Chapter 200 - New Product And New Opportunity

One week later. 

Xia Lei exited his workshop with a cardboard box in his arms. The box was taped shut and no one could see what was in it. 

“What are you holding, Chairman Xia? Need help?” asked workshop director Liu Xue-Bing, who had just come out of the office building. 

“It’s nothing. Go about your duties; I can bring this up on my own,” said Xia Lei.

“Okay, I’ll be going to the workshop then.” Liu Xue-Bing walked towards the workshop and stopped two steps later. “Chairman Xia, the exercise equipment that Yin Hao and the other designed has no orders. Should we keep producing them?” 

“No need. Wait for the current stock to be sold out and make more when we get orders,” said Xia Lei. 

“All right. We’ll make other products then.” Liu Xue-Bing went off towards the workshops. 

Xia Lei grinned. What did he care about the exercise equipment when he had the thing in the box? He had a feeling that the thing in the box would sell like hot cakes once it got on the market!

Xia Lei walked into the office which he shared with Liang Si-Yao with the box in his arms. Liang Si-Yao was kneeling on the ground spray-painting the mecha gloves he had given her. She was spraying red paint and the gloves had turned an especially bright shade of red. 

Xia Lei could not help laughing. “Si-Yao, what did you paint them red for?” 

Liang Si-Yao raised her head to give Xia Lei a look and a pouting smile. “It’s pretty. Look, it’s much nicer now.” 

Xia Lei took a close look at the gloves on the newspaper and nodded. “Oh, it does look nicer than the original silvery colour,” he said. 

“You think it looks good too? Looks like we share the same aesthetic sense, heh heh.” Liang Si-Yao laughed happily, “Mm, that’s why I painted yours too.” 

“What?” Xia Lei froze. 

He was only trying to please her when he said her red-painted gloves looked nice - he hadn’t expected that she would have painted his gloves too!

“They’re under your desk. Take a look - you’ll love it,” said Liang Si-Yao. 

Xia Lei quickly set down the box in his hands and ran to his desk. His mecha gloves were on the floor under his desk, covered by newspapers. The newspapers were stained black - Liang Si-Yao had spray-painted his gloves into a black mess of a thing. 

This girl! 

Xia Lei looked at his gloves and didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. He wanted to scold Liang Si-Yao but couldn’t bear to. They had been glued together like a fish needs water this past week and the condoms he’d taken from the warehouse were fast depleting. How could he bear to scold her when they were in such a loving stage of their relationship? 

“Done.” Liang Si-Yao put down the spray-gun and walked towards Xia Lei, all smiles. “What do you think?” 

Xia Lei smiled wryly. “Lucky thing you didn’t paint my gloves green.” 

Liang Si-Yao’s cherry lips turned up in a small pout. “You mean it doesn’t look good?” 

“Red matches black. It looks good. Black has an advantage too because it won’t be easily discovered when I wear it at night.” What Xia Lei said went against his conscience but he was getting it on with Liang Si-Yao, so how could he complain? 

“You’re the best.” Liang Si-Yao hugged Xia Lei from behind, then drew close to his ear and said softly, “I’ll give you an extra helping tonight, Darling.” 

Xia Lei’s legs went a little weak from conditioning at hearing the words ‘extra helping’. 

Liang Si-Yao released Xia Lei after a little bit of hanky panky. “What’s in that box?” she asked curiously. 

“It’s that product I told you about. I’ve completed it,” said Xia Lei. 

“The automatic skateboard?” 

Xia Lei nodded. “Take a look.” 

He had done it himself and not let the workshops work on such an important product; he’d spent several days to complete it. It was now time to test it. 

Liang Si-Yao cut the tape on the box with a paper cutter and eagerly took out the item within. It looked entirely like a fatter skateboard, much thicker than a standard skateboard since it had electrical circuits and a battery installed. Other than the thickness, the wheels were also bigger than those of a normal skateboard but looked sturdier and more flexible. However, the most unique feature of the skateboard was the lights installed on the edges. It was easy to imagine how trendy it would look even without the lights on.

“So pretty!” Liang Si-Yao put the automatic skateboard on the floor and stood on it. However, the skateboard did not move and she could not see any on-off switch. “How do I turn it on?” she asked curiously. 

“Just skate a little and it’ll move. Be careful, don’t fall,” said Xia Lei. 

“I was a champ at this when I was a kid.” Liang Si-Yao got on and did a gentle slide forward. The skateboard went into automatic mode and rolled forward, bringing her along with it. The lights along its edges lit up on their own and the blue LED flashed, making it look like a band of light along the ground; it was very eye-catching. 

Liang Si-Yao rolled around in several circles on the empty spaces in the office and said a little disappointedly, “Can it go faster?”

“The starting speed is only 10 km/h. Kick off the ground with more force and it’ll go faster, but be careful - there’s not a lot of space here.” 

Liang Si-Yao, however, did not listen to Xia Lei’s words of caution. She kicked hard to make the skateboard go faster and it sped up. She skated two circles around the office and suddenly stepped on the back of the skateboard. The skateboard went flying, along with Liang Si-Yao. It flipped in the air and landed squarely and steadily on the floor. 

Xia Lei smiled. His worry was unfounded. Liang Si-Yao was a descendant of Wing Chun after all; she had quick reflexes and she was a good skateboarder as a child too. 

Liang Si-Yao came to a stop and said excitedly, “It’s thicker than a standard skateboard but not much heavier. It doesn’t affect the movement or flexibility either. It’s so trendy and pretty too! It’ll surely sell well. Let’s go apply for the patent now. I have a feeling that this will really make our Thunder Horse Manufacturing soar to greatness!”

