Chapter 61 - A Threatening Mark
“Xue, I’m home,” Xia Lei said automatically when he opened the door.
Nobody responded; the flat was quiet.
Xia Lei then remembered that Xia Xue had gone to Jing-Du to study and was not home. He shook his head and smiled wryly. This was not the first time he had made this sort of mistake. He didn’t think anything of it when Xia Xue was still around and he took it for granted. It was after she left, however, that he found out how much he missed her. She was his one and only sister after all, and his only kin in the world.
He closed the door, walked into the living room and was on high alert all of a sudden.
Everything in the flat looked fine but he knew someone had been here - some items were not in their original place. The changes were small but even the smallest changes did not escape his left eye. All environments his eye had seen could be recalled, even the contents of the rubbish bin, much less changes to the surroundings!
The person who’d entered his home had moved a lot of things, then put those things back in their original places but he had not put everything back perfectly. The television cabinet, for example; Xia Lei remembered that the cabinet had a one-centimetre gap and a screwdriver could be seen through that gap. It now had a two-centimetre gap and an unused board could be seen through the gap.
“Could it have been that tranny?” Xia Lei suddenly thought of the thief with a face women would envy. “If it was him, then this must have been Gu Ke-Wen taking action against me. But… What does she hope to find by sending a thief into my home? The patent has already been approved. It’s useless even if she steals the design plans and the design isn’t even here with me anyway. So if it’s not the patent design plans, what did she want from my home?”
Xia Lei thought and thought about it but could not think of what Gu Ke-Wen would have sent the tranny to his home to find.
After a period of silence, Xia Lei walked to the television cabinet and picked up his framed family picture from the top of it. The glass bottle was still there and the pill was still in the bottle, lying quietly at its bottom. It was very ordinary but it made one feel like there was a story behind it.
Xia Lei put the framed picture back in its place and moved to the window. His eye twitched and a faint footprint appeared in his vision. This footprint was small and dainty and looked like it belonged to a woman. He then scanned the room and saw that the faint footprints were all over the floor. Professional police crime scene technicians would need to sprinkle fluorescent powder or some sort of powder of that kind to see the prints but Xia Lei could see them in panorama.
This was the zoom-in ability of his left eye; he could see tiny things which regular people would need the aid of magnifying glasses for.
The footprints went from the living room to the doors of the bedrooms. They led to both his and Xia Xue’s rooms.
Xia Lei followed the footprints to his own room. The footprints were everywhere. The bedside drawers and drawers under his wardrobe had traces of having been moved.
Xia Lei opened one of his bedside drawers and found that the underwear inside was in a mess. He frowned, “Pervert!”
After checking his room, Xia Lei found that though the thief had rifled through his things, nothing had been stolen. The 1,000 yuan emergency cash in his wardrobe had not been taken.
A thief who’s not after money must be after something else.
Following that, Xia Lei came to Xia Xue’s room. The situation was about the same - the thief had gone through all the drawers but not stolen anything.
After a check, Xia Lei’s gaze suddenly went to the writing desk under the window. It was Xia Xue’s writing desk and there was a pile of revision papers for university entrance exams and a photo frame. The picture was of Xia Xue’s graduation. What he saw, however, was not the sunny-smiling Xia Xue in the picture but the ‘X’ drawn in red marker on the glass of the photo frame.
The ‘X’ mark was small and not over one square centimetre but Xia Lei could still see it. A one square centimetre thing was as big as a house to him with the ability of his left eye. The ‘X’ had been drawn on the photo frame right above Xia Xue’s forehead. What it represented was clear - this was a threat!
Xia Lei’s face was ashen as he balled his hands into fists, then growled through clenched teeth, “Gu Ke-Wen, I don’t care who you are. If you dare harm my sister, even one hair of hers, I will kill you!”
After his father disappeared, Xia Lei had played not just the role of brother but of father. If anyone wanted to hurt Xia Xue, he would go to the person and fight - and the second daughter of the Gu clan was no exception!
The thief had left from Xia Xue’s window. The footprint on the windowsill pointed outwards.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought and he followed it out of his flat, going downstairs and chasing after the path of footprints the thief had left behind.
The footprints became fainter and fainter and some prints were obscured by other prints. The footprints he was following disappeared in an alley behind the neighbourhood and there was an additional motorcycle tyre track going in the direction of the opposite end of the alley.
That thief had ridden away on a motorcycle.
Xia Lei moved on to following the motorcycle tyre tracks and continued his chase.
A street was at the end of the alley and the tyre tracks continued on the street. Some parts of the track was obvious while some parts could not be seen at all. Xia Lei walked along the street for two to three hundred metres and gave up. The street was full of tyre tracks; cars, motorcycles, battery-powered vehicles, all criss-crossing and mixed together. There was no telling which was which. Furthermore, Xia Lei was already experiencing the strong side effects of using his left eye for an extended period of time. He was dizzy, seeing double and feeling weak.
He might have been able to keep going if the path were easier but there was definitely no way he could on a road with so many tracks going back and forth.
Xia Lei returned to his neighbourhood after resting for a few minutes. However, he did not go home and went knocking on Jiang Ru-Yi’s door instead.
Jiang Ru-Yi had just finished working out and was still wearing her Adidas shorts and tight-fitting racer-back top. Soft, stretchy fabric clung to her body like a second skin. The workout had made her break out in a sweat, sprinkling her tender, white skin with sparkling beads. The beads of perspiration had also wet her shorts and tight racer-back top, turning them translucent. This wetness also revealed obvious shapes in some places which could not speak, but seemed to be playfully saying something provocative, something shy, tempting and alluring.
Xia Lei did not know where to look.
Jiang Ru-Yi, on the other hand, behaved naturally. She wiped her forehead with a towel, then wiped her chest as she said, “It’s the middle of the night and here you are knocking on my door. What will the neighbours think if they saw?”
Xia Lei coughed awkwardly and said, “We’ve been this way for years. They’re all used to it and won’t think strange thoughts. I’m here for my car. Give me the keys; I need to go out for something.”
“What do you need to do?” Jiang Ru-Yi’s tone held a hint of suspicion.
“Never you mind, just give it to me,” said Xia Lei.
“Are you going to look for that woman? Don’t tell anyone you know me if you get captured by a pornography group,” said Jiang Ru-Yi.
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Hold on, I’ll get you the keys.” Jiang Ru-Yi turned to get the keys.
Xia Lei looked at her back, her small waist, perky bum, long, well-shaped jade-like legs and unspeakable youthful beauty. In that instant, Jiang Ru-Yi’s shorts and racer-back top flew away.
Xia Lei shut his eyes and lowered his head, thinking, ‘Why can’t I control my own eye whenever I am with her?’
If it was beauty, Shentu Tian-Yin was more beautiful than Jiang Ru-Yi but he had never had the desire to use his X-ray vision on Shentu Tian-Yin. However, he could not control it when he was with Jiang Ru-Yi. This seemed to be a matter he could not solve.
Jiang Ru-Yi returned quickly with some keys but they were not the Great Wall H6 keys - they were the keys to her ratty-tatty Volkswagen Polo.
Xia Lei held the keys in his hand and spoke after a beat, “These are your car keys. I want mine.”
“Take it or leave it.” Jiang Ru-Yi spoke impatiently, “Everyone in the station says I have a new car and I’ve already admitted to it. You can’t let me drive the small old car to work, can you? I’m the Chief! The Chief should have a Chief’s dignity. Lend me your car for a few years.”
“For… a few years?” Xia Lei did not know how to communicate with her anymore. He was dumbfounded.
“It’s a promise, then. Go do your thing. I won’t speak of your affairs; you’re a single man with a single woman,” said Jiang Ru-Yi. She did not wait for him to speak and closed the door with a bang.
Xia Lei was still standing stunned in front of her door, talking to himself, “A single man with a single woman? A single man with a single woman, my foot! I wouldn’t have lent you my car if I’d known.”
The new car had cost him hundreds of thousands and he had barely driven 15km with it. Chief Jiang had seized it now. He did some calculations and it worked out to over ten thousand yuan for every kilometre - even the Bugatti Veyron was not as expensive!
A little while later, Xia Lei drove Jiang Ru-Yi’s ratty-tatty Volkswagen Polo slowly out of the neighbourhood and in the direction of the tracks he was following earlier.
There was no clear direction and there was no way to follow the tracks on the road but he was stubborn and wanted to try his luck. Looking for the thief in this way was no different from looking for a needle at the bottom of the ocean but he was not willing to give up on even this little sliver of hope. He did not care who it was - those who dare use Xia Xue to threaten him must pay!
It was not late at night at this time; cars were everywhere on the roads and there were many people walking on the pavement. Xia Lei drove the Volkswagen Polo cautiously at 30km/h in a random direction, searching both sides of the road, and the pedestrians walking by with his eyes. He did not know what the thief looked like but he had someone he suspected in mind, and that was the tranny he had seen in Liu Ying’s home. That was the reason why whenever he spotted someone with similar characteristics to the tranny, he would observe him or her closely and drive away after ruling the person out.
XIa Lei had chosen a straight route and it had no turns. The range would be too wide if he turned and it would be impossible to track. He had hope in his heart that the person had also gone straight and parked the motorcycle by the side of the road. If that was the case, his chances of finding that fellow may be a little better. This was just a hope, of course, and the chance of it happening was small.
Twinkling neon lights, shop signs by the road and pedestrians of all shapes and colours travelled back and forth in Xia Lei’s vision. Two hours passed just like that and the straight road came to an end. A T-junction was ahead - there was a road to the left and another road to the right. Xia Lei did not know which way to go. He stopped the car.
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