Xia Lei’s smile carried a hint of anger but he had no other choice before him.
“Xia Lei, you can’t buy the battery parts now and your factory is being sealed. I’m not afraid to tell you that what’s coming next is customs. Your product won’t even be able to leave the borders, so how will you sell to the European and American markets?” said Gu Ke-Wen, “Don’t think that you can act as you please because you know a few people in Jing-Du. Fight with us? You’re not qualified.”
Gu Ke-Wu sneered, “You had the support of Mu Jian-Feng from China Industrial Group and it was not easy for me to make trouble for you in the past but China Industrial Group has no connections to you now. Can you still ask Mu Jian-Feng for help?”
Xia Lei shook his head. “No.”
“Haha!” laughed Gu Ke-Wu, “Oh, right. You can go look for Shentu Tian-Yin. She’ll probably help you but I won’t be nice to her this time. Think carefully before you contact her.”
Xia Lei had not even thought of getting Shentu Tian-Yin to help. Vientaine Group was indeed powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with the Gu clan but that was her company, not his. What right had he to have her help in such a way? He thought of Shi Bo-Ren and Long Bing. He could only ask these two for help if he needed it.
“How about this, Xia Lei - I’ll give you 50,000,000. Sell the company and the patent to me. You take the money and leave, and everything will be settled between us. What do you think?” said Gu Ke-Wen.
Xia Lei controlled the flames of anger in his heart. “So this is how the Gu clan expanded. Let me tell you, you’ll never gets your hands on my company even if it’s destroyed!”
Gu Ke-Wen snorted. “This is the last chance I’m giving you. Your company will not be able to open its doors again after it’s sealed up today. You’ve received so many orders but cannot deliver - the compensation fees alone will kill you!”
“Seal my company? Heh Heh, you can try.” Xia Lei sounded tough.
“Do you think that it’s just those few people? Look to your left,” said Gu Ke-Wu.
Xia Lei raised his head to look at the left side of the road. A long line of vans were parked along two hundred metres of road and there were also two big buses. The vans and buses all held ‘City Enforcement’ officers. There were more people in the vehicles than on the factory grounds.
Gu Ke-Wu spoke casually, “I know you can fight. I’ll acknowledge it if you can defeat so many people.”
Gu Ke-Wen added, “Big Brother, he has a few hundred people in his factory too. He’s not afraid at all. Let them fight. It’ll be more entertaining if a few of them get beaten to death.”
Xia Lei turned and walked towards his factory.
“Hello? I’m asking you for the last time.” Gu Ke-Wen stuck her head out the car window. “50,000,000 - selling it?”
Xia Lei looked back at her and said right away, “Fucking sell your mother’s cunt!”
Gu Ke-Wen froze, her face ashen.
Gu Ke-Wu’s eyes filled with ferocity. How dare he curse his mother!
Xia Lei entered his factory and walked straight to Qiao Ping. He took the document from his hands, signed his name on it, then put it back in Qiao Ping’s hands. “All right, we’ll suspend operations. Come back for an inspection in a month.”
“It’s not one month, it’s half a year!” Qiao Ping’s arrogance grew with the backing of others.
Xia Lei smiled. “Sure, sure. Half a year it is. Well, let’s not talk about half a year - sixty years would be no problem either.”
“Don’t act tough. You’d come crying when it’s time.” Qiao Ping waved a hand after throwing out that line. “We’re going.”
The big group of Trade and Commerce and Quality Inspection people left, as well as the ‘City Enforcement’ group.
The workers came out of the workshops and gathered around Xia Lei in a cacophony of voices.
“The factory’s going to be sealed up just like that, Chairman Xia? Isn’t this an obvious attempt to bury us? Do the laws not exist anymore?” said Liu Xue-Bing. He felt that it was unfair.
A young man spoke up too. “Chairman Xia, why didn’t you let us fight with them? We’re not afraid of trouble!”
“It’s going to be sealed for half a year - what do we do?” Zhou Xiao-Hong looked miserable and was about to cry.
“Make a decision, Chairman Xia,” said Yin Hao, “We will do whatever you ask. I don’t believe that they can hide the truth from the masses!”
“Everyone can fight but you were up against thugs. Every one of them is scum. You can go to prison if you hurt them or kill them but is it worth it? If they injure you or kill you, your parents, wives, children - what will happen to them? Everyone here is a regular person coming to work to feed his or her family. There is no need for this violence,” said Xia Lei.
“But… Chairman Xia, the factory’s been sealed. How are we going to make money to support our families?” Liu Xue-Bing looked sad. “I still want my son to go to university! Argh.”
“No need to worry about this. Take a holiday of three days. Wages will be paid as per normal. Come back in three days and we will resume production,” said Xia Lei.
“Three days? Wasn’t it being sealed for half a year?” said a worker.
“Chairman Xia said three days, so there is a guarantee that the factory sealing will be cancelled in three days!” said a worker.
The workers buzzed with discussion and the anxious atmosphere dissipated by quite a bit. A holiday of just three days and getting wages like normal was quite acceptable from the perspective of the workers.
“Disperse, everyone.” Xia Lei spoke with a smile, “You have all worked very hard recently. Take three days off. Go home and spend more time with your spouses and children. If you don’t have a spouse, then spend time with your girlfriend, boyfriend, and those without a partner can hurry up and go look for one.”
The workers laughed and the last bit of anxiousness disappeared.
Back in the office, Xia Lei punched the wall with a loud thud. A big chunk broke off the wall and his fist bled.
“Brother, don’t be like this.” Xia Xue quickly took some tissues to wipe the blood from Xia Lei’s hand.
Guan Ling-Shan also came over to comfort Xia Lei.
“I’m fine. No need to bother about me,” said Xia Lei. He calmed down quickly after venting.
“Chairman Xia, I called several media hotlines in Hai-Zhu City but not one reporter is willing to come,” said Guan Ling-Shan.
“I called the police but it’s been half an hour and no police officers have turned up,” said Xia Xue.
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “This is to be expected. They dare seal up the factory so they must have made all preparations prior.”
“Brother, I don’t believe that we cannot get back at them through legal means. Let’s sue!” said Xia Xue.
“The law? They came as representatives of the law. That stack of documents Director Qiao produced had complaint reports of our product’s quality issues and complaints that it has injured children. They’ve even prepared the evidence, so would they be afraid of you taking legal action?” said Xia Lei.
“What do we do, then?” Guan Ling-Shan looked anxious. “We have so many purchase orders to fill, a significant portion of which is from overseas. We can’t afford to compensate for these if we’re unable to deliver on time.”
Just then, Yin Hao, Lu Sheng, Zhou Xiao-Hong and a few others appeared in the doorway of the office. The workers had left, and as the backbone and middle-management of Thunder Horse Manufacturing, they had stayed to face this crisis together with Xia Lei.
“Ling-Shan, bring them to the meeting room for our discussion. You guys try to think of something. Best if it’s a viable solution,” said Xia Lei.
“Nn.” Guan Ling-Shan made a sound of agreement, then walked to the door. “Let’s go to the meeting room to discuss this. Let Chairman Xia have some peace and quiet.”
Xia Xue hesitated, then followed them to the meeting room.
The office was quiet after their departure. The faces of Gu-Ke Wen and Gu-Ke Wu kept appearing in Xia Lei’s head. Those siblings had blown hot and cold, and always displayed an arrogant attitude. He could not help the flaring of anger in his heart and he wished for nothing more than to finish those Gu siblings off.
However, if one thought rationally and put hatred aside, killing the siblings would be an extremely foolish thing to do.
Xia Lei gradually calmed down again. He mulled over the problem. ‘No wonder there hasn’t been a peep from Gu Ke-Wen and Gu Ke-Wu recently. So they were preparing for today. The might of the Gu clan is too great, and their methods too dirty. This is very troublesome too - I wonder if Long Bing or Boss Shi can help?’
Asking someone for help was the simplest solution. However, the downside of asking for help is that he would owe favours and favours would have to be repaid. Repaying Shi Bo-Ren and Long Bing would not be easy - it sometimes required risking his life. The trip to Germany was one such example so Xia Lei did not want to have to ask either Long Bing or Shi Bo-Ren for help if he could help it but he really had no better choice this time.
Before Xia Lei could give Long Bing a call, however, Hu Hou called.
He went straight to the matter at hand. “Xia Lei, it’s not that I won’t help you this time but I really can’t help you,” said Hu Hou. “In case you didn’t know, Gu Ding-Shan was personally involved this time. My words have no effect on those he has talked to. You get what I mean? Don’t blame me, really, I am helpless this time.”
Gu Ding-Shan, the father of Gu Ke-Wu and Gu Ke-Wen. He had built his clan up from the underworld and single-handedly created a family fortune of billions. A person like this was no simple man. Gu Ding-Shan was a living legend in the underworld.
Xia Lei understood why the Gu siblings had been so unscrupulous this time when he heard Hu Hou’s words. He laughed dryly. “Mayor Hu, I completely understand you and I don’t blame you one bit. But you have to give me some tips - what should I do?”
“This is why I called you. My suggestion is to first suspend the production and rectify the problems, then compensate those who complained about getting injured and the people who complained about quality. Solve these problems first and we can think about the next step together,” said Hu Hou.
This solution was no solution.
“Mm, I got it, Mayor Hu. That’s that then. You know my situation now. I won’t chat further - there’s a pile of work for me to do,” said Xia Lei.
“I understand. Contact me if you have questions,” said Hu Hou.
“Nn, yes, goodbye Mayor Hu.” Xia Lei hung up.
Xia Lei dialled Long Bing’s number a minute later.
Long Bing only said one sentence after listening to Xia Lei describe the situation. “I’ll ask Boss Shi and give you a reply in the evening.”
“All right, I’ll wait for your call,” said Xia Lei.Previous Chapter Next Chapter