They ate as a family and Xia Xue went to the room which Shentu Tianyin had had prepared for her. Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin returned to their room.
Shentu Tianyin had been able to laugh and chat during dinner but she was a whole other person when she went into the room. Her eyes grew clouded with thought and it looked like there were things weighing heavily on her mind.
She could not make herself happy.
There were many people who’d embezzled state-owned assets in China, and it was common to see officials and businessmen clash too, but punishments were rare. It was because of this norm that Shentu Tianyin had taken Gu Kewen’s advice back then, and purchased the Gu clan’s old assets with her help. She had not expected that her smooth acquisition of these assets would become the guillotine above her neck, ready to fall at any time!
“Tianyin, I don’t get it. You have no lack of money - why did you move to acquire those assets?” asked Xia Lei softly.
“It’s true that I don’t need money; it’s just a number. My thought was that I would be able to raise Vientaine Group to an international level, like Apple, Microsoft or General Electric. I acquired high-quality assets with hidden values which are much higher than reported. I wanted to acquire them because they could become an ideal foundation for my goal, and Gu Kewen just so happened to be of help, so…”
So it’d ended up like this.
She had ambition and smarts - she knew it was not going to be easy to make Vientaine Group like Apple, Microsoft or General Electric. It could even be said to be a pipe dream. That was why she needed capital - lots of capital - to fuel her dream. Besides, many others were also making moves on state-owned assets and they weren’t being punished… so why not?
In short, she had been too ambitious and overreached.
Xia Lei understood all of these but there wasn’t anything he could do about it either. “Tianyin, I’d like my company to become a world-class company too but it’s just a thought, not a must. I would be happy if I could do it but I won’t be affected if it doesn’t either. I’m quite satisfied with what I have - you should be too. You’ll be happy if you’re content.”
“I know the concept, but life is too short. I want to leave a bright mark on this earth. I want Vientaine Group to be a great MNC. This is my dream, and I’m willing to take some risk for my dream.”
“You won’t regret it even if it results in serious consequences?”
Shentu Tianyin shook her head. “I won’t.”
Xia Lei could not help sighing silently. He knew he could not persuade his wife; not then, not now.
Shentu Tianyin drew close and put her arms tenderly around Xia Lei’s waist. “Hubby, you’ll help me tide through this, won’t you?”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “You are my wife. We are family. Your difficulties are my difficulties so how can I not help you? Don’t worry, I’ll help you get rid of this Gu Kewen problem.”
“Are… Are you going to kill her?” Shentu Tianyin became nervous, and her voice filled with worry.
“She’s joined the CIA and is suspected of having betrayed national interests. She’s a dead woman walking in Bureau 101’s eyes. I’ll kill her if I find her,” said Xia Lei.
“Say no more. I am too scared to think about it.” Shentu Tianyin put her chin on Xia Lei’s chest. She found the security she wanted in his arms.
“I have information that Gu Kewen is in Japan now. It’ll be difficult to locate her.” Xia Lei had to say it. He wanted Shentu Tianyin to know the severity of the situation. “So you have to be prepared for the worst.”
“The worst?” Shentu Tianyin bit her lip. “Prison?”
“I won’t let you be put in prison, even if Gu Kewen releases that information to the public. Before the police investigate, I probably… have a way to make sure you’re okay,” said Xia Lei.
A small smile appeared on Shentu Tianyin’s lips. She looked at Xia Lei with a gaze full of love, and respect.
Xia Lei, on the other hand, was not feeling so good about this. He’d said that he would keep Shentu Tianyin safe before the police investigated but that’s if he used his connections to pull some strings. He had just two cards to play. One, was Thunder Horse Military Factory, and the other was the Alloy X Project. However, he might not reach his objective even if he played both these cards, and it was possible that he would be pulled into this situation himself too!
“Hubby, let’s not talk about these unhappy things. We should go to bed.” Shentu Tianyin breathed warm air into his ear.
“Mm, yeah, let’s not talk about it. Don’t worry too much about it either. It might not be as bad as I make it out to be. You have me.” Xia Lei put his worries aside.
