The business deal with the Germans proceeded very successfully, but Xia Lei was only a contributor. He provided the Germans with what they needed, but he wasn’t the one that received their submarine technology in return. Instead, Xia Lei received a shipyard company, which just so happened to be China’s biggest military warship manufacturer. Nearly every Chinese warship was made there.
Half a month later, Kang Naqiao left with Germany’s tech staff, leaving behind Sylvia. And on the same day that the Germans left, Annina arrived at Thunder Horse Military Factory, and the construction of Xia Lei’s new building had also just finished. The building was erected quickly because it was made from pure wood. The carpenters simply built with the materials they were provided. Tiling and decoration also didn’t take much time either.
Xia Chenghe moved out of the villa, while Sylvia moved into the new house with Annina in tow. The two German women now found companionship with one another and even lived in adjacent rooms. Xia Lei no longer needed to worry about the two of them facing a foreign culture alone since they had each other, which would hopefully deter them from wanting to return to Germany. Sylvia ultimately didn’t build some sort of alloy bed, and she acted reserved and awkward at the very thought of it. Everyone did their best not to mention it anymore.
So much had fallen on the same day that it was the call for a celebration was inevitable. Xia Lei held a feast to celebrate the construction of the new house, Annina’s return, and a perfect end to his part of the business deal.
After the feast ended, Xia Lei accompanied Fan Fan to her car.
The night was hazy, and the back of the residence contained an antique beauty.
Fan Fan walked to her car and opened the door, but she didn’t get in. Instead, she leaned against it and looked at Xia Lei. “Those two German women, Sylvia and Annina… Are you close to them?”
Xia Lei smiled. ”Mhmm, I am.”
Fan Fan was stunned. She didn’t think that Xia Lei would admit it so readily.
“I designed both the XL2500 sniper rifle and the gust assault rifle with Annina. Her contributions are a large part of what makes Thunder Horse Military Factory was it is today. And Sylvia was formerly Rheinmetall AG’s chief engineer, but she joined forces with Annina to produce our tanks and war chariots. They’re very important to me.” continued Xia Lei.
It wasn’t the answer Fan Fan wanted, but it was an honest one. She could tell that Xia Lei didn’t particularly care if she knew about the intimate relationship he had with the two German women. She felt uncomfortable, but she also knew that she had no way of interfering in Xia Lei’s life. She was neither his wife nor his girlfriend, even. How could she control Xia Lei’s personal matters?
“I know what you want to say, but I need to make sure you know something first...” Xia Lei paused for a moment before continuing. “In the past, I was loyal, faithful, and in love. But I was also naive. I’ve been lied to by many women, and I don’t want to live like that anymore. I, Xia Lei, am not a man who will faithfully love one woman anymore. Not a single woman can keep a hold of me. Do you understand?”
That was the new attitude with which Xia Lei approached his life.
“So you’re telling me that I don’t have any control over you?”
“If you want to enjoy life with me, then I’ll enjoy life with you. But, no, you don’t have any control of me. And if you want to leave, I won’t make you stay,” said Xia Lei.
If it was any other man, they would’ve been slapped or spit in their face by the woman in front of them for saying what Xia Lei had just said. But it was different when it came from Xia Lei’s mouth. He was the only one. He was the only one in the whole world.
Fan Fan smiled. “You’ve changed. You’re like a monkey now. A monkey that doesn’t stay in the same tree for too long since there’s a whole forest waiting for you to conquer. Is that what you’re trying to tell me?”
Xia Lei gave her a faint smile in response.
Fan Fan shrugged. “It’s fine, but I don’t think you’re just a random monkey. You’re the Monkey King, and even Tathagata Buddha can’t keep you in one spot. So how would someone like me be able to keep you within my grasp? Just remember that no matter how many trees there are in this forest of yours, my tree bears the fruit you love the most. And every time you come back for more, I want you to give me another child. Are you able to satisfy me?”
Xia Lei nodded.
“Lastly, let me tell you about some news I received,” said Fan Fan. “Ahn Geungan has become Korea’s president. If my superiors want me to handle affairs between them and Korea, would you be willing to help me?”
Xia Lei was suddenly realized what she was implying. “Have you become chief of the ZN Bureau?”
“Yes. I just received the notification. Starting tomorrow, I will be the ZN Bureau’s chief,” said Fan Fan.
“What about Ling Han and Song Baicheng?”
“Ling Han took it upon himself to request a transfer, though I’m not sure what unit he’ll be transferring to. And wherever Ling Han goes, Song Baicheng will follow, since he’s Ling Han’s man.”
“And Zhongzhen Wukui?”
“He’s already stepped down. Don’t worry, he doesn’t pose a threat to you anymore.”
In his mind, Xia Lei let out a sigh of relief. Zhongzhen Wukui had stepped down, while Ling Han and Song Baicheng had left the ZN Bureau. Fan Fan was now chief of the bureau as well, which meant he was completely free from the problems they had caused him. He no longer had any big threats within the country now that his problems with the ZN Bureau had reached their conclusion. He could put his skills to work without having to worry about a thing. He could achieve his dream, which was to develop Thunder Horse Military Factory into the world’s most powerful military company!
There were also implications for his work with the ancient alloy and AE’s secret. Without the ZN Bureau impeding him, he could calm down and focus on finding clues.
Fan Fan moved closer to Xia Lei and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her voluptuous bosom stuck close to Xia Lei’s chest. “When I finish dealing with the work placed in my hands, I’ll look for you. Don’t forgetーwe’re still not done the Alloy X Project.”
“No problem. Do what you need to do first, and I’ll contact you if I discover anything in the meantime,” said Xia Lei.