Thunder Horse Manufacturing used to process parts for other companies and it was not much profit no matter how much work they put into it. Their earnings were quite average if Xia Lei’s profit from his work for China Industrial Group was not taken into account. It was not realistic for Thunder Horse Manufacturing to grow like this and the base reason for it was that it had no hot-seller item that belonged uniquely to it. With this automatic skateboard, Thunder Horse Manufacturing had an undeniable shot at becoming great!

“I’ll go apply for the patent and you arrange something with BYD Company to get the batteries from them. Their battery technology is very good,” said Xia Lei. 

“Nn, I’ll go right now. We should make it the best if we’re going to do it. We’ll also want to enter foreign markets and that’ll be impossible without quality.” Liang Si-Yao went off. 

Xia Lei gave Long Bing a call after Liang Si-Yao went off. 

“What’re you doing?”

“Answering your phone call,” came Long Bing’s voice, “What is it?”

She hadn’t changed one bit. Xia Lei smiled wryly. “Okay, I’ll get to the point. I have a very good product and I’d like you to help me get the patent for it.” 

“Just send me the information,” said Long Bing. 

“I’ll send it to you in a bit. Thanks.” Xia Lei let out a breath. This matter was considered done with her helping. 

“No need to thank me. I need your help with something too,” said Long Bing. 

“Let’s not be so formal. Just tell me what you want me to do,” said Xia Lei with a laugh. 

Long Bing was silent for a bit before she spoke, “Help me modify a sniper rifle. The accuracy of the locally-made ones are too low.” 

“Modify a sniper rifle?” Xia Lei was surprised, “I’ve never done it before. You sure?” 

Long Bing spoke evenly, “If you can’t then nobody can. I’ll borrow two imported sniper rifles from some sources and you can just follow those. The least you have to do is to make it of the same standard as the foreign rifles. Best is if you can make it better.”

“Sure, I’ll give it a go.” Xia Lei forced himself to agree and casually asked, “Will you be using it or is it for someone else?” 

“It’s for me, of course. I’ll get Ke Jie to deliver the required materials to you. Keep your phone lines open. He will contact you. That’s it. I’m hanging up.” Long Bing hung up.  

No wonder Long Bing agreed to help him without questioning him - she had a request for him too. 

Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…

“So quickly?” Xia Lei thought it was Ke Jie but he looked at the screen and found that it was Mayor Hu Hou calling instead. He unlocked his phone and answered. “Hello Mayor Hu, this is Xia Lei.” 

“Hello,” said Hu Hou politely. 

“What are you calling me for, Mayor Hu?” 

“Do you have some time now?” 

“Um… Yes.” 

“Then come to my office for a bit. I have something I’d like to discuss with you and it’s not convenient to talk about it over the phone,” said Hu Hou.  

“All right, I’ll come over right away,” said Xia Lei. 

It was a call from the mayor - Xia Lei had to go, no matter how busy he was. 

Xia Lei notified Liang Si-Yao and drove to the city government building. He came to Hu Hou’s office to find several people already in it. What surprised him was running into the person who called him ‘Bro’ - Zhang Sen.

Zhang Sen smiled as he walked over to Xia Lei to shake his hand when he saw him walk in, saying warmly, “Bro, I was just talking with Mayor Hu about you. He’s full of praise for you.” 

Xia Lei smiled too as he said, “I hope you didn’t speak ill of me, Big Bro Sen.”

“Who dares speak ill of you? Speaking ill of you is like speaking ill of me - I won’t let him off.” Zhang Sen looked like he would be true to his words. 

Hu Hou interrupted their conversation. “Zhang Sen, let’s catch up again later. I have some things I’d like to speak with Xia Lei about.” 

“Sure, we’ll go to the conference room first and wait for you there,” said Zhang Sen. 

Hu Hou only spoke after Zhang Sen and the other people had left the room. “Xia Lei, have you considered what I’d suggested last time and made your decision?”

“Are you talking about getting listed, Mayor Hu?” said Xia Lei, “I’ve considered it but I have no plans to get listed right now.” 


“Getting listed would mean I’d have the problems like financing, cash flow and expansion. My company’s small and it has no problems with cash flow. Plus, my company doesn’t have the power to expand yet, and it doesn’t need capital to expand. It’s disadvantageous to get listed in this situation,” said Xia Lei. 

Hu Hou smiled. “Looks like you’ve given it much thought. All right, let’s talk about getting listed another time. I asked you to come over today because I want you to participate in the Expo that our Hai-Zhu City is holding.”

“Expo?” Xia Lei had not expected something like this. 

“Yes, it’s Hai-Zhu City’s first exposition catering to the whole nation. We have not announced this news yet but there already has been several companies which have got wind of it via private means. They’ve sent their people over to get more information and to sign up. I have to give the local Hai-Zhu companies priority for something good like this, of course. Oh, right, does your company have any product that can be shown off? Come participate if you have - this is a great opportunity for you to market your product and company culture.”

Xia Lei gave a laugh. “Of course I have. When is this Expo going to be held?”

“One week later.” 

Xia Lei counted the days. This was going to be just after he returned from accompanying Liang Zheng-Chun to the martial arts seminar, and no later. “Yes, our company will participate. We won’t let you down, Mayor Hu.” 

Hu Hou laughed. “Hoho, looks like you have a card up your sleeve. Come on, let’s go to the conference room. I’ll talk about the specifics there.” 

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Hooray! We've hit chapter 200! *phew* 

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