Xia Lei brought Fan Fan straight to the villa after arriving at Thunder Horse Military Factory. Two Special Forces soldiers stood at the gates, guarding the villa. Xia Lei walked right in without saying a word.
“Halt!” A soldier stopped Fan Fan.
“She’s from the Academy of Science. There’s no problem,” said Xia Lei.
Xia Lei’s words were not enough for Fan Fan to be allowed in ー he done this on purpose. It wasn’t because he didn’t want Fan Fan in his laboratory, but because he wanted to see what privileges she had, or in other words, what privileges ZN Bureau had given her.
The soldier who had stopped Fan Fan said, “Mr Xia, only you are allowed in. She is not.”
Xia Lei pretended to be troubled. “But… Can’t you make an exception?”
The soldier was expressionless. “I’m sorry, Mr Xia. It’s the rules.”
At that moment, Fan Fan took out a red pass from her handbag, and handed it to the soldier stopping her.
The soldier’s expression changed after seeing the red pass.
This change did not escape Xia Lei’s notice, and his gaze went to the red pass as well. His left eye twitched, as he saw the contents on the pass before the soldier did. He saw a bright, golden national emblem pattern, a handwritten “Special Pass” and “Fan Fan” written on it. There was nothing else on the pass other than those words.
The guard opened the pass and glanced at it before respectfully handing it back to Fan Fan with both hands. “You can go in now, Miss,” he said politely.
Fan Fan put the red pass away, then shot a smile at Xia Lei. “All right, all good. Let’s go in.”
Xia Lei nodded and led Fan Fan into the villa.
Xia Lei was expressionless on the surface, but he was bewildered. ‘Even the pass Bureau 101 issues isn’t that formidable. Just those few handwritten words let Fan Fan gain entry to a place with high authorisation. Were these Special Forces guards instructed by their superiors to let people with these sort of passes through? If that’s the case, Fan Fan and Fan Yiming won’t even need my consent to enter my laboratory. Plus, did the mysterious ZN Bureau give Fan Fan this special red pass?’
“I didn’t expect that you’d have a villa here.” Fan Fan interrupted Xia Lei’s thoughts. “Who lives here?”
“Annina was the only one who lived here. She was Thunder Horse Military Factory’s Chief Engineer, but she’s already returned to Germany. No one lives here. I only come to stay for a night occasionally,” said Xia Lei.
“Can you give me a room?”
“You want a room?” Xia Lei was fairly surprised.
“I’m your assistant. I need to follow you about for as long as the Alloy X Project remains unsolved. Besides aiding you in your research, I have my own work to do. I’m also certain that I’d have to work till late, so I want a room,” said Fan Fan.
“Sure. You can pick any of the rooms here.” Xia Lei quickly agreed. He couldn’t avoid this assistant Fan Fan, but he had a plan to take her down, so he was eager for her to stay.
Xia Lei brought Fan Fan to the laboratory under the villa as they chatted. The ancient alloy pieces and the bronze book were in the safe, and there was also a specialised anti-radiation vessel. Fan Fan would not be in danger so long as the safe was not opened and the alloy pieces were not taken out.
“This is my laboratory. Feel free to look around,” said Xia Lei.
Fan Fan looked about the laboratory, and she wrinkled her brow. “It’s so simple. Can you really research the ancient alloy here?”
Xia Lei’s laboratory was indeed very simple, and there wasn’t any advanced, complicated equipment.The equipment he had was actually very simple, and only put there for display. He had not even used the equipment once. Xia Lei had gone about unravelling the ancient alloy’s secrets in his own way, and not by any conventional scientific means.
He had not used the equipment at all, but he smiled and said, “Don’t underestimate this simple equipment. It’s been a great help. The research I’ve done was built on the foundation of this equipment.”
Fan Fan was clearly uninterested in the equipment. Her gaze moved to the safe, and she probed, “Big Brother Lei, are the ancient alloy pieces and the bronze book in there?”
“Yes, they’re in there,” said Xia Lei.
“I’d really like to have a look.”
“You can’t. Have you forgotten about the researchers who lost their minds, and those who died? You’re so young and beautiful. Your grandfather, and your parents would be distraught if you suffered the same fate. I would be, too,” said Xia Lei.
Fan Fan’s face turned pink again. “You really know how to sweet-talk a girl. There must be many women who like you, huh?”
“You’re so wrong. I’m no expert with women. If I were an expert, my wife and I wouldn’t have been divorced,” said Xia Lei.
“I’m sorry,” said Fan Fan.
Xia Lei shrugged. “It’s nothing. It’s all in the past.” He paused, then said, “I’ll take you to see the rooms.”
“No, I want to stay here for a while.” Fan Fan walked towards the safe.
Xia Lei didn’t stop her. She wouldn’t be able to open the safe without his password. He didn’t think she was brave enough to do so either.
Xia Lei was actually able to keep calm no matter how much pressure he faced, because he could rely on the ancient alloy. He was the only one in this world who could touch the ancient alloy, and anyone else who touched it would die. Whoever wanted to harm him would have to keep this in mind!
Fan Fan walked to the safe and stared at it quietly. “It really is a marvel. Even though I can’t see it, I can feel its existence. You know what? I’d imagined the alloy to be a treasure, and you the key to opening it,” she muttered.
Fan Fan’s casual words made Xia Lei’s heart sink.
She had likened him to a key that would open up the treasure that was this ancient alloy.
Princess Yongmei called him ‘The One’.
Was this a coincidence, or fate's plans?
“Big Brother Lei, have you ever thought about why you’re the only one who can touch the ancient alloy?” Fan Fan looked back at Xia Lei. Her eyes held a fairly perceptive intelligence, with the power to see him clearly.
Xia Lei pretended to be relaxed and he smiled. “Of course I’ve thought about it. I think it’s because I repaired the compass in the past. Maybe it has some spiritual nature and recognized me as its friend or something.”
“Cheh, are you writing a novel?” Fan Fan snorted disdainfully at Xia Lei’s words. “You’re a Fellow of the Academy of Science now. You can’t say things like that. I don’t believe that this is the reason either.”
Intelligent women sure were difficult to deal with.
Xia Lei had glossed over the question with that explanation with other people, but he could not gloss it over with Fan Fan.
Xia Lei was silent for a bit before he said, “Maybe there are other reasons, but I don’t know them. Could you tell me if you do?”
“I don’t know either, which is why I’ll be studying you,” said Fan Fan.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “There’s no rush. Let’s go look at the rooms first.”
They left the underground laboratory. Xia Lei brought Fan Fan to the second floor and into the room next to the one he usually stayed in. Every room in the villa was furnished to a five-star hotel’s standards. The rooms were stylish, lavish and the facilities fully-equipped.
“How is it? Do you like it?” Xia Lei asked.
“I do. It looks very comfortable. Let’s begin now,” said Fan Fan.
“Let’s begin what?” Xia Lei looked at Fan Fan in astonishment.
“Um…” Fan Fan was suddenly all shy, and she hummed and hawed when she spoke. “Big Brother Lei, could you please, um, please take off your clothes.”
“Huh?” Xia Lei was stunned. He suspected that he had heard wrong.
“I’d like to start on my work right now.”
“Now? But... There’s no equipment here at all. What can you research?” said Xia Lei.
“Your body.” Fan Fan mustered her courage. “I want to take a look at your body and take pictures to keep on file. This is the first step for my work, and it doesn’t require any equipment. I have my phone, and I can use it to take pictures. I’ll still need to touch your body and do a body checkup whether you’re willing to, or not.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“T, T, Take it off,” Fan Fan urged.
No matter the occasion, no matter the time, Fan Fan put her work first.
Just thinking about taking off his clothes to let a woman observe, take pictures, and even touch his body made Xia Lei feel very awkward, but he had no choice but to cooperate. This was only the initial checkup. If he tried to give excuses and reject her, it would easily arouse ZN Bureau’s suspicions. If he wanted to cheat, he needed to cheat at the most crucial point.
“Y, You can imagine me as a doctor. N, no need to feel awkward.” Fan Fan told him not to be embarrassed, but her face was bright red.
Xia Lei said nothing, but complied by nimbly stripping himself of his shirt, his trousers, and then his shoes and socks, finally standing in front of Fan Fan in just his briefs.
“T,take that off too,” said Fan Fan as she pointed at the only bit of cloth left on Xia Lei’s body.
‘I’ll strip you naked one day too!’ Xia Lei thought. He grabbed the elastic band of the scrap of cloth, and pulled it down with a rustle.
Fan Fan looked as if he had struck some sort of nerve. She instinctively closed her eyes, and was so nervous that even her eyelashes trembled. She recovered quickly, however, and opened her eyes to observe Xia Lei’s body.
Fan Fan circled around Xia Lei three whole times before stopping in front of him. “I’ve seen many people’s bodies, but I’ve never seen one like yours. Your body is well-proportioned. Unbelievably well-proportioned. The lines of your muscles are very elegant, but full of power too. Have you seen the Discobolus statue of Rome? His body was believed to be the most perfect body, but it falls short in comparison to yours,” she said in praise.
“Nn, have you seen many men’s bodies?” Xia Lei asked casually. He only felt less awkward when he was speaking.
“Yes, I saw many people in school who volunteered to be models. I also saw the bodies of some models in my work, but those models were paid models,” Fan Fan replied.
“So does your face always turn red when you look at their bodies?”
“My face isn’t red. Why would my face be red?”
“Then why is it red now?”
Fan Fan was speechless.Previous Chapter Next Chapter