Bureau 101 agents arrived at the scene in under half an hour, not by car but by helicopter. Shi Boren led the team himself, and Long Bing, Tang Yuyan and Tang Bochuan were all here, plus a big group of Bureau 101 agents.
The corpses were quickly carted away, the scene photographed, evidence recorded then cleared. The Bureau 101 doctor who had come along started treatment on Shentu Tianyin to wake her up.
Xia Lei gave a description of what had happened to Shi Boren, then looked at him, observing his reaction.
Shi Boren’s face was dark and he exploded once Xia Lei was done talking. “Shit, what do they take our country for? Syria? Iraq? They actually sent so many agents to kidnap and hold someone hostage! They’re too much!” He then clapped Xia Lei hard on the shoulder. “Good job killing them! Kill them, kill all these invaders! Kill as many as needed!”
Xia Lei was quietly relieved when he saw Shi Boren’s reaction.
“It’s just…” Shi Boren’s tone changed. “Why didn’t you leave one alive?”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “I left two alive but they died due to excessive blood loss. There was no way for me to leave others alive wither. They were all CIA field agents and battle-hardened. They would have killed me, and Shentu Tianyin too if I didn’t kill them.”
“Is she all right?”
“She’s fine. Just some light wounds,” said Xia Lei.
Shi Boren glanced at Tang Yuyan out of the corner of his eye, then drew close to Xia Lei’s ear and lowered his voice. “See? I told you. Something like this happened right after you got engaged with Shentu Tianyin. Your stars don’t align. How about you consider my god-daughter?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Haha! Just kidding. Write me a detailed report when you get back!” Shi Boren let out two flat laughs and said, “And don’t write that the CIA were after Shentu Tianyin’s money - I know they’re after you.”
Xia Lei paused. What did Shi Boren mean by that?
“Hah! Having designs on the alloy and the bronze book? In their dreams! You and Yuyan will go to Jerusalem right after you write that report. The Americans must have found out about this already; we cannot dally,” said Shi Boren.
This seemed to be what Shi Boren meant. He linked the attack to the alloy and bronze book, but didn’t guess anything about AE capsules. Xia Lei relaxed a little. This was normal - the AE capsules were top-secret even in America and the director of the CIA’s Asian division had only known of their existence and nothing more, much less Chinese agents.
“Boss Shi, I got some information too,” said Xia Lei. “This incident involved Gu Kewen and Ahn Suhyeong too. These CIA agents would not have dared to go to Jingdu to kidnap Shentu Tianyin without the help of these two. The director of the CIA’s Asian division admitted it to. They turned Gu Kewen. She is one of them now.”
Cold glinted in Shi Boren’s eyes. “You sure about this?”
Xia Lei nodded. “I’m sure.”
“No, but you’ll surely find something if you investigate,” said Xia Lei.
Shi Boren said, “It’ll be easy to catch one little Gu Kewen, but it’s going to be troublesome to catch Ahn Suhyeong. He is Korean, and his father is an important figure in Korean politics. If there’s no evidence…”
Xia Lei cut him short. “I will find evidence.”
“Don’t be reckless,” warned Shi Boren. “People die left and right whenever you make a move, Boy. If you don’t hold back and end up killing Ahn Suhyeong, you’ll be in trouble.”
Xia Lei nodded. “I won’t act recklessly.”
“I’ll send people to arrest Gu Kewen now. You question her after we get her.” Shi Boren walked off to one side to make a call and send people after Gu Kewen.
Xia Lei had a different opinion, however.
Gu Kewen was no fool. She could stay by Shentu Tianyin’s side for such a long period of time before being discovered, so would she just sit still and wait for Bureau 101 to arrest her? Xia Lei recalled when he had given Gu Kewen a call, when he had heard a wind-like noise in the background of their conversation. Gu Kewen must’ve been driving to the airport, fleeing. She was probably already in foreign airspace now.
Long Bing walked over. She saw Xia Lei covered in scratches from his face to his hands, and his tattered clothes, and asked in concern, “You should hurry up and go ask the doctor to have a look at you too. You’re even willing to throw your life away for Shentu Tianyin.”
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “I know what you want to say but I didn’t dare inform you guys at the time. Honestly, my decision was right. If you guys got involved then the CIA would definitely have killed Shentu Tianyin and retreated. They’re not the sort to leave clues and live witnesses.”
“I won’t nitpick, but…” Long Bing drew close to Xia Lei’s ear and lowered her voice. “Put in a request for the mission to Jerusalem. Count me in.”
Xia Lei stared blankly, then lowered his voice too. “Boss Shi assigned Tang Yuyan to go with me. How can I…”
Long Bing shifted one foot to press on Xia Lei’s leg, applying pressure as she said, “He’s taking care of his god-daughter. Are you taking care of her too? Who are you to her? You’re in charge of the Jerusalem mission. Can the higher-ups refuse if you request for me? Even if they don’t agree, don’t you know how to kick up a fuss and insist on bringing me? Don’t worry - If you have me with you on the trip I’ll take gooooood care of you.”
Pick me, insist on me, have me and I’ll take gooood care of you - these words seemed to take on a different meaning coming from Agent Long Bing.
Xia Lei nodded almost unwillingly. It made no difference who went with him, Tang Yuyan or Long Bing, but it would be awkward if he went with just Tang Yuyan. The situation would be a little better if Long Bing went.
“Hey?” Tang Yuyan seemed to sense something. “What are you guys talking about? Whisper, whisper - is it something shameful?”
Long Bing rolled her eyes at Tang Yuyan. “What are you saying? I’m asking Xia Lei when he’s going to get married. I’m going to drink some congratulatory wine.”
“Xia Lei, you’re going to get married to Shentu Tianyin already?” Tang Yuyan looked surprised. “Not that quick, right?”
Xia Lei suddenly felt like kicking Long Bing.
Tang Bochuan, who was a little to the side, spoke to himself like a madman, “Ah, people these days… They seem to have shotgun marriages a lot, huh? According to official reports, as many as 80% of shotgun marriages end in divorce. I really don’t know what these people are thinking. How can they treat marriage like a game?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
A doctor walked over. “Mr Xia, Miss Shentu is awake. She wants to see you, so please go over to her.”
“Nn, I’ll be right there.” Xia Lei took the opportunity to follow the doctor and walk off.
Some brightness disappeared from Long Bing’s eyes as she watched him go; there was an indescribable feeling.
Tang Yuyan let out a laugh. “Others may not understand you, Long Bing, but I do. Don’t use Shentu Tianyin to provoke me. Aren’t you pretty disappointed by Xia Lei’s engagement too?”
“Was I?” Long Bing smiled wanly. “You should get your eyes checked. And let me tell you something - people in our line of work should keep certain feelings inside. If one truly gets involved, then he’s bringing harm to the family, and the children. I’ve never thought of marriage and I advise you to forget about it too. Our springtime belongs to the nation.”
Tang Yuyan’s lips moved to retort but she could find no words to fling out.
Tang Bochuan let out a sigh. “I say, you two, would you die if you didn’t fight every time you meet?”
Tang Yuyan and Long Bing turned to Tang Bochuan at the same time and rolled their eyes at him.
Xia Lei got to the off-road vehicle and Shentu Tianyin struggled to get up from the backseat. She was not totally free of the effects of the anaesthetic yet and was still disorientated; she almost fell off the seat. Xia Lei hurriedly reached out to hold her by the waist.
“Don’t move. Just lie down.” Xia Lei climbed into the vehicle.
Shentu Tianyin reached out and put her arms around Xia Lei’s waist. She pressed her cheek to Xia Lei’s thigh. She did not speak but her body language said more than a whole night of talking.
Xia Lei gently caressed her hair and back as he comforted her. “It’s all in the past now. Everything’s okay. Don’t be scared.”
Shentu Tianyin lifted her head to look at Xia Lei and smiled. “I’m not scared. I’m not scared with you by my side.”
“Really?” Xia Lei was doubtful.
“Okay, I was a little scared but I believed that you would surely bring me home. My man is the most excellent, the strongest in this world. No one can harm me when I’m by your side,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei smiled. No man would not feel happy if he heard praise such as this. What’s more, this praise had come from Shentu Tianyin herself.
“I heard from the doctor that you killed off all those people.”
“Mm, they’re all dead.” Xia Lei added, “Don’t think about that. You won’t like it.”
“Okay, I won’t.” Shentu Tianyin reached out to stroke Xia Lei’s cheek, avoiding the small wounds on his face as she did. She spoke tenderly, “You’re hurt. I’ll get the doctor to come tend to your wounds.”
“No need. It’s just scratches from the reeds. I can just take care of them when I get back,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tianyin thought for a bit. “Come to my place - I’ll clean your wounds for you. You have small wounds like these all over your body. You can’t clean them all yourself.”
Xia Lei nodded lightly. “We’ll go home once they’re done there.” He took a sharp breath right after he spoke. Shentu Tianyin had reached a finger into a tear in his trousers and touched a wound gently.
“Does it hurt?” Shentu Tianyin quickly retracted her finger. A faint blush appeared on her cheeks. The wound was in a sensitive area, and she had been prompted by curiosity for some reason to reach out and touch it.
“Nope, nope.” But scenes of Shentu Tianyin helping him clean his wounds surfaced in his head and those scenes made his temperature rise.
“Then can I touch you again?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
This seemed to be a scene of pleasures from a boudoir, just at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
Just then, Long Bing came walking over and she gave a cough. “Our people are done cleaning up. Do you two want to get in the helicopter or drive?”
Shentu Tianyin spoke before Xia Lei could decide. “Lei, let’s drive back. I don’t want to ride in a helicopter.”
There was sure to be other people in a helicopter but it would be just her and Xia Lei if they drove.
Xia Lei agreed readily. “All right, let’s drive back. Oh, right, Long Bing, I went through quite a few red lights on my way here and I sped on the highway too. Please help me erase those records.”
“No problem. I’ll help you with this but you have to help me with what I want too. I’ll come after you if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei laughed dryly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter