Chapter 982 - New Skill: Imitation

When the morning came, Xia Lei was up and awake hours before his three wives. Pregnant women needed that extra sleep. The three of them did not even stir when Xia Lei left the warmth of the bed. He made himself a rather simple breakfast and left to work promptly after finishing it. However, Xia Lei wasn’t headed for the office block today. With his laptop and cosmetics toolbox, Xia Lei was going straight to the mansion’s underground laboratory. 

In the underground laboratory, he did not start to imitate Li Youdun nor start superimposing the spy’s features on himself just yet. Instead, he brought out all of the important items he had stored in the underground laboratory, the ancient alloy box, the bronze book, the compass and the broken armour. 

It had taken him years to collect them all. The process was painfully slow but every time he felt closer to finding out the truth, new problems would arise and dull his hopes. The truth was hidden within these few items displayed before him. Though the items were just within his reach, Xia Lei was clear that the answers were still miles away. There was still a long way to go to uncover the truth. 

“So many things had happened. I wonder if there will be any changes to the compass’s direction?” A harmless little question manifested in Xia Lei’s heart out of the blue. Under the influence of his own curiosity, Xia Lei placed its needle back onto the compass. 

After the compass had collected sufficient energy, it pointed its needle to the sky. 

Nothing had changed. 

Xia Lei held the ancient alloy box and waved around the side of the compass. Nothing particular had happened either. The ancient alloy box did not possess the ability to interfere with the compass’s navigation. 

“Could the last piece really be up there? Is it on a planet? Could it be left in an abandoned spaceship?” Xia Lei’s mind began to think wildly, but the sheer ridiculosity of his thoughts made him laugh. 

Those ideas were too absurd.

When the needle had fluctuated from its original position on the compass, Xia Lei took it off and stored everything else in the safe. 

“The black-robed man had given me three years to figure this out. I still have two years plus left. If I fail to uncover the mystery a day before the promised date, I’ll take the last AE capsule, put on the armour and enter the ancient alloy world. The black-robed man wouldn’t be able to come after me in the ancient alloy world, right? Perhaps I might die but I was going to die either way. I bear no tinge of hope to win against the black-robed man in a battle.” Pondered Xia Lei as he secured the door of the safe. 

In the next hour, Xia Lei booted his laptop to take a look at the American stock market’s situation. This time, he did not check Chlorella’s share again as the share would still be on a violent rise for now. There was no way Xia Lei would do anything to it for the time being, which was why the man went straight to check on Vientiane’s share. 

In a single trading day, the stock price of Vientiane Group was maintained at the issue price of eleven USD. However, due to the fact that his four accounts had bought shares at the lowest price, Xia Lei had managed to profit two per cent through this way. 

The edges of Xia Lei’s lips curled into a smile. “When I decide to withdraw from Vientiane’s stocks, my four accounts would probably be able to accumulate a billion USD by then. With a base cost of one billion dollars, my next goal will be earning twenty billion dollars.”   

With his current approach, his account would snowball into something gargantuan! 

Some part of the sum could be used to expand Thunder Horse Organization and some part could be used to destroy others. Even if he couldn’t shock the world’s largest capitalist market, he would most definitely deal some heavy blows! Other than that, the money also had another purpose. To fund his fights against his enemies! 

Currently, this ridiculous sum of money was his private stash. Perhaps he was the only man in the world that could have such an amount of private savings. 

Deciding that he was done with stocks, Xia Lei clicked on the video he recorded a few days ago in the underground chamber. It was time to start learning how to imitate Li Youdun. 

In the video, Li Youdun roared, “This is impossible! I formatted her laptop!” 

The expression plastered on Li Youdun’s face when he uttered those words, details like mouth shape and even the way his faint wrinkles moved entered Xia Lei’s field of vision. The man imprinted the sight, replaying Li Youdun’s changing expressions and body language repeatedly in his mind. At the same time, Xia Lei tried to manipulate his body precisely to mimic Li Youdun’s actions. 

Which prompted Xia Lei to repeat after Li Youdun. “This is impossible! I formatted her laptop!” 

“Quit lying. Even if I tell you everything I know and you managed to obtain the things you’re after, you would still kill me in the end. Is that right?” The Li Youdun in the footage said. 

“Quit lying. Even if I tell you everything I know and you managed to obtain the things you’re after, you would still kill me in the end. Is that right?” Xia Lei copied. 

“Save your energy...”

“Save your energy...”

Soon enough, Xia Lei no longer required the videos to mimic Li Youdun. When he closed his eyes, every single detail about Li Youdun manifested in his mind. His imitation of Li Youdun was becoming more and more convincing and by the end of everything, Xia Lei’s mimicry was close to perfect! 

Truthfully, Xia Lei’s greatest skill was not processing ultra-precision parts nor was it marksmanship or even manufacturing weapons. His greatest skill of all was his exceptional learning ability! A few years back, Xia Lei was nothing but a construction labourer doing electric welding or moving bricks and doing odd jobs. In just a short amount of time, he was now the nation’s pillar, a national hero. Everything he had obtained was made possible through his own learning and creation! 

