I’m Actually Here to Stir Up Trouble
Liu Ying drove slowly, looking back intermittently at Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company as it slowly shrank in the distance. She had founded the company with her husband and had deep feelings for it and some part of her still refused to accept that it belonged to Gu Ke-Wen now.
Xia Lei did not urge her to drive faster. He sat quietly.
Ring ring ring, ring ring ring…
Xia Lei took out his phone and checked it, then answered, “That thing today… Thank you.”
The call was from Long Bing.
“You owe me a favour. I will ask you to return it when the need arises,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei smiled wryly, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“We’ll talk about it when the time comes,” said Long Bing, “You have to be careful too. Gu Ke-Wen is known in Jing-Du for being ruthless. Don’t be dazzled by her outer appearance.”
“I can tell. She’s a venomous snake and venomous snakes have particularly pretty patterns,” said Xia Lei.
“That’s that then. Let’s talk another time.”
“Hello?” Xia Lei wanted to ask about Xia Xue’s situation but Long Bing had already hung up.
Liu Ying stopped looking back and asked inquisitively, “Lei, was the one on the phone the friend who helped you? Can you tell me who she is? I would like to thank her.”
“She’s a weird one. You don’t need to bother,” said Xia Lei.
“How can I not bother? She’s helped me so much and I can’t express my gratitude? Isn’t this unacceptable?” asked Liu Ying.
“You really don’t have to bother. I’ll tell her you’re grateful,” said Xia Lei.
“She must be someone important. What does she do?” asked Liu Ying.
Xia Lei smiled wryly, “You may not believe it but… I don’t know what she does.”
“Huh?” Liu Ying looked very surprised, “How is that possible?”
Xia Lei shrugged, “See, I told you you wouldn’t believe it.”
Liu Ying replied, “No, I believe it. If others said so I wouldn’t believe them but because it’s you… I believe you.”
“What are your plans?” Xia Lei changed the topic.
Liu Ying thought for a bit, then said, “Work with me.”
Xia Lei paused, “Me? Work with you?”
Liu Ying nodded, “Mm. Let’s work together. I’ve thought it through. The automatic surfboard patent would have been Gu Ke-Wen’s if it had not been for you. My company belongs to her. You helped me hold on to the patent so I want to share it with you. I want to use the money Gu Ke-Wen gave me to start a brand new company and work with you. Don’t worry, you’ll get benefits too. Tell me – what percentage of the shares would you like?”
“No, no, no, I don’t want your shares,” Xia Lei refused right away.
Liu Ying stopped the car by the road and looked at Xia Lei in fervent surprise, “Lei, you heard Gu Ke-Wen. This project is worth USD 100 million. Do you have any idea how much USD 100 million is? If you convert it to Chinese Yuan it will be over 600 million! ”
Xia Lei laughed, “I passed my Mathematics, of course I know how much USD 100 million is. That is just theoretical number though and it’s not meaningful to me. Gu Ke-Wen said that to anger us. There is too much you’ll have to do to turn your project into USD 100 million; it would also take several years.”
“Even if it’s just a theoretical number we will definitely make a lot of money if we work together. Aren’t you
Xia Lei considered it, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. I want to make money too, but… How about you give me a day to think about it. I’ll tell you my decision after that. Is that okay with you?”
A big matter like this definitely needed some careful thinking before making a decision. Furthermore, he had his own business plans. His own plans would be interrupted if he joined Liu Ying’s new company.
“You are a very capable person. If you work with me we will definitely succeed. How about this – I will give you 20% of the shares if you work with me. Think about it carefully and let me know what you’ve decided.”
This was as good as becoming a major shareholder. If Liu Ying used the 40 million from Gu Ke-Wen to start a new company, the 20% would be worth 8 million, and this was just a base number. Once the automatic surfboard hit the market, the new company’s wealth would snowball. It would be very difficult to estimate how much that 20% would be worth when that time came.
Xia Lei was very tempted indeed but he knew that Liu Ying was a smart woman. Repaying him was definitely not the only reason she had to pull him into business as a partner so passionately. She valued his abilities and him being able to produce the parts for the automatic surfboard. If he did not have these qualities, she would probably have just given him some money as thanks.
“Okay. I’ll consider it seriously,” said Xia Lei.
“Mm. Accompany me on trips to view potential building sites then. I need to find a suitable piece of land to build a new company.” Liu Ying looked at Xia Lei with eyes full of expectation.
“Sure, I’ll accompany you to see some land,” agreed Xia Lei immediately. He had plans to upgrade Thunder Horse Workshop to a small company anyway so it would be good for him to get some experience.
Liu Ying fired up the engine and drove towards the suburbs. The price of land in the city was much too high and it was no use to even look.
Xia Lei had spent practically the whole day on the road. He looked at several pieces of land with Liu Ying and learnt a lot from her.
