South Korea, Incheon International Airport.
Xia Lei spotted Ahn Suhyeong and his dozens of bodyguards in the arrival hall immediately. The bodyguards were all in black with receivers in their ears and sunglasses over their eyes; each and every one of them looked cold and professional. Ahn Suhyeong had obviously prepared all these for Shentu Tian-Yin to show off the power of his family in Korea.
A person with dozens of bodyguards was quite something and also something few had the power to have. This was nothing to Xia Lei, though. He had taken on dozens of American Special Forces alone in Afghanistan and hundreds of White Hun Tribe warriors, led by Dayetia. What was this entourage compared to what he had been through?
Shentu Tian-Yin had brought Fu Ming-Mei, Xia Lei and two female assistants. Her entourage was much smaller. Shentu Tian-Yin’s assistants were nervous upon seeing so many cold-faced bodyguards. They glanced surreptitiously at their queen - she was moved, but it was subtle.
“Did he need to go overboard like this?” snorted Fu Ming-Mei, “We’re here to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony, not to fight.” She nudged Xia Lei with her elbow and said teasingly, “Mr Xia, you’ve got to be careful. That punk has been going crazily after Big Sister Tian-Yin. He might make things difficult for you because you tagged along.”
Xia Lei laughed. “If he dares, I’ll make it so that he regrets it.”
“Haha…” Fu Ming-Mei was amused by Xia Lei’s response.
Shentu Tian-Yin glared at Fu Ming-Mei and she stopped laughing.
The two groups met in the arrival hall and Ahn Suhyeong’s face darkened with displeasure when he saw Xia Lei standing next to Shentu Tian-Yin.
Xia Lei was not surprised by Ahn Suhyeon’s reaction; he pretended not to see. He was not going to piss Ahn Suhyeong off before he got his hands on the sword of Attila. He had been prepared to be belittled or mocked by him and was going to choose to tolerate it for the sake of Tang Yu-Yan, Ning Jing and the experts trapped in the White Hun Tribe.
“Tian-Yin, I’ve come an hour early.” Ahn Suhyeong looked away from Xia Lei and produced a warm, graceful smile when he faced Shentu Tian-Yin. “It’s so great to have you. Let’s go. You shouldn’t stay in a hotel; let your entourage stay there. Come, stay at my home.”
“That’s…” Shentu Tian-Yin wrinkled her brows, “Not good, isn’t it? I should stay in a hotel.”
“How can that do?” said Ahn Suhyeong, “Aren’t you going to let me be a good host when you’ve come all the way to Korea?”
Shentu Tian-Yin glanced at Xia Lei but did not change her stance. “I am thankful for your good intentions but I came here with Xia Lei. I cannot have him stay at a hotel by himself.”
Ahn Suhyeong’s gaze went to Xia Lei again and he did not hide his disgust and displeasure. He’d never expected that Xia Lei would come to Korea with Shentu Tian-Yin. This was a rare chance for him, Shentu Tian-Yin’s coming to Korea, but he hadn’t expected Xia Lei to come too. Xia Lei was as detestable as a fly to him.
Xia Lei pretended not to see Ahn Suhyeong’s expression and smiled as he said, “Tian-Yin, I’m afraid Mr Ahn doesn’t have too many spare rooms in his house. Let’s not bother him and stay in a hotel.”
Shentu Tian-Yin nodded. “Nn.”
Nothing much was said other than a sound of agreement but Ahn Suhyeong looked like he had glugged a bottle of vinegar. “What did you say? The Ahn residence lacks rooms? Let me tell you that it can house not just your little group but all of your entire little company too!”
This was obviously a taunt aimed at Xia Lei, calling Thunder Horse Manufacturing a small company. Xia Lei and Thunder Horse Manufacturing were not even worth mentioning to Ahn Suhyeong.
Xia Lei was not provoked. “I was just making a joke. Please take no offence, Mr Ahn. It would be better for us to stay in a hotel if it’s not convenient for you. We don’t want to trouble you.”
“Hah.” Ahn Suhyeong snorted, but did not respond to Xia Lei. He spoke to Shentu Tian-Yin, “How about this, Tian-Yin, you and your entourage come stay with us. My father wants very much to meet you and he cancelled several important meetings when he knew you were coming, just so he can accompany you.”
“That’s very sincere of him. Thank you.” Shentu Tian-Yin looked at Xia Lei, seeking his opinion. “Lei, what do you…”
“Well, since Mr Ahn is inviting us so wholeheartedly then we should stay at his place,” said Xia Lei. He smiled. “We have a saying - it’s difficult to decline great hospitality. It would be rude of us to insist on staying at the hotel.”
Shentu Tian-Yin gave a shallow laugh. “All right, then we’ll stay at the Ahn residence.”
Ahn Suhyeong was even more displeased by her asking Xia Lei’s opinion on the matter. ‘This disgusting fly. What the hell did he accompany her for? His small company has nothing to do with the collaboration of Vientaine Group and Shinyeok Group. Did he come here just to be hated on? I want to kick him back to China!’
His thoughts were negative but Ahn Suhyeong put a nice smile on his face. “Sure. Let’s go.”
Xia Lei let out an internal sigh. He wouldn’t have to bear with Ahn Suhyeon’s slights if they stayed in a hotel but he was willing to be the subject of his disdain for the sword of Attila. This was the only way for him to have an opportunity to come into contact with the sword.
They walked out of the arrival hall and ten Mercedes Benzes came rolling to a stop by the road in welcome. Ahn Suhyeong invited Shentu Tian-Yin to sit in his car - a Bugatti Veyron worth 10,000,000. Shentu Tian-Yin did not reject him this time, since she had to help keep Ahn Suhyeong’s pride too.
Xia Lei and Fu Ming-Mei got into another car, and the convoy left the airport with Ahn Suhyeong’s Bugatti Veyron in the lead, heading to Seoul.
“You haven’t shown your face for a month. Where’ve you been?” asked Fu Ming-Mei in the Mercedes Benz.
Xia Lei moved his gaze out the window and he saw a black Chevrolet Suburban. Someone was sitting in the driver’s seat and looking at them and that person was Long Bing. She wore a baseball cap, sunglasses, and had her hair in a different style. Xia Lei had not recognised her at first glance. He then spotted Tang Bo-Chuan in the front passenger seat. He did not see Qin Xiang, but he could guess that he would be close to Ahn Suhyeong’s home, preparing and laying the foundation to steal the sword.
A small smirk appear in the corners of Xia Lei’s lips. With Long Bing and Tang Bo-Chuan’s help, and the talented Qin Xiang as a thieving partner, the chances of this mission’s success was quite high. What was left was just to enter the Ahn residence, find where the sword was being kept and they could make their move.
“Hey, I’m talking to you. Are you ignoring me?” Fu Ming-Mei tapped Xia Lei on the shoulder, displeased.
Xia Lei looked back from the window and laughed. “I went to Afghanistan.”
“To buy goats. I’m going to open a mutton soup shop.”
“Up yours.” Fu Ming-Mei rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “I was going to tell you a secret but with your attitude? Forget it.”
“We’re sort of old friends already, so why can’t I make a little joke? I really did go to Afghanistan, but to invest and buy mines. It’s all business things; you won’t be interested.” Xia Lei said something to placate her, then asked, “What secret were you going to tell me?”
“Gu Ke-Wen is back,” said Fu Ming-Mei. She wasn’t actually annoyed by Xia Lei.
Xia Lei paused. “Tell me what happened.”
The Gu clan had collapsed but Gu Ke-Wen had not been arrested, and she was not the sort to take things lying down either, not with her personality. Xia Lei didn’t think much of the Gu Ke-Wen who had lost North Group but there was a need to understand her situation and take preventive measures.
“She came looking for Big Sister Tian-Yin, asking for a partnership,” said Fu Ming-Mei.
“A partnership? For what?”
“You might not believe it, but she wanted to help Big Sister Tian-Yin to acquire the previous assets of the Gu clan.” Fu Ming-Mei had an odd look on her face. “It’s been smooth sailing acquiring the old Gu clan assets with her help. About twenty percent of North Group’s businesses have been transferred to nest under the Vientaine Group’s banner in the month you’ve been gone.”
“What’s going on? Why is Gu Ke-Wen doing this?” Xia Lei was curious, and a little worried too. He had warning Shentu Tian-Yin about acquiring Gu clan assets but it now looked like she had not taken his warning to heart. He could understand why Shentu Tian-Yin did not tell him about this - because it was the opposite of his viewpoint.
“Gu Ke-Wu won’t do this for nothing, of course. Tian-Yin gave her a sizeable commission. I don’t know the exact figures but it’s definitely at least hundreds of millions, especially since the popular assets would be impossible to get without her help.”
Xia Lei was quiet for a bit before saying, “Gu Ke-Wu is not one to work with others. You should caution your mistress to not get in too deep with Gu Ke-Wen. The visible advantages are tempting but some money should just not be made.”
“I’m telling you this secret because I want you to caution her, and you’re telling me to do it? You think she will listen to me? With my status?” said Fu Ming-Mei.
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “I warned her but she didn’t listen. I’ll try to caution her again when I get the chance.”
“That’s more like it.” A smile appeared on Fu Ming-Mei’s face. “I’ll tell you another secret.”
“It concerns you.”
“It concerns me?” Xia Lei’s interest was piqued.
Fu Ming-Mei smirked. “Ahn Suhyeon has been in hot pursuit of Tian-Yin recently. He has someone to bring Tian-Yin flowers every day, even when he’s not in China. He calls her every day too and has never-ending dialogue. I suspect he’s got some relationship coach with him who’s planning things for him. You’ve got to be careful and don’t think you can rest easy. Women are easily swayed by sweet nothings and you’ll have no cards to play if Tian-Yin gets swayed one day.”
Xia Lei laughed. “What does this have to do with me?”
“You’re so freaking lazy at this courtship thing. Kudos to you.” Fu Ming-Mei rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “If I were Tian-Yin, I’d choose Ahn Suhyeong for sure and put you out to pasture.”
Xia Lei was speechless.Previous Chapter Next Chapter