Back at Thunder Horse Military Factory, Annina came bouncing over as soon as he entered the office and gave him a tight hug. She kissed him on the cheek too.
Xia Lei was used to her Western habits by now and he smiled as he said, “How have you been do… Hnng!”
Before he could finish, Annina grabbed him by his cheeks and gave him a solid kiss on the lips. She then slid her tongue into his mouth and begun twirling it about like a flopping fish.
Xia Lei’s initial thought was to push her away, but he thought again, and didn’t. Let her take advantage of him. This German girl had neither kith nor kin; she was rather lonely.
Annina let go of Xia Lei only two minutes later. Her face was red and she was panting. She pretended to be sorry about it, saying, “Oh, sorry, Lukas. I forgot you’re married.”
“Ahem.” Xia Lei coughed dryly. “Let’s talk about the production plan for the Gust assault rifle.”
“Okay. I’ve done the preparations, including your sample.” Annina turned to go to Xia Lei’s office. She opened a plastic box to reveal the Gust assault rifle which Xia Lei had made on his own.
There was a stack of papers and a planner-book on the desk too.
There was no need to test the sample Gust assault rifle because it had been made personally by Xia Lei, and he had used it in actual battle. What he needed for the local weapons exhibition was a production plan which would interest the military, and design drawings.
“Look through my plan. It’s in German but you should know how to read it,” said Annina. She handed the book to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei opened it up and read it. Annina’s plan was fairly detailed, covering the project from materials to machinery, and then to the requirements of the personnel and so on. She had considered everything, and made the appropriate arrangements. It was easy to see that she had put a lot of effort into the plan, and it was outstanding.
“This is great. You must have spent a lot of time on this,” said Xia Lei in admiration.
Annina smiled. “I started working on this from the last time we talked about the Gust assault rifle plans. It took me about a month and really tired me out. How are you going to compensate me for that?”
This sentence of hers seemed to have another meaning behind it but Xia Lei did not want to broach the topic.
“Oh, right, what about those toys I asked you to get?” Annina suddenly remembered about her request.
Xia Lei paused, then asked in surprise, “You were serious?”
Annina spread her hands and looked disappointed. “I wasn’t kidding, Lukas. Aren’t you even going to help me with this small favour?”
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “Annina, a big man like me, going to buy those things? Too embarrassing. I’ll ask Qin Xiang to help you buy some next time. He’s like your sister, so there won’t be anything to be embarrassed about. Let’s just talk about the production plan now, okay? I got a piece of news. Over here, we need to make a…”
Annina cut him off. “I don’t want Qin Xiang to buy the toys for me. I want you. If you buy it, it’s yours. It’s all right if you don’t want to buy them either but you’ll have to give me the real thing.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Annina suddenly walked over to Xia Lei with eyes full of intent. She was looking at him like he was a piece of chocolate cake, and he was her favourite heart-shaped chocolate cake too.
Xia Lei had made his engagement clear to her and she had accepted it but it looked like her acceptance had limits. She was past this limit.
Annina drew close to Xia Lei, but her breasts pressed up against his chest stopped their faces from getting too close together.
Xia Lei took a short step back and said awkwardly, “Annina, let’s just talk about the production plan. This weapons exhibition is very important to our company. It is a huge opportunity.”
“You’ve read the plan. All the things which should be done have been arranged, and we also have specifics. We just need to get workers to man the assembly line. I’ve done all that should be done, so what is there to talk about?” Annina drew close again.
Xia Lei had a huge headache now. Why didn’t she understand what he meant? Why wasn’t she willing to end her relationship with him?
Women, and women’s relationships were now Xia Lei’s biggest headache.
Footsteps came from beyond the door.
“Someone’s coming!” said Xia Lei hurriedly, and he took a step backwards from Annina.
Annina did not come close again. She looked at Xia Lei with some dissatisfaction, and looked ready to eat him up.
Lu Sheng appeared in the office doorway. “Director Xia, many people have turned up at the gates, claiming that they’re here to visit the factory. I’ve blocked them off, but it’s only temporary. It’s best if you go over and see what’s going on.”
“Visit?” said Xia Lei, “Who are they?”
“Most are military, and there are some in plain clothes too. They look like officials of some sort.” After a pause, he added, “Oh, right, the old man who led a group of troublemakers the last time is in this group too.”
The old man Lu Sheng was talking about was Mu Jianfeng, boss of China Industrial Group. Xia Lei understood what was going on at once, and he said, “Let’s go take a look. Annina, you go back to the villa.”
“Why?” Annina did not want to go back - she wanted to be with Xia Lei.
“Those people are not friends. Your status is rather unique; you cannot meet with those people. Be good. Go back,” said Xia Lei.
