“What are you standing around for?” The man shouted at the Self Defence soldiers. “Go drag that woman out! I want to kill her in front of this guy!”
The soldiers who had received orders still stood in their spots. It was like they didn’t hear him.
In actual fact, they could not hear anything anymore. Princess Yongmei had done something terrible to them just before the man had barked his orders.
Only Xia Lei could see it happening. Princess Yongmei was like the wind, blowing past the deck. All the soldiers on the deck fell prey to her hands. One by one, they grew blank, sightless, expressionless, and motionless.
“Bastard!” The man grew mad. He walked over and kicked one of the soldiers who were not listening to his commands.
The soldier fell to the deck, motionless. He stared blankly up at the sky.
“What’s wrong with you?” The man paused. He suddenly realised something, and he looked about to see that everyone was in a similar state. It was like they had lost their souls, leaving an empty shell of themselves behind, not hearing, and not responding to any stimuli.
Terror abruptly took hold of his heart, and the man looked at Xia Lei in horror. He forgot what he wanted to say.
At the same time, in Xia Lei’s field of vision, Princess Yongmei used the same method to wipe out the drivers of the speed boats. The specialised male agent was the only one left.
Princess Yongmei returned to the deck, but she did not make a move on the last target.
“Wh, What did you do to them?” The man came back to his senses. His voice shook from nervousness and terror.
Xia Lei got to his feet and said evenly, “I’ve been under your watch all this while. What could I have done?”
“Then what’s wrong with them?” screamed the man at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “This must be retribution. The Heavens are punishing them. It’s nothing to do with me.”
The man abruptly drew his gun
Xia Lei was faster. He kicked the man’s wrist, and the gun he had just drawn was sent flying, dropping into the sea.
The man swung a fist at Xia Lei’s head. Xia Lei raised his elbow to block, and did a jab after blocking the blow. His jab hit the man on his heart, and there was a thud. The man’s heart was shaken, and he folded, collapsing to the deck.
Xia Lei moved quickly, miraculously fast. When he stopped moving, one of his legs was stepping on the agent’s chest.
The agent struggled for a bit, but Xia Lei’s leg was like the tyre of a huge truck pressing down on him. He could not move. He realised then that this Chinese spy who had pretended to be a fool was actually an expert, and one more skilled than he!
Xia Lei looked at Princess Yongmei. “Why did you leave him alone?”
“I left him to you. I want to see how good you are,” said Princess Yongmei.
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “So what is your conclusion?”
Princess Yongmei pursed her lips. “Unimpressive. Any bodyguard of mine in my time would be able to defeat you easily.”
Xia Lei had no response to that, but he believed what Princess Yongmei said. Martial arts was one of China’s cultural identities, but it had deteriorated over time because of various reasons. Princess Yongmei’s era had been one where martial arts had flourished, and was in its prime. His most familiar Wing Chun would probably not be seen as one of the main schools of martial art in that time period. How would he be able to defeat a Ming dynasty princess’s bodyguards?
“Now, kill him for me,” said Princess Yongmei.
“Kill him for you?”
“Yes, kill him for me!” Princess Yongmei’s voice carried a command – the command of a princess.
Xia Lei did not move. He heard the command in her tone, and he was uncomfortable.
He was a modern man, and Princess Yongmei was a Ming dynasty princess. Why would he follow the orders of a Ming dynasty princess? Besides, he was of the opinion that Princess Yongmei had had their roles reversed. He was the only person in this world who could release her from that void!
In other words, he was Princess Yongmei’s master, not her slave!
“Didn’t you hear me?” Princess Yongmei was mad that her order had not been followed, and her tone of command grew stronger.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “Are you giving me orders?”
“You–” Princess Yongmei glared at Xia Lei.
The agent felt like he was falling apart. He roared, “Who the fuck are you talking to, you bastard! Are you insane?”
Xia Lei raised a leg and released the agent, then said, “Zhu Xuanyue, kill him!”
“Humph! You’re giving me orders?” Princess Yongmei sneered, “I’ve already killed several. I left one for you to kill, but you’re telling me to do it, and with this commanding tone too! Realise this – I am a Ming princess!”
“The Ming dynasty’s reign ended hundred of years ago,” said Xia Lei.
“What did you say?” Princess Yongmei’s mouth fell open.
“I said that the Ming dynasty is dead. Dead for hundreds of years!” Xia Lei did not hold back. “So your status of princess means nothing to me. What you need to understand is that YOU have to follow my orders, and not me who has to follow your orders!”
Princess Yongmei froze. She said nothing, and did nothing. She was best at extinguishing a person’s soul, and performing traceless murders, but she herself seemed like she had lost her soul right now.
Xia Lei felt a little sorry for at when he saw her reaction, but he had to harden his heart and do this. The Zhu Xuanyue right now was very dangerous. She was emotional, and lost control easily. He had to keep her under control, subdue her, and make her listen to his commands, or Princess Yongmei would not be a help, but a nightmare!
“Who the fuck are you talking to? My men… my men… What happened to them? Tell me! Tell me what happened!” The agent was falling apart again. To him, it looked like Xia Lei was talking to empty air, and telling that empty air to kill him. How could he bear a situation such as this!
“Shut your mouth!” shouted Xia Lei.
The agent sudden;y rushed at a Self Defence soldier, reaching for a gun.
Xia Lei grabbed him by the throat, and stomped. The agent fell to the deck.
“You can’t kill me!” shouted the agent. “I am a military man of the Japanese Empire! If you kill me, it will mean war! Will you be able to bear the consequences?”
Xia Lei sneered, “You think it’s still World War Two right now? You think I will scramble to apologise to you because you said that? Let me tell you that you’re going to die, but I just don’t want to dirty my hands. My friend will do this for me.” He looked at Princess Yongmei. “Zhu Xuanyue, you will kill him for me, won’t you?”
Zhu Xuanyue hesitated, and floated slowly over.
A faint smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s lips.
It was actually as easy as pie for Xia Lei to kill this agent, and he could do it without breaking a sweat. He wanted Princess Yongmei to kill the agent for two reasons. One, was that he needed Princess Yongmei to obey, and make her his helper instead of his problem. The other reason was that if he killed the agent, he would leave traces of the killing. These traces could end up causing international disputes, especially on the military front. This problem would not occur if Princess Yongmei were to do the deed.
Princess Yongmei reached her hands out to the agent, but stopped at his forehead. She stared at Xia Lei with eyes of ice. “Just this one time.”
Xia Lei did not speak. He just watched Princess Yongmei.
“Kill me! Go on, kill me! You lost your nerve, didn’t you? Chinese–” The voice vanished from the agent’s throat before the cursing was complete. His eyes instantly went blank, becoming nothing. His breathing ceased, too.
This was the closest Xia Lei had been in witnessing Princess Yongmei kill someone. However, though it was happening right in front of him, he could not see the finer mechanisms of how it was done. He only saw Princess Yongmei reach her hands into the agent’s head, and the agent was dead. The entire process, from beginning to end, took less than a second!
Princess Yongmei right now was, beyond doubt, almost complete, and terrifyingly powerful!
Princess Yongmei moved two steps back. “All right, are you satisfied now?”
“Thank you.” Xia Lei thanked her, then took off his jacket and wiped at the footprint he had left on the agent’s body.
He must not leave any traces.
These bodies would be discovered eventually, but no one would be able to trace him. What happened here would have to become one of the unsolved mysteries of the Japanese military.
Princess Yongmei’s gaze went to Xia Lei’s necklace. She still desired the AE capsule.
Xia Lei pretended not to see, and he said softly, “I’ll have to put their bodies back on their boats, then leave this place. Let’s have a good talk on the way back. I’ve been wanting to talk with you for a while, but you were not in a very stable condition.”
“It’s no problem. I’ll wait for you.” Princess Yongmei was very calm this time.
Xia Lei got to work quickly. He moved all of the corpses of the Self Defence soldiers back to their military speed boats, then drove the yacht towards China.
The surveillance ship Shi Boren had promised was still nowhere in sight, but Xia Lei did not need it anymore. Before he started his talk with Princess Yongmei, he gave Shi Boren a call to tell him to stop the ship from coming over. Doing this was also a precaution, so that the Japanese side would not have any evidence to gather.
In his call, Shi Boren asked why the ship was no longer needed, but Xia Lei just that they managed to lose their pursuers. He said nothing else about what had happened.
He believed that the Japanese military would not report the dead bodies after finding them, and even if there was an investigation, it would be covert. He would be able to avoid a lot of trouble this way.
After he ended his call with Shi Boren, Xia Lei asked Princess Yongmei his first question. “Tell me – what are you?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter