A Ram pickup truck with an American license plate entered Las Vegas as the massacre took place.
In the vehicle, Xia Lei was in the middle of using his laptop. However, this time he wasn’t attacking anywhere. The man was browsing for properties on a housing agency website.
Booking a hotel room was not a wise choice. No one had any idea just how many informants were planted in every hotel established in Las Vegas. They had to expect those from the CIA, the FA Organization and even Japan. Despite their disguises, they wouldn’t be able to escape human face recognition AI systems. Therefore, Xia Lei was willing to buy a house even if it was only for a few nights.
However, he wasn’t about to buy new properties offered by the agency. Purchasing a fresh property would require an identity verification procedure. That was why Xia Lei’s choice was to search among the lists of second-hand houses. The only requirement to buy them was to pay them the sum.
Anything that could be solved with money was not an issue to Xia Lei.
Soon, Xia Lei found a prospective property. From the information given, it was a villa in a rich white neighbourhood in the eastern suburbs of Las Vegas city.
“Do you like this place?” Xia Lei broke the silence in the car.
Tsukino Kyoko spared the screen a glance. She could see a two-storey villa with a lush green garden planted with decorative plants in the front. It even had a swimming pool in the back. It was gorgeous. She offered him a smile. “Not bad. I like the swimming pool.”
“Then this shall be it,” said Xia Lei with a nod.
Anjum Khan whined, “Boss, I haven’t even gotten to see it. You’re deciding just based on Kyoko’s opinion?”
Xia Lei chuckled. “What if I let you cook curry in that house?”
“Haha, cool. I’m good with that.” Anjum Khan was grinning ear to ear now.
Tsukino Kyoko’s arm glided over against the back of the plush seat row and wrapped itself around Xia Lei’s waist. Her torso inclined over and snuggled against his body. Then, Tsukino Kyoko dropped her head onto his shoulder and watched him navigate around the website.
This intimate display made Xia Lei sheepish. It was just too easy for Anjum Khan to spot them at any given moment through the rear mirror. Yet, he didn’t dare to inch away. The only thing he could do was act natural and pray that everything would be alright.
Confirming his purchase, Xia Lei still had to hack into the agency’s database. It didn’t take long for him to find the seller’s information. One brief glance over his details had Xia Lei shocked.
The seller was a white man named Thompson. His occupation was a soldier and his rank was not low. He was a brigadier general. That was all that was available to the system. The registry filed into the agency’s database was simple and did not mention which military troop he belonged to. This was natural. When a soldier’s rank had reached a certain level, everything would be classified confidential. Those became things that must not be leaked.
Xia Lei furrowed his brows and mused to himself, “Soldier, brigadier general, Las Vegas. The housing information mentioned that this property was just bought three years ago. There’s no large military force stationed in this area. If he is a military officer from elsewhere, why would he come here and purchase a property? Why is he selling it now?”
The mysterious Area 51 was just one hundred kilometres away from Las Vegas. In addition to the city’s convenient traffic management, an hour’s ride would bring you there. In that case, it wouldn’t be weird for a brigadier general named Thompson to purchase a house in Las Vegas.”
“Boss, a soldier’s property? He’s even a brigadier general.” Eyeing the surprising detail, Tsukino Kyoko couldn’t help but feel uneasy. “If we buy his house over, will we be inviting trouble?”
Anjum Khan too turned around in an attempt to take a look. While he couldn’t see anything from the screen, he expressed his concern too. “Boss, if it’s a soldier’s property, I think you should think twice before purchasing. If he suspects us, we’ll be in trouble.”
Despite that, Xia Lei questioned, “Why would a brigadier general want to sell his house?”
Tsukino Kyoko and Anjum Khan locked gazes. Both of them could never quite grasp Xia Lei’s wildly turbulent thought process.
Xia Lei checked his wristwatch. “It’s two in the afternoon now. Let’s go to his house and check it out. If he’s out, we might be able to find some valuable intel.”
Anjum Khan smiled bitterly at that. “Boss, I have nothing against buying another house. Why are we exposing ourselves to risks?”
Xia Lei answered, “I think he’s an Area 51 soldier.”
That took Anjum Khan by surprise. He shrugged, hands still on the steering wheel. “Well then, I‘ll drive us over there now.”
A beat later, Tsukino Kyoko lips were curled into a slight smile from atop Xia Lei’s shoulder. “I know what you’re up to. Your mind is just like a net.”
Xia Lei merely smiled at that before busying himself with news articles.
The website, Asahi Shimbun, was a portal of the Japanese press that reported domestic and international news relevant to their country.
As soon as the interface was launched, the front headline was shocking news about the assassination of Hattori Jiro’s family. Names of other Hattori family members were also mentioned in the report. The total death toll of the clan had reached an astounding twenty-eight people!
The number was surprising even to Xia Lei.
The Japanese Police Force had deduced the serial murders to be a personal vendetta, hinting at the fact that it was an overseas assailant. Honestly, they were this close to mentioning Xia Lei or the Thunder Horse Organization at this point.
The report was penned with wrath. The tone and language used were meant to fan the burning rage of their people.
Such an incident was bound to knit their samurai community tighter and closer.
Xia Lei smirked coldly at the alarming headline. He thought to himself, “What can you do about it even if you realize I was the one behind it? You’ve tried to kill my women and children so I repaid your kindness by destroying the Hattori clan from its roots. This is just the beginning. You’ve chosen to initiate it in that manner and I shall reciprocate it. First the Hattori clan, then the samurais!”
The Hattori clan and samurais’ assassination attempt on his wives and children had resulted in failure. However, they had still initiated an attempt. Hence, they’d need to face Xia Lei’s wrath and revenge. They would not escape the bites of this mad dog!
“Will she regret it?” Tsukino Kyoko asked out of the blue.
Xia Lei blinked. “Hattori Mei? Hmph, she’s the kind of vicious woman that would think of overtaking her own father. There’s no way she’ll regret it. The only time her actions will sink in is when I have a gun pointed at her head.”
Soon, they drove onto a roadwork section. The tar roads that were broken up by machines had turned its relatively smooth surface into rocky bumps. Tsukino Kyoko’s chest began to alternate between smothering against the length of his arm and shoulder blade. The compression was admittedly, soft and comfortable. Despite the obvious discomfort, Tsukino Kyoko did not shift her position. The female ninja continued to stick close to his body.
Perhaps she had been waiting for this to happen.
In China, she barely stood a chance at getting close to Xia Lei. It was only when they left the country for missions that she could do such a thing. These opportunities were few and far between.
Anjum Khan cast a glance at them through the rear mirror, smirking unhelpfully. He found Tsukino Kyoko’s open display of interest bold and liberal. Anjum Khan had no idea what sinful acts Tsukino Kyoko had done to Xia Lei. While they struggled to live with E’er Demutu on the plastic board, she promptly utilized their proximity to get a taste of Xia Lei’s member.
Xia Lei tried to remain unfazed.
It took more than ten minutes for the road conditions to improve. The Ram pickup truck too had finally reached its destination.
Both sides of the wide road were liberally decorated with majestic palm trees and glamorous flowering plants. The entire landscaping of the area was marvellous. Buildings lined the sides of the streets, most of them were two-storey villas that looked impeccable and luxurious.
“Let’s stop here,” instructed Xia Lei.
Anjum Khan stepped on the brakes and pulled the handbrake. They alighted the vehicle following Xia Lei and continued to trail forward.
The afternoon sun was scorching hot, their surroundings threatening to steam them alive. Everyone had opted to stay at home so the streets were exceptionally quiet. However, the pools on the back of the properties were very lively. Some homeowners were enjoying a poolside barbeque with their neighbors and friends. A few blonde bikini-clad girls had become the summer scenery, attracting male gazes from all around.
The three of them reached the gates of 119, Palm Road before long. Xia Lei halted his tracks and scanned the house with his left and right eye. Making sure that no one was in, they quickly moved inside its front yard.
Thompson had installed a surveillance system around the house. Thankfully, those things were not an issue to Xia Lei. He had merely used twenty seconds to unlock all his passcode locks and showed his team into Thompson’s house. The first thing they searched for was the hard drive that stored recorded surveillance footages and deleted off their tracks thirty-seconds prior.
The interior decoration of the house wasn’t very sophisticated. It had a gruffer style that inched towards the American Western aesthetic. It had a red brick fireplace in the living room along with the countless deer head mounts and shotguns hung on the walls. Beside the fireplace were a bear rug and a rocking chair, presumably where Thompsom likes to have his coffee while reading the newspaper.
Tsukino Kyoko and Anjum Khan scanned the upper floors. They both returned to the living room on the ground floor.
“There’s no one upstairs too. The coast is clear,” reported Anjum Khan.
Tsukino Kyoko brought a photo album to Xia Lei. “Does this count as valuable intel?”
Xia Lei took a brief glance over. The photos inside the albums had pictured Thompson and another woman. From what he could see, Thompson was a man close to his fifties. His receding hairline looked remarkably sad and his face was littered with freckles and bumps. Worse, his eye bags were heavy. Despite that awful combination of aged features, the woman in his arms was a stunner. She looked no more than twenty, her face and features were firm and delicate. Her breasts were still perky and full, buttocks equally plump and taut. Such was the type of women favoured by men of the American and European continent.
While it was nothing more than one single photo, Xia Lei could already smell its value. He smiled at her. “The salary of an American soldier is comparatively higher than ordinary office workers. Regular soldiers can receive more than three thousand USD per month. A man of his rank can be paid more than eleven thousand USD per month. But it certainly isn’t enough to afford a villa and fool around with women like this. Kyoko, this is indeed a valuable clue.”
Kyoko beamed at that. Xia Lei’s praise, regardless of how simple, was enough to put her in a good mood.
A few minutes later, Xia Lei showed himself into Thompson’s study. He cracked his knuckles and began to work.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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