Chapter 542 - A Thousand Years

Back in the underground laboratory, Xia Lei took out the box which had been assembled from the pieces of ancient alloy and put it on the worktable. 

The assembled box was a square box, and each side was 12 centimetres long, just a little shorter than the palm of his hand. He could grab it with one hand. It was metallic, but very light — at this size, the box did not weigh over 500 grams. Xia Lei estimated that the box would probably weigh 500 grams if he found the last alloy piece and joined it together with the other pieces. 

It was extremely strong, very light, and could absorb the electromagnetic waves emitted by radars without any additional coating. In other words, no radar on Earth could detect its existence. This material was the best and the most excellent for making a fighter plane due to these characteristics. 

Any country would be very interested in this sort of material, and this was also why China saw the Alloy X Project as a very important one. However, mass-producing this alloy was going to be very difficult indeed, because its composition still could not be ascertained. How could it be manufactured when its composition was still unknown? 

Xia Lei really wanted to use his X-ray vision and see its makeup if he could, and contribute this information to the nation to enable the country to manufacture this ancient alloy for use in the aerospace industry. If he could do that, he would be satisfied, even if the mystery of the AE remained unsolved. 

‘I thought the almost-complete Princess Yongmei would be able to clear my doubts after I’d found 29 pieces of the ancient alloy, but she did not know either. What’s stranger is that she’s gone missing now too. The last piece of ancient alloy is impossible to find, so what can I do to solve the mystery of this box?’ Xia Lei examined the box, troubled. 

In the next second, his left eye twitched, awakening the power of X-ray vision. He looked at the box. Terror spiralled through his body and soul, and this persisted for longer than usual. The pain he felt was more intense too. Unfortunately, Princess Yongmei did not appear when he returned to normal. He had no result from this use of his X-ray vision. 

Where had Princess Yongmei gone? 

He had pondered the question at the fishing islet in the middle of the sea, but he had no answer still, not even now. 

He sat quietly for a bit, then moved the box which was missing its final piece to his front. He stared at that hole, thinking deeply. 

The hole was inky-black, and quite odd. The light of the underground laboratory did not light up its insides. This was not normal, because light shining from above into a gap would illuminate the space under normal circumstances. It should be lit up in at least a small part, but what was happening now was that the light was being absorbed when it got close to the hole, leaving nothing behind. 

This hole was a black hole. 

A few minutes later, Xia Lei stretched out a finger towards that hole. He wanted to know what would happen if he put his finger into the black space of the box. However, he gave up when he got close to the hole. The space in the box could even eat light — it was going to be a big problem if it ate his finger. 

Xia Lei found a gel pen to act as a substitute for his finger, and slowly pushed it in. There was no suction, and no shaking of it being crushed. Nothing unusual happened. Xia Lei felt like he was just very normally pushing a pen into a pen holder. 

But then something strange happened. 

The gel pen was 15 centimetres long, three centimetres longer than the box. However, Xia Lei had pushed the pen in to the 14-centimetre mark, and it had not touched the other side of the box. Under normal circumstances, it should have touched the inside of the box at the 12-centimetre mark. 

Where had the two centimetres gone? 

Amazement and confusion sprang in Xia Lei at this thought. He then pushed the whole pen into the box. He was very careful during this process, and quickly retracted his fingers after he flicked the pen forward. He did not touch the black space in the hole. 

The pen disappeared. Xia Lei put the box on an electronic scale and measured its weight. The weight of the box had not increased. 

‘What’s going on?’ Xia Lei was stunned. 

Ring ring ring, ring ring ring… 

The ringing of his mobile phone interrupted his thoughts. 

It was Shentu Tianyin, and her voice was as pleasing to the ear as ever. “Hubby, why aren’t you home yet? I’ve been waiting at home for you for an hour.” 

“I’m in the laboratory. I’ll come home right away,” said Xia Lei. 

“Nn. Kiss me.” 

“Heh heh.” Xia Lei kissed his phone, then hung up. 

And at that moment, the space in the box trembled. The gel pen appeared abruptly. 

Xia Lei gaped at the gel pen. He was not gaping at the strange fashion in which it had appeared, but at its appearance. It looked like it had weathered over a thousand years in some dimension. The pen had lost its shine, and taken on the pale yellow colour of age. The sticker on the pen had also lost its colour, and the printed words on it were blurred. What was most shocking was that the ink in the pen had become solid, and only a little bit of it was left. 

Crack! There was a snapping sound as the gel pen dropped to the work table and shattered into pieces. 

Xia Lei stared blankly. He couldn’t help himself, and pressed one of the pieces with his finger. He applied only a small bit of pressure on it, but the piece turned into a pile of ash. 

“This…” Xia Lei was shaken. 

Just one minute had passed, but this brand-new gel pen had returned after this minute in a state which looked like it had weathered over a thousand years. If a person went in… What would the result be? 

Xia Lei counted himself lucky at that thought. It was a good thing that he had been more wary, and not stuck his own finger into the box. If he had, then he might have had to have over a thousand years pass for him, and turn into a pile of ash immediately. 

‘Forget it. I’ll do those types of experiments later.’ Xia Lei put his thoughts aside, and placed the box in its container. He then put the container in the safe. 

He would not get any results in just one or two days for a matter like this. What he wanted to do most wasn’t the continuation of the research anymore. He wanted to see his wife, Shentu Tianyin. 

Xia Lei bumped into Annina as soon as he exited the villa. 

He groaned inwardly. He had accepted Jiang Ruyi, then Long Bing, but had chosen to break off the relationship between himself and Annina after getting married to Shentu Tianyin. As for her, she had gone after him quite doggedly all this while, and also worked hard for his company. All these made him feel a measure of guilt whenever he met Annina. 

“Come with me, Lukas. I have something I want to tell you.” Annina cut straight to the chase when she saw Xia Lei. She seemed nervous. 

Xia Lei did not ask what it was about, and just nodded. He followed Annina into the study in the villa. 

“What is it?” Xia Lei finally asked after closing the door. 

Annina opened the desk drawer and took out a letter from it. 

The letter had Annina’s name in German written on it, and the letterhead on it was from the German Embassy. 

Xia Lei had a bad feeling when he saw that letter. 

Annina handed the letter to Xia Lei. “This is a letter from the German Embassy. A courier delivered it to the guard room. I’ve read the letter, and it says that my status as a wanted person has been cancelled. I can go back to my country now. And it’s not just that. They are also willing to apologise for putting me on the wanted list, and they’re going to give me one million euros in compensation.” 

Xia Lei read the contents of the letter. It was as Annina had said. His feelings about it were complicated, and he was silent, unspeaking. 

“Lukas? What do you think?” Annina looked a little anxiously at Xia Lei.

Xia Lei sighed. “Do you want to go back, Annina?” 

“I do want to go back, but…” 

“But what?” 

“But I can’t just leave you. I don’t know what to do.” Annina was filled with indecision, and suffering. 

She was a German citizen. Her family and friends were in Germany, and her habits were very different from the habits of the Chinese too. In this situation, it was understandable that she would miss her hometown and want to go home. To Xia Lei, however, it was not as simple as it looked on the surface. 

Thunder Horse Military Factory had become the dark horse of the light weapons manufacturing sector, and it was a world-class dark horse too. No weapons manufacturer could rival the top spots which the XL2500 sniper rifle and Gust assault rifle occupied. Annina, the machinist from Germany, had made invaluable contributions towards the manufacture of these two guns, and she was also a person who knew core secrets about the guns. She was the only one other than Xia Lei who knew these secrets. 

And now the German government was being kind. They cancelled Annina’s wanted status, were willing to apologise, and were going to give a million euros in compensation. Who would believe it if one said that they were not after the core secrets of the production in Thunder Horse Military Factory? 

Xia Lei was silent for a while before he said, “Annina, there’s something fishy about this. Give me some time to investigate. Let’s discuss this properly when I’m done investigating it. How about it?” 

“Mm. No problem.” Annina agreed immediately. After a pause, she said, “Lukas, I know you have some worries about this but I can swear to you that I won’t betray your secrets after I return to Germany. I won’t agree to it if they try to make me divulge the secrets of the XL2500 and Gust. You can trust me on that.” 

Xia Lei sighed to himself, ‘Looks like she is yearning to go back.’ He plastered a smile on his face, and said, “Of course I trust you. But what if this is a scam? What if they dupe you into going back, then try to torture you, spank you? Would you tell them then?” 

Annina turned around abruptly and exposed her electrifyingly full and plump buttocks. “You can try it right now. Spank me. See if I’ll cave.” 

Xia Lei paused, then slapped that ass. 

Pah! A crisp smack rang out, and soft flesh rippled. 

It felt good to smack her ass, but Xia Lei’s heart was full of worry. A question crept into his mind too. Who had leaked the secret of Annina’s presence at Thunder Horse Military Factory to the German government? 

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