The Knight Hospitaller began their search around Valletta for the four traitorous female knights. Their members stormed into the hospitals and hotels. Simply put, they were everywhere. But even with their influence, the knights had their entries denied into the Chinese Embassy as the place was considered a territory of China. The Knight Hospitaller could flip the whole island upside down and they’d still not find Giovanna, Stella, Rosa and Theresa. Of course, Xia Lei too was out of their reach.
One day had passed since the incident and it was already noon. A bunch of people could be seen hiking up a hill. Their destination was the Temple of Apollo on the peak of the mountain. The group consisted of Maltese civil servants, archaeologists and policemen.
Xia Lei and Linda were part of them today.
Using Linda’s name, Xia Lei had donated a fortune to the restoration of the temple. The Malta Heritage Protection Agency was utterly delighted at the generosity, immediately tasking their employees, archaeologists and a number of policemen to accompany Linda on her requested visit to the temple.
Xia Lei had intended for such effect, luring the involvement of the Maltese civil servants into this operation. With them, there was guaranteed protection from the Knight Hospitaller. Malta Island was governed under a sovereign hand. They had their own military and legitimate status. The time of the Knight Hospitaller was long gone, only existing in their history. If the organization had appeared to challenge the current government, they might face the loss of influence.
The Temple of Apollo wasn’t quite like what Xia Lei had expected. It was made out of stone, far from the majestic palace he imagined. The temple was void of a divine idol of Apollo, only boulders scattered around its premise. Standing proud under the firmament, it faced the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, radiating its ancient but mystical aura.
Linda busied herself with academic discussions about the Temple of Apollo with the accompanying archaeologists. She seemed excited, attentive to the ongoing exchange. Unbeknownst to her, Xia Lei had left the group in favour of exploring the edge of the temple. Cautiously, he looked into the sharp drop beneath him.
Under him was a cliff of about a five hundred metre drop. It was akin to a hundred story building. It was a terrifying existence that could make knees weak for those who couldn’t stomach it. He activated his left eye to study the situation at its valley. Sadly, no caves or secret passages could be found, much to Xia Lei’s disappointment.
When they arrived at the site, he had also conducted a detailed observation of its surroundings. There wasn’t a single hint of the Knight Hospitallers existence. Even when he activated his X-ray vision to check the soil, the results had returned as nothing. All of his findings had led to one conclusion. This was just a regular mountain. The Knight Hospitallers headquarters and the Sacred Palace was nowhere to be seen.
“My intel couldn’t have been false. If the Knight Hospitaller headquarters is really here, how should I go about finding it?” Xia Lei was deep in thought.
The salty breeze of the passionate Mediterranean Sea ruffled his hair and swayed his top. Instinctively, Xia Lei took a step back. Abruptly, he noticed a black dot on the beach beneath him.
He quickly focused his left eye on the black dot. It was a black-robed man. The man was spying the happenings on top of the cliff with a pair of binoculars.
Xia Lei retreated his extended torso in response, keeping his left vision on the black-robed man along the top of the boulders. The man was bald and his dark robes looked the same as the black-robed assassin that tried to kill Linda earlier! Clad in the lengthy garment, the bald man looked like a warlock.
“Black robes… Could he be one of the Holy Knights?” Xia Lei’s heart pondered.
The black-robed man didn’t remain long. After two minutes, he descended into a gigantic boulder to his side. Following that, Xia Lei lost sight of him.
“So that’s how it works!” Xia Lei was overjoyed with his newest finding. “The cliff was too steep to climb but it faced the sea. Sea transportation should allow easy access to the area. If I’m not wrong, there must be caves and water tunnels under this mountain!”
The odd appearance of the black-robed man had hinted Xia Lei strongly, making his subsequent job immensely easy. If the man had not come to spy on them, Xia Lei would’ve wasted more valuable time searching around the top of the mountain. He wouldn’t have paid attention to the situation at the bottom of the cliff.
“Mister Ma Lei, what are you doing?! Come back!” Linda sounded excessively anxious.
It was only then that Xia Lei left the edge of the cliff. “It was nothing. I was just curious about what’s at the bottom.”
“Jeez, you’re just like a child.” Linda scowled. “Have you not thought of what could possibly happen if you fell?”
Xia Lei paused to think. Then, he flashed her a cheeky smile. “I’d probably become an Italian pizza.”
“Pfft-!” Linda broke into laughter.
“Have you found anything noteworthy?” Xia Lei switched the topic seamlessly.
Linda answered, “This isn’t my first time here. If there was anything left to find, I would’ve found it back then. My visit this time is purely to accompany you, yet you’re here pulling such dangerous stunts.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Can you please show me around? I’d like to take a good look at this temple.” Xia Lei said.
“Sure, no problem.” Linda wrapped her arms around Xia Lei’s elbow. “If there’s anything you’d like to know, feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to satiate your curiosity.”
Was there another layer to her words?
Xia Lei opted to not dwell on it, playing his part as a young gay man.
With Linda’s company, Xia Lei toured the insides of the Temple of Apollo.
