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Sands of Time

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The SID has been in the pursuit of the criminal for a week now. Just last night they came close to catching him, but he got away at the last moment. Zhao Yunlan wanted to get his hands on him as soon as possible. T

Dixingren has been luring people into having sex and then increasing their adrenaline so high that they die by cardiac arrest. He has already killed three people. 

Shen Wei aka The Black Cloaked Envoy too has been indirectly and directly trying to find him, by helping the SID as Professor Shen Wei and trying to track the criminal as Hei Pao Shi. But he has cloaked his energy so well that Shen Wei's only been getting traces of his power after he has made the kill. 

It was past midnight, but no one had left the office yet. All of them were converged around Lin Jing, who was trying to trace his location by following the traffic cams from the place he was last seen. 

Zhao Yunlan threatened him, "Lin Jing, get him fast. We can't waste anymore time. The Xingdu Bureau has been on my ass to apprehend him fast. Have you located him yet. If you don't within the next five minutes, not only your bonus but I'll dock your salary too for the next three months."

"Chief Zhao, I'm tracking him. Can't you see that. And you can't cut off my salary...I-I-I'll go to Labour court." Lin Jing tried to counter threaten him.

Zhao Yunlan started to give some colourful reply but before he could say more than a word, Shen Wei cut him off saying, "Lin Jing, please don't take it to the heart. He's just tensed, we all know you are trying your best, it's  just that this is a matter of life or death and only you can save all the other lives by finding the criminal."

Shen Wei said it so earnestly that Lin Jing immediately doubled his efforts.Shen Wei then looked at Zhao Yunlan and just shook his head, trying to remind him to be calm.

Zhao Yunlang but kept quiet. He knows his officers are doing everything they can, but the culprit is too careful. He keeps on changing his location from one end of the city to another .

There was a packet full of dried fish on the nearby table but Da Qing didn't even glance at them. Zhu Hong, usually to be immaculately dressed was quite in a disarray. Wang Zheng and Xiao Guo too were nervously looking at the computer. Chu Shuzhi was standing gritting his teeth.Everyone wanted this case to be over. 

The victims were rich people who were friends with each other. It was clear the suspect was targeting them specifically, but the reason was unknown.The news couldn't get out or it will be an insult to their families as they died while having sex.  So the other members were giving pressure to the top officials to finish this as soon and as quietly as possible, who in turn are pressurizing the SID. 

Finally after a tense fifteen minutes Lin Jing gave a shout of exclamation, "Ahhh, there he is. Chief, look, that's our guy". He kept pointing at a distorted image moving on the screen.

Yunlan and others tried to make out his form but it was too blurry. So they decided to take Lin Jing on his word.

Yunlan immediately shouted out the orders, "Lin Jing send the coordinates to Zhu Hong and keep on tracking him from here. Lao Chu, Zhu Hong both of you with me.

Damn Cat hold down the fort. Wang Zheng if anyone calls from the Bureau about the case, tell them we are on pursuit of the criminal. 

Shen Wei, Xiao Guo, stay here. Or better yet, Shen Wei get home, I'll meet you there later". 

Saying this he hurried to his jeep accompanied by Chu Shuzhi and Zhu Hong.
Shen Wei turned to Xiao Guo, who was looking worried for his teammates. He consoled him,"Don't worry Xiao Guo. They will catch him and they will be fine. I'll leave now, I will talk to Chief Zhao when he gets back or I'll see him tomorrow morning. Alright". He tried to calm him and made his excuse to get out of there.

Xiao Guo nodded and told him to get home safely. Shen Wei just smiled and went out. He was not going to his house. No one knew he was Hei Pao Shi. 

He knows Zhao Yunlan has some doubts regarding him but even he doesn't suspect him of being The Envoy and Shen Wei intends to keep it that way.

He traced Chu Shuzhi's energy and followed behind the jeep silently. They had reached a Five Star Hotel. Shen Wei still kept to the dark. 

Here, Zhao Yunlan and the other two, went up to the reception and showed the photo of the criminal. 

Zhao Yunlan enquired the staff, "Have any of you seen him?" The staff were reluctant to share any information. They glanced between each other uneasily. 

Chu Shuzhi banged the table and warned them, "We're from SID, if you don't co-operate with the investigation, we'll arrest you all."

The staff immediately nodded and the manager said, "Sorry Sir, we didn't know who you were. Yes he came in today with one of our clients half an hour back. They are in his room"

"Who's the client and give the key to the room" demanded Yunlan. The manager gave the key but said, "Sir it's a suite at the back end. We value the privacy of our clients. Can't you wait till Mr.Zin is finished to investigate the matter? I hope the Hotel's reputation doesn't come under trouble. "

Zhu Hong hissed, "If we don't stop him, your client will be too dead to worry about his privacy" Saying this all of them started running to the room. 

Shen Wei who had taken a look at the room number on the key, went ahead of them and teleported inside the room. Mr.Zin was laying on the bed and the perpetrator was straddling him. Shen Wei gave a push with his dark energy, that threw him away from the victim.

Mr.Zin screamed seeing this. He blabbered, "Wha-wha-What is going on? Who are you? How did you get in?"
But neither Shen Wei nor the suspect responded to him. Before Shen Wei can subdue him, the criminal ducked out and rolled out.

On the other side of the room, the SID members hearing the scream of Mr.Zin hurried along. They pushed open the door to see Hei Pao Shi sending out dark energy at the culprit and him dodging it.

Chu Shuzhi then sent out his puppet strings, the criminal tried to move aside, the strings missed his hands, but caught his legs. 

He fell down but used his hands to send out his own streak of energy at Zhao Yunlan who was standing next to Chu Shuzhi.

Shen Wei immediately moved in front of him and he didn't have time to block it. So he took the full force of it and staggered. Zhao Yunlan who was shocked at the turn of events, immediately steadied him, his left hand coming around his back and right hand catching his shoulder.

Old Chu saw this and was enraged at the guy for harming the Envoy. His puppet strings quickly wound around his whole body tightly and kept him on the floor.

Zhao Yunlan shouted,"What did you do?" Then looked at the Envoy in his arms and asked him,"Brother Black, are you feeling alright? Did he do anything?" Even Chu Shuzhi and Zhu Hong looked at him worriedly. They had never seen the Envoy ever taking a hit. 

Shen Wei didn't feel anything wrong. His energy flow was not disturbed and he didn't feel any lasting pain from the impact. He could feel Zhao Yunlan's arms surrounding him and thought of just staying there. It felt like he had come home after a long journey. But he cleared his mind, this was not the time for such thoughts.

He stepped out of Zhao Yunlan's hold and said, "Please don't concern yourself, I'm not wounded Chief Zhao." Yunlan nodded but still couldn't shake the feeling of having the Envoy pressed upon him. It felt right to hold him in his arms. He thought he was going mad with no sleep in the past days.

Zhu Hong walked over to Mr.Zin who was shaking on the bed with fear and threw a shirt lying on the bed at him. "Come on, this is a crime scene and I need to take your statement." Mr.Zin got up with a blanket wrapped around and took the shirt too. Then both left the room.

The Envoy went near the guy lying on the floor. Zhao Yunlan thought The Envoy is going to straight away take him to Dixing and was thinking of a way to get his statement before he gets taken away.  But to his surprise, The Envoy just knelt next to him and asked him calmly

"What is your name? Why have you been killing these people? What did they do to deserve death?"

Zhao Yunlan was shocked to see Hei Pao Shi calmly asking him questions. He thought he would knock him unconscious and take him through the portal. 

The guy started speaking slowly, "My name is Li Jun. I don't repent killing them My Lord because they all deserved their death. They deserved to die like this because they could do anything to get sex. Bloody fiends, rapists." He began crying at the end.

Now Zhao Yunlan too came forward and knelt near him. He asked "What happened?" He could discern that a grave crime had been committed against him, but he wanted all the details.

Li Jun scoffed, "As if you would believe me and even if you do, will you do anything to give justice to a lowly Dixingren like me?" 

Zhao Yunlan said, "Try me, no one is lowly in front of law. All are equal." Shen Wei continued, "I promise you will be given justice."

Li Jun looked at both of them sitting in front of him and saw the truth in their eyes. He started in a shaky voice, "My sister, my baby sister, was raped by these people. There was five of them, Zhang Dong, Wu Chang, Liu Peng, Zin Jiang and Yang Feng.

