After noticing that the entire room was still frozen in time, Yang Chen frowned and asked with a tinge of agitation, “Are you guys paid to daydream when your top secret facility has been breached? Or perhaps my accent is a little too heavy to understand?”

Robert at that moment finally calmed down a little. “Your Majesty Pluto, would you be so kind as to overlook our misconduct just this once?

“As a person of your status, I believe generosity is something you have in spades. Since the people sent to put you down are dead, could you spare the people in this room?”

Yang Chen replied with disgust, “Well what do you know? You plot my demise but I survive. Now that I’m here to return the favor, you want me to let you go scot-free? Is this some kind of joke to you?”

“Your Majesty, you should know clear and well that the FBI is the core of the American homeland security. Starting anything here is basically declaring war against the USA. I believe your intuition is strong enough to prevent you from worsening the situation,” a military general proclaimed.

Yang Chen did not even flinch at his statement. He lifted an arm and pushed it outward.

THUMP! THUMP! BANG!

Soon after, several monitors in the room started to twist and bend at odd angles. Some even started to cave in on themselves after being hit by an incomprehensible force.

The sparks flew all across the room and scrap metal stood where what was once state-of-the-art technology.

The flames triggered by the explosion led the entire underground passageway to be decorated with immense red flames. The blinding white light soon gave way to a blanket of smoke coming from the burnt plastics and wiring.

Within seconds, the entire underground base was engulfed in tiny explosions which filled the air around them. And as soon as it came, it was gone.

Yang Chen shoved his hands back into his pockets. “If I hear any more diplomatic answers coming from you guys, I’m aiming for your heads next.”

The agents and soldiers were stupefied by the show of power as they remained frozen in their spots, unsure of what to do next.

Robert as the commissioner had no opinions at that moment. His hatred for Yang Chen had skyrocketed but he had no way of taking revenge. A sense of helplessness engulfed him alongside shame and fear.

After a moment of silence from the room, a big-sized black commanding officer in a neat bespoke suit stood up and started to reason. “Sir, it was our mistake to go against you. So I believe the correct question to ask is not if you would stop but what do you want from us. How can we make things right from here on out? If you were looking to slaughter every member from Blue Storm, I’m afraid we can’t authorize that. We would be losing an edge over other countries. That act alone might make us high-profile targets.

“We are completely aware that we are living under the generosity of your great presence, but I am also notified that the main gods have agreed to live under a condition where they do not interfere with mortal endeavors. Henceforth, I request a ceasefire from now on. In turn, we will do our best to provide you with compensation to the best of our abilities.”

Yang Chen, thinking in consideration, asked, “You. What’s your name?”

“Anti-terrorist special operations commander, Mario Balotelli,” the black man replied with pride.

Yang Chen seemed to be intrigued by his actions. “You do realize that your lives are only intact because I have willed it to be, don’t you? I could end them all at any time and no one would be able to defy me.”

“I’m aware of that. But if I am to die anyway, I would never forgive myself for simply accepting such a fate without speaking up.” Balotelli was stern-faced.

Gruntled, Yang Chen continued, “Alright, I’ll give you a chance to redeem the lives of all these people here. The only reason I’m here is to make sure your precious commissioner doesn’t leave this place in one piece. As for everyone else in this room, I have no interest in sacrificial lambs. Now that Mario has brought up a rather interesting proposal, I will fulfill my end of the deal.”

Yang Chen spoke while staring at the gun strapped onto Balotelli’s waist belt. In one swift look, he retrieved the gun from Balotelli’s belt into his hand.

The subtle act hardly raised any brows in a venue where the most talented and quirky were common guests.

Balotelli held onto the bulky gun as he asked in confusion, “Your Majesty Pluto, what do you mean by this?”

“Kill him,” Yang Chen replied without hesitation.

Balotelli was caught off-guard. The others present seemed to be fazed into shock by the turn of events.

