Chapter 280 - Birthday Party

Shentu Tian-Yin seemed to be using herself as reference material to give Xia Lei a lesson in asset plundering. 

It was extremely difficult to do honest business, and expand it in China. How many of the billionaires who’d sprung up after the reformation and market-opening had attained their riches with their own efforts and capital? Few and far between. Capital expansion was a game of dog eat dog to make oneself stronger, bigger. This process was full of bloodshed. 

The lesson Shentu Tian-Yin gave Xia Lei was very simple, but effective. 

Gu Ke-Wu had tried ways and means to get her person and her clan’s Vientaine Group but Shentu Tian-Yin had robbed him of his former assets with fanfare. This was like a malicious mockery of Gu Ke-Wu. 

“This is not the place to talk about this. We’ll have a good chat later. You’re the one who should have the cake most but you didn’t even touch the fork. Isn’t that such a waste?” said Shentu Tian-Yin. 

Xia Lei gave a small shake of his head. “Tian-Yin, I’m not going to bother with the Gu clan’s affairs. I’m not interested in their assets either.”

“Hm?” Shentu Tian-Yin looked oddly at Xia Lei. She didn’t understand why Xia Lei was indifferent to such a good opportunity to quickly expand his capital.  

Xia Lei just smiled and didn’t explain himself. 

Who didn’t want rapid capital expansion? 50 million for something worth 200 million - that was 300% in profits, if not more. If one could get a billion-yuan asset for 100 million, capital would’ve increased by ten times. How many would not give in to this temptation? Even Shentu Tian-Yin, worth tens of billions, had given in to temptation and made a move. 

However, Xia Lei was able to look at it from another perspective. 

Gu Ding-Shan had turned from a street thug to a big predator worth billions in this way, robbing from the people and state alike. If not for that, he would probably still be a thug. However, how had he ended up? 

Take from others, but you have to pay it back one day. 

Take from the state, and the law will get you one day!

Gu Ding-Shan was an example of success and failure at the same time. If he hadn’t snatched up so many state assets, then how would the North Group he’d built have toppled over so easily? 

So from this perspective, Xia Lei would not snatch up Gu Ding-Shan’s assets like Shentu Tian-Yin had, no matter how tempting it was. He wanted his business to take proper, solid steps of advancement and have every cent that he made be clean money. Only like this will there be no weaknesses for others to take advantage of in the future - a seamless defence!

“Lei, you’ll have just this one chance. Aren’t you going to consider it?” Shentu Tian-Yin did not give up on persuading him. “I actually want to recommend a metals company which North Group owns. You’re in the machining business so if you acquire that company you can save a lot in material fees. I have connections. I can help you get it.” 

Xia Lei smiled. “You don’t have to convince me. I’ve made up my mind. Also, don’t involve yourself so much in this.” 

Shentu Tian-Yin wrinkled her brows and, slightly upset, said, “Are you afraid that these assets are not clean? Or do you think that the way I’m doing business is something that’s not to be proud of?” 

“You’re overthinking it.” Feeling the big change in her tone, Xia Lei hurriedly explained, “I just feel like I should learn from the mistakes of Gu Ding-Shan and it’s best not to tread the same path he did.” 

Shentu Tian-Yin smiled wryly. “Looks like I’ve meddled where I shouldn’t. Fine, I won’t try to persuade you any further. Today’s my birthday and I don’t want to discuss business views with you. Wait for me, I’ll go greet some guests. I’ll come look for you later for a dance.” 

Xia Lei nodded. “Nn, go do what you have to do.” 

Shentu Tian-Yin turned and walked to some guests who’d just entered, wearing a smile on her face and engaging in some idle chit-chat. 

‘She is a very clever woman but it seems her appetite has grown bigger. Vientaine Group is already doing so well, so what is she not satisfied with? Why go after Gu Ding-Shan’s assets? Didn’t she think of what will happen down the road 20 or 30 years later? How will she deal with this if someone finds this weakness to use against her then?’ thought Xia Lei to himself. 

Human greed knew no bounds and one who’d made ten billion would wish to make 100 billion. There was no end to this desire unless one’s life ended. 

“You are an idiot, Mr Xia.” Fu Ming-Mei drew close all of a sudden with this line. 

Xia Lei was not offended. He smiled and said, “Thanks for your reminder. I nearly forgot.” 

“I’m not joking with you,” said Fu Ming-Mei. “Big Sister Tian-Yin is a very proud person. She’s highly capable and hates it when others try to teach her things and you actually lectured her. Doing that won’t earn you points - she’ll give you a low score.” 

“A low score?” Xia Lei said in surprise, “What score?” 

Fu Ming-Mei leaned in to Xia Lei’s ear. “The man she wants must be a man with a full hundred marks. The mistakes you made earlier will get at least five marks deducted from your score.” 

Xia Lei begun to feel uncomfortable. There was no perfect person on this Earth and yet she wanted a perfect 100-mark man. Wasn’t this requirement making it a punctilious love? 

“You! Should find a chance to appease her. Your points may go up again.” 

Xia Lei laughed. “I don’t care how many points she gives me. I’m me. I’m not going to change myself for someone else.” 

Fu Ming-Mei rolled her eyes at Xia Lei, then pointed at a young man talking to Shentu Tian-Yin. “I’ll do you a favour and remind you again. Look, see that young man? His name’s Ahn Suhyeon, young master of Korea’s Shinyeok Group. His father is an established politician and is expected to win in the next presidential election.” 

Xia Lei looked at Ahn Suhyeon. They were both men but Xia Lei’s eyes lit up. This Ahn Suhyeon stood tall and his features could be said to be well-sculpted, as if from the most careful surgical scalpels; he was handsome. He also gave off an air of nobility, true nobility which could not be derived from having just money. 

Shentu Tian-Yin and Ahn Suhyeon together looked like a match made in heaven. They looked so good together that anyone would be jealous. 

Fu Ming-Mei lifted her hand again and pointed at another male next to Ahn Suhyeon. “That’s the Diving Prince, Tu Qing-Long. He is one of Big Sister Tian-Yin’s suitors too. Several media outlets say that he has humanity’s most perfect genes.” 

Xia Lei’s gaze went to Tu Qing-Long. This guy was not as handsome as Ahn Suhyeon, but his merman-like build made him appear more mature and sexy. He sported a faint beard on his face and was the pinnacle of manliness. Tu Qing-Long also had this special aura which gave one the impression of sunshine and health. If he were to be with Shentu Tian-Yin, then they would be a golden couple.  

Xia Lei looked away and just laughed. He said nothing. 

“What are you laughing at?” Fu Ming-Mei rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “I wouldn’t even bother to tell you these if it weren’t because Uncle Yi likes you. You don’t know how many great men are courting Big Sister Tian-Yin. Nobody dared to poke his head out when Gu Ke-Wu was around but now that he’s been arrested, these people won’t give up. You’ve got to work hard or you’ll be eliminated.” 

When the Gu clan was still powerful and Gu Ke-Wu had power still, these people did not dare compete with him but now that he’d been arrested, they’d come out of the woodwork. The Gu clan’s downfall was a joyous thing for many. 

Xia Lei just smiled. “Miss Ming-Mei, you don’t have to worry so much about me. You should take care of your own heart first. Have you found a partner? I’ll introduce you to someone.” 

“Piss off. Keep going on like this and you’ll be the one huddled in your blankets and crying.” Fu Ming-Mei didn’t want to talk to Xia Lei anymore. She turned and left. 

Xia Lei blanked out in silence for a bit. ‘Would I huddle in my blankets and cry?’ he asked himself. 

He had done just that when Liang Si-Yao had left him, and he’d sworn that that would be the last time. 

Xia Lei’s gaze went to Shentu Tian-Yin, Ahn Suhyeon and Tu Qing-Long. The trio were talking and laughing and had a friendly atmosphere going on. Ahn Suhyeon spoke fluent Chinese and entertained well. Tu Qing-Long was doing a good job too - he had good manners and was used to showing off his best side. He was also someone who knew how to make women like him. 

A float was suddenly pushed through the doors. The float was piled with roses and in the midst of all that flora was a huge cake. Shentu Tian-Yin’s name was written in chocolate on the cake, followed by a line of Korean well-wishes. 

The hall was filled with applause. 

“Suhyeon, thank you! What does it say?” said Shentu Tian-Yin happily. 

Ahn Suhyeon gave her a dazzling smile. “I want to gift you the most beautiful thing on Earth.” 

Shentu Tian-Yin paused and a blush spread across her face. She looked in Xia Lei’s direction for some inexplicable reason. 

Xia Lei gave her a smile. 

Ahn Suhyeon picked up a lighter and lit the candles on the cake. “Make a wish, Tian-Yin,” he said warmly. 

Shentu Tian-Yin closed her eyes and made a wish over the dancing candle flame. 

The guests started singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song and the atmosphere turned rather jovial. 

“Cut the cake.” Ahn Suhyeon’s voice was as gentle as ever. 

Shentu Tian-Yin accepted the knife Ahn Suhyeon handed her and cut the cake. She seemed drunk on the flowers and well-wishes, and had forgotten about the person she cared most for. 

“Happy birthday.” Xia Lei’s voice was soft; only he could hear himself. 

At that moment, a waiter walked up to Xia Lei and said in a low voice, “Sir, someone wants to meet with you.” 

Xia Lei looked at the waiter. “Who wants to meet me?” 

The waiter spoke politely, “It is a lady. She did not tell me her name and just asked me to pass the message. Please come with me.” 

“Where is she?” Xia Lei swept his gaze over the hall. Everyone in the hall was looking at Shentu Tian-Yin and Ahn Suhyeon. No one was looking in his direction. 

“Sir, please come with me.” The waiter did not say where the woman was. He walked to a side door. 

Xia Lei was full of suspicion. He hesitated, then followed the waiter to the door. 

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