The Singer was John’s alias and the name he used for the team. John held the most authority and responsibility as the leader of the team. Thus making him the only person who could distribute the earnings from the mission.
“We finished this mission early and everything was brilliantly executed.” John announced with a satisfied smile, “We received a bonus for completing the mission early. The total amount we earned this time is 2.1 million pounds.”
The whole team cheered after John finished announcing the amount of money they had received. Wales was so happy he shouted, “Finally! I will have some dough in my pocket!”
John looked pleased with the team and their current achievement. He took a card from the pile he had on the table and slid it to Wales, “Here is your payment of three hundred thousand pounds.”
Wales did not think about restraining himself. He picked up the card and gave it two kisses, “Thanks.”
The second card was passed to Ryan, “Three hundred thousand pounds for you.” Ryan accepted the card and nodded without saying a word.
John handed the third card to Daniel. He then asked in a kind voice, “What do you plan to use this money for this time? There is a total of three hundred thousand pounds on here.”
Daniel shook his head and replied softly, “I have not thought about it yet.”
John picked up the fourth card and gave it to Jenny, “Here is one hundred thousand pounds.”
Jenny took the card and put it in her bag as if it was nothing.
The Indian man, Kadipur, received fifty thousand pounds. Kate received the same amount. She looked ecstatic and it seemed like she already knew how the money would be spent. “Wow. Everyone, is there any job that is better than this, that has better pay than this? What am I talking about? A job, ha? I could not earn fifty grand working a job for a year!”
John was glad that his daughter was more than satisfied with her pay. He smiled and passed the last card to Yang Yi, “You get a hundred thousand pounds.”
Kate’s smile vanished in the second after her father spoke.
John paused for a second as if to collect his thoughts, “Ross’s contribution to this mission, his first, was absolutely remarkable. He received a reward for stalling Rushford. I am now done distributing the pay as everyone has received their portion.”
The total payment was 2.1 million pounds. John distributed 1.2 million pounds to the team. He was left with nine hundred thousand pounds for himself even though he did not seem to do anything during the mission. Yang Yi did not have an issue with the way the payment was split. Since there were no complaints even though one person took almost half of the amount, there should not be any problems with the way the pay was distributed. This must have been agreed upon when they had first created the team.
Yang Yi was only thinking that he needed to be the brain of a team. He needed to be like John.
John finished distributing the pay and continued looking at the team, “This mission was executed perfectly. Ryan, Wales, especially you two. You two cleared all traces of us without being exposed in any way. In the short term, there should not be any risk of Anthony discovering that their trade secrets have been compromised. You are allowed to work at Anthony in the meantime, but make sure you find an appropriate opportunity to leave your posts.”
“Of course, Mr. Jones.”
John looked at Yang Yi again, he looked like he was still deciding what to say as he rubbed his chin, “The excuse you made up to stall Rushford, the one about making a deal regarding a purchase plan, it will be too difficult to make that a reality. Since we cannot do anything to cover it up do not appear in front of Rushford again.”
Yang Yi nodded and replied without hesitating, “Of course, Mr. Jones.”
Jones raised his glass and smiled, seeing that no one had any objections, “Then let us celebrate this success with cheer.”
However, the people that had come to be paid had already started leaving. They did not know when they would see each other again. It could be a day, a month, or even a year – whenever it was time for the next mission. John turned to Yang Yi as everyone left the house, “The mission is complete. You need to move out of my house as soon as possible; I will give you a week to find a place. You will be working at an accounting office as a cover with an annual salary of twenty thousand pounds.”
It was normal for a newcomer to the office to get an annual salary of just twenty thousand pounds. Yang Yi could understand why Kate insisted that her father let her become a corporate spy. The choice between earning twenty thousand pounds in one year or earning fifty thousand pounds (with no taxes removed) in thirteen days was a simple one.
John then looked at Kate. He spoke to her softly, “You will begin working in an accounting office as a cover. I will personally teach you about the position. You will get your own office and the annual salary will be around twenty-two thousand pounds.”
John continued, ignoring the proud look Kate gave Yang Yi, “But you need to help Ross find a house first. Once that is done everything will be settled and we will be comfortable again.”
Kate refused immediately, “No, I will start living elsewhere too. I have my own money now. I will go rent a place.”
John shook his head, “That is not happening. You will stay with me in this house and that is final.”
Kate’s face scrunched up in confusion. She did not understand what her father was talking about, “Um… I am an adult. I will not be helping him find a house either.”
John smiled, unaffected by her refusal, “So you want me to go help him look for a house? I believe I have said that if you leave the team, I will respect your authority as an adult. If you stay in the team, you will do as I say.”
