“Where did you go earlier?” Shentu Tian-Yin found Xia Lei after he returned to the hall.
“I met someone just now,” said Xia Lei.
“Who?” Shentu Tian-Yin looked curious.
“Gu Ke-Wen,” said Xia Lei.
“Huh?” said Shentu Tian-Yin in surprise. “Why is Gu Ke-Wen here? I didn’t invite her.”
“This place belonged to the Gu clan so it’s easy for her to get in. Show her some compassion - she’s like a madwoman now,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tian-Yin just smiled dismissively. “She’s like an abandoned dog now. She can’t afford to make waves. Right, so what did she look for you for?”
“It was about her father’s friends. She wants to work with me but I refused her. I don’t want to be involved in this any longer.” Xia Lei didn’t hide anything.
“Where is she now? I’ll get someone to call her over. She’s always been insufferably arrogant and I’d like to see if she is still that way.”
“No need for that. She probably left,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tian-Yin smirked. “Too bad.”
Ahn Suhyeon walked over as they were talking. “Who’s this, Tian-Yin?” he asked with a smile.
“This is my friend, Mr Xia Lei, the Chairman of Thunder Horse Manufacturing. Lei, this is Korea’s Shinyeok Group’s young master, Ahn Suhyeon. His father is an outstanding politician in South Korea.”
It was as Fu Ming-Mei had said. Xia Lei extended a hand and said, “Hello, Mr Ahn. Nice to make your acquaintance.”
Ahn Suhyeon gave him a cursory handshake and said, “Thunder Horse Manufacturing - what industry is that in? I’ve never heard of it.”
“Just a small company. It’s main focus is on processing,” said Xia Lei.
Ahn Suhyeon’s smile dimmed, just a bit.
The Shinyeok Group was a large, famous financial group in South Korea. It couldn’t be compared to large groups like Samsung or Hyundai but it wasn’t very far behind. They had expanded quickly recently in the past two years and were almost on par with Samsung and Hyundai. Following the fostering of better relationships between China and South Korea, Shinyeok Group had expanded its reach to the huge market that was China and its young master, Ahn Suhyeon, had taken to China like fish to water. With his status and assets, would Ahn Suhyeon even take notice of a tiny little processing company? Would he think highly of a little-known small fry like Xia Lei?
Future spouses had to make sure that their families were well-matched in terms of social status, and people dating also paid attention to status. Their social statuses were vastly different, so how could they become friends?
“Tian-Yin, may I have this dance?” Ahn Suhyeon bent at the waist in invitation; he looked like a model British gentleman.
Shentu Tian-Yin glanced at Xia Lei and said a little apologetically, “Lei, I’ll come accompany you later.”
Xia Lei nodded. “It’s fine, you don’t have to bother about me.”
Ahn Suhyeon held Shentu Tian-Yin’s hand as they headed to the dance floor. They swayed to the music on the dance floor and the guests around them clapped for them. One tall and handsome and the other a unparalleled beauty - Ahn Suhyeon and Shentu Tian-Yin were really an enviously perfect pair.
“Mr Xia.” A man’s voice came from behind him.
Xia Lei turned to see Tu Qing-Long. It seems he recognised him and this was surprising to Xia Lei. “Ah, it’s our champion. Hello, Mr Tu. But how do you know of me?”
Tu Qing-Long stood next to Xia Lei and watched Shentu Tian-Yin and Ahn Suhyeon on the dance floor. “It’s not strange at all that I know you, Mr Xia. Your relationship with Shentu Tian-Yin was a hot topic on media platforms for a period of time last year. Shentu Tian-Yin actually said that you were her fiancé in front of all those reporters. I’m her friend; of course I’d take note of you.”
“I see. That was just a misunderstanding,” said Xia Lei.
“I know. That was just an act for Gu Ke-Wu, right?” said Tu Qing-Long.
Xia Lei glanced at him. This Tu Qing-Long was no simple man. Xia Lei just smiled and said nothing.
“I won’t hide it from you, Mr Xia. I like Shentu Tian-Yin very much too and I can be counted as one of her suitors. But I don’t have even half a chance with people like you. I just can’t stand that Ahn Suhyeon. He’s arrogant and self-righteous. He just has a powerful father, right?” A curl of distaste appeared in the corners of Tu Qing-Long’s lips.
Xia Lei smiled. “Mr Tu, aren’t you afraid that I’ll tell Mr Ahn what you said?”
Tu Qing-Long laughed. “I’m self-aware, Mr Xia. I know that Shentu Tian-Yin doesn’t fancy me and I have no chance with her but I still wish her happiness. She won’t be happy with a person like Ahn Suhyeon. You get what I mean?”
“So you mean that I will be able to make Shentu Tian-Yin happy?” Xia Lei figured out Tu Qing-Long’s aim in coming to talk to him.
Tu Qing-Long looked at Xia Lei. “I can tell that Tian-Yin likes you. You should court her and become the man to care for her for the rest of her life if you’re not stupid. I just can’t stand that Ahn Suhyeon. Come look for me if there’s anything you need help with.”
“Haha…” Xia Lei couldn’t help laughing, but he still thanked him.
It wasn’t difficult to see where Tu Qing-Long was coming from and his motives. He disliked Ahn Suhyeon and didn’t want him to get his paws on the woman he liked. He’d rather she be with Xia Lei. However, Xia Lei just listened politely to his words - he was not going to fight with Ahn Suhyeon over Shentu Tian-Yin. He’d become cautious about love after losing Liang Si-Yao. He would not accept, nor give love easily. Besides, his business had just entered a stage of rapid growth and he did not want to lose focus because of love. As for Shentu Tian-Yin and who she ended up with… Did he need to worry about a smart woman like her?
If Shentu Tian-Yin felt that Ahn Suhyeon was the best choice then she would definitely make that choice, and no one would be able to hinder her or stop her from being with him. If she felt like he was not the man she wanted, then Ahn Suhyeon wouldn’t get anywhere, even if he were to throw all his efforts into pursuing her. Gu Ke-Wu was one such example.
Shentu Tian-Yin was a woman like that and no one could sway a decision or change a choice that she’d already made.
Tu Qing-Long didn’t know Xia Lei’s stance on this and the sight of Ahn Suhyeon in springtime on the dance floor made him uncomfortable. “Mr Xia, that punk Ahn Suhyeon…”
Xia Lei cut him off. “Mr Tu, let’s not talk about him. Let’s talk about business.”
“I’m a sportsman, not a businessman. You want to talk business with me?” said Tu Qing-Long in surprise.
Xia Lei grinned. “You have a good physique and a sunny image. Thunder Horse Manufacturing has an automatic skateboard and this product lacks a spokesperson for it. I cordially invite you, Mr Tu, to be our spokesperson. Are you interested?”
Tu Qing-Long smiled wryly. “I don’t know what to say to you, Mr Xia. Why play around with an automatic skateboard when you can get Shentu Tian-Yin?”
“Let’s say I do end up marrying her. I’m not going to use one cent of Shentu Tian-Yin’s. I’m a man so I’ve got to make my own money,” said Xia Lei.
“Sure, you said it. I’ll do it. My endorsement fees aren’t cheap though - five million.” Tu Qing-Long was straight to the point too.
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “How about three million? As friends.”
“You really are a businessman. Three million, deal.” Tu Qing-Long was quite satisfied with the price.
“I’ll get my assistant to contact you tomorrow. Her name’s Guan Ling-Shan. She’ll be in charge.” He stretched out a hand and put a smile on his face. “Here’s to a happy collaboration, Mr Tu.”
“To a happy collaboration.” Tu Qing-Long smiled too.
This was a big gain for Xia Lei. He’d wanted a spokesperson for Thunder Horse Manufacturing’s current main product but hadn’t found a suitable person for it yet. Tu Qing-Long’s appearance helped solve his problem. A sports-related product like the automatic skateboard was a good match for a sports star like Tu Qing-Long, and he had a good reputation too.
The song ended and Shentu Tian-Yin and Ahn Suhyeon walked in their direction.
“When did you two get to know each other?” Shentu Tian-Yin was curious upon seeing Xia Lei and Tu Qing-Long acting like they were close.
Ahn Suhyeon looked at Xia Lei and Tu Qing-Long but his face was still and his thoughts indecipherable.
“We just met.” Tu Qing-Long smiled. “May I invite you for a dance, Tian-Yin?”
Shentu Tian-Yin did not agree right away. A faint troubled look appeared on her face. It was easy to see that she was not willing to dance with Tu Qing-Long. She had agreed to dance with Ahn Suhyeon because Vientaine Group and Shinyeok Group had several partnerships, and Ahn Suhyeon was the young master of Shinyeok Group. He was a small ‘weight’ which could not be neglected. Tu Qing-Long, on the other hand, was just a sports star.
A faint smile of disdain appeared in the corners of Ahn Suhyeon’s mouth.
Tu Qing-Long was fairly embarrassed. He stood before Shentu Tian-Yin and was at a loss as to what to do.
Shentu Tian-Yin actually wanted to dance with Xia Lei most but Xia Lei was not inviting her to one, not even now.
She hesitated, then nodded. “All right, let’s have a dance.”
Tu Qing-Long was thunderstruck. He held Shentu Tian-Yin’s hand and they went to the dance floor.
Ahn Suhyeon stood next to Xia Lei and watched Shentu Tian-Yin and Tu Qing-Long on the dance floor. He spoke softly, “Need dance partners, Mr Xia? I can introduce a few to you.”
“Thanks, but I don’t need any,” said Xia Lei.
“You don’t have to hold back. Tian-Yin’s friends are my friends,” said Ahn Suhyeon.
This line of his was like a declaration of property and hearing it made Xia Lei uncomfortable. Xia Lei couldn’t help glancing at Ahn Suhyeon and suddenly felt like he was similar to Gu Ke-Wu. The things Ahn Suhyeon was doing was also in the style of what Gu Ke-Wu did.
A funny feeling sprouted in Xia Lei and he found it laughable. ‘I made an enemy of Gu Ke-Wu because of Shentu Tian-Yin and we had irreconcilable differences. Now a Ahn Suhyeon’s popped up and it looks like he’s treating me like a love rival. Shit, when did I become everyone’s love rival? Don’t look for me for these kind of things anymore. I’m tired of it,’ he thought to himself.
“Mr Xia, I hear you’ve dated Tian-Yin for a while, haven’t you?” asked Ahn Suhyeon probingly.
“I don’t remember very clearly. Go ask Tian-Yin about it. Oh, right, I still have something to tend to. I’ll be going off, then. Can I trouble you to let Tian-Yin know? Say that I left,” said Xia Lei.
Xia Lei did actually leave.
Ahn Suhyeon stared blankly at Xia Lei’s disappearing back and didn’t come back to his senses for quite a while. He was a smart man too but he couldn’t fathom why Xia Lei was like this.Previous Chapter Next Chapter