Just some billions!
Words like these could not fall from the lips of peasants. Even that was too much for boasting, wasn’t it?
It was a whole other matter when it was Shentu Tianyin saying it, however. No one would say that she was boasting because 5,000,000,000 was nothing to someone like her who had a net worth of close to 100,000,000,000. Think of it this way - If you had $1,000 in your pocket, would you be willing to spend $5 of it to help someone you liked?
And Shentu Tianyin had said ‘give’, not ‘loan’.
She was willing to give Xia Lei 5,000,000,000!
A woman willing to give a man 5,000,000,000 - what did this prove?
Tang Yuyan stood bitterly in the doorway of the private room; she had not left. She’d wanted to help Xia Lei too but could not in his time of need. The situation earlier was like a splash of cold water to her face. Tang Yuyan was from a powerful clan too but the rules of a clan hundreds of years old held all of the clan in a vice. Besides, she was just a woman. She still had an elder brother with higher standing so there was no way she could take 5,000,000,000 out of the Tang sect to help Xia Lei. She could never compete with Shentu Tianyin on that front.
A wry smile appeared on Tang Tianlong’s face; he knew his daughter’s pain. He knew his daughter liked Xia Lei and that Xia Lei was a perfect future son-in-law - he scored high on politeness, handsomeness, capability, career, temperament and character and the whole family liked him. But Tang Tianlong abruptly realised that his own daughter was no match for this Shentu Tianyin when she showed up in the doorway.
A good woman would have many suitors and a good man would have many women fighting over him.
Xia Lei stood and said with a smile, “Tianyin, what are you doing here?”
Shentu Tianyin gave him a light smile. “Didn’t I say that I wanted to come over? This is not a big place. I found where you are just by asking.” She did not mention the message which had said ‘mortuary’ because she knew that Xia Lei had not been the one to send it.
“Never mind, let’s go somewhere else. Some people are ruining my appetite,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tianyin gave a small nod. “Let’s go to my place. Father misses your cooking and I would like to have the dishes you make too.”
Was this a public display of affection?
Mu Jianfeng could not take it anymore. He had failed to make Xia Lei bend to his will even though he had personally gotten involved - where was he to hide his face if he just let Xia Lei walk off like this?
“Miss Shentu.” Mu Jianfeng stood too, his face unfriendly. “You say you’re going to give Xia Lei 5,000,000,000? Is this true?”
Shentu Tianyin spoke softly, “I would not be the person I am today if not for Xia Lei. And if not for Xia Lei, Father would not have the health he has now, much less a peaceful elderly life. Xia Lei is dearer than relatives to me. He needs help now so why wouldn’t I help him? I would even give him 10,000,000,000 if he needs it.”
As she spoke, Shentu Tianyin glanced surreptitiously out of the corner of her eye at Tang Yuyan by the door. She was saying these words to Mu Jianfeng, and also to Tang Yuyan. This was a declaration of power!
The queen had made a precise attack and Tang Yuyan had no counter.
Xia Lei was greatly moved by Shentu Tianyin. He would have been happy with just her words even if he did not need her money.
“Humph!” Mu Jianfeng scoffed. “Think carefully about this, Miss Shentu. I can tell you frankly that you doing this is like declaring war upon China Industrial Group and Hanwu Weapons. I know what power you have. Your wealth already ranks among the top three of China’s wealthiest and your net worth is close to 100,000,000,000. 5,000,000,000 is nothing to you. But aren’t you worried about someone targeting the shares of Vientaine Group? Afraid of someone investigating the source of your wealth?”
This was a bare threat.
The rich cannot fight the officials - this was something which had been proven since ancient times!
A wrinkle of anger appeared between Shentu Tianyin’s brows. She had never challenged high-ranking officials before but if all the masks were coming off, she was not a woman who was afraid to take the bull by the horns. She was a headstrong woman, so how was she one to be easily scared by words from Mu Jianfeng?
But just as she was about to retort, Xia Lei pulled her by the hand and said with a laugh, “Tianyin, this is between me and China Industrial Group; you stay out of it. I appreciate your kind intentions but I cannot accept your money. I, Xia Lei, am not the sort of man who would take money from women. You wouldn’t make me into a man like that, would you?”
Shentu Tianyin started to say something, then stopped. She was a smart woman and she understood the underlying reason. She knew too that Xia Lei was saying and doing this to protect her and distance her from the damage. However, him doing that made her heart soften further and her desire to help him stronger.
Xia Lei spoke again before Shentu Tianyin could speak. “Let’s go. No talking about business in the evening. Let’s go have dinner. I haven’t visited Uncle Ren in a long time too, so I was just thinking of visiting him.”
Shentu Tianyin sighed. “All right, I’ll follow you.”
Only two men in the whole wide world could make the queen of Vientaine Group listen - one was Shentu Ren and the other was Xia Lei.
Before Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin left the private room, Mu Jianfeng suddenly snatched up a glass from the table and smashed it to the floor.
Smash! The wineglass shattered and shards flew everywhere.
“Xia Lei! I’ve been nice enough to you, and I’ve also pushed the price up to the maximum. Are you really going to throw away all pretences and make me an enemy?” Mu Jianfeng was menacing.
Xia Lei looked at the angry, humiliated Mu Jianfeng, and ire laced his words. “Director Mu, I’ve already made things clear. I am not selling, and that’s final. You want to hinder the growth of my military factory but you cannot. I have a question for you - You’re almost at retirement age so why are you still fighting? I am doing good for the nation and everything I do rests easy on my conscience. I am not the least bit afraid of you!”
