Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial Group had become support for Thunder Horse Group. No one had seen this coming. However, not many knew about this because the three companies had signed the contract in secret.
A huge shipment of parts from Hanwu Weapons arrived the day after Xia Lei, Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng signed the contract. Thunder Horse Military Factory only needed to test the quality of these parts and assemble them.
The parts produced by Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial should have a high standard, since the Shenwu assault rifle only failed because of the omission of the shock-absorption device. Xia Lei was not worried at all about quality issues of the parts coming from them. If any problem arose, he could just reject them, and it was not going to affect him very much.
With the support from Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial, Thunder Horse was now able to speed up the production of the Gust assault rifle, and produce them at a more steady pace. The quicker the domestic orders were done, the quicker they could fulfil the international ones.
However, Xia Lei was not satisfied with that. He did not believe that he would be working long-term with Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial. The USD 400,000,000 of parts he was getting from Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial would become Gust assault rifles, doubling his profit on them, and this profit would be used to increase Thunder Horse Military Factory’s production capacity. A new workshop, new production line, and new employees were all in the plans.
The Gust assault rifle and the industry espionage associated with it also became the turning point for Thunder Horse Military Factory. It allowed Thunder Horse to have a firm footing in the Chinese market and a foundation to build upon. Its strength and its potential for growth would soon be realised!
Before that, though, Xia Lei still had something important to do – the trip to Japan.
“We’re leaving the day after. Have you prepared all that you need?” Long Bing broke the heavy silence in the Jeep. Her expression was a cold and aloof as ever.
“I’ve prepared what I should, no problems. How about you?” said Xia Lei.
“I made my fake documents with the mask you gave me. My name’s Ooka Mika, 25 years old. I’m from Hokkaido and I’m your childhood friend cum girlfriend. Is this correct, Mr Katou Takasuke?”
Xia Lei laughed. “No need to recite it to me. Just memorise your own bio.”
Agents needed to memorise all of a cover identity’s background before going on missions, and always be on the alert for situations where their cover could be compromised. This was quite basic, and Long Bing was a professional who would not mess up.
“Right, our mission. Don’t let Shentu Tianyin know the relationship of our cover identities,” said Long Bing coldly. “She is a jealous woman. I don’t want to be seen as someone trying to encroach on her territory.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “Do I seem like such a henpecked man to you?”
Long Bing gave Xia Lei a look. “You mean you’re not?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
He was not a man who was afraid of his wife, but a man who loved and cherished his wife. He did not want her to be unhappy and he did not want her hurt. Men should be open-minded and be accomodating. If he nitpicked about everything with Shentu Tianyin because he was the man in the relationship, then what was the point in that sort of life?
“Oh, yes, the XL2500 sniper rifle and Gust assault rifle for our use has already been shipped to Japan through our channels. Someone will bring them to us when we’ve crossed the border,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei sighed. “I’d rather we not have to use guns on mission in Japan. That place is not Jerusalem, and not Afghanistan. It’s still quite safe for us to go there with our false identities, unless there’s CIA or highly-specialised people there.”
“Have you forgotten about Gu Kewen?”
Xia Lei’s thoughts were jerked back to the present at the mention of that name, and he wrinkled his brows.
The biggest threat in this mission in Japan was Gu Kewen.
Long Bing spoke flatly, “I don’t have any friendly feelings for Japan. I won’t go easy one anyone if there’s going to be a fight. If I can kill two, I’ll kill them both. I’ll handle the specialised agents and the CIA. You’ll handle Gu Kewu and Gu Kewen.”
Long Bing was Long Bing, the ice-queen killer of Bureau 101. Her words were laced with frost.
Xia Lei said nothing. He just nodded. He understood Long Bing, since there was a strained, bloody history between Japan and China. Every Chinese national of the Republic would remember the crimes Japan had committed in those war-years. Long Bing was one of those who remembered this bit of history, and she would not go easy if a war broke out again. Xia Lei would choose to do the same too.
An hour later, the Jeep came to a prison. Long Bing showed her documents and the prison guard let them through. A prison warden brought Long Bing and Xia Lei to the door of a cell.
Ordinary inmates were only able to see their visitors in the visiting room, under the watch of the wardens. However, Long Bing and Xia Lei did not have to do this. They went straight to Gu Kewu’s cell, and no prison warden was there to watch them either.
The warden opened the door, and walked away.
