Xia Lei left the hospital one day later.
Jacqueline Eva drove Xia Lei back to the Star of Paris Hotel. Xia Lei saw even more French special agents, and people of the French Intelligence Department. These security measures seemed to be on par with that of the security detail of the leader of a country.
Xia Lei understood how determined the French were to get his technology from the exaggerated security measures they had put in place. In that one day in the hospital, Xia Lei had thought carefully about partnering with the French government. If he could work with the Germans, why couldn’t he work with the French? He had already exchanged his technologies for the engine technology and Germany's submarine technology. These exchanges had purely been contributions to the country, and he had not gotten any benefits from them. So... why couldn’t he consider his own interests now?
The Thunder Horse Group still had a debt of more than two billion. This debt pressed down on the Thunder Horse Group like a mountain. It restrained the group’s development, and him from showing his abilities. And right at this time, the French were offering a chance for this debt to disappear. As long as he could grasp this chance, he could turn this chance into reality!
A middle-aged woman passed by while he was waiting for the lift, pulling a huge suitcase. But right when Xia Lei thought that she was also a customer who lived in this hotel, the middle-aged woman gave the suitcase to Jacqueline Eva and then left without a word.
Xia Lei looked at the suitcase Jacqueline Eva had in her hands and looked at her. “What’s going on?”
“Is it not obvious?” said Jacqueline Eva with a smile. “I will not let the same thing happen again. I have decided that I will stay with you, protecting you 24/7.”
“Wait, are you saying that you are going to stay with me?” asked Xia Lei seriously.
Jacqueline Eva also looked serious. “The room that you’re staying in was provided by the French government. It is a presidential suite. Don’t you think that it is a waste to stay in it by yourself?”
“No, what I meant was…”
Ding. The lift doors opened.
“The lift is here. Let’s go up.” Jacqueline Eva seemed like she did not want to discuss this matter any longer.
Xia Lei shrugged, nonplussed, and walked into the lift.
It was both a surprise and not to him that Jacqueline Eva would move in to stay with him. The French government had always used her as a special soldier, to trap targets with her beauty, and achieve their goals with the least cost to them. It was not the first time that they had done that. Jacqueline Eva had already had the contract prepared for him that night. He would not sign it, of course, but this would not stop the French government from continuing to act on their intentions.
A light perfume filled the lift as it went up. It was Marie’s Desire. He was very familiar with this scent. It seemed that there were no drugs added to it this time, so he was not affected by it.
“Oh, I almost forgot. I promised that I’d give you Marie’s Desire. I should have given it to you the last time but that incident happened quite unexpectedly that night,” said Jacqueline Eva apologetically. “But it’s fine, I will have someone bring it over tonight.”
Xia Lei smiled and said ‘thank you’, but he thought to himself, ‘Bringing it over in the night, huh? It must be drugged or something. They’re trying to use a woman to get my technology... Do they think that I’m some guy fresh out of prison? I am not at that point where I’d be blinded by lust. If they want my technology, they must give me something of equal value.’
“What are you thinking about, Mr Xia?” asked Jacqueline Eva.
“Oh, I’m thinking about the weapons exhibition.”
“Don’t worry, you will succeed.”
Xia Lei smiled and said nothing more.
Jacqueline Eva really was staying in Xia Lei’s room. This presidential suite had three bedrooms and she picked the one next to Xia Lei’s.
Jacqueline Eva unpacked in her room.
Xia Lei spied through the wall on her next door. He saw Jacqueline Eva take things out, one by one, from her suitcase. She pulled out lingerie which was practically string, a translucent bra, and some French-made birth control pills.
The birth control pills shocked Xia Lei. ‘What did she bring this for? And so many too? Does she want to finish them all up with me?’
It was not the trend to use condoms anymore — birth control pills were in. But wasn’t that number of pills a little too much?
The ace of the French National Security Administration sure was working hard for her nation’s interests.
Jacqueline Eva popped one birth control pill out and swallowed it as Xia Lei watched. The type of birth control pills she took were only effective if taken in advance. She did not even swallow it with water — she ate them like she was eating sweets.
Jacqueline Eva then took out a gun from the suitcase. She placed it under the bed after checking the clip and releasing the safety.
Xia Lei was not surprised by this gun at all.
Jacqueline Eva took out a makeup case from the suitcase.
Xia Lei smiled wryly. ‘Guess she really is planning on staying here.’
Jacqueline Eva opened the makeup case, took out the foam inside, and gently pressed the hidden switch in the bottom of the case. Then, she stuffed the foam back in, placed the makeup box on the bedside table and adjusted its position.
Xia Lei understood immediately. ‘So it’s a monitoring device. The video was destroyed by me the last time, so is she going to retake one this time?’
The sound of footsteps came from outside the door.
Xia Lei looked over and saw Qing Caiyue standing outside the door.
Qing Caiyue knocked on the door. “Director Xia, are you there?”
Xia Lei saw Jacqueline Eva walk quietly to her bedroom door to listen carefully to the movement outside. Xia Lei found her cautiousness funny. Watching an agent’s spying activity sure was interesting.
Xia Lei stopped using his X-ray vision and got up to open the door for Qing Caiyue.
“Director Xia.” Qing Caiyue stepped through the door. She asked worriedly, “Where did you go? I was so worried.”
