The couple came out from the lounge and saw Lu Sheng, who was waiting in the office doorway.
Shentu Tianyin’s beautiful face was a little red, but she was quick to react. She pretended to organise the documents on the office table, and acted as if nothing had happened earlier.
Xia Lei was also a little awkward. He asked, “Lu Sheng, is anything the matter?”
“Director Xia, the German ambassador came again. He’s waiting outside now and he says he has to see you. Do you want to see him? He has a special status so that’s why I’ve come to ask you what to do,” said Lu Sheng.
The fact that he hadn’t let the guards at the gate handle the matter showed the thought he had put into it.
Xia Lei thought for a moment and said, “I’ll see him. Let him come over.”
“All right, I will notify him right away.” Lu Sheng turned and left.
Xia Lei frowned. “The Germans sure are quick. They came knocking so soon.”
He had just returned to China and the Germans already knew he had returned. It seemed the German agents stationed in China were really not meek little lambs. Perhaps they had already been watching Thunder Horse Military Factory and the area around his old home before he had returned to China. The Germans would receive news immediately as soon as he turned up. It was impossible for him to avoid being in public since he still needed to supervise and engage in Thunder Horse Military Factory's business. He also needed to contact clients from South America and the Middle East. It was absolutely impossible for him to hide away under these circumstances.
Seeing Xia Lei frown, Shentu Tianyin walked over and said worriedly, "Hubby, is something wrong?"
"The real trouble has passed a long time ago. You don't need to worry about it. I will deal with the German ambassador. Go home first; I'll be back tonight."
"All right, then I'll go back first. Remember to come home for dinner tonight." Shentu Tianyin fixed Xia Lei's necktie and left.
Xia Lei's work involved Bureau 101 and some national secrets. She understood why he wouldn't let her stay. There were some things Xia Lei couldn't tell her about, even though she was Xia Lei's wife.
Xia Lei called Ling Han after Shentu Tianyin left.
"I really wanted to call you up and talk with you, and here you are, calling me.” It was Ling Han's voice.
Long Bing and Tang Yuyan had returned to Bureau 101 to report on their mission in Germany, but Xia Lei hadn't reported on his mission to anyone yet. His first stop when he got back to China was Thunder Horse Military Factory. He had his own thoughts, and besides wanting to see Shentu Tianyin and understand Thunder Horse Military Factory's current situation, it was more important for him to have some time to organise everything that had happened. He could give a better report this way.
Xia Lei said, "Ling Bro, I was planning on talking to you tomorrow. So many things happened so I wanted to relax for a bit.”
"I understand, which is why I didn’t come looking for you even though I knew you’re back,” said Ling Han.
"But someone else has come looking for me." Xia Lei cut straight to the chase. "The German ambassador Philip is in Thunder Horse Military Factory."
"The Germans know you've returned as well? They sure are fast."
"I’m guessing that they're here to talk about the German engineering team. I wouldn't dare take a stand without your instruction," said Xia Lei. "Brother Ling, what should I say if he wants to talk about the German engineering team?"
Ling Han was silent for a moment before saying, "You've come back so we won't have a reason to detain these Germans anymore. The production line for the Eurofighter Typhoon engine is already finished, so we don't need them anymore. If Philip discusses this with you, you can say that we can help them with our connections, then we will release their people on our end. This will also benefit you."
"Okay, I know what I should do now,” said Xia Lei.
They had just finished their call when Philip and his assistant, Alida, appeared in the doorway of his office.
"Mr Xia, it sure is difficult to meet with you." Philip started the conversation in German.
Xia Lei laughed and replied in German, "I'm just lucky, otherwise you wouldn't be able to see me ever again."
Philip laughed dryly. "Mr Xia, some things are misunderstandings, so I hope you don't mind it."
Xia Lei scoffed. "That's right. Some terrorists pretended to be German Special Forces soldiers and the American CIA to take me away from Mark Armin's birthday party when I was in Germany. Then the real German Special Forces and CIA agents ambushed those terrorists to save me. Is this what you want to say, Mr Philip?"
These words made Philip's old face redden with heat and even made Alida embarrassed.
In terms of what had happened in Germany, the Germans had broken their agreement and betrayed Xia Lei. Before then, Xia Lei had been helping the Germans build an assembly line for the XL2500 sniper rifle and the Gust assault rifle as well as a Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe. These were all invaluable technologies that the Germans wanted. However, some part of the German government had wanted to get rid of him once he was no longer useful. Under these circumstances, what explanations could these two Germans offer when faced with Xia Lei's mockery?
Xia Lei said, "I was lucky. I escaped and came back. We can just forget about it. I'm not planning to announce it publicly either. I hope that we won’t see each other again in the future. There's nothing more for us to discuss."
"Don't be like this," said Philip. "Mr. Xia, I know you aren't very happy but… There's no need to make this such a big deal. You've returned now but our people are still here, in Chinese hands. I would like you to step in personally so that they can go home and be reunited with their families."
Xia Lei laughed. "You treated me like that. I would have been dead by now if I wasn't so lucky. You're still coming to me for help? Mr Philip, do you think I'm someone who is such a good guy?"
"I deeply believe that you are a good person. Please speak on their behalf. Those engineers are all innocent, and they have wives and children." Philip looked at Xia Lei with a pleading expression.
Xia Lei pretended to think it over for a moment before saying, "What about this? I step in and exert my personal influence for you, and let those Germans go home, but I have one condition."
"What condition? Please speak."
"My friend Annina has already returned to Germany. She's not planning to come back so I want you to write a guarantee that no one will create any trouble for her. Will you be willing to write this guarantee?"
"I'm willing. I can write it for you now." One written guarantee in exchange for all those German engineers, and to end things with this thorny person. Of course Philip was willing.
Philip wrote the guarantee with Alida's help.
Of course, there wasn't much of a guarantee with a written promise from a German ambassador but Xia Lei’s focus was not on the guarantee. He wanted to send a message to the German side through Philip. 'Even though I won't announce this matter publicly, as long as you target me, I will make what happened in Germany public. And this guarantee that the German ambassador signs will become another piece of evidence which can be released to the media.’
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
The phone on the office table suddenly rang.
Xia Lei picked up the phone and a man's voice suddenly came through in German. "Xia Lei, you tricked us!"
This was Mark Armin's voice.
"So it's you." Xia Lei laughed coldly. "What are you talking about? I can't understand what you're saying."
"Don't pretend anymore!" Mark Armin's voice was filled with fury. "We assembled your Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe but it burnt the electrical circuit board the first time it ran. It can't even be used! And your assembly lines for the XL2500 sniper rifle and the Gust assault rifle… The rifles we produce are practically garbage!"
"Those are your problems. They have nothing to do with me," said Xia Lei indifferently.
"You tricked us and now you're telling me that it doesn't have anything to do with you?!"
Xia Lei said, "If you had given me a little more time and waited until I had completely finished both assembly lines and the intelligent Thunder Dragon lathe before making a move on me, wouldn't everything be perfect? But you guys were too anxious. You couldn’t wait to get rid of me before I completed my work. You thought you could do it without me, but you absolutely can't."
"I don't want to waste my words on you! Just say it. How are we going to resolve this?"
Xia Lei said, "Hmm… How about this — sue me."
"You…" Mark Armin was choked with anger and couldn’t speak.
"Is there anything else? If not, I'll hang up now. Also, don't call me in the future. I don't want to hear your voice,” said Xia Lei.
"Wait!" Mark Armin said, "You guys already got the technology for the Eurofighter Typhoon engine but we didn't get anything. This isn't fair! You guys have to give us a satisfactory resolution proposal, otherwise—"
"Otherwise, what?" Xia Lei laughed. "Otherwise you'll give me to the Americans, right? Let them come. I'll be at Thunder Horse Military Factory. They can come for me at any time."
"Fine! Just you wait. This won't end here." Mark Armin hung up angrily.
Xia Lei put the phone down, and a disdainful smile appeared on his lips. Mark Armin's threats were nothing to him now!
"Who called?" probed Philip. He had just finished writing the guarantee. "I heard you talking in German with someone."
"Mark Armin." Xia Lei didn't hide it. "He said that some of the engineering that I did for Rheinmetall AG ran into some problems and asked me to think of ways to resolve them. I don't know how to resolve it. Can you suggest something, Mr Philip?"
Philip shrugged. "I don't have any advice I can give you. Those idiots did a very stupid thing and they should be fully responsible for their actions. As for me, I'm only in charge of what I should do. All right, Mr Xia, I've already written and signed it. When can we see our people?"
Xia Lei said, “You can return to the consulate first. I’ll help you with this matter. I think you’ll be able to see your people tomorrow. I think.”
“Thank you.” Philip breathed a sigh of relief and left with Alida.
The office immediately quieted down.
Xia Lei sat on the sofa with one leg over the other as he thought to himself, ‘The Germans definitely won’t take this lying down. What actions will they take? They definitely won’t make a big fuss, since they were the ones who betrayed us first. Rheinmetall AG will probably send some people over to discuss the matter with me, right? If they do send people over…'
For some reason, Sylvia’s face surfaced in his head. It would probably take at least a hundred German words to describe the sexiness of the European version of Szlamy.Previous Chapter Next Chapter