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579 Break His Spine

 It was a summer afternoon in New York City. Two rows of tall buildings decorated both sides of the road. They helped block some of the scorching sunlight from the people below.

The Chanel-clad white woman had two Mexican-looking, middle-aged women with her. They seemed to be her helper and bodyguard. Their hands were full of shopping bags - her conquests from the shopping spree earlier.

Just a short while after they had started walking, the sound of a baby crying came from the stroller. The woman put the girl she was carrying down and bent down to check on the child in the stroller. The two Mexican middle-aged women stopped alongside her and looked around, their attention attracted by the luxury shops all around.

The little girl, who had just been placed on the ground, did not look a day past four years old. Turning around, she saw a clown across the street, smiling at her. The clown was holding onto a bunch of balloons. Smiling, the little girl waddled away from her family and helpers towards the clown on the opposite side of the road.

The clown was a marketing gimmick from one of the shops. Upon seeing that the little girl was waddling towards her, she was extremely nice and selected a yellow helium balloon for her to match her outfit. The little girl was overjoyed. Holding onto the helium balloon's string, she began running unsteadily towards her mother on the opposite side of the road.

Just then, the sound of revving engines howled from the other end of 5th Street. Shocked, the little girl stood in the middle of 5th Street, unable to move an inch, looking helplessly at multiple black Cadillacs speeding towards her!

As the Cadillacs sped towards the little girl, many passers by screamed at them to stop. There was only the panic-stricken girl in the middle of the road. She was clad in a bright yellow princess-style dress, holding onto a yellow helium balloon. It was extremely eye-catching.

"Mary! Mary! Help! Somebody! Please help!" The woman in Chanel had finally noticed that her little girl had run to the middle of 5th Street and was too afraid to move. The Cadillacs were driving towards her at full speed!

They weren't just speeding towards her; the sounds of gunshots could be heard along 5th Street. The men inside the Cadillacs had opened their windows, and the arms coming out of the windows had guns. They were shooting at each other.

The pedestrians understood what was going on immediately. This was a gunfight between the gangs in New York City! People who resided in New York City knew that Cadillacs were almost a default symbol of these gangs...

Recently, there had been too many military police around trying to capture the "Asian kidnapper." However, the gangs in New York City had lost a huge amount of money because of this. They all felt that the police in New York used the hunt for this "Asian kidnapper" as an excuse to combat their influence in the area. Therefore, these gangs felt that they had had enough and were finally going all out today!

Huo Shaoheng had initially hidden behind a phone booth upon hearing the sound of arriving cars. However, the little girl, who was scared stiff in the middle of the road, was right in front of him! He looked at the little girl for a second before his body reacted faster than his mind. He dashed out from behind the phone booth.

Pushing himself off a parked BMW, his long legs went over the fence and the car, and he ran towards the middle of 5th Street. Just as he bent down to pick up the little girl, the black Cadillacs were already speeding towards them from three of the lanes. Huo Shaoheng moved swiftly and managed to avoid two of them that were coming from the side, but he did not manage to avoid the one that was coming right at them! He only had time to hug the little girl and roll onto the ground. They were almost lying flat, and he was protecting the little girl in his arms.

The pedestrians, who had hidden inside the shops to watch what was going on, cheered in awe. Some of them covered their eyes in nervousness, thinking they might witness two bodies under the cars.

The Cadillac that was speeding towards them did not have any intention of slowing down. It drove over Huo Shaoheng's back just like that. The car arrived in the middle of the street in the blink of an eye, and all the passers by had thought that Huo Shaoheng and the little girl had already died under the car. However, Huo Shaoheng had already rolled over to the side of the road with the little girl in his arms. He got up, carrying the girl, and placed her in front of the woman who was dashing towards him. Then, he left 5th Street immediately without a word.

The woman clad in Chanel was so shocked that she carried her daughter and cried. When she finally calmed down, she realized that the man who saved her daughter had disappeared. She was extremely touched. Looking around, she realized that there was a CCTV on the shop's front, facing 5th Street. She entered the shop and asked the shopkeeper to give her the recording. She even volunteered to pay for it, because she sincerely wanted to find this kind-hearted man. She wanted to thank him personally for saving her daughter.

However, when she walked into the shop's security control room and watched the footage, she realized that the location where the man had saved her daughter was in the CCTV's blind spot. The camera had only recorded footage of the Cadillacs' arrival and departure. The most they could do was to find out their license plate number. The man could not be seen.

"What a waste..." The woman shook her head disappointedly and left the shop. What she did not know was that in one of the rooms in the building across the way, there were more than ten High Definition surveillance cameras capturing every single thing that was happening on that street. Actually, cameras like those on the streets of New York City were common. They had merely increased the numbers recently in order to capture Huo Shaoheng within a shorter amount of time.

