Li Ya Lin was enraged to hear of the research department's plot, mainly because she was worried about her 20% discount.
"This is the higher ups' game," said Li Yao. "We can't do anything about it."
"Might as well get rid of that research department head," suggested Lambert plainly as he polished his daggers.
Li Yao gave a start.
"Uncle! Don't say that kind of thing!"
"Well, that seems like one way to solve things..." mumbled Li Ya Lin in deep thought, sending Li Yao to the verge of tears.
Even if you guys don't want to live, I still want to live! he thought to himself.
Although Han Xiao had only joined them a few days ago, after the Black Spider operation, the trio had fully accepted him as their comrade. Naturally, they were displeased to hear of his predicament.
"Why not ask for his opinion directly?" asked Li Yao.
"His address is top secret, and his phone is always off!" scowled Li Ya Lin. "Who knows where he could be"
"Then what should we do? How can we just watch him suffer at the hands of the research department?"
"Wait," Lambert abruptly interjected.
Footsteps could be heard, and a few seconds later, a woman appeared at the door.
"Hey, Lin Lin, I heard that your new teammate is quite the troublemaker."
The woman was short-haired, and a beauty in her own right. However, her voice was derisive, and she looked down on the trio antagonistically as she leaned against the door with folded arms.
The woman's skin was extremely fair, and her lips were exceedingly red, as though the petals of a rose. She possessed a flirtatious temperament, and although she was tall, the strength of her aura did not seem to pale against Li Ya Lin's. Although Li Ya Lin was unquestionably prettier, the woman was, without a doubt, more of a head turner than her.
Li Ya Lin's face immediately darkened at the sight of her.
"Vixen Su," she growled through gritted teeth, "are you looking for a fight?"
Di Su Su giggled tauntingly.
"If you dare."
Di Su Su and Li Ya Lin were well known to be hated rivals. The bad blood between them could be traced all the way back to when they were fellow disciples of a dojo in their childhood. While Di Su Su always excelled in each of their tests and fights, Li Ya Lin's performance was always average, and she was always easily defeated by her.
Even until this day, Li Ya Lin would sometimes be reminded of the way that she would put on a pretense in front of everyone and act nice to her despite them detesting each other. While everyone would praise Di Su Su and offer her guidance, Li Ya Lin's conversations with their master always end in a few sentences, and he would always just ask her to follow Di Su Su's example.
Recalling those events always dampened Li Ya Lin's mood. Her master essentially treated her like an abandoned dog in the rain.
The two would eventually both end up joining Division 13, but only for history to repeat itself. Di Su Su's always outperformed Li Ya Lin's team, and her team became the ace of secret ops. What Li Ya Lin hated most was how Di Su Su would frequently come over to mock her, and the way she called her 'Lin Lin'!
Bitch! Since when were we close?
Di Su Su was obviously doing it on purpose, and while Li Ya Lin knew this, it still got on her nerves.
"Hehe," Di Su Su laughed softly. "I heard that you guys have a new addition, so I came specially to look for him. Where is he? He can't have gone to hide, right?"
"He's not here," replied Li Ya Lin coldly. "Get lost."
"Looks like I've made a wasted trip, but I guess that's understandable, since he's busy being destroyed by the research department."
Li Ya Lin stared at her.
"Hurry up and get lost!"
"How heartless." Di Su Su pouted. "We're childhood sweethearts, after all."
She shot a look towards Li Yao before sauntering off.
Li Ya Lin was already frustrated, but when she turned around to see Li Yao all intoxicated, her anger swelled. She stood up abruptly to grab Li Yao by his collar.
"Is this beautiful woman right beside you not enough" she yelled. "Why are you looking at that vixen"
"B-b-but," stammered Li Yao, "she smiled at me..."
"You had better give me a good answer: is she more beautiful or am I?" she asked threateningly.
For some reason, Li Yao still had to take a moment to think before he replied, "I think... that Sister Su Su is gentler than you..."
"Humph, Li Yao! I think that your brain needs some adjustment!
As Lambert casually sipped on the cup of water in his hand, he picked his phone up to make a call.
"Get a doctor over herea bone specialist, preferably."
The research department had expected Han Xiao to refuse their demands.
To mechanics, blueprints were like their lifeline.
They did not care about Han Xiao's personal gain, or rather, that was to be expected, as the hardliners were hostile to him from the very start. In their eyes, giving Han Xiao the chance to cooperate was a soft move, and he should have been locked up and controlled instead.
On the other hand, the conservatives thought exactly the opposite. They were willing to give Han Xiao the benefit of the doubt as he seemed trustworthy and was cooperative. Why cause unrest and animosity over a simple beginner equipment blueprint?
What if he wasn't scared of torture?
Division 13 had tried all sorts of methods on captured Germinal members before, but torture seldom worked, and nine out of ten would give false intel that was harmful instead of beneficial.
Besides, Han Xiao was a truly unique case.
As such, the conservatives, too, were outraged at the pressure that the hardliners were trying to put on Han Xiao. They saw them as a bunch of outdated, old farts. Times had changed, and talent was in high demandDivision 13 should have been treasuring him, not pressuring him.
Weren't there other mechanics in the division too? Stealing Han Xiao's work would reflect poorly on the division.
What year was it? All the talk about loyalty and what not would only serve to chase away prospects and talents seeking refuge. Don't forget that the Six Nations was the main culprit for the destruction of all the other countries! It would not be surprising if these foreign talents just up and rebelled!
Unfortunately, as Division 13 was extremely compartmentalized, only the top brass would be able to interfere with the research department's actions, but they seemed to only be interested in continuing to observe for now.
The research department was offering high amounts of cash to the agents for the Retractable Knives that they had bought from Han Xiao, which everyone saw through as a low move.
As most of the agents did not know of Han Xiao's special status, most felt that it was unreasonable to bully an ordinary mechanic so, and they decided not to turn in the knives. Doing so would also be, in some sense, disrespectful to Han Xiao.
However, there were still some who turned them in for the money.
Korat was the first agent to strike a deal with the research department. He asked for 30,000 dollarsthirty times more than the opening offerand the research department relented.
His reasoning was simpleit was simply worth the money. While most of the agents held on to their morals, he laughed at them for being fools to pass up the opportunity.
It's just a small-time mechanic anyway, who even cares? Just wait till the research department mass produces it if you really want it.
In the research department, Luo Xuan and the head secretary were examining the retractable knife.
"Luo Xuan, can you reproduce it?"