Chapter 12 - Accepting the Invitation
“One of our teams was attacked in the desert three months ago. We lost two-hundred-seventy two men.” Lin Lu put down a pile of paper on the table.
“Yes, you’ve told me about it,” Li Yiming said as he scrutinized the pictures of a monster with three legs, six wings, the head of a wolf, and the body of a bull.
“We’ve refined our analyses of the satellite pictures and found two suspicious-looking figures near the scene.”
“These two.” Lin Lu pulled out a picture on which the faces of the two people were barely visible.
“This is the match we’ve obtained after searching our database.” Lin Lu said as she showed two pictures of much better quality. Both were middle-aged men. One had a scar on the left side of his face, while the other looked as white as a sheet of paper.
“What do you need me to do?” Li Yiming said as he examined the pictures. He knew that it was time to repay the favor he owed.
“One of them showed up here this morning.” Lin Lu pointed at the man with pale skin.
“You want me to help you catch him?”
Lin Lu said nothing and fixed her gaze at Li Yiming. Although Li Yiming had promised to help National Security, she knew better that it was not a promise which lasted forever. In fact, she was against the decision of her superior to squander this precious favor on apprehending a suspect allegedly involved in the massacre.
“We’ve received news that he will attend the corporate banquet of Yunyu Corporation tonight,” Lin Lu said after a long silence.
“Really?” Li Yiming’s interest was piqued.
“Yunyu Corporation has grown to a point where it might be politically unfeasible to intervene directly. We must proceed with caution. This banquet will be a hard one to infiltrate, too…” Lin Lu continued.
“So?” Li Yiming waited for the follow-up.
“I’d like to ask you to come with me to the banquet and apprehend this individual if necessary.”
“Okay.” Contrary to what Lin Lu expected, Li Yiming accepted without a second thought.
“Thank you. I’ll have the arrangements made for the invitation and our fake IDs.” Lin Lu let out a sigh of relief and looked for her cellphone.
“Yes. Security is tight. If we can’t get out hands on an invitation, then we’ll have to find another way in,” Lin Lu explained as she searched for her cellphone.
“You mean this?” Li Yiming went to the trash can and picked up the black invitation card, which was covered in wet tea leaves.
“What…? How?” Lin Lu looked at the garbage can in astonishment.
“You really don’t know?” Li Yiming looked at the newspaper stand outside. He thought that Lin Lu had trailed Ying Mei, and only came inside after seeing her visiting him.
“I’ve made them leave two days ago,” Lin Lu said.
“Ma’am? Ma’am?” A voice came from the cellphone.
“Oh yes, please prepare an evening dress for me. And a car as well.” Lin Lu said before hanging up.
“What? A dress and a car? Aren’t these things handled by the logistics team?” The agent who answered Lin Lu’s call looked around, incredulous.
“Who knows?” The other agent chuckled and took attentive notes about Lin Lu’s orders.
“What about the invitation?”
“Why so many questions? If she didn’t ask for it, then we don’t need it. Do you know what her chest measurements are?”
“What? Don’t push your luck!”
“What are you thinking about? I’m ordering the dress.” The face of the agent who asked the question slightly flushed as he slapped the back of his friend’s head to hide his embarrassment, but his friend’s question nevertheless reminded him of Lin Lu’s incredibly attractive body.
With the efficient work of the agents, it only took ten minutes before a luxurious Audi arrived at the tea shop. A few agents rushed inside, the last one entering put a sign announcing that the shop was closed for the day.
“Ma’am, preparations are ready.” The agent who headed the group said as he put down his package and presented a long, beautifully made gown to Lin Lu.
“You’re coming with me?” Li Yiming did not understand what was going on.
“Of course.” Lin Lu answered as she examined her dress.
“You know, I can do this alone.” Li Yiming could only imagine Lin Lu to be a burden should she come along.
“I need to go.” Lin Lu said resolutely. She turned around and looked at Chen Jiawang. “Excuse me, can I change upstairs?”
“What? Yes, yes! Of course! Follow me.” Chen Jiawang walked toward the stairs after looking for Li Yiming’s approval with a quick glance.
Li Yiming sighed and shook his head. ‘Oh well… I’ll just have to be careful.’
“Mr. Li, this is yours.” An agent presented a dapper dress coat, while another agent was setting up the temporary make-up station.
“I don’t need it. We’ll be fine as long as Lin Lu is prepared.” Li Yiming said as he looked at the fancy piece of clothing.
“What are you going to wear then?” Lin Lu’s voice came from behind. Being as disciplined as she was, she finished changing in a matter of seconds.
“This, of course,” Li Yiming said as he pointed at his chest.
“Excuse me, Mr. Li, are you unsatisfied with the style of the suit? It would be safe to assume that all the guests will be dressed formally, so if you attend the banquet dressed like that, it would significantly increase the likelihood of attracting unwanted attention…” One of the agents kindly reminded Li Yiming.
“It’s fine, I have a real invitation.” Li Yiming knew that Yun Yiyuan would never choose to kick him out of the event due to his choice of attire.
“Very well, suit yourself. Could you help me with my zipper?” Lin Lu turned around and showed her bare back to Li Yiming, revealing her smooth, tanned skin.
“What?” Li Yiming could not understand why she would ask him for help when there were two other agents assigned with the task of providing the outfit and make-up for Lin Lu.
Li Yiming looked at the agents, only to find them averting their gaze.
“Quick! I need to do my make-up after that!” Lin Lu urged as she arranged her hair.
“Uh…” Li Yiming coughed and tried his best to help Lin Lu. From where he stood, his stare reached all the way down to Lin Lu’s waist, and he could see that she had chosen underwear which consisted of barely more than a tiny piece of fabric. As Li Yiming looked at the muscles on Lin Lu’s back, he noticed that she was not wearing a bra.
“Alright, how about I do it.” The female agent who was preparing the make-up finally offered to ease Li Yiming’s trouble.
‘Phew.’ Li Yiming retreated into a corner and pretended to drink from his empty cup. Only when he put his lips on the cup did he realize that he had just felt shame and embarrassment, emotions that he thought he could no longer feel.
“What is it? Is this make-up not good enough?” Lin Lu, who sat at the makeshift station, suddenly asked when she noticed Li Yiming's staring at her.
“Uh, it’s good. But I don’t think that you need those.” Li Yiming pointed at the miniature camera the agent was attaching to Lin Lu’s clothes.
“Are you sure?” The agent looked at Lin Lu.
“You shouldn’t bring those either.” Li Yiming turned around and said to the agent who was preparing the weapons.
“Listen to what he says. Put them away.” Lin Lu said firmly after pondering for a few seconds.
“But...?” One of the agents hesitated.
“If the intelligence we’ve received is accurate, then we’ll only increase the chances of exposing ourselves.” Lin Lu dismissed the agent’s concern and signaled for the preparations to continue.
Li Yiming sat down in a corner and closed his eyes, his senses focused on Lin Lu. ‘My emotions… They’ve come back the moment I became embarrassed… Also when I think about Liu Meng… What’s the trigger… Love? Lust?’