The first people to greet him when he walked out of the airport were Qin Xiang and Xia Xue.
It was the school holiday season but the Haizhu home was empty without Xia Lei in it and Xia Xue did not want to go back to an empty place. Xia Lei was not comfortable with her staying in Haizhu by herself so he arranged for her to help out in the military factory.
Since the company belonged to her brother, she was, naturally, going to be helping out at management-level. It was a rare chance for some practical experience and her role in the Thunder Horse Group was sure to be increasingly important with the expansion of Xia Lei’s business.
Qin Xiang was driving Xia Lei’s Chevrolet Suburban, and he drove like he rode his motorcycles - fast and furious.
“Big Sister Xiang, please slow down. Are you trying to take flight?” Xia Xue sat nervously in the car. She had her seatbelt on but she didn’t feel safe enough; she kept a hand tight on the handrail under the car roof.
Xia Lei rolled his eyes at Xia Xue. “What are you calling your Big Brother Qin? Picking up bad habits, huh?”
Xia Xue stuck out her tongue at him. She had an added tiny fear of Xia Lei after the incident where she had almost been harmed by Ahn Sujun, and she did not dare to throw little tantrums anymore.
Qin Xiang quirked his lips in a smile. “What are you scolding Xue for? I like her calling me Big Sister Xiang. All the employees in the military factory call me Big Sister Xiang too. Are you going to scold them all too?”
“Yeah.” Xia Xue piped up in agreement but her voice was small and only she could hear herself.
Xia Lei shrugged. “All right, Big Sister Xiang. You have to keep an eye on Xue when I’m in Russia. Don’t let anything like the last time happen again.”
“You can count on me,” said Qin Xiang.
“I was fooled once - do you think I’ll be fooled twice? I’m not a silly girl, Brother. You don’t have to worry about me,” said Xia Xue.
“You don’t know how dangerous this world is. I will protect you when I can, and when a day comes when I cannot, then you’ll have to rely on yourself,” said Xia Lei.
“What are you trying to say, Brother?” Xia Xue looked worriedly at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “Nothing. Just be careful. Don’t trust anyone easily, especially strangers.”
“Okay, I know. Isn’t that enough?” Xia Xue pursed her little mouth, but she was quietly grateful to her brother.
“Visit Lu Sheng in hospital more often when I’m in Russia. He got hurt because of you,” said Xia Lei.
“Nn, I’ll go visit Big Brother Sheng tomorrow.” Xia Xue agreed right away.
They talked and they chatted and the Chevrolet Suburban arrived at Thunder Horse Military Factory next to Bailu Town.
Xia Lei went straight to the workshop. Annina was arguing over something with an officer. Her Chinese was not good, and the atmosphere between them was an unhappy one.
“What’s the problem?” Xia Lei walked over.
Annina spotted Xia Lei and a smile bloomed on her face. She spoke in German, “Lukas, I was going to go with Qin Xiang to get you from the airport but the military was coming to collect a shipment. I couldn’t just leave so I didn’t go.”
Xia Lei switched to German too. “It’s all right. What happened here?”
“This officer wants to take all the sniper rifles. We won’t be able to go to the light weapons exhibition in Russia if we give him everything,” said Annina.
“Okay, I got it. I’ll talk with him.” Xia Lei then spoke to the officer who had come to collect the sniper rifles. “How may I address you, Sir?”
“No need with the ‘Sir’. I’m surnamed Tian. Officer Tian,” said the officer.
Xia Lei extended a hand and shook with Tian Jun, then glanced at his rank and greeted with a smile, “So it’s Colonel Tian. Well met, well met. I am Xia Lei.”
“I know who you are. It’s good that you’re here. I’ll talk with you - I can’t get through to this woman,” said Officer Tian. “I am from the Equipment Department. I have a collection form for sniper rifles and it’s clearly stated that all sniper rifles must be taken.”
Xia Lei wrinkled his brow. “The situation now is that our company is preparing to go to Russia to participate in an international light weapons exhibition. We cannot give you all our sniper rifles. We need to take some to Russia with us. Look, how about you take those you can and we’ll hand over the rest when we produce more.”
Officer Tian shook his head. “How can that do? This is an order. I am carrying it out.”
Xia Lei’s gaze went to a stack of engineering boxes. There were roughly 20 sniper rifles there. His gaze then went to a large wooden box behind Annina. His left eye twitched and he soon saw the four sniper rifles hidden inside. One of the rifles was the special one he had modified personally and could shoot up to 3,500 metres. That sniper rifle was also the rifle he wanted to bring to Russia as a sample.
Xia Lei stopped using his X-ray vision and said without missing a beat, “All right, then they’re all there. There’s only 20 this time. Get your men to transport them.”
20 XL2500 sniper rifles, each retailing at 1,000,000 - the shipment was worth 20,000,000. This was also what Thunder Horse Military Factory had managed to produce till now. Production was low, but in terms of value, one had to admit that the arms business was the most profitable in the world.
Officer Tian gave a scoffing laugh. “It’s not just these 20 guns, is it, President Xia? This woman was packing a box.” He pointed at the large wooden box next to Annina. “I saw. There are four more rifles in that box.”
Annina put on a helpless look. “He just charged right in. Couldn’t stop him.”
Officer Tian spoke expressionlessly, “What do you think this place is? Stop me? I have privileges in this military factory.”
“Privileges?” Anger flared in Xia Lei’s heart but he held it in check.
