Chapter 2.2Mature

Uncle Xi Huang sat in the office that crowned the Red Lotus hotel. Calmly, he read the emails sent to him by his subordinates. As one of the Sun Yee On's eldest and most respected red pole, he'd found himself in charge of much of his district's illicit deals; gambling, prostitution and extorsion but now he'd been given a different job. An important piece of art had been stolen from them, something very important to the Mountain master himself.

He had had no luck in finding the thing despite all the men at his disposition and the reach his influence held had turned out nothing. It was after two weeks of empty searches that one of his contact gave him a picture and advising him to find that man.

The intercom buzzed to life and he activated the button. 

"Mr. Xi Huang, your 7pm meeting has arrived. He's going up the elevator as we speak." The woman on the other side declared in Cantonese. 

It wasn't long until there was a commotion outside his door, his two bodyguards yelling at the man coming up a loud thump came through and then another. The double door burst open, the man coming in. Thrown over his body was a thick black leather trench-coat a mix of symbols painted over in white, the hilt of a sword  peeked over his left shoulder. Behind him, the two men guarding him were left unconscious but still breathing. Thomas walked closer inside, closing the door behind him. 

"Next time you want to speak to me, you'll have to know two thing; One I don't disarm. Two, you come see me yourself. Understood mate?" As he spoke, he walked to the sides, crashing down unceremoniously on one of the rich crimson couches that decorated the room.

"You must be--" The triad enforcer began.

"Yes, I'm Thomas O'Neill. that's O'Neill with two 'L's" He lounged insolently, hands behind his head. "And stop me if I get anything wrong; You are Xi Huang, red pole for the Sun Yee On, age 61, married, no children, you've worked for the triads for forty-two years, officially you're a hotel manager, officiously you're the next in line for the position of Deputy dragon head. Was that good enough? Can we skip the formality?"

The crime boss' hand clenched, and he repressed a cringe. The Irish man's insolence would have gotten him punished in other situation, but he needed him.

"I have heard that you are one of the Wu."

"You could say that."

"If so then we could use your help." Huang said, beginning to pace back and forth. "Something was stolen from the Dragon head himself, a religious artifact passed in his family for generations. We need you to find it, we can compensate you, strongly, might I add."

"What's the item?"

"A statuette of Ao Kuang." He said, speaking the name of the dragon of the east sea. He walked to his desk and pulled out a picture from it. Handing it carefully to Tom. The statuette was around a foot tall, representing a man with human body and a dragon's head wearing old traditional clothing. 

"What is it made of?"

"Bone."

"I see." 

"We have been looking for it everywhere but no success. Not even a clue as to who took it or how."

"I'll see what I can do." He jumped on his feet and started walking out. "I'll contact you. Don't get me followed or watched."

The End

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