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The treasure location in the sea was about 300 kilometres from the fishing isle if one drew a straight line between them. The little yacht went at a speed of 30 knots, and it would enter that part of the sea in 12 hours.
This was a greatly contested section of the sea. The Japanese had taken control forcefully and they had the backing of the Americans too, so this was a bit of a scuffle with China. However, this area had been China’s, historically speaking, and the Japanese should not be able to control this area for long. Now, for them, this area which should have belonged to the Chinese had now become the most dangerous area, and Xia Lei and Long Bing had to cross it.
“We are probably in the radar zone of the Japanese Self Defence Force,” said Long Bing as she drove the yacht. She seemed a little nervous after entering this area of the sea.
“This is our turf. So what if the Japanese radar picks up our vessel? We’re just an ordinary yacht. Are they going to fire missiles at us or something?” said Xia Lei.
Long Bing turned the corners of her lips downwards. “Don’t underestimate right wing of the Japanese government, and don’t underestimate the viciousness of the Self Defence Force either. They will not reason with you. If they did use that approach, then they wouldn’t have taken this area of ours forcefully.”
Xia Lei was uncomfortable, but he could do nothing about their situation.
“Lei, you come drive the yacht. I’ll contact Boss Shi and ask him to send someone to escort us,” said Long Bing.
“Nn.” Xia Lei took control of the rudder. His gaze went to the compass on the table once in a while as he drove. The needle repeatedly went up, and back to its position.
Xia Lei would also occasionally use his X-ray vision to see through the cockpit and up into the sky, trying to guess at what was up there, hidden in the sky. All this guessing made him gloomy, and a heaviness of helplessness seemed to settle in his chest.
Long Bing quickly ended her conversation with Boss Shi, and said to Xia Lei, “I’ve told Boss Shi of our situation. He’s very pleased. He said he will contact the military side, and send a naval surveillance ship to meet us, at least. All we have to do now is to keep to our course, and shorten the distance between us and the receiving ship.”
Xia Lei nodded. In this situation, the closer they were, the safer.
The yacht broke through the waves, and a little island got closer and closer, getting clearer and clearer. It looked plain and ordinary, but it played a role of uncertainty in the safe region of Asia. It would not kill anyone, but there would surely be many dying for it in the future, bleeding for it.
The winds and waves were quiet on their way there, but half an hour later, a Japanese reconnaissance plane suddenly appeared in the sky. Xia Lei used his superior sight, and saw the Japanese flag on belly of the plane.
“A Japanese reconnaissance plane.” Xia Lei’s expression grew grave, “It’s probably here to confirm the situation.”
“Confirm what situation?”
“Confirm if we pose no threat,” said Xia Lei, “or if we do.”
Long Bing’s expression grew grave. She knew what Xia Lei was talking about. They wouldn’t bother if a Japanese fishing vessel appeared in these parts, but this was a yacht heading straight for China. This was a problem.
“If the reconnaissance plane sees us a threat… what will it do?” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei gave a dry laugh. “If it’s out of the ordinary, the Self Defence Force will send speed boats to chase after us. Best to get ready to fight. Damn it. These Japanese people are difficult to shake off. Why can’t they let us go home happily?”
The plane made two circles in the air, then flew towards Okinawa.
It’d flown off, but Long Bing and Xia Lei did not relax. Long Bing took out their equipment and weapons - the XL2500, Gust, handguns and grenades. She put all the ammunition into the guns, and released the safety, ready to do battle at any time.
Xia Lei took the needle off the compass, and put the compass away.
The yacht continued onward. Ten minutes passed quickly, but the receiving boat had not appeared yet. The Japanese military speed boats did appear on the horizon, however, and they were at least three times faster than the yacht Xia Lei and Long Bing were on.
A civilian yacht was surely not able to compete with a military vessel. Military speed boats could reach a speed of 100 kilometres an hour! They were also equipped with heavy machine guns, and had a high defence. Even machine gun bullets could not penetrate the hulls!
The situation had become dire all of a sudden.
Each speed boat carried five Self Defence Forces soldiers, so four boats meant 20 soldiers in full gear. Add the heavy machine guns and weapons and equipment on the speed boats… Long Bing and Xia Lei’s little yacht would get sunk in less than a minute if a battle broke out!
Plus, when fighting on the sea, Xia Lei and Long Bing had not much power to fight back. They could rack up kills in a jungle battle, but on the sea, they wouldn’t even be able to lift their heads under the heavy machine gun fire!
There was no trace of the receiving ship.
The four speed boats quickly closed the distance between them.
“Remember me if I die,” said Long Bing all of a sudden.
“Don’t say things like that. We’ll be fine.” Xia Lei comforted her, but he knew too that this situation before them was more dire than what he had faced in Afghanistan with the American Special Forces and the CIA agents. He could use all of his power to fight then, but here, if he shot just once, he could draw the fire of all the machine guns on the speed boats!
Long Bing suddenly hugged Xia Lei and kissed him on the lips.
This was a kiss full of sadness and goodbye.
“Lei, this mission in Japan has been the happiest time in my life. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but…” Long Bing could not continue.
“Dummy. We won’t die, trust me.” Xia Lei held her in his arms, not willing to part with her.
The relationship between him and Shentu Tianyin was one of mutual cooperation, and it was peaceful, going on steadily. The relationship between him and Long Bing was tumultuous, fraught with danger and booming death.
“Go put on the wetsuit. Take the things and hide. Take the satellite phone too, and contact Boss Shi when it’s over,” said Long Bing in Xia Lei’s ear.
Xia Lei pushed her away. “What are you planning?”
Long Bing spoke determinedly, “You can’t die. You’re too important to our country. I’m different from you. I was born a soldier of this country. I am a soldier, and dying on the battlefield is my greatest honour. The battlefield is where I thrive. Don’t try to persuade me against it, I’ve made my decision. I’ll draw them away. You must live on!”
Xia Lei’s eyes were instantly wet with tears.
“Hurry! Go!” Long Bing shouted at Xia Lei. “Are you going to let my death be in vain?”
Xia Lei snapped back to his senses. He’d made a decision in that instant too. He abruptly pointed at a spot on the sea beyond the cockpit. “Look, our surveillance ship!”
Long Bing looked where he was pointing.
The vast sea roiled beyond the cockpit. There was no surveillance ship in sight.
“You…” Long Bing realised what Xia Lei wanted at the same moment his knife-hand descended on her carotid artery. Her vision went dark, and she collapsed on the planks.
Xia Lei sighed. “I’m sorry. You’re willing to die for me, but I’m willing to do anything for you too. I won’t let you die. I’ll bring you home.”
Long Bing could not hear his words.
Xia Lei put the yacht on autopilot, and took Long Bing up in his arms. He went into the cabin. He placed Long Bing on the bed, then took out the bag containing the alloy pieces from under it. He opened the bag, and put the chain of alloy pieces around his neck, then returned to the cockpit and and hid the guns. Finally, he turned off the autopilot, and continued steering the yacht in the direction of China.
The four speed boats got closer and closer, but Xia Lei’s heart was calm.
Bang bang bang!
Gunshots suddenly broke the silence of the sea. Dozens of bullets dived into the sea, throwing up sprays of water.
A voice came over a loudspeaker. “Stop your vessel and prepare to be boarded for inspection, or your vessel will be destroyed!”
The person shouted in Japanese first, then repeated the message in Chinese.
Xia Lei cut the engine, and stopped.
The four speed boats surrounded the yacht in the blink of an eye. One speed boat blocked the advance of the yacht, and another was behind it. The two others went to the sides, cutting off all escape routes.
Xia Lei walked out of the cockpit and went to the deck.
All occupants of the speedboats boarded the yacht, except the drivers. These people were not all from the Japanese Self Defence Force. There were also two people in plainclothes, a man and a woman. Xia Lei had never seen these two before. The man was in his early forties, with a tough body and a cold face. The woman was young, in her early thirties. She was quite pretty and had a nice figure. These two had something in common, and that was that their gazes were piercing, giving one the sense of sharp intelligence and danger.
‘Who are these two people?’ Xia Lei could not help wondering.
“Who are you?” The tough-looking man asked right away in Chinese as soon as he boarded.
Xia Lei responded in Japanese. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. I am Japanese. Please speak to me in Japanese.”
The tough-looking man suddenly kicked Xia Lei in the lower abdomen.
Xia Lei swayed, and it looked like he was going to fall to the deck. Anger flashed in his eyes, and his arms moved.
Swish! The dozens of Self Defence soldiers raised the assault rifles in their hands at the same time, and pointed them at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei’s hands landed on his lower abdomen, and he patted at the dust on his clothing. His face was calm as he said, “Why did you hit me?”
“Hah! Stop with the act, you Chinese spy!” sneered the man.
“Am I a Chinese spy?” Xia Lei put on a surprised expression.
The attractive woman suddenly grabbed Xia Lei by the collar, and her gaze was menacing as she said, “You and your wife appeared in the military exercise zone last night, driving this yacht. Now you’re driving this same yacht, fleeing in the direction of China. What are you if you’re not a Chinese spy?”
Xia Lei smiled wryly and did not answer.
The man took out a mobile phone, and held it up to Xia Lei’s eyes.
There was a picture displayed on the screen, and in that picture was him and Long Bing sharing a hot kiss.
This picture was obviously taken by one of the nosy sailors on the destroyer, but it was unknown how this picture got to this man in front of Xia Lei.
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