“Fine, you’re not afraid, are you?” sneered Mu Jianfeng. “Is that German girl in your Thunder Horse Military Factory afraid of me then?”
Xia Lei stared blankly. Annina was the backbone of Thunder Horse Military Factory, and also his weakness.
Ye Kun scoffed. “I heard that the German side’s been looking for her. We definitely wouldn’t say anything but if someone does accidentally let it slip then that German machinist will have to be sent back to Germany. What would happen then, I wonder?”
Xia Lei slammed his fist on the dining table and the dishes jumped up in a great clatter, then fell with clinks and tinks. He glared at Ye Kun. “You dare!”
Ye Kun shook his head. “Is this how street thugs solve problems? You think this is going to be effective? Be realistic, Xia Lei. Be a good man and sell your military factory. Leave the military industry. This is for the good of everyone.”
“I don’t think that’s good.” A male voice suddenly came from the doorway.
Xia Lei turned to see Ling Han.
Ling Han stood in the doorway in a black suit and spectacles; he looked fairly scholarly. He didn’t look one inch like the sort of person to use violence, but the aura he exuded was one of danger, an aura so great it pressured everyone in the room!
Xia Lei still did not know what position this Ling Han held, and did not know how he could have appeared at this juncture, and so obviously on his side at that.
“Who are you?” demanded Mu Jianfeng rudely.
Ling Han took out an identification document, opened it and showed them what was written on it.
The document was two-sided. One side had the national emblem and the other side read: First Office. Assistant. Ling Han.
Mu Jianfeng’s arrogance shrank at the sight of this document.
Mu Jianfeng shrank and Ye Kun shrank further, his earlier arrogance gone immediately.
‘Assistant to the First Office? What office? Whose assistance?’ thought Xia Lei.
He had his guesses but he did not dare confirm anything.
Ling Han put his identification away and walked over. He first patted Xia Lei on the shoulder, then said, “Sit, sit, sit. It’ll be a waste not to eat such a spread. People in Africa sell their own sons and daughters for a bite of food. How can we be so wasteful?”
Xia Lei hesitated, then nodded and pulled out a chair for Shentu Tianyin. She sat next to Xia Lei. She was curious, too, about this Ling Han’s identity and wanted to know the end result of this matter.
“Have a seat too, Elder Mu.” Ling Han had seated himself on a chair. He smiled. “Really, you. So fiery still at your age. Sit, sit. We’ll talk as we eat.”
Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun exchanged glances. They were fairly unwilling but they still sat down in the end.
The table was full of good food but Xia Lei’s angry slam had upset the dishes and soup and sauces were splattered everywhere; it was a mess. But Ling Han dug right in and even seemed to be enjoying the meal.
Only Ling Han was eating at the table. He had come all of a sudden and was behaving oddly too.
Mu Jianfeng soon could keep quiet no longer. “What are you doing here, Mr Ling? Please be direct.”
“All right, then I’ll be direct.” Ling Han dabbed at his mouth with a serviette. “I was in charge of Thunder Horse Military Factory’s participation in the light weapons exhibition in Moscow - I think you all know that. You all should also know who I work for, yes? The situation is like this - the Boss is very pleased with the results Thunder Horse Military Factory had achieved on the international stage. He is full of praise, saying that this has raised the prestige of the nation. He looks very favourably upon this comrade of ours and says he can surely achieve greater things and bring glory to the nation.”
Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin couldn’t help exchanging looks at that point. They did not speak but both were thinking the same thing - who was this Ling Han’s boss?
Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun seemed to know the identity of this Ling Han, and his Boss. It also was because they knew that their expressions were turning uglier and uglier.
Ling Han continued, “So it’s like that. The higher-ups mean to provide full support for Comrade Xia Lei. Give him everything and anything that he wants - land, capital, manpower. All these are not a problem. I came for this reason. Look, shouldn’t you all stop fighting? It’s not good if the higher-ups find out that you’ve been squabbling like this, right? It’s not worth it to make the higher-ups angry over a little thing like this, yes?”
“Mr Ling, we…” Ye Kun was first to crumble. “We were just talking business. Not causing trouble.”
“That’s good, that’s good.” Ling Han laughed. “That’s settled, then. I’ll take it as you all haven’t had any fights.”
Mu Jianfeng made no sound but it was clear to him that this matter was closed.
“Oh, one more thing. The German woman at Thunder Horse Military Factory is actually English. You’ve got the wrong person. If anyone says anything to Germany and cause any international disputes then I dare say that no gods can save that person.” Ling Han smiled. “You guys get what I mean by that?”
“All right, I still have some matters to tend to. You can go on with your meal.” Ling Han stood and walked out, patting Xia Lei again on the shoulder as he went past him. “The leaders of the banks are all here, so why don’t you talk with them about capital?”
Xia Lei smiled. “Sure. Take care!”
The leaders of the banks scrambled to get in front of Xia Lei as soon as Ling Han exited.
“5,000,000,000 was it, Mr Xia? We will bring it to you.”
“Mr Xia, I’ll send someone to your company right away. Any sum at all is fine. It will be in your accounts in a minute.”
“I don’t want to discuss business outside of office hours. Let’s talk tomorrow.” Xia Lei walked off with Shentu Tianyin’s hand in his.Previous Chapter Next Chapter