Kate was left speechless at her father’s words. John smiled again, “I will be going out for a bit. We will end the discussion here. Good night.”
It was only nine p.m.; it was still a little too early to sleep. Yang Yi and Kate did not want to look at each other, so as usual they went back to their rooms and did whatever made time go by the fastest. They had been adhering to this unwritten ritual for the past week or so.
Yang Yi was not completely immature. Kate damaged his ego, but he was able to see her being lectured by her father. It was inappropriate for him, as a man, to fight with a woman, anyway. Kate did not have even the smallest intention to make up with him, though. She seemed to dislike him a lot, which forced him into a position where he felt he needed to retaliate whenever she threw him a spiteful look.
Yang Yi was hoping to move out as soon as possible. Kate, under orders from her father, had no choice, but to leave in the morning with Yang Yi when he went to look for a place. She had to drive him around and help him search.
Houses in London were some of the most expensive in the world; it did not matter whether you were purchasing or renting. Yang Yi was more than set to live a comfortable life in London considering the amount he had just earned and the money he had on him already added up to about two hundred thousand pounds.
There was a small issue when they went to search for a house; an issue that was truly unexpected.
“Are you living together?” the real estate agent asked.
“No?” Yang Yi responded, a bit confused.
“Obviously not!” Kate was offended that the agent would even assume they were living together. She continued, obviously disgusted, “This… has a girlfriend? A babe like me? What are you thinking?! He is single and lives alone!”
The agent smiled and turned to Yang Yi, “What kind of house are you looking for?”
“Something that is big enough, and clean too.”
“How about this place? It is a one bedroom with a private bathroom. There is also a living room and a kitchen. It is priced at about three hundred pounds per week.”
Yang Yi did not care about the price. He had more than enough money. There was at least two hundred thousand pounds in his pocket. As long as he participated in another mission, he would have plenty of income.
“Sure. Can I go see it?”
“No! Wait!” Kate said as she grabbed Yang Yi’s arm. It seemed that she had had enough.
“Is there an issue?” asked Yang Yi in an irritated tone.
“You cannot afford that place with your income, idiot! Your legal income is twenty thousand pounds. Living here would cost about ten thousand per year…”
“Thirteen thousand and two hundred pounds per year.” (EN: Per our calculations, the total yearly rent would actually be 15,600 pounds.)
“Shut up, I am still adding it all up! Did I tell you to talk?! Alright, fine, so most of your income goes to paying rent, what then? What about a car? What are you going to eat? What about your daily living expenses?”
Yang Yi did not take her words seriously. He said in a mocking tone, “You are just trying to mess with me, right? You know how much I have and how much I can get. I have even more than you do, so please, do not worry about how I will pay for my stuff, thank you very much.”
Kate was more shocked than angry after hearing his response. She continued to explain with a baffled expression, “You are living in London. You have a public identity that requires you to maintain a certain image. What are you going to tell the police when they come and ask about your extra earnings? How many times do I have to say this, I do not care if you are a helpless idiot. Do not make it hard for other people because you are stupid!”
Yang Yi was doubtful. It was possible that Kate was trying to lower his standard of living with a seemingly legitimate excuse. Still, he could not find a reason to object to her logic, so in the end, he followed her advice. Nothing was able to catch his eye and he did not show an interest in anything since he had already seen the more expensive places.
Yang Yi wasted the entire day searching for a place he found appealing. It was night time when he finally settled for a small apartment. It had a two hundred pound rent due every week. He was not exactly satisfied with the purchase, but now he at least had a bathroom and kitchen he did not have to share.
It was about dinner time when they finished the shopping trip. Yang Yi no longer needed to live in John’s house, but he still had to go back with Kate to get his luggage. That was the only reason he had come back. Kate entered the house after opening the door with her key. Yang Yi followed, coming in behind her. The first thing they saw was a glass of whiskey on the living room table and John, seemingly sleeping on the sofa with his head tilted to the side.
“Dad, are you sleeping already? Wake up. What do you want to have for dinner?”
Yang Yi suddenly grabbed Kate by the wrist as she was changing her shoes. She glared at him in annoyance after being grabbed. His face was pale white as he reached his hand towards John’s neck.
“What are you doing? Dad! Did something happen to him?” she asked.
Kate was confused about what was happening in front of her. Yang Yi looked petrified as he pulled his hand away from John’s neck.
“He is dead.”
Kate covered her mouth to stop a panicked scream from escaping. She ran towards her father, terrified. Her hands trembled with agitation as she took out her phone and sobbed, “Call an ambulance! Call an ambulance…”
Yang Yi tried to cover her mouth with his hand to stop her frenzied cry for help. Kate blocked his hand with ease. She turned to demand an explanation for his behavior.
“He was murdered!”