At the end of the road was a village and he saw it half an hour later. This place was no longer in the territory of Bailu Town. It was very remote and Xia Lei had never been here before.
A lean dog was barking fiercely at Xia Lei’s Chevrolet Suburban car. However, the dog quickly ran away when Xia Lei pressed the horn. In front of him, Yelena rode the electric moped on an even smaller road on a hillside. Xia Lei could no longer drive the car up the road at this point. He got out of his car and started to climb up the hill.
Yelena still didn’t stop, and she soon disappeared on a small, shady road. Xia Lei had climbed about a few hundred meters upwards when he saw a farmhouse dwelling. There were several green-tiled buildings, a courtyard wall, and a bamboo forest in the back of the house. There was also a denser forest further back from the house.
The door of the farmhouse was locked tightly and the paint on the planks of the door had almost peeled off completely. Some of the planks had been painted black, some parts were white, and other parts were red. The colors didn’t look bright at all, which gave off the feeling that it had been eroded away by the wind and rain for several decades. Xia Lei walked over and pushed the door open without knocking because he already saw what was behind the door.
In the courtyard was Yelena, standing behind a middle-aged man. That man had a tanned face and large, calloused hands. This made him look like he was a genuine farmer, but Xia Lei knew that he wasn’t a farmer because he was his father, Xia Changhe. Just like Yelena, he was also wearing a silicone mask on his face.
Xia Lei can’t help smiling. He was worried that he couldn’t find his father, Xia Changhe, but his father would always appear every time he wanted to see him.
“Dad, have you been living here?” Xia Lei closed the courtyard door and walked towards his father.
Xia Changhe opened his arms and hugged Xia Lei. He patted Xia Lei’s back twice, hard. He said, “The FA Organisation and the CIA are chasing me down everywhere. Where would be the safest place for me? The answer is China. Since you came back from Germany last time, I already took a fancy to this place. The owner of the house moved to the city and he was going to abandon this place, but I rented it. This place is close to where you live, so if you ever get into any trouble, I can rush over and help you as soon as possible.”
“I would’ve never thought that you would be right by my side.” Xia Lei couldn’t help smiling.
Yelena said, “When there was nothing to do, I would go to Bailu Town to collect information on you. Both your father and I knew pretty much everything that happened at your place. Why did you think that I would appear today otherwise?”
“You guys already knew what happened?” Xia Lei was a little shocked.
Yelena suddenly put her finger in her mouth and whistled loudly.
Xia Lei suddenly realized something and turned to look at the direction of the courtyard door. The door disappeared in his left eye’s view and he saw a young man wearing a security uniform walking towards them with a package in his hand. What shocked him was that the package that he was holding was the one Xia Xue had given him. Xia Lei had not taken it with him when he climbed up the hill. Then, his gaze froze on the man's face. He was stunned.
The young man was one of the Thunder Horse military Factory’s security guards, and Lu Shen’s subordinate. Xia Lei remembered his name was E’er Demutu. He was a Mongolian. When the Thunder Horse Military Factory was hiring a group of security guards, he was recruited because he was a military verteran. He never expected that such a typical worker would appear in front of him in this fashion!
E’er Demutu pushed the door open and walked in. Upon seeing Xia Lei, he lowered his head and said shamefully, “Director Xia, I’m sorry… I work for your father.”
Xia Lei smiled flatly. He wanted to say something but he couldn’t say it.
It was such a relief that he was helping his father. If he was helping the FA Organisation or the CIA, then it would be terrible.
E’er Demutu handed the package to Xia Changhe.
Xia Changhe opened the package and looked inside. He laughed grimly. “They finally used me to threaten you. It looks like both the FA Organisation and the CIA have exhausted their patience with you.”
“This package was delivered by Gu Kewen. I suspect that she is a double agent. On the surface, she’s the Asia manager of the CIA, but she’s actually assisting Dark Mona from the FA Organisation. Back then, Long Bing killed Gu Kewen in Japan and Dark Mona took her corpse. But since Gu Kewen’s alive, then the only person who could’ve saved her was Dark Mona,” Xia Lei said.
Xia Changhe glanced at E’er Demutu and said, “You can leave. Go keep watch outside.”
E’er Demutu nodded and left the farmhouse courtyard.
“Dad, can he be trusted?”
“If he’s not to be trusted, he would’ve been dead a long time ago. I’ve known him from ten years ago. He was only nine at that time. His mother suffered from an illness and his father broke his leg on the worksite. I gave him the money to seek treatment for his mother and also funded his education. I used to go to Mongolia every winter to personally train him,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei couldn’t help glancing at Yelena. Yelena was like the Russian version of E’er Demutu. It seemed like his father was skilled at using this method to grow his power.
“Dad, how many more of these kinds of people do you still have?” asked Xia Lei. He was curious about this.
