Hanwu Weapons had many people at their booth but sincere buyers were few and far between. It was lively but not fruitful. It was like selling wares on the street - it looked like there were many patrons and people loudly approving of the wares but running away when time came to collect money.
“This isn’t working, President Ye,” said Chen Man. “How about we use kickbacks? The South Americans and African clients like that.”
Ye Kun spoke evenly. “What are you anxious about? We still have some orders. Look at Thunder Horse Military Factory - not a shadow of a person at their booth. I’d like to see the look on that Xia Lei’s face.”
Ye Kun did not care how many weapons he sold or how many orders he got at this exhibition. He was bothered by Thunder Horse Military Factory and this situation he was seeing was most welcome. It made him happy; more so than receiving many orders.
Chen Men let out a puffing laugh. “Do you even need to wonder, President Ye? That Xia Lei must be pulling a long face now. It’s much too early for him to fight with you.”
Ye Kun smiled. “Just a naive brat. He thinks he really is someone, and said that Hanwu Weapons was not qualified to be his rival, that his rivals are companies like Barrett. It now looks like he’s a clueless, daydreaming fool.”
Chen Man put sugar in her voice. “Yes, he is a clueless, daydreaming fool, hallucinating that he’d be a rival for Barrett. Look at their booth - people coming and going in a steady stream and even more lively than our booth. The sniper rifles Barrett produces are the best in the world. He’s not even fit to carry their shoes.”
“Carry whose shoes?” Tang Yuyan stopped in her tracks in front of Hanwu Weapons’ booth, on her way to look for Xia Lei. She glared frostily at Chen Man.
Chen Men let out a laugh. “What does it matter to you who I talk about? Who is Xia Lei to you?”
Flames of anger fanned in Tang Yuyan. She couldn’t touch Ye Kun since he was the head of a government-backed corporation but a mere secretary daring to speak to her in this way? How could she stand this?
Tang Yuyan walked towards Chen Man, her eyes terrifyingly cold.
Chen Man felt a chill across her heart and hid behind Ye Kun.
Ye Kun sneered, “Yuyan, I’d advise you against this. Chen Man is one of the employees of Hanwu Weapons, and my secretary. If you hurt her then I’ll make a call to your Boss Shi and ask how he manages his subordinates.”
Fire burned in Tang Yuyan, the flames shooting high but having no way out; it felt rather unbearable.
“Go back,” mocked Ye Kun, “This exhibition is not over yet but I can see the result already. You should go comfort Xia Lei now. He needs comforting most in this time.”
“You’re laughing too early, Ye Kun. The gunmen in the hotel last night are related to you. You’d better not let me find evidence,” said Tang Yuyan coldly.
Ye Kun scoffed. “Tang Yuyan, don’t think that you can spout nonsense just because your grandfather and father have some relations with me. Let me tell you that I’ll sue you for libel if you say this again!”
“We’ll wait and see!”
“I’ll say this,” said Ye Kun, “Don’t get too close to that Xia Lei punk, or you’ll get burnt too!”
The words had just left his mouth when a sound suddenly came from the sound system of the exhibition hall. “Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests and our respected exhibitors, I am the organiser of this Moscow International Light Weapons Exhibition, Levansky Chekhov. I am honoured to announce something to you all. Director Xia of China’s Thunder Horse Military Factory has put up a reward of 20,000,000 Euros for any company or anyone whose sniper rifle can win against Thunder Horse Military Factory’s sniper rifle. If you win, the money is yours. If you lose, there is no penalty. This challenge is effective immediately.”
Following that, the message was repeated in several languages over the sound system, including English, Arabic and Latin.
The Moscow International Convention and Exhibition Centre broke into buzzing. The vast majority were hearing of Thunder Horse Military Factory for the first time, and most were also of the mindset that Chinese military products were counterfeits, and that China had never produced any top sniper rifles. With that sort of mental backdrop, a little no-name Chinese company was actually issuing a challenge such as this!
20,000,000 was not a small number. Win, and get the money; lose, and you don’t have to pay a cent. Who was going to reject something like this? Besides, those internationally renowned companies valued their name-brands highly. Wasn’t this person taking them lightly by issuing a challenge like that in an international light weapons exhibition such as this? And it was a challenge from a small no-name company from China too!
“What company this that? That Xia Lei, is he crazy?” An employee of the Barrett company laughed and looked rather gleeful. “If it was a German or Belgium company then maybe they’d have some right to challenge us when it comes to sniper rifles. A Chinese company? Hahaha, what a joke.”
“Chinese products are a joke,” agreed someone, “I’d believe it if it’s socks and shirts but top-level sniper rifles? Who’d believe that?”
An executive of the German HK company on the other side also laughed. “Is that Chinese man named Xia Lei insane? 20,000,000 Euros? Who’s he planning to give it to? Don’t even talk about challenging Barrett with their stronghold of sniper rifles - even our company’s sniper rifles would be able to beat the sniper rifles his Thunder Horse Military Factory produces.”
One of his subordinates said, “Mr Mueller, this may be that Thunder Horse Military Factory’s promotion plan. They’re deliberating putting on a show like this to gain attention and become famous.”
The executive named Mueller said, “Then let him pay the bill for his hallucination. You, go. Accept the challenge. Our newly-produced sniper rifle can also borrow this opportunity to shine. I want everyone to know that we, Germany, are the real kings of manufacturing!”
On Barrett’s end, their executive named Joe Barton made the same decision and sent a Barrett employee to the office area to accept the challenge.
The executive of the Belgium company FN, Ileva, also sent an FN employee to the office area to accept the challenge.
The challenge had not yet begun but the people in the exhibition hall were already heading to Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth.
Tang Yuyan snapped back to her senses in the Hanwu Weapons booth and started chuckling. “Xia Lei, you rascal! I’ve really got to hand it to you! I was worried about you but you’d already had your own idea - and such an awesome one too!”
Ye Kun’s expression turned ugly because he knew the capabilities of the XL2500 from Thunder Horse Military Factory. He also knew that if no accidents occurred, no one would be able to win against Xia Lei’s XL2500!
“Just you wait, Ye Kun! Haha!” Tang Yuyan laughed wickedly, then walked out of the Hanwu Weapons booth in an exaggerated manner.
Hu Hao was already up to his eyeballs in work at the Thunder Horse Military Factory booth. He could only wish to grow eight more mouths to talk to the coming visitors about the capabilities of the XL2500 sniper rifle. Tang Yuyan returned to the booth at the right time, and she also acted as a promoter for Thunder Horse Military Factory.
“What?” a merchant from Iran was surprised, “This sniper rifle has an effective shooting range of 2,500 metres? How is this possible? There’s definitely no such sniper rifle in this world.”
Tang Yuyan’s smile was sweet and her Arabic smooth as silk. “Sir, 2,500 metres is actually not the highest value. Its effective range is actually 2,600 metres, but there will be a slight error at that distance.”
Hu Hao translated Tang Yuyan’s words to English and repeated it for more people to hear.
The booth was abuzz with speculation. Some were amazed, some questioning, some mocking but none believed.
Just then, Xia Lei’s voice came over the sound system and he spoke in English, “Dear respected guests, I am Xia Lei, the person who issued this challenge. Currently, the American company Barrett, Belgium company FN and German company HK have accepted my challenge. In half an hour, we will conduct a sniper rifle test on the rooftop of the Moscow International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Those interested can move up to the roof to spectate.”
People soon headed in the direction of the stairs after hearing Xia Lei’s announcement. An emerging military factory from China daring to challenge the authority of Barrett, FN and HK in the light weapons realm? This had to be witnessed - and it was a 20,000,000 Euro bet too!
The Iranian merchant talking to Tang Yuyan said, “If your gun can really shoot 2,500 metres then I want to place an order with your company. I’m from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp. We are good friends with China.”
“We’ll need our Director Xia to make the decision. I’d suggest that you first go up to the roof to have a look, Sir,” said Tang Yuyan.
“All right, I’ll go,” said the Iranian merchant.
Just then, Xia Lei’s voice came from over the walkie-talkie which Tang Yuyan had on her. “Yuyan, bring two sniper rifles up. One XL2500 and the one I’ve modified.”
“Got it. I’ll be right up.” Tang Yuyan then said to Hu Hao, “Hu Hao, stay here and tend to the booth. I’m taking two sniper rifles up to the roof.”
Hu Hao grinned. “No problem. Go on, and good luck!”
Tang Yuyan quickly packed the two sniper rifles Xia Lei requested and a large box of ammunition, then headed for the lift.
Hanwu Weapons was close to the entrance of the exhibition hall and Ye Kun watched Tang Yuyan and the plastic box she carried with dark eyes. He had been mocking Xia Lei and Thunder Horse Military Factory earlier but he could not laugh now.
In less than half an hour, Thunder Horse Military Factory’s XL2500 was going to be fired and send shock-waves across the world!
Would Hanwu Weapons still be able to stop Thunder Horse Military Factory then?
“President Ye, should we go up and take a look?” asked Chen Man cautiously.
Ye Kun reacted like his foot had been stomped on and barked, “Look? What is there to look at?! You, think of something quickly to ruin Xia Lei’s plan! Hurry up, think!”
Chen Man’s lips move as if to say something but she did not say it.
What could she come up with in this situation?Previous Chapter Next Chapter