The numbers looked like they were Beale cyphers. The Beale cypher was created in 1885. It was said to be a location of a treasure worth sixty-five million dollars. However, no one had cracked the code to his day. The Beale cypher constrained only numbers, similar to this note.
Xia Lei wasn’t interested in the legendary treasures, nor did he think that this was a part of the Beale cypher. He used many methods in an attempt to crack it but couldn’t solve the message.
“What exactly do these numbers represent? Are these location coordinates for Li Youdun to send information to? Or are these the time and location to meet Li Youdun?” wondered Xia Lei bitterly.
Five minutes later.
“Wait…” Xia Lei had an idea. “The pigeon had flown directly into the office. This mustn’t be the first time it has passed Li Youdun a note like that. These numbers seemed very random but Li Youdun must have a method to read them. He must have the tools to crack the code!”
When the word ‘tools’ appeared in his mind, a flood of information related to passwords came into Xia Lei’s mind. There were contents from literature and movies, all these were mystery-themed books and movies he had encountered.
One minute later.
He smirked coldly and opened the drawer by the office desk. He took a novel out.
It was a French novel named The Mysterious Island.
Xia Lei had found this book a month ago and skimmed through. However, it wasn’t anything special. At the time, he found it weird that Li Youdun was reading a French novel but did not think much of it. He didn’t ask Li Youdun about it either. Now, he thought differently as he took the book out.
Li Youdun could understand English. He had conversed in English before too. However, Xia Lei hadn’t heard him use French before. Reading was a very normal activity, it was especially common for a person like Li Youdun to make a habit of reading. He would’ve found it a lot more suspicious if he found a novel near someone who didn’t like to read.
Xia Lei opened The Mysterious Island then flipped to the pages according to the numbers on the note. He then picked out individual words by counting to the number on the note too. He translated these words into Mandarin and wrote them down on another piece of paper.
Very soon, he had successfully decoded the message. Tomorrow night at eight. Tree Leaves Cafe.
He burned the note and left Li Youdun’s office. He also put the novel back into the drawer.
Ten minutes later, Xia Lei drove out of the Thunder Horse headquarters. He was also driving Li Youdun’s car, a Buick Envision SUV. He’d inspected this car before and did not find any problems with it.
“Mr Li, are you really working overtime on new year’s eve?” said the security guard on the night shift.
Xia Lei said, “Yeah, there’s still a lot to be done. Aren’t you the same? Hehe, happy new year.”
“Happy new year.” The guard opened the gates for Xia Lei.
Xia Lei nodded at him and drove out of the headquarters onto the main road. When he passed the gates of Peace Mansion, he took one glance but did not stop.
From this moment on, he had to face everything alone.
Within the Peace Mansion, four women gathered in Xia Lei’s room.
“He has already left.” Liang Siyao was filled with worry. “He doesn’t want us to help.”
“How could he do that?” said Jiang Ruyi, panicking. “It’s dangerous for him to go alone!”
Fan Fan added, “Yeah, it’s a huge deal. How could he just leave like that? He didn’t even bring a partner with him.”
Long Bing said, “Don’t worry, just trust him. He must have his reasons for doing it this way. I’ve experienced things way more dangerous than this with him. Plus this is China, we’re in Jingdu.
Liang Siyao said, “Sister Fan Fan, when hubby left, he said that the FA and Hattori clan will attack during your wedding. You’ve got to report this to the authorities and apply for the military to get involved. But before the other party reveals themselves, you must act ignorant to the matter. Do not take any action beforehand.”
Fan Fan sighed. “Alright, I know what to do.” After a pause, she said fiercely, “I’ll punch anyone who tries to ruin my wedding!”
Long Bing gave her a thumbs up.
Liang Siyao smiled. “Sister Fan Fan, do you really have to be this fierce?”
Fan Fan smiled sheepishly.
Jiang Ruyi merely smiled without a word.
Xia Lei’s four wives could be divided into two categories. One was the normal team, consisting of Fan Fan and Jiang Ruyi, who had never killed before. The other team consisted of Long Bing and Liang Siyao, non-regular people who had countless kills under their belt
Meanwhile, deep in the hills, within the dense forest.
The retreating troops stopped in their tracks because the two leaders had given the cue to stop.
Sirita said, “Mr Hattori, there isn’t anyone after us. Are you going to explain yourself?”
Hattori Hyakusai replied coldly, “What do you mean by that?”
Sirita huffed. “You know what I mean. You are all being too careful. I think we’ve lost a very good opportunity today. It was a good opportunity to kill Xia Lei today.”
“Hmph!” Hattori Hyakusai huffed. “If you all want to go on a suicide mission, I won’t stop you. If we didn’t have the same goal, I would have been happy to let you die there. We’re different from you all, we would never sacrifice ourselves for something meaningless.”
“Imbecile! What did you say?” cursed one of the FA armed members. He was about to lift his gun.
However, before he could complete his action. One of the Hattori ninjas had already acted. He unsheathed his sword and swung. The blade was now pressed against the FA soldier’s neck. All this in one second. If he moved even slightly, blood would spurt out.
All the FA soldiers raised their guns instantly!
The Hattori ninjas entered their battle stance, all gripping different kinds of blades in the darkness. These blades had been dipped in poison. From the surface, the FA group seemed to have the advantage with their heavy artillery. However, the truth was not such. In close combat, the Hattori clan had absolute confidence in themselves. However, they also knew that they would pay a hefty price for it. Once a battle broke out, perhaps only about three would be left alive.
Hattori Hyakusai’s eyes were locked on Sirita. His eyes were like two unsheathed swords, sharp and sent chills to the bone!
Hattori Hyakusai hadn’t even moved but Sirita could feel immense pressure. It was just a pressing force to her though. She was an assassin on the same level as Dark Mona, she did not fear a battle with him.
All weapons were drawn, the atmosphere within the forest was very tense. If a naughty child were to toss a firecracker into the circle now, it would trigger a bloody war. Corpses would litter the ground.
A few seconds later, Sirita lifted a hand. “Put down your guns, we are not enemies.”
The FA people put down their guns but still remained guarded.
Hattori Hyakusai also raised a hand. He did not say a word but the ninjas put down their weapons.
He said, “Miss Sirita, I feel like you do not trust me and the Hattori clan. Could you tell me the reason?”
Sirita said flatly, “It’s not that I do not trust you. I am just suspicious of everything. It is a habit of mine. It’s also the reason I’m still alive to this day.” This was what she said but another scene appeared in her mind. She saw the image of the moment she met Hattori Mei at the Japanese Hyper Technology Headquarters. She could hear the sound of breathing in the room, the sound of Hattori Mei talking to Hattori Masao. Although she didn’t hear the entire conversation, she understood clearly that within these people’s plans. She and the FA were just gunpowder. Other than staying on guard, she also had other plans.
“I don’t care what the reason is but I suggest you should put your judgement and scepticism aside. We must work together to kill Xia Lei. Isn’t that what you want?” said Hattori Hyakusai.
“I agree!” said Sirita. “But we need more information. We need to know Xia Lei’s every move.”
“Don’t worry about that, the Americans have taken action. The Americans are in charge of this puzzle piece. They will be the ones providing us all the intelligence,” said Hattori Hyakusai.
“What sort of intelligence?” probed Sirita
“I’m the same as you, I’m not sure. But I can tell you this. The clearance level these people have for information is enough to shock you. Don’t worry, the fourth day of the new year will be Xia Lei’s death day.”
Sirita nodded. “I believe you. I hope to receive a message from the Americans tomorrow night.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” said Hattori Hyakusai.
“Let’s meet at the safe point in three days, after midnight.” Sirita turned to leave.
The FA soldiers left with her, with two soldiers walking backwards, keeping an eye on the Hattori clan.
“Retreat.” Hattori Hyakusai gave an order.
The group of ninjas disappeared into the darkness.
Time passed slowly.
Time was meaningless to the trees and hills. They were here a year ago and will continue to be a year after. Time was an invention of mankind. Only mankind would appreciate the passing of time, something so abstract. The hills were not interested in the secrets they heard.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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