Annina had known from the beginning that Xia Lei would never love her and she was just chasing after that gratification, fulfilling her own emotional and sexual needs by being with him. Would she need to care about Xia Lei getting engaged to Shentu Tianyin in this situation?
On their way back from the patch of grass as soft as carpet, Xia Lei grumbled to himself about his aching waist and weak knees but he thought of something. ‘Looks like I’ll have to avoid Annina in the future. If there’s no avoiding her then I’ll… I’ll satisfy her a little. She will slowly forget about me. I also have to work on realising her dream - this should be the right way to go about solving this problem.’
Annina’s dream was to build a Bavarian style castle on the banks of the Isar River in Munich, with a farm close to the castle and a winery. Money was no object to Xia Lei at this point; the problem was getting Germany to give up on pursuing and persecuting Annina. Xia Lei had a headache whenever he thought about this problem and there was nothing he could do about it.
Back at Thunder Horse Military Factory, Xia Lei closed himself up in his basement laboratory. Only work could get his mind off his women problems now.
He used his X-ray vision on the symbols in the bronze book and the mysterious syllables formed in his head again, sounding like someone reading them. Or perhaps someone reciting scripture? This was a mysterious language - it wasn’t even a known language so there was no way to read it.
Xia Lei switched over to a piece of alloy. A pale, naked figure appeared as soon as he used his X-ray vision on it.
Princess Yongmei walked about the basement laboratory, her steps graceful. Her head was lowered as if in thought.
In the past, she was sure to say a line whenever she appeared, which was ‘I remember your face’, and the line that followed was ‘I’ve waited so long for you’. But she was silent this time and she just walked about with her head bowed in thought.
‘Is her consciousness not stable? It changes?’ Xia Lei was intrigued and he watched her for a bit but found nothing which could act as a rule for her behaviour.
“Ay.” Princess Yongmei suddenly sighed and sat on a chair.
Xia Lei was gobsmacked. He was just thinking that Princess Yongmei was not able to behave like a normal human being and she’d immediately proven him wrong!
It was just a sigh but to Xia Lei, this was as exciting as her speaking 300 words. The reason was simple - why would she sigh if she had no emotions and consciousness like a normal person?
While Xia Lei was caught up in speculation, Princess Yongmei put her pretty head in her hands and her doe-like eyes stared straight at him.
Her chest was covered in this position but the area between her legs had nothing covering it at all. Her intimate garden could make one’s nose bleed and turn a man into a primitive man-beast.
Xia Lei didn’t know where to look, but he could not stare straight at her either to watch her for changes. Their eyes met for a bit and he said tentatively, “Your zipper’s open.”
Princess Yongmei looked down.
Xia Lei was shocked. ‘She knows what I’m saying!’
Princess Yongmei raised her head a second later and looked at Xia Lei. “I remember your face.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
All his speculations were busted in that instant.
He gave up after several more attempts. Princess Yongmei did not say anything new other than that strange sigh, and kept repeating her same two lines. These two sentences seemed to be her answer to everything and she used them in response to every single question he threw at her. He was going to go mad at this rate.
‘Looks like I’ll have to go to Jerusalem. The first thing to do if I want to solve the mystery of the alloy pieces and the bronze book is to gather everything. After I have everything gathered… Would the pieces of alloy which look like parts form a box when combined? What if it is Pandora’s Box, a box of disaster?’ Xia Lei’s head filled with worries and thoughts.
Xia Lei exited his basement laboratory after a while. He called the soldier in the doorway in before he left and placed the alloy pieces and bronze book into the safe under the soldier’s watchful gaze. The soldier was in full protective gear, as if afraid that he would be infected by something. He always stood further away, even when he was just looking.
Xia Lei left after putting the artifacts away and he did not lock Princess Yongmei up this time.
He was considering something. Princess Yongmei had let out a sigh out of nowhere so if he gave her more time on the ‘outside’ and let her interact more with her surroundings, would she become more aware? This was his goal. He wanted to return Princess Yongmei’s ‘freedom’ to her.
He wasn’t worried at all about her going someplace far off and losing contact with him since she’d behaved like a stalker from the first time he’d let her out. Wherever he went, she went.
Xia Lei discovered that the sky had gone dark after he exited the basement laboratory and he suddenly felt hungry. He went into the kitchen of the villa and fried up two portions of steak - one for him, one for Annina.
Annina came back right when he was walking out of the kitchen. She smelt the wonderful aroma of meat and exclaimed happily, “Woah, Lukas, you made steak? It smells so good! Any for me?”
“I know you must be hungry. I made you a portion too. Let’s eat together,” said Xia Lei.
Annina walked into the dining room and kissed Xia Lei on the cheek, then sat at the table to enjoy the steak he had made.
Xia Lei poured two glasses of red wine, one for Annina and one for himself.
“Thanks.” Annina took a sip of wine and looked content, comfortable. “This is the atmosphere of a bachelor party. Have you thought of a program? If you haven’t I have some good ideas. I’ll definitely throw an unforgettable party for you.”
Xia Lei nearly dropped the piece of steak on his fork at those words. This had gone from a sad breakup to this female machinist throwing a party for him so cheerfully - and a themed program too!
Princess Yongmei suddenly drew close and dipped her chin down to the tall-stemmed glass by Xia Lei’s hand.
This caught Xia Lei’s attention and he was surprised. ‘What’s she doing? She wants to drink wine?’
A woman without an actual body trying to drink wine - this was weird.
Princess Yongmei’s chin stopped about a foot above the wine glass. Her nose moved slightly, as if she were sniffing the wine. Then she reached down to pick the glass up. However, her slender fingers went through the glass and she did not manage to pick anything up.
Xia Lei sighed to himself. ‘You don’t even have hands. How are you going to lift the wine glass?’
Princess Yongmei abruptly pressed her head down and the wine glass went through her cheek. Her mouth went into the red wine. She seemed to be trying to drink the wine in this way.
A small smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s lips. ‘That’s not going to work.’
Then the red wine in his glass rippled, like wind across the surface of a lake.
Xia Lei was shocked.
Good thing Annina didn’t notice this strange thing happening. She kicked Xia Lei lightly under the table and blinked her large blue eyes at him. “Lukas, the first program will be us showering together. What do you think?”
“Huh?” Xia Lei snapped back to his senses.
“Hm? Why’s your wine moving?” Annina discovered the rippling in Xia Lei’s glass and asked curiously.
Xia Lei then nudged the table with his kneecap. “I probably hit the table by accident.”
“I see. I thought an earthquake was coming,” said Annina.
Princess Yongmei moved away from Xia Lei’s wine glass. She stuck out her tongue and licked her cherry-red lips, as if some wine had gotten on her lips. However, Xia Lei could clearly see that she had nothing on her lips.
‘Should I lock her up? She’ll be discovered if I leave her out and she makes unusual things happen. But how am I to discover any valuable leads if I don’t let her roam and interact with the outside world?’ Xia Lei was hesitant.
Annina finished her steak and the wine Xia Lei had poured for her. She dabbed at her mouth with a serviette and said, “Lukas, I’ll wait for you in the bathroom upstairs. Come quick. You usually finish eating so quickly but you’re slow today. Today’s your bachelor party - don’t waste time on steak.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
A phone call came not long after Annina walked off.
“What’s up, Mingmei?” Xia Lei recognised Fu Mingmei’s phone number.
“Sir, what relationship do you have with the owner of this phone?” The voice coming from over the line was male.
Xia Lei tensed up and he had a bad feeling. “Who are you?” he asked tersely.
“I am a doctor at Boai Hospital. Your friend’s injured and in hospital now. She has no identification on her, and she has just your number in her phone so I called to ask.”
“What happened to her?” Xia Lei was getting anxious. “Tell me, quick!”
“She’s seriously injured. She’s been beaten up and collapsed by the road. A passer-by called the emergency number and our hospital was close by so the emergency response hotline directed our hospital’s ambulance to her. She needs surgery to save her life. Please hurry here. Also, please bring her medical insurance card and some extra money,” said the doctor.
Xia Lei was anxious and he said, “I’ll be right there, but you have to operate on her right away. Save her!”
“But…” The doctor started to say something, then stopped.
Xia Lei spoke fiercely, “I am Xia Lei. I have money. I’ll pay for her medical expenses, be it 10,000,000! And she’s Shentu Tianyin’s bodyguard too. You don’t have to worry at all about being shortchanged!”
“Oh, so she’s… Okay, yes, of course, I’ll arrange for her to get surgery right away!” The doctor hung up.
The doctor must be in the stone age if he didn’t know Xia Lei. Xia Lei was everywhere on the news and on the internet, and there was no need to doubt who Shentu Tianyin was. She was the richest woman in China and her name was known all over China already. Would Shentu Tianyin’s bodyguard lack money for treatment?
Xia Lei put his phone away and ran out. He had forgotten all about Annina waiting for him in the bathroom in that instant.
His bachelor party had come to an early end.
The only one following Xia Lei was Princess Yongmei. She trailed behind him like a shadow no matter how fast he ran, maintaining a distance of a few steps.
However, Xia Lei was of no mind to observe changes in her. He was worried about Fu Mingmei, but even more worried about Shentu Tianyin!
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