Oshino Hakkai was a small mountain village at the foot of Mount Fuji. It was night, but the majestic Mount Fuji could still be seen. It was very special; snow on its peak, and greenery starting from its middle and downwards. It looked mysterious under the moon and stars, like a woman’s face behind a lace veil. Remove the veil, and you may find a beauty, or a demon.
The Mitsubishi car stopped before it got close to Oshino Hakkai. Xia Lei looked quietly at the mountain village before him, and Mount Fuji in the distance. The scenery before him was beautiful, but it was a place of danger for him.
“We’re here. Now tell me.” Xia Lei turned to look at Long Bing in the backseat. “Can you tell me your plan now?”
“Didn’t I tell you my plan already? Look for a simple hot-springs hotel. Don’t care about anything else, and just stay there for a night. Make a decision tomorrow,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei gave her an odd look. “Stop joking. It’s not the time for jokes.”
Long Bing pointed at the small hotel close to the village entrance. “That one doesn’t look too bad. Let’s stay there tonight.”
Xia Lei didn’t know what to say.
Long Bing put a hand on Xia Lei’s shoulder and pinched him gently. “I want you to live, and not get into unnecessary danger. You said it yourself, that Gu Kewen might just be using her brother as bait to lure you to Japan. I know you’re really strong and think nothing of Gu Kewen, but have you considered if Gu Kewen has someone very powerful to help her? Don’t be too hasty. Gu Kewen’s target is you, and your target is Gu Kewen, so don’t rush. Find your feet, observe the situation, then decide.”
“All right, I’ll listen to you.” Xia Lei started the car again and drove towards the hotel close to the village entrance.
On the backseat, Gu Kewu moved, then opened his eyes. He saw Mount Fuji outside the window and stared blankly, then said, “Where are you guys taking me?”
“To see your sister. You must be happy to hear that, huh?” said Xia Lei.
“Ha. Happy?” said Gu Kewu angrily, “Look at my head! How many times have you knocked me out? My head is still…”
Long Bing’s hand flashed before Gu Kewu could finish his sentence and the butt of her gun hit him on the head. There was a thunk, and Gu Kewu drooped again. A trickle of blood came down his head, leaving a red trail across his face. The blood from before had dried – this was fresh blood.
“Is he going to die from all that hitting?” said Xia Lei worriedly.
Long Bing was unconcerned. “Don’t worry, he won’t die. I’m knocking him out for safety reasons. Gu Kewen definitely has eyes in this place. We have masks on, but Gu Kewu doesn’t. If Gu Kewen’s people recognises him, they will be able to tell who we are. It’s very dangerous for us.”
“How do you plan to deal with him?”
Long Bing took out a roll of tape from her backpack and bound Gu Kewu’s hands and feet. She then taped his mouth. She opened up the backseat of the car, then shoved Gu Kewu in the boot.
Xia Lei had no further questions.
A few minutes later, the Mitsubishi car pulled up to the small hotel. Xia Lei parked the car at a roadside parking spot, then dragged their various pieces of luggage to the hotel. Long Bing followed close behind. She looked like she was walking normally, but she was actually scanning their surroundings.
Xia Lei’s gaze went to a car parked close to the entrance of the village. The doors of the car were tightly shut, and dark shades covered the glass of the windows. One could not see what was inside.
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched, and the windows disappeared from his vision.
There were two men in there, one white, one black. Both looked about 30 years old, were burly, and had sharp gazes. One look and you could tell that they were not regular people. Plus, regular people would be in bed at this hour, not sitting in a car.
Just as Xia Lei discovered the two men, a Toyota sedan passed on the road leading to Oshino Hakkai. In those few seconds, the two men’s eyes went to the Toyota, staying on it till it moved away from them.
It was obvious that these two men were observing the cars entering Oshino Hakkai.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought, and he strengthened his X-ray vision. It was as he had expected. The two men had guns – automatic handguns with silencers. Guns like these were called handguns but the ammunition load and firing speed was almost equivalent to a mini submachine gun. It had great firepower!
“Is there a problem with that car?” Long Bing discovered Xia Lei obersing the car.
Xia Lei nodded slightly. “Don’t look. Let’s go in.”
The two men in the car looked over at the hotel. They had already observed Xia Lei and Long Bing earlier, when they’d driven in. However, they had not discovered anything out of the ordinary, and a car had entered Oshino Hakkai at around the same time too, so they had stopped looking. There were no other targets to observe at this time, so they watched Xia Lei and Long Bing.
“Shit. They’re watching us.” Xia Lei said quietly.
Long Bing held Xia Lei’s arm and walked towards the hotel as she said, “Darling, I want to have sashimi. I hear that Japan’s sashimi is super delicious. Get it for me, hmm? Don’t be a meanie and treat me to some, or I’ll break up with you!”
Long Bing was a first-rate actress when on missions. The usual ice queen had morphed into a naive young girl, and she was doing a good job as a brat.
“Okay, okay. We’ll eat it. You just love eating, don’t you? Why don’t you ever get fat?” Xia Lei grumbled as he walked towards the hotel.
Xia Lei kept a lookout on that car out of the corner of his eye.
The two men in the car were smiling wickedly and saying something.
Xia Lei was unable to use lip-reading on them. The language which the two men were using was not one he had learnt, and suspicion grew in his heart. ‘If it’s the CIA, then these two would definitely use English. If they’re Japanese specialists, then they should be using Japanese. But their language is not even Hebrew or Arabic. Where are they from? And what is their identity?’
This small discovery from his bit of scanning with his X-ray vision gave him a big hint. These two men were not CIA, and not from the Japanese side, but from some organisation he had not interacted with before!
In that instant, the gears in Xia Lei’s brain kicked into gear. All the information he had flooded into his head. CIA, Mossad, Afghan Armed Forces, AE Research Center, FA Organisation…
Xia Lei’s thought stopped on FA Organisation. It felt like he had received the results from an online browser engine search, just with his brain. One second later, however, he rejected the result his brain had given him. This was a fight between him and Gu Kewen, and she was part of the CIA. She was not related to the FA Organisation.
Xia Lei didn’t inquire about the prices after entering the hotel. He asked for the most expensive room right away, and ordered a feast.
The lady-boss of the hotel liked customers like Xia Lei very much. She personally led Xia Lei and Long Bing to their most expensive room. Xia Lei was stunned when he walked in. The room was large, and it held its own natural hot-springs pool. The room seemed to have been built around this pool.
Long Bing walked one round around the hot-springs pool after the lady-boss left. She looked up at Xia Lei with smouldering eyes. “You chose this room on purpose, didn’t you? I’m not falling for this, okay? I’m not going to bathe with you.”
Xia Lei looked wordlessly at her, wondering if he should try explaining himself. Explanations wouldn’t help at all. He walked to the window and opened the curtains. Unfortunately, he was unable to see the car parked close to the village entrance from where he was standing.
The satellite phone rang all of a sudden.Previous Chapter Next Chapter