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589 A Big Gift Has Arrived

 Although Sean had someone backing him, he was also very capable himself. Otherwise, he wouldn't have risen through the ranks so quickly. This time, he had to make a big move to make the CIA intelligence personnel completely accept him. By dusk the next day, Sean had already been hiding out on the top level of the building across from Huo Shaoheng's apartment the entire day. The whole time, he only saw Huo Shaoheng three times-in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, probably when he was going to dinner.

He kneeled on one leg without moving on the balcony on the third floor. He had measured the wind speed and airflow many times already. The dark and heavy scope was the American military's most advanced digitized smart scope, its accuracy comparable to the radar that launched ballistic missiles. As soon as it locked onto a target, the target would never survive.

The sun set in the west, the last rays of sunshine casting geometric patterns onto the skyscrapers of New York with the flourish of an abstract artist. Huo Shaoheng came downstairs and as usual, stood in front of the store windows for a while. Sean was on the rooftop of the building across the street observing Huo Shaoheng for the day, and at the same time, Huo Shaoheng had also been watching him the entire day. This man wasn't very patient, and Huo Shaoheng noticed he shook out his hand nearly three times every hour and stood up to kick his leg every three hours.

Although it was very quick, this was a fatal error for snipers. This meant the sniper was unable to focus during a steakout. However, at dusk, Huo Shaoheng knew Sean couldn't wait any longer, and he must make a move then. Walking out from his hiding spot, Huo Shaoheng was already fully prepared. Hidden in his sleeve was a modified high-power and high-precision long-handled sniping rifle. Of course, it had diminished range and power compared to an AMR, but its range and precision were enough to deal with the man on the rooftop across the street. Standing before the windows, feeling the scorching setting sun shining in from the side, Huo Shaoheng also sensed a barely detectable, tiny red dot. It moved slowly from the window and onto Huo Shaoheng's back to finally aim at his heart.

Huo Shaoheng didn't turn around. When the tiny red dot projected from the rooftop across the street disappeared from the store windows, he already knew he was being targeted. Seeing the red dot disappear, Huo Shaoheng realized without a doubt that the enemy was going to snipe him. His eyes flashed briefly, and the moment the red disappeared, he quickly moved sideways, and his left hand reached out from his shirt pocket at the speed of light. Opening his palm, it revealed a crystal prism that wavered in the scope's direction, sparkling on the rooftop of the building across the street. This crystal prism was not only smooth and completely colorless, but it also had the ability to act as a convex lens. It could converge light to reflect as well as magnify the strength of the light a hundred times. In that moment, the crystal prism converged the fading light of the setting sun and directly reflected it back into Sean's scope!

Sean had been watching Huo Shaoheng's back through the scope with his left eye, and his fingers were nearly about to pull the trigger when Huo Shaoheng's back suddenly disappeared from the crosshairs. What replaced it was a burst of powerful light like a small sun! Sean cried out, and his left eye felt as if it had been burned by a laser. The pain made his hands shake, and he pulled the trigger.

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As expected, this type of shot made by reflex had no effect at all, and he had no idea where the bullet landed. He could only hear the sound of a bullet slicing through the air with a whistle. Huo Shaoheng took the opportunity to quickly pull out the high-power, long-handled sniper rifle that had been hidden in his left sleeve the entire time. He aimed at the target that had wavered a moment ago!

Bang! Another gunshot rang out. Sean was just about to rub his left eye when a bullet hole appeared on his forehead. Sean's eyes widened, and he had already gasped his last breath before he could even seem to understand what had happened. He collapsed on the rooftop with a thump. In the chaos, although both men had shot at the same moment, the people of Harlem only heard one shot. The people began screaming, "The police are here!" and the sounds of thunder and chaotic footsteps immediately could be heard on the streets. Countless people started to run, and some quickly got inside parked cars to speed out of Harlem.

Huo Shaoheng was no exception. His shot was fired nearly at the same time as Sean's, so much so that no one noticed he had also fired. He pulled up the hood on his sweatshirt to conceal his face and followed the crowds out of Harlem, all the way to the subway station. Before the police had blockaded the neighborhood, he went back to Grand Central terminal and got on a train to finally return to his long-empty apartment.

To go from a dirty and chaotic low-class area of New York to a sterile and modern high-end area, Huo Shaoheng found himself slightly jarred. He went back to his room and first took a shower to completely clean himself before ordering a pizza. He then sat on his couch and picked up the remote to turn on the TV. As expected, all the major TV networks were broadcasting the breaking news of the young and talented Director of the CIA Asian Intelligence Branch being shot in the head. From the live broadcast, Huo Shaoheng could even see Sean's dead face with his eyes open, as well as the crisp bullet hole in his forehead. Huo Shaoheng crossed himself with a smile. "Rest in peace."

...

Soon after, the doorbell rang. Huo Shaoheng opened the door and accepted the freshly baked pizza from the delivery boy. He even tipped him ten US dollars. The order total was only 16 US dollars, so it was a very generous payment in the delivery boy's career. He kept bowing and nodding to thank Huo Shaoheng. He waved at him with a smile and closed the door before putting the pizza box right on the coffee table in front of the sofa and cracking open a beer for himself.

He drank beer as he had pizza and enjoyed his handiwork. The TV was airing Sean's sniper setup on the rooftop, now pointing at the sky in a lonely manner. The excited TV host then analyzed who had killed Sean, and who Sean was attempting to get rid of. But everyone's excitement didn't continue because the CIA quickly requested a court injunction to forbid the TV networks from reporting the incident again. Although it was still being circulated online, everyone could only discuss using text, and none could post photos or videos. Huo Shaoheng sighed deeply and shut off the TV before going to bed. He hadn't slept for days and needed to catch up on rest.

...

James didn't expect Huo Shaoheng to do as he promised and give him a big gift. Sean hadn't been dead for two days before the CIA promoted James to Director of the Asian Intelligence Branch. James knew how to manage his power, and immediately promoted his most loyal subordinate to Deputy Director, completely changing the atmosphere within their division.

Sitting in Sean's previous office, James felt more conflicted than ever. He pondered expressionlessly how Huo Shaoheng was truly capable, but his capabilities were far too strong. James silently warned himself that he was better off befriending someone like that. If he made Huo Shaoheng his enemy, he would have to first assess his own abilities and see if he was capable of going against that strength. Even Sean had been mysteriously shot in the head by him. Could James even compare with Sean's youth and strength? Of course not, so what could he use to fight against Huo Shaoheng? It was obvious that working with him would be more beneficial. Also, he had already gotten his hands dirty, as Sean's death was partially due to James' involvement...

James inhaled deeply and decided to go leave a message at 38 Shell Bay in Long Island after he got off work. After the flurry of Sean's case died down, he would go meet with Huo Shaoheng.

...

It was past 6pm, and the seaside by Long Island was humid and hot in the summer evening. James walked there, and the back of his dark suit was completely soaked with sweat. Standing before the short iron gates at 38 Shell Bay, Long Island, he could hear a violin playing from the inside. The leaves trembled slightly, and it was a bit cooler than other places, making it a rare paradise. James looked around before pressing the doorbell. After some time, a Chinese woman in her forties came over to ask, "May I ask who you're looking for?"

Since James had come to leave a message for Huo Shaoheng, he naturally needed to show some sincerity. He passed a letter to the woman and said, "Please give this letter to Mr. Gu." That was the secret code he agreed to with Huo Shaoheng.

The woman shook her head. "Are you at the wrong place? This is the Tan household, not the Gu's."

James stiffened but remained insistent. "May I ask if Miss Tan is at home? She knows about it."

Hearing the man mention their young mistress, the woman finally accepted the letter. "Then I shall go ask her." She took the letter into the house and came to Tan Guiren's living room. "Miss, there is a gentleman outside asking to pass this letter to Mr. Gu."

Tan Guiren was playing the violin and put down the bow at the words. She frowned. "Mr. Gu? Didn't you tell him that this the Tan household, not the Gu's?"

"I already told him, but he said you knew about it..." The middle-aged woman quickly explained so Tan Guiren wouldn't think she was accepting the letter blindly.

Tan Guiren's mind began to work as she immediately remembered what Huo Shaoheng had said to her. She quickly rose. "I remember, someone asked me to forward a letter." She accepted the letter from the middle-aged woman and hurried downstairs. Arriving at the front yard, she saw a neatly dressed middle-aged white man standing there with a smile. "May I ask who you are...?" Tan Guiren asked him with curiosity. "I'll forward this letter to Mr. Gu. May I ask if you have anything else to say to him?"

"He'll understand when he reads the letter." James set his mind at ease and nodded respectfully at Tan Guiren before walking away.

After he left, Tan Guiren finally realized that Huo Shaoheng never gave her any contact information. Now she had no idea how to contact him. Carrying the letter back to the house with unease, Tan Guiren wanted to call her parents back home to ask if they had Huo Shaoheng's contact information.