Chapter 618 - The Mysterious ZN Bureau

They were in a small restaurant. Xia Lei and Fan Fan ordered a few simple common dishes, a simple lunch. 

“Big Brother Lei, let’s begin after we go back,” said Fanfan at the dining table, after glancing at him. 

“Begin on what?”

Fanfan covered her mouth and laughed. “You know what I’m talking about. I want to start on my work as soon as possible.”

She was talking about the study of his body. Xia Lei knew what she was talking about, of course. He said, “There’s no rush. How about tomorrow, or the day after? You know how it is for me. There are a lot of things I need to handle since I’m managing a company on my own.”

“You’re going back to the company?” There was a glimmer of disappointment in Fanfan’s eyes. 

“Right, I need to return to the company,” said Xia Lei. 

“Then I’ll come with you.”

“You’re going back with me?” Xia Lei looked at Fanfan, trying to guess at her motives. 

Fanfan pursed her lips and smiled. “Nn, I want to see your laboratory.”

Xia Lei couldn’t find a reason to reject her, so he nodded. “Ok. We’ll go to my company after we’re done eating. You can look around my laboratory but you can’t touch the ancient alloy.”

“Hm. Ok, no problem.” Fanfan was very happy. 

Just then, a motorcycle slowly made its way over on the road outside. The motorcycle was a very ordinary China-made motorcycle but the driver was a sexy female with a slim waist and a full, rounded butt. She wore a helmet so her face couldn’t be seen. 

When the female driver came into Xia Lei’s line of sight, he thought of someone all of a sudden — his father, Xia Changhe’s subordinate, Yelena. His left eye twitched at this thought. The glass window of the restaurant and the female driver’s helmet disappeared from his vision instantly. 

It was an unfamiliar face under the female driver’s helmet but Xia Lei could tell it was an exquisitely-made mask at first glance. Who would appear with a silicone mask? He didn’t need to think about the answer or use his X-ray vision to see the true face under the mask to confirm the female driver’s identity anymore. She was Yelena. 

Xia Lei did not find it strange that Yelena had appeared at this time. His father, Xia Changhe, would always appear when he needed help the most. Now was such a time. 

Yelena parked the motorcycle by the road and got off. She walked towards a small supermarket across the street. She looked back and glanced at Xia Lei after she crossed the road, and tilted her head towards the small supermarket. 

She was hinting something to him with body language.

Xia Lei then stood up and said, “Fan Fan, wait here for me for a bit. I’m going to the supermarket across the street to buy some things.”

Fanfan looked curiously at Xia Lei. “Why are you going to the supermarket to buy things while we are eating?”

“I’ve eaten my fill, and I’m going to buy a box of xylitol. Wasn’t there an advertising message that said ‘the more you chew, the healthier you are’ ? I have a habit of chewing on two xylitol after I’m done eating,” said Xia Lei with a smile. 

“Go on, then. Please bring me a pack of tissues, thanks,” said Fan Fan. She was just a research worker after all, and even though she was a woman with high IQ, she wasn’t a professional agent like Long Bing and Tang Yuyan. She wouldn’t be suspicious of Xia Lei because of some strange actions. 

“Yep, no problem.” Xia Lei stood up and left the restaurant. 

Xia Lei quickly crossed the road and entered the small supermarket. He saw Yelena, who was at the shelves picking things out. He walked over and asked in a low voice, “Why are you here?” 

“All because of you.” Yelena spoke in Russian, “Your father is in this supermarket’s restroom. Go, quick. You have a few minutes to talk.”

Xia Lei turned around and walked off but Yelena pulled him to a stop and put the shopping basket she was carrying in Xia Lei’s hand. 

Xia Lei paused, but he quickly understood Yelena’s intentions. This was a small supermarket, so the owner would definitely be unhappy if he went to use the bathroom without buying anything. 

As expected of an agent with abundant experience. She had noticed this small detail. What surprised Xia Lei was that Yelena had even placed xylitol in his shopping basket. Xia Lei placed a pack of tissues in the basket on his way to the cashier. 

Xia Lei brought the shopping basket to the cashier counter and placed it on top. “Hi, Boss. RIng this up.”

“Okay, no problem.” The boss started to scan the items in the shopping basket and calculate the total. 

“Where’s the bathroom, Boss? I need to use it,” said Xia Lei.

The owner pointed to the corridor behind him. “Go in from here. Walk to the end and you’ll see the bathroom. Someone is fixing it but you can still use it.”

“Thank you.” Xia Lei entered the corridor and followed it to the end before entering the bathroom.

There was an old man dressed like a farmer in the bathroom fixing the sink. A tool kit sat by his side, with pipe wrenches, water pipe connectors, and other such things in it; the kit was a mess. 

The old man’s working hands stopped when Xia Lei entered the bathroom, and he looked at him. 

Their eyes met. “Dad.” Xia Lei’s lips trembled, but he still called out to him.

This old man was his father, Xia Changhe. Xia Lei recognised him at first glance though he wore a mask. It was a meeting between father and son, but the place of meeting was a bathroom like this. A myriad of feelings swelled up in his heart. 

“Lei.” Xia Changhe enveloped Xia Lei in a hug. 

“Dad, why are you here?” Their time was limited, so Xia Lei cut straight to the chase. 

Xia Changhe let go of Xia Lei. “I came to scold you.”

Xia Lei was stunned. 

Xia Chenghe’s face grew sombre and there was a tinge of anger in his eyes. “Why are you being the fall guy for Shentu Tianyin? Don’t you know that your helping her gave the higher-ups an excuse to make a move on you?”

