Thunder Horse Military Factory’s operations went smoothly without interference from Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial Group. The military factory production and gun quality were guaranteed, and Xia Lei’s plan to produce the Gust assault rifle could be brought forward.
However, Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial Group’s ‘silence’ made Xia Lei worry a little. Would these two market leaders be willing to let his business expand and take up more of the market share? Obviously not. This was just the silence before the storm.
He was aware of the situation but was unable to do anything about it. There was no way he could be the first to go on the offensive with his current strength. Besides, there was a group of people with interests invested in the arms market standing being Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun, and these were large groups indeed.
There was no way Xia Lei could walk out of this situation whole so he only thought about it but did not take action. He first went to see Qin Xiang after getting back to Thunder Horse Military Factory, then Annina.
He was going to get married with Shentu Tianyin and he wanted to tell her this.
It wasn’t just Annina - there was Jiang Ruyi too. Xia Lei couldn’t help feeling a sense of guilt when he thought of Jiang Ruyi. He did not have any romantic love for her but Jiang Ruyi had waited for him for so many years - he could not pretend that he did not see it and that her feelings did not exist.
Annina was in the office sketching on paper, looking quite focused. She was the same as always, becoming another person when she worked; the serious and precise German style.
She did not even sense it when Xia Lei walked into the office. Xia Lei saw that the glass of water on her desk was empty so he picked it up and went to the water dispenser to fill it up with warm water, then put it next to her hand.
Annina then noticed that there was one more person in the office. She raised her head to look and let out a cry of joy when she saw that it was Xia Lei. She stood from her office hair and gave Xia Lei a passionate hug. Her generous bosom pressed tight against Xia Lei’s chest, so tight they changed shape.
“Lukas, I’ve been worried about you the past few days. It’s great that you’re back,” said Annina. She then gave him a peck on the cheek.
Xia Lei was a little embarrassed. “Annina, I… I’m going to get married soon. To Shentu Tianyin.”
Annina paused but did not let go of Xia Lei. She kissed him on the other cheek. “Congratulations.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
This was the reaction of ‘Intuitionist Annina’. The married Xia Lei was no different from the unmarried Xia Lei to her - he was still Xia Lei.
She kept holding him like that for a minute before she released him.
“The new production line is progressing smoothly, and capacity is higher than we’d expected. Plus, the workers are enthusiastic about their work. What I’m trying to say is that our plan to produce Gust may be brought forward. I’m already working on making this happen,” said Annina.
Xia Lei put a smile on his face. “Nn, good work.”
Annina grinned. “You should do a bit of work too. Gust is the world’s most advanced assault rifle, a most excellent product. It’s going to be difficult to get it off the shelves if no one knows about it. So, I’m proposing that you hold a press conference or something, and invite not just the local media but overseas as well.”
Xia Lei lit up and said happily, “This is a good idea. Give me a rough approximation of the Gust assault rifle production timeline and I can arrange invitations to local and overseas media to build hype for the product.”
“No problem,” said Annina with a smile. “But how are you going to reward me?”
“Eh?” Xia Lei did not expect her to ask for a reward.
“Kiss me.” Annina opened her arms wide, waiting for Xia Lei to hug and kiss her.
So this was the reward she wanted. Xia Lei smiled wryly and made himself move in to give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
This should have been a standard Western-style hug but Annina grabbed Xia Lei’s hands and put them on her buttocks and said in his ear, “Lukas, come look for me when your missus is pregnant and can’t satisfy you.”
Her buttocks were plump and bouncy.
Xia Lei was flabbergasted.
Xia Lei went to the basement of the villa after he left Annina’s office.
His main objective in returning this time was to settle the matter with the ancient alloy.
Xia Lei bumped into the Special Forces colonel, Wu Xiaoguo, at the villa gateway. This poker-faced man shook hands with him and cut straight to the chase. “Mr Xia, the items are in your laboratory. You can go in to inspect them any time.”
“All right. I was just about to go to the laboratory,” said Xia Lei politely.
Xia Lei had handed the five pieces of alloy and the compass to Bureau 101 last night when he had left. These items had now come back to him and were in his underground laboratory. He saw the anti-radiation container holding the alloy pieces and the Ming dynasty compass once he entered the laboratory.
“Please check it, Mr Xia. I’ll make my way out.” Wu Xiaoguo exited the laboratory with these words. He was quite afraid of the ancient alloy.
Just Xia Lei was left in the underground laboratory, and he muttered to himself, “Everyone’s afraid of the ancient alloy except me because I’m not affected - I guess this is drawing their attention, huh? That must be why Ling Han made me drunk and tried to question me.”
It was no use doing that though. No one on Earth knew what was going on with Xia Lei’s body, not even himself.
Xia Lei opened the container and took out the five alloy pieces. He then opened the safe and took out the two pieces of alloy.
He had made a hypothesis in Jerusalem that the more pieces he had, the closer he came to completing the box and the Princess Yongmei he called forth would be more ‘complete’. This was just a hypothesis and he needed to prove it.
He put the alloy pieces he had brought back from Jerusalem together to form a surface, then added the other two pieces to it. Next, he called up the power of his left eye and used his X-ray vision on the seven connected pieces.
Princess Yongmei appeared in the laboratory, snow-white and unclothed; an unearthly beauty.
There was an obvious temperature drop in the laboratory as soon as she appeared. She had not opened her mouth to speak yet but Xia Lei already could feel that this Princess Yongmei was more ‘complete’ than all the previous versions of herself. Why he thought so was simple - she looked more powerful than she had before!
Princess Yongmei looked at Xia Lei and said, “The One. We meet again.”
‘The One’ was the name Princess Yongmei had given him. Xia Lei was the only one who could see her and the only one who could get her out of the alloy pieces, as well as the only person she had been waiting for.
Xia Lei held back his shock and said probingly, “Do you remember how many times we’ve met?”
“That is not important.”
The shock Xia Lei experienced skyrocketed at this short exchange. He could not control his excitement any longer. “You seem much better now. Tell me - what is this alloy? Why do you exist?”
“You’ve asked me two questions. I only have one answer.”
“What is it?” Xia Lei felt like he was getting closer to solving the mystery!
“I don’t know,” said Princess Yongmei.
This answer nearly made Xia Lei choke.
“But I can answer the question you asked the last time,” said Princess Yongmei. “I am Zhu Xuanyue, a princess of the Ming dynasty. Princess Yongmei.”
Xia Lei knew this already, and her saying it was no different from her not saying it. However, having her say it was an indicator that she had regained a part of her memory. She had not known who she was in Jerusalem, but she knew her identity now.
Princess Yongmei walked to the work table and reached out to the Ming dynasty compass on it.
Xia Lei watched closely.
Princess Yongmei’s slim hand swept over the compass but did not pick it up. The compass moved, just a little.
Xia Lei was astonished. This proved that Princess Yongmei was able to nudge some lightweight physical items now. Sure enough, just as he was thinking this, Princess Yongmei reached out and picked up a piece of paper on the work table.
This piece of paper was lifted a foot high before it dropped.
Princess Yongmei sighed. “Why is it like this?”
“You don’t remember what happened to you?” asked Xia Lei.
Princess Yongmei shook her head. “I can remember some things but most of it is a blur and I can’t remember it. What’s happened to me?”
“Then do you remember Afghanistan, and the City of the White Horse of Tomorrow?” prompted Xia Lei, “Huns live there.”
Princess Yongmei turned to look at Xia Lei. “Are you reminding me that I’m dead?”
Xia Lei just looked at her. He did mean it that way to remind her and make her remember her tomb.
Princess Yongmei had an intensely cold look but a faint smile appeared on her lips. “If I’m dead, then how am I standing here talking to you? I know my tomb - I built it. It took two years.”
“It took two years… Then you knew back then that you would become... like this? You were still so young - why did you think of building a tomb for yourself?” said Xia Lei.
Princess Yongmei shook her head. “I don’t know.”
They had exchanged quite a few sentences at this point but Xia Lei still felt a gloom settle over him. This Princess Yongmei before him could not answer the questions he wanted answers to. Though she could talk normally and naturally with him, it was no use in helping him solve the mystery of the ancient alloy.
‘Looks like I’ll still need to get all the pieces of alloy and complete the box before she can be truly complete,’ thought Xia Lei. He could not help wondering what a complete Princess Yongmei would be like then.
More extraordinary than him?
More powerful than him?
Or a totally new form?
All these could not be confirmed.
Xia Lei’s gaze went to the Ming dynasty compass again. It was pointing stubbornly east. This was a guide, and also something which led him into a new danger.
“I’m so cold. I want to shower with you,” said Princess Yongmei all of a sudden.
“Huh?” Xia Lei turned his gaze back to Princess Yongmei and she was before him in the blink of an eye, bringing cold with her.
He abruptly remembered the last time he had showered with Princess Yongmei and the part of his body which had almost become an icicle. A shudder ran through his body.
Princess Yongmei made to take Xia Lei’s hand but failed. She seemed anxious. “I’m so cold. I want to shower with you.”
Xia Lei looked at the alloy pieces and his left eye twitched…
Taking a shower with Princess Yongmei was definitely not a pleasurable experience.
Princess Yongmei disappeared from the underground laboratory.
Xia Lei stood quietly for a while, then left the underground laboratory. He needed to get married to Shentu Tianyin before the next treasure-seeking expedition begun.Previous Chapter Next Chapter