The temple had a long history of about ten thousand years, existing around the Stone Age. Back then, mankind only had access to stone tools. The most advanced technology of the era were fire and stone artefacts. There was no way that humans had the ability to build something akin to the stone temple in front of them. It wouldn’t make sense for them to be able to tell time using the sun.
“It’s just difficult to wrap my head around this. How could humans make something so majestic ten thousand years ago? The mystery had confused archaeologists for many years and till this day, I’m having a hard time believing it too.” Linda turned to face Xia Lei. “Mister Ma Lei, you’re a smart man. I’d like to hear your take on this.”
Xia Lei chuckled. “I’m just a layman. How am I supposed to understand something that confuses professionals like you?”
“Come on, just say it. There’s nothing wrong with telling me your thoughts, I promise I won’t judge.” Linda swayed his arm about. Occasionally, the flesh of his arm would brush across the top of her breasts. Xia Lei could feel his arm melting into goo at the soft sensation.
This was a friendly display among girls. Since they were ‘sisters’, what damage could such a harmless flighty act like this bring?
Xia Lei thought about it seriously, venturing deeper into Linda’s statement. “There should be a reason behind the Knight Hospitallers choice to set up their headquarters here. Could there be something to do with the Temple of Apollo? If mankind wasn’t able to build this temple back in the Stone Ages, who built this? And what was its purpose?”
Focused on his brainstorm, Xia Lei ignored Linda’s harassment completely. The mushy sensation accompanied him through his storm of thoughts.
Abruptly, Linda stopped her action, letting Xia Lei’s elbow rest in between her breast like a sausage bun. Inexplicably, Linda’s gaze was glued to Xia Lei’s groin. The man was spotting an erection and the tent it created was rather impressive.
Linda gaped in shock. She thought to herself, “Didn’t he say he was homosexual? Why is he showing responses like this?”
On the other hand, Xia Lei was still trying to figure out the correlation between the Temple of Apollo and the Knight Hospitaller. He hadn’t noticed the intense gaze Linda had on his member.
Linda began to squeeze his elbow tighter, resuming her rocking motion gently. She moved and continued to observe the protruded organ strained against the fabric.
“Sigh…” Xia Lei sighed dramatically. “Sorry, I know nothing about this temple. I’ve got no comment.”
“Hey, you…” Linda pointed out.
“What?” Xia Lei looked at her confusedly.
Linda extended a finger to direct his attention to his crotch wordlessly.
Xia Lei followed her finger and glanced down. At that moment, Xia Lei was flooded with the violent urge to knock himself unconscious.
“Well…” Linda cleared her throat. “Don’t you think you owe me an explanation?”
“What do you mean?”
“Are you really gay?”
“Of course.” Xia Lei tried to affirm it.
“Then why is there a…” Linda pointed her finger at his part again.
Xia Lei interrupted her. “Where’s the toilet? I’ve been holding in for too long.”
“Wait for me, I’ll go somewhere far away to pee.” Xia Lei quickly extracted his arm from between her arms and bosoms, fleeing the scene hurriedly.
Linda watched him leave with a wry smile. “You carry on with your act but I’ll surely expose your true colours soon. Just you wait! Hmph!”
Hiding behind a boulder, Xia Lei could only laugh helplessly at the situation. He pulled down his zipper and began to get rid of the problem. The man wasn’t in need of ease to his desire, but he didn’t want Linda to come to check for any evidence of bodily fluids on the floor. It would only raise more questions in her head.
Women were sometimes gullible, but they were also sometimes difficult to get past.
Solving his issue, Xia Lei zipped his pants up. But as he was about to leave, his eyes fell on top of a puddle of liquid on the soil. The foundation of a stone pillar had revealed itself with the splashes of liquid. On top of the foundation was a square diagram.
The occurrence of a square diagram around ancient historical sites was fairly common. However, there was something different about this diagram. It was a carving depicting the ancient alloy box. Though it wasn’t an accurate depiction of the box’s appearance, there were enough details to confirm his suspicion.
Xia Lei’s eyes widened in shock. “What… What the hell?”
“Mister Ma Lei, what are you doing over there?” Linda’s voice and her hurried footsteps indicated her incoming presence. She was probably here to check on him.
Xia Lei frantically kicked some soil over to hide the diagram of the ancient alloy box. In the process, he activated his X-ray vision to investigate the stone foundation. Sadly, there was nothing else aside from the surprising diagram.
Linda finally came to sight. Brandishing a smile, she questioned, “Mister Ma Lei, what are you doing?”
It was then that Xia Lei deactivated his vision and joined her at her side. “Let’s go back.”
“Go back? We just got here not long ago, are you sure you want to return? You’re not done circling the temple.” Linda was a little taken aback.
Xia Lei replied, “I feel sick all of a sudden. I’d like to get some rest. How about you send me some professional information on the temple? I’m curious and I’d really love to learn more.”
“Of course. Alright, let’s get you back.” Linda closed in on him to frame his elbow between her arms once again. “I’ll escort you down since you’re unwell.”
Xia Lei had no words.
The man turned around to spare the stone pillar one last look. His unintentional pee session had unearthed a secret of the Temple of Apollo. Now, he just couldn’t wait to begin his study on the Metal Book he snatched from William Arthur.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
have a nice day :)