Value of Land
The site of Thunder Horse Manufacturing was abuzz with activity in the bright light of morning. The students Liang Si-Yao had recruited were busy measuring the site and making drawings. The delivery men and engineering people from Forest Man had also arrived and vehicle after vehicle brought new building materials to the site as the engineering team prepared to start work.
A workshop would be built on this piece of land after a month if no incidents occured and Thunder Horse Manufacturing's signboard would hang on the door.
Xia Lei felt a wave of emotion as he watched the busy scene. He said quietly, "Xiao-An, I wish you were here to see this. I'll be able to get revenge for you in a few days. Huang Yi-Hu is finished, I guarantee it."
There was no way Ma Xiao-An could hear him, but he would be happy if he did.
Liang Si-Yao brought Guan Ling-Shan and Yin Hao around the site, talking through the details of the design plan. Liang Si-Yao had not known about the attack on the students till she went to the site to work. She was angry about it for a period of time but was soon absorbed in work.
Xia Lei walked towards the trio and their conversation entered his ears.
"Big Sister Liang, I suggest we have the office building close to the road so the clients will see the office right when they arrive," said Guan Ling-Shan.
"I think the warehouse should be next to the road so it'll be convenient for materials to come in and goods to go out. We can also lessen some of the handling cost," said Yin Hao.
"Both of you have valid points. I'll ask Chairman Xia for his opinion," said Liang Si-Yao.
Xia Lei walked over to them and said smilingly, "I have a different idea."
The three of them realised that he had come over only then and Guan Ling-Shan and Yin Hao greeted Xia Lei.
Liang Si-Yao gave Xia Lei a warm, sweet smile, "What's your idea?"
"I think we can't use such a big piece of land for now," said Xia Lei.
Liang Si-Yao, Guan Ling-Shan and Yin Hao looked at Xia Lei curiously, not understanding what he meant.
Xia Lei laughed, "I've been observing our plot of land the whole morning. Look, there is a large community across the road, transportation is convenient and there is high traffic. Why don't we use the land close to the road? We can construct a building here not for office use but for a large supermarket. We'll profit quite a bit annually."
"A supermarket?" Liang Si-Yao looked at Xia Lei in astonishment, hardly able to believe that Xia Lei had come up with this idea.
Guan Ling-Shan and Yin Hao were also frozen in disbelief.
Xia Lei laughed, "Why are you guys looking at me like that? Huang Yi-Hu wanted this piece of land so badly because of its potential value, didn't he? I got this piece of land and even though the government has put restrictions in place regarding the sale and rental of the land, there are no restrictions on how I can use it. If I build a supermarket on my land, the supermarket is ours and we don't have to pay rent on it. Our products can be sold for cheaper too, so there's no worry that nobody would come buy from us. Don't belittle the revenue from a supermarket. If the groceries sell well daily, it will be no problem to make hundreds of millions a year. Why should we refuse such a source of revenue? This money can also be used to improve workers' welfare."
Building a supermarket in this good location seemed like a random idea but it was actually an obvious choice for Xia Lei.
Starting a company was not the same as starting a workshop in terms of insurance. Every employee of the company had to be insured and that was a huge expense. The new company had over a hundred employees and cost quite a bit to run daily. If he ran short of money, he would be put in an awkward position as Chairman. If he opened a supermarket in the best spot in the port area which would lessen the financial burden of his operations, then... Why not?
Liang Si-Yao suddenly laughed, "I didn't think of that at all. This is a great idea! It is a waste to use this piece of land just for a machining plant. It is a great waste indeed if we don't take advantage of its potential. Good, I support the idea of building a supermarket. However, it should occupy three floors. One basement, two above and our office shall occupy the third and fourth floors. What do you think?"
"We can also lessen the cost of building a separate office building that way," added Guan Ling-Shan.
Yin Hao spoke excitedly, "Yeah, we only need to build an employee entrance. We can go from the workshop to the third and fourth floors without having to go through the supermarket and the people in the supermarket cannot enter our office area and affect our operations."
Xia Lei smiled, "What are you waiting for then? Hurry, finish up the designs."
"We'll get it done right away," said Guan Ling-Shan and Yin Hao together. They looked at each other and smiled awkwardly.
After Guan Ling-Shan and Yin Hao went off, Liang Si-Yao spoke, "Who's going to be in charge of the supermarket?"
"I have someone in mind. He should be able to do it," said Xia Lei.
"Who?" asked Liang Si-Yao.
At that moment, a Yamaha motorcycle came roaring from the road before coming to a sharp stop. A youth in tight leather shorts and a white embroidered T-shirt alighted. A beautiful face, well-proportioned figure and a well-rounded bottom; the tranny vibes were strong with this one. It was the person Xia Lei was talking about - Qin Xiang.
