Twilight covered the world, and the clouds in the sky looked like they were afire; it was spectacular.
A Bugatti Veyron Supersport supercar zoomed on the roads, catching the eyes of many. Beryl was driving. She wore sunglasses, and she had a charismatic coolness. She was not just attractive because she was good-looking, but also because of her many charms. Xia Lei knew these charms, and he had experienced them all himself.
Xia Lei sat in the passenger seat, holding a high-end gift hamper in his hands. The hamper held two bottles of Romanée-Conti. This wine, aged five years, was worth 100,000 euros on the market. However, Xia Lei had got his people to buy these from Chinatown. These were fake, and only cost 50 euro each. This price was only because it was packaged nicely too. These fakes would probably go for 30 each if they were packaged normally.
Wine worth 100,000 euros for Hattori Masao? Ha! Xia Lei couldn’t bear to drink such expensive alcohol himself, so why would he bear to buy such fine wine for Hattori Masao?
However, he was going to meet the father of his “girlfriend”, so he needed to act the part. It was better to give him fake Romanée-Conti than to give him a Chinese Greatwall dry red wine or a Zhangyu Cabernet Sauvignon worth some tens of yuan, right?
The Bugatti Veyron Supersport supercar quickly came to District Seven, and they followed the south bank of the River Seine. Beryl slowed down and glanced at the high-end hamper in Xia Lei’s hands. “It looks nice. What wine did you buy?”
Xia Lei patted the hamper. “Oh, nothing much. Just two bottles of Romanée-Conti.”
Beryl’s face twitched. “What year?”
“Aged ten years,” said Xia Lei.
“Huh?” Beryl looked surprised. “Romanée-Conti aged ten years cost hundreds of thousands per bottle. You… Why did you buy such an expensive gift?”
Xia Lei’s left hand left the hamper and went to Beryl’s thigh. He put on an affectionate face as he enjoyed the feeling of her delicate skin under his hand. “I am serious. I hope to leave a good impression on your father. I have to move your father first if I want to marry you.”
Beryl had bliss on her face, but she thought, ‘You actually want to marry me? Dream on.’
Xia Lei suddenly thought of something. “Oh, right, who else will be there?”
“Just my father and his guards, then you and me. No others,” said Beryl.
“I don’t know why but I’m feeling a little nervous.”
“No need to be nervous. It’s just a meeting, right? You’ve already met.”
“That was not the same. I made your father unhappy the last time we met, and I regret it now that I remember it. Oh no, I’m getting more nervous.”
“Would you like me to do a little something for you?”
Xia Lei’s hand slid soundlessly into her short skirt. “I feel much better now.”
Beryl was speechless.
Deviant! Pervert! Beast! Pig! Thug…
Beryl shouted all of these insults in her head immediately. In reality, though, she accepted the touch of Xia Lei’s pervy hands docilely, and used the gentleness and obedience of a woman to satisfy this man. She was also unable to control the secretion of hormones, and that place being violated was like a freshly-cooked abalone with sauce poured over it.
Xia Lei was like a lascivious man-whore pervert with disgusting preferences in Beryl’s eyes. This was actually the image that Xia Lei had done his best to create in her mind. Iit wouldn’t be very natural if he acted all upright and unruffled, then get easily seduced into falling into their trap, right?
Ten minutes later, a villa came into Xia Lei’s sight. It was an ancient building in Gothic style and it looked like a castle from fairytales. A property like this on the riverfront would be impossible to get if one did not spend tens of millions of euros. This house added a layer of mystery to the Hattori family.
Beryl drove the car into the villa. Xia Lei got out of the car and followed her into the old building.
He stepped through the door and into a large hall with a very tall dome ceiling. There was also a very religious-looking mural and a large number of black ornaments.
Hattori Masao was standing in the middle of the hall, and there was a very complicated six-pointed star pattern beneath his feet. Blakc suit, imposing figure, expressionless face — the coldness of a soldier.
“We’re here, Father,” said Beryl.
Hattori Masao did not speak. He looked icily at Xia Lei.
‘This is such an act of hypocrisy,’ thought Xia Lei scornfully, but he put a smile on his face. “Good evening, Mr Hattori.”
Hattori Masao still did not speak.
Xia Lei did not know how to proceed with Hattori Masao acting like that. He stood still and did not move.
Beryl nudged Xia Lei in the arm and said a little shamefacedly, “My father already knows about us. He’s not happy.”
Even a blind man could tell that Hattori Masao was unhappy right then.
Xia Lei coughed awkwardly and walked over to Hattori Masao with the hamper in his hands. “Mr Hattori… No, Uncle. I’ve brought you two bottles of red wine. I hope you like them.”
“Father, Xia Lei bought you two bottles of Romanée-Conti, aged ten years. He’s very sincere,” said Beryl.
Hattori Masao glared at Beryl.
Beryl shut up.
A fierce military father and an adorable and weak-willed daughter. There was no question that this father-and-daughter pair was acting their roles out very well.
“Please accept my gift, Uncle.” Xia Lei acted all respectful.
Hattori Masao accepted the hamper which Xia Lei had brought to him and a small smile finally appeared on his face. His words, however, were still harsh. “Xia Lei, are you serious about my daughter?”
“Of course I am. I swear to the Heavens.” Xia Lei raised a hand, ready to swear.
Hattori Masao pressed Xia Lei’s hand back down. “I don’t need you to swear anything. I don’t believe in those. I did not think that you would be with my daughter. The affairs of you young people are not my concern, but remember this — I won’t let you off if you are just playing around with my daughter!”
“No, I’m not playing around. I am very serious about your daughter.” Xia Lei looked feelingly at Beryl. “I fell deeply in love with Miss Beryl when I first laid eyes on her. I am very sure of what I want, and I can assure you that I will marry her. I must marry her. No one will be able to tear us apart, unless I’m dead.”
“Enough. You can fool my daughter with those words. I am a man. I don’t like to listen to sweet words like these,” said Hattori Masao.
Beryl seemed to relax. “Dummy. Quick, thank my father. He’s agreed.”
Xia Lei pretended to only just realise it and said, “Thank you, Uncle. I won’t disappoint you.”
“Would I have any other choice?” Hattori Masao glared at Xia Lei. “The two of you are already together, so it is no use if I object to it. Don’t call her by her English name anymore. Call her by her Japanese name, Hattori Mei. This can be considered a sort of acknowledgement from our family.”
Xia Lei nodded.
“You two come with me. Let’s have dinner together.” Hattori Masao turned and walked to a corridor.
Beryl led Xia Lei into the corridor, behind Hattori Masao. Xia Lei’s left eye twitched and he looked through the building before him. What he found strange was that the room ahead of them had nobody hidden in it. There was no Gu Kewen, no CIA, and no FA Organisation. This place was miraculously quiet.
‘This father-and-daughter duo lured me all the way out here to capture me in a trap, right? Have they changed their plan?’ Xia Lei was puzzled.
The three of them came to a dining room. There was a very long table in the dining room. The dining table had over a dozen exquisite dishes on it, and two decanters of red wine.
Xia Lei let out a silent breath of relief when he saw the decanters and the red wine in them. He wouldn’t have any explanation for the problem with the flavour of the red wine he’d given him if he opened up the gift of red wine now.
Hattori Masao sat at the head of the table, and Xia Lei and Beryl sat on either side of him. The three of them then ate dinner in an awkward atmosphere.
Hattori Masai broke the silence. “Xia Lei, I have a question for you. I’m not sure if you will give me an answer.”
“What is your question? Please do ask, Uncle,” said Xia Lei.
“You are in the arms dealing industry in China, and you’re also called the Father of Rifles and have had great honours bestowed on you. However, my daughter is Japanese, and the daughter of a Japanese military official, at that. With all the historic animosity between our two nations, aren’t you worried about someone causing trouble for you when you return to China?”
“I’m worried. Of course I’m worried. But love should have no boundaries. I don’t mind that Mei is Japanese, and I also don’t mind that she is your daughter. I am not afraid of any trouble, and I will be able to overcome these troubles.”
“You’re really not afraid?”
“Why should I be? I’ll be frank with you, Uncle. My wealth does not lie in my company but myself. I have the most advanced technologies, and I can close my military factory in China at any time and start anew in any place in the world. The UAE, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina — anywhere I want to go.”
Hattori Masao and Hattori Mei could not help exchanging glances.
They seemed to exchange a silent message with their eyes.
Hattori Masao asked, “Then have you considered Japan?”
“Japan? Well, I haven’t considered it before, but I have Mei now. Why wouldn’t I consider Japan?” Xia Lei spoke easily.
“Hehehe…” Hattori Masao could not help his laugh.
Hattori Mei stood and picked up the decanter to pour more wine into Xia Lei’s glass. She seemed to have taken on the role of “Xia Lei’s woman”.
“Well said, Xia Lei. But can I believe you?” Hattori Masao looked straight at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei raised his hand. “I swear to the Heavens…”
Hattori Masao interrupted Xia Lei. “No, don’t swear. I told you earlier that I don’t believe in that. It’s simple if you want to prove your sincerity towards my daughter.”
“How can I prove it?” asked Xia Lei.
“Give me your technologies,” said Hattori Masao.
“You want the Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe, XL2500, Gust, and Hellhound technologies?” asked Xia Lei.
Hattori Masao nodded. “Yes. I want them all. This is the only way for you to prove that you are being true to Mei.”
Xia Lei was silent for a bit before he opened his mouth and said, “Then when are you giving me the AI technologies?”
“You…” Hattori Masao was rooted to the spot.
I let you bed my daughter, and we put on this act for so long, and now that we talk business you still want the AI technologies?!
Hattori Mei’s expression darkened too.
Xia Lei was matter of fact. “Love is love, and business is business. I am a man of principles. We have already reached a verbal agreement on this matter before, so we should follow through with the details of that agreement. You give me your AI technologies, and I give you my technologies.”
Hattori Mei and Hattori Masao couldn’t help exchanging glances again.
If their glance could be put into words, it would probably say this — Why won’t this shameless guy just drop dead!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Abalone, huh? Happy Chinese New Year! (It's on 25 January 2020)