Chapter 73 – The Heart of An Assassin
1997, September 28, Sunday.
It was mid-morning and the sounds of cooking could be heard from the kitchen, accompanied by the delicious smell of food. In the living room, the jingle signifying 'News Time at Noon’ could be heard. Not long after, a woman's voice called from the kitchen, “Ye Han! Ye Han!” Jiaming suddenly popped up by the kitchen door, smiling sunnily, “What's up? Father Ye’s at the bathroom right now.”
“Lazy people really like to stay in the bathroom.” As the resident surgeon at a large hospital, the elegant and astute Mother Ye smiled helplessly. Taking out a few bills, she said, “We ran out of soya sauce, Jiaming can you quickly buy a bottle, please? Oh right, where's Lingjing?”
“Oh, she and Shasha are outside sparring on the arena. The fellow students finally left, so the sparring arena just became free.”
“Wild brat… really can't be controlled…” Mother Ye smiled and said, “People say to have children to help out around the house, now I have Lingjing and when I want her to help out, she's nowhere to be found.”
“There's still me.” Jiaming said jokingly, “Since Lingjing is my bride-to-be, then I should help out too.”
“Hehe, you brat.” Patting him on the head, Mother Ye smiled again, “I'm telling you, you're a great boy, but you're still too soft. Having just returned from school, you really didn't need to instantly run errands for the martial arts students. Having a gentle personality is good in a boy, but if you're too soft then some brat could look down on you. It's all because you picked it up from Papa Ye, that guy is so mild-tempered, only his looks make him somewhat scary, you…”
“Too— much— argh—, Master please spare me…” Taking the grocery money, Jiaming clamped a hand over his head and bolted out of the room, leaving behind Mother Ye who only laughed indulgently at his antics.
He walked through the small courtyard and went to the martial arts hall. The two girls were grappling in the arena, their legs twisted together in a tangle, and one of Lingjing’s hands was desperately reaching for Shasha’s armpit. Shasha was tightly pinning Lingjing down by the waist and without stopping, she looked in Jiaming’s direction, “What’s up… Ah— Lingjing, you cheat! What a sneak attack, haha, Jiaming help…”
Lingjing had seized the chance to attack Shasha’s vital point when she had been distracted, reversing the situation in a flash. Shasha rolled around in the arena yelling for help while Lingjing turned from an ordinary sheep to a predatory wolf as she pounced on her, and they started grappling again. Hearing the silvery peals of laughter from the arena, Jiaming helplessly waved at them, “I have to buy soya sauce. You guys continue…” Passing through, he thought to himself privately, ‘Those two lilies…’
When he went to the small grocery store and finished buying everything, on the way back, he no longer had a splendid smile on his face. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining brightly and two cars were parked on the side of this spacious street. There were not a lot of pedestrians and the few that did see him, waved in greeting, while people on bikes passed by occasionally. Residential buildings on both sides of the road, the savory scent of cooking, and the sounds of various television shows could be heard. He took in a deep breath and looked up towards the sky.
This kind of life was something that he had desperately longed for countless of nights, but… why did he feel a slight sense of disappointment…
Humans really did not know better.
He shook his head with a smile and sped up his pace in returning.
During their meal, the television broadcasted a lot of advertisements saying that ‘Dream Star’ luxury cruise would be leaving the docks soon. When the screen painted a picture of the luxury ship, the whole family sighed in admiration. Shasha said sadly, “We actually had two additional tickets. It’s a pity that Father and Mother Ye both had things to do, otherwise we could have all gone.”
Mama Ye smiled, “Since when can I take a vacation from the hospital? Also, it seems that you’ll have to dress properly when you’re there since the people that are going on that trip are all wealthy. Just go and have fun, ok? Oh speaking of which, Lingjing, Shasha, those two sets of formal clothing we bought when Jiaming wasn’t here yesterday… You should both try it on for Jiaming to take a look. Even though it wasn’t that expensive, they were very beautiful.”
“Why do we need to deliberately try it on for him? It doesn’t make a difference whether he sees it or not,” Lingjing said pointedly.
Jiaming also smirked, “I’ll see it sooner or later, besides…” He paused, “We haven’t decided whether we are going or not.”
Lingjing and Shasha looked faintly startled, but then looked somewhat relieved and smiled again. However, the two girls no longer sounded envious of the people attending the luxury cruise, because it seemed that the three of them had a tacit understanding of each other.
After eating lunch, Lingjing’s family had the habit of taking an afternoon nap. Lingjing and Shasha retreated to a room, while Jiaming usually stayed in a small loft on the second floor. It was simply furnished with just a bed, and the outside view could be seen through the slanted attic windows. At the moment, Jiaming was quietly lying on the bed, looking at both his hands.
Outside his window, a white dove bobbed elegantly around his windowsill before flying away.
The next moment, as Jiaming lay down his hands, his door opened soundlessly. Lingjing, wearing a spotless white evening gown and wearing a pair of snow-white high-heels, entered his room quietly. She then closed the door behind her and turned gracefully in a circle in front of Jiaming.
