All the furnitures are removed. The cage, sofa, bed, coffee table… nothing is there anymore.
In the large and empty space, Jian Yao stands in the middle of the room. Her hands are cuffed to long chains that hold her up. There is a spot light shining down onto her. She is like a marionette on a stage. Helpless and stiff. Her face is extremely pale. She is waiting for what fate is bringing her way.
A thick layer of tape covers her mouth. She can’t make any sound. She can only watch what Xie Han is doing with her eyes.
Xie Han is in a suit today. He looks like a gentleman with a smile on his face. But Jian Yao knows behind this facade is a despicable pervert.
He holds up a mobile phone. He is standing just a few steps away from her. He looks at her and smiles: “Are you excited?”
Jian Yao keeps her body still. But inside, her heart is pounding so hard it feels like it’s going to explode.
The person he is about to call, is Bo Jinyan.
Bo Jinyan sent him a phone number via the classified section of the Washington Economic Times. And Xie Han is about to dial the number now. He puts the phone on hands free mode.
“Do— Do—“ It’s connecting!
Jian Yao lifts up her head. Xie Han’s smile freezes. He looks at the screen. He is waiting…
“Click.” Someone answers the phone.
“Hi.” An unfamiliar voice, with a smile in the tone.
Jian Yao’s eyes widens.
The voice. The tone. It’s… so different. Is that really Bo Jinyan?
Her instincts tell her it’s him.
Jinyan… is under disguise?
Xie Han replies: “Hi.”
The man on the other end asks: “Where should we meet?”
“Two hours later….” Xie Han takes a look at Jian Yao: “I will send you the address.”
“Jian Yao is with me, my present to you.”
The man pauses, then he says: “Great. Thank you.”
That’s the end of the conversation. They mentioned her in their conversation.
What does Xie Han mean by “a present”? What has he ‘prepared’ for Bo Jinyan? Fear goes through her.
Xie Han keeps the phone in his pocket. He looks at Jian Yao. He rips off the tape that is covering her mouth. He has a look of regret on his handsome face.
“Now, I really need to say goodbye to you, Jenny.”
A cold chilly fear comes over her heart. She can’t hold back her question: “You… are going to kill me?”
Now? When Bo Jinyan is on his way here?
They can’t even say their last goodbye. He will find her body when he arrives? No!
“No.” Surprising, Xie Han shakes his head. But before she is relieved, he shares a plan that is even more cruel.
“The person that will kill you… is Allen, of course.” He says with a smile: “Oh… think about it. If he kills you with his own hands, it will be a painful blow to Simon. He loves you so dearly, he will not forgive himself.”
He looks at the ceiling, and falls into a reverie. After a while, he looks down at Jian Yao again, and sighs: “… Pain and guilt will never leave him. You know, this is the beauty of split personality - if his will is weakened, he will fall into darkness, and be replaced by Allen. Simon will not come back again. You see, Allen understands this too. That’s why he is eager to kill you.”
Xie Han’s voice echoes in the vast empty space. Jian Yao’s face is white as a sheet of paper. Her waist and ankles are so tightly strapped and stretched that they are starting to hurt.
No. He will not kill me.
If he is Simon, he will not kill me.
He is Simon. He is not anyone else.
She believes him. Even though there’s only a glimpse of hope, she will not let go of it. She believes in him.
But Xie Han seems to know what’s on her mind: “Oh, I forgot to tell you, Underneath where you stand, is a 300kg bomb. When it explodes, the whole villa and this place will be razed to the ground. But like you say in your letter to him, even when you turn to ashes, the ashes will represent the love you have for Simon.”
A bomb powerful enough to wipe out everything ?
He buried the bomb there long ago. So that it will be ready when this day comes.
Suddenly she understands the reason why she is still alive. It’s not only so that Bo Jinyan can kill her with his own hands. There is another purpose - a test to see if Allen really exist.
If Bo Jinyan is Allen, he will kill her, and Xie Han will leave the bomb alone. But only then will he truly accept and believe Allen - No matter how much he wants Bo Jinyan, he is equally cautious. This is the final test - using her life.
But if this is the trap he set, why did he tell her about it?
Does it matter? Xie Han doesn’t care. She is already a dead person in his eyes. She can’t change anything.
Simon is willing to give up his own life to save people that he doesn’t know. He would never kill her. Jian Yao’s heart sinks. Her body stiffens even more.
Jian Yao’s pain does not escape Xie Han’s eyes. He smiles: “Oh my gosh, I like the expression on your face. You are terrified, aren’t you? My dear, do not be sad. The process of dying is terrifying, but that too is momentary. It’s painful, but it will be over soon. After spending so many days with you, I must say that I like you, Jian Yao. Now, you should feel happy that I am allowing you to die in such a meaningful way.”
Xie Han walks off. This might be the last time she hears his footsteps. Jian Yao quietly looks ahead. Tears start to stream down her face.
Above where Jian Yao is imprisoned, on ground level, a black bullet proof sedan leaves the garage and travels through the empty roads of a small town. It’s travelling westward, past the border of a state, across the fields and finally arrive at an even more remote little town.
