The passage led us to Yangchunhu Park as promised by Professor Ming. We got back to the ground. Up in the park, I saw that the passage entrance or exit was nothing but a stone door in the back of a huge statue of a dragon surrounded by very leafy bushes. You will never see anything behind them, so it was safe for us to use this way.
We went to the railway station with Professor Silicon at the head of our party. According to Ming’s schedule, we had fifteen minutes before our speed train to Guangzhou departs.
Professor Ming asked his friends to make sure that no one was watching us and assured us that over twenty of his well-trusted friends, colleagues, and even relatives were around to make sure we get to the train unnoticed.
The railway station was just five minutes walking distance from the park, so we made it to the train on time with no delays and no followers. Professor Silicon was happy to be on the go again. He loved adventures, he loved trains, and he was looking to what was waiting for us in the nearest future. In less than four hours we were supposed to be walking outside the railway station in Guangzhou, the capital and largest city of Guangdong province in southern China, which some time ago was also known as Canton. Guangzhou is the third largest city in China after Shanghai and Beijing.
During our short trip, both Professors were discussing our future visit to the company involved in the production of welding equipment. Professor Ming said that his good friends have been working there since its opening. This is one of the biggest welding equipment companies in the world serving all industries and markets from consumer to automotive and industrial applications. And as soon as we arrive and check in at the hotel (yes, no more shelters this time), we will go to visit the company and Professor Ming’s friends. The company name was FeWeLon Industries, and it was located in the northeast part of Guangzhou.
Soon we were approaching Guangzhou South Railway Station. Professor Ming’s friends were waiting for us there and accompanied us to the hotel. This time we took a regular van and arrived at the hotel in thirty minutes. The hotel was located close to the city center. While we were driving, it was clear that this was another urban giant full of skyscrapers, parks, and tech companies. The variety of colors was impressive. It was like you were driving through the rainbow.
The Dragon King Hotel was huge. It was like a palace from the outside and the inside as well. The walls were covered with mosaics, ancient paintings, old maps, and many hieroglyphs I could not read. We checked in and agreed to meet in the lobby in fifteen minutes ready for a ride to FeWeLon Industries. Ming told us that this time casual look will be ok. Besides, it was almost 40 degrees Celsius outside, and the suit would definitely make us feel uncomfortable.
FeWeLon Industries was about 50 kilometers away from our hotel. Professor Ming and Professor Silicon agreed that it will be better if once again his friends will dress like us in suits and take a car in the wrong direction. Just in case we have been followed after all. And we will take the moto-taxi – one for each.
When we met again in the lobby, Ming told us that the moto taxis are already waiting for us at the back door. And our twins will be using the main entrance to take a taxi and have a wonderful tour around the city.
When Ming said that we will take motorcycles instead of a car, I imagined something like Yamaha or Suzuki, but instead, there were three scooter-like vehicles fueled by batteries. However, soon I was surprised to feel their real power. They went silently and fast, faster than any car on the road. And soon we left Guangzhou to see the beautiful hills landscapes, go through the mountain tunnels, and arrive at the headquarters of FeWeLon Industries.
FeWeLon Industries was located between two hills with a beautiful lake and park to the sides of the company’s facilities. A huge red welding robot was installed at the entrance of the main building.
The minute we arrived several people were waiting for us there. Ming was smiling. And that was a good sign. We were greeted and asked to follow our hosts. Unlike our previous official negotiations, this was more like a party of old school friends.
Teng We, CEO of the company, introduced us to his colleagues and invited us to take a short tour of the factory. It was using 100% renewable energy and was the first company in Asia to completely rely on clean energy sources – solar and hydropower.
The company produced welding equipment – robots, machines, and guns, and required for them rectifiers using welding diodes and diode modules, and inverters using IGBT modules. The production site was big enough to fit several airplanes.
After the factory tour, we proceeded to the meeting room where we had tea with wonderful fruits. Among those, there were small round fruits looking like nuts before you peel them and see the insides. These were the Longans or the Dragon Eyes. Longan is a tropical fruit. It is native to tropical Asia and China. The longan or dragon eye is so named because it resembles an eyeball when its fruit is shelled.
The longan is believed to originate from the mountain range between Myanmar and southern China. Its earliest record of existence draws back to the Han dynasty in 200 BC. The emperor had demanded lychee and longan trees to be planted in his palace gardens in Shaanxi, but the plants failed. Four hundred years later, longan trees flourished in other parts of China like Fujian and Guangdong, where longan production soon became an industry.
While enjoying our fruits and tea, Teng We told us about the events of the past several weeks. He said that Lee was visiting him before me and Professor Silicon arrived in China. Lee was worried that he was followed by the Drayton Dense’s people, that is why he decided to talk to Teng. Lee asked Teng to pass a message to us if we manage to come so far and see him. It was not actually a written message. It was a piece of a very old bamboo tube sealed from one side, the size of a can of Coke but much thicker, with several symbols and hieroglyphs carved deep from the inside, and the familiar symbol of the alternating current at the bottom.
And the same day Lee left and has not been in contact since then. Before leaving he said that everything is not as it looks like, and we have to be careful and alert. Shall we reach Guangzhou, we have to go to Hong Kong. Everything will be revealed there.
The story told by Teng We had more questions and puzzles instead of giving some answers. However, Professor Silicon and Ming said in one voice that everything was clear. We have to go to Hong Kong right away. No time to waste or it could be too late. Finally, we are about to find the book and put an end to this quest. And we should better do it before our competitors.
Teng We thanked us for the time and good company. He arranged the same moto taxis for us, and soon we were at the railway station waiting for a train to Hong Kong. Ming said that this was the journey we had to take together with Professor Silicon only. And he had to return first to Wuhan, and then to his home in Xiangyang. He had a lot of things to do, and he had to take care of us, and the best way to do it was to return to one of his shelters. He could manage everything from there.
Ming wished us good luck and reminded us to trust no one. We were just a few steps away from our goal, and the closer we get the more dangerous it becomes. We were waiting for another train to speed us to Hong Kong. I felt like something big is about to happen. And together with Professor Silicon we were about to face it soon.