Xia Lei pushed the door open and saw Gu Kewu in there right away. The sound of the opening door had startled him, and he looked over. Their eyes met.
“You…” Gu Kewu was astonished. “What are you doing here, Xia Lei?”
Xia Lei smiled toothily. “Long time no see, Gu Kewu. You’ve grown fat, and paler too.”
Gu Kewu’s expression turned ugly. He could hear the mockery in Xia Lei’s words. The old him in his prime would have returned that favour, and told his bodyguards to beat Xia Lei up. He was different now. The long time in prison had drained him of his arrogance and he did not dare to oppose Xia Lei. There was no meaning in it.
Long Bing poked her head in the doorway and said, “You talk with him. I’ll wait outside.”
“Nn.” Xia Lei nodded. He did not move his gaze from Gu Kewu.
Gu Kewu saw Long Bing too, and he was scared. He subconsciously moved two steps back. “Wh, What do you two want?”
“What, has your courage shrunk after spending time in prison?” said Xia Lei.
Gu Kewu bit his lip, and hate flashed in his eyes. That was all the reaction to be had from him, though.
“Sit, sit. I’ll stand. Let’s talk,” said Xia Lei.
Gu Kewu did not sit. He laughed dryly. “Say it. What did you come here for? To laugh at me? You’ve achieved your goal. You can leave now.”
“Say, if you’d been so understanding like you are now, would you have ended up this way?”
“Enough!” Gu Kewu could not stand it any longer. He said angrily, “What the hell do you want, Xia Lei? You want to beat me up? I’m right here! Come on, hit me! Beat me to death!”
Xia Lei abruptly felt that the Gu Kewu now was very pitiful, but not worthy of sympathy.
Xia Lei sighed, and suddenly shouted, “SIT!”
Gu Kewu shot to his prison bed like immediately. He looked at Xia Lei in trepidation. His mind raced with thoughts, trying to guess at why Xia Lei had come.
“I came to tell you,” said Xia Lei, “that you’re free to go.”
“What?” Gu Kewu could not believe what he was hearing.
“This is all thanks to your good little sister, Gu Kewen. You might not know it but she’s one of the CIA now.” Xia Lei watched Gu Kewu for changes in his expression as he spoke.
Gu Kewu avoided Xia Lei’s gaze.
Xia Lei was stuck by this, and he thought, ‘Looks like Gu Kewu already knows about his sister betraying our nation and becoming a CIA agent. It’s not difficult for her to tell him this, with her connection. The Gu family collapsed, but they still have loyal followers.’
“I don’t believe you. My sister is just an ordinary girl. How could she become a CIA agent? Xia Lei, you’ve come to the wrong place if you’re here to get information on my sister. I know nothing,” said Gu Kewu.
Xia Lei had reached a conclusion at Gu Kewu’s words. He said, “It’s not important if you know about it or not. I’m here to tell you that I’m going to Japan in two days, and I’ll hand you over to your little sister there.”
“This…” Gu Kewu was gobsmacked.
Xia Lei scoffed. “Stop pretending. You actually know everything. Don’t worry, I’m not here to investigate who passed the information on to you. It’s meaningless.”
Gu Kewu put his face of surprise away. He glared coldly at Xia Lei. “Fine. I’ll go to Japan with you.”
Xia Lei walked up to Gu Kewu and grabbed his shoulder. His voice was ice-cold. “Let me warn you, Gu Kewu. Do not try any tricks on our way there. Death awaits you if you run. Death awaits you if you say anything that will compromise our identities. Got that?”
Gu Kewu was silent.
“Got that?” Xia Lei increased the pressure in his grip.
“Argh–” Xia Lei had Gu Kewu’s collarbone in his hand, and he pulled upwards. It was so painful that Gu Kewu screamed.
“DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!” thundered Xia Lei.
“I do! I understand!” Gu Kewu begged for mercy. “Let go! Let go!”
Xia Lei released him. “It’s good that you understand. Let me tell you one more thing. Because of your sister’s identity, I have the right to kill you at any time. This is what you should remember. You’re a smart man. You know what you should do now?”
The look in Xia Lei’s eyes made a chill creep over Gu Kewu’s heart. He nodded.
Xia Lei turned to leave. He did not give Gu Kewu a second glance.
This person had once been his greatest rival, but he was now just a poor wretch.Previous Chapter Next Chapter