Chapter 697

The Paris International Weapons Exhibition hadn’t even begun yet, but the Villepinte Exhibition Center was already heating up. Thousands of weapon manufacturers from all over the world had began decorating and arranging their respective exhibition areas. Several weapons were also transported to their respective exhibition area as they waited for the exhibition to begin.

There were many “acquaintances” among the weapon manufacturers, such as the FN Company from Belgium, Barrett from the USA, Rheinmetall AG from Germany, HK Company and so on. These companies were the best companies within the international weapons market; each company was larger and stronger than the next. Compared to those companies, Thunder Horse Military Factory was like a “weak teenager”.

This was reflected in the size of their exhibition areas. The size of the exhibition areas of the larger companies were many dozens of times larger than that of Thunder Horse Military Factory. There also exhibited many different types of weapons; tanks, armored vehicles, mine-clearing vehicles, self-propelled artillery, rocket launchers, handguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper files, grenade launchers and so on. They had more than hundreds and thousands of variations, more than enough to dazzle people. Thunder Horse Military Factory only had four types of weapons for display — the XL2500 sniper rifle, Gust assault rifle, the Hellbound One-soldier Cannon, and their new gun, the “Viper”. They only had four types of weapons while their opponents had hundreds of weapons. It was impossible for them to not feel inferior when it came to wares. 

Xia Lei led the Thunder Horse Military Factory staff in a stroll around a few exhibition areas. The expressions on the Thunder Horse Military Factory staff were grave. It wasn’t surprising that they would feel so much pressure, since each exhibition area they saw was larger than the next.

“It would’ve been better if the Weapons Exhibition started a few months later. We would be able to participate in the exhibition with our tanks, armoured vehicles, and our new defense system then. But now…” Qing Caiyue stopped talking. She was afraid that Xia Lei would be unhappy with what she said. 

Xia Lei was in a good mood. “Isn’t this pretty good too?” he said with a smile.

Qing Caiyue said in a low voice, “How is this good? Other people’s exhibition areas are rich in variety and have many weapons and highlights. But we only have four weapons and all four of our weapons are light weapons. If a customer who’s never heard of us saw this, they would think that we are only a small workshop.”

Business was all about appearances; the business would appear more impressive and beautiful with more high-end products. If the selection was small, buyers would doubt the quality of the product and think that the products are low-end goods. They wouldn’t even spare a second glance at the product. If they don’t look at the product, would they even purchase it? Although selling weapons was different from selling clothes and cosmetics, their marketing strategy was the same. Qing Caiyue was an expert at this, so it was reasonable that she had such concerns.

However, Xia Lei still seemed relaxed. “Let me say it this way, they’re selling glass beads and we’re selling diamonds. Even if they dyed the glass beads in many colours and make them bright and beautiful, do we also need to dress our diamonds?”

“Director Xia, your metaphor is pretty interesting.” Qing Caiyue laughed.

“We already passed the stage where marketing is needed to increase our sales. Our weapons already passed the battlefield test, so there’s no need for me to mention the excellence of our products. Long story short, even if our weapons are sold in the vegetable market, there will still be people breaking through the doorway to place orders for our products,” said Xia Lei.

Qing Caiyue clapped her hands. “Director Xia, you put it so well. Let’s applaud him.”

The few staff members from Thunder Horse Military Factory actually did begin to clap.

Xia Lei was embarrassed by the flattery. Even though it was uncalled for, Xia Lei still felt all right with it because of her foxy beauty and plump hips.

The group joked and chatted along the way to the Thunder Horse Military Factory’s exhibition area, but they were stupefied when they saw the space that had been assigned to them. The host had not been stingy to Thunder Horse Military Factory by giving them a deserted and small exhibition area, instead, they had been given a spacious exhibition area that was big enough to fit a few Boeing 747 passenger planes. The location of the exhibition area was also good, they were next to some of the top weapons companies. 

It was such a large exhibition area, yet they only had four light weapons. Just thinking about it made them feel embarrassed.

“Did they make a mistake?” Qing Caiyue was shocked. “Did they want us to host a weapons and ammunition party by giving us such a large area?”

Xia Lei also felt that it was weird. If it had been a small area, it wouldn’t be too bad after they decorated it. How were they to decorate this huge place?

“Director Xia, should we ask them to give us a smaller exhibition area? This place is too big, we don’t know how we’re going to set it up,” said one of the Thunder Horse Military Factory’s staff members.

“Let me think about it.” Xia Lei walked into the exhibition area.

The group of people followed Xia Lei into the exhibition area.

“What solution can Director Xia think of?” One of the workers said in a low voice.

“Who knows? No one can guess what’s on Director Xia’s mind.”

“Director Xia is such a smart person. He will definitely find a solution to this.”

“Even with his intelligence, how can there be a solution to this?”

They buzzed with discussion.

Qing Caiyue didn’t say anything, but she was also curious about how Xia Lei was going to solve this awkward situation. She was behind Xia Lei, but her eyes were staring at Xia Lei’s ass. Xia Lei’s bottom looked quite strong and was full of a man’s sexiness. She couldn’t help but recall the event from that morning, when he had been hugging her as they spun about. While then spun, a part of Xia Lei’s had been pressed against her sensitive part which acted as a pivot point. It was like they were the wooden horses on a carousel, turning and turning…

She wanted to add lubricating oil on the bearings of the carousel. This would make it turn more smoothly, comfortably, and lightly.

