The shots were deafening. The Shenwu assault rifle roared like an enraged beast. Bullets shot from the muzzle, and some hit the target at 300 metres while some went wide.
It wasn’t just the military representatives who saw the vast difference between the Hanwu Weapons Shenwu rifle and the Thunder Horse Military Factory Gust rifle – the purchasers and onlookers could see it too. More importantly, the longer the the Shenwu rifle kept firing, the worse its shaking got. It completely missed before it had got to the end of 500 rounds, and couldn’t hit the target at 300 metres anymore.
“What’s going on? What’s going on!” Ye Kun saw the problem, and he turned ashen. His forehead was beaded with sweat.
“Kun, didn’t you say there were no problems? You said there were no problems!” Mu Jianfeng said angrily, “Is this what you meant when you said there were no problems?”
“Teacher, I… It’s the same drawings. Why is there such a big difference between the guns which were produced? I don’t get it, but I don’t believe we have made a mistake in the process. Didn’t you see it too? The Thunder Horse Military Factory’s rifle is exactly the same as ours.” Things had already got to this point, but Ye Kun was still harbouring a shred of hope.
“Humph! ‘Ours’?” Mu Jianfeng spoke coldly. “It’s the gun you, Hanwu Weapons, manufactured. It had nothing to do with me.”
Ye Kun stared blankly. “Teacher, you…”
Mu Jianfeng was done talking. He did not want to exchange any further words with Ye Kun.
The ‘teacher’ had come when there were advantages to be had, touting past kindness shown and asking for a share. Now that something had happened and they’d run into trouble, the teacher was wiping the slate clean and avoiding being dragged into it. This was Ye Kun’s teacher, the old fox Mu Jianfeng. He had lived to this age and got to this level, and he knew what to do.
The Hanwu Weapons shooter was done firing the 500 rounds. The gun muzzle was smoking, and his forehead was hot too, though it was winter. He looked at Ye Kun, and his eyes were full of doubt. He said nothing, but his expression and his eyes told Ye Kun something – the gun he had in his hands was rubbish!
The military representatives were staring daggers at Ye Kun too, stabbing at him with their suspicion and discontent. Ye Kun had loudly proclaimed that Thunder Horse Military Factory had stolen Hanwu Weapons’ patented technology earlier and even wanted him arrested and put under investigation. They could clearly see now, however, who had stolen from whom, and not very successfully either!
These military representatives were all of high rank, and every one of them had influence. The actual punishment had not been meted out yet, but Ye Kun’s heart chilled when he saw them looking at him with those eyes.
“I believe you’ve all seen for yourselves. Hanwu Weapons’ Chairman Ye said that I stole his company’s patented technology, and that our guns were exactly the same. Do you believe his words?” said Xia Lei.
Jeering laughter came from all sides.
Xia Lei far outclassed Ye Kun, and Gust far outclassed Shenwu too. People would not believe Ye Kun now, even if he brought out evidence.
“Chairman Ye, do you not have any explanation for this?” Ling Han’s voice was cold and fairly angry.
Ye Kun braced himself. “I’m not sure what happened myself. Our company designed this and it was put into production. I don’t know how they came up with the design. How can I question them personally on every step when my company is so big?”
“Then what about you insisting that Xia Lei stole your patented technology?” Ling Han’s eyes grew colder.
“That’s…” Ye Kun paused for a bit and said slowly, “That’s the work of our company’s team of lawyers. I’ll know more details when I return and check. Rest assured, Mr Ling. This matter must have been a misunderstanding. However, I won’t let any perpetrators go free. I’ll fire whoever needs firing and hold the relevant persons responsible for their actions.”
It was a crafty escape plan. Ye Kun was no greenhorn and he quickly found scapegoats for himself while he distanced himself from the situation and kept a low profile till things blew over.
Ling Han wrinkled his brows. He knew that Ye Kun was trying to crush Thunder Horse Military Factory and that he had attempted to frame Xia Lei, but he could not do anything to Ye Kun without evidence.
Xia Lei walked up to Ye Kun and said softly, “I am actually envious of you, Chairman Ye.”
“What are you envious about?” Ye Kun looked away from Xia Lei’s eyes, his heart full of resentment and hate. He didn’t want to see Xia Lei right then, much less talk to him.
“Look at you, the chairman of Hanwu Weapons. Commit a crime and get zero penalty. I didn’t do anything wrong, and I was almost arrested. Say, we’re both people – why is there such a big difference? How can I not envy you?” said Xia Lei.
“Don’t talk nonsense!” said Ye Kun coldly. “This was a misunderstanding. I’ve made it clear just now that it must’ve been my subordinates who’d made a mistake due to misunderstandings. I need some time to investigate and handle this matter. There will be a conclusion to this, so why are you in such a rush?”
“You’re getting scapegoats aren’t you, Chairman Ye?” laughed Xia Lei.
“Xia Lei!” Ye Kun was mad. “I was being polite! Don’t you dare bite off more than you can chew. I’ve agreed to do an investigation. What more do you want?”
“Justice!” Xia Lei roared at Ye Kun. “I want justice!”
Xia Lei suddenly seemed like a whole other person. He was no longer the elegant businessman but the soldier on the battlefield, the beast in the forest!
Ye Kun was struck dumb but he quickly recovered. “Justice? I’ll help you find out who’s responsible. Let me tell you that this has nothing to do with me, and you won’t find anything linked to me. If you think it’s unfair, you can go to court and sue me. I’ll fight you to the end.”
“I didn’t expect you to be so arrogant still at this point.” A smile appeared on Xia Lei’s face and his tone became cordial. “Chairman Ye, you’ve done lots of bad deeds these dozens of years and yet you’re still Chairman of Hanwu Weapons, enjoying riches and luxuries. Without anyone holding you responsible, your crimes are zero. However, that’s because your opponents were other people. Today, your opponent is me. Committing a crime against me will never result in zero responsibility for you.”
Ye Kun smiled angrily. “You’re being arrogant today too, but just today. I don’t feel like sparring verbally with you today, so this is it. You keep performing your oral gymnastics here. I won’t entertain you anymore.” He waved a hand. “Let’s go!”
The group of Hanwu Weapons employees started packing up, preparing to leaving the firing range.
Xia Lei stretched out his hand and grabbed Ye Kun’s shoulder.
“What are you doing?” Ye Kun turned back to glare at Xia Lei. “Let go!”
“You can’t walk away today, Chairman Ye,” said Xia Lei with a smile.
“Hahaha!” Ye Kun laughed. “What, you want to hit me? Fine, go ahead. I won’t hit back.”
Xia Lei did not hit Ye Kun.
“That’s all you have. I can give you ten guts and you won’t dare to hit me,” Ye Kun said mockingly.
“I won’t hit you, but I’ll show you something,” said Xia Lei.
Ye Kun paused. Nervousness sprung in his heart for some reason.
Xia Lei released Ye Kun’s shoulder and said loudly, “Everyone, please look at the big screen!”
There was a large display screen at the side of the firing range, for the purpose of displaying notices and shooting done at the firing range.
The screen changed to another scene at Xia Lei’s words, and all eyes were drawn to it.
On the screen was a cafe. Ye Xiaoqi was urging Wu Bin to give the drawings to her, and Wu Bin insisted on seeing the money first. Ye Xiaoqi opened the briefcase and showed him the money, then Wu Bin opened his briefcase and let Ye Xiaoqi see the drawings.
The video paused, and the huge screen showed that it was the drawings for Thunder Horse Military Factory’s Gust assault rifle. The company logo could be seen too.
The exchange was complete, and Ye Xiaoqi left the cafe with the briefcase of drawings. She entered the Hanwu Weapons building.
Ling Han’s gaze went abruptly to Ye Xiaoqi, who was standing behind Ye Kun.
It wasn’t just him – the military representatives looked at her too.
Ye Xiaoqi was Ye Kun’s secretary, but would a little secretary do something like this without instructions from Ye Kun?
Thousands of eyes were on Ye Xiaoqi, and her face drained of colour. She panicked and stuttered, “I, I… This has nothing to do with me! It, it’s... “ She looked at Ye Kun but did not dare to speak further.
Ye Kun panicked too. “What are you saying, Ye Xiaoqi? You be responsible for your own actions!”
Ye Xiaoqi opened her mouth but no words came out. He had just been intimate with her last night, calling her ‘baby’, and now they were strangers. This Ye Kun abandoned her faster than a rat leaving a sinking ship!
Ye Kun blinked at Ye Xiaoqi, signalling something to her.
The scene stopped playing on the huge screen.
Mu Jianfeng drew close spoke in a low voice next to Ye Xiaoqi, “Take the blame for this. You won’t end up in prison. Agree, and you’ll spend the rest of your life in luxury.”
Ye Xiaoqi was torn. What should she do?
Just as everyone thought that this was the end of it, and that the video was evidence, another scene started playing on the screen.
Ye Kun and Ye Xiaoqi were talking. He praised her for doing a good job, then the two of them went into the rest lounge and tumbled about. This scene had been censored, and no intimate bits were revealed. Their tumbling was short too; about a few seconds.
The screen went quiet again.
Cold sweat broke out on Ye Kun’s brow.
“Ahem.” Mu Jianfeng stepped away from Ye Xiaoqi. He looked at Xia Lei with a smile on his face. “Nicely done, Xia Lei. You’ve proved your innocence. Not bad. Thunder Horse Military Factory’s Gust assault rifle is undoubtedly the best assault rifle in the world. I am proud that our nation has a talent like you!”
Xia Lei laughed. “Heh heh heh…”
And another video started playing on the screen.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Argh! No time for an special event...
Anybody want to do some character artwork for the 500-chapter milestone? I'll feature it in the chapters and credit you.
Send any art entries or questions to: [email protected]