Tang Yuyan came to cause trouble but Xia Lei did not hold it against her. He understood her, that she was a woman and that love was a selfish thing in the world of women. The life-and-death situations in Afghanistan, the changing room in Moscow – these were experiences Tang Yuyan would never forget. He would not forget them either but they were just memories. He did not have designs on Tang Yuyan.
Shentu Tianyin did not really want to go to the bathroom. They went into the corridor and stopped walking when there was no one else around. She turned around to look at Xia Lei. She said nothing, and just looked at him.
Xia Lei smiled wryly and bit the bullet. “I know what you want to ask me. Let me explain.” After a pause, he said, “I’ve told you that the necklace was from Afghanistan. It was when I was on a mission. I got all these from the tomb of a princess, and I did not hand these in. I couldn’t just take them all for myself either, so I gave Tang Yuyan a necklace. It wasn’t just her. I gave a necklace to Long Bing too. I also gave one to Annina and to Jiang Ruyi. Annina is the Chief Engineer at Thunder Horse Military Factory. She’s German but she’s wanted by the German and American intelligence, so her name here in China is Xia Mei.”
He had to say it all at once, so Shentu Tianyin would not make wild assumptions and get jealous if she found out about the necklaces Jiang Ruyi and Annina had.
Shentu Tianyin felt a little better after hearing Xia Lei’s explanation. “I’m not that petty. I just think that Tang Yuyan’s a little overboard,” she said.
“Don’t quibble with her. She’s a martial artist and quite a headstrong woman who does what she wants. She rarely considers the feelings of others.”
Tang Yuyan writing on his buttocks was an example of this.
The corners of Shentu Tianyin’s mouth turned slightly downwards. “I don’t care what sort of personality she has, but I do mind one thing. I can tell that she likes you a lot.”
Xia Lei felt a sharp stab of a headache. There was no way he could stop Tang Yuyan from liking him. Similarly, there was no way Shentu Tianyin could stop Gu Kewu from liking her in the past too. How was he going to solve this problem when the problem was not with him?
“Promise me that you’ll spend less time around her, all right?” Shentu Tianyin stared straight at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei nodded. “Mm, I promise.”
Shentu Tianyin smiled then. “How many gemstone necklaces did you get from Afghanistan?”
Xia Lei paused. “I still have some, about seven or eight. Why ask?”
“Hand them to me. I want a guarantee that you won’t give them out to more people. I’ll let Xia Xue pick two, and the rest shall be added to the heirloom list, like this necklace. They shall be passed down to our daughter, our son.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Shentu Tianyin pouted again. “Are you giving them to me, or not?”
“I will.” Xia Lei couldn’t help laughing. “I’ll hand them over to you when we get back.”
Shentu Tianyin took Xia Lei’s arm and said with a smile, “I don’t want to go to the bathroom anymore. Let’s go back to the banquet.”
Xia Lei let out a long, silent breath of relief. This spat between the couple was settled. It was a good thing that Shentu Tianyin was an intelligent and reasonable woman. If it were another woman who was very petty, then the situation would have escalated dramatically.
Back in the banquet hall, the banquet was in full swing.
Xia Lei led Shentu Tianyin to the doorway. He already knew the location of Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth, so there was no need to stay longer.
Tang Yuyan watched Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin go, and her lips twitched, but she did not say what she wanted to say. Her eyes had met Shentu Tianyin’s in that instant, and there was gunpowder in the air as their gazes clashed.
“Xia Lei, the banquet is not over yet. Are you leaving?” came Ye Kun’s voice.
Xia Lei looked back to see Ye Kun on the stage and looking at him with a wireless microphone in hand.
“Don’t be in a rush to leave. The management will invite the vendors and the guests to view the exhibition area afterwards. Don’t you want to see where your booth is located?” Ye Kun’s voice was filled with mockery.
Xia Lei stopped in his tracks.
Shentu Tianyin wrinkled her brows. “This guy is really annoying. Are you staying? I’ll accompany you if you’re staying.”
“I’d like to stay and take a look,” said Xia Lei.
“Nn, I’ll stay with you.” Shentu Tianyin’s voice was gentle.
Following that, Ye Kun said some words on behalf of Hanwu Weapons, and it was Mu Jianfeng’s turn to say something for China Industrial Group. Both their speeches were more or less the same – empty words.
After Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun spoke, they went to mingle with the representatives of manufacturers. It was obvious that this weapons exhibition was controlled by China Industrial Group and Hanwu Weapons. These two companies were like two huge crocodiles which had marked out their territories in the river, and they were working together to take over the whole river. This was a monopoly, and only large companies like Hanwu and China Industrial had the arrogance to do this.
After a representative of the management said a few words, the banquet guests were brought to the exhibition area.
The huge exhibition space already had several booths set up there, and products put on display. There were still many workers busying about setting up booths when the representative led the guests in. It was a hustling and bustling scene.
The most eye-catching booths at the exhibition belonged to China Industrial Group and Hanwu Weapons, of course. The two companies had had their booths set up in advance, and both booths had employees ready to promote their products.
When Xia Lei saw this, he immediately understood why he had been the only one to receive a letter at the banquet. The management had deliberately done so. They had informed him last, so that he could not set up the Thunder Horse Military Factory booth in advance. They had done this on Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun’s instructions, no doubt about it.
Xia Lei’s gaze went to Hanwu Weapons’ booth. He spotted several light and heavy firearms, small guns, big guns, guns ranging from sniper rifles to heavy machine guns - there was a variety of guns. However, one part of their booth was covered by black cloth, and no one could see what was behind it.
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched, and the black cloth disappeared from his vision. He saw dozens of the so-called “Shenwu” assault rifles. These guns looked exactly the same as his Gust assault rifles on the surface, just without the core shock-absorption mechanism.
The stone weighing on Xia Lei’s mind fell away at the sight of those Shenwu assault rifles, and a sneer appeared in the corners of his mouth.
Ye Kun walked over and said with a smile, “Chairman Xia, what do you think of our exhibition booth? Not bad, eh?”
Xia Lei nodded and said with a smile, “Very nice. It’s large and nicely designed. Good location too.”
“Where is Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth?” said Ye Kun mockingly. “I’d like to see where your booth is located and what it looks like.”
Xia Lei shook his head. “I just received the notification at the banquet and I had no idea where my booth was going to be located before that. Where would I have the time to set up a booth?”
Ye Xiaoqi interjected. “Chairman Ye, isn’t it easy to find Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth?” She raised her arm and pointed at the public toilets far, far away. “It’s over there. Those going to the toilets would see it.”
“Hm? Well then, that’s quite a good spot too.” Ye Kun laughed loudly.
Xia Lei was calm as he watched Ye Kun laugh. He was laughing inside too. This man had already fallen into his trap, so who’s going to be the one laughing?
Shentu Tianyin wrinkled her brows and said, “What is the meaning of this? Are you hitting someone who is down?”
“What do you mean?” Ye Kun said with a smile, “A small little civilian business entering a large national defence exhibition like this is already a feat in itself. Do you mean that you want more?”
“It’s human nature. Always greedy,” quipped Ye Xiaoqi.
Shentu Tianyin was mad. “You…”
Xia Lei cut her off. “Tianyin, let’s go see my booth. We’ll go home when we’ve seen it. This spot here stinks.”
“Nn.” Shentu Tianyin walked with Xia Lei in the direction of the toilets.
Ye Kun watched them go and he muttered, “I just don’t get it. Why would a woman like Shentu Tianyin marry Xia Lei? She could get any man she wanted with her profile.”
Ye Xiaoqi spoke huffily, “Chairman Ye, do you like Shentu Tianyin too?”
Ye Kun sighed. “Who wouldn’t like a woman like that? But I’m old, ha ha. I’m not her type anymore. I’m your type though.”
“Aw, geeze. You’re so naughty,” said Ye Xiaoqi flirtatiously. “You’re not allowed to go home tonight. Come to my place.”
Ye Kun laughed and nodded. His wife at home could not compare to this vixen of a woman.
Mu Jianfeng walked over, and Ye Xiaoqi backed away smartly for the two men to talk.
Mu Jianfeng cut straight to the chase. “Kun, that Katou Takasuke hasn’t contacted you?”
“No, but it’s not time to ship the goods yet. We’d agreed on the first shipment to be sent on the last day of the exhibition. I am in no hurry,” said Ye Kun.
Mu Jianfeng made a small frown. “I feel like something is wrong with this deal for some reason.”
“Teacher, you’re too paranoid.” Ye Kun laughed. “I am in no mood to think about the deal with Katou Takasuke now. I’m more concerned with how I’ll deal with Xia Lei tomorrow. He would surely bring his Gust assault rifle to the exhibition tomorrow and my team of lawyers are going to give him a good showing then.”
Mu Jianfeng’s gaze went to Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin’s backs. He watched them for a while, then said, “We have to tear him to pieces this time. Leave nothing behind.”
“I won’t go easy on him,” sneered Ye Kun.
Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin finally spotted the booth space the management had allocated to Thunder Horse Military Factory. It was right next to the public toilets and fairly small on top of being far from the entrance. It didn’t look larger than 20 square metres, and it was even smaller than a little studio.
What exhibition booth was this? This was a stall-space at a vegetable market!
Shentu Tianyin sighed. “They’re such bullies. A civilian company is still one of the companies of this nation. How can they treat you like this?”
Xia Lei laughed. “Nothing’s fair in this world. If you want it to be fair then you’ll have to fight for it. I don’t care about this. I believe in my guns. I am confident that I’ll be able to attract everyone even with my booth was moved to inside the toilets.”
“You know, your confidence has always attracted me, and captivated me.” Shentu Tianyin’s eyes were full of tenderness. “But how are you going to promote your booth?”
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “Come over if you have time tomorrow and you’ll see.”
Shentu Tianyin wrinkled her brows, then pinched Xia Lei. “You’re being secretive again. What a bad bully. I’ll have my revenge on you when we get home.”
Xia Lei laughed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter