Officer Tian took him men with him and the tense atmosphere dissipated.
“Are you all right, Lukas?” Annina came to him and asked in concern. She could not help in the fight and she was worried that he had got hurt.
Xia Lei patted her shoulder and said, “I’m fine. Why don’t you go back to the office? I’ll talk with Yuyan.”
“Nn.” Annina agreed obediently and left the workshop. She nodded a greeting to Tang Yuyan as they brushed shoulders on her way out.
Tang Yuyan gave her a smile too.
Xia Lei went straight to the point as soon as Annina left. “I know that you know who is trying to cause trouble. Tell me who it is.”
Tang Yuyan was silent for a while before she spoke. “It’s not someone, but… a company.”
“A company?” Xia Lei was surprised.
“Hanwu Weapons,” said Tang Yuyan. “The largest military supplies manufacturer in China. They mainly produce light weapons and ammunition, as well as defensive equipment for troops.”
Xia Lei quickly understood the situation. He had built Thunder Horse Military Factory and produced the best sniper rifle in the world, as well as superior handguns - this would indeed step on the toes of a lot of people. In other words, he had a slice of pie from someone else, so that person was not going to just let it go, was he?
The XL2500 surpassed all of its peers in terms of specifications and was sure to make a splash at the light weapons exhibition in Russia. What would follow was recognition of the brand, orders from the domestic market and overseas. Thunder Horse Military Factory would also become more established and be able to become more influential. How could Hanwu Weapons, producing similar things, just stand idly by?
One appearance by an Officer Tian was definitely not the end of it. This was just an indication of the beginning!
Tang Yuyan let out a dry laugh. “I heard a rumour in the wind from my father about an hour ago and specially came over to check on you. Didn’t expect that they would really come and try something.”
“Who’s the boss of Hanwu Weapons?” asked Xia Lei.
“Ye Kun.” Tang Yuyan said a name and added, “He is a favourite pupil of the chairman of China Industrial Group, Mu Jianfeng.”
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. “Mu Jianfeng is involved too?”
“This I don’t know. China Industrial Group manufactures heavy weaponry. You are not hindering them or taking away their privileges. However, if we think about the relationship between Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun… It’s hard to say.” She paused for a bit and said, “Don’t think too much about this either. I’ll protect you. This trip to Russia will go smoothly. I came to tell you that the flight to Russia has been arranged. We can fly directly to Moscow tomorrow.”
“Those people probably know you have the plane ready so they’re making a last ditch effort to snatch the guns away before you get here, huh? If I hadn’t fought back and let them take the guns, what would we have to show in Moscow?” Xia Lei couldn’t hold back his anger. “What right have they to do something like this? Just because they are a government-backed company?”
“There will always be fights, no matter which industry or business. Plus, you didn’t even come from a military background. Your Thunder Horse Military Factory is still in its infancy stage, so of course someone is going to try to kill it off before it grows. Think about it - would the people from Hanwu Weapons just watch your company grow into something which would compete with it for domestic military orders? They wouldn’t bother if you weren’t capable of doing so, but you are.”
Xia Lei scoffed. “Hah. So you’re saying I’m the one at fault here?”
“I don’t mean that at all,” said Tang Yuyan. “I know you’re angry but what I’m trying to tell you is that getting angry is no use. You’ve starting taking slices from their pie and you’re threatening Hanwu Weapons’ position. You should be prepared to have to go to war with them.”
Go to war? Xia Lei paused. For some reason, Tang Yuyan’s words were like a club to his head, giving him a knock just hard enough to knock him awake.
That’s right - he had entered the military industry, which hadn’t been open to private capital before. Those competing with him now were large government-backed military companies and he was threatening these people’s positions - how could they just let it be? And him, too. He had already taken a step on the warpath and there was not way out but to fight on, unless he was going to bow out.
Would he exit from the military industry?
No. He, Xia Lei, had never been one to turn tail and run, much less one who waved the white flag after being threatened!
If they wanted war, then he was going to be the tiger devouring prey!
So those people didn’t want to see Thunder Horse Military Factory become successful, huh? He was going to make it into a super arms producer like Lockheed Martin!
“Have you thought it through?” Tang Yuyan looked at Xia Lei, trying to guess at his thoughts.
Xia Lei suddenly laughed, and it was not forced. “Thank you for your words. I’ve got it; I won’t think of it in a complicated manner, and not too simply either. I’ll do what I should do. No matter who they are, and what sort of privileged group, I won’t be scared of them. I believe our nation is not one ruled by dictatorship and that no one can keep the truth from the masses and turn black to white."
Tang Yuyan laughed too. “That’s good. All right, take me on a tour around this place. I’m curious to see how those sniper rifles are produced.”
“I’ll get Qin Xiang to take you around. I’m going to Russia tomorrow so I need to talk with Annina and hand over some matters to her,” said Xia Lei.
“Okay, you go do your stuff. I’ll just look around,” said Tang Yuyan.
Xia Lei waved Qin Xiang over and tasked him with showing Tang Yuyan around before he went to the office.
Annina was putting the design plans in order and she put them down when she saw Xia Lei walk in. “Lukas, I have some concerns.”
“What are you concerned about?” Xia Lei walked over.
“You hit those soldiers, and that military officer. They will make things difficult for you.” Annina frowned, worried.
Xia Lei let out a laugh. “So what’s a little difficulty? Let them come. I’ll take them all on.”
Xia Lei held her hand. “Don’t forget that our dream is to build a super military factory known worldwide. Our XL2500 sniper rifle is just the beginning. Our dream will not be toppled, no matter the difficulty and hindrances.”
Annina gripped Xia Lei’s hand tightly too. “Yes! I feel reassured by your words. You’re right - making Thunder Horse Military Factory into an internationally recognised arms producer is our common dream. I will be with you no matter what difficulties we face. Let’s realise our dream together!”
No monsters and nightmares were going to hinder their dream!
“I’m going to Russia tomorrow,” said Xia Lei. “I need to hand over some matters to you before I go.”
“Sure, tell me.” Annina was listening.
“Those people won’t make any moves with Tang Yuyan here. They’re coming back for sure once we leave for Russia. Let them take the guns in the warehouses if they want. We’ll burn the design plans. The specifications in the computers have to be wiped too. Don’t let them get anything.”
Annina nodded. “I got it.”
“The most important are the lathes in our workshop,” said Xia Lei, “Those lathes are the core of our production of the XL2500. Other lathes will not work. In other words, they are our trade secret. You cannot tell anyone.”
“Those lathes were designed by you and built by us. Every machine is unique, and only parts produced with these lathes can be put together to make the XL2500.” Annina laughed all of a sudden. “You’re sly, Lukas. Burning the design plans, wiping the drives… Even if other companies take our XL2500 back and made a copy they would only be able to make something that looks like it but it won’t function the same way.”
“Let’s start now. I’ll destroy the design plans and you go wipe the drives,” said Xia Lei.
“Okay, that’s easy.” Annina got started right away, clicking at the computer and wiping the drives.
Xia Lei was sure that the first shipment of sniper rifles for the Equipment Department would not be distributed but end up somewhere in Hanwu Weapons. Someone was going to disassemble, study and replicate the sniper rifles, but that somebody would only be able to make something with similar shape but none of the superior capabilities of the XL2500.
He could rest assured and go to Russia with these preparations done.
The design plans curled up into ash and the faint smoke from the burning curled about the office.
The phone on the office desk rang all of a sudden. It was an internal call from the guard post.
Xia Lei picked it up. “What is it?”
“President Xia, a woman’s come to the gates saying she wants to meet with you.”
“She didn’t say who she was?”
A woman’s voice suddenly came from over the line. “It’s me. Something’s up.”
It was Fu Mingmei’s voice.
What was she doing here at a time like this?
Xia Lei was curious and he notified Annina, then left the office to go to the main gates.
Fu Mingmei stood at the gates, blocked by the soldiers on guard. The guards were also holding off Shentu Tianyin’s car, the silver Rolls Royce Phantom.
Xia Lei walked up to Fu Mingmei. “What is it, Mingmei?” He glanced at the Rolls Royce Phantom as he spoke but didn’t see Shentu Tianyin inside.
“No need to look. She’s not in there. She sent me to fetch you,” said Fu Mingmei.
“Tianyin’s looking for me? What is it?” Xia Lei was very busy and didn’t want to go.
“A good thing, of course. Can it be bad?” said Fu Mingmei.
“I’m not joking around,” said Xia Lei. “I’m busy and I have to go to Russia tomorrow. There’s a lot of work for me to do. I’m not going if it’s not anything important.”
Fu Mingmei was displeased. “You’re putting on airs now.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “You know that I’m not that sort of person. I really am busy. So tell me - what is it?”
“Someone wants to talk business with you,” said Fu Mingmei.
“Who?” Xia Lei couldn’t think of a person who would want to talk business with him, and what business it was either.
“A big person. I don’t know names,” said Fu Mingmei. “But this person must be a big deal indeed if Tianyin is inviting you over without letting me know the name. Come on, this is a good thing for you. You won’t regret it if you go. Look, Tianyin let me use her ride to fetch you. Isn’t that a great show of sincerity already?”
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “All right, I’ll go with you and see what this is about. But I’m driving my car so it’ll be more convenient for me to get back.”
“Sure, I’ll wait for you.” Fu Mingmei shot Xia Lei a smile.Previous Chapter Next Chapter