Xia Lei got up early next morning. The clothes Shentu Tian-Yin delivered fit well and his wounds didn’t hurt so badly after a night’s rest. He had spent about an hour on the phone with Liang Si-Yao last night and he was in good spirits. There did not seem to be too many negative effects from what had happened last night and he looked to be handsome still.
He walked out the door and met Shentu Tian-Yin, who had also just come out from her room. He smiled and greeted, “Morning, Tian-Yin.”
Shentu Tian-Yin smiled. “I went past your door last night and heard you talking. Was it Miss Liang?”
Xia Lei recalled the sensitive content of their conversation and asked awkwardly, “Uh, we didn’t disturb you, I hope.”
“No, you didn’t,” said Shentu Tian-Yin, “Does she know you’re injured?”
“I didn’t tell her; didn’t want her to worry. But I did tell her to be more careful for now.”
“You’re so good to her,” said Shentu Tian-Yin, “But she isn’t just any ordinary woman. She’s versed in martial arts so you don’t have to worry too much. Oh, right, are we still doing that experiment today?”
“Of course. Let’s begin after breakfast. I’ll have to go to the company afterwards because I’d like to process some things,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tian-Yin did not ask what he needed to process and just nodded.
Xia Lei had tossed and turned the whole night thinking of his fight with Dong Wu. The fight made him realise that he had to have a weapon for himself, and one that would be suitable for Wing Chun as well so that he could use it to its fullest potential. Dong Wu and Qin Qi were both practised in martial arts - one used a sword while the other used throwing knives. The weapon he needed also had to be able to fend off Dong Wu’s sword and Qin Qi’s throwing knives. It was difficult for one weapon to fulfil all three requirements but he already had a design plan ready in his head - he just had to make it.
After breakfast, Xia Lei followed Shentu Tian-Yin to her room.
Shentu Tian-Yin closed the door and looked at Xia Lei, feeling strangely nervous. “The same as last time?”
“No, it’ll be different this time. I will make a small wound on your spine and treat it with silver needles. The spine supports the human body and standing and walking would be impossible without it. Your father’s condition has to do with the spine too so I need to gather related data.”
Shentu Tian-Yin’s face turned red before Xia Lei finished speaking. “So you mean… I have to take my clothes off?” she asked probingly.
Xia Lei nodded reluctantly. He didn’t want to say this request out loud but collecting information on the nerves and acupoints were very important for treating Shentu Ren and it had to be done.
Shentu Tian-Yin nodded quietly and slowly unbuttoned her jacket. She lowered her head, not daring to meet Xia Lei’s eyes. Strangely enough, she did not tell Xia Lei to turn around or close his eyes this time but turned around herself.
Xia Lei suddenly thought of something. “How about you ask Uncle Fu to help me? Jin Da-Hu and the others will do too. You don’t have to do it on your own.”
“No, they don’t know the situation.” Shentu Tian-Yin rejected the idea right away. “My father raised me so it is only right for me to do so much. You do it.”
Shentu Tian-Yin removed her jacket and reached behind herself to unhook her bra. She had her back to Xia Lei but he could sense her shyness and nervousness. Her hands were trembling.
One hook was free before Xia Lei hurriedly said, “You don’t have to take that off.”
Shentu Tian-Yin quickly re-hooked her bra. She looked back at Xia Lei and said in bashful annoyance, “Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
Xia Lei gave her an innocent look. He didn’t tell her to take her bra off either, did he?
Shentu Tian-Yin lay on the bed.
Xia Lei took a deep breath and drew close. “I’m coming,” he said gently.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s face reddened and she closed her eyes. “Mm. Be gentle.”
Xia Lei raised his palm and a loud smack sounded as it landed…
The workday had already started by the time Xia Lei got to Thunder Horse Manufacturing. He went into his personal workshop once he was back at the company and started working on his weapon.
Liang Si-Yao came by to see him close to the end of the workday and saw Xia Lei in work clothes, dirty all over. Her heart ached as she got him a towel to wipe away his sweat and nag at him. “You’re a born workaholic; you work the whole day once you get started. You’re as dirty as a tabby cat, you know that?”
Xia Lei suddenly drew her close and gave her a sneaky kiss on the face.
Liang Si-Yao gave him a light punch in fake annoyance. “You bad boy.”
Xia Lei let her go.
Liang Si-Yao looked around and asked curiously, “You worked the whole day but I don’t see what you’ve made. What are you doing?”
Xia Lei walked to the work table and whisked off the black cloth over it.
Under the black cloth was a silver gauntlet. It was delicate, compact and looked like something from science fiction, very much like Tony Stark’s mecha glove in the Iron Man movie. This gauntlet however, was smaller and more exquisite.
Liang Si-Yao stared dumbly at it for a bit before she picked it up and turned it over in her hands. “It’s very pretty - and it’s made of titanium alloy too. What did you make this for?” she asked curiously.
“It’s my weapon,” said Xia Lei.
“Your weapon?” Liang Si-Yao was surprised. “I thought this was a robotic hand you designed for some company.”
Xia Lei put down his takeaway meal and opened the gauntlet, then put it on his right hand. Titanium was lighter than steel but much stronger and tougher. He had been very precise with his measurements and this titanium gauntlet was just a little over 500 grams. The gauntlet covered his entire right hand and had no unnecessary bulges; it looked like a highly-compatible robotic hand. He clenched his right fist and the gauntlet became a titanium fist. Xia Lei suddenly used internal energy and punched the wall.
Boom! The wall trembled and a fist-shaped dent appeared in the brick-and-concrete wall. Xia Lei’s punch had blasted away the surface layer of cement and damaged the red brick below!
Liang Si-Yao’s jaw dropped in stunned surprise. She was a Wing Chun practitioner herself and knew Xia Lei had used the Short Bridge technique but she’d never thought that a punch could damage a wall like this. If she tried the same thing it would be her fist that would break, not the wall. Humans were made of flesh and bone after all and not rock or steel!
This was not what had surprised her the most, however. As she watched, Xia Lei took off the gauntlet and fiddled with its parts, transforming it into a rectangular box in an instant. It looked like a cigarette box!
Xia Lei grinned. “How about this?”
Liang Si-Yao snapped out of it and said in praise, “You’re an engineering genius! You should get a patent for this and turn it into our product.”
Xia Lei took hold of the rectangular box and shook it. The box became a gauntlet again after some rattling.
Liang Si-Yao shrugged. “Okay, I won’t find it weird anymore if you turn it into a Hermes bag.” She drew close to Xia Lei again with a charming smile on her face. “Darling, I want two.”
“Uh…” Xia Lei pretended to look unwilling.
Liang Si-Yao puckered her lips and gave him a loud kiss on the cheek. “Give me two. You’re the best.” She tugged at Xia Lei’s arm flirtatiously, sticking close to him.
Xia Lei chuckled. “I’ll get you two even if you didn’t ask. I’ll make two for Master too. He’ll have more to show off when he goes to that martial arts seminar.”
“The martial arts seminar is starting soon and Dad has been preparing for it recently. He said he will take Lu Sheng. He actually wants to take you so you go talk to him.” Liang Si-Yao suddenly grabbed Xia Lei’s sleeve. “Come home with me tonight. I won’t let you go to Shentu Tian-Yin’s place.”
“Sure, I’ll go back with you today. I can show him the gauntlet too,” said Xia Lei with a smile.
“He’ll definitely like it. He’ll like anything you bring him,” said Liang Si-Yao.
Xia Lei leaned in to her ear and said softly, “That’s because I’m his future son-in-law. What won’t he like?”
Liang Si-Yao’s face turned red and said shyly, “Who said I’m going to marry you?”
Xia Lei went to the Liang household with Liang Si-Yao after work. He let Liang Zheng-Chun try the gauntlet for a bit and he was full of praise for it; he liked it very much. The result was, naturally, that Xia Lei had to make a set for both Liang Si-Yao and Liang Zheng-Chun.
The processing for a gauntlet like this was complicated and he could only make one a day. He needed to work overtime for three or four days if he wanted to make six. Liang Si-Yao’s suggestion of making it a product of Thunder Horse Manufacturing was not feasible as the materials needed were too expensive and there wasn’t actually a market for it. Who would buy a mecha glove like this? One only needed a clamp to smash a walnut.
After dinner, Xia Lei chatted with Liang Zheng-Chun for a bit about the martial arts seminar before Liang Zheng-Chun went off. Xia Lei found himself a medical book to read and immersed himself in the learning of medicine.Previous Chapter Next Chapter