In the bright afternoon sunshine, Jack Lee hurriedly packed his bags with essentials for his upcoming journey.
He was about to embark on a thrilling adventure, soaring high above the clouds on a luxurious Gulfstream business jet, generously provided by the Evans’.
Desmond had already organized a night flight from New York to Aurous Hill on a private plane, which meant that as soon as Jack landed in New York, he could transfer to the Evans’ large passenger plane, and fly directly to Aurous Hill.
Despite only a few members of the Evans family joining the flight, the entourage accompanying them was extensive. From housekeepers, assistants, and servants to nearly a hundred well-trained bodyguards, they were all there to ensure the safety of the Evans family.
As for the private jet itself, it was a sight to behold. An incredible feat of engineering, the Boeing 748 had been masterfully converted into a private jet, complete with two floors, a small living room, and two luxurious bedrooms on the upper level. Meanwhile, the lower level was home to over 100 standard business class seats, and a spacious rest area for the shift crew.
When Jack finally arrived in New York, he was greeted by the buzz of activity emanating from the Evans family and their entourage, as they boarded their plane in the dedicated hangar. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, the Gulfstream business jet taxied effortlessly into the hangar, before coming to a gentle stop on the parking stand next to the impressive 748.
The cabin door swung open, and a crew member stepped forward to guide Jack off the plane. Another crew member followed closely behind, helping him carry his suitcase as they made their way towards the impressive Boeing 748 parked next door.
With the crew leading the way, they soon arrived at the second floor of the 748. Inside, Desmond was relaxing on a sofa, engrossed in conversation with his parents. But as soon as he saw the crew bringing Jack up, he jumped up and beckoned him over with a warm smile.
“Hey there, Jack! Come sit with us,” he exclaimed, gesturing towards an empty seat. “I’ve been waiting for you!”
Jack returned the smile, greeting the two elders affectionately before turning to Desmond with a hint of concern. “Desmond, your schedule is awfully tight. Why fly at night? Why not let Uncle Evans and Aunt Evans rest up tonight and fly out tomorrow morning?”
Desmond chuckled ruefully. “Believe me, it’s not up to me to decide when we fly.”
He admitted, throwing up his hands in defeat. “But you know what they say, the show must go on. Let’s just forget about it and enjoy the flight.”
The elderly Mrs. Evans beamed at Jack, her eyes sparkling with warmth. “Jack, let’s fly at night. That way, we can sleep on the plane and arrive feeling fresh and rested. If we sleep through the flight, we’ll wake up to find that it’s nighttime when we land. No need to worry about jet lag, just catch up on sleep when we arrive. We’ll wake up at dawn and be ready to go!”
Desmond couldn’t help but nod in agreement. “Wow, mom, you’re a genius! Your idea makes perfect sense. You really have thought of everything!”
Mrs. Evans waved away the compliment with a smile. “Oh, stop it. When it comes to comprehensive consideration, who can compare with you, Desmond?”
As the plane soared through the skies, Samuel Evans, the old patriarch of the Evans family gazed out the window, lost in thought. After a few moments of silence, he turned to his wife and asked, “Eleanor, where exactly are we headed on this flight?”
Mrs. Evans patted her husband’s arm reassuringly. “Didn’t I tell you earlier? We’re flying to Aurous Hill to find Jagoan…”
“Jagoan?” Samuel Evans repeated, his brow furrowing in thought.
“How old is Jagoan now? Is he all grown up?” he asked.
Mrs. Evans smiled wistfully, her eyes crinkling with age. “Jagoan is already twenty-eight years old… Maybe when we find him, we’ll also find our grandson.”
Samuel Evans froze for a moment, lost in thought. He stared out the window for a few moments before falling silent once more.
Jack leaned in closer to Mrs. Evans, speaking in a hushed tone. “Auntie, is Uncle Evans’s condition getting worse?”
Mrs. Evans nodded slowly, her expression growing somber. “It’s getting more and more difficult… We try to explain things to him, but he forgets so easily. That’s why we need to find Jagoan soon, before it’s too late.”
Jack let out a deep sigh, his thoughts turning to Jagoan and his miraculous abilities. “If anyone can help the old man, it’s Jagoan… Even if he doesn’t want to see the old couple, he must at least try to help them in some way.”
As if reading his mind, Mrs. Evans turned to him with a thoughtful expression. “Jack, you’ve solved so many cases over the years. Based on your experience, where do you think we should start looking for Jagoan?”
