Volume 4 –
Chapters 301 To 400
Chapter 383 – Moscow
It took them over nine hours to get from Jingdu to Moscow and it was close to dusk when they alighted. There was no feeling of jet-lag and they still had time to enjoy a Russian meal.
The hotel had been booked in advance and it was the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the heart of Moscow. It was close to the Red Square and the Klimt Palace was just a few minutes’ drive away. Xia Lei had a good view from his hotel window and could see the toughest government house in Eastern Europe from it – the Klimt Palace.
‘I’m in Moscow now. I wonder where my father is. He wouldn’t send Yelena in his place this time, will he? It could happen. Yelena is Russian after all and this is her hometown,’ thought Xia Lei.
He was not worried that the CIA would try anything bold since this was the capital of Russia. If they did, the Russian Federal Security Service was sure to make them suffer. The predecessor of the Russian Federal Security Service was the KGB, and along with the CIA, Mossad of Israel, and the MI6 of England, they were known as ‘the four major intelligence agencies of the world’.
Knock knock knocking came from the door.
Xia Lei looked back and saw Tang Yuyan standing beyond the door. She had changed into a blue evening gown – cleavage-showing and open-backed. Her figure was full and firm, and absolutely sexy.
Xia Lei went over and opened the door for her, then pretended to be stunned. He smiled and said, “You sure got changed quickly. What are you dressed up so prettily for?”
Tang Yuyan laughed and said, “It’s a rare chance for me to come out and play so of course I’m going to let my hair down. I asked around and this hotel’s restaurant has good Russian dinners. Let’s go try it out. The plane food in the afternoon was terrible and I barely touched it. I’m starving. So come on, treat me to a feast.”
Xia Lei accepted readily. “I am honoured.”
Tang Yuyan drew close and took Xia Lei by the arm. This was an intimate gesture and Xia Lei froze a little but did not refuse. He and Tang Yuyan had pretended to be a couple in Afghanistan, so pretending to be a couple in Moscow was no big deal.
Xia Lei thought of something when they got the the restaurant on the second floor. “Should we have asked Mr Ling to eat with us?”
“No need. He’s a grown man. He’ll come out to eat if he’s hungry,” said Tang Yuyan.
Xia Lei didn’t say anything more on that subject and picked a table by the window. He gallantly pulled out a chair for Tang Yuyan.
Tang Yuyan smiled and sat gracefully. Women liked gallant men and she was no exception to this.
A Russian girl walked over and used broken English to ask Xia Lei what he wanted to order.
Xia Lei responded in fluent Russian. “A bottle of 10-year Blue Valley, two lamb steaks and two portions of borscht. Oh, and a chocolate dessert for the lady.”
The Russian girl shot Xia Lei a smile. “Please wait, Sir.”
A man who was not just handsome but elegant and with class too. Add rich to the equation and there was no lack of women no matter where he went. This was the same as a sexy woman walking on the streets and being able to attract the eyes of a huge group of men.
Tang Yuyan pursed her lips after the Russian girl walked off and said with a laugh, “You really have girls hitting on you no matter where you go.”
“She only said to wait for the food. Is that considered hitting on me?” said Xia Lei awkwardly.
“She winked at you too. She might’ve asked for your phone number if I weren’t here,” said Tang Yuyan teasingly.
“You understand Russian?” asked Xia Lei.
“I need to prepare when coming to Russia, don’t I? I don’t know Russian but Hu Hao does.”
Xia Lei glanced about the dining area but did not see Hu Hao.
Tang Yuyan pointed at a flower close to her left breast. “Pinhole camera and listening device. He can hear everything you say and see what you’re doing. He’s in his room and his job is to translate for me.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly and shook his head. He did not say anything but he thought, ‘If she follows me closely all the time then Hu Hao will translate everything, who I meet, what I say… How are Yelena and my father going to get close to me like this? No, I have to think of a way to shake her off.’
The waitress brought their dishes and the two of them enjoyed the view outside the window while they savoured the taste of Russia.
Tang Yuyan sampled a mouth of red wine. “Mm, this red wine’s pretty good. What’s it called?”
“Blue Valley.” Xia Lei translated it to Chinese for her. “Aged ten years, and it doesn’t lose to the French wines either. It’s just not as famous… Oh, right, didn’t Hu Hao translate for you?”
“Does he have a death wish? What’s he going to translate when we’re chatting?” Tang Yuyan rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “I switched off the listening device when I touched myself over here just now.” As she spoke, she repeated the movement and pressed her wrist to her bountiful breast.
The amazing softness of hers moved with that little press and it made Xia Lei’s thoughts go to trying to guess at the softness of her breasts and their weight. This was a meaningless bit of guessing but men couldn’t help it.
“Oh right, the exhibition starts in three days. We need to enter the exhibition area two days before the event to set up our booth. We don’t have to worry about procedures and documentation. Ling Han will take care of it.” Tang Yuyan talked business.
“So we don’t have anything on tomorrow and the day after. We can’t stay in the hotel all the time, right?” Tang Yuyan winked at Xia Lei. “How about we go out and walk around?”
Xia Lei’s heart thumped and he agreed readily. It wasn’t because he wanted to go out and play with Tang Yuyan but because Hu Hao and Ling Han would be inconveniences if he stayed here. It would be bad if Yelena came looking for him but got discovered by them. It would be easier to get in contact with Yelena if he went out.
“That’s a promise, then. Yahoo! The thought of it makes me happy,” said Tang Yuyan excitedly, “Oh, I want to go to the Red Square, the Klimt Palace, the Virgin Mary Convent, the Winter Palace and Nyeva Street…”
Xia Lei’s gaze went to the door as Tang Yuyan recited names which she had seemingly memorised from a book. A group of Chinese men were striding over, and at their head was none other than Ye Kun.
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows at the sight of Ye Kun. “What’s he doing here?”
Tang Yuyan saw Ye Kun too and the group of underlings with him. She wrinkled her brows too. “I don’t know. I didn’t receive any notification. Hanwu Weapons is our country’s largest light weapons merchant so Ye Kun must be here to participate in the international light weapons exhibition too.”
“Did the higher-ups arrange for him to be lodged here at this hotel too? Is Ling Han in charge of Hanwu Weapons’ participation in the exhibition too?” asked Xia Lei.
Tang Yuyan shook her head. “The possibility of that is very small. About Ye Kun being in the same hotel… I can only say that he does have the connections to get ahold of our schedule.”
Just then, Ye Kun spotted Xia Lei and Tang Yuyan, and started walking straight to them. His look and his attitude made Xia Lei suspect that Ye Kun had come just to pick a quarrel.
“You look beautiful tonight, Miss Tang.” Ye Kun greeted Tang Yuyan with a smile.
“Thank you.” Tang Yuyan’s tone was neutral.
Ye Kun then looked over at Xia Lei. “Oh, isn’t this our newcomer in the military industry, Mr Xia Lei? You really did come to Russia.”
“What do you have to say? Say it and go. Don’t disturb my meal,” said Xia Lei.
Ye Kun spoke coldly. “Xia Lei, you might not respect a senior in the field such as myself but I am still willing to give you a chance to correct your mistake. This is my last time asking you – are you selling Thunder Horse Military Factory, or not?”
Xia Lei laughed. “You’re hopelessly addled, aren’t you? I’ll say it again. 300,000,000,000. I’ll sell it to you now if you pay up right now.”
Ye Kun’s face darkened. He’d known that Xia Lei would answer like this but he just couldn’t give up and needed to ask.
A man dressed like a bodyguard behind Ye Kun interrupted to say, “You punk, is that the way you speak to President Ye? Didn’t your mother teach you manners?”
Xia Lei’s gaze went to that bodyguard and flicked the piece of lamb meat on his fork at him. The meat landed with a smack on the bodyguard’s face.
Being hit by the meat was nothing much; it didn’t hurt, but the sauce on the meat had splattered all over the bodyguard and his white shirt was a mess. He looked quite a mess.
“Bastard!” The bodyguard got mad and wanted to dash forward and grab Xia Lei.
Xia Lei didn’t even move. It was just a bodyguard – he was nothing.
Tang Yuyan stood abruptly and the dining knife in her hand cut through the air in an arc, just barely stopping at the the bodyguard’s neck.
The bodyguard looked like his soul had jumped out of his body in fright and he did not dare move a muscle.
Tang Yuyan’s eyes were cold. “Is there a need to let this matter escalate, President Ye?”
Ye Kun spoke then. “Move back.”
The bodyguard moved cautiously backwards.
Tang Yuyan returned to her seat. “We shall not be accompanying you, President Ye.”
“Yuyan, I am on good terms with your grandfather and your father. I do not wish for there to be unhappiness between us because of this punk. All right, I’ll go on your accord.” Ye Kun waved a hand and took his men with him to another corner of the restaurant.
Xia Lei knew that the trouble had not been avoided – it was just the beginning.
“That fellow is just like a housefly.” Tang Yuyan threw the dining knife and fork onto the table. “My mood and appetite’s been ruined by him.”
“Thank you for just now,” said Xia Lei.
“What are you thanking me for?” said Tang Yuyan. “What I did is nothing compared to what you did for me in Afghanistan.”
Xia Lei laughed. “Let’s go back if you don’t feel like eating.”
Tang Yuyan shook her head. “Order some lobster for me. My mood might just get better with a different dish.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
At that moment, Ling Han walked into the restaurant too. His eyes met with Xia Lei’s and he nodded at him, then sat at a table by the door. He ordered, and begun his wait for food. He looked quiet.
Xia Lei was sure that he’d seen Ye Kun too, but what he found strange was that Ling Han had not even nodded in greeting to Ye Kun.
‘Does this mean the two of them don’t know each other? This Ling Han sure is a strange one…’