He drives along a private driveway, until he reaches a big gate installed with high voltage barb wires. The guard recognises him straight away and walks up to him: “Sir, welcome back,”
Xie Han smiles and get out of the car: ‘Today, I have a friend coming. I want level one security alert for the property.”
After giving the instructions, he drives leisurely into the estate. He passes a few towers, where guards with guns are standing in the towers. They notice their master is back.
He enters the mansion and walks along the long empty corridor until he gets into the last room. Then he goes through a bullet proof door, into a study.
This is theroom that is isolated from the rest of the house. There are some abstracts but disturbing artwork hanging on the walls. A large gun cabinet filled with different types of guns. There are also a number of jars in the room, with human organs covered in preservative liquid.
Xie Han sits at the desk and switches on the computer.
It’s the close circuit television images from where Jian Yao is imprisoned. She is still hanging in the same place. Chains around her hands. She looks pale and weak. Her eyes are red and swollen. It’s obvious that she cried after he left.
Xie Han smiles. He takes a sip of his coffee, then he presses a button on the keyboard.
“Tong… Tong… Tong…” His mouth imitates the sound of lights turning on. At the same time, the rows of spotlights in the warehouse are turned on. The place looks like a stadium that has been lit up. Jian Yao closes her eyes as she tries to adjust to the sudden brightness.
He laughs at her, then speaks through the microphone: “Jenny, I am home. How are you feeling?”
In the warehouse.
Jian Yao finally opens her eyes. She looks around. The sound is coming out from the speakers but it feels as if Xie Han is in the same place as her. It makes her shiver. She notices there are several cameras that are pointing at different angles of where she is. They look like eyes that are starring at her.
“How long till he arrives?” Jian Yao asks with a coarse voice. She wants to know if he has fitted microphones there as well. She is deliberately speaking softly to test if he can hear her.
Soon, she hears Xie Han’s reply: “Soon.”
Jian Yao keeps quiet again. Xie Han does not seem to be in the mood for talking either. The place is silent again, except for the occasional sound of Xie Han’s singing coming through the speakers.
Jian Yao never paid attention to his singing before. There is nothing but his voice in this horrible place at this point in time. As she listens, she realises it is an old song - ‘How could an angel break my heart.’
“How could an angel break my heart, Why didn’t he catch my falling star…”
Jian Yao looks towards the entrance of the warehouse, the place where Bo Jinyan might appear.
How could an angel break my heart?
Jinyan, how can I let you die?
Please…. kill me, so you can live.
Finally, after a long silence, she hears the noise of someone opening the door. “Dong..” The door is pushed open. Then footsteps that are evenly paced, steady and familiar come closer and closer towards her.
Jian Yao’s eyes are filled with tears. She has mixed feelings inside of her: pain, sadness, happiness, numbness… all tangled together in her heart.
Soon, a person appears in the light. A tall slim man wearing a cap that covers most of his face. Jian Yao’s heart tightens as his face becomes clearer and clearer in the light.
Finally, he is standing in front of her. He takes his cap off, lifts his head and looks at her.
Jian Yao’s world has come to a halt.
Time, space, sound, light…. everything fades into an empty background. The man of her dreams is standing before her.
He is wearing a thick black coat, with a clean white shirt inside. No tie. He looks at her with those bright dark eyes. Yet, his gaze is cold and distant.
No warmth. No love.
Jian Yao: “Jinyan, there is a bomb.”
- Please, make the right choice.
To be able to see you one last time… I have no regrets.
Unexpectedly, she hears two laughs simultaneously after she speaks.
One is from Xie Han, coming through the speakers. The other, from the Bo Jinyan standing in front of her.
He walks towards her, with a mocking and cold smile: “You don’t trust me?” He looks at Jian Yao when he says this, but of course, he is talking to Xie Han.
Xie Han replies: “Finally, we will be seeing each other face to face for the first time. I have a present for you. It’s time to show your sincerity for cooperation.”
Bo Jinyan stands about two steps away from Jian Yao. He looks at the chains that are binding her.
“That’s fair.” He says to Xie Han: “Where will we meet after I kill her?”
Xie Han: “I will let you know later.”
“OK.” Bo Jinyan looks at Jian Yao again.
They are so close that she can smell his familiar masculine scent. The same handsome face. Those cold and arrogant stares. He still looks like her Bo Jinyan, but the coarse voice that is filled with hostility reminds her of Tommy, and the cynical smile on his face is not dissimilar to what Xie Han always has on his face.
“Ah…” She gasps as Bo Jinyan squeezes her chin. His strength is much stronger than usual. His finger nails digs into her skin.
She can’t believe it. It’s not possible… Has he really…. really….
Is this Allen?
Her Bo Jinyan, her Simon, is trapped in darkness forever? She can’t see them again? She can’t believe him anymore?
Is she going to die in his hand? In the hands of the evil soul that shares his same body?
No! Jinyan! Jinyan!
She subconsciously bites his finger. Soon, the smell and taste of blood fills her mouth. The man is angered. He uses his other hand to pull her hair. A sharp pain comes over her, and now she can’t move.
Jian Yao stares at him, with tears on her face.
