Half an hour later, Rheinmetall's precision processing workshop.
Xia Lei found out that the young Sylvia was the chief of this core workshop after he got to it. Just this fact made it plain that this European version of Szlamy who had challenged him was a real, talented top-notch mechanic. Her abilities were probably above Annina's, or Rheinmetall's top mechanics wouldn't have been willing to let a young woman lead them.
In this precision processing workshop, Xia Lei saw many intelligent lathes like those developed by Josef. It looked like the Germans had quickly pushed these lathes out into the market right after Josef created it. Germany's manufacturing level would definitely have been upgraded to some degree with the intelligent lathes created by Josef.
However, the intelligent lathe which the Germans were so proud of was already an outdated product to Xia Lei. Lathes like these had already been phased out at Thunder Horse Military Factory. The intelligent lathes which Thunder Horse Military Factory used now had this intelligent lathe as a foundation, and had been tweaked to have a boost in performance.
Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe was the world's biggest composite intelligent lathe, the best, and unsurpassable, at least in the current world.
Now, the European version of Szlamy was challenging the might of the Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe, and Xia Lei, who had invented it.
Sylvia quickly finished looking through the drawings and data which Xia Lei had given her. It was only a drawing and numbers, but a top mechanic like her, she had only needed to take a quick look at them to have the complete product take shape in her head, complete with the relevant numbers. If not for Xia Lei's crazy precision requirement, she would be able to create the part in the drawing at any time.
Two intelligent lathes, a machinist from China, a machinist from Germany, and a group of onlookers. The competition had yet to begin but the precision processing workshop was already all lively.
"A Chinese machinist actually dared to challenge the Boss Barbie. He will regret it because he made the wrong choice," said one of the mechanics of the precision processing workshop.
"From what I know, China has always been importing processed parts from Europe, especially the precision-processed parts. Now they've actually sent this guy to challenge our Boss Barbie. He must've come to make us laugh. If that's the case, he really is quite funny," said someone jeeringly.
"I bet that this Chinese guy will definitely lose. Anyone want to put down a bet?"
"I bet you 50 euros that Boss Barbie will win."
"I also bet 50 euros that Boss Barbie will win."
"Oh, if you’re all betting Boss Barbie will win then I'll have to cut the odds. 50 euros — I can only do a 60-euro payout or I'd be broke."
Xia Lei heard their mocking, of course, and also found out that Sylvia had the nickname "Barbie". This could be because of her appearance and body — she really did look like a sexy version of a Barbie doll.
The challenge was about to start when Annina walked to Xia Lei. "I think I should do this. That woman isn't qualified to challenge you. If she wins against me, it’s not loss if you make you move after I do."
Xia Lei replied in a low voice, "It’s best if I do it. This person is questioning my abilities. I need to make them shut up and go to work. I have to do it myself for that to happen."
"Okay." Annina scrunched up her nose. "Show her what you're made of."
Xia Lei only nodded, then walked toward an intelligent lathe. A cylindrical piece of titanium had been put in the machine, and it had been prepared by Sylvia for this challenge.
Sylvia walked towards another intelligent lathe.
"Sylvia, wait." Josef called out to Syliva, then walked up to her and whispered something in her ear.
Xia Lei didn't bother with reading their lips. He was knew why Josef was targeting him — because of Annina, and because of the intelligent lathe's technology. These were problems which couldn't be resolved but he did not care, no matter how Josef messed with him. Someone like Josef couldn't even count as a rival to him.
Josef was done whispering in Sylvia's ear. She turned and said to Xia Lei, "Mr Xia, shouldn't our challenge have some sort of prize? If not, we won't have anything to commemorate it with, whether it’ll be your win or my win."
Xia Lei smiled faintly. "Miss Sylvia, what kind of prize would you like?"
Sylvia smiled as she said, "How about this, if I win, you give me a pair of China-made socks and a China-made shirt. What do you think?"
She heavily emphasised the words "China-made". Saying that the prize she wanted was Chinese manufactured socks and shirts made her intentions clear. She was making fun of China's manufacturing level, and also mocking Xia Lei, a machinist from China, at the same time.
Xia Lei wasn't angry. "And what if I win? Miss Sylvia, what memento will you give me?" he asked instead.
