Gu Kewen jumped eagerly from the car before it came to a stop. Her footsteps were quick, and she did not want to delay a second more. A large group of elite CIA agents followed her, charging to the doorway of the living room on the first floor.
A pile of broken glass beside the flowers caught Gu Kewen’s attention before she got to the door. She glanced at it and suddenly shouted, “Seal all exits, right now!”
Gu Kewen turned around and went back before her subordinates finished executing her order, back to the bulletproof car. She threw herself flat on the back seat of the car and didn’t dare to show her head in the car windows.
Their commanding officer was so cowardly. The CIA agents felt wronged.
The CIA agents had just finished sealing the exits when the sound of police sirens came from far off.
“Boss, the French people are coming soon.” A CIA agent opened the car door and reported to Gu Kewen.
Gu Kewen kept her eyes on the window that Xia Lei had destroyed.
“Boss, this is not normal. There is not one guard here.”
“Do you think I’m blind?” Gu Kewen was starting to lose it. The glass on the ground, the non-appearance of any of Hattori Masao’s guards… all these pointed to a situation she was most unwilling to face — Hattori Masao had failed and Xia Lei had escaped.
“Boss, do we still go in?”
“Go in! Take men in immediately. Take Xia Lei if he’s still in there.” Gu Kewen still had a glimmer of hope.
The CIA agents covered each other, and stormed into the first floor living room with their guns.
The French arrived at that moment. A military-use off-road vehicle came charging over, almost hitting the Chevrolet Suburban which Gu Kewen was hiding in.
Jacqueline Eva hopped out of the car. Behind her, several gun muzzles were raised, pointing at various different targets. This group did not include the French Police. If the slower police were counted too, then they had at least a hundred guns.
This firepower was big enough that they could win in a battle against terrorists.
“Freeze!” Jacqueline Eva shouted in English. “Put down your weapons!”
The CIA agents did not react to Jacqueline Eva’s commands. They thought nothing of her. However, they did not want to cause a conflict either, and they lowered their guns to their leg-level.
“Stay calm. We are CIA. We’re trying to capture a terrorist.” The CIA field agent reported his identity, and showed his identification.
“Who is your leader?” Jacqueline Eva did not need to see his identification to know this identity.
Gu Kewen rolled the window down at that and stuck her head out. “It’s me. We won’t explain anything to you, but your superior will receive a relevant explanation.”
Jacqueline Eva scoffed. “What are you doing in the CIA when you’re so scared of dying? You should go work in a bakery.”
Gu Kewen snorted. “I know who I’m going up against. You’d be afraid to come here, much less show your face if you were me.”
She was speaking the truth. She was up against Xia Lei, a practically invincible existence. If she had not been lucky in Korea the last time, she would be dead now and the grass on her grave two inches deep. SHe had come here to capture Xia Lei, so how could she not defend herself against Xia Lei’s way of killing people, when even a ghost would be scared of him?
Just then, a CIA officer poked his head out of a window on the second floor. “Boss, the people inside are all unconscious. The target is missing.”
Jacqueline Eva rushed in.
Gu Kewen hesitated for a bit, then got out of the car and swiftly crossed the open space to enter the villa.
The two women walked into Hattori Mei’s room, one after the other.
Ten guards were lying on the floor, scattered throughout the room. Weapons had been dropped next to their bodies; rifles, submachine guns and handguns. Hattori Mei lay on the carpet close to the bed with her legs tightly closed and her clothes all neat and tidy. It looked like she had suffered no assault. Her expression was normal too, like she was just sleeping.
Gu Kewen’s expression was terrifyingly cold. She would have charged up to Hattori Mei and stomped on her chest a few times with her high-heeled shoes if there were no French people and none of her subordinates around. Xia Lei would not have had a chance to escape if Hattori Mei and her father had not insisted on delaying the plan for six hours!
Be not afraid of an overwhelming opponent, but of an incompetent teammate.
Gu Kewen was finally experiencing the truth of this saying today.
Jacqueline Eva’s nose twitched and a barely perceptible smile appeared in the corners of her mouth. She thought to herself, ‘You little thief. You fooled others but you want to fool me too? You called me over to get me to save you and the CIA are also very coincidentally here at this time… Just what are you playing at?’
Xia Lei could fool others about his use of Marie’s Desire but he could not fool her. She was the owner of this mysterious perfume. Xia Lei had taken steps to get rid of the traces of the perfume but she could still recognise it from just a hint of it in the air. However, she could confirm this, but not guess Xia Lei’s motives.
Of course she wouldn’t be able to guess it, because she was supposed to come collect Gu Kewen’s corpse in Xia Lei’s plans.
A CIA agent walked up to Gu Kewen and said something in her ear. Gu Kewen then left Hattori Mei’s room and went to the study.
“Everyone out,” said Jacqueline Eva.
The room was soon emptied.
Jacqueline Eva closed the room door and walked to Hattori Mei. She took out a very small glass bottle from her clothing, removed the cap, and held the glass bottle under Hattori Mei’s nose.
There was a red liquid in the bottle, half full, and it gave off a scent like yoghurt.
This strange scent went to work, and in a few seconds, Hattori Mei’s eyelids moved, and her opened her eyes.
Light, and Jacqueline Eva’s face came into her view and she was surprised. Her memory had stopped at herself walking out of the bathroom. She had just triggered the metal cage at the time, and had gone naked to see the ape she had caught…
“What happened?” asked Jacqueline Eva in English.
Hattori Mei shook her head, confused. “I don’t know.”
“Where is he?”
“You know who I’m talking about.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What are you doing here?”
“Do you need me to remind you?” Jacqueline Eva suddenly grabbed Hattori Mei by the collar and pulled her up from the floor. “Xia Lei! Where is he?”
“I don’t know.” Hattori Mei spoke icily, “You’d best unhand me, or you’ll be in trouble.”
Jacqueline Eva released Hattori Mei’s collar. “If anything has happened to Mr Xia, YOU will be in trouble. And your father too.”
“Get out.” Hattori Mei’s tone was stern.
Jacqueline Eva pulled the door of the room open, and she strode swiftly. “Withdraw!”
Hattori Mei abruptly lifted her skirt after the French people left. She saw a pair of black lace side-tie panties, put on the wrong way. It wasn’t just the wrong way but out of place too, and her privates were not properly covered up. Then, she smelled a faint smell of hand-wash soap.
This smell made her realise something, and she despaired in that instant. She screamed in her head, ‘Xia Lei, you bastard! You actually used hand-wash soap to wash my… I’m going to kill you!’
Hand-wash soap was meant for the hands but Xia Lei had used it for other places. This really was too much.
Gu Kewen walked in. “Miss Beryl, your father is in the study. He’s not conscious yet.” After a pause, she asked, “Are you all right?”
Hattori Mei let go of the hem of her skirt and did not say anything.
“Miss Beryl, what happened here? Where is Xia Lei? Did he escape?”
Hattori Mei got slowly to her feet. Her legs were weak, and she knew that it was not a side effect of whatever that had knocked her out, but because of that damned man.
“Miss Beryl, tell me, what did he do? Where is he?”
Hattori Mei looked at Gu Kewen at that, and said, “Get out.”
Gu Kewen was speechless.
Meanwhile, in a military-use off-road vehicle, Jacqueline Eva received a call from the Star of Pars hotel.
“Boss, Mr Xia is back.”
Jacqueline Eva paused. “What condition is he in?”
“He’s had a bit to drink.”
“Some scratches, but not serious.”
“I got it. I’ll be right there.” Jacqueline Eva hung up.
Ten minutes later, Jacqueline Eva came to the Star of Paris hotel and knocked on Xia Lei’s door. Xia Lei opened it for her, and he was in pyjamas and wore a cloud of alcohol.
“Stop the act.” Jacqueline Eva walked in, then closed the door with her heel.
Xia Lei shrugged. “What am I acting about?”
Jacqueline Eva moved in close to Xia Lei. “You stole my Marie’s Desire, and you used it on those Japanese people.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Xia Lei backed away.
“Are you making me say it?” Jacqueline Eva looked annoyed. “You called me, asking to be rescued. I brought my men and rushed over to Hattori Masao’s home but you’ve escaped. You were able to handle those Japanese people, so why make that call?”
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about.” Xia Lei’s face was innocent.
Jacqueline Eva suddenly reached out and grabbed the collar of Xia Lei’s pyjamas, then yanked. Xia Lei’s pyjamas were ripped open. He had a few small wounds on his body, and some scratches.
“What are you doing?” Xia Lei covered his lower body with his hand. He had briefs on, but it was still embarrassing.
“I saw broken glass in the Hattori home. You jumped out of Beryl’s room, didn’t you? What happened?” Jacqueline Eva asked pressed him for answers.
He could not solve his problem by continuing his act, so Xia Lei laughed dryly. “Okay. Those Japanese people used Beryl to get close to me. They wanted to get my technologies from me, then hand me over to the CIA. Lucky I had the Marie’s Desire perfume you gave me, or I would have fallen into the hands of the Japanese. I’d thought that it wouldn’t work so well at first, so I called you to get help after using the perfume. But later, I discovered that the people were knocked out by it and so I ran away.”
“That’s it?” Jacqueline Eva looked at Xia Lei, half-believing, half not.
“I don’t believe you. You must be hiding something.”
“Then I really have no way of satisfying your curiosity.” Xia Lei closed up his sleepwear. “I’ll go call my secretary over to help me apply medication.”
Jacqueline Eva pulled at Xia Lei’s hand. “No need to call your secretary. I’ll help you.”
Xia Lei smiled. “Thank you.”
A little while later, Xia Lei lay on his bed. Jacqueline Eva sat by the bed, holding a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and cotton swabs.
“You really don’t have anything you want to tell me?” Jacqueline Eva pulled out a cotton swab.
“I think I’d better call my secretary,” said Xia Lei.
Jacqueline Eva suddenly jabbed the non-cotton end of the cotton swab at a wound on Xia Lei’s buttock.
“Ah—”Previous Chapter Next Chapter