In Yulin Village, the Shentu Residence.
Shentu Ren’s complexion improved quite a bit again with over half an hour of massage and acupuncture. He was not able to walk still but he could already speak normally, just slower.
Xia Lei was all sweaty after he finished treatment.
Shentu Tian-Yin brought a towel for Xia Lei to wipe the perspiration from his face.
Xia Lei felt a little flattered and said shyly, “Best if I do it myself.”
Shentu Tian-Yin handed the towel to Xia Lei.
A faint smile appeared in the corners of Shentu Ren’s mouth. “Thank you, Xia Lei.”
“It’s nothing, Uncle. You’re recovering well. Just keep doing your exercises and I believe you’ll be able to walk a few steps after the Spring Festival,” said Xia Lei.
“Really? That’s wonderful.” Shentu Ren looked very happy. “Tian-Yin has been telling me about you recently. You’re a very impressive person. The world’s best hospitals and best doctors were not able to heal me but you did. You’ve given me a second chance at life. I am deeply grateful to you. Please, tell me, is there anything you want?”
Xia Lei quickly said, “Uncle, there’s no need to say that. I don’t want anything but for you to be healthy.”
“This…” Shentu Ren glanced at Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Tian-Yin smiled as she said, “Father, I’ve already told you that Xia Lei is not the sort of person who would want a reward for his help. He won’t want your money.”
“Then how do I repay you?” Shentu Ren said with a wry smile.
“Let’s not talk about this, Uncle. I’ll take you out for some sunshine.” Xia Lei carried Shentu Ren and put him in his wheelchair, then pushed him outdoors.
Shentu Tian-Yin took a blanket and followed, a faint, beautifully peaceful smile on her face.
Sunshine in winter was rare but today was a clear day. The sky was very blue and the sunshine warm. Xia Lei pushed Shentu Ren to the garden and stopped before a patch of camellias. The camellias were in bloom and the flowers swayed in the breeze, bright and red. The mountain peak close by was covered with dense forest and some trees had already shed all their leaves while some retained their green shroud. The sunshine, forest and flowers in bloom made a pleasing picture.
“How unexpected that I, Shentu Ren, would still be able to enjoy such scenery in my lifetime. I feel… Heh heh, like I’m dreaming,” said Shentu Ren with a sigh.
People with perfect vision would never be able to experience what it was like when a blind person could see light again. Only people who had stopped before the gates of death could understand how Shentu Ren felt at that moment.
Xia Lei laughed. “Uncle, one is bound for good fortune after surviving a great disaster. You will surely have more good days.”
“Hehe.” Shentu Ren laughed too. “Xia Lei, I hear you have a girlfriend. Why don’t you bring her here?”
Why did he suddenly start talking about girlfriends?
Xia Lei’s expression changed immediately. “We… broke up.”
“Ah? Oh, sorry I asked,” apologised Shentu Ren.
“It’s okay,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tian-Yin, on the other hand, was calm throughout and she neither asked Xia Lei anything nor consoled him - only a faint smile had appeared fleetingly in the corners of her mouth.
Xia Lei’s phone rang at that moment. He looked at the incoming call display and said, “Excuse me, I have to take this call.” He then walked off to one side to take the call.
Shentu Ren spoke casually, “Tian-Yin, he’s heartbroken. Why don’t you comfort him?”
“He does not need comforting. Someone who can’t even bear the pain of a heartbreak is not a real man,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Ren looked at Shentu Tian-Yin. “I know you like him. He’s broken up with his girlfriend - you should comfort him and invite him out more often. Do I still have to teach you this?”
Shentu Tian-Yin shook her head. “I’d already been very proactive the last time but I’d still lost to a Liang Si-Yao. I won’t take the initiative to approach a man again. I am Shentu Tian-Yin. The man I want has to be the most excellent specimen on this Earth and he has to be the one to woo me.”
Shentu Ren smiled wryly. “He’s an outstanding man and has no shortage of adoration from women. I know more than you about men and there are some times when a man cannot control himself. You can’t confirm that a second Liang Si-Yao would not appear, can you? Will you regret it if a second Liang Si-Yao appears?”
A faint smile appeared in the corners of Shentu Tian-Yin’s lips. “I don’t want the type of man who would quickly get into another relationship after a breakup. You don’t have to worry about my matters, Father. Just concentrate on your health and building your strength up.”
Shentu Ren sighed. “Never mind, I wash my hands off it. You young people… Just do what you want.”
Just then, Xia Lei ended his call and walked back to them. “I’m sorry, something has happened at my company and I have to go back to take care of it. I’ll come visit you next time, Uncle.”
“What is it? Can it wait till after you’ve had lunch?” said Shentu Ren.
“No, thank you. Perhaps next time? Goodbye, Uncle. Goodbye, Tian-Yin.” He said his goodbyes and turned to leave, looking anxious.
“What is it?” asked Shentu Tian-Yin.
“It’s nothing big. I’ll be going off now,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Ren watched Xia Lei walk far away before he asked, “Aren’t you going to send him off?”
“No,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Ren closed both his eyes. He’d rather enjoy some sunshine than worry about his daughter’s problems in love.
Shentu Tian-Yin smiled.
