Volume 4 –
Chapters 301 To 400
Chapter 382 – Glowing Ghost
Bailu Town had gone to Dreamland under the cover of night; its lights were thinly spread out. Not far from Bailu Town however, Thunder Horse Military Factory was blazing with light and activity. What had happened during the day had not affected the production in the factory at all.
The workers all had great passion for their jobs but this was not because of work ethics but because their President Xia had returned with cases of cash and handed out bundles of 10,000 to everyone regardless of rank.
This money was from the golf game with Ahn Suhyeong and Ye Kun so it didn’t hurt Xia Lei at all to spend it in this way. Giving money out to everyone in the factory cost only about 5,000,000 and there was still enough left to distribute three more times to everyone. Ye Kun wanted to take away the talents of Thunder Horse Military Factory but Xia Lei was using Ye Kun’s money now to strengthen the bond his workers had with Thunder Horse Military Factory. Ye Kun was like one who had tried to steal a chicken only to end up losing the rice used to lure it in this matter.
All the preparations were done, and all he had to do was wait to go to the airport tomorrow morning, then fly straight to Moscow.
In the study of the villa, Xia Lei closed the envelope on materials for the exhibition and took up a pen to write out the mysterious letters he had seen from the bronze book with his X-ray vision in the military compound.
The letters in the bronze book were unique and also very complicated; he took several minutes to write a few letters. He examined these few letters closely, looking at it from the left, from the right, but he could not find any leads.
‘These letters…’ After a while, Xia Lei had a thought, ‘Ning Jing had never seen letters like these before, and neither have all the experts she had consulted… These… maybe they’re not letters?’
This was a bold idea.
Xia Lei looked at a letter he had taken a long time to write out. It was a circle and several strokes. If one used the imagination, the circle looked like a person’s head, and those strokes could be arms and legs, or organs, or something else entirely.
After looking at it for a while more, Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. ‘If these are not letters, then why carve them in the bronze book? How is it related to the ancient alloy? And what use is it?’
It was difficult to get an answer to these questions.
“Hee hee hee…” A woman’s laughter suddenly rang out in the study.
Xia Lei was thunderstruck. He looked in all the corners of the room in alarm but saw nothing.
“Hee hee hee…” The woman’s laughter floated into Xia Lei’s ears again.
It was clearer this time.
The voice was young, fluttery and pleasing to the ear, but it sounded like it had come from a faraway place, or from an alternate plane of reality. It was just so bizarre!
Xia Lei abruptly remembered the woman’s voice he had head in the White Hun Tribe ruins. A chill ran down his back.
All the lights in the study were extinguished all of a sudden.
The door to the study opened noiselessly and a woman in a white dress appeared in the doorway.
“Ah!” Xia Lei couldn’t help crying out and he nearly fell from his chair.
The woman in the white dress in the doorway was tall and slender, and had generous curves. The crisp moonlight shone on her, making her look like a celestial who had descended from the Moon Palace; she also smelt of gunpowder. She walked haltingly towards Xia Lei and the night breeze lifted the hem of her skirt. A pair of pale, jade-like legs were revealed, white as ivory.
Xia Lei saw her face clearly then and he let out a long breath of relief.
It was not a ghost but Annina.
A light suddenly lit up but it was not a light in the study – it came from a device in Annina’s dress.
“Hee hee hee…” Annina laughed hollowly.
A wry smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s lips. “What are you doing?”
“I bought this off Taobao and got it delivered today. I wanted to put it on and show you.” Annina twirled, showing off her nicely rounded buttocks, then walked towards Xia Lei. “Does it look good?”
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “Looks like I’ll have to talk to the seller and let him know what he’s sold. Why did you buy something like this?”
“You don’t like it?” Annina plopped herself down on Xia Lei’s thigh.
The next morning, Tang Yuyan drove over to Thunder Horse Military Factory. Long Bing and Tang Bochuan came too. Bureau 101 sent their best in these busy times; it was obvious how important this trip to Russia was to them.
The four sniper rifles for the exhibition were loaded onto the vehicle and they just had to wait for Xia Lei to get on before they set off.
Annina gave Xia Lei a hug and said in his ear, “Be careful. Give me a call when you arrive.”
“Okay, I’ll call you,” said Xia Lei.
On the other side of Xia Lei, Tang Yuyan wrinkled her brows. “What relation does this Annina have with Xia Lei?”
“You asking me?” said Long Bing.
“Yeah, this woman was someone you and Xia Lei picked up from Germany. You definitely know more than me,” said Tang Yuyan.
Long Bing spoke softly, “I’d need ten thousand words to explain it. Interested in listening?”
Tang Yuyan rolled her eyes at Long Bing. “Ice-cold. No wonder you still haven’t had a boyfriend.”
Long Bing rolled her eyes at Tang Yuyan too. “As if you’ve had a boyfriend yourself.”
Tang Bochuan shrugged. “Must you two talk like this when you meet?”
Long Bing and Tang Yuyan both rolled their eyes at each other.
There were some relationships in this world which were destined to be unsolvable, just like Tang Yuyan and Long Bing’s. The two of them would go through life and death on the battlefield together and could entrust each other with their lives, but in daily life they couldn’t seem to stop arguing.
Xia Lei walked over. “All right, let’s go.”
The Bureau 101 cars went zooming on the road to the airport. Long Bing and Tang Bochuan had come but they did not board the plane. Their duty was to protect the shipment and Xia Lei during transport, and Tang Yuyan was the one to go to Moscow with Xia Lei.
“Be careful,” cautioned Long Bing before Xia Lei got on the plane.
Xia Lei nodded. “I will, thanks. I’ll have to trouble you to take care of Xue. I always have some degree of worry when I’m not by her side.”
“No need to worry about that. I’ll take care of her,” said Long Bing. She paused, then said, “And don’t stir up anything on your trip to Moscow.”
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “I’ll try my best.”
Tang Yuyan stuck her head out of the aircraft door. “Hurry up, Lei.”
“I’m off.” Xia Lei boarded the plane.
There were two people other than Xia Lei and Tang Yuyan on the plane. One was Tang Yuyan’s subordinate, named Hu Hao. The other was named Ling Han, a man in his early thirties. He wore a pair of frameless spectacles, had pale, clean skin and looked rather bookish. He seemed like a civilian but Xia Lei looked him over and found that he was not. This Ling Han had a sort of aura about him which made one feel he had some sort of history.
“I have heard many things about you, Mr Xia, but haven’t had the chance to meet you yet.” Ling Han took the initiative to greet Xia Lei. “We finally meet on this trip to Moscow for the light weapons exhibition. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Xia Lei was polite too. “Nice to meet you, Mr Ling. And what are you in charge of?”
Ling Han glanced at Tang Yuyan next to Xia Lei. “Did you not inform Mr Xia, Chief Tang?”
“Sorry… Xia Lei, Mr Ling is the official representative for this light weapons exhibition. He is in charge of negotiations with foreign merchants and the approval of orders,” said Tang Yuyan.
So he was a supervisor.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought, ‘This Ling Han is in charge of such an important matter at such a young age. He must have some impressive background. His rank must be much higher than Tang Yuyan’s.’
Ling Han smiled. “Indeed, I am in charge of that work. I also ask that Mr Xia takes me in his care.”
“Of course, of course. I am in your care too, Mr Ling.” Xia Lei stretched out both hands to shake with him.
Ling Shan also stretched out both hands to shake with him; he did not put on the airs of an official.
The two of them made some small talk and returned to their seats.
There were many empty seats on this chartered flight but Tang Yuyan came to squeeze next to Xia Lei and sat on the seat next to his.
Xia Lei glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, then drew close to her ear and asked in a low voice, “What’s this Ling Han’s identity?”
Tang Yuyan’s ear turned red. “I’m not sure.”
“You’re not sure?” Xia Lei was surprised.
Tang Yuyan drew close to Xia Lei’s ear, moving fairly close. “I’m not bluffing. I only just learnt his name too. Didn’t I tell you last time that the higher-ups will send someone to supervise the work at this exhibition? I know nothing about who he is, or which department he’s from. But the higher-ups see this exhibition as something very important. Based on my experience this person must have some special status, and a very high rank.”
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. “Could he be someone from Hanwu Weapons?”
“No way. Would people from Hanwu Weapons be on friendly terms with you? Don’t ask about his identity. Just concentrate on doing your own things.”
Xia Lei straightened himself and stopped asking questions.
Tang Yuyan rubbed at her ear and rolled her eyes at Xia Lei, grumbling to herself, ‘He really doesn’t see himself as a stranger, huh. Blowing air into my ear like that and making my ear itch… Pervert.’
Xia Lei was grumbling to himself too, but about something else. ‘If the higher-ups are seeing this as important then the person they’ve sent is definitely not a regular guy. How am I going to give two XL2500 sniper rifles to my father with this Ling Han following me around? And my father wants to meet me in Russia. Tang Yuyan is sticking to me like glue – how am I going to shake her off?’
Xia Lei had problems even before he got to Russia.
The plane took off and the shrinking airport could be seen out the windows, getting further, further. The shape of Jingdu also quickly vanished in the distance.
Xia Lei suddenly had a feeling that this trip to Russia was not going to be a peaceful one.