What happened in South Korea raised a real hubbub. The Korean police, intelligence officers, military police and naval police were all mobilised but there were no reports about it in the media the next day. The explanation the government gave was an ‘anti-terrorism exercise’, which did not match up to what had actually happened at all.
This was not surprising; Ahn Suhyeong had taken men with him to try to capture Xia Lei under instruction from the CIA. He had no real proof that Xia Lei had stolen the sword of Attila and the CIA didn’t want things to get too out of hand either. Their aim was to capture Xia Lei, the rest be damned. Xia Lei had evaded capture and the CIA had no need of this to be in the headlines as it was not beneficial to them.
2300 hours that same night, Jingdu, China.
“Go in on your own. I still have to arrange for you to go back to Afghanistan.” Long Bing stopped in front of the door to Tang Yu-Yan’s home. “The CIA will find the link between the sword of Attila and the White Hun Tribe easily. This is not advantageous for the rescue plan so we need to act fast. Go tell them. You have till tomorrow morning to get moving.”
“That should be no problem. They should agree,” said Xia Lei.
Long Bing left and Xia Lei entered the flat with the sword of Attila in a wooden box. The sword had not come with a box; Tang Bo-Chuan had prepared this for Xia Lei to make it easier to transport and hide it from view.
No one was in the living room. A pile of snacks, crisps, melon seeds, pecans and the like sat on the coffee table. All the packets were open and the carpet was littered with peels, shells and husks. The women of the tribe had never thrown things like these in a bin before because such a thing did not exist.
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched and he saw Dayetia and Szlamy sleeping in Tang Yu-Yan’s room. The two women were fast asleep and didn’t seem to have heard him enter. He then saw the blades they had put by their pillows. Dayetia had a filleting knife next to her pillow while Szlamy had a vegetable chopper; both knives were fairly sharp.
The two tribeswomen were usually alert even in sleep and always battle-ready but they had not heard him open the door. This was odd.
Xia Lei stopped using his X-ray vision. He carried the wooden case to Tang Yu-Yan’s room. He had to wake them up even though they were asleep to discuss their return to Afghanistan.
Xia Lei grasped the handle and twisted it gently, then pushed the door open. At that moment, Dayetia and Szlamy grabbed their knives at the same time and threw them at the doorway.
Metal flashed, and Xia Lei pulled the door violently before him.
Thud! Thud! The filleting knife and chopper thunked into the door, almost at the same time.
Xia Lei broke out in cold sweat. He pushed the door aside and hissed, “It’s me!”
“Xia?” Szlamy heard his voice and threw off the covers as she hopped excitedly off the bed.
A beautiful pale landscape entered his field of vision. He’d broken out in cold sweat a few seconds earlier but this scene made him break out in hot sweat. A shock followed by stimulation - these opposing sensations were strange indeed.
Szlamy didn’t seem to care about Xia Lei seeing her body since she had already bared all to him in the tribe. Dayetia was different, though. She had never exposed herself to Xia Lei like this, ever. She had first paused when the irrational Szlamy had thrown off the covers, then hopped off the bed too to hurriedly snatch up clothing and cover herself. However, Szlamy had switched on the lights with a click before she could get to her clothes. She was entirely exposed.
“Xia! It really is you!” Szlamy let out a cry of joy when she saw that it was indeed Xia Lei in the doorway. She opened her arms wide to give him a hug.
Xia Lei came back to his senses in the second before Szlamy’s hug got him and he hurriedly thrust the wooden box in his hands outward. The box blocked Szlamy. “What you wanted. The sword of Attila. I have it.”
Szlamy wanted to embrace Xia Lei but got a wooden box in her arms instead. She was a simple-minded person, however and her attention was drawn away when she heard ‘sword of Attila’. “The sword of Attila? Wow!”
Dayetia drew close too, not bothering with clothes. She snatched the box from Szlamy’s hands and opened it eagerly to have a look.
“It really is the sword of Attila. It’s been over a thousand years… It’s back, it’s finally back…” Dayetia stroked the blade and emotional tears leaked from her eyes.
Szlamy was excited too but she had no tears. Her reaction was quite different from Dayetia’s. Dayetia had tears but her face turned red. A red blush on the adorable baby-face of Szlamy’s made her look like she had too much to drink.
“I’ve obtained the item as promised and handed it to you.” Xia Lei averted his gaze from their luscious buttocks with difficulty. “Get ready. We depart for Afghanistan early tomorrow. Chieftain Dayetia, please keep your end of the deal and release the hostages you have captured.”
“No problem.” Dayetia covered the wooden box and looked back at Xia Lei. “We hold our deals as important as life itself. Rest assured, I will release your friend and those treasure hunters once I bring the sword of Attila back to the tribe.”
“And our deal?” probed Xia Lei, “My people have acquired the equipment. I will build a hydropower station for your tribe.”
Dayetia cracked a rare smile. “It stands. You have returned the sword of Attila to us - you are a treasured friend to us. You shall have the highest honours and courtesy when you return to the tribe.”
Xia Lei smiled too. “Thank you.”
“Chieftain, Xia is now our tribe’s most treasured friend, so give me to him as the most treasured gift,” said Szlamy all of a sudden.
Xia Lei was abashed yet tempted. This was contradictory but normal. Would any normal man reject a gift such as Szlamy? Baby-faced with H-cups - just thinking of it made most men aroused, much less having the real package.
With one word from Dayetia, Szlamy would be his ‘gift’. Szlamy looked at Dayetia with wide eyes, just waiting for her to nod.
“We’ll talk when we get back.” This was Dayetia’s answer.
Szlamy’s chin went down and she was dispirited.
Xia Lei was relieved. ‘Good thing she didn’t agree. If she really did become my gift then I’d have to take her… It’ll be troublesome indeed since she’s fairly active but dumb at the same time. Taking care of her would be a terribly troublesome thing, huh…’
This seemed to be some sort of self-consolation or something - Xia Lei was not sure himself anymore.
“Go rest. You can arrange the time to leave,” ordered Dayetia. She would have kicked Xia Lei out of the room with her having barely ten square centimetres of cloth covering her if not for the fact that he had brought her the sword of Attila.
“Okay, see you in the morning.” Xia Lei backed out of the room and closed the door on his way out.
Szlamy was dissatisfied. “Chieftain, you said no when I asked to give him to me, and now I’m asking to be given to him but you’re still not going to say ‘yes’?”
“Is there a difference?” Dayetia rolled her eyes at Szlamy.
Szlamy stared at Dayetia blankly. “Is there a difference?”
Dayetia was not going to bother wasting words on Szlamy. She took out the sword of Attila and put it on the bed, then got on her knees and started praying to it. She chanted line after line and looked rather religious.
Szlamy stared for a bit, then got on her knees next to Dayetia and started to pray to the sword of Attila too.
Xia Lei stopped in his tracks outside the room when he heard the buzzing-chanting coming from the room. He went back to the door and peeked in. He was curious about what kind of prayers Dayetia was chanting and he was curious too about things to do with the sword of Attila and wanted to know more.
Dayetia voice came to his ears. “... Oh, Great Attila, please guide us in our advancement, let us build our glory anew…”
These were ordinary platitudes for help and not any secret but Xia Lei stood there quietly, unable to leave.Previous Chapter Next Chapter