Ling Han had finally come, and he had brought men in uniform with him. The ranks on these military men’s shoulders were enough to scare people. The appearance of these men made the hair on all the police officers’ necks stand, no matter their rank.
These people had the strong presence of upper-military too, and their aura was enough to quiet the area without them having to say anything.
The police officers stood dumbly and did not dare to take Xia Lei away by force.
Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun could not help exchanging glances, and both became uneasy.
However, Ye Kun quickly regained his composure and he went up to them in welcome, with a smile on his face. “Mr Ling, officers, hello. What brings you here?”
As the chairman of a military manufacturer, Ye Kun knew a part of this group of military men. This was why he had come forward with a smiling face to act close with them.
Ling Han looked at Xia Lei, who was still cuffed, and his brows wrinkled. “What’s going on here? Who cuffed Director Xia of Thunder Horse Military Factory?”
“That’s because…” Ye Kun avoided answering Ling Han’s question and said, “What’s happening is that Thunder Horse Military Factory stole our company’s patented technology. I’ve brought people to investigate, and we found evidence to prove it. It’s not just that. I wanted him to stop his illegal activity immediately and he injured my employees, so the police came over to take him to the station to assist in the investigation.”
The policemen stared at Ye Kun, flabbergasted. Ye Kun had confidently declared that he would take responsibility earlier, but he was selling them out now!
“Xia Lei stole your company’s patented technology?” Ling Han glanced at Xia Lei again with surprise. He could not believe what he was hearing.
Xia Lei did not argue; he was quiet.
Mu Jianfeng interjected. “Mr Ling, this is true. I know some of the situation. The Gust assault rifle that Thunder Horse Military Factory made is exactly the same as Hanwu Weapons’ Shenwu assault rifle. The Shenwu assault rifle is the result of a collaboration between Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial Group’s research and development departments, and we even have a large order from a company in the UAE for these assault rifles. This order is worth USD 200,000,000. We did not expect that Thunder Horse Military Factory would steal our design and manufacture our assault rifle in secret. This is a very serious matter, and I think it is imperative that Xia Lei be brought back for an investigation.”
The highly-ranked military representatives bent their heads in discussion and they looked disappointed.
Thunder Horse Military Factory was a dark horse in the Chinese military industry, and could be said to be China’s only brand to be proud of in the international market. The military had a need for assault rifles now, so they were naturally interested in Thunder Horse Military Factory. This was why they had come to take a look, but they had run into this sort of situation before even seeing the company’s assault rifle.
Ling Han’s expression turned ugly. He looked at Xia Lei. “Is this true?”
Xia Lei spoke only then. “Of course it’s not true. Why would I steal their patent and boldly put it into production?”
“Humph! Not true?” sneered Ye Kun. “We have the patent. The Gust assault rifles you’ve brought to this exhibition is evidence too. You’re still denying it? It’s no use arguing. You’d better save your breath for the courthouse.”
Xia Lei spoke evenly, “Patent? What can a piece of paper prove? Can it heighten our national security? Can it raise the standards of our manufacturing? I can bet my own neck that the Shenwu assault rifle you manufactured is rubbish. Our Gust assault rifle is the best assault rifle in the world.”
Ye Kun sneered. “Ridiculous. Is your word law? What are patent laws for, then?”
“I don’t know how Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial Group got their hands on our design drawings but it’ll be easy to prove this,” said Xia Lei. “Ye Kun, would you dare put your Shenwu assault rifle in the testing range for a match against our Gust assault rifle? We’ll know who the fake is once we compare them.”
Xia Lei’s words made Mu Jianfeng’s brows grow heavy. This old fox had been worried that something was wrong, but he could not find anything. Xia Lei’s words now made his feeling of unease grow stronger.
Ye Kun had the same feeling, but he could not dwell on it at this point. “Are we to have a contest because you say so? Who do you think you are? You stole our company’s patented technology and you’re demanding that we fulfil your meaningless request now? You think you’re such a big shot?”
“You don’t even dare to do a one-on-one test. Is it because you’re feeling guilty? If they’re the same, then it’ll all be clear which is the genuine article and which the fake when we take them to an expert to have them tested and compared. Or is it because you know that your Shenwu assault rifle is a copy of the Gust assault rifle?” said Xia Lei.
Ye Kun did not want to argue with Xia Lei any longer. He said angrily, “What are you still standing there for? Take him away!”
The policemen did not move. They’d just been betrayed by Ye Kun, and now Ye Kun was ordering them around again. Who would just let that pass and just be obedient?
The onlookers started jeering.
“They don’t even dare to compare the guns. Are they actually guilty?”
“Whether it’s real or fake, shouldn’t you take it out and prove it?”
“Yeah, if you want to take this to court, you’ll need evidence, right?”
“This is definitely not like Hanwu Weapons say – why won’t they do a live test?”
Most of the people making these comments were those Shentu Tianyin had brought, and they were working to escalate their protests so that they would be heard.
