This seemed to be a press conference for Shentu Tianyin but these reporters had turned their attention to Xia Lei, making things awkward. Xia Lei did not want to be the centre of attention but the situation now was such that he was.
“Sorry, my apologies. I have no comment. Please make an appointment on another day if you want to ask questions.” Xia Lei refused to answer the reporters’ questions.
“Hah!” snorted Ahn Suhyeong, his face dark, “What’s this punk doing here? He’s interrupting our press conference. Who does he think he is? A big star? Someone important?”
He said these for Shentu Tianyin’s ears and to sully relations between Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei. However, Shentu Tianyin just listened to the words but did not react.
The reporters could not pester Xia Lei when he was not answering any questions so they turned their attention back to Shentu Tianyin. However, the questions they posed were not simply about the mobile phones anymore - the questions included Xia Lei. Back then, Shentu Tianyin had told the media that Xia Lei was her fiance in order to deal with her inner family conflict. Him being her fiance was not true but the reporters thought different. They had vivid imaginations and great curiosity.
“Miss Shentu, what is the relationship between you and Mr Xia now?”
“Miss Shentu, Mr Xia has risen quite a bit in the world the past two years - was it with your financial help?”
“Miss Shentu, will you and Mr Xia get married?”
Shentu Tianyin kept her cool under the onslaught of these questions. She neither confirmed nor denied, and was vague. She did not stay silent either - she answered only the questions related to mobile phones.
Shentu Tianyin’s reaction was like this but Ahn Suhyeong reacted in another way. He was content to be Shentu Tianyin’s support before Xia Lei turned up but he could not sit back and let Xia Lei take the limelight away from Shentu Tianyin once he turned up.
“I’ll answer your questions,” said Ahn Suhyeong after Shentu Tianyin answered a question a reporter had asked regarding mobile phones. “But I shall also state that you can only ask questions which are related to mobile phones. I will politely ask you to leave if you pose any gossipy, personal questions.”
Xia Lei was a ‘gossipy’ person to Ahn Suhyeong; this showed his contempt and disdain of Xia Lei.
Ahn Suhyeong had a domineering presence and the reporters did not dare offend him. All their questions which followed were related to Shinyeok Group and Vientaine Group’s collaboration.
Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei exchanged looks when Ahn Suhyeong was answering questions from the reporters.
She was as elegant and aloof as ever even afters months of not seeing her, and she had a strong presence. Not many men on this Earth could handle a woman like her. As for men who had the right to even woo her - they had to be one of those who were outstanding talents.
A faint smile hovered about the corners of Shentu Tianyin’s lips. She rarely smiled, especially at men, but Xia Lei was an exception.
Her smile seemed to be saying something.
Xia Lei’s thoughts went to the time when he had dealt with Shentu Yi and his family with her. His heart had been moved then, and he felt like he could be with her, and become a happy pair with her. But Liang Siyao had stepped in and shattered his dream…
Liang Siyao had left now. Did he want to make this dream a reality?
“The mobile phone that we, Shinyeok Group and Vientaine Group are collaborating to make is a new force in this industry. We believe that this mobile phone, Era Mobile, will become a leading product in the mobile phone industry. We are going to release two products, one for men, which focuses on the mobile gaming experience, and another for women which is elegant in design.” Ahn Suhyeong talked on, “I believe you’ll be able to tell what the phones are like from their names. The gaming-series mobile phone is compatible with all current high-configuration games, and is equipped with a 1080p camera…”
Ahn Suhyeong went on to describe the product and his assistant put two mobile phones on display. One was the gaming phone targeted at men and the other was the elegantly-designed phone targeted at women. As far as workmanship was concerned, the phones did look quite good.
The reporters snapped pictures of the mobile phones on display.
Ahn Suhyeong picked up the gaming phone to show its features and gaming functions. His movements were graceful and elegant, and his speech candid. The current him was not as inspiring as Apple’s Steve Jobs, but comparable to Lei Jun*. Overall, his performance was splendid.
Just then, Gu Kewen walked in through the office doorway. She nodded in greeting to Shentu Tianyin first, then went straight to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei did not greet her; he just glanced at her. Gu Kewen seemed to be behaving herself but he would always be guarded towards this woman.
“What, you don’t even want to talk to me?” Gu Kewen broke the silence between them.
“Talk about what?” said Xia Lei disinterestedly.
Gu Kewen quirked one side of her lips in a smile. “Don’t be like that. I’m on your side. Don’t forget that I’d given you information in the past. You’ve always rejected me but I do want to reconcile with you.”
Xia Lei gave a soft laugh. “We’ve reconciled.”
Had all the grudges been written off? Xia Lei did not know if Gu Kewen believed it but he knew that he wouldn’t.
“You’ve grown so quickly this year. Impressive.” Gu Kewen changed the subject. “Many want to enter the military industry but lack the right to do so. And you - you not only entered but you’re blazing to the top. I believe China Industrial Group and Hanwu Weapons won’t be taking all this lying down.”
Xia Lei was struck by a thought. “What do you know about it?”
Gu Kewen drew close to his ear and said softly, “Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun are meeting more frequently recently. They must be discussing how to deal with you. And these two military arms representatives are a force to be reckoned with. You’ve snatched their cake, so how are they going to just let it slide?”
Thunder Horse Military Factory had expanded rapidly. Once the assault rifle was launched, there was sure to be another boom in growth and it could become a pillar in the industry, like China Industrial Group and Hanwu Weapons. Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun would not sit by and let something like this happen, so they were sure to make a move. Xia Lei knew this.
“I know you’re mentally prepared but I’m going to tell you some valuable information anyway.” Gu Kewen’s voice grew softer, “Still remember those people I asked you to work with me to take down? They’re the ones in Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun’s camp. These people are wily and very sly. You have to be careful.”
They were the people who had killed Gu Dingshan off. Gu Kewen was not going to forget about getting her revenge on them. Her mentioning them at this juncture and specifically mentioning that they were in Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun’s camp made Xia Lei take more notice of the matter.
Xia Lei just gave her a smile. “Thanks for telling me all these.”
Gu Kewen let out a small sigh. “I know you don’t believe me that easily.”
“You can die without regrets - I believe you. But I can’t just go off and kill those people, can I? I’m doing my business and they’re making their money. Why would I go anger them when they haven’t come to disturb me?” said Xia Lei.
“Forget it. Let’s talk about you and Shentu Tianyin.”
“Me and Shentu Tianyin?” Xia Lei glanced at Gu Kewen, curious why she had said that.
Gu Kewen gave a small laugh. “Shentu Tianyin told me before that she would only marry the most excellent man in her life. She did not say what makes the man excellent but she and I are both women and I know her standards.”
“You are the standard. And you’ve already reached her highest expectations. There’s nothing she can fault you with already.”
Xia Lei was stunned.
“Looks like you don’t quite get what I mean. All right, I’ll explain it to you.” Gu Kewen lowered her voice, “I won’t talk about your physique - I have higher standards than Shentu Tianyin in this regard. I’ll give you nine points.”
Xia Lei gave a laugh, but he did believe that her standards were very high, since she used to be a woman who lived in a world like Shentu Tianyin’s.
“You’re a self-made man, and you amassed a net worth of billions in a short period of about two years. Plus, you’ve entered the military industry in China. Your potential for further growth is difficult to quantify. More importantly, your ability and your sense of responsibility are what Shentu Tianyin finds most appealing,” said Gu Kewen, “I can dare guarantee that she will 100% say yes if you pull out a ring right now and propose to her.”
Xia Lei was silent for a bit before saying, “Why?”
Gu Kewen rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “Are you stupid? She’s highly capable but she’s still a woman. Won’t she be worried about men approaching her for money since she has a net worth of billions and billions? She needs to protect all these but lacks the capability. She needs someone strong enough - a man who can protect her and her wealth, and not have designs on her wealth. If you use these metrics on yourself, then haven’t you surpassed her standards already? Besides, she isn’t getting any younger.”
So these were Shentu Tianyin’s requirements.
It was Gu Kewen saying it but Xia Lei still believed it to be true.
Shentu Tianyin was still just a woman no matter how strong-willed and wealthy she was. She needed protection, and her wealth too. This was why she needed a man who was strong enough!*
And he - he had built his own wealth, and entered the military industry in such a way that he could be on fighting terms with China Industrial Group and Hanwu Weapons. What was this if not evidence of his strength?
“I’ve said my piece. It’s up to you how you’re going to do something about it,” said Gu Kewen.
Xia Lei just smiled and said nothing. His thoughts were a jumble too and he did not know how to approach this matter.
At that moment, Ahn Suhyeong suddenly ended his presentation. He smiled as he said to Shentu Tianyin, “Tianyin, please come over here.”
Shentu Tianyin paused. “Why? You’re doing a good job with the presentation.”
“Just come over.” Ahn Suhyeong bent at the waist in a gentlemanly gesture of invitation.
Shentu Tianyin then got up and walked to his side.
Ahn Suhyeong went abruptly on one knee and an exquisite little jewellery box appeared in his hands. He popped the little box open and said tenderly, “Marry me, Tianyin.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
*Lei Jun - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lei_Jun
*This made me laugh at how ridiculous it was. Puh-lease.