In the dark suffocating night, the underground chamber was lit.
Xia Lei woke Qing Caiyue’s laptop up and turned the screen towards Li Youdun. Displayed before him was a text document. It said He started showing signs of affection towards me, much to my surprise. To be honest, he pales greatly in comparison to Director Xia. However, ever since a certain woman with the surname ‘Liang’ entered the picture, I knew I longer stood a chance. That woman wouldn’t let me near Director Xia. Sigh, I guess this is life. That night in Paris was my best shot at it but I wasted it. Now there’s no way for me to woo Director Xia and I should really quit barking up the wrong tree. The man is a material scientist and he’s a very gentle and caring man. All his qualities are decent, should I consider him? Jeez, this is such a dilemma…
Xia Lei clicked on another file. I had sex with him and I must say, he performed adequately. He told me that he had a way to secure me an American Green Card. He said that he could even help me change my nationality. I’m not after the Green Card but to be an American citizen has been my dream. I wasn’t expecting myself to earn something out of this. Had the goddess of luck decided to bless me? He made me promise to not tell anyone and keep the secret between us. I’m not that foolish of a person. Why would I want to tell anyone about this?
Xia Lei continued to open another few more files.
By the time when they were at the sixth file, Li Youdun finally spoke. “This is impossible! I formatted her laptop!”
Nonchalantly, Xia Lei replied, “I was able to recover the data on her hard disk. These are enough to serve as evidence and land you on the death row.”
Li Youdun huff coldly. “You think I’m afraid of dying?”
“Of course not.” Xia Lei continued, “Tell me, who were you communicating with? Those Delta Force members wouldn’t appear here out of the blue with no clear reason. Who was the one who ordered them here?”
Li Youdun spat onto the ground.
Xia Lei laughed. “I’m offering you a chance at life. Are you sure you don’t want it?”
Li Youdun said, “Quit lying. Even if I tell you everything I know and you managed to obtain the things you’re after, you would still kill me in the end. Is that right?”
“That wasn’t my plan.”
“Save your energy.” Li Youdun scoffed. “It’s either you kill me or hand me to Bureau 101. Just give up on your dodgy plan. You need to remember that you’re up against the whole of America!”
“You said that my plan was dodgy. Now I must ask you, what do you think my plan is?”
“Your plan is not hard to guess.” Li Youdun answered, “You wish to destroy the CIA informants planted in Jingdu. If you’re done with that, your next target is the CIA headquarters and the AE Research Centre, right? I can tell you with confidence that none of your goals will succeed.”
“Are the informants in Jingdu that hard to locate?”
Li Youdun said nothing.
“What if I tell you that making you spill that out was part of my plan? Honestly, it’s probably the easiest part of it,” said Xia Lei.
Xia Lei, unfazed by his words, made the move to clap his hands.
Suddenly, someone entered the underground chamber down its stairs.
Recognizing the new presence, Li Youdun’s eyes went wide. No matter how he looked at it, their face and body was an exact copy of his! There wasn’t an imperfection at all!
The Li Youdun replica was silent, the man strutted over leisurely in front of Xia Lei and Li Youdun. Even making a stop to turn around so that the other two could look at his back.
Even his back was terrifyingly similar to that of Li Youdun’s.
The replica stopped to stand beside Xia Lei, placing a palm on his shoulder.
Xia Lei immediately slapped his hand away. “Quit fooling around, we’re in the middle of a serious business.”
“Oh come on, I wasn’t doing anything!” The replica’s voice was pitchy and sharp.
Li Youdun was immediately reminded of someone. “You’re… You’re Qin Xiang!”
“Fuck!” The imposter’s face immediately warped exaggeratedly. “What the fuck man? I can’t even fucking tell myself apart and this bastard already manages to identify me? Are you a dog or something?”
Li Youdun huffed. “If you wish to act as me, you better learn how to act like a man first.”
Without warning, Qin Xiang stomped hard on Li Youdun’s lower abdomen without mercy. But Li Youdun had only shifted a little without a mere furrow of his brows.
While there was no response from Li Youdun, Xia Lei’s brows were scrunched up furiously. “This is not working! This is not it! Qin Xiang, you’re not suitable to play his part. As soon as you talk, you’ll be exposed.”
“You can’t just ask your future brother in law to be this guy’s imposter again. There will be no problem if you make him stay in the office but if you put him up against a CIA agent, I can almost guarantee that your sister will end up a widow,” hissed Qin Xiang.
“Fuck you.” Xia Lei glared at Qin Xiang sharply.
Qin Xiang only shrugged a little. “Fine, ignore what I’ve said then. You’ll be sorry when your sister gets heartbroken.”
“Hahaha…” Li Youdun abruptly burst into laughter.
Xia Lei squinted at him. “What are you laughing at?”
It took some work for Li Youdun to stop laughing. “I’ve always found you smart but I was sorely mistaken. When facing some things, your response is just like that of a childish wildly imaginative kid.”
“You’re saying that I’m naive?” Xia Lei was finally feeling the build-up of anger.
The angrier Xia Lei seemed, the happier Li Youdun felt. Soon, there was a mocking smirk at the edge of the spy’s lips. “Those who had come in contact with me would be able to tell that you’re an imposter. You might justify your plan with the amount of effort spent but all it takes is a few minutes of communication for it to fail.”