“Twelve. I don’t need dozens or hundreds of people in my team. I only need an elite team that can complete any mission. They are located all over the world and are ready to come and go under my command at any time. These people have been personally trained and selected by me, but each of them has their own speciality. The one that just left, his code name is Tiger,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei suddenly felt like his father was an old shark, with many hidden layers to him.
Xia Changhe moved aside and pointed to Yelena. “Her code name is Rooster.”
“Rooster?” Xia Lei didn’t expect Yelena’s code name to be a rooster under his father’s commands.
“Rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.” Xia Changhe said, “They are code-named after the twelve Chinese zodiac animals. The one who was killed by Liang Siyao was Pig.”
Xia Lei had not forgotten about that woman. Her name was Yevgeniya. In Haizhu, Liang Siyao had killed her using a sniper rifle. At that time, she was just about to reveal Liang Siyao’s real identity to him.
“Yevgeniya is dead.” After a pause, Xia Lei asked, “Is there anyone replacing her?”
Xia Changhe laughed. “I will keep her identity a secret for now, but I will let you know when it’s time for you to know. Remember, the zodiac battle team is the only decent gift that I can give you. Now, I will give you this team. From now on, they will only listen to your orders.”
Xia Lei was stunned.
He knew very well that the reason why his father was able to survive under the intense pursuit of the CIA and the FA Organisation was due to this team. Xia Changhe was able to control the news from all over the world thanks to his team. This team was like his talisman against danger, yet now he was giving it to him.
His father’s love was as great as a mountain. Xia Lei’s eyes became moist. “Father, what are you going to do after you give me the team that you had spent so much effort to build?”
Xia Changhe sighed. “You came to look for me in such a rush, so how could I not know what you’re thinking? You have done so much to build up merits with the Chinese government, isn’t all so that I can live peacefully to an old age? Isn’t it all so that I can take a nice stroll in the park with my grandson? I’m getting old and it’s time for me to retire. But for you, your life is just starting. I hope this zodiac team can be a great help to you.”
He couldn’t hide anything from his father. After all, an old shark was an old shark.
“Dad, does that mean that you agreed?”
“If I refuse, won’t all your efforts be in vain? Xia Xue probably almost forgot about me. If I don’t go home soon, she will probably no longer recognise me. Isn’t she getting married soon with that guy named Liu Zhengnan? I don’t want to miss her wedding.” Xia Changhe’s eyes were filled with tranquility, and expectation.
No father would want to miss his daughter’s wedding, even if it was a shark-like father like Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei couldn’t help his excited smile. “That’s great. I can ask the higher-ups. Since I have contributed so much, there’s no way that they won’t agree to my request.”
“Then how are you going to tell those people about your father’s identity?” said Yelena worriedly.
Xia Lei laughed. “That is not important. What’s important is the fact that he is my father. If they don’t accept my request, I will make them regret it.”
“I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about the FA Organisation. Based on the FA Organisation’s way of doing things, I believe that it’s not as simple as sending you a package and threatening you,” said Xia Changhe.
“If they attack, I will fight back. I will make them regret what they did. This time, I must kill Gu Kewen no matter what,” said Xia Lei.
“You don’t have any decent guards by your side. You should bring Yelena with you. Her gun skills are very good. She is very good at eliminating potentially dangerous targets. Do you know why her code name is Rooster? Roosters can eat all the insects hiding in the grass,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei looked at Yelena. “Are you willing to follow me?”
Yelena’s lips curved in a smile. “Only because of your father. I can do anything for you.”
Xia Lei smiled. “Well, I need a secretary by my side. So, I guess you’re it then.”
He was going to make the human resources department help him hire a secretary, but now that he had Yelena, he didn’t need to hire an outsider secretary.
“You’ve already met two members of the Zodiac team. There are still ten more members left. After my problem’s solved, I will gather them together to meet you. I will announce this news with all of them present,” said Xia Changhe.
“Will the person with the code name Pig come?” Xia Lei asked.
Xia Changhe patted Xia Lei’s shoulder. He smiled and said, “You can rest assured, you will know who she is when that day comes.”
Xia Lei couldn’t help trying to guess the identity of Pig, but he still couldn’t guess who it was.
“Yelena, follow Xia Lei back. From now on, you will be one of his people. Now that you’re his secretary, you don’t have to hide anymore. You can take the mask off,” said Xia Changhe.
Yelena said nothing; she only nodded. She took off the mask, revealing her original appearance underneath. She had blond hair and a pair of beautiful blue eyes, and was tall with long legs. Yelena looked very sexy, but she also gave off a dangerous aura.
Xia Lei also understood that the only reason such a dangerous figure like Yelena was willing to follow him was because of his father. Although his father had already “retired”, these people still listened to his orders. Therefore, as long as his father was still alive, then the Zodiac team would be united around him and follow his orders.
Now that he was facing threats from both the CIA and the FA Organisation, Xia Lei felt like his fist had finally toughened.Previous Chapter Next Chapter