The special force soldiers guarding the Thunder Horse Group launched a search across the forest behind the Peace Mansion but came up empty.
This was merely their search results though. Soon after, the Zodiac team had a different opinion regarding the situation.
Within the study, Tsukino Kyoko, who was covered in black, said, “Boss, your suspicions were right. We had visitors.”
“Could you tell where they were from?” said Xia Lei.
“I found some traces in the forest. They tried to cover their tracks but it wasn’t complete. Based on their sizes, they’re probably Europeans.”
“People from the FA.” Xia Lei had his guesses.
“And this.” Tsukino Kyoko placed the crossbow arrow on the desk.
Xia Lei picked it up and studied it carefully. It was very special, its tip was similar to a triangular bayonet used in the military and it had a blood groove. The tip was made of an alloy, initially silver in colour but was now dark purple because it had been dipped in poison. One could only imagine how deadly the poison was given its deep colour.
There was no marking on the arrow so they could not identify the owner.
“This crossbow arrow isn’t an ordinary one. The tip is handmade and it’s dipped in poison. Who still uses a weapon like that in this era?” said Xia Lei.
“I recognise this. It belongs to the Hattori clan,” said Tsukino Kyoko.
“Boss,” said E’er Demutu who was also in the study. “We should inform the soldiers to send out aircraft to launch a search party. We could possibly catch up to them.”
Xia Lei shook his head. “It’s only a possibility. The hills behind stretch out across a few hundred kilometres. If we don’t do anything, they might start to draw the wrong conclusions, that we don’t know of their arrival. They’d think they only alerted a momentous response.”
The people in the study consisted of Liang Siyao, Long Bing, the Grey sisters and the Russo sisters. Yelena, Alessio, Sa’im and Anjum Khan were all on guard outside.
Other than the snake, the entire Zodiac team was here. Long Bing replaced the snake. The Russo and Grey sisters replaced the deceased Amanda, Bagu, Marcus and Park Taeyong. Although the two pairs of sisters weren’t as capable as the four, they still had their strengths. They had an army of passionate followers with strong firepower. Just from this point, the new Zodiac team was much more powerful than before.
“Hubby, are you saying that they’ll be back?” said Liang Siyao.
Xia Lei said, “They will definitely be back.”
Long Bing said, “Hubby, I agree with Sa’im. We should report this to the authorities and then mobilise aerial and land troops to find them. And if we come down to a battle, we can’t guarantee we’ll all escape unscathed.”
She was right. On land, soldiers were the ultimate task force. No one would be able to beat them. Even the FA or Hattori clan would be flattened in the face of the military tanks.
Everyone looked at Xia Lei, waiting for his final decision.
After a pause, Xia Lei said, “No, we don’t want the military involved.”
“Why?” Long Bing looked worried.
Xia Lei said, “Mobilising troops would increase our chances but it’s still not absolute. These people aren’t regular criminals or terrorists. And if they escape, it would be very difficult to catch them again. But this is not the only reason for my decision, the main reason is…” After a pause, he said, “Plan Mayflower.”
The Mayflower Compact was a prominent agreement in the USA.
Here, Xia Lei’s target in Plan Mayflower was the US. It didn’t matter if it was the stock market or what he was doing now, they were all working towards the same goal. Long Bing and Liang Siyao were the ones who knew the most about this plan. However, even Liang Siyao and Long Bing did not know the entire plan.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t willing to tell them, he just couldn’t right now.
“Boss, what exactly is this plan?” Tsukino Kyoko asked.
Xia Lei said, “If we catch the intruders from tonight, we will end up killing them. But they are not prominent figures. They are just pawns. My target is the CIA’s intelligence base in Jingdu. I need to find that place and then send something to the US, then get the thing I need. That is what I want to achieve.”
Even this explanation wasn’t the entire plan but that was all he could say.
E’er Demutu smiled. “I understand. You’re trying to lure the bigger fish. We may have let some small fish escape tonight but next time, we will catch the big fish.”
Xia Lei said, “If I guessed right, they won’t wait too long before attacking again. They should return in three day’s time.”
“Hubby, isn’t that the fourth day of the Lunar new year? That’s your wedding with Fan Fan,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei said, “If I were them, I’d pick that date. Ah Bing, after your mission in Japan failed, the FA group hasn’t done anything. The Hattori clan and FA took more than a month to slip into China, into Jingdu and chose to attack during Lunar new year’s eve. They spent so much money and time on this, they won’t give up so easily. They will definitely attack again on the fourth day of the new year but we also have enough time to prepare.”
“And we still aren’t going to involve the military in this?” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei smiled. “Let Fan Fan deal with this. She’ll settle it.”
Fan Fan had contact with high-level officials. Engaging the military was not going to be a problem for her.
Long Bing nodded. “Then I won’t need to worry too much.”
“That’s it then. You should all rest,” said Xia Lei.
The group left the study.
Long Bing initially walked with Xia Lei and Liang Siyao but soon after, she said, “You both should just return to bed, don’t worry about the outside world. I’ll be standing guard.”
“Why don’t you…” Liang Siyao had other thoughts.
Long Bing rolled her eyes. “Hey, tonight’s your night. It’s not my place to get involved. Also, your father’s here. If he finds out, I can’t beat him in a fight.”
Liang Siyao started giggling.
Xia Lei suddenly thought of something. “I need to check on our Master.”
“I’ll go too,” said Liang Siyao.
“You may go ahead. I’ll take a stroll in the garden instead.” Long Bing had no interest.
Xia Lei and Liang Siyao arrived at Liang Zhengchun’s room. He was already sound asleep. He did not notice nor wake when Xia Lei and Liang Siyao entered the room.
Qin Xiang had helped take off his shoes before leaving. Xia Lei picked Liang Zhengchun’s shoe up and saw the cut left by the flying crossbow arrow. After seeing the arrow that Tsukino Kyoko found, Xia Lei couldn’t help but shudder. If Qin Xiang hadn’t called him off the roof, he might already be dead already.
Liang Siyao also shuddered when she saw the cut. She was filled with rage too.
Xia Lei gripped her tender hands. “Don’t worry, I won’t let this happen again.”
Liang Siyao leaned her head on his chest, sinking into his arms.
Xia Lei said gently, “Go back and rest. I will be going out.”
Liang Siyao looked up in surprise, “What are you going to do?”
Xia Lei said, “The FA and Hattori clan just left so they must really want to know our response to what happened. And they only have one source to go to for this information.”
She suddenly understood. “You’re referring to Li Youdun?”
Xia Lei nodded. “One month has passed and I still haven’t announced Alloy X’s recipe and production procedures. Thunder Horse’s drone project hasn’t launched yet either. Plus after what happened tonight, someone whom I am expecting might appear.”
“Then I could...”
Xia Lei cut her off. “You’re pregnant. I won’t let you do anything risky. Stay home. You can tell Long Bing and Fan Fan about this but don’t let them come with. This is a very important matter. We must not let the other party find even a single flaw.”
Liang Siyao bit her lip gently. “You be careful.”
He kissed her cheek, then left Liang Zhengchun’s room. Ten minutes later, he arrived at the main building of Thunder Horse. He didn’t enter through the main entrance but instead jumped over the walls.
When he arrived at the office, he opened his safe and took out all his cosmetic tools. He started to disguise himself as Li Youdun. After checking himself out in the mirror and ensuring there were no flaws, he left the office and slipped into the materials lab.
There wasn’t anyone working overtime in the lab. It was completely empty and silent.
Xia Lei entered Li Youdun’s office. He put all the electronic devices associated with Li Youdun on the desk. Even his work computer was turned on. If the other person wanted to contact Li Youdun, they would have sent an alert. He had been waiting for this alert for a month but it never happened. Not a single person called Li Youdun’s cell phone, not even an email or text.
Lunar new year eve passed. It was the first day of the Lunar new year.
“After what happened tonight, is that guy really going to remain silent? Unless FA and Hattori didn’t call for reinforcements?” Xia Lei was losing his patience.
Another hour passed.
He was starting to regret giving up his consummation night with Liang Siyao to sit here like an idiot.
Another hour passed.
Xia Lei got up to leave.
However, a carrier pigeon suddenly appeared at the window. It landed on the Osmanthus flower tree outside the window and cooed twice.
Xia Lei’s heart shuddered and opened the window.
The window opened and the carrier pigeon flew into Li Youdun’s office. There was a note attached to its claw. Xia Lei carefully grabbed the pigeon and took the note. When he let go, the pigeon disappeared into the night in a flash.
Xia Lei opened the note but it did not contain any words. Instead, there was a string of numbers on the inside. 11, 45, 89, 69…
What could it possibly mean?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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