This Piece of Land is Mine!
A poor bastard who managed to claw his way out of poverty and was just setting up his own business was actually here to look at land worth hundreds of millions? Things like this could not be believed, not just by the wealthy people at the scene but also little schoolchildren with some common sense. These boastful words were too ridiculous, weren't they?
Huang Yi-Hu laughed. Really laughed. The two bosses next to him and their bodyguards also laughed. Their laughter was full of ridicule and contempt.
Xia Lei waited till they had their fill of laughter, then said, "What? Only you guys are allowed to come look at land and I can't?" He looked at Liang Si-Yao and continued, "Si-Yao, this land isn't up for auction yet, is it?"
Liang Si-Yao cooperated, saying, "Yes, this piece of land has not been put up for auction yet. Anyone can come and bid on it."
Li Yu-Lan sneered, "Mr Xia, stop jesting. You? I don't think you can even afford the deposit."
Xia Lei faked surprise, "You need to pay a deposit to bid on government land?"
"Hahaha..." This time, even the calmest and sharpest person in Huang Yi-Hu's group, Li Yu-Lan, laughed.
The boss named Zhou said, "Is this boy insane?"
The boss named Wang replied, "Most probably. This piece of land is close to the port and definitely worth hundreds of millions - does he looks like he has hundreds of millions? The locally-made car by the side of the road is probably his. He drives a local brand worth only a few tens of thousands and wants to bid on land worth hundreds of millions? Nonsense!"
"Heard that, boy? Nobody believes you," said Li Yu-Lan.
She was still a little polite earlier and called him 'Mr Xia' but now the politeness was totally gone and she called him 'boy'.
Xia Lei laughed, "Worth hundreds of millions? It's worth one or two million from what I see. You guys need hundreds of millions? I can buy this piece of land with one or two million."
Huang Yi-Hu and his group laughed again, and their earlier nervousness disappeared. In their perspective, Xia Lei was like someone who was sent by the Heavens to do a comedy skit.
"Don't believe me?" Xia Lei looked at Huang Yi-Hu and his gaze turned cold, "Huang Yi-Hu, let me tell you, don't even dream of getting this piece of land. I will use it for my machine plant."
Huang Yi-Hu snorted, "Boy, don't think you can do this because you have your two friends to help you. No one else other than me, Huang Yi-Hu can get this piece of land. I'll tell you this now - this piece of land will not be put up for auction and even if it was, there will only be me raising the bidding paddle!"
"How about we make a bet? If you get this piece of land I'll get down on my knees and kowtow to you three times. If I get this piece of land, you go to my friend's grave and kneel and kowtow three times," said Xia Lei.
"Sure. I'll bet with you!" Huang Yi-Hu agreed.
"Your words are just empty words. Let's have a written pledge," said Xia Lei.
"We can do that but I'll have to add one more line," said Huang Yi-Hu, "If I get this piece of land, you have to kowtow to me in front of Miss Gu."
"Okay, I agree," said Xia Lei.
Xia Lei could guess why Huang Yi-Hu would bring up Gu Ke-Wen and there were three reasons. One was to let the bosses surnamed Zhou and Wang to know who was backing him and be reassured of his standing. Two, to shock Xia Lei and let him know who he was making an enemy of. The third was to curry favour with Gu Ke-Wen because if Xia Lei knelt before Huang Yi-Hu, Gu Ke-Wen would be very pleased since she had lost some dignity because of Xia Lei.
Would Huang Y-Hu have been willing to bet with XIa Lei if not for those three reasons? Obviously not.
The boss surnamed Zhou brought out paper and pen from his briefcase. Xia Lei wrote the details of their wager, then signed his name.
Huang Yi-Hu also signed his name, then threw a copy to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei put aside the written pledge. "I'll make you honour your bet."
A faint mocking smile appeared on Huang Yi-Hu's lips, "Boy, this piece of land will be put up for auction in a week. Save up the 50,000,000 deposit before you talk to me about the bet. I'll pick a crowded spot and wait for you to kowtow to me."
"We'll see," said XIa Lei. He left plot 13 with Liang Si-Yao in tow.
Huang Yi-Hu watched Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao walk to the Great Wall H6 by the road and spat angrily on the ground, "Fuck! I want to shoot that guy!"
"Hubby, why is your temper still so fiery? You're a proper businessman now. Beatings and killings should be given to your underlings to do. Why do it yourself?" said Li Yu-Lan.
The husband and wife did not talk loudly but they spoke deliberately for the Zhou and Wang bosses to hear.
"Forget it. Don't let that little bastard affect our mood." Huang Yi-Hu changed the topic, "CEO Zhou, CEO Wang, let's talk about collaboration. How much do you plan to invest?"
The group talked as they walked and only Li Yu-Lan looked back at Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao, a hint of worry in her gaze.
Liang Si-Yao spoke only when they got into the car, "Lei, why did you make a bet like that with Huang Yi-Hu? This piece of land has so many developers eyeing it. Didn't you hear? The deposit to participate in the auction is 50,000,000. WIll you really kneel and kowtow to Huang Yi-Hu if your two friends can't help you get the land?"
Xia Lei smiled, "You're overthinking it."
"I'm overthinking it?" Liang Si-Yao looked at Xia Lei uncomprehendingly.
"Huang Yi-Hu is not trustworthy at all. He wouldn't honour the written pledge even if he lost," said Xia Lei.
"If you know that he won't do as promised, why bet with him?" Liang Si-Yao was even more puzzled.
"The same reason why I won't honour the bet if I lose," said Xia Lei.
Liang Si-Yao shrugged and smiled wryly as she said, "I'm really confused now. If both of you won't honour the bet, then why bet?"
"What I want is the written pledge that Huang Yi-Hu signed," said Xia Lei.
"It's equivalent to scrap paper. What do you want it for?"
"You'll see. I'm just saying that I did not bet with him out of boredom. He'll have to pay the price in the end, starting from this written pledge." A faint, mysterious smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei's lips.
"Forget it. I don't want to know about these complicated matters. I came today to try to convince you to give up on your workshop and learn Wing Chun from my dad. Looks like there's no need for me to bring this up now." Liang Si-Yao looked a little disappointed.
Xia Lei started the engine and spoke as he slowly entered traffic, "Isn't this good? I'll drop by the school when I have time. I keep my business and get better at Wing Chun."
"What you've learnt is just the tip of the iceberg. You haven't even seen the real Wing Chun," said Liang Si-Yao.
Xia Lei hesitated, "Doesn't your father teach it?"
"What my dad teaches is body-strengthening Wing Chun. Our ancestor Yan Yong-Chun started Wing Chun so we have inherited some things, of course. You know how martial arts have their martial art rules. Some martial arts are passed down to males and not females, not even their own daughters, let alone to students like you," said Liang Si-Yao.
"Your father doesn't pass down your family's Wing Chun to you?" Xia Lei was disbelieving. Liang Zheng-Chun had only his daughter, Liang Si-Yao. If he did not pass it down to her, didn't it mean that his Wing Chun would die with him?
Liang Si-Yao wrinkled her nose, "Not telling you."
Xia Lei laughed, "Then tell me, how do I get your father to pass the techniques down to me?"
"Take him as your Master and become his Last Disciple, then he can justifiably teach you the real Wing Chun," said Liang Si-Yao.
"I actually really want to learn but if I have to pick between my career and Wing Chun, I'll definitely pick my career. I have employees who depend on me for their livelihood so I cannot just throw them aside," said Xia Lei.
"You're the sort who always thinks of others before himself," Liang Si-Yao smiled at that, "But this is also why I want my dad to accept you as his Last Disciple. My dad would not accept someone of bad character even if he knelt before him for three days and three nights."
Xia Lei gave a small sigh, "Let's leave it at that. I won't have the fortune of being your father's Last Disciple in my lifetime. I'll just come practice when I have time."
Liang Si-Yao looked at Xia Lei and was silent for a bit before she said, "Who knows. Would you be willing to have my dad as your Master and be his Last Disciple if I can convince him to change his mind about traditional concepts and let you maintain your career as you learn Wing Chun from him?"
Xia Lei thought for a while, "I'll definitely be willing to. Master Liang is a man worthy of respect. I will treat him like my own father."
Liang Si-Yao's cheeks suddenly turned red, "What are you saying, you?"
Xia Lei then realised that his words could be misunderstood and quickly explained himself, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that. My parents are gone. What I meant was if I take Master Liang as my Master, I... I would respect him like I would a father."
"Okay, okay , I don't need you to explain yourself," said Liang Si-Yao, "But I have a condition."
"You have a condition? What condition?"
"Well, you know that I came back because of my dad's age. I quit my job in America and I'm an unemployed youth here now. You're coincidentally in the stage of building your business now and lack an assistant so let me be the Chairman's Assistant. How about that?" said Liang Si-Yao.
"Chairman's Assistant?" Xia Lei chuckled, "What sort of Chairman am I?"
"You're still the Chairman no matter how small Thunder Horse Manufacturing is."
"Sure, if you say I'm the Chairman, then I'm the Chairman. But isn't a highly skilled talent like you losing out by coming to work in my little machine plant?"
"Just tell me if you'll hire me or not. I'm not going to bother with formalities." Liang Si-Yao, as a martial arts woman, was refreshingly courageous.
Xia Lei held out his hand, "Welcome to Thunder Horse Manufacturing."
"Chairman Xia." Liang Si-Yao smiled has she shook hands with Xia Lei.
"Don't call me Chairman Xia. It makes me uncomfortable," said Xia Lei.
"You'll get used to it in the future. You should have your status too as the owner of a business. I am your assistant so if I call you 'Lei' all the time, others will think you lack management skills," said Liang Si-Yao instead.
Xia Lei thought for a bit, "That's true. Hm. Let's go have a drink and you can tell me more about how your old bosses handled their businesses. I lack experience in that area."
"Sure thing, young disciple," said Liang Si-Yao.
This was the first time Liang Si-Yao called Xia Lei a young disciple. Her father accepting Xia Lei as his Last Disciple seemed to be already set in stone for Liang Si-Yao.