Xia Lei had just finished relieving himself when a fragrant scent came from behind him. He didn’t even need to look; he knew that Annina had followed him in just from the scent. She didn’t wait for him to turn before she pressed her body into him from behind. Her body was very soft, so soft that it seemed like she was boneless, like she was made of butter.
“Annina, you…” Xia Lei was caught between laughter and tears. This was the men’s restroom! What would one think if he came in and saw them hugging each other, with Xia Lei’s business not taken care of yet?
“Lucas, you helped me gain my freedom. I want to thank you properly.” Annina spoke breathily, and her voice was filled with lust.
How could Xia Lei possibly be unaware of what ‘thank you properly’ meant? He immediately became nervous and hurriedly pulled up his zipper. “Annina, the negotiations are not yet over. I still want to ask Philip about something.”
“What do you want to ask him about?” Annina asked discontentedly, “Didn’t you take care of everything?”
Xia Lei turned around to face her. “Someone leaked the information that you’re at Thunder Horse Military Factory, and that was how Philip came to our door. I need to investigate that person’s identity. It’s not good to bring up something like this in front of so many people.”
“But I…” Annina’s cheeks blushed with heat. She was too embarrassed to voice her thoughts.
Xia Lei laughed and said, “You’ve recovered your freedom now. I said that I would help you realise your dreams. I will bring you along when I go to Germany to establish a production line, and build a medieval castle for you in an area you like. Your beautiful life has only just begun. You have more than enough time to enjoy it.”
Annina smiled at this. “All right, I’ll listen to you. My angel.”
Xia Lei brought Annina out of the bathroom, and noticed Qin Xiang standing at the sink, washing his hands.
Qin Xiang swept Xia Lei and Annina with an odd look, and said in an effeminate voice, “Oh my, the two of you have such a close relationship that you even use the restroom together. Did you just do the nasty in there? Wow, you’re open-minded. It’s a good thing I’m in the female restroom, otherwise I would have seen someone inside, doing that… Oh my, oh my, my eyes would definitely start swelling.”
Annina’s face got redder. She glared indignantly at Qin Xiang but she didn’t know how to refute the effeminate guy. She had chased Xia Lei into the male restroom after all, with the intention of getting down and dirty. She wasn’t able to get her way, however. There wasn’t actually much difference between an offence of this nature, and an attempt to commit this offence.
Xia Lei was also very awkward. He was quiet for quite a while before asking, “Why do you use the women’s restroom?”
Qin Xiang placed his hands on his hips. “If Annina can go to the men’s restroom. Is there a problem with me going to the women’s restroom?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Qin Xiang chuckled. “Never mind, let’s not joke around anymore. I still have to talk business with you. I’ve gathered all the workers in the great assembly hall. It’s a bit chaotic in there, and a lot of people are talking about what could have happened. I don’t dare to casually state anything, so I came to ask you what to say to those workers.”
Xia Lei thought about it. “Just tell them that this is a Force Majeure drill.”
“Force Majeure? What’s that?” Qin Xiang blinked his eyeshadow-painted eyes at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei unhappily replied, “Try reading more books when you don’t have anything to do, and stop putting on so much makeup, all right? A Force Majeure often pertains to unpredictable, disastrous circumstances such as an earthquake or a terrorist attack, and so on. You can say whatever you want. Then, tell them that today will be counted as working overtime, and double their pay. Also notify the dining hall to add another meal.”
Qin Xiang laughed. “No wonder your workers like you, Boss! You just give out money and add meals as you please. All right, I’ll go tell them.”
Xia Lei nodded and urged, “Go, go.”
Qin Xiang took two steps and turned around. “Right, since the workers are all assembled in the great hall, can I organise a get-together activity like some blind dates or something?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“I’ll take that as a yes. Haha, the workers will definitely be very happy. I’m off.” Qin Xiang swayed his hips as he left.
Xia Lei and Annina were still frozen by the bathroom sink. They didn’t move for a really long time.
The negotiations took til midnight to finish up. The group led by Ling Han and the group led by Philip finally ironed out the details of the agreement after a discussion of almost ten hours.
According to their agreement, Germany would send an engineering team over to build the production line for the Eurofighter Typhoon engine. The Chinese side would take care of the funding, of course, including the salaries and daily expenses of the engineers. As for the Chinese side, they would send an engineering team to Germany to build a production line for the XL2500 sniper rifle and the Gust assault rifle. They would also create a giant composite intelligent lathe. Germany would be responsible for all of the expenses of this engineering team.
Money was a trifling matter for both parties. The important thing was the technology of both parties. This collaboration was a win-win for both sides.
Ling Han invited the Germans to a meal after the negotiations were concluded, but Philip tactfully and politely refused.
Ling Han didn’t force him to stay — this deal could never be brought to light after all so it was quite normal for these Germans to avoid attention and not attend any banquets.
Xia Lei sent the Germans off. He pulled Philip aside when they got to the carpark, and spoke to him softly in German, “Mr. Philip, there is something I need your help with, if you may”
“Mr. Xia, what do you need me to do for you?” Philip asked.
