The last time Xia Lei had gone to the Shentu clan residence was under the guise of a fake fiance and he had suffered rolling eyes and cold shoulders. This time, Shentu Tianyin’s uncles, aunts and cousins were all waiting at the doorway for him, afraid to miss the arrival of the son-in-law of the Shentu clan.
The past conflict was just from Shentu Wei and Shentu Yi’s family, and none of the other members of the Shentu clan felt like Xia Lei was not a good match for Shentu Tianyin due to the results Xia Lei had achieved in these past two years. Of course - how many people on this Earth could become a self-made billionaire in a short span of two years, all by themselves?
Xia Lei’s BMW M6 came to a stop and a big group of Shentu came gathering.
“Big Brother, please, come in. Our family’s been waiting for you,” said a young man politely with a smile.
“Little Xia, oh my, you’re quite a talent, aren’t you. What a perfect match with our Tianyin,” said a middle-aged woman flatteringly.
The large group of people fought to give greetings to Xia Lei and were as nice as can be. These same people had given the cold shoulder to Xia Lei in the past and couldn’t wait to chase him out. Now that Xia Lei had made something of himself, they were in hot pursuit of him. This was how the world was - rich men hiding deep in the mountains would have relatives far and wide but poor people would not be asked after even in a busy city. One reason they were fawning over Xia Lei was because of his ability, but the most important reason was that gaining his favour would be as good as gaining Shentu Tianyin’s favour, and they were all people living under Shentu Tianyin’s feet.
Xia Lei was a little disgusted by these people but he still put on a polite front and smiled back and exchanged pleasantries no matter who greeted him.
He saw Shentu Tianyin standing in the forecourt once he walked in. She was in a cyan dress with a white cotton Chinese waistcoat. Her beautiful face and her tall and sexy figure made her seem like a beauty who had walked out of a painting.
There weren’t many on Earth with the qualifications to woo this woman, and Xia Lei was the only one who had succeeded.
“Tianyin.” Xia Lei greeted her warmly.
Shentu Tianyin walked over in welcome and grabbed his hand intimately. “Let’s go. Come with me to see Father. He said he’s going to give us a gift after we registered our marriage. I told him that there’s no need to but he insisted. Please talk some sense into him; he’ll listen to you.”
Xia Lei laughed. “What’s so bad about him giving gifts?”
“Go see what he’s going to give us before you talk,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei nodded and followed her.
Shentu Tianyin looked back and said, “Uncles, Aunties, please head back and go about your normal routine. Just give us a call when it’s time for dinner.”
“Yes, of course,” agreed one of her Aunties immediately, “I’ll come to call you for dinner.”
Shentu Tianyin wasted no more words; she took Xia Lei’s hand and walked off.
The Shentu clan quickly dispersed. They could do nothing but bear the cold eyes of Shentu Tianyin - who could they blame but themselves for supporting Shentu Yi and trying to topple her from her position? It was already very kind and generous of Shentu Tianyin to not have chased them out of Vientaine Group.
Shentu Tianyin whispered to Xia Lei as they walked to the study, “Lei, there’s no need to be polite to these people next time. You know how they treated me and you back then. Vientaine Group would have fallen to Shentu Yi’s family if it weren’t for you, and I would most likely have been murdered by the killers Shentu Tianfeng hired.”
Xia Lei smiled and said, “I was just being polite. Don’t worry, I know how to deal with them.”
Shentu Tianyin suddenly stopped in her tracks.
“What is it?” Xia Lei looked at her curiously.
Shentu Tianyin quirked her lips in a smile and her voice was soft. “Hubby.”
“You…” Xia Lei paused. This was the first time Shentu Tianyin was calling him ‘Hubby’, and she had said it rather suddenly. He was a little unsure as to what to do.
“We’re going to register our marriage soon, so calling you ‘Hubby’ is a matter of course. Yep, I called you ‘Hubby’ so it’s your turn,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei smiled and said, “Wifey.”
“Hee hee…” Shentu Tianyin let out a silvery tinkling laugh.
The two of them chatted and laughed and came to a study. Shentu Ren was flipping through a magazine.
“Father, Xia Lei is here,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Shentu Ren put down the magazine and walked over to hold Xia Lei’s hands. “Lei, you came at the right time. You two are about to become legally married. As father of the bride, I have to give some form of dowry. Tell me, what should I give you?”
“Father, we are one family. There's no need to be so formal. It’s enough if you just give us some cakes, flowers or the like,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Ren wrinkled his brows and looked at Shentu Tianyin. “Young lady, what did you say to Lei?”
“I didn’t say anything, Father.” Shentu Tianyin put on an innocent face.
“Father, there really is no need for a dowry. We don’t lack anything,” said Xia Lei.
