Boom! The sound of gunfire cut through the air, and two kilometers away, a mud target was blown into pieces.
On the testing grounds, the group of Germans led by Kang Naqiao was dumbstruck. Thunder Horse Military Factory’s Hellbound One-soldier Cannon nearly had the power of a full tank, except it was much more practical. On the battlefield, tanks were obvious targets that were easily decimated by the likes of anti-tank missiles and armed helicopter attacks, not to mention the price of one normally reached up to millions of USD. When one was destroyed, it was a huge loss. If those cannons were used instead, armies could benefit from greater flexibility and stealth in their maneuvers without sacrificing much firepower. If a group of human-sized units capable of as much destruction as a tank appeared on the battlefield, crossing streets and alleys, climbing buildings and digging pits, how could a defensive line stop their advance?
“Our company’s Hellbound One-soldier Cannons are sold for hundreds of thousands of USD. The cost is only one percent of a tank’s, which includes the cost of keeping the tank operational as well. Tank maintenance is extremely costly. Let’s take America’s M1A2SEP tank as an example. Its sale price is about six million USD, but there is an additional sum that must be set aside for maintenance that amounts to approximately ten million. This means that the price of readying a single one of those tanks is enough to equip 100 artillerymen. Would you prefer the former or the latter?” Qin Caiyue spoke with assurance, confidence, and composure as she addressed the group at the testing grounds.
Xia Lei never gave her a script. She wrote one herself, and it wasn’t hard to see that she equipped herself with the necessary military knowledge after coming to Thunder Horse Military Factory.
Her words sparked discussion among the Germans.
“A Hellbound One-soldier Cannon is a hundred-thousand USD, which is indeed only one-hundredth of the price of a tank. If I had an army, I would buy them instead of tanks,” confirmed an advanced engineer from Rheinmetall AG.
“Right. The power of one of these cannons can’t compare to that of a battle tank, but the combined strength of dozens would be a much greater threat. Virtually no defensive line in existence would be able to successfully resist against an army equipped with Hellbound One-soldier Cannons,” said another German scientist.
“I can’t help but be reminded of Syria. If their army had them in large amounts, ISIS wouldn’t be able to defend the cities they occupy. If a tank battalion were to besiege such territories, the logistics would be horrendous. All the fuel consumed each day, all the equipment and components in need of repair and maintenance, and so much more would have to be brought along. Once the supply line is cut off, the battalion no longer has the ability to fight no matter how powerful it is. These problems would vanish with the introduction of these cannons. We need to obtain the technology behind the Hellbound One-soldier Cannon, no matter what.” said yet another advanced engineer from Rheinmetall AG.
Xia Lei blasted his way into the Germans’ hearts and stoked their desire for his Hellbound One-soldier Cannons.
Kang Naqiao pulled Sylvia away from the crowd and walked to the side as he asked her in a hushed tone, “Miss Sylvia, you said that Xia Lei will you give a Hellbound One-soldier Cannon. Have you received it yet?”
“I did, and he even allowed me to take it apart to study.” Likewise, Sylvia’s voice was also very low. “The moment I did, I swore it was the most brilliantly designed weapon a soldier could wield.”
“I don’t want compliments, Miss Sylvia. You should know what we’re after. You’re the expert, so tell me. Can German companies create this cannon?”
Sylvia shook her head. “No.”
“How is that possible?”
“Mr Kang Naqiao, are you familiar with the XL2500 sniper rifle and the gust assault rifle?” asked Sylvia.
“Of course I know them, but what do they have to do with anything? Guns and artillery aren’t the same,” said Kang Naqiao.
“What I’m trying to say is that without Xia Lei’s Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe’s core components, the XL2500 sniper rifle and the gust assault rifle simply cannot be manufactured. This is why Rheinmetall AG’s production lines for both guns still aren’t operational to this day. Hellbound One-soldier Cannons are built using the second-generation intelligent lathe as a foundation. Without it, there’s no hope of manufacturing them.”
“So you’re saying that in order to manufacture these cannons, we first must attain a second-generation Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe?”
“Yes,” replied Sylvia.
Kang Naqiao furrowed his brow at her simple reply. In his mind, seizing the Hellbound One-soldier Cannon’s technology wouldn’t have been so complicated. He brought the most elite technology team with him from Germany, populated with a variety of talents. As long as he gave them the chance to see the cannon’s production line and interior compositions, they would be able to reverse-engineer the technology. He also had Sylvia, a beautiful German engineer who also doubled as a honey trap. She obtained important information through pillow talk. To think they would disregard every trick he threw at them since they knew the Germans would be stuck without a second-generation intelligent lathe!
Then, Xia Lei strolled over with a smile on his face. “Mr Kang Naqiao and Miss Sylvia, are you two satisfied with the presentation?”
Kang Naqiao walked over and gave Xia Lei a hearty hug. “Mr. Xia! We are very pleased. I’ve just learned that the current international opinion on China couldn’t be any more brainless, especially the South’s. I am very fortunate for coming to Thunder Horse Military Factory. I believe without a doubt that it is currently the world’s most outstanding military company.”
“Thank you.” Xia Lei patted Kang Naqiao on the back and smiled. “When shall we start our business deal?”
“I’ve also prepared everything here. A set of core components for the Thunder Dragon has already been processed, and the moment we start the business deal, my engineer can fly to Germany to repair the one you broke in Rheinmetall AG. It won’t be long before you have fully operational production lines for the XL2500 sniper rifles and gust assault rifles,” said Xia Lei.