Xia Lei smiled. “The French president invited me to his vacation place for a holiday. I could not reject it, so I went to socialise.”
“Huh?” Qing Caiyue’s jaw dropped and she could not close her mouth.
If it were some other man telling her this to her face, she would not believe him and perhaps even kick him. But it was different when those words came out of Xia Lei’s mouth. Not to mention saying that the French president invited Xia Lei for a holiday, she would believe him even if Xia Lei said that the French president’s daughter invited him to the resort for a holiday.
One had to be capable enough to boast too.
“What is there to be surprised about?” Xia Lei said, smiling, “I tripped at the resort. The First Lady helped treat my wound. Now it is finally a little better.”
Qing Caiyue was speechless.
“Okay, let’s not talk about the resort anymore.” Xia Lei changed the topic. “How is the setup for our exhibition booth going?”
“It is almost done. I was there just now. The decoration company is working over there. I heard that you came back so I rushed over to see you.” Qing Caiyue patted her busty chest. “I was so worried about you these past few days.”
“Aren’t I back now? Go check in at the exhibition hall. The French are very lazy people, so you need to prod at them.”
“There is no need to rush, Director Xia. Let me see your wounds. It might be time to change the dressing.” Qing Caiyue looked very enthusiastic.
Knock knock knock.
Jacqueline Eva’s voice could be heard after the knocking. “Mr Xia, do you have a guest?” She pushed the door open and walked straight in right after she spoke, without even waiting for Xia Lei to open it for her.
Qing Caiyue stared at Jacqueline Eva with some dissatisfaction.
“My secretary, Qing Caiyue,” said Xia Lei.
“I know, but I will still send people to guard the door. Miss Qing, please get permission first before you come into the room in the future,” said Jacqueline Eva.
“Why?” Qing Caiyue did not hide her French language skills. She did not hide her anger either.
Jacqueline Eva shrugged. “I’m sorry. I am also just performing my duty.”
“Director, she…” Qing Caiyue looked at Xia Lei with hurt in her eyes.
Xia Lei spoke in her ear, “This hotel is filled with intelligence officers and agents sent by the French government, so do not cause trouble. What we should be worrying about is the weapons exhibition. Go on. If you do well, I will reward you.”
The anger in Qing Caiyue’s heart was finally extinguished at Xia Lei’s words. She nodded. “Okay, then I will go to the exhibition hall.”
“Go on, give me a call if anything comes up,” said Xia Lei.
After Qing Caiyue left, Jacqueline Eva said, “Mr Xia, you have a really good secretary.”
“Yeah, she does her job well,” said Xia Lei.
Jacqueline Eva laughed. “I am talking about her face and body.”
Xia Lei did not know what to add to that.
“I am going back to my room to take a shower.” Jacqueline Eva blinked her sapphire-like eyes at Xia Lei. “Want to go together?”
Xia Lei shook his head, hard.
“Hehe…” Jacqueline Eva giggled, swaying her hips as she left.
She was already preparing for the battle tonight.
For some reason, Xia Lei felt a bit of anticipation.
Xia Lei sat on the sofa alone, thinking, after Jacqueline Eva left.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring...
The phone suddenly rang.
Xia Lei picked up the phone. He did not say anything but grunted.
Yelena’s voice came over the line. “Boss, I have returned to China. I’ve safely brought the thing you gave me to China. Should I keep it at my place or your place?”
Xia Lei lowered his voice. “Give it to my dad.”
“Should I come back?”
“No need.” Xia Lei did not chat any further and hung up.
What Yelena brought back to China were the things he had brought out of the labyrinth — da Vinci’s oil paintings and sketches, that silver metal, and da Vinci’s notebook. He did not believe that the notebook that da Vinci left was blank. But if he wanted to research it, he could only do it after he returned to China.
After he finished his conversation with Yelena, Xia Lei got up and went into the bathroom. He took out another satellite phone from the bathroom and dialled a number.
“How heartless. You are finally willing to call me?” A charming voice came through the satellite phone line.
“Fan Fan, I want to talk with you.”
“You want to talk to me about French women? Or French perfumes?”
“Stop the nonsense. I am talking about serious matters with you.”
“I’d guessed. Go ahead.”
Xia Lei was silent for a bit before he finally said, “The French government wants my technology. This is what I think... since we had already done a deal with the Germans, then why can’t we do one with the French? It is not worth it if we only sell something once.”
“A deal with the French? France is America’s little brother, similar to England. Does France dare to bypass America to make a deal with us?”
“I have been observing them lately, and I am sure of their sincerity. Although France is America’s little brother, as long as there is enough of an advantage to be had, they will not be thinking of what America’s opinion is first. What they will think of is what benefit they will get.”
“I cannot make the decision for such a big matter.”
“I am not telling you to take be decision-maker. You only need to report to the higher-ups. Tell them that this deal will be the same as the deal with the Germans. It must be done in secret. I need enough authority to handle this, but I also promise to bring back as much profit as we got from the Germans.”
“All right, I will report to the higher-ups.”
“You can take this as my congratulatory gift to you for becoming the chief of the ZN Bureau.”
“This gift of yours is sure a large one. But I want you more than a gift. I have not been with you for such a long time... I really miss you.” Fan Fan’s voice was soft and coy, “When are you coming back? I will make delicious food for you…”
Xia Lei cut the line firmly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter