Chapter 948 - Scapegoa
Shi Boren gripped the doorknob. Before he could twist his wrist, a few impressively-sized horses barged in from the factory entrance into the lobby. There were five horses. In the front were four chestnut horses that carried its respective female riders on its strong back. The women looked identical. Dressed in traditional Italian dresses, they looked feminine yet heroic at the same time. They were the Russo and Grey sisters. Behind the horses was a wonderful black horse. On its back was none other than the owner of Thunder Horse Organization, Xia Lei.
Xia Lei had made it back seconds from disaster.
Returning to China from Mexico on a yacht was obviously going to take time. But Alessio had a plan. As soon as they left Mexican waters, Xia Lei had switched over to take a seaplane arranged by Alessio. The plane was owned by an Italian mafia gang, primarily used to smuggle drugs.
The unannounced appearance of five horses had caused a commotion. Immediately, everyone’s attention was grabbed, which included that of Liang Siyao, Long Bing and Tang Yuyan.
Noticing Xia Lei on the back of the black horse, Liang Siyao’s worries were dissolved. She called out to him excitedly, “Hub... Director Xia!”
Shi Boren released the doorknob in favour of studying the situation. The older man had noticed Xia Lei as well. He furrowed his brows. “What the hell is this bastard doing? Since when was he into equestrian sports?”
Long Bing suddenly remembered something. She screamed, “Xia Lei! Boss Shi is here to see you. Quick, come up. There’s no time to be messing around!”
Those words were not meant for Xia Lei but Liu Zhengnan who was currently hiding in the office.
As expected, Long Bing’s warning had immediately alerted Liu Zhengnan. The man quickly ran into the bathroom room and removed Xia Lei’s human face mask. He made a quick dash into the toilet to wash off its remnants.
Below, Xia Lei pulled the rein in and stopped his horse. The man lifted his chin and studied the situation above and shouted back, “Got it, I’ll be there soon.”
Xia Lei dismounted the animal and passed its reins to Giovanna.
Following that, the black horse was brought away. She trailed behind her sisters and left the building. Their task was to create an illusion that he was out horse-riding with them and they had already fulfilled their job.
Xia Lei went up the stairs calmly. His eyes scanned through the crowd, letting it pause for a brief moment on Liang Siyao and gave her a slight nod. When he passed by Long Bing, his palm ‘accidentally’ grazed the top of her stomach. The gesture seemed innocent.
Long Bing understood his intentions and rolled her eyes at him. Despite the display of annoyance, her heart was genuinely radiating with joy and warmth. She may appear cold and distant to the others but her true colours were red hot. However, the woman was changing, becoming more sensitive and sentimental. But the change hadn’t occurred because of Xia Lei. It was because she was about to be a mother. There was a life budding within her womb and that little soul changed her bit by bit in silence.
The nod and smiles he gave to Liang Siyao along with the sneaky but soft caress against Long Bing’s stomach did not go unnoticed by Tang Yuyan. She watched him with complex feelings welling in her heart. They were at the point of meeting each other’s family, they were about to get married but everything was ruined because of Fan Fan. The higher organization robbed Xia Lei away and forced him to take part in their matchmaking session. She would have a better time stomaching things if Xia Lei was only together with Fan Fan. However, not only was the man lovey-dovey with the scientist, but he was also involved with Liang Siyao, Long Bing and Jiang Ruyi. She was the only woman who he had kept a distance with. How could she not feel offended by it?
Xia Lei paused briefly beside Tang Yuyan, nodding to her with a smile.
She returned him the whites of her eyes.
The man was unfazed, brushing past her shoulder as he walked forward to greet Shi Boren. “Hello, Boss Shi. Hello, generals. You should’ve told me that you were coming today, I could’ve arranged a decent welcoming ceremony or something.
Shi Boren replied nonchalantly, “There’s no need for that. We’re here to talk, shall we head into your office?”
Xia Lei suggested, “Let’s go to the meeting room instead. Siyao, please have someone send some tea there.”
“Sure, I can handle this myself,” said Liang Siyao.
“I’ll help you.” Long Bing followed behind her.
Shi Boren scowled. “Little bastard, were you assigned here by the gods to trouble Bureau 101 for eternity?”
Abruptly, the door to Xia Lei’s office was pushed open. Liu Zhengnan emerged and greeted, “Director Xia, all the documents you need are on your desk.”
Xia Lei smiled. “Alright, I’ll have a look at it later. You’re dismissed.”
“Okay.” Liu Zhengnan left hurriedly.
But not before Xia Lei could pat his shoulder as an expression of gratitude.
The gesture prompted Liu Zhengnan to turn around and flash Xia Lei a reassuring smile. Though there were no words, it was an action that could be easily interpreted. They were a family. There was no need for courtesy.
Xia Lei led his guests into the meeting room, Long Bing and Liang Siyao bringing them their tea not long after.
Shi Boren uttered, “Liang Siyao, you’re no longer part of the Bureau 101. The matters that we’re about to discuss do not involve you. Please kindly leave the room.”
“No problem.” Liang Siyao left.
The woman went for the door, stopping by to whisper into Xia Lei’s seat when she passed him. Her cherry lips almost pressed against his ear. “Hubby, I’ll go give Fan Fan a call. She has been worried about you. I’m sure she’d like to see you now that you’re back.”
Xia Lei said nothing but nodded.
Liang Siyao lowered her voice further. “You must be hungry, we’ll make you something nice tonight.”
Her wispy words had hinted at something sensual. Xia Lei was half certain that he was going to get lucky tonight.
To hear that coming from the lips of his sister disciple made him buzz with concealed excitement. The implications were boundless, his mind going wild with fantasies.
“Ahem.” Shi Boren cleared his throat.
It was only then that Liang Siyao cut herself off and exited the room.
Tang Yuyan watched her leave with hatred and displeasure. She knew that the woman was doing it on purpose to trigger her. For some unknown reasons, Tang Yuyan found herself gloomy. She was here for a sole reason. To rectify the authenticity and accuracy of the intel but she had long forgotten her real task.
“Alright, let’s talk.” Shi Boren began, “You said that the FA Organization is planning to hijack a plane in Japan to attack Thunder Horse Military Factory, is that right?”
Xia Lei nodded. “Yes.”
“Where did you get that from?” Shi Boren stared at him sharply.
Long Bing and Tang Yuyan’s attention went onto Xia Lei.
The few Air Force generals too had their eyes glued to him, anticipating an answer.
Everyone wanted to know his source, including Long Bing.
There was a brief pause before Xia Lei revealed it. “I got it from my father.”
Shi Boren was stunned. “Your father?”
The answer had stirred surprise. But upon thinking about it further, it seemed probable and made absolute sense. After all, Xia Changhe used to be a member of the FA. It wasn’t impossible for the older man to obtain such information.
“Yes, my father.” Xia Lei continued, “He gave me this and told me to prepare accordingly. However, there’s no point asking me for his location because I don’t know that myself. He had written me an email with a time limit. It got corrupted after I read its contents.”
Shi Boren wanted to learn more about how Xia Changhe was able to reach his son but his intentions were immediately halted by Xia Lei. He couldn’t help but turn to look at the generals, noticing that they too were equally bewildered.
Xia Lei’s explanation was reasonable and fair. But its high probability also made it seem very unlikely.
Tang Yuyan questioned, “When will the FA launch the attack?”
Xia Lei replied, “I don’t know about that. My father didn’t tell me much.”
She tightened her lip. “Are you telling the truth?”
Xia Lei shifted his posture. “Of course I am telling the truth. Do you not trust me?”
“I used to trust you a lot but I don’t trust you now.” Tang Yuyan glared at him. “You’re a liar. You’ve deceived me more than I can count.”
Xia Lei knew that she was bringing up her past which was why he did not say anything. Indeed, he was guilty of deceiving her.
“Ahem.” Shi Boren harrumphed, tossing a glare in Tang Yuyan’s direction. It was a stern warning to not involve their private affairs in such a setting.
Following that, the woman brought the topic back onto the intended track. “Is the FA preparing to attack you and the Thunder Horse Organization because of that AE capsule Madam Folsom was talking about? Is this an act of revenge?”
Long Bing was taken aback, glaring at Tang Yuyan coldly. She had a gut feeling that Tang Yuyan and Shi Boren’s appearance was not just to rectify the intel. They had an ulterior motive to investigate Xia Lei!
The AE capsule was shrouded in mystery. It was an odd capsule that could advance human evolution. The allure it packed had made it almost impossible to reject. Everyone would love to have a piece of that. Their hopes to get their hands on it was as hot as volcanic lava!
Truthfully, the investigation on Xia Lei had been ongoing without a stop. It was subtle enough to go unnoticed.
Once again, everyone’s attention was gathered on Xia Lei, they demanded an answer. Other than Long Bing’s worried stares, everyone else was observing his response. They were making guesses of what his answers would be.
Surprisingly, Xia Lei did not dwell on it and made no pause. As soon as the question left Tang Yuyan’s lips, he immediately retorted. “Huh? I gave you such a vital intel and yet you’re here to interrogate me?”
She avoided his eyes, not able to bring herself to face his wrath.
“Xia Lei, what’s with you?” Shi Boren chuckled dryly. “Kid, you’re being paranoid over nothing. We’re just here to clarify the information. If you don’t wish to answer her, there’s no need to do so.”
Xia Lei uttered, “I understand and I don’t blame you, everyone is just doing their job. I don’t mind answering your query.” Pausing for a brief moment, he went, “I’ll answer Yuyan’s first question. I did indeed consume unknown pills but I can’t pinpoint if they were AE capsules. I was feeble as a child so I had taken plenty of medications. Maybe it was just amoxicillin or flu pills. It was too long ago so I can’t give you a firm answer.”
“I…” Tang Yuyan’s voice was meek. “I didn’t ask you that.”
Xia Lei continued, “On to the second question. The FA Organization has become one of America’s dogs. They are now serving the American government. Their motive behind the planned attack is to halt Thunder Horse’s production and further weaponry contributions to China.”
Shi Boren gaped. “The FA is working for the American government? Is that what your father told you?”
Xia Lei nodded. Since his father wasn’t here, Xia Changhe was the perfect scapegoat.
Shi Boren slapped the table. “That’s preposterous!”