Yang Chen’s intentions were clear. He chose not to make a move and instead left it up to the hands of Robert’s subordinate. He wanted to ensure that Robert’s death ended up in the most brutal way possible—betrayal at the hands of a trusted partner.

Conflicted, Balotelli turned towards Robert who was riddled in fear and agony.

Yang Chen then said, “You have two choices. One—pull the trigger and kill him, after which everyone in this room will walk out unscathed and alive. I believe that most of you here had no idea or did not play a role in plotting against me. Two—don’t pull the trigger, and make me do it. But in the name of loyalty, every single one of you in this room will follow your ‘beloved’ commissioner he marches through the gates of hell.”

After listening to his words, one of the officers who was scared shitless, reached out to grab the gun!

“Give it to me you idiot. It’s either he dies alone, or we all die with him!”

Balotelli tightened his grip on the gun.

The rest of the commanding officers and technicians were furious. They might have always been wary of Robert, but now in such tense circumstances where their lives were on the line, it seemed that leaving their hands pure would mean the destruction of the entire base!

Robert started taunting in rage. “Look, dickhead, are you really going to defy your direct superior’s orders and kill me? Are you even aware of the consequences? Balotelli, listen to me. Why should we be afraid of this bastard? He’s in our headquarters! He’s not the only main god. If he wreaks havoc in this place, there will be others after him!”

His words were still fresh when Balotelli took a quick turn in his facial expression, as he held up the gun and pulled the trigger.

BANG!

After a flash and a loud bang echoed, Robert’s chest caved in as a bloody pit emerged from his flesh.

Robert’s eyes were wide open as he felt his life slip away. With his last few moments of energy, he raised his hand. Who knew what he had to say? But one thing was for sure—he lost whatever chance he had at survival.

Pools of bright-red liquid engulfed the ground around him. The atmosphere was exceptionally tense as most of the officers in the room were still trying to wrap their heads around what had just happened.

Right then, Balotelli gradually made his way to the corpse. With one foot on Robert’s head, he said, “We’re your subordinates. Not your goddamn servants, you bastard.”

The spectators were filled with complex thoughts and emotions while Balotelli made his proclamation.

Yang Chen clapped in satisfaction as he too made his way towards the dead body. He patted Balotelli on the shoulder. “You have saved the lives of your colleagues and the FBI headquarters. If you really get to be the commissioner one day, don’t make the same mistakes Robert did.”

Balotelli was startled as he turned back towards the jovial Yang Chen. It was then that he realized Yang Chen had given him the opportunity of a lifetime.

Nonetheless, the spectators, notably the technicians were immensely grateful towards Balotelli. The man who single-handedly thwarted their premature death.

Yang Chen could not be bothered by the strange expression of the African-American man. He squatted right in front of the corpse of the late commissioner, searching for something.

Just when everyone was shocked by his subsequent actions, Yang Chen rummaged through Robert’s suit pocket.

When Yang Chen withdrew his hand, a golden-copper metal watch was in his grasp.

A few closer associates of Robert knew instantly that it was Robert’s favorite watch from his collection.

Yang Chen saw the perplexed looks on the faces of everyone present, as he awkwardly grinned. “I’m not here to rob the dead. I’m not that kind of person.”

“The only reason I’m doing this is that I borrowed Christen’s Porsche GT. Somewhere in the mess caused by Blue Storm, I lost the car. So in the interest of repaying my debt, I’m hoping to find something of value. This watch might not match the cost of the car but it sure would make up for something.”

Everyone in the room smiled bitterly as if they were emotionally in line with his thoughts.

Yang Chen caressed the watch before he reached out to search Robert’s other pockets. He soon found a pack of Marlboro cigarettes.

“The heck?” Yang Chen didn’t hold back as he flung the cigarettes on the ground. “A bloody commissioner and he couldn’t afford anything better? What a disappointment! Not even a wallet in his pocket. What kind of awful predicament have I gotten myself into?”