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Tonight was a moonless night which made the skies look like a dark blank canvas. Rather than boundless space, it felt more akin to a dungeon, trapping all its prisoners.
“Tianyin, Uh… Good evening?” Receiving Shentu Tianyin’s call had Xia Lei on his nerves. He knew why she was calling but did not know what to say.
“Is that you’ve got to say to me?” Shentu Tianyin’s voice was faint and spiteful.
Xia Lei started to sweat. “Have you had dinner yet?”
“Huh? Why? You should eat your meals regularly. You’ve got a weak stomach, you shouldn’t skip your meals.”
Shentu Tianyin fell silent. “Fine, since you’re so reluctant to talk about it to me. I’ll just be blunt.”
Now it was Xia Lei’s turn to fall silent.
“Is Liang Siyao now the lady boss of the Thunder Horse Organization?”
“Yeah, it just happened today.”
“You…” She hesitated before continuing, “You both reconciled?”
“I’m about to marry Fan Fan.” Xia Lei uttered an answer.
“That was fake. I was there when you decided it.” Shentu Tianyin was not amused.
“I want to talk to you.”
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Not through a phone call. Can we meet?”
Xia Lei’s head was about to explode.
At this moment, Xia Changhe entered his room. Audibly, he questioned, “Who are you talking to?”
“I was talking to…” Before Xia Lei could finish his sentence, the call disconnected from the device.
Shentu Tianyin had hung.
There was freedom between her and Xia Lei but Shentu Tianyin didn’t dare to say anything in front of Xia Changhe. Her marriage to Xia Lei was not blessed with Xia Changhe’s approval. Xia Lei had gone ahead and married her but she had made Xia Lei her scapegoat. How was Xia Changhe going to forgive her?
Xia Changhe was an old man full of experience and wisdom. Though he didn’t hear Shentu Tianyin’s voice over the phone call, he could deduce who his son was calling. The father paid no mind to Xia Lei’s numerous affairs and had blissfully ignored how messy Xia Lei’s private life was. Albeit that, Xia Changhe had not a single inch of good impression on Shentu Tianyin. If Shentu Tianyin tried getting back together with Xia Lei, he would not be silent about it.
“Father.” Xia Lei kept his phone, relieved but sheepish at the same time. The unannounced presence of his father had rescued him. Shentu Tianyin was definitely about to bring up the topic of Liang Siyao’s return. Talking about his ex-girlfriend to his ex-wife was destined to be a nightmare.
“Was it Shentu Tianyin?” questioned Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei smiled at him bitterly. “Father, you know who it is. We… We were just having small talk.”
Xia Changhe stared at his son. “I don’t wish to interfere with your life but let me give you a piece of advice.”
“Mm?” Xia Lei looked at him.
“A married couple is supposed to face the difficulties of life together. She tossed you away at the first signs of danger. Are you really trying to get back with her? You deserve someone who’s willing to go through your ups and downs together, not someone who’s just here to leech off your hard work,” said Xia Changhe.
Xia Lei kept silent but returned his father a nod. Xia Changhe’s words made sense but there were some parts that he disagreed with. If Shentu Tianyin wasn’t the chairman of the Vientiane Group, she wouldn’t have done something like that. But what was done was set in stone. NO one could change the past. Xia Lei was not loyal to their marriage. While he was Shentu Tianyin’s rightful husband, he had remained in relationships with Long Bing and Jiang Ruyi.
“I know that you’re a generous man, very tolerant of things. The fact that you could forgive Liang Siyao is a good example of that but Liang Siyao was a special case. She had wronged you only because she had a mission. In my opinion, she has already atoned for her mistakes. Liang Siyao was willing to sacrifice herself in order to rescue you back in Korea and she had helped me while I was in Israel. I had even managed to convince her to join the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team to become the new pig. I think she has proven herself. That’s why I have nothing to say about you getting together with Liang Siyao. Do you understand what I’m trying to convey here?”
Xia Lei nodded. This was the first time his father had lectured him on politics.
“Enough, let’s stop talking about you.” Xia Changhe switched the focus. “The four Knight Hospitaller women are gone, right?”
“Yeah, I instructed them to return to Malta. That’s where their real headquarters is. I’ll head over once I’m done preparing for the trip. Anjum Khan and Tsukino Kyoko have already started their preparations,” answered Xia Lei.
“I’m here because I learnt that they were preparing for this. Have you considered how dangerous it is for you to head to Malta?” Xia Changhe stared intently at his son.
Xia Lei defended his decision. “Of course, I know how dangerous it is but you know my motivation. I need to solve the mysteries behind the ancient alloy and the AE capsule. I must go to Malta island.”
Xia Changhe went silent. “Let me come with you.”
“No. No way!” Xia Lei hadn’t seen this coming. He frantically declined while saying, “You’ve already washed your hands of your past. Father, I’m sure you’re aware of how difficult it is to receive a pardon. There should be peace in your later years, I don’t wish to have you involved in this mess again.”
“There are a lot of things we could do to increase our chances of success. This is not one of them.” Xia Lei insisted further. “You need to think about Xia Xue, she’s your daughter. There’s no turning back for me. What if I’m met with an accident? Who would be there to protect her?”
Xia Changhe heaved a soft sigh. “Alright then. Please, be extra careful.”
Xia Lei paused. “Father, if you really wish to help me, tell me who the snake is. Have the snake come to assist me.”
“I knew you would say this.” Xia Changhe continued, “I’m reserving him as your last resort. It is not time for him to reveal himself. Trust me, the snake will show himself someday when you’re in a dire situation. This is not a time for that.”
Xia Lei was disheartened but flashed him a smile anyway. “Alright, I’ll wait for that time to come.”
Xia Changhe patted his shoulder. “It’s best to not wish for that.” With that, he turned around to leave.
A weird feeling overwhelmed Xia Lei, causing him to remain at his spot. “Why is he so reluctant to reveal the snake’s identity? I’m sure it’s best for me to not be met with such dire circumstances but who the hell is the snake? Jeez…”
Following that, he dug out the satellite phone used to contact the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team.
“Alessio, are you all done with your preparations?” Xia Lei questioned right off the bat.
“Yeah, we’re ready. We’ll be flying over to Sicily Island tonight. We’ll be waiting for you there.” Alessio answered.
Malta had its own airport but it wasn’t a wise choice to travel there on a direct flight. Since Sicily and Malta were located in the Mediterranean, Xia Lei’s plan was to arrive at Sicily before taking a boat to Malta.
“You may start moving as soon as you’re ready. I’ll meet you there in a day,” replied Xia Lei.
“Are you sure about not having one of us to escort you?” Alessio questioned.
“Yeah, there’s no need for that.”
“Alright, got it. We’ll see you in Sicily. Oh right, fucking hell, it’s also my turf! Haha!” Alessio’s laugh was deafening.
Sicily island was the birthplace of the Italian mafia. It was only natural for it to be Alessio’s turf.
Ending the exchange, Xia Lei left the room to return to his bedroom. Before he could even start packing up his luggage for his journey, he was interrupted by a knock on his door.
“Lei, are you asleep?” It was Liang Siyao.
“No, give me a moment.” Xia Lei couldn’t resist a smile, quickly scurrying over to open the door for Liang Siyao.
The blazer she had on today was tight around her form paired with a white collared blouse inside. Enticingly, her collars had showcased her pale chest and a deep valley. The fabric of her outerwear had made soften the curves of her waist, which led to a full bottom around her wide womanly hips. Liang Siyao was mature and so very attractive. The measures of the feminine allure were not all about chest sizes. The roundness of her hips and the curves of her legs were way more significant. Obviously, the woman in front of him was blessed with an outstanding behind and most importantly, her long legs were undeniably pleasing to the eyes.
He was no stranger to her body but Xia Lei found himself gawking at it.
A dazed appreciation over a female’s body was frankly the best praise one could get.
Liang Siyao stifled a laugh. “What are you looking at? It’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Are you going to let me in?”
Xia Lei made room to allow her entry, closing the door swiftly behind her. The intention behind Liang Siyao’s visit at this hour was most definitely impure. Xia Lei felt the need to brace himself for what was about to happen.
As anticipated, Liang Siyao made a beeline to his bed. She kicked away her heels and began to stretch like a cat. With a soft voice, she whined, “God, I’m so tired. I haven’t worked like this in ages! I have no idea that you were such a lazy person. I have way too much work.”
Perhaps she was genuinely tired. Liang Siyao threw herself onto the soft sheets, letting her stocking-clad limbs hang off the edge of the bed. Under the soft light, her gentle curves were emphasized and meaty at the right spots. There was a hint of white peeking from beneath her skirt, Xia Lei could tell that those were her cotton undies. It was as if the little raunchy underwear was enticing him to explore further.
And Xia Lei did. He too removed his shoes and joined her in bed, pressing his palms against her back and began to massage her. “You should take it easy. You could always delegate some of the tasks to Zhengnan and Qing Caiyue.”
“Zhengnan is a great employee and your secretary is pretty capable. The only problem is that she’s rather coquettish.” Abruptly, Liang Siyao turned to stare at Xia Lei with a dangerous smirk. “You’re such a naughty boy and you’re secretary’s hot. I’m sure you’ve fucked her, right?”
“Fuck you.” Xia Lei slapped her behind. “Do you really think of me that way?”
“Oh, you hadn’t?”
“Nope and I’m serious about that. This I can guarantee you,” answered Xia Lei. Truthfully, he was close to doing so but nothing really happened between them.
“Ah, I see. Good boy. As long as you’ve never laid a finger on her, I could please her as I wish.”
Xia Lei stared at her in confusion.
“What’s with that expression? I have my own reasons. If she had an affair with you in the dark and works for you in the open, she would definitely find it difficult to work for me. I’d be troubled if she tries to influence you to frame me.”
Hearing those words melted Xia Lei’s heart. Liang Siyao had really changed for the better.
“There’s no need to worry. I’ll be alright as soon as I get used to the new environment. I’m bound to be exhausted these few days but as long as I get to help you, everything is worth it.”
Her gaze was full of honey-like sweetness.
“I’m going to Malta soon.” Xia Lei broke the news. The man was reluctant to break the warm blissful atmosphere but this was something he didn’t wish to hide from her.
“You…” As expected, Liang Siyao was immediately clouded with worry.
“I must go there. You know I’ve got some secrets that demand answers. I must go to Malta island. There’s no need to worry too much, Anjum Khan and Alessio will be there to help me. I’m sure I’ll be alright. Please take care of the company in my absence.”
Liang Siyao nodded. “Please be careful.”
“Of course. But now, let’s think of something else.” Xia Lei then pressed his weight against her soft body.
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