China Industrial Group did send a court summons suing Xia Lei for breach of contract and Thunder Horse Military Factory for infringement of copyright. These matters didn’t need Xia Lei’s attention, however, and was handled by the Thunder Horse Group lawyers.
Mu Jianfeng’s aim was to get the drawings and specifications for Flaming Dragon, the integrated intelligent lathe, but the drawings provided by Thunder Horse Military Factory were those downloaded from the internet, and an electrical engineering textbook. The China Industrial Group lawyers were all so angry they could cough blood whenever they met the Thunder Horse Group lawyers in court, but could do nothing about them.
Mu Jianfeng wanted to put more pressure on Xia Lei but he was afraid of triggering the media and Ling Han, so he did not make that move.
In his eyes, Xia Lei was like a willful little boy, clever but stubborn - hit him, and he dodges, try to control him and he weaves about in front of you, doing all sorts of things which would anger you. And this willful child was constantly growing stronger. If he waited, this child would become too powerful for him to take in hand.
He was the sand in his eyes, the thorn in his side. This was the situation.
The lawsuits of China Industrial Group and Thunder Horse Military Factory still had no result after a month, and Xia Lei’s Flaming Dragon, the integrated intelligent lathe, was complete.
Weighing in at five tonnes, Flaming Dragon was definitely a giant in the lathe world. It’s capabilities and functions also surpassed the intelligent lathe Xia Lei had sold to China Industrial Group by a wide margin.
Modifying normal lathes was as easy as pie with Flaming Dragon. Xia Lei no longer needed to do high precision parts processing personally; any machinist could do the task. He just needed to finish the CNC program and the electrical wiring, and these were familiar tasks to Xia Lei.
Next, other than modifying the needed lathes and special equipment for the new production line, he also started on perfecting Annina’s design for Thunder Horse Military Factory’s first assault rifle.
This rifle was named Gust.
Xia Lei and Annina did not focus on excellence in shooting range this time. They focused on increasing overall stability and reducing recoil instead.
In the world of assault rifles, the power and recoil of a rifle were directly proportional. For example, the AK47 had great power but its recoil was also a headache. People using the AK47 on the battlefield would find it difficult to hit their target when shooting continuously, even when the target was in range.
America’s M16 was also world-famous. It had reliable performance and was quite stable overall, but its power and range was weaker than Russian weapons.
The Gust which Xia Lei and Annina designed had the power and shooting range of the AK47 and the reliability and stability of the M16. This assault rifle was also going to have less recoil than the AK47 and M16!
This combination of Russian and American assault rifles would, undoubtedly, take the throne of assault rifles once it was introduced to the world! As for purchase orders, there was no need to even worry about it. Just the domestic orders from China were going to be enough to make the workers of Thunder Horse Military Factory dizzy with work!
Xia Lei’s every day was packed with modifying the lathes and special equipment needed for the new workshops and perfecting Annina’s Gust prototype.
Two months later…
Xia Lei stood holding an unremarkable-looking assault rifle on a hillside behind Thunder Horse’s factory building and shot continuously at several targets at 500 metres.
Bullet shells jumped, clinking to the ground as smoke puffed from the gun and was carried away by the autumn wind.
The fixed targets 500 metres away were shot full of holes. Almost every bullet which had been shot from the assault rifle in Xia Lei’s hands had hit the targets, and all had hit in a quick sweep! Other assault rifles would not have this sort of result even if it was targeted shooting.
This made one feel like the rifle Xia Lei was holding was not an assault rifle but a lighter version of a sniper rifle!
This was Thunder Horse Military Factory’s first assault rifle - Gust.
As its name implied, it was as quick as the wind and invincible!
What was even more amazing and incredible about this rifle was that Gust barely shook at all with all that quick shooting, and was miraculously quiet. This recoil was almost the same as that of a handgun!
This was a miracle.
The secret lay in the body of Gust, where Xia Lei had personally designed a mechanical shock-absorption device. This device was divided into two parts, one part in the body and one part in the butt. These two parts were connected in an ergonomic weight-bearing system. The recoil generated by shooting was absorbed and dissipated by the shock-absorbing device and the person firing the assault rifle could almost not feel any shaking from the gun.
Of course, this was a prototype which Xia Lei had made personally. The mass-produced guns would not be able to reach this level. Even so, it was sure to be the most advanced assault rifle in the world, and none could surpass it!
He had emptied the magazine. A satisfied smile appeared on Xia Lei’s face.