“Then you buy those toys for me,” said Annina.
Xia Lei gave her a frustrated eye-roll but still nodded.
Lu Sheng’s face was a mask of suspicion when they walked out of the office. “Director Xia, Miss Xia Mei is a grown woman - why would she want toys?”
An image of that sort of toy popped up in Xia Lei’s head, moving and whirring. It was really odd and very embarrassing but he kept his face straight. “She, uh, must miss her childhood. I like toys too. Sometimes I’ll buy a Transformers toy and play with it for a bit. Would you want one? I’ll give one to you.”
“Me? No, no.” Lu Sheng shook his head vigorously.
They chatted as they walked towards the gates. Xia Lei spotted the uniform-wearing men, and some in casual clothing from far off. There were some vehicles behind the group too, and most had military plates. It was a big gathering.
Xia Lei spotted Mu Jianfeng. The man had put on a military uniform too. He was tall and thin and had a bit of a military man’s aura. There was also Ye Kun from Hanwu Weapons. He was dressed in casual clothing, but he had a presence too.
‘I’d only just got news of the local weapons exhibition and Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun have coming running over here. This visit of theirs is just a cover to spy on me, isn’t it?’
This was what Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun had come for.
Thunder Horse Military Factory was still a small operation and not very powerful but it threatened the position of these two giants. People like Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun would not bother with him otherwise, even if he sent a palanquin in invitation!
“Oh, isn’t this Chairman Mu Jianfeng of China Industrial Group, and Chairman Ye Kun of Hanwu Weapons? Which wind has blown you fine gentlemen my way?” Xia Lei pushed down his disgust and gave them a fake cheery greeting.
There were several military men outside the gates too, and they were of rank. However, Xia Lei did not bother greeting them because he knew that they were Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun’s supporters.
“Director Xia, you have quite a few restrictions here,” said Mu Jianfeng. “We came to visit and but your men won’t let us enter.”
“You guys came for a visit?” Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. “Chairman Mu, let me ask you something… Hm… Must I receive guests?”
Both parties had made their stance clear - they were not friends but opponents. Mu Jiangfeng was not ruffled by Xia Lei’s rude words. He took out a document and held it up before Xia Lei’s eyes. “This document has been issued by the Equipment Department. You’re producing weapons and earning money from the Equipment Department. We, as part of the visiting Equipment Department group, are to be received as guests.”
“I see. Come in, come in.” Xia Lei shot Lu Sheng a look. Lu Sheng called the Thunder Horse Military Factory security staff to withdraw and open up a path for the group.
Xia Lei said some words in a low voice in Lu Sheng’s ear. Lu Sheng nodded, then jogged back to the office building.
They had left the office in a hurry and had not put away the drawings and plans Annina had placed on the table. Xia Lei had told Lu Sheng to clear these away so this group of people won’t see them.
Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun exchanged glances.
Xia Lei walked in front, leading the way and saying, “I’ll be your guide. First, let’s welcome all of you leaders to my humble company. I would like to extend a warm welcome to you on behalf of all the employees of Thunder Horse Military Factory.”
No one spoke, and thin smiles of distaste appeared on some faces.
Xia Lei pretended not to see. He kept talking, “It’s good of you all to come visit the factory. Our company is small but we have our companies rules too. No photographs to be taken casually. No striking up conversation with the employees and affecting their work. Oh, I’ll bring you guys to our canteen first. Our canteen is clean and hygienic; the tiles can show your reflection. Go take a look if you don’t believe me.”
The big group of people exchanged looks, and some had their faces twisted in anger.
They wanted to make a fool of Xia Lei but he was doing the same too.
“After the visit to the canteen, I’ll lead you guys to the workers’ dormitories. The female dormitories are usually off limits but you guys are all directors and all, so I’m willing to break this rule and show it to you.” Xia Lei chuckled, “Let me tell you guys, the company’s female employees are all young, pretty and full of spirit and vigour…”
Mu Jianfeng could not take it anymore. He stopped walking, and the people behind him stopped too. The group of people came to a halt, and all of them stared at Xia Lei with cold eyes.
Xia Lei shrugged. “Why aren’t you walking anymore, dear guests? The canteen’s up ahead. It’s not far.”
Mu Jianfeng scoffed. “Xia Lei! Who do you take us for? Are we here to view the canteen and the dormitories?”
Xia Lei put on a hapless look. “Which places do you want to visit then?”
“The production workshops, and warehouses!” Mu Jianfeng stressed these two places.
Ye Kun added, “And the research and development department.”
“But the document you guys brought didn’t name which places you can visit. You’re trying to make things difficult for me, aren't you?” said Xia Lei.Previous Chapter Next Chapter