“You think so highly of him?” Han Mengyao was shocked by her mentor’s high praise for Su Jin. She had been Yang Tianzheng’s protege for more than ten years now and she had never heard him compliment any of the great masters they worked with previously like this.
Yang Tianzheng glanced at Han Mengyao and said, “Your current level of martial arts is very commendable. You have Chinese martial arts as your foundation and you have been able to combine it with other fighting techniques from all over the world. I believe you would be able to hold up against even the best martial artist in China.”
Han Mengyao felt smug hearing her mentor say that about her. She was an intelligent girl and had a gifting for martial arts. And according to Yang Tianzheng, she was a woman who could become one of the greatest grandmasters in martial arts history.
“Someday in the future, once you become more steady in your technique execution, I think you might actually stand a chance at becoming the best. But if you’re now at a point where you stand a chance in the future, I’m afraid Su Jin is already number one in the world,” said Yang Tianzheng slowly.
Han Mengyao stared at her mentor in disbelief. “How can that be? He’s about my age, so no matter how gifted he is, he couldn’t possibly be number one at such a young age, right?”
Yang Tianzheng suddenly smiled as he murmured, “Situ Jin, I think I know why you want me to investigate this young man. So...he’s an owner?”
“An owner?” Han Mengyao had no idea what he was talking about.
Yang Tianzheng stood up without explaining anything. Instead, he said to her, “Mengyao, doesn’t the Special Police have a few cases that have been unsolvable for many years now? Take this chance to get Su Jin to handle them.”
“Are you...are you referring to THOSE cases?”
“But haven’t we already classified those as supernatural activities? It’s been really hard to find anybody who’s active in this area in recent years and any experts we’ve tried to contact are currently in seclusion. Those are cases that we haven’t been able to explain at all. Isn’t sending him to work on those cases as good as sending him to his death?” Han Mengyao couldn’t understand why Yang Tianzheng wanted to do such a thing. Those were cases that were not just marked as unsolved but unsolvable and had been put into cold storage. Unless those experts in the country decided to come out of seclusion and help, nobody was allowed to talk about these cases.
But Yang Tianzheng chuckled and said, “I think Su Jin has the ability to deal with these cases. Besides...Situ Jin is a really sharp fellow. I can’t believe he’s found us another owner in less than 40 years. But that’s just in time to help us with these matters.”
Han Mengyao couldn’t help but ask again, “Shifu, what are these owners that you talk about?”
Yang Tianzheng looked up and paused to think as if he was wondering how he should answer Han Mengyao. After some time, he finally said, “They are unknown people with unknown powers who can deal with the unknown.”
This answer was so useless that Han Mengyao felt like laughing. But judging from her mentor’s solemn expression, she knew that he wasn’t joking with her. These ‘owners’ were clearly a formidable group of people.
Meanwhile, Situ Jin had returned to B City. Immediately after he arrived, he received a notice to go for a full body checkup. He lit a cigarette and snapped impatiently, “No need for that. I know my own condition better than anybody else.”
“Mr. Situ, this checkup is not about your health,” the female administrator tried to explain in an exasperated voice.
He frowned and asked puzzledly, “What do you mean by that? You mean the main point of this checkup is not whether my body is healthy or not?”
She nodded and pushed her black framed glasses up. “This checkup is to confirm if the gadgets inside your body are working normally.”
His eyes instantly burned with rage as he raised his voice angrily, “What do you mean by that? There are gadgets inside my body? Why don’t I know anything about this?”
She calmly replied, “You knew about them and you were the one who asked for these gadgets to be implanted into your body, then got someone to erase those memories.”
He was puzzled for a moment before realizing that she was probably right. He exhaled deeply and said, “That does sound like something I’d do.” After a short pause, he added, “After doing the checkup, please implant the latest gadgets into my body.”
She was a little hesitant at first, but she decided to try convincing him otherwise. “Mr. Situ, as your colleague, it is not my place to say anything. But as your friend...I hope you will reconsider this decision. You know what sort of effect those gadgets will have on your body.”
He smiled and nodded. “Bo Ya, thanks for your concern. Those things will eventually eat into my body, but they are also extremely useful.”
“Useful? More than half of the gadgets in your body are meant to kill you in an instant. And even those that aren’t going to kill you now are going to start torturing you as the years go by. You’re still young now, so your body is able to handle the damage they create. But when you grow old...in fact, no. In just ten years or so, you will begin to suffer tremendous torture from these things. Is it really worth it?” asked Bo Ya earnestly.
He smoked hard on his cigarette and swallowed all the smoke in his mouth. There was a fierce glint in his eye as he said in a low voice, “Of course it’s worth it. You know very well what sort of office I hold. If a foreign power manages to capture me and gets even the slightest bit of information out of me, it could bring great calamity to our country. I have to make sure that I can self-destruct when necessary.”
His response really broke her heart. Bo Ya had known this man for more than 13 years now. She could still remember her first impression of him. He shone as brightly as the sun, was gentle, humorous and reliable. He was practically perfect.
Thirteen years had passed since then and he had become the head of the most highly classified department of the country. In order to ensure the survival of this country, he was willing to become a shadow in the darkness, walking in a place that nobody could see and contributed everything he had to ensure the security of the country.
Bo Ya had heard many people call him arrogant, uncouth, full of himself, a slave to the government...she had heard them all. But besides the team who worked for him, nobody knew how gentle this man’s smile once was.
“Can’t you take on a little less? You...you still have us!” Bo Ya mustered her courage to say these words to Situ Jin in a loud voice.
“Thank you!” A genuine smile spread across Situ Jin’s hardened face. Bo Ya blinked in surprise. This was the same gentle smile she remembered of him.
“She’s right! Boss, unless we’re all dead, we won’t let anybody capture you,” said someone in a loud voice as he leaped out from the shadows.
“Who allowed you to even speak?!”
“Can someone just throw this idiot out?”
“Mr. Situ, Laddie is stupid but he’s right.”
“That’s right, Boss! We’ll always be by your side.”
“With me around, there’s no way you’re going to die even if you wanted to!”
After Laddie made his appearance, the rest walked out too. These were the elite members of the Department of Supernatural Affairs – Laddie, Grandmaster, King Kong, Gray Wolf, Spectacles and Doctor.
Situ Jin’s smile grew warmer. He snubbed his cigarette out and chided them jokingly, “Dang! You guys are so good at buttering me up, so I’ve got to treat everyone to dinner tonight.”
“Our boss is the best!”
“If you’re treating, then we’ve got to pick somewhere fancy!”
Bo Ya smiled as she looked at her excited and supportive colleagues. She pushed her glasses up and said, “If you want him to treat you guys to dinner, you’ve got to wait until he’s done with his checkup.”
She chased everyone out of the office, then got Doctor to bring Situ Jin to get his checkup done. King Kong came along too. Doctor was in charge of all medical treatments and services required by the department. He graduated from the best medical college in the country, was familiar with both western medical practices and Chinese traditional medical practices and was known as a genius in the field. King Kong came along because most of the gadgets inside Situ Jin’s body had been created by King Kong.
Situ Jin lay unconscious as his body was being scanned by the enormous scanner. Doctor and King Kong looked on nervously as the checkup went on for an hour.
“How’s everything?” asked Bo Ya.
Doctor said, “His body’s condition is stable, but...his condition has begun to deteriorate. It doesn’t look very serious right now, but as time goes by, he will find it harder and harder to cope with his condition and his body might break down.”
This wasn’t new information to the team and it was something that Situ Jin was also aware of. But King Kong had something new to say, “Most of the gadgets are stable, but the nanometer safety fuse of one of them in the brain is broken.”
“What does that mean?” asked Bo Ya.
King Kong explained, “To put it simply, it’s like an electric fuse. This gadget monitors his brain waves, so when there are large fluctuations in his brain wave activity, this fuse will burn out.”
“So what are the implications?” Bo Ya asked again.
King Kong shook his head. “I don’t know either. Boss was afraid of overly complicated gadgets because the margin of error was higher on those, so I designed something very simple like this. All I can tell you is when the fuse burned out but I can’t tell you more than that.”
Three hours later, Situ Jin slowly regained consciousness. He received a full report from Bo Ya with details on his body condition as well as the status of the gadgets inside his body.
“That’s it? How about the new gadgets? If possible, I’d like to implant these two,” said Situ Jin as he read through the report. Suddenly, he spotted the comment on his unusual brain wave activity.
“King Kong, what are your thoughts on this?” Situ Jin asked King Kong.
King Kong thought about it for a while, then said, “Assuming the gadget did not malfunction, that means that your brain wave activity at the time was unusual. But this gadget was built very simply, and to quote your words, the simpler something is, the less likely it is to make a mistake.”
Situ Jin smiled faintly and nodded. “That is correct. It seems like that model citizen we visited earlier...isn’t as simple as he looks. But what happened back then? I don’t think this has ever happened before.”
King Kong shook his head. “The gadget is too simple, so we aren’t able to gather much information.”
Situ Jin nodded. He put on a jacket and walked towards the door when he suddenly stopped to say to Bo Ya, “You mentioned someone hypnotized me so that I would forget that gadgets had been implanted into my body. Can you ask him to come over again?”
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