First Business Negotiations
Xi-Tian Guesthouse was located somewhere a little out of the way and it took over 40 minutes for the taxi to get there. Xia Lei alighted, entered the guesthouse and asked where Room 201 was at the reception desk.
Chi Jing-Qiu opened the door for Xia Lei.
Xia Lei was gobsmacked when he saw Chi Jing-Qiu.
She was wearing just a white bikini which, if put all together, had less material than a hand towel. Furthermore, the room behind her was empty of clients.
A white bikini was more alluring than a black one because white was a little translucent and the darker places would show, just enough to be seen; ambiguous, drawing attention and invoking shyness. Her everything had been revealed in East Wind Heavy Industries but he was still inexplicably drawn to her in that moment.
“Come in.” Chi Jing-Qiu gave him a gentle smile.
Xia Lei did not move. “Where’s the client?”
Chi Jing-Qiu wound around Xia Lei’s shoulders like a weed. “The client is my client. You want to see my client? Are you thinking of cutting me out?”
It was Xia Lei’s plan. Cooperate once, get to know the client, bypass Chi Jing-Qiu and go directly to the client for the next bit of business. Unfortunately, Chi Jing-Qiu was more sly than he and met with him without the client.
Xia Lei smiled, “Of course not. I’m just asking. I’m here now, so let’s talk business. Just business.”
Chi Jing-Qiu’s voice was cotton-soft, “What do we talk about if it’s not business? Love?”
Xia Lai grabbed her hand and removed it from his shoulder, smiling wryly as he said, “Do you usually dress like this when you talk business?”
“If you don’t like this colour I can change it,” said Chi Jing-Qiu charmingly.
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Long socks and a school uniform? An apron?” Chi Jing-Qiu continued, provoking Xia Lei.
Xia Lei couldn’t take it anymore and interrupted, “I’ll wait for you in the lobby, then. Let’s talk in the lobby.” So saying, he turned and left.
Chi Jing-Qiu reached and pulled at the hem of his clothing. “We can’t go to the lobby. I’m from a government-owned enterprise so if someone find out that I’d introduced jobs and taken a cut, I’m screwed. You won’t earn anything either. Why do you think I booked a room for us to talk?”
Xia Lei turned back and looked at Chi Jing-Qiu, a little at a loss for words. “Fine, we’ll talk in the room but you have to put clothes on. Your current state is affecting me and I can’t concentrate.”
Chi Jing-Qiu giggled, “Looks like you still find me attractive.”
Xia Lei neither confirmed nor denied it. Men sometimes couldn’t avoid thinking with their bodies and he was a full-blooded man, so there was no avoiding this situation after all.
In the room, Chi Jing-Qiu put on her clothes – a mini-skirt and tight-fitting elastic V-necked T-shirt. Her bodyline and white legs were exposed for all to see, sexy and alluring. However, compared to the bikini she was in earlier, Xia Lei felt that this was much better.
Xia Lei was actually aware that Chi Jing-Qiu was trying to seduce him. He did not even need to initiate it to spend a happy time with her. However he knew what sort of woman she was. Sleeping with her would grant him a moment of happiness but bring him a time of endless trouble after. He would not bed her and not fall into her peach-coloured trap.
Chi Jing-Qiu opened the briefcase on the sofa and took out copies of some information and a contract, then handed them to Xia Lei. “Take a look. If there are no problems you can sign here.”
Xia Lei looked at the information. There were details of the client’s request for parts to be processed, requirement, materials, precision, and so on. The requirements were quite high. He looked at the contract next. ‘Payment upon delivery’ – that meant that he had to deliver the goods before he got paid.
After reading through the information and contract, Xia Lei said, “I have no problems with the parts the client wants processed, I can do it. However, the contract says he will only do payment upon delivery. I don’t agree with that.”
“What’s the problem with payment upon delivery?” Chi Jing-Qiu looked at Xia Lei.
“Of course it’s a problem. I’ll be coming up with the materials and manpower. I’m the one investing but he has no risk at all. If I process the parts and he says he doesn’t want them, who is going to be held accountable?” said Xia Lei.
“Don’t worry about that. I can guarantee that you will get paid as long as you process the parts,” said Chi Jing-Qiu.
Xia Lei laughed, “Problem is, I don’t believe you.”
“You…” Chi Jing-Qiu was rooted to the spot with anger.
“Don’t get upset. I’m just telling you the truth. I know very well what sort of person you are. And the price on this contract is not right. It should be at least 20% more.”
A touch of hatred flashed in Chi Jing-Qiu’s eyes but she replaced it with smiles in the next instant. Her voice was sugary, “Lei, how can you say that? Do you still hate me for rejecting you years ago? If it’s like that then how can we work together? This price is already very reasonable for you and your small workshop. If you want 20% more, then how can we get this done? If it’s at the price you want, why would the client go to your little workshop? The client would just go directly to the big companies, won’t he?”
Xia Lei laughed, “The reason’s simple – I’m better. Plus, the price I’m asking for is reasonable. Based on the information I have on the materials and precision requirements, if your client goes to East Wind Heavy Industries, this number would go up by at least 50%. Don’t you think I don’t know the market rate.”
Chi Jing-Qiu frowned. “Lei, you’re making it difficult for me.”
“Don’t forget you’re still taking 8% as commission. The price in the contract minus your commission means no profit for me. I’ll say this – increase the price by 20% and pay 50% upfront. The remaining 50% will be paid when I hand the goods over. These are my requirements. Fulfil this and I’ll do it, or you can ask someone else.”
Chi Jing-Qiu’s face turned cloudy. She thought for a bit before she said, “I’ll go make a call and see what the client says.”
Xia Lei made a ‘go ahead’ gesture, “Go, tell me the result of your discussion.”
Chi Jing-Qiu got up, went into the bathroom and shut the door. The sound of trickling water came soon after.
‘My goodness, is she doing her own business while talking to the client? I’ve got to hand it to her.’ thought Xia Lei. He really wanted to hear what Chi JIng-Qiu was discussing with the client but he could only hear Chi Jing-Qiu’s muffled voice and not the words she was saying. She had obviously lowered her voice so that he couldn’t listen in.
The marketplace was a battleground too. Great businessmen could see their opponents’ moves and make use of the information they have at their disposal to ascertain their bottom line and motivation, then use that to their advantage in business negotiations for the greatest benefit. On the other hand, if you knew nothing, you would be moved like a pawn and even if you did make money, it would be a pitiable amount and your business would not flourish.
Xia lei was not a shrewd businessman and lacked even the most basic business knowledge but he had a unique advantage – his eye.
When he’d thought about getting the client’s information, his eye had instantly entered another state. The bathroom door opposite him disappeared from his sight like automatic glass sliding doors and the image of Chi Jing-Qiu sitting on the toilet appeared before his eyes.
Chi Jing-Qiu was sitting on the toilet bowl with the white bikini around her knees. She really was doing a weewee while talking to the client. She seemed to have finished and looked relaxed but did not pull the bikini bottom up because she was still holding a phone in her hand. She sat just like that with a smile on her face and chatted naturally.
Xia Lei could see her talking but he couldn’t hear what she was saying.
‘This won’t do. I can see but I can’t hear. This isn’t helping me one bit to get more information about the client. This Chi Jing-Qiu is a crafty one indeed. She’s like a professional spy, isn’t she?’ thought Xia Lei.
Speaking of spies, Xia Lei suddenly had another thought.
‘Yeah, spies. Those spy war movies always had amazing spies who could read lips. If I know how to lip-read I’d know more about the client right now even with Chi Jing-Qiu getting in the way. If I can understand the client’s message, I can gain some useful information from the conversation between her and the client!’ The desire to learn lip-reading blossomed in Xia Lei’s heart.
With that thought in mind, Xia Lei stared intently at Chi Jing-Qiu on the toilet; he was not spying on her pale thighs and secret place but on her lips. He used his left eye to record every movement of her lips. At that moment, his eye was like a camera recording through a glass door. Everything about Chi Jing-Qiu was recorded, details big and small, with nothing left out!
Two minutes later, Chi Jing-Qiu pulled up the bikini, washed her hands and exited the bathroom.
Xia Lei closed his eyes. The past three to four minutes of continuous usage of his X-ray vision had brought him some hallucinations. In the instant that the door opened, he’d seen Shentu Tian-Yin and not Chi Jing-Qiu. Shentu Tian-Yin was clad in only a layer of gauze, looking so sexy it was difficult for him to breathe. He didn’t dare to look further and quickly closed his eyes.
“Okay, you win.” Chi Jing said in a helpless tone, “My client has agreed to your requirements. The price will increase by 50% and a 50% deposit will be paid first. However, my client has one condition too.”
Xia Lei did not dare open his eyes yet, “What condition?”
“You have to process an item first before 5pm. If my client is satisfied with it, the pre-signed contract will be handed to you for signing,” said Chi Jing-Qiu.
This made Xia Lei relax and he opened his eyes, “Sure. Bring the contract over before 5pm.”
Chi Jing-Qiu giggled, “You sure are confident but I do know your ability is real. The job this time is much easier compared to the parts you processed at East Wind Heavy Industries.”
“Okay, so it’s decided. Bye.” Xia Lei got up and walked towards the door.
“Hello? I helped you get this 300,000 yuan purchase order and you leave just like that? Where’s my thanks?” said Chi Jing-Qiu.
Xia Lei turned to look at her, “300,000 yuan and you get 24,000 just for flapping your lips. How about this – you don’t take any commission and I treat you to a meal. Good?”
“Bye,” said Chi Jing-Qiu.