“I knew you hadn’t fallen asleep. So how is it? Do you think it’s beautiful?”
The evening gown was not particularly splendid and compared to the evening dresses on television, the gown Lingjing was wearing could only be described with simple words. The cutting of the dress was not special, and there was no excessive exposure on the back. The overall appearance of the long dress looked like a spring flowing directly downhill, and if one were to harshly criticize the dress, the main thing was that it could only be considered as an ordinary dress. However, when Lingjing wore this dress, her natural atmosphere would seep through, and it was refreshing, elegant, and alluring. It also added a strange sense of maturity, like she was a married woman. When Jiaming caught sight of her, even he seemed slightly stunned before he smiled brilliantly.
“My Lingjing is beautiful no matter the occasion.”
“Don’t even,” Lingjing cutely wrinkled her nose, then took off her shoes, placing them by the side of the bed, before snuggling up with Jiaming. “Shasha’s looks very good as well, except hers is in black. When she tried to wear high-heels though, it looks like she would twist an ankle, hehe, so we let her pick another pair of shoes…”
“I think that you both should get a necklace as well…” Jiaming’s fingers traced her milky-white neck before slowly tracing down her clothing. Lingjing giggled before catching his hand and pressing it to her chest. She rolled her eyes at him, “Don’t go any further. We’re not at school, Papa and Mama will hear us. We also didn’t bring those things with us. Also, it’s quite comfortable here…”
“Fine, but this position is somewhat strange…”
Lingjing smiled briefly before adjusting herself, his arm around the back of her neck and then his hand reached down to lay against her chest, feeling the young maiden’s heartbeat. Jiaming asked, “Did you have something to ask me?”
“You’re worrying about something,” Lying in Jiaming’s embrace, Lingjing smiled sweetly as she settled in and closed her eyes.
“Ah, that is true…” Jiaming fell silent for a moment, “It's not related to sis Yahan, only… I discovered a problem. Originally it wasn't a big deal, but then suddenly I found that it's more than I thought it was. Lingjing, if I don't tell you about it right now, would you and Shasha get angry?”
Lingjing opened her eyes to look at him, “If we get angry, then will you tell us?”
“Yeah. If you both want to know, I will tell you.”
“There's no need to say anything right now. Papa said before; every man has their secrets… though he said this to me when Mama discovered his secret stash of money. I find it reasonable though. If you want to keep your secret for now, Shasha and I will believe in you; if you want to talk about your secret, Shasha and I will help shoulder your burden. This is because we… we are a family.” Lingjing shuffled to a more comfortable position in his embrace and held his hand tightly against her chest. She quietly whispered, “You don't need to say anything about it now. If we're not going on the cruise, you should return the tickets to sis Yahan. Don't sell them secretly… Also if you have a secret nest egg… don't save too much…”
“Haha,” Jiaming smiled briefly and fell silent. He looked outside through the window again, his gaze complicated but with a trace of peace.
Yesterday evening, when they were at the abandoned factory by the coast, in barely a split of a second, he had subconsciously been filled with dread.
Someone who had experienced many life and death experiences would acquire something like a mysterious sixth sense. Whenever disaster was close by, their instinct would be triggered or they would miraculously be able to feel a sense of it. This sixth sense could be considered legendary for ordinary people, but this was expected from an excellent assassin. Of course, there were ways of getting around this sixth sense, just like how Tank and Bai Nana were unable to completely guard against Jiaming's surprise attacks. Because he had felt that they had been too weak, when he had aimed with the sniper rifle, he did not completely conceal his killing intent. If this had been the previous him, it would not have happened at all.
It was like a lion fighting a rabbit, it was necessary to use one's full power. Even though assassins always gave themselves an escape route, when it came to the battlefield, it was incredibly stupid to show mercy or to underestimate an enemy. Because he had been reborn for the past six years, the warmth and gentleness of his current living conditions had been too long. He had received a sense of safety that had not been available in his previous life and thus led to an unforgivable act such as underestimating the enemy and carelessness.
When Jiaming aimed, a person on the speedboat had instantly turned around in a flash like lightning and aimed their sniper rifle in his direction.
If it came to pulling the trigger, how the situation would have developed was difficult to say. He had been faster in setting his sights, but seeing that person and his lightning-fast movements, he had subconsciously chosen to dodge. The two sides had not opened fire, but he knew that he had already lost.
For someone that had lost the heart of an assassin, he could no longer be considered an actual proper assassin. Even though he only wanted to pass the days peacefully with Lingjing and Shasha, that sudden decision to retreat had left behind a shadow in his heart.
He… wanted to reclaim his confidence, and he felt he should not take the risk since Lingjing and Shasha were around. Afterall, Cui Guohua had made a move, so the security on the 'Dream Star’ cruise was something he would personally take care of. Tank’s team of five had already lost, so it did not seem they would have any plans for the luxury cruise anymore. But there was still the nagging doubt in Jiaming's thoughts since that man was here, the situation would not end that easily. It was because that man—
He was the King of Assassins!
Oooh snap, Jiaming's first loss!
4/7 chapters (next release is probably May 29).