"They created the strongest poison. You have suffered from it too." Juan's eyes flashed.

Mu Lan gasped. "You don't mean…"

He nodded, "Yes, the poison R-0, it was their creation. Their plan was called Operation R-0. They needed an ally to help them research it with more advanced technology and they chose the Chinese army. Their most useful pawn was Major General Ru and his son Ru Xin. The Mongoose had their eyes on the European Underworld for a long time. That's why they planned to hurt the girl from Qi Family, Qi Ying. Their main plan was to make Mu Feng suffer emotionally and it would make him weak. But in the end, they mistakenly took you."

Juan stated, "This was their second time making an attack."

She asked, "Second time…? What did they do to me the first time?"

Juan sighed. His expression showed that he didn't want to talk about it. "… That is…. Remember the time when you were in Japan, the experiment…"

Mu Lan's eyes grew wide. "No way…"

He told her, "Their plan was to create an army of killing machines and they were living killing machines like you."

"Those disgusting Mongoose!" Mu Lan clenched her fists.

He continued, "After we destroyed their nest, they could only take the girl who was a successful product just like you. Well, to tell the truth, she is a better version. Her skills were far more perfect than yours back then. You've met her. She saved you."

She remembered. "…Oh, her? I feel so bad for her…" She hung her head. "She has gone through more than myself."

Juan said, "We tried to find her but it was so chaotic. We must have missed something back then. That's why we couldn't find her."

Mu Lan exhaled loudly. "I guess we had the worst luck since she fell back into their hands."

Juan shook his head. "It has nothing to do with luck. The moment they faced your father, his family was destined to be destroyed."

Mu Lan glanced at him in disbelief. "What do you mean? Do they know my father somehow? But how? Can you please tell me everything clearly? How did they meet my father?"

Knock! Knock!

Someone opened the door and entered. It was Carlo. He came in with a tray of snacks. "It's almost lunch time. You must be hungry." He put down the tray. There was a fruit custard and chocolate milkshake for Mu Lan.

She took the glass and drank half of the chocolate milkshake. Then, she glanced at him. "Do you have more?"

Carlo asked, "Do you want to get fat?"

"That won't be a problem. Give me more." She gave him the half-filled glass.

"Alright." Carlo took the glass and left.

She gazed at Juan. He took his bowl of fruit custard and continued their previous conversation, "The Operation R-0 had started long before our team formed. It was under a Chinese organization. They already had their hands on the elixir. That time, the eldest of Mu Family was a scientist under that organization. But when he learnt of the truth about the experiment, he fled and the one who helped him back then was your father. That's how they got to know each other."

Mu Lan was overwhelmed hearing the story.

"However, after The Mongoose was created, they took over the operation. At that time, they realized that they needed more elixir, but our team had already destroyed the place where the elixir was. Pedro took some plants and grew it elsewhere. The Mongoose corrupted one of our team members and made him steal some of our elixir. When Pedro found out about it, that team member was killed along with his whole family. Just know, he was killed by The Mongoose. We wouldn't have done that."

"You father met them when they helped the Arabian aristocrat family in inventing the virus. When they were looking for the antidote, Pedro gave him some of the elixir to make the antidote. The Mongoose tried to take the antidote from your father but he was being protected by Pedro, unknown to him. In the end, he was attacked in China two years later. We didn't think that The Mongoose would strike at that time in a public place. After that, they left no trace, so we thought that you and your mother would be fine."

Juan took his glass and drank a mouthful of water. After that, he continued, "But we were wrong. When we heard that your mother had an accident, Romano was in Japan. He was on a mission. Since he was closest to China, he came to rescue her. However, she was already saved by your father's closest friend, Nick. We thought that you would be fine with your aunt when she took you in. Though Romano was keeping an eye on you, seeing how your aunt treated you at first, we let our guard down. That's when The Mongoose bought you for their experiment."

He looked at her. "Those children who were with you weren't there by accident. Their parents were The Mongoose's enemy and that's why The Mongoose punished those who opposed them. They took those people's children and made them their puppets."

"So cruel!" Mu Lan's eyes turned cold.

Juan patted her head. "Now, now, you are not planning on doing anything, are you?"

She tried to reason with him. "But they-"

Juan interrupted her, "You are about to reunite with your family after so long. Do you want to give it away because of your vengeful heart? Moreover, your boyfriend and his brother aren't strong enough to protect the whole family against them. They don't even know how powerful The Mongoose are. Furthermore, we are ready to take them down this time. You have to get out of our way."

Mu Lan couldn't take it. All the sufferings she went through… HIV, poison, stripped from the love of her family, betrayal… all these were because of The Mongoose's selfish reasons, because of their evil deeds. She did nothing to deserve that darkness. She deserved a happy and peaceful life. But what had life done to her?

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