Annina removed her earplugs and said excitedly, “Lukas, I have no words to describe your awesomeness. I just designed a normal assault rifle but you turned it into a miracle! I dare say we will surpass Hanwu Weapons soon after we mass produce and put our rifle on the market. We will become China’s biggest light weapons manufacturer then.”
Xia Lei laughed. “Half of Thunder Horse Military Factory’s success is due to you. Tell me - what would you like when we reach the top?”
“Half? No, no, no. I know full well that my contribution is just one fifth.” Annina was not being humble - she was speaking the truth.
Xia Lei smiled. “Okay, as you say. We don’t have to split it into precise percentages. Oh right, you haven’t told me what you’d like.”
Annina thought for a bit and said, “You’ve already given me so much. I haven’t thought of asking for anything. If you’re talking about dreams then I do have one.”
“What is it?” asked Xia Lei curiously. He had never heard Annina talk about her dreams.
“Nn.” A faint, sweet smile appeared in the corners of Annina’s mouth. “I would like to build a Bavarian castle along the Isar River in Munich, and have a big farm next to the castle. I’d plant all sorts of grapes on the farm for Cabernet Sauvignon. I want to make the best wines.”
“A castle, farm and a vineyard. No problem. I’ll help you realise your dream,” said Xia Lei.
Annina smiled laughed bitterly. “I’m now on Germany’s wanted list and the CIA is after me too. I believe you have the resources to help me realise my dream but… There’s no way you can make it come true.”
The German government was sure to detain her once she stepped on German soil and when that happens, she could forget about freedom. This dream of hers was not an issue of money but of politics.
Xia Lei put his arms gently around her shoulders and said in her ear, “It’s true that I cannot help you realise your dream now but believe me - I will help you realise it one day.”
“Really?” Annina was touched.
Xia Lei nodded. “Of course. When have I ever lied to you?”
“You lied to me last night. You said you would come spend the night in my room but you worked the whole night in your workshop.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Qin Xiang came walking over from the factory and saw Annina leaning forward in Xia Lei’s embrace from afar. He coughed.
Annina then quickly withdrew her fondling hand and stood sheepishly to one side.
Qin Xiang laughed. “Did I come by too early? It’s okay, I can go back. I’ll be back again in half an hour.”
Xia Lei was annoyed. “Up yours. Just say what you came to say.”
“Long Bing came looking for you. She’s in the factory,” said Qin Xiang.
“She didn’t say why she’s here?” asked Xia Lei.
“She’s a mobile iceberg. I’m not going to ask her why she came looking for you,” said Qin Xiang. “You’d better go ask her yourself.”
Xia Lei handed the assault rifle to Annina. “Put this gun in the safe in the villa after you get back. Don’t tell anyone of its capabilities. We’re still working overtime on completing the purchase orders for the XL2500 so we don’t have enough manpower to manufacture this assault rifle.”
Annina nodded. “I understand. I’ll do as you say.”
There was no way of stopping anyone if he stole the Gust prototype. The drawings and relevant specifications had been burnt by Xia Lei. More importantly, the core of the gun was the shock-absorption device which Xia Lei had designed. The device would fall apart once opened and the parts inside would be reduced to scrap.
Not letting it be discovered by others was best, of course. They would be able to avoid unnecessary trouble this way.
Annina took Gust back with her to the villa and Xia Lei went with Qin Xiang to meet Long Bing.
Long Bing was not waiting in his office but in the carpark. She opened the door to an unmarked military vehicle. As soon as Xia Lei drew close, she said, “Get in.”
Xia Lei paused. “Where are we going? What are we going to do?”
“I’ll tell you on the way. Get in the car first,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei was rather unwilling. “I’ve been busy for almost four months and finally could take a bit of a breather today. I was going to give myself a day off and have a good few days’ rest…”
Long Bing interrupted before he could finish his complaint. “Looks like you won’t get your rest. Come with me. The expert group’s in trouble.”
Xia Lei knew what expert group Long Bing was talking about. “What happened now? Did someone die again?”
“It’s not a death this time. All of them have gone mad.”
Xia Lei was stunned.
Long Bing got into the driver’s seat and said, “What are you waiting for? Don’t you want to see your friend? That Doctor Ning?”
“Ning Jing, she… she’s mad too?” Xia Lei could scarcely believe that it was true.
Long Bing rolled her eyes at Xia Lei but did not answer him.
“All right, I’ll come with you.” Xia Lei walked around the bonnet of the car and got into the passenger seat.
Long Bing started the engine, stepped on the accelerator and they were off.
Qin Xiang stared glumly at the disappearing military vehicle and spoke only after a spell. “Look at you. You make so much money but you work like a machine. Don’t you think it’s all so very meaningless?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter