Chapter 1199 - Incoming Disaster
After leaving the conference room, Xia Lei and Tang Yuyan entered the latter’s office.
Doot doot doot… Doot doot doot…
Xia Lei’s satellite phone rang out of the blue.
It was Sa’im, voice bursting at the seams with nerves and tension. “Boss, something major has happened!”
“What’s the matter?” Xia Lei had an inkling to what Sa’im was about to say.
As anticipated, Sa’im went on, “Something major has occurred in Nigeria, India and Mexico. You need to come back soon, I have intel for you.”
“I’ll be back soon.” Xia Lei quickly ended the conversation.
China’s intelligence network had certainly needed to be much more efficient than Sa’im’s network. It was only natural for the Dawn Office to receive word before Sa’im. Xia Lei was even expecting to receive news from the Relief Society soon. The Relief Society’s network efficiency, on the other hand, was relatively slower than Sa’im’s network.
“What’s going on?” Tang Yuyan was riddled with concern. “The bodies and the maniacal people I saw in the video… really creeps me out.”
The fact that it was capable of instilling fear in Bureau 101’s leader had clearly indicated its severity. Yet, the biggest factor behind her terror was still her unborn child. An expecting mother would typically face shrunken courage out of concern for their pregnancy. If Tang Yuyan was ordered to grab a gun and head into battle now, she certainly wouldn’t be as bold as she used to be.
Xia Lei pulled her closer. “Don’t worry. I’m here. I promise I’ll protect you and the child.”
Tang Yuyan savoured the warmth of their embrace. “Hubby, can we go home? I’m starting to miss home now.”
“Yeah, let’s go home.” With a faint heave, Xia Lei lifted Tang Yuyan up bridal-style and left her office.
They entered the common area. Instantly, everyone’s attention was glued to Xia Lei and Tang Yuyan. The sight of their stern leader nestled like a kitten between her husband’s arms was exceptionally shocking to the agents.
“Since when has our Leader Tang become so soft? This is such a rare sight.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure it has to do with who she’s with. The man carrying her around is Xia Lei, the owner of the Thunder Horse Organization.”
“Men should all be like Xia Lei. He is married to five women, all of which were granted special marriage permits from the government. Crazily, his ex-wife is Shentu Tianyin. She’s the richest woman in China for crying out loud. My house is Vientiane Group’s property. I wonder when will I get to speak to Xia Lei and get him to waiver my housing loans…?”
“But our leader belongs to the Tang family. The Tang family…”
“Shhh--- Watch your words.”
Despite the audible hushed gossiping, Xia Lei and Tang Yuyan paid no mind to their surroundings. They continued their public display of affection, filtering out curious gazes.
The scene did not go unnoticed by Tang Bochuan, whose face was now burning red. The man felt like everyone was mocking the Tang family. Their stares were mockery and their heated discussion were also mockery. The Tang family’s history of hundreds of years was reduced to nothing in their eyes but a big fucking joke!
Resentment began to pool in the depths of Tang Bochuan’s heart. It was like a seed, slowly germinating and growing its roots out.
Tang Yuyan took a day off work and followed Xia Lei back to the Peace Mansion.
Xia Lei entered the Holy Thunder Church and found the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team members in the underground chamber along with his four female knights. Everyone’s expressions were grim.
Sa’im immediately reported, “Boss, this is bad. Something really disastrous has happened.”
Xia Lei said, “It’s the incident in India, Nigeria and Mexico, right?”
Sa’im was caught by surprise. “Oh, you’ve already heard about it?”
Xia Lei answered, “I just got back from Bureau 101. Their network is a little faster. However, all they showed me was a video. What have you collected so far?”
Sa’im passed a folder over. “Everything is inside this. Take a look.”
Xia Lei emptied the folder. There were photographs, hospital reports, investigation reports from Sa’im’s informants and a USB stick.
The pictures had depicted towns and bodies taken from a Mexican town, the Indian slums and a Nigerian town. However, there was nothing from the Jungle of No Return and Alliance Mining. The Nigerian town photographs were new but it too had depicted violence and gore, most of its bodies and hysterical crowds.
Glancing through the photographs briefly, Xia Lei placed his attention on the informant reports that were mostly records of the event and relevant analyses. Sadly, those weren’t reliable information. Then, he flipped through the hospital records attained by the informants. It was inclusive of medical checks on the maniacal people and autopsy reports. The death causes were uniformly reported as brain shrivelling and decay.
Finally, Xia Lei inserted the USB stick into his phone. There was a video inside.
Playing the video, a street was shown. Bodies were sprawled all around the street and trash was strewn everywhere. It was almost like a scene out of Resident Evil, filled with the impending doom of a catastrophe. The person capturing the video described what he saw as he walked along the street. “God, this feels like the end of the world. There’s no one alive here. The air is filled with the smell of rotting corpses- Fuck… I think I’m going to be sick… Only God knows what is going on here… Wait, there’s something over there!”
The person began to run, causing the camera to shake and rattle. A few seconds later, the device captured a hyena.
Hyenas were one of the most ferocious beasts in the African animal kingdom. Their fighting abilities were no less than lions and tigers.
The hyena shown looked like an adult due to its large form. It was squatting on the side of the street, feeding on the brains of a corpse in content. As soon as the person neared the animal, the hyena lifted its snout. Before it could even pounce onto its new prey, the person fell to the ground and never got up again. It was a sudden death, almost like a cardiac arrest or cerebral haemorrhage.
It was only then that the hyena padded over and tore his skull apart with a bite. It pulled his shrivelled and decayed brain out and swallowed it whole. It seemed like the hyena had enjoyed its meal.
This disgusting scene was all captured by the camera on the ground. The device had even managed to capture the animal’s eyes- It was blood-red and eerie.
After gobbling down the man’s brain, the hyena walked away. A large patch of fur was lost from its body, exposing a span of tender red flesh. It looked disgusting.
The footage went still and ended.
Xia Lei was shocked to the core. He thought, “The person wasn’t even under attack. Why is his death so abrupt while the hyena walks away unscathed? It was feeding on decayed brains and it seems to be sick. If it knew it was getting sick from its food, why is it still feeding on it?”
Xia Lei couldn’t wrap his mind around that. The first thing he had thought about when shown the video back in Bureau 101 was that Zhu Xuanyue’s kind had entered their realm. However, the video just now showed that the person hadn’t died from any attack. Plus, the speed of his brain decay and shrivelling was exceptionally fast. If Zhu Xuanyue and her kind had attacked him, traces would be left behind; weirdly, there was none.
If Zhu Xuanyue wasn’t behind this, what could’ve probably caused it?
“This is terrifying.” Sa’im was extremely pale. “My informants couldn’t reach him so they risked themselves to enter that town, only to find his lifeless body and this video. The same brother too had died not long after his return. Someone dissected his brain and… his brain had shrivelled up and decayed too. What the fuck man… What fucking virus is this?”
The Dawn Office too thought it was the work of a virus. Under typical circumstances, it was natural to assume so. However, Xia Lei had a feeling it had nothing to do with viruses. Even if there were viruses, the hyena would be the only thing infected. It was certainly not the main cause of everything.
“Boss, what do you think it is?” Qian Jun asked.
Xia Lei was silent for a moment. “I’m afraid this is tied to that woman.”
“Zhu Xuanyue?” Qian Jun’s expression shifted.
Xia Lei answered, “Yes, her. I’ve told you some things about her in the past. I’m sure you’re aware of what she is capable of. Anyhow, there’s no need to get involved with her.”
“Not even investigations?” Giovanna questioned. “We have brothers and sisters scattered around India, Nigeria and Mexico. We can get more intel on this.”
Xia Lei replied, “No need. Tell the Relief Society members to protect themselves well and avoid problematic zones. Also, if they happen to come across sickly beasts, shoot it dead immediately and do not go close.”
“You’re asking them to shoot animals?” Stella was perplexed. “Is it necessary to kill sick animals?”
Xia Lei asked, “Remember the video just now?”
He continued, “Okay, then you most probably remember the hyena. It has been feeding on corpse brains and as you have seen, its losing patches of fur and its skin seemed to be severely inflamed. Typically, those animals would’ve died at that point but it was still alive. This is abnormal. I suspect that it has been infected with some disease. We must not let the infected animals go close to our people.”
“Understood. I’ll inform them immediately.” Giovanna quickly stepped away to make the call.
“Boss, I can help you get one of those infected animals. I’m sure a study can be conducted and if you happen to find anything useful, it’s going to be another money tree!” exclaimed Sa’im.
Xia Lei rejected him directly. “Are you insane? If you bring it to China, you might spread the disease. With China’s concentrated population, a disaster is bound to happen. I don’t want money like that.”
Sa’im clamped his jaw shut. Indeed, innovating vaccines against the virus would bring great wealth but Xia Lei wasn’t tempted by it at all.
“Then what should we do?” it was Tsukino Kyoko’s turn to ask.
Xia Lei answered, “We do nothing unless necessary. I’ll focus on my planes and you can continue your vacation.”
The Chinese Zodiac Battle Team and the four female knights locked eyes, not willing to believe that this was Xia Lei’s decision. In the face of unprecedented danger, the man would usually have an appropriate plan. However, they were asked to do absolutely nothing this time. Was he for real?
Truthfully, Xia Lei wasn’t planning to sit idly and do nothing. He merely didn’t want the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team and the knights to risk their lives. He would come up with appropriate measures in due time and he would be the only executor. The reason was simple- This whole thing must have something to do with Zhu Xuanyue. When faced with an enemy like her, what use would be of the Chinese Zodiac Battle Team and the female knights? They weren’t on the same level, to begin with!
This was a task for him and him alone.
No one was able to help him.