“Yes, we from the Equipment Department are direct supervisors of your military factory. We don’t manage your production but we have final say on what has been produced.” Officer Tian was adamant. “I shall take those four sniper rifles too. Please excuse me, and please don’t cause any unhappiness.”
The flames of Xia Lei’s anger burst forth. “I’ve already made it clear to you people that those four sniper rifles are what I want to take to Russia with me for the light weapons exhibition. I cannot give them to you. My participation in the exhibition was also approved by the higher-ups.”
“I don’t care about that. I care only about carrying out my order,” said Officer Tian coldly.
“Who ordered it?”
“You have no clearance to know.”
“Fine.” Xia Lei pointed at the workshop door. “Get out. Not a single rifle for you!”
Officer Tian grew angry. “What did you say? Men!”
Some soldiers outside the door came walking in. They were armed.
“Take all the guns!” ordered Officer Tian.
The soldiers did not hesitate. They went straight to the plastic engineering boxes and took hold of them.
Officer Tian called two soldiers by name and raised his voice to say, “You two, get that box on the vehicle.”
The two soldiers walked towards the large wooden box behind Anina.
“You can’t take this!” Annina spread her arms. “Can’t you be reasonable?”
“Get out of the way!” A soldier reached out and pushed Annina away.
Annina stumbled and nearly fell to the floor.
“Damn you!” Xia Lei could not hold his anger back anymore and he kicked the soldier on his behind. The soldier was kicked to the floor.
The other soldier stared blankly for a bit, then abruptly raised his gun and swung the butt down at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei blocked the gun butt with one hand and punched the soldier in his lower abdomen with his other hand at the same time. The soldier let out a cry of pain, took two tottering steps back and fell on his butt.
The sudden development stunned Officer Tian and the soldiers who were busy moving the boxes. They had not expected Xia Lei to resist at all, because they were all armed.
Normal soldiers had no bullets in their guns and Xia Lei had already seen through them. He was not worried about these soldiers shooting him at all.
“You dare-” Officer Tian took out his gun.
Xia Lei kicked the gun out of his hand. That gun had bullets in it, but he was not going to give Officer Tian any chances to use them.
“Mutiny! Seize him!” shouted Officer Tian in shameful anger.
The soldiers advanced, raining kicks, punches and gun butts down at Xia Lei.
A minute later, the ruthless soldiers were strewn about the floor like abandoned toys. Every one of them had bruised noses and swollen faces, and had lost his ability to fight.
Officer Tian finally spotted his gun in a corner. He dashed towards it and bent to pick it up. However, a foot stepped on the back of his hand just as it closed over the gun.
“Ah!” Officer Tian curled his hands in pain and let out a scream.
Xia Lei spoke coldly, “You fucker. This is MY military factory. When did it become your stomping grounds? What do you think this place is? Your home?”
“Release my hand!” Officer Tian was irate.
Xia Lei did not move his foot away. He stepped harder and ground his heel down.
“Ah…” Sweat broke out on Officer Tian’s brow, but he still spoke stubborn words. “You will regret this, Xia Lei!”
“I already regret producing fucking sniper rifles for you people!” said Xia Lei angrily. “Who sent you here? Don’t think that I’m unaware that someone is worried that the sniper rifles I produce will make an impression at the international light weapons exhibit, and sent a piece of shit like you to cause some damage. Who is he? Tell me!”
“What nonsense are you talking about? You’ll go to military court!”
“Fine, I’ll go. You won’t be able to hide the truth from the masses!” Xia Lei sneered, “Worse comes to worst I’ll move the military factory overseas. You people won’t be able to buy a single one!”
“Who do you think you are? Bastard! Let go of my hand!” Officer Tian was mad with anger. “I’ll count to three. One! Two! Three!”
Xia Lei looked coldly down at Officer Tian kneeling on the floor. Release him at the count of three? He’d like to hear him count to three thousand.
“Let him go.” A female voice came from the workshop doorway.
There was no need to look back. Xia Lei could tell that it was Tang Yuyan from her voice. He gave her a look, then removed his foot from Officer Tian.
Officer Tian suddenly snatched up the gun.
Bang! A shot rang out.
Officer Tian dropped his gun, startled.
Tang Yuyan blew at the blue smoke coming from the muzzle of her gun. She spoke slowly, “Officer Tian, it’s not too late if you leave now. You’ll be in a bad state if you keep causing trouble.”
“What are you doing, Tang Yuyan?” said Officer Tian coldly, “Don’t think that I’m afraid of your father. He can’t call the shots on this matter either.”
“True. You don’t need to be afraid of my father. But you should be afraid of the gun I have in my hand. Xia Lei is not for you to threaten; you are under-qualified. Do you want to try? I’ll give you a chance to pick up your gun. But if you aim it at Xia Lei I’ll shoot you down,” said Tang Yuyan.
Officer Tian bent to pick the gun from the floor. He wanted very much to point it at Xia Lei’s head and make him kneel while apologising but he did not dare. He knew well that when someone from Bureau 101 said they would kill someone, they would.
“Don’t dare to do it? Then take your men and scram,” said Tang Yuyan. “And pass this message on to your backer: The higher-ups approved of this trip to the exhibition in Russia. If you want to sabotage it I’ll make a big fuss and you won’t be left unscathed.”
Xia Lei looked at Tang Yuyan. He had a feeling that she knew who had sent Officer Tian.
“Let’s go!” Officer Tian did not dare to call Tang Yuyan’s bluff in the end and he gave the order to leave. The soldiers shuffled and stumbled behind him as they exited the workshop.Previous Chapter Next Chapter