Ahn Suhyeong did not escalate the matter up to the level of an international dispute in the end. Even if he had the clout to do so, he was not willing to sacrifice his pride, and Xia Lei knew this. Besides, even if this incident was blown up it was still just a case of public security and brawling. Bureau 101 would cover for him because of his status.
Xia Lei did not regret it at all. Putting the matter of the bad blood between them aside, Ahn Suhyeong was a real enemy to Xia Lei not because he was a love rival in their courtship of a woman but because of that incident where he had colluded with the CIA to capture him.
There was a dead calm afterwards and Ahn Suhyeong and the Korean consulate staff did not come to make any more trouble. Xia Lei spent all his time and efforts on upgrading his lathes.
Shentu Tian-Yin did not call him during this period and he did not call her either. The incomplete kiss in her office at Angel Wings Building seemed to be just an impulse and there wasn’t anything behind it after they calmed down.
Sometimes he would quietly ask himself if he would become lovers with Shentu Tian-Yin, get married and have children.
There were two possibilities - maybe yes, maybe no.
If he did end up with Shentu Tian-Yin then he would definitely leave Annina, and wouldn’t go to Islamabad to rendezvous with Szlamy. He wasn’t the sort to be multi-timing and tasting the nectar of every flower he came across. Szlamy was an accident in the process of completing his mission and Annina… He could not bear to have her hurt again.
That was why he did not have a girlfriend yet whom he wanted to marry and have children with.
He then put these thoughts out of his head. It was better to let feelings sort themselves out naturally.
A month passed in the blink of an eye.
In this month, Xia Lei and Annina upgraded all the lathes in Thunder Horse Manufacturing to a standard which was comparable to the intelligent lathe of Josef’s that he had built in Thunder Horse Manufacturing.
With the lathes in place, the few production lines of Thunder Horse Military Factory begun to move. They produced handguns and also started producing sniper rifles and the matching ammunition.
Xia Lei received a piece of good news on the third day of full production. The branch company in Sichuan had also started production. Zhou Xiao-Hong called saying that the local government had taken care of some orders and that the overall situation was stable and positive. Xia Lei talked at length with her and instructed her on things.
Xia Lei was not worried at all about being taken advantage of with Zhou Xiao-Hong looking after things in Sichuan for the branch company. He did not need to worry whether the branch company in Sichuan had orders or not since he could just redirect some of the orders from Haizhu at any time. He could also get the branch company to manufacture the gun parts which did not require high precision processing, like gun stocks, magazines and so on.
Thunder Horse Manufacturing could be said to have gone on the right track for success in its expansion, and he was not a small boss who had to go about chasing others for purchase orders any more.
Following their current expansion, it was only a matter of time for Thunder Horse Manufacturing to become bigger and more established.
For there to be harvest there naturally had to be effort put into it. Xia Lei had not stepped out of the gates of Thunder Horse Military factory for this period of over a month, and he had lost quite a few kilograms too.
Annina was no different. She had been working alongside Xia Lei for this same period and she had also lost kilograms after they were done.
“Annina, I’ll take you out on a drive today and treat you to a good meal afterwards, okay?” said Xia Lei to Annina after they walked out of the workshop.
“Sure! I’ve long wanted to go out to sight-see. All this work has taken a toll on me,” said Annina happily.
Xia Lei smiled as he said, “I’ll take you to the Great Wall, then some roast duck.”
“Thank you, Lukas. Every day with you is a happy day.” Annina drew close and kissed Xia Lei on the cheek.
Xia Lei was used to it by now.
Qin Xiang came walking over, hand on hip, and he gave a cough. “Aw, you guys are too unfair. There are many boys in the factory who don’t even have a partner - are you two trying to stimulate them like this? They’re going to buy so many tissues that the price will go up in Bailu Town.”
Xia Lei’s head was spinning. He quickly changed the topic. “We’re going out for a bit. Want to come with us?”
Qin Xiang shook his head. “Nah, count me out. What am I going to do when you two can’t keep your hands off each other? I don’t want to be a third wheel.”
Xia Lei was wordless.
“Can I borrow Chairman Xia for a bit, Annina?” Qin Xiang looked smilingly at her.
Annina shrugged. “You guys chat. I’ll go get changed.”
Qin Xiang walked to Xia Lei’s side after Annina left and said quietly, “You two can go out but be cautious. Ahn Suhyeong brought people over to cause trouble the last time and a man and a woman challenged me to go out. Do you still remember those two?”
Xia Lei fired up his memory bank and the images of the two people surfaced in his head, clear as crystal; he just didn’t have their names.
“There’s something wrong with them?”
“Most likely. Those two had the smell of killers - you know what it’s like. Only people who have killed a lot of people have that,” said Qin Xiang, “I had a feeling when they challenged me that if it were another place, and if it was just me and them I’d probably be killed by them. I’m a little afraid of them, so I’m coming to give you a reminder. That Ahn fellow is the type to want revenge. He came to your turf to fight you, so it’s impossible that he’d back down. Who knows - he may even be waiting for you to go out.”
Xia Lei nodded. “I hear you. I’ll be careful.”
“Take a sniper rifle with you. Say that it’s for testing,” said Qin Xiang.
“Yeah, good idea. I’ll bring one then,” said Xia Lei, “This new model of sniper rifle was only tested indoors for basic functions and power. It hasn’t been brought out yet. This will be a good change to test it out.”
“I’ll go get it for you.”
“Hold on…” Xia Lei paused, then said, “You said just now that someone who has killed a lot of people have a smell. How about me - do I have that smell?”
“Let me smell you.” Qin Xiang put his nose to Xia Lei’s neck.
Xia Lei stepped away. “I’ll go get changed.”
Qin Xiang looked at Xia Lei’s retreating back and smirked.
After a short while, Xia Lei drove his Chevrolet Suburban towards the ancient Great Wall with one of the new of sniper rifles in the boot.
He wouldn’t have taken the gun if Qin Xiang had not reminded him to. He did not even think about how Ahn Suhyeong would seek revenge on him because this was China and he did not consider him a threat.
Annina was rather chipper. She found interesting topics to talk about on their road trip and her laughter didn’t seem to cease.
When they got to the Great Wall, Xia Lei took the plastic engineering box holding the sniper rifle out of the boot and carried it with him. He went to an area without any tourists with Annina.
It was not peak season so there were not a lot of tourists on the Great Wall but Xia Lei did not let his guard down. He scanned practically all the tourists on his way to the secluded place and did not find the two Korean people which Qin Xiang had mentioned.
‘It can’t be that Ahn Suhyeong would know right away that I’ve just come out of the factory, right? Qin Xiang might just be too sensitive.’
“How much further, Lukas?” Annina bent and massaged her ankles. “It’s all stone steps. My feet can’t take it anymore.”
They’d come to climb the Great Wall but Annina had put on a micro-skirt and high heels - no wonder she was tired.
Her skirt had no zipper and her bending exposed her black lace panties; the shape was obvious, yet mysterious and seductive.
Annina was not shy around Xia Lei but he didn’t feel comfortable staring at her there. He looked about for a bit. “Here’s good.”
“Okay.” Annina removed her high heels and her backpack. She took out a blanket from the backpack and laid it out on the ancient bricks, then dumped a big pile of snacks on it. Beef jerky, drinks, fruits, macadamia, pecans and so on tumbled onto the mat.
Xia Lei also put the plastic box down. He opened it and took out the new sniper rifle model.
This sniper rifle already had a name - XL2500. The name was made up of the first English letters in each part of his name and the weapon’s effective shooting range.
This was not the sniper rifle he had modified personally, of course. It looked the same but the one he modified surpassed this sniper rifle by at least 1,000 metres in range. The XL 2500 sniper rifle he modified should be called the XL3500.
The theoretical range of the XL2500 was 2,500 metres but the actual range was still unknown since this was the first test.
Xia Lei quickly installed the magazine and a .22lr scope. He didn’t actually need things like scopes but this was a test and he needed to get the real numbers under normal circumstances.
“Hurry up with the testing, Lukas. Eat something when you’re done.” Annina peeled an apple with a knife; she was warm and caring.
“I’ll just empty the magazine. I’ll be quick.” Xia Lei raised the sniper rifle and placed it on the wall. He measured the distance with his right eye, then aimed at a tree 2,500 metres away with the scope. He fired.
Bang! A shot rang out and the XL2500 recoiled. A bullet went flying and hit the trunk of the tree he had aimed at two seconds later. The scope showed a large chunk missing from the trunk.
“How is it?” Annina put down the apple she’d peeled and went to Xia Lei’s side. She leaned on his shoulder and her bountiful bosom added pressure on Xia Lei’s back.
How was he to shoot properly with this positioning?
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Xia Lei fired three consecutive shots, with one second between each shot. The speed of the XL2500 was undeniable. The three shots tore the trunk of the tree 2,500 metres away apart and it fell with a crash in the forest.
“What’s the range?” asked Annina anxiously.
“2,500 metres, maybe more.” Xia Lei bore with her booby-trap and set his sights on a tree further away. He squeezed the trigger.
Bang! The bullet hit the target again but there was some deviation from the scope.
Xia Lei fired more times till the magazine was empty of its ten bullets but he was unable to fell that tree.
The result of the test was out with just one magazine. The effective shooting range of the XL2500 was 2,600 metres and the probability of hitting the target beyond this range was low. But these numbers were enough to stand out on a global scale!
“Lukas, I want to shoot too.” Annina’s hot breath tickled Xia Lei’s ear.
Xia Lei’s ear was tickled. “I’ll get you a magazine. There’s one more.”
But Annina stuck to him and didn’t let him move. “I don’t want to shoot that gun. I want to shoot YOUR gun.”
Xia Lei was speechless.Previous Chapter Next Chapter