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 Yamaguchi Aiko had a headscarf to disguise herself as a cleaning lady. She looked up and grimaced at Prime Minister Dou.

"I have nowhere to go. If I didn't come to you for help, I'd be a sitting duck." The Huaxia Imperial Secret Service had cast a city-wide net in pursuit of Yamaguchi Aiko. Although they weren't as disturbingly capable as the Special Operations Forces, they were powerful enough to force her to go to the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Dou was speechless. Yamaguchi Aiko had agreed to not contact him again in order to prevent him being dragged into the mess. She knew Deputy Chief of Staff Xu's entire family was being framed for the crime. If someone else could take the fall for him, Prime Minister Dou thought, why should he have to suffer too? Prime Minister Dou's expression darkened and he pointed to a bookcase by the wall.

"Clean there first."

Yamaguchi Aiko was pretending to be a janitor, so it made sense for her to actually clean as part of her disguise.

"Prime Minister Dou, I have a plan, but I need your help in order to escape," Yamaguchi Aiko said as she picked up the cleaning tools to dust the shelves near the wall.

Prime Minister Dou flipped through a book in front of the shelf and didn't look at Yamaguchi Aiko as he spoke. If anyone walked in, it wouldn't be obvious that he was actually interacting with her.

"How can I help you? I'm being watched closely too," Prime Minister Dou whispered quietly. "I've already given you a heads up about the Secret Service's operations twice now. Why haven't you left yet?" The Secret Service was under the Huaxia Imperial cabinet and, therefore, regarded as a domestic counterpart to the Special Operations Forces. Theoretically, the Secret Service reported to the Prime Minister. The two departments were responsible for domestic and foreign affairs respectively, and while duties sometimes overlapped, their jurisdictions differed. However, because the Secret Service reported directly to the Cabinet and had a lower security clearance, there were too many people who had the power intervene. They were not as strong as the Special Ops, so they had not yet arrested Yamaguchi Aiko.

Yamaguchi Aiko gave him a vicious look of resentment.

"The Special Operations Forces and the Secret Service are working with customs." She didn't dare attempt to flee. If she was spotted by the superbly capable Special Ops, there was no way she could run. She knew she couldn't risk being arrested. The consequences were too grave. Yamaguchi Aiko couldn't help shivering, unwilling to imagine what would happen if she were arrested. If it came to that, immediate suicide was the only option.

"What? Special Ops are involved with customs!" Prime Minister Dou was both shocked and furious. He threw his book on the ground. "How dare they! The customs department directly reports to the Cabinet. To hell with the Special Ops!"

Yamaguchi Aiko nodded furiously. "You are the Prime Minister. How can you allow a military department to circumvent your authority? Think about it. You should be in the same standing as Speaker Long and General Ji, but the Special Ops has knocked you off your pedestal. What's the point of being Prime Minister if you don't have any power?"

Prime Minister Dou's expression became uglier. He had long noticed that, with his title, he should be the nation's top leader. At least, he should have been part of the troika along with Speaker Long and General Ji. However, the other two men always looked down on him, and while they were all too happy to intervene in his matters, he was never allowed to touch the military's business. It wasn't fair.

"I'll find a way. What they're doing is completely out of their jurisdiction." Prime Minister Dou planned to have his own senior executive assistants peruse the relevant Huaxia laws to determine what the Special Ops was violating and order them to completely withdraw from domestic affairs. He believed Speaker Long and the Supreme Military Council would support him. No one wanted to see an institution like that emerge.

"You can think about this in detail later. The important thing right now is to get me out of here." Yamaguchi Aiko smiled suggestively. "Prime Minister Dou, can you help me?"

"How can I help you?" Prime Minister Dou regarded her suspiciously. "Did you forget our agreement? I'm already being targeted by the Special Ops. You don't stand a chance if anything happens to me."

"Of course I don't want anything to happen to you. You are my biggest supporter in the Huaxia Empire. If something happens to you, how would that benefit me? All our previous efforts would be for nothing. Plus, even if I was willing, the Yamaguchi-gumi would never agree. I'd rather die than be punished by them. Don't worry." Yamaguchi Aiko was eager to reassure Prime Minister Dou and tried very hard to dispel his worries.

Prime Minister Dou felt relieved once he heard Yamaguchi Aiko's promise. She was right, the Yamaguchi-gumi punished their own members even more cruelly than they punished their enemies.

"Very well then, just remember what you promised." Prime Minister Dou rubbed his eyes and picked up another book from the shelf.

Yamaguchi Aiko took her cleaning tools and dusted the shelves as she approached Prime Minister Dou. She whispered even more quietly so her voice would not be picked up even if the room was bugged.

"Prime Minister Dou, you have to think of a way." Yamaguchi Aiko squinted her narrow eyes to appear gentle and conforming. "If anything happens to me, the Yamaguchi-gumi will come after you too."

Prime Minister Dou understood and frowned. "I'll think of something, but right now, you need to fix my issue first."

"What issue?" Yamaguchi Aiko's eyes turned cold. "Can you tell me?"

"I have a senior executive assistant who called the dean of B University about the incident with you and my daughter. He's been discovered." Prime Minister Dou turned around to glance at Yamaguchi Aiko. "Do you have a solution?"

"That's simple. Anyone who's been discovered will just disappear." Yamaguchi Aiko replied without hesitation, "Leave it to me."

"Disappear? How?" He didn't understand. "The Secret Service is hounding us like dogs. They have strong noses. No matter where you hide him, they will find him."

"Prime Minister Dou you are so interesting. Why would I hide him!" Yamaguchi Aiko cackled. "When I say disappear, I mean dispose of the body..."

"Really?" Prime Minister Dou folded his hands behind his back and walked around the study several times. "Then, what about the support you promised?"

Yamaguchi Aiko hadn't thought he would still be concerned with the election at this point. She blinked and answered quickly. "No problem. The Yamaguchi-gumi will send someone else to contact you. I can't get involved anymore. I've messed up this task, so I will be disciplined when I get back. Most likely, I'll never return to the Huaxia Empire again."

"Very well then." Prime Minister Dou nodded. "I'll wait for your update, and, when you solve this problem for me, I'll help you leave."

"That's a promise!" Yamaguchi Aiko sighed with relief and was secretly elated to finally get Prime Minister Dou on the hook. After they finalized their plan, she calmly left the Prime Minister's official residence. Soon after, Yamaguchi Aiko noticed someone tailing her. This was as expected. She smiled and deliberately allowed them to discover her presence at the Prime Minister's official residence. How else could she divert their attention? She donned a humble janitor's outfit and squeezed onto a crowded bus making sure to change her seat several times in order to shake off the person assigned to tail her. And with that, she melted into the crowd.

...

Early the next morning, a fatal robbery occurred in a neighborhood not far from the Prime Minister's official residence. The victim happened to be one of Prime Minister Dou's senior executive assistants who was responsible for the communication between the Prime Minister's office and all the major universities. He was working overtime at the Prime Minister's official residence and had left for his apartment when he was attacked.

"What's going on! Where was security! How could such a vicious robbery and murder happen near the Prime Minister's official residence, with the victim being one of Prime Minister Dou's senior executive assistants no less! What if a normal citizen was attacked? Would they have been doomed as well?" The officials from the Prime Minister's official residence were full of indignation and complained to the Imperial Capital's police headquarters.

Elite police officers were dispatched to the scene to handle the case, but they found that the surveillance cameras in the neighborhood had been deliberately destroyed mere minutes before the crime occurred. Without the footage, the detectives could only infer what happened. As they surveyed the scene, they saw a man lying in a pool of blood, his throat slashed by a blade. His briefcase was found nearby, but his wallet, phone, and expensive watch were left on the body. If this was a robbery and murder, then what was stolen? The money, identification, and the Rolex that doubled as cash were all intact.

"Robbery and murder? This was clearly silencing a witness," an officer grumbled with a disdainful shake of his head.

"Be careful with your words. You're a police officer. You need evidence before you make claims," his chief warned him quietly. "We need evidence to support this, so hurry up and find it."

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