Moscow - International light weapons exhibition.
After much difficulty and this and that problems, Thunder Horse Military Factory’s XL2500 was finally displayed at the light weapons exhibition in Moscow. Russia and the Western countries were currently in a tense situation but this did not hinder the Western arms dealers from taking their weapons to the exhibition and looking for buyers.
China had just two military booths, one was Hanwu Weapons and the other was Thunder Horse Military Factory.
Hanwu Weapons had a certain popularity in third world countries and their weapons were known by the buyers from Africa, Latin America, South America and the Middle East. They had brought many weapons to this exhibition - dozens of types of light weapons. Their exhibition area was also astoundingly large.
Thunder Horse Military Factory, on the other hand, was unknown. The European, American and even the third world countries had never heard of it. The weapons on display in the exhibition booth were pitifully few - just four sniper rifles. The booth was also in an inconspicuous corner and it had practically no visitors, much less buyers.
Tang Yuyan frowned. “This is bad. Look at that Barrett company there. They’ve got a huge crowd. Your sniper rifle is obviously better than a Barrett sniper rifle. Why can’t they see this?”
Tang Yuyan groused about the unfairness of it. She had expected the people here to crowd this booth but reality was far from what she’d imagined.
Xia Lei was not the least bit bothered. He smiled as he said, “This is Thunder Horse Military Factory’s first foray overseas. I don’t expect people to know of our existence. This situation here is normal.”
“Your aim is to use this light weapons exhibition to make a name for Thunder Horse Military Factory. If this goes on you won’t meet your goal even after the exhibition is over.”
“No worries,” said Xia Lei.
Tang Yuyan rolled her eyes at him. “Looks like the outsider is more concerned than the boss. This is your company, your gun. I don’t know what I’m here worrying for you for.”
Xia Lei gave a laugh and was not worried at all. He had expected this situation and he had a plan in mind.
Just then, two Middle Eastern men with their heads wrapped in white headscarves went past Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth and took a look outside the door before they walked back in again.
Middle Eastern men were known for being rich.
Tang Yuyan put on a smile and greeted them in Arabic. “Hello, Sirs. Please take a look. We…”
Ye Kun’s secretary, Chen Man, appeared in the doorway before Tang Yuyan could finish her sentence and greeted the two Middle Eastern men in a sweet voice. “Mr Arafat, Mr Rahman, there you are. Our President Ye is waiting for you, our distinguished guests.”
What was surprising was that this Chen Man was speaking fluent Arabic. It looked like Ye Kun had surrounded himself with talent and even his bed-sharing secretary had some real skills.
The Middle Eastern men glanced at each other and one of them seemed to remember who Chen Man was. He smiled. “Ah, so it’s Miss Chen Man. All right, let’s go over.”
The two Middle Eastern men stopped looking at Thunder Horse Military Factory’s sniper rifles and went off with Chen Man.
Chen Man gave Tang Yuyan and Xia Lei a smug eye-roll and led the way for the two Middle Eastern men, her hips swaying.
“Damn it, that bitch!” Tang Yuyan couldn’t hold back anymore. She made to rush forward and ‘talk’ to Chen Man but Xia Lei pulled her back.
“It’s just one of Ye Kun’s dogs. Look at your own status - need you go pick a fight with her?” said Xia Lei.
“You… Ah, forget it. You’re not even anxious so why should I be?” Tang Yuyan was discontent.
Xia Lei watched Chen Man bring those two Middle Eastern men to the Hanwu Weapons booth, and a faint smile appeared in the corners of his mouth.
The other booths were buzzing with activity but only the chirping of crickets could be heard at Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth. There wasn’t even a ghost of a client there.
Tang Yuyan couldn’t help pursing her peachy lips when she saw this. “You’re not putting any effort into this. It’s already like this and you’re still able to smile. No, I’m going to get Ling Han here and get him to think of something. That guy must have lots of ideas; he must be able to help.”
Their only helper in the exhibition hall, Hu Hao interrupted to say, “Chief Tang, Mr Ling has stepped out. I don’t know where he is now.”
Tang Yuyan stamped her foot. “Damn it. Can’t count on any of you.”
Xia Lei couldn’t help but laugh at her anxiousness.
Tang Yuyan glared at Xia Lei. “What are you laughing at? Aren’t you anxious?”
Xia Lei laughed. “All right, I’ll think of something since you’re so anxious. I’ll go out for a bit. Help me watch the booth.”
“What’s the plan?” asked Tang Yuyan curiously.
“You’ll know in a bit,” said Xia Lei.
Xia Lei walked towards the booth of the Barrett company.
Tang Yuyan watched Xia Lei go and couldn’t help saying, “Hu Hao, what do you think his plan is?”
Hu Hao shook his head. “No idea, Chief Tang. I just know that you’re anxious. Why?” Then he smiled. “Chief Tang, do you like him?”
Tang Yuyan glared at Hu Hao and said fiercely, “Are you making fun of your Chief Tang, punk? Attention!”
Hu Hao leapt to his feet to stand at attention.
“Stand like that, no more sitting,” said Tang Yuyan.
Hu Hao was speechless.
Xia Lei walked past Hanwu Weapons’ booth. It was crowded and lively. He also saw Ye Kun and those two Middle Eastern men; Chen Man was next to Ye Kun acting as interpreter and introducing a new rifle to them.
Ye Kun’s bodyguard spotted Xia Lei walking and leaned in to Ye Kun’s ear to whisper something. Ye Kun looked over and saw Xia Lei, and a faint mocking smile appeared on his lips. He passed the two Middle Eastern buyers to Chen Man and walked over to Xia Lei.
“Oh, isn’t this the famous Director Xia of Thunder Horse Military Factory? Are you roaming about because you’re bored?” Ye Kun’s tone was mocking and he looked over at Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth as he spoke. The booth was still empty of visitors.
Xia Lei showed not an ounce of anxiousness and said evenly, “Yeah, I do have nothing to do so I’m walking around, and also learning from the experience of the bigger companies.”
“You can’t learn from experience like this. Power and connections are most important,” said Ye Kun mockingly, “Your little military factory will only have the right to be a rival to Hanwu Weapons after growing for 30 years. But even if you do manage to hang on till that day you’ll still fail.”
This was a provocation, a show of contempt and disregard.
Xia Lei didn’t seem bothered and he still spoke politely, “Oh? My Thunder Horse Military Factory is indeed a small little company now but it looks to me that Hanwu Weapons is not our rival - you’re under-qualified.”
“Hahaha…” Ye Kun couldn’t help laughing. “Xia Lei, Xia Lei, my teacher said that you are an arrogant person and I believe him now. But your arrogance is unfounded. How can you look down on Hanwu Weapons with your little military factory? Talk like this only when the scale of your company is at least a tenth of Hanwu Weapons.”
Xia Lei laughed. “I speak the truth. Look, I’m looking around for rivals now and I didn’t even consider your company. I’m looking at Barrett, Belgium’s FN, Germany’s HK. These internationally known light weapons companies are proper rivals for Thunder Horse Military Factory. A company such as yours which stays within the shell of China is not fit to be my rival.”
Ye Kun snorted. “Keep dreaming. I know your plan, Xia Lei. You want to make use of this light weapons exhibition to make a name for your company. You’re a fool. The truth has been laid out before your eyes. Nobody is going to your booth, no one is taking notice of you, and no one cares. You just have one path to take and that is selling Thunder Horse Military Factory to me.”
“Forget it, I don’t have time to squabble with you. I’ll let you see what the result is.” Xia Lei walked off with those words and turned to go to the Barrett booth.
Ye Kun let out a loud huff. “I’d like to see how you’ll manage to reach your goal. Keep dreaming!”
Xia Lei didn’t even look back.
The Barrett booth had its entire range of Barrett sniper rifles on display. The world-famous M90, M95 and M99 were there, of course and the most prestigious anti-equipment sniper rifle, the M109.
Xia Lei made a round of the exhibition booth. No one greeted him. The Barrett employees had obviously seen him as one of the gun enthusiasts who liked Barrett sniper rifles but was unable to afford one, so they didn’t even bother greeting him. Those they talked to were people who had their own entourage - these were the clients they were focusing on.
Xia Lei hung around the Barrett booth for a bit, then walked off and went to the Belgium FN booth, then the German HK booth. Finally, he headed to the centre of the exhibition area, the office area. He paid a small fee and found one of the organisers, Chekhov.
Xia Lei went straight to the point when he walked into Chekhov’s office. “Hello, Mr Chekhov. I am the person in charge of the booth of China’s Thunder Horse Military Factory. I have a business proposition for you.”
Chekhov gave Xia Lei an odd look. “Thunder Horse Military Factory? I’ve never heard of it. What business do you want to talk about?”
“Good business, of course,” said Xia Lei.
Chekhov laughed. “Mister, if you’re here to promote your company’s guns then I’d have to ask you to leave. Look, I have a lot of work to do and I don’t have time to chat. You’ve got the wrong guy too.”
Xia Lei reached behind himself and shut the office door.
Chekhov wrinkled his brows. “What are you doing?” He reached for his mobile phone on the table without waiting for Xia Lei’s answer, prepared to call security.
Xia Lei moved forward and pressed his hand down, saying, “50,000 Euros for half an hour.”
Chekhov gave Xia Lei a look of horror. “You…”
Xia Lei laughed. “Don’t be mistaken. I’m not gay. What I mean is, I shall delay you from your work for half an hour and I’ll give you 50,000 Euros as compensation.”
Chekhov smiled. “What would you like to drink, Sir?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter