I Can Eat The Cake No Matter How Big It Is
Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company was actually a newly-established private company. Liu Ying’s husband had founded the company but passed away due to overwork while conducting a study on automatic surfboards in the laboratory. Liu Ying had taken over Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company and successfully completed the research, so it was bound to shine as a new product in the market. However, it was still a secret of Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company and only a few of the original partners knew of it. Outsiders were completely unaware of the existence of this project, so how did this young man before her know about it?
“Mr Xia, tell me, how did you know about our company’s automatic surfboard project?” Liu Ying glared intensely at Xia Lei. Her words were stern but her heart was full of worry, fear and nervousness.
Xia Lei smiled faintly, “Your company’s project is about automatic surfboards? I wouldn’t know if you hadn’t told me. What a coincidence. I also have this business idea and I’m looking for someone to work with me on it. You haven’t applied for a patent yet, have you? I’ll have to work faster then. I think there surely will be someone willing to invest in such a good business idea.”
“Don’t avoid my question!” Liu Ying could not control her emotions and roared at Xia Lei.
The child was frightened and started bawling.
The old man continued watching the telly, ignoring everything else happening around him. He seemed to be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
The nanny also stopped what she was doing and watched the infuriated Liu Ying nervously.
Xia Lei shrugged, “I can’t talk to you when you’re in such a state. Come look for me and have a talk when you’re calmer.” So saying, he walked around Liu Ying and to the door.
Liu Ying suddenly reached out and grabbed Xia Lei’s arm, holding on to him and not letting him go. Xia Lei struggled for a bit and she wrapped his arm in a tight embrace, using her entire body’s strength to hold him in place. Her earlier lady CEO arrogance and overbearing attitude was gone, replaced by the behaviour of a humiliated woman who had caught the man who had left her bed after bullying her and was harassing him to take responsibility.
Her ample breasts and Xia Lei’s arm were pressed together like a scrumptious-looking ham sandwich. It felt quite wonderful to Xia Lei but it also rather nerve-wracking. “Let go. Let go and I’ll talk with you.”
“Let’s talk in my study.” Liu Ying let go of his arm and walked towards the stairs.
Xia Lei followed her up to the second storey and came to a study.
The study had a large bookcase and a large wine cooler with various red wine brands in it. They all looked quite upscale.
Liu Ying walked to the front of the wine cooler, selected a red wine and glasses and poured two glasses. She handed one to Xia Lei. “This red wine is from a winery in France. My husband liked the flavour of this wine when he was still alive. I don’t normally take this out to entertain guests.”
She had previously not even offered him water and now she was offering him a cherished red wine; she was starting to show some initiative.
Xia Lei did not stand on ceremony. He pretended to know about wine; swirling the long-stemmed glass, holding it close to his nose, and taking a small sip.
“Let’s not beat around the bush. Speak. Where did you get your information about our company’s automatic surfboard project?” Liu Ying continued to pursue the matter.
Xia Lei smiled, “The wine’s not bad.”
“Mr Xia!” Liu Ying shouted, then seemed to realise something and toned down, “Mr Xia, please tell me.”
“I’ll be frank. Nobody told me and I did not steal any commercial secret from your company. I know because I’ve always liked surfboards and I’d always thought that it would be great if my surfboard were automatic. I tried making one but it failed, unfortunately. When I saw the diagrams you’d sent today, the forgotten memory surfaced again. You may not believe it but the part you had me process? I’d done it before, but the details are somewhat different,” said Xia Lei.
Liu Ying glared suspiciously at Xia Lei and was silent for a bit before saying, “Is this true?”
“Of course it is,” said Xia Lei.
Honesty and Lies were twin brothers in business. Was there a successful businessman without a group behind him trying to step over him? Which businessman’s wealth was absolutely clean?
He used Liu Ying’s business secret only to lure her in and had no intention of hurting her; he only wanted the purchase order from her. If Liu Ying had been willing to work with him from the start and cut Chi Jing-Qiu out, he would not have done this. However, Liu Ying did not believe him and did not want to speak more with him. He needed to pull some tricks for him to succeed. Honest people in this world were mostly either moving bricks on construction sites or screwing screws in an assembly line. He’d moved enough bricks on construction sites and had enough of those cold eyes and rolling eyes. He wanted to succeed and let his Brothers and Sisters lead better lives and he was willing to pull a few tricks to make it happen.
“I don’t believe you,” said Liu Ying.
Xia Lei laughed, “I understand. I don’t believe it myself but it’s true.”
“You said you’d thought of this idea already when you were young and even tried to make your own, so can you draw a simple picture now?” Liu Ying was still probing.
“Of course.” Xia Lei walked to the desk, picked up a pencil and started sketching on a plain piece of paper.
He’d looked at Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company’s design plans when he’d arrived, and the things he saw with it was saved exactly as seen, like a picture. He could remember every detail just by recalling the image. However, he did not draw the exact same picture; he only drew something that was 50% similar and had some mistakes in some places.
Liu Ying looked grave as she watched Xia Lei draw his design. She seemed to be trying to cover up the panic she felt but it had escaped in the look in her eyes. Though what Xia Lei drew was only 50% identical, another company would be able to correct his errors if he brought it to them and produce an automatic surfboard that Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company had researched! What was worse was that Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company had not completed the patent application and had no approval yet. If this idea and design were to end up in a rival’s hands, and if the rival had another channel to quickly get the patent application approved, Nice Moves Sports Equipment Company would be pirating the automatic surfboard!
Xia Lei put down the pencil and spoke lightly, “This is my design from back then, CEO Liu. Do you believe me now?”
Liu Ying was quiet for a while before she bit her lip and nodded. She did not speak; her emotions were in a mess.
“Oh, it’s late. I shouldn’t intrude on CEO Liu’s rest time any longer,” said Xia Lei, “This is it, then. Goodbye.”
“Wait!” Liu Ying bit her lip again, “What do you want?”
“What do I want? Didn’t I say it clearly when I arrived? I just want to work together with you. Our workshop is very capable and you’ve seen the sample I’d processed – it’s excellent.”
“Just this?” What Xia Lei wanted was too simple, too little. Liu Ying could not believe it.
Xia Lei shrugged, “It’s just a long-term collaboration. You’d still need to pay if you look for someone else and the quality will not be as good as mine. If you work with me, I would perhaps even be able to improve some aspects of the product since I’d researched it myself before. There are only advantages to be had if you work with me. I don’t understand why you aren’t willing to take an offer that is to your benefit even when it’s right in front of you. What do you want?”
“Fine. I’ll work with you,” said Liu Ying, “However, you have to guarantee that you will not leak this idea to anyone.”
Xia Lei smiled, “No problem. I guarantee it.”
“A spoken guarantee is not enough. I want you to sign a confidentiality agreement.”
“This isn’t a problem either.”
“I’ll first draft a confidentiality agreement, then draft our collaboration agreement. We shall sign the confidentiality agreement before we sign the agreement,” said Liu Ying.
“I agree completely,” after a pause, he added, “But I have a condition.”
“All of the automatic surfboard parts, except for those we can’t do, shall be done by us.”
Liu Ying looked steadily at Xia Lei, “It’s a big cake. Can you eat it all?”
“I wouldn’t suggest it if I couldn’t. Do you accept my condition?” said Xia Lei.
Liu YIng smiled wryly, “You’re practically holding a knife to my neck. How can I not accept?”
“Don’t say it like that, CEO Liu. If I actually took this idea and sold it I wouldn’t have to do anything and still make a lot of money,” said Xia Lei.
“I’ll draft up the confidentiality agreement now. Neither of us shall mention this anymore, okay?” Liu Ying said quickly.
“Sure, no problem,” Xia Lei agreed right away.
Thought he had used an extreme method to get a long-term contract, he did not step beyond the lines of morality. He had never thought of selling this idea to anyone, even if Liu Ying refused to work with him. It was like that for him but Liu Ying did not dare take the chance. In all honesty, there was no need for her to take such a risk. As Xia Lei had said, there was only advantages to be had if she worked with Thunder Horse Workshop. She just had to kick aside the inconsequential Chi Jing-Qiu – it would be like changing clothing for her.
Three hours later, Xia Lei signed his name on a confidentiality agreement, then signed on two copies of a supply contract. Liu Ying also signed the confidentiality agreement, then gave him a copy of the supply contract. It was one in the morning at that time.
Xia Lei held up the long-stemmed red wine glass, “A toast to our collaboration.”
Liu Ying raised her glass was well and clinked it with Xia Lei’s, “To a happy collaboration.”
Xia Lei drank the wine and said his goodbyes, “It’s rather late now so I’d better be going. Goodbye, CEO Liu.”
Liu Ying glanced at the clock on the wall and said, “It’s already one. Why don’t you just stay here for the night?”
“That’s… not good, is it?” Xia Lei felt quite awkward. He wanted to go home but it would be difficult to get a taxi at this hour and he could not let Liu Ying know that he had taken a taxi to her place. However, staying overnight at her home when it was their first time meeting was also not appropriate.
“Oh, don’t stand on ceremony. We’ve already become fairly important long-term partners. What’s staying overnight? It’s decided then. I’ll go get my husband’s pyjamas and slippers. Uh, he hadn’t worn those.” A trace of pain appeared in her eyes whenever she spoke of her husband.
“Okay, I’ll have to trouble you then,” Xia Lei agreed.
The nanny had already gone to sleep. Liu Ying put Xia Lei in a guest room on the second storey next to her own room. Afterwards, she brought him a brand new set of pyjamas and slippers.
“Thank you.” Xia Lei felt very flattered having a female company CEO do these sort of things for him.
“There’s no need to thank me. Go to sleep. Good night.” Liu Ying left Xia Lei’s room after bidding him good night.