way when she was brought here, her eyes had been covered, so the entire time, she had not known what the landscape here looked like. Now that she did get a look, she saw that this place truly was a crude mountain village situated near steep cliffs and rock faces. The large expanse of dense, black shadows in the distance was a forest, of which its end could not be seen, and there were also layers upon layers of mountains.
When Cheng Muyun led Wen Han out of that house, she stared disbelievingly at her surroundings.
Here in this kind of place, the way out could not even be seen. How could they escape from here?
In the pitch-blackness of the night, Cheng Muyun trekked forward, but all of a sudden, he stopped. Wen Han followed suit and also stood still. But before anything had even registered in her mind, he was thrusting her into a thatched shed. Losing her footing, Wen Han tumbled backwards, landing heavily on her bottom.
It was also in this two to three second period…
There began the sounds of rapid machine gun fire and explosions. The mountain village, which only a moment ago had been blanketed in silence, suddenly became a battlefield. She threw her hands over her ears, looking in horror out the shed. She could clearly see several shadowy outlines clashing together, and after some fierce fighting, it seemed to become close combats with bladed weapons.
She could not discern who was who. They were all just shadows.
There were continually people toppling over. Far off, muffled rumbles reverberated unceasingly, as if someone was attempting to detonate a path through this place. Shaken by the explosions, layers of dust and straw began falling down from the shed.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
The dust obscured her eyes. Tears began to stream down. She swiped viciously at them several times before they at last ceased.
Suddenly, a shadow darted into the shed. Before she had a chance to cry out in alarm, she heard that person say in a low voice, “I am Meng Liangchuan. Come with me.” She remembered Cheng Muyun’s charge to her, and surprisingly, amidst her immense fear, she mechanically obeyed Meng Liangchuan’s words, following him as they felt their way out behind the houses.
When they had groped their way to the back of the village, they found traces of a pathway, but it had been blown up and had collapsed.
Boulders and dirt now covered everything.
“F*ck off! Who the hell blew this up? We need to take the actual main route out now,” Meng Liangchuan cursed under his breath.
Grabbing Wen Han’s wrist, he fumblingly searched through the dark for the so-called “actual main route” that he had spoken about.
Before long, they had felt their way to the start of a cliff face, where she could see a narrow trail strewn wholly with corpses.
Meng Liangchuan shoved Wen Han in front of himself. “Use the fastest speed you have ever used in your life, go over these corpses, and get yourself out of here, even if it means you have to crawl. There are special police troops outside. Climbing out means you live!”
Never in her life had Wen Han seen so many dead people before, and moreover, this was outside, in the middle of a gun battle.
Meng Liangchuan barked, “Climb out!”<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Biting down brutally on her lip, she put her hand against the cliff wall to support herself, her fingers trembling as she tried desperately to grip those parts of the cliff face that protruded outward. Over and over, she stepped across corpse after corpse. In her mind, there was only one thought: Just hurry and get over there, hurry and get over there.
It was as if she needed only to get over there and then she would live.
The firing of a gun was heard from behind her. All of a sudden, there was the sound of splintering rock somewhere not far above her head.
She gave a shudder, pressing herself tightly against the rock face. Tears intermingled with the dirt and dust that had gotten onto her face and rolled down. Her feet, though, never stopped. The desire to live caused her to move faster and faster, until in the end, she was even stepping on corpses and leaping her way across.
When she reached the end of the trail, she at last saw the dense forest suddenly open up.
A red spot fell on her body.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
She was unaware and still searching around with her eyes, trying to find those allies whom Meng Liangchuan had spoken about. Without warning, Meng Liangchuan pounced on her from behind. As she slammed forward into the ground, a bullet sliced across the night sky and shattered a spot on the cliff wall.
What followed was bullet after bullet.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
In a fierce voice, Meng Liangchuan roared out a sentence in the local language.
Nothing stopped. The rock walls surrounding her were struck and penetrated. Covering her ears, a scream burst from her lips.
“Go back. Tell your men that you will either surrender or all be shot dead.” Someone was yelling back in Kyrgyz.
This was because the people in this village spoke only that language.
“Goddammit! What is he saying?” It was apparent Meng Liangchuan did not understand what had been said, and he grew even more enflamed.
Struggling to hold back the quiver in her voice, Wen Han forced herself to tell him, “They are saying we should pull back.”
“Sh*t! They’ve lumped us in with that group of bastards?!” Meng Liangchuan looked agitatedly at Wen Han, feeling for the first time that Cheng Muyun had quite a discriminating eye for women. This woman could be useful. “Hurry and tell them you’re a tourist, a Russian tourist who was abducted here! Hurry and say it!”
Her voice raspy, Wen Han yelled as loud as she could, “We are tourists! We are tourists who were abducted here!”
Quiet came over the people on the other end.
But there was no reply.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
The red dots of the laser sights of guns were still on them.
“Dammit!” he could not refrain from cursing. “What are you aiming at?”
Behind them, there was a loud explosion, as if someone wanted to level the whole village.
Wen Han clutched at the ground’s soil and closed her eyes helplessly.
“Put your hands up behind your head and walk over, woman.”
At last, there was a response. Those special police officers had chosen still to first ask questions. After all, this was a foreign traveller.
Wen Han froze.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
“Hurry!” Meng Liangchuan gave her a kick.
Starting back to her senses, she crawled flusteredly to her feet, raised her two hands so that they were behind her head, and stumblingly walked over.
Her skirt was ripped. Her neckline by her chest had lost several buttons and fallen open, but she dared not cover it with her hands. Fear truly had left her in shock this time. Before she had a chance to stop and steady herself on her feet, two special police officers with guns strapped to their backs had already dragged her over and begun interrogating her.
As this was a mountainous area, they would not be able to obtain the information regarding her entry into the country and verify Wen Han’s identity within a short timeframe.
When did she enter the country? What places had she stayed at? Also, what companions was she travelling with? Where was she abducted? Why was she abducted? Etc., etc.
She was asked more than twenty questions before the other party finally asked, who was that person still lying facedown on the ground?
“His name is Meng Liangchuan. I only know that he’s a local.” She truly had no more information she could provide in her answer.
When one of the special police heard this name, he paused in surprise, then chuckled and repeated, “Meng Liangchuan?”
He evidently seemed to know Meng Liangchuan, and he yelled something out at that person not far away.
This time, it was in the local language that Wen Han did not understand.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
The several officers in the front line set down their guns.
Before long, Meng Liangchuan, who was cursing in a low voice, was brought over.
From their dialogue, Wen Han could guess that Meng Liangchuan knew this special police officer from before. She could sense this from the look in their eyes and their expressions when they talked. However, how they knew each other or what type of relationship they had, she could not tell at all from their words, which she could not understand.
Behind them were increasingly frequent muffled booming sounds.
A bitter battle had obviously broken out inside that mountain village.
These special police trusted Meng Liangchuan’s words more, and very soon, after confirming Wen Han’s identity as a foreign traveller, they paid no more attention to them. After all, up ahead, they were still engaged in fierce fighting with a trafficking organization.
There was only a female police officer who spoke neither Chinese nor English. She simply handed a coat to Wen Han and gestured to her. Taking the garment from her, Wen Han wanted to do up its buttons, but discovered that her fingers were already so stiff they did not even know how to tremble anymore. She fixed her eyes on her own hands, not daring to call to memory the scenario from earlier on of just how she had come out that entire way. She did not even dare imagine how… she had trampled on the bodies of dead people to get here.
Walking from death to life.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
After talking for a long time with that person whom he knew, Meng Liangchuan came alone to find her.
Once he had settled her at the back of the camp, beside a cliff wall that blocked out the wind, he wanted to warn Wen Han that she should pretend she did not know anything, since, after all, she had come vacationing with a smuggler. However, when he thought about it, he remembered, this woman genuinely was not aware of Wang Wenhao’s true identity. Hence, he did not say much else.
He gave a cough. “You stay here. Eat something, drink some water, sleep—do whatever you want. This place is safe. If Cheng Muyun dies, I’ll take you back to the embassy in Kathmandu. If he lives—” He paused, then sighed, “We’ll talk about it when he comes out alive.”
His tone carried hints of powerlessness and a sense of rue.
Life and death were things Meng Liangchuan had long since ceased to place importance on. He merely felt that it was a shame.
If he and Cheng Muyun could have worked together as they had originally planned, it would have been easier for them to get out. Even in the worst case, it would not be to the extent of losing their lives.
Now, though, that was up in the air.
But who told Cheng Muyun to make the choice to let this woman get out of there first?<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
1 of 1 Prologue
13 of 50 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue