Black Spade K probably had never been insulted like this before, but his expression remained unchanged, showing no signs of anger. He was completely different from the typical Golden Triangle drug lord who wore large gold chains, had tattooed arms, and surrounded himself with a gang of bodyguards. Instead, he wore a well-fitted black leather jacket, a white crew-neck t-shirt underneath, and a pair of thin leather gloves. He was tall and had a reserved demeanor. The people around him seemed disciplined and lacked the typical ignorance and arrogance of lower-tier gangsters.

“I’m glad to meet you too,” he responded softly.

As Aje approached and bowed his head, calling him “Big Brother,” Black Spade K raised an eyebrow and looked at him. “I told you to remember the lessons from before, but it seems you remember them too well.”

Aje pointed towards Uncle Bo, but before he could speak, Black Spade K sneered, “Enough, even if he didn’t interfere, you wouldn’t be able to catch Heart Queen.”

Aje seemed slightly resentful and said, “This old man played us. He killed ten of my men, and they were just saying they were going to Myanmar to meet Wu Tun.”

Uncle Bo, old but sharp-minded, immediately took the initiative when he sensed something was wrong. He pointed a trembling finger at Black Spade K and asked, “What are you doing? What do you want to achieve? Your men have been monitoring Yuanlong Gorge from Yongkang Village for a long time. We old folks don’t want any trouble with you. Now you send people openly into the mountains, and you come all the way here yourself. What’s your plan? Tell us!”

Black Spade K glanced at the old man, and while others couldn’t see his expression clearly, Uncle Bo caught something in his eyes and hesitated, “Jin Jie… Jin Jie made the first move, and as an old man, I could only…”

As Aje rubbed his shoulder, which had been bound for quite some time, he shouted, “Shut this old man up!”

His subordinates immediately approached, and the old man was infuriated. Naturally, he believed that Black Spade K had come with a tracking device hidden on him. Pointing at Aje, he cursed, “I should have searched you earlier. How dare you use high-tech means to deceive me! Don’t think that now that you’re Jin Jie and have a name, back when we were ruling the Golden Triangle, you weren’t even born, you—”

Black Spade K waved his hand, and his men promptly silenced the old man, muffling his mouth.

The old man was left fuming and flushed with anger at the disrespectful behavior of the younger generation. Black Spade K paid him no further attention and scanned the area around the open space.

Three bodies lay face-down on the grass, and the blood was gradually pooling into puddles. Uncle Bo’s men had all been disarmed. Jiang Ting stood beside him, holding a gun, but the barrel hung loosely towards the ground.

Black Spade K didn’t pay attention to the gun in Jiang Ting’s hand. After contemplating for a few seconds, he finally turned to Yan Yin.

“I’ve heard about you, Captain Yan. It’s quite surprising to meet you here.”

Yan Yin stood there with a gun pointed at him, feeling as if his mind was pulsing with each beat. His teeth clenched tightly.

Black Spade K signaled to the bodyguard and explained, “When I was searching the mountains, I encountered this person on the way. It didn’t take much effort for him to tell me that you were here.”

The bodyguard dragged a staggering figure off the off-road vehicle—it was Qi Sihao!

His feet had been bandaged, sweat covered his forehead, and his face was pale with a tinge of purple. He avoided eye contact with Yan Yin, unable to raise his head to face him directly.

“I originally thought our first meeting would be more harmonious, but now I find it unexpected. However, it doesn’t matter. It won’t hinder us from getting to know each other.” Black Spade K pointed at himself. “My Burmese name is not important anymore. In Chinese, my surname is Wen, and my given name is Shao. This name, as the personal information of Police Inspector ‘Rivet’ at the third-level rank, is recorded in the internal network of the Gongzhou Public Security Bureau, and it’s real.”

—A drug lord not only became an undercover agent for the police but also dared to use his real name!

“I joined the police force about five or six years later than you. If you were to dig deeper into the archives, you’d find that I was recruited through open recruitment in the Gongzhou Public Security System.” Black Spade K crossed his hands in front of him, wearing black gloves, and smiled. “However, I didn’t stay long at the Gongzhou Municipal Bureau. I was assigned to be an undercover agent in my own organization. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it?”

Yan Yin opened his mouth, and a chill instantly flowed down his throat into his lungs. Hoarsely, he asked, “Were you also lying to me about being forced to execute Rivet?”

Jiang Ting turned to him and remained silent.

“Oh, let me explain that question,” Black Spade K said. “No, because he didn’t know that person was my body double.”

He turned to Jiang Ting and smiled, “Actually, from the very beginning, there were two people sharing the role of ‘Rivet.’ Whenever someone appeared, it was me. I also communicated with Yue Guangping through a single line. The fingerprints left at the municipal bureau during my time as a police officer and the phone calls with you were all done by a body double. Three years ago, the body double was shot by you… or more precisely, by Aje. Of course, he didn’t die. If you’re interested, you can meet him again when you go back.”

Jiang Ting remained silent, his features and expression unusually cold and stiff.

After a while, he finally squeezed out a sentence, “Why did you do this?”

“There are two reasons,” Black Spade K casually said, “You can choose the one you like.”

“…”

“Wu Tun groomed you, but he also intended to use you to kill me. It was a clever move, considering the high stakes involved in having you as an opponent. I once considered assigning someone from the senior police ranks to confront you, but Qin Chuan…” Black Spade K shrugged, “Firstly, he insisted on staying in Jianning, and I don’t force others to work for me. Secondly, it turned out that he would have been killed by you, so using him would have been a waste of effort.”

“When I returned to the Sino-Myanmar region from the United States, I had many people I could buy off but very few I could trust. Once the infiltration of an insider is exposed, not only would it fail to shake your position in the police force, but it could also become one of your achievements. Therefore, I had to do it myself. That’s one reason. At the same time, from another perspective, I had just returned from living in the United States for over ten years…”

Black Spade K sincerely said, “It’s only natural to want to see you.”

Jiang Ting closed his eyes.

It was a subtle and restrained movement, but his emotions were evident from the slight lines on his brows.

Yan Yin forced himself to speak, his voice low, “Are you truly blood brothers?”

Black Spade K laughed, “Of course not. Do you think I’m that twisted?”

No one present, apart from him, could find anything funny about that joke.

“Wu Tun promoted him, but it was just to get rid of me. That’s how it is in the Golden Triangle. Even in their dying moments, the aged drug lords can’t allow their biological sons to touch power. The older they get, the less willing they are to let go because once they lose their power, they face being surrounded by countless enemies. Besides, I’m not his only son.” Black Spade K gestured in Jiang Ting’s direction and said, “As for him, he’s just a tool to Wu Tun, a seemingly obedient and useful one. If my luck had been slightly worse three years ago, maybe I would have truly lost to him.”

Uncle Bo began to struggle again, wanting to say something, probably to defend Wu Tun, but no one paid him any attention.

“So, where did I fail three years ago?” Jiang Ting asked hoarsely. “Did Yue Guangping reveal the 1009 operation’s deployment to you?”

Surprisingly, Black Spade K shook his head. “No, Yue Guangping never leaked that secret.”

Jiang Ting clearly didn’t believe him.

“It’s true. The answer is actually quite simple,” Black Spade K lazily said. “Half a year before the 1009 operation started, in late spring or early summer, one day Yue Guangping suddenly contacted ‘Rivet’—sorry, that’s me—and asked about one thing.”

Jiang Ting suddenly realized something.

“He asked: I heard that the Red Queen is a woman. Can you find a way to verify this?” Black Spade K looked at Jiang Ting’s pale face and smiled, shrugging. “See, now you know what’s going on.”

In that instant, the clues flowed back through his memory and settled in Jiang Ting’s trembling pupils. Yes, he finally realized why Yue Guangping made that mentally broken phone call before he died, and why Qin Chuan hinted that there was no traitor in the 1009 operation—

Because the person who left behind this fatal flaw was himself.

—Three years ago, in the early hours of the morning, Apartment 301, Block A, Building 701 in Botao Yuan.

The nanny had long gone to sleep, and the dim table lamp in the living room cast a faint light on the curling cigarette smoke. The cigarette on the table had already piled up into a sharp tip, but the half cup of strong tea in Yue Guangping’s hand no longer emitted even a trace of warmth. After a long time, he gently placed the teacup on the table with a “thud.”

“I now understand all the things you’ve reported. But because they are of great importance and involve a wide range of people, if there is any fabrication or falsehood, you will bear serious responsibility, Captain Jiang, do you understand?”

On the other side, the captain of the Narcotics Brigade, who had come uninvited in the dead of night, leaned his elbows on his thighs, interlaced his fingers, and silently nodded.

“Furthermore, I have another question.” Yue Guangping paused and asked in a deep voice, “Even if everything you reported is true, how did you come to know these secrets?”

Yue Guangping was nearing retirement, and years of staying up late had aged him severely. Wrinkles surrounded his eyes, and deep shadows of fatigue rested within. However, behind his reading glasses, his eyes were still sharp, fixed on Jiang Ting’s face as if he could penetrate any slightest flaw.

“…I don’t know much either. They have always been wary of me,” Jiang Ting whispered.

Before Yue Guangping could understand the meaning of “they,” Jiang Ting said, “I am the Red Heart Q.”

Six simple words, yet it took Yue Guangping several seconds to react, almost standing up in the process. “What did you say?”

Jiang Ting lifted his face and calmly met his gaze.

Red Heart Q, one of the most mysterious figures in the drug trafficking organization, and even the police were unsure whether this person was of Chinese or Burmese descent. Even senior undercover agents who had infiltrated for years couldn’t gather any information about Red Heart Q from other drug dealers. Yue Guangping had once thought this person didn’t exist or that Black Spade K had fabricated the name for some sensitive dealings.

“…”

Yue Guangping’s eyes widened, as if he were meeting this subordinate, whom he had personally groomed, for the first time. The living room was eerily quiet, and only his own rapid breathing could be heard. After a long while, Yue Guangping slowly sat back down, squeezing out a few words through his teeth, “How can you prove it?”

Jiang Ting reached for a cigarette, lit it, and lowered his head.

“Years ago, there were some misunderstandings in Myanmar, but the specifics are not important. In the Golden Triangle, many people still believe that Red Heart Q is a woman. However, this rumor is unknown in the southwestern public security system of our country. You can confirm this through your own channels. In addition, I will leak some minor clues from within the drug trafficking organization. I assume you have informants, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to compare intelligence and confirm that I am Red Heart Q.”

Yue Guangping’s gaze burned into him.

“But I cannot reveal any more significant intelligence,” Jiang Ting continued, “As I mentioned before, many of the veterans under Wu Tun are Burmese, and those old men are highly cautious of me. After so many years in the public security system, most of the internal affairs of the organization have been marginalized. It’s difficult for me to verify the authenticity of many important pieces of information.”

He took a deep drag from the cigarette, his beautiful eyes bloodshot. He looked up and smiled briefly.

“In short, I have revealed everything I can. Director Yue, if you want to arrest me, I am sitting right here. You can do it anytime.”

·

On the open ground in the mountain gorge, Black Spade K looked at Jiang Ting’s slightly trembling eyes and asked with a smile, “Do you understand now?”

“…”

“Yue Guangping doesn’t believe you and wants to find someone to verify your claims. He has more than one undercover agent at his disposal, but perhaps due to the outstanding performance of ‘Rivet,’ he specifically chose me. You can imagine how I felt when he asked, ‘I heard that the Red Queen is a woman. Can you confirm this with the Burmese?’”

Black Spade K leaned in slightly, almost pressing against Jiang Ting’s pale face, and slowly, with deliberate emphasis, asked, “Who betrayed my Red Queen?”

“I conducted an urgent investigation within the organization but couldn’t find where the leak was. It wasn’t until ‘Rivet’ received the next encrypted instruction printed by Red Heart Q that I was shocked to discover a smear of red nail polish on the paper, as if it conveyed some kind of message unintentionally. That moment, I finally realized that the leak was you.”

Black Spade K shook his head with a tinge of regret.

“Half a year before the 1009 operation began, Yue Guangping sold you to me.”

“It was me who caused the deaths of those fourteen anti-drug police officers. It was me who harmed Captain Jiang…”

“I don’t deserve the national flag, Lao Lu, I don’t deserve it!”

Countless clamorous voices echoed in their ears, gradually becoming hollow and lingering, as if the spirits of the wronged had transformed into claws, hooking at the most blood-soaked part of their hearts.

Jiang Ting closed his eyes heavily. “…So when I proposed within the organization that we pretend to conduct a transaction at the Ecological Park on October 9th, but actually transport the large shipment to the plastic factory to evade police attention, you already knew that it was a trap?”

Black Spade K said, “Yes, that’s what I inferred. Finally, I used the undercover identity of Rivet to discreetly inquire within the Municipal Bureau. For example, whether the command vehicle heading to the Ecological Park was equipped with signal amplifiers, or at what time you exactly left the main gate of the bureau as the overall commander… Once I knew it was a trap, verification became particularly easy.”

That’s why Qin Chuan said the perpetrator was you all along, that there was never any mole—because the most crucial information had long been brought before Black Spade K’s eyes, he was the mole!

Jiang Ting’s eyes were lowered, lips grey. Upon careful observation, one could even see his lips trembling slightly. After a moment, he looked up, took a breath, and finally met Black Spade K’s gaze, asking, “So now that you know everything I’ve done, what do you plan to do with me?”

To everyone’s surprise, Black Spade K didn’t directly answer the question. He raised his index finger and shook it, saying, “I must correct one thing. I know everything you’ve done, but the suspense that has eluded me for the past three years is why you did it.”

As he spoke, he turned to Yan Yin and casually lifted his chin. “Today, with Director Yan here, it is only reasonable that he should hear the answer, including what happened during those months when you were by my side after the 1009 explosion. What do you think, Jiang Ting?”

Yan Yin’s gaze slowly shifted to Jiang Ting.

From the very beginning, Black Spade K had been facing Yan Yin directly, while Jiang Ting had always kept his profile. He still held a gun in one hand, the barrel pointing downwards, his fingers already cold and stiff.

“…There’s no reason,” after an unknown period of time, Jiang Ting finally spoke slowly in the wind, saying, “In the struggle for power and interests within the family, I simply chose the wrong side.”

Although prepared for it, Yan Yin’s soul still sank heavily into the depths of hell at that moment.

Uncle Bo suddenly burst into an urgent, pleading sound, his face turning red as he tried to say something. At that moment, Black Spade K glanced over with a look, signaling his men to release the old man’s mouth.

“I’m sorry.” Jiang Ting finally looked at Yan Yin and smiled faintly. “If it weren’t for Director Lu’s visit, I could have maintained the illusion for you a little longer.”