Chapter 265 – Undercover!
Lu An City.
The sky is dark, and the streets are crowded.
Dong Xuebing did not drive his car over. Instead, he took a long-distance bus to this unfamiliar city. He looked at the strangers passing by and went over to a newspaper stand to buy a map and a tourist guide. After that, he sat at a bench and started familiarizing himself with the city’s roads and landmarks. Dong Xuebing tried to memorize everything, before getting into a Taxi.
“Hi, bring me to Hai Bing Bath Parlor. Thank you.” Dong Xuebing sat in the rear passenger seat.
The driver turns and looks at Dong Xuebing. “Young man, you are not a local? Your accent is not from here.”
“Yes. What’s wrong?”
“That place has a complicated background and is not ‘clean.’” The driver continued. “If you are out to have fun, you should go to Big Sea Dragon Bath Parlor. It’s not far from here.”
Dong Xuebing asked curiously. “Why is that place not clean? Tell me about it.”
The driver is chatty and explained to Dong Xuebing while driving. Most bath parlors are not ‘clean’ as most of them offer prostitution services. But the driver is not referring to such services. He meant that Hai Bing Bath Parlor has frequent fights, extortions, etc. and has a bad reputation and is backed by the triads. The only plus point of going there is the customers do not need to worry about Police. The boss of that bath parlor has connections with the Police.
Dong Xuebing had expected this to happen and did not mind.
It is a gamble for Dong Xuebing to come to Lu An City.
Dong Xuebing does not know if sasasa668’s information is accurate or not. Even if it is true, he also does not know if the relics are still with the boss of Hai Bing Bath Parlor. That’s why Dong Xuebing did not report the information to his higher-ups or anyone else. Firstly, this information cannot be verified, and secondly, if the information is wrong, it will be a disgrace. If the Provincial Public Security Bureau sent their men to arrest the people at Hai Bing Bath Parlor and did not find anything, Dong Xuebing might be penalized for giving false information.
These are the reasons why Dong Xuebing decided to come and investigate himself.
Yes. Dong Xuebing is going to infiltrate into Hai Bing Bath Parlor as an undercover. Anyway, he has a week off from work.
To prevent from being exposed, Dong Xuebing left all his identification cards, watches, jade pendant, car, and even changed his clothes. He wore cheap roadside clothes, and before he comes over, he called many people to tell them that he will be going away for a vacation. He even made up a lie that he will be going hiking in the mountains, and his phone will be off. For the next ten days, no one is going to look for him.
Downtown, Central Street North.
Dong Xuebing alighted from the Taxi and looked at the signage across the road.
Hai Bing Bath Parlor. This is the place. The exterior of the building is well renovated and looks high-class. The signage of the bath parlor is red color, and two lovely staff in Cheongsams were standing at the main entrance to receive guests. They would bow to customers, and many expensive cars are entering the carpark. This bath parlor is different from Beijing and looks more like a recreation center.
Dong Xuebing did not enter the parlor immediately and walked around the surroundings.
After Dong Xuebing was familiar with the surroundings, he tidied his shirt and tie. Before he left Yan Tai County, he had gone for a haircut and looks very different now, as he is afraid someone would recognize him. Although the people in Lu An City will not read Yan Tai County’s newspapers, Dong Xuebing had appeared in the Provincial’s newspapers. The picture published in the papers is not recent and is not clear, but he must be careful not to be exposed.
Everything is ready!
Dong Xuebing braced himself and took long strides towards the entrance.
The two staff at the door saw Dong Xuebing was dressed in cheap clothes, but they still maintained a smile and bows to him.
The floor of the lobby is marble and is red color. Many people are registering at the front counter, and Dong Xuebing looks around. He saw staff in the early thirties and walked over.
“Are you all hiring?” Dong Xuebing asked.
The crew-cut man looks at Dong Xuebing. “You are looking for a job? What do you know?”
Dong Xuebing replied. “I know a bit about everything.”
“Massage too? Do you have a massage license?”
The crew-cut man waved his hand. “That means you don’t know anything. Leave.” Bath parlors do not lack general workers and hostesses. What they lack are licensed professional masseurs. Not all their customers are looking for prostitutes. Most of them are seeking real massages. People can learn massage quickly, but they are not professionals. A professional masseur has a license, and not many of them are willing to work in such places.
Dong Xuebing smacked his lips. “Although I do not have a license, I am strong. Look…”
The Crew-cut man shook his head. “We don’t need general workers.”
“I don’t mind about the salary. Just give me some money, provide food and shelter will do.”
The Crew-cut man shook his head and waved Dong Xuebing away.
Dong Xuebing was frustrated. I am a Deputy Bureau Chief, and I can fight and is good with firearms. Why can’t I get the job of a general worker with my capabilities? He was mad and felt like slapping that Crew-cut man! However, Dong Xuebing will not leave so quickly. He does not believe that he will be rejected from a job application. He pestered that man for over twenty minutes!
The Crew-cut man was getting irritated and wanted to get the security to chase Dong Xuebing out.
Dong Xuebing immediately thought of an excuse. “I had worked for Brother Bao at his car wash and workshop. I am very smart.”
The Crew-cut man paused for a second and ask. “Which Brother Bao?”
Dong Xuebing replied. “Brother Bao from Fen Zhou City.”
Yan Tai County is under the jurisdiction of Fen Zhou City, and Dong Xuebing had read about someone by the name of Old Bao from the old case files. Old Bao, whose nickname is Brother Bao, owns a motor workshop. Although his business is not significant, he is well known among the triads. Although Fen Zhou City is far from Lu An City, since Hai Bing Bath Parlor has triad connections, they should have heard of Brother Bao.
Dong Xuebing had guessed correctly. The Crew-cut man asked. “Why are you not working at the workshop now?”
“Sigh… don’t talk about it.” Dong Xuebing continued. “It is too tiring, and I was working for almost twenty hours every day.”
“Are you interested in working here?” That man looks at Dong Xuebing. “The work here is also tiring.”
Dong Xuebing immediately nods his head.
The Crew-cut man thought for a while and said. “The housekeeping department needs a few people to wash towels. 600 RMB a month, and food and lodging will be provided. If you agree, you can start today.”
Dong Xuebing pretended to be troubled. “600… can you increase to 800?”
The Crew-cut man snapped at Dong Xuebing. “600! Take it or leave it!”
The Crew-cut man made a call to inform the housekeeping department about Dong Xuebing and start showing Dong Xuebing around the place. He showed the bath area, the billiard and recreation rooms, the guest rooms, etc. Dong Xuebing memorized the layout as he was brought into an office. The Crew-cut man suddenly asked Dong Xuebing for his identification card.
Dong Xuebing replied with a crying face. “I… lost it.”
The Crew-cut man frowned. “How are you going to start work without an identification card? How do I know where you are from?”
“Please… I lost my identification card.”
The Crew-cut man had seen many people like Dong Xuebing. He does not believe Dong Xuebing had lost his identification card. Most of the people like Dong Xuebing are the ones wanted by the Police for petty theft or robberies. That’s why they are paranoid of other people looking at their identification cards. He thought for a while and did not say anything. After all, their bath parlor is also doing illegal activities. He told Dong Xuebing about some of the rules and asked one of his men to bring Dong Xuebing to the housekeeping department.
On the back of the second floor.
Behind a small door, it is very different from the grand majestic renovations outside. Rows of small rooms were lined up along the corridor, and the partitions were made from inferior materials. This is the workers’ quarters. Dong Xuebing is assigned to the sixth room. When he opens the door, there is a strong detergent smell, and two young men in their twenties were washing clothes inside. The room is tiny but can fit four bunk beds.
Dong Xuebing is not happy with the environment, but he did not show it on his face.
The supervisor, who brought Dong Xuebing over, said. “This is a newcomer. Tell him about our rules and regulations and let him know where are the areas that are out of bounds.”
After the supervisor left, Dong Xuebing introduced himself. “My name is Xie Hao.”
The two young men introduced themselves and told Dong Xuebing about the working procedures there. They were also working in the housekeeping department and are also doing the job of washing towels. The requirement for their job is to wash the towels clean. Four of them will be on the day shift, and four of them will be on night shifts. The eight of them are staying in the same room. Dong Xuebing is not interested in the job and starts to gather information about the Boss of Hai Bing Bath Parlor.
The few fellow workers shook their heads. They also don’t know anything about the boss, as they had been washing towels day and night.
The highest-ranked person they can get in touch with is Manager Ma Wentao. He is the overall in charge of Hai Bing Bath House, and Dong Xuebing felt it was pointless to ask them any more questions. Now, he has successfully infiltrated into Hai Bing Bath House and needs to familiarize himself with the place before he can start investigations.
Hai Bing Bath Parlor’s office.
Ma Wentao was sitting behind his desk reading a document, and the Crew-cut and a few other supervisors were standing in front of him.
After a while, Ma Wentao, in his forties, asked without looking up. “Is there anything unusual today?”
The past few days, Manager Ma had been asking the same question every day. Everyone knows that there is a crackdown ongoing, and they must be careful. A woman replied. “The lobby is normal.”
“The rooms are normal.”
“The backroom is normal.”
Ma Wentao frowned slightly. “I am not asking if anyone tries to create trouble here. I am asking if there are any suspicious visitors.”
The woman replied. “No. Everyone had registered with their identification cards.”
Ma Wentao said. “There is a crackdown going on. All of you must be careful, and those without identification cards are not allowed to stay here.”
“Yes.” The supervisors replied.
