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523 Duel 4

 Huo Shaoheng's Jeep sped its way along. A couple more Jeeps of the same model appeared around them when they were on the expressway, driving in different directions to distract their opponents.

The one that had Gu Xiangwen and Gu Nianzhi turned into a small lane-a shortcut to the airport.

The people who were chasing after them were tricked. They chased the decoy Jeep for a long while, only realizing that they were duped when the Jeep plummeted over the edge of a cliff. The Jeep had no driver; it was controlled from afar. The "driver" they'd seen was a doll.

Of course, upon falling off the cliff, the Jeep, along with the doll, sunk into the ocean. Their opponent did not even find out that the Jeep did not have a real driver.

"We've been duped!"

The men returned to the hospital, fuming.

Over at Gu Yanran's end, after the car she was in spent some time chasing one of the decoys, she felt something fishy was going on and commanded her subordinate, "Stop chasing. Go directly to the airport."

Her instincts told her that her father had been whisked away by Huo Shaoheng and his men. As for what route they used, she needed to wait for her subordinates to get to the hospital before she could find out.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom that Gu Yanran was in was modified into a bulletproof vehicle. It had a huge body and was much longer than a normal sedan. It attracted a fair bit of attention when they were on the expressway.

Upon seeing a car like that, everyone gave way to it. Therefore, Gu Yanran's journey to the airport was exceptionally smooth. The moment she arrived at the airport, her subordinates managed to reach the hospital. They were looking around frantically for the director and Gu Xiangwen's caretaker, as well as the administration people to understand the entire situation. However, the hospital was still a mess. Their network had just been restored, and they were still waiting for the police.

They only had 600 people in the army and less than 100 policemen. It wouldn't have been enough even if they'd asked all of them to come. The fire engine had already arrived and was putting out the fire. No one had the time to answer any of their questions.

...

Gu Yanran headed to the control tower the moment she arrived at the airport. She was practically invincible in Barbados; she was also a VIP in the airport. Thus, she entered the control tower as if she owned the place.

The inspector of the control tower quickly went to her and bowed to greet her. The management of the control tower also came over to say hello one by one.

Gu Yanran nodded to them in acknowledgment and said, "I have something that I need. A favor from all of you."

"Please let us know how we can help, Miss Gu. We'll help any way we can," the inspector quickly said, hoping to get into Gu Yanran's good book. "What can we do for you, please?"

Gu Yanran looked down on the airport from the control tower. Lowering her voice, she said, "I need you to halt all flights from leaving the airport and divert all flights entering Barbados. Give me time. I need to find someone. Someone extremely important to me."

"What?! Stop all flights from taking off? And landing, too?!" The inspector was shocked. "Th-th... This..." This request sounded rather unreasonable...

Gu Yanran took a step forward and told the inspector hurriedly, "My father has been taken away by some people. Most likely, they'll be boarding one of those flights. I cannot allow them to take my father away! Therefore, you have to stop all flights from taking off! I, Gu Yanran, will bear every loss and inconvenience caused by this!"

With that, she stuffed a thick envelope into the hands of the inspector. His heart skipped a beat. What a thick pile of cash... It was US dollars! He could tell from touching the material.

"This... All right, let me try." The inspector nodded. "I hope it won't cause too much chaos. However, Miss Gu's father being held hostage ought to qualify as a serious incident. It is almost equivalent to our airport being under a terrorist attack. Therefore, I command that all flights be delayed! All flights entering Barbados will be diverted to Cuba instead for holding and will wait for further notice."

The inspector's instructions were sent to all operators in the control tower. Albeit shocked, they accepted that it was serious, as it concerned the Gus.

Gu Yanran stood in front of the French windows of the control tower with her arms folded, and looked at the endless blue sky in front of her, feeling extremely anxious. She was even trembling slightly.

Just as Gu Yanran's subordinates were looking through the CCTV one by one for traces of Huo Shaoheng, a roaring sound was heard from the airport runway. A passenger airplane was taxiing on the runway, preparing to take off.

Gu Yanran looked at the scene wide-eyed. She put down her arms and asked the inspector coldly, "Didn't I ask you to halt every flight for takeoff? What's with that one?!"

Shocked as well, the inspector checked the flight's information immediately. "Miss Gu," he said. "This is the Hua Xia Empire's airplane. They have a special pass to... to... take off."

What he meant was that planes from the Hua Xia Empire were outside of his control.

Gu Yanran raged. Clenching her fists, her phoenix eyes opened wide, glaring at the inspector. "What did you say?! We're on the grounds of Barbados! Not the Hua Xia Empire! Can't you have some guts?!"

"Miss Gu, this has nothing to do with guts. It's got to do with power. We have no power. My command will only reach as far as the planes under our control. Those that aren't, there's nothing we can do."

Even though the inspector had accepted Gu Yanran's money, there were simply things he couldn't do. He couldn't interfere with things outside of his control even if he wanted to.

Gu Yanran sighed and did her utmost best to control her temper. Looking out the window, she thought of a solution within seconds.

"Let's do this," she said. "Pull the indicator for a typhoon. According to the rules, all takeoffs have to be delayed if there are indications of typhoons."

There were indeed dark clouds forming outside. However, it would be a little farfetched to say that a typhoon was coming. A heavy thunderstorm sounded believable, though. But whether it would be a typhoon or a thunderstorm, it would be within the control of the control tower. Even if a thunderstorm did occur later, that would be considered a mistake of the weather forecast, not the control tower trying to delay the takeoff of a Hua Xia Empire airplane.

"Sure, sure, sure!" The inspector was pleasantly surprised and accepted Gu Yanran's idea.

He pulled on the orange warning indicator immediately and announced the warning for a typhoon. All flights, including those with special takeoff passes, were to be delayed.

...

Gu Nianzhi and Huo Shaoheng were in the First Class cabin with Gu Xiangwen.

To be frank, almost half of the people on this flight were people from the Special Forces. This was because Huo Shaoheng had utilized almost all the elites based in South America from their Special Forces, which meant that these people had been exposed. They wouldn't be able to remain here any longer and had to return to the Hua Xia Empire. Therefore, this flight was almost filled with people from the Special Forces.

Yin Shixiong, Zhao Liangze, Chen Lie, and Ye Zitan were also in the First Class cabin. Chen Lie and Ye Zitan were taking care of Gu Xiangwen and Zhao Liangze. Zhao Liangze's condition was remarkable. He had recovered fairly quickly and was experiencing no complications.

Gu Xiangwen was a different story, though. He was in a vegetative state. His exit from the hospital had been hindered by the snipers. The stretcher that Chen Lie had painstakingly prepared had not been used, and his medications had been halted for a while. Therefore, his condition had deteriorated.

While checking for his vital signs, Chen Lie shook his head. "Barbados's medical industry is so backward. They couldn't even keep up with his basic nutrition. Even if he wasn't a human in a vegetative state but a real plant, he would have been almost dead."

Huo Shaoheng remained seated at a seat by the window silently and looked out of the windows, fully alert.

Gu Nianzhi's seat was actually beside Huo Shaoheng, but she did not sit in her seat. She was helping Chen Lie and Ye Zitan look after Gu Xiangwen and Zhao Liangze.

The engines of the airplane were roaring. It was already taxiing and was about to enter the runway for takeoff. However, after a short while, the engine stopped.

Huo Shaoheng stood up wordlessly and strode toward the cockpit.

"What happened? Why are we stopping?" Huo Shaoheng asked with a low voice. "We have a special pass to take off. You can ignore them."

When the control tower commanded all flights to delay takeoff, Huo Shaoheng already knew that someone was coming, but he did not mind, as their flight was one from Hua Xia airlines with a special takeoff permit.

But why had they stopped?

"Sir, Barbados has pulled the orange warning for a typhoon," the pilot quickly explained. "Look here..."

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"Typhoon?" Huo Shaoheng frowned and looked at the skies in from the window of the cockpit. They were indeed filled with dark clouds.

However, the problem was that Barbados was a tropical country. Thunderstorms and typhoons were frequent occurrences. Should he insist on a takeoff and leave Barbados, or wait for a while and see if it was really a typhoon?

Huo Shaoheng returned to the First Class cabin. Before he could decide, Gu Yanran had already arrived in front of the plane with her people.

"I want to see Mr. Huo," Gu Yanran told the pilot using a communication system that had been allowed access to the cockpit. "I am Gu Yanran. Please get Mr. Huo to come down and speak to me."

The pilot remained silent for a while before replying, "Mr. Huo? May I know which Mr. Huo, please? There are many passengers on the flight. It won't be easy to look if you just mention 'Mr. Huo.'"

"I'd advise you against playing around with words with me," Gu Yanran stated clearly. "I didn't say his name because I did not want to blow this matter up, since Mr. Huo took my father away illegally. If I were to state his full name, the one to lose face would be the Hua Xia Empire."

The pilot listened to Gu Yanran's threats with a straight face and understood that she knew Huo Shaoheng's true position in the country. Moreover, they indeed had a human in a vegetative state from Barbados onboard...

Putting down the system, the pilot went to the First Class cabin personally to look for Huo Shaoheng.

"Sir, there's a lady outside with the surname Gu who specifically requested to see you. She says that you took her father away 'illegally...'"

Of course, the pilot did not believe that Huo Shaoheng had taken the man away illegally. He was merely relaying to Huo Shaoheng what Gu Yanran had said.

"Illegally?" Gu Nianzhi heard this and stood up. "Just based on her words? Is this the law of Barbados? Such self-entitlement...! Huo Shao, let me go and see her instead."

Huo Shaoheng stood up as well and said firmly, "Let's go together."

Since they weren't able to leave, they decided to talk it out.