Xia Lei drove back to Thunder Horse Manufacturing and saw a large group of uniformed employees of the Industry and Commerce Bureau and Quality Inspection Department when he went through the gates. Xia Xue and Guan Ling-Shan looked to be in negotiations with the leader of one of the groups and both parties were red in the face with arguing. Xia Lei got out of his car and quickly strode over.
Guan Ling-Shan saw him approaching and immediately came forward to greet him. “It’s good that you’re back, Chairman Xia. They, they… insist that our products have quality issues and serious safety hazards. They won’t listen no matter how I try to explain.”
This was the reason why Xia Lei had rushed back. He had received the call from Guan Ling-Shan at the Shentu Residence and she had described the situation but not very clearly over the phone.
“I got it. Let me handle this. Go to the office and use the phone on my desk to give Mayor Hu a call. Give him a summary of the situation and see how he reacts,” said Xia Lei.
“Yes, I’ll go right now.” Guan Ling-Shan went towards the office building.
Xia Lei walked towards the group of Trade and Commerce Bureau employees with a smile on his face. “Hello everyone, I am Xia Lei, the owner of this company.”
The leader who was negotiating with Guan Ling-Shan said, “I am Qiao Ping, director of the Trade and Commerce Bureau. I am in charge here.”
Xia Lei stretched out a hand and said with a smile, “Ah, Director Qiao. Hello, Director Qiao. Please, come have a seat in the guest lounge.”
Qiao Ping did not shake hands with Xia Lei. “No need. Let’s go straight to business.”
“Of course, Director Qiao.” Xia Lei was polite from the start.
Qiao Ping was not appreciative at all and his tone was cold. “We have received some consumer reports that your company’s automatic skateboards have hurt quite a few children. We have inspected your automatic skateboards and found serious safety hazards and are here to conduct a surprise safety inspection. If the hazard is real, you will need to stop producing the automatic skateboards and rectify the problems. Once you have rectified them, we will come inspect it and you can only resume production after the skateboard passes inspection.”
He had come with ill-intentions. Xia Lei immediately thought of the batteries which BYD Company could not deliver. This was not a coincidence - this was a throttling of his business!
Xia Lei knew full well what situation he was in but he showed no change in expression on his face. He smiled as he said, “Impossible. Our automatic skateboard is selling very well in Europe and we’ve received very positive feedback from the market consumers. Not one has complained about safety. Why are these complaints happening locally?”
Qiao Ping’s face darkened. “Are you trying to say that our Chinese people’s safety is not as important as that of the Europeans?”
Xia Lei frowned. “I do not mean that at all, Director Qiao.”
“I’ve already stated the situation clearly. You should comply,” said Qiao Ping.
The group of Trade and Commerce and Quality Inspection Department employees entered the workshops of Thunder Horse Manufacturing and begun their pretence of conducting inspections.
Xia Lei could guess the result without waiting for those people to finish their inspection.
Guan Ling-Shan came out of the office and spoke in a low voice in Xia Lei’s ear. “Chairman Xia, Mayor Hu’s secretary took the call. He said that Mayor Hu has gone overseas for an investigation and cannot tend to this matter. Chairman Xia, how about you call his mobile phone personally? He’ll be able to receive the call even if he’s overseas.”
Xia Lei shook his head. “It’s no use. No need to call him. Someone must have paid him a visit before this and he won’t be able to help even if he got himself involved.”
“What do we do then?” Guan Ling-Shan looked anxious.
Xia Lei had instructed Guan Ling-Shan to call Hu Hou as a probe. Hu Hou was fairly supportive of Thunder Horse Manufacturing’s automatic skateboard and had even taken very good care of him at the Expo. He would definitely not have let the Trade and Commerce Bureau people come to disturb Thunder Horse Manufacturing’s production and operations. The people being here was an obvious sign that the one who was trying to throttle Thunder Horse Manufacturing’s business was someone who did not even need to care about Hu Hou getting in the way!
Who in Hai-Zhu City dared to dismiss Hu Hou?
The answer was also obvious - the Gu clan.
The Gu siblings had bounced back again with an aggressive approach - they were going to totally eradicate Thunder Horse Manufacturing!
Flames of anger burned in his heart but Xia Lei maintained his calm composure. “Please speak plainly, Director Qiao. What are your plans to handle this matter?”
Qiao Ping sneered, “What do you mean by that? It’s not plans but action. If your product is without safety issues or quality issues, we will not do anything and you can continue production and operations. But if there is, then you’ll have to suspend your business to rectify the problems and undergo inspections.”
“Who are the people carrying out the inspections?” asked Xia Lei.
Qiao Ping waved and an employees opened a briefcase to take up a thick stack of documents. He handed it to Xia Lei.
These documents were sorted complaints about the automatic skateboard. There were complaints about the quality and complaints asking for compensation for injuries - every complaint had a description of the complainant. It looked fairly realistic.
It was not important if the complaints were real. There were people in this world who could turn white to black and black to white. Since these people were able to produce the complaints, this meant that these complaints were real.
Xia Lei flipped roughly through them and handed the documents back to the employee.
“Do you understand how serious it is now?” said Qiao Ping.
Xia Lei wanted to punch him in the nose.
“The inspection is done now.” A small sneer appeared on Qiao Ping’s lips.
He knew very well that this so-called ‘inspection’ was just a show of the process. How Thunder Horse Manufacturing was to be dealt with was already set.Previous Chapter Next Chapter