Xia Lei entered the washroom and took out a mobile phone from his trouser pocket. It was Gu Ke-Wu’s phone. Xia Lei’s first act of thievery was a success.
Qin Xiang had also said that Xia Lei would surely be a great thief if he were to learn to steal. The reason was simple - Xia Lei had an advantage no one else had, and that was his left eye.
Xia Lei activated the phone and a password-request of the connect-the-dots variety appeared on the screen. This did not hinder him. He used the power of his eye and saw the traces of a letter ‘Z’ on the smooth screen.
Xia Lei drew a ‘Z’ with his finger and the phone was unlocked.
The phone had quite a number of saved contacts; at least a hundred. Xia Lei just stared at the screen as he scrolled slowly through the list, letting his left eye memorise all the details. There were officials, big names in the business world, some of the Gu clan and high-ranking people from North Group.
Xia Lei closed his eyes in two minutes and the names of the people he had ‘recorded’ in the contact list surfaced in his mind. He could eliminate the officials and business bigwigs as suspects and the North Group people too, because Gu Ding-Shan and Gu Ke-Wu would definitely not get North Group people to do things such as kidnapping and assassination. So what was left was the Gu clan.
Gu clan member names appeared in his head, one after another. One name aroused his suspicion.
‘The contacts were all saved in categories. Why is this Danny here in the Gu clan category? The name looks like a foreign one… It can’t be a relative of the Gu clan’s, can it?’ thought Xia Lei.
Xia Lei thought for a bit, then used Gu Ke-Wu’s phone to call Danny’s number.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
Someone picked up on the sixth ring and a male voice came from over the line. “I’m here.”
It was a very precise, very Chinese person’s voice.
Xia Lei paused, then made a noise of acknowledgement. “Nn.” He hung up.
He couldn’t talk under these circumstances, of course. He could not copy Gu Ke-Wu’s voice and anything he said would reveal himself. However, he did not need to question that Danny to know that he was the killer who had tried to kidnap Xia Xue and severely injured Lu Sheng!
First, this Danny was categorised as ‘family’ in Gu Ke-Wu’s phone. This meant Danny was some core existence in the Gu clan. Plus, this Danny had only said ‘I’m here’ but this exposed his identity. This banquet was to give Gu Ke-Wu a chance to take action against him and lure the killer out. Danny’s ‘I’m here’ was just that, wasn’t it?
Xia Lei suddenly thought of the movie ‘Unleashed’, which Jet Li had starred in, and he thought, ‘So this name must have come from there. Jet Li was like a human-shaped attack dog in the movie. He attacked whoever his master told him to attack. The Gu clan’s Danny should also be an existence similar to that, huh?’
After having gained an idea of the killer’s identity, Xia Lei quickly scanned through the messages and e-mails on Gu Ke-Wu’s phone. He did not make an effort to remember their contents since he would be able to recall them later anyway.
Xia Lei walked out of the washroom a few minutes later.
A lady in red was at the mirror fixing her lipstick.
Xia Lei walked over and said in a low voice, “The killer’s already here. You be careful.”
“How do you know?” Qin Xiang did not look back; he looked at Xia Lei through the mirror.
“I stole Gu Ke-Wu’s phone and called that punk. It’s more or less confirmed. That punk’s named Danny. He’s very dangerous,” said Xia Lei.
“I think you are the dangerous one.” Qin Xiang pursed his lips and smiled. “Want me to return the phone?”
“Left trouser pocket.” Xia Lei put Gu Ke-Wu’s phone by the sink, then turned and left.
Back in the banquet hall, Xia Lei quickly saw Shentu Tian-Yin talking to Gu Ke-Wu.
Qin Xiang walked past Xia Lei, going straight towards Gu Ke-Wu and Shentu Tian-Yin. When he got to Gu Ke-Wu, his leg suddenly turned to one side and a high heel dropped on the floor. He lost his balance and knocked into Gu Ke-Wu.
Gu Ke-Wu frowned and stared at Qin Xiang.
Qin Xiang spoke in a reedy voice, “I’m so sorry, sir. Ah, ow, my leg…”
Gu Ke-Wu put on a look of concern. “Are you all right, miss?”
“I’m okay, I’m okay. So, so sorry.” Qin Xiang put on the high heel he had dropped and stumbled off.
Gu Ke-Wu did not give Qin Xiang a second glance. He quickly found another topic and resumed conversation with Shentu Tian-Yin.
A faint smile appeared on Xia Lei’s lips. He’d seen Qin Xiang put the phone in Gu Ke-Wu’s pocket the instant he’d bumped into Gu Ke-Wu.
Xia Lei walked towards Shentu Tian-Yin and Gu Ke-Wu. He swept his gaze over the banquet hall, searching for the killer, Danny. He had not met him in person but he knew that the young man who had sneakily taken pictures of Shentu Tian-Yin and himself in the park was Danny. He would recognise him right away if that Danny turned up.
Danny said on the phone that he was here but Xia Lei did not find him in the banquet hall.
A small, sweet smile appeared on Shentu Tian-Yin’s lips when she saw Xia Lei walking over. “Where did you go earlier? I was looking for you.”
“I went to the washroom,” said Xia Lei.
Gu Ke-Wu’s face darkened. He’d spent a lot of effort to butter Shentu Tian-Yin up but she had not even smiled at him once. Shentu Tian-Yin smiled without Xia Lei having to say anything.
Gu Ke-Wu could not understand it - he was many times richer than Xia Lei and his rank in society was several tiers higher than Xia Lei. If they compared looks, he was handsome too and if they compared bodies, he had pretty nice one too. Why did Shentu Tian-Yin like this stinking construction-site-worker-turned-businessman more than him?
“Lei, come with me. I’ll introduce you to a few friends.” Shentu Tian-Yin held Xia Lei by the arm, her actions natural and intimate.
Xia Lei smiled and said, “Mr Gu, let’s chat later. Don’t forget that you said we should have drinks together later.”
Gu Ke-Wu’s eyes could've spat flames but he forced a smile on his face in front of Shentu Tian-Yin. “Sure, see you later.”
Shentu Tian-Yin hung onto Xia Lei’s arm and walked with him to a few people who were speaking Cantonese. She first greeted them, then introduced them one by one to Xia Lei.
“This is Mr Li Ming-Ji of Hong Kong Changhe Group.”
Xia Lei extended two hands to shake with him, then introduced himself.
“This is the CEO of Macau New Century Casino, Mr He Jia-Ying.”
Xia Lei extended both hands again and greeted him.
The people Shentu Tian-Yin introduced were famous big tycoons in the business world. One could not normally get the opportunity to even meet them, much less get to know them. It was not realistic for Xia Lei to do business with these tycoons with his current status but it was still good to make their acquaintances.
Xia Lei was just an insignificant, little person in the eyes of the tycoons and they would not normally even be interested in giving him a glance but he was someone Shentu Tian-Yin was introducing and she was even holding him by the arm. This was already a very obvious hint - Shentu Tian-Yin’s boyfriend. Who would dare to not treat him well?
This was actually what Shentu Tian-Yin wanted. This banquet was something Xia Lei had asked her to hold but she did not want just a simple banquet - she invited all the best people. She was going to send out hints whether Xia Lei was willing or not: I, Shentu Tian-Yin, am now taken. This would make the low-EQ Xia Lei understand and prompt him to do what a man should do and take the initiative to court her. Another aim was to borrow the chance to erase the designs which other men had on her.
It was not a scheme but a woman trying to get the happiness she wanted. What she did was essentially like a man giving flowers to a woman, or inviting a woman out to a movie.
However, Xi Lei’s thoughts were not on the relationship between Shentu Tian-Yin and himself and his nerves were tense. He had been scanning the banquet hall, looking for that Danny even while Shentu Tian-Yin was introducing him to the tycoons.
As Shentu Tian-Yin talked to the tycoons, Xia Lei moved his gaze to Gu Ke-Wu’s body.
Gu Ke-Wu took out his phone to receive a call just then.
Xia Lei fixed on Gu Ke-Wu’s lips and used lip-reading on him
“Dad, I’m in the banquet hall. You’re here? Oh…” Gu Ke-Wu walked towards the main doors and raised a hand high.
Xia Lei’s gaze went to the entrance and he saw a man in his late fifties with two bodyguards walk into the banquet hall.
As the head of the North Group, Gu Ding-Shan’s photograph was all over the internet and Xia Lei had seen it dozens of times. It was his first time meeting him but he could still tell who it was at first sight. This man who had just walked in was Gu Ding-Shan.
Gu Ding-Shan did not look like an underworld boss at all. He had a medium build and was neither fat nor thin with black spectacles. He looked scholarly, like a language teacher in some school.
Xia Lei looked at the two bodyguards accompanying Gu Ding-Shan; neither were Danny. This surprised him.
“Dad.” Gu Ke-Wu greeted Gu Ding-Shan respectfully.
Gu Ding-Shan gave him a faint nod, then moved his gaze to Shentu Tian-Yin and the tycoons. His gaze then landed on Xia Lei.
Their gazes seemed to collide in the air; there was no sound.
Gu Ding-Shan started walking over.
Gu Ke-Wu hesitated, then followed Gu Ding-Shan.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
We have 49 chapters more to go to chapter 300 so here I am casting the net for some ideas on what to do for this happy event.
Ideas I have so far:
1) Doing a live-reading of chapter 300 on Discord. (There is a voice-channel called 'storytelling'.)
2) Another Q&A with me :D
3) I'll sing 3 songs of your choosing (top 3 highest-voted in comments) on Discord. Any language, as long as it's not something impossible like dubstep or inhumane screeching.
Get voting, get commenting, keep the suggestions coming till the last day of September 2018!