Chapter 65: The Surveillance Camera
The recording of the song was completed and the MV filming had also concluded.
Xia Ling had managed to finish these two parts with difficulty, and it was now Wei Shaoyin’s turn to do some polishing up from the backend. He kindly gave her a few days off for a break.
She received a message from Su Tang telling her that the renovation work for her apartment was done and she could now move in.
As such, she packed her luggage and a few boxes of her stuff to officially move into her new apartment. The girls in the same dorm room as her had offered to help her out, but she was wary of letting them find out that she was staying just next door from Big Boss Li, thus rejected their offer. Thankfully, Li Lei had asked Su Tang to send some movers to pick her up and the move was completed smoothly.
Xia Ling pushed open the door of her apartment when she arrived.
The sight in front of her eyes left her momentarily stunned. The entrance area was lined with white tiles, and a small, man-made waterfall mountain stood at the end of the small walkway spotted with green moss, forming a screen of sorts from the living room. Turning around the corner, the living room was forest-themed, with a soft, beige coloured sofa with several feather-filled cushions flung carelessly on it. On the exquisitely designed coffee table, there was a celadon tea set with a cracked ice pattern.
The floor was a criss-cross of wood and rock, with a meander of transparent glass. Under the glass was a small, narrow stream with multi-coloured stones and many vibrant, swimming fish. Following this little glass stream would bring her to the balcony. There were many tall plants on the balcony, swaying in the wind and vying for her attention. The sunlight shined in through the cracks in the leaves, making the place feel great and peaceful.
Under the shade of the plants, there was a bamboo deck chair. At this moment, someone was lying lazily on the deck chair, with a similarly lazy leopard that was staring at the swimming fish under the glass stream.
It was Li Lei and Er Mao.
Xia Ling had always been scared of Er Mao and stopped where she was upon seeing him. She called out to Li Lei, “Boss.”
She did not ask why he had appeared here. He was her landlord and also her Big Boss. Even if he had trespassed on her living quarters, nobody would bother to question if this was appropriate.
The few workers that had helped her move in had also quietly took their leave.
Li Lei smiled amicably at her, his deep green eyes forming a line under the sun. His proportionate and muscular body was lying gracefully and comfortably on the deck chair, looking lazy and harmless like the big cat that was crouching at his feet. However, she had seen Er Mao kill someone before, thus naturally she also considered his owner to be a dangerous being.
“The lemon tea is delicious today. Do you want a glass?” He asked in a happy tone.
“No thanks.” She remained in the same spot, noticing that Er Mao had lifted his head.
The moment she met Er Mao’s eyes, Xia Ling felt all the hairs on her body stand, her breathing cease and did not dare to move. Er Mao’s eyes, which looked like precious amber stones, looked her up and down for a while, not shifting away swiftly like they usually would. He looked at her intently, as if he was remembering every detail of her by heart.
This made her feel completely terrified.
“That’s enough Er Mao, let’s not scare our tenant.” After a while, Li Lei’s attractive voice floated over, “Xiao Ling, don’t be nervous. He’s just trying to remember how you look like.”
Remember how she looked like?
Xia Ling could not comprehend this. This was not the first time that Er Mao had seen her, why was he…?
Li Lei reached out his hand to rub the soft fur on the back of Er Mao’s neck as he continued, “He needs to not only remember your looks and breath, but also your body shape, voice, every action, and even the details of your every expression… In the future you’ll be our neighbour, thus he needs to differentiate you from other unwelcome guests.”
She remembered what Su Tang had told her regarding assassins and nodded, fully comprehending what he meant.
Her nervousness dissipated a little with his explanation.
Li Lei stood up from the deck chair and walked around Er Mao towards her, “Follow me, I’ll give you a tour of your new home.”
This was not her home. The place she called home had ceased to exist the moment Pei Ziheng lifted his hand to hit her and she fell to the floor. This apartment, though large and luxurious, was just a cold house to her.
However, she could only keep these thoughts deep within her heart.
She followed behind him out of the living room feeling puzzled. This apartment was newly renovated, and they had already signed the contract. Why did Big Boss Li have to take the trouble to personally come down to show her around the house? However, she found out the reason very soon after —
As he brought her around to familiarize herself to the surroundings, he explained the security system in the house. In many inconspicuous places, there were small but deadly traps. If she was not careful, there was a possibility that she would be killed.
She walked around in trepidation all the way.
Why did she feel like this place was not an apartment, but a huge booby trap?
In contrast to her cautiousness, Li Lei was obviously used to all these layers of protection, and strode along confidently as if they were taking an evening stroll. He used his deep, attractive voice to explain, “This security system blueprint was randomly selected from a set of more than ten blueprints and even the designer doesn’t know which one we decided to use in the end. All the traps are installed separately, with several different groups of installers. In other words, other than you and me, there isn’t a third person that knows all of the traps installed here. You need not worry about your safety.”
She nodded, feeling safer. With a security system this watertight, it would not be easy for Pei Ziheng to crack it unless he suddenly set his mind to battle it out with Li Lei, ignoring all reason and cost.
At least she would be safe here.
“Thank you, Boss.” She said.
This is the umpteenth time that she had thanked him since they had met. Xia Ling knew that with the meager amount that she was paying him for rent, it was likely that it was not sufficient to cover even half a square foot of this place. Nevertheless, he had generously agreed for her to stay here. Regardless of his motive, the consideration that he showed her was enough for her to feel a deep sense of gratitude.
Li Lei laughed happily.
He brought her on a tour of the bedroom, bathroom and work room, and then to see the lounge area and the kitchen.
“These two rooms are slightly different from the rest.” He said, “Other than the small contraptions installed, there are also security cameras installed here. There is 24 hours surveillance, which is connected to a private security office with guards. If anything is amiss, there will be a immediate response to deal with it.”
He showed her the cameras that were camouflaged around the rooms.
Her expression immediately darkened.
One step at a time, she walked backwards until she was beside the bedroom, where the cameras were unable to reach. With one hand holding tightly on the doorframe and her voice quivering, she said, “Boss, please… get someone to remove these cameras.”
Li Lei’s gaze darkened, and he asked, “Why?”
She avoided giving an answer, but took another step backwards, “Please… remove them, remove them all.”
Li Lei walked towards her slowly, and said, “Xiao Ling, this is a necessary precaution.”
Her voice softly quivered, “I… I don’t need it.”
By now he was right before her, looking down at her and saying, “You have to give me a reason.”
She shook her head, unable to speak.
Some scars were never to be spoken about, and were a pain that were going to stay with her for life. Regardless on when they were prodded, the hurt was excruciating.
She closed her eyes as her memories floated back to past again, as if she had returned to Pei Ziheng’s massive bungalow. In the empty bedroom, she was curled up on the ground naked, a gold chain tightly around her ankles. From all sides and all angles she could see the cold camera lenses, reflecting inorganic light rays…