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578 No Emotions

 Huo Shaoheng stood by the airport entryway and watched the streams of people towing suitcases through the massive space. Uniformed military police took their military dogs through the crowds. It was obvious they were drawn to Asian men the same height as Huo Shaoheng. He now appeared as a mixed-race man with a long nose and blue eyes, so the dogs shouldn't notice him. But something was amiss. If there were military dogs present, that meant someone had gotten a hold of an object carrying Huo Shaoheng's scent in order to train the dogs to search using that smell.

Huo Shaoheng's eyes dimmed and brows furrowed as he watched the military dogs weave through the crowd. According to logic, seeing military dogs meant the mole had gotten a personal object to familiarize them with... But he had already been abroad for over two months. What scent would linger that long? Even if they got a piece of clothing or toiletry from the Hua Xia Empire, most of those had been washed and put away. Any remaining scent would be barely there, so it was impossible for the military dogs to recognize and use the barely detectable scent to sniff him out. Huo Shaoheng was personally knowledgeable about military dogs, and as far as he knew, there were no military dogs with such keen noses in the world.

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With both hands in his trouser pockets, he stared expressionlessly at the military dogs for a while then finally decided to take a gamble. He wanted to see whether his inference was correct, or if the dogs had a keener sense of smell. Like everyone else, Huo Shaoheng wore sunglasses and walked inside the airport. He went to the United Airlines counter and pretended to look at the flight information board for a while with squinted eyes. Turning around, he saw everyone else was holding boarding passes and lining up for the self-check-in machines. Huo Shaoheng took out his wallet from a pocket and pretended to look for his boarding pass as he walked leisurely by.

Suddenly, the back of his neck twitched slightly like something was staring at him. He didn't have to look back to know that there was probably a military dog locking onto him... This was perplexing... As Huo Shaoheng mulled over it, he kept walking at an even pace, weaving through the crowd and opening a cigar box. Taking a thick cigar out, he ripped away the outer wrapping and scattered the cigar onto the ground. The smell of cigars could slightly disrupt the military dogs' sense of smell, but this distraction wouldn't last very long. It was just enough for Huo Shaoheng to leave the airport lobby and return to where he had been.

The oppressive feeling on the back of his neck disappeared, and he turned around to see a muscular German shepherd circling and sniffing the ground where he had stood. There were still pieces of the cigar on the ground, easily discernible from the clean and reflective surface. Huo Shaoheng used this method to alert his enemy that he had been there. Although he wasn't directly caught by the military dogs, a military professional would immediately know what the cigar on the floor meant. If the military dogs were targeting Huo Shaoheng and someone was using cigars to disrupt the military dogs' sense of smell, then the only conclusion was that their target, Huo Shaoheng, had appeared in the airport.

Huo Shaoheng didn't linger but hailed a cab to return the same way he came. He picked up his car from the New Jersey train station then drove to his luxury apartment. His trackers in New York probably hadn't thought to search New Jersey just yet. Huo Shaoheng kept appearing in New York mainly to confuse them.

When he returned to his room, he quickly washed up and began to contemplate the incident of the military dogs. A mere mole couldn't explain this phenomenon. How had his enemy used his smell to train those military dogs? Also, if the enemy already had the method of effective military dogs, then his physical disguise wouldn't be much use anymore. Dogs didn't know how to recognize human faces but could discern smells. Huo Shaoheng thought about it in his apartment all night but couldn't figure out how they were doing it. However, it didn't matter, as long as he could deal with the military dogs.

The next day, Huo Shaoheng didn't go into the city but went to a nearby Macy's to buy different types of perfume. He formulated a fragrance similar to body odor and carried it with him. This type of smell could largely disguise his natural scent and obstruct the military dog's sense of smell.

When he went into the city a few days later, he found that the military dogs were no longer restricted to the airport but were visible in many parts of New York. How he pitied them... Huo Shaoheng felt emotionless and even wanted to laugh. He basically sauntered right past the military dogs, but not a single one paid him any attention.

Summers in New York were scorchingly hot, so the German shepherds wagged their long tongues, huffing under the sun as they loyally searched for any possible suspect or location. Huo Shaoheng arrived at a smoking zone in front of a skyscraper and took out a cigar to light. He didn't look at the several military police nearby but kept them in the corners of his eyes. Soon after, the uniformed military police took the military dogs away from the area to begin searching in the next. Huo Shaoheng blew a ring of smoke in the direction where they had gone and almost wanted to whistle. However, he only entertained the thought since making a noise now would only bring himself trouble.

Throwing the cigar in a nearby trash can, he put both hands in his trouser pockets and strolled leisurely on the streets of New York. Fifth Avenue had amassed all the top brands in the world. Half the people there were rich and famous, while the other half were there to service them. Huo Shaoheng stopped in front of the Hermes flagship store. He remembered Gu Nianzhi loved Hermes scarves the most, and it was also her birthday in two months. He probably could only buy a few Hermes scarves for her this year. Huo Shaoheng didn't go inside but merely looked at the new fall and winter items in the window display. One of them was a blue silk scarf printed with Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Gu Nianzhi would like it. Huo Shaoheng planned to find a way to buy one from the flagship store in Europe and send it to the Hua Xia Empire when he returned to the apartment. That way, it would also confuse the domestic enemies.

Huo Shaoheng began strolling down Fifth Avenue after leaving the Hermes flagship store. Surrounding him were groups of shoppers from all over the world. There were rich ladies from the Middle East, cloaked in black veils and carrying Birkin bags. There were also glamorous women wearing backless sundresses with high heels and sunglasses, their lips painted a bright red as they climbed into Rolls Royces parked on the street. There were also families sightseeing--elderly parents, young children, and even grandchildren who were only a few years old. They held hands and walked under the Manhattan sunshine. Adjacent from him not far away was a beautiful woman clad in a Chanel suit. She carried a pretty little girl hugging a doll as she pushed a stroller. The woman's Chanel suit resembled one Gu Nianzhi once purchased. She also had a slim yet curvy body. Huo Shaoheng couldn't help glancing at her again.