The three of them stared anxiously at John, who was still checking Daniel’s computer even though it had been at least twenty minutes. Finally, John exhaled and nodded, “We got it. It is exactly what we wanted.”
Daniel took the finger out of his mouth that he was chewing on the entire time. He parted his lips and smiled in satisfaction.
Yang Yi also let out a heavy breath. He was given the easiest job for his first mission, but he was also the one who prevented the mission from failing; his contribution to the mission was both honorable and undeniable.
Yang Yi stalling Rushford for fifteen minutes sounded easy, but it was not actually something that was simple to accomplish. Rushford was the CEO of a major company. It was already difficult enough to talk to him in his office for fifteen minutes, yet Yang Yi managed to start negotiations with him outside the elevator. It was unimaginable to most executives, a waste even, for a stranger who did not have any social status, to begin with, to have even fifteen seconds with Rushford. In short, Yang Yi had performed a miracle; he made a company’s CEO genuinely interested in a deal that did not even exist.
John smiled and said, “Make a copy of all the information related to financial management. Make a copy of the purchase plan too. Delete all the other files on the computer and make sure that it is impossible to recover the data.”
Daniel nodded and carried his laptop to a different room.
John took off his glasses and stared at Yang Yi after Daniel left the living room.
“Tell me everything that you did and said.”
John was just following the standard post-mission procedures. Yang Yi needed to repeat all the details, including the little ones, which he remembered about the scene in order for John to see if there were any mistakes made or any tracks left that could lead to them.
And so he did, perfectly in fact. Yang Yi repeated everything that happened without making one mistake. He even mimicked Rushford’s tone and gestures. Kate was supposed to help describe the scene as well, but it seemed unnecessary. Yang Yi had already mentioned everything.
John was a bit shocked once he realized that Yang Yi had memorized every detail of the interaction.
“You… remembered all of that?”
“Yes, I remembered everything. There are absolutely no mistakes. I have always had a good memory.”
John swallowed and nodded as he tried to process what he had witnessed and what the Chinese boy in front of him had said. He decided to trust in Yang Yi’s ability. “A bit of an overstatement, but we have not left any tracks that would reveal our identities. How did you recognize Rushford?”
“I have seen his photo.”
“And how did you know he attended the international mechanical bed exhibit in Hanover?”
“Well… Wales and Ryan did summaries of the intel gathered on Anthony every day. One of the summaries included the fact that Rushford went to Hanover, Germany to make a deal. I recalled that Anthony has shares in a mechanical bed company and that company was supposed to be in an exhibition there. The summary included information about a dinner party that would be held before the exhibition. I assumed Rushford attended the event.”
John raised his eyebrows, “So... you assumed Rushford attended that dinner party?”
“Yes. Logically, he should have participated. This is why I asked him about it. It was the only excuse I had to start a conversation with him, so I took a chance.”
John was even more intrigued by Yang Yi’s response to his question. He continued to ask Yang Yi questions, “You thought of this plan after you saw Rushford?”
“Did you do any research?”
“No, there was not any time. I happened to remember the news I had seen a few days ago about an international mechanical bed exhibition. I thought about all the relevant intel on Rushford and made a conclusion. I had to pretend to be a businessman who wanted to arrange a deal, a good one. It was the only option.”
John listened intently the entire time. He inhaled and nodded, “You are saying you were able to piece all that information together based on, what, pure memory and observation?”
John was speechless. He realized he had underestimated this rookie and asked, “How good is your memory?”
Yang Yi answered confidently, “It is so good that you all could not even begin to comprehend it.”
John glanced from left to right as though he was looking for something in the living room; he stood up quickly and headed for his bedroom after he remembered it was where he had left that thing. He returned a few seconds later with an accounting book in his hands. He placed it in front of Yang Yi and commanded, “Finish memorizing the first page as fast as you can and recite it all for me.”
Yang Yi opened the book to the first page. It was a page full of numbers. Yet, he closed the book nonchalantly and smiled after he gave it a quick glance, “Done.”
John checked his watch. He was surprised. “Only sixteen seconds have passed. And you are saying you have finished?”
“Not only have I finished reading it, I also memorized the entire page. I will prove it to you.” Yang Yi bragged, full of pride.
He then started to recite the numbers on the page not missing a single one. He even recited the punctuation along with the numbers just to show off.
While John was obviously impressed with Yang Yi, Kate was jealous. Disdain could clearly be seen on her face. In contrast, Yang Yi was proud. He replied, trying to conceal the bit of vanity in his tone, “I am finished. There are no mistakes because I have always believed that to be a successful spy, intelligence is much more valuable than athleticism.”
John Jones exhaled and nodded, “Indeed, the brain is more important than the limbs.”
Kate let out a humph as she was unable to contain her dissatisfaction anymore.
John Jones contemplated for a while before asking, “Do you suffer from hyperthymesia?”
“No, absolutely not. Hyperthymesia is a sickness, a condition; there is no choice in it for the individual as to what they want to remember. Someone with hyperthymesia would also have an impressive memory, but their ability to process and categorize their own memories would be limited; they also would not be able to decide what they want to remember, in most contexts, their head would be overloaded with information of no importance. My head is filled with important information, memories that have value. I am a genius. I do not suffer from any conditions.” Yang Yi replied immediately. (EN: We cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the explanation given above for the memory condition known as Hyperthymesia. Please see this link if you would like to learn more.)
John nodded again, “Then you are a genius.”
Yang Yi laughed proudly and said to John, “Can I ask you something? How did Ryan and Wales infiltrate the company, gain access to the Chairman’s office and steal the information we needed?”
John shook his head and replied, “This is something you can only find out if they are willing to tell you. I can not reveal their secrets to you.”
Yang Yi was a bit disappointed, but that disappointment did not last long.
“It is a waste to have you as a bottom man. Driving is definitely not your specialty. You should be processing intel and analyzing it with that kind of mind. I can take you on as my assistant, and possibly train you to be a leader of a team. Of course, if you want to learn more, I can also train you on the more physical side of things. A brain should always know what its limbs can do, and how much they can endure.”
Yang Yi was excited after hearing this, “Really?”
John nodded, “Of course. You have demonstrated extraordinary talents. It is only natural for me to place you in a more suitable position.”
Kate could not stand the attention Yang Yi was receiving any longer. She interrupted the conversation, “What about me? What will be my future role?”
“You? You will still be a bottom man. Just continue to perform the tasks you were assigned.”
Kate was not able to comprehend the difference in treatment they received and her mouth fell open in shock. She remained silent in the end, despite the fact that she wanted to protest. Yang Yi, however, was unable to restrain himself and spoke arrogantly, “What were you thinking? Which one is more important, someone who has the ability to make decisions and lead the team, or a brute who is all muscle and no brain? Let me spell it out for you if it is not clear enough: a team is like a body. Can a body survive without legs? Yeah probably! But what about a body that does not have a brain?”
That came out wrong.
Kate raised her head. Her eyes were filled with a malicious, threatening intent as she stared at Yang Yi, “How about I break your legs and we will see if you can survive?”
Yang Yi showed no signs of backing down; instead, he gave a dry mocking laugh.
John was tired of their childish shenanigans. He rubbed his eyes and said solemnly, “Enough. Please comport yourself like a gentleman would. There is nothing acceptable about mocking an attractive woman. And another thing, it is extremely superficial to brag about yourself and your talents.”
Yang Yi was silent after John finished. Kate smirked at him. John remained professional as he continued, “Ross is still a rookie. There is a lot he needs to learn and understand. Kate, you will be his assistant in the future. You will be responsible for teaching him the necessary skills to live in Britain as a spy. You will also assist him with any requests he may have.”
Kate could not believe what she was hearing. She stood and shouted in outrage, “No! I refuse!”
John Jones replied coldly, “Someone who does not follow orders is not welcome on my team.”
Kate’s mental state was on the verge of collapse at this point. She looked at her father, turned to look at Yang Yi, and then turned back to look at her father. Kate continued to glance between the two for a few seconds and then screamed, “Why are you siding with this scumbag? I am your daughter! Does that mean nothing to you?!”
John replied calmly, “Obviously not. This man could not be in a higher position than you if you were only my daughter. However, you have chosen to be a spy, a member of my team and so I will treat you like a member of my team. Are you saying you do not know that it is the capable spies that command and deserve respect?”
Kate was so angry her body was shaking. John sighed as he looked at her, “You have to decide whether you want to be my daughter or a spy.”
Kate sat down without a word even though she was clearly not satisfied with the situation. Yang Yi upon being reminded of the relationship between Kate and John decided to stop talking as well. Yet the unresolved tension in the room continued to grow. Daniel walked in, seemingly ignoring the atmosphere, with a USB in his hand.
John received the USB from Daniel. Then he stood and announced, “I will go see our contact now. We will gather here and split the pay as long as nothing unexpected happens.”
He adjusted his clothing and left the house immediately. Daniel watched John leave before packing his things and leaving the house, as well.
Yang Yi and Kate were left alone once more. The two glared at each other without speaking; they exchanged scornful glances for a moment before they broke the silence simultaneously with a humph and left for their rooms.