A small passenger plane went straight from Jingdu to Haizhu. There were just five people on the plane - Long Bing, Tang Bo-Chuan, Ke Jie, Qin Xiang and Xia Lei.
Tang Bo-Chuan kept talking to Xia Lei after the plane took off, and showing him various materials and drawings.
Xia Lei was then informed of Tang Bo-Chuan’s identity in Bureau 101 - tactical planner. He was the engineer of most of Bureau 101’s missions, and this was also one of this plans. The plan which Xia Lei had spent a whole night on was rejected straightaway. Xia Lei’s plan was to enter Ahn Geungan’s home and steal away the sword.
Tang Bo-Chuan gave Xia Lei quite some information to read on Shinyeok Group’s important people. “According to our sources, Vientaine Group and Shinyeok Group have a project they’re collaborating on and they will be launching it in two days. Shentu Tian-Yin will represent Vientaine Group to hold the groundbreaking ceremony with Ahn Suhyeong. This is an opportunity to make use of your relationship with Shentu Tian-Yin,” said Tang Bo-Chuan to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. “We’re making use of her?”
“This can’t be considered ‘using’. You just have to go to Korea with Shentu Tian-Yin. You’re going to be moving about in broad daylight while we operate in the shadows. We only get one chance for this mission and we cannot leave any negative impact. Everything must be absolutely safe or my sister and those experts are going to die in the White Hun Tribe. You get me?” said Tang Bo-Chuan.
China and South Korea had extensive collaborations in economic and trade, and Shinyeok group was one of the top conglomerates in Korea, its status on par with Samsung and Hyundai. If something like this was discovered, then there would definitely be a negative impact on international relations. Tang Yu-Yan and the experts’ deaths would be a small matter compared to this.
Xia Lei was quiet for a bit but he nodded in the end. “I get you. I don’t want to drag Shentu Tian-Yin into this but this concerns lives. I will contact her and go to South Korea with her.”
A small smile appeared in the corners of Tang Bo-Chuan’s lips. “Very good. You cannot tell her anything about this mission.”
Xia Lei nodded. He knew what to do without Tang Bo-Chuan nagging him.
“Is your man reliable?” Tang Bo-Chuan looked at Qin Xiang way at the back, his eyes wary.
“No worries. I need his help on this mission, and he’s a professional in this field too,” said Xia Lei.
“Then it’s decided. This mission will be off the record. You have to make sure your man understands this. No failures but if there is, you have to keep your mouths shut or it’ll be difficult to clean up.”
A wry smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s lips. He understood what Tang Bo-Chuan meant. These scenarios played out a lot in spy movies where the agent risked his life for his country but would not be recognised when his mission failed, resulting in the spy killing himself for the sake of secrecy. Tang Bo-Chuan was not just reminding Qin Xiang but Xia Lei too, just not directly.
Personally, this was not worth it; it was too shadowy, too wrong. From the country’s standpoint, however, this was a great thing worthy of respect.
After a bit of silence, Xia Lei said, “This is the last time I’m helping you do anything. I won’t do any more after this mission.”
Tang Bo-Chuan laughed. “Xia, bro, it’s useless saying this to me. You should say this to Boss Shi. But my grandfather said that if you succeed in rescuing my sister he will take you in as a disciple and teach you Tang techniques. Didn’t you always want to learn? This is an opportunity for you, and a form of repayment from the Tang sect.”
“Really?” Xia Lei was tempted. He’d been hankering after Tang Yu-Yan’s hidden weapons techniques for quite a while but was unable to get to the core of its secret. Some things were not obtainable, even with X-ray vision.
“Of course. My grandfather wants to meet you, and for some time too,” said Tang Bo-Chuan.
“Please tell Grandfather Tang that I will definitely get Yu-Yan back safe and sound,” said Xia Lei.
Xia Lei went to Qin Xiang with the information and drawings after he was done talking with Tang Bo-Chuan. He gave them to Qin Xiang to read.
Looking at him reading the information and examining the drawing, and looking at the face which women envied stirred up twinges of guilt and worry in Xia Lei. He hesitated, but still spoke, “Qin Xiang, this mission is very dangerous. We won’t have any protection if we’re discovered. You still have time to change your decision now. I understand, no matter how you choose.”
Qin Xiang lifted his head to look at Xia Lei with the corners of his mouth upturned in a pretty smile. “You think I’m doing this for those people? That person surnamed Tang talked to you only, and not me. I may not know what you talked about but I know how people like them operate. I don’t care about that though. I work only for you.”
‘I don’t care about that though. I work only for you’. These words, these few simple words were as toweringly heavy as a mountain and no force could move it. Xia Lei was awash with emotion. He took Qin Xiang’s hand but did not know how to express what he felt.
A inexplicable blush crept across Qin Xiang’s face.
Xia Lei retracted his hand and the two men’s eyes met, full of awkwardness…
The plane landed at Haizhu International Airport and Xia Lei disembarked. The plane took off again, heading straight for Seoul, South Korea. The plan was to have Xia Lei in plain sight while Qin Xiang, Tang Bo-Chuan, Long Bing and Ke Jie stay in the shadows. They were going to Korea to do some preparations in advance.
A vehicle from Bureau 101 was already waiting when Xia Lei exited the airport. He took the car back to Thunder Horse Manufacturing where he was called into his office by Guan Ling-Shan.
“You want to build a hydropower station, Chairman Xia?” Guan Ling-Shan was gobsmacked when Xia Lei was done talking. “And in Afghanistan?”
“Yep. Don’t ask why. You’re going to be in charge,” said Xia Lei.
Stealing the sword of Attila was the first step, and the second was building a hydropower station. This step had to be put in motion in advance too.
“Chairman Xia, do you mean that our company is going to make all the equipment for the hydropower station?” said Guan Ling-Shan.
“No, we don’t have to make it ourselves this time,” said Xia Lei, “You just need to purchase the materials. But remember - purchase the materials from where it is convenient for transport. Companies from India or Pakistan will do. I’d like to settle this quickly.”
“Yes, Chairman Xia, I understand. Rest assured, I will have this done as soon as possible,” said Guan Ling-Shan.
Xia Lei smiled, “Nn, it’s been tough on you.”
Guan Ling-Shan pushed her spectacles up her nose-bridge shyly. “Why hold back, Chairman Xia? You promoted me and gave me all that I have now. Everything you ask me to do, I will do to the best of my capabilities.”
A university graduate with not one year’s experience was already helping Xia Lei to manage a company - this opportunity was not something everyone in the workforce had.
“Do it well. I have to be out for a few days and I have to leave now.” Xia Lei patted Guan Ling-Shan on the shoulder and got ready to leave.
“Oh, right,” called Guan Ling-Shan, “Chairman Xia, Shentu Tian-Yin called several times this month to ask after you. I didn’t know where you were so I couldn’t tell her.”
Xia Lei nodded. “I’ll contact her.”
A few minutes later, Xia Lei drove his BMW M6 out of Thunder Horse Manufacturing and headed towards Vientaine Building. He called Shentu Tian-Yin in the car.
“Tian-Yin, it’s me, Xia Lei.”
“Where have you been for all this time?” Shentu Tian-Yin’s voice had an excited edge to it, “I looked for you many times for the past month and your phone was off when I called too. I was so worried.”
“I went to Afghanistan. There was no way for me to use my phone there,” said Xia Lei.
“You went to Afghanistan? You really… What did you go there for?” asked Shentu Tian-Yin curiously.
“I can’t say it over the phone. I just came back. Where are you? I’ll come to you.”
“I’m in Vientaine Building. Why don’t you come over?” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Xia Lei stepped on the accelerator after he hung up and the black BMW M6 bounded ahead on the road like a beast. He was not one bit worried about speed cameras or punishment from traffic police for breaking traffic laws. This was probably one of the better advantages of the limited benefits from Bureau 101.
He took the lift to Shentu Tian-Yin’s office when he got to Vientaine Building.
Shentu Tian-Yin was in a black women’s suit. Her cool, elegant face and perfectly ratio-ed figure, plus her amazing queenly aura made for a strong impression on people.
Xia Lei saw Shentu Ren too. What surprised him was that Shentu Ren had gained weight, and he had better colour in his cheeks which made him seem more spirited. This could also be why he was in Shentu Tian-Yin’s office. He was gradually regaining his health and already beginning to help Shentu Tian-Yin with business affairs.
“Uncle Ren, Tian-Yin, hello.” Xia Lei smiled as he greeted them.
“You rascal, just going off for a month like that with not even a phone call,” said Shentu Ren reproachfully, “Have you forgotten this old man?”
Xia Lei replied a little awkwardly, “Don’t say that, Uncle Ren. See, I came right over once I came back. I was in Afghanistan, and there really was no way to call.”
“What did you go there for?” asked Shentu Tian-Yin. She had a faint smile on her face now that she could see Xia Lei.
“For a political project. I am going to build a hydropower station for an Afghan tribe, and develop that area. The tribe is poor - one goat is the sum of a household’s wealth. Building there will allow me access to resources there so it’s a thing of mutual benefit.” Xia Lei had thought of an answer on his way to them and he’d said what he could say. He mentioned nothing of what he could not say.
This was not lying, and even it it was, it was a white lie.
Shentu Ren chuckled. “You sure are daring to invest in a place like Afghanistan. But I have to admire your courage. Young people should go for it.” He looked at Shentu Tian-Yin. “Tian-Yin, learn from Lei. See how he’s gone so bravely to Afghanistan to invest? You lack his courage.”
Shentu Tian-Yin laughed. “Father, would you feel ill if you don’t praise Xia Lei three times a day? I work so hard yet you have no praise for me.”
Shentu Ren laughed. “Fine, fine, I know you don’t want me here now. I’ll see myself out. You two have a good chat.”
Fu Ming-Mei entered the room to wheel Shentu Ren out.
It was just Xia Lei and Shentu Tian-Yin left in the office after his departure. The two of them looked at each other and did not talk for a whole minute.
So much had happened between them that it was possible to write a book, but this book was still blank now, with no single word written yet.
“I’m going to South Korea tomorrow.” Shentu Tian-Yin broke the silence. “We have a project where we’re collaborating with Shinyeok Group and I have to go there for the groundbreaking ceremony. Do you have time? I’d like you to come with me.”
“Sure, I’ll go with you,” said Xia Lei with a smile.
Shentu Tian-Yin was surprised by how quickly Xia Lei had agreed. “Don’t joke. I’m serious.”
“I’m serious too, but you’ll have to arrange the booking and treat me to something delicious.”
“I’ll treat you to Korean kimchi.” Shentu Tian-Yin laughed quite happily. “It’s decided then. I’ll get someone to arrange it right away.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter