“How clever of you.” Xia Lei’s gaze went to the woman’s face. The layer of black cloth and thermal imaging device over her eyes melted away, revealing her face to him. A faint smile appeared in the corners of his mouth when he saw her face. “You think I won’t recognise you if you cover your face?”
The woman froze, but only for an instant, and she calmed again. She believed it impossible for Xia Lei to recognise her with her head covered and in this dark environment. He must be probing for a clue.
“I’m running out of patience. I’ll give you another chance. Give me the backpack or I’ll shoot you!” The woman aimed the gun at Xia Lei.
There was no fear on Xia Lei’s face, not even a trace of nervousness. He spoke evenly, “Must I say your name? Yelena.”
The woman paused. She was the Russian agent, Yelena. Being recognised in darkness like this was unbelievable, and strange.
Yelena’s reaction told Xia Lei that she had no idea about his abilities. This was also true with the CIA - they did not know what changes the AE capsules had wrought in him. His father, too, probably had no idea how his body had changed.
Xia Lei grew bolder after this discovery. He spoke darkly, “Yelena, you can cover your face but your voice won’t change. And you know what I’m doing here. You’ve helped me - on my father’s request, of course, but I don’t believe that you will shoot me.”
The sound of a gunshot exploded in the passageway as soon as the words left Xia Lei’s mouth.
Yelena had fired. The bullet struck the stone wall behind Xia Lei, sending up sparks.
Xia Lei was not perturbed. He knew this Yelena was just one of his father’s underlings and had no real conviction to kill him. He had actually caught sight of her moving the muzzle to avoid hitting him in the instant she’d fired, otherwise he would definitely not be able to escape her attack.
Yelena spoke, “I repeat…”
Xia Lei cut her off. “You can have the things in my backpack but my father has to come personally to take them.”
“Aren’t you afraid of me coming here after betraying your father?” Yelena did not confirm her identity but this line of hers was a sort of acknowledgement.
If she had come after betraying Xia Chang-He, then she would probably shoot him, kill him - this was what she meant.
Xia Lei opened his palm, revealing a small throwing knife. “See this? If you’ve truly betrayed my father this knife will take your life the next time you fire. Do you want to test it?”
Yelena grew nervous. She had not personally witnessed Xia Lei’s prowess in killing but she had seen plenty of reports. She knew how powerful he was. She had a gun in her hand and Xia Lei had a small throwing knife, but the one who was strangely nervous was her. The pressure of being prey was not on him but her!
Xia Lei spoke again. “You’ve helped me before so I don’t want to kill you. Go. I’ll pretend you never came.”
Yelena lowered her gun and spoke a little helplessly, “Your father told me to come. The items you took are very important to us. Give it to me, okay? I’m not doing it for myself; I’m doing it for your father.”
“He should come himself if he wants it.” Xia Lei was resolute.
Yelena frowned. “Why are you so stubborn? He’s your father!”
“I know he’s my father but these belong to China. Many people have already died for what’s in my backpack. Why should I give it to you because of that one line you said? And you’re just here by yourself - how do I know for sure that my father sent you? How can I be sure that you won’t take it for yourself if I give it to you?” said Xia Lei.
“You don’t trust me?”
“I won’t trust any woman easily now.”
“Hahaha…” Yelena let out an odd laugh.
Xia Lei just looked at her laugh and did not speak again. He wouldn’t give her anything from his backpack, no matter how important it was because his father did not reveal himself. Yelena had helped him but who could guarantee that she had no ulterior motives?
“Will you give it to your father if he came to you personally?” Yelena stopped laughing and said questioningly.
“I’ll see when he comes,” said Xia Lei.
Yelena said no more; she turned and left.
“When will he come?” pressed Xia Lei.
Yelena looked back at Xia Lei and said with some reverence, “No one can decide things for your father. He will appear before you when he feels it right.”
Xia Lei’s heart sank a little. He’d hope to draw his father out to a meeting with the things in his backpack but Yelena’s words seemed to imply that his father would not come to meet him this time. He would have come himself to search for the items and not sent an underling if he’d wanted to meet.
‘Does this mean that what I found is not particularly important to my father? Or is he waiting for all the ancient alloy parts to be gathered before he find some way to take them all?’ Questions popped out in Xia Lei’s head as he watched Yelena disappear into the darkness.
He climbed up the ramp after leaving the passageway. There was no trace of Yelena.
Xia Lei looked about his surroundings - no Yelena, no Xia Chang-He. He was disappointed. He prepared to leave the ruins and return to the White Hun Tribe.
A woman’s voice suddenly came from the ruins. “I’ll remember your face.”
The voice was soft, airy, eerie; it gave one the impression that it had gone through sound modification software to sound ghostly.
This voice made Xia Lei’s hair stand on end. He swept his surroundings with his gaze, searching, but he saw nothing except stones.
The strange voice was heard just once.
Xia Lei shook his head and said quizzically, “Am I hearing things because I’ve overused my X-ray vision?”
He had experienced hallucinations every time he’d used his X-ray ability in the beginning, and every hallucination had been fairly abnormal. There was no one else around and he had only heard something strange, so he must be having an auditory hallucination. But he hadn’t had hallucinations after using his ability in a long, long time, so why was it happening now?
“Who was that?” Xia Lei shouted after a pause. “Come out!”
Maybe someone was hiding in the ruins. He couldn’t use his X-ray vision on every pile of rock. He was going to try to lure that person out like this.
No one responded. There wasn’t even a wind blowing in the ruins, much less a woman’s voice.
Xia Lei smiled wryly and shook his head. “Looks like it really was an auditory hallucination.”
The rumbling of hooves came to his ear and Szlamy soon came galloping over, leading some White Hun warriors.
The warhorse galloped with Szlamy on its back yelling at it. She suddenly bounded from its back when she got close to Xia Lei with her arms open, like an extremely fat swallow.
Szlamy weighed roughly 50 kilograms and the horse had been going at quite a speed. Her weight and speed combined made her seem like a human-shaped artillery shell.
Xia Lei braced himself as he held out his arms to catch her. Szlamy knocked into him instantly. He did manage to grab her about her waist but was thrown to the ground by her.
“Chieftain sure is aggressive. I think Xia won’t last for long,” said a warrior.
Xia Lei didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry when he heard that.
“Let’s go back. I came specially to get you. I caught a rabbit when we were practicing with the assault rifles today. I’ll cook it for you when we get back and give you more nourishment.” Szlamy climbed off Xia Lei and looked rather delighted.
Xia Lei looked at the rabbit she had tied to her saddle. He did feel rather hungry, but it was not the time to go back to eat. “Why don’t you ask me what I dug up?”
“What did you dig up?” Szlamy was still very carefree.
“I found Princess Yong-Mei’s tomb. There’s lots of gold in it, and porcelain, relics and so on. It should all be valued at at least a few billion,” said Xia Lei.
Szlamy chuckled. “Stop joking. Come on, let’s go back and eat rabbit.”
Xia Lei abruptly slapped her on the back. “I’m serious!”
The slap resounded.
The group of warrior women looked at Xia Lei and Szlamy in shock. This was their first time seeing a man dare to hit Szlamy!
What made their jaws drop though, was that Szlamy just blushed and rubbed at where she’d been hit; she was as gentle as a rabbit.
Xia Lei quickly drew attention away from it. He grabbed Szlamy by the shoulders and said loudly, “Your tribe is rich! Believe me, it’s real! The gold is in the tomb. I’ll bring you all in to get it right now.”
Szlamy paused. “There’s really gold?”
The White Hun warrior-women behind Szlamy burst into action and jumped off their horses.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “You’ll find out soon! But I have to warn you that the tomb has traps. You guys wait for me at the doorway when we get to the tomb and I’ll move the things out for you to transport out.”
“Whoo!” The women of the tribe let out cries of joy.
Bang bang bang…
They fired blindly when excited. This was a bad habit indeed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter