One month ago, UAE, Abu Dhabi International Airport.
A young asian man walked out of the arrivals hall. This young man was in a black suit and had black sunglasses on. He was tall, handsome and very cool.
The young asian man walked out of the airport and got into a Lamborghini taxi. He told the driver his destination in Arabic, and this luxurious taxi brought him galloping to the Abu Dhabi Palace Hotel.
The taxi stopped in the driveway of the hotel, and the young man stepped out of the car. The hotel security staff stopped him before he walked through the doors of the hotel, but he spoke in Arabic to the man for a bit, and the security staff went into his security post, made a call, and let the young man pass.
The Abu Dhabi Palace Hotel was not as famous as the Dubai Hotel but it was one level above, an eight-star hotel. Not anyone could step foot into this hotel, and it catered only to distinguished guests.
And Prince Khalifa was one of them.
This young asian man was able to pass through its gates because he had an appointment with Prince Khalifa.
The young man walked into the hotel lobby, and a white-robed man in a white headscarf was already waiting there for him. He moved forward in welcome when he saw the young man. “Are you Mr Xia from China?”
The young asian man nodded.
“Hm?” The middle-eastern man looked more carefully at his face and said doubtfully, “You are not Xia Lei. Our company’s employees have been to Thunder Horse Military Factory and taken pictures with Mr Xia. You are not him. Who are you?”
The young asian man lifted his head and looked at the surveillance cameras, then said in Arabic, “This is not the place to talk. Could we move to somewhere more private?”
The middle-eastern man hesitated, but he still nodded. “Come with me.”
The young man followed the middle-eastern man across the lobby and into the stairwell. They stopped in a corner. He reached under his chin and fiddled about, then carefully removed his mask to reveal his true face.
This young asian man was Xia Lei.
“This… Mr Xia, you…” The middle-eastern man gaped at the ‘transformed’ Xia Lei and was at a loss for words.
“Please forgive me. There are too many people who are after my life, so I must be careful. When can I meet Prince Khalifa?” said Xia Lei.
“Forgive me, I must touch your face before I answer your question,” said the middle-eastern man.
Xia Lei shrugged, and nodded.
The man touched Xia Lei’s cheeks, and pinched him. He spoke after confirming that this was indeed Xia Lei’s face. “Come with me. His Royal Highness is waiting for you in his room. Oh, yes, I am Ali Khan, head of Desert Guardian. I am happy to work with you.”
Xia Lei shook hands with him, and followed him up to the second floor. They came to a room door, and a bodyguard did a body search on Xia Lei to confirm that he did not have any weapons on him before he was allowed to enter the room.
Xia Lei went through the door and saw some sexy girls in bikinis, and a handsome young middle-eastern man, as well as the lion by his feet.
People of status in the Middle East liked to have wild animals like lions or tigers as pets, and this Prince Khalifa was one of them.
The lion which had been lying at Prince Khalifa’s feet got up when Xia Lei entered, and walked slowly over to him.
Prince Khalifa stared at Xia Lei. He wanted to see Xia Lei’s reaction.
There was no expression on Xia Lei’s face as the mighty lion approached. The lion went up to Xia Lei, looking at him with large eyes. Xia Lei suddenly reached out a hand to pat the lion’s head and he said in Arabic, “I have no meat for you, little one.”
The mighty lion did not react. It enjoyed Xia Lei’s petting.
Prince Khalifa looked at Xia Lei in astonishment. He could not believe his eyes. This lion of his had not been de-fanged, and was a true beast. It would not attack anyone without his command, but Xia Lei wouldn’t know this. Yet, he had dared to pet the lion. This courage was impressive!
What Prince Khalifa didn’t know was that the lion would be no match for Xia Lei even if he had given the command to attack. Strong against the weak – would the strong be afraid of the weak?
Ali Khan snapped back to his senses. “Your Highness, this is Mr Xia Lei, from China’s Thunder Horse Military Factory.”
Prince Khalifa stood from the sofa and walked up to Xia Lei. He reached a hand out. “Nice to meet you, Mr Xia. Your courage is impressive.”
Xia Lei shook with the prince. “Your Highness, it is my honour to meet you.”
“You’re too polite, Mr Xia. Come, sit, sit.” Prince Khalifa invited Xia Lei to sit down.
A bikini-clad girl handed Xia Lei a cup of coffee, and looked at him with interest.
“What have you come from China to see me about, Mr Xia?” Prince Khalifa went straight to business.
“For a cooperative business.” Xia Lei was direct too.
“Cooperative?” Prince Khalifa laughed. “I have Desert Guardian. I have purchased weapons from you, Thunder Horse Military Factory, but I only managed to get five XL2500 sniper rifles. You’ve now come specially to see me, and you’re talking about a cooperation? Do you think this is a joke?”
“The XL2500 sniper rifle is primarily for our own nation’s troops, and international purchasers are only allowed a fraction of the rifles. I have come today to offer you 200 XL2500 sniper rifles. Additionally, you also stand to purchase Thunder Horse Military Factory’s newest Gust assault rifle.”
“Gust assault rifle?” Prince Khalifa shook his head. “I haven’t heard of it. We have the most advanced assault rifles from Europe and America.”
“The most advanced assault rifles from Europe and America? That is because you haven’t seen Thunder Horse Military Factory’s Gust assault rifle.” Xia Lei took out an Apple tablet from his briefcase. He activated the display, then handed it to Prince Khalifa.
The tablet displayed an introductory video of the Gust assault rifle.
The video showed not just the Gust assault rifle’s samples, but also details about the gun, finally ending with a clip of the Gust assault rifle being fired.
The video was just a few minutes long but Prince Khalifa only spoke a minute after the video had ended.
“Is this real, Mr Xia?” said Prince Khalifa in surprise. “An effective shooting range of 1,000 metres, and practically zero recoil?”
Xia Lei smiled. “You’ve received the XL2500 sniper rifles, so I believe you have some trust in Thunder Horse Military Factory’s capabilities. I can tell you with confidence that we are working overtime to produce the Gust assault rifle. I can bet my neck that all that’s been shown in the video is true. I am unable to bring one with me on my trip to the UAE this time, or I would be able to show you its capabilities.”
Prince Khalifa could not help exchanging glances with Ali Khan. Both their gazes could not contain their excitement and want for this gun.
“Mr Xia, if your Gust assault rifle is as impressive as it seems, it is unquestionably the best assault rifle in the world, and surpasses the assault rifles of Europe and America. You will have no need to worry about selling it. Why did you come to the UAE to meet with me, and to work with me? I cannot understand this. Please, tell me the reason.” Prince Khalifa looked straight at Xia Lei, as if searching for an answer in his eyes.
Xia Lei was quiet for a bit before he said, “Prince Khalifa, I would like to be friends with you, and ask a favour of you.”
“What is this favour?”
“I would like to borrow the name of your company, Desert Guardian, to make a purchase order of USD 200,000,000 with China’s Hanwu Weapons.”
“Eh?” said Prince Khalifa in surprise. “What is this for? I want to buy your guns but you’re telling me to make a purchase order with another company? And for USD 200,000,000? Mr Xia, I respect you, but do not joke with me.”
“I shall be making this order, under the name of Katou Takasuke, a high-flying employee of your Desert Guardian company. I’m asking you to put me on file, and provide documentation which can stand against a background check. I’ll handle the placing of the order, and you just have to wait to receive my notice to go to China and show yourself for a bit.”
Prince Khalifa did not understand what Xia Lei wanted, still. He was getting angry.
Ali Khan was displeased too. “Mr Xia, His Highness was already humouring you by meeting with you. How could you make this sort of joke? Don’t you think this is very disrespectful of you? I’d have to ask you to leave if you try this again.”
Xia Lei spoke evenly, “Your Highness, I have no intention of disrespect. I am not begging you either – I want to be friends with you.”
“Who makes friends like this?” said Prince Khalifa coldly.
“A benefit of having a friend like me is that I can help your troops be more powerful, and undefeatable in this part of the Middle East. You just have to nod, and help me out with this,” said Xia Lei.
“All right, I’ll tell you the reason. I’d like to crush my rival, Hanwu Weapons,” said Xia Lei.
Prince Khalifa and Ali Khan exchanged glances again. Prince Khalifa then laughed. “So that’s why. No problem, my friend. I will fulfil your request.”
Xia Lei smiled too. “Thank you, my friend.”
The three of them started talking…
Over a month later, now.
Prince Khalifa looked furious. “Your guns have a serious stability issue, and you’re suspected of infringing on rights. You can’t even solve a problem like this and you want me to accept your shipment and pay for them? Do you take me for a fool? I shall go to our ambassador and tell him to make a diplomatic protest. We’ll see you in International Court!”
Ali Khan interpreted for Prince Khalifa.
Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun’s faces turned green when they heard what Prince Khalifa had said.
They would be in enough hot soup as it is, whether it was a diplomatic protest or the International Court of Justice. They were the ones who were thieves, who had stolen Thunder Horse Military Factory’s drawings. How could they let this embarrassing matter be escalated to the international level? They had lost the case even without going to the International Court of Justice!