Shentu Tianyin was touched and her heart warmed. She put her hands on Xia Lei’s chest and pushed him lightly. She did not use much strength, but Xia Lei tumbled backwards to flop on the soft bed.
Shentu Tianyin moved forward, and climbed atop Xia Lei...
It was a feat in itself to get to marry a woman like Shentu Tianyin. It was even more impressive to get this sort of service from her. What more did Xia Lei want?
Adele’s new song, ‘Hello’, suddenly played. It was Shentu Tianyin’s ringtone.
They were creating life here - who was calling?
Shentu Tianyin ignored it and continued giving Xia Lei pleasure and happiness, but Adele kept singing. She finally crawled off Xia Lei and grabbed her phone.
“A call from Japan.” Shentu Tianyin’s expression sobered and she asked nervously, “Can it be her?”
Xia Lei got up too. “Put it on speakerphone and accept the call.”
Shentu Tianyin put it on speakerphone and picked up. “Hello, who’s this?”
A woman’s voice came from the phone. “Long time no see, Shentu Tianyin. How’re you doing?”
This voice was familiar to Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei. It was Gu Kewen.
Shentu Tianyin glanced at Xia Lei and said, “What are you calling me for, Gu Kewen?”
“You’re a little short on breath. Just did some exercise?” Gu Kewen’s voice was mocking.
Shentu Tianyin’s cheeks reddened and she said in annoyance, “Enough bullshit. Tell me what you called me for.”
“Xia Lei’s with you, isn’t he?”
Shentu Tianyin paused; she didn’t know what to say.
“I’m calling you at this hour because I’m looking for Xia Lei, not you,” said Gu Kewen. “Xia Lei, I know you’re next to Shentu Tianyin. Stop hiding. Speak.”
Xia Lei took the phone from Shentu Tianyin and spoke into it. “This is Xia Lei. What do you want?”
“Hahaha… So you ARE there.” Gu Kewen laughed. “Xia Lei, you’re having fun with Shentu Tianyin in bed but I’m here in a strange land, all by my lonesome self. I miss the old days. My father and my brother were still around then, and I was their precious pearl. I could get whatever I wanted. This is but a memory now. Every time I think of my father and my brother, my heart feels like a knife has been stabbed into it. It hurts.”
Xia Lei interrupted Gu Kewen’s speech. “I have no time to hear your long-winded story. State your business or I hang up.”
“Hang up and your Tianyin will be in the headlines tomorrow morning. Go on, hang up if you dare.”
Shentu Tianyin suddenly grabbed the sheets and her slim fingers wrung the material. She’d evidently taken the sheets for Gu Kewen, and was intent on twisting off all her hair, and her neck!
After some silence, Xia Lei said, “Let’s not waste words. What do you want?”
“Sure. I want my brother. Give me my brother back and I’ll give you Shentu Tianyin’s dirt.” Gu Kewen stated her wants.
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. “Are you kidding me? Your brother was sentenced and he’s now in prison. How can I get him out?”
“Others won’t be able to, but you can. I believe you’ll find a way.” Gu Kewen laughed as she said, “Xia Lei, why do you think Shentu Tianyin married you? She’s ten times smarter than you think she is. What she’s marrying is your capability, not you. She had her eye on you because you are the only one in this world who can satisfy her ambition, and only you could meet her requirements.”
“Shut your mouth!” Shentu Tianyin retorted. “Gu Kewen, state your business, and your business only. Why are you sowing discord between us? I love my husband. Our love is not something you can shake just like that.”
“Yeah, yeah, we’re both women. You think I don’t know what you’re after?”
Shentu Tianyin made to say more but Xia Lei put a finger on her lips to tell her not to fight with Gu Kewen. He then said, “Gu Kewen, let’s negotiate with something else. How much do you want?”
“How much?” A twisted laugh came from the phone. “The Gu clan assets used to be valued in the billions, the same as the Shentu clan. If you’re going to settle this with money, then give me all that I’ve lost. I’m not greedy either. 50,000,000,000 will do.”
Anger flared in Xia Lei’s heart. “Don’t you get too greedy, Gu Kewen!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter