It was a necklace of red and blue gemstones and it was dazzling. The pendant, in particular, was comparable in size to a pigeon egg. Its base was also inlaid with a circle of diamonds, each close to one carat. Even more astounding was that these diamonds were the most valuable coloured diamonds, not the normal, clear ones.
This necklace was the one which was been around Princess Yongmei’s neck, and also the first one Xia Lei had taken from the coffin.
The value of this necklace was incalculable, but it very definitely left Ahn Suhyeong’s ten carat diamond ring in the dust.
Xia Lei had only just realised that he had kept the best necklace for Shentu Tianyin after he took it out.
The office was filled with voices.
“Good Heavens! How is there such a beautiful necklace in this world? Those precious gems… those coloured diamonds… how much do they cost?” said a female guest in surprise.
“Who knows. I’ll marry whoever proposes to me with that necklace.” Another female guest stared passionately at the necklace in Xia Lei’s hands with eyes full of envy.
“As expected of someone in the arms business. Such extravagance,” sighed a reporter.
“It can’t be fake, can it? How can such a necklace exist?” said a male guest doubtfully.
“Heh, I’d rather know who Shentu Tianyin’s going to pick,” said a male guest. “They’re both great candidates. What a dilemma.”
“What’s so difficult about that?” said a male guest, “If Tianyin were my daughter I’ll get her to pick Ahn Suhyeong. Shinyeok Group is a huge business in South Korea and Ahn Geungan is likely the next Korean President. How can Xia Lei compare with that?”
“I don’t think so,” said the woman next to him, “If I were Shentu Tianyin I’d choose Xia Lei. He is a self-made man and amassed millions in over two years. He’s been through hard times and knows how to cherish people. Living with a man like that is real marital bliss. Ahn Suhyeong? A second-generation rich boy born with a golden spoon in his mouth. He is most successful at having a rich father.”
There were dozens of people in the office and they said anything they liked.
Shentu Tianyin made her choice in the middle of all this rabble. She stretched a slender arm out to Xia Lei. Her lips trembled; she was too excited to speak.
She had chased Xia Lei but lost to Liang Siyao. She had then closed her heart off but still dropped hints to Xia Lei to chase her. Now, Xia Lei was finally kneeling before her, expressing his sincerity.
Ahn Suhyeong’s face was cold and his eyes terrifying.
But Shentu Tianyin did not take the gemstone necklace from Xia Lei’s hands. The tears swam in her doe-like eyes and her hand hovered above the necklace, just that little bit away from touching it.
Xia Lei was quietly stunned, and thought, ‘Does this mean that she doesn’t want it? Why is she hesitating when it’s come to this?’
Next to him, Ahn Suhyeong seemed to see a ray of hope and he said, “Tianyin, don’t make the wrong choice. I am the best choice for you. Think about what it will be like when our two families are joined. Think of the mobile phones we are making now. Think about what our future children will stand to have.”
These words could move most women’s hearts.
But Shentu Tianyin’s gaze did not move to Ahn Suhyeong at all - she kept looking dumbly at Xia Lei. Her eyes were filled with tears but these were tears of bliss and joy.
Xia Lei grew more puzzled. Why wouldn’t she take the necklace?
Fu Mingmei suddenly spoke up, “Xia Lei, you idiot! Say something! Is this how you propose? How’s she going to accept your proposal if you don’t say anything?”
Her words startled him out of his daze.
Xia Lei laughed sheepishly and opened his mouth to say, “Tianyin, I… Marry me.”
Shentu Tianyin did a small squeal and reached to take the gemstone necklace from Xia Lei’s hand. “I’ve waited so long for you to say this… I will!”
Fu Mingmei then raised her voice and said, “Xia Lei, you’re still missing some words.”
Xia Lei turned back to glare at her but he was trying to figure out what he had missed.
Fu Mingmei called out impatiently, “Say you love her!”
Xia Lei then reacted and he opened his mouth to stutter awkwardly, “Tianyin, I love… you.”
He’d always been a bit of a shy man and a little more traditional. It was difficult for him to say what other men found easy but once he said it, he meant it and wouldn’t change his mind easily.
Shentu Tianyin pulled Xia Lei to his feet and enveloped him in her lovely bosom.
“Humph!” Ahn Suhyeong could not stand it anymore. He stood, and turned to leave. A reported blocked his way and was pushed violently aside.
“Kiss her, Xia Lei!” urged Fu Mingmei from the side.
“Kiss her! Kiss her!” The guests took up the chant.
The office filled with an atmosphere of great cheer.
Shentu Tianyin looked at Xia Lei, all smiles, and looking like she was waiting for something.
Xia Lei had experienced a kiss with Shentu Tianyin before, when she was under pressure from Shentu Yi and his family. The kiss back then had been an act to show Shentu Yi but it was different now. A traditional-minded man like himself found it rather embarrassing to kiss Shentu Tianyin in front of so many people.
But he had already proposed to her and she had accepted, so what was the big deal in kissing her?
Xia Lei let go of his inhibition when this thought crossed his mind. He mustered his courage and kissed Shentu Tianyin on the lips. Her lips were tender, soft, and covered with a fragrant moistness; it was an alluring taste. This kiss felt different from the first time he had kissed her - because he was now kissing his fiancee.
Xia Lei’s strong arms, his lips, his taste - all these stirred Shentu Tianyin’s emotions. She closed her eyes demurely but she was the one who took the initiative to part Xia Lei’s lips and stretch her tongue into his mouth, teasing him, tasting him.
A light kiss had transformed to a wet kiss and then a French kiss. This series of changes went by smoothly and naturally. The onlooking guests and reporters also smiled and applauded. The cameras did not miss this, of course. Click, click, click! Flashes went off in rapid succession.
Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin parted lips a minute later. Both their cheeks were red and they seemed a little embarrassed.
“That’s it for today. Dear guests and reporters, please participate in the groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow,” said Fu Mingmei. She was starting to clear people out.
The guests and reporters made their way out and Shentu Tianyin sent them to the door, courteous and thoughtful.
After the last guest was gone, Fu Mingmei laughed and said, “Congrats on finally becoming a couple, you two. I won’t be disturbing you then. You two have a good chat. But don’t get too anxious, eh?”
Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei both rolled their eyes at Fu Mingmei - the same look and the same action. It looked like they had rehearsed it in advance.
“Hahaha…” Fu Mingmei turned and left.
Gu Kewen smiled too but did not say anything. She went out after Fu Mingmei. She closed the door to the office behind her when she went out the door.
There was just Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin left in the office. The two of them looked at each other and the air filled with sweet awkwardness.
It was a dream come true for Xia Lei. He had the woman he had dreamt of.
For Shentu Tianyin, this relationship of theirs had gone through several twists and turns but she was now finally with the man she loved. This feeling was precious indeed.
“What do you keep looking at me for?” Shentu Tianyin broke the silence with a smile in the corners of her lips. “Where did you purchase this gemstone necklace? It’s beautiful. It looks like it cost tens of millions. How did you think of getting me such a valuable gift?”
Xia Lei was a little embarrassed. “I didn’t buy it. I excavated it from a burial tomb in Afghanistan. Uh, you won’t believe it if I told you but it was worn by a princess from the Ming dynasty. The princess was named Zhu Xuanyue, Princess Yongmei.”
“Huh? It has such a history? Then this is a priceless treasure.” Shentu Tianyin was gobsmacked.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “It will definitely look good on you. I’ll put it on you.”
“Nn.” Shentu Tianyin made a small sound of agreement and handed the gemstone necklace to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei went to her back and moved her hair aside to fasten the necklace around her snowy-white neck. Her supple, snowy skin, crystal clear red sapphires, brilliant coloured diamonds - the necklace seemed more noble and dazzling on her. They were a perfect match.
“You have to add a ring too.” Shentu Tianyin turned around and stared straight at the close-up Xia Lei with burning eyes. “It’s a proposal. How can a proposal be done with a necklace? I want a ring.”
Xia Lei nodded. “Mm, I’ll go pick a ring out for you right away.”
Shentu Tianyin abruptly put her arms around him and kissed him on the lips…
The two of them separated some time later and both their bodies smelt of each other; it was like they had become one.
“Earlier…” Xia Lei spoke softly, “Tianyin, if I had not proposed earlier, would you have agreed to Ahn Suhyeong’s marriage proposal?”
A sly little smile appeared on Shentu Tianyin’s lips. “I’ve always been waiting for you. Do you think I will agree to his proposal?”
Xia Lei smiled too. He felt a little like he had been duped but he was comfortable with it and didn’t mind it.
“Come back with me. I want to tell Father about us. He will be so happy,” said Shentu Tianyin. Her voice was filled with happiness.
“Nn, I’ll go to your place,” said Xia Lei, and he thought of his father. He had a fiancee now - this was definitely something his father should know about, but where was Xia Changhe now?
A trace of worry touched Xia Lei at the thought of Xia Changhe but he did not show it. It was a good day today. He did not want Shentu Tianyin to feel any regret on this day.
Shentu Tianyin packed a few things and left her office with her arm in Xia Lei’s. The employees in Angel Wings Building all smiled at them on their way out. Some female employees stared at Xia Lei and whispered amongst themselves. These reactions all indicated that the news of the two of them getting engaged had spread and was no secret.
And this was just the beginning. Once the media started reporting it, the news of the director of Thunder Horse Group and the chairwoman of Vientaine Group getting engaged would sweep across the whole of China like a hurricane!Previous Chapter Next Chapter