Chapter 402 - Catch A Thief

Ling Han had to just put in a word and the land was acquired. The newly-acquired land spanned over 500 mu (333,350m2), and Thunder Horse Military Factory was set to become a large military enterprise when the new factory was finished. The loan of 5,000,000,000 was also approved and interest was half of the usual rate because of special conditions and advantages offered by the nation, to be paid off in ten years. 

Thunder Horse Military Factory’s current momentum of development and profitability was high enough that they wouldn’t need ten years to pay off this loan. 

They had land, and they had capital - what was next was to build a new factory. Xia Lei threw himself headfirst into work. He had to finish up an intelligent lathe which was bigger than Josef’s before the new factory was ready. The lathe’s capabilities were also going to be more advanced and perform better. He then also had to modify the equipment and special intelligent lathe for the new factory. 

This was a huge undertaking but he was just one man. Other than his capable and invaluable assistant Annina, Thunder Horse Military Factory had its own team of high-level machinists and electrical engineers too. He also had the support of two production bases from Haizhu and Sichuan so it was not terribly difficult for him to complete this task. Of course, all these upgrades had to come after he completed the huge integrated intelligent lathe. 

Xia Lei had named this machine 'Flaming Dragon'. 

The design plan for Flaming Dragon took over a hundred pages and around 500 parts were needed to build it. A huge machine like this super giant could probably only be conceived by a brain like Xia Lei’s. 

His brain had acted like a human-assisted supercomputer during the design process. Its computing and analysis capabilities were quick beyond imagination. Other electrical engineers needed quite some time to do their calculations and to analyse for a time to solve problems but his brain could power through it all like a high-speed roller, crushing all the problems to bits! 

In the process of designing this lathe, he had practically absorbed all the knowledge of electrical engineering in the world by combining what he had learnt in Germany, what he had consumed after he’d come back to China, his ongoing learning and his own knowledge of electrical engineering. Add his own experiences and his own intuition and he had already unknowingly become the most skillful electrical engineer in the world. The him now was so awesome that he would not be beaten even if Europe and America assembled a team of a hundred elite electrical engineers to challenge him! 

The Flaming Dragon he had designed was a miracle, and he himself was a miracle of miracles. 

He could only guess at whether his brain had evolved and could not confirm it in the past but he had his final answer after overloading his brain recently - his brain had already evolved to a terrifying degree! 

Maybe this evolution would still go on over time. 

What was the end-point? 

There was no answer to that. 

But one thing was for sure - Flaming Dragon would be the most advanced, most intelligent and most precise lathe in the world when it was completed! It would become the treasure of Thunder Horse Military Factory! 

Xia Lei finished the design plans after 20 days, and the parts he needed were shipped from Haizhu and Sichuan to Thunder Horse Military Factory. Next was to work on processing those parts and putting them together. But before that, there was one thing he needed to do. 

Xia Lei put all the design plan papers together in a stack in his office. The papers made a stack almost two feet high on his desk and he stood before his desk with both hands pressed on its surface. He called up the X-ray power of his left eye and looked through the stack, layer by layer. 

Piece after piece of the drawings were assembled in his brain and they moved about, following their circuits to be put together into the complete form of Flaming Dragon. What was more amazing was that the Flaming Dragon assembled in his head had not just all the parts and electrical circuits but every single measurement and functionality calculated too! 

“Eh? That’s not right! Good thing I checked; this part here is wrong.” Ten minutes later, Xia Lei lifted part of the pile to pick up the 88th piece. He corrected something in the design plan and smiled in satisfaction. 

If an ability like this was made known there was sure to be a global uproar! 

A pair of eyes silently peeked in from the office window to spy on Xia Lei. 

The person standing outside was an electrical engineer of Thunder Horse Military Factory and was named Huang Xuedong. He drew a high salary. 

Xia Lei discovered Huang Xuedong as soon as he appeared. 

‘Peeking?’ thought Xia Lei, ‘What is he up to?’ 

“Engineer Huang, what are you doing here?” Annina’s voice came from outside the door. She had been in China for some time and her Chinese had improved by leaps and bounds. 

Huang Xuedong moved away from the window and said with a smile, “Oh, nothing. I’m heading to the Design Department. You’re looking for Director Xia, aren’t you? He’s probably in his office. Go on. I’m going off.” 

Huang Xuedong’s reaction had not escaped Xia Lei’s notice. ‘He had obviously seen me but said that I am probably in the office. Is he hiding the fact that he was spying on me? Why?’

It wouldn’t have been anything if he’d just stopped to take a look while walking by but covering up something like this and lying about it meant that there was a problem. 

