Chapter 778 - Indisposable Hostages

Arthur was ready to take action as soon as Xia Lei’s money had made it into the Knight Hospitaller’s account. 

There was no record of the transaction but Xia Lei wasn’t too worried about them running off with the money. One of the factors behind his confidence was that the Knight Hospitaller was obsessed with maintaining their reputation. Another was that their prized relic was still in Xia Lei’s hands. 

Fifty million USD was a huge sum, but it was still just a number. If he was willing to pay the same price for Amanda and Park Taeyong, it would go without saying for his willingness to buy FA organization’s death!

Fifty million USD and a bunch of Knight Hospitaller fanatics along with the Thunder Horse’s weapons was a weird combination. It was as unpredictable as it was deadly. The only thing imaginable was that the FA organization was about to face its biggest threat since its establishment! 

The flames of revenge had started to burn.

“Mister Xia, these four will be in your care. Please treat them well,” said Arthur to Xia Lei, about to depart from the Peace Mansion’s entrance. 

Xia Lei replied, “If you’re so worried, you can take them with you.” 

“No, no, no,” Arthur waved his hand. “I promised that they’ll be hostages so I’d need to stick with it. You can’t be asking me to be a man who’s not trustworthy now, Mister Xia.”  

The other man shrugged. There was nothing else for him to say. Though so, Xia Lei was fully aware that there was a different motive behind Arthur’s adamance to leave behind the twins as hostages. They were probably posed as spies. Aside from their ethereal appearances, their abilities posed no threat to Xia Lei so he wasn’t too concerned about it. 

“May I speak to them before I go?” Arthur’s tone was gentle. 

Xia Lei smiled. “Sure. They’re your comrades. There’s no need to ask for my permission. If you’d like, you can even talk to them for the whole day. I wouldn’t mind it at all.”

“No need for that, a few minutes would suffice,” said Arthur as he started to move towards one corner beside the door. 

The Grey and Russo sisters followed suit. 

Initially, Xia Lei thought they were just going to settle in the corner for their discussion, but Arthur had suddenly moved to hide behind a wall. So naturally, the four ladies would follow his footsteps to get away from Xia Lei’s prying eyes. 

Xia Lei couldn’t help but laugh. His left eye twitched to show him their hidden discussion. His lip-reading abilities had activated as well. 

“Mister Arthur, why are you leaving us here? We have nothing to do here,” said Rosa.

“Yeah, she’s right. Please let us follow you back. We want to fight alongside everyone” Giovanna followed in suit.

Stella and Theresa also mentioned similar things. It was evident that the twins weren’t too pleased with Arthur’s decision to leave them with Xia Lei. 

“That’s enough. There will be no changes to my decision.” Arthur’s expression was stern. “Now listen up, what I’m able to tell you is very important!”

They quickly fell silent.

“I’m not asking you to stay behind for fun and games. I have a task for all of you.” Arthur proceeded to lower his voice further. “You must collect as much information as you can on Xia Lei. Report all situations to me. Also, try to get more information on the sacred relic. You must try to gauge how much he knows about it.”

“But Mister Arthur, the man is unbelievably sly! Can we even do it?” Stella was worried, her mind thinking of the events last night. Each of them was fooled badly by Xia Lei and now Arthur was trying to get them to play a spying game with him? Just the thought of it sent chills down her spine. 

“This is an order! You must heed it and get it done!” reprimanded Arthur. “Have you forgotten all about your training? You’ve studied the art of seduction! You were all given an advantage from birth while he suffers from a biological weakness. You’ll succeed as long as you use your brain.” 

The four ladies looked at each other. They didn’t dare to utter a single word. They understood what Arthur was trying to say. Arthur had intended for them to attack Xia Lei by taking advantage of his lust, forcing him to succumb. 

“That’s all I have to say, we’ll keep in touch. Be careful and make sure Xia Lei doesn’t find out,” reminded Arthur. 

The twins nodded then chanted in unison, “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum!”

With that, Xia Lei ended his observation. It wasn’t odd for Arthur to hand such a task to them, but it sure will be a headache in the near future. Xia Lei thought to himself, “Why does he need to know how much I knew about their sacred relic? Is the Knight Hospitaller going to kill me after getting it?” 

Perhaps there was such a possibility as the dead were mute. 

Arthur and the twins finally emerged from behind the wall. The man had a bright smile on his face as if nothing had happened. He said, “Mister Xia, I’ll be leaving now. I’ll be updating you as we go. Oh, right… When will we be getting the weapons?”

“I’ll get my South American partner to have it ready for you. I’ll send him more stock after that.”

“That’s great. I guess I’ll see you again soon.” Arthur started to walk towards a waiting rental vehicle. Xia Lei had called the transport for him as he didn’t want his people to be seen with a member of the Knight Hospitaller to avoid possible danger. 

“Mister Xia.” Giovanna’s voice was gentle. “Will you kindly show us around? We’d like to get used to our surroundings.”

