A week later, Hanwu Weapons Jingdu Headquarters, Chairman’s office.
Ye Kun respectfully poured a cup of Anxi Iron Goddess of Mercy tea for his visiting teacher, Mu Jianfeng, then sat opposite him. “Has there been any news on your end, Teacher?”
Mu Jianfeng took a sip of the tea and said with a smile, “What do you mean by that, Kun? I don’t quite understand.”
Ye Kun smiled. “You are my teacher. You know what I mean.”
Mu Jianfeng sipped his tea again. He drank, but did not speak.
Ye Kun put on a smiling face. “I’ll be straightforward, Teacher. I had someone place a pawn in Thunder Horse Military Factory but a week has passed and no information has come through. The date of the weapons exhibition draws closer and closer - I’m getting anxious.”
Mu Jianfeng spoke softly, “You think I placed a pawn there because you did? And you’re asking me if there’s been any news? Why would I come here if I’ve received any news?”
This was almost the same as him admitting to placing a spy in Thunder Horse Military Factory.
Ye Kun wrinkled his brows. “Ay, looks like Teacher’s guy didn’t get any information either. That punk Xia Lei’s not letting any of his employees out of the factory compound these days and not letting anyone in either. He must be up to something. I’m worried about this. That punk’s really sly, so I’m afraid he’ll give us a surprise again, like in Moscow.”
Mu Jianfeng sighed. “I’m worried too. I can’t tell what that punk’s thinking.”
“It’s better on your end, Teacher. You’re doing heavy weaponry, but I’m bearing the brunt of it as a light weapons producer. If we let this punk outclass us this time, the result would be too horrible to imagine.”
“That punk’s not just a threat to Hanwu Weapons. We’re under threat too. We may be making heavy weaponry but once that punk expands Thunder Horse Military Factory, who’s to say that he won’t move into heavy weaponry? Besides, you’re my student. It will bring me dishonour if you lose to him.” Mu Jianfeng sighed. “The teeth will be cold without lips; we are closely interdependent.”
“How about we go to Thunder Horse Military Factory again to look around?” said Ye Kun. “We can use the same reason again.”
Mu Jianfeng shook his head. “He’s already prepared. There’s no use going. Besides, haven’t you suffered enough humiliation the last time? You want to go again?”
Ye Kun abruptly remembered something. “Teacher, what do you think is with that villa there? Those soldiers actually refused to recognise your authority.”
“There must be something fishy about that villa. The worse thing for us is that the higher-ups will give important projects to Thunder Horse Military Factory to research.”
“That’s right. Now that you mention it, Teacher, I think so too. Why would those soldiers behave in that way if there was no important project there?”
Ginger got spicier with age but even the sly old Mu Jianfeng could not guess that it was the ancient alloy.
Just then, a young woman appeared in the office doorway. She saw Mu Jianfeng and greeted him sweetly, “Hello, Elder Mu. You’re getting younger and younger every year.”
Mu Jianfeng just gave a slight nod in response.
“What is it, Xiaoqi?” said Ye Kun.
This woman named Xiaoqi was Ye Kun’s secretary. She did not speak right away, but glanced at Mu Jianfeng.
Mu Jianfeng wrinkled his brows. “What, you want me to leave?”
“Xiaoqi, have your brains gone to mush? Elder Mu is my Teacher. There is nothing to hide from him. It’s fine, just say it, whatever it is,” said Ye Kun.
“That person named Wu Bin just called. He said he got something. He’s found a way to sneak out and he’s preparing to send the thing over. He’s also asked to meet at the cafe opposite our company. Oh, and, he’s asking me to prepare 1,000,000 for him,” said Xiaoqi
“1,000,000?” Ye Kun sneered, “What a greedy man!”
“Wait,” said Mu Jianfeng. “Did he say what he got? 1,000,000 is nothing if what he has is valuable.”
“I’ve asked him and he gave a brief overview. He said he got information on the new model of assault rifle that Thunder Horse Military Factory is making. He’s got the design plans, and the relevant numbers,” said Xiaoqi the secretary.
Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng’s eyes lit up when they heard that.
“When will he get there?” asked Ye Kun excitedly.
“He’s already on his way,” said Xiaoqi.
Ye Kun slapped his thigh and laughed. “Xia Lei, Xia Lei, you’re smart but you’re going down this time!” He said loudly after a pause, “Xiaoqi! Get the finance department to take out 1,000,000 in cash right away. I’ll go personally to make the exchange with Wu Bin.”
“Right away, sir.” Xiaoqi turned to leave.
“Hold it.” Mu Jianfeng stopped her. “That Wu Bin - did you bribe him?”
Xiaoqi nodded. “I did. I put in a lot of work in bribing him.”
“What does this Wu Bin do in Thunder Horse Military Factory?”
“He is part of their research and development department.” Xiaoqi smiled. “Elder Mu, I’ll definitely not bribe some low-level cleaner. Don’t worry, he will have opportunities to interact with Xia Lei’s design plans.”
Mu Jianfeng said, “It’s better to be careful. For such an important thing to fall onto our laps so suddenly… I feel like…”
Ye Kun interrupted him. “Teacher, we both bribed quite a few of the Thunder Horse Military Factory employees the last time. Xiaoqi was very discreet this time with the experience we’d gained from the previous time. She bribed just one. Xia Lei is no god either, so he can’t have discovered him.”
“You’ve had something on your end, but my end…” Mu Jianfeng knew that the name of the person who’d been bribed was Hu Hui, but she had not brought anything of value to him so far.
“Teacher, this situation is a further indication of why it’s no problem. Think about it - if both our spies got hold of the design plans, then that would be a problem. It’s just Wu Bin who’s got something now and is coming over to make the exchange. We cannot miss this opportunity,” said Ye Kun.
Mu Jianfeng thought for a bit. “Don’t go personally. Let your secretary go.”
Ye Kun laughed. “You are too cautious, Teacher. All right, I’ll listen to you. Xiaoqi, take the money and go make the exchange. Remember - bring the design plans back to me at all costs. There will be plenty of benefits for you if you’re successful.”
“Thank you, Chairman Ye.” Xiaoqi the secretary left the room happily.
In the office, Mu Jianfeng continued savouring his tea while Ye Kun paced anxiously.
“Calm down,” said Mu Jianfeng. “You have to be collected at times like these.”
Ye Kun gave him a smile. “Yes, Teacher. I appreciate your wisdom but I just cannot calm myself. Thunder Horse Military Factory’s XL2500 made a worldwide impact and we cannot fight its popularity even now. Xia Lei has designed a new assault rifle now. I dare guarantee that he is aiming for the large-volume contract from this upcoming weapons exhibition. How do I stay calm in my position?”
“What do you plan to do after you’ve obtained the drawings and the numbers?” asked Mu Jianfeng.
Ye Kun did not even pause to think. He said, “I’ll put production into overtime to manufacture it, of course. We have dozens of times the production capacity of Thunder Horse Military Factory. We can produce a whole load of their new guns. When he participates in the weapons exhibition with the same gun, I’ll sue him for infringement and plagiarism of our company’s designs. Once we have that kid in court, I’m not going to let him off!”
“Bravo!” Mu Jianfeng smiled too. “Your plan’s good but you need to add one more step.”
“What is this step?”
“First verify the accuracy of the drawings and numbers, and their authenticity. We have our engineers, so we can check it all fairly quickly. If Thunder Horse Military Factory’s new assault rifle is outstanding, then we follow your plan. If it’s a plain, unremarkable gun, then there’s no need to put it into production,” said Mu Jianfeng.
“Teacher is still best at this.”
“It’s not that I’m the best, but that I’m calmer than you.”
The two men’s laughter rang in the room.
Half an hour later, Wu Bin appeared in the doorway of the cafe opposite the Hanwu Weapons Headquarters. He looked about, then entered the cafe. Xiaoqi the secretary appeared at almost the same time. She carried a black locked briefcase into the cafe.
Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng observed all these through binoculars from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the office.
In the cafe, Wu Bin chose a table next to the window and took a seat. He carried a black briefcase with him, and he didn’t set it down, not even when the waitstaff came over and asked what he would like to order.
Xiaoqi sat opposite Wu Bin before the waitstaff walked off and she said casually, “A cappuccino and a chocolate dessert, please.”
“Yes, miss. Thank you for your order.” The waitstaff walked away.
Xiaoqi cut straight to the chase. “You brought it?”
Wu Bin nodded. “You brought the money?”
“I have it here. You sure are greedy, asking for so much at once.” Xiaoqi put on a look of discontent.
“You don’t know how much risk I took to get these drawings. I don’t dare to go back now. I need this money to feed my family, so of course I’ll want more. If you’re not agreeing to this then I’ll leave immediately. People would want these drawings - I could even get a higher price too,” said Wu Bin.
“Okay, don’t talk about that. Let me see the drawings,” urged Xiaoqi.
“Let me see the money.” Wu Bin was cautious.
“You don’t trust me?” Xiaoqi rolled her eyes at Wu Bin. She put the locked briefcase on the table and opened it after entering the right combination. She let Wu Bin look in the briefcase.
There was stack after stack of cash, fresh from the bank.
Wu Bin’s eyes lit up and stayed glued to the money.
Xiaoqi closed the briefcase with a snap and placed it by her feet. She spoke sarcastically, “You don’t want to count it, do you?”
“No need, no need. I trust you Hanwu Weapons people,” said Wu Bin.
“Then how about showing me what you have?” Xiaoqi was anxious.
Wu Bin handed his briefcase to Xiaoqi.
She opened it and saw a stack of drawings, and the relevant numbers. She’d seen quite a few of these in Hanwu Weapons and she quickly confirmed that these looked authentic. She kicked the briefcase at her feet to Wu Bin, then left with his briefcase.
“Miss, your coffee and dessert.” The waitstaff brought Xiaoqi’s order to the table.
Xiaoqi did not even look back. She couldn’t wait to run to Ye Kun and show him the prize; she was in no mood to have coffee and dessert.
Wu Bin left the cafe a little later and walked across a road. He took out his phone and dialled a number. “Director Xia, I’ve done as you instructed.”
Xia Lei’s voice came over the line. “Give Hu Hui 400,000, then make yourself scarce.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter