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560 The Princess in the Ivory Tower

 Guns were legal in the United States-criminals had them as well as good people. There were regular guns on the market as well as illegal black markets for guns. Because guns were legal, the black market was even more rampant than in other countries, where guns were banned. From small revolvers to AK-47s, all American guns were available on the black market. Even tanks and armored vehicles returned by the military could be purchased through legitimate channels.

The firepower Huo Shaoheng referred to was, of course, not pistols but all sorts of anti-material rifles, semi-automatic submachine guns, and at least one high-powered submachine gun. These were all obtainable through the black market, and the North American division of the Special Operations Forces had them at the ready. They needed to face various sudden situations, as these were their daily jobs. Zhao Liangze accepted the command and began arranging personnel and weapons.

Huo Shaoheng stayed up all night to study the blueprints for the six-story building. Special Ops personnel had frequented the Bronx area over the last two days to use all sorts of specialized cameras to take infrared images of the building so they could see what was happening even through the walls. During the nighttime, Huo Shaoheng could see the photos coming back and quickly locked onto a room on the third floor.

Zhao Liangze looked at the infrared imaging and was completely shocked. He crossed his arms and stood behind Huo Shaoheng to exclaimed with grief, "These people are inhumane! What are they doing locking up people in cages?!"

"What else? It can't be anything good," Huo Shaoheng replied calmly. "But it looks like Tan Guiren is still alive."

From the infrared imaging, they could see that the room on the third floor was divided by metal cages; one held an adult with two children, and the other empty cages hinted that there had been others in there before. From the bone structure of the adult in there, they assumed it must be Tan Guiren. She was incredibly lucky to still be alive after being missing for over a month.

"She will be blessed to have survived such a thing. If this girl can really escape this time, I bet her father really might become Prime Minister." Zhao Liangze raised his brows playfully.

Huo Shaoheng walked away from the computer and took out his gun to wipe it down. He didn't look up before replying, "The Special Operations Forces does not get involved in internal politics. Don't forget the regulations."

"Roger!" Zhao Liangze was shocked and immediately reflected that his words and actions had violated jurisdiction.

As Huo Shaoheng cleaned his guns, he began formulating a battle plan in his mind. Apart from the room with cages on the third floor, this six-story building was occupied by people carrying weapons. They must have been culprits guarding the caged room. Huo Shaoheng hadn't expected the enemy to send that many people. In the six-story building with nearly 20 rooms, each contained at least two people. In other words, they were facing at least 40 enemies, who all were likely to be powerful and armed criminals. But regardless of how powerful the criminals were, they were still less than proper soldiers. Huo Shaoheng firmly believed this.

The evening news was still playing on TV. Tonight, the Upper West Side Manhattan police station received another voice scrambled voicemail, and this time it said, "Where the sun shines, the Goddess of Freedom rises." Compared to the vague messages in the past, this was much much obvious. Everyone immediately thought of the Statue of Liberty, and in practically one night, the Statue of Liberty Park in New Jersey was completed flooded with crowds of riddle-seekers eager to find clues about the missing person.

At this time, Huo Shaoheng had already completed deployment of the troops and confirmed the battle plans for the coordinated attack between Teams A and B. "A Team will be 10 members-three groups of snipers and spotters with two groups of assault troops to directly enter the building. B Team will be 20 members to launch an assault into the building. All weapons must be equipped with silencers. We will attack at 2:00 a.m. Over."

Zhao Liangze assigned Huo Shaoheng's plan, and because the North American division of the Special Operations Forces had completely withdrawn last time, the newly reformed division was comprised of new members and units. This was their first large-scale operation, and the soldiers were rubbing their hands eagerly for the day to finally come.

July evenings in Manhattan already carried traces of scorching heat. People who lived in homes without air conditioning in the Bronx sat at their front doors in the evening to cool down and eyed pedestrians with eerie gazes. They looked like they were ready to start a shootout at any moment.

Huo Shaoheng used high-powered binoculars and stood at a window of a hotel not far from the Bronx. He watched the six-story building.

"The building has an interesting name." Zhao Liangze stood next to Huo Shaoheng and chuckled quietly. "It's called Ivory Tower."

Huo Shaoheng smiled. "Ivory Tower? Haha. These people really know how to flatter themselves."

An ivory tower was supposed to be a pure and clean place, but it was now the name of the ugliest and filthiest place. It was quite ironic.

******

At that moment, in the room on the third floor of "The Ivory Tower," the light was dim, and the two children were already asleep. Tan Guiren sat by the wall with her knees tucked to her chest, her tiny face as big as a palm, making her eyes appear high and dark.

The door creaked open, and the aloof, cold-looking young man walked inside once again. He wore a black outfit and stood before Tan Guiren's cage to watch her steadily. His gaze was almost greedy-the closer he got, the more he realized how beautiful and alluring Tan Guiren was. She was untouched, like a princess in the ivory tower. That kind of irresistible elegance was an aura that could only be bred by generations of scholars; it could never have been created using money and power. In order to kidnap Tan Guiren, he had stalked her for a whole six months. In that time, he'd gotten to know-and perhaps even understand her-better than herself. But Tan Guiren turned away and refused to look at him. The silent contempt was the most hurtful, and the aloof, cold-looking young man's eyes dimmed.

"Brother Hong, you're here..." A gangster guarding the room frantically ran out of the room to stand at the door and bow deeply at the young man.

Brother Hong raised his rand and didn't even look back to reply, "Get out. I have something to ask her."

"Yes, Brother Hong." The gangster quickly closed the door when he saw that Brother Hong was not angry. It was like he was terrified he would change his mind.

Brother Hong carried a plastic bag and walked slowly to Tan Guiren's cage to bend over. Using the key to open the cage, he crawled inside. The cage was low, so a normal person could only bend over or sit down because it was impossible to stand straight up.

"There's a bathroom over there. You can go clean up." Brother Hong silently looked at Tan Guiren for a while before passing the plastic bag to her.

Tan Guiren's back twitched slightly, and her body shifted in discomfort. A rush of warmth seeped down her lower body-her period had finally come after being a few days late. She hadn't expected this kidnapper to notice...

Tan Guiren was at once furious and humiliated. She had been physically and mentally stressed for the past month, so her physical discomfort was amplified, and she finally couldn't help but start crying.

Hearing her sobs, Brother Hong, who never took pity, finally felt his heart skip a beat. He put the plastic bag on the ground and turned around to move out of the cage. He left it unlocked to wait for Tan Guiren to come out and clean herself in the bathroom. After crying for a while, she turned to see the bag on the ground, and, after grinding her teeth for a long time, she finally reached out to open it. There was a package of pads inside, which happened to be her favorite brand.

Tan Guiren carried the bag and looked up to see that the young man named "Brother Hong" still hadn't left. He stood at the door and watched her quietly so she couldn't help supporting herself on the cage to stand up and duck out of it. She walked to his side and pleaded tearfully, "Please, let me go. What do you want? Money? My family will pay you-even though we aren't rich, we have many antiques passed down through the generations that can be sold for money. There are many authentic pieces of art by ancient painters..."

Brother Hong reached out to smooth her tangled black hair with a quiet sigh. "...I'm sorry."

"Sorry? You're telling me that now?!" Tan Guiren was both bitter and disappointed. "What on earth do you people want?! How did I ever cross you?!"

Brother Hong retracted his name and gazed longingly at Tan Guiren for a while before replying in an even, quiet voice, "I already sent out the message, and your family should know what to do if they want to rescue you."

"Tell me! I'll beg my family to help you as long as you tell me what it is!" Tan Guiren immediately grew anxious as soon as she heard there was hope that she could leave the place alive. "What do you want?!"

Brother Hong looked at Tan Guiren's face lovingly, his eyes combing over her body. Tan Guiren noticed it, and her expression fell instantly. Retreating, she asked with vigilance, "What are you trying to do?"Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

Seeing Tan Guiren like this, Brother Hong's expression also darkened. He resumed his cruel expression and snickered, "What am I trying to do? Of course, I want to do you! Will you let me?!"

"You-! Shameless! Filthy! Scum!" Tan Guiren shook with fury but could only repeat the same few insults at him.

Brother Hong's eyes dimmed even more. He walked up and lifted Tan Guiren's chin with a chuckle. "I'll give your family the terms tomorrow. They must exchange a political prisoner locked up in a Huaxia Imperial jail. If your family refuses, then you'll be with me for the rest of your life!"