“Sorry, I’m busy today. You can get the cleaner lady to bring you around. I’m sure she’ll be more than happy to do so,” uttered Xia Lei as he turned to walk towards the Thunder Horse Military Factory. 

The Grey and Russo sisters looked at each other, then glued their eyes to Xia Lei’s back. 

The day after Arthur’s departure was the return of  Liu Zhengnan and Qing Caiyue. Even the Sweeper was back home after its display in Paris. Xia Lei had gone to the airport personally to welcome them back but was already surrounded by a throng of reporters before he could reach them. 

“Mister Xia, is it true that the Sweeper was a sole effort by the Thunder Horse Organization?”

“Mister Xia, though the Western media had complimented Sweeper's advanced features, there were some who claimed that you’ve stolen technology from Rheinmetall. Is that true?”

“Sir, could this vehicle go into mass production?”

“Mister Xia, will the Sweeper be used for our own army?”

“Sir, why was Sweeper’s debut held overseas and not domestically? Was it meant to target the international market instead?”

A hoard of questions from a hoard of reporters. 

Xia Lei held his palm up and waited for them to quiet down. “I have no comments at the moment. Please come to Thunder Horse’s press release tomorrow to know more about the Sweeper. You may ask whatever you want and you’ll even get to see the vehicle in action during then.”

“Mister Xia…”

“Mister Xia…”

All the queries fell on deaf ears. Xia Lei squeezed past the reporters to let Liu Zhengnan leave with Xia Xue who tagged along.

“Brother, are you really going to do a press release?” asked Xia Xue as soon as they made it into Yelena’s car. 

“Of course, why not? It’ll be stupid to hide something this good under the sheets. The media can do whatever they want. It’s free advertising for us anyway,” answered Xia Lei. 

Xia Xue giggled. “Alright, you can leave the planning to me.”

“Sure, no problem.”

His sister was getting better at her job day by day. It was about time to let her handle a project by herself. 

“I can help you with it,” offered Liu Zhengnan.

“Okay.” Xia Xue smiled sweetly in response., “I know you love me the most.” 

Xia Lei frowned. “What? I rank lower than Zhengnan now?” 

“No! You both are tied in first place!” replied Xia Xue quickly.

Laughter filled the car. 

As soon as they returned to the Thunder Horse Military Factory, Xia Lei had sent invitations to a handful of people. Xia Xue and Liu Zhengnan quickly set to work to plan for the press release tomorrow.

Next morning, reporters had started to swarm into the factory hours before the event. News outlet vans along with their best news anchors were ready to bombard Xia Lei with interviews. Some VIPs had also arrived around then. Xia Lei had invited Shi Boren and Tang Tianlong to the press releases as well.

Surprisingly, there were a few uninvited guests among the crowd. Xia Lei didn’t invite Ye Kun, Mu Jian-Feng, Yu Shanhe and Linghan to the event but they were present nonetheless.

The press release was held in the shooting range within the Thunder Horse Military Factory. Xia Xue and Liu Zhengnan had arranged seats for the audience with different positions for different ranked officials. 

The press release had finally begun, Xia Lei stepped onto the red carpet and headed towards the lectern calmly. There weren’t any VIP speeches arranged for this occasion so he started to talk about the Sweeper and its future production plans off the bat. He had calmly responded to everything asked by the reporters without any hint of fear. His confidence on stage made him seem less like an entrepreneur and more like a dignitary instead. 

“Why won’t he just die already?” mumbled Mu Jian-Feng all while staring at Xia Lei, his expression dark and terrifying. 

“Yeah, I’d like to know why too. A lot of people want him dead but he just won’t die. In fact, his life seems to be getting better and better.” Ye Kun was equally gloomy.

“We must stop our spare part supply for his light weapon production! We really have to!” Mu Jian-Feng was determined. 

Ye Kun furrowed his brows. “But that bastard holds the key to our business. If we stop our supply to Thunder Horse…”

“We’d be better off dying straight away than to have him chew us alive,” interrupted Mu Jian-Feng. 

“Teacher, why would you say that?” questioned Ye Kun. He had never seen Mu Jian-Feng as a person who’d give up and die.

At this moment, Ling Han approached them. “Does that really matter? In my opinion, both of your companies will go bankrupt in a few more years after Thunder Horse ceases their dependency on your supply.” 

Ye Kun seemed to have understood something. He nodded but had opted to stay silent instead.

Ling Han said, “I agree with what Old Mu said. It’ll be better to go all out and suffer the consequences rather than have Xia Lei swallow your business alive. Giving it a go is definitely better than waiting for your inevitable downfall, right?”

“I’d appreciate it if you could help us out, Mister Ling.” Mu Jian-Feng smiled eerily. 

Ling Han gave a polite smile in return. He then averted his gaze to Yu Shanhe.

But the man was stationary. Yu Shanhe had his attention glued to Xia Lei, brows furrowed with an unreadable expression plastered on his face.  

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dogetranslation's Thoughts

have a nice day!

DOGE.