Chapter 75

Scouting the Enemy’s Camp at Night

Ma Xiao-An was taken away in an ambulance but it was just procedure - he was never coming back.

The police and traffic police arrived. The slag truck driver was taken away by the traffic police in the end and not the police. The incident was being treated initially as a traffic accident and not a criminal case. The result made Xia Lei and the employees of Thunder Horse Workshop frustrated but the law was the law and it favoured neither side nor took emotions into consideration.

Xia Lei rode in the traffic police car to the hospital and looked at Ma Xiao-An in the morgue. He just stood there, quietly looking at Ma Xiao-An’s peaceful sheet-white face. He did not move for a long, long time...

Jiang Ru-Yi rushed over when she heard the news and cried for quite a while. Ma Xiao-An was her friend too but he was not as close to her as he had been with Xia Lei. She sent Xia Lei home afterwards.

Jiang Ru-Yi cooked two dishes for Xia Lei but he just looked at them, unmoving.

“Eat something,” Jiang Ru-Yi urged painfully, “How can you keep going on like this? Eat something, put something in your stomach at least.”

Xia Lei still sat, looking at the dishes but unmoving, his thoughts indecipherable.

Jiang Ru-Yi frowned, “Are you going to eat or not? If you aren’t, I’ll feed you.” So saying, she picked up a piece of fried tomato-egg and shoved it at Xia Lei’s mouth.

Xia Lei twisted his head away, “Ru-Yi, Ma Xiao-An was murdered. Do you believe me?”

“I believe you. Eat,” said Jiang Ru-Yi.

“Then go arrest that slag truck driver. Interrogate him. He will tell you that the mastermind behind this is He Lao-Qi. He Lao-Qi was aiming to kill me but Ma Xiao-An pushed me out of the way, and he…” Xia Lei could not go on; tears came dripping uncontrollably again.

Jiang Ru-Yi was at a loss. She put down the chopsticks and looked at Xia Lei quietly. She actually had no appetite either but she did not want Xia Lei to be so sad, so she had made some dishes to try and distract him but it looked like her efforts were in vain now.

“Go arrest that driver. Go, now!” Xia Lei seemed to have lost a little of his control.

Jiang Ru-Yi caught hold of his hand and said comfortingly, “Lei, Xiao-An is dead. I know you’re heartbroken but can you please calm down?”

“How can I calm down?” Xia Lei shouted at her.

“I made a call to the traffic police accident handling centre in the afternoon. That slag truck’s brakes were not functioning properly and its navigation system also had problems. That driver was not suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs either. You want me to arrest him but what will I base my arrest on? Even if I did arrest him, how many hours can I lock him away for?” said Jiang Ru-Yi.

The slag truck had malfunctioned, the driver was neither drunk nor drugged and did not know Ma Xiao-An either. Based on these, the driver could escape being punished by the law. The slag truck driver didn’t even need to give monetary compensation because the insurance company would take care of that. This was the real world and it was not fair.

The scene from earlier in the day played again in Xia Lei’s mind. He was driving the Polo with Ma Xiao-An, heading to Thunder Horse Workshop, laughing and chatting with him. Then he saw the slag truck charging forward in his rearview mirror and twisted the steering wheel quickly, avoiding slag truck. After it zoomed past, Ma Xiao-An stuck his head out the window and shouted a curse...

Xia Lei’s left eye twitched. A still of the scene was displayed in his head and in the still, the slag truck was in the rearview mirror of the Polo. He saw the driver clearly through the slag truck windshield. The driver had a faint, ruthless smile on his face and his tattoos and face were very clear.

The slag truck was the same as the one which had killed Ma Xiao-An and the driver was the same person too. This was not a coincidence - it was murder, only that the murderer had wanted to kill him but had killed Ma Xiao-An by mistake.

“What are you thinking about, Lei?” Jiang Ru-Yi’s eyes filled with tears, “Don’t be like that, please. Do you know how worried I am about you?”

Xia Lei said nothing more. He sat there like an empty carcass without a soul. He looked lifeless on the surface but his heart was aflame with anger. He thought, ‘That slag truck driver was just one of He Lao-Qi’s dogs. The real mastermind is He Lao-Qi or it was Gu Ke-Wen who had incited it. You wanted to kill me but Ma Xiao-An died for me instead. I will have my revenge on you!’

“Lei, say something. What’s wrong with you?” Jiang Ru-Yi’s face was full of worry.

Xia Lei suddenly raise his head and looked at her. “Let’s eat.”

Jiang Ru-Yi was momentarily stunned.

“Eat, eat. You will have strength to get things done when your stomach is full.” Xia Lei took huge mouthfuls of food as he spoke in a muffled voice, “Mm. Your dishes don’t taste half bad. Why haven’t you showed off this skill before?”

Jiang Ru-Yi spoke after a bit of a pause, “Lei, you… Are you okay?”

“How about you? Weren’t you urging me to eat? I’m eating now and you ask me if I’m okay. Do you want me to eat or not?” said Xia Lei.

“Um… Eat. Yes, eat.” Jiang Ru-Yi put food on her plate as well.

After they ate, Jiang Ru-Yi went to wash the dishes and Xia Lei went to sleep in the living room. When Jiang Ru-Yi walked over from the kitchen after washing the dishes, Xia Lei had already begun to snore.

“Really, he sleeps like a pig. That’s good too. He’ll be letting his imagination run wild if he were awake,” Jiang Ru-Yi muttered, then closed the door to the flat and left.

Xia Lei opened his eyes as soon as Jiang Ru-Yi left. He went to the balcony and watched as Jiang Ru-Yi entered the stairwell. He went out of his door when he saw the lights come on in her flat.

Outside of his neighbourhood, Xia Lei hailed a taxi and headed towards the suburbs. He alighted around forty minutes later and walked towards a fishing village.

The fishing village was next to the sea and there was an impressive villa in the middle of it. The villa belonged to He Lao-Qi.

He Lao-Qi had a house in the city too but rich folk didn’t like to live in the city and he was no exception. Nobody knew how much money He Lao-Qi had but one could estimate that he had a few tens of millions at least.

Xia Lei pulled the bill of his baseball cap down, covering his forehead and nose-bridge, then walked slowly towards the villa.

He Lao-Qi had four bodyguards with him wherever he went, no matter if he was out and about or at home. Those four bodyguards were capable men who had followed him for years; they could fight and kill. They were also well known in the underworld.

This was the information that Xia Lei had from Qin Xiang.

Night enveloped the fishing village. There were no street lamps in the village and it was dark. This made it more convenient for Xia Lei to get close to the villa. The lights in the villa were bright and could be seen clearly from afar. He could see the activities of the people in the villa from afar, borrowing the lamplight within the villa itself. There was a person on the viewing balcony of the third storey, sitting on a beach chair and smoking a cigarette while looking down at the night sea view. Two people were lying on a bed on the second storey watching television; a man and a woman. One person was in the first storey living room watching television, randomly pressing the buttons on the remote control. He looked bad-tempered. Two people were in the garden chatting in hushed voices.

These goings-on were what his X-ray vision had revealed to him after one look.

Xia Lei stopped using his eye and thought, ‘Could the man and woman on the second storey be He Lao-Qi and his wife, Han Li?’

He Lao-Qi’s wife’s name was Han Li and their son’s name was He Jia-Hao. This information was also from Qin Xiang. Unfortunately, Qin Xiang was not able to provide photographs so even though he suspected the couple on the second storey was He Lao-Qi and Ha Li, there was no way for him to verify it.

Xia Lei kept away from the main road and slowly approached the villa from a small road.

Though the area surrounding the villa was dark, Xia Lei still spotted the surveillance cameras installed on the walls and at the top of the villa. The cameras were well placed; each covered an area and there was virtually no blind spot at all in the areas surrounding the villa.

Xia Lei saw more people from his closer position. They were in a room on the first storey playing cards. Bundles of cash sat in piles on the card table as well as some powdered substances. They had earrings, hair dyed gold and evil-looking tattooed bodies. One look and he could tell that they were unsavory men.

Xia Lei thought ‘Are these men playing cards underlings of He Lao-Qi? If I add those four, this villa has ten bodyguards in it now. Damn, he really is cautious. What kind of underworld person is he if he’s so afraid of dying?’

Xia Lei moved his gaze to the bodyguard on the third storey viewing balcony. His left eye twitched and the details of the bodyguard entered his sight - that bodyguard had a gun around his waist. He looked at the three non-card-playing bodyguards and they were the same; all three had guns. He looked at the people playing cards last and found that though they appeared ferocious, they had no guns. They only had weapons like hunting knives and butterfly knives. Xia Lei was almost certain that the four men not playing cards were He Lao-Qi’s four main bodyguards. The people playing cards were likely called over to help protect He Lao-Qi.

Chen Chuan-Hu had brought many thugs to trash Thunder Horse Workshop but all had been beaten by Xia Lei and almost ten were sent to the hospital. He Lao-Qi had sent someone to kill Xia Lei but Ma Xiao-An was killed instead. He Lao-Qi would definitely be on guard against Xia Lei taking the extreme path and seeking revenge on him, so it was no wonder security was so tight.

‘He Lao-Qi’s bodyguards all have guns and he’s on guard against my arrival. I will fall into his trap if I rush in. I can fight now but if it’s useless if my opponent has a gun.’ Xia Lei had come with vengeful anger but he finally calmed down when he discovered that the bodyguards had guns on them.

Ten years is not too long for a gentleman to have his revenge - and he did not have to wait ten years!

Before he left, Xia Lei used his X-ray vision on the room on the second storey, memorising the faces of the man and woman on the bed. He followed the small road back afterwards.

As soon as he walked out of the fishing village, a bright white light suddenly beamed at him from the roadside.

Xia Lei did not put his hand out to shield his eyes from the glaring light. His left eye saw through the light and and saw the person standing behind the light - Qin Xiang.

Qin Xiang frowned as he sat on his motorcycle, “I knew you’d come here. You’ve had enough sense not to charge in, at least. If you’d done so then you’d be dead tonight. He Lao-Qi’s bodyguards are excellent marksmen. You won’t be able to walk out of there alive even if you were Bruce Lee incarnate.”

Xia Lei walked towards Qin Xiang, “You still came, knowing that I may die?”

“We’re friends. You just lost a friend and I don’t want to lose a friend like you. Besides, you’ve promised to help me get out of He Lao-Qi’s clutches. Who’s going to help me if you die?” said Qin Xiang.

Xia Lei sighed, “Let’s go. Take me out of here.”

Qin Xiang started the engine, “Get on. Let’s go for a drink.”

Xia Lei climbed on the Yamaha motorcycle and Qin Xiang accelerated, disappearing into the night in the blink of an eye.

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