“I’ll leave Su Xiao with you. Have her do whatever you need.” Fan Fan placed her lips right by Xia Lei’s ears. “She also has bananas on her tree, so you can eat those too.”
Xia Lei was stunned. “What do you take me for? Even if I was a monkey, I wouldn’t climb every tree.” He followed with a bitter smile.
“Have you already forgotten? You’re the Monkey King, not just some ordinary monkey.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Now you need to return, and I need to go.” Fan Fan let go of Xia Lei as she spoke.
After watching Fan Fan drive off, Xia Lei returned to his new home.
There was only a board on the wall, and on it was his father’s personal writing, ‘Peaceful Residence’. Only someone who had experienced what he did could truly appreciate the meaning of peace.
On the way to his room, Xia Lei met his father. Xia Changhe wore a Tang suit, which made him reminiscent of a retired officer.
“You drank too much, father. Why don’t you go back and rest?” Xia Lei walked towards Xia Changhe.
“The barely drank any wine. I couldn’t sleep so I came out for a stroll. You came just in time. Let’s take a seat and talk for a while,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei nodded and walked into a pavilion by the alley with him.
Xia Changhe’s gaze landed on Xia Lei’s throat. “You still have it. When do you plan on eating it?”
“I actually thought of eating it, but… if I ate it before I could figure out its secret, how would I be able to conduct research? I still don’t know the dangers of eating it either. You don’t need to stick your nose in my business. Let me make my own decision.”
“Okay, make your own decisions.” Xia Changhe sighed. “In the past, I dreamed of living a normal life. I dreamed of going to the supermarket for groceries and coming home to make a meal for you and Xiao Xue, or going for a stroll in the park and seeing a movie. I dreamed all sorts of things like that, but ever since that life has finally come to me, I’ve found myself not accustomed to it. I start to reminisce on days haunted by a raging storm of shots and shells. Tell meーam I falling ill?”
“Father,”ーXia Lei placed his hands onto Xia Changhe’s shouldersー“How could you be falling ill? You’re not used to it, so give yourself some more time. No matter who it is, if you’re settling into an unfamiliar lifestyle, you’ll need some time to take it all in. If you think it’s boring, you can stop by the company to do something.” Xia Lei smiled as he assured his father.
“Me? Am I capable? I only know how to kill people, not make business deals with them. I don’t know how to manage a company either.”
“You can learn. It’s actually not as complicated as you’re led to believe. I plan to restart the Alloy X Project and search for new clues once I’m not as busy, so I definitely won’t be in the company as much. When I’m not there, you can help me look over the place. You’ll be able to help me have peace of mind, right?” continued Xia Lei.
Xia Changhe looked at Xia Lei with genuine shock. “You really want me to manage your company?”
“Didn’t you say you were bored? You can try it out, and I’ll have Cai Yue help you as well. She’s extremely versatile, so don’t hesitate to have her do whatever you need. You’re the boss, so you only have to take charge of your workers. You don’t need to be skilled in every field they’re skilled in,” said Xia Lei.
Xia Changhe hesitated, but he eventually relented and nodded. “Alright, I’ll try. Don’t blame me if I mess up, though.”
“You’re my father. I’d blame anyone but you.” Xia Lei responded with a smile.
“Enough of this nonsense. When are you going to give me a grandson? That’s what is truly important. I wouldn’t be bored If you gave me a grandson to raise,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei struggled to find an excuse in order to dodge the question, but Annina saved him. Her voice rang through the alley as she called out, “Lukas, can I borrow a bit of your time?”
Xia Lei stood up. “What’s the matter, Annina?”
“Well, the lightbulb in my room is basically broken. I want you to see what happened to it.” Annina seemed very anxious for one reason or another. “I don’t know anyone here, so I couldn’t find someone to change it.”
“Okay, I’ll come right over,” said Xia Lei.
“Mhmm, okay. I’ll be waiting for you in my room.” And with that, Annina turned around and walked off.
“Father, go rest. I’ll take a look,” said Xia Lei.
“Listen here, young man. I’m reminding you that I do not want a mixed-blood grandson. I want a pure one,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei was speechless.
Annina’s room was pitch black, but the lights in Sylvia’s room were working just fine. Xia Lei didn’t think much of it and opened the door to Annina’s room. He flipped the switch on the wall, and to his surprise, the light suddenly turned on. He stared at Annina, who sat by the bedside. Though she previously donned pyjamas, she was wearing only a bikini at the moment.
Annina stared silently at Xia Lei, while her eyes scorched with desire. She didn’t say a word.
Xia Lei smiled. “Isn’t the light okay?”
“Turn it off,” said Annina.
Xia Lei did just that before walking over.
In the pitch-black darkness, Annina crawled into his arms. “Lukas, Sylvia said you’re a big pervert. You wanted her to build an alloy bed for the three of us to use. Is that true?”
“Nonsense. Do you think I’m the kind of person who would ask something like that?” asked Xia Lei, with a serious tone in his voice.
Creak. It was the sound of the bathroom door opening. Then, Xia Lei could hear someone approaching. The sound of their steps made it obvious that they were on their toes.
Xia Lei was about to look back, but Annina wrapped her arms around him even tighter, preventing him from turning around.
A few seconds later, another steamy, feminine body stuck itself to his back. The woman spoke in German. “If you didn’t say it, are you saying I was the one who did? Pervert.”
Xia Lei could use his toes to guess who the woman behind him was. It was Sylvia.
“You two…” Xia Lei’s heart was beating very quickly.
“Were you guys just planning on chatting, or...?” That time, it was Annina’s voice.
Xia Lei fell down, or rather, he was pulled down...