After all the carrier-based aircrafts had left, it was USS George Washington’s turn to follow suit. Following it, all warships, including the submarines, had too mirrored its motion and left towards where it came from.
Three Jing Ke drones hovered over them, providing company to their departure towards the far end of the Pacific Ocean.
The USS George Washington bridge.
“What are they trying to achieve?” An officer hissed with unmasked anger.
“Are they planning to follow us back to America?” Another officer studied the sky.
A lot of military officers shared the sentiment. Honestly, it would be easy to destroy the three drones but they didn’t dare to do so. What they felt now was the oppression they doled out in the past. This feeling certainly wasn’t great.
Wilshire was silent. This felt like an insult to his military career. To the entire American navy, this was unmistakably a deeply ingrained embarrassment!
The correspondent's voice rang in all of a sudden. “Commander! There is a call request through a public channel.”
Wilshire regained his composure. “Did they mention who they are?”
“He says he’s Xia Lei,” said the correspondent.
“Accept it!” Wilshire went over to his station.
Xia Lei’s voice could now be heard in the room. “I am Xia Lei. Greetings, soldiers of the Seventh Fleet.”
“Pfft!” A radar manipulator choked on his water. A few military officers quickly sent him a look, causing the man to frantically slap a palm over his wet jaw.
Wilshire screamed into the device. “I know who you are! Are you trying to make fun of us?!”
“You’re too sensitive, Sir. I merely wish to greet you.” Xia Lei continued, “I’d like to express my gratitude for making the right choice. War does no good for both parties. If a war were to break out between the Chinese navy and the Seventh Fleet tonight, there will be victors in war. Both of you will be its losers.”
His deliberate use of ‘both of you’ did not go unnoticed.
Wilshire frowned. “You’re trying to say…”
Xia Lei replied, “The unfortunate event that took place yesterday night was between me and you. But I am willing to shoulder all responsibility.”
“You think you’re worthy of that?!” Wilshire roared into the device.
Xia Lei’s voice remained calm. “This meek responsibility is not an issue for me. I have allowed my drone to take a test flight over these waters but your planes have attacked them. Out of self-defence, I too have fired shots. Under these circumstances, if you deem me guilty of a heavy crime, you may charge me at the International Court of Justice. However, I can’t guarantee my physical attendance to the hearing and I will not compensate you. I have kept all recordings of our exchange. I am not afraid of sharing it to the world either.”
“You’re insane!” Wilshire huffed.
Xia Lei continued, “I wish to talk to you to settle our differences. If you keep this attitude up, there is no point continuing this conversation. I’ll make this clear. This is my doing. Whatever you wish to do, bring it on! However, I must warn you. Thunder Horse Organization has already produced ten Phantom drones for the Chinese military along with fighter jets and bomber planes that you have never heard of. The latter have capabilities surpassing these measly drones you have seen tonight. They are certainly capable of sending you back to the Civil War.”
The silence in the USS George Washington was a suffocating one.
Turns out, the stingray-shaped drone was named Phantom. And yet, it wasn’t even the most technologically advanced aircraft the Thunder Horse Organization had produced! They even had fighter jets and bomber planes ready!
To be fairly honest, many were reluctant to buy Xia Lei’s words. The slightest possibility of the scenario had meant that China possessed enough power to start a full-blown war with America! With context laid, how could America simply provoke a country that was equipped with Thunder Horse products?
There was a beat of silence before Wilshire spoke, “Are your fighter jets made with the Alloy X?”
“Yes.” Xia Lei replied, “I’m sure everyone has gotten a good look at the functionality of my drones. Your so-called most advanced fifth-generation fighter, the F35, is no match for it at all. You should head back and report to the Pentagon and White House about everything that transpired tonight. Kindly relay a message to them on my behalf. Ask them to be a little more courteous to us in the future. Your return to the Asia-Pacific strategy is a joke. I don’t want to hear any more arguments on that and you better not intervene in our affairs.”
“What will happen if we don’t?” Wilshire suppressed his seething rage to the best of his ability. “Are you going to lead an attack on us?”
“Hahaha.” Xia Lei laughed. “I am a lover of peace. I wouldn’t do something like that. However, let’s not forget that I’m an arms dealer. I’ll sell my fighter jets and drones to organizations and countries you don’t favour. What do you think will happen when a few particular Middle Eastern organizations get a hold of my drones?”
“You…” Wilshire was pissed beyond words.
That was truly a severe threat.
The 911 incident was a tragedy that scarred all of America. If the Middle Eastern terrorists owned a few Jing Ke drones or even the Phantom drones, history might just repeat itself!
Fearfully, Xia Lei was just as capable as he claimed to be. He wasn’t a political entity. Anything he claimed could be done!
“Mister Wilshire?” The prolonged silence prompted Xia Lei to speak up.
Wilshire hardened his expression. “I will relay your message to the Pentagon and White House.”
“Thank you, Mister Wilshire. Goodnight, soldiers of the Seventh Sleet.” Xia Lei ended the exchange.
A stifling heavy atmosphere shrouded the USS George Washington in stunned silence. No one could find the will in themselves to speak another word for long.
In the skies, the three Jing Ke drones had finally left.
Back in the Philippine military base...
With his laptop in his grip, Xia Lei exited the radar station. All of the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team members were throwing him glances filled with admiration and respect. The weak would always respect the strong. They felt incredibly honoured and proud to be able to serve under someone as great as the man before them.
Indeed, to defeat the Seventh Fleet and chase them back to the Pacific Ocean was a feat many countries couldn’t accomplish. Xia Lei, on the other hand, had achieved it on his own.
“Boss, I…” Tsukino Kyoko failed to express her feelings in words, but she made it up with bodily movements. She quickly threw herself on him and embraced him tightly. Then, she tipped toes to peck him gracefully.
Women loved heroes. What had happened earlier was enough to get her hormones running wild. It wasn’t entirely weird to see such a reaction from her.
Xia Lei was sheepish but said nothing against it.
The Grey and Russo sisters looked at each other oddly. Everyone felt weird about the situation but they just couldn’t pinpoint where exactly.
“Uh.” E’er Demutu teased with a smirk. “Kyoko, can you give me a hug like that too?”
Tsukino Kyoko rolled her eyes at him. “Keep dreaming for the rest of your lives. But you can come over and try to hug me instead?”
E’er Demutu quickly shook his head. “Ah, nevermind. I don’t wish to be stabbed or poisoned by you.”
Yelena uttered, “Boss, what do we do now?”
“Didn’t you arrive at this place with a fishing boat? We can use it to get back to Dagua island, get some rest and then return to China,” suggested Xia Lei.
“Sure. I’ll go fetch the boat.” Yelena nodded.
“Hey, I’ll go with you.” Anjum Khan slid over. “After all, I can’t just let my babe go alone. Those Filipino soldiers that fell into the waters earlier might’ve already made their way onshore.”
Yelena graced the Indian man a smile. While he was a tad bit too horny for his own good, he was a very observant and caring lover.
Xia Lei said, “How about we all go together? If we come across any Filipino soldiers, I’m sure you all know what to do, right?”
“Hehe.” Sa’im snickered. “We’ll fuck them up!”
Their retreat speed wasn’t rapid by all means. Xia Lei and the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team had used a full half an hour to come near to the beach where they arrived at.
There were lights moving around atop the sandy shore, accompanied by the chatter of the Filipino soldiers.
One of the military officers was contacting someone through his communicator, evidently emotional. “What? The Seventh Fleet retreated? Why? How could they abandon us with no regards? The Chinese destroyed our warship! Fucking hell, the Americans played us like a fiddle…”
Between the trees of the jungle that fringes the beach, Anjum Khan raised his sniper rifle. Its muzzle was aimed at the screeching commander.
“Relax.” Xia Lei reached over and pressed Anjum Khan’s weapon down.
Anjum Khan nodded, giving up on killing the military officer.
On the beach, more than a hundred drenched soldiers gathered together. They had jumped into the sea to escape to safety, hence their heavier weapons were lost in the process to ease off some burden. As a result, they had arrived on this island with handguns as their sole form of defence. It was worth noting that they most probably did not have additional magazines too.
The fishing boat Tsukino Kyoko had driven over was on the other end of the beach, veiled from sight by a reef rock. At the moment, no one had managed to notice it yet. That wouldn’t be the case for long as a few Filipino soldiers were making their way in that direction. They were scouting the island to eliminate any possible threats.
“Boss, please allow me to kill them,” requested Tsukino Kyoko.
E’er Demutu offered, “I’ll come with you. The scouting team is a nuisance. It’ll be bad if they find our boat. We’ll be left with no way to leave this island if they find it.”
Xia Lei suddenly snapped his head towards the direction of mainland Philippine. His expression grew solemn.
Yelena too followed his line of sight but saw nothing. Curiosity piqued, she asked, “Boss, is something wrong?”
Xia Lei frowned. “It’s a Comanche helicopter. Trouble is coming.”
“Didn’t the Americans leave already?” Giovanna asked meekly.
Xia Lei answered, “The Seventh Fleet were the ones who left. But if the CIA had done their deductions based on current incidents and confirmed that I am indeed on this island, the American soldiers stationed in the Philippines would definitely be assigned with something. They might even resort to blasting this island open with missiles.”
“If that’s so, aren’t we in grave danger?” Yelena’s expression hardened. “To destroy all Filipino soldiers on the beach is not difficult. But if we sail across the sea with the fishing boat, it’d just make us an easy target for missiles.”
“Fuck!” E’er Demutu ran a hand through his hair. “If that is true, let’s go bomb the American base!”
“Let’s not do anything for the moment. Let me make a call first.” Xia Lei brought out his satellite phone and dialled for someone. “This is Xia Lei. Please help connect me to the Dagua Island base. I need to speak to General Yu Zhenhai.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
have a nice day!