Liu Ying had her eye on a piece of land which was in a rural area. It was a little far from everything else but well connected to roads. The piece of land was 20 acres, priced at three million and suitable for building a small light industrial factory. She was just keeping an eye on it though, and had not gone to the local authorities to negotiate officially.
Xia Lei was actually interested in that piece of land too. He felt that moving Thunder Horse Workshop to that place and turning it into a small machining plant was a really good idea but the price of three million yuan made him stay an onlooker and he could only dare to dream of it.
After a busy day, it was dark when Liu Ying sent Xia Lei home.
After he alighted, Xia Lei asked, “Big Sister Liu, do you want to come up?”
Liu Ying smiled, “Sure. I haven’t been to your place before.”
Xia Lei was actually just being polite and didn’t really want to invite Liu Ying to his home but she had agreed right away to what he said. He remembered his home was in a complete mess and said awkwardly, “My sister has gone to university and there’s no one to clean up so the flat is in a mess now. You’ll laugh.”
Liu Ying was all smiles, “I’ll help you clean up.”
Xia Lei was about to say something but a uniform-clad Jiang Ru-Yi appeared in his field of vision and her voice reached him before she did.
“Lei, where have you been? I called you three times and your phone was off for all three.” Jiang Ru-Yi walked over quickly while talking to Xia Lei but her eyes were on Liu Ying next to him and she was looking at her weirdly.
“My phone was dead. What were you looking for me for?” said Xia Lei.
“I washed my quilt and I can’t wring it out on my own so I wanted to get you to help me wring it,” said Jiang Ru-Yi.
Xia Lei was at a loss for words. There were people everywhere in this little neighbourhood – why did she have to wait for him to wring out her quilt? What the heck?
Jiang Ru-Yi was still looking at Liu Ying, “And this Big Sister here is…?”
Liu Ying stretched out her hand without waiting for Xia Lei to introduce her and smiled as she said, “I am Liu Ying. Nice to meet you, Officer…?”
“Jiang Ru-Yi.” She shook hands with Liu Ying and seemed to suddenly remember something, “Oh, I remember now. The one who got burgled was you, right?”
Liu Ying nodded, “That matter has passed. I’ll be going to the station tomorrow to wrap it up. Ah, it’s quite late; I shall not bother you now. Goodbye.”
“Aren’t you coming up?” asked Xia Lei.
Liu Ying smiled, “Officer Jiang wants you to wring her quilt for her. Hurry on then; I’ll come by your place another day.”
“Okay. Goodbye,” said Xia Lei.
Liu Ying started her car and stuck her head out the window, “Remember to inform me of your decision tomorrow.”
Xia Lei nodded, “Of course. I’ll think about it. See you tomorrow.”
Liu Ying drove off.
“What decision are you going to tell her about tomorrow, Lei?” Jiang Ru-Yi looked curiously at Xia Lei.
“Business matters. Don’t ask,” said Xia Lei.
“Were you with this Big Sister Liu the whole day today?”
Xia Lei glared at her and snapped, “You keep calling her ‘Big Sister’. Is she that old?”
“What else do you call a woman over thirty? It’s respectful for me to call her ‘Big Sister’. Why are you so anxious?”
“Heh heh. So quick to speak for her, huh? Lei, you’re so young; that Big Sister doesn’t suit you. I heard my colleague say that she has a three-year-old son. If the two of you get together then wouldn’t you become an instant-dad?”
“You…” Xia Lei had no words.
Jiang Ru-Yi giggled, “All right, all right, I’m not going to bother poking my nose into your messy business. I’m just giving you some suggestions seeing as we are old classmates and all. Even if you couldn’t find a natural beauty like me, you should have found someone almost as good as me, you know? I think that Big Sister Liu is really not right for you.”
“Forget it. I’m not going to bother talking to you. I’m not going to help you with your quilt either – wring it yourself,” said Xia Lei.
Jiang Ru-Yi laughed, “Oh dear, I just remembered that I’d asked my neighbour Auntie Liu to wring out my quilt for me before I got back. Look, isn’t the quilt hanging on the balcony?”
Xia Lei looked up and sure enough, her balcony had a quilt hanging on it. A brown bear was printed on the quilt and it looked rather silly. The washing line also had other little things on it – black side-tie lace panties, red bra, flesh-coloured stockings, basically just a jumble of clothing. His gaze went back to the brown bear and he suddenly felt like that silly-looking bear. Jiang Ru-Yi was wilier than he and he could not hope to surpass her.
“I’m actually here to stir up trouble on purpose. Bye, Lei.” Jiang Ru-Yi walked away with her hips swaying. Her white and tender long legs also flashed, exhibiting her youthfulness. They were nice to look at and very attractive.
Xia Lei, however, was still looking at that brown bear and didn’t move for a while.