Jack furrowed his brows, lost in thought.
He began slowly, speaking more to himself than to the others. “Well… The Evans family has searched high and low for years, but they may have overlooked Aurous Hill. If I don’t know Jagoan’s whereabouts, then I’ll have to turn Aurous Hill upside down. It won’t be easy, but I’ll find a way.”
But when Mrs. Evans asked him for his opinion, Jack hesitated.
“It’s been so long,” he explained, choosing his words carefully. “I think the best course of action would be to start from the beginning and investigate the place where the incident occurred. Jagoan would be around 28 years old now, and it’s unlikely that he’s stayed in one place for all these years.”
Mrs. Evans sighed, her expression filled with sadness. “Yes, you’re right. It’s been so long, and we don’t know where to begin. But we can’t give up hope. We’ll start from the beginning and trace our way forward. That’s all we can do.”
Jack couldn’t help but feel a sense of despair. “If only I could tell her the truth… But I can’t. If Jagoan isn’t in Aurous Hill, it’ll be a blow to her. She’s been searching for so long, and it would be heartbreaking to tell her the truth.”
Jack quickly collected his thoughts and turned back to Mrs. Evans. “Auntie… This is a complicated matter, and different people will have different reactions to it.”
He paused for a moment before continuing. “For some people, if their parents were killed in a certain place when they were young, they would try to distance themselves from that place and never return. It would be too traumatic for them. But for others… They may feel closer to their parents by staying in that place. It’s a way to keep their memory alive…”
After a silent for a moment he continued, “Then there are those who are very cautious and they might stay in a dangerous place precisely because it’s so risky. They believe that the most dangerous place is actually the safest.”
Mrs. Evans listened intently, her expression pensive then she asked, “What about the fourth kind? The one who can’t decide because someone else is involved?”
Jack nodded in agreement. “Yes, that’s a possibility too… Sometimes, the circumstances are just too complicated for one person to make a decision.”
Mrs. Evans was silent for a moment before asking another question. “Have you ever encountered a similar case before? If a child’s family was killed, and the child’s whereabouts were unknown, where do you think the child might end up?”
Jack took a moment to gather his thoughts before answering Mrs. Evans’s question. “To be honest, Auntie… I’ve handled many cases like this before. Most surviving children will hide for a while and then contact other family members, such as grandparents or aunts and uncles. They generally don’t disappear for too long.”
He continued, “But there are also those who end up living on the streets, sleeping in ruins or under bridges, stealing to survive or relying on charity. Some even turn to drugs or join gangs. Unfortunately, many of them don’t live to see their twenties and their remains are identified through DNA analysis.”
Mrs. Evans listened intently, and then spoke softly, lost in thought. “After the accident that killed Lily and Bruce, Jagoan never contacted anyone from the Evans or Wade families, even though he was a smart child and would have remembered our contact information. I think he might blame us for his parents’ death…”
Jack didn’t confirm or deny her suspicion, and instead simply said, “I can’t say for sure, Auntie. Without knowing the specifics of the situation, it’s hard to make any conclusions.”
Mrs. Evans continued, “But if Jagoan is still alive, he’s a smart and well-educated person. I don’t think he would end up like the children you mentioned earlier. So there are only two possibilities, either he’s hiding from us, or someone is hiding him from us. I’m more inclined to believe the latter, because how could an eight-year-old child evade so many people looking for him?”
Desmond couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer and blurted out, “Mom, who could have possibly hidden Jagoan?”
The Lady furrowed her brow in deep thought before answering, “I’m not entirely sure who it could be, but there are only two possibilities, one good and one bad. The good scenario is that it could be one of Lily or Bruce’s loyal subordinates, but the bad scenario is that it could be one of their enemies or someone with an ulterior motive.”
Desmond’s expression turned grim as he replied, “Mom, all my brother-in-laws in China are my trusted subordinates, and we have searched every inch of their territory. They claim to have no knowledge of Jagoan’s whereabouts, and they are just as worried as we are.”
The Lady nodded solemnly and said, “I felt the same way back then, but now that so many years have passed, I can’t help but wonder if any of them were lying to us.”
“Should we ask them again?” Desmond asked eagerly.
“Yes,” the Lady replied resolutely. “This time, we must find out where Jagoan is. If Aurous Hill can’t give us any answers, then we’ll have to search the entire world if we have to!”