Xia Lei lowered his voice and said, “I want to know who exposed the secret of Annina to you guys. Can you tell me?”
“This…” Philip had a conflicted expression on his face.
Xia Lei said, “Mr. Philip, I know this request has made you feel very conflicted, but this is very important to me. We are collaborating right now, so it’s like we’re allies. That person’s intent is very obvious — he wants to harm me. I’m the only one in this world who can build production lines for the XL2500 sniper rifle and Gust assault rifle, and the only one who can build the composite intelligent lathes that you want. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to me, would you? An enemy of a friend is an enemy. Are you going to a secret for my enemy?”
Philip hesitated for a moment. “Come with me.”
Xia Lei got into a Mercedes-Benz sedan with him.
Philip took out his phone and pulled up an audio file on his screen. He put the phone in Xia Lei’s hand and said, “Mr. Xia, the informant is a woman. I don’t know her identity. I felt a need to record the conversation so that I could have it as evidence after receiving her call. This is why I have a recording of our conversation.”
Xia Lei had thought that it was Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun, but Philip said it was a woman. This made him feel rather surprised, and he couldn’t guess who that woman could be.
Xia Lei opened the audio file, and the woman’s voice came out from the phone. She spoke in English. “Mr Philip, I’m glad that you picked up. I guarantee that this call will allow you to gain huge benefits.”
“Excuse me, who are you?” Philip’s voice.
“Who I am isn’t important. What’s important is what I’m about to tell you.”
“What are you trying to get at?” Philip’s voice.
“Please listen carefully. The German mechanic whom you’ve been looking for, Annina, has been hiding at Thunder Horse Military Factory. She designed the Gust assault rifle and XL2500 sniper rifle with Xia Lei. Her is very intimate with Xia Lei and she holds the core secrets of these two weapons. You’ll obtain the technology for both of these weapons if you take her back to Germany.”
“Wait… Who in the world are you?” Philip’s emotions could be heard in his voice.
“I said that who I am is not important. You will receive a package in a little while. It will contain evidence that Annina is at Thunder Horse Military Factory. Xia Lei cannot deny it when you have the evidence I’ve supplied, and you will definitely be able to take Annina back to Germany.”
“What you told me is indeed valuable information. Thank you. But I want to know why you told me, and why you’re not willing to reveal your name.”
“Make sure you accept the package. That’s all, then. Goodbye, Mr Philip.” The woman hung up.
Inside the Mercedes-Benz sedan, Philip said, “Mr Xia, this is how I knew that Annina was in Thunder Horse Military Factory. I came because of an anonymous phone call and a package. That informant was a very strange woman, and I don’t know what she does.”
However, it seemed Xia Lei hadn’t heard Philip’s voice. He was still playing that woman’s voice over in his head. His brain was like a computer in that moment, using his formidable abilities to analyse and compare the distinctive features of this woman’s voice to all of the women he had heard. It was not a simple recall, but a replaying of the voices of various women. Annina, Guan Lingshan, Long Bing, Shentu Tianyin, Tang Yuyan, Szlamy, the auntie selling breakfast by the street, and even the music teacher he had in high school…
This seemed like a very complicated and enormous operation for his brain to handle, but it only took two minutes from beginning to end. After two minutes, a woman’s voice suddenly surfaced in his mind, and her name – Gu Kewen.
His brain had already analysed and verified a result, but Xia Lei couldn’t believe that this result was true. Gu Kewen was dead, and a dead person could not make calls to leak information. However, the female voice in the audio file was indeed Gu Kewen’s voice!
‘This… How is that possible? She’s dead. Long Bing personally killed her. With Long Bing’s skills, it’s impossible for her to have trouble taking care of Gu Kewen, right?’ Xia Lei was utterly bewildered.
“Mr. Xia?” Philip looked at Xia Lei with a confused expression, “Are you alright?”
Xia Lei then came to his senses. “It’s fine. I was just thinking about who she might be.”
“You don’t even know who your enemies are?”
Xia Lei gave a bitter laugh. “I have too many enemies. All right, thank you Mr Philip.”
Philip said, “Mr. Xia, don’t worry. We will take responsibility for your safety when you are in Germany. No one will be able to harm you in Germany.”
Xia Lei extended his hand out to Philip. “I believe in Germany’s sincerity. I hope we will be able to work well with each other, Mr. Philip.”
Philip shook hands with Xia Lei. “I feel the same way.”
Xia Lei alighted, and walked to the side of the car park. He gave Long Bing a call. “Hey, where are you?”
“At home. Oh. Haha. I would have forgotten if you hadn’t called. Today is Saturday.” Long Bing’s voice was filled with happiness as she said, “Come over soon, I’ll make food for you right now.”
“Today… is Saturday?” Xia Lei suddenly thought of Long Bing’s only request — spend every Saturday with her.
“That’s right, today is Saturday. Right, do you like noodles with beef and pickled peppers or noodles with soy bean paste? There was a sale at the supermarket, so I bought one extra.”