After thinking for a while, Ma Wentao was still worried. “All guests must be registered. Even our regulars must do the same. All of you must take note, and from today onwards, we will stop hiring. This includes women too. We will use get the usual women to serve our guests and will not use anyone even if they are recommended by someone we know.”
The woman hesitated. “Manager Ma, this…”
Ma Wentao waved his hand. “Just do as I say, and don’t ask any questions.”
The Crew-cut hesitated for a while and said. “Manager, I had hired someone earlier and had brought him to the housekeeping department.”
“How old is he?” Ma Wentao frowned.
“He should be in his early twenties.”
“Have you kept his identification card?”
The Crew-cut replied. “He claims he had lost his identification card, but he said that he worked for Fen Zhou’s Brother Bao in his workshop before.”
Ma Wentao thought for a while and said. “You go and bring him over!”
After a while, the Crew-cut brought Dong Xuebing to the office. The supervisors had left, and only two men in suits were in the office. The men look fierce, and everyone that sees them will know that they are not good people. Dong Xuebing’s heart started to race and knew he is being suspected. But at the same time, he was happy, as the information might be accurate!
“Manager Ma.” Dong Xuebing pretended to be nervous.
The Crew-cut shouted at Dong Xuebing. “Stop wasting time and take out your identification card!”
“I lost it. If you don’t believe me, you can check my pockets.” Dong Xuebing took out his wallet. “I am waiting to get a replacement.”
Ma Wentao stares into Dong Xuebing’s eyes. “Don’t try to play tricks in front of me! Do you know what this place is?” He paused for a second and asked coldly. “You say you had been working for Brother Bao? Brother Bao’s car workshop had closed half a year ago! When did you work there?”
Closed? Dong Xuebing is not sure, as he said this lie at that moment.
Dong Xuebing replied calmly. “I had been working there before the workshop closed, and I quit because it is too tiring.”
Ma Wentao’s face turned even colder and continued to stare at Dong Xuebing. “I had met Brother Bao a few times and is quite close to his follower, Da Zhui. Were you under Da Zhui in the workshop at the back, or did you work under Xiao Chen?”
Dong Xuebing heard what Ma Wentao said and knew he must be friends with that person by the name of Da Zhui. “I was working under Brother Chen.”
Ma Wentao nodded and banged the table suddenly. “F**k you! Pin him down!”
Dong Xuebing was stunned as two men pressed him onto the floor.
Ma Wentao looks at Dong Xuebing coldly. “Kid, who are you? Who sent you here?”
Dong Xuebing was panicking, but he tried to argue. “Manager Ma, what are you doing? I am here to look for a job.”
The Crew-cut stomped on Dong Xuebing’s head. “Stop lying! Brother Bao’s workshop is still operating! Do you think you can fool us?! You said you worked under Brother Chen? Brother Bao and his brother-in-law are the only bosses there with followers! Da Zhui? Brother Chen? All these names are made up!”
Dong Xuebing realized that he was tricked!
Dong Xuebing had never gone undercover and was not trained. That’s why he is easily tricked by Ma Wentao.
Damn! This Ma Wentao is too cunning!
That’s right. BACK one minute!
The scenes changed!
Dong Xuebing’s pain disappeared, and he was standing on his feet. His back was covered in a cold sweat.
“Don’t try to play tricks in front of me! Do you know what this place is?” He paused for a second and asked coldly. “You say you had been working for Brother Bao? Brother Bao’s car workshop had closed half a year ago! When did you work there?”
Dong Xuebing pretended to be confused. “I was still working there last month. It is not closed.”
Ma Wentao looked at Dong Xuebing and continued. “I had met Brother Bao a few times and is quite close to his follower, Da Zhui. Were you under Da Zhui in the workshop at the back, or did you work under Xiao Chen?”
Dong Xuebing ‘looks’ more puzzled. “All the workers are like me, and I cannot remember the names of everyone. But I don’t think there is anyone by the name of Da Zhui. There is only one worker whose surname is Chen. But he is not the supervisor there. When Brother Bao is not around, his brother-in-law is in charge.”
Ma Wentao kept quiet and was no longer frowning.
The Crew-cut saw Dong Xuebing knew about the workshop and started to trust him more. “Manager Ma, can we allow him…”
Ma Wentao had cleared his suspicion of Dong Xuebing. Since Dong Xuebing had worked for Brother Bao before, he should be no problem. “Alright. Let him get back to work.”
The Crew-cut nodded and brought Dong Xuebing out of the office.
In the corridor, Dong Xuebing pretended to ask. “Brother Bao’s car workshop had closed down? Is it true?”
The Crew-cut gave Dong Xuebing a push. “Stop asking so many questions and get back to work!”
Dong Xuebing nodded and walked up the stairs. The moment he turned his back against the Crew-cut, a cold smile flashed across his face. Damn! You all think I will fall for your tricks?!
But… it was a close shave earlier!
After this incident, Dong Xuebing realized that it is not easy to go undercover!