Three days passed in the blink of an eye.
Xia Lei received a phone call from Shentu Tian-Yin in the afternoon and drove to the Vientaine Group headquarters, Vientaine Grand Building. This was the tallest, grandest building in Hai-Zhu and the heart of the Vientaine Group. Shentu Tian-Yin received reports on companies from all over the country in this very building and took care of matters, managing her business empire.
Fu Ming-Mei appeared just as Xia Lei parked his car in the car park.
“Come with me.” Fu Ming-Mei waved at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei got out of his car and followed Fu Ming-Mei to a lift, then went straight up to the top floor of Vientaine Grand Building.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s office was on the top floor of Vientaine Grand Building and it shocked Xia Lei. It was very spacious at 200 square metres. Metallic materials and cool colours were used in the decorating, giving it the feeling of numb coldness. This matched her character - noble, aloof, glamourous.
Shentu Tian-Yin sat behind a silver metallic desk with Fu Chuan-Fu standing by her side. Four men stood before her; they were odd. Nothing they wore was worth much and it looked like the clothing they wore were from night market stalls. Their hair and beards were not trimmed, giving one the impression of unkempt sloppiness. What was even stranger was that these four men had calluses all over their hands, which immediately told one that they were manual labourers. These four men would not look out of place at any construction site or at the kilns of brick factories but they stood out like sore thumbs in Shentu Tian-Yin’s office.
“Come here, Lei.” Shentu Tian-Yin waved at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei walked over and avoided staring at those four people. It wasn’t polite.
“Get to know these friends. Their names are a little complicated. Uncle Fu, do the introductions,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Fu Chuan-Fu made a sound of agreement, then introduced the men one by one. “He’s Piao Tai-Ji. He’s Jin Zhen-Huan. He’s Piao Can-Lie. He’s Jin Da-Hu. They’re two pairs of brothers, all from Yan-Bian.”
The people of Yan-Bian Korean autonomous prefecture were mostly ethnic Koreans, so it was no wonder that their names were similar to Korean names.
Xia Lei was curious about what these four people were here for and what they did but he did not show it. He stayed polite and smiled as he nodded and greeted them one by one.
The four men also nodded at Xia Lei and looked respectful. It seemed Fu Chuan-Fu or Shentu Tian-Yin had already said something to them before he arrived.
After they exchanged greetings and were acquainted, Fu Chuan-Fu said, “Mr Xia, these four used to be my subordinates. They can do anything and are trustworthy. I’ve already talked to them. If there’s anything you need them to do, you just have to ask. They will do anything.”
The four men bowed respectfully to Xia Lei as Fu Chuan-Fu finished speaking. It seemed like a declaration of their allegiance, done in a Korean way.
‘Fu Chuan-Fu must have some sort of history, or he wouldn’t have subordinates. These four people look like they’re from the rural areas but they didn’t bat an eye in front of Shentu Tian-Yin. They’re obviously not regular folk. They have looks of hardened ruthlessness and Fu Chuan-Fu said they would be able to do anything for me - it must include illegal activities too. I’d better stay away from these people since I’m a consultant for Bureau 101, or Long Bing and Boss Shi would skin me alive.’ thought Xia Lei to himself.
He thought that way but still politely said on the surface, “Thank you. I’ll tell them if I have need of them.”
Shentu Tian-Yin looked at Xia Lei. “You should know somewhat why I asked Fu Chuan-Fu to gather his subordinates, hm?”
Xia Lei nodded. He walked over and pulled Shentu Tian-Yin to one side and said quietly, “Is there a need for you to do this?”
Shentu Tian-Yin paused, then suddenly laughed. “You think I’m going to get them to do something illegal? I’m not that much of a fool. I asked Uncle Fu to gather his subordinates to protect me, not to assassinate people.”
Xia Lei let out a breath. “Oh, that's good.”
“Uncle Fu used to be a mercenary officer in Myanmar. These men are his subordinates and have been on the battlefield with him. They are capable and will provide professional bodyguard services if I use them. I can relax quite a bit with them around.”
“I can accompany you too if you feel like you’re in danger,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tian-Yin smiled and said, “I know you’re very good too and I’d like you to accompany me and protect me, but… won’t Miss Liang be jealous? She’ll come knocking if you are with me every single day.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly and didn’t say anything. He did believe, based on her straightforward personality, that Liang Si-Yao would get so jealous that she’d come right over looking for him if he spent the whole day with Shentu Tian-Yin.
“Uncle Fu, take them to get cleaned up. Get them whatever they need,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
“Yes,” said Fu Chuan-Fu, and he led the ex-mercenaries out of the office.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s gaze moved to Fu Ming-Mei.
Fu Ming-Mei shrugged. “Yeah, I’ll go out too. Don’t wanna be a third wheel.”
Shentu Tian-Yin wrinkled her brows but did not scold Fu Ming-Mei.