“And the new one?”
“Also not a problem. Once the deal begins, I’ll do the same for the new lathe’s core components. My engineer will still be stationed at Rheinmetall AG, where he will assemble, install, and adjust everything for you. I’m telling you this only because I’ve already prepared everything. The only thing I’m waiting on is you,” said Xia Lei.
“Then let’s begin the deal today,” said Kang Naqiao. “But I have one additional condition.”
Xia Lei smiled. “As it turns out, I have one too.”
Kang Naqiao was stunned. “What is yours?”
“You tell me first,” said Xia Lei.
“Okay. Can you upgrade the Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe we’re receiving… to the second-generation model?” Kang Naqiao acted as if he was guilty, but he was calmly observing Xia Lei’s expression the whole time.
“That wasn’t what we agreed to,” said Xia Lei. “But I can give you another first-generation one instead.”
“That would be great. You’re a very generous man, Mr Xia Lei.” Although Kang Naqiao wasn’t truly satisfied, it was still to his advantage that Xia Lei would give him another intelligent lathe.
“I’m not done speaking yet, Mr Kang Naqiao. I’m willing to give you another intelligent lathe, but only if you uphold my side of the agreement,” said Xia Lei.
“What would you ask of us?”
“Sylvia.” Xia Lei looked right at her.” You need to give me Sylvia.”
“That’s…” Kang Naqiao was shocked. Part of him didn’t think Xia Lei was being serious.
Sylvia was actually overjoyed, but she forced herself to pretend that she was deeply conflicted. “Mr. Xia, how could you ask such a thing? I am German, and I hold a deep love for my motherland. I would never plan on leaving it, and I would also be leaving Rheinmetall AG despite being their best mechanic. How could I possibly stay by your side?”
Xia Lei pulled Kang Naqiao to the side. “I like her Mr. Kang Naqiao. If you do what I ask, I’ve already told you that I’d give you an extra intelligent lathe. I’m also willing to become a good partner with Rheinmetall AG. The two of our companies can have even more technological exchanges in the future this way. On top of that, you may have my Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe but only I can process the core components. If they’re broken again, wouldn’t you want me to help you again? If you don’t agree, then don’t bother asking for my help in the future.”
The warning was as clear as day. There would inevitably be another day when Rheinmetall AG would have to beg Xia Lei for help. If they didn’t give him his woman, there would no longer be anything to discuss with him!
“But Sylvia is…” Kang Naqiao started to refute, but he suddenly stopped himself. He couldn’t help but think of the man as no more than a pervert, but who could he blame for such a development of events? Sylvia was a beautiful spy personally sent by Mark Armin. She offered her body in exchange for business secrets, and now that Xia Lei was interested in her, he had to have her. He would cease all cooperation if he didn’t get her. Wasn’t there no turning back?
“If that’s the case then fine. Let’s act according to the initial business deal. You won’t receive an extra intelligent lathe, and you’ll have to find someone else if you want repairs done in the future.” Xia Lei was unhappy, and he even went out of his way to show the two Germans how he shifted his gaze to Sylvia’s rear with a lecherous gaze.
“Don’t... Don’t be like this, Mr Xia. I will give Mr Mark Armin a call, and I believe I can convince him. You, on the other hand, need to personally convince Miss Sylvia.” Kang Naqiao lowered his voice. “Women just need a bit of coaxing. Gift her a race car, or a mansion, or whatever else she may desire. Would she still disagree after that?”
Xia Lei revealed a smile and gave Kang Naqiao a thumbs up.
Sylvia watched the two men whispering and wanted to laugh, but she didn’t dare to. It was a lot of work trying to hold it in.
Kang Naqiao walked to a remote corner and called Mark Armin.
Though he was out of earshot, Xia Lei was still able to read Kang Naqiao’s lips.
“Mr. Mark Armin, it’s me, Kang Naqiao. Something happened over here… Xia Lei is actually interested in the woman you sent, Sylvia… Right. Xia Lei said he must have herーhe’s willing to give us another Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe and maintain a good partnership with Rheinmetall AG. In the future, the two companies will have more technological exchanges… He’s shameless? Right, I think so too. But you’re the one who sent a woman to his bed… Just let her go. Otherwise, Xia Lei won’t agree to any future repairs...”
Once it had gotten to that point of the conversation, Xia Lei lost all interest in it since the result was out. Kang Naqiao was a German cabinet member. Mark Armin didn’t dare offend him, and Rheinmetall AG clearly benefited the most from the additional dealings. They could find someone to take Sylvia’s place in their company, but Xia Lei’s support was irreplaceable.”
“No problem. It’s settled,” said Xia Lei to Sylvia.
Sylvia was a bit embarrassed. “You big pervert. Are you happy now that you’ve had your way?”
Xia Lei smiled. “Are you really going to build a bed out of alloy?”
But Sylvia was already in the midst of changing the topic. “I’m going to call Annina later and tell her to book the plane tickets.”
“When did you guys become such good friends? How come I didn’t know?”
“I won’t tell you! You big pervert.” Sylvia was suddenly fierce. “Just wait for it. Wait for Annina to come over. We’ll teach you a lesson.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Kang Naqiao walked over with his phone still in his hand and smiled. “Mr Xia, I’ve convinced Mr. Mark Armin. Now the decision is left to Miss Sylvia.”
“I am willing,” said Sylvia before Xia Lei could even respond.
The sudden response confused Kang Naqiao.