A Mercedes-Benz galloped on the road, escorted by several Mercedes-Benz G-class military-use off-road vehicles. A police car opened up the path for this convoy. People who did not know the truth of the situation would think that some foreign dignitary had come on a visit to Germany.
In the Mercedes-Benz, Sylvia and Xia Lei sat shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip on the sofa backseat. The driver could not see into the passenger compartment behind him, and the car was also equipped with a state-of-the-art audio-visual system, and a wine cabinet; it was quite luxurious. However, Xia Lei didn’t think much of this car because he had become used to riding in Shentu Tianyin’s Rolls Royce Phantom. He himself had a Ferrari FF, and a Chevrolet Suburban, so he felt that there was nothing special about this car.
The car did have an effect on the person next to him, though.
Sylvia pulled the dress about her more tightly, letting the fabric hug her skin. Her beautiful legs changed positions often too, sometimes her left was over her right, and sometimes the right was over the left. Whichever position is was, though, the triangular shape of her intimate area was visible, and tempting Xia Lei.
Xia Lei laughed bitterly to himself. ‘She’s being so obvious but I am not reacting to her at all. I’m probably one of the rare men who wouldn’t do something in this modern society, huh? I’d like Tianyin to be here to witness my restraint.’
Men like him were also no exception to forgetting himself.
Just when Xia Lei was thinking that he was doing a good job of controlling himself, Sylvia suddenly put a hand on his thigh. He froze up, and his gaze went to her hand.
Sylvia’s hand was soft, and warm. It made Xia Lei fantasise about being gripped by that hand.
“Mr Xia, you’re returning soon, aren’t you?” Sylvia broke the silence between them.
Xia Lei was still looking at her hand. “Yeah, in about a week’s time. I’ll go back to China once the project here is done.”
“Mr Mark Armin has already tasked me with inspecting your work,” said Sylvia.
Xia Lei paused. He’d wanted to take Sylvia’s hand off his thigh from earlier, but her words made her hand now seem like it was a huge, heavy rock, and this rock had taken root in his leg, making it difficult for him to remove it.
She talked about inspection or his work right now, but it seemed she wanted to inspect more than work.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “Well, then I’m in your care. There is no problem with my work though.”
“Is there really no problem?” Sylvia furtively slid her hand higher, just a bit, but it made Xia Lei very nervous.
“Of course not,” said Xia Lei. He reached out and removed Sylvia’s hand.
The corners of Sylvia’s mouth turned downwards, and disappointment filled her eyes. “Oh, right, did you write to Hillman?” she said.
Adolf Hillman, the man from the AE Research Center who had plotted to capture him. This enemy had not showed his face yet. Xia Lei had obtained Adolf Hillman’s e-mail address from Sylvia, but he had not written to him. Xia Lei had asked for the e-mail address just to hack into his mailbox to take a look around and see if he had any of the secrets of the AE Research Center. However, he had tried several times to hack into the inbox but he had been unsuccessful.
“No. Did he contact you?” Xia Lei responded with a question.
Sylvia shook her head. “No. I wrote to him about breaking up. He should understand what I mean. Even if he does contact me, I won’t take notice of him anymore.”
Xia Lei feel into deep thought. The AE Research Center, the CIA, the FA… These were all his enemies, and they were successively larger and more powerful. He was in Europe now, on soil of a country which saw China as an opponent. He had stayed in this land and made weapon production lines, and built the most advanced intelligent lathe over a period of almost three months’ time. Nothing major had happened during this time too, other than Adolf Hillman making use of Sylvia. It was overall quite calm and peaceful, but this sort of calm was not normal. It was simple — the AE Research Center knew that he was in Germany, so how could the CIA not know? The two American organisations were connected. If the CIA knew that he was in Rheinmetall AG, then how would the FA not know, especially considering that the FA had remarkable talents?
Xia Lei recalled the black man. He had been like a spirit, appearing without a sound, and fading away without a sound. What he’d brought was a small pressure which heralded greater trouble.
Right now, Xia Lei was about to finish up his task in Germany, and return to China. The three factions maintaining their silence was quite abnormal.
For some reason, Xia Lei felt this shapeless pressure after Sylvia mentioned Adolf Hillman, and his spirits grew heavy. He had a bad feeling, like something bad would happen. However, he could find no trace of anything which could account for it when he sorted out what had happened during this period of time, and the people he had interacted with.
“What are you thinking about?” Sylvia looked at Xia Lei, trying to guess at his thoughts.
Xia Lei snapped back to his senses. He gave a laugh. “Nothing.”
“I heard you’re building Annina a castle, and that it’s beautiful. Is it true?”
“Yeah, it is. She worked for me, and contributed a lot. I should repay her,” said Xia Lei.
“What did that castle cost?”
“About 20,000,000 euros. I might have to spend more too, but it won’t go over 30,000,000 euros.”
“Wow, she’s so lucky. The money I’m making at Rheinmetall AG won’t be enough, not even if I work my whole life. Hmm, do you still need people at your company?” asked Sylvia probingly.
Xia Lei paused. “You… want to join my company?”
“Why not? I am free to do what I want, and I can go wherever I wish to work. I’ll consider it if you give me the same remuneration as you had for Annina,” said Sylvia.
Xia Lei chuckled. “Sure. I’ll welcome you any time you’d like to come. I’ll treat you the same remuneration as Annina too.”
Sylvia was an even better machinist than Annina, and her skills were apparent from how she had controlled the precision processing in the workshop. If she decided to move over to Thunder Horse Military Factory, what she would bring over would not just be her own skills, but some of Rheinmetall’s technology too. What was even more important was her experience!
“Is this a sincere invitation?” A strange look came into Sylvia’s eyes.
Xia Lei nodded. “Of course it’s sincere.”
Sylvia pulled the corners of her mouth down in a frown. “I don’t see your sincerity.”
Xia Lei paused as he abruptly understood. Sylvia was not after the remuneration he had given Annina, she was after him — handsome him. This top-notch female German machinist wanted both money and man.
Xia Lei was hesitant. Annina had just left him, making the decision to stay in Germany. What was this, him turning around and getting someone to replace her? Pulling Sylvia over to Thunder Horse Military Factory? Besides, his love life was already in chaos. He could not bear more chaos.
Xia Lei just smiled, and said nothing.
Sylvia sighed softly, and fell silent too.
The convoy moved out of the city, along the Rhine river, and came to a small town by the sea.
The small town was beautiful, clean and most of the buildings were in a unique Viking style.
“Mr Xia, this town is called Valhalla Box Town,” said Sylvia.
“Valhalla Box Town?” Xia Lei gave a laugh. “That’s a really strange name.”
“Yes, I thought it was very strange when I first came here too, but Mr Mark Armin told me the story of the town. I think it’s very interesting.”
“What’s the story?”
“It’s said that this town was where Viking pirates fought to their deaths. They came ashore here, and fought to their deaths here, leaving just one female pirate named Claire. This female pirate completed her revenge later, and put down roots here, building this little town. She named the town ‘Valhalla Box Town’,” said Sylvia. “Oh, right, Mr Mark Armin said he has some Viking blood. He has a collection of quite a few items from the Viking period in his home. Armour, swords, shields and so on.”
Xia Lei thought for a bit and said, “According to Viking beliefs, their souls will go to an enormous hall called Valhalla to feast, drink and narrate their legends after death on the battlefield. It makes sense to call this town Valhalla Town since the Viking pirates fought to death here, but what does this have to do with a box?”
Xia Lei was particularly sensitive to the word ‘box’ for some reason.
Sylvia laughed. “This, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Mr Mark Armin when you have the chance to? He would surely know more legends.”
The convoy entered some large gates as they talked.
Mark Armin’s home had a spacious garden and grassy area. His home was an impressive wooden Viking-style building. Xia Lei even spotted a Viking warship on the grass as he stepped out of the car. It was not full-sized, of course, but it was enough to make him feel like it had been a little overdone. If it were not for Sylvia’s story, and what he had seen so far, he would have thought that the man in charge of Rheinmetall AG was an obsessed Viking fan.
Sylvia drew close to him, and put her hand in the crook of Xia Lei’s elbow.
Xia Lei paused for a moment, but did not object to it. Escorting a female companion to a party and entering with a female on his arm was a common thing in the Western world.
Mark Armin came over in welcome, and he had a smile on his face. “Aha, Mr Xia, welcome. Looks like I did something right in getting Miss Sylvia to do the invitation. You definitely wouldn’t show your face if another person asked.”
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “You’re too kind, Mr Mark Armin. Happy birthday.”
“Thank you.” Mark Armin hugged Xia Lei, then said, “Please, come in.”
Sylvia hugged Mark Armin too, then hung onto Xia Lei’s arm again, and entered the house with him.
Meanwhile, some Chevrolet Suburban off-road vehicles travelled slowly on the road along the sea, heading towards Valhalla Box Town.Previous Chapter Next Chapter