My Sister and I worked in a restaurant owned by Wu Chang. Last month, when I left after my shift, he retained my sister and called over his friends. The-then they all raped her. They dumped her in the woods nearby. I searched for her and only found her by tracing her energy. But when I reached her too late, she was very weak and I couldn't save her.

Her whole body was littered with wounds and blood. Those bastards hurt her so much and she spent her last moments in immense pain. I should have saved her. I shouldn't have left her alone. I should have searched sooner."

He was crying so hard. Zhao Yunlan fisted his hand so tightly and gritted his teeth to stop himself from going out and killing Zin. He turned to look away from Li Jun's tear streaked face and his gaze fell upon Hei Pao Shi. 

He was taken aback with what he saw. Dark energy was swirling in his hand and only because he was sitting so close to him, he could see water drops hanging on his eyelids. His mouth was set in a thin line and there was a slight trembling throughout his body. It looked like his whole body was thrumming with energy.

Zhao Yunlan knew he had to distract him before he went after the remaining two criminals. Even though he wanted them to pay for their crime, if The Envoy injured Haixingren, then it will lead to a huge political mess. So he started speaking to Li Jun.

"I'm extremely sorry for your loss. Please calm down. I promise you, her killers will pay for their sins. I'll not stop until justice is serverd."

Li Jun took a deep breath and said, "Sir, I've already killed the three of them. I called them saying I have evidence of their crime and to bring me money. When I met them, I made them feel pleasured and killed them with spiking their heart rate. I didn't have intercourse with these scoundrels. It just looked like that. Only Zin Jiang and Yang Feng are left. Just let me kill them and then I'll die too. There's nothing left to live for anyways."

Shen Wei fellt the rage burning in him and along with that guilt clawed at his heart. It was his duty to protect the Dixingrens and he had failed the little girl. He can do only one thing to repent, so he composed himself and said, 

"By killing them, only you will be seen as a criminal. They will be treated as victims and no one will know the truth. If you want other girls to be saved from monsters like them, then their crime should be brought forward and they should be punished in front of the whole public. Only then such crimes will be stopped.

Saving the lives and dignity of other innocent girls will be the true justice you could give to your sister. Will you do that?"

Shen Wei spoke so solemnly and his words were so sincere. Li Jun looked at him and then at Zhao Yunlan, who too nodded reassuringly at him. He closed his eyes as if steeling himself for a battle and then opened them with a determination.

"Lord Envoy, I don't want anyone else to suffer what my sister went through. I'll accept punishment for my deeds, if it means they will pay for their sin. What should I do Sir?" His eyes held resolutness and showed that he's ready to face anything.

Shen Wei then looked at Chu Shuzhi, who released all his bindings. Zhao Yunlan helped him to stand. He said, "You will be kept in SID to give witness during their trial. But you need to trust me, it might take sometime to get them into prison. We would need solid evidence to do that."


Li Jun accepted this and said he trusts them. 


As they were leaving, Li Jun turned to Shen Wei and said, "Lord Envoy, my power is to increase Endorphins in the body. I killed them by making them too excited that their heart gave out. I'm extremely sorry my Lord, but when I sent out my energy, you got the brunt of it-"

Before he could say anymore, Zhao Yunlan cut in, "What! And you are saying this now? Take it back. Come on."

Shen Wei replied, "But I don't feel any difference."

Li Jun once again spoke up,  "My Lord, Chief, my power is not harmful. It just gives you a happy feeling, you feel like you are drunk. I have used it on myself many times.  I used all my energy to make them so excited, that their heart would stop with overwork. Otherwise it's just a harmless power. And I didn't send out a powerful blast at you my Lord. You won't feel much of it and it might take sometime for you to feel the high."

The Envoy looked like this wasn't a big deal but Zhao Yunlan was still sceptic. He said, "Don't forget you will be in our custody. So please don't lie." 

Li Jun just shook his head and said, "I know you both will help me. So I'm not going to lie or do anything that will endanger Lord Envoy."

Then the four of them walked outside. They saw Zin Jiang sitting in the corridor with a scowl on his face. He looked up when he saw them taking Li Jun out. He stood up and yelled, "Yeah arrest this bastard. He forced me to pay him money and then have intercourse with him. He threatened to kill my wife if I didn't do as he said."

Zhu Hong walked up to Yunlan and whispered," This is what he said to me, but I feel something is not right here." Zhao Yunlan replied, "You are correct, nothing is right here" saying this he turned to Zin Jiang and said,

"Mr.Zin, Thank God you are fine. I'm glad we could save you. 

Do not worry Mr.Zin he will be punished. But you shouldn't have come with him here alone, you could have been killed just like your friends. Now we wouldn't want that, would we. Why didn't you inform the police?" Zhao Yunlan acted he was worried for Zin Jiang's safety.

Zin Jiang stammered, "I-I-I didn't go to the police because, I didn't want to endanger my wife. I thought he just wanted the money and I'll give him that. I didn't know he was my friends killer. He must be hanged for his crimes." He feigned innocence.

Zhao Yunlan told him to be careful and then let him go.

Zhao Yunlan instructed Chu Shuzhi to tail him every second. Then he turned to Li Jun and said, "I'm only letting him go, so we can gather any evidence we can obtain against him. Now if he meets with Yang Feng, that also can be used. Please don't assume I'm going to let him live without any repercussions for his actions."

Li Jun said, "I understand Chief, I know it's very difficult to file a case against these rich people. They can buy anybody or anything. I have full faith in you that you will do the right thing. I'll give my full cooperation."

Zhu Hong was confused by this turn of events. But Yunlan signalled to tell her later. As they were about to leave the Black Cloaked Envoy stumbled a bit. Zhao Yunlan reached for him again and encircled his hand around his wrist.

Zhu Hong was flabbergasted, Yunlan was worried and Li Jun said, "It's starting, Lord Envoy might feel a bit out of sorts for a few hours. Please make sure he gets some rest. He will be fine as soon as his endorphins level come down."

Zhao Yunlan nodded and told Zhu Hong to take the taxi. She really didn't know what was happening, but decided to just follow his orders and if the suspect escapes then it will be Yunlan's fault for telling to take the taxi.

After they left, Zhao Yunlan turned to the Envoy, whom he was still holding and asked, "Brother Black, how are you feeling? Where would you like to go?" He was worried to see such a powerful being unstable but too scared to say something that might offend him.

Come on give him a break, he didn't know the protocol for taking care of the drunk Dixingren Warrior. You can't judge him for his cautiousness in dealing with this anomaly.

Not to his surprise, the Envoy just shook his head and said, "Chief Zhao, I'm fine. I'll take care of this. You can be on your way and I'll be back to help you gather evidence against them." 

He said it so matter of fact that Zhao Yunlan was tempted to believe him and he would have believed him and left him alone if not for the slight slur to his words and the fact that he hadn't still taken his hand back, in fact it looked like he was slightly leaning towars him, like he himself didn't realise it.

Now Zhao Yunlan was in a dilemma, he knew the Envoy needs his help but he clearly said he doesn't want his help. What will he do, if Yunlan doesn't listen to him? But before he can voice his opposition to leave him alone, the Envoy swayed and Yunaln felt the wind knocked out of him.

He tightened his hold on the Envoy and steadied himself and when he opened his eyes, his jaws dropped to the floor and his eyes widened like two huge saucers. He just murmured

"....Shen Wei...."

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text


The Black Cloaked Envoy aka Shen Wei looked at him with squinted eyes. His robes had disappeared as he couldn't control his energy flow. His face was blotched with pink. He looked the picture of a drunk.

He slurred, "Chhhief Zhao,  I'm sorry. I couldn't tell you." 


Zhao Yunlan was shocked but he couldn't say he was too stunned at the revelation. If he thought Black Cloaked Envoy would be masquerading as anyone it would be Professor Shen Wei.

He was at every crime scene, had stupid excuses for being there. He knew too much about Dixing and Dixingrens in general.

So he can't say this was unbelievable, majority of his shock was based on the fact that he had been relentlessly flirting with the most powerful being of Dixing and he hadn't been incinerated yet.

But he shook his head as if clearing his mind and decided to ponder on these later. He had a professor cum warrior to get home safely.

He started, "Shen, um, Brother Black..." He was not sure how to address him but he received his answer soon.

"Shen Wei is fine Zhao Yunlan."

Yunlan nodded and continued, "Shen Wei let's talk about everything later. I'll take you to the apartment. Come on." 

Saying this he secured his hold on him and gently led him out. Shen Wei kept steady remarkably well. Somehow they got to his jeep without raising any questions from the hotel staff.

Shen Wei got in and tried to buckle his seatbelt but it proved too complicated for his intoxicated mind. His fingers fumbled and his eyes were more close than open. Yunlan pushed his hands away and secured his belt. Shen Wei leaned his head on the seat and it lolled there loosely.

Yunlan could see that he was getting more drunk, for the lack of better word, as the time went by. But still he believed Li Jun that this would pass and went around to start the jeep.

During the ride Shen Wei seemed to have fallen asleep and his hands which were folded on his lap slid down during a speed bump and landed on Yunlan's thigh.

He jerked a bit and turned his head to see Shen Wei's expression, but he was still sleeping soundly. Yunlan couldn't resist but take his hand gently into his and squeezed it softly. Shen Wei's fingers curled atop his slightly. Yunlan wanted to hold hands with him but never pictured to do it in this setting.


They reached the apartment and Yunlan placed his hand back on his lap carefully. Then he exited the jeep and came to Shen Wei's side and opened his door. He removed his buckle but still there was no movement from his side. 

He mildly tapped on his cheek but received no reaction. So he tapped it a bit hard and finally Shen Wei gave a small groan and opened his eyes. 

His pupils were dilated and he looked smashed. He slowly looked at him for a few seconds and then  gave a huge smile to Zhao Yunlan and whispered, "Kunlun, you came back." 

Zhao Yunlan was stunned. He didn't know what to think of this. Apparently Shen Wei didn't recognise him and thought he's someone else.

He felt a sting knowing Shen Wei was thinking of someone else even in this intoxicated state. But he pushed it aside and debated whether to correct him or not.

He was apprehensive of his reaction, will he understand him or will he give a negative reaction to not having that person with him.

As usual Shen Wei didn't give him time to process anything and continued, "I've missed you so much. Don't leave me again."

Saying this he surged forward and kinda fell into his arms like he was expecting to be held.

Zhao Yunlan scrambled to hold his sudden weight. Shen Wei brought his arms around his neck and shoved his face into the crook between his neck and shoulder. Zhao Yunlan put his arms around his hips and moved closer to the jeep, as he didn't want Shen Wei to keep on stretching his body.


But he felt like he was betraying his trust by taking advantage of him. He knows Shen Wei would never behave like this with him and he's only doing this now because he thought he was someone else.

The sting grew even more and he felt like his chest was compressed and not getting enough air.

He somehow managed to push him away a bit, but Shen Wei's face turned too sad at being pushed away that Zhao Yunlan hurried to assure him, "Xiao Wei, come on let's go home. Then we can cuddle for all you want. Alright."

He didn't know why he said that name,he had never used it before but at the moment Shen Wei had looked so young, without any of his professor persona or the mask of the Envoy and it had slipped out of his mouth.

Hearing this Shen Wei's face brightened immediately and he tried to get down. But in his haste he would have face planted dragging Yunlan with him, but Yunlan somehow managed to keep them both on their feet.

Then he held him as securely as he could and started to climb the stairs. They meandered through the hallways and finally made it to his apartment. He opened the door with one hand and took him inside.

He proceeded to place Shen Wei on the couch, who just looked around his flat wonderingly. He was seeing this as though he had never seen anything like this. Then he turned around and asked Yunlan, "Is this where you reside now Kunlun?" 

Yunlan felt guilty for this Kunlun person because  his place resembled a pig sty and now Shen Wei was thinking this is Kunlun's house. He scratched the back of his neck and said,

"Sorry I couldn't clean because of too much work." As though he would have kept the place sparkling clean if he had the time.
Shen Wei nodded and his head fell way too down for a nod but he righted himself and said,

"Ahh, your work is too important. Don't fret, I'll clean it." Saying this he brought his hand to a fist and Zhao Yunlan hastily covered his hand.


When Shen Wei turned to him quizzically like he couldn't possibly fathom the reason why Zhao Yunlan wouldn't let him clean his room, he cleared his throat and said,

"What's the haste in cleaning Xiao Wei? I have to do work for a few more days and it'll be dirty again. We can clean it then or else it will be double the work."


Shen Wei simply said, "So what, I'll clean again Kunlun".

Yunlan felt his breath leave him in a rush, Shen Wei's eyes were filled with so much love and fondness. He wished someone, he would have preferred Shen Wei, would look at him like this. He felt extremely jealous of Kunlun.

But he controlled himself and said, "That's waste of energy Xiao Wei and you must always work smart. You would listen to me right?"

He didn't know what the dynamic between Shen Wei and this Kunlun person was, but he guessed Shen Wei obviously loved him and that means he would heed to his words.

Just like he thought Shen Wei nodded and then pulled him on the couch near him. Yunlan wanted to run away as far as he can. He knows when Shen Wei regains his sense, he will hate him for acting like his loved one but he didn't know what else he can do at the moment.

Shen Wei laid his head on his shoulder and now it was his turn to hold his hand. He kept fiddling with his hand. Yunlan went to suggest for him to take a nap but again Shen Wei beat him to it. 

He started by saying, "I waited a long time for you. There were days when I thought you wouldn't come back to me. I missed you a lot. Only thing that kept me going was trying to help my people. 

You said, I would choose this even if I was given a second chance and you were right. I couldn't just see them getting mistreated. So I stepped in and became a liaison between Dixing and Haixing.

But I always kept waiting for you. Hoping you would come back to me like you promised.

I knew you would not break your promise, but Kunlun, it was too difficult to believe that at times. I apologise for doubting you."


Shen Wei looked up at Zhao Yunlan with tears in his eyes. Zhao Yunlan couldn't respond in anyway.

He felt guilty for listening to this confession, felt sad that he could never have something special with that one person who made his heart skip a beat.

But above all he felt angry at Kunlun for not coming back to Shen Wei.


If he had been in his place he would never have left him. He would have been by his side, until death did them apart and even then he would have found his way back.

He wiped at the tears that fell down from those angelic eyes. He wanted to console him, but he had no words. He didn't know what was right or wrong to say at this juncture. He had already violated his trust by listening to this.


When this turmoil was going on in his mind, Shen Wei continued, " But you did come back to me Kunlun".

Yunlan felt like  he was drenched in ice cold water. So Kunlun did come back. He felt like an idiot to assume he wasn't present in Shen Wei's life.

It's not like he was Shen Wei's friend or anything. In fact he knows nothing about him and isn't that what kept him going back to him again and again.


Now he knew why Shen Wei never responded to any of his suggestions or advances. He was happily in love with his lover and Yunlan had been behaving like an idiot.

Now the anger on Kunlun redirected upon his own self for throwing himself at Shen Wei without even knowing if he had someone in his life. But he always felt like Shen Wei was equally interested, but was just holding back because of other reasons. Guess he was just projecting his own thoughts.

Shen Wei then slowly caressed his face and said, "I felt so happy when I saw you again that I held on to you longer than necessary but then I realised having you by my side hurt even more than not having you, because you didn't even know me.

You keep trying to get me without knowing that I've always been yours." Saying this he closed his eyes and more tears fell. Then his hand slowly slid down his face to his neck and finally on Yunlan's lap.  Shen Wei's head fell on Yunlan's chest and he slumped on him all together.

Again Yunlan felt his jaw dropping and he was stunned speechless at this revelation. Then he jolted when Shen Wei fell and looked down to see him sleeping with his mouth slightly parted.

Okay he was fine, absolutely fine, he was not hyperventilating. See his breathing was normal, it was just a little bit fast. Nothing wrong.

So he had formulated and discarded many theories in these few minutes, but Shen Wei's story kept on going through so many twists.

Now this was the icing on the cake. How could his lover not know him? Was he amnesiac? Another thin troubling him was Shen Wei's words, "held on to him longer than necessary".

 
He didn't want to think about it but it kept tugging at his memory, didn't Shen Wei shake his hand too long at the University.

Then he gave a long drawn out sigh and stopped all his thoughts. He arranged Shen Wei in a proper position on the couch and went to lay down on his bed. But sleep was not on the cards for him.