“You… Know all about this?” Xia Lei was very shocked. 

“Don’t forget what your old man does.” Xia Changhe spoke coldly, “The Americans want to capture you, and the FA Organization too. Both of their motives are to conduct research on you. Do you think that China’s intelligence agencies and the brainiacs are grass-eaters? I can tell you for certain that China’s one of the very best in spyfare and information gathering, no inferior to the Soviet Union in its heyday. Think about it. The CIA wants to send you to Area 51’s AE Research Center to conduct research on you, and the FA Organization also wants to capture you in order to conduct research on you. You think no one on this side wants to do the same?” 

Xia Lei’s body contained the secret of AE and he possessed superhuman powers. His evolution was simply a miracle. Any one of these factors could make one crazy with greed. Who wouldn’t want to obtain these? Who wouldn’t want to duplicate the miracle of his body?

“If you hadn’t become the fall guy for Shentu Tianyin, others would be afraid of doing something to you because of your accomplishments. But now, you’ve given away all the merit you’d painstakingly built up, allowing some people to take advantage of this situation and begin on a plan which targets you. I thought they would delay their plans, and that you would be prepared when that time came, but you actually…” Xia Changhe sighed, looking disappointed in Xia Lei, and impatient for improvement. 

Xia Lei laughed bitterly. “Dad, she’s my wife. I know how she is. She didn't want me to be the fall guy for her. She could have died if I didn’t help her. I couldn’t bear to see such an end for her. I loved her after all.”

“I already predicted that your marriage wouldn’t last before you two got married. Son, do you still not understand? People like you and me are destined to never be able to live like normal people. You can’t get married, or have a child, because you can never guarantee their safety.”

“You were right, Dad. I’m divorced now, and I won’t ever marry another woman,” said Xia Lei. 

“Forget it. What’s happened, happened, and I can’t be bothered to scold you,” said Xia Changhe. “I obtained some information. From what I know, Fan Yiming and Fan Fan received a request from ZN Bureau and they started the plan targeting you as a research subject.”

“ZN Bureau?” Xia Lei was stunned by what he heard. This was clearly the first time he’d heard such a strange organisation. 

“Right, ZN Bureau. It takes its name from the ‘zhi’ of ‘knowledge’ and the ‘nao’ of ‘brain’,” said Xia Changhe. “ZN Bureau is no less mysterious than America’s Skull and Bones secret society. Did you hear of the legends of the Skull and Bones secret society?”

Xia Lei nodded. “I’ve heard of some. The members of the Skull and Bones secret society could even dictate America’s fate.”

“This statement is a little exaggerated, but true. This world is controlled by a small number of elites. All the rules are set by them. Although ZN Bureau is different from the Skull and Bones secret society in nature, but I can confirm that it is one of the most mysterious organisations here. I used all the connections I could and only found out that it was ZN Bureau which began the plan to target you. All the relevant people were selected by ZN Bureau too. The moment Fan Yiming and Fan Fan grasp the situation with your body’s evolution, you will face more extreme plans, no doubt. When that happens, you’ll probably lose everything you have now, and even your freedom,” said Xia Changhe. 

Xia Lei couldn’t help a bitter laugh. He was just an amateur white mouse now, but he would probably become a professional white mouse if they found out about his evolution. Things would be out of his control once the situation developed to that point. It was not something he could avoid, no matter how big his accomplishments and contributions to the country were because this secret of his, hidden in his body, could change the entire human race! 

“Son, maybe Fan Yiming knows a bit about the situation in ZN Bureau. I don’t dare to interact with him. Dig out some information from him if you get the chance,” urged Xia Changhe. 

“I know what to do. I’ll start from his granddaughter.”

Xia Changhe glared at Xia Lei. “You won’t get serious with her, will you? Haven’t you had enough of being lied to by women? You’re shaming your old man here!”

Xia Lei’s face turned red for some inexplicable reason. 

Xia Changhe’s gaze went to Xia Lei’s neck. “I know you kept the last AE capsule. You are planning to unravel its secret, then decide whether or not you’d eat it. I understand your decision but this situation now is fairly unique. If Fan Fan and Fan Yiming get a grasp of your secret, you can consider taking the last AE capsule before they find out.”

“I understand what you mean and I will consider this. I also discovered a clue at the first treasure location. A clue linked to AE,” said Xia Lei. 

“What clues?” Xia Changhe looked at Xia Lei in surprise. 

Xia Lei moved closer to Xia Changle’s ear and said some things in a low voice...

Xia Chenghe’s mouth was opened slightly, and he could not close it. 

A few minutes later, Xia Lei left the supermarket and returned to the restaurant. 

Fanfan had already finished her lunch and she sat at the dining table, waiting for him. “Why were you gone for so long? I didn’t bring my wallet and the owner thought you left me here while you ran off.”

Xia Lei laughed. “I would really be the world’s biggest fool for leaving a beautiful woman like you here so that I can avoid buying the bill.”

Fan Fan’s face turned pink. 

Which woman didn’t like a man saying that she’s beautiful?

And it was coming from a man like Xia Lei too. 

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Extract from Wikipedia:

The group Skull and Bones is featured in conspiracy theories, which claim that the society plays a role in a global conspiracy for world control.[33] Theorists such as Alexandra Robbins suggest that Skull and Bones is a branch of the Illuminati, having been founded by German university alumni following the order's suppression in their native land by Karl Theodor, Elector of Bavaria with the support of Frederick the Great of Prussia,[28][dubious – discuss] or that Skull and Bones itself controls the Central Intelligence Agency.[34]