The voices of doubt grew, and Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng’s expressions turned ugly. The policemen also stood there like blockheads, neither letting Xia Lei go nor taking him away. They were not fools either. They did not know Ling Han’s true identity but the men behind him were all people of rank. Would a man walking with them be any lower in rank? This was why they had decided to observe the situation before they made any more decisions.
Ling Han spoke then. “How about this… You guys release Xia Lei first.”
The policemen did not hesitate. They uncuffed Xia Lei immediately.
The military men spoke in low voices for a short while, and one of them went to Ling Han to whisper something in his ear.
“All right, let’s not talk about who stole from whom; it’s a matter for the courts. Before we go any further, the military representatives would like to see both your assault rifles.” After a pause, he added, “Prepare your ammunition. Let’s go to the firing range.”
The bigwigs of the military had spoken, and Ye Kun could not refuse. He bit the bullet and nodded, then sent for someone to fetch ammunition.
Ling Han pulled Xia Lei into the Thunder Horse Military Factory booth to talk to him. “What’s going on here?”
“I called you earlier because of this. Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng came to cause trouble at our booth.” He pointed at Thunder Horse Military Factory’s booth and put on an expression of one wronged. “You saw it yourself, Brother Ling. This is the booth they assigned to me. How is this a good exhibition spot? Their intent is to humiliate me. The employees of my company and myself have contributed to the building of national defence. We’ve worked so hard, but what did we get in return?” said Xia Lei.
“This is outrageous! Who gave them this right?” Ling Han was angry too. The internationally regarded dark horse of the arms dealing world was facing such discrimination and humiliation on its home ground – this was unacceptable!
“And this whole situation is because Hanwu Weapons and China Industrial Group bribed employees to be spies, and they stole our technology. They’re trying to frame me now and have me arrested. I must have justice!” Xia Lei continued his act of being the wronged party.
“Don’t worry. They won’t be able to get away with it if it’s found that Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng are behind it,” said Ling Han.
Xia Lei nodded and thought, ‘I’ll bring out the evidence I have, and the judge will sentence Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng!”
The highly-ranked military men looked at the guns in the Thunder Horse Military Factory booth and talked in low voices.
One of them picked up an XL2500 sniper rifle and was full of praise for it. Another picked up the Gust assault rifle with a look of astonishment on his face.
Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin exchanged glances, and the couple had an almost imperceptible smile on their faces. Things were unfolding as Xia Lei had planned, so they were in a good mood. They just had to keep acting like they were being bullied and wronged.
“Practically zero recoil?” exclaimed a military man. He look at Xia Lei with his gaze alight. “Is this true?”
Xia Lei spoke politely, “Yes, Sir, of course. I wouldn’t dare to print it in the brochures if it isn’t.”
“How’s this possible?” The man was still disbelieving.
“Sir, let’s wait for Hanwu Weapons to bring their Shenwu assault rifle out. You’ll know if it’s true when you get to the firing range and test our Gust assault rifle.”
“Good! I’ll test it myself!” The military man’s voice rang loudly, and his voice was tinged with excitement.
If China’s troops were equipped with these Gust assault rifles with almost zero recoil, the military’s might would definitely increase! The surrounding countries would not dare to test or challenge the Chinese military easily!
Ling Han picked up a Gust assault rifle himself and turned it around in his hands. “Xia Lei, if your Gust assault rifle is truly as advanced as you claim, I’ll get the higher-ups to award you a special commendation. You shall be our nation’s Father of Rifles.”
Father of Rifles?
Shentu Tianyin’s jade cheeks turned red when she heard that. She did not say anything, but she thought, ‘What commendation is that? I haven’t felt any kicking in my belly yet, and you’re giving him the title of “Father of Rifles”? He’s become the father of rifles, but what about me?’
The atmosphere in the Thunder Horse Military Factory booth grew more relaxed while the Hanwu Weapons side grew heavy and dark like thunderclouds about to burst into storm.
Ye Kun’s face was darker than thunderclouds. “Damn it! We were going to finish it, but this Ling Han came!”
Mu Jianfeng frowned too. “Kun, I have a bad feeling about this. Think again – is there any hole in the plan?”
Ye Kun thought for a bit and shook his head. “No, definitely not. We have the patent, and we have an international order. We can prove that we designed and manufactured this assault rifle. Xia Lei hasn’t applied for any patent on his end, so what can he use to prove that this assault rifle is Thunder Horse Military Factory’s design? He’s dead when this goes to court!”
“Then… the gun has no problems?”
“It won’t. We’ve tested it and all its functions are excellent. Besides, it’s the same design plan that’s being mass produced, both on our side and Xia Lei’s. How much better can theirs be?”
Mu Jianfeng was silent for a bit, and he felt a little better about it. “All right, get someone to call the Thunder Horse Military Factory people to the firing range. We’ll get him there.”
Ye Kun swept his gaze over the people near him and his gaze landed on Ye Xiaoqi. “Xiaoqi, go notify the Thunder Horse Military Factory people that we’ll be going to the firing range with our gun first.”
Ye Xiaoqi’s smile was sweet. “Yes, Chairman Ye. Right away.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter