Gabriel II was undoubtedly a luxury cruise ship. There were 11 distinctive restaurants, 7 bars, double-story deluxe single rooms, a theater, a gallery, a golf course, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a casino disguised as a game room, a surfing room, a tropical rainforest-themed garden, and regular acrobatics and magic shows…Everything was so luxurious that everyone was at a loss.
Except for Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai, that was.
These rich, second-generation brothers used to travel with their parents on Ocean Charm, one of the few oasis-class luxury cruise ships in the world. They’d also participated in the extravagant gatherings of the rich on the Caribbean. Gabriel II was by far not as luxurious as Ocean Charm.
So, after the meal, Allen pulled Lin Hangzhi and excitedly went around to visit the 11 restaurants. Meanwhile, Dong Linhai was visiting with Wang Que, while Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng were leaning on the railings and watching the blue sea and the blue sky with its white clouds and sea birds. The sea breeze blew gently..
The cruise ship was traveling slowly, and the wind made Cui Zuojing feel very relaxed. He squinted and asked Dong Zheng, “How rich is your family?”
In addition to the suit and leather shoes, Dong Zheng also wore a Rolex on his wrist, looking like an upper class nobleman. “Do you want to hear the truth or lies?”
“Of course, the truth.”
“The company my father and his partner started is now listed on the Nasdaq.”
Nasdaq, an American stock exchange. Currently, there were only about a hundred Chinese companies listed there. When Cui Zuojing heard this, he was surprised. “Damn, is it so scary? Which company’s prince are you?”
Dong Zheng said a name that almost everyone knew in the real world.
Cui Zuojing gasped and could only choke out one sentence, “Awesome.”
Dong Zheng smiled. “But this is all my father’s money. Except for owning a small amount of the company shares, it has nothing to do with me. Besides, I also started my own company.”
Cui Zuojing asked, “How did it go?”
“At present, I have an office in Shanghai. Although it’s not in the city center, the earnings were enough for me to buy a house on my own….and pay for it in full.”
Cui Zuojing: “……”
The youth patted Dong Zheng on the shoulder, then wrapped his arm around it in a half-hug. He was more than 10 centimeters shorter than Dong Zheng so his action was a bit awkward. It looked more like he was hanging on Dong Zheng instead. “Later, when we get out, I’ll rely on you for the rest of my life. With your financial strength, it shouldn’t be a problem to raise me, right?”
Dong Zheng lowered his head and glanced at the youth’s eyes full of expectations. Then, he turned his head and continued to stare out at the vast sea, saying, “No problem. It’s enough to support you.”
This should have been said as a joke, but it wasn’t meant as a joke.
But, the other person didn’t notice, too immersed in the joy that, if he could get out, he would not have to struggle for a lifetime.
Dong Zheng sighed silently.
Dong Linhai was walking with Wang Que in the long gallery.
Most of the paintings on display were oil paintings. Many of them were masterpieces, but Dong Linhai didn’t understand at all and simply thought that they were pretty good-looking.
Wang Que looked very carefully and stopped for a long time before each painting. She looked at every brushstroke; the shift in tone, the interlacing light and darkness, the contrasting colors, every detail was reflected in her eyes.
Dong Linhai waited patiently, not feeling bored at all.
He couldn’t understand painting, but there was a pretty girl to watch.
As they continued to walk in the middle of the gallery, Dong Linhai had an idea. “I remember that the ship has a studio. Would you like to go and take a look? I haven’t seen you paint yet.”
Wang Que turned her head to look at him. Her eyes reflected an obvious longing. But, in the end, she smiled and shook her head. “I haven’t painted in a long time.”
“Don’t you want to try?” Dong Linhai was a little disappointed.
Wang Que merely smiled and continued to look at the painting.
Her right hand, which hung at her side, began to tremble uncontrollably. She could only hold her wrist tightly with her left hand, so that Dong Linhai wouldn’t see it.
Since this was the first day after entering the box, there were no compulsory arrangements other than booking a table with the staff. Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng went around to every restaurant, tasted what they wanted, and walked away. Afterward, they went to a maritime golf course so that Dong Zheng could teach Cui Zuojing how to golf.
They took advantage of this free time to indulge in a life of luxury. They didn’t know when the central plot would begin, but just in case they ended up on an island, wouldn’t it be a shame not to have done so?
Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing talked about the director’s speech and about the fact that there were only 29 pilgrims present at the time. Cui Zuojing said, “The man I met in the corridor at that time, maybe he was the one that didn’t make it…He probably got lost?”
Dong Zheng said, “It shouldn’t be. I’ve seen him in the restaurant, and I have a little impression of him.”
Before the main mission was sent out, the pilgrims were very vigilant against each other. Who knew whether this box would require them to fight each other? On the other hand, if it required them to work together to clear the level, it wouldn’t be too late for them to become familiar with one another once.
Cui Zuojing observed that, in addition to their Wonton Insurgency team, the 30 pilgrims were separated into six teams, along with a few “stragglers” without teams. The indifferent man that Cui Zuojing had met in the corridor was one of those people.
At the moment, everyone wanted nothing to do with each other. At most, they would nod their heads in greeting. Some people looked fierce and evil and didn’t seem at all like people with good characters.
Cui Zuojing prided himself on being powerful, even in the face of extremely terrifying monsters, but he didn’t dare to underestimate others.
During this time, he was also quite alert and stayed with Dong Zheng at all times.
The accident happened at ten o’clock in the evening.
Cui Zuojing was playing in the game room. He was playing like crazy, and his entire face was slightly red from the excitement. Dong Zheng was playing opposite him. Compared to Cui Zuojing, he was very calm. They were using cherries as bargaining chips.
Cui Zuojing ate as he played and soon ran out of chips. The fruits prepared on the ship were top-notched, and he hadn’t eaten enough. He looked at Dong Zheng’s face, slowly stretched out his hand, and took Dong Zheng’s two chips in hand, ready to pull back the moment Dong Zheng showed any trace of unwillingness.
The youth’s cunning face of “probing on the edge of danger” dumbfounded Dong Zheng. He pushed his cherry tray over and said, “It’s okay. Eat.”
Cui Zuojing was satisfied.
A sailor hurried into the game room and shouted, “Ladies and gentlemen, something bad has happened. Everyone please gather in the first class cabin. We need to check everyone.”
Cui Zuojing looked at Dong Zheng. He opened the hidden card between them and found that he’d lost again. “An accident?”
Had the plot finally started? Dong Zheng stood up, pulled down the shirt sleeves that had been rolled up to his elbows, and put on the suit jacket that he’d hung on the back of his chair. “Let’s go and take a look.”
Allen and the others were watching a show in the theater. They all hurried to the first class cabin and gathered together,
The crew, the program staff, and even the first mate were gathered in the corridor in front of a closed cabin door. It was unclear what had happened inside.
“What’s wrong?” Dong Linhai asked.
No one knew.
Cui Zuojing’s five senses were strengthened. As he stood with everyone, he smelled an unusual scent and frowned.
“Smells like blood,” he said in a low voice.
Next to him was a bespectacled Western man. Hearing Cui Zuojing’s voice, he nodded and added, “Someone died.”
Cui Zuojing couldn’t help but look up at him. The man was about 27 to 28 years old, with blond hair, blue eyes, a short stature, and an average appearance.
Seeing Cui Zuojing looking at him, he smiled and extended his hand. “How about an introduction? My name is Heinrich, from Switzerland.”
Cui Zuojing shook hands with him. “Cui Zuojing, China.”
As they stood side by side in the corridor. Heinrich seemed to casually say, “I don’t remember seeing you during lunch.”
“Naturally, because I’m not a pilgrim.” Cui Zuojing stuck his right thumb in Dong Zheng’s direction. “I’m his prisoner.”
Heinrich looked surprised. Dong Zheng had been listening to their conversation and now nodded to him. “Dong Zheng.”
“I didn’t expect you to be a prisoner.”
“Really? What’s your impression of a prisoner?” Cui Zuojing looked over the crew’s shoulders and his gaze landed on the face of a solitary woman standing outside the crowd.
Beside her, there was a fierce and sturdy man with his hand on her ass.
Heinrich raised his eyebrows and merely smiled.
Everyone was talking quietly and restlessly. Their voices gathered and converged, turning the corridor very noisy.
The cabin door was pulled open from the inside, and the pale-faced captain and director walked out. An unpleasant stench of blood immediately hit their faces.
Cui Zuojng saw a pool of blood on the floor.
“What happened….?” asked one of the program staff members.
No one responded, but the answer was quite clear—a guest had been killed.
Akers’ complexion was very bad. Before they had even started filming the show, someone had already died. They’d just arrived on the high sea!
The pilgrims had experienced life and death and were not as panicked as the NPCs. None of them were really scared. Everyone wanted to enter the room to see the specific situation, hoping that it would provide clues related to the plot.
Heinrich raised his hand and asked, “Captain, I’m a doctor. Would you like me to examine the deceased?”
Lin Hangzhi subconsciously opened his mouth to say that he was also a doctor, but then he remembered that he was in a box and his background was supposedly that of a Malaysian journalist.
“I’m a policeman.” A dark-skinned man raised his hand.
“Quiet!” The captain finally spoke. He was a middle-aged man with a white beard, and he looked exactly like the type of captain that everyone imagined. “We’re already at high seas. The murderer can’t escape and should still be on this ship. In other words, someone here could be the murderer.”
Cui Zuojing stuck his hands into his pockets, ready to watch a good show. He’d seen this type of plot in many movies and felt personally that it was quite different and novel.
The captain’s gaze swept over everyone’s face, as if he was trying to determine who the murderer was. At this moment, a team of people in white coats hurriedly squeezed through the crowd with the medicine kit in hand.
The captain shook his head and said in a low voice, “He’s dead.”
The doctors paused and also noted the appallingly large bloodstains in the room.
Everyone knew that the guests and the director had signed a contract to sell their life and death. As a result, no one could be held accountable.
Even if the scene of the crime could be protected, it would take two months for the ship to reach shore. It was impossible to solve the case.
“I’ll check the monitors. Since you’re a police officer and a doctor, if you have the ability to investigate the crime scene, then please do so.” After saying this, the captain walked through the crowd and left.
Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing looked at each other. Taking the lead, they stepped into the room before anyone else could move.
Xixi: These next four chapters are for Anonymous. Thank you for your consistent comments. I enjoy reading them. No pressure to continue, of course.