Chapter 129: Competition
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
As if he were the host, Xiao Luo took another cup and poured himself some tea. He gazed leisurely at Zhang Hongda and asked, “Mr. Zhang, I heard that you visit the golf course often, so I assume that your game is ok-ish. Are you interested in playing one round with me?”
Zhang Hongda couldn’t contain his laughter and cackled as if he’d just heard the greatest joke in the world. He pointed at Xiao Luo as he said to Fang Changlei, “Brother Fang, did you hear him? This kid said that he wants to play golf with me.”
“Brother Zhang, since he wants to be tortured, just let him!”
Fang Changlei looked at Xiao Luo like he was looking at some idiot. Among Jiangcheng’s league of bosses, no one was ignorant of Zhang Hongda’s proficiency in golf. He had once achieved a miraculous hole-in-two at the Masters’ Tournament held in the United States. Competing with Zhang Hongda in golf was a perfect realization of the phrase ‘new-born calves are not afraid of tigers.’
Xiao Luo ignored their melodramatic chatter. He extended his hands, took the contract from Luo Qi, and placed it on the table.
He looked at Zhang Hongda with a smile and then said, “Mr. Zhang, if I win, you will sign this contract. And if I lose, I’ll mortgage Luo’s Factory to you.”
“Are you serious?”
Zhang Hongda’s eyes bulged in his eye socket. Although Luo’s Factory was way past its glory days, there was an old phrase that goes, ‘a starved camel is still bigger than a horse.’ If he could acquire Luo’s Factory, it would be a considerable gain for him.
“I always mean what I say,” said Xiao Luo.
“Words alone are not proof.”
Zhang Hongda snapped his fingers and summoned one of his staff, ordering him to record everything that happened from now on out with a camera.
The corners of Xiao Luo’s mouth raised in a playful arc. “Are you always so conservative in your work, Mr. Zhang?”
“That is my usual style. Since you want a match with me, Mr. Xiao, I will grant you your request.
If I win, Luo’s Workshop will be mine, and if I lose, I’ll give you the eight-million-dollar order. Is that correct?” Zhang Hongda was excited and exuded greed from his eyes.
“Exactly!” Xiao Luo nodded.
“Since your bet is so bold, I’ll treat you with the best of my sincerity. Aside from the eight million dollars, I will also give you the orders from our Nancheng and Beihei City plants. That’s a total of 15 million dollars. If you win, this 15-million-dollar order will belong to Luo’s Factory,” Zhang Hongda said loudly. He tossed out a big piece of cake so that Xiao Luo couldn’t go back on his word.
15 million dollars?!
Xu Guansong and Luo Qi were shocked. They’d never expected the deadlock situation to soothe itself when they once again returned to the topic revolving around the mooncake order. What’s more, the order amount had doubled from before. But, after remembering that this was merely a wager and that all of Luo’s Workshop was at stake for the 15 million dollars, Xu Guansong immediately lost his calm.
“Mr. Xiao, don’t do it. Mr. Zhang’s skill at golf is well known throughout Jiangcheng City. You have no chance of beating him. I think it is a mistake for you to wager Luo’s Workshop.”
“Boss, we don’t want this contract anymore. Please don’t compete with him,” Luo Qi also advised.
Xiao Luo raised his hands to interrupt them. He looked at Zhang Hongda with provocative eyes, “Your words, Mr. Zhang. A 15-million-dollar order, is that right?”
Zhang Hongda nodded, saying, “Yes, you heard me right.”
“Ah, it’s so rare that something can make you so happy, Brother Zhang. Why don’t I join you guys in the fun?”
Fang Changlei waved his hands and took a check from his assistant. Then, he scribbled ‘five million dollars only’ on the check and stared at Xiao Luo with sinister intentions. “If you win, these five million dollars will belong to you. But if Brother Zhang wins, I don’t want a penny from Luo’s Factory. I want you to kneel before me, give yourself two powerful slaps, and say ‘I am garbage’ loudly.”
“But that would be insulting to our big boss,” Luo Qi exclaimed.
“Yes, exactly. I’m insulting him,” Fang Changlei chuckled menacingly. He did not deny it at all.
Luo Qi was irritated, but she couldn’t find any words to refute him.
Fang Changlei squinted his eyes and said to Xiao Luo with contempt, “You may refuse if you’re not bold enough.”
“Since you want to give me money, why would I refuse? I can’t possibly oppose money, am I right?” Xiao Luo smiled playfully.
Fang Changlei snorted. “You’re brave. You just lack a little self-consciousness.”
He did not believe that Xiao Luo could ever beat Zhang Hongda at golf. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able just to watch and do nothing as Zhang Hongda wagered the mooncake orders.
Xiao Luo didn’t respond. He turned to look at Zhang Hongda and said, “So, how do we compete?”
“Let’s keep things simple. We’ll each do five drives at the teeing area. Then, we’ll sum up the distance of the five balls from the hole. Whoever accumulates the smaller value wins,” Zhang Hongda said in disdain.
“Fine, so it is set,” Xiao Luo smiled indifferently.
A little while later, the caddie handed over the club. Staff dedicated to distance measurement stood in the safety zone, ready to rush out at any time to do their duty.
Xu Guansong and Luo Qi stood to the side uneasily. Proficiency in golf was accumulated through years of practice. For one so young like Xiao Luo, who didn’t even seem like he knew how to play golf at all, how could he possibly compete with someone as experienced as Zhang Hongda? The most terrible thing of all was that he had used Luo’s Workshop as collateral. What else was this if not suicide?
To prevent Xiao Luo from reneging, Zhang Hongda swiftly took a club and strode toward the teeing area. He said, “I’ll go first.”
He adeptly took his a swinging posture, took a glance at the hole, raised his club, and struck the ball with a ‘whoosh.’ The golf ball arced beautifully through the air before accurately dropping onto the putting green and rolling some distance forward.
The golf course staff ran over immediately with the measuring tape, accurately gauging the ball’s distance from the hole.
When the staff reported the result, Luo Qi and Xu Guansong drew in jittery gasps. This was way too scary. He almost sunk the ball in one stroke. Zhang Hongda was undoubtedly a golf pro.
“Nice shot!” Fang Changlei applauded. “With your skills, Brother Zhang, you can defeat anyone in Jiangcheng.”
“You flatter me, brother Fang, but this club isn’t very fitting for me. I could’ve gotten the ball closer to the hole.” Zhang Hongda was reasonably confident about this. He didn’t feel that he was boasting at all.
“Haha! Show us a hole-in-one next!” Fang Changlei laughed.
Zhang Hongda didn’t say a word. His silence was the best answer, although he did want to pull off a hole-in-one and make Xiao Luo give up altogether.
“Mr. Xiao, it’s your turn now. Remember to take things slowly and don’t swing the club right out of your hands,” Fang Changlei waved at Xiao Luo. He was looking forward to Xiao Luo to make a fool out of himself.
“Relax, Mr. Xiao. This is only the first ball. You still have another four after this,” Zhang Hongda said with a smile. No matter how he looked at him, he felt that Xiao Luo was just a dolt—competing with him at golf? Wasn’t that seeking death?
Xiao Luo guzzled down the last of his tea, stood up, and headed straight for the teeing area.
Luo Qi looked at everything anxiously. There was no room for error here, as 1.3 yards was such a close distance. How could Xiao Luo possibly get the ball closer to the hole than that?
Xu Guansong’s eyebrows knitted together. It looked as though he was seriously pondering something.