Xia Lei roared, “Stop trying to trick me into cancelling my plans! As long as I solve the voice issue, this whole thing will work fine!”
“Hmph, you’re naive as hell. Other than voice, you would also need my fingerprint and cornea...“ Immediately Li Youdun shut up.
“Hehehe…” Xia Lei chuckled delightedly. “I see. So we need your fingerprint and cornea. With that, I can tell that your informant circle must be pretty well-established in Jingdu.”
Li Youdun kept silent.
Xia Lei tapped on Qing Caiyue’s laptop to play freshly-recorded footage. On the screen, Li Youdun spoke and at times he was shocked and he was mad. There was a good variety of his body language captured too. This was literally an educational example for an imposter.
Li Youdun could no longer maintain his calm front. It was only then that he realized that Xia Lei was taunting him to obtain valuable reference!
“Qin Xiang, you can head back now. I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” said Xia Lei.
Qin Xiang pouted. “You’re tossing me away after using me? You’re a heartless man!”
With Qin Xiang’s departure, Xia Lei and Li Youdun were the only ones left in the underground chamber. The absence of the other turned the atmosphere stiff and eerie.
“Do you wish to replicate my fingerprint and cornea?” Li Youdun attempted to probe.
Xia Lei replied, “I’m replicating the former and borrowing the latter. I jogged my memory back to the first time we met. I noticed that you’ve got a very faint mark on the hole of your left eye and brow bone. Thinking back, it must be where your left eye sits on the scanner. Therefore, I would only need to borrow your left cornea.”
“Impossible!” There was terror glinting in Li Youdun’s eyes. He could not believe that Xia Lei was able to recall their first meeting in great detail. The man was even able to notice very minute details from memory! To be able to achieve that, Li Youdun was sure that Xia Lei’s eyes and mind would have to achieve the same capabilities of a camera and microscope. But how was that possible?
Xia Lei folded Qing Caiyue’s laptop and opened another box. Inside the box was a syringe and a scalpel, along with a small liquid nitrogen cold storage equipment. The man picked up the syringe and began walking towards Li Youdun.
“So you’re going to be the one imposing as me. Not Qing Xiang and certainly not Liu Zhengnan, right?” Li Youdun tried his hardest to suppress his horror. He wasn’t afraid that Xia Lei would torture him but he had feared the possible damage to his eye!
Xia Lei nodded. “You’re right, the CIA informant base in Jingdu would be complicated to infiltrate. The leader in charge of this base won’t be someone easy either. If I need to trick his eyes and mind, I must see to this personally. I can’t have anyone else do the job for me.”
Li Youdun smirked sadistically. “There’s a spot saved for you in hell.”
“Even if I go to hell, I’d still be a vengeful ghost that the King of Hell would fear.” And then, Xia Lei stabbed the syringe deep into Li Youdun’s neck.
Half an hour later, the man exited the underground chamber with the box in his hands. In the box, were all the things he had extracted from Li Youdun. His first step of the plan was complete.
Passing by his room, he noticed that the lights were still on and he could vaguely make out the voices of his three pregnant lovers. They sounded like they were having fun. He paused momentarily before heading towards the study. Women were like alcohol to him. But even the best alcohol was still harmful if over consumed. Plus, despite his incredibly strong physique, his lovers were carrying his child. He needed to protect their bodies for the sake of his children. Hence, if it wasn’t too much of a pain to hold it in, he would have to control his urges for a while.
Entering his study, Xia Lei locked the box in his safe and retrieved his hacking laptop. Tonight, he was going to sell off all of his Chlorella shares.
“Jeez, who is it this time?” Xia Lei slid his phone out. Upon recognizing the number, he froze a little.
It was Shentu Tianyin.
He let it ring for a while before Xia Lei decided to answer it. “Tianyin, why are you still awake at this hour?”
“I could ask you the same.”
“I’ve got something going on at hand. I’m going to bed after it’s settled with,” answered Xia Lei.
“Are they around you?” Shentu Tianyin attempted to pry.
Xia Lei chuckled dryly. “No, they’re asleep now.”
“Ah, that’s a relief to hear. If they were around you, I’ll just leave with a mere greeting. Since they’re not here, let’s talk,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Despite the invitation, Xia Lei didn’t know what else was there left to talk about with her.
“I heard that you’re marrying Fan Fan on the fourth day of New Year, right?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Are you not going to invite me to the ceremony?”
“Of course, I’m going to send you an invitation soon. If you’re available that day, I really wish that you can attend it.”
“I can accept the invitation card but I think it’s best for me to be absent. I can’t bear the sight of my ex-husband marrying another woman.” Shentu Tianyin’s voice was laced with great despair.
Xia Lei could only sigh lightly in the background. “Sure, I won’t force you into coming. You’re free to make a decision.” There was a slight pause before he switched the topic. “That reminds me, how’s the progress of Vientiane’s entry into the American market?”
“Sigh, you’re switching topics again.” Shentu Tianyin made a disappointed sigh. “Well, you know that I was never one to defy your opinion. You asked me to not go to America and so I cancelled my trip. Vientiane Group will officially enter the market tonight but there will not be any physical ceremony.”
“It’s best to not go, then…”
“Let me end the call this time. Good night.” Shentu Tianyin hung up.
What was left behind was Xia Lei, slumped against the back of his chair in absolute silence.