A diamond ring sat in the jewellery box. It looked to be at least ten carats, and it sparkled under the light. A stone like this was worth millions, but it was just a drop in the ocean to the young master of the Shinyeok Group.
Shutters flashed as the reporters took pictures. The business guests who’d been invited to the event were also stunned. Some women held their hands over their mouths, afraid that they would ruin the romantic scene with their voices.
But the person being proposed to was very calm. Shentu Tianyin just glanced at the ring and said softly, “What are you doing with this, Ahn Suhyeong?”
Ahn Suhyeong spoke warmly, “Tianyin, do you not know my feelings for you? I fell deeply in love with you when I first laid eyes on you. The longer I interact with you, the harder it is for me to leave you. Today, I have summoned my courage to ask for your hand in marriage. I hope you accept me. I swear I will love you and make you the happiest woman on Earth.”
If it were another woman, she probably would have been in tears by now if she were proposed to by a super second-generation rich man in such a romantic fashion. But the one Ahn Suhyeong was proposing to was Shentu Tianyin and she was never the sort of woman who would depend on others and ask for protection.
Shentu Tianyin said nothing. She turned her gaze to Xia Lei.
The reporters also turned to Xia Lei.
They had been asking if Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin were lovers earlier and now there was someone proposing to Shentu Tianyin right in front of Xia Lei. Something like this was like a fly discovering a rotten egg to the media - there was no reason not to charge at it.
Click, click, click…
Camera flashes went off.
Xia Lei froze too. He had not expected things to develop in this way. But he did know why Shentu Tianyin had looked at him at this time - this was forcing him to state his position!
Shentu Tianyin had been his dream woman and was unattainable to him. He used to only dream and fantasise about being with Shentu Tianyin. He nearly did make those dreams come true too, if it had not been for Liang Siyao. Now, Shentu Tianyin was still single and Liang Siyao was out of the picture. Was he going to make his dream a reality?
This thought popped into his head and he immediately thought of Liang Siyao, Annina, Tang Yuyan, Jiang Ruyi and Szlamy in Afghanistan. His heart wavered and he did not dare meet Shentu Tianyin’s eyes.
Hate flashed in Ahn Suhyeong’s eyes but it disappeared quickly. He pretended not to be bothered about Shentu Tianyin looking at Xia Lei with a gaze which made his jealous. He spoke in a gentle voice, “Tianyin, don’t you understand? If there is a man on Earth who could be your match then that man is me, no one else.”
Shentu Tianyin remained silent. She kept looking at Xia Lei, and tears welled up in her doe-like eyes.
She had taken the initiative to chase Xia Lei before but had lost to Liang Siyao. After that, she had closed her heart up and sworn to let Xia Lei chase her. But Xia Lei had maintained just a friendship between them, a status lower than that of lovers. Was she still going to chase after him now? No, she was an extremely strong-minded woman and she could not do it.
“Tianyin.” Ahn Suhyeong continued attacking, “Say yes. I will give you anything, including Shinyeok Group. After we get married, our two businesses combined will surely become the greatest consortium in Asia.”
Shentu Tianyin sighed. “Tell me why you’re proposing to me now.”
Shentu Tianyin’s tone seemed to have relaxed and Ahn Suhyeong seemed to see some hope. A smile appeared on his face. “I was going to wait longer, till you have accepted me, to propose to you. But the elections are already underway in South Korea. My father wishes for me to settle down so that his position will be strengthened. It would also be easier for me to take over control of Shinyeok Group after he leaves.”
An unmarried man was hard-pressed to earn the approval of the elderly in the political and business world. Ahn Geungan’s son getting married would bring him two advantages in his participation in the election. One was the political aspect. The other was that some elderly people would have nothing to nitpick about if Ahn Suhyeong were married, and would not interrupt in the handover of Shinyeok Group from father to son.
Ahn Suhyeong was indeed sincere if one looked at it from this perspective.
This world was full of political and business marriages. If Ahn Suhyeong and Shentu Tianyin were married, then they would undoubtedly form a huge consortium. Their marriage would definitely shake the business worlds of both China and South Korea!
Ahn Suhyeong went on, “Tianyin, we are both not getting any younger either. Why hesitate? Believe me - I will make you the happiest woman in the world.”
Xia Lei was still staring blankly during Ahn Suhyeong’s little speech. He looked calm on the surface but he was roiling inside and he was fairly unsettled. ‘Tianyin obviously wants me to say something but what can I say? Should I say something?’
Gu Kewen suddenly kicked Xia Lei in the back of his leg and hissed, “Hey! Say something. Are you going to let Ahn Suhyeong take Tianyin? He says nice words but he’s a poisonous wolf. Tianyin will be jumping into the fire pit if she marries him.”
“I…” Xia Lei definitely did not wanted Shentu Tianyin to accept Ahn Suhyeong’s proposal but his heart was a mess. He had never experienced something like this and he had no idea what to say.
Just then, Fu Mingmei couldn’t stop herself and she came through the door to get close to Xia Lei. She reached out and pinched the flesh at his waist. “This isn’t the time for you to pretend to be dead, okay?”
Xia Lei tolerated the pain and braced himself as he took a step forward. It was just one step - he could not make such an important decision in such a short amount of time.
“Tianyin, please accept this ring.” Ahn Suhyeong raised the ring box high above his head, quietly urging her to make a decision.
Shentu Tianyin looked again at Xia Lei. Her voice trembled, “Xia Lei, he’s proposing to me. Do you think I should accept?”
Xia Lei was stunned. How could he make the decision for her for something like this?
More tears appeared in Shentu Tianyin’s doe-like eyes. “Fine, then do you still want to maintain this sort of relationship with me? I’m saying just this today - kneel down and propose to me, or I’ll agree to Ahn Suhyeong’s marriage proposal.”
A queen indeed! ‘I want you to kneel and propose!’
She was still so strong-willed, so domineering! Xia Lei was under pressure and he didn’t know what to do.
Ahn Suhyeong stared hatefully at Xia Lei. He did not say anything but he had already cursed Xia Lei in his heart for the umpteenth time. Hate made its way into his eyes as he looked at Shentu Tianyin. He was no fool. He knew that Shentu Tianyin was pressuring Xia Lei to propose to her with those words. In other words, she had only Xia Lei in her eyes from the beginning!
“Looks like you don’t plan to kneel and propose to me.” Tears came down in two lines from the corners of Shentu Tianyin’s eyes.
These tears melted Xia Lei. In that instant, he thought to himself, ‘Liang Siyao and I have already broken up and we cannot be together again. Jiang Ruyi and I grew up together and we’re as close as siblings so I cannot love her like I loved Liang Siyao. I would hurt her if I date her. And Annina… we are just friends with benefits and I have no true love towards her. As for Szlamy… that’s not love and we cannot be together either. As for Tianyin… I’ve only now discovered that I had been excluding her because of her headstrong and domineering ways, but she’s always been in my heart…’
Shentu Tianyin faced Ahn Suhyeong. “All right, I…”
“Wait!” Xia Lei strode over and grabbed Shentu Tianyin’s slender shoulders. He looked straight into her eyes. “I want you to repeat what you said.”
It was Shentu Tianyin’s turn to stare blankly.
“This has nothing to do with you, Xia Lei! Do you have any decency? Any manners?” said Ahn Suhyeong angrily.
“Scram!” Xia Lei spat the word from the side of his mouth - this was his stance. You’re the young master of the Shinyeok Group? The son of the future President of South Korea? You’re nothing in my eyes!
‘You dare-” Ahn Suhyeong stopped himself before he cursed. He could not win against an opponent such as Xia Lei, and he could not out-curse him either. He was also not a Korean, so how was he to deal with him?
Shentu Tianyin came back to her senses, and she seemed to understand which line Xia Lei meant. She took a deep breath and said, “I want you to propose to me.”
“No, you left something out.”
“I want you to…” Shentu Tianyin suddenly burst out excitedly, “I want you to kneel and propose to me!”
“That’s the line. I like that.” Xia Lei smiled. He went on one knee and reached into his pocket to pull out a crumpled paper bag.
“What’s that?” said a female guest curiously, “He’s the director of Thunder Horse Group and he’s being so stingy? That paper bag is so crumpled - what’s in it? Nuts?”
“Nuts? Haha. I think Shentu Tianyin will still accept even it if is nuts,” said a male guest with a laugh.
Gu Kewen couldn’t help giving a look to Fu Mingmei, who was next to her. “You’re the one who brought him up. Do you know what’s in that paper bag?”
Fu Mingmei shook her head. “No idea. Could it be chocolates?”
Gu Kewen’s face was dark with gloom.
Ahn Suhyeong started to ridicule Xia Lei before he opened the paper bag. “Xia Lei, I can lend you money if you can’t afford a diamond ring. Oh, right, I heard you applied for a loan of 5,000,000,000. You must be penniless now, huh? It’s okay, I will give you a few million if you ask - no need to return it.”
Xia Lei laughed softly. “You’re being so magnanimous in spending your father’s money. If I had a son like you I’ll kick him flying. It’s just a lousy ring anyway - is that enough for you to be so cocky?”
He opened the paper bag and took out a gemstone necklace.
Gasps of amazement filled the office and whistles of awe blew about when the necklace made its appearance.Previous Chapter Next Chapter