...

Fifteen minutes later, in the branch office building of the CIA of America, a handsome blond man with blue eyes was sitting behind the desk, wearing a crisp black suit. He was looking fixedly at the camera footage sent just a couple of minutes ago. He touched his chin thoughtfully, lips curling into a triumphant smile.

"Thomas, bring me a cuppa." The man paused the footage, swung his legs to rest on the desk, leaned back, and cushioned his head with his hands. Then, he looked at the door of his office gleefully.

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In a couple of minutes, the door was pushed open, and a man who was almost 50 brought a cup of coffee to him unwillingly. "Here's your coffee, Mr. Sean." He placed the cup of coffee on the desk respectfully and glimpsed at this man. His eyes were full of envy. This man, Sean, was only in his early thirties, but his rank was way higher than his.

Thomas had been with the CIA for half his life and had only been promoted to Assistant Director when he was almost 50 years old. He had thought that he would be promoted to Director of the Department of Security and Intelligence in South East Asia, but someone new whom they said was extremely well known took the position. That person was none other than Sean.

Sean graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Masters before joining the CIA. He worked in Europe for a few years before returning to America. He was already the rising star, and therefore, got promoted to the position of Director of the Department of Security and Intelligence the moment it was vacant.

Even though he was unhappy about it, he knew that Sean was indeed capable. Therefore, Thomas only blamed himself for not being good enough. However, he was rather pissed at how Sean always liked treating him like a maid.

Taking the coffee, Sean took a sip and his brows furrowed. "Why did you put in sugar and milk? Redo it. I don't like coffee like this. I want black coffee with nothing added! I've repeated this upteen times; why can't you remember it? Are you having dementia already?!"

Thomas was nearly in tears. He remained silent as he took the coffee out and made a new cup, placing it in front of Sean. Sean took a sip before drinking it contentedly. Putting down the cup, with his legs still resting on the table, he asked Thomas triumphantly, "Have you seen this footage? What do you think?"

Thomas squinted. It was CCTV footage of a white man on 5th Street. Clasping his hands, he said, "I... I think that this person is really brave and kind. He saved the little girl, didn't he?"

"Just that?!" Sean raised his eyebrows and looked Thomas up and down. "Tsk tsk. No wonder you're still at such a rank at this age. Giving you that rank is the organization being nice to you! With such dim wittedness for detail, you should be a server or cleaner, not an officer in the CIA!"

Humiliation! He was definitely humiliating him! Thomas was shaking with anger. Glaring at Sean, he clenched his fists but did not move an inch, as he did not dare to do anything to Sean. Even though they hadn't worked together for long, Sean already knew this middle-aged man's character through and through. He was merely a yes-man. Chuckling, Sean shook his head. "Angry? Not convinced? Let me convince you."

Sean started the footage again. "Look at his hand. He supported himself with one hand on the car and jumped over just like that. Then he grabbed the girl and rolled over before lying flat, facing the ground, successfully hiding himself from the car. With such an eye for detail, judgment, and angle, along with his moves, don't you feel that it's something familiar?"

"Familiar? I only think that he's a faster runner compared to others, and luck was on his side, just like you, Mr. Sean." Thomas couldn't help but still mock at Sean a little.

"Ha." Sean laughed. "Are you mocking me, Thomas? What right do you have to mock me? I'm the director, and you're the assistant, simply because I can see things that you can't!" With that, he pointed at the computer screen. "Look there. This action of using only one arm to support himself before jumping over the entire hood of the car, and the way he laid flat down when the car was coming over are the standard movements of a soldier!"

"Soldier?!" Thomas raised his head abruptly. "What soldier? I don't remember us learning such moves before!" Prior to joining the CIA, Thomas was a retired soldier of the United States Army.

Sean hit the table, laughing. "Of course it isn't our soldier. He's a soldier from the Hua Xia Empire, and this is an action the soldiers from the Special Forces are trained to do!"

Thomas's heart skipped a beat. He looked at Sean in awe, his tone suddenly becoming respectful. "You know about this as well?!"

"Of course. When I was appointed Director of the Department of Security and Intelligence in South East Asia, I focused on the mysterious man, Huo Shaoheng, from the Hua Xia Empire. I collected all his news and footage since he joined the army. Do you want to see videos of him when he was training under the founder of Mossad in Israel?"

"You can get that, too? You're amazing, Mr. Sean." Thomas continued looking at Sean in awe. "As you say, Mr. Sean. I'll listen to you henceforth."

Sean laughed even louder. He had finally gotten the assistant director's approval, the old man of the Department of Security and Intelligence in South East Asia. As long as his spine had been broken, everyone in the department would listen to him without a doubt.