Chapter 424 - Desperate Straits

The chemical plant sat at the end of the road. 

Xia Lei was two kilometres away from it when he saw it. Truthfully, he had seen not just the plant but the sniper squatting on the water tower, and two gunmen hidden behind the gate. 

He’d only discovered three people but he was sure that there were more. Due to the distance, however, he was unable to use his X-ray vision to search for more targets. 

‘Snipers. These are definitely not ordinary kidnappers.’ His earlier guess had been right. 

Xia Lei drove his Chevrolet Suburban to a small track off the road with his lights off, then plunged the car into a patch of man-high reeds. He then got out of the car and retrieved the XL2500 sniper rifle which he had personally modified. He attached the gun silencer to the barrel. 

Borrowing the cover of night, Xia Lei swiftly got close to the dilapidated plant from the patch of reeds. The trees and tall grass in the deserted area made for very good cover. 

He bounded forward like a bloodhound. Princess Yongmei followed closely, tirelessly, maintaining the distance of a few steps. Her pale, naked form was like a jade rabbit, and the jiggling of her breasts as she ran was exceedingly sexy. 

Too bad Xia Lei was of no mind to take notice of her. 

Xia Lei stopped about 3,000 metres from the plant. He put the XL2500 sniper rifle in the crook of a tree branch and adjusted the direction it pointed in to aim at the sniper on the water tower. 

The sniper was wearing a hood. He was unable to see the sniper’s face clearly earlier at over 4,000 metres since that was the limit of his left eye. He could only see a blurry human figure at that distance, and no details. 

Now, at 3,000 metres, he could see the features of the sniper clearly with his left eye. That sniper was tall, big and sturdy. His exposed eyes were blue. 

It was a caucasian. 

Xia Lei’s heart thumped. ‘Caucasian… Does this mean… CIA?’ 

Xia Lei then looked at the two gunmen inside the gates. They weren’t Asian either; one was a black man and one was white. 

Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…

His mobile phone rang all of a sudden. 

The number displayed was not a familiar one but Xia Lei knew who was calling. He picked up. “Speak. I’m almost there. Surely you’ll wait a few minutes more?” 

“I know that you’re already here.” It was the same man again, his voice deep and emotionless. “I also know that you are highly skilled. I advise you to not make any false moves. If I find that my people have had any sort of accident I’ll kill Shentu Tianyin immediately.” 

Xia Lei’s heart sank. He just had to squeeze the trigger right now to send that sniper on the water tower to hell. Killing that sniper was as easy as stepping on an ant to him but he did not dare do it now. 

“Who are you people?” Xia Lei ventured after a short period of silence. 

“People who need money.” The man gave a laugh. “I know you’re close by. It’s the last ten minutes - I’ll kill Shentu Tianyin if you don’t show yourself.” 

“Do that and you’ll all die too.” Xia Lei’s voice was ice-cold. 

“So we should do our best to avoid that scenario. Give us the money and I’ll let her go. This is the best for everyone,” said the man. 

“We’ll have the exchange in ten minutes.” Xia Lei hung up and quickly ran back. 

Ten minutes later, the Chevrolet Suburban came to the gates of the dilapidated chemical plant. The headlights glared as the two gunmen inside opened the gates mottled with rust. Xia Lei drove the car forward, and his gaze swept over the structures on his left, right and in front of himself. He saw more people - a total of 20 gunmen, and Shentu Tianyin. She was under the guard of two gunmen in a warehouse with a hood over her head and her hands bound with plastic ties. There was a bruise on the exposed skin of the calf of her left leg, seemingly from a kick. 

Xia Lei’s eyebrows went up at the sight of the bruise on Shentu Tianyin’s leg, and his gaze grew menacing. These people had dared to hit his woman! 

Ding! Headlights of a Ford Raptor in front of the warehouse suddenly came on, and bright light came shooting into his eyes. This light did not affect Xia Lei’s vision but he still pretended to avoid it and raised his hand to his eyes to block out the light. 

Xia Lei looked past the light and saw a black man standing before the Ford Raptor. The man was burly and rather intimidating. He was dressed in combat clothing and had several weapons hanging from his belt. He also had a M16A1 assault rifle in his hands. 

It was none other than the Director of CIA Asia, Ramsbigg. Xia Lei did not know his name; this was their first meeting. However, Xia Lei could confirm that the CIA had kidnapped Shentu Tianyin based on their weapons, equipment, behaviour and the military training they’d displayed. 

“Get out of the car!” said Ramsbigg loudly. 

Xia Lei opened the car door and alighted. 

A CIA agent then came from the side and searched Xia Lei. Another searched the insides of the Chevrolet Suburban. 

The knife and gun Xia Lei had hidden about his person were soon discovered but the needles in his socks were untouched. 

The agent searching the Chevrolet Suburban concluded his search of the vehicle too and he did not find any weapons. Xia Lei had hidden his sniper rifle in the tall grass after determining that he would not be able to shoot and rescue her. He was not going to deliver his personally modified sniper rifle to the hands of these people. 

“We finally meet, Mr Xia Lei.” Ramsbigg walked up to Xia Lei and looked him right in the eyes with a small smile of triumph on his lips. “I’ve waited a long time for this day. Look, I’ve even shaved, specially to leave a good impression on you.” 

Ramsbigg’s Chinese was excellent - better than a lot of native Chinese. 

Xia Lei took a deep breath. “You guys are not kidnappers. You’re CIA.” 

Ramsbigg shrugged and looked around, then made an exaggerated face. “You guys see this? This is our opponent. Scary, eh? Smart, eh?” 

People sneered and people snorted. They seemed to have taken Ramsbigg’s words as a bit of sarcasm - a smart and scary opponent, but he was still in their trap now! 

Xia Lei could not stand by to be ridiculed. “What you’re doing here is an armed assault in China. Do you know the consequences of this? There will be a fierce reaction from China, and the results will be serious indeed. No one will be able to take this backlash.” 

Ramsbigg shook his head. “No one will know.” 

“There is no impenetrable wall in this world,” said Xia Lei. 

Ramsbigg laughed disdainfully. “Then let the wall fall. You know that America has this might. We have specialists to assess the risk of this action. The worst that can happen if this gets out is just a war of words with China. What else can you guys do? Use guided missiles to bomb our military bases in Asia? Or do you want to attack our ships? Hahaha…” 

This was an outright show of contempt and provocation. 

Weaker countries had no diplomatic protection and American warplanes could just enter their airspace and bomb the so-called terrorists. But the ones bombed were mostly innocent civilians. Which one of these war-torn countries could do anything about America? 

China was not a weak country and she had the best soldiers in Asia, but up against a huge opponent like America, she was only able to defend itself and not take the initiative to attack. So even though this incident was made known, China could not declare war on America and she would not actively attack the American bases. 

What Ramsbigg said was true if one looked at it from this perspective. 

The law followed by the world from ancient times was the law of the jungle. America, strong enough to sweep away any other country, was the king of the jungle. 

Flames of anger burned in Xia Lei’s heart but he pushed it down. He could maintain his calm. “You have me now. You guys should also keep your promise. Release Shentu Tianyin.” 

“No rush,” said Ransbigg. “I’m curious - you’ve guessed our identities so why come? You can just escape.” 

“You know why,” said Xia Lei coldly. “Shentu Tianyin is my fiancee. She is innocent. Let her go!” 

The two CIA agents in the warehouse brought Shentu Tianyin out, and one of them pulled off the hood on her head. 

Shentu Tianyin let out a cry at the sight of Xia Lei. “Go! Leave me!” 

“Shut up!” A CIA agent hit Shentu Tianyin in the back with the butt of his gun and she fell to the ground. 

“Damn you!” Xia Lei lost control of himself and charged forward. 

“Don’t move!” Ramsbigg raised his M16A1 assault rifle and pointed it at Xia Lei’s head. 

On the other side, the CIA agent who had hit Shentu Tianyin pointed his gun at her head and said in English, “Don’t move or the first to die is your woman.” 

Xia Lei forced himself to stop in his tracks. “Let her go and I’ll go with you!” he roared. 

Ramsbigg let out a flat laugh. “Mr Xia Lei, you really are a fool for love. You think I will release your woman? No. Letting her go will only bring trouble to us. You’re a difficult opponent - you’ll be much more obedient with this woman in our hands. That’s why we’re going to take her with us out of China. You cooperate, she lives. You don’t, she dies.” 

Xia Lei gnashed his teeth. The flames of his anger were enough to set everything burning but he was helpless in this situation. This was also his first time in a dilemma such as this, and the feeling of being taken advantage of in this way hurt him, incapacitated him. 

“Why are you so foolish?” Shentu Tianyin was breaking down. She shouted at Xia Lei, “Why did you come to rescue me even though you knew? You’re sending yourself to the slaughter, you dummy!” 

“Because you are my woman,” said Xia Lei. He would do the same if he had the chance to choose again. 

Tears sprang from Shentu Tianyin’s eyes - tears for Xia Lei. 

Princess Yongmei stood next to Shentu Tianyin, looking at her curiously. She then looked at the CIA agent who had hit Shentu Tianyin with a gun and suddenly reached for the man’s head. 

Xia Lei was surprised to see her doing that. ‘What is she planning to do?’ 

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