There was a sudden shower in the middle of the afternoon and cold raindrops pattered against windows and roofs. The wind blew but it could not blow away the anger and hate in Distinguished Gathering.
Crash! Gu Ding-Shan smashed a piece of valuable porcelain in his hand to the floor. The teapot shattered into pieces and the premium oolong tea it held spread all over the floor.
“Macau’s Gambling King was not able to make that punk bankrupt and he even won a billion from us!” This incident was as if someone had spat in the face of Gu Ding-Shan and he was sickened by it.
Gu Ke-Wu spoke tentatively, “I can’t figure out how Xia Lei moved so much money in such a short period of time. If only Xu Lang had been faster; we would’ve been able to hold onto that money.”
“Dad, Brother, isn’t it obvious? That was Shentu Tian-Yin’s territory. She must’ve helped him move it, that hateful bitch. Brother, you’re smitten with her but she’s so in love with that punk it’s like she’s possessed. I feel injustice for you when I think of how she and that Xia Lei were sweetly and happily dancing around on that dance floor!”
Gu Ke-Wu laughed coldly. “I don’t love her, I love Vientaine Group. If I can’t get what I want, then no one else shall!”
“Her clan’s richer than ours, and she doesn’t even care for you. I think it’s too difficult to get a woman like her.” Gu Ke-Wen was not optimistic at all about Gu Ke-Wu’s chances of marrying Shentu Tian-Yin.
“Stop fighting!” Gu Ding-Shan said angrily, “Put Shentu Tian-Yin’s matter aside for now. Resolve the matter about this punk before we talk about anything else.”
Gu Ke-Wu and Gu Ke-Wen shut up.
Gu Ding-Shan snorted, “I don’t get it. A beggar from the construction sites just suddenly gets rich and is so difficult for us to deal with. Is he the Monkey God reincarnated?”
“Dad, I don’t think Xia Lei is that difficult to deal with - it’s that woman. We have to be careful about her,” said Gu Ke-Wu.
“You mean that woman who claimed to be from National Security?” Long Bing had left a deep impression on Gu Ding-Shan too.
“Yes, her.” Gu Ke-Wu couldn’t help the hate in his heart when he recalled her pointing a gun at him.
Gu Ding-Shan thought for a bit. “I’ll get someone to investigate when I’m back in Jing-Du. It’ll be easy to deal with a woman like her when we have more information about her.”
“Oh, right…” Gu Ke-Wen seemed to remember something, “What about Danny? He should’ve taken action tonight but there’s been no news of him till now.”
“I called Danny after that woman took Xia Lei away but his phone’s off,” said Gu Ke-Wu.
“Danny will only switch his phone off when he’s making a move.” Gu Ding-Shan laughed coldly. “He may give us a surprise.”
A shadow suddenly flitted past the windows.
Gu Ding-Shan, Gu Ke-Wu and Gu Ke-Wen sensed it and the door opened as their gazes moved towards it.
A young man in a raincoat walked in. He carried a long, black case.
He was Danny, a person who’d been dead for 16 years.
He was like one of the living dead who’d just climbed out of a grave and he emitted a cold aura. His eyes were even colder and didn’t seem human.
“So?” Gu Ding-Shan was long-accustomed to Danny’s iciness.
Danny put the sniper rifle case on the floor. “Failed.”
“Huh? Danny, you can fail?” Gu Ke-Wen was very surprised.
Gu Ke-Wu was anxious too. “Tell us, quick. What happened?”
Danny removed his raincoat and threw it to the floor. “I’d already had my sights set on the emergency exit when that woman took him out from that way. I was waiting for the moment to take him down. Even a killer on the same level as I am won’t be able to escape my shot in that situation. I just needed three seconds, including the time needed for the bullet to reach the target, to kill him once he was in my sights. He actually sensed my presence once the door was opened and I’d already pulled the trigger but he still managed to dodge. He not only dodged but pushed that woman away, otherwise I would’ve managed to kill that woman even if I didn’t manage to kill him.”
This was what happened and this was the result but Gu Ding-Shan, Gu Ke-Wu and Gu Ke-Wen could not believe it.
Danny opened his case, revealing the sniper rifle inside. “My rifle’s the M200, used by American Special Forces. It has a range of 2,300 metres; I was 2,000 metres away from that door. A bullet from this gun flies at a thousand metres per second so I just need three seconds to kill him. I did do as I’d planned and followed my procedures perfectly, but… I failed.”
“How did he sense you?” Danny’s explanation was very professional but Gu Ke-Wu could not believe that Xia Lei had sensed Danny’s presence at such a distance, and had dodged before the bullet even left the gun!
Danny was quiet for a bit before he said, “I don’t know either but I had a feeling then. It was strange… I felt like he’d seen me in the instant that the door was opened.”
Gu Ding-Shan let out a laugh. “Are you joking, Danny? It was night and two thousand metres away. You were hidden too. How could he have seen you?”
Danny shook his head. “I don’t know either, but I know this - he is a frightening man.”
“What is this, Danny? You’re lifting him high to cover for your mistake. When did you become so cowardly?” said Gu Ke-Wen in dissatisfaction.
Danny looked at Gu Ke-Wen with eyes void of emotion. “Ke-Wen, you know I’m not afraid of death. I was just explaining what I know to you so that you have the information to make accurate conclusions. A person even I cannot kill - the results are unimaginable if he sees red.”
“You want me to consider if it’s worth killing him, is that right?” said Gu Ding-Shan coldly.
Danny said nothing; he nodded.
Gu Ke-Wen interjected before Gu Ding-Shan could speak. “Let him off? Impossible! That punk pirated my patent and edged my company out of the foreign market. He even occupied the domestic market. How can I take this lying down? Fine, even if Nice Moves Sports is a small company not worthy of mention in the North Group, that punk is robbing me of something precious. Brother would probably be preparing to get married to Shentu Tian-Yin now if it weren’t for that punk. Vientaine Group would’ve been ours in three years. How can this loss be accounted for? And what happened tonight - Dad’s dignity was used as a mop and wiped all over the floor. He even won one billion from us!”
Gu Ding-Shan was quiet for a bit before he spoke. “We could have had some room to manoeuvre if you hadn’t pulled the trigger, but you had. That punk would guess that it’s related to us and based on his character, he won’t just let it be. If we withdraw and wait, he will just get more powerful and we will be on the losing end.”
“And Danny, you tried to kidnap his sister and stabbed his bodyguard. His sister looks to be more precious to him than anything. He’ll surely seek revenge for that. The arrow has been let loose from our bow now and there is no going back,” said Gu Ke-Wu.
Hate was a simple yet complicated thing. Offensive words could make two familiar people draw arms in confrontation, and sometimes a careless tread could result in a bloody case. The dispute between the Gu clan and Xia Lei had begun with Liu Ying, then continued with Shentu Tian-Yin and grown to how it was now. Hate had accumulated, layer upon layer, and there was no longer any way of resolving their differences.
“Understood. I will continue in my attempts to assassinate him. I feel I may not be enough alone. I need ten million USD to hire some foreign colleagues,” said Danny.
“No problem, but you know the rules,” said Gu Ding-Shan.
“I know. I have no relation to the Gu clan,” said Danny tonelessly.
Rain continued falling and it didn’t look like it would stop anytime soon.
Meanwhile, in Taiyangshan Public Cemetery.
An old grave had been dug up to reveal the casket below.
The casket was made of white marble and the rain washed away the dirt on it. The casket looked to be free of weathering and decay.
Ke Jie jumped into the grave and reached to open the lid.
There were no remains in the casket - just a plastic Transformers toy. It was fairly tattered and was missing an arm and a leg. Ke Jie could just barely make out that it was Bumblebee of the Autobots.
“Fuck, what’s this?” Ke Jie threw Bumblebee back into the casket, then climbed out. “Bury it well. Make it so that no one can tell the dirt’s been moved.”
Two agents bent to the task.
Ke Jie walked off to one side and made a call.
Long Bing received the call in a Hongqi van by the entrance of a neighbourhood. “What’s the situation?”
“Chief Long, you guessed right. The casket is empty. The orphan Gu Ding-Shan adopted is not dead,” said Ke Jie.
“Issue an order to the clean-up team. Let them find him and eliminate him,” said Long Bing.
“Yes, ma’am.” Ke Jie hung up.
Long Bing closed her eyes. The scene in the emergency exit replayed in her head. Xia Lei suddenly turned around and knocked her to the ground, and that bullet came whizzing past his head in that instant…
Xia Lei was full of mysteries she could not decipher.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
Xia Lei’s phone suddenly rang at a busy time for him.
Who could be calling at this hour? This person sure knew how to pick the time.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
Xia Lei reached out to grab his mobile phone from his bedside table. He grew nervous when he saw who was calling on the display screen.
It was Shentu Tian-Yin.
“Don’t take the call.” Annina wrapped herself around Xia Lei, her blue eyes smouldering gently. She was going to melt Xia Lei for the third time, so how could she let someone interrupt now?
Xia Lei felt awkward too. Pick up the phone? No?
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
Xia Lei bit the bullet and gestured for Annina to keep quiet. He unlocked the phone to answer the call. “Yes, Tian-Yin?”
“Are you all right?” Shentu Tian-Yin’s voice was full of concern.
“I’m fine. I… I’m already home.” Xia Lei did not know what to say.
“I called so late because I wanted to tell you that the money is safe. I plan to circle it through some Swiss banks, then transfer it from my company’s accounts to yours. This way, you can say that the money is from me if someone investigated the source of your money.” Shentu Tian-Yin’s voice was warm.
“Nn, thank you.” Xia Lei was touched, and a little guilty. Why guilty, though?
“Rest well, then. The money issue can be settled by noon tomorrow, don’t worry.”
“You should rest early too. Say hello to Uncle for me.”
“Sure. Come visit when you have time.” Shentu Tian-Yin hung up.
There was no sound coming from the phone any more but Xia Lei still held onto it and stared blankly. A question bothered him. ‘Why was I nervous? I actually feel a little like I’m cheating... We’re not lovers - why do I have this strange feeling? Do I still have lingering feelings from the first time I saw her?’
Annina suddenly wrapped her arms around Xia Lei’s neck and pulled him down to her.
She really was an intuition-ist. She didn’t even bother to ask who’d called…
“This will be the last round, okay?” Xia Lei’s voice was unsteady.
“The second last round, deal! Approved!”
Xia Lei lay back powerlessly. Strangely, Shentu Tian-Yin occupied his mind persistently, even when Annina was kissing him… And her lips…Previous Chapter Next Chapter