When Qin Xiang turned up, many people did a double-take and some started to whisper and talk about him. Qin Xiang seemed used to the strange looks of others and didn't seem to mind as he walked confidently towards Xia Lei and Liang Si-Yao.
It was Liang Si-Yao's first time seeing Qin Xiang and she lowered her voice to ask, "Who is this? Is it your friend?"
"His name's Qin Xiang. He's the one I was talking about when you asked who will manage the supermarket," said Xia Lei.
"Huh?" Liang Si-Yao was taken aback and she looked at Xia Lei strangely.
Xia Lei went to welcome Qin Xiang and said quietly, "You punk, didn't I tell you to hide for a few days?"
"I've thought about it. Huang Yi-Hu has nothing on me now so why should I be hiding from him? Besides, he can find you even if he can't find me. He won't sit by and do nothing. He's dangerous now so I have to be by your side. More people by your side means more protection," said Qin Xiang.
Xia Lei sighed, "Fine. You can stay on since you're here. I'll introduce you. This is my senior disciple, Liang Si-Yao."
Qin Xiang smiled charmingly and said flatteringly, "Oh, Miss Liang is so pretty."
Liang Si-Yao felt it weird but still put on a smile and shook hands with Qin Xiang, "Hello, Mis- uh, Mr Qin."
She'd nearly called him 'Miss Qin'. Qin Xiang was too much like a woman. He looked very much like one but he was not.
Qin Xiang was surprised, "Do you know me, Miss Liang?"
"Mm, we were just talking about you. Lei wants to build a supermarket and have you manage it for him," said Liang Si-Yao.
Qin Xiang looked at Xia Lei in surprise, "What's this?"
Xia Lei explained his idea and said, "Wasn't your salon burned down? You have no place to go anyway so come help me."
Qin Xiang smiled, "Sure. A change of environment isn't too bad either. I'll give it a go."
"Miss Liang!" Guan Ling-Shan called, "Can you come over for a minute? We need your confirmation on something."
"I'll go over and take a look. You guys continue," said Liang Si-Yao.
Qin Xiang spoke warmly, "Yes, Miss Liang, see you later." He waved his soft, white hand after he spoke.
Liang Si-Yao turned to leave and started muttering to herself two steps later, "Oh my god, I can't take it... Lei is not that type, is he? No, no. Lei was sensitive when I was practicing Wing Chun with him. That sort of reaction is very obvious and I've seen it many times. He's normal..."
After Liang Si-Yao walked off, Xia Lei asked, "Have you mailed the letter?"
"I made copies of the informant letter you wrote and mailed it to all the anti-corruption departments in the city. I also sent it to two news media stations," he smiled, "And, the videos you put online have gone viral. Views have gone over 200,000 and gathered thousands of comments. I believe a news site will report on it soon."
A smile also appeared on Xia Lei's face, "Huang Yi-Hu is finished for sure this time."
"I bet he'd never even dreamt that you'd be able to crack his German-imported safe and that you're a great master burglar," said Qin Xiang.
Xia Lei was never a master burglar but was able to crack a safe a real master burglar could not so it wasn't much of a stretch when Qin Xiang said he was a great master burglar.
Just then, Xia Lei's gaze was suddenly drawn to the road. A black Maybach car stopped about 500 metres away by the roadside. It was quite a distance away but Xia Lei could see Huang Yi-Hu in the driver's seat.
Huang Yi-Hu had finally shown himself.
Xia Lei did not find it strange that Huang Yi-Hu had turned up at this time.
As Xia Lei spotted Huang Yi-Hu, five minivans came up from behind the black Maybach. They were not going fast and every minivan held seven people. The walls of the minivans were metal but Xia Lei could see into the minivans and he saw that the people were all Huang Yi-Hu's underlings holding choppers, bats and other weapons.
Xia Lei looked at the last minivan - the other minivans had seven people but this one had four. The four were Huang Yi-Hu's bodyguards and they carried guns!
"Run!" Xia Lei stopped using his eye and pushed Qin Xiang, "Huang Yi-Hu's brought thugs!"
"Where?" asked Qin Xiang in a panic.
Xia Lei had no time to explain and he shouted loudly, "Si-Yao, take our people and leave, hurry!"
Qin Xiang then spotted the five minivans approaching and his face turned white.
Liang Si-Yao, however, had not realised what was going on and asked, "What? Why? Why do we have to leave?"
"Huang Yi-Hu's brought his people here!" said Xia Lei anxiously.
At that moment, the minivans came to a stop and the doors opened. A group of vicious young men bearing weapons came charging out at them.