But there is no hesitation in him. Not pity, only the look of disgust on his face.
“Oh…. Simon’s woman.” He speaks with that coarse voice again: “Pity I have to kill you before getting a taste of you.” Then he takes out a gun and points it to her head.
Jian Yao’s body has lost all strength. She slowly closes her eyes. She can feel his breath on her face. She can hear the ‘click’ sound as he releases the safety latch of the gun.
Farewell, Jinyan. Goodbye, mother.
I am going to die here today.
I will not wake up to see you again. But I will never…. forget you.
On the screens, Xie Han eagerly waits as he looks at the images of the couple in the warehouse. He feels as if his blood is starting to boil with excitement.
He waits patiently.
He is waiting for a complete, perfect Allen to come to him.
Then Bo Jinyan lowers his head. He bites Jian Yao’s lips.
Xie Han is surprised. But then he starts to laugh.
Because Bo Jinyan is looking at Jian Yao like she is his prey. The kiss is rough and barbaric. Jian Yao’s lips are bleeding from his bite. And the look on Jian Yao’s face is pityful. It is a combination of desolation, sadness, and anger.
It’s understandable that Allen has desires for her too. If she isn’t the final test for Allen’s allegiance, Xie Han will not mind if Allen kept her as a toy.
So, if he wants to indulge himself for a while before killing her, he has no objections.
Xie Han looks at the screen. Bo Jinyan continues to kiss her forcefully. His hands are all over her body, squeezing and groping as he pleases, without any respect for her.
But… there is a certain feeling of familiarity. Jian Yao thinks to herself.
Bo Jinyan… Simon, once kissed her like this.
When was that again?
In Lin Yi Yang’s villa by the sea, when they were discussing about whether a person can differentiate a person from their kisses. At the time, he was imitating someone else and kissed her in a way that is not in his usual style.
What happened after that?
As he finished his kiss, his tongue curled at the tips, then licked her from bottom to top. This is Bo Jinyan’s subconscious little habit. Based on this, Jian Yao won the argument.
Their conclusion is … from a kiss, one can judge whether it’s from the same person.
Hope returns to Jian Yao. She waits till the end of the kiss…. She tenses up as she waits for the answer…
He bites her again, the pain is spreading to the rest of her body.
When he is finally satisfied, he releases her tongue and steps backwards.
As his tongue is about to leave her mouth…
He pauses. Then, his tongue curls at the tips, then slowly licks her from bottom to top.
On the same day. Five hours ago. In the hospital.
Fu Ziyu is feeling marginally better. He can’t sleep, so he asks an officer to help him onto a wheelchair so that he can go to Anam’s room.
There are a few officers guarding the door. The room is completely closed up. You can’t see through the rectangular glass panel on the door. The officer pushes him into the room. The first thing Fu Ziyu notices is that there is no one in bed. All the bed linen is neatly folded on the bed,
Then he went through another door into a bigger room that looks like an office. There are more than ten IT specialists there, in front of a few computer monitors. Anam is sitting in the center, giving instructions to them. He looks calm and well. There is not a trace of illness in him.
Fu Ziyu sits quietly. He doesn’t want to interrupt them.
One of the officers makes a comment: “The escape… the plan was perfect. Professor Bo has the potential to be a top class criminal.”
Everyone laughs. Fu Ziyu answers: “No, He can never be a top class criminal.”
Because of his words, everyone recalls the ‘battle’ on the day. Mixed feelings come upon them, they quiet down again.
Anam suddenly thinks of something else. He turns to Fu Ziyu and asks him: “The day you talked to Professor Bo….Why did you cry?” It’s a question that’s been in his heart since he saw the incident. He does not care if it is appropriate to ask the question. He just wants to know the answer.
Fu Ziyu pauses for a while, then he answers: “Because I heard so called ‘Allen’s voice,”
The last time he heard this voice was when Bo Jinyan was rescued from the cellar of Flower Cannibal Tommy. Bo Jinyan almost lost his life then. When he woke up after being in a coma for days, that’s how he sounded like.
“Your voice…” Fu Ziyu asked him then. He simply answered: “While Tommy was away, I had a fever, and deliberately damaged my vocal cords.”
Infection, Inflammation, pain… He allowed his condition to worsen so that he could use the different voice to pretend to be another personality. At the time, he was at risk of permanently damaging his vocal cords. Even though he did eventually recover from it, there was some irreversible damage done to his vocal cords.
Bo Jinyan would not have told Jian Yao about this. Because if she knew about this, she would have been heartbroken.
So when he was on the phone with Bo Jinyan, he recognised the voice straight away, and he knew how much pain Bo Jinyan went through to get the voice again.
As his best friend, he instantly understood his plan - to pretend to be Allen so he can get near to Xie Han. He sacrificed his reputation, and put himself on the line…. it’s a risky move. He might end up with nothing.
His best friend. A lonely and arrogant man, willing to give up everything he has, for the woman he loves. That’s why he couldn’t hold back the tears.
Fu Ziyu asks Anam: “So, how’s the progress?”
Anam replies calmly: “Everything is going according to his plan. Soon, the two of them will return safely.”