On their way back from the gun test, the car radio was blasting the popular song ‘Little Apple’*. “You are my little, little apple… I love you so much I’ll never get sick of you…”
Annina sang along and even did some dancing.
The lyrics of this song, plus what happened earlier made Xia Lei smile a wicked smile.
Xia Lei did not encounter anything special on their way back to Jingdu. Ahn Suhyeong’s people did not appear and he did not discover anyone suspicious.
Xia Lei brought Annina to get the roast duck and asked for a private room. He ordered dishes.
“Lukas,” said Annina in German, “The international light weapons exhibition in Moscow is starting soon. We have to make preparations.”
Xia Lei replied in German, “I’ve already asked Senior Tang Tian-Long to help me do the applications. We should go visit him on our way back and ask about the application progress.”
“Then I’ll have to prepare more guns for the exhibition,” said Annina.
Xia Lei smiled. “Don’t worry. It might be difficult to go to countries in the west but Russia is no problem.”
“Yeah, I have a feeling that our XL2500 sniper rifle will make an impact in Russia. We can build on that and get even more results too.”
Xia Lei nodded in agreement. The effective range of most advanced sniper rifle in the west was not as good as the XL2500, and the XL2500 had a very high degree of automation, as well as a magazine which could load ten bullets. The current world record by an American sniper was a target-hit as 2,200 metres, which was a huge difference from the XL2500’s range of 2,600 metres. This was very important because even a difference of ten metres was a matter of life or death for a sniper, let alone 400 metres!
Just imagine - what furore will the XL2500 cause at the international light weapons exhibit in Moscow?
“The foreign sniper rifles with similar specifications are being sold for at least one million Chinese yuan. What price should we set our sniper rifle at, Lukas?” asked Annina.
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “The production and adjustment for every sniper rifle is fairly troublesome so the price cannot be low. The foreign guns are inferior to ours and are being sold for over a million so ours should be even more expensive. I’m thinking it should be priced at 1.2 million in foreign markets and one million locally.”
“Isn’t this cheaper?”
Xia Lei laughed. “We’re just starting in the military firearms business. We have no contacts yet and our product is also not known yet. It’s not good if it’s too expensive.”
“Hm, makes sense.” Annina was not used to the business side of things.
The server wheeled a food trolley into the room and placed the dishes on their table.
Just then, some guests arrived in the room next to theirs and a man called for a server in Korean.
A female voice said laughingly, “Ahn Sujun, the servers here don’t understand Korean. You should speak Chinese. Your Chinese is good - you should have no problem.”
Xia Lei froze when the girl’s voice entered his ears.
He was intimately familiar with this voice because it was Xia Xue’s voice.
Why was Xia Xue here?
And who was that Korean man?
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched and the wooden wall separating the rooms vanished. Xia Xue and a young man of similar age entered his field of vision. The young man was tall and lanky, had a nice face with red lips and white teeth and was very handsome. However, he had not a bit of manliness about him. He was one of the so-called ‘Flower Boys’ which were currently popular.
Xia Xue was chatting and laughing with this Korean youth and they looked rather affectionate.
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. ‘This punk’s surnamed ‘Ahn’ and called ‘Sujun’. It’s just one word different from ‘Suhyeong’. Is this punk from the Ahn family?’
Flames of anger crackled in Xia Lei’s heart at the thought.
It seemed like Ahn Suhyeong’s best method to get back at him was not hiring someone to beat him up, nor hiring killers but to hurt Xia Xue!
Xia Xue was unaware that her brother was watching her next door with anger written all over his face and flames almost spitting from his eyes.
Xia Lei could not be blamed for being so angry. He did not forbid Xia Xue from dating but he would never let her fall in love with a Korean man - and one who might be related to Ahn Suhyeong at that!
“Why aren’t you eating, Lukas? Why are you looking at the wall? Is there a spider?” The female mechanic’s thought process jumped erratically.
“There’s a cockroach!” said Xia Lei angrily.
“A cockroach! Where?”
“Never you mind. I’ll go to the washroom for a bit.” Xia Lei exited the private room.
Annina carefully scanned the wall which Xia Lei had been glaring at and pursed her lips after a while. “His vision must be suffering because his kidneys are weak.”
Who knew what Xia Lei would think if he’d heard her.
XIa Lei went to the door of the room next to his and reached to open it but he hesitated, then put his hand down.
Go in, give that Ahn Sujun punk a slap and take Xia Xue away? He could do that but Xia Xue would definitely throw a tantrum and rebel. If that punk then sneaked in under those circumstances… Xia Lei was not going to want to see such a result.
Xia Lei called upon the power of his left eye again and watched quietly...
“Xue, you’re so pretty.” Ahn Sujun looked at Xia Xue with great passion, his tone so gentle it could give people goosebumps.
Xia Xue was a little shy and she was blushing. “What a honeyed tongue. I’m not falling for that.”
Ahn Sujun raised a hand. “Xue, I’m serious about you. I swear, you are the person I love most in my life.”