“But you must have a dowry. How can I, Shentu Ren, not give a proper dowry when marrying off my daughter? Other people will talk bad about me.” After a pause, he added, “Never mind, asking you two is as good as not asking. I’ll just do what I’d originally planned. Nn, that’s what I’ll do. Lei, I’ll give you a Boeing 737.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
A Boeing 737 cost about 300,000,000 Chinese yuan, and its other added costs probably drove the price up closer to 400,000,000. Only old gentlemen like Shentu Ren would be this extravagant and offer up a plane as a present. However, if one kept in mind Shentu Ren’s status as the former chairman of Vientaine Group and the elite of China’s wealthy folk, how low could his dowry for his daughter’s marriage be?
“What expression is that, Lei?” Shentu Ren affected unhappiness. Shentu Ren actually liked Xia Lei as much as Shentu Tianyin liked him, and he would not have offered such and extravagant dowry if it were someone else marrying his daughter.
Xia Lei laughed dryly. “Father, Tianyin and I will make the headlines if you give us such a dowry.”
“So be it. Don’t you make the headlines frequently anyway? Stop trying to persuade me against it. That’s settled, then,” said Shentu Ren.
“Father, if you give us such a gift, I… How much should I give for the betrothal gift?” asked Xia Lei probingly.
“You are the best betrothal gift. Don’t talk about money with me or I’ll get upset.” Shentu Ren spoke matter-of-factly, “You know that I’m in poor health. I’ll get sick easily if I get angry.”
This was as good as shutting down Xia Lei’s offer of a betrothal gift.
Shentu Tianyin laughed and said, “All right, all right, just accept it, Hubby. Father means well.”
“All right, I have no objections.” Xia Lei went with it.
“Isn’t this great? You two chat. I’ll go find someone to ask around on how to purchase a plane.” Shentu Ren made room for Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei to be alone.
After Shentu Ren left, Xia Lei smiled and said, “You actually agreed to it, didn’t you, Tianyin? You were just putting on an act to get me to convince Father otherwise.”
“I can’t hide anything from you.” Shentu Tianyin burrowed into Xia Lei’s embrace. “We’re both quite busy and often fly here and there. It’s much more convenient with a personal plane. I don’t want to spend my time outside work on waiting for commercial flights. I want to have more time to spend with you.”
What could Xia Lei say in the face of this explanation from his gentle, virtuous and clever wife?
Their eyes met and the need for words melted away. Their lips were touching in the blink of an eye, then their tongues. Chasing you, chasing me, twirled around each other and inseparable.
Their passion burnt like a flame and the hot kiss drew their bodies close, intertwining. However, they came to an unanimous stop just as they were about to lose control. It was still daytime after all, and they were in the study. Anyone could come in at any time and there would be a big stink if anyone saw.
Shentu Tianyin hurriedly re-tied her black lace side-tie panties, her face red. “You’re such a wicked man. Goodness, you scare me.”
Xia Lei held both hands out and showed her the unzipped zipper. He smiled and said, “Who’s the wicked one?”
“It’ll be so embarrassing if anyone saw. I’ll zip you up.” Shentu Tianyin reached for the zipper and zipped Xia Lei up.
“Let’s talk about the negotiation between Vientaine Group and Shinyeok Group.” Xia Lei changed the topic.
“Ahn Geungan did not agree to the divestment at first. He said he wanted a share of the profits from Era Mobile even if he lost management rights. I proposed equity exchange of the electronics company in South Korea but he still refused. Finally, he said it was fine if he divested but there’s a condition - you return the Sword of Attila to him and kneel down to Ahn Suhyeong and apologise,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei could not help the small sneer in the corners of his lips. “That bastard. He thinks he’s really the president of South Korea.” After a pause, he added, “Tianyin, what are your thoughts?”
“I won’t agree to it, of course. He’s not going to humiliate you even if I have to close the Era Mobile company. You are my man, and I won’t allow anyone to disrespect you,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei was touched. “Will Ahn Geungan come tomorrow?”
“He should, but I have no idea about Ahn Suhyeong. I don’t think he will come. Ahn Guengan has been the one in talks with me over this matter,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Of course Ahn Suhyeong wouldn’t come - if Bureau 101 didn’t arrest him, Xia Lei wouldn’t let him go!
“What do you think, Hubby?” Shentu Tianyin looked at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “Tianyin, you are my wife. I don’t want to hide anything from you. I’d like to tell you that I did steal that sword.”
Shentu Tianyin received the news calmly. She was a very smart woman. Ahn Guengan’s Sword of Attila had been stolen during the time Xia Lei went with her to South Korea, then Xia Lei had been chased all over Seoul - could she not have guessed that Xia Lei had stolen the sword?
Shentu Tianyin’s reaction left Xia Lei unsettled. He said, “I stole the sword because the nation needed it. You know that I help Bureau 101 out. What I want to tell you is that my business needs the help of these people and I have to help them in return, otherwise my company would not have grown so rapidly.”
“Gu Kewen was the one who told me.” Shentu Tianyin finally spoke. “What I mean is that I know about all these but you telling me personally shows that you love and respect me. I will support you no matter what you do.”
‘Follow the man you marry, be he cock or dog*’ was Shentu Tianyin’s attitude before they registered their marriage.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
*Read about this Chinese idiom here: http://chinesepod.com/community/conversations/post/4407