Eeeh!!! Finally, we have our three leads at one place, and it’s electric. Both the male leads show off their impressive stalking skills, and the female lead shows even though she’s clueless about what’s going on, she can still evade them. Their destinies have been already written, and it’s crystal clear that they are only meant to collide.
Chapter 1: Let The Games Begin.
Among the thousands of people in the Changi Airport, a young man can easily mingle without much suspicion.
He was dressed completely in black, his favorite color. His hand was playing with the chain around his neck—this seems to turn into a dangerous addiction for him. This Assignment was extremely special for him, since this is the first time he will be using his real name, albeit with fake bio-data.
This would probably send a signal to his father that this will be the last time he will work undercover. He knew that this was more or less like holding a neon sign on top of his head, saying that he is going to quit NIS.
He was especially nervous when he accepted to continue in the Assignment, but he managed to hide it in front of his father. In his father’s eyes, a man who’s afraid is equal to a corpse. The last time he had gone undercover on this very mission, it was disastrous. Thinking about it made his hands tighten on the chain around his neck.
This Assignment wasn’t about Jia, but someone else. Only, her being too close to that someone in the near future is why his father used her name to drag him into this mess of an Assignment. Basically, Jia is like the temporary Target of this Assignment.
The ear-piece, which was silent until then, suddenly buzzed with sound. He flinched, “Ouch!”
“Target has arrived in the airport. She has just left her mother,” said a flat digitally-altered voice.
He made a face. He simply hated having to put on the ear-piece. It caught him unaware whenever the voice started to speak.
“Operation Phoenix will resume once the Target will reach you. She will reach you in approximately 3 minutes.”
He scoffed sardonically when he heard the name. Operation Phoenix. If he was right, he knew that the name must have been coined by his father. Only his father’s got such hare-brained ideas for names.
He put on the fancy info-glasses which were provided by his father especially for this Assignment. And he hated gadgets.
“Hey X, is this thing working?” he murmured. He hated X more than anybody else—counting his father out.
“It is. It will scan people and will alert you when you spot the Target. I advise you to tint it first,” replied the voice.
He pressed a small button to the side of the frame, and immediately the lens turned black, into (more or less) sunglasses. He waited for the thing to do its work.
“Target will reach you in 1 minute,” said the voice, giving him the count-down.
He drained his latte, and stood up, preparing himself. “Target will reach you in 30 seconds.”
Suddenly, he heard a crash behind him. He turned, ever alert. A small crowd had gathered. He walked slowly and cautiously. The ear-piece was silent.
He made his way through the people, and then he saw her. The glasses circled her face with a green-colored band, and letters shone beside the band—Target located.
She had accidentally dashed into a promotional board, and fell hard. She kept apologizing—to anybody who will listen—about the board.
X’s mechanical voice warned him, “Operation Phoenix has begun again.”
His lips shaped into a crooked smile when he saw her petite face, and he muttered the first word that came to his mind—
Not many feet away from this little scene stood a tall and well-built young man, observing the tiny girl who was apologizing profusely to the airport officials. They gave her a one-over and smiled at her sincerity, brushing off her regrets.
He saw the girl gather up her backpack, and immediately started following her. He stopped when she stopped to buy a bar of Snickers. He sat not very far from her as she sat eating her Snickers and reading Singapore Times. He himself took a Financial Times from the newspaper stand and pretended to read.
Once or twice, her eyes wandered and fell on him. And when they did fall, she frowned mysteriously, as though her sixth sense was warning her that she’s being observed. He immediately had to pick invisible lint on his gray beguine coat, to avoid suspicion.
His phone buzzed. The SIM Card is untraceable, and is impossible to tap. He answered the call.
“Greetings, Comrade!” said an eager male voice from the other side.
He cursed internally. He was famous in his world, for being the youngest protégé of the Great Master. But more than that, he was famous for being the face of their Internet Mission. He alone had acquired over 1000 confidential files right from the servers of the NIS. He was one of the people in the Most Wanted List of NIS, and was legendary in Intelligence Agencies around the world as the Most Elusive Man in the World. An unbeatable hacker, once he begins a mission, there is no going back,
But most of all, nobody knew him or his face or his name.
And the man on the other side of the line was one of the many South Korean Communist sympathizers and was head-over-heels that he was talking to him.
“Yes?” he asked, cryptically.
“Comrade, I just found out that you’re seated a row behind the Target you told me about,” said the man, now sounding apprehensive.
“And why is that?” he snapped.
“Comrade, before I could hack into the airline’s database to see where the Target booked her place, somebody else had already been placed beside the Target. I guess that the seat was pre-booked. It would have looked too suspicious if the seating changed overnight. So for safety, I…”
“Fine,” he said curtly, hanging up the call.
These South Korean infidels can’t do a single damned thing I ask them to do, he thought.
When he looked up, he saw that she was missing. He cursed.
But where will she go? He thought, I will find her again. I will find her.
I was having this TOTAL deja vu moment, when the NIS Agent lead says “Bingo!”
Did anyone else remember Healer at that time. Man, I felt SO nostalgic remembering the good old days when Ji Chang Wook leaped from one building to another effortlessly and made us fall in love with his dorky side!
As I’ve already told you before, the names of our two male leads won’t be revealed to us yet.
I like this novel mainly because of it’s attention to detail. And also, it’s extremely important to remember all the incidents that take place because they have a connection to what happens in the further chapters.
I like our heroine in more ways than one. She is clumsy. But that doesn’t make her weak. She’s a wonderful mix of Paradoxes and that’s what makes her even more appealing.