Chapter 260 Gratitude From An International Friend
The Kumamon waited until Zhang Heng ran pass seven to eight stores, and when he was about 30 meters away from him, it turned around and ran into a women’s apparel store called Only. Unfortunately, there was no escaping this time, for there wasn’t another exit. In other words, the bear was bound to be captured by Zhang Heng. When he saw the mascot entering the fitting room, he quickly proceeded to follow it.
The sudden commotion had startled the store’s attendant, and considering it was a store specifically for women, it was rare to see men entering it. Even if there were any, they would usually come with their wives or girlfriends. When someone like Zhang Heng so aggressively barged into the shop, it was only natural that the attendants would be afraid. Customers quickly fled the store in fear, but the same couldn’t be said for its staff.
Left with no other options, the store manager was forced to confront Zhang Heng.
“Sir, how can I help you?”
Zhang Heng simply ignored her and went ahead to pull the curtains of the fitting room open. The shopkeeper was so shocked by Zhang Heng’s actions that she thought she must have come across a pervert of some kind and was close to screaming for help. The fitting rooms in Only had a particular layout. A curtain covered the two-square-meter fitting room to allow the customers’ privacy. However, it only blocked the front; the top was bare and uncovered.
Before Zhang Heng pulled the curtain, he could see the Kumamon’s calves and feet. It appeared that the person was hastily trying to remove the cumbersome suit. He could also see the mascot’s head popping out above the fitting room. However, there was no one in the fitting room when Zhang Heng pulled the curtain. Like magic, the Kumamon’s costume lost all rigor and form and fell to the ground in a crumpled heap! Initially, the manager was on the verge of shouting, but she stopped herself when she saw that it was actually empty.
“Where is the person?!”
Zhang Heng didn’t answer the manager. Instead, he bent down and shook the flaccid costume vigorously. A small piece of paper fell out with a short message written on it.
It said: (I have returned your items to you. Here’s a friendly reminder. As you’re reading this, mall security should arrive in about a minute and a half. Don’t let them think you are a pervert, lest you might just get caught.]
As if to add insult to injury, there was even a Japanese phrase at the end of the message.
At the same time, Zhang Heng received a message from Hayase Asuka as well.
“I’ve found my wallet! This is weird. How is it on someone else’s table? I didn’t even go near it. I still can’t find my passport, though.”
Suddenly, Zhang Heng remembered the person mentioned that he had returned those items to him instead of her. He then touched his pocket and found out that Hayase Asuka’s passport was on him. Suddenly, footsteps could be heard approaching the fitting room. Earlier, when he jumped off the escalator, he had attracted the attention of the shopping mall’s security guards. However, the most troublesome part was that he ran into a women’s clothing shop and pulled the curtains of the fitting room open, enough to warrant severe punishment.
Now that he had found the wallet and passport, the person in the Kumamon costume was nowhere to be found. He would have a hard time explaining things to security, so, he sent Hayase Asuka another message.
“Your passport is with me. Let’s meet at the subway.”
Zhang Heng wasted no time after sending the text, pulling his hoodie over and exited Only’s main entrance. It was at that time when he noticed that two security guards were approaching him from his right. At the same time, more security guards had gathered on the first floor’s escalator.
Zhang Heng didn’t panic at a time like this, instead, taking two steps forward along the glass railing. Just when the two security guards thought that they had got him, he jumped off. As he descended, he grabbed the bottom of the rails to absorb the impact. When he let go, he’d already landed on the first floor successfully.
Before Zhang Heng entered the Black Sail’s quest, his rock climbing skills were at Lv. 1. Throughout his ten years in the Caribbean, he didn’t improve on his climbing skills, but his muscle control had gotten better after training a lot with the saber. Living at sea for a long time had granted him good balance as well, which was why such feats were no sweat for him.
The two guards were in disbelief, having a hard time picturing how someone actually jumped off the escalator. Now that they saw it with their own eyes, they were definitely impressed. On a regular day, the guards would be dealing with disgruntled customers and the minor arguments that ensued from it. At most, petty shoplifters or street thugs were the worst they had to deal with. None had seen someone pulling off what Zhang Heng did. Naturally, they felt as if the whole thing was a scene from a movie.
No one dared stand in Zhang Heng’s path after he jumped from the second floor. He simply walked out of the mall with no complications. Chinese New Year was just around the corner, and throngs of people had crowded the mall for some last-minute shopping. When the guards arrived at the mall’s entrance, Zhang Heng had already disappeared amid the crowd.
After Zhang Heng exited the mall, he walked around the area to ensure that no one was following him. Only when he was sure that he was safe did he move to the subway station. That was when he saw Hayase Asuke waiting for him over there. Earlier, she was leaning on the glass railing and witnessed all that happened on the second floor. Throughout the whole incident, her mouth stuck in a round ‘O,’ momentarily forgetting that her wallet and passport were lost. It wasn’t until Hayase Asuka received Zhang Heng’s message that she the mall for the subway station.
As quickly as the situation escalated, she had already forgotten the earlier incident. Right now, she was more interested in Zhang Heng, as if it was her first time meeting him.
“Zhang San, please tell me! Are you actually Superman?”
“Err… I’ve trained hard for my marathons.”
Zhang Heng realized that what he did earlier was indeed insane. After all, he wasn’t in 18th century Nassau anymore. Not only did he manage to retrieve Hayase Asuka’s wallet and passport, but he even discovered that the mysterious person was, in fact, targeting him. However, he was still unable to figure out its identity and purpose. If he managed to capture the person in the Kumamon suit, everything about his current situation would immediately be enlightened.
Speaking of which, the mysterious individual’s attempts were all futile. After running off with Hayase Asuka’s wallet and passport, it was returned in the most dramatic way possible. The whole thing almost seemed as if a kid was pulling a prank on them. However, Zhang Heng could confirm that the person in question possessed at least one game item. Otherwise, what happened in the fitting room would be practically impossible to explain. Judging by the handwriting and sentence structure of the note, the mysterious person was probably female.
“Huh? Running a lot would eventually allow you to jump down from great heights? During high school, I woke up nearly every morning to jog. However, I’m still hopelessly clumsy.”
Hayase Asuke took two steps back, attempting to figure the whole thing out.
“Since you’re the one who’s telling me all these, I’ll believe you for now. Oh, right. I feel you’ve changed a lot. When I saw you earlier, I almost didn’t recognize you. Thankfully, you’re still as reliable as before. That’s great,” she murmured shyly in a soft tone.
After that, Hayase Asuka spread her arms and hugged Zhang Heng tightly.
“Consider… consider this as gratitude from an international friend,” she continued as her face blushed.