The sun was setting.
An armed patrol boat appeared in the waters close to Filipino shores. The waves bobbed up and down revealing a small island in the distance.
“That’s the island,” said Xia Lei, pointing forward. “Comrades, you just need to drop us off there.”
“Alright, no problem. But Mr Xia, you must be careful. These waters are controlled by the Filipino navy,” said one of the naval soldiers manning the armed speedboat.
Xia Lei patted the soldier’s shoulder. “Thank you, I will be careful.”
A few minutes later, the armed speed boat arrived at the shallow waters around the island. Xia Lei jumped off the boat carrying a large duffel bag, then waded through waist-high waters to the island beach.
After dropping the three of them off, the patrol boat quickly turned around and drove off towards Dagua Island.
“Boss, how long are we planning on staying here?” asked E’er Demutu as he observed the situation on the island.
Xia Lei looked at the multifunctional watch on his wrist and said, “At eight, Yelena will pick us up. We have an hour till eight, we’ll leave then.”
E’er Demutu said, “This island could be dangerous. It’s best we leave as soon as possible.”
“What did you find?” asked Xia Lei.
“Nothing, I just have a bad feeling,” said E’er Demutu.
Xia Lei was also scanning the island using both the powers on his left and right eyes. He did not find anything either, only that it was an uninhabited island. However, he also trusted E’er Demutu’s gut feeling because he was the hunter of the Zodiac Battle Team. He had the sharp senses of a hunter.
“Let me take a look around the island,” said Tsukino Kyoko.
Xia Lei said, “No, this island is about five squared kilometres. Scouting the entire area will take at least a day. We’ll be here only for an hour. There’s no need for scouting, we just need to survey the area nearby.
“Alright, I’ll turn left,” said Tsukino Kyoko. “E’er Demutu, you go right. We’ll each travel three hundred meters, then return to meet Boss.”
E’er Demutu nodded and turned to the right to scan the area.
Xia Lei headed straight but he did not plan to scout the three hundred metres. He headed around a hundred meters ahead then returned.
“E’er Demutu, any updates?” asked Xia Lei through the communication device.
“Not at the moment,” said E’er Demutu.
“Kyoko, what about you?”
“Nothing special on my side either. I don’t see any traces of human activity but…” said Tsukino Kyoko.
Xia Lei grew alert. “But what?”
“I found some tracks that look like they were left by a wild animal. Huge and obvious markings,” said Tsukino Kyoko.
He furrowed his brows. “A small island like that cannot sustain a large beast. Tell me, what animal is it?”
“Horse,” said Tsukino Kyoko. “It looks like traces left behind by a horse.”
“Horse? How can there be horses on this small island?” Xia Lei was puzzled.
“Yeah, I’m sure they’re horse tracks.” Tsukino Kyoko sounded confident.
“Where do they lead to?”
“They lead towards the centre of the island,” said Tsukino Kyoko.
Xia Lei could see a bird’s eye view of the entire island through his mind’s eye. It was the same as the map he saw on his watch. A very dense tropical jungle covered the surface of this island. It wasn’t possible to see every nook and cranny of this island.
What secrets did this island hold? The satellite image in his mind could not solve the problem at all because it was just a tiny image. The image he saw was just an approximate image so his brain could not zoom in on details.
Xia Lei opened his duffel and took out his laptop. His laptop could complete tasks his watch could not.
A few minutes later, Xia Lei connected to a North Star locator system. His clearance level was the same as the military hence all of the resources that could be accessed by the Chinese military could also be accessed by him.
A new satellite bird’s eye view of the place appeared on the laptop. The initially small, blurry image was magnified and clearer. With the flick of his fingers, he could clearly view the entirety of the island.
He looked at the areas around the island, then slowly zoomed in on the centre. Very soon, the image on the screen stabilised on the midpoint. He saw the corner of a wooden building. It was no ordinary house but a treehouse built on a large tree. It was simple but very sturdy so it must not have taken long to build.
Then, he saw more treehouses in the centre and people. They were Filipino soldiers.
He realized there was a small military base in the middle of the island with about fifty Filipino soldiers. There were more than ten robust, stout draft horses tied to the side with wooden structures attached to their backs filled with goods.
On the other side, more than ten soldiers were helping some foreigners set up a radar device. There was a missile launcher next to the radar, with two Harpoon anti-ship missiles nearby.
Xia Lei now understood the situation. This uninhabited island was close to Dagua island. The Filipino radars and anti-missile weaponry were pointed at Dagua Island!
The Filipino military was not as strong as the other countries. Their weaponry could not compare to the Europeans and Americans. However, their confidence came from backing from the Americans. Building radars and anti-ship missiles on the island was an obvious sign that they were targeting Dagua island’s military ships!
Xia Lei picked up his communication device. “Kyoko, E’er Demutu, come back. Do not continue searching.”
“I haven’t reached my limit,” said Tsukino Kyoko.
E’er Demutu said, “Why, Boss?”
“There’s a military base on the island with Filipinos and Americans,” said Xia Lei.
“I’m coming back now,” answered E’er Demutu and Tsukino Kyoko almost at the same time.
Xia Lei opened his duffel then assembled his Gust assault rifle. He took a look at his laptop to realize there was some commotion at the military base. A troop of more than ten soldiers were travelling in their direction along with their horses.
Xia Lei furrowed his brows. They were obviously a team tasked with transporting goods. If they travelled in this direction, it meant a boat would be meeting them. However, the problem was that Tsukino Kyoko and E’er Demutu required at least twenty minutes before arriving. If the goods boat arrived at the same time, the situation would be bad.
“Kyoko, E’er Demutu, a goods-transporting team just left the military base and is moving towards the beach. Hurry up, meet me here in less than ten minutes if possible,” urged Xia Lei.
“No problem!” came E’er Demutu’s voice and the sound of heavy breathing. He was already sprinting.
“Boss, why not get the armed patrol speedboat to come back here? I don’t think it has returned to Dagua island yet,” said Tsukino Kyoko. Based on the sound of heavy breathing, she was also sprinting.
“I need to confirm the situation here first. We’ll discuss when you both arrive,” said Xia Lei. He scrolled the map with his fingers until he could see the sea between the Philippines and this island. All hopes of calling that speedboat were dashed after he saw it. An escort ship was travelling in this island’s direction.
When he zoomed in on the ship, he scanned it with his right eye and received a flood of information. This military ship was the Philippines’ largest, most powerful escort, the Rajah Humabon Cannon-class destroyer. This ship had quite the history. It was built by the Americans in World War II. She was then transferred to Japan where she was named ‘Hatsuhi’. After Japan’s surrender, she was given to the Philippines to fight the Chinese navy.
Xia Lei had received all this information when he read about the Filipino navy on the way here.
This island had a military base and a group of soldiers was travelling in his direction. At sea, the Filipino’s most powerful escort ship was also heading here. There was also Yelena, she might be driving in this direction on her fishing boat too. All these factors added together formed the worst-case scenario.
Coming to this island was obviously a risky, stupid decision.
However, Xia Lei smiled. He took out his satellite phone and called Yelena. “Yelena, where are you now?”
“About thirty kilometres away from the small island you mentioned. I’ll arrive in about half an hour,” said Yelena.
“Alright. I’ll be waiting on the northside of the island. Take note of the Filipino escort ship, the ship’s also heading towards this island,” said Xia Lei.
“Huh?” came Yelena’s surprised gasp.
Xia Lei did not offer any explanation.
E’er Demutu and Tsukino Kyoko emerged from the jungle on both sides.
“Boss!” E’er Demutu looked worried. “I heard your call with Yelena. If you know there’s an escort ship heading in this direction, why do you still want Yelena to come here?”
“We need to leave!” said Tsukino Kyoko.
Xia Lei smiled. “I’m here to fight. How will I fight without an opponent? In the face of America, I can still justify hiding but why would I hide if it’s just the Philippines?”
E’er Demutu smiled bitterly. “This is a military base, and they have an escort ship.”
“We have reinforcements too.” Xia Lei typed on the keyboard and a drone system interface appeared on the screen.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
have a nice day!