Xia Lei had no idea that he had already became a part of the carousel; he was walking into the empty exhibition hall, looking about and contemplating things. His brain was outlining and designing according to the layout of the exhibition area. One material after another emerged in his mind as he turned the materials into the optimal design…

After walking around the empty exhibition area, Xia Lei stopped walking and waved to Qing Caiyue. “Caiyue, come here for a second.”

Qing Caiyue walked over quickly with a smile on her face. “Director Xia, did you already think of a solution?”

Xia Lei said, “Go find a decoration company and tell them to use glass to make a display counter for us. Make a glass passageway using the excess space, then hang some anti-war, peace, and life themed paintings to make it an artsy styled wall.”

Upon hearing the idea and thinking over it, Qing Caiyue’s eye shone with delight. She laughed. “Director Xia, you’re amazing! How did I not think of it? This way, we will be able to use all the space in the exhibition area. With lighting effects, the glass display counter will give off a sci-fi effect. The art wall made of glass that promotes anti-war, peace, and life can set a positive image for our company.” 

Xia Lei smiled and said, “You are good with words, I see. I just hope that the result will be as good as you said.”

Qing Caiyue smiled even more sweetly. “Am I? I will definitely make it so that you, Director Xia, will be satisfied.”

What was that supposed to mean?

She seemed to have really cultivated into a vixen. Her method of seducing people was too clever. It didn’t leave a trace behind, but she was still able to make a person’s heart flutter.

Xia Lei smiled awkwardly.

Qing Caiyue giggled.

Another group of people arrived at the exhibition hall, among which were several familiar faces — Mark Armin, the chairman of Rheinmetall AG, Mueller, the senior manager of the FN Company, Ileva, the senior executive of the Belgium HK Company, and Joe Barton from the Barrett Company. He had met those people at the Russian Weapons Exhibition. They had even competed there, so he recognised them at a glance. There were also some people who he didn't recognise, but people who could walk together with Mark Armin meant that they were not small fry. Most of them were senior executives or persons in charge of the military factories in America and the Western countries.

‘Why did these guys come here?’ Xia Lei couldn’t help guessing their motives.

“Mr Xia. We meet again.” Mark Armin greeted him warmly. 

Xia Lei greeted him and spoke in fluent German. “Mr Mark Armin, we haven’t seen each other for a long time. It’s such a pleasure to meet you guys here. But, why did you guys come over here?”

“We know that the Thunder Horse Military Factory was also invited to this Weapons Exhibition, so we came here to check it out,” said Mark Armin.

Xia Lei spread out his hands. “You guys came a bit too early. You see, we haven’t even finished decorating the area yet.”

Although a group of people came, Mark Armin was the only one who greeted Xia Lei. The rest of them just stood by and watched. It was quite strange.

After they chatted a little, Mark Armin said, “Mr Xia, when are you free? I would like to talk with you.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

“I suppose you forgot?” Mark Armin said, “Last time you came to my house to visit, you broke the oil painting that was passed down from my ancestors with your fist.”

“Mr Mark Armin, do you want me to pay for it?” Xia Lei suddenly frowned. How can Mark Armin still have the guts to mention that incident again? If it wasn’t for his luck in Germany where he escaped Dark Mona’s ambush, he would have fallen into the CIA’s hands already!

Mark Armin suddenly laughed. “Mr Xia, I was just joking. Now that Thunder Horse Military Factory and Rheinmetall AG have become brother companies, how could I ruin our relationship over an oil painting?”

Rheinmetall AG needed them to be processing core components for their Thunder Dragon intelligence lathe, and Germany was spying on Xia Lei’s Thunder Dragon intelligence lathe second-generation too. Under this circumstances, how could Mark Armin, the chairman of Rheinmetall AG, dare to offend Xia Lei? More importantly, even if he asked Xia Lei for compensation, would Xia Lei even give it to him?

Xia Lei said softly, “Mr Mark Armin, you’re a really humorous guy. Since you mentioned the existence of the painting, you should know what happened yesterday. I am a forgetful person and I think some things should best be forgotten. What do you think?”

“Right, right, right. What Mr Xia said is right. It’s only a painting, so consider it as my gift to Mr Xia.” It seemed like Mark Armin’s intention was only to remind Xia Lei that he owed him a painting.

“Mr Xia, your exhibition area is so large. I’m assuming that you have a lot of weapons to put on display?” The senior executive Joe Barton from the Barrett Company finally spoke up.

“Is there a problem?” Xia Lei looked at Joe Barton.

Joe Barton said, “As far as I know, Thunder horse Military Factory only has three products; the XL2500 sniper rifle, the Gust assault rifle, and the Hellhound One-soldier Cannon. Are you going to display only these three light weapons in such a huge exhibition area?” 

“There aren’t only three light weapons, there are actually four. Thunder Horse Military Factory also has a handgun. It’s just that it wasn’t popular at all.” The senior executive of the HK Company, Ileva, said with a hint of ridicule in her tone. 

Some people in the group couldn’t help chuckling. The weapons industry of the Republic of China had always been underestimated by the outside world. Even though Thunder Horse Military Factory was a potential dark house in the industry, it wasn’t realistic for the factory to overturn the Western countries’ prejudice and discimination towards China’s weapons industry with only a few light weapons.

Xia Lei saw then that these people’s real purpose in coming here was to mock them.

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