The spacious office now held just Xia Lei and Shentu Tian-Yin. The office space was so large it appeared quiet and deserted. “You have such a huge office and use so many cool colours in the decor - don’t you feel cold?”
“I am one woman managing a conglomerate with tens of thousands of people working under me. I have to create a cold, indifferent atmosphere to make people feel like I’m not easy-going and affable. They will also fear me and this is good for my management. I know you have your own way of managing people but my method is completely different from your social management,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
“My company is small and just finding its legs. I definitely have to treat the employees well to keep them or to attract more talents. Vientaine Group is a huge company and, as you’ve said, employs tens of thousands. My method would surely not work,” said Xia Lei.
“It’s good that you understand. All right, enough of company matters. Tell me what you’ve been doing these past few days.” Shentu Tian-Yin looked expectantly at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei knew she was after some information and he said, “I’ve been doing clinical trials these past few days. Uh, experimenting on a rabbit.”
“You’re… experimenting on a rabbit?” said Shentu Tian-Yin in surprise. She seemed to be holding back one more line: My father is not a rabbit!
“It’s not as simple as you think but I won’t be explaining it to you since you won’t understand anyway. I’ve gained a lot from the past few days but I need a willing test subject. Your father is a human and not a rabbit after all.” He frowned. “According to my plan, I should get a test subject by today, but I really can’t think of anyone who’d be willing to…”
Shentu Tian-Yin suddenly cut him off. “Isn’t there one before you?”
“You?” It had not even crossed Xia Lei’s mind that the queen of Vientaine Group would be willing to be his guinea pig. He’d only mentioned it to Shentu Tian-Yin to see if she could get a loyal employee to volunteer; he had not expected that she would volunteer herself.
“The person you’re going to treat is my father. What is so impossible about being a guinea pig for his sake? Don’t hesitate. Come, tell me what I have to do.”
Xia Lei looked about and found that Shentu Tian-Yin’s huge office had just her chair and desk, and no sofa for anyone else to sit on. “Do you have a lounge here? I need a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed.”
“Of course.” Shentu Tian-Yin lifted a remote off her desk and pressed a button.
The metallic wall behind her desk suddenly opened up, revealing an elegant space. There was a bed, sofa, television, large indoor bathtub and a small bar stocked with famous wines.
Xia Lei laughed. “Can I switch offices with you?”
Shentu Tian-Yin smirked. “I can give this entire top floor to you if you want. Seriously; I’m not kidding.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Shentu Tian-Yin entered the secret lounge and pressed the button on the remote again. The wall closed. The wall on the lounge side was tempered glass and not affected by light. The floor-to-ceiling windows afforded a high-rise view of Hai-Zhu City; the view was excellent.
“All right, there won’t be anyone interrupting you here. What should I do now?” Shentu Tian-Yin looked steadily at Xia Lei, awaiting his instructions.
Xia Lei glanced at her long trousers and said in a slightly troubled tone, “You used to like wearing skirts. Why are you in trousers today?”
“It’s getting cold so of course I’m wearing long trousers. Does this have anything to do with your experiment?”
Xia Lei shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. Lie on the bed. You don’t have to take your trousers off.”
Shentu Tian-Yin’s jade skin reddened with a blush but she did not say anything. She walked to the bed, removed her high heels, climbed on the bed and lay flat.
Xia Lei walked to the bed and took out a deerskin case from his clothing. The deerskin case contained tens of silver needles. Xia Lei was immersed in the world of acupuncture in this period of time and carried this case of needles everywhere with him. He pierced himself with needles to learn more about acupuncture and acupuncture points when he had idle time. These needles were going to be used on Shentu Tian-Yin right now.
“I’m ready. Are you ready?” Xia Lei took a silver needle from the deerskin case.
Shentu Tian-Yin was a little nervous and she licked her lips before giving a soft, “Nn.”
Xia Lei reached out to remove her socks, then pulled at the leg of her trousers. With that pull, however, he discovered that she was wearing tapered trousers and he could only lift it a little. It was not enough. He tried pulling at it more but it was still a no-go.
“Uh… You’ll have to take them off.” Xia Lei was so embarrassed he could die.
“I r,really have to?” Shentu Tian-Yin’s face turned red immediately, revealing a refreshingly shy expression.
Her shyness was captivating and so beautiful it left one breathless.
Xia Lei nodded reluctantly. “The back of your legs would work too but the blood vessels there are thicker and not as effective for practice. I also need more places where I can insert needles so I can get more data, so… please take them off.”
“Turn around.” Shentu Tian-Yin’s voice was small and bereft of her usual queenliness.
Xia Lei turned around but thought to himself, ‘Won’t I still be seeing her skin later? Why ask me to turn around?’
Rustling sounds came from behind him…Previous Chapter Next Chapter