If he could achieve near-perfect imitation with one session, a perfect imitation wouldn’t be impossible after practising a few more rounds. 

From this experience, Xia Lei came to a realization that he had never once put in serious effort to imitate anyone. He had not paid much effort in this aspect when he had become Jack’s imposter to infiltrate Lockheed Martin’s headquarters in Washington D.C. earlier. This time, he needed to be convincing enough to trick CIA informants and infiltrate their Jingdu informant base. He needed to achieve perfect compatibility and the only way to obtain that was through careful study. 

It was also through this serious imitation session that Xia Lei found a new possible world to venture into. 

And in this new world, Xia Lei was born to be its king!  

His brain had already advanced into new heights, able to control every nerve in his being like an extremely intelligent lathe to achieve desired responses. Be it sensory nerves or locomotive nerves, his brain was able to control any as required! 

Once he becomes more proficient with his ultra-precision control, he would be able to dictate any part of his body. If he wanted a particular finger to feel pain, his finger would feel pain. If he wanted his lung movements to slow down, it would slow down. 

However, these were not the most important aspects of his imitation. The most crucial part was for him to be able to control the muscles of the larynx to constrict or expand at command. That way, Xia Lei would be able to achieve the same pronunciations Li Youdun used! 

Same voice, the same glint in the eye, the same array of expressions and the same habitual movements. Who would be able to see through such an imposter? Unless the most advanced bone structure identification was involved, it was literally impossible to pinpoint his flaws!

However, such a system would only be available in the CIA headquarters, Area 51 and Russia’s GRU. The presence of such technology would be unlikely in the CIA’s Jingdu informant base. 

Completing his learning session, Xia Lei checked the time on his wristwatch. To his surprise, he had already spent the entire day in the underground laboratory. It was time for day shift workers to get off work. 

An adverse effect from using his brain intensely, Xia Lei felt rather dizzy and drained. Albeit so, the discomfort wasn’t as bad as when he had used his automated superbrain mode. 

I should go talk to Li Youdun tonight. The more I talk to him, the more I’ll learn about him. I can even use my X-ray vision to study the diameter and movement of his vocal chord,” Xia Lei thought to himself. His surprising revelation of a new ability had brought him glee. To add to it, this ability was insanely useful! 

Ring… Ring… 

“Hmm? It must be Liang Siyao urging me to go get Ruyi from the airport. But there’s still three hours more to her arrival, why are they in a rush?” Xia Lei mumbled to no one, as he answered the phone without checking the number. 

All he could hear was breathing. 

The voice on the other side of the call was eerie and cold, almost as if it was elicited by a body that was extracted from the depths of an icy hell. 

Xia Lei’s heart thumped loudly with anxiety. “Xuanyue?” 

“Xuanyue? You’ve caught feelings for her?” Surprisingly, it was the deep masculine voice. 

Upon recognition, Xia Lei froze. He had heard this voice before. This was the voice of the black-robed man! 

“And the cycle repeats itself again,” said the black-robed man. 

Xia Lei inhaled deeply, trying his best to calm down. “What are you trying to say?” 

“You’ll understand someday.” 

“You can tell me now,” urged Xia Lei with an edge. 

“Hehehe…”  His cackles were bone-piercingly cold. 

“What are you laughing at?” 

“There is an equilibrium to existence. If you wish to obtain something, you must give something of similar value in exchange. Everything in existence functions on this basic principle. You won’t receive something for no reason and you won’t lose something for no reason. The answers you desire have the potential to change or destroy the world. What are you going to offer in exchange for that?” 

Xia Lei gulped. 

“Are you scared?” 

“I am, but what can I do about it? Are you calling me to instil fear in me?” 

“I’m merely calling to remind you that you’re running out of time. Don’t waste all your time on meaningless things. If you wish to escape the cycle, you need courage and of course, intelligence.” 

“Cycle?” Xia Lei scoffed loudly. “Since when were you Buddhist?” 

“Remember, you’re running out of time.” 

“I know. There’s no need to remind me. Tell me, what happened to Zhu Xuanyue?” 

“She… Doot… Doot… Doot…” The line had disconnected abruptly. 

“Hello? Hello! Fuck you!” Xia Lei raised his phone with anger but the crash did not come. 

The underground laboratory slipped into a dead silence, making it feel more like an ancient tomb than a laboratory. 

“Cycle? He mentioned cycles twice. What could he possibly mean by that?” Even Xia Lei’s superbrain could not comprehend it. 

When he had finally left the underground laboratory, the moon was high up in the sky and the lights around the Thunder Horse Organization were lit. Illuminated by the lamps, the headquarter was a radiant pearl under the night sky. 

Under the warmth of the orange street lamps, Xia Lei could see his three lovers walking towards him with a sweet smile on their faces. 

The sight of their happy grins brought a faint smile onto Xia Lei’s face. “Time can go fuck itself. People die eventually and I still have two more years to live. I don’t give a shit about what he doesn’t want me to do. To me, the most meaningful thing to do is to help build the country and serve the people. I want to leave behind a mountain of gold for my women and children!” 

And with that, Xia Lei began to pick up his pace to meet his wives halfway. 

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