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622 Conveniences Sake

 Gu Nianzhi picked up her iPad and began searching for information about the Königssee, a two-hour drive from Munich. A stunningly beautiful photo appeared on the iPad. The lake had originally been a narrow waterway that sliced through the tall Alps and had been left behind by glacial erosion during the Ice Age. The lake was completely transparent and faintly tinged blue, like a green dash on the finest jade bracelet, swirling amongst the mountain peaks like a jade ribbon.

The autumn morning was covered with a fine mist, and a short distance away was the snow-capped summit of the Alps, and along with the yellow and red leaves of the mountain forests, it was as exquisite as an oil painting. The Königssee seemed like something out of a fairytale.

Propping her chin up with both hands, Gu Nianzhi lay on the bed and stared at the exquisite photo. She couldn't help blushing. Tomorrow, she would see Huo Shao... She had bought another Zippo lighter for him, so she could take it with her.

...

On the same dark night, the Munich Regional Hospital sat in darkness. The moonlight was very beautiful, cloaking the earth with a light veil. Unwilling to be outshone, the sparkling stars decorated the entire night sky. Few people were walking about the hospital, and the cobblestone paths from the 18th century glowed with specks of blue under the moonlight.

People were often the drowsiest at midnight, and the two policemen sitting on the bench in front of Seth's room were slumped over in sleep. Their occasional snores punctuated the loneliness of night in the hospital.

Amidst the serene night, a bird suddenly cried several times-the sound was jarring. Seth, who should've been in a deep sleep, opened his eyes and looked around. There were no other people in the room except for himself. The window was half open and covered with a white veil of a curtain. A breeze from outside traveled into the room, carrying the night's humidity, and the white curtain began to billow like waves. The weather report had predicted heavy rain the next day.

Soon after, the bird cried out from the window again, this time five times. Seth's two hands had been cuffed to the bed, but there was a length of chain connected to the bedpost on each cuff to allow him to raise his arms slightly without him being able to move too far from the bedpost. Flipping over, he nudged the pillow with his head. In the moonlight from outside the window, he could see a key lying underneath the pillow.

Seth shifted his head closer until he could pick up the key with his mouth, then turned over to sit up and bend over. With the key in his mouth, he poked it several times into the lock on the handcuffs before he could fit it in. Turning the key slightly with his teeth, the right cuff finally opened!

Seth glared at the offending handcuff and violently shoved it onto the ground. He then picked up the key with his right hand to unlock the left cuff. Now that his arms were freed, he stretched his arms, which had been cuffed for several days, and was able to sit up and remove his leg from the splint. His leg was not fractured but slashed several times with a knife. Although it had hurt like hell when it'd happened-and he loathed the doctor who had proposed the idea-he'd stopped cursing when the plaintiff's lawyer had visited and had actually confirmed his injuries.

He had to remove the splint, then change into the sneakers he had prepared in the early morning. Opening the curtains, he jumped outside the window. Seth's room was on the third floor, which wasn't a long distance from the ground. There was a zig-zag shaped stairway outside his window that led directly to connect to the first floor-this had originally been a fire escape route that the hospital had added according to regulations. His stepfather York had purposely planned for him to stay there for convenience's sake.

Seeing that the first trial could no longer be delayed, and because the trial had been live-streamed, it was possible that he wouldn't be acquitted as previously agreed upon, meaning he would end up in jail for sure. But Seth didn't want to go to jail at all, and his stepfather York also didn't want to see his authority challenged, so he had made a move. Although Seth would become a fugitive, it was still better than spending the rest of his life in jail. Also, if he left Germany and the case dragged on indefinitely, maybe he wouldn't end up a fugitive...

Holding the iron handrail, Seth walked down the zigzag stairs step by step, his pace hurried. When he finally came down the last step to the first floor, he saw a duffel bag placed by the corner of the stairs. This was for him, and he knew that because his mother had secretly told him everything when she'd visited a few days ago. Seth opened it to see a change of clothes and car keys, as well as a passport under a different name, a wallet full of cash, and several new bank cards that weren't under his name or his parents or relatives. That way, he wouldn't have to worry about being tracked when taking money out. With his passport, he could freely go to any EU country without worrying about a visa.

Seth quickly removed his hospital gown and changed into the clothes in the bag, then carried the bag and the car keys as he strode out. A few nurses were on the night shift in the hospital lobby, and it was brightly lit with security lights at the door. Seth turned the corner and looked back to smirk at the castle-like hospital. He walked out without looking back.

Not far from the hospital was a black SUV that nearly melded into the dark night. Seth knew this car had been prepared for him. Taking out the car key from the duffel bag, he only had to press it to unlock the doors remotely.

Just as he was about to walk over, he suddenly saw several people cloaked in black walking out from behind the trees flanking the road. They stood by the SUV. All of them wore sunglasses. With their strong and strapping bodies, it was obvious that they weren't nice people. Them simply standing there was enough to send chills down Seth's spine.

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Seth's heart dropped. He retreated a few steps and was about to run the other way. But as he turned, several more people in the same black outfits and sunglasses walked out from behind him. The group of people in black came from in front and behind to surround and trap him in the middle. Seth's leg shook uncontrollably, and he nearly knelt on the ground. Looking at the people in black, he asked, "Who...? Who are you people?"

The black-clothed figures regarded him silently, still as statues. No one replied or moved. Seth's legs were paralyzed with fear, and he fell to the ground.

Suddenly, two loud claps sounded from behind the black-cloaked figures. Several of them moved aside to clear a path. With widened eyes, Seth saw a voluptuous woman coming over with long, straight hair and a round face. She wore Prada baroque glasses. Someone followed him-Seth's stepfather, York.

Thank God! York crossed himself and felt the strength return to his legs. He stumbled up.

"Father!"

York nodded at him but didn't say anything as he stood solemnly to the side. The lenses of the Prada baroque glasses were so large and round that they covered half of the woman's face. In the dark night, Seth couldn't see what she looked like at all.