Sylvia thought for a moment and said, "Mr Xia, I don't believe there's anyone in this world who can reach the precision level of 0.001 microns you were talking about. You can't either. How about this — let's compete on the base of an accuracy of 0.005 microns. Whoever's more precise wins. If you win, you can do whatever you want with me."
What kind of prize was this?
The precision processing workshop's machinists got excited and burst into conversation before Xia Lei got the meaning behind her words.
"Is Boss Barbie wagering herself?"
"My god, can I enter this competition?"
"Do you guys know? I heard that an international football star from Bayern Munich is after our Boss Barbie but our Boss Barbie rejected him. How could such an outstanding woman put herself as the bet, and as a prize for a Chinese guy on top of that? I can't understand it!"
"You can't understand? Heh, that means that our Boss Barbie will win for sure. Why would she be willing to make herself a prize for a Chinese guy otherwise?"
"Our Boss Barbie is the sexiest beauty I've seen. Really, I am willing to give up a year of my salary if I can have a night with her."
This kind of chatter was heard by Xia Lei yet he felt no sense of privilege. Instead, he became aware of her haughtiness and scorn. Anger surged in his heart.
"What's wrong? Are you afraid?" Sylvia looked at Xia Lei with provocation in her eyes.
Xia Lei snorted. "All right, I accept. I can do whatever I want to you, right?"
Sylvia's lips curled slightly in a sexy smile. "That's right."
The competition between the two machinists commenced immediately. The two intelligent lathes started up and the two machinists started the precision processing on the cylindrical pieces of titanium.
Sylvia skillfully entered the instructions in the control terminal and arranged the sequences of the program. All the calculations and adjustments were smoothly done, and she worked skillfully with the machine, like one of its cogs.
Xia Lei did the same but he was visibly faster.
"That Chinese dude seems really good. Look, his is visibly faster than Boss Barbie."
"Yeah, look, he’s done. His lathe has already started processing automatically."
"Oh my God. Is our sexy goddess going to have to sleep with a Chinese guy?"
"What are you saying? Boss Barbie's lathe is going to work too."
"That's right, it's normal that that Chinese dude is faster because he is familiar with what he is processing, but it's the first time our Boss Barbie’s had contact with the parts she needs to process. So if we look at it this way, our Boss Barbie is obviously better. Just you wait and see. That Chinese dude will bring our Boss Barbie the China-made socks and shirt!"
"Haha! That's right! Boss Barbie is humiliating that guy on purpose. I can't wait to see his face when he loses."
The machinists of the precision processing workshop always had these weird discussions.
Their chatter had no effect on Xia Lei's work. Ten minutes later, his intelligent lathe completed the initial processing of the cylindrical pure titanium material. Under normal circumstances, machinists would measure the initial processing of the part at this stage, then adjust the intelligent lathe to proceed to the second round of precision processing.
And that was what Sylvia did. Her intelligent lathe soon finished the initial processing of the cylindrical pure titanium material too. She skillfully used the measuring tool to measure the processed part. She spent quite a few minutes doing this. During this process, Xia Lei just looked at her with a faint smile of disdain on his lips while he did nothing for those few minutes.
"What is that Chinese dude doing?"
"Does he think that he's already won like this?"
"If this is all it takes, fuck, even I could win against Boss Barbie."
"This Chinese dude is just a comedian. China must have sent him here to make us laugh."
Sylvia soon finished measuring the part, and she started doing calculations on the intelligent lathe's control terminal. She entered the instructions and set the precision processing program. During this entire process, Xia Lei still did nothing. He just looked at her.
Sylvia finally turned her head to look at Xia Lei after she completed her work on the control terminal. Her eyes locked with his. She then saw Xia Lei holding the pre-processed part in his hands, and that he had not done anything; he was watching her instead. The faint disdainful smile on his lips made her feel a bit uncomfortable. She sneered, "Mr Xia, are you imagining me giving you that kind of service right now? I think that you should go to the supermarket to buy the socks and shirts I wanted instead."
Xia Lei shrugged. He turned the intelligent lathe straight to manual mode and started processing.
"Oh my god, he changed to doing it manually. Is he going to process a high precision part manually?"
"This Chinese dude is too arrogant!"
"That's right, nobody can achieve this level. That's not possible!"
Sylvia stood stunned in the midst of all that talk. She couldn't believe her eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter