Doppio Senso – Chapter 11.1


68 hours later.
Shenzhen, China. Pleasure district.

The red lighting shone down in the dark bar. Now that it was closer to midnight, it was bustling with customers. The price to enter wasn’t cheap, and it only served the best liquors, making it a luxury bar. The person sitting opposite of KyungHyun filled his cup to the brim with liquor and continued to speak excitedly.

[I heard bits and pieces of what happened in Korea. Things like that can happen when it comes to business between men. I don’t think such a big deal needs to be made over something like that.]

KyungHyun smiled and tossed back the strong liquor he had been offered. He felt the aromatic liquor go down his throat and spread out through his nose and head.

[I apologize for any worries the disgraceful scandal may have caused.]

The man who was sharing drinks with KyungHyun was the leader of the largest cartel in China, Li Kahui. With his origins in Macau, the organization had grown into a large mafia group that spread its influence by smuggling drugs.

Because their headquarters were thoroughly hidden and secured and because they alternated their activities between Hong Kong and mainland China, the law enforcement authorities had a difficult time catching them. The Chinese police force was frantically trying to find a way to apprehend them.

[Although it’s unfortunate that the one in charge of this deal has been replaced in the middle of our trade agreement, as long as everything goes off without a hitch, it doesn’t matter to us.]

He was talking about Noh HyungChul’s decision to include Im SungJoon in this transaction. Up until now, they had only interacted with KyungHyun when it came to this business partnership. Because they highly prioritized their security, it was only expected that they would be unhappy with the addition of a new face.

[Since we only saw Director Shin up until this point… There is a Chinese saying that goes like this. If you meet someone three times, they are considered an old friend. Since this is our third meeting, we won’t needlessly worry.]

The young drug dealer spoke fluent English and smiled meaningfully. At first, his words may have sounded friendly, but it was obviously a veiled warning to KyungHyun. If anything went wrong with the deal, KyungHyun would be the only one to blame.

[My organization is a strong believer in obeying the commands of the superior, so thank you for understanding.]

He needed to reassure Li Kahui. After specifying that the entrance of Im SungJoon wasn’t his own decision but a command sent from above, KyungHyun emphasized that this wouldn’t affect their business deal in any way. If Li Kahui decided to back out now, all of their plans to apprehend them would be tossed out the window.

[Of course I understand. Why do you think I left my old organization and went off on my own?]

Li Kahui took out a sharp cigar cutter to cut his finished cigar. The thick cigar cleanly snapped off with a cheerful click of the cutter.

[Even if the pick is in the pocket, it will always poke out.]

Watching his confident expression, KyungHyun’s lips slowly stretched into a smile. As if he wanted to bring up the mood, Li Kahui grabbed the liquor bottle engraved with dragons and filled KyungHyun’s glass up to the brim.

[Here, business is business. We came out to share a drink, so let’s enjoy it. I must wholeheartedly receive our guest who has come such a long way. You have a long road ahead of you tomorrow, isn’t that right?]

KyungHyun clinked his glass with Li Kahui’s. The bitter liquor burned as it went down his throat and emptied into his stomach.

Two days had passed since his last phone call with EunHa. Tonight would make the night of the third day. It wasn’t difficult to find the place she had mentioned. Egoist was the most famous brothel in Shenzhen. As soon as he landed in China, KyungHyun had basically set up camp here, but he didn’t see the one he was waiting for.

As more time passed by, KyungHyun felt as if his blood was drying up in his veins. Around this time, Li Kahui appeared. It was a chance meeting, but it was more likely that Li Kahui had been keeping an eye on him ever since he landed. Just like General Manager Cha said.

[If there’s a girl who catches your eye, just say the word. This place is also under my jurisdiction.]

At KyungHyun’s questioning gaze, Li Kahui grinned.

[There’s no need to separate alcohol from sex. Where there’s alcohol, there needs to be women. And where there’s pleasure, there’s money. I have an incredible nose for money, you see.]

Li Kahui was not merely a VIP member of this establishment. He was actually the business owner. The fact that Lee EunHa had chosen this pace was a crazy coincidence. Those that dabbled in dangerous work lurked in dangerous places like ghosts. KyungHyun swallowed his scoff as the instincts he had honed as a member of a criminal organization proved to be right once again.

[It seems that the show is about to begin.]

Suddenly, the room was plunged into darkness. Men began to whistle throughout the room. A drum began to pound slowly but gradually quickened. Suddenly, a line of hostesses walked onto the stage from both sides. Other than the red lipstick, make up, and the long strings of pearls hanging from their necks, these slender beauties were all naked.

[What do you think?]

[Not bad.]

KyungHyun spoke indifferently as he breathed out the cigarette smoke. Every night at midnight, the show would begin. Instead of entertainment, this was more likely a dispatch of ladies to pick up potential customers for the night. Just to be sure, during the past two nights, KyungHyun had kept an eye out for her, but she wasn’t one of them.

[A new girl comes out every Thursday night…]

The beating of the drum suddenly stopped. The spotlight was focused on the center of the stage. The sounds of whistling men and appreciative claps began to grow louder.

“……!”

KyungHyun focused his gaze on one point. Someone was slowly walking into the spotlight. The woman was wearing very high heels and a Chinese dress. All of the eyes inside the establishment were drawn to her. It wasn’t solely because she was the only one clothed in a group of naked women.

[The qipao seems to suit that beauty very well.]

Li Kahui laughed in satisfaction as he took out a cigarette case. The white powder that had been prepared beforehand spilled out. KyungHyun bit his lower lip as he gazed piercingly at EunHa as she walked on the stage. He felt like his head would explode with the urge to grab her wrist and drag her outside.

[She’s like a red rose. Especially that thorny gaze.]

After snorting the drugs, Li Kahui sniffed and coughed like a dog. KyungHyun’s eyes shook dangerously as they remained glued to the stage. Her white face, her blood-red lips, and her long hair swept up securely on top of her head. Thanks to that, her distinct facial features seemed even more pronounced. Every time she took a step, the diamond earrings hanging down like teardrops shimmered in the light.

[Here, I’ve prepared this especially for you.]

KyungHyun didn’t even look at the drugs that Li Kahui handed over and accepted them. Once the white powder had completely disappeared from the iron plate, it fell onto the table. It felt like being doused in cold water. His mind seemed so clear in an instant, and his heart began to race inside his chest.

His vision clouded over for a moment, but suddenly, everything seemed twice as clear as it did before. EunHa lightly sat down on the chair that had been brought onto the stage. Normally, the slit ran up to the thigh on an average qipao. However, on the dress she was wearing, the slit ran all the way up to her waist.

As if returning to his senses, a man began to beat the drums once again. At the same time, EunHa spread her legs underneath the spotlight. The short skirt of the dress began to ride up her thighs as she slowly opened them, and a thick tension filled the room.

Every man caught their breaths. All the dark eyes glistened as they filled with desire for her. The drumming became louder and faster as did their heartbeats.

The person with the drumsticks in both hands continued to pound on the drum. Following the rhythm, the women on both sides of EunHa silently fell to their knees.

The garter belt holding up EunHa’s stockings appeared with her movements. The drumbeats stopped, and the sound of the wooden drumsticks clacking together rang inside the room. At this sound, EunHa frowned. As soon as her legs were completely open, her hand went to her side and ripped off the skirt.

Underneath her dress, there was only her garter belts and stockings. There was nothing covering her between her legs.

Click.

Suddenly, the lights turned off.

“……!”

After a moment of silence, someone’s shout seemed the rouse the rest of them. Overwhelmed with lust like savage dogs, the men noisily raised their hands.

[Now, it looks like tonight’s auction will begin. A deal between gentlemen needs to be done silently. Please present your price to the nearest employee near you.]

Once the lights came back on, the men scrambled around with their fingers raised. Standing sporadically across the room, the employees kept exchanging hand signals with them.

[It seems that one of the girls has caught your eye.]

Li Kahui chuckled as he looked at the frowning KyungHyun who seemed to be at a loss for words. For the past two days, he secretly watched KyungHyun enter this establishment. However, Li Kahui never saw him leave with any of the women. KyungHyun would merely drink liquor until closing time. It seemed that this picky man had finally found someone who interested him.

Suddenly, KyungHyun ripped his gaze away from the stage and slowly turned to Li Kahui. His movements were too smooth to say that he was completely high from the drug. However, his eyes told a different story. He looked like a madman as he bit down hard on his lower lip. His low voice seemed to rumble out of his throat.

[How much for the rose?]

“Fuck, seriously…”

As soon as she got off the stage, EunHa was taken somewhere else, and the door was locked from the outside. Unable to hide her shock, EunHa let out a curse. This place was the only club EunHa knew of in the area.

A few months ago, while working the job related to the jeweler, she had overheard someone talk about this place at a party. It was only 30 minutes away from the Shenzhen-Hong Kong ferry and was even connected by land.

‘Why here of all places…’

EunHa hurriedly paced around the room. In order to gain Kang SungHo’s trust, she told him she’d approach the drug traffickers. In order to do that, she needed to pretend to apply for a job here. She planned on working as a bartender as she waited to make contact with KyungHyun, but she never expected things to turn out the way it did.

This high-class bar operated on a membership basis. If she had known that this establishment was a well known brothel, she would never have picked this place.

For the past three days, from the moment she opened her eyes in the morning until the moment she closed them late at night, she was busy receiving beauty treatments on her whole body. Therefore, she didn’t even have the time to go to the bar. In this building, one entire floor was transformed into a beauty salon where the women could take care of their looks from head to toe.

Normally, she’d hum as she went along with it, but she was incredibly busy right now. She didn’t want to bother focusing on anything else other than her mission for even one hour. She tried to contact KyungHyun multiple times. However, worried that the phone was bugged, KyungHyun had thrown it away and changed his number. Therefore, when she tried to call, all she got was an empty message telling her the number she tried to call was no longer in service.

‘This is why doing your research is important, you idiot.’

She gripped her glossy, well-treated hair and almost pulled it out of her scalp as she berated herself. However, this wouldn’t change anything. She was about to receive her first customer.

After telling YongJoon that the leader of the drug trafficking organization frequented this bar, he unpacked their luggage at a nearby business hotel. YongJoon didn’t understand a lick of Chinese, so he had no choice but to believe whatever she said.

The problem was that she didn’t have the luxury of being locked up in here for too long. And she definitely didn’t want to be pinned down underneath a fat-bellied, Chinese millionaire.

[Please enjoy your time.]

She heard the voice of the waiter outside the door. Her eyes widened in shock.

Damn it. Was it already time?

She didn’t have much time to ponder over this. When she heard the door open, EunHa moved quickly. Past the big bed and strange lights, she saw a bathroom in the corner of the room.

Click.

As soon as she ran inside, she heard someone enter the room. EunHa hurriedly turned the shower faucet. As the sound of rushing water filled the room, she sat down on the toilet and bit her lips.

‘What should I do?’

Plan A. She could go out and attack the Chinese millionaire. It would be a godsend if he wasn’t a pervert who brought someone else along to share the bed, but if things got noisy, it would be quite troublesome.

Then the only option left was Plan B. She needed to escape without getting caught. However, she was completely trapped in here, so how? EunHa raised her head and let out a deep breath. As she hopelessly looked around the room, she finally saw a small window on the other side of the bathroom.

Please… please…

Stepping onto the sink, she went up and slightly opened the window. A bright smile illuminated her face. The window wasn’t barred and opened with a creak.

When her feet finally managed to land on the ground, EunHa let out a sigh of relief and looked around. She was in a dark, narrow alleyway. She couldn’t even see the hazy light of the bar sign. She saw a narrow door next to her. She believed it was a door leading to the kitchen of a restaurant. The heap of fruit peels and empty bottles seemed to confirm her suspicions. Even though this city was packed with bright signs and buildings, she had still managed to find herself in a dark pocket of the city where no light was in sight.

“They didn’t even give me my daily wage. And now what have I gotten myself into?”

She spoke aloud the thought that had been running through her head as she crawled down the drainpipe. EunHa reached up and pulled out the red hairpin that was securing her hair in place. Her long hair fell down and covered her face. She could see a large street at the end of the alleyway. For now, she needed to find a 24-hour convenience store and find something to wear as a disguise. Then she planned on hiding herself somewhere nearby.

The reason why she didn’t leave this place immediately was that there was someone she needed to meet. If it wasn’t for that, she would have gone to the hotel where YongJoon was waiting for her and move on to the next step in her plan.

Where could he be?

She never even imagined that KyungHyun wasn’t here. She had even accommodated the bar manager’s order to go on the stage in order to find him. However, she wasn’t able to see him because he was in the 2nd floor VIP room with Li Kahui.

EunHa began to walk quickly as she took out a small cellphone and some money hidden inside her bra. She had argued with the manager furiously when he ordered her to go on the stage naked just so that she could keep this with her. Only when she showed the scar from the gunshot wound and the scar from digging a knife into her skin to take out the GPS chip did the manager angrily agree and give her some clothes.

[Just what did you do before you rolled in here?]

[Everyone has at least one story that they cannot tell without shedding tears.]

Thanks to that, she was able to hide her necessary items and keep them with her. Just thinking about how close she had been to escaping in the nude put a bad taste in her mouth.

EunHa angrily flipped open the old cellphone. YongJoon answered as soon as it began to ring.

“It’s me.”

– Hey, what happened? You suddenly disappeared from the stage.

EunHa put a hand up to cover her mouth and the receiver as she answered in a soft voice.

“I’ve successfully made contact.”

– Is the bastard who bought you the leader of the cartel? He stayed in the 2nd floor VIP lounge and never came out, so I didn’t get a look at his face. Well, I guess it would be strange for a leader of such a large organization to be out and about without his lackeys around.

He was normally a dull-witted person, so she didn’t expect much from him. However, he surprisingly went along with the script in her head and managed to follow her into the bar. It seemed that all these years in the mob had thickened his skull but broadened his mind. She never knew that not having to explain herself was this nice.

“You’re right. I was lucky.”

– That Chinese son of a bitch… That rich ingrate. Is it that easy to blow $20,000 dollars for one night?

YongJoon scoffed. EunHa stopped in her tracks and frowned.

“How much?”

– He paid $20,000.

As soon as she heard the number, EunHa felt her insides begin to grow warm. Used as other men’s entertainment only to squeeze herself out of a small window to escape… EunHa felt a sense of disappointment burn in her gut.

“Those fucking bastards.”

– Hey, why are you cursing all of a sudden?

As soon as YongJoon expressed his anger, EunHa brushed off the regret and shook her head.

“Whatever. I need to stick by those sons of bitches and get more information, so just wait for my call. If you hang around the bar, you might catch someone’s eye.”

– You don’t know the date of the transaction yet?

“I’ll probably find out sometime this week.”

EunHa didn’t know that KyungHyun had pulled the date forward. YongJoon spoke up as if asking for a favor.

– Boss said he would arrive tonight. Make sure you don’t make any mistakes. Don’t make him mad like you did last time. If you mess up this time, Boss really won’t let you off easy…

At YongJoon’s words, EunHa froze. The wind brushed against her cheeks, and she felt a shiver run down her spine. Kang SungHo was coming to China. This meant that they were now entering the final act. EunHa glared into the distance and chuckled.

“Just mind your own business, you bastard.”

– Hey, you fucking…

“I can’t talk for long. I’ll call you later.”

Before YongJoon could reply, EunHa ended the call. After taking out the cellphone’s battery, EunHa threw it into the sewer hole. She was just about to exit the alleyway when…

“Hmm…!”

Somebody suddenly covered her mouth with their hand. Her eyes widened in shock.

Damn it. Had she been caught already?

Even the idiot YongJoon had managed to successfully figure it out. This large establishment had its roots in the mafia. EunHa fumbled with the garter belt on her thigh. She had brought the hairpin with her just in case. Who knew that she’d be using it here? It was made of iron, so it might not be able to pierce through the skin, but she could still poke it in someone’s eye.

“Wait. Let’s talk this out, hmm?”

Once she grabbed the hairpin, she raised her arm with all her might. At that moment, her body was flipped around and her back was pressed against the wall. The man holding both of her arms was panting. EunHa relaxed her arm and the red hairpin fell to the ground.


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