There was a saying which went ‘when it rains, it pours’ and this aptly described Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun’s situation now. The investigative team had not come down to investigate them yet, but a Middle East prince had come! Not only that, this prince had brought Xia Lei with him too!
If there were magic on Earth, Ye Kun and Mu Jianfeng would pay any price for magic which could make Xia Lei disappear from the face of this Earth. There was no magic, however, so they could do nothing about Xia Lei turning up before them.
“Speak. How are you going to resolve this?” Xia Lei broke the silence. He did not want to give Mu Jianfeng or Ye Kun enough time to think.
Ye Kun bit the bullet and said, “How do you plan to resolve it?”
“We’ll settle it based on the contract terms, of course. You are unable to hand over the promised goods now, and it’s because you defaulted. You have to pay double the purchase contract price, and that’s USD 400,000,000.”
“That’s impossible!” Ye Kun panicked. “Don’t forget, Xia Lei, that you are Chinese. You should be on our side. Why are you helping someone from the Middle East get money now? You’re selling out your country!”
Xia Lei couldn’t help laughing. “Stop painting me that way, Ye Kun. I won’t buy that. I’m not selling out, and I am very sure that I’ve been good to this country and my conscience is clear. You, however, Ye Kun… You’re corrupt, you accept bribes, and you’ve done quite a few bad deeds but you’re still lounging in your high position, abusing others like a tyrant. You say I’m a sellout? You’re a traitor to the nation!”
“You…” Ye Kun could not retort. He was so mad he could not speak.
“Enough, enough. Don’t fight.” Mu Jianfeng tried to calm things down. “Xia Lei, this has nothing to do with you. Please leave. We know how to talk to Prince Khalifa.”
“Prince Khalifa has given me the authority to negotiate with you on his behalf. I am his representative. You dare chase me away?” said Xia Lei
“Don’t try that with me!” Mu Jianfeng was stubborn, and angry. “Let me tell you that this is China, not the UAE. He can’t do whatever he wants. He has to go by our rules, even if it’s just negotiating.
“That’s right!” Ye Kun sneered. “Don’t think you’re all that, Xia Lei. You’re not welcome here. Scram, or I’ll get security to drag you out.”
“Sure. You two have quite the temper, huh? I’ll leave.” Xia Lei turned to leave.
Prince Khalifa looked at Xia Lei and turned to leave too.
Ali Khan pointed at Ye Kun. “This was your choice. Just wait. There will be a diplomatic protest and we’ll see you in the International Court of Justice.”
Ali Khan turned to leave too when he was done speaking.
Ye Kun panicked. “I was only telling Xia Lei to leave. I didn’t say that I wasn’t going to talk with you. Why are you leaving?”
“His Highness has made it clear. He has given all authority to Xia Lei to handle this matter. Xia Lei represents His Majesty. Your treatment of Mr Xia is tantamount to insulting His Majesty! Goodbye!” said Ali Khan.
“Wait!” Ye Kun was reluctant but he still said, “Xia Lei, please stay.”
Xia Lei stopped in his tracks and turned to look at Ye Kun. A smile of distaste hung in the corners of his mouth. “Ye Kun, do you think you’re a god or something? That I will leave or stay because you tell me to?”
“You…” Ye Kun was rooted to the spot in anger.
Mu Jianfeng spoke frostily, “That’s enough, Xia Lei. You want to stay to see us make fools of ourselves, don’t you? I’m giving you enough respect by allowing you to stay. What else do you want?”
The way he said it, it was like he was being gracious in letting Xia Lei stay.
Xia Lei laughed in anger. “You know what I hate most about you? You’re obviously in deep shit, but you’re still putting on airs. People like you have got too used to having your own way, and you think everything will go according to what you want. I’ll let you understand today that not everyone will bend to your wishes. You want me to stay? Sure. Apologise to me.”
“You…” Mu Jianfeng was so angry he could not speak.
“Xia Lei! Don’t you go overboard!” Ye Kun snarled.
Xia Lei shrugged, and turned to leave.
Prince Khalifa and his two assistants followed him too, and the four of them were soon at the office door.
Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun couldn’t help exchanging glances. They were in a state of confusion and neither could think of any ideas. One thing was clear, however, and that was that this matter must not be escalated to the international level. It was an ugly enough situation for them, and if Prince Khalifa brought this to a diplomatic dispute, the two of them would be ruined even before the investigation into them begun!
Xia Lei was almost out the door when Ye Kun relented and forced himself to say, “I’m sorry!”
This matter could be resolved with money if they had Xia Lei stay and negotiate with them. The investigation team would investigate the matter of Hanwu Weapons stealing technical drawings from Thunder Horse Military Factory, and maybe find some problems with his work and personal life. There was still some hope of recovering from all these problems, but there was no saving him if this matter escalated.
Xia Lei turned about and said softly, “One more person has not apologised yet.”
Mu Jianfeng’s lips thinned in fury. Who was he? The chairman of China Industrial Group! A small boss of a civilian company wanted him to apologise? This hit to his pride was one he could not take!
Ye Kun glared at Mu Jianfeng. He did not say anything but he was getting disgruntled. He had put his own pride aside and apologised to Xia Lei in order to stop the matter from getting worse. Why couldn’t Mu Jianfeng do the same!
“So Chairman Mu has never apologised to anyone in his life, huh? Fine, I won’t force you to either so your life of officialdom will still remain perfect. I’d better leave.” Xia Lei made to leave again.
“I’m sorry.” Mu Jianfeng finally said it. His heart filled with hate in that instant, but he put a smile on his face. “It’s just an apology, isn’t it? It’s not impossible. If an apology can make calm your anger, then I’ll even apologise a hundred times if necessary. Look, Ye Kun and I have apologised to you already. Let’s let the unhappiness of before go, eh? Let’s sit and talk. I believe we can talk things through.”
“Sure, then let’s talk.” Xia Lei returned to Ye Kun’s office.
Ye Kun looked at Ye Xiaoqi, who’d been hovering in the background. “What are you still standing there for? Hurry up and make tea for Director Xia and our middle-eastern guests.”
“Yes.” Ye Xiaoqi then looked away from Xia Lei and went to make tea.
Mu Jianfeng oberved this, and he wrinkled his brows, pondering something. They seated themselves, and Mu Jianfeng seemed to reach a conclusion and had made a decision by the time Ye Xiaoqi came with the tea. “Xia Lei, since Prince Khalifa has given you full authority to handle this matter, why don’t we just settle this simply? We’ll negotiate with you – what do you think?”
“Teacher, this…” Ye Kun did not understand Mu Jianfeng’s intentions.
Mu Jianfeng gave Ye Kun a look, but did not give him any explanations.
Xia Lei nodded. “No problem. What do you want to negotiate?”
Mu Jianfeng stood and said, “Come, let’s talk in the rest lounge.” He then added, “Xiaoqi, take care of the middle-eastern guests.”
Prince Khalifa and his assistants did not respond, and Ye Xiaoqi was happy to tend to these rich people too.
Xia Lei followed Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun into the rest lounge.
Mu Jianfeng closed the door and went straight to the point. “Xia Lei, let’s just be frank with each other. You sent Katou Takasuke, didn’t you?”
Xia Lei paused, then said, “What do you mean, Chairman Mu? I don’t understand you.”
“Humph!” Mu Jianfeng snorted. “Stop with the act. I remembered earlier. How did you get the video of Ye Kun and Ye Xiaoqi having sex? And in this rest lounge too.”
Realisation dawned on Ye Kun. He glared at Xia Lei. “So it was you! This was all your plan! You hateful punk!”
Xia Lei spoke evenly, “Is what you say true? You should have evidence when saying things like this. Where’s the camera that was used to record this? Where is it? It should have that Katou Takasuke’s fingerprints on it, right?”
What had actually happened was that Qin Xiang had broken into the Hanwu Weapons building in the night and taken the thing which Xia Lei had left under the guise of ‘Katou Takasuke’. Xia Lei wouldn’t tell this to Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun, of course.
So whatever guesses they made, Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun were unable to produce any evidence.
“Hold on…” Ye Kun seemed to remember something. “The first time I saw that Katou Takasuke, I felt like I’ve met him before. His build was like yours… Xia Lei! You are Katou Takasuke!”
Neither Mu Jianfeng nor Ye Kun were fools. They were smart, cunning people. Xia Lei did not find it strange that they had come to this conclusion with just a few clues. Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun would not have gotten to where they were now if they had not been smart and cunning people.
But Xia Lei did not care because they were unable to bring out any evidence. On the other hand, the contract between Hanwu Weapons and Desert Guard was in black and white, and there was nothing fake about it.
“Xia Lei, I have never had such a trap laid for me before. You are the first to have done this. I acknowledge your ruthlessness.” Mu Jianfeng was overflowing with hate, but he made no moves on the outside. One could not tell that he was angry.
Xia Lei laughed. “Sure, take it as I’ve meddled. You’ve caused trouble for me several times. I return the favour just once, and you can’t take it? Why do it at all? Let’s not talk about this meaningless topics any longer and go straight to business. My requirements are simple – the penalty fee of USD 400,000,000. Give it to my client and this case is closed. If you don’t, then you know what that prince outside will do.”
“We’ve only taken a USD 5,000,000 deposit and you want to collect a penalty fee of USD 400,000,000? You’re too much. No, I am only willing to pay USD 20,000,000!” Ye Kun looked determined.
Xia Lei laughed. “Then you two have a nice long chat. I’ll not hang around.”
Mu Jianfeng grabbed Xia Lei’s arm. “USD 400,000,000 is definitely out of the question. Nothing good will come out for this for anyone if this matter gets blown up. You have to remember that you’re representing a middle-eastern company, but you are also helping a company registered in the UAE take away money from a government-backed enterprise. Ye Kun and I would have to leave the stage then, but you won’t be free from it either. You take one step back, and we sill too. Both sides benefit.”
Cheating money from the nation – this was like digging your own grave.Previous Chapter Next Chapter