As a commemoration of a special day today, two chapters of Song of the Phoenix shall be released to feed your addiction. Enjoy the new novel my beloved readers!
Baihe crept up behind one of the two bodyguards by the door. Her hand muffled over his mouth and swiftly disarmed his rifle before ruthlessly snapping his neck. The other bodyguard turned around upon hearing a plop sound from the fallen body of his comrade. Without giving him the opportunity to alert the others, Baihe immediately grabbed his hand that was holding another similar rifle and twisted it backward.
She maneuvered herself behind her opponent and trapped him in a deadly headlock, strangling her victim to death. As the lifeless guy slumped to the floor, no longer breathing, her lithe body moved through the premises stealthily.
This time she’d accepted a high-risk top mission that was enough to give her a few weeks’ worth of migraine, but the offer was too good to refuse. In life, the higher the risks, the better the rewards and she was a woman who loved walking on the edge of danger.
Her target was a high-profile underground arms dealer, with a head price of one hundred million in USD. One of the most notorious criminal who specialized not only in illegal weapons, but also in drugs and human trafficking.
Was she a vigilante? Of course not! She was the 25th century most deadliest assassin! And she had just accepted the mission to eliminate him from his rival in business. Except… there was a small catch. She must also retrieve a treasure her target had recently procured. Why her contractor wanted the treasure was none of her business.
All she knew was upon successful shipment of the treasure, an additional three hundred million dollars will be delivered. A grand total of four hundred million in US currency was enough to secure her retirement in exchange for a leisure lifestyle. If the haughty target knew that his life was worth only one third of the treasure, how would he feel? Probably spit out a mouthful of blood in anger.
Baihe had no difficulty navigating through the area because she had already done her research two weeks prior after accepting the mission. She had diligently studied the blueprints and layout of the extravagant hotel, down to the smallest details such as changes in shifts between hotel employees and patrol guards routines.
Her target was the sole proprietor of the hotel and he’d allocated the 80th floor, on the top level for his own personal use. At this time, the target should be soaking in a large bathtub with beauties by his side. Women’s laughter and giggles echoed from the bathroom, followed by sounds of moaning and panting.
Baihe smirked. Enjoy your last meal of desserts while you can…
Traps were long disabled by her and the security cameras had all been tinkered with. The only thing those guys behind the screens would be seeing would be the believable image feeds she had set up beforehand.
Quickly, without wasting another second, she headed toward the protruding pool reinforced with seven layers of glass that overlooked the busy city streets below. Anyone with a fear of height would probably pollute the pool with a stream of Yellow River by now, but Baihe wasn’t just anyone. As an assassin, height was one of the most common fear one must overcome.
Snapping on the goggles and swimming mouthpiece, she dived into the pool. Based on her calculation, she’d have ten minutes at most before the target appear. He had a habit of going for a dip in the pool after enjoying carnal desires in the bathtub. Diving down to the bottom of the pool, she took out a small device that creates concentrated pressure and set the timer before planting it at the bottom of the glass.
Finished with the initial setup plan, she swam toward the edge of the pool. There was a secret pathway that led to an inner section of the pool, obscured from the night city below.
Nimble and experienced fingers moved across the ceramic wall tiles, inspecting each section with great attention. Her hands stopped upon one tile that felt slightly different from the others. Curling one of her hands, she knocked on the tile with her knuckles and sure enough, it produced a hollow sound.
Retrieving some gears and tools from her pocket belt, she drilled out the ceramic wall tile. Inside the small hole, there was a tiny red button.
At this time, footsteps could be heard from above, followed by a loud splash. Baihe knew it was her target and time was of the essence. Her cold eyes scanned the male covered in dangling gold necklaces. The gaudy rings on his fingers gleamed in clear water as he swam leisurely in his personal customized pool, wearing absolutely nothing besides his birthday suit.
Baihe wished she could erase the ugly sight from her memory. Couldn’t you at least spare the poor innocent victims of the city streets below from your exhibitionism? But then again, at 80 floors high, perhaps most people won’t see much anyway.
For the moment, her figure was well hidden in the secret pathway. Unless he suddenly decided to check this section, she was relatively safe, but time was running out. She knew she had to hurry. It won’t be much longer until the niffy little device she planted penetrates through the seven layers of glass, shattering the pool into brilliant shards of sparkling diamonds and dropping her target straight down to hell.
With that thought in mind, she pressed the button concealed inside the hole of the ceramic wall tile she had just removed. The surrounding walls pushed backward and opened a hidden vault. Inside the space, revealed the treasure she sought — an ancient musical instrument known as the guqin.
Baihe stared at the guqin. The craftsmanship was exquisite and each design was intricately embedded. The instrument was made with red sandalwood, carved with an extremely lifelike burning phoenix. Even the strings glimmered with a life of its own.
Well…definitely a priceless artifact that probably should belong in a Chinese museum. No wonder he was willing to pay so much for the guqin. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say the guqin probably belonged to the imperial family, or at least someone with great noble standing, but why the hell does an arm dealer want such a thing for? Unless… it was to sell to a collector for an exorbitant amount of price or was there some sort of secret to this guqin?
After all, this ancient artifact was super well hidden and took enormous effort on her part to finally dig out the location, but she pushed all inquiries to the back of her mind. Right now, the most important thing was to escape. Her hands reached out to snatch the guqin and leave, but the strings on the instrument somehow managed to prick her skin, cutting through her black leather gloves and into her flesh. Blood gushed out from the long horizontal wound on her palm and dripped onto the guqin.
Baihe ignored the pain, for she’d suffered injuries way worse than this. Compare to the other times, this was merely a small flesh wound. She was however, curious as to how some simple guqin strings managed to penetrate through her leather gloves and inflicted such a deep cut.
Her blood was absorbed by the guqin and for a moment, the phoenix engraved on the instrument appeared to flutter its majestic wings and take flight. None of this was noticed by Baihe, who was currently focused on swimming toward the edge of the pool to escape.