Dawn finally arrived, returning light to the ancient land. The golden rays shined on the contour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock. For thousands of years, many have lost their lives in the name of faith. The dispute seemed to continue till this day, its end seemingly out of reach.
Jerusalem, St. Cross street.
Two Native Americans visited a breakfast diner. The young couple looked to be in their early twenties. Draped over their shoulders were huge backpacks and their features were adorned with ethnic accessories. They looked like a pair of Native American tourists visiting Israel.
These tourists were Xia Lei and Tsukino Kyoko in disguise. The human face masks paired with the wonderful magic of makeup, Xia Lei could barely recognize himself, let alone those who were after him.
They chose a seat by the window. Xia Lei placed their orders and watched the street through the glass.
Number 48, St. Cross street was just across the street. It was a very ancient-looking property, probably about hundreds of years old. Its main body was made out of stone and it had three layers above and below. Both sides of the building were extended to form a concave shape. Judging from its appearance, it was probably a residence of a knight or lord during the time of the Crusades. Its architectural style seemed to resonate that of the French medieval times.
Who was the current owner of this property?
The answer seemed to be hinted by the armed Israeli soldiers guarding its entrance. It m Israeli government.
The soldiers armed with live ammunition had suggested that this place had more than met the eye. Despite that, Xia Lei hadn’t noticed any signage that had indicated something else. There was nothing like ‘St. Cross Street Office’ or ‘St. Cross Street Neighborhood Committee’.
“If only Sa’im was here… He would’ve known what this place is.” Xia Lei thought about his subordinate. The man was looking forward to their reunion.
The waiter served them their breakfast. Their order was a very traditional Israeli breakfast platter that consisted of sour olives, salted fish and egg custard.
Xia Lei munched on his breakfast as he watched the building. This time, he activated his X-ray vision and let his sight penetrate through the curtained windows.
What laid behind those walls was shocking. The ancient building was actually a modern office space. The central hall of the first floor had a large TV wall that occupied the entire span. It displayed surveillance feedback from many important places in Jerusalem like bus stations, subway stations, airports and so on. It covered virtually every blind spot.
Aside from that, the screen had also shown high-quality satellite surveillance footage. Its monitoring area had covered the entire territory of Israel and even included Jordan and the Gaza strip as well as areas bordering Egypt. Many staff were working in the hall, some were answering calls while others operated drones. Xia Lei had even noticed some employees debriefing a batch of ground agents.
The central hall itself had allowed Xia Lei to deduce something. The ancient building had not housed a regular governmental department. It was an intelligence agency instead.
Xia Lei moved his gaze upwards into the second floor. Here, he noticed a few offices and a warehouse. There were a few people inside the office but all of them were unfamiliar faces. No FA members were spotted. Finding nothing worthwhile, Xia Lei peered through the windows on the third floor.
The third floor had served as a multifunctional area. There were facilities for sparring and treatment. A few had occupied the space to practise their close combat techniques while another few more people were getting their wounds treated on the other side.
His X-ray vision had scanned through all visible windows on the third floor, yet Xia Lei found no FA members here. He pulled his attention away. While his X-ray vision could not penetrate through the tough layers of rocks and stones, such a place surely had room underground.
“Is this Mossad’s headquarters? Or is this just an important branch office? What are the FA members doing here?” Xia Lei just couldn’t figure it out.
The current FA Organization was reduced to nothing but a loyal dog to the American government. It would be perfectly acceptable for them to meet the members of Mossad with their newfound identity. However, the more important question was, Yan Fo and Augustan were important figures in the organization, why are they in Israel?
Naturally, Xia Lei would think that they were scheming to kill him again but that couldn’t be right. Xia Lei was ‘dead’ by Li Youdun’s assassination in China. His homeland had held a funeral as the whole country mourned for him. The scale of his distraction was high. How was it possible for the FA Organization to suspect that he was still alive? There was no way they had the means to trace him to Israel. In fact, he had even kept his journey a secret from his four wives. If his wives weren’t aware, how would the FA members find out?
There must be some other reason behind this.
“What the fuck is this? It’s fucking disgusting.” Tsukino Kyoko spat out a sour olive. The sourness was too overwhelming that the ninja was on the brink of tears. She was actually observing the same building across the street, but she had found nothing worth mentioning.
Xia Lei lowered his voice. “The climate here is dry and water is scarce. Most of their food is pickled. Just bear with it. You can eat whatever you want after we’re out of this place. Also, make sure to only stick to using English. The building across the street is Mossad’s property. We need to be cautious.”
That earned a surprised look from the woman. Tsukino Kyoko quickly turned to spare the building another glance before nodding. She had no idea how he had deduced that but she knew better than to doubt him.
At this moment, an Israeli man exited the building. He strode towards the restaurant.
Xia Lei let his vision study the man. Within two seconds, he had already conducted a full investigation. The man was armed with a Desert Hawk. His full name was printed on his access card. Harde. Countless scars had littered his body, which had included both slashes and bullet wounds. The man looked about in his thirties. Judging by his age, it wasn’t difficult to realize that he was a veteran soldier from the Special Force that joined the Mossad after retirement.
Part of Mossad’s clandestine agents were recruited from Special Force retirees. They were veterans who had many experiences. The recruits would undergo specialized Mossad training. There was a popular saying in the field of espionage that the Mossad agents were the best at gathering intel, assassination and stealing. They had the same reputation as America’s CIA. The British MI6 and the Russian Federal Security Service (Krupp Bo) were literally no match for their capabilities.
Hence, Xia Lei couldn’t help but be alarmed at the sight of a regular agent. He subtly nudged Tsukino Kyoko under the table. “Don’t say a word, a Mossad agent is coming.”
Tsukino Kyoko nodded. She had also noticed that Harde, who was currently crossing the street, was no ordinary person. The ninja had her own ways.
Harde pushed the door and entered the diner.
A waiter offered him a smile and a greeting. “Hello, Mister Harde. The usual?”
“Yes, the usual.” Harde’s eyes scanned the diner rapidly, finally training his gaze on the table where Xia Lei and Tsukino Kyoko were seated at.
Xia Lei was not looking at him, but scooping custard out of his cup. His eyes were focused on the reflection of the steel cutlery, spying on Harde from it.
The waiter rushed into the kitchen and exclaimed, “Mister Harde’s here. He wants the usual, sour olives and rye bread.”
It was only then that Harde removed his attention from the two.
Speaking of disguises, if Xia Lei had considered himself second-best, then no one would dare to claim the first place. The man was able to disguise himself as Li Youdun, successfully tricking the CIA watchers and the cunning Hattori Mei. To trick a Mossad agent didn’t seem like an issue.
The kitchen was quick to finish Harde’s order. The sour olives and rye bread were packaged in paper boxes instead of a plate. Harde gripped the handles of the takeaway bag, paid the cashier and left with his breakfast.
As Harde began to cross the street, Xia Lei activated his X-ray vision again. His line of sight went past Harde’s spine and peered into his stomach. Xia Lei saw his intestines in the middle of peristalsis. It was not empty, filled with pieces of sausages, cheese and waffles. If Xia Lei could identify the contents of his stomach, surely Harde had his breakfast not long ago. Why was he buying breakfast again?
The waiter approached his colleague. “Damn, he’s such a strange one. He orders the same thing every single day. I’ve been working for three years and it hasn’t changed. Why is he so obsessed with rye bread and olives? I’ve seen him drive a Toyota off-road vehicle, it’s worth at least two hundred thousand NIS.”
His colleague responded, “Yeah. He’s a civil servant with a high salary, yet his taste in food is appalling.”
“Hey, don’t say that. We’ve got customers here.”
“You mean the two over there? There’s no way they’ll understand us. He ordered in English earlier.”
“Ah, true. Anyway, the building opposite us seems to house a bunch of weirdos.”
The two waiters continued to gossip out of boredom, settling to talk about a mutual female friend.
At that point, Xia Lei lost interest. His eyes returned to study the building across. If it weren’t for the two waiters, he wouldn’t have obtained such information. Xia Lei certainly would have overlooked the abnormality of Harde’s order. Harde had already eaten breakfast so it was possible that he bought it for a friend. However, that would mean his friend had an uncanny obsession for sour olives and rye bread. Xia Lei’s perception was completely altered after listening in on their conversation.
“Three years and the same breakfast almost every day... If Harde is not the one eating it, it doesn’t make sense for him to have such a weird colleague. Who in the right mind would eat something like that?” Suddenly, a word manifested in Xia Lei’s mind. Prisoner.
Only a prisoner would eat disgusting food like that every day. That was because they had no choice but to submit to their punishment!
The sudden realization launched his mind into an active state. “The waiter had mentioned that he worked here for three years and Harde had bought sour olives and rye bread every single time. This would mean that the prisoner has been held there for more than three years. Who could the prisoner be? Why did he have to face such treatment? Could the FA members arrive in Israel and contact the Mossad to meet the prisoner?”
His mind may be filled to the brim with questions but Xia Lei was now with a new urge. He wanted to meet the prisoner, purely because the FA members had decided to get involved.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
However, these were all bold assumptions. They still needed to find proof for the prisoner’s existence.
“Let’s go.” Xia Lei stood up.
Tsukino Kyoko placed her cutlery down and left for the door.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
have a nice day!