Annina walked in with a stack of papers in her arms. “Lukas, a shipment of parts were returned again. Come take a look and see if they’re right.” 

Xia Lei flipped casually through the papers and said, “Annina, did that Huang Xuedong earlier have anything off about him recently?” 

Annina looked puzzled. “What do you mean?” 

Xia Lei thought for a bit. “Like, did he take pictures in the workshop, or make sneaky phone calls?” 

Annina thought for a bit. “Nope, he didn’t do any of that. He works hard too. Why are you asking this?” 

“Oh, nothing.” Xia Lei smiled. “It’s been tough on you these days.” 

Annina leaned lightly on Xia Lei. “So how are you going to thank me?” 

The first part of Xia Lei to respond to her words was not his brain but his waist - it ached. This really was a very strange thing. 

At that moment, Xia Lei looked abruptly at the wall adjacent to the corridor and his left eyes twitched. The scene behind the wall entered his vision. 

That Huang Xuedong had not left. He stood by the wall and seemed to be listening to something. 

Xia Lei’s suspicions grew. He suddenly said, “Annina, let’s go to the lounge.”  

“Now?” Annina looked shy when it was her on the receiving end and she became hesitant. “Um, but Lukas, it’s morning now, and work hours… It’s not good to… right?” 

“I have something I want to discuss with you. Come on, let’s go to the lounge.” Xia Lei deliberately spoke loudly. 

“Okay.” Annina’s voice was small and her cheeks red in a blush. 

The lounge was in the office, behind a door. 

Annina tossed the papers in her hand on the sofa once she went through the door and threw herself into Xia Lei’s embrace. Her hands and her legs were touching, rubbing. She was a model engineer of Thunder Horse Military Factory before entering the door but once inside, she tore off her mask of professional and became the lover of Director Xia. This change took her just three seconds. 

“What are you doing? Match my actions; I want to catch a thief,” said Xia Lei quietly. He did not look away from the door of the lounge. 

Annina became a good girl again.  

As expected, Huang Xuedong appeared in the doorway of the office a few minutes later. He first looked left, then right, and stepped quickly into the office. He sprinted straight to Xia Lei’s desk once inside and took out his phone to take pictures of the design plans on Xia Lei’s desk. 

He would have been done quickly if it were just a few pages but unfortunately for him there were over a hundred pages. There was no way he was going to be finished in a short amount of time. He was anxious and his hands shook; sweat beaded his forehead.

Xia Lei’s brows furrowed further, not just because he had discovered an industry spy but because of Annina. She was being as 'persuasive' as ever and making it difficult for him to dash out and catch the thief. 

Huang Xuedong took picture after picture and his limbs grew more steady as he went on. He had been worried that Xia Lei would come out from the lounge suddenly when he had begun taking the pictures but he grew less tense as more time elapsed and Xia Lei did not emerge from the lounge. If he had a chance to finish taking all the pictures in one go, then why not? 

Plus, he could hear the noises Annina was making through the door of the lounge. 

“Horny dogs!” Huang Xuedong smiled in a vulgar manner. “I’ve made it big this time. Hanwu Weapons promised me 10,000,000. The money is mine!” 

The door to the lounge opened all of a sudden while Huang Xuedong was taking pictures and dreaming about money. Xia Lei appeared in the doorway. 

Huang Xuedong hurriedly put his phone away and tried to tidy the pile of papers, flustered. “I”m sorry Director Xia, I accidentally knocked your papers over.” 

Xia Lei laughed. “Enough with the act. Give me the phone.” 

“Wh, What phone?” Huang Xuedong was very nervous. 

“The phone you used to take pictures. I’ll get it from you myself if you don’t hand it over.” Xia Lei’s voice turned ice-cold. 

Huang Xuedong suddenly tried to run but Xia Lei cut him off before he could round the table. Xia Lei grabbed him by the collar and threw him to the ground.

Just then, Annina walked out of the lounge, her face red. 

Xia Lei took Huang Xuedong’s phone and looked at the pictures he had taken. He spoke softly, “I’m giving you one chance now. Tell me - how many more of you are in my company?” 

“Wh, What are you talking about? I don’t know.” Huang Xuedong was very nervous and his voice trembled. 

Xia Lei kicked him violently in the chest. “If you don’t talk then I’ll sue you. You’re stealing state secrets. You’ll be thrown into jail! Tell me and I’ll let you go instead of investigating you.” 

A weak electrical engineer like him had never been frightened in this way before. Huang Xuedong quickly crumbled and said, “I’ll talk, I’ll talk.” 

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