“Yeah, right. We’ve only known each other for a month and I’ve become the woman you love most in your life?” Xia Xue said dismissive words but a sweet smile appeared on her lips.
A honey-tongued flower boy was just the type of men that the girls of Xia Xue’s generation liked.
Ahn Sujun reached out and grabbed Xia Xue’s hand. “Xue, will you believe me only when I dig my heart out and show it to you?”
Xia Xue pouted. “Then dig it out and show me.”
Ahn Sujun abruptly unzipped his jacket to reveal his white T-shirt underneath. On his chest was a line written in red: Only Love Xia Xue Forever!
“You… you’re so naughty.” Xia Xue smacked Ahn Sujun with a feather-light fist.
“Xue, I love you.” Ahn Sujun reached out and held Xia Xue tightly by her slender waist.
Xia Xue tried to pull apart but couldn’t. She was nervous and her face reddened further.
Ahn Sujun drew closer to her and went in for a kiss.
Xia Xue moved her head back. “Don’t. My brother will scold me if he knew.”
“Your brother, your brother… him again.” Ahn Sujun was unhappy and he released her. “You’re already an adult. Is your brother going to take care of you your whole life? I love you and you love me - why can’t we be together?”
Xia Xue hung her head. “I didn’t say that we can’t be together. I just want my brother to meet you. We also need some time…”
Outside the door, Xia Lei breathed a sigh of relief. Based on Xia Xue’s reaction this Ahn Sujun punk had only progressed to hand-holding with Xia Xue and they hadn’t even kissed yet.
“Okay, I respect your views. I want to meet your brother too. I hope he will like me and accept me, or I really don’t know what I’ll do. I cannot be without you.” Ahn Sujun spoke passionately.
“Yeah, my brother’s not some old stick in the mud, he’s open-minded.” At that point, Xia Xue suddenly laughed. “My brother’s really impressive. He knows Wingchun so you’d better not bully me or he’ll hit you.”
Ahn Sujun held Xia Xue’s hand again and said tenderly, “How could I bear to bully you, Xue? I couldn’t treasure you more. I’ll protect you in place of your brother next time and I’ll beat up whoever who dares bully you!”
Outside the door, a server walked over, pushing a food trolley. He saw Xia Lei in the doorway and said, “Sir, please move out of the way.”
Xia Lei moved out of the way and said, “Sorry, I seem to have gone the wrong way.”
The server went into the private room and Xia Lei hid by the door to continue watching.
The server placed the dishes on the table and opened a bottle of red wine.
The server left the room and saw that Xia Lei was still standing by the door. “Sir, did you not find the place? Do you need my help?” he asked curiously.
“No, no, you can go about your business,” said Xia Lei.
“Weirdo.” The server muttered under his breath and went off, pushing the food trolley.
Xia Lei looked in the private room again.
Ahn Sujun suddenly pointed behind Xia Xue and said, “Xue, look! What’s that?”
Xia Xue turned to look.
Ahn Sujun dropped a white pill into Xia Xue’s wine glass when she had her head turned. The white pill dissolved in the wine in two seconds and Xia Xue did not see anything after he turned back.
“You bluffed. Meanie! I’m not going to bother about you anymore.” Xia Xue pretended to be annoyed.
“Why would I bluff? I actually wanted to give you a surprise.” Ahn Sujun opened the palm of his other hand to reveal a pair of exquisite ruby earrings.
“Oh, it’s beautiful.” Xia Xue was very touched.
“Let’s have a toast, Xue. I’ll put the earrings on you after that. These will definitely look good on you.” Ahn Sujun picked up the long-stemmed glass from the table.
Xia Xue pursed her lips, smiling, and raised the glass in her hand too.
“Cheers.” Ahn Sujun clinked glasses with Xia Xue.
Xia Xue tilted the glass to her mouth…
Bang! The door of the private room was kicked open and Xia Lei strode through the doorway.
“Brother?” Xia Xue was shocked. Her face turned pale.
“Your brother?” A flash of disgust appeared in his eyes but he covered it with a smile as he stood, reaching out a hand for a handshake. “Mr Xia, I’ve long wanted to meet you. I am Xia Xue’s boyfriend. My name is…”
Before he could finish, Xia Lei suddenly slapped him across the face.
Pah! The slap rang out.
Ahn Sujun staggered from the force. He held his face and said in anger and surprise, “What the hell?”
“Brother!” Xia Xue reacted then. She stood.
But that slap was not enough to quell the anger in Xia Lei’s heart. He grabbed Ahn Sujun by the collar and pulled downwards as his knee went up to smash into Ahn Sujun’s lower abdomen. This put Ahn Sujun on his knees on the floor.
“Brother! What are you doing?!” Xia Xue came rushing over to try to stop Xia Lei.
Xia Lei pushed Xia Xue aside and did a Knife Hand on Ahn Sujun’s carotid artery. The Korean youth let out a grunt as he collapsed bonelessly to the floor.
Xia Xue was scared silly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
* The author referenced this song before but for some reason he changed all the 'apples' to 'pineapples'. Here’s a link to a dance-only cover.