April 17th. High noon.
The huge search for Ingot and Wu Tao continued in Jinan. More and more people were interested in the matter, probably because the Flowered Flag Sect as well as the local authorities had both offered huge rewards for information, rewards big enough to live for years on.
The targets of the search were currently fast asleep in the Den of Immortals, just the two of them.
Outside of Sun Jicheng’s 79 businesses were pasted paper posters which read, “Closed, business on hold for five days.” By now, people had heard about Big Boss Sun’s deaths, so there was no need to try to keep it a secret any more.
—The true secret which needed to be kept was that Big Boss Sun actually wasn’t dead.
Great Three Yuan was obviously not open for business. And yet, Zheng Nanyuan hurried on his way to the restaurant. Three important customers awaited him, guests he could not afford to ignore.
The guests included Old Master Tian from the powerful Flowered Flag Sect, and Huang Jun, the man who wished to reform the Beggar Sect, who had single-handedly founded its new Torture Chamber, famous in Jianghu and holder of life-and-death power in his organization.
Zheng Nanyuan was just now walking up the stairs of the restaurant.
He was no cripple; he used a wheelchair because of the festering rheumatism which had plagued him for years.
By the time he arrived, a table of appetizers had already been laid out in one of the elegant private dining rooms. The guests had already been seated.
There were three types of alcohol on the table.
A freshly opened jar of Guizhou Maotai, clear and strong, as well as Nu’er Hong from the Jiangsu/Zhejiang region, sweet and gentle, but with a strong delayed aftereffect.
And in a golden pitcher was what remained of the Persian Red Wine that Sun Jicheng had not finished during his lunch the other day. The golden pitcher had just been pulled out frigid cooling water; condensation dripped down its sides.
Old Master Tian drank a cup of each of the different types of alcohol, and then said, “We didn’t come here to drink.”
He could say something like that.
Once a person’s status reaches a certain level, they can say anything, and others can only listen.
The things he said often weren’t very nice; he usually left people unsure of whether to cry or laugh. Sometimes he shocked people, and sometimes left them in fear for their life.
“We are also not here to pay our respects,” he continued. “As well all know, Big Boss Sun isn’t dead.”
It was quite a harsh thing to say.
Zheng Nanyuan didn’t seem to have any reaction whatsoever. He merely poured some Persian wine into his crystal goblet. He poured just enough to fill the glass completely, and yet didn’t spill a single drop.
Such steady hands!
Old Master Tian narrowed his eyes, staring at Zheng Nanyuan. He continued, “Your big search last night was not an attempt to find your supposedly ‘dead’ boss. To search for him in such a fashion would be fruitless. That type of search will only turn up drunks and thieves and idiots. The purpose of your search was to inform Sun Jicheng that you know the corpse wasn’t him.”
Zheng Nanyuan sat listening, much the way a student will listen to his tutor lecture about the Four Books and Five Classics, even though he has no idea what the teacher is talking about. 
Old Master Tian drank three more cups of alcohol. His son joined him.
“The reason we are here,” said Old Master Tian, “is that we want to ask you a question.” Questions asked by Old Master Tian always hit the crux of matters. “How did you figure out the corpse did not belong to Sun Jicheng?”
Zheng Nanyuan laughed.
“Actually,” he said, “that is a question I should be asking you.”
“And yet, I asked the question first.”
“Can I refuse to answer?”
“Then let me start from the beginning.”
He poured hims
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