Xia Lei’s problems were solved with Dayetia’s death. Szlamy became the chieftain of the White Hun Tribe so he did not have to worry about the safety of Tang Yu-Yan, Ning Jing and the experts. There was the permission to excavate the ruins too but wouldn’t Szlamy grant him his request anyway?
There was one problem left now - the Ika Tribe.
Down below, Chieftain Abutulu was climbing up with dozens of his men. The tribesmen all carried guns and were on high alert. One of the tribesmen attached a white piece of cloth to a branch and held it high as a sign to Xia Lei and Szlamy to cease fire. They couldn’t be blamed for being so nervous, since the battle earlier had frightened them badly.
“Abutulu’s bringing so many men. What if they fight us?” said Szlamy worriedly.
Xia Lei was relaxed. “I’ve never had dealings with Abutulu but I can tell that he’s a greedy man. And your two tribes aren’t that far away from each other so the Ika Tribe depends on you guys to some extent. Having a war does both sides no good. Besides, we’re giving him 400,000 US dollars. This money’s enough to buy peace.”
Szlamy gave him a toothy smile. “I trust you. But if they dare touch you I’ll kill them all!”
Her smile pulled at the wound on her chest and some blood seeped out of it. The high spheres and bright red wound had their own fascinating beauty, and also made one feel some tenderness. The torn fabric also revealed white skin which made one’s head fill with imagination, guessing at the whole image.
“Xia, help me bandage my wounds when the negotiations are done, okay?” Her wounds were still bleeding but Szlamy was smiling, carefree. Her brain seemed to be full of images of him bandaging her wounds.
“No problem,” said Xia Lei with a smile. He had to stay on her good side now. She was now chieftain too, but compared to Dayetia it was much easier to keep Szlamy happy.
Abutulu and his men had come close; they were about 20 metres away. Abutulu and his men stopped. They were wary of Xia Lei and Szlamy and were not willing to take one step closer.
“We’re here! You come down to talk!” Abutulu shouted to Xia Lei and Szlamy.
Szlamy made to go down but Xia Lei held her back and said quietly in her ear, “You stay here, stay alert. I’ll go talk with them.”
Szlamy’s face was full of worry. “But…”
Xia Lei cut her off. “I know you’re worried for my safety but it is more dangerous for both of us to go. Besides, do you know how to pay them that amount of money?”
Szlamy looked embarrassed and didn’t insist on going with him again.
Xia Lei picked up Dayetia’s AK47, slung his sniper rifle over his back and walked towards Abutulu. He’d picked up the AK47 because the sniper rifle wouldn’t be effective if he needed to engage in close combat.
As Xia Lei walked down, Szlamy watched the Ika tribesmen warily, prepared to shoot anyone who made any suspicious moves at any time. It looked like it was just two people and that the Ika Tribe had an advantage in numbers but the two were highly skilled with the gun and unafraid of Abutulu and his men.
Xia Lei stopped before Abutulu; he was calm.
Abutulu looked at Xia Lei with burning eyes. “You have the most guts I’ve seen. Not afraid that I’d go back on our deal and kill you?”
Xia Lei spoke evenly, “What will you gain if you kill me? Just one corpse. Don’t forget though that Szlamy is the White Hun Tribe’s marks-woman. The first one she will kill is you. Do you want to test her, Chieftain Abutulu?”
Abutulu glanced at Szlamy in the distance and said, “You’ve killed quite a number of my men. I can’t revive them even if I kill you two. Their children and their wives still need to live on. I won’t say more; pay up.”
An Ika tribesman held up a notebook computer and a satellite signal receiver to Xia Lei. He was different from the other tribesmen; he wore spectacles and looked like someone who’d had an education.
“What do we do if I pay and you don’t let us go?” said Xia Lei.
Anger flashed in Abutulu’s eyes. “You don’t trust me?”
Xia Lei kept his tone neutral. “Chieftain Abutulu, you sent hundreds of men after our blood earlier. Can I trust you right away? Besides, I’m not paying you a small amount. It’s 400,000 US dollars. Your tribe won’t even earn as much for a whole year’s harvest of poppy, eh?”
“Bastard! How dare you speak to our chieftain like that!” said an armed Ika tribesmen angrily to Xia Lei.
Abutulu quickly pressed the man’s hand down, not allowing him to raise the muzzle of his gun. If anyone fired in this situation, the 400,000 US dollars would be gone, and maybe their lives too!
“Speak. What do you want?” Abutulu held his anger in check.
“I have just one condition, Chieftain Abutulu. Swear in the name of your god, Allah.”
Abutulu had not expected Xia Lei to make such a request and he paused, then breezily made an oath in the name of Allah.
Xia Lei also quickly finished his transfer and 400,000 US dollars was moved to Abutulu’s bank account.
A smile appeared on Abutulu’s face at the sight of the numbers added. “Tell me, man of China - who are you?”
“Dayetia has told you a little of my situation but what I can tell you is that I am a businessman. I am prepared to invest in the White Hun Tribe. I may work with your tribe in the future too, and you could earn even more money. As you’ve seen, I am generous. I like to solve problems with money. What I’m saying is - be my friend and you will get more than this 400,000 US dollars,” said Xia Lei.
“Hahaha, we are already friends.” Abutulu hugged Xia Lei. “Come, come guest at our tribe. Yes?”
“Next time, maybe. We are hurrying back to the White Hun Tribe.” Xia Lei rejected the offer.
“All right, next time.” Abutulu waved his hand, and his men followed him down the mountain.
A number of the Ika people had died in this battle but lives were not the most valuable things in this land. People would, naturally, be unhappy and angry about the deaths in the Ika Tribe but they were up against a terrifying man with godly gunmanship. The memory of the previous battle swayed their determination and courage to continue a fight against Xia Lei and Szlamy.
Money and power - these were the foundation of Xia Lei’s problem-solving.
Abutulu and his men left the mountain after the transaction was done, taking the corpses of their fallen comrades with them.
Xia Lei watched the men leave on horseback and tension left his body. A piece of clothing suddenly came flying over at that moment and covered his head. The clothing carried the scent of blood, sweat and a certain fragrance. The combination of these three smells was not the best but also not the worst. Smelling this, Xia Lei knew that the new chieftain must be naked now.
“Wheew…” The sound of Szlamy drawing a deep breath came from behind him.
Xia Lei pulled her clothing off his head and turned. Szlamy had not one stitch of clothing on her upper body. She was bare, and white like a bun straight out of the oven. Her sizeable breasts were exposed under the sunlight and looked like two piles of snow; it was an electrifying sight. The slash-wound was right in the middle of her right breast. It was not deep but the cut was about five centimetres long.
“Will it scar?” Szlamy was worried about this and she frowned comically.
Xia Lei said comfortingly, “It shouldn’t. Sit down. I’ll help you dress it.”
Szlamy sat on a rock and Xia Lei took out a first-aid kit from his luggage. He first used some gauze to clean away the blood around the wound, then stitched the wound together with needle and thread.
“Don’t move. I can’t stitch it up if you move.”
“Won’t it be fine if you just hold it still?”
“How am I going to hold it? It’s too big!”
“Use both hands, stupid.”
“Then which hand am I going to use to stitch up your wound?”
Xia Lei would rather fight with the Ika Tribe if he had a choice, and not stitch a wound in that place for this dumb-ass Szlamy.
Something which should have taken a few minutes ended up taking Xia Lei 15 minutes. He pressed gauze on her wound and bandaged it, then threw her jacket over her face. “Put it on. We have to get our horses back.”
“I’m injured. Put it on for me.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Xia Lei took the piece of clothing and tried to put it on her but she playfully threw herself into his embrace and kissed him on the lips.
Xia Lei froze for a bit, but was quickly drawn into the kiss. One could die at any time in this land so it was okay to let go, right? He knew too that this kiss of Szlamy’s was the beginning of a more intimate relationship between them, and he also needed this connection. He would satisfy her, no matter what she asked of him.
The two of them parted after some time. Szlamy smiled and said, “You’re mine. I’m Chieftain now. No one can stop us from being together.”
A wry smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s mouth. He had achieved his objective but his heart was full of sadness and guilt. He was going to leave after completing his mission - what ending would he and she have?
“Wait for me. I have to do something before we get the horses.” Szlamy got to her feet and walked towards Dayetia’s corpse. She drew the dagger which had taken Dayetia’s life as she walked.
Xia Lei looked at her curiously. “What are you going to do?”
“Cut her head off.”
Xia Lei was thunderstruck. “What?”
Szlamy was all casual. “I can’t be chieftain without Dayetia’s head. This is our tradition so don’t interfere. You can look away if you think it’s disgusting.”
“I’ll go look for the horses.” Xia Lei turned to leave.
This was something he definitely could not accept.Previous Chapter Next Chapter