Tang Yu-Yan saw Gu Ke-Wen too and her gaze was odd. “Why’s she here?”
“You know her?” asked Xia Lei.
“Gu Ke-Wen, former debutante of Jingdu, beloved daughter of Gu Ding-Shan. How can I not know her?” said Tang Yu-Yan. “She used to come occasionally to this compound to visit some old directors on behalf of her father. She’s been to my place twice. But she’s in this situation now, so what’s she doing here? Is she trying to pull some strings for her brother?”
“I don’t know her situation but I know she’s now doing something for Shentu Tian-Yin,” said Xia Lei.
“Hm? That’s interesting.” Tang Yu-Yan was surprised.
Gu Ke-Wen walked over, her gaze fixed on Xia Lei.
She was no killer, nor an enemy agent, but Xia Lei was still on guard. He quietly activated the power of his eye and the black dress on Gu Ke-Wen disappeared without a sound, melting away to snowy white, except for that one place. Her little forest was as exaggerated as ever.
Xia Lei was using his X-ray vision on her to check her for weapons but his gaze was drawn to her one part. He had no words for himself. He was not a shameless pervert but he had a perverted left eye.
The three of them soon drew close to each other and Gu Ke-Wen was the first to say her greetings. “Long time no see, Yu-Yan. You’re becoming prettier and prettier.”
Tang Yu-Yan smiled. “Long time no see. You’re still so good with words. Thank you. You’re very pretty too.”
Gu Ke-Wen’s gaze went to Xia Lei after greeting Tang Yu-Yan. She had a smile on her face. “We haven’t seen each other in a while either, Xia Lei. You’re as handsome as always.”
Xia Lei was not interested in talking to her but here she was, smiling and saying nice things. It would not be gracious of him to snub her. He put on a smile too. “Men don’t rely on their faces to eat, so what’s the use in being handsome?”
“Puhaha!” Tang Yu-Yan laughed so hard she had to hold her stomach. She hit Xia Lei. “Damn it, don’t make me laugh like this.”
Xia Lei put on a nonchalant look. “Did I say something wrong?”
Tang Yu-Yan laughed, “Yeah, go disfigure yourself. Your face plus status now is a goldmine to women. And you say that being handsome is useless? You? Don’t you think your skin’s too thick?”
Xia Lei was just saying whatever and didn’t expect Tang Yu-Yan to read into it like that.
Gu Ke-Wen then spoke up. “Xia Lei is not bad, but Ahn Suhyeong is better.”
Xia Lei just gave a laugh and didn’t say anything. What she said would make many uncomfortable but he felt nothing.
Tang Yu-Yan looked at Gu Ke-Wen, wondering why she would say such things to make Xia Lei upset. This behaviour was different from how she presented herself to society.
Gu Ke-Wen spoke again. “Don’t be mistaken, I’m just saying it as it is. Ahn Suhyeong is the young master of the Shinyeok Group, future heir and a man worth billions. He’s handsome and very much loved by women. He has countless ways to woo a girl and he’s very attentive too. Xia Lei, you’re too lazy in comparison. I heard you went overseas a while ago, and now you’re back but you didn’t even give Shentu Tian-Yin a call, much less court her like Ahn Suhyeong has been doing. Xia Lei, don’t you think you’re not as good as Ahn Suhyeong? You’ll lose to him if you keep acting this way.”
So that’s what she meant.
Xia Lei had thought about giving Shentu Tian-Yin a call after he got back to China but he had not in the end. He was busy with the factory, preparing to manufacture the sniper rifle and he also had a problem - he could not explain what happened in South Korea to her. She would mention it for sure if he called her. They also had different points of view on matters, and they’d argued about these too many times. He did not want to argue with her again.
“There’s no need for you to compare me to Ahn Suhyeong. As for Tian-Yin, I’ll go visit her when I’m back in Haizhu and explain things to her.” Xia Lei smiled. “And you don’t have to worry about things like these, so you?”
“There’s no need for you to go back to Haizhu,” said Gu Ke-Wen. “She is in Jingdu now. She arrived the day before, and she’s at the Vientaine Group’s Jingdu branch - Angel Wings Building. I’m just reminding you since we met here. It’s up to you, what you should do. But let me warn you - Ahn Suhyeong has been relentless in his courtship during the time you were gone. You’ll lose her if you keep acting this way.”
No woman liked to be ignored by a man, much less a woman of Shentu Tian-Yin’s status. She had never had a lack of suitors and all of these suitors were excellent specimens.
“Oh, right, Ahn Suhyeong is in Jingdu too. Vientaine Group and Shinyeok Group have a new collaborative project after that first one. The two companies are preparing to enter into the business of mobile phones with a brand of the level of Apple and Samsung,” added Gu Ke-Wen.
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. Shentu Tian-Yin was expanding her business too rapidly. Was she trying to be like Bill Gates?
“Well, I’ve said what I have to say. Goodbye, you two.” Gu Ke-Wen bid them goodbye politely and brushed past Xia Lei as she left, swaying her slender waist as she walked to the main gates.
‘Was it really a coincidence that this Gu Ke-Wen was here? Or was she deliberately trying to get me to fight with Ahn Suhyeong for Tian-Yin’s affections?’
It was not possible. Gu Ding-Shan’s death and Gu Ke-Wu’s imprisonment were linked to him, so how could Gu Ke-Wen forget it and come specially to ‘teach’ him to woo women?
“What’re you thinking about?” Tang Yu-Yan nudged Xia Lei with her arm.
“Nothing. Let’s go,” said Xia Lei.
Tang Yu-Yan laughed. “Don’t lie. You must be thinking of that Shentu Tian-Yin, huh?”
Xia Lei had no words of retort.
Tang Yu-Yan chatted as she walked. “I think what Gu Ke-Wen said is logical. You should court that Shentu Tian-Yin if you like her. You’re so lazy; no calls, no asking after her… What woman can stand that? You need to be nice to women.”
Xia Lei laughed. “Do you have a boyfriend?
“You… Why ask me this?” Tang Yu-Yan blinked her large eyes and looked at Xia Lei curiously.
“Do you have one or not?”
“You don’t even have a boyfriend so how are you a love guru?” said Xia Lei.
Tang Yu-Yan rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “Gah, you’re biting the hand that feeds you while unaware of my good intentions.”
They laughed and chatted, and came to the Tang household. They went in, and Xia Lei saw Tang Bo-Chuan and his father, Tang Tian-Long, and an old man and woman.
The old man was at least seventy, tall and burly with long, silvery hair. He was in traditional clothing and looked fairly refined.
The woman looked about forty-plus. She had delicate features, still pretty, and had an elegant air.
It was their first time meeting but Xia Lei could guess that the old man was Grandfather Tang - Tang Yun-Hai. The woman was Tang Yu-Yan and Tang Bo-Chuan’s mother, Zhang Yu-Mei. Tang Yu-Yan had spoken about these two on their walk to her home, telling Xia Lei about their characteristics, hobbies and interests.
The Tang sect of Sichuan were not just these people but those before Xia Lei were the core of the Tang.
Tang Yu-Yan made the introductions for Xia Lei.
Xia Lei spoke very politely, “How do you do, Grandfather Tang. Hello, Uncle Tang. Hello, Aunt Zhang.”
“Good, good, hello to you too.” Zhang Yu-Mei was all smiles as she looked at Xia Lei with interest.
Tang Tian-Long nodded at Xia Lei in greeting.
Tang Yun-Hai just looked quietly at Xia Lei. His eyes were sharp, as if he wanted to see through Xia Lei with his gaze.
“Grandfather, Xia Lei’s saying hello,” reminded Tang Yu-Yan.
Tang Yun-Hai then spoke. “I heard him. Xia Lei isn’t in a rush, so why are you?”
Two splashes of red appeared on Tang Yu-Yan’s cheeks. She rolled her eyes at Tang Yun-Hai and looked petulant.
“Boy. Come to the backyard with me.” Tang Yun-Hai stood and walked to a door.
Xia Lei gave Tang Yu-Yan a questioning look.
Tang Yu-Yan quickly twisted her lips to one side and said, “Go.”
Xia Lei then followed Tang Yun-Hai.
Tang Tian-Long, Zhang Yu-Mei, Tang Bo-Chuan and Tang Yu-Yan went to the backyard too.
The backyard was a small flower-garden with a patch of empty space in the middle. Stone slabs were placed in the empty space and there were some mysterious cracks on many of those stone slabs.
Xia Lei was looking around when Tang Yun-Hai suddenly turned with a fist flying at him. He was an old man of over seventy but his blow was quick; it left professional boxers in the dust. What was even more terrifying was that his punch was so fast it was accompanied by a whooshing sound!
Xia Lei had not expected Tang Yun-Hai to attack him at all and he hurriedly lifted his arm when he could not defend properly, using his right elbow to block Tang Yun-Hai’s iron fist.
Bam! A dull thud sounded. Xia Lei was pushed two steps back before he could stop himself. The right elbow he’d used to stop the attack smarted and this astonished him. How could an old grandfather have such scary strength?
Tang Yun-Hai suddenly dashed forward, fists whooshing as he started a fierce attack. Xia Lei reacted to every blow. He mostly defended and only attacked a little. He was unable to gain the advantage but the ability of his eye to catch all of Tang Yun-Hai’s movements made it hard for the old man to beat him. However, Xia Lei’s skill was not enough to be an opponent for Tang Yun-Hai without the power of his left eye.
An obvious difference was the time they’d spent practicing martial arts. How Long had Xia Lei practiced? Barely a year. Tang Yun-Hai had immersed himself in martial arts his whole life.
Tang Yun-Hai kicked, and was blocked by Xia Lei, but Xia Lei was pushed backwards several steps again by the impact.
Tang Yun-Hai did not attack again. He put his attacking foot down and chuckled. “Yu-Yan, you little rascal. What’s this about finding me a disciple? He’s an opponent.”
The bout left Tang Yun-Hai secretly astounded by Xia Lei’s martial capability, but he did not know that it was because Xia Lei had a miraculous left eye.
Tang Yu-Yan spoke a little rebelliously. “Grandfather, you said it yourself, not me. Why are you dragging me into this?”
Tang Tian-Long and Zhang Yu-Mei exchanged looks; who knew what they had communicated with each other through their eyes.
Xia Lei spoke politely, “Grandfather is a martial arts Master indeed. I would be lying on the ground now if you weren’t going easy on me. The Tang sect’s greatest specialty is the use of hidden weapons and Qinggong but you have not used any of those yet. My martial arts capabilities are far below yours. I cannot hope to compare.”
Tang Yun-Hai frowned. “There is no second place in literature, and no first place in martial arts. Strength is strength, and weakness is weakness. I know your skill so don’t be humble.”
“Grandfather Tang is right to reprimand me,” said Xia Lei sheepishly.
Tang Yun-Hai walked over and smacked Xia Lei hard on the shoulder. He laughed as he said, “I quite like you, Boy. I’ve said that I would accept you as my Last Disciple if you rescue our Yu-Yan, so I’m taking you in as my Last Disciple. I am a man of my word. But if you want to learn our Tang martial arts, you have to enter our Tang doors. I’ll see how you perform.”
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