The wounds on his feet were not very deep. A night’s rest and they were more or less healed. Xia Lei was able to step on the floor and walk around the next morning, and he was just a tad lame. After having his breakfast at Liu Ying’s home, she drove him to Thunder Horse Workshop.
The small workshop made Liu Ying worry a little about the long-term agreement she had signed with Xia Lei. However, she was more at ease after Xia Lei talked about completing high precision purchase orders for East Wind Heavy Industries. She’d always been going to large government-owned companies like East Wind Heavy Industries for projects but East Wind had needed to go to Xia Lei for help in completing their order - was there any need to worry about Xia Lei’s skill and ability?
“Big Sister Liu, you’re worried about our production capabilities and whether we would be able to fulfil your supply requirements, aren’t you?” said Xia Lei, after bringing up his work for East Wind Heavy Industries on purpose.
Liu Ying was silent for a bit before she spoke, “Lei, I won’t hide it from you. I am a little worried. Our product would definitely be a high-volume production once it’s released in the market and would need a lot of parts. There is no way your current production capacity is enough to meet our production requirements.”
Xia Lei smiled, “You don’t have to worry about this, Big Sister Liu. The next step after I get your order is to hire more workers and buy more equipment. I am also planning to register a company and look for a plot of land to turn my machine shop into a machine processing plant. I’ll be able to accommodate all of your requests then.”
Liu Ying chuckled and patted Xia Lei on the shoulder, her eyes full of praise, “Good. Big Sister could already see that you are not a simple man last night. You have the skill and you have our long-term order. You’ll succeed. I feel you are still just an earthworm in a pond and you’ll become a big python in time.”
Xia Lei laughed, “We will both have success.”
“Let’s do this - You process 3,000 sets first and I’ll rush my employees to release the first batch of products. We’ll go back to the company now and I’ll get the finance department to transfer 500,000 over. After the order is done we’ll transfer the rest.”
Xia Lei quickly nodded, “Sure. And, Big Sister Liu, you have to hurry with the patent application. Someone is already after your technology. You have to be careful.”
“I’m going to the patent office next. Let’s chat next time. Goodbye.” Liu Ying left right after saying goodbye; she was a capable and experienced lady.
Xia Lei sent her to the roadside and watched as she drove off into the distance.
Ma Xiaoan walked up from behind, “Bro, did you give your body to that rich lady last night?”
Xia Lei looked at Ma Xiaoan and snapped, “What dumb nonsense are you spouting so early in the morning, you rascal?”
Ma Xiaoan laughed, “Don’t take me for a fool. I heard it all just now. She said your earthworm entered her pond, then became a python, right?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Ma Xiaoan was not finished, he went on while clicking his tongue, “Not so easy, eh? This woman’s a little older but she has substance. Big boobs, round butt, smooth skin… Tsk tsk… Last night must’ve been real comfortable, eh?”
“Shoo!” Xia Lei kicked him.
Ma Xiaoan jumped to the side, dodging and laughing.
Xia Lei walked into the workshop and said, “Nice Moves Sports Equipment want 3,000 sets of kits. We’ll be busy for a while. I’ll show you all the sample later. You must process the parts with the same standards as the sample. It’s all right if you’re slow. We want to ensure quality so it’s okay even if we have to scrap more parts. You guys got it?”
“Got it,” the employees of Thunder Horse Workshop replied.
After assigning work, Xia Lei led his employees in the processing work. As he worked, he pondered over the setting up of his company and plans for looking for a venue.
He had skills, manpower, and a purchase order. It seemed like it would not be difficult for Thunder Horse Workshop to become a small machine processing plant but there was still a problem he was worried about - money.
Money was needed to rent a venue, buy equipment, hire workers, extra expenses such as temporary accommodation, canteen, insurance and so on. There were many things he had to spend on and he would need at least five million but it was impossible for him to come up with that much.
Chi Jingqiu came to Thunder Horse Workshop in the afternoon, fuming. She seemed to already know that something had happened.
“Tell me what’s going on, Lei,” Chi Jingqiu flared up at Xia Lei right after arriving.
Xia Lei, on the other hand, spoke calmly, “What do you mean?”
“You know what I’m talking about! You despicable person!” Chi Jingqiu’s spittle almost landed on Xia Lei’s face.
Xia Lei did not want to fight with a woman but Chen A'Jiao was not one to tone down her flames. She spoke like a sailor, “Where’s this bitch from? Wanna fight? I’ll fight!”
“You’re the bitch!” Chi Jingqiu rolled her eyes contemptuously at Chen A'Jiao, “Country bumpkin. I won’t waste my breath on you.”
“So what if I’m a country bumpkin and you’re a city slicker? I have a cunt so does it mean you have two cunts as a city slicker? I’ll see today if you, city woman, have two cunts. I’ll rip your cunts to shreds even if you have two!” Chen A'Jiao stomped towards her, all ready to tear her to shreds.
Chi Jingqiu was hopping mad but could not curse as dirtily as Chen A'Jiao. Seeing her stomp towards herself scared her and she quickly hid behind Xia Lei.
Xia Lei did not want the two women to start a fight in his workshop. He blocked Chen A'Jiao’s way, “Big Sister Chen, hold on. Could you go to the supermarket and get some ice-cream for everyone?” He did not wait for her to agree and said to Ma Xiaoan, “Xiaoan, please go with Big Sister Chen and help her carry the ice-cream.”
“Sure, we’ll go right away.” Ma Xiaoan pulled Chen A'Jiao by the hand towards the door.
Chen A'Jiao continued shooting curses as she walked, “Rotten crap! Who do you think you are? Nobody in my village dared to fight with me. If you dare stir up trouble for Boss Lei I’ll drown you in my saliva! Humph!”
After Ma Xiaoan dragged Chen A'Jiao out, Zhou Xiaohong, Wang Youfu, Yang Bencai and the others left the workshop too.
Chi Jingqiu sneered, “This is the kind of people you hire? Such low class!”
“Big Sister Chen is an open-minded woman. She may be a little colourful with her curses but she is more honourable than most,” said Xia Lei.
“What do you mean by that? Are you saying that I’m not honourable?” Chi Jingqiu spoke angrily, “Don’t you forget, Xia Lei, that I am here to settle things!”
“I pulled clients for you and you went behind my back to meet my client and cut me out. Isn’t what you did clear enough? Shouldn’t I settle this with you?” Chi Jingqiu was aggressive and she felt like it was a reasonable thing for her to do.
Xia Lei laughed coldly, “CEO Liu quoted you 310 and you quietly took 50, then quoted me 260. You still think it a good idea to settle things with me? You lowered the price by so much that I have to reduce my costs and use lower quality materials. Would CEO Liu want that? Can others work with you if you do this?”
“I…” Chi Jingqiu had no words to retort with.
“CEO Liu inquired and found us yesterday. We had a talk and the matter about you taking 50 yuan from the price was revealed. She is not willing to work with you anymore and wants to work directly with me. Would you be satisfied only when I reject the offer?” said Xia Lei.
“I…” Chi Jingqiu was getting red in the face.
“Please leave. I don’t want to fight with you. Go back, calm down and let’s chat only after you’ve thought things through,” said Xia Lei.
“You’re trying to send me away like this?” Chi Jingqiu glared at Xia Lei.
“What else do you want?”
“Give me 200,000 and I’ll leave.”
Xia Lei laughed, “Why should I give you 200,000?”
“Would you have got the order from Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company if it weren’t for me?”
“Looks like I’ll have to get Big Sister Chen to talk to you. I can’t seem to get through to you,” said Xia Lei.
“You… Fine! Just you wait and see!” Chi Jingqiu left Thunder Horse Workshop in a huff.
‘You actually dared to ask for 200,000. You must be going crazy for money.’ thought Xia Lei.
With things the way they were, the collaboration with Chi Jingqiu was temporarily put on hold. Xia Lei felt neither guilt nor gratefulness towards a person such as Chi Jingqiu. Their collaboration had been purely business from the start - he needed orders and Chi Jingqiu wanted to make money from price differences and commission. She treated him as a blood-sucking source and he treated her like a guide. It was that simple.
The employees of Thunder Horse Workshop came trickling back in and Ma Xiaoan and Chen A'Jiao also returned, carrying a bag of ice-cream and a bag of snacks such as melon seeds and peanuts.
Chen A'Jiao handed Xia Lei an ice-cream in the shape of a doll-head and said, “Good thing she ran away quickly. I’d have torn her cunt to pieces.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly, “Big Sister Chen, Cui Yong has not found a partner yet. You shouldn’t say such things anymore.”
Cui Yong laughed awkwardly; he actually liked to hear things like that.
“Okay, I won’t say that word again. Little Cui, work hard and save up. Once you save 100,000, Big Sister will take you to her village and find you a good partner,” said Chen A'Jiao.
Cui Yong’s face turned red immediately and he looked embarrassed.
“Lei, with this uproar and all, that Chi Jingqiu won’t be bringing us any more orders, will she?” Ma Xiaoan said.
“You won’t have to worry about that. She only has eyes for money. If she can’t eat others she will definitely come back looking for us,” said Xia Lei.
“You still want to work with that sort of woman, Big Brother Lei?” Zhou Xiaohong looked worriedly at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei smiled, “Business is business and people are people. We had a war with America in the past but aren’t they our biggest trading partners now?”
Zhou Xiaohong smiled grudgingly, “I don’t really understand that logic but I believe that what Big Brother Lei has decided is definitely right.”
“Don’t worry about the matter with Chi Jingqiu. I’ll handle it. Let’s have ice-cream and go back to work. Work hard and I won’t treat you unfairly. I want us all to become rich people,” said Xia Lei.
The workshop was filled with laughter. They would not believe others if they’d said the same but this was Xia Lei and they had no doubt he would keep his word. They had long-established a considerable prestige and integrity in connection to Xia Lei in their hearts.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
Just as he finished his ice-cream, Xia Lei received a call from Liu Ying.
“Are you free tonight, Lei?” Liu Ying’s voice was warm and friendly.
“I’m free. What is it, Big Sister Liu?” Xia Lei spoke politely.
“Well, it’s like this… There’s a party tonight and I’d like you to go with me.”
“What party is it?” asked Xia Lei.
“Some friends in my circle. I didn’t want to trouble you at first but with that happening last night, I’m worried that that thief would come make trouble for me again, so…”
Xia Lei laughed as he said, “No problem. What time is it?”
“Seven in the evening. I’ll wait for you at my home,” said Liu Ying happily.
“Okay, I’ll be at your place before seven,” said Xia Lei.