“Be safe.” Xia Lei held onto Shentu Tianyin’s hand at the departure gate. “Remember what I said - take more bodyguards with you when you go out, avoid public spaces and call me immediately if you feel something’s not right. I won’t be by your side but I can get Long Bing to come help you.”
“Okay, okay.” Shentu Tianyin laughed and said, “You’re like my father. You nagged me at home - I can memorise what you said already.”
Xia Lei smiled. “I’ll return to Jingdu when I’ve taken care of some matters.”
Shentu Tianyin put her arms around Xia Lei’s neck and gave him a sweet kiss. “I’ll be waiting.”
“Ahem.” Fu Mingmei coughed. “Don’t you two see a bunch of people around taking pictures with their phones? Be more aware of your image.”
Shentu Tianyin was the wealthiest woman in China and drew a lot of attention. Xia Lei had risen to fame at the Moscow light weapons exhibition and become the hero of countless Chinese. The public paid great attention to him too. People were sure to record them kissing at the airport.
Shentu Tianyin was not concerned. She smiled and said, “Let them take all the pictures they want. Who’s going to interfere with me kissing my husband?”
Shentu Tianyin seemed like a changed woman after marriage; she was more womanly.
Xia Lei laughed. “Yeah, I’m kissing my wife, not another woman. Who’s going to point fingers?”
“Huh? You want to kiss other women?” Shentu Tianyin pretended to be mad and slapped Xia Lei on his buttock.
This did not escape the recording phones, of course, and it was all recorded. Pictures and videos of Shentu Tianyin slapping Xia Lei’s butt were sure to be a hot topic all over the internet.
Xia Lei kept a straight face at first but he couldn’t take it and said awkwardly, “Um, you go in. I should get going too.”
“Nn, come back to Jingdu when you’re finished.” Shentu Tianyin couldn’t bear to let Xia Lei go.
Xia Lei nodded and left.
Fu Mingmei put her hand on Shentu Tianyin’s slender waist and guided her through the ticket gate. Pak Taiji, Jin Zhenhuan, Pak Canlie and Jin Dahu also followed them through the ticket gate. Xia Lei was more assured with these four from Yanbian protecting Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei walked out of the airport. Haizhu City’s lights were shining and the sky was so clear it was like it had been washed, and it was dotted with stars. Xia Lei moved his car onto the road home and he felt like his heart was empty, missing something after sending Shentu Tianyin off. He had become her lawfully-wedded husband after signing that marriage certificate with her and become related to her on top of his love for her. How could he not feel a little concerned about her?
Xia Lei did not actually return to Jingdu with Shentu Tianyin because he needed to handle Thunder Horse Manufacturing matters. He had Guan Lingshan helping to run it and he trusted her. He’d stayed to wait for Yelena and Xia Changhe. He had not set a time and place to meet them but he believed that either Yelena or his father would appear and give him what he needed - dirt on Ahn Geungan.
He could only exchange the dirt for the weakness of Shentu Tianyin’s which Gu Kewen had given to the Ahns. The wife’s problems were the husband’s problems and he had to solve them.
Back in his neighbourhood, Xia Lei glanced at Jiang Ruyi’s home. The lights in her home were not on, and it wasn’t clear if she’d gone to bed or to the police station to work overtime.
An impulse to knock on her door came to Xia Lei but he quickly dismissed it. ‘I’m Tianyin’s husband now. It’s not appropriate to knock on Ruyi’s door in the middle of the night.’
He wanted very much to chat with Jiang Ruyi but he gave up on that idea.
His home was cold and quiet. Xia Lei’s gaze went to the tea table as soon as he opened the door. He had cleaned up the last time he was home but there was a document folder on his tea table now.
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched and he instantly scanned the rooms in his home. There was no one else in the flat.
Xia Lei walked over, picked up the document envelope and opened it. There was a stack of photographs in the envelope and a few documents. He scanned through them quickly. These were all evidence which could be used against Ahn Geungan. There was also a nicely-folded letter.
Xia Lei smiled wryly. He had stayed in Haizhu to get these things but he had them as soon as he returned home. His father seemed to either have telepathy or was a part of him - he always knew what Xia Lei wanted.
“Why not meet since you’re here?” Xia Lei muttered to himself after a long pause.
He opened the letter.
It was Xia Changhe’s handwriting on the letter and it read: Son, I’d originally planned on killing off Ahn Geungan and Ahn Suhyeong for you but Yelena and I ran into Hyena. He’s from the international killers’ group. He’s a formidable professional killer and has never failed since he started in this profession. He is king in the world of killers. You must be on guard. Be very careful.
A sketch was included at the bottom of the letter. It was a sketch of Hyena.
Xia Lei went to the balcony with the letter in hand. He focused his eye and quickly saw a person standing on a building about 500 metres away. That person was his father, Xia Changhe. He was holding the scope of an XL2500 to look at Xia Lei on the balcony.
Xia Lei smiled wryly and mouthed the words ‘I will be careful. You be careful too.’
Xia Changhe smiled too. He put away his scope and disappeared into the night.
‘Dad probably saw the killer called Hyena with the scope, then sketched him for me. He has an XL2500 sniper rifle but he couldn’t kill Hyena - this Hyena… is he really formidable?’
The letter his father had left made Xia Lei’s spirits sink.
He did not fear this killer called Hyena but he was worried that this person would go after the people close to him. Xia Xue and Shentu Tianyin were both ordinary women and their chances of survival were practically zero if Hyena went after them.
Knock knock knocking came from the door behind him.
Xia Lei looked over and his left eye looked through the door in a breath. He saw Jiang Ruyi standing in the doorway with a bag in her hand.
‘What is she looking for me for at this hour?’ Xia Lei was curious and also felt a headache coming on.
Knock knock knock. Jiang Ruyi knocked three more times.
“Who is it?” Xia Lei walked to the door.
“It’s me, Ruyi,” said Jiang Ruyi.
Xia Lei opened the door with a smile on his face. “Oh, Ruyi. Please, come in.”
Jiang Ruyi entered the door and went straight to the sofa to sit down without any prompting from Xia Lei. She put the bag in her hand on the tea table.
“Um, I’ll make tea for you,” said Xia Lei. He was nervous for some reason.
“No need. You have no hot water at home - what tea can you make?” said Jiang Ruyi.
Xia Lei shrugged awkwardly and sat opposite Jiang Ruyi. “Ruyi, uh, what’s up?”
Jiang Ruyi looked resentful. “We can’t even be friends anymore now that you’re married?”
“What’s this for?” Afraid she’d misunderstand, Xia Lei hurriedly explained, “I just think that something must be up for you to come visit me at this hour.”
Jiang Ruyi unzipped the bag and took out five bundles of cash from it, as well as a jewellery box and a savings card. She pushed them all towards Xia Lei.
Xia Lei was stunned. “Ruyi, you… what are you doing?”
“This is the money you gave me. Da used 500,000 for his treatment. I’ve brought the remaining money back to you, and the necklace of precious gems - I’m giving it back too. I’ve saved up 50,000 and I brought that too. I’m still short of 450,000. I… I will repay you bit by bit, annually. It’ll be slower but I’ll be sure to pay it all back,” said Jiang Ruyi.
Xia Lei felt like his heart had been pricked by a needle. He looked at Jiang Ruyi. “What are you doing, Ruyi? Didn’t I already say that a part of the money is for Uncle’s treatment and the other for his recovery when I gave it to you? I don’t need money either - why are you returning it to me?”
“You don’t need money but why must I accept so much money from you? And this necklace?” Jiang Ruyi opened the jewellery box, revealing the necklace Xia Lei had given her. “I went to the jewellery store to have it verified. The shop offered me 5,000,000 for this necklace!”
“I’ve given it to you and you’ve accepted it. I don’t want it back. Take the money and the necklace. Don’t make a fuss,” said Xia Lei.
Jiang Ruyi stared straight at Xia Lei and tears welled in her eyes. “Wh, Who am I to you? You give me money, and such a valuable necklace... Tell me - what am I to you?”
“We’re… We’re friends,” said Xia Lei.
Jiang Ruyi’s tears fell. “Friends, my foot. I have many friends but they give me just a few yuan over Wechat, and we split the bill when we go out for meals. Why don’t these friends give me millions? You have so many friends too. Why don’t you give them millions and a necklace valued at 5,000,000 too? Go on, give these to them. I’ll believe we are friends if you give all your friends millions and valuable necklaces.”
Xia Lei had no words to say. He couldn’t give every friend money and necklaces even if he were the richest man on Earth.
Jiang Ruyi’s tears flowed faster. “Deep down somewhere in your heart, you actually think of me as your woman, don’t you?”
“I…” Xia Lei opened his mouth but only that one word came out. He was also thinking ‘Do I really think of her as my woman?’
He didn’t know the answer to that question himself.
“We grew up together. You said you have no feelings for me but I don’t believe it. You helped me solve the case when I was just a little pencil-pusher. You helped me become Police Chief. When Da got sick, you came to the rescue. You saved Da and even gave us a better life. You then gave me a necklace worth millions for no reason. You actually see me as your woman, don’t you?”
“Ruyi, I…” Xia Lei did not know what to do.
“If you see me as your woman, then why don’t you touch me?!” Jiang Ruyi was losing it.
Xia Lei froze.
“I’ll give you two choices.” Jiang Ruyi stood up with tears streaming from her eyes. “Embrace me or take the money and the necklace back, and we will forever be just debtor and debtee.”
Xia Lei’s headache suddenly magnified twofold.Previous Chapter Next Chapter